About Vanessa Gabriel

freelance writer. occasional cosplayer. always #noncompliant.

Game of Thrones Podcast: Sansa’s Smile

SO MANY GODDAMN SPOILERS!

Got it?

OK.

The past couple of episodes of Game of Thrones have been mostly set-up with very little momentum. That’s why I didn’t do a write-up on last week’s podcast. Although, the return of Continue reading

Game of Thrones Podcast S6 E6: The Dead Don’t Rest

*When I talk about Game of Thrones, there will always be SPOILERS!*

This season of Game of Thrones is moving along quite nicely. In its entire run, I don’t believe there’s been a season with such stellar pacing and momentum. It’s going so smoothly that I think we might actually, FINALLY see…  Continue reading

Game of Thrones Podcast: Khals and Doors

Happy Geek Pride Day, nerds!

It’s a perfect day to listen to Dana, Peter and myself geek out about Game of Thrones. Thank goodness the sixth season is giving us so much in the way of new detail and a bounty of gratifying story-telling. It makes these podcasts a lot more fun (and way less rage-filled). Continue reading

Game of Thrones S6 E3: Jon Snow Drops the Mic

Happy Monday after Mother’s Day! I am all kinds of exhausted from doing holiday things, so you’re not going to get a whole lot out of me this week in regards to extra commentary.

But, I did talk for almost an hour about this week’s episode with my two good nerd friends over at Stimulated Boredom. Our varying levels of Fire & Ice knowledge visits the Tower of Joy. R + L = J, ya’ll. At least, it sure does seem to be heading in that direction.

Podcast for Oathbreaker, Episode 3, Season Six, Game of Thrones. Check it.

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Talk to you next week! I am about as tired as Dany looks.

Game of Thrones S6 E2 Podcast: “What Choo Talkin’ Bout Willis?”

Woooo hoooooo! Maybe Jon Snow knows everything now. I suppose that has yet to be seen, so let’s talk about what has been seen. Heads up, serious effing spoilers, OK?

PODCAST HERE. Further super-fun commentary below.

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel abused at the end of this Game of Thrones episode. I felt gratified. There are several reasons why, but most importantly… Continue reading

Game of Thrones Podcast: Undressing The Red Woman

As we enter into the sixth season of Game of Thrones, I am convinced (now more than ever) that I am a masochist. You would think that the Red Wedding and the Red Viper would be enough to make any girl with half a brain avoid theatrics of such consequence. Well, I have a whole brain, a brilliant brain, and somehow I end up enthralled with HBO’s incarnation of Game of Thrones. I blame my amygdala. Continue reading

Pull List Worthy Comics: January 27

pull list wor·thy

po͝ol list wərT͟Hē
adjective

1. a comic book that is deserving of effort, attention, respect and purchase.
“Since the first issue, The Wicked and The Divine has been consistently pull list worthy.”


It’s Wednesday you beautiful nerd-faced nerds! I am trying to do this pull-list thing weekly to make sure you all stay on track (and in-line) with appropriate comic book choices. And by appropriate, I mean awesome. Check it. Continue reading

Pull List Worthy Comics: January 20

pull list wor·thy

po͝ol list wərT͟Hē
adjective

1. a comic book that is deserving of effort, attention, respect and purchase.
“Bitch Planet is such a provocative read, it is totally pull list worthy.”


Happy Wednesday, nerds! I have cultivated a fine list of pull list worthy comics for you to check out when you hit your comic shop this week. In the mean time, tell me what’s on your pull list in the comments! Continue reading

REVIEW: Harley’s Little Black Book #1, Midnighter #7

I have a confession. I haven’t been reading much DC Comics… lately.

Yeah. I like Black Canary, but mostly because I am obsessed with the character and Annie Wu’s art. Bombshells is also a fine example of a superhero comic, and I do get my Secret Six on from time to time. That about sums it up.

I feel kind of blasphemous about it all. Birds of Prey. Wonder Woman. Superman: Birthright. These are the reasons I fell down the rabbit hole, and now I couldn’t give two shits. Much of the recent continuity, excluding Multiversity, rings wholly uninteresting to me. I will acknowledge that my aesthetic has certainly evolved since I began reading comics, and that is undeniably a part of my lackluster feelings towards DC. Also, who am I to judge when I am reading a whopping THREE titles?

So. Here’s me. Reading more DC. Trying to prove myself wrong.

Turns out. It worked.

Check my review of Harley’s Little Black Book #1 featuring Wonder Woman and drawn by Amanda Conner (YAY!). And I went ahead and reviewed Midnighter #7, too. Writer Steve Orlando has a particularly biting vernacular unlike any other, and Aco’s art is fanfreakingtastic. Check it.

REVIEW: DC Comics Bombshells #1

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Falling in love with the many gorgeous statues that are made of our cherished comic book characters can be an expensive endeavor. I was personally obsessed with the second Ame-Comi Wonder Woman designed by artist Dustin Nguyen. You know, the one that is an homage to Greg Rucka’s Wondy that decapitated Medusa blind? Yeah. I eventually got my hands on one, but at great cost to a former paramour as in he paid a pretty penny for it.

DC’s Bombshells statues are just as admirable, if not more. They’re fun, creative, cosplay worthy and inspire all kinds of ideas… you know, like for a comic book! Continue reading

REVIEW: Fables #150

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Fables was one of the comics I cut my teeth on, and it will always hold a special place on my shelf. Today, the final (mega) issue of Fables hits comic shops, and the unconventional, intricate, addictive fairy tale is over. Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha and all the other wonderful artists and editors totally stuck the landing.

You can read my full review HERE.

Fables Farewell

REVIEW: Black Canary #2

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You guys! Annie Wu‘s pencils on Black Canary are SO GOOD! I’m basically obsessed, and over-the-moon that Wu is the one drawing my favorite character. I’d be remiss not to mention Lee Loughridge‘s colors. He does fantastic things for the tone of the book. The two of them combined SET the tone of the book. It’s edgy, but not trite. It’s modern and stylized. The art is basically the shit. I mean LOOK at my girl…

Also, check my full review of Black Canary #2 RIGHT HERE.

REVIEW: Kaptara #1

Sex Criminals and Howard the Duck are obviously comics done by a creator with a sense of humor. I can actually vouch for that humor because I ran into him at HeroesCon last year, and he’s a delightful goofball. I am talking about Chip Zdarsky, and when he announced his book Kaptara at Image Expo – he declared it the “gay Saga.” Continue reading

The Return of NONPLAYER

Do you remember Nonplayer? How could you forget?

Well, it has been four years, so I will refresh your memory.

In 2011, Nate Simpson released the first issue of what is planned to be a six-issue series about a girl who spends most of her time in a “full-immersion” virtual reality game called “Warriors of Jarvath.” The comic is exquisitely drawn, and the story is totally engaging. It was a huge success, critics and fans were effusive.

If it was so awesome, why haven’t we seen a second issue? Continue reading

REVIEW: Spider-Gwen #1

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Having rattled many a figurative comics cage in my blogging time in attempts to get publishers to take notice (and they didn’t), it is beyond gratifying to see Spider-Gwen #1 come to print. Last September, a spidey-powered Gwen Stacy graced the pages of Edge of the Spider-Verse #2 as just an alternate-world character, but the fan response was so overwhelmingly positive that Marvel gave Gwen her own book.

What does that mean? Continue reading

REVIEW: Miami Vice Remix #1

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Buddy cop comics really aren’t my thing unless it’s Birds of Prey, and they’re not really cops. Although, I’d totally ready a book that paired up Renee Montoya with Starling. That’d be fun. I digress.

Miami Vice had the ultimate buddy cops. Tubbs and Crockett set trends that have reverberated through the film and television generations. Now, there is a comic. One that I think is totally worth your time, particularly if you were ever a fan of the show. This version has some modern pop culture mixed in and Jim Mahfood’s extravagant art. “Remix” is a perfect moniker.

You can read my full review HERE.

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REVIEW: Lady Killer #1

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Dark Horse Comics kicks off the year with an excellent new comic called Lady Killer by Joëlle Jones, Jamie S. Rich and Laura Allred. I’ve actually been a fan of Joëlle’s style for quite some time now, and you may have seen her selling some of her prints at a con near you. Anyway, her talent is thoroughly showcased in this book. The art is fantastic, you guys. And Laura Allred’s colors are to die for (pun intended). Continue reading

REVIEW: Punk Mambo #0

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I love it when a new character comes along and lights my fire. Punk Mambo would be just such a character. Born in the pages of Shadowman, she is Peter Milligan’s baby. She’s definitely got spit and fire. She’s also got a cavalcade of dark magic that could totally melt your face. The best part about her is that she marches to the beat of her own strange drum. I reviewed the one-shot out tomorrow by Valiant, and this would qualify as a great girl story. You can read my full review HERE.

And in case you missed it, I reviewed the final issue of Azzarello and Chiang’s Wonder Woman a couple of weeks ago. You will not be at all surprised to know that I got a little saucy with it. While you’re there, check Lindsey’s review of Elektra, too.

You guys, Robert Gill's art is baller!

You guys, Robert Gill’s art is baller!

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Ever since Spider-Gwen was announced, the comic world has been buzzing with praise for her design, cosplayers are popping up at cons and there was an all-around anticipation-high for the character. Jason Latour and Robbie Rodriguez’s Edge of Spider-Verse #2 features Gwen Stacy as the unwitting soul who got bit by a spider in all her tenacious glory. It’s a strong start and a great (girl) character. You can read my full review HERE.

Edge of Spider-Verse's Spider-Woman by W. Scott Forbes

Edge of Spider-Verse’s Spider-Woman by W. Scott Forbes

Barbarella, Kelly Sue and Unapologetic Lady Sex

If you appreciate the cultural significance of comics, then Barbarella should be a part of your repertoire. Mind you, I didn’t know this until about two months ago. I hope to save ya’ll from such ignorance.

Barbarella 1If you don’t know, Barbarella is a French comic from the early sixties by Jean-Claude Forest. Apparently, France was (and possibly still is) where it’s at for progressive themes in comics, particularly for women and the expression of their sexuality.

While Barbarella was busy being a women’s sexual liberation icon in France, Grove Press published an English version of the comic on this side of the pond in the mid-60s. But that translation is dated.

Humanoids Inc partnered with Kelly Sue DeConnick to do a contemporary take on the original French version. I had the privilege of reading Kelly Sue’s adaptation, and guys, this comic is a game-changer. Continue reading

The Wicked + The Divine Cosplay: Lucifer

What is a girl to do when she gets home from work and her WiFi is down? She tries to do a real-life recreation of one of her favorite comic book covers, naturally.

Which comic book cover do I speak of? That would be Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson‘s utterly exquisite The Wicked + The Divine #1 variant cover featuring the enigmatic Lucifer.

So, how’d I do?

Lucifer Cosplay - Wicked Divine

How Do You Build a Great Girl Character?

This one time when I was at the bar (and by one time, I mean Tuesday night), I got into one of those taboo conversations about feminism and the treatment of female characters in fiction. The conversation inevitably made its way to comics; I mean this is me after all. Then my nemesis, we’ll call him Baby Bird, made the obvious and seemingly inevitable hasty generalization that men are just as objectified as women in comics. And well, that kicked me into high gear with points about inequity, marginalization and visual representation (see Kelly Thompson’s articulate essay that inspired my vein-popping rant).

Baby Bird may not have been up-to-speed on the gender bias prevalent in comics and fiction in general, but the discussion on the topic has grown exponentially over the past several years. Much of that conversation is spent calling out the bullshit. Rightfully so. While I live for a good row just like the next girl, I think it is pretty clear what the problems are. So how do we fix them? Continue reading

5 Things I Learned at HeroesCon 2014

After several repeat performances at DragonCon and two rounds of MegaCon, this girl was looking for a new adventure. I had heard through various social media that HeroesCon was the favorite con of many a comic artist, writer and other industry types. A tweet here and a status there that compared to so many other conventions, it’s said to be an authentic experience no matter what side of the table you are on. Color me curious. Continue reading

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One of the most memorable and well-done stories in recent history over at the DC of comics is Greg Rucka’s Detective Comics featuring Batwoman and his creation of the antagonist, Alice. When J.H. Williams was chosen to relaunch Batwoman on her own title, he made it clear that Alice would only be revisited with the utmost of care because he had so much respect for what he and Rucka had done previously. While he was on the book, Alice was revisited in his final arc, and I think he did a fine job. Continue reading

Wonder Woman Is …

Enduring DC’s lackadaisical treatment of the first lady of comics has been something of a challenge for me critically, and if I am being completely honest, emotionally as well. When I get all fired up, I say things like, DC Ruined Wonder Woman Twice in One Day. Sure, it’s alarmist… only in the sense that I was genuinely alarmed. I pissed a few folks off with that write-up.

It is true that I rather enjoy raising the fanboy cackle, but I did read some of the criticisms of my rant. One thing stood out as fair – I had not read Superman/Wonder Woman. While I was only commenting on the strangeness and absurdity of a variant cover, I figure if I am going to continue to malign DC’s current treatment of the character – I could consider more than just Azzarello’s run. (Again, if I am being completely honest, two of my best good friends also told me I might like. It did take two of them.)

I have now read all seven issues of Superman/Wonder Woman, and I liked it. Mostly. Continue reading

The Cosplay Way

It’s an odd reaction you get when you tell your colleagues, friends and family that the thing you look forward to most all year is dressing up like a superhero. Don’t get me wrong, most people are wonderfully supportive, even if they have no clue why a grown-ass woman would do such a thing.

If you read Girls Gone Geek, then you probably know why we cosplay. But the truth is, most people in our everyday life don’t quite get it. Most people have never even heard the word “cosplay.” So, they are curious.

Turns out, the local magazine where Erika and I reside was curious, too. Erika, in her infinite and heartfelt journalistic wisdom, did a wonderful job giving our corner of the world a lesson in Cosplay 101. Her article, Getting Into Character the ‘Cosplay’ Way, is an excellent read, complete with pictures and video. Did I mention, she’s on the cover as Nubia?

To view the full issue, CLICK HERE.

To view the web version of the article (each version has different photos), CLICK HERE.

And a video of our photo shoot IS RIGHT HERE! Continue reading