Why 'Community' is the geekiest show on TV
Danny Pudi's character, Abed, shows off his Batman costume to first season costars Joel McHale and Gillian Jacobs.
March 22nd, 2012
03:54 PM ET

Why 'Community' is the geekiest show on TV

Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor, and the co-creator of the comics blog Girls-Gone-Geek.com.

Oh, “Community,” how I’d missed you!

After a far-too-long hiatus that had fans thinking “cancellation,” the brilliant, criminally underrated NBC comedy about a motley crew of community college students returned last week. Count me among the faithful who will be ignoring telephone calls and loved ones from 8 to 8:30 Thursday nights.

There are so many reasons fans enjoy this show, from the stellar cast to Greendale Community College’s Dean Pelton (Jim Rash), who has penchant for drag and extreme political correctness (The school mascot is the Human Being). But “Community” is more than a great comedy in the general sense. It’s the geekiest show on television.

This is not a knock against “The Big Bang Theory,” a show that I watch and enjoy. However, where “BBT” takes a much broader approach in serving up nerd culture, “Community” is more sly and sharper in its comedic delivery. And boy, does it deliver.

We’re talking zombies, dead-on action movie sendups, the “Doctor Who” knockoff “Inspector Spacetime” and an “Earth-2” United Nations. The first season DVD included a “Kickpuncher" comic book based on a fictional, cheesy “Robocop”-style film beloved by characters Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi). “Community” is a show that expects viewers to be on their pop culture game, and that may be one reason it’s not a ratings juggernaut. FULL POST

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‘Wonder Women!’ puts superheroines in the spotlight
February 24th, 2012
11:55 AM ET

‘Wonder Women!’ puts superheroines in the spotlight

Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor, and the co-creator of the comics blog Girls-Gone-Geek.com.

Two weeks ago, Wonder Woman herself asked her Twitter followers to support a documentary that examines the evolution and history of female heroes in comic books, television and film.

The Tweet came from actress Lynda Carter, who is one of several artists, writers and activists featured in the buzzworthy film “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.” Her powers of persuasion must have helped. Thanks to two highly successful Kickstarter fundraising campaigns (Kickstarter was instrumental in another female-focused comic book, "Womanthology," which earned a record-breaking $109,000 from their campaign) the filmmakers were able to get "Wonder Women!" polished and ready for its 2012 SXSW Film Festival next month.

“Thank you, Lynda Carter!” said director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan. “We have been floored by the support, and as we are cranking away into the wee hours, it really cheers us on to know that our story is important, that people really are hungry for stories about strong women, and to know that there will be an incredible audience for us when the film launches.”

There’s no shortage of commentary about men in capes or action heroes, but their female counterparts are another story. In a revealing person-on-the-street clip in the documentary, people of both sexes rattle off the names of comic book characters, and not a single female comes up. Not even Wonder Woman.

Guevara-Flanagan talked to Geek Out! about the documentary and why society still struggles with superheroines. FULL POST

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For love or hate of 'The Phantom Menace'
A fan dressed as Queen Amidala attends the 1999 premier of "The Phantom Menace."
February 9th, 2012
01:09 PM ET

For love or hate of 'The Phantom Menace'

The first major signs of trouble in the relationship between George Lucas and legions of ardent adult “Star Wars” geeks can be traced directly to May 19, 1999.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” opened at midnight, and theaters practically sank under the weight of audience expectations. The movie certainly made a huge impact in the "Star Wars" community, but not in the way the filmmaker or fans could have predicted.

“The Phantom Menace,” which returns to the big screen in 3-D on Friday, occupies a unique and controversial place in the "Star Wars" universe for a generation of adults who grew up on the trilogy of the ’70s and ’80s. For one, it ushered in the era of the harshly criticized "Star Wars" prequels, which some of the geek faithful saw, fairly or not, as a betrayal.

It was also the beginning of a standoff between Lucas and vocal fans who were displeased not only by the new movies, but also the filmmaker’s decisions to tinker with key scenes in the original "Star Wars" films. There’s a reason for all those “Han Shot First” T-shirts on the Internet.

The emotional reaction to “The Phantom Menace” and what it represents speaks volumes about the fierce sense of ownership that hardcore nerds have about the things they love. FULL POST

January 12th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

'My Little Pony' goes geek

Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor, and the co-creator of the comics blog Girls-Gone-Geek.com.

Geek icons and My Little Pony may not seem like the most obvious companions, but in Jodi Moisan and Mari Kasurinen’s hands, the two become miniature works of art.

Both artists’ websites are rabbit holes of delight, showcasing painstakingly re-designed toy ponies inspired by fantasy/sci-fi characters, superheroes and pop culture figures. Once you see the diminutive equines recast as Red Sonja, Batgirl, Cthulu and Darth Maul, you’ll want one.

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A comic shop Christmas
The Hulk is no humbug at Coliseum of Comics in Kissimmee, Florida.
December 13th, 2011
03:28 PM ET

A comic shop Christmas

Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor, and the co-creator of the comics blog Girls-Gone-Geek.com.

In some ways, a local comic shop looks no different from any other store this time of year. Business is up, the halls are decked, and customers new and old are on the hunt for the perfect gifts for loved ones.

But while any store can put up a Christmas tree and generic holiday decor, some comics shops mark the season with geeky flair.

At Austin Books & Comics in Austin, Texas, the tree is outfitted with Funco plushies, Dr. Who knicknacks and, of course, a Superman tree-topper. Walk into the Kissimmee, Florida, Coliseum of Comics branch, and you’ll be greeted by a 9-foot fiberglass Red Hulk statue wearing a Santa cap. The Man of Steel is the Christmas tree-topper there as well.

Another sign of the gifting season at the comics shop? The newbies. Some shop owners and managers say there’s a definite spike in traffic in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and it’s not just the faithful who make the weekly pilgrimage to collect their new books. This time of year, there are more novices coming in to find the right gift for the comic book and gaming lovers in their lives.

A comics veteran can walk into any shop and quickly find his or her way around. But someone entering that world for the first time might feel adrift in a sea of graphic novels and role-playing games. Brandon Zern, general manager of Austin Books & Comics, can usually spot the uninitiated right away. FULL POST

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