Author Archives: ilovegeekology101

About ilovegeekology101

Why Geekology 101 you ask? Well, my horizons they are expandin', and I have discovered that I have barely scratched the surface of the amazing stories and avenues to explore. Want to take the journey with me?

Snippets & Treasures on Memory Lane

I’m preparing to sell my house, which is a moment I’m looking forward to with a great amount of joy…and a bit of sadness. In between bouts of menial labor, I need to sift through all of my worldly possessions. You know, go through the whole keep, donate or trash process. Wow! Let me tell you, I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. There are a lot of memories tucked away in this house.

abstract black and white blur book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Among those memories are notebooks. I used to write…a lot, and the notebooks are filled with snippets of stories.  I’ve been reading through those snippets, and a couple of things caught my attention. First, I still like reading my stuff, and I wrote a lot of this years ago. That tells me I’m not half bad. Second, I didn’t finish anything. All of the notebooks are filled with unfinished pieces. None of the notebooks are full. I just kept buying new notebooks, writing a few scenes and moved on. Third, maybe it’s time to finish writing something.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

Advertisements

What Does New Comic Book Day Have For Me Today?

NewComicBookDayPicking up the gems from my pull list feels a bit like my birthday or Christmas, because its always a bit of a surprise. I’m terrible at keeping track of the dates books are released, so I never really know what’s coming…unless I remember to read my email, but that kind of takes the fun out of things. Doesn’t it?

I’m excited about this week’s haul.

  • X-Men Red #5
  • Justice League #1
  • Rise of the Black Panther #6
  • Infinity Countdown #4
  • Paper Girls #21
  • Isola #3
  • Kaijumax Volume 3 (I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting!)

 

JusticeLeague_1_JimLee

By Jim Lee (My photo does NOT do it justice)

I was too busy reading to post my list last week, but with a list like this, who could resist?

  • Vampironica #2
  • Barrier #5
  • Grass Kings #15
  • Doomsday Clock #5
  • The Realm #6

 

Vampironica2-768x1181_1024x1024

By Greg Smallwood

I’m really loving Vampironica. The Smallwoods are knocking it out of the park with this one.  The Realm hooked me from the first issue, and I’m thrilled to see a new issue from this team. So…things to read and all. With a pile of books like this, can you blame me for hiding myself away and reading instead of writing a longer post?

What are you reading that you’d recommend?

‘Til next time,

Jess


Failed Artist?

abstract art artist artistic

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today I had someone call me a “failed artist”. Before you get all irate on my behalf, I’m not offended by this. I’d rather be what this person defines as a failed artist than a successful…I don’t know, pretty much anything else. This person’s definition of a failure is anyone who has the audacity to share less than perfection with the world. All of you creators hear me when I say, we never attain perfection. If we’re waiting on that, no one would ever get to view anything, and that would be a tragedy.

Every piece is a constant work in progress, at least in our minds. The amount of fantastic art left mouldering in someone’s attic, office, or under the bed must be phenomenal, because presenting your art to the world takes bravery.  The first attempts are never easy or even good, and I got a reminder on recent trip to Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Even the great masters needed practice sketches, warm ups, and failed attempts before their masterpieces came to life. I’m not aspiring to be John Singer Sargent here, but seeing his preliminary sketches for one of his paintings along with those of other world renowned artists was like turning on a lightbulb. Everyone practices. No one ever starts out perfect, wonderful or even good. It doesn’t matter. Make art.

coffee cup mug desk

Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

Learn a new skill? Show it off! Got a new camera? Post your pictures! Picked up a pencil or a paintbrush for the first time since you were a kid? I want to see it!

Here’s the thing. Too many people live their lives trapped in “I’m not good enough to do that”. So what? Do it anyway. (Disclaimer: we’re talking art here, people, not death defying stunts. Leave those to the professionals.) Then do it again, and again, and again.

I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a failed artist. There are only those who decide not to try.

Show me what you’re made of.  I’d love to see your work too. Post pics or links in the comments.

I’ll go first. Here’s are links to my Portfolio and my Behance.

‘Til next time,

Jess

 


Itchy Fingers

coloring materials

Photo by Sascha Düser on Pexels.com

You know the feeling you get when you’re enthused, inspired, and energized to do something or make something? I call this “itchy fingers”. That’s where I am.  This isn’t an uncommon phenomenon. As a matter of fact, it happens all the time.

Usually, it signals the end of a creative dry spell. Not the case this time, my friends!  No, this is the direct result of attending the 99U Conference in New York City last week. For my first conference of creative professionals, I picked a doozy.  I mean wow.

Please allow me to gush about the location for just a moment, attending an event at the Lincoln Center provides a special kind of inspiration all on its own.  Walking by the building with “The Julliard School” displayed in simple silver metallic lettering made me a little giddy. There’s a secret little dream the I held during the years of piano lessons that I would be a virtuoso to one day grace those halls. Since I was neither dedicated nor talented enough to do more than daydream, this was as close as I’ll ever get.  Alice Tully Hall’s light, airy feel and comfortable theater seating made the perfect setting for the truly wonderful speakers. Layer all this on top of the frenetic energy of New York City, and you have a recipe for something wonderful.

The stunning lineup for this event…I hoped to glean a handful of useful tidbits to take back to energize both my professional and personal work, but I didn’t expect to spend the bulk of my time furiously taking notes. As much as I really want to list all of the inspiring speaking and a nugget of what each one taught me…that would make for a REALLY long blog post.

I will tell you that in two days, I didn’t get bored once…that’s saying a lot for me. Hopefully, I’ll take the energy of May and carry it on into the rest of my year. I’m really glad I got to attend, and now…I’m off to make something!

assorted color artwork equipment set

Photo by Marko Blazevic on Pexels.com

‘Til next time,

Jess


My Top 10 Comics…Today

 

books-bookstore-book-reading-159711.jpegWhew! This is a long one, but…sorry? Not sorry. There are so many good comic books out there right now. I used to feel a little weird about making recommendations, because I’m not one of those people who’ve been reading comics since I was a kid. About 4-5 years ago I jumped into comics with both feet, and by both feet I mean Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. After that I was a little lost, but I got some great recommendations from a good friend, and eventually I ventured out on my own.

Most of my reading comes from independent publishers like AfterShock and Image, because finding entry points into some of the historic characters of the big 2 was a little intimidating….I’ve gotten over that now, but I still lean heavily toward the books the independent publishers release.

These are my Top 10 Books as of…today. They’re listed in no particular order. Think I missed something? Let me know. I’m always looking for new books!


bookFUJITSU

1. Fu Jitsu – Published by Aftershock Comics, written by Jai Nitz & art by Wes St. Claire

Fu Jitsu is the world’s smartest boy, and has been for the last hundred years. Wait, what? Fu is an un-aging genius, and has had adventures around the globe and around the galaxy. From Einstein and the Wright brothers, to Gandhi and Johnny Unitas, Fu has met everyone in history while protecting Earth from Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man, and his dangerous magi-science.

TheRealm_01-12. The Realm – Published by Image Comics, co-created by Shaun Peck & Jeremy Haun

Fifteen years ago, our world was overrun by creatures of myth; orcs, dragons, and other nameless horrors threw the entire planet into total chaos. Today, the shattered remnants of civilization must fight just to survive in a deadly new era of violence and mayhem. While a powerful sorcerer marshals his forces, a group of warriors embark on a journey to reclaim our world from the growing darkness. An all new post-apocalyptic high-fantasy adventure series from co-creators SETH M. PECK (X-Men) and JEREMY HAUN (THE BEAUTY) featuring colors by NICK FILARDI and letters by THOMAS MAUER.


ImaginaryFiends1

3. Imaginary Fiends – Published by Vertigo, written by Tim Seeley & art by StephenMolnar, Quinton Winter, & Carlos M. Mangual

Agent Melba Li and her imaginary monster partner, Polly Peachpit, continue their search for a missing child, as a twisted conspiracy unfolds in the small town of Maiden Springs. What is the Fraidy Cat? And how can a woman who lives in fear defeat something that lives on it?

Doomsday_Clock_Vol_1_14. Doomsday Clock – Published by DC Comics, written by Geoff Johns, pencils by Gary Frank, colors by Brad Anderson

Doomsday Clock is a twelve-issue comic book series written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank. It began on November 21st 2017, at three minutes to midnight. It is the sequel to Watchmen, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.

Coyotes_01-15. Coyotes – Published by Image Comics, written by Sean Lewis, art by Caitlin Yarsky

Underworld meets Sicario in this new series from SEAN LEWIS (SAINTS, THE FEW) and amazing new artist CAITLIN YARSKY. Hunted by a legion of wolves that roam the border, women are disappearing. The survivors band together to wage war. Detective Frank Coffey is trying to understand this mythic-level bloodbath when he comes across Red, a little girl with a secret and a sword. Ultra-violent and smart as hell, COYOTES transforms the everyday into a myth we can rally behind.

BatmanWhiteKnight16. Batman White Knight – Published by DC Comics, by Sean Murphy

In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City.

He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the “Clown Prince of Crime” but “white knight”? Never. Until now…

Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as “Jack,” sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman!

Superstar writer and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS, THE WAKE) presents a seven-issue miniseries of a twisted Gotham City with a massive cast of heroes and villains that, at its heart, is a tragic story of a hero and a villain: Batman and The Joker. But which is the hero—and which the villain?

GrassKings017. Grass Kings – Published by BOOM! Studios, written by Matt Kindt, art by Tyler Jenkins

From The New York Times bestselling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Peter Panzerfaust artist Tyler Jenkins comes a rural mystery series chronicling the tragic lives of the Grass Kings, three brothers and rulers of a trailer park kingdom, a fiefdom of the hopeless and lost, of the desperate poor seeking a promised land. Eldest brother Robert leads a grief-stricken life, having lost his daughter to a tragic accident, followed by his wife disappearing one morning never to return. When an enigmatic young woman named Maria flees to their community in search of safe haven, Robert takes her in. Will his decision lead to ruin and retribution dooming the Kingdom? Perfect for fans of True Detective Season One or Scalped?

Maestros_01-18. Maestro – Published by Image Comics, written by Steve Skroce, art by Steve Skroce, Dave Stewart

he Maestro and his entire royal family have been murdered. Now, his banished son from Earth will inherit the Wizard King’s throne along with a spell that turns its user into GOD. With enemies everywhere, will this Orlando-born millennial be able to keep his new magic kingdom? From STEVE SKROCE, the storyboard artist of The Matrix trilogy, the artist and co-creator of WE STAND ON GUARD and Doc Frankenstein, the writer / artist of Wolverine, and the artist of Amazing Spider-Man and ALAN MOORE’s YOUNGBLOOD.

Redlands_01-19. Redlands – Published by Image Comics, written by Jordie Bellaire, art by Vanesa R. Del Rey

A brand-new horror book from the minds of Eisner Award-winner JORDIE BELLAIRE (PRETTY DEADLY, Vision, Batman) and critically acclaimed artist VANESA R. DEL REY (ZERO, Scarlet Witch, Constantine) brings you to the sleepy, sunny town of Redlands, Florida. The police are failing to maintain control of their old-fashioned town, and a coven of killer witches plan to take everything from them. This summer, hide your bibles.

GodComplex_01-110. God Complex – Published by Top Cow, written by Paul Jenkins, Bryan Lie, art by Hendry Prasetya

In the futuristic city of Delphi, a young digital-forensics investigator named Seneca finds himself embroiled in the bizarre murders of three church acolytes. Guided by his cryptic mentor, the Ruler named Hermes, Seneca uncovers a stunning conspiracy and a mystery that will turn his entire world upside down. From writer PAUL JENKINS (Inhumans, Wolverine: Origin) and artist HENDRY PRASETYA (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) comes a unique vision of a digital future powered by mythological gods.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 


Planet Comicon 2018

q6EwygLASAe8BUvGzhji6wOh my, oh my! I can always count on Planet Comicon in Kansas City to be filled with adventure, and this year was no exception. February 16-18 Bartle Hall filled with geeks of all kinds. I’m not wasting a lot of space here on the impressive celebrity lineup, the phenomenal cosplayers (so many great cosplays!), or the after hours events.  Just checkout their website or facebook page to see all that great stuff, and, believe me, it was amazing. I’m really here for the comic books and their creators, that’s why I go to these things after all.

The Kansas City area is home to a host of incredibly talented creators including Jai Nitz, co-creator of El Diablo; Freddie Williams II, Batman/TMNT; Jason Aaron, Southern Bastards; and so many others there’s a website for creators in the Kansas City, Lawrence & Topeka area. Creators like Nitz have been participating in this show since its inception, 19 years ago. They also pull in creators from across the country: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Marguerite Bennett, Amy Chu, Tom King, Jason Latour, Jae Lee, Matt Hawkins…and if I added all the wonderful people at this show on my list we’d be here for a looooonnnnngggg time. The wealth of talent at this show is heady.

All the creators means you get some really good panels, and this year was no exception. They scheduled so many interesting panels that there was no way we could get to them all.  That was the only disappointment.

When you get Matt Hawkins (Think Tank, Postal), Tom King (Batman), CW Cooke (Solitary), Jai Nitz (El Diablo, Dream Thief), Marguerite Bennett (Animosity, DC Bombshells), and Amy Chu (Red Sonya) together on a panel about writing comics an hour just isn’t enough…not by half. Then there was the drawing comics panel with Jae Lee, Freddie Williams II, and Chad Hardin who manage to talk while they draw some amazing images. There’s always an opportunity to learn something new.

My favorite thing about these events is the opportunity to talk with the creators. These are kind people who are generous with their time. They never hesitate to spend a moment with someone who supports their work, and they’re supportive of those interested in becoming a creator themselves. I never fail to learn something new, and I always walk away inspired. So, this is a big “THANK YOU” to all of the people out there who spend the extra time, support those aspiring to be something more, and for smiling through all the sputtering as we stumble our way through our appreciation for your work.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

 

 


It’s Been A Long Time…

I’ve reached the end of a long road.  Today, I finished all the work for my second Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. Graduation is officially February 2nd, but I picked Planet Comic Con in Kansas City with lots of friends instead of a trip to Florida with one very good friend. (Don’t worry, we have a trip to wine country planned later in the year!)  The last two and a half years flew by me, and a lot of that is due to the fact that I freaking love design. Most of the time, it never even felt like work, which is kind of amazing.


Catan1

Now, I need to figure out what real life really looks like…post academic life. One thing I discovered during my academic journey is…tabletop games. Thanks to a work friend who introduced me to Wil Wheaton’s YouTube Series Tabletop, I’ve discovered quite a few new games like Settlers of Catan, Lords of Waterdeep, and a several others. That’s why one of the first orders of business was to set up a game night/ weekend with some friends.  Yes, that’s right, game weekend.  We’re going to eat, drink, and play every tabletop game we’ve got.  I’ve even got a game based on John Carpenter’s The Thing. It’s been teasing me from my kitchen table since December.

Catan2

Getting into tabletop games was a little intimidating for me. Gaming stores are filled with all kinds of options and expansion packs, and finding a game that is just a step above Monopoly is harder than I expected.  Sometimes, when you’re presented with too many options, its so overwhelming, you just don’t choose anything. (At one point this was true of my life too, but I think I’ve gotten better at that.) When a colleague mentioned going to a gaming convention this summer, I started asking questions…a lot of questions. I’m pretty sure that YouTube was his way of getting me to shut up, so he could work.

His first recommendation was Settlers of Catan.  This game provides an excellent entry point to tabletop gaming. Once I started talking about playing, I was surprised by the number of people I know who already play.  They’ve made other recommendations we’re trying out this weekend.

So, tell me, what games do you like to play? I’m going to need new things to do to fill all this new free time!

‘Til Next Time,

Jessica


Talking Turkey

My neighborhood has a flock of turkeys.  My. Neighborhood. Has. A. Flock. Of. Turkeys.  This is a sentence I never thought I’d utter, write or even think.  So, turkeys in the middle of the Tulsa Metro, weird, but not that weird.  What if one of them were impaled with an arrow?  An. Arrow.

While I know many hunters, and have enjoyed the bounty of their hard work, I can’t bear to see an animal suffer unnecessarily. However, I have no idea what to do about a turkey shot with an arrow.  Who do you call about a turkey?

Dad.  I called my dad.  Of course, he was no help whatsoever.  His suggestion involved No. 4 birdshot.  I thought maybe it would just die on its own, but I saw the darned thing again…and again.  It didn’t look injured…except for the freaking arrow going through its body.  My conscience (and my mother) wouldn’t let me stop there, so I called my vet.

They’d be happy to treat the turkey…if I caught it.  How do you catch a turkey?  Have you seen a wild turkey?  They’re not cuddly creatures!

wild-turkey-1665326_1280

Wild Turkey via Pixabay

So, I called the SPCA.  The gentleman expressed such gratitude I cared about the animal, and he would be happy to give me treatment options…if I caught the turkey.

The wild life refuge rehabilitates and re-homes animals when they’re well. They’d be happy to treat the turkey as well…if I brought it in.

At this point I’m getting a bit excited. Who knows how to catch a turkey?  I don’t!  Does anyone have a suggestion?

“Well, this is a multi-person job,” the helpful refuge personnel informed me.  “I’ve got the numbers for a couple of companies you can pay to help you catch the turkey.”

Pay to…does anyone else realize this is not my turkey?  I just don’t want the animal to suffer needlessly.  Catch a turkey?  What the hell would I do with it when I caught it?  Load the “docile” animal in my Hyundai and trek down to the wildlife refuge?  Are you kidding me?

However, my colleague upon hearing my plight offered an excellent suggestion.  I should lasso the turkey…Lasso. The. Turkey.

Okay, so setting aside the fact this is…a turkey.  What on God’s green Earth makes anyone think I a) am in possession of a LASSO b) would in any way shape or form be able to LASSO A TURKEY?

Fortunately, she was able to demonstrate the lassoing motion…along with a handy gallop. Because apparently, I would be riding a stick pony while wielding my lasso.

Of course, this was not the only suggestion offered up in my quest to capture the…turkey. Calling Channel 2 came up surprisingly often.  Although I’m not sure what a news crew could do.  I suppose that is a multi-person effort.

My mother helpfully suggested shooting the animal with a tranquilizer dart.  Fortunately, I keep the dart gun stored next to my LASSO.  It is so much more convenient than storing them separately.

She also suggested a blow gun…that suggestion came complete with sound effects. Seriously, I’m not even going there.

turkey-1084222_1920

Turkey via Pixabay

The placement of the arrow came up several times, but let me be clear.  The only time I’d been in the presence of a whole turkey was at Thanksgiving dinner.  The vantage point was just a little different.  I can be pretty certain the arrow didn’t damage the drumstick though.

 

The fate of the turkey?  I have no idea.  It seemed content to be pecking away in my neighbor’s yard the last time I saw it.  In the end, I hung up the phone and poured a drink. There’s no Wild Turkey in my house, so it was a Jameson’s.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. No, it is not turkey season.  Yes, hunting is illegal within the city limits.  I did get confirmation that a few geese have also been shot with arrows.  The SPCA’s opinion is that this is not hunting for food.  This is target practice and sport.  Just in case you’re a little foggy.  Maiming animals is NOT okay.  In my opinion, hunting for anything other than food is NOT okay.  Don’t be a jackass.

 


Best 40 Minutes of Your Week

tashi-and-the-monkEvery once in a while, I stumble across something wonderful in the course of my classwork.  This time, it was a documentary from Pilgrim Films about a Buddhist monk who started a home for unwanted children.  Tashi and the Monk is filled with the sound of children laughing, playing, learning and healing.  I rejoiced in the happiness of 85 formerly unwanted and unloved children who found a family, a home, and a steadfast father figure who dedicates himself to making sure they have the childhood he never got.  Easily the best 40min you’ll spend this week.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. Did I mention Tashi and the Monk won an Emmy for Outstanding Short Documentary in 2016?


Have a Holly Jolly…Whatever

The holiday season is here.  Not fast approaching.  Not on its way. Brace yourself, it has arrived.  Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza or Festivus, this time of year becomes a hectic mesh of holiday gatherings with family, friends and co-workers.  For all the frivolity, to be honest, it stresses me out.  All the cooking, baking, gift buying, wrapping, parties…when are you supposed to get a chance to relax and actually enjoy it?

My favorite part of the season is the decorating bit.  Not necessarily because it puts me in a celebratory frame of mind, but because my decorations are filled with memories.  Places I’ve been, people I love, and even mistakes I’ve made, are all hung on an evergreen with warm lights, twinkling in the dark. Here are a few of my favorite memories from my parents tree.

I hope you enjoy them.

‘Til next time,

Jessica