Friday, November 30, 2012

Comic Art


I just wanted to share my new pin up style art piece of Cassie Hack I got from Erica Hesse and as you can see she did a beautiful creation of her. I love the girlishness of it but it still retains what Cassie is all about. She was great to work with and updated me on the art during its various stages. If you need gorgeous pinup style art....checkout Erica Hesse at ~ Spaced

Want to see more of the Nerd Girls commissioned art pieces? Checkout our Nerd Girls Art Gallery!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hack/Slash issue #20

Hack/Slash issue #20
Written by: Tim Seeley
Cover Art by: Stefano Caselli

As a huge Cassie Hack fan I was very excited to see Tim Seeley at the helm of issue #20. Cassie has been at several crossroads in her journey as a killer of slasher, but this could be her final one. Cassie is trying to come to terms on how her future would be without slasher killing. In issue #20 Cassie deals with what kind of relationship her and Vlad truly have and to top it off Cat Curio has some news for her that could change her life forever. 

Another solid issue from Tim which I thoroughly enjoyed. I like that Cassie's emotions and unsureness of herself are still present, even after all these years. For those that say Cassie is not a relate-able character have obviously never read an issue. Although she is a strong and independent character she still struggles with same things a lot of people do.......she just happens to kill slashers too. As a long time fan I will be sad to see her journey end, but I am happy to be along for the ride. ~ Spaced

Gene Gonzales - End of an Art Blog

2012 is supposed to be the year that the world is to end. Now we still have to wait a few more weeks to see if the prophecy comes into fruition, but it is an end for one of my favorite art blogs: Gene Gonzales'. In 2007, Gene set out to post some form of art everyday (some days he posted more than one) and for fives years, until most recently, never missed a day. Sadly, at the end of the year, the time has come to say goodbye. 

So for five years, we have been able to watch an amazing artist post incredible art pieces that he's done all over the country and various commissions. Though Gene posted everything, be it a simple sketch idea, or a full-blown "Canson Cutie", or just basic prelims. I have received several pieces of art from Gene over the years and he is actually someone that helped me feel comfortable talking to artists about art and the commission process. It's been a lot of fun to watch his style develop and change over the years, though he's stayed to a very animated and simplistic style. He has even posted youtube videos to show his inking processes. I always found those quite enjoyable.

For the last month, Gene offered up his famous "Conventionless Convention Sketches" and will post them all throughout December.  I am super excited, not only because I am on the list for some art, but because it is always fun to see what other people get from Gene. He's somewhat famous for his Legionaire portraits, so I'm sure there are a few in there from his regular customers. Be sure to check out his blog and to cheer him on as he nears the finish line. It takes a lot of determination to post something everyday for five years; I know, I tried.

Checkout more of Gene's art in our Nerd Girls Comic Art Gallery

Halo 4: Is it worth buying?

Now most everyone knows my long term love with FPS's, and by love I mean video game induced motion sickness. Bless Halo ODST for curing that little fault, or maybe bless Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin for doing voices in it that made me want to plat the game myself. Either way I've played all of the Halo games since ODST cured my illness and have to say this is one of my favorite ones.

A lot of people will say it's the same game just updated graphics, well aren't all those FPS games really? How different is you last version of Gears of War from this one? Aren't you still hiding behind stuff and shooting people? With Halo 4 there actually are a few changes, the first one being the studio. Since Bungie is no longer involved with Halo there were some changes that, I'm assuming, had to be made. Don't expect to hear the tell tale intro music, but you will see some of the same old Covenant.

Now that 343 has taken over they made some additions that I, for one, enjoyed like the new weapons. Don't get me wrong, everyone loves taking out a few grunts with the rocket launcher but the new weapons the Prometheans (trying really hard not to bring up Mass Effect) brought with them are pretty bad ass.

I'm not a fan of the shotgun in games usually, as a rule. At some point in the game I always end up stuck somewhere that I'm out of ammo and the only weapon on the ground is a damn shotgun. I would take a Plasma Pistol over a shotgun in these cases. So when the inevitable happened and I was stuck with the Promethean version of a shotgun, the Scattershot, I was prepared to hate it and pray for a grunt to come around that rock so I could steal his Plasma Pistol. Instead I actually liked it. I used up all it's ammo before I got rid of it and for me that's saying something.

The Boltshot and the Lightrifle are some more of my favorite Promethean weapons. I'm also kind of fond of how they float onto your arm when you pick them up for the first time. Kind of explains away the, "Wait a second, how can you use these? Clearly those aliens have different kind of hands than Master Chief." It gives it a bit of an, "It's advanced technology that forms to its user." and that's really all the more you think about it.

The graphics and the soundtrack have gotten a bump as well, and the game play doesn't leave me wishing for tougher bad guys. The AI for the Promethean's is admirable in that you can put a little thought into taking out the flying guys first, since they'll chuck your grenades back at you if you use them, or you can just fill everything full of lead., or little bolts of light, until everything is left twitching on the ground.

Unfortunately I had to work all weekend so I didn't get to finish the whole game prior to writing this, but I will say I felt like the story was going pretty quickly. Hubby and I were playing co-op and after 3 hours we're about half way done. For a $60 game I'd like a little longer story than that myself, since I'm not much of an online player. Call me crazy but I don't like teenagers tea bagging my character and calling me a "little bitch" when they find out that I'm actually a girl.

Which brings up another interesting topic:

Bigotry on Halo 4 will earn you a lifetime XBL ban?

Because there are so many women who are working on Halo 4 there were all sorts of stories flying around that stated if you are reported for bigotry, against any group, while playing Halo 4 that you would be banned from the game AND that you would permanently lose your Xbox Live Account. A Microsoft rep recently denied this was going to happen stating:

"While Xbox Live indeed does not condone harassment of any kind, account and console bans are issued based on a robust complaint and evidence-based system, There is no difference in the Xbox Live Terms of Use and Code of Conduct for Halo 4."

So, there will still be teenagers calling people names, and I guess that means I'll still be left wanting more story to play so I can play with those cool new guns and not have to deal with that kind of behavior. 

The final answer to the question of "Is it worth buying?" depends on your own experience. If you think you might only want to play through the campaign, then I say rent it. It's short enough you could get through it in a weekend easily. If you want to play online with all the new guns and all the new maps, then fork over the cash, cause it's worth it. 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Where do you stash your comics?

Even though I have been a horror nerd for years I am still new to comics. I have navigated my way through the comic world with the help of my fellow nerds and I have read some amazing comics and some not so amazing ones too. I generally purchase my comics from my local comic store, but its a small store and doesn't have a lot of variety for readers like me that don't typically read the big 2 publishes (Marvel/DC). So, for some trades I purchase them through Amazon and now that I have an iPad I have been using comixology, which I had my reservations about digital comics, but I have enjoyed using the app.

I think the one thing that has helped me the most in my travels through the land of comics is using I have been able to log and categorize all my comics and keep track of all the issues and trades I have read. It is also helpful dealing with certain comics that have several different covers. You can create your own stash lists however you would like by title, publisher, writer or artist. You can also create wish lists, post on the forums, listen to their podcast and more. You can even see other comic book readers stashes. For me, my favorite part is the ability to view my stash as a gallery view. Because I can remember a cover better than the number of the issue. Between my awesome nerdy friends and stashmycomics I am getting the hang of comic book reading. ~Spaced

Blackest Night Friday Shopping

It's that time of year again and if you aren't sick of holiday songs by worries your time will come. For those of you brave souls venturing out into the madness that is Black Friday....we salute you! I too will be one of the brave souls who venture out into the darkness searching for that awesome deal. Although this season seems to not be so much Black Friday as it is Thursday 8 p.m. shopping. My few pieces of advice for making your way through the crowds with as little bloodshed as possible is dress in layers that way you are not saddled with a bulky coat, bring a book, comic or fully charged phone to entertain you while you stand in line, avoid using a shopping cart and realize that there will be irritating idiots just ignore them as best you can.

For those who would rather fight with the speed of their dsl than large crowds of people you are of course in luck! There are several sites running Pre-Black Friday sales as well as week long sales. Here are some of the few sites I found handing out deals that are to good to pass up.

Amazon - they usually start their Black Friday sales early and I just took advantage of their latest one, which was the Alien Quadrilogy on blu ray for $20 bucks. Depending on what you are looking for they will have some pretty good deals on clothes, dvds, books, music, gaming and more. - They are having a 7 day Thanksgiving Sale starting November 20-22 with 13% off orders of $35 or more, November 13 Men's logo tees are $16 and Women's logo tees are $18 and hats are $4 off, November 24 kids shirts, hoodies and pjs, lunchboxes and onesis are all on sale, November 25 $10 off hoodies, $6 off mens/womens pj's and $4 off undies, November 26 Men's hero tees are $16 and Women's hero tees are $14, pint glasses are $9 and $8 mugs. There is also more included in their 7 day sale, plus they are also offering free shipping with $50 or more.

Entertainment Earth - They are offering free shipping on their holiday decor sale, Lego's buy 1 get the other 25% off, buy 3 shirts get the 4th for free and more. They are also offering free shipping on orders of $99 or more....which less be honest its not that hard to do at that site.

Sideshow collectibles - I recommend following them on twitter and signing up for their newsletter. They will be giving out Black Friday deals through both twitter and email. They are already offering free shipping on certain statues and discounts on others.

HorrorMerch - Although this is not technically a Black Friday sale it is still a good deal. They have buy 3 shirts get the 4th free or $20 off an order of $79 or more. They have everything to satisfy the horror nerd in your life.

Wherever or however you choose to shop this holiday season have a great and safe time. ~ Spaced

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sapph's Adventures in Game Land

Some of you may know that I got my love of gaming from my dad. I wouldn't be anywhere NEAR the nerd girl I am now if it weren't for him, and he exposed me to all sorts of different types of games, not just video games. A couple if times a year we would go to a local pinball and arcade auction that was really a gamers dream come true. Bring your own extension cord and play all the arcade games and pinball machines you wanted for free. Of course the idea for most people was to sell machines they no longer wanted, and we did occasionally buy one or two, but for us it was about playing games for free.

It was one of these trips that left me with a classic late 80's pinball machine called Bad Girls when my dad passed away.

80's Tastic right there, but it was a fun machine and it followed me across the country when we moved. Until I started feeling guilty that we'd bought her to be played and loved and that I couldn't remember the last time I'd even plugged it in. So I sold her to a local shop who refurbished her a bit and I found out today that she found her way into the home of a female doctor who chose it because "I'm a bad girl too." I think dad would be pleased to know that it's now in the home of someone who will love and play it.

But the story doesn't end there. Of course this place has all sorts of new machines as well as old ones. I'm sure most people who aren't into pinball machines don't even know that Bally and Stern actually stopped making pinball machines for a very long time. Eventually Bally decided to get out of the business leaving Stern to it and in the past few years they've been making new pinball machines again.

It's amazing what a leap forward in technology can do for them but the pinball machines still have that great old arcade feel to them. We went to the place I sold my Bad Girls to, thinking we'd maybe get to see her all cleaned up and in all her glory to hear the story of how she sold already, but while we wandering around this lovely machine catches my eye.

Of course the first thing I see on that side panel? Emma Frost. So I HAD to play her.

Stern X-Men Pinball Machine

I will say it's an incredibly fun machine and I had the opportunity to play the limited edition Magneto version that has a special moving ramp. I didn't get into anywhere NEAR all of the modes that the machine has, but it was a great way to kill about 20 minutes. I would have been there all night but after finding out it was a $9000 machine I kind of lost my desire to keep playing it. Funny how hearing that something is that expensive makes your brain go "Run away!"

I do have one complaint about it though and that's the playfield artwork. It's not consistent. It features all these classic X-Men characters but the style of artwork used for them isn't all the same. Characters like Gambit, Rogue and Cyclops are in the traditional heavy outlined comic book style:
While other characters like Phoenix, Emma, and Mystique are a more modern, digitally painted style:
Mystique's image from the bumper is this one, just flipped so she's facing the other way to fit on the plastics.

If I could ever get past that I think I could really like the machine, but the whole $9000 price tag kind of kills it for me more than the inconsistent art. 
There you have it, I fell in love with a new pinball and found out my old one went to someone who will care for her, and you found out there's more layers to this gaming nerd girl than you though.


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