Fandom week in review
November 18th, 2011
05:55 PM ET

Fandom week in review

Here's a look back at some of the stories that had superfans in the geek world buzzing this week:

With the holiday season approaching, it's a virtual trailer-palooza out there. For those of you who haven't seen "The Hunger Games" 200 times by now, here it is again. [iTunes/Lionsgate]

And "Mirror Mirror" takes a tongue in cheek look at the classic fairy tale, contra "Snow White and the Huntsman." [Yahoo!/Relativity Media]

While Pixar had an impressive trailer for "Brave." [YouTube/Disney/Pixar]

Then there is the live action movie adaptation of the Nintendo DS game "Gyatuken Saiban (Ace Attorney)," coming to Japanese theaters in February. [GeekChicDaily]

There was a not-so-minor freakout on social media this week with the news from NBC that "Community" was going on a little break in 2012. Most observers are optimistic but the "#savecommunity" campaign is in full swing. (Inspector Spacetime, we would miss you most of all). One show that is definitely leaving us is "Chuck," on January 27. No word on the upcoming genre series "Awake," however. [CNN Marquee Blog]

Also possibly coming soon to NBC: a "Munsters" reboot, from fan favorite executive producer Bryan Fuller ("Heroes," "Pushing Daisies") [Twitter/@BryanFuller]

Image Comics' "Witch Doctor" mini-series is coming back with a new one-shot. [ImageComics.com]

The Nerdist could be coming to a city near you! [Nerdist.com]

A copy of "Action Comics" #1, missing for over 10 years, has been found and is up for auction, if you have over $1 million to spare. [ComicConnect]

You can expect at least five more seasons of "South Park." [CNN Marquee Blog]

And two more of "Dexter." [Twitter/@SHO_liz]

A new meme, this is not, but new life this Yoda/Doctor Who joke seems to have found this month, hmm? [Buzzfeed]

Conventions this weekend:
MineCon, Las Vegas, Nevada
Boston Super MegaFest, Framingham, Massachusetts
Philcon, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Allentown Comic-Con, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Finally, a little movie called "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1" opened this weekend, and iReporter Melissa Fazli interviewed the "Twilight" faithful at a midnight screening in California, to get their reaction.


Filed under: Fandom
What it’s like being the only black nerd in the room
Adam Darby celebrates "Towel Day," as any nerd worth their salt would.
November 18th, 2011
05:52 PM ET

What it’s like being the only black nerd in the room

So where are the geeks? Watch "Black in America: The New Promised Land - Silicon Valley" at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET November 19 on CNN.

Growing up in Dothan, Alabama, Makario Lewis knew there weren’t many people like him.

He was a black nerd and it confused a lot of people around him. It was easy for him to grasp that there was no way he could fit the socially accepted notion of a black male, but it wasn’t easy for others.

Nerds are traditionally the target of bullying taunts in American grade schools, but usually for having thick glasses, being a know-it-all and having an obsession with niche topics. But as a black nerd, the teasing takes a different direction.

“Part of being a nerd is understanding, ‘Hey, you’re different,’” Lewis said. He went to grade school in private schools, which were predominantly white.

“There were very few black people there anyway,” he said. “But being the black guy who’s a geek made it weirder. FULL POST


Filed under: Brainiac
It's all Kawaii: Cuteness in Japanese Culture
Hello Kitty is the dj at Sanrio headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
November 18th, 2011
05:50 PM ET

It's all Kawaii: Cuteness in Japanese Culture

I clearly recall my first trip to Japan. I arrived at Narita Airport after a 15 hour flight, having slept very little because I was so excited to actually get there. It was still rolling through my head: Japan! Land of the rising sun! Cultural melting pot! This is where anime comes from!

I did  my best to prepare, and that's why when I got to the airport and saw their adorable mascot, I wasn't a bit surprised. After all, if there's anything Americans know about Japan, it's that as a country, they are absolutely obsessed with cute things. The Japanese have a name for the obsession: Kawaii. The root word of kawaii - kawaisa - translates as "cuteness" in English.

"Often kawaii is equated to the English word 'cute', but I think it also has a more profound connotation," said Guan Van Zoggel, a student at Leiden University majoring in Japanese studies. "It indeed can be used to describe a Japanese baby or objects that are designed to be cute."

"Simultaneously, it also evokes this sentiment of maternity and affection in people, contrasting with the strictly male-oriented society of Japan. If you look at kawaii from this perspective, it's not strange that even the Japanese police forces and governmental institutions use recognizable and cute mascots," he said. FULL POST

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Filed under: Otaku
Neil Gaiman cranking out 'tween lit'? Only on 'The Simpsons'
November 18th, 2011
05:22 PM ET

Neil Gaiman cranking out 'tween lit'? Only on 'The Simpsons'

Fantasy writer and Geek Out favorite Neil Gaiman's work might be just about as far away from the tween fare of "Twilight" as anything that also bears the "fantasy" genre tag.

But don't expect Gaiman, who will play an animated version of himself Sunday on an episode of "The Simpsons" that sends up the Stephenie Meyer stories to take any shots at the sparkly vampire series.

In fact, he says they're staples around the Gaiman residence.

"I am a terrible person because I have still not yet read the 'Twilight' books, which means I am the only person in my house," he said. "All of my daughters did."

Sunday's episode of the long-running Fox animated series is called "The Book Job." In it, Homer decides to cash in on the "tween lit" craze and forms a group to crank out the next big hit.

Enter Gaiman. FULL POST

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Filed under: Fandom
Frills for your steampunk Fido
November 18th, 2011
11:07 AM ET

Frills for your steampunk Fido

If watching a pug scoot and scamper around in a Wampa costume already made you clutch your heart and giggle at your desk this week, then prepare for the next wave of adorable, nerdy pets.

Steampunks are known for taking extreme care with their elaborate costumes, from the mini top hat perched jauntily atop their heads to the buckled and cog-adorned lace-up boots on their feet. So it's only to be expected that their pooch be dressed to the clockwork nines as well, right?

Enter one of our favorite phenomenons, the steamcritter.

While you may not go all out and dress your dog in a top hat, embroidered vest and tie - like Krusher the steampunk gentleman - you can always perk up your pooch with a frilly lace collar that would match any personal brand of steampunk.

Kristine Hawthorne sells steampunk gowns in her Etsy shop, Helene Hawthorne Fashions, but she also has some frills for Fido as well. We took a moment for a cyber chat with Ms. Hawthorne about her lace collars and why she started putting them up in her store. FULL POST

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Filed under: Squee!
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