Tag Archives: Comics

Geek To Geek Chic – Wedding Cake Belles

30 Jul

Lets get two things clear. One, I love cake. Two, I’m not getting married. No, as it turns out, my team at work is currently all over weddings. One’s just got married, one is getting married and one has a daughter who is about to be married, and when talk of one wedding starts, it spreads to the whole team. Which eventually leads us to cake. Not only is cake generally amazing, but one of the best things about a wedding. And being the youngest at work, I often get asked what I’d do if I got married (which is apparently a very interesting and hilarious topic going by the responses I get from my colleagues…). So when me and my co-worker got talking about what cakes we’d love to have (turns out she’d have a Star Trek one too), I eventually wound up looking at geeky cakes again. So here are some beautiful cakes I found, enjoy folks! Oh and if any of these are your creations, please let me know so I can give credit and tag you.

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And finally this amazingly beautiful Gustav Kilmt cake!

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Top 5 Scott Pilgrim Comic Nods In ‘Scott Pilgrim VS The World’

9 Jun

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HONOURABLE MENTION – THE CLASH AT DEMONHEAD NOW MAGAZINE COVER
This is one of my personal favourites. A copy of Now magazine that has The Clash At Demonhead on its cover is glimpsed during the film. The cover (top left corner in the picture above) is a posed copy of the back cover to book two, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. The only difference? Envy’s hair colour (red in the book, blonde in the film)!

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5) SANDRA, MONIQUE, HOLLY & LISA MILLER
When you’re adapting a book into a film, there will always be aspects of it missing because you simply can’t fit everything on the screen. The same goes for a book series, but director Edgar Wright still managed to keep a few minor characters in his film that otherwise would have probably been left on the cutting room floor. The most significant are Sandra and Monique (above), friends and housemates of Julie Powers who appear in the book most of the time at parties, gigs and, well, with Julie. Wright kept them in, including them in the party at the beginning of the film and kept their look very similar to their design in the book. Two other female characters that get the name drop treatment are Hollie and Lisa. In the film their names are thrown back in Scott’s face by Julie as girls he’s messed around with in the past. In the book, Hollie is Kim Pine’s co-worker and housemate and Lisa is an old school friend and band member of Scott’s and Kim’s who makes a significant appearance in the second half of the book series.

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4) SCOTT & ENVY’S PHOTOBOOTH PHOTOS
In book two, Scott receives a phone call from Envy, his ex-girlfriend who he hadn’t quite gotten over yet. Interspaced between panels showing them talking ‘now’ were photobooth photographs of them taken when they were a happy couple. These were recreated (above) and glimpsed in the film.

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3) LUCAS LEE FILM POSTERS
Ramona’s second evil-ex Lucas Lee is a pro-skateboarder turned actor, whose films Scott and his roommate Wallace rent from the video store so they can learn how Scott can defeat him. Wright made up some fake film posters and bus adverts for the film using some of the titles of Lee’s films that are mentioned in the book. Chris Evans was the perfect choice to play Lee and played him brilliantly, which makes part of me really want to see these films get made for real in some Scott Pilgrim universe spin-off.

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2) T-SHIRTS
There are a lot of cool t-shirts worn in the entire Scott Pilgrim book series, some of which were the real deal. Some of these came back for the film (the Smashing Pumpkins heart tee, the Plumtree one) and those that were designed by author O’Malley were re-created for the film. Seems like the fans like them so much that copies of lots of them are now available from various sites. If you’re after one, this website lists every t-shirt worn in the film…

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1) GIDEON THE CAT
Personally, the one thing missing from Scott Pilgrim Vs The World was Ramona’s cat Gideon. Yes, it’s just a cat, but it’s Ramona’s cat and at one point in the book series his existence provides Scott with the closet tangible thing he has to her. But he does make an appearance! In one of the books, Scott wears a t-shirt with the above picture on it, which makes its way onto a mug that Michael Cera drinks out of at the start of the feature.

Geek To Geek Chic – 10 (but actually 56) Pop Culture References in Scott Pilgrim

11 Apr

The Scott Pilgrim series are one of, if not the, most favourite series of graphic novels of mine (Akira and Watchmen coming in a close second place) and I can’t believe that next year will mark ten years since the first instalment, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, was released. The series still captivates me, even now after reading it so many times. What is it, for me, that makes it so brilliant? That’s a hard one to answer but in a nutshell, and without spewing thousands of words on it, its pretty much that I’ve lived it, probably like so many other readers. I’ve had the giant ex that looms over a relationship, been in bands, pulled an Envy Adams-esque stunt, done the brothers thing, had an epically faithful cat, had gaming birthday parties, can name an equivalent of every character in the book in people that I know… I could, but won’t, go on. The main thing that strikes a chord the most is the number of pop culture references and the ease with which the characters use them to describe situations and feelings. Something that my friends and I have done for years, again probably like so many of you. So, in anticipation of its tenth birthday, here is a small run down of some of the pop culture references that feature in the graphic novel series. In no order of preference…

Film Title: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

1) X-MEN
Scott has an X patch on his iconic Parker as an homage to the comic and television series, something which he has to explain to Ramona on one of their first dates. Later in book five, Scott Pilgrim Vs The Universe, Scott is seen trying to explain to Ramona the storyline in the Uncanny X-Men comic series which culminates in issue #251 in a moment where Wolverine is crucified on an X. Not that Ramona seems that interested…

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2) SEX BOB-OMB
Scott’s band, with Stephen Stills on guitar and Kim Pine on drums, is a clear reference to the explosive bomb enemies from the Mario game series and it’s not the only band in the series to have a gaming-inspired name. Scott’s High School band with Kim and their friend Lisa Miller was called Sonic and Knuckles,  his University band with Stephen and Envy Adams was named Kid Chameleon and Envy’s hipster major label group were called The Clash At Demonhead. The group’s drum logo is even a reference to the game; the symbol being a stylized ‘NO’ that appears whenever you shoot a friendly character. The band’s drummer Lynette Guycott is also named after the games skeleton boss Tom Guycott. Even local rival band Crash and The Boys were named after a game and Scott’s name suggestion, Shatterband, for Stephen Stills new group is an homage to game Shatterhand. Not that the Mario references stop with the band name. When Ramona asks Scott if they are an ‘item’, Scott’s brain response is to list items from the Mario games and when Ramona informs him about her subspace highway, the only example he can think of are the secret highways from the game series. At one point Scott is seen wearing a tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros 3.

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3) RIVER CITY RANSOM
When Scott was in High School and in order to win the heart of a teenage Kim Pine, he had to defeat a whole school of bullies and the ‘boss’ (Kim’s then boyfriend) in a scene that played homage to side-scroller game River City Ransom. Scott’s enemies also explode into coins, much like in RCR and a load of other games. When Scott tries to remember the names of the Katayanagi twins in book five, he calls them Andy and Randy Katamari instead. Andy and Randy at the names of the ‘infamous Dragon Twins’ who turn up towards the end of River City Ransom.

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4) STREET FIGHTER
During Scott’s first battle with Ramona’s first ex Matthew Patel, Scott pulls a Street Fighter reversal whilst also hitting Patel with a SF special attack Dragon Punch. Patel’s ability to levitate and throw fireballs is also similar to SF character Dhalism. The layout at the start of Scott’s fight with Todd Ingram in Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness is reminiscent of the beginning of each fight on the Street Fighter game.

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5) BONKS ADVENTURE
O’Malley’s title pages sometimes spoof game title pages with the characters from Scott Pilgrim filling in where fit. Scott Pilgrim VS The World riffed off Bonks Adventure, Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together see’s Ramona and Scott take on Sonic The Hedgehog and Scott Pilgrim Vs The Universe referenced the game Double Dragon III. The Katayanagi Twins hurricane kick attack is also a direct attack lift from DDIII. Second book Scott Pilgrim VS The World also shares its title with The Simpsons SNES game Bart Vs The World. Whilst not a title page, book four see’s a double spread during the fight between Scott and Roxy Ritcher that directly copies the opening of NES game Ninja Gaiden. Even the midair strike between the pair is a direct panel lift.

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6) MUSIC
Scott teaches himself the bassline to Final Fantasy 2 to show off to his band mates, not that any of them seem interested. Similarly, Ramona doesn’t seem all that interested when Scott quotes As Long As You Love Me by the Backstreet Boys to her to explain his love in Scott Pilgrim VS The Universe. One of Sex Bob-Ombs songs is called Launchpad McQuack, named after a character from the Ducktales television series and SNES game. The Smashing Pumpkins also get their fair share of references. Not only does Scott wear their iconic SP t-shirt during the book, he dons their zero t-shirt. The title of the third book is a direct homage to their album Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness, whilst chapter sixteen in the series is titled Frail and Bedazzled after one of their songs. The main stage at The Chaos Theater in the final book Scott’s Finest Hour is a reference to Daft Punk’s pyramid stage. Scott is named after a song by the band Plumtree, Stephen is named after musician Stephen Arthur Stills and Young Neil is named after… Neil Young.

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7) PARAPPA THE RAPPER
Scott utters Parappa’s immortal line ‘I gotta believe!’ to himself during a realisation and he’s not the only one to speak lines from games in conversation. When Knives Chau grazes Ramona’s face she responds with the line ‘You fight like a cow’, a line from the Monkey Island series of games. Scott also shouts another Monkey Island line at roommate Wallace Wells to try to insult him; ‘I am rubber, you are glue!’.

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8) CHARACTER TRAITS
Scott’s younger sister Stacey is rated ‘T for Teen’ in her introduction, one of the ratings established by the ESRB. When Scott defeats Ramona fourth ex Roxy, she explodes into cute fluffy animals like Dr Robotnik from Sonic The Hedgehog. Envy Adams is referred to as ‘she who will not be named’, a direct reference to Harry Potter villain Voldemort. Evil ex number two Lucas Lee is a skateboarder and his moves and their layout in the book are modelled on the Tony Hawk videogame series. So much so that Scott wants to train to defeat Lucas by playing the game itself. His name is even a direct reference to Jason Lee, a pro-skateboarder turned actor, like… Lucas Lee. Scott wishes he could morph into a ball and roll around instead of having to get up in a direct reference to the ability from the game Metroid. Much to everyone’s surprise, Scott gives Ramona the nickname ‘Rammy’, who just happens to be a character from the game Um Jammer Lammy. Clash At Demonhead drummer Lynette has a bionic arm that directly riffs off the game Bionic Commando. Scott’s attempts to get Ramona’s cat Gideon to come back is a direct reference to Breakfast At Tiffanys, just as his name of Gideon is a reference to the cat with the same name in Pinocchio. In book one, Ramona wears shoes that are an exact copy of those worn by Mr. Silly in Mr. Men.

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9) THE LEGEND OF ZELDA
Scott has to face a doppelgänger of himself, Nega Scott, much like the character of Dark Link, a double of main character Link, in The Legend of Zelda. Final ex Gideon Gordon Graves wears a t-shirt that resembles the inverted Triforce logo from the game The Legend of Zelda. Scott has a dream in which he aimlessly wonders around a forest looking for a cheat code which is a direct reference to the maze-like forests of the game.

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10) AKIRA
Ramona’s third ex Todd Ingram is related to Tetsuo, the main character from epic manga Akira numerous times. Like Tetsuo, Todd was taken to a lab in his teens for testing and returns home with bandages wrapped around his head. During his fight with Scott in Honest Ed’s, Todd screams the line ‘Its my brain! What have you done?!’, a quote from Tetsuo. In a ‘display’ of his love for Ramona, Todd punches a hole in the moon, and then does the same for Envy when they are together. This is a direct reference to the two holes in the moon that Tetsuo punches on behalf of Akira to show his followers his powers. Ramona takes it further by stating that after Todd punched the moon the first time, about fifty pages of tidal waves and explosions happened, which is exactly what happens in the manga.

MEYER MONTH – Top Five Costumes

9 Mar

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HONOURABLE MENTION – Z-Man’s Superwoman costume (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls)
One of the sharpest dressed characters of 1970 release Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, it’s Z-Man’s final outfit that stands out the most; his Superwoman outfit. Forget a costume akin to something Wonder Woman might wear, this is a regal ensemble that makes as much impact as the declaration he makes; that he is in fact a she. With a colour scheme that tries to add some legitimacy to his claims (purple as a colour has often been related to monarchy and money as if he can buy his gender through money or respect), he tops the outfit off with a simple gold crown which says he/she’s in charge. For those that stand in his way he has the answer of a sword, one of the ultimate phallic symbols which also represents his willingness to castrate his male identity.

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HONOURABLE MENTION – Vixen’s yellow bikini (Vixen!)
An instance where costume reflects the character’s personality, Vixen’s bright yellow bikini is as fun-loving, outgoing and confident as she is. Standing out against the natural colours of the forest, the bikini ensures that she is the one that stands out amongst the small community in which she lives making her all the more desirable.

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#5 – Ashley St Ives crochet dress (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls)
Ash St. Ives (Edy Williams) is a superficial porn star out to sleep with whoever she wants, whenever she wants. So it’s hardly surprising that one of the most memorable costumes from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is Ives’ beige crotchet dress, which leaves very little to the imagination. Consisting of pants and a dress that comprises a bikini top with a panelled body piece, the dress is the perfect visual representation of Edy Williams’ character; superficial, vapid and attention seeking.

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#4 – Varla’s black jumpsuit (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!)
Second only to Supervixens in terms of iconography (see below), Tura Satana’s black get-up in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is one of Meyer’s most recognised and imitated visuals. The all black, skin-tight catsuit combined with her lethal moves effectively shows her off as the sleek killing machine that she is, as well as representing the dichotomy of gender stereotypes that she represents. The boots and leather gloves she wears are masculine traits to identify with whilst the fact that she doesn’t mind getting her clothes sweaty and dirty shows she isn’t afraid to be involved in some rough and tumble. Whilst the catsuit is certainly figure hugging, Satana as Varla is pretty much covered up in comfortable racing gear that wouldn’t be out-of-place on a man. The plunging neckline and exposed cleavage (Satana wore a custom-made bra to make sure she stayed in) are the only indication of her female sexuality which she always uses to her advantage. Meyer took a similar approach with Charles Napier’s serial killer character Harry Sledge in Supervixens, kitting him out in all black and gloves to be a male counterpoint to Varla.

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#3 – Mr. Teas’ jumpsuit and straw hat (The Immoral Mr. Teas)
Inspired by Jacques Tati’s character Mr Hulot, Mr Teas’ brightly coloured jumpsuits and straw hat make him visually all the more detached from the world he is already emotionally scared of. Whilst the scantily clad and nude women he stumbles upon seem relaxed in their environments and at one with nature, Mr Teas in his absurdly loud orange jumpsuit looks more like an astronaut stranded in a world that he doesn’t really understand which links him in some way to his viewing audience who would have been viewing the film as new territory themselves.

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#2 – Casey and Roxanne’s fancy dress costumes (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls)
He may have had a few issues but Z-Man’s choice of costume for lesbian lovers Casey (Cynthia Myers) and Roxanne (Erica Gavin) to wear at his costume party in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was the perfect visual metaphor for their relationship. Roxanne was very much the Batman figure to Casey; rescuing her, taking her under her wing and clearly being the dominant figure in the relationship. In return Casey was the perfect Robin, happy to always be by Roxanne’s side. Whilst Gavin stays in her Batman gear for a while, Myers only wears her Robin outfit briefly but it makes an impression. This is one of the best instances in Meyer’s work where costume really reflects the characters wearing them. Making it even more fun, the outfit Myers wears is one that Burt Ward wore himself in the 1960s Batman television series.

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#1 – SuperLorna’s red shirt (Supervixens)
Christy Hartburg only ever starred in one Russ Meyer film and it wasn’t a long appearance either but when it comes to the iconography of Meyer’s cinematic career, it’s Hartburg’s costume from Supervixens that tops the list. Tiny white shorts, hair in bunches and a pinky-red shirt tied at the waist, exposing a massive cleavage that one can’t help but notice in all its glory. Whilst Satana’s costume is visually just as iconic, it’s the above picture of Hartburg that is regularly used to advertise Meyer’s work (from DVD box sets to t-shirts, mugs to book covers and usually to accompany articles in magazines and film books) and was the main image used in the Supervixens publicity campaign. The perfect image to sum up the women that Meyer liked to portray in his features; outgoing, fun and provocative. Oh, and very top-heavy.

Geek To Geek Chic – Be My Valentine?

6 Feb

Valentines day is slowly creeping around the corner and whilst I don’t usually bother with the commercial holiday, I couldn’t help but find some cute geeky card ideas that put a smile on my face. So I hope one of these puts a smile on yours whether you have a Valentine this year or not!

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Geek To Geek Chic – Carving Creativity Onto Pumpkins

8 Oct

With Halloween only a few weeks away, I thought it would be nice to pay homage to the fun activity that is Pumpkin Carving. Everyone has to have carved a badly executed scary face into a vegetable (or is it a fruit?) at least once in their life. Whether it be something that keeps the kids entertained for a little while or turns into a competitive competition between friends, here are a few ideas to get you started. So grab some pumpkins, a few tea lights, the odd sharp instrument and prepare to get creative and messy…

Geek To Geek Chic – Welcome To My Candy Shop

1 Sep

Yesterday my friend sent me a txt with a link to a Russian advertising company who had come up with an idea for horror themed ice lollies. Now, the kid in me absolutely loves the idea! Who wouldn’t want to walk down the street sucking on Freddy Krueger in sizzling hot weather?! Whilst the flavours don’t sound exactly brilliant (apparently they’re still in development stages so who knows where it’ll go…), the product idea got me thinking about some of the film themed candy I’d occasionally eaten as a child. So here is another very picture heavy post on the type of sweet treats Lydia would stock in her very own candy shop. I’m sure there’s something for everyone! And hey, maybe you’ve tried one or two of them before in the past…

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Marvel Superhero candy sticks. I used to love candy sticks as a kid, the one type of sweet that seems to be endorsed by all cartoons, comics, films and television shows!

Now these are sweets I woud have killed to have had as a child. Jurassic Park has been one of my favourite films since I was four and I don’t remember anything like this being out in the shops, I’m guessing they were American? Either way, the four year old me is extremely jealous of anyone who had them!

This is kind of cute, some rip-off Freddy Krueger inspired bubble gum in the shape of a VHS tape!

I also find these absolutely adorable, too cute to eat!

I do actually own some of these, still wax-sealed and unopened from 1980 with the gum stick still intact. Would never open them now but they’re sweet little items to add to a collection.