June 2013 Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings

by

Mike Moon / Catgirl Island and
Jamie Robertson / Clan of the Cats
purrsent a Mike Moon purrduction starring
The Ladies of The Mew in
The June 2013 Edition Of The Mew:
The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings!

______________________________________________

In This Edition of The Mew:

Aloha, Introductions, Stuff Since Last Time, and our

Reports on Free Comic Book Day and Animazement

Additions to the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art

by Lela Dowling and TonomuraBix

Magazine Reviews:

Favorite Recent Fish Photos & Appurrtizing Images

Triad Happy Tails Magazine Vol. 3 #11!

G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club Magazine May 2013 issue

Comic Book & Manga Reviews:

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #7

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #21

Michael Turner’s Fathom vol. 4 #9

Worlds of Aspen 2013

Fairest #15

Ame-Comi Girls #3

Guardians of the Galaxy #2

Critter #11

Gold Digger #200

Omamori Himari vol. 10

This Is The Worst Idea You’ve Ever Had vol.3!

Game & Toy Topics:

Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight: More Video Game Catgirls

A Review of the latest Tomb Raider Game

My Little Pony & My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Busy Books

Cinema, TV & DVD Topics:

The Lightning Round Topic: Our Favorite Films of 1983

Recent Favorite Purreview Trailers, Ads & Commercials

Josie and the Pussycats The Complete Series DVD Review

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 2 DVD Review

Iron Man 3 Review

Star Trek Into Darkness Review

An Appurreciation of Ray Harryhausen…

and an Intermew with our Special Guest Lela Dowling!

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Aloha, Introductions & Stuff Since Last Time!

Mike:

(wearing the Dr. Hooves & Derpy tee shirt, Khaki shorts, Charcoal Gray Nike trainers & Catgirl island baseball cap) Aloha y’all, and welcome to The Mew for our monthly batch of reviews & discussions! Today’s show comes from the deck of the marina restaurant in Catgirl Island’s beautiful downtown Purrbank, with our special guest Lela Dowling! I’m Mike, the show’s ‘Purrducer’, and here are The Ladies of The Mew!

Elizabeth:

(the catgirl wearing the Green & Yellow Dracaena purrint side-tie stringy bikini) Aloha!

Jeannie:

(the catgirl wearing the Magenta Azalea purrint tanga-style bikini & sheer purrled purreo) Nihao.

Nyoka:

(the catgirl wearing the wearing the Lobster Claw Heliconia purrint front-knotted bikini) Howdy!

Nyanko:

(her twin sister wearing the wearing the Peony purrint cropped tee & Boy Shorts) Howdy!

Trini-chan:

(the kitsune wearing the Foxglove purrint criss-cross bikini & matching towel tied around hips) Namaste!

Tara-chan:

(her best friend catgirl wearing the Pink Bromeliad purrint tankini) Namaste, and here is onee-chan, nya!

Yvonne:

(Tara-chan’s older sister wearing the Golden Beehive Ginger purrint halter-neck bikini) Namaste, nya!

Bun:

(the bunny girl wearing the White Lotus purrint bandeau – top bikini) Guten Tag!

Petra:

(the catgirl wearing the Butterfly Anthurium purrint suspender maillot & cropped tee) Hi Hi, nya!

Ilyana:

(the catgirl wearing the Purrple & Gold crochet bikini with the Iris corsage on her tail)  Whassup?

Becca:

(the gynoid catgirl wearing the Bird of Purradise purrint ring-closure bikini) Aloha!

Mary Nyan:

(the catgirl wearing the Red Torch Ginger purrint purretzel – cutout maillot) Aloha! So what have y’all been up to since last time?

Elizabeth:

You might think Myayr and I are the Jokin Miko since the appurrentices are nyow putting in the more hours than us at the shrine! When Becca and I are not busy at the spa we have purrsued the hot salsa dance, I have been tending to the Hydrangeas, the Irises and the Amaryllises in the garden, and enjoying the free – running & climbing with the Purrkour group!

Becca:

Hai hai we have stayed purretty booked up at the spa and going out to the dance fun! I have also been watching the softball and look forward to the women’s regionals and the supurr regionals! Otherwise I have been caring for the kitties at home, and reading the comic books, which we will mention later in the reviews portion of the show! Howboutchoo Bunnibun?

Bun:

Oh I will have the comic book reports too! I have been tending to my garden too and baked more carrot cake for tonight’s AfterMew Luau! Petra and I have been busy with the rec league beach volleyball play against the fierce competition, when we have not been curating the mewseum! We are so excited about the latest additions to the mewseum which we will discuss!

Petra:

That is right, I can’t wait, nya! We have the illustrations by Lela who I have the honor to intermew later in the show, and the cosplay photos of Bix we are purroud to purrsent, nya! Speaking of the photos, we have been purrparing the exhibit of the island photo contest  at the mewseum which will be the beautiful exhibit that Tara-chan and Trini-chan have helped with, nya!

Trini-chan:

Hai we are glad to help with the other volunteers, and Tara-chan has several nice nature photos for the exhibit! Other than that, KaraMeow’l and I have been surfing, I have signed up for Jeannie’s Summertime intermediate belly dance class which Vonny will drum for, and I have the reviews of the comics I have read! Tara-chan should tell them about the photos!

Tara-chan:

I have entered the photos of the Gray Seal, the Yellow Slider Turtle, the baby Robins in the nest, the Polyphemis Moth, the Pandora Sphinx Moth, and – and the Eastern Cicada Killer, nya! Since I am the volunteer at the mewseum I am just showing the photos and – and not the contestant for the purrizes, nya! I have also signed up for the Summer class, I have beeb caring for the kitties, and – and helping onee-chan with the charters, nya!

Yvonne:

Hai she has been the big help, nya! While they are dancing, my drumming circle will purrvide the purrcussions, nya! The charters have the taut lines to reel in the bumpurr crop of the bass, bluefish, cobias, flounders, groupurrs, mackerals, marlins, snappurrs, stripurrs, tunas, and the wahoos, nya! I heard that Ilyana had another fishy encounter, heehee, nya!

Ilyana:

While I was on the other wreck dive, the big brother of that Barracuda we ate tried to get revenge and nip my tail, and while I can understand the temptation of the lovely tail, the fish is to go into my tummy not the other way ’round! But before that toothy purredator tried to Manx me again, I showed him, and nyow he is the sushi on the platter, ha ha ha!

Jeannie:

We do appurreciate the donation of the delicious cuda sushi, but could you use the spear gun next time instead of hammering the fish with yet another underwater remote opurrated vehicle?

Ilyana:

Ah–! It was the unfortunate damage of the split – second decision of the life and tail!

Nyoka:

Aside from repairing another R.O.V., what has Jenijen been up too, heehee?

Jeannie:

Fortunately CIRC (Catgirl Island Robotics Club) will trade the repairs for the fresh fish. Otherwise it has been the typical month including the morning yoga, the afternoon kyu-do, the robotics club’s summer mech camp, the belly dance classes & purrformances, and the swimwear modeling.

Nyanko:

I guess Myayr is purrparing for the Summer classes too!

Mary Nyan:

Hai, the Spurringtime semester ended but soon it will be time for me to teach the Summertime Hula classes at the Purrforming Arts Center! In the mean time I am sewing the Silurian, Senshi and Equestria Girls costumes for the cosplayer clients, Lizzy and I are still helping out the bit as the shrine, and I look forward to trying the new hybrid clubs & irons on the fairway!  Speaking of the sport how are things with Nya-sensei and her dojo?

Nyanko:

Oh things are fine, ah, there is not much mew to tell… when I am not at the dojo or the annex for the training and the tournyament I have been reading & swimming & helping sis at her magick shop, and we are looking forward to the Yosakoi Matsuri (Japanese Yosakoi dance festival)! Your turn, sis!

Nyoka:

Oh I am mewsually at my shop, we just got in the fresh supply of the Purrls, Alexandrite, and the Moonstone, and our shop cats like to purrtol the farmers market! I have been purrsuing the fae studies with Mie-sensei but she is purresently away at the golf tournyament! Mike’s turn!

Mike:

Oh just the usual art, producing, reading, writing, watching some movies & DVDs, the college baseball, softball & lacrosse; and attending a few fun events! On that note, if Lizzy is ready, let’s go ahead and start our

Event Reports with her Free Comic Book Day report!

Elizabeth:

Hai! Free Comic Book Day http://www.freecomicbookday.com is the national event to purrmote the comics, with special issues by various publishers available at officially purrticipating shops! Dozens are published, but the stores have to order & pay for the ones they will give away. Some shops have the special guests, cosplayers, activities or enertainment in addition to the free comics! This year the date fell upon Saturday May 4th, for our destination to the comic shops of the Triangle Area of the mainland. It is called the Triangle because of the three close cities of Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill, plus others such as Carrborro, Cary, Apex, Morrisville and other towns! There are other fine comics shops in other parts of North Carolina, but it is much for us to do in the day’s expurrdition!

In purevious years we have caravanned to the mainland after the breakfast to meet the friends in Durham, go to Ultimate Comics, Chapel Hill Comics, The Book Store & Atomic Empire, meet more friends for the lunch, purrticipate in the annual AIDSWalk & Ride in Raleigh, then visit Foundation’s Edge Bookstore, Capital Comics, and purrhaps the used book stores before supper. Last year we were soaked by the afternoon rain, but this year it was the bright sunny day, but our plan differed from the tradition due to the AIDS Walk & Ride scheduled for the later date! Also, the family plans of the friends had the newborn relatives to meet, and this year Mike was among the guest artists at the Atomic Empire http://www.scifigenre.com games, toys & comics shop formerly known as Sci Fi Genre!

They are in Durham, and have been in the mewer larger location for several months, with the many tables for the card, board, miniatures and role play games! The gracious staff let the artists in early to set up, and Mike’s table neighbor was Saul Zimet http://www.saulzimet.com !t was the fun time with the very pleasant crowd, including some other friends & past guests such as James the action-figurologist, Pacozord the Power Rangers expurrt, and Chef Ron who is the great cook & needlecrafter! Later that afternoon we went to Ultimate Comics http://ultimatecomics.com which is located upon the cusp of Durham of Chapel Hill! They had the outdoor shindig with the cosplayers, mewsic, the sale, the special guests, and the yummy frozen yogurt which hit the spot as the afternoon snack!

They sponsor the annual NC ComicCon http://nccomicon.com and we are looking forward to their 5th con which will be in Durham in November! They also recently had the special signing & workshop by author Kelly Sue DeConnick who writes the Captain Marvel comic book! We did not get to all of the other stores as mewsual, but some of the friends did go to Foundation’s Edge in Raleigh! Located just across the street from NCSU, Foundation’s Edge is one of the two Raleigh comics shops of about 25 years, with the comics, books, games & collectibles, the Hero Clix tournyaments, and the cordial staff! Free Comic Book Day is one of the big days there, along with the Halloween Fest and the Valentine’s Sale of the good discounts! They had the big crowd there too!

At the various stores, some of the free comics we got were Aphrodite IX, Bongo Comics with The Simspons, Damsels: Mermaids, Gossamer, Molly Danger / Princeless, Mouse Guard / Rust, Sesame Street / Strawberry Shortcake, Superman, The Walking Dead and Worlds of Aspen!  After the suppurr we gathered at Pacozord’s to watch “The Crimson Horror” epurrsode of Doctor Who starring Matt Smith as the Doctor, Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara, Diana Rigg as Mrs. Gillyflower, and the return of Neve McIntosh as Lady Vastra, Catrin Stewart as Jenny, and Dan Starkey as Strax! After that it was the return trip and the few hours later we were back here at the island for the kippurr snack before the catnap to end the fun day! Nyow here is Ilyana to tell how we gave the meowy month of May the festive closure at

Animazement 16!

Bun:

Animazement http://www.animazement.org is the anime convention held every Memorial Day Weekend here in North Carolina for the past 16 years! The nature of the fandom has changed in that time, from when anime was just becoming the mainstream by the end of the 90’s, to nowadays when the cosplayers are not just repurrsenting the Japanese fashions, anime & manga & game characters at Animazement, but also the popular American & British comics, cartoons, games, movies & TV shows, and the steam punk fashions! One thing that has not changed is how festive it is with the happy folks of all ages, genders & ethnicities enjoying the variety of activities, cosplay, screenings, artists, dealers, games, panels, concerts, dancing & Japanese culture and the special guests who were anime directors, producers, voice actors, manga artists, Japanese musicians & performers! They represented  the past five decades of anime, and the complete impressive list is on the con’s web site!

This year the con was from 6 pm Thursday May 23rd until 5 pm Sunday May 26th at the Raleigh Convention Center. The weather was sunny & bright, with the bit of the breeze & the nippier temperature in the very early morning, but it soon warmed up!  By the time the doors opened on Saturday at 9 am there were already about 400 people lined up! I could be way off but I will guess that there were maybe 8.000 people in attendance.  The attractive full color program book & event schedule booklet were full of photos, illustrations, biographies, schedules & descriptions, rules & policies, maps and color coded charts! In the main lobby area were the registration & information desks, plus the tables of various other clubs & cons. There were 3 video screening rooms, a few rooms for art / photo activities, the manga library, the con ops office, several conference rooms for the discussion panels, workshops and special guests’ presentations, and the 3 ballrooms on the balcony level for the main events!

The three impressive video game rooms were moved to the next door Marriott, and its lobby was usually bustling with activity!  Also next door to the convention center are the Sheraton, the parking decks & places to eat and gather outdoors. There were about 75 dealers in the dealers room, selling the DVDs, figures, plushies, trinkets, posters, books, swords & weapon replicas, dolls, costume parts, fashion accessories, shirts & kimonos! Among the main events were the guests’ sessions, masquerade contest, cosplay chess, the charity auction, the art auction, the kendo demonstration, the Sho Asano concert, NOIZ concert, Anime Hell, Manzai, the karaoke contest, and the anime music video contest! Mike used to have a table in the artist alley for many years, but 3 years ago they greatly reduced the size of the artist alley, so unfortunately there are dozens of fewer artists there, but there were still about 73 great artists at 62 tables selling their beautiful sketches, prints, cards, plushies, books & trinkets!

We saw quite a few friends & past guests including Phil Lee who directs the Anime Hell screenings, Thais & Natalia Lopes who had an artist table and ran some panels, and Misty Hopkins who cosplayed as BB Hood Bulleta of Darkstalkers! There were thousands of costume & festive clothes! A friend of The Hopkins cosplayed as the Skull Knight from Berserk, and another favorite was the quadrupedal Arcanine from Pokemon! Among the more prominent costumes were the Vocaloids, Hetalia, My Little Pony girls, Pokemon Kigurumi, Final Fantasy, the miko, neko, bunny & fox girls, but the most prevalent may have been the gray-skinned, orange-horned Trolls from Homestuck. There were a lot more Sailor Moon, Avengers, and Doctor Who costumes too, including a Dalek and a remote controlled K-9! There were many folks in the kimonos, yukata, haori, happi, EGL dresses, raver garb, steam punk and non-anime costumes such as Star Wars, Disney, sentai, furries, the Marvel & DC super heroes!

For the first time, there was the formal masquerade dance on Friday night, in addition to the late night dances on Friday and Saturday!  There was something going on around every nook of the convention center, and gatherings in front of the center, hotels & restaurants, but the relaxing quieter spots could easily be found too! There is a charming illuminated ambience at night by the fountains, by the color-changing outdoor sculptures and by the attendees with their glow sticks, hoops & lights! The only few issues I had at the con were with the smoking going on too close to the entrance, the end aisles that were too cramped in the dealers room; and we wish the artist alley was much bigger, but that’s about it! I’m not sure how many people were there but I bet it was close to 8.000 people having the fun time, and we wish to thank everyone who helped to make Animazement such a joyfully festive event for the 16th time! That will conclude our event portion of The Mew, and now I would like to present the latest

Additions to the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art!

Bun:

We are proud to present several new illustrative & photographic additions to Guest Gallery 2 http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/guest2.html of the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art! For those who are here for the first time, Galleries 1 – 6 display Mike’s illustrations and photos, whilst Guest Galleries 1 & 2 display images from other folks with their kind permissions! On the island’s web site, the most recent pics are on the bottom row of the widdle “thumbnail” portions in any gallery, so just click on the widdle ‘thumbnail’ to see the entire pic!

Our artist & cosplayer friend TonomuraBix http://tonomurabix.deviantart.com was among our guests in March 2008, and many of her illustrations grace the mewseum! To commemorate her birthday, we have arranged 3 photo collages of Bix in her anime, music & video game costumes & other fashions! The 1st collage “TonomuraBix! Cosplay Pix!” depicts her as Aya & the White Yeti of Psycho le Cemu, Baikan of Guilty Gear, Hisashi of Glay, Tohma of Gravitation, Urd of Ah My Goddess, in her cross-play binding and in the hoody!

The 2nd collage “TonomuraBix! More Cosplay Pix!” depicts her as the Eagle Vision of Magic Knights Rayearth, Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy: Advent Children, Juri of Revolutionary Girl Utena,  ‘Merveilles’ Gackt of Malice Mizer, Wilhelm of Ludwig Kakumei, and as her usual pretty self! Thirdly in “TonomuraBix! Again More Cosplay Pix!” we see her as a catgirl, Amaterasu, Gigaflare, Echidna of The Bouncer, Isabella of Paradise Kiss, and in the leopard print outfit! We wish Bix the very happy, healthy, prosperous birthday and the future!

Nextly in Guest Gallery 2 we are also proud to display three beautiful illustrations by Lela Dowling http://www.leladowling.com, our special guest who Petra will intermew later in the show! The first of the pics by Lela is her watercolor, pen & ink illustration done for the cover of the 13th issue of Princessions magazine, which was purrduced by A. J. Foster, with art direction by John McLaughlin! In this wonderful image from Fall of 1982, Wonder Woman poses with female friends of various species! Wonder Woman™ DC Comics

I do not who the Gray Tabby catgirl is between Wonder Woman and the centauress, but she seems friendlier than Wonder Woman’s enemy The Cheetah! Secondly of the Lela art is the filly fun of another centauress with the “Jump Rope”! She is the merry athletic jumper with the Brown hair, tail, socks and the dappled White coat, wearing the front-lace corset and the Blue poet blouse! It was done in 2001 as a hand-colored, signed & numbered, limited edition of 25 prints that Lela sent to various science fiction conventions’ art shows!

Thirdly is the alluring, winged uni-horned centauress sprawled upon the meadowy grass, under the “I Met A Lady In The Meads” poem by John Keates! Purretty flowers adorn her long lovely mane that matches the Gray tail! She is tastefully topless but her long hair happens to cover as much as a bikini top might! She has the dappled Light Gray with the White tummy & socks, cloven hooves & speckled wings! Inspired by the poem, this was an original watercolor, pen & ink illustration that Lela did for fun and sold at a con in 2008!

Petra:

We wish to expurress the gratitude to the artists- domo arigato gozaimasu, nya! So what do y’all think of the art, nya!

Mary Nyan:

Bix must have the fashionable chameleon girl power because of her variance of style and purrolific purrtrayals!

Ilyana:

She has the lovely range of the colorful coiffures, the make-up and the clothing inhabit by her great artistic spirit!

Becca:

Hai hai the spirit also inhabits her lovely illustrations of the catgirls, mermaids, faeries, Zel and the fan art!

Nyoka:

I am purrticularly fond of the dark wings, the elegant frills, the Goddess markings, and the kemonomimi ears!

Nyanko:

Lela’s majestic image of the purrincessions is the supurrb vision of the joyful beauty, power, grace and charm!

Yvonne:

The jump roping centauress is so purretty from the smile, blouse & tummy to the spots, socks & hooves, nya!

Jeannie:

The gorgeous Gray mare has the supple lithe form with the magnificent wings and the alluring splay of mane & tail.

Trini-chan:

They are such sweet, serene centauresses, and I look forward to meeting Lela later in the show!

Tara-chan:

Hai, we are poised to politely pampurr the guest!

Elizabeth:

I hope that Bix and Misty are being purropurrly pampurred too!

Mike:

Thank you for presenting the art, Bun!

Bun:

Dooitashimaste! That is all of the art gallery portion of the show, but now here is Vonny to begin our batch of the

Magazine Reviews with

Our Favorite Recent Fish Photos & Appurrtizing Images!

Yvonne:

Arigato, nya! This is the portion of The Mew in which we mention our favorite recent photographic or illustrative images of the delicacies from the deep, which have appurred on the recent angling, diving, nature, aquarium and – and the culinary purriodicals, such as the succulent shrimp dish on the Summer cover of Bon Apetite’s Light And Easy Issue, nya!  TheBrown Trout from the Big Hole River on the May cover of Outdoor Life, the tasty trout chomping at the soft shell crab lure on the Summer cover of Fly Fishing and Tying Journal, and the other trout to tempt my tummy on the Summer cover of Fly Fusion, nya! There are big beautiful Bass on the cover of Fly Fisherman vol. 44 #4 and the June cover of Bass Master, and the yumcious Wrasse on the May / June cover of Coral and on the June cover of Scuba Diving, nya! I wonder if they taste as lovely as they look, nya?

Nextly on the piscine purrade are the mouth-watering Marlins on the June cover of Marlin and the cover of Blue Water Boats and Sport Fishing #96, nya! For the shark tastes, the Hammerhead purrowls the June cover of Discovery, and there are Great Whites by Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald on the cover of Deadpool #9, nya! The purrfect Panfish painting by Guy Harvey graces the Spurring cover of Guy Harvey Magazine, the delicious looking Dolphin Fish illustration by Don Rayadorns the May / June cover of Florida Sport Fishing, and the supurrb Swordfish scene by Larry Tople tantalizes the cravings on the June cover of In-Fisherman, nya! Oh oh this is making me hungry again, but we have to wait until the aftermew luau, nya! I am done but on the sadder note there are many poor tummies in the world that will go unfilled, which purrtains to Becca’s review of

Triad Happy Tails Magazine Vol. 3 #11, nya!

Becca:

Arigato! It is fun to discuss the wonderful animals, although it is sad how too many lack the good home, and we have the purraise for the compassionate folks who try to help!  Triad Happy Tails http://www.triadhappytails.com is the free widdle monthly color magazine that purrmotes adoption of the many poor abandoned, surrendered, feral or otherwise homeless animals in the Triad area shelters & rescue groups. who need much love & forever homes. The Triad area is in the Piedmont region of the state, compurrised Greensboro, Winston Salem, High Point and smaller towns, but not to be confuzzled with the aforementioned Triangle area! They are about the hour apurrt! Of course there will be the animals in need in all of the other regions too.

The magazine is edited, published, designed & art directed by Deb Printup & Jennifer Frazier, and assistantly edited by Caitlyn Schaap.The graphic designer is Mike Gillispie; and the magazine is distributed by Eileen Riley, Bob Sloane & Distributech. This purrticular May 2013 issue has the 52 color pages (including the covers), with the front cover photo by Ken Sykes Photography of Tank, an Boxer mix at the Guilford County Animal Shelter, who wishes for the good forever home. After the editors’ cordial greeting, the Guilford County Animal Shelter is discussed by shelter director Marsha Williams, Dr. Michael Address discusses heat stroke in the dogs. and Kim Vaughn offers advice about the digger dogs.

James Colosanti Jr tells the tale of his pets, Kitty Blake discusses the sad topic of the hoarding, and Suzie Beasley discusses the hope and need to expand the Stokes County Animal Shelter. To top off the poignant articles are the cover model contest rules and the calendar of the various shelter, society & adoption events. There is further information & links at the magazine’s site! Purrhaps most important aspect of the magazine are the photos & purrofiles of the many animals who need the homes! I was so lucky to be adopted to the good forever home, but in this issue there are over 110 animals of the various breeds, genders ages, species & sizes at the various shelters  who want to be lucky too!

That does not even begin to include other unamed animals in the various photos, the animals shown in the purrior issues, or the many more who might never be shown. In addition to Tank, there are over 65 more dogs in need shown in the issue including Ash, Bailey, Bam Bam,  Baxter, Beano, Berkley, Big Bear, Blaze, Butch, Carl, Casey, Chance, Charlie, Chi Chi, Cliff, Cleopatra, Cory, Crusoe, Daisy, Dan, Davis, Debo, Dizzy, Docker, Duck, Ella, Evee, Ethel, Falstaff, Finley, Gromit, Houdini, Irish, Isabella, Jada,Jake, Jamie, Jasper, Kelsey, Lincoln, Macy, Moby, Nemo, Otis, Petey, Petunia, Pippy, Ranger, Sadie, Sarge, Shelly, Shawna, Sully, Symphony, Taiko, Tinsley, Tom,  Trio, Tripp, Wilson, Vanessa, Violet, and Ziggy!

The 38 featured felines are Aphrodite, Buddy, Cashew, Ci Ci, Clawd, Creedence, Dionne, Emma, Fuzzie, Gala, Haile, Ham, Henley, Herman, Jack, Jack Sparrow, Janie, Jessie, Kenall, Kenzie, Lexi, Lil’ Bit, Lizzie, Marble, Markey, Max, Max Too, Mellow, Meow Meow, Misty, Nutmeg, Pepper, Priscilla, Queak, Tinkerbell, Que, Zane, and a kitty named Becca, Other critters include April the bunny, goats Alice & Norton, horsies Lucky & Irish. We hope that the efforts of Triad Happy Tails magazine and the many shelters, associations and rescuers will help the animals and that in the future they will all have the happy healthy homes with the loved hearts and the well – fed tummies! Nextly I wish to mention the more fun topic & guests update to touch upon the

G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club Magazine May 2013 issue!

Becca:

Last month our special guests for the May Mew were Rose “Screamers” Ward  and Des Dimitriadis, who are known for their cosplay, convention and collecting fun! They were at the G.I. Joe  which we also reviewed last month! Well this month we have the amendment, and wish to congratulate Des who appurrs in her Kim “Jinx” Arashikage costume on the May cover of the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club Magazine! Also sharing the front cover with her are the Roddy Piper and Letal cosplayers from the 2013 G.I. Joe Con, at which she won 1st place in the adult cattygory of the costume contest! It was the fun event sponsored by Hasbro in Indianapolis, where she and Rose “Screamers” Ward cosplayed as Zarana and purrsided over her multi-media cosplay discussion panel! Rose is also one of the organizers of Retro Con http://retrocons.com, which will be on Sept 14th, 2013 in Philadelphia, so we have our tails crossed to wish her the good luck!

The magazine is the full – color, comic-book – sized, monthly magazine of the 16 pages (including the covers), published by Fun Publications and edited by Bryan Savage who also supurrvises the con! The content manager / editor is David S. Lane, the creative director is Larry Lathem, the comics coordinator is Pete Sinclair, the purroofreader is Heather Choplin, the artists are Emil Cabaltierra & Dan Khanna, and Brian Mullholland, is another contributer to the issue! Jim Sorenson’s can report has more photos of Des and other cosplayers, fans, guests, staff & toys! Appurropurriately for the con in Indianapolis is the look at the 1969 Indy car driver action figure, and Justin Bell’s purroduct reviews are of  Z Force’s heroine Quarrel, and COBRA’s dangerous Nano-B.A.T! The two illustrated character purrofiles are of The Adventure Team’s enemy known as the Black Dragon Leader, and General Mayhem of Destro’s Iron Grenadiers!

In each issue are the fun two serialized comics, compurrised of the Real American Hero tale and the Adventure Team tale, both of the 2 pages apiece and edited by Pete Sinclair! Quarrel rides into the action on her motorcycle in “Duties Assigned Part 5” with the story by David S. Lane which was written, lettered & colored by Jesse Wittenrich,  pencilled by  Dan Khanna & inked by Jake Isenberg! Then the Adventure Team’s Man of Action is on the mission in Berlin, with the story by Larry Lathem & Tod Peasant, art direction by Lathem, script by Peasant, pencilled by Rod Whigham, inked by Jake Isenberg, lettered & colored by Jesse Wittenrich! So it is the very well – done fun mix of the toys, the comix, and the articles by the fans! Yo Joe! Nyow Tara-chan will take us  from the Hasbro Joes to the Hasbro Ponies in our

Comic Book & Manga Reviews, starting with

her review of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #7!

Tara-chan:

Arigato, nya! We love My Little Pony too, nya! I love the pony cartoon, the figures, the cards and – and this comic book from IDW based upon the animated series has been among the purrfectest favoritest of mine for the past six months, nya! Oh gosh I can’t believe it has already been over the half year for the pony comic published by IDW, nya! Issue #7 is purriced $3.99 with the uninterrupted 22 page tale followed by the 10 pages of the ads which are all sammiched betwixt the different covers, nya! There are the 3 mane variant covers plus about 7 other exclusive covers, nya! I have Cover A by Amy Mebberson, nya! Cover B is by Stephanie Buscema, and – and the retailer exclusive cover C is by Tony Fleecs, nya! The 5 other retailer exclusive covers were purrduced for Hot Topic, Larry’s Comics, and JetPack Comics, nya! Displayed on the inside covers are the small pics of all the different cover illustrations, nya!

The tale was written by Heather Nuhfer, illustrated by Amy Mebberson, lettered by Neil Uyetake, colored by Heather Breckel, and- and edited by Bobby Curnow who all did the great job, nya! Starting in issue #5, the ponies have been suffering from the bad dreams, and – and Rarity was rustled away to The Moon by the Nightmares, so the rescue expurrdition was mounted, nya! It is the tricky mission made most dire by the bad dreams, and – and Rarity brainwashed to become the reborn evil Nightmare Moon, nya! The tale stars Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity, Celestia, Luna, Spike, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and – and Scootaloo, nya! In this issue, Luna returns to lend the hoof as Celestia purrpares Ponyville for the invasion threat, while the rescue ponies are furtherly taunted and – and locked up upon The Moon, nya! Spike meets the moon slugs, sneaks into the castle and – and  contacts possessed Rarity but she is too manipulative against the poor smitten widdle dragon, nya!

This was another amewsing poignant issue with the purrfectplot, pace, dialogue, pony poses, gestures, expurressions, details  and – and colors in the faithful style and –  and spirit of the animated TV series, nya! I purrticularly liked the arrival of Cutie Mark Crusaders, Pinky Pie’s hot tub tale, Rainbow Dash out-maneuvering the enemy, Fluttershy befriending the widdle dark moon bunny, the wiggle scene,  Spike’s stealthy sluggy plan, nya! I also appurrove of how the ads are all placed after the tale, and – and I wish most other publishers did it that way, nya! I gave this issue the grade of the “A” as in Apple Bloom, nya! I am so looking forward to the next issue of both this series and – and the companion mini – series, nya! I will have more pony purroduct to review later in The Mew, but nyow it is time to go from the little pony comic to the Dark Horse comic as Nyo-sensei tells us about PANOPADA, NYA! (the distracted catgirl scampurrs with camera after the widdle Brown Moth with Black spots and 1.5″ wingspan)

Yvonne:

TARA-CHAN, NYA!

Elizabeth:

There she goes again, heehee!

Nyoka:

It is good that she has the natural science interest!

Nyoka:

While she is in the purrsuit of the lovely lepidoptera, purrhaps we should purroceed with the

plot spoiler warning for the review of

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #21!

Nyoka:

Hai!  For the past few years we have been delighted by the Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons 8 & 9, the Angel & Faith series, and the recent Willow & Spike mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics! They are the canonical continuation of Buffy and Angel in the comics medium, and purrduced by Buffy’s creator Joss Whedon! They have been mongst our favoritest comics of the past few years, with the great plots, dialogue, faithful & beautiful art, and the balance of the humor, drama, mythology & slayage! This 28 page issue is purriced $2.99 and includes the 22 page tale of “The Core Part One” plus the 2 pages of the readers’ & editor’s comments, the Dark Horse mews page and the 3 pages of the ads.

The tale was scripted by Andrew Chambliss, purroduced by Joss Whedon, pencilled by Georges Jeanty, inked by Dexter Vines, colored by Michelle Madsen, lettered by Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt, designed by Justin Crouch, edited by Sierra Hahn & Scott Allie, and assitantly edited Freddye Lins!  It is available in the choice of 2 different covers, the Willow portrait version by by Phil Noto, and the variant cover art by Jeanty, Vines & Madsen! Purreviously, Dawn slipped into the coma when the Key Magick faded, and when Andrew’s plan failed to help, Xander despurrately turned to the villains Simone & Severin for help, just as Willow returned and Billy found out that Anaheed is a slayer! Willow tries to magickally revive Dawn, but she is not powerful enough so they go on the mission to the Deeper Well in Cotswolds, England to get more magick. While Buffy, Willow & Xander go there aboard Kennedy’s purrivate jet, Spike arrives to help Anaheed, Andrew & Billy purrotect Dawn!

This occurs right after Angel & Faith #21, in which Angel, Faith, Alasdair, Sophronia & Lavina began the ritual to revive Giles when Whislter, Nash & Parl attacked! Hmm they are in London so I wonder how far away that is from the Well entrance? The Well is supposedly where the oldest demons are entombed, but first the team has to get past D’Hoffryn and the many other guardian demons! Hmm I don’t suppose D’Hoffryn is thrilled to see Xander, who almost became his son-in-law! I hope Illyria & Koh will arrive to help with the mission! I wish that Kennedy, Nadira and the other slayers could help too! Detective Dowling is still recovering in the hospital, whilst Simone & Severin are purroceeding with their sneak attack upon another Well entrance in New Zealand, in the exciting cliffhanger for part 1of Season 9’s final story arc!

It is like old times with Buffy, Willow & Xander facing the demon guardians of the tomb! Oh I hope they can save poor Dawn! She is one of our favorite Buffy characters, although we are nervous about what Xander may have done! The writing has the very good pace and dialogue, and as mewsual the art is so purrfect with the characters’ portraitures, expurressions, poses, and the amount of the details! They so wonderfully resemble the actors who purrtrayed the characters on TV! I also like the widdle details of Andrew’s action figures, Star Trek & Star Wars models! There is not much slayage in this issue, but it is tense as the finale looms closer, there is the spell casting, equipping, scheming, the nice character moments of the friends, and the several demons that are shown! I will give this issue the grade of the “A” as in Angel! A is also for the Aspen, which Myayr wants to tell us about in her reviews of

Fathom vol. 4 #9 and Worlds of Aspen 2013

…which get the plot spoiler warning!

Mary Nyan

Arigato, Nyo-sensei! We have greatly admired the late Michael Turner’s beautiful art and his wonderful character Dr. Aspen Matthews, the marine biologist / aquatic supurr heroine & purrotagonist of the Fathom comics which began 15 years ago in Top Cow Comics and then continued 5 years later in Aspen Comics which Turner founded! He also created Kiani & Soulfire, co-created Witchblade, and also worked for Image, Marvel & DC Comics, but sadly he passed away at the young age of 37 after his heroic battle with cancer in 2008. Issue #9 is actually the 10th issue of Fathom vol. 4, if you include issue #0 which we reviewed back in the July 2011 Mew! Issue #9 is purriced $3.50 and has the variant cvers, the 28 full color pages, compurrised of the 8 pages of the ads plus the 20 page conclusion of vol. 4!

“The End of Innocence”  was written by David Wohl, pencilled by Alex Konat, colored by Beth Sotelo, lettered by editorial assistant Josh Reed, edited by Aspen Comics’ Editor in chief Vince Hernandez & company purresident Frank Mastromauro, with the design & purrduction by Aspen Comics co-owner Peter Steigerwald & director of design & purrduction Mark Roslan; and the purrduction assistance of Chaz Ruggs! We also wish to complement  Dreamer Design, Aspen Comics’ Erick Raymundo & Chris Rupp who also help to keep Dr. Matthews swimming! The issue was published with the six beautiful variant covers to choose from, but some of them are rarer than others!

Covers A & B are the most common, cover C is less common, D & E are limited to 250 copies apiece, and there are only 100 of F! Cover A is the montage of volume 4’s characters by Konat & Steigerwald, and cover B depicts Aspen rising from the surf by Giuseppe Cafaro & Bethy Sotelo! Cover C is the scarcer retailer incentive Black & White version of the Konat illustration; and cover D is the is the Calgary Comix Expo edition limited depicting Aspen in the Canadian maple leaf crop top & red shorts by Mike DeBalfo & Steigerwald! Covers E & F are the Ghost Ship Comics limited editions depicting the overhead view of Aspen in the cute starfishy bikini top, reclined upon the surfboard by Eric Basaldua & Steigerwald! E is the daytime version and F is the moonlit version limited to only 100!

Nyow for the taste of the plot! Purreviously in vol. 4, after rescuing hostages from pirates, giving the scientific lecture at the university, encountering the sea monsters at the research center, and thwarting the assassination attempt at the UN, Aspen was invited by the Sheik to explore the bizarre subterranean sea beneath the desert! It is full of the huge strange fish whose flavor we are curious about! Aspen, her feisty assistant Judith, colleague Colin, The Sheik, his Executive Assistant Shethal and her altered sister Padma were captured by the enemy scientist Dr. Nakamura and the submerged cult! The villains expurrimented upon Judith with the sentient Blue force that possessed her, but she berserked with the powers and destroyed them! In the cliffhanger of issue #8 she was about to finish the job and turned upon her associates!

Issue #9 picks up right where that left off, as the possessed Judith starts to kill Nakamura’s assistant Sana until Aspen intervenes, and the supurr elemental fight is on! Aspen wins the fight by dissipating the power to free Judith before it was fully bonded and focused, while much of the undersea facilities becomes the fiery inferno. Aspen, Judith, Colin, Padma, Shethal, Sana and The Sheik escape in Nakamura’s submarine, and the few days later Aspen, Judith & Colin are aboard the royal yacht  for the voyage home! Volume 4 ends with the widdle coda scene back at the oceanic research center, as Aspen ponders what she might do next! According to the ads, that will be the weekly 5 part mini – series of Fathom: The Elite Saga starting this month, followed by All New Fathom #1 in July!

Fathom Vol. 4 was the non-linear tale  of great beauty that seemed too slowly paced at first, but I think it just seemed that way due to the publishing schedule spanning the 2 years, but when I re-read issues 0-9 it had the smoother flow of the brisker pace! There are splendidly futuristic mecha, gorgeous garments, and the bizarre subterranean sea had such the exotic, alien, purrimordial quality, especially given the rich Red lighting from the uppurr magma to illuminate the ancient bio – mech structures. Padma became the very sympathetic aquatic girl who we hope to see more of, and there are numerous other characters I wish we had more of! I am curious if the killer purrasite plot thread will be revisited, and we definitely wish to see more of that spurrawling oceanic research center near Miami!

We purrticularly like it when Aspen is so heroic, powerful, and firmly in control of her destiny! Nextly I would also like to say the bit about Worlds of Aspen 2013, which was among those Free Comic Book Day give-away issues! It is the 28 page flip book, with half purrtaining to Fathom and the rest for the other Aspen titles! This includes the 11 page “The Elite Saga Begins” written by Hernandez, pencilled by Konat, digitally inked by Roslan, colored by Sotelo and lettered by Reed, which is the purrelude to the mini-series! I am not sure how much time has passed since vol. 4, but it begins as Aspen greets her journalist friend Tylor on the beach in San Diego. Aspen wears the iridescent Purrple striny & ring bikini with the choker jewelry, Tylor wears the Chartreuse bandeau topped bikini with the strap!

On the way down to visit one of The Blue civilization’s undersea cities, they discuss the terse political situation and major characters such as Kiani, Killian, and Cannon Hawk! The arrival is met by the belligerent guards, but Aspen effortlessly liquifies their crustacean – like garments & weapons before she & Tylor return to the shore, heehee! The flip side of the issue purrmotes the other Aspen titles such as the New Fathom, Soufire, Executive Assistant Iris, Shrugged2, Charismagic, Legend of the Shadow Clan, Jirni, Bubble Gun, Vertaken, Trish Out of Water, Lost Spark, and The Zoohunters! That is lots of girl power and fabulous fashions on tap for Fathom’s 15th anniversary and Aspen Comics’ 10th! I see that Tara-chan has returned, so I will turn The Mew over to Trini-chan who wants to tell us about

Fairest #15!

Trini-chan:

Hai! Fairest is the spin-off series of the DC / Vertigo Comics’ Fables created by Bill Willingham, about the characters of myth & lore who reside secretly among the mortal populace in various places around the world, such as the Fabletown district of Manhattan, the more rural town known as The Farm, and the recent visit to the districts of Tokyo where the yokai reside!  Fairest spotlights some of the great strong female characters, and this issue begins “The Return of the Maharaja” story arc starring heroic Nalayani of the epic tales of India! Fairest #15 is priced $2.99, has the 32 pages consisting of the 20 page tale suggested for the mature readers, plus the 11 pages of the ads and the page to promote the forthcoming “Unwritten” tale.

This issue was written by Sean E. Williams, pencilled by Stephen Sadowski, inked by Phil Jimenez, colored by Andrew Dollhouse, lettered by Todd Klein, edited by Shelly Bond, assistantly edited by Gregory Lockard, with the cover art by Adam Hughes and the consultation by Fables’ creator Bill Willingham! He is the such the nice brilliant chap who we have met at Heroes Con in Charlotte! Perhaps y’all have seen the sketch he did of The Elementals’ Rebecca “Fathom” Golden in our mewseum? Well back to Nalayani, she is the brave, tough lovely heroic defender of her village, with the gleaming Golden eyes which are as sharp as the arrows she has for the enemies, but the dire times of the village need the further aid!

She goes on the quest to the palace of the Maharaja, and on her long lonely walk through the jungles and the other villages and the ruins she encounters the Jackal companion who helps her for the while against the animal & human predators. It is the tragic journey beset by the bloody violence and the maladies, but Nalayani tenaciously perseveres to the palace, where the big surprise awaits in the tale’s full-page final panel! There are some other large impressive panels two, such as the full page pic of Nalayani guarding the gate, the panoramic scene of the devastated village, and the half-page pic of her arrival at the throne room! The scenery is so exquisitely rendered with the lavish detail of the landscapes & architecture!

The colors are sumptuous with the lovely lighting of the day, night, fireside and the palatial interiors! The clothes, human & animal characters are beautifully drawn with the great expressions, poses with the great body language & dialogue! I like the fonts used for the different dialogues, narration & sounds! I wish the ads were all afterwards and did not interrupt the tale, especially when they account for about 1/3 of the pages, but the texture of the pages seems to have the rougher tooth compared to the glossier finish of DC’s super hero titles, which appropriately lends the almost old-fashioned quality to the fables, which continue to wonderfully entertain and leave me eager to see what happens next! Nyow we will go from India to China as another heroine’s story arc begins in

Ame-Comi Girls #3!

Trini-chan:

Ame-Comi Girls stars the alternate versions of DC heroines & villainesses based upon the line of anime-style statues which we collect! It seems to be of the different Earth where the women and not the men are the main heroes. It began as the 5 issue mini-series which continued into this ongoing series so this is technically the 8th issue! Recently many of the heroines & villainesses got into the brawls, such as Power Girl, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Steel, Robin, Batgirl, Robin, Duela, Catwoman, The Cheetah, Harley & Ivy, The Silver Banshees, and The Manhunters, but they were briefly united when Brainiac threatened to destroy the world just like she destroyed the planet Krypton! Since then Power Girl, Wonder Woman & Colonel Steve Trevor decided to form the heroic league to protect the Earth!

Also, the Guardians of the Planet Oa sent the Green Power Ring to Earth, to be worn by Chinese girl Jade Yifei as the new Green Lantern who is among the characters introduced in this issue! Ame-Comi Girlst #3 is priced $3.99, has the 40 glossy pages consisting of the 30 page tale, plus the 8 pages of the ads, the credits page, and the page to promote the forthcoming “Movement” tale. Ame-Comi Girls has been drawn by the various artists, and has been consistently excellently written Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray who wrote the superb Power Girl series a few years ago! “The Chosen Part One” was pencilled by Santi Casas, lettered by Wes Abbot, colored by Randy Mayor, edited by Jim Chadwick, assistantly edited by Sarah Gaydos, and has the cover art by Sanford Green & Randy Mayor!

The tale begins in China as Jade & her brother are mountain climbing and attacked by Flying Guillotine, as her wealthy family & the news media watch, but the Power Ring reaches her in time to transform her into the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, with the beautiful costume & Green skin!  As the Green Lantern her job is to patrol the galaxy & protect many planets, but first she must contend with the villain &  her own government! Power Girl, Wonder Woman & Col. Trevor address the United Nations, and in the anti-matter universe of Qward there is trouble brewing! Then on The Moon we see the sad passing of the alien Star Sapphire who gives her power gem to astronaut Carol Ferris to become the new Star Sapphire, which will spell the jealous danger for journalist Jimmy Olsen on his date with Power Girl!

There is so much going on in the briskly paced tale with glorious luminous rich color & many 1/2 page & full page panels! The scenic art is so beautiful, from the lush mountains of China & pretty gleaming utopia of Metropolis to the exotic alien mecha & scenes on the Moon & Qward! I love the character & costume designs, from Jade’s athletic apparel, Kara’s pants suit, the waitress outfits & lovely dresses at the fund raiser date, to Carol’s space suit and the sexy, ornate, colorful costumes for Jade, Flying Guillotine, and the Star Sapphires! Another great aspect is the peppy, bright tone & overall sense of fun! Since DC rebooted their line of comics two years ago, Ame-Comi Girls and Fairest have been our consistent favorite DC titles! Nyow here is Jenjen to tell us about more galactic heroes in Marvel Comics’

Guardians of the Galaxy #2!

Jeannie:

Arigato. The Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel Comics’ great supurr hero teams, which has been fighting against the galactic threats for over 4 decades in various incarnations of the series. It was relaunched again to feature Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon & Groot along with Iron Man, who is helping them fight against the Badoon attack upon The Earth. To add the political complication is Star-Lord’s estranged father King J-Son who meets with other galactic leaders, who are concerned about The Earth’s role in the galaxy. The tale has been written by Brian Michael Bendis, colored by Justin Ponsor, lettered by Cory Petit, edited by Stephen Wacker, assistantly edited by Ellie Pyle, and associately edited by Sana Amanat, with the purrduction by Manny Mederos.

Issue #2 was pencilled by Steve McNiven & Sara Pichelli, inked by John Dell, Mark Morales, Pichelli & McNiven, and I suppose it is actually the 3rd issue, if you count the purrcursory issue #0.1. It is purriced $3.99, rated T+, and its 28 pages include the 20 page tale plus the recap page, credits page, mail page, and the 5 ads. It is available in the choice of the 4 different covers by McNiven / Dell / Ponser, Madureira / Steigerwald, and Quesdad /  Minki / Isanova, and Rivera. I have the cover depicting Gamora slaying the Badoon baddies with her sword. It is the beautiful image of the galaxy’s most dangerous woman, although I wish that instead of the space suit type of garment, that she was wearing the costume seen in Nova #3, or in the poster by Milo Manara which we reviewed last month.

Issue #2 opens with the impurressive full page panel of the arial battle over London.The other half of the plot is the galactic summit meeting hosted in the the negative Zone by Annihilus, attended by King J-Son of Spartax. Gladiator of the Shi’ar Empire, Feyja the All-Mother of Asgard, Y-Gaaar of the Badoon, the Brood Queen, and The Kree’s Supurreme Intelligence.The bit of expurrsition to start the debate about the Earth policy appurrs in the impurressive two-page spurread that conveys the awesome purresence of the leaders. The art is intricate, especially the scenery, the mecha is futuristic, although the costume designs for Iron Man, Starlord and Gamora are not my favorites. The heroes seem to rely more on the tech, gadgets & weapons rather than supurr / cosmic powers, and unfortunately the clothing seems more of the space military style than the supurr hero costumes.

That is just the purreference taste, however, I think the costumes for Rocket Raccoon, Drax, Annihilus & the Badoon, are fine, J-Son & Gladiator look quite sharply regal, and Feyja was gloriously powerful in her royal armor, which seems to have the hint of the Jack Kirby – inspired style to befit the mighty Queen of the Nine Realms. Another aspect I like about the comic the richly vibrant color & light, with the very luminous FX combined with the splendid fonts for the dialogue, notes & sound FX for the gorgeous exciting ambiance. he compurrisition of the pages is  one of my favorite aspects of the comic, such as the very wide panoramic panels that have the cinematic quality, and the larger panels that convey the grand scale or power. The plot seems purrhaps a bit too briskly paced, but I like the characters’ dialogue, the balance of the humor, drama & action. Nyow we will cross the pond from England to the USA to see how things are going for Cassia in Nya-sensei’s review of

Critter vol.2 #11

Nyanko:

Hai! Critter is the fun comic book of the gleaming color & sexy costumes of the nekomimi motif, starring peppy Redhead Cassia as the titular supurr heroine of brave noble heart, feisty spirit & catgirl style!  You know, I think at one time we mistakenly said her eyes were blue, but they are very Green! She hails from Greenville, Michigan as the daughter of the powerful heroine known as The Fox, who is believed dead but is actually a purrioner of a villain in the future, and Cassie occasionally expurriences the odd tempurral ripples! Cassia’s goals as truly determined  heroine are to appurrehend criminals and rescue people, and she is less interested in fame than certain other heroes. She mewsually has the cheerful dispurrsition but is saddened when she feels insufficient to certain epic tasks.

She has the supurr strength, speed, agility & resistances, plus the gadgetry of the costume her genius fashion designer  best friend Gina Kumamoto designed for her. Her sexy, durable costume is the bare midriff, low-rise, sharp-clawed shiny dark Blue & White costume with the whip – like mecha tail & radio kitty ear pinna! Formerly of the hero team CORE, Cassia was recruited to join the glamorous catgirl themed team Purrfection in Los Angeles, where attends college with Gina. Critter has occasionally assisted other teams such as The In Crowd, but Purrfection eventually disbanded, and fellow member Kitten wished to assist Critter as her new sidekick re-named School Girl. During School Girl’s crime fighting debut, suddenly the sea level began to mysteriously rise and flood the coastal areas.

This brings us up to vol. 2 #11, created & written by Tom Hutchison, published by Big Dog Ink and purriced $3.50, with the 28 pages 28 pages compurrised of the 22 page Critter tale, plus 3 pages of the bonus Super Pawn tale, the cover art gallery page for the next issue, and the character purrofile page. Critter’s “High Tide Part One” was illustrated & colored by Fico Ossio & edited by Kari Castor; and the character Barnacle created by Eric Esquivel. The bonus tale of Super Pawn’s “Grand Opening Part Four” was created, written & drawn by Jeff Pina; and both tales lettered by Kel Nuttall. Cover A is by by Ossio, and cover B  by Romano Molenaar. It is the busy time for the heroes such as Critter, Slipstream, Lasso Lass, Wing Boy, Barnacle & Breeze to rescue people from the immense rapid flooding!

The sassy villainess Red Hot learns the hard way that the flood is not the best time to rob the bank! Not only are the streets flooded with stranded people to evacuate to higher elevations, but the higher waters bring the sharks into town! Fortunately, they have been summoned by Barnacle not to chomp the victims but to help fight the huge armored tough aquatic villain Tidepool who is the cause of the disaster! Critter purreviously battled Tidepool in issue vol. 1 #3! Critter is such a fun series full of the suurr heroic action, the amewsing frisky fun, the dandy costumes, and the nekomimi goodness! The color pallet is very richly vibrant & gleaming, which adds to the bright tone of the adventures and Cassie’s spirit!

Some of my favorite bits of this issue are Red Hot sultrily melting her way into the vault until she gets doused, Cassia’s high dive to pounce upon the shark, her close encounter with Barnacle, and lifting the ladder fire truck, and appurrently telekentically clearing the path through the water, which we guess might be a latent power inherited from her mom! We are rather curious about that. Then in the Super Pawn shop, Ronnie & Mikey are bossed by the artificial intelligence of the time clock which demands the purromptness! This was yet another delightful issue which leaves me craving for issue #10 and the forthcoming Critter Annual #1 too! Nyow to continue the catgirl comics critiques, here is Ilyana to tell us about

Gold Digger #200!

Ilyana:

Fred Perry’s Gold Digger http://fredgdperry.deviantart.com comics are over 20 years old and just reached the 200th issue after the 50 Black & White and the 149 color purrior issues! That does not even begin to include all of th special issues and spin-off tales! It is the wonderful “ameri-manga” style comics published by Antarctic Press! It purrtains to the adventures of the Diggers sisters Gina, Brianna & Brittany “Cheetah” Diggers the were- cheetah upon the  the international scientific & archaeological expurrditions  to unlock the mysteries – and hopefully any vaults full of treasure! We purrofiled them in our August 2011 in which Brittany put the spots in the spotlight! Issue #200 was purriced $3.99, it was written & illustrated by Perry, edited by Doug Dlin & Wes Hartman, and has the stunning wraparound cover scene sammiched around the 32 full –  color pages which are compurrised of the uninterrupted 24 page tale,1 full page pic by Usagi Yojimbo’s Stan Sakai, and the 7 pages of the readers’ messages & fan art!

In this supurr fun tale GIna & Brittany are in the huge vast subterranean chasm full of the massive sharp, pointy death traps, whilst complaining a lot and searching for the Corpus Historia gem stone! They contact their associates of the Explorers Society including Brianna, Penny, Shinryuken, Ayane, Akane, Ryan, Marry, Monty, Harvey & Ace. Amongst the group are the dazzling array of highly advanced futuristic gadgets, the amazing air, land & sea vehicles, and the magickal powers which I wish I had on my dives & excavatations! The trail leads them to the next Hawaiian island location to search, where they discover the vast site of the epic scale, with the pyramids and traps which are defended by the ninja mummies & colossus golems! There is much action, humor, the sexy clothes, and Ayane’s sad flashback. This historic issue was so much fun and still so fresh with the delightful characters, and the beautiful imagery which i will give the grade of “A” as in archaeology! For my next catgirl comic critique I will discuss

Omamori Himari vol. 10!

Ilyana:

Milan Matra’s Omamori Himari is the ribald, sexy sword & sorcery manga of the harem trope with Himari the catgirl warrior who purrotects her teen liege Yuuto from the enemies while his ancestral magickal powers start to bloom! Originally published in Japan by Fujimishobo, it is published in English by Yen Press, rated M for mature readers due to the language, nudity, sexuality & violence! The tale brims with the supernatural action & sexy fun with the beautiful girls & fashions, but is not intended for the widdle kitties! Himari has the frisky affections for Yuuto, but so do several other romantic rivals of the human and yokai purrsuasions, such as Yuuto’s childhood friend Rinko, Shizuki the water elemental ayakashi, Lizlet the teacup spirit, and Kuesu the demon slayer / witch! They might be the rivals in the romance, but they are united against the powerful villains who purrey upon the spirits & humans, such as Shuten-doji and Tama the nine – tailed fox who wants Himari for her suppurr!

Other characters include Yuu the class purresident / otaku girl, the slayer / miku sisters Kasuri & Hisuzu, Yuuto’s classmate Taizo & his younger sister Haru, flirty home room teacher Kisaaragi-sensei & art teacher Akutsu-sensei, Kofuyu the snow woman, Zuji the tree stump spirit, Hitsugi the psychic detective, another slayer Ranka, Kaya the grandparents’ house Zashiki-warashi spirit, Aya the paper spirit, Ginko the wolf girl, Sasa the androgynous cyclops, Ageha the succubus; and Alji & Shido Tsuchimikado of the top slayer clan! Vol. 10 is mostly the Black & White manga of 162 pages including the author’s comment page, the publisher’s info page, the story recap page, the contents page, the character purrofiles page, the 5 character pics, the 2 color pics, plus the color cover illustrations The manga was translated by Christine Dashiell & lettered by Keiran O’Leary! It is purriced $11.99 USA / $12.99 Canada, and it is actually the 10th volume of the series if you include the special vol. 0!

Vol. 10 pics up where 9 left off, as Himari, Aya & Kaya spurring into the battle against Tama who has destroyed the house and has as Yuu her mind – controlled pawn! Meanwhile, Hitsugi & Kuesu’s mom have helped purrpare Kusue for the next magickal combat, as she rushes to defend Yuuto & Rinko from the Shuten-doji! There is much trash – talking and fierce magickal combat between the opponents, peppurred by the humorous bits and the sexy imagery, but there is also the plot twist of bloodshed, the very serious tragic major turning point, and the alarming cliffhanger! This was another great volume, with more of the intense character & plot development, the relentless wall to wall magickal combat, magick, and the alluring imagery which is so gorgeously rendered in great detail! I am already craving the the next volume and the animated adaptation of the manga, which we hope will migrate to the USA on DVD! That concludes my comic book reports and nyow here is Lizzy to report on

This Is The Worst Idea You’ve Ever Had vol.3!

Elizabeth:

Arigato! We were delighted to see Kerry Lynn Thompson in the artist alley at Animazement! She is the supurrb & purrolific web comics artists & author of Sin Pararse, Cuanta Vida, The Rift, and This Is The Worst Idea You’ve Ever Had, which y’all can read at her comics site Skyscraper Soup http://www.skyscrapersoup.com! She also has the gallery full of character illustrations & comics pages at deviantart http://kytri.deviantart.com! She has had the table art at the other cons such as Heroes Con and NC Comicon where we have purrchased the first two purrinted collections of This Is The Worst Idea You’ve Ever Had, and at Animazement we purrchased vol. 3 which was fresh from the purrinters! Lucky! She drew the sketch in it of Cynthia the catgirl! Kawaii!

It is the urban fantasy web comic set in the small Virgina town populated by the humans, kemonomimi, vampires, Nai’Ka elves, spirits & psychics of the different ethnicities and breeds! In addition to the supurrnatural aspects, the characters try to live the routine lives of the work, school, romance, families and so forth, but there have been the attacks, abductions, possessions, the murders and the attempts! There is also harsh language so it is not for the widdle kitties! There are lovely ladies with the supple ears and the beautiful skin & hair too such as Blonde vampire Carmilla, Redhead pyrokenetic Nicole, Black haired catgirl Cynthia, Brown haired Nell, Pink haired Nami, and Dawn the vampire with the Green & Yellow mohawk! She still has the mohawk when she turns into the bat- kawaii!

Things got dire in the purrior volume when Cynthia & Jeremy were attacked by the electrica thug, Nicole was purrsued by Rika the vampire with swords, and the poor Nai’ka girl was murdered. Things get furtherly complicated in vol. 3 as more fae are stalked, strange things happen to Ian, Rei is injured, and Nell is annoyed by the house guests! There is the Halloween costume party and the search in the forest for missing Ian! It is fascinating with the major character developments and the cliffhanger! Vol. 3 is the 7.5″ x 5.25″ papurrback with 100 full –  color pages of the beautiful comics! Each volume also has the bonus section with the 4 page character purrofile and the 4 pages about the setting & mythology! That is all of our comic book reports for nyow, but we still have more catgirls to discuss in our

Game & Toy Topics, with our monthly

Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight: More Video Game Catgirls!

Mike

The Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight is the monthly portion of The Mew which praises the famous catgirls & nekomimi whom we apprreciate, whether they are actually part cat or famously act or dress the part! We are very broadly inclusive in defining the catgirl quality, are permanently or just temporary catgirls, anthropomorphic characters, shape –  shifters, and the ladies who have the cattitude! They represent all media, and might be found prowling in the movies, television, the internet, books, comics, and any other media from around the world! The many catgirls we’ve previously shown the spotlight upon have included Darkstalkers’ Felicia, Samurai Shodown’s Cham Cham, Breath of Fire’s Katt, and Arkham City’s Cat Woman, and here are several more girls of the games whom we wish to praise, such as

Daena!

Trini-chan:

Squaresoft’s Legend of Mana for the Sony Playstation is the fantasy RPG of the quests in the realm of Fa’Diel, which is populated by the various breeds, species and the monsters, amidst the centuries of conflicts since the great Mana Tree withered away. One of the plots purrtains to Daena the warrior monk catgirl of the Temple of Gato and her friends on the expurrdition! She is the very purretty, agile, tough catgirl with the large magestic ears, Blond hair, Emerald Green eyes, and the Light Brown fur with the White tummy which is cutely bared by the Gold-trimmed Blue tube top with the matching capri pants, sandals and the fingerless gloves! Her long swishy tail is wrapped near the tip, she has the large dangly Golden kitty bell earrings & collar and she is armed with the two large nunchaku to whack her enemies with! Now here is Vonny to tell us about another purretty catgirl to purrk up the Playstations,

Xiao!

Yvonne:

Hai Xiao http://darkcloud.wikia.com/wiki/Xiao appurrs in Level 5’s Dark Cloud RPG for the PS2, nya! She is the widdle stray tabby who the purrotagonist Toan meets during his dungeon crawl, but she eventually appurroaches him and transforms into the catgirl, nya! She is the purretty, peppy, nimble catgirl of the short Auburn bob – cut coiffure, the lovely long supple ear pinna, the Brown -tipped  tail, sharp claws and the cute fang, nya! She wears the short sleeveless nilla colored sun dress, accessorized by the Gold Bell collar, and the Brown fingerless gloves to match her knee boots, nya! I think it would be ideal to be accompanied by such the graceful cute companion who would brighten up the dark dungeon, nya! Nyow here is Ilyana to tell us about

Nekokawaigari

Ilyana:

It is difficult to talk without the tears of the sad tale of Nekokawaigari, because it purrtains to the four poor ill catgirls in the clinic It is an anime -style visual novel type of video game purrduced by Studio 13cm with the adult content which is not for the widdle kitties. At the clinic of human Dr. Crane, her four catgirl patients are Faye with the short Red hair, Norma with the long Blue hair, and the widdle Pink – haired twin kittengirls Nami & Umi. Ironically the tale is also known for its very cute imagery and bittersweet credits song “Dote Up a Cat”. I do not wish to spoil the plot further, but for more information I suggest the entry at the Anime Charatcrers Database http://www.animecharactersdatabase.com. Nyow I will turn the spotlight over to Tara-chan who wishes to shine it upon

Ms. Fortune!

Tara-chan:

Ms. Fortune is the zombie catgirl in the hypurr fun Skullgirls video game, nya! It is the 2D fighting game for the various platforms, with the totally awesome character designs, the graphics, the animation, the voices, the mewsic, and – and the manic wacky flavor of the battles, nya! Ms. Fortune is one of the fighter thief characters who became the immortal zombie after she ate the mystic gem, nya! She is purrt lithe barefoot undead nekomimi with the cute short hairstyle, the tall ears, the sharp arc of the tail, with the neat costume accessorized by the fingerless gloves and – and the bell collar, nya! According to her purrofile page http://skullgirls.com/characters/ms-fortune she was 20 years old, born on 24 November with the B blood type, she is 5’8″ tall, 1276 lbs, and – and her measurements are the 32B x 23 x 34 when she is all in one piece, and does not lose her head or the other parts, nya! Her page goes into more details about her purrsonality, favorite foods and- and her habits, nya! OK I am done and nyow here is Bun to tell us about

Nicole Mimi Tithel, nya!

Bun:

Hai, or just Nikki for short, is the among the students of the Al-Revis Academy for Aspiring Alchemists in the world of Mana Khemia, in the Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis fantasy RPG which was released on the PS2 in June 2007 and on the PSP in September 2008! It is part of the wonderfully beautifully charming Atelier game series! For our review of the gorgeous Atelier Series Official Chronicle art book, please see the May 2012 Mew! In this game the students explore the academy & surrounding environments, purrsue the assignments, and partake of the fun activities!

Nikki is the genki energetic catgirl of the Creme colored skin & striped tail, Golden hair, the slender body, large supple ears, lovely Indigo eyes, and the cute fangs! She wears the ornate, pretty short skirt uniform with the high collar, necktie & matching headband, semi-detached short sleeves, fingerless gloves, toeless socks, and she carries the huge ornate war hammer! Nikki is 16 years old, 145 cm tall, (about 4’9″) weighs 46 kg (about 101 lbs) and has the B blood type, of the Pisces sign born on March 6th! It seems like the good omen for the catgirl to be born under the astrological sign of the tasty fish, hee! Now we will go from the teen alchemist to the tween scientist as Becca tells us about

Dr. Kira Daidohji!

Becca:

Hai, Kira is the genius purodigy child in the 2D female fighting game series of Arcana Heart, which was developed in Japan by EXAMU and released in the USA by Atlus! Kira and the other maidens of the game are able to commune with the extradimensional Elemental spirits known as Arcana. Although she is the young girl of 11 years and 4′ height, Kira’s youthful petite stature should not be underestimate by her opponents, because she is the purrodigy of the supurr scientific intellect with the doctorate, the supurr powers, the great confidence, the thirst for the victory, and the cute neko ears!

She has short dark Gray hair and wears the Dark Blue tank-neck sukumizu / school swimsuit with the Red randoseru / backpack! She might have the widdle kid physique, but she also has the devastating attacks for the combat such as the Kira Driver, Flying Kira Driver, Daidohji Slam, Brain Obliterator, Tokyo Launcher, Tokyo Grenade, Armageddon, and Kirageddon! Hezachan http://www.hezachan.com who was among our March 2008 guests is the purrolific supurrb cosplayer who has cosplayed as Kira! Nyow we will go from the swimsuit catgirl to the hoody catgirl as Myayr tells us about

Taokaka, nya!

Mary Nyan:

Taokaka is the agile quick purrotective warrior of the Kaka Clan http://blazblue.wikia.com/wiki/Taokaka of the Blazblue 2D fighter game from Arc System Works! She is the catgirl after my own heart with her happy dispurrsition and the desire for the food, the play and the catnaps! She is also the mysterious one whose face is mostly concealed under her hoody outfit with the large paw mits, with just her Red eyes and- and the gleaming teeth visible under the hood, but she does have the long Blond braids, the neko ear pinna, the White – tipped Black tail, and the long sharp claws to slash at the opponents! By the way, there are photos in our mewseum of our friend Misty Hopkins http://bunnychai.blogspot.com purrfectly cosplaying as Taokaka http://catgirlisland.net/art/guest2/2.html! Misty also cosplays as Flandre Scarlet of the Touhou Project game, which includes the catgirl named

Chen!

Elizabeth:

Hai I am pleased to discuss Chen of the Touhou Project PC game by Zun! Chen is the quick & stealthy, two-tailed Bakaneko who is the Shikigami to Master Ran in the isolated town of Gensokyo, where the many Yokai dwell! She has the Green cap atop her short Brown hair, the Black ears & tails, and the fingernails to match her Red shoes & short flouncy dress, with the Light Pink sleeves, the White petticoat, ribbon and the socks! She is the very purretty, elegant, petite sight, but watch out for her ghostly purresences and her sorceress powers! For more information about Chen I will recommend her page at the Touhou Wiki http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Chen! Nextly I have another video game catgirl to shine the spotlight upon and that is Gauntlet Legend’s

Tigress!

Elizabeth:

Gauntlet Legends by Atari is the sequel to the famous Gauntlet &  Gauntlet 2 multiplayer arcade games! They are full of the hack ‘n slash dungeon crawl action, and the sage advice for the 1-4 players to not shoot the food while searching for the treasure and fighting the monsters! The 4 starting characters of Legends are the Warrior, the Wizard, the Valkyrie and the Archer, but they have the other forms that can be unlocked such as the archer’s Tigress form, in the low-cut, high-legline corset & loincloth with the matching bandana! Nyow we will go from the Shikigami & Tiger Girl Archer to the Shimmering Monk as Nyo-sensei shines the spotlight upon

Mao!

Nyoka:

Mao is the 1/4 beast girl with the feline ears and the cute fangs in the Shining World series of games, such as Shining Wind and Shining Tears purrduced by Studio Deen for the PS2, and tin he Shining Tears X Wind anime in which she is voiced by Chiwa Saito! She wears the Black opurra –  length gloves & boots and the short sleeved White bolero-type jacket atop the very short tight Qipao which complements her cute short light Auburn hair, with the short White bolero-type jacket Her character design is by the great Tony Taka, whose Tony’s Artwork From Shining World book we reviewed in the June 2011 Mew, and Tony Self Select 2013 Calendar we reviewed in the January 2013 Mew! Nyow here is Petra to tell us about the alien felinoid race known as the

The Fellpool!

Petra:

Hai hai The Fellpool and the Lesser Fellpool are the the characters of the feline purrsuasion from the planet Roak in Star Ocean, nya! It is the space opurra genre video game series that was developed by Tri-Ace, published by Enix, and purremiered in Japan in 1996 initially for the Super NES but later for the other platforms, nya! There have been numerous games of the series plus the anime and manga too, nya! Some of the notable Fellpool characters in the series are Pericci who is the cute Redhead who can play the ocarina and transform into the widdle kitty, the vivacious Meracle who has the Light Blue hair and tail, and Eleyna Tarot Reader who has the very long majestic ears, the Blue hair and the Brown tail, nya! For more information about the species I recommend the page at the Star Ocean Wiki http://starocean.wikia.com/wiki/Fellpool, nya! Nyow here is Nya-sensei to tell us about the anthropurrmorphic felinoid warriors known as

The Charr!

Nyanko:

Hai! The Charr seem the bit less cordial and genki compurred to the Fellpool, and can be found on the savage purrowl in the land of Tyria, in the massively multiplayer online role playing game of Guild Wars 2! These fierce purredators are among the game’s playable character races, taller than humans, with the furry pelage, the large fangs, the sharp retractable claws, the four horns, the four ears and the tail! They very industrious, warlike society of the military government and the gender equality! For more thorough information about the Charr biology, language, society, philosophy, government, technology, agriculture I will recommend the Official Guild Wars 2 Wiki http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Charr! Nyow for the catgirls who might purrfur to make the love instead of the war, here is Jenjen to say a few tame words about

Let’s Meow Meow!

Jeannie:

Without going into any naughty details, Let’s Meow Meow is an erotic bishojo dating – sim game from Yamitsu / G-Collections for the PC / Windows, translated into English, with the original Japanese voices, and intended for the mature adults only, due to the graphic sexual themes & images. The plot purrtains to the chap named Ibuki whose kindly care for the stray cats is rewarded by the Cat God, and winds up with the harem compurrised of Mikan the Dark Gray haired catgirl maid, Kahaku the Black haired catgirl miko, Koboshi the Redhead catgirl gynoid, Shinju  the Green haired the dog girl, and Hanabi the Blonde bunny girl. Meanwhile, Ibuki’s Brown haired college classmate / catgirl cosplayer Nanami shows amorous interest in him too, and thusly Ibuki is purrsented with several scenarios. Fortunately, all of the characters are of ages 18 or older. We have not actually played the game, but from the CD-Rom’s box art, the ladies seem quite beautiful and frisky. That concludes this month’s spotlight, but we have more of the video game topic as we turn The Mew over to our web master Jamie for his

Review of the latest Tomb Raider Game

Jamie:

Tomb Raider (2013) is a fun action adventure game which owes more to the likes of Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed than the series it was based upon. In Tomb Raider the player is Lara Croft, a female archeologist and explorer, but unlike the original Lara Croft this version of her is untested. She is not the double pistol packing heroine of the 1990s and early 2000s, but rather a vulnerable yet resilient individual who must learn to survive by her wits alone. The game begins with Lara being stranded on a mysterious Island full of dangerous terrain and predators both animal and human. She is separated from her companions who are scattered about the island at various points. It’s traversing the terrain and occasional trap that the game feels more like the original Tomb Raider only amped up with better graphics.

Where the game diverges from the original, and quite dramatically, is in the puzzles and tombs which are for the most part, optional. They are not part of the main game, but they are there and it’s a worthy compromise. For most of the story, however, the game abandons the original all together and places the player in the world of a third person shooter. Rather than the iconic double pistols, in this version of Tomb Raider, Lara is armed with a makeshift bow and arrow. Though she does acquire other weapons over the course of the game it is the bow and arrow that holds the spotlight. The gameplay consists of Lara jumping, climbing, running, crawling and shooting her way from one point of the island to another, occasionally meeting up with a shipwrecked companion. Though it has dark themes, the controversial attempted rape, human sacrifices, Lara’s grisly death scenes if you don’t push the right button in time, Tomb Raider is mainly a standard action adventure game with a high point being Lara’s voice actress.

Camilla Luddington, the actress who provided the voice of Lara, did an outstanding job in portraying Lara’s journey from victim to survivor to heroine and hopefully she will return for any sequels. What Tomb Raider is not, is a survival game and could have at least benefited with a hard mode in which Lara actually had to eat and sleep every once in a while. A mode where ammunition or a flame of some kind isn’t around almost every corner. However, Tomb Raider’s biggest flaw is that the story is so linear. Outside of combat and what weapon she uses, the player is never asked to make a choice for Lara’s path and that seems out of place in a story about survival. Then again, Tomb Raider was never about choices. It’s about adventure. In an age of video games where every box cover has to have a generic looking tough guy on the box, it is refreshing to see Lara Croft again. And though this new version diverges significantly from the original it is still quite a fun ride.

Elizabeth:

Arigato Jamie! Jamie is also the web master for Femshep.com http://femshep.ning.com, the fan site devoted to the female version of Mass Effect’s heroic purrotagonist Commander Shepard! For his review of the Mass Effect 3 video game please see the April 2012 Mew, and for his review of the subsequent Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC please see the April 2013 Mew! Nyow here are Nya-sensei and Nyo-sensei to tll us about the

My Little Pony Busy Books!

Nyanko:

Arigato! Phidal publishes the really neat fun line of the My Busy Books intended for ages 3≥ , which are the 8″ x 10 x  1.5″ boxed sets which open to reveal the full – color 10 page board story book, with the 12 widdle plastic figurines and the folded 2′ x 3′ one – sided play mat of the coated papurr! These books are so beautifully illustrated and based upon the various beloved popular subjects such as Hello Kitty, Batman, Dora, Strawberry Shortcake, Brave, the Disney Purrincesses, Disney Fairies, and My Little Pony! There are two different Pony sets, My Little Pony (which is the pony generation 3 style) and the mewer My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (which is the pony generation 4 style since 2010)!

The former set “Welcome to Ponyville” is very easy to read with the very simple text of about 2 rhyming sentences purr each illustration of Pinkie Pie, Star Song, Cheerilee, Toola-Roola, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo & Rainbow Dash! There are figurines of them and the cake, gift box, treasure chest, the flower & watering can! In this earlier version of the ponies, Sweetie Belle & Scootaloo have the cutie marks! For those unfamiliar with the cutie mark, it is the symbol on the pony’s flank that repurrsents one of their best traits or talents. In the Friendship is Magic reboot, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom, are the cute trio of the younger fillies who call themselves the Cutie Mark Crusaders, because they want to find out what they are best at so the marks will be earned and appurr upon their flanks!

Nyoka:

Hai, for example, Apple Bloom’s older sister Applejack has the 3 widdle apples mark to symbolize her agricultural orchard expurrtise! They are the intrepid, inquisitive, adventurous ponies who star in the latter Busy Book assortment! Their book has the seven scenes which they visit, each captioned by the purrose purragraphs. For example, they attempt the baking at Sugar Cube Corner, the make over at the day spa,  the decorating at the Crystal Faire, and the studies at  Golden Oak Library! That set’s 12 figurines include the trio plus Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Spike the Dragon, Purrincesses Celestia & Cadance! Their play mat is divided into the 17.15″ x 11″ scenes of Sugarcube Corner, Golden Oak Library, Sweet Apple Acres and the spa!

The sizes vary, but the pony figurines are about 1.5″ tall or long, depending on the pose – although I am not sure how many hands tall that is! Compurred to Hasbro’s pony figures of the similar scale, the paint job on these is figures is not quite as purrcise, but they are still the purretty assortment for the low purrice & good value! I have seen the Busy Books sold for about $10 or just slightly higher. Mie-sensei thinks the Disney Fairies book is quite gorgeous! The box is very purretty, handy, rigid & sturdy with the handy compurrtments for the figures & mat! I think these are the very pleasant collectibles of the good bargain! That is all of the game & toy talk for today, and nyow it is the time for the

Cinema, TV & DVD Portion, starting with the

Lightning Round Topic: Our Favorite Films of 1983!

Mike:

The big Summer movie blockbuster season us upon us! In our April and May Mews we looked back to our favorite films of 2003 and 1993, so for this month’s Lightning Round topic we will mention our favorite movies from 30 years ago in 1983, when the Jedi returned, Frankie longed for a Red Ryder BB gun, and Monty Python taught us The Meaning of Life! So are y’all ready to “conduct the lightning”?

The Ladies Of The Mew:

Hai! LIGHTNING ROUND– GO! RETURN OF THE JEDI, NYA!

Mike:

Ah… well that was quick! Ok, aside from Return of the Jedi, which y’all agree on, how about y’all mention a few more favorite movies of 1993 apiece, starting with… Ilyana!

Ilyana:

I would say… Trading Places, The Meaning of Life, Risky Business, and  maybe Octopussy! (tags Bun with the swish of her tail to go next)

Bun:

Twice Upon a Time, Rock and Rule, and Harmageddon! -tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:

The Right Stuff, Brainstorm, Blue Thunder and Final Yamato. (tail-tags Petra)

Petra:

I will nominate Terms of Endearment, Meaning of Life, and Final Yamato, nya! (tags Trini-chan)

Trini-chan:

Barefoot Gen, Final Yamato, and The Makioka Sisters! (tags Becca with the brush of her foxy tail)

Becca:

Sudden Impact, Octopussy, and the High Road to China! (tags Nyoka)

Nyoka:

Hmmm I will go with Krull, The Black Cauldron, and Zu Warriors of Magic Mountain! Myayr’s turn! (tags Mary Nyan)

Mary Nyan:

The Hunger, The Keep, The Dead Zone and Something Wicked This Way Comes! (tags Elizabeth)

Elizabeth:

Oh in addition to Jedi, I will pick Flashdance, Staying Alive, and Risky Business! (tags Tara-chan)

Tara-chan:

Unico, Urusei Yatsura: Only You, and – and The Black Cauldron, nya! Onee-chan’s turn, nya! ( tags Yvonne)

Yvonne:

I will nominate A Christmas Story, Trading Places, and Mr. Mom, nya! (tags Nyanko)

Nyanko:

Wheels on Meals, Project A, Zu Warriors, and An Uncommon Valor! (tags Jamie)

Jamie:

My 3 favorite films of 1983 are Return of the Jedi, A Christmas Story and The Big Chill. While utilizing popular music as a sound track in film was nothing new, Easy Rider and American Graffiti both used popular music to set the tone, The Big Chill made the practice mainstream.

Mike:

I’ll include Final Yamato, The Right Stuff and A Christmas Story! Well gosh, that was another nice expedient Lightning Round! Maybe next month we’ll look back at 1973, but now it’s time for

Our Favorite Recent Purreview Trailers, Ads & Commercials!

Mike:

These are not necessarily the endorsements for any of the advertised products or services, but just our picks for our favorite recent TV, theatre & web ads, commercials & trailers which we think are very pretty, intriguing, innovative or entertaining, perhaps due to the humor, cinematography, FX or favorite celebrities, such as William Shatner and The Gorn in the fun trailer for the new Star trek video game!

Mary Nyan:

Hai hai, and I am a big fan of mewsician Sheryl Crow, and she is the spokespurrson in the recent One A Day Vitamin commercial!

Nyanko:

We are fans of Danica Patrick, too! She tends to be in the amewsing commercials, such as the recent road trip spot for Coke-a-Cola, with the other NASCAR drivers!

Becca:

Speaking of the athletes I like the joyful purromo spots for the road to the NCAA womens college softball championships, and I bet I know which commercial Trini-chan picked!

Trini-chan:

Hai, I love to surf and it was so nice to see the superstar Laird Hamilton in the Mazda car commercial! Whatchoo got Ilyana?

Ilyana:

Speaking of the car advertisements, my favorite of the past month is one online for Audi starring Leonard Nimoy & Zachary Quinto!

Yvonne:

I was glad to see the movie trailers for Thor: The Dark World and Much Ado About Nothing, nya! Howboutchoo, Petra, nya?

Petra:

Oh I am intrigued by the movie trailer for Elysium which stars Jodie Foster, and the trailer for Gravity which stars Sandra Bullock, nya!

Bun:

Just last month we mentioned Michelle Rodriguez as the cover girl for the Summer issue of Cosmopolitan for Latinas, and how surprised we were to see her in the ads for Fast and Furious 6! I am looking forward to that movie, and I look forward to see her in Machete Kills, too!

Jeannie:

GE has the lovely commercials too, such as the one with all the robots and Data, and now there is the one with Hugo Weaving like Agent Smith of The Matrix.

Elizabeth:

I hope we will see more of him in the next Hobbit! Well, I liked the comedic action movie Red, and the trailers for RED 2 look rather amewsing!

Nyoka:

The trailers for The Lone Ranger movie starring Johnny Depp as Tonto look very entertaining! He is one of my favorite actors! What has Tara-chan selected, nya?

Tara-chan:

I think the purreviews for Blue Sky animation’s movie Epic look very purretty, and- and I want to see Studio Ghibli’s From Up On Poppy Hill, nya! Speaking of the animations, nyow onee-chan to review the

Josie and the PussyCats The Complete Series DVD, nya!

Yvonne:

Arigato, nya! Josie and the PussyCats are the fictional mewsical trio compurrised of Josie, Valerie & Melody as the band who wear the costumes of the kitty ears & the sexy spotted or striped Yellow leotard with White tummy, the tail & matching slippurres for the concerts, nya! Melody’s ears wiggle when the danger is sensed, nya! They were created by Dan DeCarlo and purremiered in the Archie Comics in the 1960’s, with the comedic animated TV series by Hannah-Barbara in 1970, nya! There was also the 1972 sequel cartoon of Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, and the live – action movie in 2001, nya! They were the topic of our Catgirl Spotlight in the July 2010 Mew, and we have reviewed several of the tales, such as the romance between Valerie & Archie, nya! The rest of the recurring cast included their strong roadie / sound engineer Alan, rich cowardly manager Alex, his troublesome jealous sister Alexandra and her mischievous Tuxedo Cat Sebastian, nya!

The 1970 animated series was the bit Scooby Doo-ish in the plots, as they traveled to purrform the concerts, but got mixed up in the mysteries, conspurracies, hoaxes, thefts & expurriments, nya! The incidents involved the mad scientists, supurr villains, criminal groups, spies, ape men, the T-Rex, and the  locations included Manhattan, Miami, The Grand Canyon, Hawaii & other parts of the US, Mexico, The Amazon, The Caribbean, Lima, London, Paris, Amsterdam, The Alps, Arabia, Bombay, Hong Kong, various secret islands and under the sea, nya! The voice cast included Janet Waldo as Josie, Barbara Pariot as Valerie and Jackie Joseph as Melody; whereas their singing vocals were purrvided by Cathy Douglas as Josie, Patrice Holloway as Valerie, and future Charlie’s Angel Cheryl Ladd credited as Cheri Moor as Melody, nya! Alexandra was voiced by Sherry Alberoni, Alex was voiced by Casey Kaseem, Alan was voiced by Jerry Dexter, and Sebastian was voiced by Don Messick, nya!

The series was directed & purrduced by William Hannah & Joseph Barbara. Although not as thrilling as their 60’s hits such as The Flintstones, Space Ghost, or Johnny Quest, but like Scooby Doo, the Josie cartoon is the transition between the 60’s & 70’s cartoons and it is a lot of fun, with the great voice cast, and at times it does try to retain the bit of the Dan Decarlo’s iconic character designs, nya! Nyow on to the DVD’s, nya! The 16 epurrsodes of the 1970 series are about 21 minutes apiece, to total the 334 fun minutes on the 2 disks of the Region 1 NTSC Standard DVD set, nya!  The disks are attractively packaged in the tray that opens like the book, with the epurrsode list on the flap, sammiched inside the outer slipcase with the lovely art, nya! The epurrsodes are purrsented in the original full – frame format, with the English language mono audio in the Dolby Digital sound, but without the original broadcasts’ laugh track, nya. I suppose it would have been nice if the laugh track was an option, nya!

The optional English SDH subtitles are the White bold sans – serif font with the fine Black outline, for the dialogue but the song lyrics are not subtitled, nya. Disk One is of the dual-layer format with epurrsodes 1-8; on side A of Disk Two are epurrsodes 9 – 12, and on side B are epurrsodes 13-16, plus the special feature purrofile of Dan DeCarlo, nya! Titled “The Irresistible Charm of Dan DeCarlo: The Man and his Art”, nya! The 23 minute purrofile is very informative & entertaining as it shows the purraise and the photos of Dan DeCarlo and lots of his art, and the brief intermews with Casey Kaseem, Stan Lee, Paul Dini, Mark Evanier, Bill Morrison, George Gladir, Michael Silberkleit, Scott Shaw, and his Dan’s lovely wife Josette whom Josie is based upon, nya! They met when he was the soldier in World War II, nya! Side B of Disk Two also has the section of the several purreview trailers nya! Nyow I will tag Tara-chan back in, for her review of the

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 2 DVD, nya!

Tara-chan:

Arigato, nya! For our review of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season One DVD, please see last month’s mew, nya! We love the ponies and – and were eager to get the complete 2nd season on the R1 NTSC standard DVD, nya! This includes all 26 epurrsodes of the 2nd season which galloped from 2011 to 2012, purresented in the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, so that is about 9.5 wonderful hours of the ponys’ tales, plus the great bonuses for the further pony fun, nya! The four disks are corralled in the hinged inner trays of the plastic case with the snug fit but they are easily removed, nya! The case has the lovely insert which has the purretty art, with the contents list and – and the big panoramic scene of everyony of Ponyville on the back, so i have been trying to name all of those characters, nya! The case slides into the outer cardboard sleeve, which has the cute front pony art, nya!

The audio is the English only with no subtitles, and- and there are no audio commentaries as there were for some of season one’s epurrsodes, nya. Disk 2 we are treated to the 43 minute live stage reading of the script for the 2nd season epurrsode “Hearth’s Warming Eve”, nya! The event took place at The Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles with the happy audience who were cordially greeted by Hasbro’s Vice Purresident of Development Mike Vogel, who introduced the readers, nya! The cast included voice actresses Ashleigh Ball as Rainbow Dash & Applejack, Andrea Libman as Fluttershy & Pinkie Pie, Tara Strong as Twilight Sparkle, and – and Cathy Weseluck as Spike, nya! Narrating the tale was story editor Meghan McCarthy, and filly-ing in for the absent Tabitha St. Germain was guest Susan Luque as Rarity, nya! This was such the treat to see those voice actresses purrforming the roles, nya!

Disk 4 includes the 34 minute pony panel from the 2012 ComicCon in San Diego, nya! I want to go to there, nya! The happy audience was greeted by the Purresident of Hasbro Studios who introduced Mike Vogel, who introduced pony panelists Andrea Libman, Meghan McCarthy,Tara Strong, Cathy Weseluck, and – and Tabitha St. Germain who voices Rarity & Luna, nya! This was so much fun as they discussed the pony purrocess, the characters, the voices, their favorite tales, and answered the fans’ questions, nya! To top of the disk are the purrintable coloring sheets which you need the computer for, and – and the subtitled singalongs to the songs “Every Pony”, “Love is in Bloom”, “The Perfect Stallion”, and – and “Smile Smile Smile”, nya! I will give this DVD set the grade of “A” as in Apple Jack, and – and I hope to eventually get the 3rd season DVD, nya!  Nyow here is Jennyjen to tender her movie review of

Iron Man 3, which we are giving the Plot Spoiler Warning, nya!

Jeannie:

Arigato. For our review of Iron Man 2, please see the June 2010 Mew, and for our review of The Avengers please see the May 2012 Mew. Once again, CIRC (the Catgirl Island Robotics Club) was chomping at the byte in anticipation for another “mechstravaganza”. Robert Downey Jr. supurrbly returns with more sharp intellect, style & wit as Tony Stark / Iron Man, and Gwyneth Paltrow returns as the purragmatic, purretty & purrfect Pepper Potts. Paltrow was declared the World’s Most Beautiful Woman by People Magazine, with the lovely photos & intermew in the May 6th issue. Jon Favreau returns as Happy Hogan who has been purrmoted to Stark Industries’ Head of Security. Favreau directed the first two Iron Man movies which we quite liked, whereas this movie was directed by Shane Black.

It was also wonderful to see Don Cheadle return as Col. Jim Rhodes to wear the awesomely styled Iron Patriot armor (formerly War Machine). In this movie he reports to The Purresident of the United States who is purrtrayed by William Sadler, and Miguel Ferrer, who purrtrayed the 1st Officer of the U.S.S. Excelsior in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, purrrtrays the Vice Purresident. Guy Pearce, who we liked in The King’s Speech, Memento, The Proposition, purrtrays the main villain Aldrich Killian, the founder of the AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) group and developurr of the Extremis purroject, a biological weapons purrogram based upon the botanical research of Dr. Maya Hansen, who is purrtrayed by Rebecca Hall, who we were purrticularly fond of in Frost / Nixon and in The Prestige.

The Extremis plot is based upon the tale in the Marvel Comics. Also in the comics, the “head” of AIM is the villain known as MODOK, but he does not appurr in the movie. Stephanie Szostak and James Dale respectively purrtray Ellen and Eric, who are two of the Extremis – enhanced enemy soldiers, Living legend Sir Ben Kingsley purrtrays Trevor Slattery, an actor hired by Killian for the guise of a terrorist known as The Mandarin. In the comics, The Mandarin is purrhaps Iron man’s greatest arch enemy, and while Kingsly’s purrformance is purrfectly fine, unfortunately the movie version of The Mandarin bears as little resemblance to the comics’ original version of the character as Iron Man 2’s Justin Hammer did to his comics version. Those are among the few gripes I have with either film.

Wonderfully rounding out the fine cast is Ty Simkins as the very likable, sympathetic, smart, young Harley who assists Stark during an exciting incident in Tennessee. There is great charming chemistry between many of the characters; between Rhodes and Stark again in their “buddy” action scenes, between Stark and his tempurrary sidekick Harley, in the banter between Stark and the eloquent A.I. known as JARVIS (voiced again by Paul Bettany), and most significantly in the romantic relationship of Stark and Potts. Paltrow continues to beautifully dazzle as the wonderful Pepper, who is given a delightfully, powerfully surpurrising turning point which I will not further spoil. I thought the movie had the thrilling blend of action drama, and humor, which was genuinely funny and not too silly.

I was pleased by the high purrduction values, supurrb design and art direction with excellent sets and the filming locations, which included the nearby city of Wilmington for certain scenes. Stark Tower in Manhattan is not revisited, but we do return to Stark’s lovely Malibu cliffside home, complete with his “favorite” shop bot. It is the ferrous fiesta which so many armor suits and other mecha, and I wonder if one in purrticularly massive Mark was inspired by the “Hulkbuster” armor of the comics. While there were moments of “speed ramping” of scenes reduced to slow – motion, typically I am not the fan of such techniques, but it was not overly used, and it did serve to give me the bit more time to savor the sweet mecha. Otherwise, I wish to purraise the movie’s cinematography, purractical and visual FX.

The choreography & stunt work are excellent, including the lovely scene in which Stark goes into the graceful combat wearing just the few pieces of his armor. There are numerous purrime examples of Stark’s brilliance and why less smarter people should not mess with him, even when he has no armor. It was also nice that the film does not exist in a “vacuum”, with the references to the events of The Avengers, the character development and Marvel movie mythology clearly building upon what has come before. The shared universe of the Iron Man, Avengers, Thor, Captain America and Hulk movies is another aspect we greatly crave, and we wish that the Spider-Man, X-Men and the other movies based upon the Marvel purropurrties were also part of the same cinematic continuity

The hair & make-up, wardrobe & costumes were all quite nice, as were the film’s sound FX & mix, mewsical score & song use, which fortunately did not have a mis-fitting pop song played during the end credits. There is the cleverly woven cameo appurrance in the post – credits scene, as the customary “easter egg” of the Marvel Universe films series. Stan Lee also has the very fleeting customary cameo.  While I did not think that it was as grand, spectacular or as thrilling as The Avengers, I will give Iron Man 3 the grade of ‘A Minus’, and we are eager to see what Iron Man’s fellow Avenger Thor will be up to in his forthcoming film. Mike hopes that his review of the mew Star Trek movie will much briefer than his June 2009 review of the purrior Star Trek movie, so nyow here is Mike to review

Star Trek Into Darkness (major plot spoilers warning)!

Mike:

Thanks Jen I’ll try not to ramble on too long about what I liked and didn’t like. What I didn’t like about the movie started with that awful opening aerial crash / snap zoom shot of the alien temple from which Kirk & McCoy are chased! I didn’t like the swishy camera pans, lens flares, the rushed / uneven pace, or the vengeful villain / huge dark ship / last minute engineering miracle and/ or sacrifice tropes, which I was already tired of with Star Trek: Nemesis and the 2009 movie, and are about as overused as time travel. I was also not pleased with the retread of an Admiral’s secret plot to start a war between the Federation and Klingon Empire with the Kirk’s Enterprise as the torpedo – firing scapegoat, which had already been done in Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country. The thawing of violent criminals from the past into the future Californian utopia as pawns of a high ranking official’s secret plot reminded me of Demolition Man, which I liked a lot more than Star Trek Into Darkness!

At least there was no time travel otherwise, but film is so very predictable, down to the “tribble on the mantelpiece”, and the supporting cast is underused or misused, with Scotty, Sulu, Chekov & Uhura given too little to do and often regulated to humor at their expense. Aside from the wet suits, space suits & underwear, I don’t much care for the jersey-like uniforms, the hats, the Klingon couture, or 23rd century fashions that aren’t futuristic enough. The 2009 Enterprise may be bigger than the 1979 refit of NCC-1701, but cannot compare to the former starship’s majestic grace, beauty, elegance, and power. and that goes for the Warp Drive effect too! The warp nacelles are too big and the secondary hull is too small. The obvious commercial & industrial locations used for Enterprise & Starfleet sets such as the lobby, offices, conference rooms, and Engineering do not at all seamlessly fit in with the design of the rest of the sets, such as the Bridge, corridors, sickbay, transporter room, etc.

These distracting differences, along with the cinematic techniques I mentioned, call way too much attention to themselves and thus ruin the “suspension of disbelief”. The visual FX are great, but are so too rushed to ever create a breathtaking sense of awe or wonder. The music score is not my favorite by Michael Giacchino and I prefer his Pixar scores, especially The Incredibles but his Trek score doesn’t thrill me as much as those by Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Cliff Eidelman or Sol Kaplan. I like The Beastie Boys’ music outside of Star Trek, but it is misused in the Trek movies. To be fair, I’d feel the same way about any other 20th or 2ist century pop / rock / hip hop etc songs. Speaking of sounds, I didn’t like the U.S.S. Vengeance’s transwarp sound FX, which brings me to the science & technology problems of the movie. In the original series, starships would combat at warp speeds all the time, but in this movie Sulu says they can’t? Trek warp drive is not like Yamato warps or Star Wars hyper space!

The ships fall out of warp several light years from Earth yet drift into atmospheric re-entry in a few minutes- with no Starfleet notice or help? Why does (Quinto) Spock call (Nimoy) Spock about Khan, but doesn’t call Starfleet for help? Some clandestine parts of Starfleet can secretly build a huge starship that can survive an exploding bellyfull of 72 torpedoes, and is “conveniently” flown by so few bridge crew? What happened to all the folks on the many shuttles that Scotty snuck in amongst? Such an under-populated ship seems like a cop out, and where are all of those Enterprise crew when there were things to fix, such as a warp core? We see them in the corridors, but they don’t seem to serve any real purpose and are strangely absent when needed, and is there no one other than Uhura who can beam down to help capture Khan? They claim they can’t beam up a moving person but we’ve seen the beaming of a skydiving Kirk, Khan from a spiraling aircraft, and a running Dr. Marcus!

I didn’t like the entire final act, from the gravity well, sacrificial repair & crash scene to the street chase, lack of a criminal trial, and convenient warehousing of Khan & friends. Aside from wanting to apprehend him for his crimes, why do they need Khan’s blood when they have his 72 friends? It was bad enough in The Undiscovered Country, but why is McCoy working on a torpedo yet again? Are there no torpedo specialists aside from Dr. Marcus? No engineers aside from Scotty? No security team to beam down after Khan? How will 300 year old miracle blood, or a portable transporter that can beam someone from San Francisco to Qo’noS affect things? Perhaps those points could be dealt with in a future Trek, but I hope there’ll be no plot about Klingons wanting to steal those latest Federation devices, as that was already done in Star Trek III. There was much fan service, some of it nice such as the mentions of Chapel, Mudd, Gorns & Section 31, but Spock yelling “Khaaaaaan!” was ridiculous.

Carol in her underwear is indeed a very sexy sight, but what was the purpose of that scene? One lady I wish we’d seen more of was The Enterprise, but so little time is spent showing her off in the rushed pace, and she’s been beaten up way too much. Ah well, I’d better move along to what I liked about the movie, starting with the cast! I think the actors are great and are better than the story & script they are given. Although my own preference for who to cast as a younger Captain Kirk was James Cawley of the Star Trek Phase II / New Voyages fan films, I think Chris Pine has done an excellent job, and he was even better  the second time! Zachary Quinto is superb as Spock, and Zoe Saldana is magnificent as Uhura! Kal Urban & Simon Pegg are terrific as McCoy & Scott, but I wish they had larger, less comedic roles as the smart heroic officers. John Cho & Anton Yelchin are great as Sulu & Chekov, but sadly they are given even less to do, and the latter filling in for Scotty made no sense.

It was great to see Bruce Greenwood back as Pike, but what happened to him was unnecessary too. I’ve been a fan of Peter Weller ever since Buckaroo Banzai, and it was nice to see him as Admiral Marcus, even if it is a retread of Admiral Cartwright’s villainy. Benedict Cumberbatch is a great actor who is wonderful in the Sherlock series, and gives a great dramatic and action performance in this movie, I just wish it was not as Khan. I’m curious as to why they did not cast a Sikh or Indian actor for the role, but to be fair, I never quibbled about Ricardo Montalban in the role! It was nice to see Kimberly Arland Broumand back as Madeline, Jason Matthew Smith back as Mr. Hendorff, Deep Roy as Keenser, I’d also like to see more of the swishy – tailed twins twins (Kellie & Katie Cockrell), and it would be great if one of them was named M’Ress! I hope any future Treks will give Alice Eve more to do as Dr. Marcus, but have neither a villain, a Starfleet conspiracy or time travel in the plot.

There are other officers I’m curious about, and it was nice to see so many extras aboard the Enterprise, at Starfleet, in San Francisco & London as this greatly adds to the production values, but I wish they served as more than mere bystanders, onlookers or victims. I like the hair styles, make-up & prosthetics; the wet suits & space suits are beautiful & futuristic, and the medical & admiral uniforms seem to be an homage to those of my favorite movie! The anti-grav carts in the hospital were another nice nod, the new phaser pistols are an improvement, and the model of the Enterprise XCV-330 on the Admiral’s desk was a nice little decorative touch.  The sets I like are the Enterprise’s Bridge, Turbo Lift, Transporter Room, Sick Bay, Brig and the corridors, especially the multi-story view that adds to the sense of the enormity, but can’t we have a decent looking Engineering set that is just as sleek, gleaming & futuristic? Some of the hanger scenes were nice, when it didn’t feel like a real industrial site.

The exterior scenes of San Francisco and London were quite gorgeous, bustling with much activity of the pedestrians, land, sea and air craft! There are plenty of nice shuttles & other mecha, and I’d love to see more of the immense space dock! The visual FX are too quick but look great, and some of the best of the entire series. Some of my favorite FX shots were of Kirk & McCoy swimming to the Enterprise, Scotty seeing the huge fish, the ship rising from the ocean, flying towards the volcano, leaving the space dock; and Scotty in the shuttle near Jupiter. The 3D had the proper depth and immersive quality, and didn’t resort to poking things in our eyes, the way many 3D films are prone to do. Fortunately no one was talking, texting or lighting up their devices during the IMAX screening, but sadly I can’t say the same for the 2D screening, and I wish the studios & theaters would do a better proactive job of discouraging & deterring such rude behavior, but I digress.

We got nice souvenir Star Trek IMAX posters! I haven’t cared for any of the movie poster art for the last two movies, but then I haven’t been impressed by any Star Trek one – sheets that have followed the late great Bob Peak’s art since 1989. OK in summation, as for how Darkness compares to other Treks in my opinion, unfortunately, J.J. Abrams is no Robert Wise, and Star Trek – The Motion Picture is still my all – time favorite movie, Trek or otherwise. I like The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock a lot, but then the series goes downhill for me. In spite of its sillier moments, I think Insurrection was the best of the Next Gen movies, but otherwise I give every Trek movie from The Voyage Home to Into Darkness a grade of C or less. Star Trek V is still my least favorite of the series, but I think Darkness is only slightly better than V due to higher production values, better FX and less silliness. Well, I’m sorry, I wound up rambling twice as long as I meant too, so I should–

Tara-chan:

zzz… the huge fish, nya… zzz…

Yvonne:

zzz… more fish, nya… zzz…

Elizabeth:

They have nodded off during another “thorough” critique!

Jeannie:

I will rouse them with my phone’s cat nap app. (the cat nap app’s sound of a bell jingling on a taut fishing line purrks up the cat nappurrs)

Yvonne:

Nya! Nyawn yawn I am awake, nya!

Tara-chan:

Me too nya! Gomenasai, nya!

Mike:

Ah well that’s OK! I’m all done with my Star Trek review, but y’all are needed for

Our Appurreciation of Ray Harryhausen!

Few filmmakers were as brilliant and revered as the legendary Ray Harryhausen http://www.rayharryhausen.com, who was perhaps cinema’s most famous visual FX icon. He was especially known for his legendary optical & stop – motion animation techniques known as Dynamation, which thrilled millions of people at the movies and inspired so many aspiring aspiring filmmakers! Long before 2001, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Jurassic Park, Ray Harryhausen’s artistry took us to exotic, primordial, ancient and unearthly places filled with monsters, myths and magic, and those wonderful movies are still so much fun and so amazing to watch! We were sad to hear of his passing in May at the age of 92, and decided that we should say a few kind words about some of his brilliant works of art!

Jamie:

Mighty Joe Young, made by the same creative team behind King Kong and Son of Kong, was a 1949 film that highlighted the spectacular talent of Ray Harryhausen under the tutelage of Willis O’Brien. An RKO Radio Pictures film written and produced by Merian C. Cooper the film tells the story of a young girl and a 12 foot gorilla. The film stars Robert Armstrong, (Carl Denham from King Kong), who lures the girl and the ape to his night club in Hollywood. Like his predecessor, Kong, Joe Young also runs amuck when captured and placed in front of an audience.

Unlike Kong, Joe never kills anyone and eventually proves he is really the hero when he rescuers a little girl from a burning orphanage. Although the film bombed at the box office, it eventually became a cult classic, lauded for the stop motion animation effects. While Willis O’Brien was the effects supervisor, the young Ray Harryhausen handled most of the actual animation and many critics believed Mighty Joe Young superior to King Kong in use of the stop motion animation. The final rescue scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKG7AajQHQk tinted red for effect, provides a striking example of the film’s use of stop motion.

Yvonne:

The 1950’s were the post-war time of the atomic and invasion fears which fueled the filmic frights. such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, in which the amphibious Rhedosaurus awoke from it’s arctic hibernation by the atomic bomb tests, to destructively migrate to coastal Maine and Manhattan, nya! The West coast was not safe either, when the atomic activity affected the gigantic octopus in It Came from Beneath the Sea, and I suggest the Tako Sushi to accompany the latter viewing, nya! That octopus only had the six arms, so I wonder if another sea creature had the sushi in mind too, nya!

Jeannie

The next threat came from outer space in Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, one of the most famous films to depict the invasion of the Earth by the more powerful alien invaders, who arrived in spaceships of the classic mono-hull saucers, which later crashed into the famous buildings & monuments of Washington, DC. Another of Ray Harryhausen’s extraterrestrials arrived in 20 Million Miles to Earth, but unlike the purrior invaders, the creature named Ymir was the tragic visitor.

Ilyana:

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was the first of Harryhausen’s three Sinbad movies, each the ancient fantasy tale of nautical adventures full of sword & sorcery and the lavish costumes, sets, and visual FX! This adventure included the purrfect ingredients such as the beautiful purrincess, the Caliph, the snaky naga girl, the sorcerer, the genie, the skeleton warrior, the giant roc bird, and the big battle between the giant cyclops and and the dragon!

Nyanko:

Next was The Three Worlds of Gulliver, was based upon Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Set in the 17th century, Gulliver was the overboard castaway who washed upon the shores of the country of Liliput which was populated by the tiny people. It also starred Sherry Alberoni who Vonny mentioned for the Josie credits! Based upon the Jules Verne tale, The Mysterious Island was Harryhausen’s 1961 movie set in the 1860s, which wasted no time with the thrilling stormy jail break of the Civil War soldiers in the balloon, which carried them to Captain Nemo’s island full of fantastic creatures, such as the giant poultry, the bees, the ammonite and yummy looking giant crab!

Elizabeth:

The next voyage for Harryhausen was Jason and the Argonauts, one of his finest masterpieces and one of our all time favoritest sword & sorcery films! The rousing adventure of the Greek mariners starried Todd Armstrong as Jason, Nancy Kovack as Medea, Honor Blackman as Hera, Doctor Who’s Patrick Troughton as Phineus. It also supurrbly starred Triton the Sea God, Talos the metal giant, the harpies, the hydra, and the skeleton warriors!

Trini-chan:

After the tales of Arabian nights, Greek myths, Swift and Verne was The First Men in The Moon, based upon the H.G. Wells tale of the Victorian expurrdition to The Moon, where the travelers encounter ed the underground insectoid Selenite civilization and the huge Moon Cow thanks to Ray Harryhuasen’s wonderful visual FX!

Petra:

Nextly the films travelled to the purrehistoric time of One Million Years B.C., one of the most famous of the purre-historic fantasy adventures to depicts cave men & women living at the same time of the dinosaurs, nya! Of course, dinosaurs and the people were sepurrated by the many millions of years, but the tale is the fun fantasy made by the legendary Hammer Films, with the many brilliant FX by Harryhausen, and one of our favoritest legendary actresses Raquel Welch in the iconic fur bikini, nya!

Tarai-chan:

More dinosaurs exquisitely animated by Harryhausen appurred in the 1960 film The Valley of Gwangi, which was set the early 20th century as the dinosaurs battled the cowboys and- and the cowgirls, nya! Not only did it have the horseback action, but it included the cute widdle Eohippus, nya! I would like to have  the widdle Eohippus, which could graze and play in the yard which would be like the big pasture for the tiny purrehistoric pony, nya!

Becca:

Then in 1974 it was time for Harryhausen’s reunion with Sinbad and the mythological creatures for The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. The fabulous tale starred John Phillip Law as Sinbad, with one of our favoritest actresses Caroline Munro as Margiana, Doctor Who’s Tom Baker as the evil wizard Koura, and Harryhausen’s FX to magnificently depict the winged homunoculus spy, the animated wooden siren from the purrow, the sword – fighting six armed Kali statue, and the battle between the the giant centaur and the griffin!

Mary Nyan:

1977 was the great year for the movies such as Star Wars, Close Encounters, The Spy Who Loved Me, Wizards, A Bridge Too Far, Saturday Night Fever, Smokey & the Bandit, and Harryhausen’s FX in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. This time Sinbad was purrtrayed by Patrick Wayne, who starred with one of our favoritest actresses Jane Seymour as Purrincess Farah. Patrick Troughton was back, this tiime as Melanthius the alchemist; and Margaret Whiting purrtrayed the evil sorceress Zenobia who transformed into the giant saber toothed tiger, who we mentioned in February’s Catgirl Spotlight. It is the adventure of the palace, high seas & exotic islands full of magick, romance, action, beautiful costumes, sets & creatures such as the ape, ghouls, metal minotaur, giant wasp, giant walrus and troglodyte.

Nyoka:

Ray Harryhausen’s final feature film was the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans, a grand production with the lavish FX, beautiful costumes & scenery for another tale of the ancient Greek heroes, gods & monsters! The all – star cast included Maggie Smith as Thetis, Claire Bloom as Hera, Ursula Andress as Aphrodite, Sian Phillips as Cassiopeia, Judi Bowker as Andromeda, Harry Hamlin as Perseus, Burgess Meredith as Ammon and Laurence Olivier as Zeus! It also featured the evil Calibos, the Stygian Witches, the beautiful Pegasus, Bubo the little owl mech, the deadly Medusa, the giant scorpions, and the colossal Kraken!

Bun:

I would like to mention the King Kong Two-Disk Special Edition DVD, which not only has the restored uncut 1933 classic Kong that inspired a 13 year old Ray Harryhausen, but it has the lovely special features, including the audio commentary by Ken Ralston & Harryhausen, which is peppered with archival comments by Fay Wray & Merian C. Cooper! Ray Harryhausen may have gone off to Olympus, but fortunately he leaves behind a great legacy of cinematic awe, wonder, beauty & fun for all to admire & enjoy forever! Now for the moment we have eagerly awaited, here is Petra to introduce another brilliant artist,

Our Special Guest Lela Dowling!

Petra:

Lela Dowling http://www.leladowling.com is a magnificent artist purrhaps best known for her fantasy, comics and wildlife art, including her famous images of the dragons, unicorns, mermaids and the centaurs, of the lavish yet delicate style nya! She was born in Santa Barbara, California to the teacher parents who encouraged her creativity, and as the fan of the cartooning, science fiction & fantasy genres she exhibited her art at the festivals, cons & shows, nya! She majored in Commercial & Fine Art at Foothill College, studied the watercolor technique at San Jose State University and became the purrofessional freelance artist, and in the 1980’s she illustrated the comics and the graphic novels, and her exquisite fantasy art purrints and portfolios were published, nya!

In the 90’s she did computer games animation for various companies including LucasArts, and has since continued purrvided the concepts, graphics and the illustrations for companies such as Hasbro, Mattel, Electronic Arts, Leapfrog and Yahoo, nya! These days she is also part of the purrestigious commercial art & design firm of Lightsource Studios http://www.lightsourcestudios.com with her artist husband Frank Cirocco, exhibits her wildlife art with other brilliant artists at the Skyland Gallery http://www.skylandgallery.com, and sells her lovely art at the cons and shows, nya! Nyow she is visiting us all the way from the Santa Cruz mountains in California, so are honored to welcome Lela Dowling Cirocco as our special guest!, nya! Aloha and welcome to The Mew, nya!

Lela:

(wearing the levi’s, T-Shirt, tennis shoes and the big hat to avoid the sunburn of her Scots-Irish-German pale complexion) Thanks Petra, glad to be here!

Petra:

We have the aloe and the lotion if you need it, nya! What tasty beverage would you like, nya?

Lela:

Ooh, a Pina Colada with a pink umbrella please!

Tara-chan:

Coming right up, nya! (she and Trini-chan spurrint to fetch the drink)

Petra:

Arigato, nya! Could you please tell us what the home town of Santa Barbara was like for the young Lela, nya?

Lela:

Well, given that it is considered a beach resort town by the jet set, very idyllic in a lot of ways. Originally we lived a block from the ocean, but I was kind of a sickly child and my doctor told my parents to get me away from the damp air. So they moved us up into the mountains above Santa Barbara when I was around 5 years old. I loved exploring the open wooded areas around our house, pretending to be an indian, or pretending to be different animals. My parents were already into the outdoors and took us on long camping trips, so I was in heaven. I really missed the countryside when we moved to a traditional city neighborhood in Los Altos when I was 10.

Petra:

Oh I am so sorry to hear of the sickly youth, but glad you were the happy forest girl, nya! What did your parents teach, and do the visual or purrforming arts talents run in your family, nya?

Lela:

My Mom was a grade school teacher for only a few years before she married. I’m not sure she really liked teaching all that much– it was more a case of her father telling her and her sisters “You will be teachers, because teachers can get jobs even during a recession.” My grandfather was a school principal and all three of his daughters became teachers. But I do think being a teacher makes a person better prepared for being a parent. My Dad taught printmaking, photography and Industrial Arts in Santa Barbara, then went on to teach just photography at Foothill College when we moved to Los Altos.

Petra:

What can you tell us about the Aunts, nya?

Lela:

My Mom was the baby of the family. Her two older sisters, my Aunt Helen and Aunt Alta Ruth, became school teachers too, though Alta Ruth moved on to become a draftsman and then a real estate agent. My Grandmother Lela lived with this aunt and her husband, and I would go stay with them during the summer in Solana Beach, Southern California. Most of my time there was spent drawing pictures while my Grandmother watched her soap operas.

Petra:

What were your Dad’s purrinting purrocesses, nya? Was it the off-set purrint, nya?

Lela:

Ha-ha! I vaguely recall Dad taking me to school on weekends when he had extra work to do, and telling us not to touch the enormous old-fashioned printing presses that looked very dangerous.There were trays of metal type and the printer’s ink had a peculiar but not unpleasant smell, and to this day whenever I smell it it really takes me back to my childhood. There was a closet of paper of various sizes and color, and he would let me pick out a stack, cut it to the size I wanted, and then paint one end with this red, rubbery stuff that would turn it into a pad of paper. I was very well supplied with paper for my doodling habit!

Petra:

Did you like the school teachers’ mimeowgraph purrinting purrocess with the purrple ink scent on the papurrs, nya?

Lela:

Oh, that stuff was always so messy! I don’t miss it at all.

Petra:

I understand that Arthur Rackham and Walt Kelly are among the inspurrations, nya! Who were some other artists, designers, illustrators & purrofessors to influence you, nya?

Lela:

Let’s see… when I was in my I-wanna-be-a-comic-book-artist phase I was very much into Neal Adams work. When I visited New York when I was 20, I went over to see him at Continuity. My friend (now husband) Frank Cirocco had worked there the year previously, so I had an ‘in’. I recall being really overawed by Neal, and him telling me politely that I needed to do a lot more art study before I’d be a publishable artist– which was entirely true. I also went through a Roger Dean phase when I was in college– I was really smitten with the Yes album cover designs he did, and so my artwork reflected a certain ‘look’ of his around then. And I really liked the look of the old Jeff Jones Idyll strips– the wonderful fine line inkwork contrasting with the solid use of black.

Petra:

Oh we are big fans of them too, but it is so sad that Jones is no longer among us, nya. I can see the inspurration upon your delicate style, nya!

Lela:

Yes, Jones was an amazing talent. I had a lot of trouble using solid blocks of color to ‘hold down’ the whispy, rapidograph-thin linework I was doing back then– art teachers complained that my work looked like it would blow away in a stiff breeze. “Lela, I’m going to take away your Rapidographs and ink pens and give you nothing but inch-wide brushes to do your assignments with!” said one of my commercial art teachers.

Petra:

Hee hee, nya!

Lela:

And of course my artwork was also highly influenced by my ex-husband Ken Macklin’s artwork, which I was really smitten with. Heck, I think I was in love with his artwork before I even met him! He was a much better painter than I, he was really motivated to teach himself, too. I always thought I’d eventually learn from him– tomorrow. Then oops, tomorrow came too soon, we went our separate ways and I missed my opportunity– I really kick myself for that!

Petra:

I am sorry to hear of that- oh here comes the drink, nya!

Trini-chan:

The Beverage! (she and Tara-chan purrsent the Pina Colada with the pink umbrella, then scampurr back to their seats)

Lela:

Oh Yummy!

Petra:

How was your 1977 between the purremier of Star Wars and the start of Lightsource Studios, nya? There was the bumpurr crop of science fiction & fantasy in all media in the late 70’s thanks in part to Star Wars, nya. Where and when did you see Star Wars, and how did all of that affect you, nya?

Lela:

Let’s see, I was dating a guy I’d met in one of my college art classes– Alan Tyler. He was really the one responsible for introducing me to Science Fiction and Fantasy fandom and conventions, underground comics, Monty Python, and took me to my first San Diego ComiCon too. He told me, “Hey, there’s this really cool-looking movie that’s going to be coming out soon called Star Wars. You’ve gotta see it!” We went to see it on opening day, need I say it was awesome?

He also took me over to meet some friends of his that had just gotten back from working at Neal Adams’ studio in New York City. They had started a small art studio of their own called Horizon Zero, which became Lightsource Studios. It was Frank Cirocco (now my husband), Gary Winnick (who later got me my job at LucasArts) and comic book artist extrodinaire Brent Anderson. So we’re sitting in this mostly empty office they had just rented for the studio, and Alan is showing them the artwork in my portfolio– I was so shy I barely spoke! But they all became good friends of mine.

Petra:

Oh we love Brent Anderson’s art too nya! I am purrticulary fond of his X-Men, Savage Land, and the Astro City comics, nya! So, did you eagerly await the return of Star Trek and more Star Wars, nya?

Lela:

Oh, are you kidding!?! I was such a Trekkie and Star Wars fan– there’s even some embarrassing Star Wars fan art of mine out there somewhere!

Petra:

Yattah, nya! Nyow I want to see the fan art, nya! Where and when did you see Star Trek – The Motion Picture, and The Empire Strikes Back, and what did you think, nya?

Lela:

Okay, I wasn’t such a rabid fan that I waited in line the night before the first Star Trek movie came out, but close! I was soooo happy!

Petra:

It is Mike’s all time favoritest movie, but you do not get him started, nya! Return of the Jedi was 30 years ago this month, nya! What were you up to then, nya?

Lela:

Holy crap, time sure does fly! Well, I was doing art portfolios for Schanes & Schanes around that time. The eighties were great, I was in the right place at the right time to make it as a freelance artist. I never lived very high on the hog doing that, but I enjoyed my work. I don’t think I could have pulled that off in this day and age, there’s so much more competition and a higher cost of living. But the eighties? My golden years. That all ended when the internet came along and people’s interests shifted with the times.

Petra:

The internet times were a-changing, nya! Could you please tell us what it was like to work for LucasArts, nya?

Lela:

It. Was. Awesome. Back then, we all had a card-key and could pretty much come and go from the games division art department 24 hours a day– there were guys who practically LIVED there and probably only went home to change their underwear, the rest of the time they were playing Street Fighter and other games. Really, there was a lot of freedom and creativity — you could go visit other departments too, and until they started working on Jurassic Park it was easy to go next door to Industrial Light & Magic and see what they were up to. I had already been working for LucasArts as a freelancer, so would get into Skywalker Ranch for meetings, or just to hang out with the boys, have lunch and go for a hike.

I got hired fulltime at LucasArts more on the strength of my comic book work than anything. Back then THEY were training artists to do computer animation. I’d never used a computer before, but I was motivated by my lack of work due to the collapse of the comics industry and impending poverty. So I learned fast, did a test piece that they liked — an animation of a loaf of bread jumping around the screen looking joyful– and I was in. They threw me in at the deep end and I ended up doing animations for Maniac mansion; Day of the Tentacle and then Sam & Max Hit the Road.

Petra:

Wow that sounds like the dream come true, nya! So if you do not mind me asking what changed about the access while they were making Jurassic Park, nya? Was it for your own safety due to the dinosaurs, nya?

Lela:

Ha, ha! No, it was because it was such a top-secret project. I think they wanted to keep as much of it under wraps as possible so people would be totally blown away when they saw the dinosaurs on the big screen. All the LucasArts employees were taken to a sneak preview of the movie before it was officially released, and I must say it was pretty impressive 3-D computer graphics for it’s time.

Petra:

It is hard to believe that Jurassic park is 20 years old, nya! How did you like it, nya?

Lela:

Amaaaazing movie when it came out. I should go rewatch it again and see how it holds up.

Petra:

It just had the 3D IMAx re-relase too, nya! So… what other tibits can can you tell us about Skywalker Ranch, nya?

Lela:

The early games division, when it was still called Lucasfilm Games, was located in the ‘carriage house’ which was behind the main house. The main house looked like an enormous Victorian-era building, and that’s where George had his offices and most of the staff. There was an absolutely wonderful library in there too, with a simply stunning stained glass ceiling, and a solarium to eat your lunch in. There were two very good cafeterias at Skywalker Ranch to make up for the long commute to get into town and find eateries.

The main house and library had a lot of wonderful original art and props from the movies on display. A little ways away from the main house was ‘ewok lake’, a manmade pond. And then the sound stage, and then there was a barn with some animals. I guess people kept giving George farm animals, so eventually he had to hire someone to look after them. And at that time he had been involved with singer Linda Ronstadt and she kept an old very beautiful Arabian horse named Africa there. We’d walk over to the barn after lunch and pet the horses.

Petra:

Oh gosh, that sounds so wonderful, nya! I have only seen the photos of the land and the house in a book about George Lucas, nya. So… did you get to meet him, nya?

Lela:

Ha, ha! I remember being at a Christmas party at Skywalker Ranch, and when I walked back to our table from the punch bowl someone told me, “You were standing next to George.” He’s kind of short, and since I always think of celebrities as being larger than life, I didn’t recognize him! So, yes and no, I never was officially introduced to him or shook his hand, but we would occasionally see him around LucasArts or out at the ranch– the unwritten rule was to leave him (and any other celebrity) alone. He really did have an awful lot of people glomming onto him, wanting favors, wanting to be hired, wanting him to listen to their great ideas… He became a bit of a recluse and I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t want my privacy impinged upon like his is.

Petra:

That is understandable, nya. As the famous artist do you have the purrivacy concerns too, nya?

Lela:

I’m not worried, I’m not that famous, ha!

Petra:

Well, the many fans have admired your art, but I am glad it is not the worry, nya! Speaking of the fans, you mentioned the cons earlier, so were the earliest cons n’ shows you attended like, and what would Lela of 1983 think of how the cons have grown & purroliferated, such as the San Diego ComiCon, nya?

Lela:

Mostly local to ‘Silicon Valley’, though I did travel to WorldCons if they were within the United States, Westercons on the west coast, and made a habit of working at a sketch table at San Diego ComiCon with my then-husband Ken Macklin. I went to sci-fi/fantasy cons as well as comic cons, and I had fans who were split between the two, or overlapped both. I dunno, … I think cons then and cons now are pretty much similar, the warmest place for us nerds and geeks to hide. Though I never anticipated ComiCon becoming so main-stream (thanks in part to the Big Bang Theory TV show…?) But eventually I got burned out on cons, so though I still hang my art in the occasional BayCon artshow, I don’t feel inclined to join into the con’s festivities like I once did.

Petra:

How did your beautiful fantasy art come to be published by Schanes & Schanes, nya? What was that like, nya?

Lela:

Art portfolios and prints were in vogue back then, and I was doing fairly well in sales at convention art shows. So they approached me to do a portfolio. Dragons must have had decent sales, because they offered me three more gigs– Unicorns, Dragons II in color, and Unicorns II. After that the portfolio market tanked, and I moved on into comics.

Petra:

I have noticed the purrtfolios are not as common these days. What happened, nya?

Lela:

Well, I guess it was a fad that ran it’s course and people moved on to other interests. Perhaps printing and storing the portfolios just became too costly.

Petra:

That is the shame, nya! Your husband’s beautiful art was also published by Schanes & Schanes, nya! We liked his Samurai cat too, nya! How did y’all met, nya?

Lela:

We met through a mutual friend and I ended up working some freelance jobs for Lightsource Studios, which Frank and his business partner Gary Winnick owned and operated. So we’ve been friends for a long time. Eventually, we both ended up split up from our significant others at about the same time, and while we were commiserating with each other, we ended up dating. The rest is history, we’ll have been married 5 years this year.

Petra:

Congratulations, nya!

(the ladies of The mew cheer & applaud)

Petra:

Speaking of the dragons, how did you appurroach the Dragonflight graphic novel, and did you interact a lot with author Ann McCaffrey, nya?

Lela:

Anne was a hoot! She was very easy to work with, though I always felt bad that I had taken careful notes from Anne on what her dragons really looked like– but the producer of the project, Lex Nakashima, instructed me to go back to drawing them the way he liked them. We had already been working together with Eclipse Comics on some other projects– The Dreamery and FUSION. But Dragonflight was really hard for me to do– it really pushed my abilities to the limits. And it didn’t turn out looking the way we had originally intended, which was that I would do very finished pencils, which the colorist (Cynthia Martin) would then color over with transparent watercolor so the linework would show through.

Petra:

Oh Liked Cynthia Martin’s Star Wars and Femme Force comics, nya!

Lela:

I think she bit off more than she could chew when she decided to do everything in opaque acrylics, because she left the project after the first comic book was completed. We had to find another colorist, Fred Von Tobel, that could mimic her style to do the two other comic books, and then it was eventually released as a complete graphic novel. I’m sure the very loyal McCaffrey fans were not too happy with my version of Pern, but hey, I did my best. (Shrug.) I sure wish some studio would cut a deal with Anne’s kids to produce a Dragonflight movie with amazing 3-D dragons, wouldn’t that be great?

Petra:

Oh that would be great and I am so surpurrised that it has not been made into the movie or TV show yet, nya! What did you think of Ray Harryhausen’s movie monsters & critters, nya?

Lela:

Always loved Ray Harryhausen’s work, it was sooo cool! The skeleton fight was my favorite scene of his.

Petra:

There are some cute widdle Dragons on Game of Thrones, nya! In addition to the critters, we love your illustrations of the heroines and fantasy ladies of all species, nya! Are you the big fan of Wonder Woman, nya?

Lela:

I had my art in Princessions, but you know, I didn’t buy Wonder Woman comics or consider myself a big WW fan. In fact, on our limited allowance when I was a kid, I didn’t buy many comics at all. But I counted on my brother buying the comics and letting me read them. He was into DC– Superman, Superboy, Jimmy Olsen, Aquaman, Wonderwoman, etc. But he got into this thing of locking his new comics into a glass case and then making me do his chores in exchange for reading them. In classic devious under-sibling fashion, I waited until he wasn’t around and then took a screwdriver to the hinges of the glass case, read the comics, and put them back.

Petra:

Hee hee, nya!

Lela:

My sudden loss of interest in reading any of his funny books soon tipped my brother off. But I did like the original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter TV series. I’m sure if I went back and watched them now I’d think they were pretty silly, but at the time seeing any comic book characters brought to life on TV was a treat.

Petra:

What are your favorite movies & TV shows, nya?

Lela:

Now?

Petra:

Well… either the all – time favorites or the current favorites… what are the currents, nya?

Lela:

You’ll laugh! I love American Pickers and Pawn Stars, my hubby and I watch them together. We also like Mad Men, Vikings, Breaking Bad, True Blood, Big Bang Theory, Adventure Time (cartoon), Walking Dead, and a lot of other stuff I can’t remember right now. Twice a week we go over to a friend’s house to watch movies and cable TV shows.

Petra:

Oh, no, I won’t laugh- we watch some of those too, nya! Who are your favorite authors, and favorite books & comics, nya?

Lela:

Well, I really like a variety of things. Since I was so heavily into sci-fi and fantasy when I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I don’t read much of it now. Instead I like a good detective novel by Dick Francis, hilarious books by Chris Moore, or an interesting period recreation novel. Let me see what I’m reading right now– ah, the Roman series by author Ruth Downie, a Patrick O’Brien novel, and ‘Day After Night’, a novel about Jewish holocaust survivors by Anita Diamant. I’m also fond of books about nature, particularly by author Lyall Watson– who has a lyrical style. Most of my book reading is through library books on CD, since I have a very full work schedule and don’t have much time for book reading, but more time for book listening. And as for comics…? Special things still pique my interest, like the collected series of ‘Blacksad’ by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido–awesome anthropomorphic film noir-ish.

Petra:

Sugoi, nya! If you do not mind me asking, what was the collaborative purrocess like with Ken Macklin for The Weasel Patrol, nya?

Lela:

Ken; “We need to do another Weasel Patrol story. What do you want to draw?” Me; “Let’s blow up a circus!” or “How about a nature conservation story about the Giant Desert Pupfish?…” We would proceed from there, hashing out a rough storyline, usually while lying on the livingroom floor. Then off Ken would go to write the script and do a stick-figure layout. When he was done I’d go into his studio and we’d read it together, with me making suggestions for jokes in the dialog. Then I’d start penciling the pages– we’d run them past Lex for his approval– and the I’d do the majority of the art with Ken filling in some background art. We had very similar tastes and styles in humor, so it was a joy to work with him. I really miss that.

Petra:

Can you disclose some interesting Weasel tidbits, nya?

Lela:

The only Weasel tidbit I can think of is that we were flown out to New York City, wined and dined and fooled into thinking we could produce a Weasel Patrol Saturday morning cartoon show for Nickelodeon. Unfortunately the first thing the company we were working through told us is that the big boss over at Nickelodeon didn’t like science fiction– could we turn the WP into a western…? Also, the weasels couldn’t have any guns or knives when they had a weasel attack. Then all the weasels had to have individual personalities and names, plus we had to have girl weasels so little girls could relate to the show. And then later on when Mutant Ninja Turtles was a hit, could we make it more like Mutant Ninja Turtles?… Needless to say, it was a complete bust. Unfortunately in the entertainment business, sometimes ‘the suits’ make all the creative decisions, not comprehending why this can completely destroy an otherwise good idea.

Petra:

Aww, that is the shame, nya! What was the collaborative purrocess like at Eclipse Comics and on The Dreamery, nya?

Lela:

Actually, there was a lot of quibbling between Lex Nakashima, who was funding the two comics I was working on, and Editor Cat Yronwode, who was a huge fan of Lewis Carroll and didn’t take kindly to our rewriting of ‘Alice’ for The Dreamery. We finally reached a compromise. It was tough doing both of those bi-monthly books– I’d barely finish The Dreamery work, and then it was time to hurry up and do the FUSION and Weasel Patrol art! I was pretty darned busy doing those books, but it was also one of the few times in my life where I had enough money to buy myself a new car instead of an old beater!

Petra:

Eclipse published the great comics, anthology magazine, and pioneered the translation of the manga too, nya! Did you become the fan of the manga & anime, nya?

Lela:

Oh yes, I was on it during the early years –when fans would pay to have their favorite manga translated, or a favorite anime cartoon show or movie fan-dubbed. I recall painstakingly writing the American translation into the first volume of Akira that I have bought in a Japantown bookstore in San Francisco! The copies of copies of copies would be passed around. We were all in seventh heaven when manga made it to the American market.

Petra:

What would Lela of the 80’s think of the current popularity & influence of manga & anime, nya?

Lela:

Hmm, I think in some cases it’s a little over the top. But that’s what happens when something becomes insanely popular.

Petra:

How about the purrogress and the purroliferation of the female fans, artists & authors, nya?

Lela:

It’s certainly different than back in the days when there were only a handful of female authors and artists in the industry. And when I was working as a computer animation artist at LucasArts, there was only 2 other girls in the art department, the rest were all guys. I think some of the stigma of comics and games being a boys-only club has definitely changed.

Petra:

What have you designed at EA Games, nya?

Lela:

Gee, that was quite some time ago and was a Lightsource Studio assignment. I think they had us working on character concept art for one of the early versions of social online worlds. A lot of commercial art is doing conceptual work that never ends up being used.

Petra:

Do you have purrticularly favorite toys & games, nya?

Lela:

Well, I did some toy design for the makers of Furby. They were trying to decide what to do with Furby next, and had me and another artist (Gayle Middleton) doing blue-sky brainstorming for where Furby came from, where they live, what they do, and what other forms they might take. It was really fun work, plus I got a couple of Furbys and had them talking with each other– I even became fairly fluent in Furbish, but I’ve forgotten it all now. It was fun work, though another example of creative concepts that were never used. As for games, well, I know this sounds silly being as I did a lot of my work for the games industry, but I don’t much care for games.

Petra:

Well then, aside from the art career, what are your favorite hobbies and interests, nya?

Lela:

I’ve always been interested in natural science– native flora and fauna, and oceanography. I might have made a decent field biologist if I were a little tougher and had made better grades in school. And I also had a great interest in Native American survival skills and lifestyle.

Petra:

Oh oh, then you might wish to take the nature hike into our maritime forest with Tara-chan or Purrk Ranger B.B, nya! Do you have any pets or wildlife around the home, nya?

Lela:

No pets right now, alas! We did have two very personable cats, but they passed away from old age last year.

Petra:

Aww, sad nya. Might you bring home more, nya?

Lela:

Work has been so sporatic that we don’t feel comfortable about getting more pets right now– vet bills are so expensive! But I really do love cats, and miss ours a lot. We live in the Santa Cruz mountains, so yes, plenty of trees and wildlife around here. I enjoy it a lot. I’ve always been more comfortable in the country than the city. I could never live in someplace like Los Angeles or New York!

Petra:

You so supurrbly render the images of the flora and the fauna, nya! I get the impurression that you purrfur to illustrate the critters and nature to the mecha, nya!

Lela:

I guess anyone who’s familiar with my work can see that I prefer drawing animals whenever I can. I just finished up a job penciling pages of The Ugly Duckling for another artist to color. They asked me if I wanted to do The Little Matchstick Girl next, and I said no– too much architecture and people, plus it’s kind of a depressing story,–call me back if they want to do The Three Little Pigs or Three Billy Goats Gruff. Animals and nature are more fun for me to draw– easier too. And of course doing combinations of beautiful women and animals is fun too. I can draw men also, but it’s always been a little harder for me to do– they end up looking a little feminine.

Petra:

Hai, the sad tale of The Little Matchstick Girl makes me cry, nya. So then, how would you compurr the challenges of the fine art to the commercial art, nya?

Lela:

Boy– in the old days I would have said Commercial Art is the better choice career-wise, but now I’m not so sure. I’ve mixed the two and always found it was far less boring to have a job that kept changing. It’s a little nerve-wracking though to be a freelancer. I really appreciated the time I spent at LucasArts with it’s weekly paycheck. I may have grumbled about being forced to put in an 8 hour day, but boy is that paycheck a nice little security blanket. A friend of mine, Peter Chan, was working at LucasArts too at that time and used to commiserate with me about being locked in a dimly lit building all day working on computers– he once drew a picture of a window with the sun and trees and flowers outside and taped it over my computer, ha, ha! He himself went on to become a freelance artist for the movie industry, and a very successful one at that!

Petra:

What are your purrfurred traditional & digital art tools & techniques,nya?

Lela:

I still prefer to use pencil and paper, though I have a Wacom pad and a stylus so I can draw digitally right on the screen. I do most of my coloring digitally also nowadays. I bought the Cintiq about two years ago. I don’t know if I’ll actually ever completely give up penciling on paper– I usually scan my linework to digitally ink. Maybe I will.

Petra:

Do you miss tools such as the Amberlith, the Letraset, the Zipatone or the wax paste for the graphic arts, nya?

Lela:

NO! Well, Letraset and Zipatone were all I used– how grateful I am that I don’t have to painstakingly cut that out anymore! And that wax coating for paste-up used to ruin original artwork if you couldn’t get a copy made to use in it’s place!

Petra:

What is your studio or work space like, nya?

Petra:

I always have my drawing board facing a window so I can rest my eyes occasionally by looking out and away. You young artists out there, save your eyesight by varying your viewing or you’ll end up with glasses quicker than you’d think! I have a computer station next to the drawing board and I sit on an exercise ball– better for posture, and I like to sit and bounce a little to work off nervous energy while I think. Then lots of books, comics, knick knacks, toys, animal skulls, field guides, feathers …and mess. I just close the door when company comes over, there’s not enough room for everything to get put away neatly!

Petra:

Do you enjoy mewsic while you work, nya? What is your favorite type of mewsic, or your favorite mewsicians, nya?

Lela:

I’m not as much into music as my husband, who has quite a large music collection and listens to it constantly. I like quiet if I have to think about what I’m working on. And when I want to be entertained while I’m doing some mindless inking or coloring, I prefer audio books. I also really enjoy listening to comedians on YouTube.

Petra:

What are the favorite foods to fuel the artistic tummy, nya?

Lela:

Hoo-boy, I used to keep a bowl of semi-sweet chocolate chips on my drawing board and eat them like peanuts! I was never fat, I have too fast a metabolism for that, but I ended up giving myself a slight allergy to chocolate, so I eat more sensibly now.

Petra:

Do they feed you well at the Lightsource Studios, nya?

Lela:

Ha! I do all the cooking! I’m not a bad cook, thanks to my former boyfriend Allen Bennett, who owned an Italian restaurant. He was a very good cook and taught me well. He was also the inspiration for a bunch of cartoons I did about a waiter. Frank, on the other hand, does no cooking at all but enjoys whatever I make for him.

Petra:

That is good, nya! Speaking of your husband, could you tell us a bit about Popbotics http://popbotics.com and Tantrum Entertainment, nya?

Lela:

Popbotics is fairly recent, born out of a need to generate some income in this slow economy. Too much of the work we used to do is being outsourced overseas. Lightsource simply can’t compete with the rock bottom prices of a Chinese sweatshop! So Frank started a pop culture website, and has been selling a lot of his collection of toys, comics, posters, action figures, models etc. that he collected over the past 40 years. We also take in things from our friends to sell on consignment. Mostly it’s an online site, but we do end up getting a table at toy shows, and we’ll try selling at comic conventions too and see how that goes. My involvement is usually limited to fixing toys that get broken, packing things and taking them to the Post Office. Frank would like to get me busy photographing items and posting them on ebay, but I’m pretty busy with my own work. Tantrum Entertainment is in limbo right now until Frank and Gary decide what to do with it.

Petra:

We wish y’all the good luck for the fun and purrofitable business, nya! The Skyland Gallery has the epic stable full of the famous artists, nya! How did that originate, nya?

Lela:

Well, Frank and I were on our Honeymoon in Yellowstone National Park when the stock market had it’s meltdown almost 5 years ago. We thought maybe we could write off more of the house expenses if we had a wildlife gallery in our front room! It wasn’t a terrible idea– we had lots of artist friends, lived close to some wineries, and had a lovely house in the woods. It was a nice try, but sales of fine art are slow in an economy where people are concerned about just keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. We now rent space a local artist’s co-op, but have shifted our energy to other projects. I still do one or two new prints a year for Skyland Gallery, but it hasn’t been as successful as we’d hoped.

Petra:

Oh gosh, nya! We will say the purrayers for the blessings on the beautiful gallery too, nya! What are the community, the history and the environment of the Santa Cruz Mountains like, nya?

Lela:

We live in a ghost town. There used to be a little town here called Skyland, mainly centered around fruit orchards. There was a post office, general store and some hotels for summer guests, but they’re mostly all gone. However, next door is an old one-room school house that is now a private residence, and down the street is a hundred year old church, very cute and quaint. There are books that tell about the wild times of the early 19th century here in the mountains– it’s hard to imagine now that things are so civilized here.

Petra:

So… aside from The Ugly Duckling, what are some of your other current purrojects, nya?

Lela:

I’ve been working with a couple of ladies who are making an ipad app. to teach 5 year olds to read and count. I work with another artist from Lightsource named Tom Ho– I do the finished pencils for the art, which he then digitally inks and colors. I don’t know when this project will be published, or even what they’ve decided to ultimately call it! Something like ‘Reader Bee and the Magic Mat’ or something like that. They’ve never done anything like this before, so they’re still figuring stuff out.

Petra:

Do you take sketch & commission requests from your fans, nya?

Lela:

Rarely these days. I’m afraid they get squeezed out by commercial jobs and my other duties around the house. Sorry guys!

Petra:

It is understandable, nya! Have you been a teacher like your parents, purrhaps to teach the art / design class or the work shops, nya?

Lela:

I admire teachers. A good teacher really puts their heart into what they teach. But I just was never a very good teacher when it came to art. I could sort of explain how I did things, but to be a really good art teacher I feel it’s important to have a good grasp of layout and design and color theory. I think I was always a little lazy about that, and art to me was a fly by the seat of your pants thing. You know what I was better at when it came to teaching? Beekeeping! I used to stand next to an observation hive at our beekeepers club booth at fairs and teach kids about life inside a honeybee colony. I was very active in the Sonoma County Beekeeper’s Association  for many years. But I don’t keep bees here, our property is just not right for having an apiary on.

Petra:

Oh I like to visit the beekeepurrs exhibits  and to purrchase the jar of the delicious honey at the state fair, nya! What advise do you have for the potential bee keepurrs, nya?

Lela:

Be okay with getting stung occasionally (it’s actually good for you provided you’re not allergic), and have a strong back and a lot of spare time to spend working on your hives. I see a lot of new beekeepers enthusiastically join the ranks of beekeeperdom, only to drop by the wayside when they find out, no, you can’t just have hives sitting around making you honey without maintaining their health and making sure they have enough room and aren’t going to swarm away into your neighbor’s backyard during a BBQ. I eventually decided doing bee cartoons was way easier and more fun than giving everyone honey and candles for Christmas!

One thing I should point out regarding the seriousness of our bees being decimated by the overuse of pesticides– honeybees are a European import. There were no bees of this sort in North America ages ago. Now, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have native insects that did a lot of pollinating, and I’m wondering how they’re doing also. The way we’ve set up our farming practices doesn’t leave much room for native pollinaters, but they do play a role in pollinating trees and vegetables in people’s gardens and yards around the country.

Petra:

We are sorry for the poor bee populations around the world and purray that they will all soon thrive with the healthy, happy hive, nya! Do have any advice for the aspiring artists, nya?

Lela:

Well, I think there’s some truly AMAZING talent coming out of the schools these days. But there is SO MUCH competition I don’t know how a young artist is going to fare in today’s market. I also think there’s way too many kids wanting to go into the entertainment industry, and not enough wanting to work the ‘mundane’ jobs. I’m becoming a strong believer in a person having a variety of skills to fall back on if things get tight. Make yourself a moving target, not a sitting duck.

Petra:

Thank you so much for creating so much beautiful joyful art, purrmitting the display in our mewseum, and for chatting with us, nya! We will see you at the Luau, and we hope ya’ll enjoy the rest of your island visit, nya!

Lela:

Thank you so much for having me! Let’s freshen up that Pina Colada!

Trini-chan:

The refill! (she and Tara-chan are already there with another round of refreshment)

The Cat Lady Sings…

Nyoka:

Tara-chan and Trini-chan seem to be purreoccupied as the waitresses!

Nyanko:

They are like the tennis court ball grrls with the speedy service, heehee!

Yvonne:

Hai they are excited to meet Lela and offer the enthused assistance, nya!

Mary Nyan:

Well I must admit to also share in the enthusiasm for our special guest!

Bun:

Hai and I am overjoyed with the display of her art in our mewseum!

Petra:

Hai and it is good to have more of the Bix pics too, nya!

Elizabeth:

Well, I guess that will wrap it up for another edition of The Mew!

Jeannie:

We wish to thank Jamie for his web mastery here at The Mew & Catgirl Island.

Ilyana:

We thank all of the talented, industrious, inspurrational folks whose works we have discussed-

Becca:

— and the rest of our friends, family,  the kind audiences & viewers for their support!

Trini-chan:

Y’all may post the brief, polite, sincere responses to our discussion-

Tara-chan:

-purrvided that such remarks are spam-free, not purrofane and – and stay on the topic, nya

Mike:

We’ll be back next month with more art & fun stuff to discuss! Be there… Aloha!

The Ladies Of The Mew:

BAIBAI, NYA!

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