Series #42: The Bold Type Season 1

Hi Gang,

 You all know how I feel about television. That sometimes I really love it but it could always be improved upon. There could be real inclusivity, there could be fewer tropes, there could be more sexual freedom and so forth and so on. Not every show can be perfect, but if there ever was one, The Bold Type would be in the running. 

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 Taking Pretty Little Liar's place in the Tuesday lineup after their series finale. I'm still hung up on it which is why you haven't gotten a post about it yet, but it's in the works I promise. Is the Bold Type, following three professional women working for a magazine named Scarlet as it begins to become a more powerful and feminist voice on the newspaper stands. 

 Meet Kat, Jane, and Sutton as they navigate their positions, and learn about themselves along the way. Kat, who has always had commitment issues and thought of herself as straight, finds that sometimes you just need the right person to make you explore just beyond what you are spoon fed. In charge of the magazine's social media, she is a force to be reckoned with and representation for any female content creator who has dealt with a less than friendly internet troll. 

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 Jane, a writer, yearns to break the magazine of its fashion and lackluster political climate by writing incredible think pieces and feminist viewed interviews. I was incredibly moved by her interview with the Finance agent turned stripper and the eye-opening consequences of not quite getting it. 

 Sutton, an assistant, dreams of being able to do fashion, even though she has absolutely no experience, after hard work and dedication she begins a new position with Oliver, head of the fashion department and I absolutely admire her determination to fight for what she wants. 

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There are three things that I really took away from this series, things that really resonated with me.

One: As a female content creator, the first thing we have to deal with is the rude way people comment. Trolls in particular and some of them are down right vicious, leaking out personal information and pictures in order to either illicit a response or to say they won. When Kat deals with this in "The Women Behind the Clothes" my sense of relief that they actually did this, and they actually got it right. It really was something we needed, especially after the Make Mine Milkshakes Debacle. 

Two: These women are strong, they know what they want, but not necessarily how to get it. They struggle, they're just like us, and some of them actually look like us, and it actually takes into the writing consideration for situations their viewers might actually be living at the present moment. Adina the feminist photographer, suffers a racial verbal assault, and then later is affected by the repeal of DACA, and her visa not being renewed. She is thus sent to Peru, a place she does NOT call home. Dreamers will be going through this if Congress doesn't get their lives together before March 5th, Please contact your congressman and tell them what's what. 

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Three: The tender care in which they handled victims of sexual assault. Everyone deals with the after effects differently. Some are able to shoulder the burden and some aren't. As a rape victim, I wish I had something like Mia, a community or a group for comfort. When everything around you is telling you it's your fault, it can be absolutely devastating. Rape in television is very rarely resolved properly, and most often used as a plot device, The Bold Type defied this and did it so very well. I actually cried during the finale. It was perfect, they are precious and I need this show to have a second season.

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Are you watching The Bold Type? WHY THE HELL NOT? Let's Chat about it on Twitter!

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As Always,

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Novels #16: 5 Book Series' that make you wish Magic was real.

Hi Gang!

 One of my favorite things to read is fantasy novels. I like stand alones and series, but one of the things I enjoy most about fiction in any medium is that it will transport you to a place that's different from your own. It's honestly one of the things that I live for now that the world is in such a constant array of tomfoolery.

I've had this idea floating around in my head ever since Potter Week but I couldn't figure out a good time to post it. I've read quite a few magical book series in my lifetime and I thought I would gather up a few that give me just a little peace when I need it the most.

  Bunnicula by James Howe. I've written about this series before, it has a whole post dedicated to it. So I'll just give you the run down here. Bunnicula is about a rabbit who sucks the juices from vegetables, he lives with a regular family, who have two other pets, a cat named Chester and a dog named Harold. Harold is the author of the novels and the narrator. It's a fun series about family and having the good enough sense to be frightened when you need to be. There isn't necessarily magic in this series, but it has talking animals, which I consider the same thing.

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 Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Since these books have an entire series of posts dedicated to them on top of the countless fandom sites and accounts dedicated to them online, again I'll just sprinkle a little knowledge here. Harry Potter begins his 11th year of life thinking it will be the exact same, even though it is anything but. Turns out Harry Potter, is not only a wizard but a famous one! He gets a rather "persistent" invitation to go to Hogwarts and begin his magical training, and the adventures only increase in grandeur from there. This series is full of magic, heartbreak, love, and friendship, and I highly recommend it. I personally wish I could have a broom, just one spell book, and a wand, of course. 

 Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. When I first read this series, I was a middle schooler. I was absolutely enthralled with the premise of the series. You meet Meggie, a wonderful child who enjoys reading (aka me.) one night while her father was reading one of her favorite novels, the villain steps out of the novel, and she is thrust into an adventure to write the hands of time (see what I did there?) before her real life is changed forever.  I would consider switching places with fictional characters not only magic but something I desperately wish I could do. 

  The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. One thing almost everyone seems to know about me is that I love a good mystery. When I found this series I was overcome with joy. It is both magical and full of mysteries for you to solve, every single one. You meet a girl named Violet who inherited a unique gift from her grandmother. The gift to sense the dead. Not only can she sense the unrested souls of those who have departed before their time, human or animal, but she can also see the echo left behind by the killer. Although, a bit morbid at times, I would love the ability to help souls find their way home. Wouldn't you? 

  The Silver Codex by Emily Kirby. I've actually written about this novel as well before, it was my very first bookish post and I actually have had the pleasure of not only knowing this author but having her guest on Nerdette At Large a couple of times. I'm just going to tell you a few things about the series since I've talked about it before. If this book isn't magic, I don't know what is. You meet Xarissa who just wants to survive high school, but fortunately for her, destiny has other plans. She is chosen to be a scribe by THE muse of horror to collect the crazy things happening in her home town. The story has incredible diversity and inclusivity on top of a bad ass heroine. You'll find magic, witches, wizards, Animorphs and more in this series, which is how I know it belongs on the list. 

 What have you been reading lately? Let's Fangirl about it on Twitter or Goodreads

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Comics #31: Falling in Love with America

Hi Gang,

 I know it's been a while since I talked about comics on here, but have no fear, they're back!!! I recently stopped by my shop and picked up my pull list, 15 issues thick I may add, and I'm ready to start talking about what I'm reading. If you couldn't tell by the title, one of the titles I'm loving right now is America by Rivera and Thompson, about America Chavez, and I'm loving some others as well. 

  I'm actually pretty upset that no one told me how bad ass America is! I love her! I also love that they aren't pushing her to identify, that she's just queer. The inclusivity in this comic is astounding, literally, I've never felt so represented by a comic book as well as they are doing in this series. Can we talk about how lit that sorority is? I never wanted to be part of the "greek life" in college, but if they were like the Leelumultipass Phi Theta Betas I definitely would have been! The style and looks in this book, I'm itching to cosplay like there's no tomorrow! I'm definitely adding America to my cosplay to do list. The time travel is pretty interesting to me, and I love that she just so happens to be visiting women, it is just an empowering read. This is what I wanted A-force to be. I definitely will be checking out the ultimates, so I can learn more about her. * I read Issues 1-5, published by Marvel, done by Rivera and Quinones*

  I was flipping through previews one day and saw Moonstruck on the cover, I knew off the cover that it was going to be added to my pull list. After having the opportunity to interview Miss Ellis about her newest creation, I knew I had to read it, so when I saw it on the shelf, I picked it up without hesitation. Moonstruck is everything I thought it would be and even more. I love fantasy and this comic is chock full of mystical creatures, coffee and queer relationships and I'm all here for it. Just in issue one, I've met a werewolf, centaur, Gorgon, oracles, and a vampire? I didn't see the teeth, but since he went from person to bat that's what I'm assuming. * I read issue 1, published by Image, done by Ellis and Beagle.*

 I have been waiting for this issue of Sabrina for so so long. I even did a video about it! I went into my shop and because of the 4th of july they had a late shipment, I came back two days later, and they were damaged. I finally got my copy and I devoured it! While the wait was long, I was NOT disappointed! This issue focused on Edward coming back to life in Harvey's body, and went into full back story and I am all here for it. You learned exactly what makes her father tick and all I can think about now, is what's going to happen when his sisters find out he's back. * I read issue 7, published by Archie Horror, done by Aguirre-Sacasa and Hack. *  

 Just in case you are new to my blog, I'm Spokhette and I absolutely LOVE murder mysteries. I have a well-watched copy of Clue sitting right next to my television, where I keep my favorite films. So when I walked into my shop and saw Clue sitting on the shelf, I picked it up without a second thought. I was surprised with how much I would like this series. One of my favorite things so far, is the Butler, Upton's ability to break the 4th wall. It even has a little bit of humor! I definitely didn't expect more than one murder, now I'm hooked, can't wait to read the next two issues! * I read issue 1, published by IDW, done by Allor and Daniel.* 

What are you reading right now? Let's Fangirl about it on Twitter!

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As Always, 

A Chat With: Grace Ellis

Hi Gang!

 I'm so excited to be bringing you yet another chat. More and more creators are taking the time to sit down with me and every time I am pleased and honored. Content Creators, Comic writers and more are sitting down with me for an interview, little old awkward me. Is this what it means to become an adult?  Today, we are talking with the amazing Grace Ellis, creator of Moonstruck, which comes out on the 19th. 

- Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Grace Ellis, I live in Columbus, Ohio, and I am a comic book creator and writer, most notably the book Lumberjanes and most recently the book Moonstruck, out in July from Image Comics. I went to Ohio State and majored in journalism and theater with a minor in women's studies, no surprises there. Now I just fill my days with writing and petting my cat, who sometimes very sweet but always very beautiful.

- Walk us through a typical day. 

I usually wake up pretty early and start writing or answering emails while I eat breakfast. I have a rule that I have to have a three-dimensional interaction with a human outside of my apartment before noon, so at some point I'll leave and work from a coffee shop or the library or the park or whatever place seems to have the right vibe for what I'm working on. I'll write as much as I can until 5 or 6 or so, and then I stop and hang out with my girlfriend for the rest of the night. Sometimes I'll keep working, depending on how close I am to a deadline or how much momentum I have, but I try to be very good about stopping with enough time to go out and experience the world a little every day, ya know?

- What are some of your favorite comics to read? 

To be honest, I don't read a ton of comics, and I'm a really bad trader-waiter. Lemme look at my bookshelf: Saga, Sex Criminals, we've got some Calvin and Hobbes, some Emily Carroll, some Alison Bechdel. I've been trying to read more superheroes, so I've been reading America Chavez, which I love. I love comics, but reading them feels like work a lot of the time, so when I read for fun, it's mostly plays. Lynn Nottage, Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel lately. There are some really spectacular plays out there. I think a lot of comics folks could stand to read some of them, to be honest.

- What inspired you to make Moonstruck? 

Moonstruck came about because Laurenn McCubbin, who is the Moonstruck editor and a teacher at the Columbus Academy for Art and Design, approached me and asked if I wanted to participate in an anthology called Spitball, which pairs professional comics writers with student illustrators. Of course I agreed, and I wrote the original five-page Moonstruck story for that class. And thank GOD I was paired up with Shae Beagle, who is an incredible artist and, mark my words, is about to change the entire industry. Their art is unbelievable, I'm very lucky.

- Who was your childhood role model?

That's a great question. No one is really springing to mind except for Mia Hamm, which is hilarious. But truly, it probably WAS Mia Hamm, because I was super duper into soccer, and she really did make me feel like I could do anything if I worked hard enough for it.

- Tell us about your favorite part of Lumberjanes?

Hmm. I think probably my favorite part of Lumberjanes is the team dynamic. I really labored over designing those main characters to make sure that the team would be well-rounded and that everyone would contribute differently but also there was room for tension within the team. So when it all came together on the page and it actually worked, it made me really happy and made all of that work seem worthwhile.

- Moonstruck has Werewolves, What other supernatural creatures can we expect to meet? 

Oh man, all kinds! There's everything from classic mythology to creatures we just completely made up. There's the college fraternity of fairies, there's the cafe down the street that's staffed entirely by clairvoyant witches, there's the punk band that lives across the hall with a Gorgon for a lead singer. It's a wild time.

- What did you want to be when you were younger?

I always wanted to be an artist or a writer, but I was too easily discouraged to stick to drawing, and now I'm a writer! Which is not less discouraging, as it turns out, but I'm naturally better at it, so it's easier for me to stick with. 

- Walk us through your creative process

THAT'S a tough one. I am constantly brainstorming new projects, even when I'm reasonably too busy to take on anything new. When I have a good idea, I jot it down in a note my phone, and it usually sits there for a while, and I occasionally look at it and say to myself "wow, what a great idea," and then I let it stay there because as long as it's in my head, the idea stays absolutely perfect. Finally, I'll have both the time and the will to start, and it all falls apart, and I realize I've made a horrifically complicated puzzle for myself to solve, so I start hacking away at it. Sometimes I write myself an outline or a treatment. Once I know where the story is going, I don't usually do too much rewriting except to iron out the finer details or to make it more cohesive.

- Do you have a favorite fandom? Supernatural, Harry Potter, so forth and so on?

I've never been all that into fandom, to be honest! Not like I don't like things, just like, I've never really been a part of a community of people who like things as a group, ya know? That being said, I'm a big proponent of the High School Musical franchise. I've been getting back into the genius that is The Room lately. Does the Container Store have a fandom? Maybe Dolly Parton? Or Barbra Streisand! Oh god, there are so many good things in the world, I could burst.

- If your house was on fire, but your family was safe, what material object would you save? 

My laptop, for sure. Not because there's anything vital on it that isn't backed up on the cloud, but because it sounds like a real pain in the butt to have to get a new one. Oh, my cat! I was assuming the cat counted as part of my family, but if she doesn't: Definitely the cat.

( As a mother of Two cats, OF COURSE they count. )

 You can find more about Grace on Twitter, and there's a Twitter for Moonstruck too!! Don't forget that Moonstruck is available in comic shops on the 19th. 

  As Always,

Series #39: Riverdale Season 1

 Hi Gang!

  I was trying really hard to keep up with Riverdale while it was on tv, but somehow I fell behind, right around the end, I wound up having to watch the last four episodes on Netflix, when they released the first season for streaming.  I've written before about how much I've liked Riverdale and have even vlogged about it here and here. Finishing the season was a little crazy for me. I had a lot of feelings, that I wasn't expecting. 

 I have a Scream poster hanging above my television in my living room. It is one of my favorite scary movie franchises. I've seen it more times then I can count. Despite all of that, it took me prectically 3/4ths of the series to realize that Jugheads Dad was Billy Loomis! He aged well. 

 When the show first started, I was a little annoyed that Jughead wasn't going to be asexual. However, knowing that the character would be straight, I eventually fell in love with Betty and Jughead's relationship. I also love that they kept Betty's ability to work on cars intact. They are just super adorable with each other, and it is something I thoroughly enjoyed. 

 The mystery of what happened to Jason Blossom, kept me on the edge of my seat all the way until the finale, and afterwards. Although we know who dunnit, Mysteries are twofold. You need to know who did it, and you need to know why they did it. The finale didn't give that to us, which I was rather disappointed with, however, there probably wouldn't be a second season if they had wrapped it up that neatly, so I guess I'll keep quiet so I can see some more. I hope they keep the series mystery adjacent. There really isn't enough on television right now. 

 I've watched Weird Archie Mysteries and have read original Archie Comics, and I personally like Riverdale's portrayal of Veronica so much more. She's on a journey of redemption even though none of their problems are her fault. When she apologizes and attempts to help Ethel through her issues, caused by Hiram, my heart was full. I was also very impressed with the way she and the other girls handled the slutshaming going around their school. 

 I also feel like Josie and the Pussycats were criminally underused. They alluded to a relationship between Archie and Valerie, and then she disappeared for like 6 episodes. Um, no, I'm going to need way more in season 2, I need them to have unique storylines and I need them to stop being background characters, especially when it seems to have such a musical undercurrent.  

Can we just take a second to discuss just how fucked up both familiies are? The Blossoms and The Coopers? Everything about them just made my skin crawl. Implied Twincest, Polly's a cousin of Jasons and now they're having a child. The fact that their father kept it a secret for so long. The lack of agency afforded to Polly by both families. I feel like the only thing done right, was Cheryl burning down the house. 

  Did you finish the season? Tell me what you thought. Let's Fangirl about it on Twitter!

As Always, 

Novels #14: Potterweek #3: Favorite Moments

Hi Gang!

  Welcome to the end of Potterweek, I'm so sad that it is over, but very proud that I was able to pull off such good content in such a short amount of time. My Magical Items Wishlist has to be my favorite youtube video thus far, and  I'm very excited about that! To culminate what has been such a special week to a lot of Potter fans all over the world, I thought I would talk about my favorite moments from the novels. Make sure to keep the conversation going on Twitter and in the comments what are some of your favorite moments?

  When Harry discovers that Sirius is innocent and begins to trust him. Sirius is one of my favorite characters in the series. He was the parental figure that Harry never had, and he was also a link to learning more about his father from someone who actually liked James. He must have learned so much from his father's friends, Remus and Sirius. With the life that Harry Had he definitely needed that positive reinforcement. 

  When Harry kisses Cho for the first time. I was never a fan of them together, but my favorite part about this moment comes after when Harry and Ron are talking about the reason that Cho had cried all over him. When Hermione explains all of the feelings Cho could be accessing at the same time, and Ron replies by saying: "You can't feel all of that at once, you'd explode, and Hermione snaps back with the greatest comeback of all time. " Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon, doesn't mean we all do." That quote still makes me smile when my depression gets the best of me. It's ok to feel the way I feel, eventually it will get better, and I should be pleased with my range of emotion.

 When Fred asks Angelina to the Yule ball. Angelina has always been a favorite of mine. She's one of 5 brown people at Hogwarts, (Yay representation) and she's a force to be reckoned with. Quidditch player turned Quidditch Captain, with determination abound, you'd better think twice before ticking her off. I loved everything about her, including her shrugging off Fred with a sure, and then going all giddy after she'd agreed. (movie version): I also quite like a couple minutes after that when Snape pulls up his sleeves to push Ron and Harry's heads down. 

  Harry Defeating the Sphinx in Goblet of Fire. Sphinx's have always been one of my favorite mythical creatures, when J.K. Rowling included it in the beginning of the maze, I was so pleased, I probably read that passage about 8 times, and highlighted all of it. (That copy of the novel is gone, along with the rest of my books, so I can't show you.)  Although the original riddle is much better than Rowlings, I thoroughly enjoyed Harry going er, er, before he realized it was the correct answer. 

    When Harry spoke to the snake in the zoo and it spoke back. I have long wished I could talk to animals, long before Harry Potter was a thing. To have the ability to hear their thoughts, their dreams, their aspirations. I always thought it would be fascinating, our first look at Harry's Parseltongue ability, is a very memorable experience for me, especially when the snake replies, "Brazil, here I come. Thanksss Amigo."

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  In my personal opinion, the best part of Sorcerer's Stone that they left out of the film. When Hermione and the gang, have to siphon through different sized bottles of possible poison to move through the chamber containing the stone. I just generally love riddles, and this one was a doozy. 

 My all time favorite moment has to be Umbridge being carried off into the woods. Now I am all for giving people a second chance, but I've never met someone who made pink look so evil. To be that full of vile, and hate, and pretend to cloak yourself as something else, is something I cannot overlook. If you're evil, be evil, damn it, own up to what you are. You're a grown woman, what are you hiding from? Lately, I have found that my pushoverness does not extend to fictional characters that make my skin crawl. I am happy, ecstatic in fact that she was carried away, and never seen again, and I hope that making her write lines with a quill that scratches it into your skin until you bleed, is the least of the things that happened to her. I'm not at all sorry for her. 

 An honorable mention, has to be when Umbridge is "observing" McGonagall's class, and interrupting her in every turn, and her response to that insufferable "hem hem" is " May I offer you a cough drop Delores?" McGonagall was always so bad ass. 

  What are some of your favorite moments? Let's fangirl together on Twitter and Instagram!

As Always,

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