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Feb 2013 01

by Alexander Hinkley for Examiner

[Squeak in I Am]

Squeak is this week’s SuicideGirl gamer of the week. She is a sweet, shy girl who not only really loves comic books, but also is into video games. I spoke with her about which games she likes most and she also shared what she believes is the meaning behind the name “SuicideGirls.”

What is the story behind your SuicideGirls nickname, “Squeak”?

Anyone who has ever met me in person can tell you that, haha. I have a high voice…which only gets higher and squeakier as I get more nervous or shy. (And being an introvert with social anxiety, it happens quite a lot!) I got the nickname back in High School and I guess it just stuck. I sort of embraced it eventually and made it my SG name.

How did you first get into modeling?

I started modeling when I was about 14 years old. At the time, there were no internet agencies. You had to be with an agency or have some kind of actual representation. I worked for a local modeling agency for a couple years before branching out on my own. Going independent gives you more freedom, but the money is no where as good as when I had an agency.

You have a lot of sets with different hair colors. Blue, pink, red, blonde…which is your favorite look?

Hmmmm…well I guess I like them all in their own way. I tire of hair color pretty quickly and I am always excited to try something different. Although I love doing bright colors, it is not always fun (or convenient!) to stand out. The advantage to going blonde is that I can sort of blend in a bit easier…so I always seem to eventually return to my natural blonde color. At least for a bit.

What are some of your all-time favorite games?

Well, nostalgia often plays a big part in what I pick as far as my “favorites” go. The first series I ever played were the Kings Quest games on my grandmother’s Tandy computer. So I was sort of raised on RPGs. When Baldur’s Gate came out in the late 90’s, I really experienced my first great love. I probably played that game for two years straight; over and over again, I still compare every single RPG I play to Baldur’s Gate.

I also love Silent Hill 2. I’ll never forget the day I finished it and watched the ending where you find out what sort of man James really is. It blew my mind. The overall atmosphere and game play was incredibly surreal and enjoyable. Not to mention Pyramid Head! What an awesome bad guy.

Lastly, I’d have to go with Halo. I know it is sort of a cliché nowadays, particularly amongst Xbox users, but you have got to give credit where credit is due. The first Halo game had an amazing storyline and the Halo series has had such a huge impact on the younger generation of gamers. Every time I see some kids bouncing around and shooting on Call of Duty or Left 4 Dead, I immediately know they were raised on Halo. They play every FPS like they are Master Chief and in low gravity. It cracks me up.

Which system do you prefer?

I am definitely an Xbox fan. I have most of the other systems as well; Wii, Playstation, etc…but I always go back to Xbox. I think it has to do with the size of the controller; I like a big controller. What can I say? I’m a “Size Queen!” Haha!

What are you currently playing?

I’ve been going back and forth between Halo 4 and Red Dead Redemption. I have a stack of RPGs piled up next to my computer that I hope to get around to when I have more time.

How’s Halo 4 stack up to previous games in the series in your opinion?

The storyline is great! Much more akin to the first Halo as far as that sort of thing goes. I enjoyed Halo 2 and 3 but the storylines and boards didn’t grip me enough to play them over and over again. I ended up finishing them and just putting them away. But I think I will most likely play through Halo 4 a few times before moving on.

It is also visually stunning. I am usually not too picky about graphics in games other than RPGs, but Halo 4 is definitely going to be setting the bar higher in the FPS realm.

Do you prefer playing games online or offline?

Offline. I take things way too personally. When I lose against a computer, I get a bit frustrated, walk away for a while, and then come back and try again. When I lose against a person, I am angry for days and fantasize about going to their house and kicking them hard in the shins before running off into the night. I just wasn’t designed to play well with others.

Are you into motion gaming at all?

A little bit. I was really into Wii when it first came out and then later got the Kinect. By then I started to lose interest. I work as a fitness instructor and aerialist, so by the time I get home at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is jump around in front of my console. Sitting is so much better.

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Jan 2013 29

A.J. Focht

The biggest news of the month is that J.J. Abrams, director of the recent Star Trek films, is now set to take us to a galaxy far far away. Disney has signed Abrams on to direct the 2015 Star Wars: Episode VII. While many fans were thrilled to hear this news, there are those who fear this move crosses the streams. Either way, the internet is already being plagued with bad jokes about light sabers and lens flares.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation was abruptly delayed last year, but you can now catch a four minute preview of the movie in theaters. There’s a four minute 3D preview at the start of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. The teaser is just a taste of things to come when the movie releases on March 29.

More information is coming out about the 2015 Justice League movie. It looks like only five members have made the final cut, and it’s just about who everyone would expect. Superman, Batman, the Green Lantern, the Flash, and Wonder Woman are rumored to be the core group of heroes. There is still a slight chance Aquaman or the Martian Manhunter could make an appearance, but most likely only as cameos. The one hero with the least possibility of making a cameo appearance would be Hawkman.

The Batman franchise is DC’s hottest property, and there has been talk of rebooting the series since before Christopher Nolan had a chance to even wrap up his trilogy. Now that Nolan’s Batman series has ended, DC and Warner Bros. are working Batman into their upcoming Justice League movie. Whispers of a series reboot haven’t gone away, though. Batman On Film speculates that the Batman series reboot could be in theaters as early as 2017.

Sequel to X-Men: First Class, the X-Men: Days of Futures Past will be following one of the most famous X-Men comic story arcs. The comic storyline involves an older Kitty Pride from a dystopic future transferring her consciousness to her past self to stop the events that lead to the Sentinels hunting down the mutants. This being the case, director Bryan Singer has the opportunity to combine the characters from the 1960’s storyline in X-Men: First Class with the original X-Men trilogy. Both Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart signed on to play the elder counterparts of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. Now, Singer has announced that three more members from the cast of the original X-Men trilogy have joined the fray. Appeasing comic fans everywhere, Ellen Page as Kitty Pride was one of those three. The other two returning characters are Anna Paquin as Rogue and Shawn Ashmore as Iceman. Days of Future Past is set to hit theaters on July 18, 2014.

Possibly the oddest gossip to fall into the rumor mill this month is that both Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey have been asked about their availability for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy project. They may both be in line for the role of Rocket Raccoon, or one may be in line for the gun-toting raccoon and the other for his partner the sentient tree, Groot. Guardians of the Galaxy is set to hit theaters August 1, 2014.

Marvel may just be entering their ‘Phase 2’, but they are already planning for the future beyond that. Guardians of the Galaxy is the only new title being released during Phase 2, the rest being sequels. Marvel plans to expand their properties during ‘Phase 3’ and have confirmed that both the long awaited Edgar Wright Ant-Man movie and the Doctor Strange film Stan Lee has been pushing to have made for years are on the docket. Kevin Feige noted that Phase 3 is when things are going to get strange, which means who knows what else Marvel has in store for us once they wrap up their current cinematic ventures.

The CW’s Arrow keeps adding classic DC icons to the show’s lineup. To make things even better, many of the actors they have chosen to go with have other sci-fi and nerd roots. John Barrowman who plays Malcom Merlyn on Arrow and Captain Jack on Doctor Who and its spinoff Torchwood is now being joined by another former Doctor Who cast member, Alex Kingston, who played the Doctor’s wife, River Song. Kingston will be playing the part of Laurel Dinah Lance’s mother on Arrow. Kingston isn’t the only new addition. Spartacus actor Manu Bennett has been cast in the major role of Slade Wilson. Wilson’s alter ego, Death Stroke, has already appeared on the show, but it looks like Manu Bennett will be the man behind the orange and blue mask.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that we could replace some of these teenage vampire shows on television with more zombie action. Walking Dead is one of the best shows on, but it alone doesn’t satisfy my craving for brain eaters. Well it looks like we may all be in luck. After being passed up by CBS and Syfy, Amazon is in negotiations to distribute a Zombieland TV show via its streaming platform. Better yet, director of acclaimed B-movie Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Eli Craig is in talks to direct the series.

Finally, Doctor Who fans can now get back to their roots, since BBC America will being airing classic episodes of the show. They are going through the Doctors in order, airing a serial special each month. They have already begun with the four-part serial, “The Aztecs” that aired last weekend.

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Jan 2013 11

A.J. Focht

A new batch of photos from Star Trek: Into Darkness have been released. While we’ll all have to wait until May 15 to see the full movie, in a heartwarming act of compassion, J.J. Abrams and Paramount arranged for Star Trek fan Dan Craft, who served as the director of the New York Asian Film Festival and was dying of cancer, to see the film on his deathbed. He had a expressed a desire to see the nine minute Star Trek preview, but instead he was allowed to watch a rough cut of the entire movie on DVD. Craft passed away earlier this week, his final words were: “I’m going… into the future.”

This year is the Doctor Who 50th anniversary bash. The BBC has announced that as part of the celebration they will be releasing eleven short stories written by beloved children’s authors set in the Doctor Who universe. No authors are confirmed, yet, but at the top of the assumed list is J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Each of the eleven authors will write one story about one of the eleven Doctors. The first short story will be out at the end of the month, and the book will be available in November.

Joss Whedon is back behind the camera and filming the pilot for the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series for ABC. Whedon is currently working on both the pilot and the sequel to the Avengers movie. He mentioned that he wants to spend as much time on the show as possible, but he needs to maintain balance between the projects. While the Avengers sequel is his number one priority, Whedon is confident that he has enough people he trusts to take care of the S.H.I.E.L.D. show. There is not a set release date for the pilot, but you can count on seeing it sometime next fall.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be coming out on April 4, 2014, but not everyone is returning. Hayley Atwell played Peggy Carter in the first Captain America, but she confirmed she will not be in the sequel. Winter Soldier will take place in the present day so her character would be older, if in the movie at all. This also means we shouldn’t expect to see her in flashbacks, unless they were directly from the first movie. It is likely that the character Sharon Carter will replace Peggy Carter as the love interest in the upcoming film.

Possible character details from the 2015 Justice League movie have been released. If an inside source is correct, the movie will follow Gerry Conway’s 1980 Justice League of America story arc from issues 183-185. The main team will consist of: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman. Both Alfred Pennyworth and Lois Lane are listed as having cameos. While the notes don’t mention if Batman will be linked to the Dark Knight series, most sources believe not. The source does mention Superman is being written like the incarnation in Man of Steel, with a little help from Zack Snyder who is consulting. It looks like Green Lantern will be Ryan Reynold’s character, with a complete revamp. Also, the Wonder Woman script is in development currently as well, and will be set before the Justice League movie. Assuming this information is correct, the Justice League film will not only be more tied in to past DC movie continuity than previously expected, but it will also be a very elaborate venture requiring several rewrites to tie in anticipated sequels.

Universal Studios first added the Wonderful World of Harry Potter, and now Universal and Tolkien Estate are planning a Middle Earth theme park. For everyone who can’t afford to fly out to New Zealand in order to experience a Hobbit-like landscape, there is a chance a little slice of Middle Earth will be coming to the US.

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Jan 2013 10

by Nicole Powers

“Scholarship is inherently not a market activity.”
– Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow has made me wait almost a year to read Homeland, the much-anticipated sequel to Little Brother, his opus on civil rights and protest in the digital age. With not one but two Doctorow novels, Pirate Cinema and Rapture of the Nerds (which was co-authored with Charles Stross), already on the release schedule for 2012, Homeland has had to loiter in the wings for a 2013 publication date. But the wait has been well worth it. Homeland is a beyond worthy successor to Little Brother.

The highly prophetic novel, which was first published in 2007, is now regarded as a contemporary classic. As such, Little Brother is required reading in many of our more progressive schools, and has even been turned into a “must see” stage play –– hence Homeland has quite a legacy to live up to.

When I last sat down with Doctorow –– for an interview specifically about Little Brother –– on January 4th, 2012, Obama had just signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 into law. With the stroke of our President’s pen, yet another of the central themes of Little Brother –– unlimited military detention without trial –– had become fact rather than fiction.

In Homeland (which Doctorow had finished writing a few days prior to our first meeting), we return to the Little Brother universe a year and a half after the last novel left off. In the intervening months, austerity has choked the life and soul out of America, and our hacktivist hero Marcus Yallow has quit his studies, having been forced out of university by financial pressures and burgeoning student debt.

The action kicks off at Burning Man, where Marcus has an unexpected encounter with his sometime ally Masha, and their nemesis Carrie Johnstone. Masha, who is on the run from just about every law enforcement agency you can name (and a few that you can’t), hands Marcus an insurance policy in the form of a key to an encrypted torrent file which contains a treasure drove of highly sensitive data. Her subsequent disappearance prompts Marcus to set up a WikiLeaks-like site, an endeavor which is made all the more complicated by conflicts of interests that arise from his new job as a tech guru for an independent political candidate.

Meanwhile Johnstone has given up her position in the military for a lucrative job in the private sector with a Halliburton type entity that has tentacles embedded in the government, military, and the increasingly lucrative (and corrupt) student loan market. It’s therefore no surprise that Johnstone and her corporation, Zyz, are the subject of much of Masha’s leaked data, and a cat & mouse game ensues involving lawful interception, rootkits, and drones. It’s not all doom and gloom though, and at one point during the breakneck-paced plot, Marcus (and Doctorow vicariously through him) gets to sit down and have a Mini Dungeon adventure with Electronic Frontier Foundation founders John Perry Barlow, John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor, with uber geek Wil Wheaton acting as Dungeon Master.

Having read an advance copy of Homeland, I met up with Doctorow at his North London workspace to question him about it. As I make myself comfortable on his couch and set up my digital recorder on the coffee table next to his well-thumbed copy of the RAND Corporation’s 1955 book A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates, the Canadian-born writer and Boing Boing editor does something quintessentially English by offering me a cup of tea. Normally this would be more than acceptable, but having been tempted by the delights of cold-brew coffee –– Marcus’ hi-octane beverage of choice which fuels much of Homeland –– I can’t help feeling a little disappointed that Doctorow didn’t have a batch on the go…

Read our interview with Cory Doctorow on SuicideGirls.com.

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Jan 2013 01

A.J. Focht

It’s been an exciting year for nerdy movies. Some of the nerdiest movies of the year were also some of the best movies of the year and will be looking at Oscar nods. This however, is our Top 5 Nerd Movies of 2012 countdown:

5. Chronicle (Josh Trank)

Writer and Director Josh Trank made a shocking big screen debut with Chronicle. Since the movie was released back in February of 2012, many have put it out of their minds when talking about the year’s best movies. However, Trank’s brilliant script and Dane DeHaan’s excellent performance as Andrew Detmer have earned both of them places in future upcoming geeky flicks: Trank will be writing and directing the next Fantastic Four and DeHaan will be playing Harry Osborne in Amazing Spider-Man 2.

4. Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan)

The Dark Knight Rises was a fantastic ending to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The exciting conclusion tied up the storyline nicely and wasn’t the letdown many feared it could be due to the trilogy curse: a curse that has caused all other comic book trilogies to end with a less than worthy film. While The Dark Knight Rises was more than acceptable, for many the second film in the series will be remembered as the high note, tho Dark Knight Rises may even get an Oscar nod or two.

3. Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore)

Rich Moore’s Wreck-It Ralph was the surprise treat of the year. Featuring a slew of the most memorable video game characters in supporting roles, Ralph and his companions earned their place among the classic cast and in the hearts of nerds everywhere. Wreck-It Ralph will likely get a nod for the Best Animated Feature, but it has some fierce competition with Brave.

2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Peter Jackson)

The return to Middle Earth we have all been waiting for since the epic conclusion to The Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit movie was a thrilling adventure that fans wanted, although it seemed to be a little much for critics. While the nagging critics complaints weren’t enough to dissuade fans, it is unknown how the Academy will respond and whether they or not they will get any Oscar nods.

1. The Avengers (Joss Whedon)

The Avengers was a groundbreaking movie that successfully combined four different films series into one marvelous adventure. The Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America all teased the upcoming Avengers Initiative. When the Avengers finally assembled, the result was one of the highest grossing films of all time. While Whedon’s Avengers storyline was epic, it’s the visual effects in the movie that are more likely to get nominated for an Oscar. But Oscar or no, this is one movie nerds will hold in high esteem for a long time.

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Dec 2012 20

by Bob Suicide

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SuicideGirls Comic Con 2012 Highlights
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Dec 2012 12

A.J. Focht

It’s been a big week for Trekkies. The first teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams Star Trek: Into Darkness has been released. The explosive trailer was just one of several announcements since the start of the month. The new movie website has released the new poster as well as the movie plot. Keep your eye out for more Star Trek news as Into Darkness launches into theaters on May 17, 2013.

There are a lot of questions floating around about the upcoming Star Wars movies. A few actors have spoken up about returning to the film. Samuel L. Jackson wants to work on the movie in some way. Since his character died, he said he’d be happy returning as a hologram. Ewan McGreggor also spoke up saying he’d return if needed. It looks like the only person not getting in on the project is George Lucas. Lucas described his hands off consulting role as being something of a Star Wars encyclopedia.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out this Friday, but some lucky folks in New Zealand have already had the chance to enjoy it. However, there are complaints that the innovative 48fps format that Jackson used is causing nausea for some. Jackson fought to bring 48fps to theaters, so we’ll have to wait until The Hobbit is released worldwide to know the extent of problems the high frame rate will cause. While the first Hobbit film isn’t out just yet, the first still from the second movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was release via EW.

Man of Steel is already being called one of the most disappointing movies of 2012. This is a bit confusing as Zack Snyder’s Superman movie doesn’t release till June 14, 2013. Yahoo! writer Jonathon Crow hasn’t even seen the film yet. He was disappointed enough that the movie wasn’t released in 2012 to take umbrage, and was further perturbed by the fact that Snyder was throwing tradition away with his superhero’s red underwear. However, the comics have had Superman out of the red briefs for some time now. Don’t take these early negative critiques seriously, Christopher Nolan has put his full support behind the film. A new trailer, the second, has just been released for the film – see above.

Back in September, the CW announced they were going to film a Wonder Woman pilot. An in depth character bio has been released. Despite Wonder Woman being referred to as Iris, pilot script writer Allan Heinberg tweeted it was just a code name. There have been a few failed attempts at bringing the Amazonian Princess back to TV. Let’s hope the CW do as well with Wonder Woman as they did with Smallville and Arrow.

The Justice League movie isn’t set to hit theaters until 2015, but reports that Darkseid will be the major movie villain have ht the internet. Thanos was the hand controlling Loki throughout the Avengers, so it’s fitting that the Justice League would face off against what could considered DC’s counterpart to Thanos. Whether Darkseid will battle the JSA on his own or be using pawns is still unknown.

Joss Whedon has handed in his outline for Avengers 2. Marvel’s Phase 2 will officially begin in 2013. If everything goes right, the S.H.I.E.L.D. series will premier next year. ABC President Paul Lee is excited about the series. He said, “It’s very Joss Whedon,” which should only be taken as a good thing.

The hunt for Harry Osborne is over. Chronicle star Dane DeHaan will be playing the part in the Amazing Spider-Man 2. Many expect he will be the villain in the sequel, although he may be fitted for the best friend role in this outing before becoming a villain in a subsequent one. The movie is set to start production in early 2013 for a May 2, 2014 release date.

Some huge news for X-Men fans. The sequel to X-Men: First Class has two new cast members: both Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen will be in the movie. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy have also signed up. They may need them for a classic X-Men time travel story or perhaps a snapshot of the future.

It’s a sad week for Batgirl fans. Long time DC writer Gail Simone has been fired from the Batgirl book – via email! Simone wrote Batgirl for the New 52 after lengthy runs on Birds of Prey, Secret Six, and Wonder Woman. The graphic novel of her first story arc, which brought back Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, landed at No. 4 on the New York Times graphic books bestsellers list. Simone pushed boundaries with her characters, and had plans for a new transgender character that are now being scrapped. This upsetting news came just a week after Karen Berger stepped down as Executive Editor of DC’s Vertigo brand.

It’s that time of year, everyone is releasing their Best of 2012 lists. Spike TV hosted their Video Game Awards last week. While they certainly aren’t the Oscars, they’re the biggest name in video game awards right now. Out of the winners, there were some upsets. Borderlands 2 took Best Shooter and Call of Duty: Black Ops II didn’t win anything. The Walking Dead took the Game of the Year title. NerdBastards did an excellent job assembling all the amazing trailers from the show.

Kevin Smith announced he was leaving the movie game with his film, Hit Somebody. Well it turns out that might not be the case. The film was originally one movie, then two movies, and now it is back to one movie or perhaps a miniseries. That being the case, Smith is looking at leaving the movie business the way he came into it. He is now just waiting on Jeff Anderson to sign on so he can make his last cinematic creation, Clerks III.

The market for digital movies has grown a lot in recent years. While there are several choices for getting your films online, most of them seem to be equivalent to each other. That is until Netflix signed an exclusive deal to stream Disney. It means you will soon find all your childhood favorites on Netflix. Some movies have already been uploaded including Alice in Wonderland and Nightmare Before Christmas.

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