Confessions of a Recovering Ravenclaw

I never got around to joining Pottermore the first time around, so the new Sorting Hat Test is the only official sorting test I’ve ever taken. I don’t know what the old test would have given me, but I was just as befuddled by my result as the people who were finding themselves suddenly re-sorted.

Gryffindor? Seriously? That was third most likely. The only less likely house would have been Slytherin—not so much because I have anything against potentially hanging out with Dark Wizards, but more because my utter lack of ambition is at marginally dangerous levels.

On the other hand, who knows? I don’t think this particular test is very accurate, but it’s not impossible for me to be Gryffindor. I do have a tendency to jump to other people’s defense whenever someone needs defending. Maybe I’m like Neville Longbottom, all my Gryffindor energy pent up inside until I grow up enough to embody it.

I wonder if the real Sorting Hat, in the universe where it really exists, does take the course of a person’s entire future into account. I wonder if it sees the ultimate end of one’s life philosophies, or if it takes the average of one’s philosophies over the course of one’s life. A friend of mine wondered what would happen if Hogwarts students got re-sorted each year. “Wouldn’t it be interesting? As people change, and grow, and develop, so might their Houses change. Because who we are when we are eleven is not (so I devoutly hope) who we will be the rest of our lives.”

I am positive I am not who I was when I was eleven. Continue reading Confessions of a Recovering Ravenclaw

Can I Be Him for the Weekend?

Even before I saw the latest Coldplay/Beyoncé video, I had learned of the outcry against their cultural appropriation and misrepresentation of India. So I watched it, ready to roll my eyes at the blatant stereotypes and stew in my outrage.

Here’s what I saw:

  • Indians can dance
  • India has beautiful ordinary people
  • Unlike in Bollywood films, women don’t wander the streets all scantily clad.
  • Beyoncé honestly didn’t impress. She looked out of her element and more awkward in her mediocre attempts at “Indian hands,” and looked like she was trying too hard with the massive cleavage in her clothes.
  • And finally, Beyoncé’s soprano is no match for Lata Mangeshkar’s. No, Bey, you are no Nightingale.

Now before you get all up in arms about how I’m defending this cultural appropriation, might I draw your attention to Bollywood films? Specifically, I’m talking about the portrayal of second-generation Indian immigrants living in the West (both these are in England, but the crap flows to America as well) in the movies Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ, for short) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (KKKG). I know these are older examples, but they are currently available on Netflix, so they continue to perpetuate the stereotypes.
Continue reading Can I Be Him for the Weekend?

Seven Things to Do With Kids at X Games!

As a mom with four kids, the youngest being 15, sometimes it’s hard to find activities to do with them. They’d much rather disappear with friends than hang out with either parental unit. This is why I look forward to the Winter X Games every year. In years past I’ve written about different aspects of this event, from the top 14 reasons I love the X Games, to how the women athletes inspired me by their support of each other.

This year, as I walked through the Games, I noticed a lot of kids. Not just wild-haired teenagers, but school aged kids. It dawned on me that the X Games are not just a place to take your teens when you’re looking for a bonding experience, there is plenty to do with younger kids too.

While sorting through my 10 gazillion pictures, I came up with seven things to do with kids at X Games. After reading through them, you might just want to go ahead and put a trip to Aspen on your family calendar for this time next year. It’s a free event, after all, and you’ll take home a million bucks worth of new memories.

  1. Take a great picture! There are photo opportunities galore at the venue. From action cut-outs to huge silly inflatables. Your trip photo album will be full of toothy smiles on truly happy faces.

Continue reading Seven Things to Do With Kids at X Games!

Revved Up for the ‘CARtoons Magazine’ Revival

Timing is an amazing thing.

Out of the blue, I started thinking about one of my favorite pastimes as a teenager;  following the “How to Draw” guides in my brother’s CARtoons Magazine.

These were pretty basic, albeit, but they still inspired me to learn about perspective, shading and structure. Plus I was able to create some dream cars I would never in a billion years be able to recreate in real life. At least not on my current budget.

I got the itch to try some of these out again, but sadly, I hadn’t seen a CARtoons in a store since my junior year in high school. As it turns out, CARtoons Magazine, a labor of love created by Pete Millar and Carl Kohler in 1959, went bye-bye in 1991 after had a pretty good run for more than 30 years.

Well, thanks be to Google, I was able to pull up some old images of these “How to Draw” pages when I ran across something that made me giggle out loud.

CARtoons is back in print! Continue reading Revved Up for the ‘CARtoons Magazine’ Revival

Awaken Romance this Valentines Day with Star Wars Cards on Etsy

At this time of year, I can generally be found scrambling to locate a Valentines Day card for my husband that fulfils my near-impossible desires of being not-too-smutty, not-too-smushy, and not costing approximately half my next mortgage payment.

As much as I love him, my husband and I are more likely to quote lines from Galavant‘s “Maybe You’re Not the Worst Thing Ever” to one another than Hallmark’s sickeningly sweet endearments.

Nor do I wish to have “hilarious” cards describing how much we’d like to “bonk” one another on display where our six-year-old, or my mother-in-law, can easily read them. As a result, I’ve taken to Etsy for my Valentines Day card shopping over recent years where I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to nerdy, adorable cards that really speak to us and our relationship. This year I have, unsurprisingly, noticed a vast array of Star Wars cards in my searches and I wanted to share some of my favourites with you, many of which are perfect for handing out at school.

Continue reading Awaken Romance this Valentines Day with Star Wars Cards on Etsy

DC Comics: Buy ‘Midnighter’ Before He’s Gone

This week in DC Comics, we might be seeing the last gasp of a few titles. In some case, like Batman Beyond, it’s not a huge loss, but in other cases, such as Midnighter, it’s a damn shame. But Suicide Squad fans, here’s your chance to check out Midnighter with an issue that shows how unique this run has been.

What else should you grab? If you like horror, Swamp Thing. Batgirl fans, the new issue is out and Black Canary’s back. Fans of Scott Snyder’s run on Batman should check out Batman & Robin Eternal, as there are major doings with Harper Row. But Ray and I won’t limit ourselves to just those comics. We read them all.

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK’S COMICS BELOW.

Swamp Thing #2, Len Wein, writer, Kelley Jones, illustrator

Ray: 8.5/10

Corrina: Great Start Especially For Swamp Thing Newbies

Ray: I was a bit disappointed with the first issue of the relaunch, since it seemed to pull back all the development the character’s world went through in the previous series and set him back to the lone monster he used to be. Fortunately, this issue makes it clear that the goal is to pull Swamp Thing back into the sphere of the dark, supernatural characters in the DCU. When we last left off, Swamp Thing had been ripped in two by a rampaging zombie, a vengeful victim of a resurrection experiment gone wrong. Continue reading DC Comics: Buy ‘Midnighter’ Before He’s Gone

Zombie Starfish: Nature’s Undeadliest Catch

My four-year-old is really interested in sea creatures and in zombies. One of her very favorite water dwellers is the mysterious and lovely Sea Star (or the star formally known as fish).

In our morning search on Youtube we came across a true-to-life ‘Zombie Starfish’ mash up that peaked Ella’s curiosity. The video is from a BBC-two popular show called Nature’s Weirdest Events.

Just what is happening here? The images shows what looks to be Sea Stars actually ripping off their own limbs. If that wasn’t alarming enough, those limbs then look to crawl away, zombie like on their own. Could this be a real life undeadliest catch happening on the West Coast from Alaska to Mexico? My daughter wanted to know more. Continue reading Zombie Starfish: Nature’s Undeadliest Catch

Honest Valentines from Mommy’s 15 Seconds

Meet Mommy. She only has 15 seconds to record her thoughts while hiding from her children in the closet or bathroom. No one knows how many kids she has or what her real first name is, but one thing is certain, whether she is inventing things to make life easier or sharing poopie stories, she sure is funny!

For Valentine’s Day, Mommy got a great idea that backfired horribly…

Well, to be honest, Honest Valentines are kind of funny… Continue reading Honest Valentines from Mommy’s 15 Seconds

7 Fun Podcasts to Learn Something New Right Now

Whether working out or in the car, listening to podcasts always seems to make the time go by faster. With these eight fun podcasts listed below, you’ll be sure to reach your destination before you know it and have a new fact you can’t wait to share.

Image credit: Good Job Brain
Image credit: Good Job Brain

Good Job, Brain!
Hosts: Karen Chu, Colin Felton, Dana Nelson, and Chris Kohler.
About: This is a show all about trivia! The energetic hosts ask each other trivia questions, discuss random facts, and occasionally offer great mnemonic tricks. Fun, interesting, and makes good party fodder! Seriously, this podcast is a crowd-pleaser and family-friendly, you really can’t go wrong adding this one to your playlist.
Favorite episode: I’ll bring back a blast from the past with “A Berry Good Episode“. Yes, it was about two years and 100 episodes ago, but this episode blew my mind so many times within 50 minutes, it’s worth a listen. Continue reading 7 Fun Podcasts to Learn Something New Right Now

‘The X-Files’ 10.3: “Mulder And Scully Meet the Were-Monster” – Dagoo? Dagoo!

On this week’s episode of The X-Files, the show gives us the latest in its run of comedy episodes that stretches back to season two.

As with many of the previous comedy episodes, this one contains some fantastic moments and some deeply troubling ones. Read on for our spoiler-filled recap of “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”. Continue reading ‘The X-Files’ 10.3: “Mulder And Scully Meet the Were-Monster” – Dagoo? Dagoo!

Shoebox Time Machine: Jeff Salyards Geeks Out About the Past

This week I invited epic fantasy/grimdark author Jeff Salyards to GeekMom to tell us what made him geek out while he was writing his Bloodsounder’s Arc series. The third book of the series, Chains of the Heretic, is out today in e-book (it can be found in hardcover on 2/9/2016)!

I’ve been a knucklehead my whole life (or “assclown,” if I’m being less charitable to myself). I still have the occasional outburst or episode now and then, as anyone who knows me even remotely well will testify, but back in my teens and twenties, I did ridiculously dumb things on a routine basis. Sometimes hourly. Continue reading Shoebox Time Machine: Jeff Salyards Geeks Out About the Past

Super Bowl Ads Get Nerdy With Aliens, Scott Baio, and Avocados

The Super Bowl is coming! Like winter, it happens every year and if you’re a football fan, then it’s a big deal. If you’re not a football fan, then it’s really just about eating lots of nachos and watching the commercials. The big game is only a few days away and some of the ads are already leaking, including this fabulously nerdy ad featuring aliens, Scott Baio, and avocados.

Everyone knows that avoacados are delicious and that, yes, we will happily pay extra for guacamole. Avocados from Mexico wants to make sure you don’t forget the guac for this year’s game, so that’s why they’ve released this ad early. There is so much nerdy goodness in here, you’re going to want to watch it more than once. Continue reading Super Bowl Ads Get Nerdy With Aliens, Scott Baio, and Avocados

The Normalization of Domestic Violence in ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’

A few months ago, I wrote about the normalization of domestic violence in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. There were a couple of comments on the article, one of which was to the effect of, “Well, Anakin is a bad guy, what do you expect?”

I don’t typically engage over stuff like that; through experience I’ve come to realize it’s unlikely I’ll change the minds of the close minded. People are entitled to their opinion, I suppose, even if I strenuously disagree.

Let’s play devil’s advocate for moment, however. Let’s leave the others out of it and pretend Anakin’s inherent seed of evil predisposed him to abusive behavior towards his wife. For the record, I think that’s a load of crap, but I posit it here so I may counter it.

I am going to counter it with Carter Hall as he appears in DC’s Legend’s Of Tomorrow.

I’m going to say at the outset that my only previous frame of reference for this character is the Justice League cartoon. I’ve done some research on him for a hero profile over at the Last Chance Salon, but I’m not super familiar with his comic self. What I am writing here is based purely on my observations of the first two episodes of Legends. Clear? Cool.

We the viewers are supposed to believe Carter Hall is a good guy. A hero. He has, for multiple lifetimes, been holding back the forces of darkness. He has given his life over millennia for the afore mentioned cause. He is also a lover, holding fast to Shayera whether they are together or separated. We’re to believe their love is true and enduring and has survived not only death but any possible extenuating circumstances such as: distance, personality changes, and other people.

In the Legends of Tomorrow framework? I’m not buying it. Continue reading The Normalization of Domestic Violence in ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’

Portcullis Peeps: What They Are and How to Find Them

Do you guys remember this post in which  I shared a story about a little boy, a garden trellis, a portcullis, and Google?

Oh, and I also used the dreaded g-word.  Continue reading Portcullis Peeps: What They Are and How to Find Them

BB-8 Symmetry Painting for Kids (or Grownups)

This Star Wars: The Force Awakens painting is so quick and easy, you might end up with a BB-8 art gallery in mere minutes! Plus, it’s so fun that you don’t have to leave the painting just to the kids: Grab a paintbrush and make one yourself.

What You Need

  • Paper
  • Black paint
  • Orange paint
  • Gray or silver paint
  • Paintbrushes

Get Started!

Fold the paper in half lengthwise. Continue reading BB-8 Symmetry Painting for Kids (or Grownups)

Social Identity: Why It’s Not Silly To Be Upset if Pottermore Changed Your House

Tentatively, I clicked Log In. At every response, I questioned whether this was the true response I wanted to give. I wanted my answers to be right. It wasn’t life and death, for sure. Still, it mattered. It mattered immensely to me. I’ve identified as this for years. Somehow, it became part of my sense of self. I watched the little pinwheel spin as the new Pottermore algorithm worked behind the scenes.

Then, the result. I might have held my breath a bit.

As the air rushed out, I saw the conclusion: You are a Ravenclaw.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Continue reading Social Identity: Why It’s Not Silly To Be Upset if Pottermore Changed Your House

Toys That Look Like Every Kid, Even Kids With Different Abilities

It’s been a big month for the toy world and its recognition of disabled kids. As your resident amputee GeekMom writer, I thought I’d share a few of the exciting things that are happening.

I’ll start with my favorite limb different kid, Jordan, of the website Born Just Right, who recently started a campaign to get the American Doll Company to consider making a limb different doll. Jordan was born with two arms but only one hand. She is very active in the limb different community. She found out that the company had added a diabetes care kit to their accessories option after a young fan who had diabetes drummed up over 4 thousand signatures on a petition. Because she loved her American Girls dolls and truly wanted one that looked like her, Jordan decided to start her own petition. That was 21,000 signatures ago.

Her story ran wild on the internet, being featured on the front page of Change.org, and also appeared on several national television broadcasts. Jordan finally got an answer. Continue reading Toys That Look Like Every Kid, Even Kids With Different Abilities

Introduce Kids to the Marvel Cinematic Universe With ‘LEGO Marvel’s Avengers’

We haven’t had much luck getting into LEGO video games at our house, even though we know they’re full of humor and brick-kicking. But the allure of an Avengers game featuring not just the Marvel cinematic universe but also some of our favorite characters (Squirrel Girl! Ms. Marvel!) was too hard to pass up—so my 7-year-old and I settled in to give the new LEGO Marvel’s Avengers a try.

And we’re having a blast.

While I’m mixed on pulling the audio directly from the films, my daughter is beside herself at finally getting to see the Avengers in action without worrying about seeing or hearing anything inappropriate. If you’re looking for a way to introduce the MCU to young kids without tuning into countless episodes of the animated series, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is an experience your whole family can enjoy.

Continue reading Introduce Kids to the Marvel Cinematic Universe With ‘LEGO Marvel’s Avengers’

Repopulate! Keeping Your Gut Healthy On Antibiotics

My house has the Two Week Rule: no doctor unless the illness is getting worse after two weeks. Unfortunately, both my daughter and I passed that two-week mark for completely different bacterial infections, and found ourselves taking antibiotics. I was worried.

Both of us have digestive problems and antibiotics are harsh on that system. So I read some of my nutrition books, chatted with friends and family, and flipped through the web for advice. Here is what I found:

Yes, antibiotics can cause stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and exacerbate existing intestinal problems. Why? Because antibiotics kill bacteria, but they don’t stop with just the infection plaguing you, they wipe out the beneficial bacteria in other parts of your body as well.

Our gut is filled with an effective and diverse population of microorganisms (also called flora) that help us digest our food to get the nutrients we need. You can put all the healthy food in your mouth you want, but unless your body is breaking it down and absorbing the vitamins and minerals, you will become ill and eventually die. Killing off our natural digestive ecosystem with antibiotics is a dangerous side effect, especially for those prone to stomach upset. Continue reading Repopulate! Keeping Your Gut Healthy On Antibiotics

Do You Pinterest?

“No, I prefer Quarterest. I don’t gallonterest because they charge.” – my witty fourteen-year-old.

I could browse through Pinterest for hours, and have. It’s a great place to waste time, to find oodles of inspiration. As a mom and writer, I love Pinterest. And now that I can keep some boards secret, I love it even more. In addition to being the keeper of the family schedule, I also coordinate our teacher gifts, Halloween costumes, and meals. As a writer, I could use a little inspiration to get me back on task, while keeping track of all the ideas that gradually coalesce into a writing project.

I am by no means a Pinterest pro. But other than the usual Food, Fashion, and Fun Boards, here are a few ideas on how to use Pinterest to organize our crazy lives: Continue reading Do You Pinterest?

All The Reasons My Daughter Loves ‘Octonauts’

My daughter Elodie is three and a half. And while, like many girls her age, she’s a big fan of things pink, frilly, and princessy, her heart truly skips a beat when it comes to the Octonauts. It’s her first request in the morning. It’s her favorite pretend time (especially with her little Peso doll). And consequently, it’s currently our biggest bargaining chip when it comes to doing discipline.

Most of the time when I watch a show with the kids, I sort of filter what I think they like. I break it down, talk about the education and developmental aspects, and filter it through my lens. (Well, okay — I will say, they’re totally adorable, and they super appeal to my inner oceanographer nerd).

But today I’m going to give you the reasons the Octonauts is great, not from my analysis, but from hers. Because, really, in the world of blogging, what better than to go directly to the source?

Mommy: Why do you like the Octonauts?

Elodie: Because big and tall!

Mommy: They make you big and tall? How?

Elodie: Because Captain Barnacles! He’s really big and strong.

Mommy: Who’s your favorite character?

Elodie: Dashi and Shellington and all of them. Who’s your favorite?

Mommy: Shellington. I love a Scottish accent.

Elodie: Me, too, Mom.

Mommy: What do you learn on the show?

Elodie: Captain Barnacles strike! I’m strong like Captain Barnacles.

Mommy: Okay, what do they do on the show?

Elodie: They, um, to your mission!

Mommy: Why do you love the show so much?

Elodie: Because there are biscuits. And sprinkles and sparkly ones.

Mommy: Where do they go on the show?

Elodie: To the missions!

Mommy: Where do they live?

Elodie: They live into the Octopod. It’s a squid! They live in a squid. They live in an octopod.

Mommy: What’s special about it?

Elodie: Tweak! She always makes stuff. And GUPS.

Mommy: Anything else you want to tell me about the show?

Elodie: No, actually. Well, Tweak always makes GUPS and wow, Tweak!

There you go, folks. Right from the mind of the foremost authority on the subject. You can catch Octonauts on Netflix.

Natania is a Netflix StreamTeam member.

Top image via Octonauts.com, Disney.

‘Supergirl’–What’s the Problem with Cat Grant?

GeekMom Maya and GeekMom Karen decided to sit down, watch some Supergirl, and figure out how to explain why we expect more out of Cat Grant as a representation of a matured businesswoman.

After an hour and a half of hogging our family televisions and messaging back and forth, we finally finished airing all of our grievances like the Great Festivus of Feminism.

Warning: SPOILERS BELOW

Continue reading ‘Supergirl’–What’s the Problem with Cat Grant?

I Used To Be A Musical Purist (Mostly) But I’m Not Anymore

As someone who stuck with band through college, and even got a little bit of a scholarship for doing something I loved and would have done anyway, I’ve played all kinds of music. I was in concert band and, since George Washington doesn’t have a football team, also in what we called “pep band.”

I put on my black and whites for stage performances and my rugby to play at every men’s and women’s home basketball game for four years (and even a few away games with a notable trip to Orlando for the first round of the NCAA tournament).

Thing was, even when we did a Pops show in concert band, it was a very different sort of music than we played in pep band. The former is as you would likely suspect. The later was mostly pared down, high-energy arrangements of things like Paul Simon’s Call me Al or Europe’s Final Countdown. Two very, very different worlds. Both monstrously enjoyable, but never did the twain meet. Continue reading I Used To Be A Musical Purist (Mostly) But I’m Not Anymore

In Defense of Hypocrisy

I’m a hypocrite. There, I said it. I’ve heard it from my kids before (they’re 14, 11, and 9, and quick to point out the unfairness of different rules for different kids, and I too am included in this), and as I strive to be the perfect parent, always practicing what I preach, it’s a tough criticism to encounter.

But frankly, my kids and I are not equals, our lives are not to be viewed as being on a level playing field, and I refuse to feel guilty for it. In fact, I would argue that being a hypocrite makes me a better parent.
Continue reading In Defense of Hypocrisy

Why Does Manga Mean So Much to My Kid?

Two years ago, we dragged two daughters along to cover Las Cruces Anime Days at New Mexico State University. They enjoyed it, but granted none of us really knew that much about Manga or Anime.

This year, we took one daughter and one over-the-top Manga-loving enthusiast to that same event. My younger daughter still enjoyed herself, but my teen Manga-nut was in Hog Heaven. What a change two years make.

I was curious what created this Manga Monster. I mean, we’re a family of readers and self-admitted geeks, so she has learned much about books, comics, music and more from us. But, Manga? Honestly, I never got into it, beyond my Batmanga collection, a series based on Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, and a fantastic collection of Matrix-inspired shorts, called Animatrix. Continue reading Why Does Manga Mean So Much to My Kid?

Challenger: Thirty Years Later

The year was apparently 1986. I wouldn’t have known. After all, I was only 7 at the time. I was in second grade. The teacher’s name was Mrs. Morrow, or as my mom and I called her, Mrs. Moron. She was super mean. She was the kind of mean that makes you read Miss Nelson is Missing and think that you got Miss Viola Swamp as your full-time teacher.

Second grade was the year I learned to sneak out of class and hide in the hallways. I’d sneak to the library, having told the teacher I was going to the bathroom.

It was also the year I was Big Into Space. All over television, we were seeing things about the amazing teacher, Christa McAuliffe, who was going to travel into space. She was a woman. She was a teacher. She was going to get to RIDE ON A SPACESHIP.

Continue reading Challenger: Thirty Years Later

Buffy Redux: Watching BTVS with my Daughter

I have a confession – I made my daughter cry. Not on purpose – well, not exactly – but with an admitted amount of foreknowledge. You see, I let her watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer from start to finish.

Not in one sitting, but almost. We started in December and finished it only a few days ago. I knew the characters she’d grown attached to, knew their traumatic ends, and yet I did nothing to warn her.

The Scooby Gang at the end, copyright WB Television Network
The Scooby Gang at the end, copyright WB Television Network

She sobbed.

We bonded. Continue reading Buffy Redux: Watching BTVS with my Daughter

Black Canary’s Space-Time Sound Warp

Topping the list of our DC Comic reviews this week is an issue of Black Canary that utterly belongs to Annie Wu, as she draws a wordless battle of sound, a concept that reminded me of Superman singing the world back to life in Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis, though this is more coherent than that meandering book. Still, being in the same room as Morrison is always good.

The stories starring lesser known DC heroes this week are also of high quality, including the soon-to-be-classic Omega Men, couple-crime fighting in Superman: Lois & Clark,  Dick Grayson back to his punny self in Grayson, and Vic reevaluating his life in Cyborg. For a change of pace, check out the Scooby-Doo review at the bottom.

Alas, with change coming to DC comics yet again, Ray and I will likely lose most of these books or have already lost them. (Lois & Clark! Sob!) Read them while they’re here because word is that the new focus will be only on the movie/television characters.

As always, Ray handles the plot recaps, giving me a chance to praise, snark or bury the issue.

Black Canary #7, Brenden Fletcher, writer, Annie Wu, artist.

Ray: 9/10

Corrina: Fantastic.

Ray: What started out as a quirky, entertaining road trip/band comic giving us a new take on Black Canary has quickly morphed into one of the most mind-bending – and arguably important – comics in the DCU as we peel back the layers of the post-Convergence DCU. When we last left off, an epic battle of the bands between Black Canary and Bo Maeve ended with a sonic effect that resulted in Ditto and Kurt Lance disappearing into the ether. They were then found, with Kurt mysteriously 50 years older. This issue answers a lot of the mysteries surrounding Ditto, revealing her as a mysterious sound-based creature, from the same world as the mysterious monsters who have been chasing the band for the entire run. And to make matters worse, a giant beast made from the same material is now bearing down on their location. Annie Wu’s art is absolutely fantastic in this issue, and there’s several interesting segments that give us sneak peeks at possible alternate versions, pasts, and futures of Canary’s life.

Between Bo Maeve returning (and maybe taking a few more steps towards redemption), Amanda Waller still trying to claim Ditto, and the giant sound monster, things don’t slow down for a second in this issue. Eventually, the monster is defeated by two Canary cries, but Dinah winds up unconscious and rescued by our mysterious White Canary – who hints strongly that she may just be Dinah’s mother. Are a lot of the things people didn’t like about the post-Flashpoint Black Canary being subtly retconned away? I hope so – just in time for another reboot? Excellent issue that wraps up most of the main plots in a satisfying fashion while opening the door for some interesting future adventures. Bring it on.

Corrina: Time, space and dimensions are relative in this stand-off that is a showcase for Wu’s art. The final confrontation is wordless and it’s perfect. I didn’t think Wu could top herself but she does and if I ever find her at a Con, I am going to scrape all my savings together for a Black Canary commission. Continue reading Black Canary’s Space-Time Sound Warp

5 Things The Lazy Parenting Method Taught My Kid

I am lazy. Like, Capital L Capital A Capital Z Capital Y Lazy. All my hobbies involve sitting. I read. I knit. Here I am writing while sitting.

The last time I did something physical? I took my kid’s pink daisy Razor scooter down the ramp at the skate park and broke my leg THROUGH my leg. Let me tell you, three months of recovery on the couch reaffirmed my Philosophy of Lazy Parenting.

The Lazy Parenting Method (patent pending) is a method in which you do very little work for your child while they do a lot of work for themselves. See all those moms out there lugging their children’s things? Ohhhh no. That is Too Much Work for Me. The Lazy Parenting Method requires that you look at all the things you do and triage which ones don’t really need to be done by you. This way you save energy because that little succubus that you birthed is just waiting to steal all of it.

Continue reading 5 Things The Lazy Parenting Method Taught My Kid

Custom Made Disease: Geeking Out About Mutants With William C. Dietz

This week, New York Times bestselling science fiction author William C. Dietz joins us to tell us about what made him geek out while writing his Mutant Files trilogy!

Image: Ace/Roc Books
Image: Ace/Roc Books

Geeking Out is a natural part of writing science fiction, and vice versa. So when I wrote Graveyard, which is the third volume in the Mutant Files trilogy, I was in the full-on geek mode.

The book’s main character is a Los Angeles police detective named Cassandra Lee. The story takes place in 2069, a time when the entire world had been divided up into a patchwork quilt of green zones (where the norms live,) and red zones (where the mutants live.)

That’s the McGuffin, and to justify it I knew that it would be necessary to get some science on. The mutants had to come from somewhere, right? Continue reading Custom Made Disease: Geeking Out About Mutants With William C. Dietz