This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, May 14, 2015

The New Supergirl Series May Be the Best Thing Ever

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, May 14, 2015 at 10:14 AM

The new CBS Supergirl series set to debut this fall has its first trailer... and WHAT THE EFF. It's GREAT! At first I was like, "a six minute trailer?" Then I was like, "I never want this to end!" Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El/Supergirl is freaking adorable, Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen is hot, and Calista Flockhart as boss lady Cat Grant is hilarious. I'm already overselling it too much... so just watch and oversell it to yourself.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Flash/Arrow Spinoff Gets a Title... and a Description!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, May 8, 2015 at 1:56 PM

Im tiny... but Im hot!
  • Courtesy CW
  • "I'm tiny... but I'm hot!"

Finally, some concrete info on CW's long rumored spinoff of The Flash and Arrow. The next DC product to be turned into a show will be subtly titled, Legends of Tomorrow and will debut this coming fall. Here's the official description, courtesy of

When heroes alone are not enough… the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat – one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. Can this ragtag team defeat an immortal threat unlike anything they have ever known?

I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION! I hope so? It seems this "ragtag" team will consist of Atom, Black Canary (maybe?), Hawkgirl, Firestorm, Heatwave, and probably more. If I were them I would not like to be called "ragtag." I would consider that insulting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This Sesame Street Avengers Parody May Be Better than the Real Thing!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 10:59 AM

Obviously I haven't seen The Avengers: Age of Ultron yet. However! I find it extremely difficult to believe it will be better than this vegetable-themed Sesame Street parody called The Aveggies: Age of Bon Bon. It stars Onion Man, Captain Americauliflower, Black Bean Widow, Mighty Corn, (the decidedly UNCOOL) Zuchin-eye, and features Cookie Monster as Dr. Bruce Brownie—who really Hulks out on a cookie space ship. VERY FUNNY STUFF.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Watch Daredevil Kick the Crap Out of Bad Guys—in One Single Take

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 1:59 PM

I haven't watched all of the new Netflix Daredevil series from Marvel Studios—but what I've seen so far? I LIKE. One scene in particular really caught my and the internet's attention; a three-minute fight scene that was shot in one take, with no cuts. Go ahead and watch it, it's not spoiling anything... unless you were under the impression that Daredevil solves problems using group mediation therapy. The Observer talked to fight and stunt coordinator Philip J Silvera about shooting this very fun one-shot, no-cuts scene:

So it was genuinely one shot? No cuts?

No cuts. We did do a few Texas Switches between our actor and our stunt double, but it was purely a one shot fight. There were no cuts in that fight. Every performer, the actors and the stunt doubles, were in there performing that fight full on. I’d say there was a minimum of 105 beats, and they killed it.

I really loved the realism of this scene, in which halfway through the epic brawl everyone involved is plumb tuckered out—and yet? They fight on. WATCH.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Daredevil Review Roundup!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 9:29 AM

Netflix premiered the entire first season of Marvel's Daredevil at midnight last night when I was sleeping like a normal human being. I LOVE TO SLEEP! I love it even more than staying up to watch another superhero TV show... I know, call me crazy. ANYWAY. I've rounded up some of the early reviews so you can decide whether to binge watch it tonight, or, you know, SLEEP. You're welcome.

From the Telegraph:

Handsome, meticulously paced and with a break-out performance from [Charlie] Cox, it has the potential to transcend the geek ghetto and become Netflix's biggest hit this side of House of Cards.

From the A.V. Club:

Through the first five episodes at least, the various plots and subplots—most of them involving gang wars and shady business dealings that inflict collateral damage on the residents of Hell’s Kitchen—aren’t compelling or original enough to earn an active “Yes, I’d like to see more of this.” Instead, what Daredevil has are one or two moments per episode that may be exciting or promising enough to keep Neflix subscribers from hitting the stop button before the next episode auto-plays.

From the LA Times:

Some story lines are weaker than others... and though the body count is relatively low, certain deaths are unnervingly brutal (heads are literally bashed in). But the cast is universally strong and the writers... remain resolute in their convictions.

From Entertainment Weekly:

Like Gotham, Daredevil has a few too many ripe lines about what it means to be a hero, a few too many “THIS IS MY CITY” soliloquies. It’s trying to be a lot of things—a lawyer show, a superhero saga, a crime epic, a city symphony—and it doesn’t succeed at everything. But there’s an energy to the first five episodes, a feeling that this show can try everything.

From Slate:

Netflix’s Daredevil is a shock to the senses in a number of ways, but the first and biggest is that it’s really, really good. I’ve watched only the first five episodes, but so far Daredevil is the best superhero television show I’ve ever seen; more than that, it stands among the best screen ventures that Marvel has yet undertaken. It’s dark and gripping, smart and sure-footed, and takes itself and its audience seriously while avoiding either pretentious brooding or fanboy pandering. It’s also adventurous and different, in a way a show this good was always going to need to be. It’s the first modern small-screen comic adaptation that doesn’t seem to be lustily glancing at the multiplex.

  • Courtesy Netflix

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Walidah Imarisha: A New Vision for Science Fiction, Social Justice, and the Future

Posted by Megan Burbank on Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 2:00 PM

"I HAVE ALWAYS been into superheroes and comic books," says Walidah Imarisha when we meet up at Coffeehouse-Five on N Killingsworth. Perhaps best known for her writing (everything from poetry to criticism), teaching (at Portland State University), and her public scholarship on race in Oregon, Imarisha's now putting a social justice lens on science fiction. As co-editor of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, out now from Oakland's AK Press, she's also written a story for the anthology, about a "grumpy" black angel.

"When I was growing up, all I had was Storm from the X-Men who looked like me," says Imarisha. "She's supposedly the second-in-command but she's very Uhura [from Star Trek]. She's very underutilized."

So when she and fellow writer Adrienne Maree Brown signed on to edit Octavia's Brood, named for science-fiction luminary Octavia E. Butler, Imarisha wanted to create a black female superhero. But it turns out it's pretty difficult to write a superhero who isn't inherently fascist.

"Superheroes by definition are these very elitist ideologies," she explains. "You have superpowers either because you had money to buy them—Batman—or you were born with these superpowers or you got mutated by some spider or whatever—but you're better, you're super."

Imarisha had done what many sci-fi writers have, from Joss Whedon to The Hunger Games' Suzanne Collins. She'd written a character you don't normally see taking power in mainstream sci-fi. But instead of subverting the dominant superhero narrative, Imarisha realized she'd merely reinforced it. Her heroine had become "a regular superhero."

"It's not enough for me just to put a black woman in this role," she says. "I need to re-envision the role itself."


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Neil DeGrasse Tyson's New Show StarTalk Looks AH-MAY-ZING

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 10:29 AM


There's a new player in the late night talk show game, y'all! The show stars your favorite brainiac astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and its called StarTalk (National Geographic Channel, debuting April 20, 11 pm). It's based on his popular podcast, will be filmed in front of a live audience at NYC's American Museum of Natural History, AND will include pretaped segments starring the also beloved Bill Nye the Science Guy! BUT DON'T SQUEEEEE JUST YET. Save your squeals of excitement for the awesome lineup he's got for the first episode. From CinemaBlend:

The first episode will take on the theme “Star Trek as Inspiration for the Future,” with series star and author George Takei popping by to talk about how the futuristic aspects of the show fit in with today’s society. Next up? None other than director Christopher Nolan, who will talk with Tyson about Insterstellar and how he peppers his films with his love for science. Will Tyson still have his initial opinions on the film, or will they have changed by that point? Comedian and Bob’s Burgers star Eugene Mirman will also be a part of that episode and others.

C'mon, are you kidding me? BUT DON'T SQUEE YET! Check out the lineup for the first 10 episodes!!

Later episodes will feature journalist and fellow podcaster Dan Savage talking about love and science, Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington talking about the Information Age and communication, astronaut Chris Hadfield discussing social media in space, and former president Jimmy Carter talking about eradicating epidemics. Other guests include author and biologist Richard Dawkins, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, NASA administrator Charles Bolden, and iconic TV producer Norman Lear.



Friday, March 6, 2015

Your First Peek at TV's New Supergirl

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 1:29 PM

Here's the first look at TV's new Supergirl, to be played by Melissa Benoist, and debuting sometime in the hopefully near future on CBS.

  • Courtesy: Warner Bros. Television

This is a verrrrry different approach to what the CW would do if they had the character, and I have to admit it's refreshing to see Supergirl portrayed as a regular teenager rather than a dreamworld teen sexpot. When I said this to Erik over iChat, here's how he responded:


Okay, fine... JIMMY OLSEN BETTER BE A HOT, SHIRTLESS HUNK! (Pant pant, ah-OOH-gaaahhh!)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Breaking: Purringtons Cat Lounge, Portland's First-Ever Cat Cafe, Opens A Week From TOMORROW!

Posted by Megan Burbank on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 1:29 PM

JUST TEA FOR TWO and two, for tea.
  • Purringtons Cat Lounge on Instagram
  • JUST TEA FOR TWO and two, for tea.

You heard right: Portland's premiere cat cafe, Purringtons Cat Lounge, opens tomorrow a week from tomorrow! If you're unfamiliar with the concept of cat cafes, they are just like regular cafes, except for one tiny detail: THERE ARE CATS YOU CAN PET. From the Purringtons Cat Lounge website:

Purringtons Cat Lounge will be the premier petting palace in P-town for kitty lovers slated to open up by the first of the year 2015! We will be located at a super cool renovation at 3529 NE MLK. As we partner with Cat Adoption Team, these felines will be in thee best spot while waiting to be adopted. The humans who visit them will be offered some of Oregon’s finest locally roasted coffees, microbrews, wines and teas. Not to mention edible delights to round out your experience.

We're not talking scrappy used bookstore cats either; these are specially-trained cats, who the cafe staff will ensure are "kind to each other, friendly with people, and up-to-date with vaccinations and medical treatments," and they're also adoptable, so if you bond with a cat over your glass of wine, you might get to keep it! Their website also has an amazing FAQ section, that clarifies that outside cats are not allowed at Purringtons, you know, SO DON'T GET ANY IDEAS:

Will people be able to bring their cats to Purringtons?

This one comes up quite frequently! We are pretty sure your cat or cats are really cool, but we cannot allow outside cats into Purringtons. Getting cats to get a long without having a chance to get to “know” each other would create safety concerns for our resident cats and visitors. Also, to comply with health department codes, we must have strict rules on how the shelter cats are brought in and when they leave after being adopted. The cats at Purringtons will be provided to us by Cat Adoption Team and will be selected based on their ability to hang out with other cats and people.

As for me, I live in a building that only allows adult cats "with excellent references," so it's only a matter of time before I'm lifting a cup of tea to a new friend at this establishment.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Welcome to Portland, Welcome to Night Vale!

Posted by Megan Burbank on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 2:29 PM


Attention, radio-loving geeks! Your favorite podcast is coming to town! No, I don't mean Serial. I'm talking about Welcome to Night Vale, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor's podcast that transports you to a desert town (some people think it's in Texas) where all conspiracies are true, and there's a faceless old woman who lives in your house (INSERT WILHELM SCREAM HERE).

Welcome to Nightvale comes to Portland on Thursday, April 23 at Revolution Hall, but you can start buying your tickets next Friday, January 23! I have a hunch they'll go pretty fast, so if you're one of those Tumblr users making fanart of Night Vale host Cecil Baldwin's third eye, you'll want to save yourself a seat before that faceless lady in your house snatches 'em up*!

*Probably this won't actually happen.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Serial Update: The Deal With Jay, According to Jay

Posted by Megan Burbank on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 3:29 PM


As many, many Ira Glass-adoring novice Agatha Christie NPR fans did, I listened to Sarah Koenig's crime podcast Serial and agreed strongly with Joe Streckert's take on the final episode, which left a lot open in the story of Hae Min Lee's murder. But one key stumbling block in figuring out what happened came from Koenig and Co.'s inability to get much information out of Jay, the state's key witness against Adnan Syed at trial. Koenig had some big questions about Jay's story that were, frustratingly, never answered. And it didn't look like they would be. Until yesterday, when The Intercept published the first in a series of in-depth interviews with Jay, where he explains what's behind the holes in his story. It's worth a read for Serial purists, and it's also interesting to see what Jay's willing to say on the record to someone else, that he didn't divulge to Koenig:

Why is this story different from what you originally told the police? Why has your story changed over time?

Well first of all, I wasn’t openly willing to cooperate with the police. It wasn’t until they made it clear they weren’t interested in my ‘procurement’ of pot that I began to open up any. And then I would only give them information pertaining to my interaction with someone or where I was. They had to chase me around before they could corner me to talk to me, and there came a point where I was just sick of talking to them. And they wouldn’t stop interviewing me or questioning me. I wasn’t fully cooperating, so if they said, ‘Well, we have on phone records that you talked to Jenn.’ I’d say, ‘Nope, I didn’t talk to Jenn.’ Until Jenn told me that she talked with the cops and that it was ok if I did too.

I stonewalled them that way. No — until they told me they weren’t trying to prosecute me for selling weed, or trying to get any of my friends in trouble. People had lives and were trying to get into college and stuff like that. Getting them in trouble for anything that they knew or that I had told them — I couldn’t have that.

I guess I was being kind of a jury on whether or not people needed to be involved or whatever, but these people didn’t have anything to do with it, and I knew they didn’t have anything to do with it.

That’s the best way I can account for the inconsistencies. Once the police made it clear that my drug dealing wasn’t gonna affect the outcome of what was going on, I became a little bit more transparent.

Also discussed: growing up in Baltimore in the '90s, which Jay describes as a community "where people would have their house firebombed and still tell the police they knew nothing about it rather than to try to make some sense of what’s going on. And that’s not necessarily me—but that is my family, that is my uncles and cousins. It’s where I’m from." This, I think, provides some necessary context for the story—and for Jay's narrative—that seemed blatantly missing from the podcast, and perhaps even explains why Jay was so difficult for Koenig to get on the record in the first place. Read the whole thing here.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Today in Internet News: Mallory Ortberg Subsidiary The Butter Goes Live!

Posted by Megan Burbank on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

I HAVE A REVIEW COPY OF THIS BOOK and I am obsessed with it.
  • Henry Holt
  • I HAVE A REVIEW COPY OF THIS BOOK and I am obsessed with it.

The Butter, the new sister site to Mallory Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe's The Toast, launched today, and it's already full of Roxane Gay-curated excellence. (If you don't know who Mallory Ortberg is, just follow her on Twitter right now, because it's really worth it, and watch for our coverage of her new book, Texts from Jane Eyre, in the coming weeks.) Roxane Gay is one of the most prolific writers around. I read her Tumblr regularly, just for the extended feminist deconstructions of TV and movies, and she also an editor at the literary journal [PANK]. One time, she published an essay I wrote, and I freaked out because I was emailing with ROXANE GAY!

So how's The Butter so far? GREAT. My favorite is this list of words that should actually be banned, in response to Time's laughable suggestion that the word "feminist" be outlawed*:

1. Female when used to refer to a human woman.

2. Crazy when used to refer to your ex-girlfriend(s). They cannot all be crazy. Maybe it’s just you.

3. Bitch, in nearly every context, but particularly if you are referring to your romantic partner, a woman you don’t like, a woman who has spurned you, or really, any woman at all. Also, when gratuitously used in music ie: “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” or “That’s how you let the beat build bitch,” or “I see two of my bitches in the club.”

Number 1 especially, you guys! Anytime I hear someone refer to women as "females"—so clinical, so applicable to ANY SPECIES—it sets off my HELLA FUCKING CREEPY alert. Do not do that. What should we all do? We should all pay attention to the Toast's growing digital empire. I'm pretty sure it's going to grow into the next Awl Network, but with more jokes about books.

Best of all, Gay promises that the Butter will never run clickbait headlines. "There won’t be headlines like, 'You won’t believe this,' and 'You’ll never believe that,' even though we are well aware we need to entice readers somehow, someway," she wrote in an into to the site. "We aren’t going to publish explainers. Sometimes we will publish lists. This is an endeavor that prioritizes quality over quantity."

*I mean, COME ON! I kind of feel bad anyone is even directly addressing it, because what a waste of time! What an act of troll-feeding! Go home, Time Magazine. You've been drunk ever since you ran that cover with a mirror on it and were like, who's the person of the year? OH, JUST EVERYBODY YOU KNOW WHY NOT

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Batman: The Complete Series Out on DVD/Blu-ray TODAY!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 10:14 AM

  • Courtesy Warner Brothers

After a nearly interminable wait, the late '60s classic, Batman: The Complete Series (starring Adam West and Burt Ward) is finally out TODAY on DVD and Blu-ray. Why the long wait? Apparently not only did it take forever to bring the episodes up to today's Blu-ray standards, but Warner Bros. had to negotiate the rights with the owners of the series, 20 Century Fox, as well as get all the surviving stars and creators to sign off on the project. But the results are phenomenal, according to those who've seen it. From the NYT:

Judging from what has been made available to the press, the remastering has restored the series with an eye-popping panache. Now, the Joker’s hair is the most vivid green. Batman’s cowl becomes a truly shocking pink when sprayed with a radioactive mist by the Mad Hatter (David Wayne). And Robin really is a red breast. The picture clarity reveals, too, that the Batsuit had nipples long before Joel Schumacher took hold of the “Batman” movie franchise in the 1990s. They’re Mr. West’s, but they’re there.

Along with every episode from the series, there are vintage screen tests, photo scrap books, trading cards, and a Hot Wheels Batmobile replica. (SQUEEE!) So they did it right! However, a very interesting sidenote to this project is how it actually met resistance from some of the biggest Batman fans. More from the NYT article:

There are said to be some fans who have sought to keep this “Batman” from home video. Bruce Timm, a producer of “Batman: The Animated Series” in the 1990s, is quoted in a documentary in the “Batman” set as saying that the feeling was that the series “ruined the public’s perception of superheroes for decades.”
To these hard-core comic book fans, the camp sensibility — the show’s scripts were rife with double-entendres and played with the utmost sincerity — was a blight on the superhero’s legacy. It was a besmirching that took more than 20 years, dark reimaginings of the character by the comic artists Neal Adams and later Frank Miller and two Tim Burton movies to erase.

OH PUH-LEEZE. Anyway, these stuck-up naysayers can put a sock in it, because this set looks awesome. Get it for the Bat-fan in your life in all sorts of places, including here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

CBS is Casting Supergirl—So Why Can't it Be YOU?

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

As you may have heard, CBS is jumping on the "superhero bandwagon that shows no sign of slowing, and will eventually be as popular as CNN's Ebola coverage" with the development of a Supergirl TV show. WOOT! WOOT! And... It will probably be terrrrrible. On the upside, they haven't cast it yet, so here's YOUR opportunity to play the "gal of steel" for CBS. Here's casting info, provided by TV Line:

For Kara Zor-El aka Kara Danvers, the show is eyeing Caucasian females, age 22 to 26, to play 24. As the series’ mythology goes, Kara at age 12 was sent from her dying home planet of Krypton to Earth, where she was taken in by the Danvers, a foster family who taught her to be careful with her extraordinary powers. After repressing said skills for more than a decade, Kara is forced to bust out her super moves in public during an unexpected disaster. Energized by her heroism for the first time in her life, she begins embracing her abilities in the name of helping the people of her city, earning herself a super moniker along the way.

The other lead role currently being cast is that of 26-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Kara’s gorgeous, brilliant, science-minded foster sister. Growing up, Alex was partly jealous of her sibling yet also fascinated by her abilities, prompting Alex to learn as much as she could about alien anthropology, sociology and culture. Today, Alex works for a secret government organization and, alongside her heroic sis, will face many challenges, both mundane and super.

Yep, sounds terrrrrible. And yet, you'd be so awesome in either of these roles! I'm gonna try out for the role of Gladys Kravitz, the nosy next-door neighbor who occasionally catches Kara doing something super, and runs into her house screaming, "AAAAABNER! AAAAABNER!!" (Abner's her husband.)

Supergirl vs. #GamerGate
  • "Supergirl vs. #GamerGate"


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Amtrak Writers' Residency Winners Announced—and One is from Portland!

Posted by Megan Burbank on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Maybe Karen Karbos next book in this series will be written on a train!
  • Karen Karbo/Globe Pequod Press
  • Maybe Karen Karbo's next book in this series will be written on a train!

If you know any writers who use Twitter, you've probably heard a lot about the Amtrak Writers' Residency by now—it's a program, inspired by a tweet, that puts writers on trains to work on creative projects while soaking up the romance of Amtrak.

Wait, I'm being serious! Trains ARE romantic. Even the ones that take four hours to get from Portland to Seattle. I mean really why can't we have nice things like Europe BUT I DIGRESS. Yesterday, Amtrak announced the first 24 residency winners, and among them is Portland essayist and Julia Child expert Karen Karbo!

Karbo joins a pretty impressive list of writers and journalists, including Farai Chideya, Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Saul Williams, plus, um, one self-declared "famous pickup artist" (AMTRAK NO), who will all get a free round-trip ride on a long-distance line.

But not everyone is happy about it. Early critics of the residency pointed out that the application fine print basically amounted to Amtrak taking far-reaching ownership of writers' application materials for corporate purposes, apparently for all applicants, whether or not they won a residency. At best, this is pretty atypical for writing contests; at worst, it might be potentially exploitative. We'll just have to wait and see how that nerd scandal plays out.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Clip from the Upcoming Batman Babies! (You Know... Gotham.)

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM

As dutifully reported in this week's I Love Television™, Batman Babies! (AKA Gotham) debuts this coming Monday on Fox at 8 pm. The critics are already calling it the best new show of the season... but if the crooks in this clip are any indication? They don't give a single fuck about critics OR cops! Watch!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Patrick Rothfuss Coming to Portland

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 11:29 AM


Here's some good news, fans of fantasy books and readings that are actually entertaining: Best-selling fantasy mega-author Patrick Rothfuss is coming to the Newmark Theatre on October 28. (If you need some brushing up on your best-selling fantasy mega-authors, here's the Mercury's 2011 interview with Rothfuss.) He'll be in town to read from his new novella, The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

You should go! Assuming you can stomach two things about the venue*, it should be a good time, and the Newmark is a solid spot to have Rothfuss: The last time he came to town, he was out at Powell's Cedar Hills location, where the crowd was so massive that it filled up the reading area and spilled into the mall. It was still a great reading; Rothfuss is charming and affable and enthusiastic, and his books—well, there's a reason people who've read them tend to get pretty excited when they come up in conversation.

(For those curious about those service fees I mentioned: I just bit the bullet and picked up two tickets online. Tickets to the reading, which include a copy of the book, are $28.95 each—steep, but reasonable enough given the fact the book is included. The Portland Center for the Performing Arts then charged me a $10.35 service fee for each ticket, and then charged me a $3 "order charge," for... having the gall to place an order, I guess? Which means two tickets to a book reading just cost me 80 bucks.)

*Those two things being 1) that the Portland Center for the Performing Arts obnoxiously keeps trying to get people to call it "Portland'5 Centers for the Arts," and 2) that the Portland Center for the Performing Arts charges ridiculous service fees.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meet Chibatman, the Real-Life Batman of Japan's Chiba Prefecture

Posted by Ansel Herz on Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Chibatman—a 41-year-old welder who donned a Batman costume in order to make people smile after the Fukushima earthquake—has a CHIBATPOD!!!! I am smiling so damn hard right now. Mission accomplished!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Anita Sarkeesian Threatened with Rape and Murder for Daring to Keep Critiquing Video Games

Posted by Anna Minard on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Anita Sarkeesian, the woman behind a fantastic web series critiquing misogyny in video games, released another video this week. Funded as a Kickstarter project, Sarkeesian's "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games" series is an accessible but scholarly look at video games through a feminist lens, in which Sarkeesian breaks down a bunch of common female stereotypes in games and explains how to spot them and why they're harmful, with tons of examples (including examples of games that do better).

This week's video: "Women as Background Decoration, Part 2." You should really check it out:

Part One, if you haven't seen it, is right here. You can find all the videos in the series on her website.

You may recall that when she first launched her Kickstarter project, which was wildly successful—she raised almost $160,000 after an initial ask of just $6,000 and has expanded the series based on that funding—she faced an onslaught of threats of rape and other violence from video gamers, who were apparently incensed that anyone could be critical of the medium. (Someone even created a video game about beating her.) It seems like every time she releases a video, a wave of hateful commentary follows, often peppered with threats—that seems like the norm for her experience on the internet. But this Tuesday night, she tweeted that some "very scary threats" had been made against her and her family, threats scary enough that she said she'd contacted authorities. Then she updated that she was safe but staying with friends; apparently those threats were scary enough to drive her from her home.

Then yesterday, she posted this:

Continue reading »


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Why I'm Done With "Geek Culture"

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM


Almost five years ago, comedian Patton Oswalt wrote an article for Wired called “Wake Up, Geek Culture, Time to Die.” It was equal parts eulogy for the romanticized nerd he once was, and a lament for the shape of nerdery to come.

At the time, I took issue with the idea that the mainstreaming of Geek was somehow a bad thing. I stand by that; I don't think it's wrong somehow that the star quarterback/homecoming king might bust out his 3DS and play some Animal Crossing on the way to the game, or that someone could watch their first episode of Doctor Who one week and show up the next in a bow-tie, a fez, and a working knowledge of all 12 Doctors (No, sir. All 13!).

But I find myself now, with the accumulation of almost five more years of Geek Culture foaming about my knees, looking back at Oswalt's recommendation that it be euthanized and realizing he was right to call for it. In fact, I think it's already dead. Or to be accurately clichéd, un-dead. It's stumbling around, moaning and shuffling in a bad facsimile of its brief, former life.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Extendo Trailer for Gotham

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Apparently Fox is going to allow the Brits to watch Gotham, too—though I'm not sure what they've done to deserve it. Anyway, here's a new extended Gotham trailer aimed at British viewers which has lots of face smashing, gun shooting, and cryptic veiled threats... which are exactly the things Limeys love most. (Americans are far more subtle, as you know.)

Gotham debuts September 22, cor blimey, guv'nah!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

New Gotham Spot: Jim Meets Bruce

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Here's a moody little spot for Fox's Batman prequel Gotham—in which li'l Bruce Wayne meets future Commish Jim Gordon... aaaaand, as you can imagine, it's under less than pleasant circumstances. Watch.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trailer for the Batman TV Series is GORGEOUS

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 10:59 AM

FINALLY, the complete Batman TV series (the classic '60s version starring Adam West and Burt Ward) is being released on Blu Ray, DVD, and digital download coming this November, and the remastered results? They're GORGEOUS. Check out this trailer announcing the release, and put it on full screen to see all those vivid colors pop.

Also for those who can still bear the San Diego Comic-Con, Adam West, Burt Ward, and "Catwoman" Julie Newmar will be in attendance to host a panel on the release. No, they're not dead, actually.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New Gotham Trailer: Meet the Villains!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Here's a new promo video for Fox's Gotham, that features the primary villains of the show, Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), future Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), and future Catwoman... KittenGirl?... (Camren Bicondova). Visually, I'm loving the vibe of this show already—but let's continue to manage our expectations, shall we?

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Early Reviews for Gotham are In, and They are GOOD

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Warming Glow has a nice roundup of early reviews of Fox's Gotham, after the series debut was shown to critics this past weekend. And what did these critics think? While they weren't quite squirting in their pants with joy, everyone across the board seemed to think that Gotham was verging on awesome. Here are just a couple:

From Crave Online:

The “Gotham” pilot seems like it’s an hour or so away from being a pretty good Batman movie. We’re just not going to get to the part where Batman Begins Again until perhaps the very end of this series. But director Danny Cannon gives “Gotham” an impressive scope and this feels like it could have been a theatrical release … The two most effective turns are Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot (aka The Penguin), a member of Fish’s gang and Cory Michael Smith’s Edward Nygma, the future Riddler who is currently working for the Gotham police as a forensic scientist.

And the LA Times' critic:

Read more reviews here!

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