Comic Book Heroines Podcast – Spotlight: Wraith of Love with Susan Lee

Category : Comic Book Heroines, Comics, Entertain Me, Featured, Movies

In this issue, Jessa Phillips interviews Susan Lee, the creator of Wraith of LoveWraith of Love is an online graphic novel, currently in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign to transform the property into an independent film.

Wraith of Love follows Jameson Mercer who survives a suicide attempt and realizes she has the ability to sense those in abusive relationships. She uses her ability to encourage her own recovery, become a vigilante to help those in need and change destiny. Wraith of Love tackles serious topics with plenty of action. The graphic novel features gorgeous black and white noir style, illustrated by hand.

The film promises to bring the action to the screen, featuring a female lead breaking out of the “damsel in distress” stereotype. The film is helmed by Susan Lee, wearing multiple hats as Writer, Director and Producer. Joining the powerhouse crew is Sarah Allyn Bauer as Co-Producer and Steven Huff or Iron Shield Arms as Fight Director. Melissa Sutkowski takes on the role of Jameson Mercer with Patty Jean Robinson as Serena Harris and Bernadette Belinda York on board as Kelly Methany. Get a feel for the vision behind Wraith of Love in their latest campaign video.

To find out more about Wraith of Love, please visit the website at http://www.wraithoflove.com.
Like it on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/wraithoflove.
Follow it on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wraithoflove.

Please support the Indiegogo campaign at http://igg.me/at/wraithoflove!

If you experience difficulties with the media player, please click here for the Direct Download.

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com/shows/comicbookheroines or email us at comicbookheroines[at]goodtobeageek.com.

Comic Book Heroines is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Comic Book Heroines is

TNT Series Legends Premiere Review

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Reviews, Television

Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) returns to the small screen in the latest television series, Legends. Based on the Robert Littell novel, Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation, TNT is looking to bring the spy game to their network. The series follows Martin Odum (Sean Bean), a deep cover FBI operative who embeds himself in situations which threaten national security. With each assignment, he takes on the identity of another person and he is good at his job. In fact, Odum is the best there is. When a mysterious stranger approaches him, Odum is forced to question his own identity.

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers

The pilot episode opens with Martin Odum undercover, as Lincoln Dittmann, within a group of domestic terrorists in Virginia. When the ATF executes a raid on the compound where Odum is embedded with his confidential informant, Odum’s identity as a FBI agent is disclosed. At home, Odum is estranged from his wife, though they have a child together. At the FBI office, we learn Odum has a history of going silent in the field. Steve Harris (Friday Night Lights, The Practice) is Yates, Director of the Task Force, while Ali Larter (Resident Evil: Afterlife, Heroes, Obsessed), plays Crystal, the agent in charge of field operatives and the head of Odum’s support team. The support team includes another operative, Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect) as Bobby the IT genius and Tina Majorino as Maggie (Big Love, Veronica Mars), the newest member of the team.

During a briefing with the team, as Odum is describing the back-story, known as as the legend, he has created for Lincoln Dittman, he unknowingly slips into character before the team. At this point, everyone writes off this instance to exhaustion. However, as Odum is leaving the the office, he confronts a stranger who seems to be following Odum. The man explains that Odum is not who he thinks he is; Martin Odum is a legend as well. Confused and looking for answers, Odum turns to Bobby for help in locating the mysterious man.

In the course of another undercover operation as Lincoln Dittmann, his cover is compromised and the team must show off their skills to ensure his safety. Crystal goes uses her assets undercover to get a message to Odum who has to spin a medical history on the fly, while Bobby and Maggie whip up the necessary medical records to back up his story. Zeljko Ivanek (True Blood, Revolution) is revealed as the “Founding Father,” the man calling the shots behind the terrorist organization, just as the undercover operation is blown. Nonetheless, Odum saves the day, showing no fear as he stares down the Founding Father.

Meanwhile, the mysterious man only offers more questions. Odum rushes to meet the mysterious man in hopes of getting some answers. He arrives too late but not before he can obtain a book which offers clues to the conspiracy. Thus ends the premiere episode.

Sean Bean goes undercover in the new TNT series, Legends.

Photo Credit: TNT

The writers find balance between introducing characters, relationships, the conspiracy behind Odum’s true identity and the undercover operation of the week, even if the episode did lack the amount of action I would have liked to see. Bean’s filmography is littered with action roles, after all. Ali Larter gets a few humorous moments in character with Bean and the two work surprisingly well together. Tina Majorino’s character is clearly being set up to play a major role in the story, though we have yet to see where that will lead. The standout, without a doubt, is Sean Bean. His character work is stellar, particularly in the scene where he slips into character before the team. Given the setup of the pilot episode, it seems we will be treated to Bean transforming into a new cover character every week while the greater conspiracy theory unravels. If that is the case, I, for one will be watching.

Sean Bean goes undercover in the new TNT series, Legends.

Photo Credit: TNT

Did you watch Legends? Who do you think Martin Odum is? Share your thoughts on the premiere episode in the comments below.

Outlander Starz Series Premiere Review

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Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Reviews, Television

Tonight, Starz premiered their latest television series, Outlander, with the episode titled “Sassenach.” The television series is based on the popular novel series penned by Diana Gabaldon.

** Warning: This review contains spoilers.

The Outlander series based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon premieres August 9th on Starz.

Graphic courtesy of Starz

Heading the television adaptation is acclaimed Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Helix, Star Trek: The Next Generation). Caitriona Balfe (Escape Plan, Now You See Me, H+) plays Claire, the curious and headstrong lead, whom the audience follows as she “falls through time.” Also among the cast are Sam Heughan (Young Alexander the Great) as Jamie Fraser and Tobias Menzies (The Honorable Woman, Game of Thrones, Rome), doing double duty as Frank Randall/”Black Jack” Randall. Familiar faces James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley, Sense and Sensibility, Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Graham McTavish (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, 24) also make appearances in the first episode.

The series begins with Claire nursing wounded soldiers at the end of the World War II and continues as she is reunited with her husband. After years apart, the couple takes a holiday to the Scottish highlands in order to learn about one another again and to satisfy Frank Randall’s curiosity in his family’s past in the area. As the couple explore the local area, we see a loving couple and Starz proves it is not afraid of sex. As Claire expands on the sexuality of her relationship with Frank, she states: “Sex was our bridge back to one another.”

The introduction of the local innkeeper provides some background on the area and the local folklore. While interactions with the local Reverend and his housekeeper give insight to the term “outlander,” the character of “Black Jack” Randall, Frank’s genealogy and the mysteries surrounding Claire. These scenes communicate the necessary information, even if the writing is a tad heavy handed. What is intended to be foreshadowing is in danger of becoming spoilers for audiences who are not familiar with Gabaldon’s novels.

Outlander, Starz, series, tv, television

Photo courtesy of Starz

Claire and Frank sneak up to Craigh na Dun, a collection of stone megaliths where Druids conducted rituals, to watch modern day Druids carry on the practice. When Claire returns the next day to seek out flowers she noticed on her first visit, she is intrigued by the stones and finds herself waking in another time. At first, Claire believes she has wandered onto a film set as she discovers British Redcoats and Scottish rebels fighting in the surrounding woods. She happens upon “Black Jack” Randall, an ancestor to her husband, Frank, whom she mistakes for Frank at their meeting. It quickly becomes clear this man is not her husband when he attempts to rape her.

Before things can go too far, a Scottish rebel jumps in to save the day and promptly kidnaps Claire, bringing her to a nearby cottage where the rest of his group have gathered. Enter Jamie Fraser, a rebel who allows Claire to treat his wounds. The group agrees to take Claire with them as they flee the area, knowing “Black Jack” will soon be on their trail. Claire proves herself to be an asset as she provides information about a potential Redcoat ambush and treats Jamie for a gunshot wound. While Claire keeps an eye out for an opportunity to escape her captors, she opts to travel with them for the time being. I am sure the flirting between her and Jamie had no influence on her decision.

Starz, Outlander, Sam Heughan

Photo courtesy of Starz

Though there is an obvious romantic story developing, it does not take away from Claire as a strong female character. A novelty when it comes to time-traveling fantasy. Claire is written as an intelligent, no-nonsense, speak her mind, passionate woman who has no problem standing up to men, even under threat of violence. That said, there is a certain romantic sensibility to her free-spirited nature which allows her to easily adapt to the ground shifting beneath her. Despite the trials she faces, Claire is almost hopeful about what the future may hold at the end of the episode, “So far I’d been assaulted, threatened, kidnapped and nearly raped and, somehow, I knew that my journey had only just begun.” I hope the writing will use this aspect to its benefit in assisting the audience to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the story as it unfolds.

On the topic of writing, I have yet to develop an opinion on the series’ writing. I will concede the writers utilize a number of different techniques which makes for interesting storytelling. Exposition in some scenes was overdone. One the other hand, the narration was done extremely well. For example, Claire’s thoughts on the simplicity and import of one’s owning a vase or Claire’s description of a past car accident as compared to the sensation of falling through time. This narration is a lovely reminder to the series literary origins.

Finally, let us discuss music. Bear McCreary has made a name for himself for excellence in music composition with work on Black Sails, The Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Da Vinci’s Demon’s, Battlestar Galactica and many other projects. Outlander is another feather in his cap. The opening theme, The Skye Boat Song, sung by Raya Yarbrough, is a lovely song with Scottish folk influence and a clear example of McCreary’s passion for the period in musical history. I have already seen some debate about whether this song is a right fit for the series. In my opinion, it is. While it does not have the bold assertiveness some may expect, the theme elicits images of the fertile land and quaint villages of Scotland many of us have yet to visit, while imparting a sense of  wonder and excitement. Besides, adding fantastic bagpipes makes a theme epic. Again, just my opinion.

 

Did you watch the series premiere? If you are you a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s novels, how do you think the material was handled in the first episode?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander Starz Series Premiere Summary

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Television

I admit I have never read the books but after seeing the first episode I now definitely will.

Outlander is the newest series on Starz. It is based on the Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon, of which there are eight novels in the series to date. The television series is produced and written by Ronald D Moore of Battlestar Galactica fame.

The Outlander series based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon premieres August 9th on Starz.

Graphic courtesy of Starz

We open up with our heroine Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), a World War II nurse showing her excellent skills healing the soldiers directly off the battlefield. The war ends and she goes back to her normal life with her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies). They are a struggling couple at this point, not really knowing each other anymore. They go on vacation to Scotland to rekindle their marriage and stay at a quaint inn run by, what appears to be, a Druid Priestess. Claire and Frank sneak out and watch one of the Druid late night rituals, which I would like to say was beautifully done. Somehow, shortly after that Claire gets thrown back to the year 1743. She is abducted by a clan of Scotsmen and almost raped. Then, she meets an extremely hunky warrior named Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). He is severely injured and Claire helps him out with that. She is now traveling with the Clan and riding with Jamie, wrapped in his shawl the whole time. Some lucky woman she is.

I cannot wait to see what happens. Claire seems to definitely feel a connection between her and Jamie. I will definitely recommend watching this series: the writing is wonderful and the scenery is beautiful in more ways than one!

Con Crud and The Comic-Con Blues: Hannah’s SDCC 2014 Wrap and Dr. Lucy’s Slideshow

Category : Comics, Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con

“Normality” reigns once again: only the corset welts remain and, thankfully, those are fading fast. (Beach parties are never far off around here; always lurking in the shadows, like Homey the Clown with a sock full of nickels in a dark alley. Ka-pow! Guess what? You’re going to a luau, girl! Damn it. Where’s my parasol?)

Major contributor to Con Crud: the apres-show cocktail. Photo: JSDevore

Major contributor to Con Crud: the apres-show cocktail(s). Photo: JSDevore

Similar to Christmas or Hallowe’en, ’tis not just the actual week of San Diego Comic-Con that excites, ’tis the weeks of preparation and anticipation which makes the event all the sweeter. Planning travel itineraries, organizing in-town logistics, scheduling Meet-and-Geeks, making costumes and booth-lists, plus purchasing all the necessary goodies which accompany any upcoming fete is truly half the fun. Once the big day arrives, it’s a nonstop party rife with too much fun, too little sleep and oft a severe deviation from one’s usually healthy lifestyle: unless you’re Don Draper, a body does not need that many G&Ts in a week. In Con-speak, the condition is known as Con Crud, as in, “I’m so sorry, sweetie. I would love to meet you in Vegas for your birthday, but I still have a serious case of Con Crud.”

Even the best of Comicchanalian carousing must end: a.k.a. Comic-Con Blues. Again, like Christmas or Hallowe’en, when it’s all over, there remains naught but feelings of sadness, satiation and, in some cases, corset welts. Happily (or, sadly for some) there also remain photos! Thanks to our Dr. Lucy and her Canon EOS, we have a plethora of Poison Ivy and a wealth of Doctor Who, yet, oddly, a dearth of Darth. After you’ve scrolled through our slideshow here, find even more of Dr. Lucy’s snaps at Twisted Pair Photography: featuring photographic variety ranging from surfing and skateboarding to The Renaissance Faire, WonderCon Anaheim and, naturally San Diego Comic-Con.

Briefly, as promised amidst this year’s coverage for GoodToBeAGeek, a quick S/O to a few vendors of SDCC 2014. As longtime readers will already know, I love to treat myself at these things (all year-round, really) and help support artists as well as the economy, local or otherwise. After all, as I say, Mom can’t buy all our art; we need others! As tradition dictates, I like to highlight those Con vendors from whom I purchase. This year’s goodies came from the following:

  • Sighco (a.k.a. ArkhamBazaar): Lovecraftian Novelties & Other Weird Oddities: Poe and Lovecraft gear aplenty, mostly tees … mostly. (In fact, a very special raven led us there. Thank you, Dante! We love and miss you dearly!)
  • JefBot: The True Sci-Fi Adventures of a Nerd in Hollywood: Led by the head-bot himself, Jeff Schuetze, Jefbot is comic strip roman à clé of sorts: “a multigenre, multidimensional and multiethnic comic strip” following the adventures of a struggling actor/working graphics designer who is addicted to film, TV and gaming. IRL, Jeff and his cohort Joe are also the purveyors/artists of International Beatsro t-shirts, like “Mouthfuls of Madness Ramen House” and “Casa del Chalupacabra Restaurante y Cantina”. If you find yourself craving a bowl of Ramen overflowing with Cthulhu, seaweed and spring onions, Jefbot’s the right place.
  • The Bonebreakers (f/the artist known as “O”): Balls Deep: When Nobody’s Weird, the Weirdo is You: Artist and publishers of “The Bonebreakers” graphic novel. My purchase? A whimsical portrait of Mr. Moon! (A character who would fit well within my own Savannah of Williamsburg circle of friends!) Mr. Moon is a portly, Holmesian kitty in tweed with a calabash pipe, mutton chops and, what I surmise is, a churlish attitude tolerated strictly due to his preternatural brilliance. I believe he also harrumphs a great deal, especially when dealing with underlings. Mr. Moon patiently awaits framing and I thank O for his creation, as well as apologize for asking him to sign Mr. Moon on the back, then on the front of my print. (Bellatrix, btw, does not apologize. She’s quite mad, you know?)
The artist "O" signs author Jennifer Susannah Devore's Mr. Moon. SDCC 2014, photo: Twisted Pair Photography

The artist “O” signs author Jennifer Susannah Devore’s very own Mr. Moon. SDCC 2014. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Finally, if you’ve kept track (of course you have) … this girl’s Hellboy article was published in this year’s official SDCC Souvenir Book! That’s #4, kids! Fun times! Past years’ books included J.S. Devore articles on Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics.

SDCC 2014 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Now, back to normal for this girl. SDCC is over; enough summer already. Where’s the damn light switch? Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Happy Dog Days of Summer! Miss Hannah Hart’s Fave Summer Flicks

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Holiday, Movies

For some folks, summer can mean little more than warmer days, shorter nights and a de rigueur vacation: a pleasant yet slight change-up in the regular routine. This is particularly true for those of us inhabiting tropical climes. Born in Miami and raised in SoCal, where summer is not drastically different from the rest of the year, childhood summers notably signified no school, extra Disneyland and family holidays in Hawai’i, which in turn meant a month of guava juice, beachdays and new friends on Waikiki, dinners at Chuck’s Steakhouse and shopping for bark-cloth dresses and Hawaiian dolls at Liberty House and the Polynesian Cultural Center. (Mom was bonkers for all things Hawai’ian, including Daddy, born in Honolulu.) Summers as a child were glorious, but not all that varied from the rest of the year, south of L.A..

A wee Miss Hannah Hart, a.k.a. Jennifer S. Devore: quality father-daughter time, Hawaii c. 1975. Photo: JSDevore

A wee Hannah Hart, a.k.a. Jennifer S. Devore: quality father-daughter time, Hawaii c. 1975. Photo: JSDevore

Still, when everyday is postcard-perfect, it’s easy to grow blasé. So, fast-forward quite a few years, when we couldn’t take one more minute of our damned beautiful, sunshiny beaches, my husband and I picked up our three pets and moved to the East Coast for a very agreeable, wildly divergent change of pace. Both Californians, we never realized what we’d been missing! We spent a fabulous, expeditious six years living on the mid-Atlantic: Cape Charles and Williamsburg, VA. When I wasn’t researching, writing and marketing my Savannah of Williamsburg books, we were driving up and down the East Coast exploring every wee waterway, historic burgh and major metropolis.

Both Cape Charles and Williamsburg are popular destinations for Easterners and Southrons; nothing says summer like seeing license plates from every state up and down the 95 in Colonial Williamsburg parking lots! Add in the heavy, humid, sweet air of summer and Virginia may be simultaneously one of the most uncomfortable and beautiful summertime stations of all. Speaking strictly with regards to American summers, there is nothing so festive and rewarding as an East Coast summer. (Summers abroad? That’s another post. Ahhh, Nice is very nice indeed and the Alps are absolutely alluring.)

Summer actually means something back East: more than just School’s out!, higher electricity bills and frizzy, beach hair. Months of truly stifling winter can breed severe and depressing cabin fever which, thankfully, will always give way to a semi-satisfactory spring thaw. Tulips and daffodils popping through the snow are indeed a lovely egress from Mr. Frosty’s glassy grip; but it can still be damned cold, and oft snowy, through springtime. By the time summer rolls up the shore, folks are champing at the bit for warm days of comforting sunshine and carefree nights of fireflies and crickets. Fourth of July fireworks may traditionally celebrate our American Independence, but they also commemorate a new, deep breath of sweet and salty air. Devouring salt water taffy and sickly sweet pink lemonade, riding your bike on the boardwalk until ten at night, sleeping in until ten with nothing to do but put your bathing suit back on and find your friends down on the sand? This is summer, our American summer. San Diego and Huntington Beach this time of year are absolute barrels of sunny monkeys; but summers in Southampton, NY and Hilton Head, SC are treats you owe yourself, at least once.

Sure, summer’s not my fave season, with the exception of San Diego Comic-Con, of course! Anyone who’s been reading me for a while or knows me socially can verify that autumn is my real gig. Still, I like a good time, no matter what time of year. In fact, this year’s Summer Solstice found me in 100-degree weather, under a blazing sun (sunscreen ga-lore!) far from my beloved beach. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the clear, crisp chlorine of a fabulous family pool (a nice change from the salty surf hiding who-knows-what under the waves) and the cool, watermelon-and-mango, adult beverages which floated my way. Sure, it may not be Hallowe’en, but I can still have a blast! See, because I’m a Jazz-age designed, good time gal, I can do summer better than anyone, in my own, geeky way of course. Most likely, you’re having fun wrong. Of course, one fabulous thing about summer? Autumn is right around the corner … and then Christmas!

For once, frizzy beach hair helped me! My Bellatrix Lestrange at SDCC 2014 was easy-peasy! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

For once, my eternally frizzy beach hair did me a favour! Bellatrix Lestrange for SDCC 2014 was easy-peasy! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Still, as long as the Dog Days summer are now here (generally early-July through mid-August when the star Sirius rises and sets with the sun, at least according to ancient civilizations), let’s stay in the spirit and, more importantly, stay cool! In addition to languid beachdays, Charlie Brown-styled summer camp, vacations abroad, Hawaiian getaways, cross-country road trips, midnight-sun Alaskan cruises and lighter wine choices, please accept my humble suggestions for fun summer flicks to help fill those long, lazy, air-conditioned, Dog Days of summer.

As a fave musician of mine, Jannie Funster of Texas sings, “Where are the girls on banana seat bicycles, the ones with no shoes on their feet?” Why, Miss Jannie, they’re in Laguna and Ocean City and Sandbridge and Bar Harbor! Happy Dog Days of Summer, everyone!

Oft posted on our beach. Best to stay inside and just watch "Jaws"! Photo: JSDevore

Oft posted on our beach. Best to stay inside and just watch “Jaws”! Photo: JSDevore

JennyPop’s Fave Summer Flicks

 

What About Bob?

Lilo and Stitch

Jaws

Muppet Treasure Island

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Dogtown and Z-Boys

Lords of Dogtown

Poirot: Evil Under the Sun

Poirot: Murder in Mesopotamia

Poirot: Death on the Nile

National Lampoon’s Vacation

National Lampoon’s European Vacation

A Year in Provence: Summer

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown!

Addams Family Values

Little Darlings

The Parent Trap (original)

 

What are your fave summer flicks? LMK @JennyPopNet

#summer #movies #favesummerflicks #summertime

JennyPop’s other Fave TV and Film Lists: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Let The Gates of Geekhalla Open: SDCC 2014 Commences

1

Category : Comics, Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

The Simpsons, SDCC, 2014, geek girl, girls

Always cute boys at SDCC! Mr. Burns is just Miss Hannah’s type! Photo: JSDevore

Aaaaaaand … awaytheygo! San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (July 24-27, 2014, San Diego Convention Ctr.) is officially commenced! Preview Night, Wednesday night’s unofficial kickoff for industry pros, press and others, has come and gone, and whilst crowds may not have peaked to the expected numbers for Friday and Saturday, the crush inside the San Diego Convention Center was as tightly packed and palpably amped as any Con day in recent recall. From the moment one stepped out of the steep, summer humidity and into the blessed, blasting air-conditioning of the Conv. Ctr., there was an energy one could feel through one’s soul, like the floor was made of millions of excitable tribbles. It was as though everyone there, from jaded industry pros to Baby’s First Comic-Con, was just happy, and amazed, to even be there.

Perchance it’s the year-over-year, burgeoning, Herculean task of even getting into the Con, but Preview Night 2014 transmitted a sensorial vibe of sheer joy and unabashed gratitude, like getting a governor’s stay-of-execution or realizing you don’t have to go to the family cabin for Thanksgiving this year. Every minute is a gift. Many a hardcore geek thought WonderCon Anaheim might be it for the year; actually getting into Comic-Con can be a gift from the Nordic gods, a badge to Valhalla.

If folks weren’t simply soaking up the warm and safe embrace of Geekhalla, they were dashing hither and thither, in the brief 6-9p window, to do their part for the economy. Many a vendor offers pre-Con deals, sales and “Preview Night Only” collector’s items. If you think the posh, petite, Asian girls gliding daintily across the marble floors of South Coast Plaza carry impossibly-huge Louis Vuitton and Chanel shopping bags, that’s nothing compared to the sweaty, pasty, peeking-tummy army of Comic Book Guys hefting gargantuan Hasbro and LEGO bags through the carpeted halls of SDCC. Either way, pretty Asian girl or tubby comic nerd … “get out the way, fool!” If there existed any semblance of personal space, it was only due to the fact that Preview Night is not a popular costume day: behold, Friday and Saturday! Wednesday night cosplay was mild, if notable at all. The number of folks in dress could be counted on two hands, if you’re a Simpson.

Now that SDCC 2014 is in gear, keep up the energy, folks! Keep doing your bits for the local economy, too! San Diego loves geeks: local and tourists! Spend freely in our bars, restaurants and shops; and tip generously! Most of all, be kind. Of all that body-crush and shoulder-bumping last night, in the Con and on the streets of the Gaslamp District, I received one, only one, “Excuse me!” It doesn’t hurt your vocal chords, take any time or cost a dime to say something nice when you nudge a fellow geek. Give a pleasant “Hello!” or “Thank you!” to the crossing guards around the Con, too! Armed with little more than a whistle and a smile, these folks have guest control at Disneyland levels! Thanks, guys!

Remember, Yours Truly was picked up by Rotten Tomatoes’ official SDCC 2014 Twitter feed and Dr. Lucy and I will covering all our Con shenanigans for GoodToBEAGeek. Come along with us @GoodToBeAGeek @JennyPopNet @Eslilay and @RottenTomatoes!

SDCC, 2014, Hellboy, Souvenir Book, Jennifer Susannah Devore

SDCC 2014 Souvenir Book: Hellboy’s 20th anniversary. Photo: JSDevore

Finally, if you’re keeping track … Yours Truly’s Hellboy article was published in this year’s official SDCC Souvenir Book! That’s #4, kids! Fun times! Past years’ books included J.S. Devore articles on Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics.

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

 

Comic Book Heroines Podcast – Bonus Issue No 1: Female Superhero Movies, Fan Web Series and Shopping our local Comic Book Shops

Category : Comic Book Heroines, Comics, Entertain Me, Featured

In this Bonus issue, Kellen Harkins, Amanda Brand and Jessa Phillips started with talking about the All-New Captain Marvel. The conversation took a turn and we spent some time discussing the troubles with making a female superhero movie, fan produced web series and the highs and lows of shopping at our local comic book shops.


Click here for Direct Download.

HOST INFO
Kellen Harkins -
 Star Wars triggered a passion for geek in her which spurred her to publish and edit a fanzine, pursue costuming and and education in film/tv production. She has been attending cons for a long time, participating in fandoms from writing and web series to gaming, costuming and more. For some years now, she has been running one of the big media tracks at DragonCon. You can follow the DragonCon track at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmSFFMedia/

Amanda Brand the comics, gaming, and sci-fi geek behind Geekphoria.net, where she writes about living the nerdy life, crafts, and conventions. She loves everything Batman, has a distinct fondness for the antihero, and will read anything ghoulish or gruesome. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @Geekphoria1, and see what’s amused her today at geekphoria.tumblr.net.

 

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com or email us at podcasts[at]goodtobeageek.com.

Comic Book Heroines is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Comic Book Heroines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Comic Book Heroines Podcast – One Shot Issue #7: Peter Panzerfaust Volume 1: The Great Escape

Category : Comic Book Heroines, Comics, Entertain Me, Featured

Comic Book Heroines is a podcast featuring women reading, reviewing and discussing comic books.

In this One Shot, Samantha Cross tells us about Peter Panzerfaust Volume 1: The Great Escape,  the reimagining of Peter Pan set against the backdrop of World World II. Peter Panzervaust is written by Kurtis Wiebe with art by Tyler Jenkins, published by Image Comics.

Comic Cover Art courtesy of Image Comics.

Click here for the Direct Download .

HOST INFO
Samantha Cross is a writer for Word of the Nerd (www.wordofthenerd.com) and co-host of the DC Confidential Podcast (http://podcasts.wordofthenerdonline.com). She has a Masters in History and works as an Archivist in Seattle, Washington. A long-time DC Comics fan, Sam is also a big fan of titles like SagaGhostedPretty Deadly and Quantum and Woody.

If you like inane comments or the occasional rant, you can follow Sam on Twitter @darling_sammy or check out her blog, The Maniacal Geek (www.maniacalgeek.wordpress.com), where she writes about comic books, television, movies, and whatever else suits her fancy.

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com or email us at podcasts@goodtobeageek.com.

Comic Book Heroines is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Comic Book Heroines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

More Rum, Please: Summer Means Malkovich, Crossbones and Blackbeard

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Holiday, Literature, Television, Travel

If summer calls for sans souci, seaside days of sun and sticky sand, then summer nights, especially Fridays, demand a touch of gold bling and a white linen blouse to accentuate that tan, plus just enough coconut rum to help lull you to sleep by the sound of lapping waves … but watch your back, and your neck. Blackbeard’s in town for the summer and not since Jaws has the beach looked more inviting, relaxing … and deadly.

Ocracoke Island, NC Photo: Casey Robertson

In a sea of fictionalized Blackbeards, the latest incarnation cavorts freely outside the traditional, Pyrate King design book. Clean-shaven (gone is his namesake beard tied with multiple bows of red and gunpowder fuses), bald and casually styled in island linens and sandals, casting off his trademark black velvet frock coats and leather bucket-top boots, NBC’s Blackbeard appears more Gob Bluth than Rob Zombie. A mesmerizing figure to start, John Malkovich (Shadow of the Vampire, Being John Malkovich, Dangerous Liaisons, The Portrait of a Lady) portrays the 18thC. pirate with a soothing deadliness that lures the viewer into a unsuspecting trance: his escalating diatribes seep forth with an almost musical, rhythmic, Eminem-cadence, like an unsuspecting frog in a warm pot of slowly boiling water. Before you, or the frog, realize what’s occurred, your kidney has been cut out; but Blackbeard has left you a lovely shrub glass of port to ease your dying moments.

Given to way too many police melodrama and hospital backdrops, broadcast television has bravely left the shore of predictability and NBC has joined the ranks of writers and producers currently exploring that century chock full of not just high theater, but some damn fine wardrobes. Turn, Sleepy Hollow, Salem (although 17thC.) and now Crossbones have all not only done their homework, rewarding writers and creators whom clearly have studied their Colonial American history, but have skillfully engaged a 21stC. audience barely capable of understanding the difference between Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Button. This engagement may be partially due to a sagacity on the part of casting agents.

Be they Founding Fathers like George Washington, philosophers like René Descartes or medieval authors like Geoffrey Chaucer, varying forms of media have forever presented us with whiskered old men; when, in fact, most of them were in the ascent and apex of their careers about the same time as many of us today: 20s-40s. FOX’s reiteration of Sleepy Hollow casts the beauteous, theatre-trained Englishman Tom Mison as the heretofore, nebbish Ichabod Crane; AMC’s Turn gives us the chiseled Ian Kahn as George Washington and now NBC’s Blackbeard is a far more contemporary, if not quite Chris Hemsworth, version than any who have come before him. Whilst the historical-figures are given to us, visually, as men with whom we can identify by today’s standards, there is no mistaking the sartorial and language cues of the period. The frock coats and cloaks are as billowy and majestic as the dialogue. Contractions, abbreviations and slang be damned, the King’s English is securely, blessedly in place here.

Just as Bauhaus furniture was a severe reaction to Victorian and Edwardian flourish, perchance, conversely, this 21stC. trend toward the 18thC. may very well be a flouncy reaction to today’s nonchalant, terribly casual yet, simultaneously, hyper-agitated, get-it-by-yesterday, 140-character, “WhereUB?” schlubby kind of modern lifestyle. Casual historians and professional researchers alike of the Colonial period already know what TV audiences are just now learning: the 18thC. is far more hip than you thought and a dash of formality, in language and dress, is desperately craved.

Blackbeard’s End. North Carolina

Crossbones writer Neil Cross (Luther, MI-5, Doctor Who) knows both sleek, crime drama and dazzling, costumed fantasy. His treatment of the notorious Blackbeard, living an alternate, 1729 existence on the secret isle of Santa Compana, wherein he was never slain in 1718 by Lt. Robert Maynard and the British Royal Navy, is a thoughtfully imagined life of a temporarily land-stalled pirate, seeking to steal a proprietary technology, a chronometer, that will have him back on the Spanish Main and on top of the world by summer’s end.

“I thought it was a excellent piece of writing,” said Malkovich of The Devil’s Dominion, episode 1. So taken with it, he agreed to the role of Edward Teach, a.k.a. historically as Blackbeard or Thatch, upon finishing the script, he said in a Reuters interview.

As with many a film and theatre fixture gracing the small-screen as of late, Malkovich commands your attention. As author Jennifer Susannah Devore wrote of Tom Mison in a review of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, “Mison brings a decidedly non-telly flip-of-the-cape to primetime viewing.; so can it also be said of Malkovich in Crossbones.

Pleasingly, Crossbones also employs the considerable talents of Englishman Richard Coyle (Covert Affairs, Coupling, The Whistleblowers) as Dr. Thomas Lowe, posing as ship’s surgeon, serving as foil and nemesis of Blackbeard. “Ohhh, Geoffrey!”

If you find your summer lacking the proper amount of tropical sun, salty nights, Beach Bum Rum, silk-embroidered frock coats and Shakespearean-level dramaturgy, Friday nights on NBC, in a clandestine cove somewhere in the Caribbean is just the place to pile your purloined silver platter high with the spoils of privateering, pirateering and stagecraft that far excels the likes of standard, broadcast production.

Graphic courtesy of NBC Universal

Graphic courtesy of NBC Universal

Crossbones airs Fridays at 10/9c p.m. on NBC.

 

“Savannah of Williamsburg”‘s Cap’t. Maurice Bloodstone. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

… and in case ye be needin’ a pirate chanty fer those summer nights …

The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates ... free for Kindle!

The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates … free for Kindle!

“Me Cup Is Broke!”

A pirate chanty from Savannah of Williamsburg: The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates, Virginia 1718

lyrics by Jennifer Susannah Devore

Blow me sails full! Blow on! Blow on!
Pour me ale full! Flow on! Flow on!
Me treasure be waitin’, me lady tried ‘scapin’,
Me gold chest it swells, soon we’ll all go to Hell!
Ye Caribbean Sea so hot it drains me wit!
DREAD! Me cup is broke and who will fix it?!

Be ye a musician? Record a fine tune of “Me Cup Is Broke!” and let us hear it @JennyPopNet or Savannah of Williamsburg’s Facebook Page!

#Crossbones #pirates #summer

The Jumonville Massacre: A “Savannah of Williamsburg” Book IV Excerpt

Category : Candid Conversations, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, Literature

Today marks the 260th anniversary of the Jumonville Massacre. It also marks nearly as many years gone by since my pally, author Jennifer Susannah Devore, started writing Book IV in her Savannah of Williamsburg Series. Folks, she tells me this one is the most difficult one yet to scribe. Not only is this period of Colonial American history intricately spiderwebbed with FFV (First Families of Virginia: the Fairfaxes, the Randolphs, the Carters, the Byrds, the Washingtons et al) and all manner of their ensuing drama and personal conflicts, but 1754 is also a period of exponential growth in commerce, communication and westward expansion.

As Book IV in the planned, six-book, pre-Revolutionary series running 1705-1776, it also serves as a slight pivot wherein, like true colonials of the formative years of mid-18thC. America, characters begin to see varying ideals of life across the sea from The Crown. Whether royal power is dispensed via greedy royal governors like Gov. Robert Dinwiddie, or faceless judges of the Privy Council back in London, personal opinions and political ideologies are being formed. This is an arduous road to take with characters whom have always been only the very best of friends with little to worry about than fishing conditions on the James River, which bottle of wine to take to a hostess and whether or not a pink or a green hat should be worn for a spring garden party. Such is life, though. Folks grow up and, sometimes, especially during great turning points in history, disagree. Yes?

Savannah of Williamsburg's Master Dante Marcus Pritchen. Artwork/copyright: KIM, LLC

Savannah of Williamsburg’s Master Dante Marcus Pritchen. Artwork/copyright: KIM, LLC

History’s account of the Jumonville Massacre is whitewashed and glossed over so much so that it has come to be known romantically as the Jumonville Affair, to Americans and British anyway. Even the National Park Service (as the massacre occurred near what would become Fort Necessity, what is now in the Farmington, PA-area, and is now a national park) labels it “The Skirmish”. One particular “history” book describes the massacre as “A second expedition in 1754 led to bloodshed.” Jumonville is most oft characterized by one or two sentences with an airy flip of the wrist that says, “who knows what really happened?”. I do, and so does Savannah of Williamsburg. To be fair, PBS, as one might expect, has approached it with honesty and scholarship via their phenomenal series The War That Made America.

Jumonville is a deep, dark scar in our shared history, masked by the thick makeup of time. 22-year old George Washington’s first step onto the military stage is tripped by deceit, gullibility, naivete, youth, ambition and manipulation. Washington is played by not only those he thought confidants, but also his own vigorous itch to reach the next echelon of the gentry’s intimate infrastructure. The French have a different recounting of the Jumonville “affair”, of the slaughter in the woods; this is the tale I, and Our Dante Marcus Pritchen, intend to tell in Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington’s Folly and The French & Indian War, Virginia 1754.

So, for all you history geeks out there, as Book IV is still far from the publishing stage, Miss Jenny proffers the following excerpt to her long-suffering, long-patient readers waiting for the next title in the Savannah of Williamsburg Series of Books.

Excerpt from Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington’s Folly and The French & Indian War, Virginia 1754

by Jennifer Susannah Devore.

 

“Do you hear the owl, Ensign Jumonville?” Officer Druillong, though not superstitious, was aware his men might be less than rational about such things. “The men, they are sometimes wary of such omens,” he smiled.

L’hibou? The owl? Oui, je l’ecoute. I hear it. Not to worry. It is merely an owl. Crows are bad luck, magpies are bad luck, corvids are bad luck. I do not believe the owl brings bad luck. Maybe in America, though? You know a bit of the American culture, M’sieur Laforce.” he turned to his his other officer and compatriot. “Is the owl a harbinger of evil, here in America?”

“I do not think so, universally, Joseph.” He held up an index finger and added, “Although, I do know of a superstitious saying that comes from the British colonies in the South. From South Carolina, I think. I learn this from a trapper I once meet in Montreal; he learned this from a fur buyer for a French family in Charleston.” LaForce cleared his throat and looked upward for a moment, remembering the recitation properly.

When you hear the screech owl, honey, in the sweet gum tree, it’s a sign as sure as you’re born a death is bound to be,” he recited in his thick, French accent and ended with a bit of a chuckle, amused by the Southrons and their provincial ways.

Still, nobody else laughed or chuckled here in the officers’ tent; the misty, rain-soaked morning was just a little too creepy. All three officers then looked to the trees, set their cafes back on the wooden cabaret-tray, on top of the leather-trimmed trunk, and placed preparatory hands on their own firearms as a chill suddenly skittered up each man’s spine. Seeing nothing out of order, each man went back to his early-morning business, in silence, and ignored the hoots of M’sieur Owl. On the other side of the camp, cadets Remy St. Raphael and Xavier Moreau de Poirot went back to attending their cartridges and keeping a sharp eye for anything out of place.

Up on the cliffs, overlooking the glen, Washington stood anxiously, a young man, barely out of boyhood and ready for action. He looked back and forth amongst his Virginia militia. They looked ready, yet unsteady. These men were not trained for this; they were farmers, William & Mary dropouts and shopkeeps, not professional soldiers. It was akin to sending volunteer firemen into the raging mouth of a forest fire. Washington then turned his gaze to the troops with whom he shared this campaign: the British regulars, the professionals.

Captain Stephen’s men, about twenty in count, had arrived as silently as Tanaghrisson’s warriors and placed themselves just west of the glen, flanking the pit where the French obliviously set about their morning routine. Washington’s men had come up from the south, whilst the Indians were everywhere, and nowhere, all at once. As he squatted behind a rock, keeping his lithe, 6’2″ frame hidden from the French, Washington watched the contrasts between his Virginians and Stephen’s regulars. That was where he really wanted to be, in charge of a proper British army. This Virginia militia business was okay for a bit; but it wasn’t the stuff of gentlemen. Royal officers were gentlemen. Colonial lieutenants were simply chief rabble-rousers. Of course, he could have joined the Royal Navy straight away. Alas, there would be little to no opportunity to rise within those ranks. He may have had family connections; but so did every young man of note on either side of the Atlantic and they all wanted to be naval officers. Few wanted to rough the wilds of the colonies. If Washington could move along the French, secure some prime property with Governor Dinwiddie and the other Ohio Company landowners, he’d be certain to receive a commendation, a promotion and a grand step up the social ladder. He just needed to get through today.

Long ago young Washington lost sight of his Indians: the savviest group of this military triad, at least where the deep woods were concerned. Their numbers were small, maybe only ten, but a powerful ten they were. The Seneca, Iroquois and Delta warriors knew this area better than all of the Virginians and Britons put together. They certainly knew it better than young Dante, Washington’s official journaler.

 Commissioned to document all goings-on, Master Dante Marcus Pritchen was an adventurous tabby always on the lookout for an escapade and a good time and whom also called Williamsburg his home. He had jumped at the chance to be embedded with this expedition led by the equally adventurous Lt. Colonel George Washington. A country cat by nature whom lived in a rather comfortable tavern in the colonial capital city and who was descended from the cats of Julius Caesar’, Dante’s version of country was more suited to the life of a English country gentleman. These Ohio Country, dense woods were a little wet and wild for his druthers; but hearty he was and every bramble, bug and blister was nudged away with a sturdy spirit and not a small bit of cockalorum. Not a soldier by any stretch of the imagination, Dante was still a natural athlete, never a flabby and lazy tabby, if not altogether fit for a forest atmosphere. Accustomed to a fine meal, a decent glass of port and a quality bed of goose-down, he made the best of dining on stale bread, a ration of rum (not bad, that) and sleeping in a tree, which, by the morning, was wet with dew. If there was any test for Dante, it was wet fur in the morning.

For now, he shook a bit off his back legs, adjusted his scarlet-lace stock, smoothed his sleep-wrinkled blue frock coat and shot his , now-torn, lace cuffs. Just because he was camping, didn’t mean he had to look like an animal. Thinking back though, the blue-and-scarlet drawing room ensemble, even though capped with very expedition-appropriate, buckskin cloak and moccasins, might not have been the best choice of gear. Nevertheless, though many of the soldiers had openly mocked his dress and, whilst never uttering a word, Washington’s occasional side-long glance betrayed his bewilderment about clearly found it an odd selection, it had yet to impede his job. In fact, Dante had already filled two of his four journals with notes, reports and even some sketches. Nobody could have covered this expedition better and if any military embed was to get his work published in the Virginia Gazette, or, even more exciting, the London Times, it was Dante Marcus Pritchen, cub correspondent. With a final shake of dew off a back leg, he snatched a fresh journal and a dry quill and nib from his leather bag and began to scribe onto the first page. He always loved scratching his nib onto that first page. He surveyed the morning’s situation.

With the British on one side, Virginians on another and the Indians all around, the French would have neither a clue what was happening, nor a sliver of a way out; trapped like rats on a sinking ship. Maybe then they would heed King George’s polite requests to extricate from British lands.

Without warning, a single pop of ignited gunpowder cleaved the peaceful dawn, like a sharpened hatchet through brittle firewood. In a flash, chaos, screams and the smell of sulfur replaced the morning serenity, cricket-song and the musky scent of moss and wet earth. Before anyone in the French camp knew what was happening, dozens of men flooded into the hollow, like water flowing freely out of a pitcher and into a bowl. Indian warriors dropped from the trees like acorns as polished British redcoats and countrified Virginians poured into that same bowl, into the glen. Scattering this way and that, the regulars and Virginians blocked the only egress up and out of the glen. Armed Indians lined the cliffs like a row of stolid pickets. The French screams were sudden and surprised, ranging from soprano to deep baritone pitches. Remy turned toward the excited and terrified screams of his friend.

Au secours! Au secours!” Xavier pulled a piercing screech from his lungs, a last-ditch warning to Remy. “Les Anglais! Les Anglais! Les sauvages, mon ami! Les sauvages!” and he pointed to a warrior crouched on the cliff directly above where Remy stood.

 Remy looked upward in the direction of Xavier’s telltale finger. The sharp edge of a tomahawk was the last thing Remy saw. It was quick. Xavier had just enough time to pray his friend’s end was painless before he saw his own mortality at the edge of the same blade. Blessedly, it was instantaneous and painless for both of them.

Excerpt from Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington’s Folly and The French & Indian War, Virginia 1754 by Jennifer Susannah Devore. All rights reserved. Property of KIMedia, LLC. Excerpt may be shared digitally for entertainment,  non-commercial purposes only and may not be reprinted in analog format or sold in any format, digital, analog or otherwise.

 

@JennyPopNet #historygeek #Jumonville #GeorgeWashington

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Comic Book Heroines Podcast – One Shot Issue #6: Please Save My Earth

Category : Comic Book Heroines, Comics, Entertain Me, Featured

Comic Book Heroines is a podcast featuring women reading, reviewing and discussing comic books.

In this One Shot, Rachel Pandich shares the manga Please Save My Earth, art and story by Saki HiwatariPlease Save My Earth is published by Hakusensha in Japan and by Viz Media in the United States and is available in print at Barnes & Noble (check your local comic shop), as well as digitally (Kindle & Nook too!)

Comic Cover Art courtesy of Viz Media.

Click here for Direct Download.

HOST INFO
You can find her at the Webcomics site, SkinCrawlingComics.com, or on podcasts, such as Greatest Movie Ever or Heroes & Villains.

 

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com, or email us at podcasts@goodtobeageek.com.

Comic Book Heroines is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Comic Book Heroines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Comic Book Heroines – One Shot #5: Rat Queens

Category : Comic Book Heroines, Comics, Entertain Me, Featured, Reviews

Comic Book Heroines is a podcast featuring women reading, reviewing and discussing comic books.

In this One Shot, Samantha Cross tells us why she enjoys Rat Queens, created by Kurtis Wiebe and published by Image Comics.

Comic Cover Art courtesy of Image Comics.


Click here for Direct Download.

HOST INFO
Samantha Cross is a writer for Word of the Nerd (www.wordofthenerd.com) and co-host of the DC Confidential Podcast (http://podcasts.wordofthenerdonline.com). She has a Masters in History and works as an Archivist in Seattle, Washington. A long-time DC Comics fan, Sam is also a big fan of titles like SagaGhostedPretty Deadly and Quantum and Woody.

If you like inane comments or the occasional rant, you can follow Sam on Twitter @darling_sammy or check out her blog, The Maniacal Geek (www.maniacalgeek.wordpress.com), where she writes about comic books, television, movies, and whatever else suits her fancy.

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com or email us at podcasts@goodtobeageek.com.

Comic Book Heroines is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Comic Book Heroines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.