Science Fiction and Costumes – Star Wars

Recently I got to see the Star Wars and the Power of Costumes exhibit at the EMP Museum. It started out as kind of a “ooo Star Wars!” followed by “oh, look at all those Queen Amidala dresses…” and finally led to that deeper thought and understanding: that costumes really matter a lot for a science fiction (or fantasy, or a lot of other genre) movie. Costumes that look different from what we are used to create the sense of a whole new world.

One of my favorite examples is still the Dune mini-series, for which someone decided that clearly, what all the different groups in the galaxy did was just wear really big hats to show who they were:

We don't know what you mean...

We don’t know what you mean…

I could gush about this, or I could mainly share some pictures and a couple of thoughts. Let’s let the pictures speak for themselves!

This is only some of the many costumes of Queen Amidala!

This is only some of the many costumes of Queen Amidala!

One of the things that the exhibit pointed out was just how much more costumes and the pomp and circumstance mattered in the prequels. This was the more civilized age, the bygone era that Obi Wan lamented being gone. This was an era of the Senate, of different cultures all having a voice. Before the Emperor took over, and all the soldiers looked the same…

More photos and thoughts below!

Continue reading

Bryan Lee O’Malley – The Voice of my Generation

I’ve talked before about the voice of a generation – I feel like Lorde has the potential to be that for folks younger than me. You know, kids these day. Me? Coming in at a round 30, the prophet of my generation would have to be graphic novelist Bryan Lee O’Malley.

Who’s that, you ask? Why, none other than the guy who penned Scott Pilgrim and his precious little life. I honestly already pretty much felt this way after reading Scott Pilgrim the first time. Actually, probably after the second time. Because you want to know what I did as soon as I was done with book 6, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour? I picked up book 1, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life and read the whole series again.

What does the best fighter in the Province have to do with my generation? I think it’s more the aimlessness. The suburbs. The needing to get it together – and it feeling like that’s taking longer that before. And the feeling that we really wish something more epic (but manageable) would happen – though in the Scott Pilgrim universe, epic comic book/video game style fights are the norm. Emotional baggage become manifest, and battle ensues!

Ah, with wonderful panels like this - faithfully recreated in the Edgar Wright film.

Ah, with wonderful panels like this – faithfully recreated in the Edgar Wright film.

Honestly, I feel like I need a reread – I’ve been holding off until the full color edition was out, which only just finished releasing recently. If you’re looking for an amazing comic to pick up in all its color glory, this might be what you’re looking for.

But if you’re looking for just one graphic novel, then you’re looking for his most recent one, a stand alone story about the now-30 crowd. It’s called Seconds, and it’s about a chef who opened a restaurant with all her friends, who by 30 have all left and she’s alone. She’s tired of the place and wants to move on, and is working on opening a new restaurant – the purchase and repair for which is a nightmare.

At least, that’s what it’s about until she starts rewriting history.

Katie playing boss at her restaurant, Seconds.

Katie playing boss at her restaurant, Seconds.

Seconds is about, I suppose, second chances. And third, and fifth, and on from there. And how, if we could do it all again, maybe we shouldn’t. About how my generation was promised that we could have it all, and how the real world does not seem to actually work that way – and even if you had the power to try to make it so, it still wouldn’t work.

Seconds was amazing, and I highly recommend it. Holly will be writing a reaction to it later today on Comparative Geeks. But until then, what do you think? Love Scott Pilgrim? Thoughts on Seconds? Other selections for the voice of our generation? I would love to know – join the conversation in the comments below!

Straight from the pages of Secret Wars XIII…

Cover to What If Venom possessed DeadpoolTired of your comics continuity coming apart? Of DC and Convergence, of Marvel and Secret Wars? Looking for a character who can effect real, lasting change? Who matters more than all the others? Then of course you are looking for none other than Deadpool, and the comic of choice this week is What If Venom Possessed Deadpool?

I originally picked up this comic because I was like “Hey, I like Venom and I like Deadpool.” But you’ll notice in the discussion to come there’s not a lot of Venom. Yeah… wasn’t really the relevant part of all of this! Venom, through the symbiote suit, is a connection to the original Secret Wars, which is the real point here!

What If? is a longstanding occasional Marvel comic, looking at (you guessed it) the “what ifs?” of comic events and happenings. However, it’s usually a bit more serious… this one is 100% parody. Possibly more percents.

So what happens? Continue reading

Weekend Music – Clockwork Angels

Look, it’s a guest Weekend Music! One of my very favorite bands is Rush, an addiction picked up from my dad. Which is easy enough to pass along, as they’re celebrating their 40th year this year. Their most recent album was only two years ago, their first concept album – Clockwork Angels.

I wrote a whole series of posts about how I love music but don’t always really understand it. Not so much when it comes to Rush – I feel like I get it. Whether it’s the priests of Syrinx, the black hole of Cygnus X-1, Alph the sacred river, or the Working Man, I’ve got a handle on the metaphors, stories, and mythology going on.

Well, maybe until Clockwork Angels… however, this concept album was more than just the album – they wrote a utopian/dystopian novel to go with it. I’ve reviewed that before, but it ends up at the end with the song above. The Garden. A good life, on your own terms, despite however the world tries to drag you one way or another.

“In this one of many possible worlds…”

I will be seeing Rush this year for their Rush 40th concert tour, and I am incredibly excited. I’ll likely be geeking out more about Rush after that, as part of Eclectic Alli’s “Passionate Geeks” series. Hey, are you reading that series? Go forth and do so!