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2015 CON CALENDAR
MARCH 
Emerald City, Seattle
Seattle, WA, March 27 - 29, 2015 JUNE
utopYA Con, Nashville
Nashville, TN, June 18-21, 2015
SEPTEMBER
DragonCon, Atlanta
Atlanta, GA, Septebmer 4 -7, 2015

OCTOBER
GeekGirlCon, WA
Seattle, WA, October 10 - 11, 2015 GeekGirlCon, Seattle, WA, October 11-12, 2014

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Monday
May182015

2015 Fall TV Season

The end of television season is a sad time for me but with source material from the networks, cable channels, and streaming services, there’s almost always something to watch. And Netflix's break-out hits, “Daredevil” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” has upped the game.


ABC Fall Season

The Catch, thriller
With definite similarities to “House of Games,” ABC describes Alice Martin as a “strong, successful” fraud investigator who gets scammed. Meh.

Dr. Ken, comedy
Ken Jeong
plays Dr. Ken, in trouble at work and at home. The question is whether a sitcom can contain Jeong’s energy and use it—a similar problem I’m sure they had with Robin Williams. 

The Family, thriller
This is an intricate story about an up-and-coming politician and the return of her son who's been missing for ten years. The “is-he-really-our-son” is now a trope.

The Muppets, comedy
A reboot of “The Muppet Show” scared me. Variety shows haven’t been successful in twenty-first century television. But what better way to modernize “The Muppets” than to make it a reality show.

Floyd Pepper: “How about we film the series in that crazy, handheld, documentary style and have cut-aways to one-on-one interviews.”

Gonzo: “That is just a totally overused device to make easy jokes.”

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May162015

Game on Girl Goes Live! Google Hangout Sunday, 5-17 2pm Pacific

Hey you! Yes, you!

Grab your Google account and hang on to your game controlers! Or keyboards if you PC game. This Sunday, we are hosting a live Google Hangout. Rhonda, Mark, Jerry, and I are going to get together to talk about the latest and greatest the geeky internet and media has to offer. There should be discussion about some hot movies and TV shows, season finales and such. 

We are hoping this can be a monthly occurance where the writers for the site and myself get together to talk about the latest news. We will have a revolving set of guests and maybe some visitors as well. 

We would love to have you hang with us and give feedback live as we chat. We will incorporate as many of your comments as possible. 

So check back here or check our @game_on_girl Twitter account for the link when we go live. 

Looking forward to hanging out!

Game on!

Regina, AKA DocLizz

Friday
May152015

My Growing Despair of the Video Game Industry

 

When I first started writing for Game On Girl back at the end of 2012, I immediately thought of doing an article at the beginning of every year where I looked ahead to the games that had me excited. I, to date, have done that exactly once, at the beginning of 2013. And looking at my choices then, I have to laugh. Only one of those games was released that year. One was released last summer, and the one I was most hyped for still doesn't have an official release date yet. And now, almost three and half years later, I'm really not interested in any of them.

To be honest, I'm starting to be completely uninterested in anything the video game industry says, or has to offer. 

My disappointment with the video game industry started with the AAA companies. At one time, you would buy a complete game and, maybe a year or two later, an expansion pack. But, apparently, there was a problem with this. Those giant corporate monstrosities just weren't making enough money. They saw companies like Blizzard and Daybreak Game Company making money on an MMORPG for years after a customer purchased it. This led companies like EA and Ubisoft to the realization that they could continue to make a profit on a purchased game too. And thus the whole “chop your complete video game into several DLCs and microtransactions business model” came to be.

And, I hated it. I still do, in fact.

But not all was lost. With the advent of crowd-funding and early access games it had become possible for independent game developers to create and sell their product without being shackled to the whims of some giant AAA publisher. Now truly innovative and inspiring games could be created without having their souls ripped out by the corporate greed of the AAA monsters. At least that's how it should have worked in a perfect world.

But we don't live in a perfect world, do we? No, we live in a world where no talent idiots can buy a game engine and graphical assets, throw them together into a loose hodgepodge, call it a game, and release it on Steam. They call it an early access game, collect as much money as they can for it, and then never work on it again. So apparently, you don't have to be a big game publisher to be greedy and treat your customers like crap.

Because of all this, I don't look forward to games anymore. I let other people try them out and see what they have to say. If a game gets good user reviews after a couple of months or so, I might consider buying it.

The video game industry has used up all of their credibility, and I have no more faith to offer.

One might think that this can't continue, and that eventually people will wise up and start voting with their wallets, but there's a sucker born every minute.

Monday
May112015

BOTM: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1

"Ms. Marvel," volume 1The monthly book club, ­­The Ultimate Ladies’ Alliance, met last week to discuss volume 11 of Ms. Marvel, entitled “No Normal,” written by G. Willow Wilson. It could have easily been a meeting of the Ms. Marvel fan club because there was no shortage of praise for this title and its creators.

With the reboot of Captain Marvel2 in 2012, Carol Danvers, once Ms. Marvel, became Captain Marvel, leaving the title Ms. Marvel vacant. In the first five-issue arc3 of Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khangeek, Muslim, and teenagermysteriously gets super powers and takes on the moniker of Ms. Marvel.

The fifteen women of the Alliance discussed several observations which they believe set Ms. Marvel apart from every other title, not only as a story with female protagonist, but as a super hero story.

"Ms. Marvel," Issue 1, April 2014Normal and relatable were the two words used most frequently to describe the series. Not only do we find Kamala to be very relatable, but also her family and friends. There are no straw characters; they are all fully realized.

Kamala lives in Jersey City with her mom, dad, and older brother. She writes fanfiction, idolizes Captain Marvel, and is loyal to her friends. She wants to go to parties and doesn’t understand why her parents don’t trust their teenage daughter to wander around at night in the city.

"Ms. Marvel," Issue 4, July 2014One of the main themes throughout is the sense of being between two worlds. Kamala is a teenager entering womanhood, sometimes childish, sometimes mature. Very respectful of her parents, she seeks to obey them while pushing the boundaries on which rules she can break for the greater good as Ms. Marvel. She and her family are practicing Muslims, each in their own way. Kamala is figuring out what her faith means to her personally as she questions some rules and seeks wisdom in others.

"Ms. Marvel," Issue 2, May 2014All of these in-betweens relate to the struggle everyone has regarding their identity. This is the most honest plot line in the story and Kamala gets to explore it on a supernatural level. What I would have given to have had totally straight hair in Junior High School or been able to tumble like the cheerleaders. I wonder what I would have done with Ms. Marvel’s powers.

Kamala gets to find out if it’s all that it’s cracked up to be.

"Ms. Marvel," Issue 1, April 2014Everyone in the Alliance praised Adrian Alphona’s artwork and the beautiful coloring by Ian Herring. Most pointedly praised was that none of the characters, including Kamala, are sexualized in any way. Even Zoe, a teen who pushes the boundaries of appropriate dress for her age, is not sexualized. When you think about how this is done, you notice how much personality is drawn into the faces and stature of each character.

From a group of die-hard comic fans I find it ironic that some in the Alliance argue for realism in comics. IRL4 body types do not mean non-sexualized and unrealistic comic body types do not mean sexualized. Comics are about fantasyfantastic feats and fantastic people. Big breasts sometimes are just big breasts and, in comics, being hippy and long legged could just mean they’re made of rubber. Sexualization is a problem in some comics but the main solution is not to draw anatomically correct.

 

The biggest praise of all for Ms. Marvel is that it spans all demographics. The series is rated T+ because some themes may be a little scary or too complicated for little ones.

Besides that, you can share this volume with almost anyone.

Next month we are reading “Lumberjanes” by Noelle Stevenson.


1 Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics, Volume 1, “No Normal,” Issues 1 – 4, paperback, October 2014.

2 Captain Marvel, Marvel Comics, Issue 1, “title,” July 2012,

3 Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics, Issue 1, “Meta Morphosis,” part 1 of 5, April 2014, writer G. Willow Wilson, artist Adrian Alphona, colorist Ian Herring, letterer Joe Caramagna, cover art Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor.
Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics, Issue 2, “All Mankind,” part 2 of 5, May 2014, writer G. Willow Wilson, artist Adrian Alphona, colorist Ian Herring, letterer Joe Caramagna, cover art Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson.
Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics, Issue 3, “Side Entrance,” part 3 of 5, June 2014, writer G. Willow Wilson, artist Adrian Alphona, colorist Ian Herring, letterer Joe Caramagna, cover art Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson.
Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics, Issue 4, “Past Curfew,” part 4 of 5, July 2014, writer G. Willow Wilson, artist Adrian Alphona, colorist Ian Herring, letterer Joe Caramagna, cover art Jamie McKelvie.
Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics, Issue 5, “Urban Legend,” part 5 of 5, August 2014, writer G. Willow Wilson, artist Adrian Alphona, colorist Ian Herring, letterer Joe Caramagna, cover art Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson.

4 In Real Life.

Monday
May042015

Aspiring Comic Writers, Artists, Colorists, & Letterers

Last week, I spotted this tweet from Oni Press:

Oni Press, publisher of such titles as Scott Pilgrim, The Sixth Gun, and Stumptown, has decided to hold open submissions May and June 2015 for aspiring writers, artists, colorists, and letterers of comics.

This is unprecedented. Comic publishers do not normally accept cold pitches — Oni may regret doing so. You know those montage shots of the thousands of people waiting in line to audition for American Idol? Well, a bunch of grunts have to see every one of those applicants and weed them down to a handful who actually get to audition before the celebrities.

In the end, Oni is hoping to find a raw diamond, a story that is just sitting out there needing to be discovered. It probably won’t be me, but I have a couple of stories sitting in the queue that I think are cool. (There’s a better chance I’ll get my own comic book title than I make it onto American Idol, I can tell you that.)

Just like with any job application, it’s very important to follow the rules. Oni has a submissions page with some basic instructions, but, if you’re like me, you’ve never seen, much less written, an officially formatted comic script or put together a comic artist’s portfolio.

Since Oni's tweet, I’ve been doing research on guidelines for submitting a comic script. Most of the following tips can be used for any type of submission, but writing is the area I worked on.

Here’s a quick Do and Don’t List to get you started. Following this are several links to examples and more detailed information.

  1. Read the Publisher’s Titles. This may seem obvious but apparently it’s not. I’ve only read one title by Oni, Helheim, but I’m going to pick up a bunch more this weekend. Being familiar with a publisher’s content is mandatory research.
    Do your stories fit in the publisher’s house? What characters do they already have? What is the demographic of their audience?
    Each publishing house has a personality and you should pay attention to that.
  2. Read the Instructions. Oni has published some brief instructions for submissions. Being the information glutton that I am, I wanted to compare these to other publishing houses. The idea is to learn how to be recognized as a professional and give the publisher what they’re asking for. If you can’t be responsible for the little things, how can you be trusted with the big ones?
  3. You Are Not the Exception. If you are unpublished your hidden genius will only be discovered if you follow the publisher’s rules. (Do you see a theme here?) You have to earn your spot, there’s not one waiting for you.1
  4. Be Active. If you’re serious about the industry you should already be very busy.
    Are you currently writing or drawing? Are you publishing your work online? Do you publish regularly? Are you the member of a writer’s group? Do you attend comic book conventions and network in the industry?
    Even if your story or art is genius, publishers are not in the business of mentoring newcomers. I used to tell my students, "I can’t wake up in the morning and grab a hammer and saw and decide to be a brain surgeon."
  5. Spoil the Ending.2 This is one of the more valuable pieces of information I discovered. The publisher is not your audience. They need to know all the surprises and twists. In your pitch include the surprise ending and secrets to show how smart your story is. They will not take your word for it.
  6. Read the Fine Print. For cold submissions like Oni Press is having, be sure to read the fine print. Do you lose ownership of your work when you submit it? Most publishers say submissions of art work are not returned so don’t submit originals. There is always the fear that your work might be ripped off. That is the ugly side of the creative industry. I’ve had it happen to me. But if you deal with known, reputable publishers, you at least have the odds on your side.

For script and portfolio examples, check out these links:

A couple of weeks ago I posted an article about creating a Wikipedia page for the Image Comics title, The Fuse.3 Antony Johnston, the writer, was awesome to reply when I asked him a couple of questions during the process but I didn’t realize how awesome he was until I started looking into comic submissions.

Johnston dedicates a section of his web site to aspiring comic writers:  getting it done, his process, tools he uses, and sample scripts.  Sample scripts, people!

After sloughing through dozens of submissions, 8th Wonder Press posted “How to Pitch Your Comics” with their top list of things you should know.

Comic Book Script Archive also shows a sample script page and gives more detailed instructions on keywords and formatting so your script looks professional.

Jim Zub’s entire web site is dedicated to tutorials for getting into the comics industry. As a prolific writer, artist, and teacher, this type of information is golden.

Best of luck to all of you aspiring comic creators.

I’ll Give You a Topic

What are some of the best original stories in comics these days?

If you’ve tried to get into the comics industry, what lessons did you learn from the process?

Are you going to submit to Oni Press?


1 Jim Zub, “Why Don’t Publishers Give Brand New Writers a Chance?
2 8th Wonder Press, “How to Pitch Your Comics
3 The Fuse, Image Comics, Inc., writer Antony Johnston, artist Justin Greenwood, colorist Shari Chankhamma, letterer Ed Brisson

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