Dakster903

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Dear Superman…I Love You. Signed – Lois Lane

In 2010, Taylor Swift released her “Sparks Fly” album. Along with the album’s regular release, Target received a special 2 disk edition that included 6 never before released tracks. One of the songs on that disk is called “Superman”. Now unlike “Innocent” where the connection to Superman might not be obvious to everyone, this one is spelled out as clear as day. With some loving guidance from your’s truly, my husband put together a music video showcasing Superman and one of DC Comics leading ladies, Lois Lane.

Enjoy!

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A Trip Into Journeys…

The other day I went to Journeys by myself and I asked the sales clerk for a size 11 in “The Flash” style converse sneakers. When she brought me the shoes, I was surprised to see that she brought me a men’s size. Since I know the shoes come in women’s sizes I pointed out they were the wrong size and she quickly fixed the mistake. I could tell by her body language that she didn’t realize I wanted them for myself.

I started to wonder what made her assume I was buying them for a guy. If I had asked for Superman, would she have done the same thing? How about Batman? This started to get me thinking…female comic book fans get the short end of the stick.

In my local comic book shop or mall, I find it very easy to find my favorite characters on shirts. The only problem is 99% of the shirts are for guys. The shirts for the women say something lame like “I only date superheros.” or “My boyfriend is a superhero.” How about a shirt for the guys that says “My wife can kick Supergirl’s tail.” or “My girlfriend is a real Wonder Woman!” Umm…

I would like to see some equality for the female comic book fans. With a recent article I wrote, I got a lot of flak on Facebook for being a “newbie” and worse yet, a “woman newbie”. Some of the veterans were nice and welcomed me with open arms, but others were just down right mean. After I left my computer feeling beaten by a bunch of guys that I will never see or meet, I realized a few things…

I can read just as well (if not better) than some of the guys I know. Why would I not find the same story arc and artistry in comics just as interesting as them?*Spoiler alert*Just as the men like the looks of Wonder Woman and Power Girl, the women find Batman and Superman just as equally physically appealing (except for the Bat nipples…that was too far Schumacher.). Their looks and personality draw us in and give us the desire and need to learn more about them.

Comic books are great! They are just short enough to take up my breaks at work and let me relax. They have also given me something to relate to with my little brother (by little I mean he’s 2 years younger and is 6ft 1in). I really enjoy our quality comic book talk and trips to the comic book store. When I have a question about something I have seen in the cartoons, he hands me a graphic novel to understand more. Recently I started to read the DC New 52 and now I have gotten him into reading it. Now we both get excited every time a new one is released. I love debating the movies with my husband and brother. I tell my husband about what is going on in the comics and he gives his “veterans” opinion on it. Eventually I’ll see him sneaking on my iPad to take a look at the ComicsX app to see what I was talking about.

Although I am still a newbie to the comic book world, so was every veteran comic reader at some point. So to all of you grumpy veterans who attacked me online and trolled my articles, I say this…believe it or not the comic book world needs the newbies (male or female) just as much as it needs you to grow. We are here to stay, so get over it and move on.

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Be A Super Hero!

Founded in March of 2000,  St. Baldrick’s foundation is the largest volunteer driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research. Since they’ve started, over 216,00 volunteers , including 21,000 women, have shaved their heads to help raise over $126 million for childhood cancer research. Now they have teamed up with the super heroes at Marvel to help in the fight to conquer kid’s cancer.

From the original press release:

“We are so grateful for Marvel’s support and creation of the “Super Heroes Save Lives” t-shirt,” says Kathleen Ruddy, executive director of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “Marvel fans everywhere will be proud to see five of their beloved characters joining forces with St. Baldrick’s to help raise awareness and fund the most promising childhood cancer research to cure every child, so that they not only survive, but thrive. Every one of us can be a Super Hero in the fight against childhood cancer!”

“When we first heard about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation we knew we wanted to get involved and be a part of this incredible movement to help Conquer Kids’ Cancer,” shares Chris Fondacaro, executive vice president of Marvel Creative Services. “When we paired the Foundation’s existing slogan with our iconic Super Heroes the design came to life. We are proud to be a part of this incredible effort to help fund lifesaving childhood cancer research.”

The shirt features the legendary characters Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk. Proceeds from each shirt go to help fund research to “find cures and give survivors long and healthy lives.” The shirts are $19.99 each and come in sizes ranging from Youth small to Male 2X-Large. For more information visit their website.

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Megacon 2012 – DC Comics and Me

Recently I had the opportunity to go to Megacon 2012. I was super excited to see that DC Comics was going to be there and made a point to sniff them out.

*I now interrupt this article to give you a special insight…I am a newbie to this whole comic book thing. By newbie I mean I know that DC Comics owns Superman and Batman. I know that Marvel owns the X-Men and the Avengers. Through my husband, I know that George Perez has drawn Superman and my brother has taught me that Geoff Johns is a big name in the Lantern world. I don’t know who the other publishers or the artists are.  My main focus is learning the story and the characters. I now return you to the main article.*

While walking around Megacon on Friday, I had the first highlight of my weekend. I got the opportunity to talk to Bill McCray, a gentleman working George Perez’s booth. I started out just asking him some questions about what kind of work George might be doing on the New 52. He gave me some interesting insight as to how some of the artists have been mixed around into different jobs and some who use to ink the characters are now doing the concept sketches.

He was excited to hear that I was a newbie and just trying to learn about the different aspects of how the comics come to my digital screen. I shared with him my story and an article that I wrote that DC Tweeted and put up on their Facebook a few weeks ago. He was really interested and also disappointed at some of the fan boys reactions to it because comics are for everyone.

JL Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of DC Comics

Later that day I went to my first ever Megacon panel “DC Comics: All Access”. Talk about being a fish out of water. I looked around and in a room of over 100, I saw very few women (and some looked like they had been dragged). DC Comics Co-Publisher, Dan Didio, was the man in charge of the panel. One of the first questions he asked the crowd was how many people did not like the New 52. A flood of hands instantly went up.

After they all had their moment to express their concerns, he asked how many people liked the New 52. I raised my hand high and he called on me to give my reasons why I liked it. I explained that “I’m a newbie to comics and I really enjoyed having that fresh start.” He replied back to the crowd that “that is why we did it!” and he expressed his excitement about my new found love of the comics.

During the panel I learned a few things:

1. The DC comics and DC animated are separate groups. Dan Didio admitted that until an animated feature comes out, he knows about as much as we do.

2. Characters change with the times. A good example is Power Girl. Recently with the New 52 World’s Finest, Power Girl’s look was dramatically changed. Changes like this are made to keep the character current, modern, and fresh.

3. Make a really big note to visit a comic book shop on May 5th (aka Free Comic Book Day). DC Comics is releasing a new comic specifically for it.

After the panel was over I had the chance to talk to Dan a little about the New 52 and what I was enjoying about the comics I reading. The one on one conversation with him was the second highlight of my weekend.

Dan Didio and Dakster

On Saturday I went back to see the Bill at George Perez’s booth while in my 501st costume. I was excited to hear this time that he had shared my story with a friend of his who was also disappointed at the fan boy’s reactions to me. In his friend’s opinion it’s the fan boy’s harsh reactions towards the female fans that keep more women from reading. I am happy to say that I met enough friendly fan boys at Megacon to say “whatever” to the rest from now on.

On Sunday I finally had the chance to look around at the different comic book vendors. I found a 4th print of the New 52 Justice League (4th print I learned means it’s the 4th release of the comic after selling out three other times). Since it’s my first comic series, I decided to get it and frame it for my office. As we walked back to George’s booth to say bye to the gentleman I had been talking to earlier in the con, I noticed that one of the artists didn’t have a line. I remembered him from the panel on Friday and he looked friendly enough so I jumped over to say hi. I learned his name is Tony Bedard and he currently draws Green Lantern. While I was there he signed my comic and we had a nice little chat. He fell back in his chair when I told him the New 52 Justice League was my first comic and that it was the New 52 that got me reading comic books. We talked about the newbies point of view and how it was a nice change for me.

Dakster and Tony Bedard signed comic book

Dakster and Tony Bedard signed comic book

He said that one of the reasons they did the new 52 was it gave the characters and new readers a fresh start. One example he gave was the Batman comics. When a newbie was reading them they wouldn’t know that the Robin in the story was actually the 5th version of Robin. You almost needed a chart so you would know which incarnation of the character you were reading about.

I made the comment that my little brother and I were looking at a poster one day and my brother remarked that it was Dick Grayson wearing the cowl. I couldn’t help but reply back “When the heck did Dick become Batman? They never covered that in the animated series.” Another comic book fan standing by agreed with me that it could be confusing for new comic book fans to understand anything with all the history involved.

Overall my comic book experience at Megacon was AWESOME! I really enjoyed learning more about my new hobby and the creative people behind the scenes. The artists and higher ups were really nice and down to earth. I felt like they really listened and understood where a newbie like me was coming from. Knowing that there are people behind the scenes that love the characters as much as I do, adds just a little more enjoyment to my reading experience.

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DC New 52 — Let’s Talk Batman and Superman

One day my younger brother Douglas and I headed to our local comic book store. Douglas has been interested in reading comics again so I suggested he start reading the New 52. Since I already buy Justice League and Justice League International, he decided to get Batman and Superman so we could swap comics. I was really excited to hear his opinions on the new Batman and just as  excited to get my hands on his comics.

*I now interrupt your reading experience to bring you this warning: If you have not read Superman or Batman yet and don’t want anything spoiled for you, STOP READING HERE. I now return you to your regularly scheduled article.*

Batman issue #1 Cover Art

 

After Douglas read the first issue of Batman, he was really confused and a little annoyed. “I thought they were starting over from scratch? How can you do that with Damian Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake all on the same page as Bruce Wayne??”

 

I took his comic and skimmed over the pages to see what he was talking about. I found it clear as day on page 17 of  Batman #1. I read the little info squares above each character and started thinking. Doug’s argument was that each of the three characters had so much history to them. How was it possible that they were all standing there looking like a family and on the same team?

Lucky for him, Big Sister had the answer. “The New 52 is about starting from scratch. When you read them you have to read like you don’t know any of the characters’ history. A typical newbie will know Batman’s basic origin. The things a newbie won’t know are that Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne, and Tim Drake are all from different periods in Batman’s history. Since they don’t know that little piece of information they will take what they see at face value.”

Basically, you won’t miss what you don’t realize is different. After I explained this to him, I saw the wheels in his head turning and then finally click into place. In regards to Batman, I think this was done by DC to show they were really serious about starting over. You see not only Batman’s history being re-written, but also those around and involved with him.

After I finally had his comics to myself, I sat down and started with Batman. Something strange happened while I was reading. I started to feel things I hadn’t expected. Having never read a Batman comic book before, I noticed that there was a certain darkness about it. I had some excitement in me, but I also felt despair and worried for the world I was reading about. This isn’t something I get when reading other comic books. For example, in the Justice League, the colors, humor and attitude of the characters makes me feel hopeful and ready to cheer them on. Feeling emotionally drained after reading a comic book was something new for me.

Superman Issue #1 Cover Art

My husband managed to get his mitts on the Superman comics before me. When he was finally done, he said his only problem with the Superman comics was he felt like he should be reading Action Comics alongside next to it. He saw in some scenes when a flashback was going on, that Superman would be drawn just like he looks now in Action Comics. Other than that he said he was really enjoying the storyline and was excited to see the next ones.

Reading Superman taught me something about my marriage: my husband and I have very different views on what we consider to be a “problem” in a comic. After I read the first two Superman issues, I already saw some major changes, non of which seemed important to my husband.

The biggest change for me was Lois Lane shifting jobs and sitting behind and executive’s desk. One of the things I loved in the animated series was watching Lois as a field reporter. It will be interesting to see how she fares behind the desk and what kind of “danger” she can run into now. On the upside, this opens up the character for a new world of problems both personally with Clark and professionally with her new boss.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the fresh start both Superman and Batman were given in the New 52. Even though I won’t be rushing to the store for every new issue, I’m happy to see the excitement in other comic book readers. Veteran comic book readers will notice the changes in both immediately. While some might say this takes away the legacy of the characters, I have to disagree. I think the New 52 is not treading on their legacy, it’s making it richer.

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Megacon – DC Comics and Me

Recently I had the opportunity to go to Megacon 2012. I was super excited to see that DC comics was going to be there and made a point to sniff them out.

*I now interrupt this article to give you a special insight…I am a newbie to this whole comic book thing. By newbie I mean I know that DC Comics owns Superman and Batman. I know that Marvel owns the X-Men and the Avengers. Through my husband, I know that George Perez has drawn Superman and my brother has taught me that Geoff Johns is a big name in the Lantern world. I don’t know who the other publishers or the artists are.  My main focus is learning the story and the characters. I now return you to the main article.*

While walking around Megacon on Friday, I had the first highlight of my weekend. I got the opportunity to talk to a gentleman working George Perez’s booth. I started out just asking him some questions about what kind of work George might be doing on the new 52. He gave me some interesting insight as to how some of the artists have been mixed around into different jobs and some who use to ink the characters are now doing the concept sketches.

He was excited to hear that I was a newbie and just trying to learn about the different aspects of how the comics come to my digital screen. I shared with him my story and an article that I wrote that DC Tweeted and put up on their Facebook a few weeks ago. He was really interested and also disappointed at some of the fan boys reactions to it because comics are for everyone.

JL Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of DC Comics

JL Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of DC Comics

Later that day I went to my first ever Megacon panel “DC Comics: All Access”. Talk about being a fish out of water. I looked around and in a room of over 100, I saw very few women (and some looked like they had been dragged). DC Comics Co- Publisher, Dan Didio, was the man in charge of the panel. One of the first questions he asked the crowd was how many people did not like the New 52. A flood of hands instantly went up.

After they all had their moment to express their concerns, he asked how many people liked the New 52. I raised my hand high and he called on me to give my reasons why I liked it. I explained that “I’m a newbie to comics and I really enjoyed having that fresh start.” He replied back to the crowd that “that is why we did it!” and he expressed his excitement about my new found love of the comics.

During the panel I learned a few things:

1.) The DC comics and DC animated are separate groups. Dan Didio admitted that until an animated feature comes out, he knows about as much as we do.

2.) Characters change with the times. A good example is Power Girl. Recently with the New 52 World’s Finest, Power Girl’s look was dramatically changed. Changes like this are made to keep the character current, modern, and fresh.

3.) Make a really big note to visit a comic book shop on May 5th (aka Free Comic Book Day). DC Comics is releasing a new comic specifically for it.

After the panel was over I had the chance to talk to Dan a little about the New 52 and what I was enjoying about the comics I reading. The one on one conversation with him was the second highlight of my weekend.

Dan Didio and Dakster

Dan Didio and Dakster

On Saturday I went back to see the gentleman at George Perez’s booth while in my 501st costume. I was excited to hear this time that he had shared my story with a friend of his who was also disappointed at the fan boy’s reactions to me. In his friend’s opinion it’s the fan boy’s harsh reactions towards the female fans that keep more women from reading. I am happy to say that I met enough friendly fan boys at Megacon to say “whatever” to the rest from now on.

On Sunday I finally had the chance to look around at the different comic book vendors. I found a 4th print of the New 52 Justice League (4th print I learned means it’s the 4th release of the comic after selling out three other times). Since it’s my first comic series, I decided to get it and frame it for my office. As we walked back to George’s booth to say bye to the gentleman I had been talking to earlier in the con, I noticed that one of the artists didn’t have a line. I remembered him from the panel on Friday and he looked friendly enough so I jumped over to say hi. I learned his name is Tony Bedard and he currently draws Green Lantern. While I was there he signed my comic and we had a nice little chat. He fell back in his chair when I told him the New 52 Justice League was my first comic and that it was the New 52 that got me reading comic books. We talked about the newbies point of view and how it was a nice change for me.

Yay! Tony Bedard signed my comic!!

Yay! Tony Bedard signed my comic!!

He said that one of the reasons they did the new 52 was it gave the characters and new readers a fresh start. One example he gave was the Batman comics. When a newbie was reading them they wouldn’t know that the Robin in the story was actually the 5th version of robin. You almost needed a chart so you would know which incarnation of the character you were reading about.

I made the comment that my little brother and I were looking at a poster one day and my brother remarked that it was Dick Grayson wearing the cowl. I couldn’t help but reply back “When the heck did Dick become Batman? They never covered that in the animated series.” Another comic book fan standing by agreed with me that it could be confusing for new comic book fans to understand anything with all the history involved.

Overall my comic book experience at Megacon was AWESOME! I really enjoyed learning more about my new hobby and the creative people behind the scenes. The artists and higher ups were really nice and down to earth. I felt like they really listened and understood where a newbie like me was coming from. Knowing that there are people behind the scenes that love the characters as much as I do, adds just a little more enjoyment to my reading experience.

 

 

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Megacon 2012

Wow!  Megacon was amazing this year. We arrived on Friday and like most conventions it was relatively slow for a while. We were able to comfortably walk the vendors and artist tables. There was an endless supply of vendors selling everything from costumes to used toys.

Photo taken by Zach Winnermark, 501st Legion

With over 50 troopers in attendance the 501stlegion had a very strong presence this year. The booth showcased some of the finest helmets in the legion as well as some of the various costumes worn by members. Backdrops and weaponry were also on display, all built by fellow members of the FLG.

Along with a booth showcasing some of the best the Florida Garrison has to offer, we also hosted Shoot a Storm Trooper. For $1 anyone could shoot a 501st legion trooper with a Vulcan Nerf gun. For $5 we handed them the Rambo of all nerf guns.  By the end of the weekend we raised $1,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. The kids and adults had a blast and some even came back for 2nds, 3rds, and 4th rounds.

I also got the chance to meet two guys from Ghost Hunters International. My husband was totally star struck and almost didn’t talk to them. He finally got up the nerve to talk to them  and learned a few things. Later, while in our costumes, we went back and got our pictures taken with them. They even asked if they could take a picture with our buckets (helmets) on.

My husband enjoyed going to the Ghost Hunters International and Star Trek Voyager panels. The rooms were large enough to hold the crowds and the timeframe was just long enough to keep me from looking at my watch. Personally I preferred the DC Comics panel, (talk about feeling like a fish out of water). The DC panel was my first panel at Megacon and it was pretty interesting.

Photo taken by Dakster Sullivan

The highlights of my weekend were getting to meet Dan Didio (Co-Publisher of DC Comics) and Tony Bedard (DC Comics artist and writer). It was fun talking “newbie” comic shop with both of them.

My son Brandon, (6 years old), had a blast while Shooting the Storm Trooper but other than that he wasn’t really interested in his surroundings. We managed to find a toy from “Cut the Rope” game and an angry bird he didn’t already have that made his day. By 3pm on Sunday me and my son were ready to head home. My husband admitted that he could stay forever, but realized it was time to head back to reality.

All in all we had a blast. The costumes were amazing all three days. My favorite costumes were Iron Man and the Gundam. I’m still on cloud nine about getting my New 52 Justice League signed by Tony Bedard and getting my picture taken with Dan Didio. It was a great weekend and can’t wait to go again next year.

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