Rick Grimes vs. Walter White Epic Rap Battle

Enjoy a rap battle between Breaking Bad‘s Walter White and Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes.

Okay, really, it’s comedians Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD, creators of the digital series Epic Rap Battles (or ERB for short). Their YouTube channel produces viral hits on a regular basis, and yesterday’s upload is no exception with already hitting 1.4 million views in less than 24 hours. Being that I’m a big fan of both Breaking Bad and Walking Dead, I thought it was great! I hope you do too.

Redneck Chic: The Daryl Infinity Scarf

walking dead scarf
The Daryl Infinity Scarf, inspired by Daryl Dixon’s poncho pattern. Image: Her Universe.

Her Universe and Ashley Eckstein’s newest addition to her The Walking Dead collection celebrates everyone’s favorite poncho-wearing, cross-bow wielding, zombie-killin’ bad boy…in fashionable way.

The Daryl Infinity Scarf, patterned after Daryl Dixon’s now infamous poncho pattern, joins tees, dresses, leggings, and hoodies based on the AMC hit series.

According to the site’s description, “Ponchos are trending, thanks to Daryl, but we realized that not everyone wants to rock a poncho. So we decided to take the pattern of Daryl’s admired accessory and turn it into an infinity scarf.”

The scarf’s bold colors and Native American-inspired pattern makes this particularly pleasing to Southwesterners like me, but The Walking Dead is such a worldwide phenomenon, I think this look will go over anywhere.

My only wish is that The Walking Dead title logo was a little less prominent in the pattern, because is crosses the line a little from fashion to advertising. Plus, it’s always fun to run across other followers of the show who would get the Daryl reference without it being written in front of them. Will this stop me from purchasing this item? No it won’t, and it certainly won’t stop me from recommending it to other fans.

Once more, Eckstein and her team of creative minds have knocked it out of the fandom ballpark.

The Daryl Infinity Scarf sells for $25 from Her Universe.

Wrapped up in Fandom: Three other recommended scarf patterns all those “in on the joke” will admire.

scarves
Images (clockwise from top left) from Think Geek, Entertainment Earth and Hobbit Shop.

• The Seventh Doctor’s Scarf: The Fourth Doctor’s Scarf may be the most well-known fashion accessory of all the Classic Who era (I even own one myself), but The Seventh Doctor’s scarf found on Entertainment Earth and the BBC Shop is also a fashionable standout. The scarf’s satin-like red-and-gold paisley pattern could easily pass for an everyday accessory, but will draw the occasional notice from fellow fans asking, “Isn’t that Sylvester McCoy’s scarf?”

Also for Whovians, Her Universe has a Van Gogh Infinity Scarf based on the fan favorite Vincent Van Gogh Exploding TARDIS image from the Eleventh Doctor’s reign.

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug map scarf: This scarf, available via The Hobbit Shop, prominently features the map of Middle Earth’s Desolation of Smaug as illustrated by J.R.R. Tolkein on a tea-colored background. However, like the Daryl scarf, it features the movie title logo in big letters, which detracts from the design. A few tucks in the right areas could remedy this allowing the beautiful map image to be displayed more prominently.

• The Yummy You Hello Kitty Critter scarf. Crochet artist Twinkie Chan offers this Hello Kitty Character scarf on Think Geek with images of Hello Kitty and her fellow flock of cutedom, such as Tuxedo Sam, My Melody, Chi Chai Monchan, and others. This is one that will span the generations for kids and adults who love Japan’s favorite feline export.

Florida Xtravaganza—This Weekend in Orlando, Florida

Image: Florida Xtravaganza
Image: Florida Xtravaganza

Florida Xtravaganza Orlando will be returning for its fourth year this weekend at the Doubletree Resort by Seaworld Orlando. I’ve heard this is an awesome event from some of my friends so I’m looking forward to my first experience.

This year’s celebrity guests include The Walking Dead actor Theodus Crane; Barry Bostwick, most notably from The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Jaleel White from Family Matters (Steve Urkel); and, celebrating 30 years of A Christmas Story, actors Scott Schwatrtz (Flick), Ian Petrella (Randy), Zach Ward (Scut Farkas), and Yano Anaya (Grover Dill).

Ever since Vulcan: Away Mission Orlando, I’ve had a tradition of getting my picture taken in costume with actors my mom loves and I’m hoping to continue that tradition with the cast of A Christmas Story this year. Of course, I’m also looking forward to the tables of comics and other exhibitors in attendance. You never know what you will find when it comes to these events!

If you plan on attending, make sure you stop at the 501st Legion table and say hi, or donate a dollar to charity for the chance to shoot a stormtrooper with Nerf guns. It’s going to be a blast!

Tickets to the show are $20 at the door and children 10 and younger get in free with a paying adult. For more information, check out their website or connect with them on Facebook.

ComiXology: The Changing Face of Comic Book Readers

Comixology-feature
Screenshot of the ComiXology app. Take note of the “New to Comics?” section.

comixology-300x277Yesterday I peeked behind the digital curtain at ComiXology, the cloud-based multiplatform digital comics reader, as co-founder and CEO David Steinberger talked through what’s new for ComiXology, what’s been working well according to a recent survey of over 16,000 readers.

ComiXology just passed the milestone of 200,000,000 downloaded comics. A good handful of those have been downloads in our household. As someone relatively new to comics, ComiXology is my favorite way to read them. I like the shopping experience of having comic book discovery at my fingertips, and the guided view technology used make comics so beautifully cinematic. I’ve been pleased as well with their nice selection of independent and kids’ comics.

It turns out, I’m part of the changing face of comic book readership. In their survey of readers, they found that the core customer of ComiXology is who you might expect:

  • Male
  • Age 27-36
  • Has been reading print comics for a long time

But a new customer is emerging:

  • Female
  • Age 17-26
  • Newer to comics, with many reading comics for the first time digitally

Of buyers new to ComiXology in the last three months, 20% are women. That’s up from less than 5% when they started the app, and it’s a number that Steinberger says is changing rapidly. Comic book publishers, take note. The survey also found that of the readers who were reading their first comic digitally, many went on to buy comics in print. Again, comic book publishers, take note.

I suspect that the ComiXology Submit program is helping, and will continue to help, cultivate new comics readers. In fact, since its launch, Submit has become a top 20 publisher by revenue. Content creators can deliver their independent comics to ComiXology, and if it’s professionally-created, it will likely get approved. (Unless you use Comic Sans. Be prepared to face certain rejection.) Browsing through the independent comics, you’ll see a huge range of voices and styles represented, including many underrepresented voices in mainstream comics. It’s great for creators. Steinberger said he sees much more risk-taking here than in mainstream comics. And these creators can go from having their comics in a few shops to having an international marketplace to find their readers.

comixology-guidedview
Selections from the Guided View Native content, and new offerings from DC.

Here’s a handful of things I learned about ComiXology:

*  The average ComiXology customer spends about $100/year. A quarter of readers spend over $400/year. A single reader has spent $63,000 and counting. Is it you?

*  There’s a line of comics that are Guided View Native (GVN). These comics take deeper advantage of the deeper platform with cool effects on lighting, focus, etc. Motorcycle Samurai is a good example worth checking out.

*  Your local comic book shop can have a digital storefront that allows you to still give your business to the small guy while buying digitally. Stores can even run deals and keep pull lists for their customers.

COMICS_READER_SURVEY_INFORGRAPHIC
Infographic from ComiXology’s reader survey

Naturally, ComiXology also has some launches and deals to align with New York Comic Con, too:

*  There’s a new Android Holo release with a refreshed design. HD content will now be offered for the first time on Android.
*  Apps have a new Fit to Width function that helps the reading of portrait pages in landscape view.
*  DC graphic novels and collections are now available.
*  If you’ve ever thought about reading The Walking Dead, now’s the time. Issues #1-114 are on sale for $99.99, or $0.99 each.
*  Ape Entertainment is coming to ComiXology, with titles like Sesame Street, Kung Fu Panda, and game-based comics like Cut the Rope. Hurrah for more kids’ comics!

If you’re at New York Comic Con this weekend, definitely check out all that’s new with ComiXology. And have a look around and all of the different types of comic book readers you see.

Breaking Geek: Five Steps to Improve Your Relationship with Your DVR

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Walt and Jessie take a moment on Breaking Bad Photo: AMCTV.com

Last night my husband and I—parents of a two-year-old daughter—finally caught up on Breaking Bad.  Shamefully, we were a full season behind on this show.  Those saved episodes on our DVR kept getting skipped over, often for subpar viewing. It left me wondering just what the heck happened to us? We used to sit down on a Sunday night with Dexter, Breaking Bad, and end on a nightcap of Walking Dead. The absence of quality TV might be explained by our new roles as parents, which left little brain space or down time to enjoy more adult-themed one-hour dramas. But that felt like an excuse. Wanting this to change, we came up with a five-step plan to help us get back to the good stuff on our DVR.

Have a serious talk about what has been sitting on your DVR for a year.

These talks are the hardest to have. Forgive each other for letting some of the best shows on television languish. The first step is realizing you have a problem. Take things at a slow zombie pace and work your way back to the hour long dramas again. You owe it to each other. You owe it to your Facebook friends and your geek cred.

Sooner or later spoilers will catch up with you.

There are just so many months you can do the social media hot lava dance, stepping carefully to avoid spoilers. Get back in the game and get back to sharing what you think about your shows . You know your thoughts and insights are better than that other guy’s. Your Twitter account misses you.

Stop watching 30-minute comedies and mindless reruns.

Sure Seinfeld was an amazing show, but come on, it went off the air more than a decade ago. It is too easy to turn to these old familiar shows to de-stress after a high impact parenting day. The predictable plots and quick wrap-ups  provide a sort of mind-numbing comfort, but they are not as good as the blue stuff and you know it.

Step away from bad reality shows.

Like Jessie on Breaking Bad, a telltale heart can only take the guilt for so long. Give in to the shame of letting your DVR get overrun with housewives and other drivel. Tell your spouse, tell your friends, stage an intervention, and scrub that hard drive clean. Game of Thrones is not too far off on the horizon.

Give in to the bloodlust feelings; Elmo will forgive you.

Most of the popular toddler programming is sweet, educational, fun, and light.  There is a breaking point for adults who watch, though. After so many days of Sesame Street, a sort of primal hunger arises, leaving you looking for some good old fashioned brain eating zombie fun. It is okay to give into the bloodlust; balance is important and your childless friends will thank you for it.

Just remember: No matter how long it has been, it is never too late to break geek. Take the steps, make up with your DVR, join the horde. We understand and forgive you and will be here waiting when you knock again.

GeekMom Plays: The Walking Dead 400 Days Episode 2

Welcome back for episode 2 in our GeekMom Plays: The Walking Dead 400 Days series!

This week, Tim and I play through Shel’s story. Almost a year into the zombie apocalypse, Shel’s story reminds me more of  season 1 of the game. This is because of the way the game puts me into “mama-bear mode” protecting a child, and because of the hard choices that have to be made for the other characters.

There is quite a bit more action in this week’s episode, and not quite as much conversation. We hope you enjoy!

If you want to play along with us, The Walking Dead: 400 Days can be purchased for $5 (you will also need at least one episode of season 1).

If you missed last week, there is a playlist on the GeekMom YouTube channel with both episodes. See you next Tuesday!

GeekMom Plays: The Walking Dead 400 Days Episode 1

Welcome to the first episode of GeekMom Plays! In this show, my husband (Tim) and I play the new Downloadable Content (DLC) for The Walking Dead video game: Walking Dead: 400 Days.

The Walking Dead: 400 Days is a new episode in The Walking Dead video game. It is a single episode, as opposed to the first season of the game which was five episodes. 400 Days bridges the stories between season one and season two which is rumored to be released by the end of the year.

If you are unfamiliar with The Walking Dead video game, it is based on the comic book universe created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. Season one of the game was released late last year to a very surprised audience. This is not your typical zombie blood-fest game. Instead, it’s a series of puzzles, conversation choices, and quick time battle events.

The way the game is designed makes players care about the characters. The writing is so abrasively compelling that sometimes you want characters to be a zombie meal, and sometimes you make the choices that make a particular character a snack for the undead. The game isn’t just about battling zombies. It has small group politics and deep characters with history. Knowing the history and choices the Non-Player Characters (NPCs) have made, makes it very difficult to make the choice if computer generated people will live or die.

Psychologists would have a field day watching people play this game.

If you want to know more about the game, watch the series Spoiler Warning has on YouTube.

My husband and I frequently watch Hank and Katherine play Wii games, more for the marital banter than Mario. We also really enjoy Spoiler Warning. The diverse group of people have surprisingly deep conversations about the PC games they play. Tim and I were inspired by these shows. We hope that our gaming experiences inspire you to play games with your significant other like these shows inspired us.

You can find new episodes of GeekMom Plays: Walking Dead: 400 Days every Tuesday for the next couple of months. If you have other games you would like GeekMom to play, leave a comment below!

T-Shirt Halloween Costume Ideas

Clark Kent is a great inexpensive costume option for men, women and children!  Image: Dakster Sullivan
Clark Kent is a great inexpensive costume option for men, women, and children! Image: Dakster Sullivan

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and not because of the candy. I love to dress up in costumes. And even though I have two professional grade costumes in my arsenal of attire, I don’t wear either one of them on All Hallows Eve. Instead, I like to find cheap and creative ways to dress up as whatever floats my boat at the time.

This year, I’m going to be taking advantage of the t-shirt costumes out there and sporting a character from my childhood.

For those of you who love to dress up, but are on a budget, here are some great t-shirt costume ideas for you to consider.

For the Ladies

Phoenix Costume T-Shirt   Image: ThinkGeek
Phoenix Costume T-Shirt Image: ThinkGeek

Nothing says hot like the Phoenix power. With this t-shirt from ThinkGeek and some leggings, you are all set to take on the universe. Just try not to go all Dark Phoenix on us will you?

For the DC Comic fans, Batgirl and Wonder Woman are both great looking options. Just add some black or red leggings and you are all set to go kick some tail. For Batgirl’s look, you can add an inexpensive black mask to complete the costume.

If you prefer the sci-fi hotness of Star Trek over superheroes, check out this Star Trek uniform dress. To complete the look all you need are some black boots and you are all set to go.

You could also wield a sword and command the power of Greyskull as She-Ra

For the Guys

Walking Dead Costume Shirt   Image: Amazon
Walking Dead Costume Shirt Image: Amazon

How about going as a Ghostbuster? With some khaki pants and this costume t-shirt, you are all set to chase after some ghosts. If you want to spend some extra money, you can grab this Ghostbusters Proton Pack backpack to complete the look. Think of it as a wearable candy sack.

If you prefer a little more Star Wars in your attire, you could always grab this Stormtrooper costume t-shirtWith the right helmet, you might even fool a rebel.

Then again, who could say no to being “expendable”? This Star Trek shirt pretty much says it all and the best part? No extra accessories required. Just put on the shirt, grab your candy bag and head out the door.

For the superhero fans, check out the Spider-Man costume t-shirt. Grab some jeans and a Spider-Man mask and you are all set to be the famous webslinger.

While I don’t understand the whole Zombie thing, I’m sure those of you that do would appreciate this Walking Dead costume t-shirt. Just make sure you dead up your face before you head out for the night.

For the Kids

Batman Raincoat  Image: ThinkGeek
Batman Raincoat Image: ThinkGeek

Not sure about where you live, but here in Florida, mother nature likes to throw little rain storms in when they are least wanted. If your little one wants to be a superhero and you want them to stay dry, check out this awesome little raincoat. They get to have fun of dressing up as a superhero and you get some piece of mind that it’s okay for their costume to get wet.

Captain America is another easy option. All you need is a Captain America shirt, a cool shield, and a mask and you can let them loose.

My son loves anything that has a cape on the back, and that’s why this Superman t-shirt makes the list. No matter what they wear with it, they will look cool. Why? Because it has a cape. Duh!

For the toddlers who just want to hang out on the high seas all day, this pirate costume shirt comes in various colors to fit any pirates favorite color.

For a cute take on Kermit the frog, pick up a plain green t-shirt, some green face paint and a Kermit the Frog beanie hat for a cute variation on the famous Muppet. If your little one is not a big Muppet fan, check out these Angry Birds hats instead. With a plain color t-shirt and some jeans, they are all set to go after those piggies. This is also a neat idea for parents.

Unisex and All Ages Costumes

Harry Potter is fun for everyone which is why everyone can wear this Tri-wizard Tournament jersey. If the ladies want a little more form fitting shirt, check out this one. To complete the look, get yourself a wand and call it a night. The kids might need a smaller size so try this one out.

Superman can be handsome, sexy, or cute. Pick up a Superman logo shirt, a pair of black rimmed glasses, and a white button up shirt and you to can be Clark Kent/Superman!

The best part about t-shirt costumes is that you can wear them year round! That means you are definitely getting your money’s worth out of them.

Do you have an inexpensive costume idea? Share them with us in the comments. We’d love to hear them.