Interview with Cat Staggs

When Supergirl came to TV, I think we all knew it was only a matter of time before they re-introduced us to Kara in the comic book world. The Adventures of Supergirl has been rocking the comics world since January of this year, and I had the opportunity to chat a bit with Cat Staggs, the artist behind the amazing cover, who’ll be providing the interior art for the latest chapter of the book, which releases digitally TODAY.

ADVSG_10_D_SFCover[1]

Image credit: DC Comics

What I love about Cat’s work is how beautifully and realistically she’s able to recreate faces that we’ve seen in real life (you can head to her website to see some of the art she’s done for the Smallville and Orphan Black comics), so I couldn’t wait to talk to her about her work on The Adventures of Supergirl! Take a peek into our conversation!

Kendall: How does your process differ between working on an interior and working on the cover? 

Cat: They’re two different things. In one I’m working closely with the writer to create the interior art, and when I’m working on a cover I’m trying to tell a story without giving too much away.

K: I’m always just blown away when I see how well you’re able to not only create original art, but also draw the faces of real people like you’ve done with The Adventures of Supergirl as well as stuff like Smallville and Orphan Black. Do you prefer drawing real people over creating something from scratch?

C: I don’t really prefer one over the other. Regardless of what I’m drawing, I like to draw people to look realistic. I like to focus on conveying emotions rather than drawing these stiff-looking figures. I really work hard understanding what the character is feeling so when I draw someone it looks emotional rather than someone just opening their mouths or something like that.

K: How did you get into comics to begin with? 

C: I did a lot of knocking on doors after getting laid off from another job! No, but really it was all about meeting people and getting the my work out there. I went to a lot of cons to get my stuff seen, working on trading card art, as well as working with Lucasfilm on a lot of Star Wars art. Then one day Jim Lee offered to give me a shot, and that was Phantom Lady.

K: The Adventures of Supergirl isn’t your first run with Supergirl. You also got to redesign her costume in 2013. How do you feel about the costume she wears on the show (and, by extension, the comic)? 

C: I love the costume in the series! Honestly, I think it’s one of the better Supergirl costumes that we’ve seen in a live-action adaptation. It really holds on to the source material.

K: How do you feel about the Supergirl you worked on in 2013 versus the current Supergirl?

C: I mean, they’re from different worlds, and really almost different characters. One is more defiant and rebellious than the character we see in the show, but I think they’re both awesome characters. I don’t know, put them together, maybe? Then I guess you’d get Wonder Woman, though…

K: Do you have any advice for people looking to get into comics?

C: Ultimately you’ve got to get your work out there. There are so many ways for people to get exposure these days. Getting on Twitter alone can be a great way to showcase your work and reach out to people in the industry. Going to shows and conventions is so helpful to get your work in front of people’s faces and to get the opportunity to do some face-to-face networking. You’ve just got to make it and get it out there! I mean, you definitely have to put in the time and the work, but there are so many great tools to help you get yourself and your work in front of real people.

K: Any last words on what we can expect from the latest installment of The Adventures of Supergirl?

C: I just really hope people like it. It’s a pretty emotional chapter.

Thanks so much to Cat for taking the time to chat with me. Be sure to grab yourself a copy of Chapter 10 of The Adventures of Supergirl. The chapter is available for download Monday, today, via the DC Comics App, Readdcentertainment.com, iBooks, comiXology.com, Google Play, Kindle Store, Nook Store, and iVerse ComicsPlus. Here are a few images from the interior to whet your appetite for new Supergirl content!

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Also, if you’re heading to Denver Comic Con this year, you’re in luck, because Cat Staggs is going to be one of the fabulous artists in attendance! Be sure to check out her Twitter and the Denver Comic Con page to see what she’ll be up to at the con. And be sure to let me know your thoughts about the The Adventures of Supergirl in the comments!

Ways to Deal After the Captain America News

If you haven’t heard the news about the craziness Marvel is pulling with the Captain America comics, check out the write up I did about it over at Nerdist (did I mention I write for Nerdist now, too? Because I totally do…). If you don’t want to hear the big Cap twist, turn back now because I’m about to get into it. Spoilers ahoy, kids.

cap salute

Okay, so by now you’ve likely heard that Captain America is being revealed as a long-standing undercover agent for Hydra. Understandably, the internet is freaking out over Marvel taking the most noble, truly good, and brave character from it’s universe and completely ruining everything that we love about him. Cap has a long and storied history of being one of the few characters who is 100% good. Watching Marvel kind of ruin that legacy by putting him on Team Hydra has been hard to watch for all of us–even Chris Evans himself.

disappointed

Okay, so that wasn’t his actual reaction the Cap/Hydra news… This was Chris’ actual reaction to the complete destruction of the character of the First Avenger:

Of course there are loads of theories on why we don’t need to freak out about this whole Cap/Hydra business, but until reality is restored it’s gonna be tough for those of us on #TeamCap to deal with this heartbreaking reveal. So I’ve got some ways to help you handle Marvel’s decision to remind us all that we just can’t have nice things.

 Deny, Deny, Deny

gollum

Bad Cap can’t get you if you pretend he doesn’t exist…*rocks self and hums quietly*

Say It With Me: Not MY Cap!

Okay, but really, this is the Cap we all know and love, right?

Good Guy Cap

If you don’t even want to mess around with the new Hydra-Cap, and you don’t even want to see how Marvel tries to make this right, then just don’t even buy into it. Stick with MCU Cap and pre-Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 Cap. Sure, you know it exists, but just ignore it. You know, treat Hydra-Cap like an annoying person at a party and pretend to be on your phone when you pass it in the comic book store. That always works.

Re-Join the Hail Hydra Meme Train

Remember the hail Hydra memes that came out after Winter Soldier released?

hail hydra

Super fun, right? Well now that Marvel has cursed us with this abomination:

Captain-America-Hail-Hydra

Image credit: Marvel

…it looks has though the meme has been reborn from the pile of old meme ashes and fan tears. Why not jump on board and channel your rage and heartbreak into internet memes? I’m sure that’s healthy…

Enjoy the New “Let’s Ruin Cap Together” Meme

Since everything we love about Cap is arguably gone (I know, I know, his Hydra stint could be a ca-razzzayyy twist, but for now I’m allowed to feel sad), why not join together as an internet community and ruin Cap in a way that feels more palatable than having him revealed as a member of the group that tortured and brainwashed his best friend? Nothing is more beautiful than watching the internet is fight back to the whole Hydra business by joining hands to ruin him together:

Ultimately, whether it’s denial, ignoring, or humor, we can all get through this Darkest Timeline together. After all, supporting each other when our faves get ruined is what the internet is for, right?

Cap Internet.gif

How are you dealing with the Cap news? What do you think of the Hydra twist? Let’s have a Cap therapy session in the comments! 

Denver Comic Con 2016: Snapericot Launch Party

Last Friday, Breckinridge Brewery held the launch party for the official 2016 Denver Comic Con beer: Snapericot.

Snape-Ricot

Like I had previously posted, the first 200 people at the launch got a limited edition pint glass with the Snapericot image on the glass, there was live music, and the entire thing promised to be a rad time celebrating tasty brews and one of the most complicated professors at Hogwarts. I had every single intention of being there, but I just wasn’t able to get to BreckBrew on Friday. Happily, they released a video of the launch party, and that’s almost as good as getting to attend! Check it out:

The event looked like it was a blast, and is only a tiny piece of the fun times to come at Denver Comic Con this year! Of course I’ll be trying some Snapericot when I’m actually at the convention this year, and you definitely should too! Do you have your tickets yet? You definitely need to grab your tickets to the con. Three day passes are almost sold out, and with awesome guests like Hayley Atwell, Stan Lee, John Barrowman, Katee Sackhoff, and Lena Headey, you don’t want to miss this convention! I’ll be there all three days (and I may or may not be on a panel this year…stay tuned for more info on that), and I’d love to see you there!

Are you going to Denver Comic Con? If you are, let me know in the comments! 

Interview with Gwenda Bond About Lois Lane: Double Down

I’m a big fan of Gwenda Bond and her amazing Lois Lane series, and I’m so happy to have her back on the site to talk about the second book (which you can buy RIGHT NOW), Lois Lane: Double Down. If you’re like me and loved the first book, you will not be disappointed by the second installment in Gwenda’s Lois Lane saga.

Lois Lane Covers.jpg

Here’s a quick synopsis of the book:

Lois Lane has settled in to her new school. She has friends, for maybe the first time in her life. She has a job that challenges her. And her friendship is growing with SmallvilleGuy, her online maybe-more-than-a-friend. But when her friend Maddy’s twin collapses in a part of town she never should’ve been in, Lois finds herself embroiled in a dangerous mystery that brings her closer to the dirty underbelly of Metropolis.

The book is fantastic, and much like the first book, you get to see a side of Lois that is pretty much completely seperate from Clark Kent/Superman. I mean, yes, there is SmallvilleGuy, but he’s very much a tertiary character. It’s mainly a point of dramatic irony for us to smile knowingly at what’s to come in Lois’ life. But what I love is how fully developed Lois’ character is, and it shows us what a truly badass character is, even though she’s just a regular human woman from earth. It’s not only Kryptonians who can be heroes!

Of course, Lois is a character who has been in the Superman universe since the beginning. She’s got a long and storied history, so taking up the mantle to write about her has got to be intimidating to do once, but starting a series about her as a teen? That’s a HUGE task to take on, and the fact that Gwenda has taken on the mantle of writing a continuing story of this character is something that just amazes me, so I wanted to ask Gwenda some questions about creating this new side of Lois, and what we can expect to see–if anything–coming from Lois in the future, her place in the DC universe, and any plans she has to incorporate other DC characters.

Gwenda Bond

Kendall: Obviously trying to capture an iconic character in a new original work of fiction is tough. Did you find it easier or harder to write about her in book 2?

Gwenda: Both! It was easier in a sense because I felt like old friends with Lois and the rest of the characters heading in. It was nice to spend time with them again. But it was harder in the sense of trying to make sure I escalated the stakes for everyone and didn’t just retread the same ground as the first book.

K: With all the refocused attention on Superman (and Lois) with Dawn of Justice releasing, did that play into how you wrote your story or pictured Lois in the scope of the DC Universe?

G: You know, it honestly didn’t. I didn’t have access to information about the movie in advance and my books are in their own continuity. That said, obviously both stories are informed by the history of Lois and Clark as characters. I feel like I’m more drawn to the sense of optimism in my favorite Superman stories. It’s funny, because of developments on the Flash TV show I am increasingly asked by teens which Earth the books are set on, though. I stole an answer from someone on twitter: “Earth Awesome.”

K: Did anything surprise you about Lois as a character as you were writing her in book two?

G: Lois is constantly surprising as a character. I always feel like in any given situation there’s only one answer to the question “What would Lois Lane do?” so I’m always trying to make sure I land on the right course of action for her.

K: What music do you think is on Lois’ iPod?

G: Stuff that Maddy and SmallvilleGuy have given her, so a mix of classic things and new stuff. The Pixies and the Bowerbirds, the Breeders and Beyonce. I feel like some Prince and Bowie would be in there this year, for sentimental reasons.

K: Why did you decide to show Superman as SmallvilleGuy as opposed to removing him from the story entirely or having him as a real character?

G: When you have the opportunity to write young Clark Kent, you write young Clark Kent. ;­) In a world­-building sense, Superman is traditionally the first superhero in stories focused on him. I didn’t want to lose the science fiction elements of the story, and so having there beginning to be strange things happening as young Clark is exploring his powers and also having Lois be one of the first people to discover that felt right to me. And I feel like the relationship of Lois and Clark is such an important part of the Superman mythos. I was never worried in the slightest that she wouldn’t be able to share a story with him and still be the star. I didn’t see any downside to having him present as a part of the story, and, in fact, his and Lois’s scenes “together” are some of my favorite to write. But it also felt like a very modern way to nod to the history of the Superman/Clark secret identity, and to allow their relationship to develop as friends first and over time through their chats and in the game. I also really wanted Lois in Metropolis.

K: Are there other characters from the DC Universe that you want to bring into Lois’ life?

G: *inscrutable face* We’ll just have to see, won’t we? Maybe there’s one already there…

K: What do you envision for Lois’ future? Are we going to get a book three?

G: I’m not allowed to answer quite yet. I understand that’s completely unsatisfying! But I will say that I don’t think Lois’s story is over.

Thanks so much to Gwenda for taking some time to answer my questions. Be sure to pick up a copy of Lois Lane: Double Down, and follow Gwenda on Twitter! If you’ve read Double Down, let me know your thoughts about the book in the comments! 

The Search for the Perfect Winter Soldier Hoodie

Several months ago, I was sitting in my best friend’s parents house. Captain America: Winter Soldier had just recently come out, and my bestie and I were talking about the movie. Suddenly, she drops a BOMB on me (okay, it wasn’t that dramatic). When I started fangirling over Bucky/Winter Soldier,  she essentially responded like this:

who the hell is bucky.gif

She just didn’t understand how I could care or fangirl over Bucky when Captain America and his Dorito-shaped body were in the same universe. Meanwhile I couldn’t believe how she didn’t love Bucky. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like Cap. I love Cap, I’m unabashedly #TeamCap, and I’ve made the pilgrimage to my local Yankee Candle to check out his candle. But I can’t help it. I love Cap, but I’m a Bucky girl. Maybe it’s because I share his love of red and black, or maybe it’s because we both have a tough time with nailing that smoky eye look…

winter soldier

…whatever it is, he’s my fave, and I’m the type of chick who likes to get swag based on her faves. My extensive collection of Jordandene shirts alone will prove that. While I’ve got a Jordandene tank that has a red star and reads, “I’m with you till the end of the line”, I really wanted to get a Winter Soldier hoodie. You know, a cool-looking hoodie with a silver (or gray) arm that had a red star on the shoulder. Something badass-looking like my Her Universe Black Widow jacket. But in all of my searching, I couldn’t find anything. So I’m left with only one choice: I have to make my own Winter Soldier hoodie. I found a solid tutorial on DeviantArt from Unicat Studio. What is great about this tutorial is that one, the author recognizes that some of us might be terrible at sewing, and that it’s okay. But even better, there are tiers for how complex you want to make your hoodie. Here’s the easy, Level One version of the Winter Soldier hoodie:

winter_soldier_hoodie tutorial easy

Not too bad, right? I feel like this might be the perfect way for me to get my feet wet creating my own everyday cosplay wear (for you ambitious folk, here’s the link again for Unicat Studio’s full tutorial). Since I’m leaning heavily towards wearing outfits around my Jordandene shirts this year at Denver Comic Con, having a hoodie like this would go perfectly with my Till the End of the Line shirt.

What do you think of this tutorial? Have you ever tried to make your own fandom-wear? What tips or tricks do you have for me? Have you seen a Winter Soldier hoodie tutorial that you like more than the one I posted? Tell me about it in the comments! 

A Brand New Ghostbusters Trailer!

People had All the Opinions about the first Ghostbusters trailer, and whether you liked the first trailer or not–I didn’t really have strong feelings myself as its, you know a trailer–you’ve got to check out this second trailer:

Like I said before, I didn’t have strong feelings one way or the other about the first trailer. It was a trailer, after all, and I knew it was starring women that I think are hilarious, so I made up my mind about seeing the movie long before the trailer hit. However, I do think this second trailer is definitely stronger than the first. To be fair, it’s less of a teaser trailer, but I was happy to get a better picture of what to expect in the movie, plot-wise, which is, apparently a giant, world-ending paranormal event. Alright, Ghostbusters, you’ve got my attention! Plus,  they fleshed out Chris Hemsworth’s Kevin character a bit more, and it looks like he might end up being the Big Bad (or at least a bad guy) in the movie. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about that, as I really started to love the goofy, hapless Kevin we met on Administrative Professional’s Day, but I trust Thor to rock any role he gets. Ghostbusters will hit theaters on July 15, and definitely I cannot wait to see this one.

So what do you think of the new trailer? Are you going to see Ghostbusters, or are you over reboots?  Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

Distracted Blogger 2016 Summer Reading

Even though, where I live, we had snow like literally two weeks ago, I’m officially calling it summer…

…or spring, at least. I just want it to be a season where I’m not always freezing.

ANYWAY since it’s getting warmer, it’s time to start planning out my summer reading! Here’s what I’ve got on the docket:

Bloodline by Claudia Gray

Bloodline

Image credit: Penguin Random House

I bought this book the day it released, and I cannot WAIT to jump in farther (I’m on like chapter two right now). The story centers largely around Leia, as the cover suggests, and it takes place in the space between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens.

Leia is a Senator in the New Republic, and after years of peace she is beginning to sense the breakdown of the era of peace as the New Republic becomes divided between those wanting a galaxy united under one ruler (how could that possibly go wrong) and a galaxy where each world was given sovereign governing rights. Understandably, Leia is super wary of the people wanting to unite under one ruler.

While I love a good story about Leia kicking ass and taking names, I’m also interested to see how much of Han and Ben we get. I’m assuming they’re saving Ben’s Kylo Origin Story for the actual films, but I’m eager to see a bit of their kid prior to becoming the Dark Side’s whiniest soldier.

Aftermath and Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig

Okay, so Aftermath has been out for a bit, but I only got myself a copy a couple weeks ago. Imagine how STOKED I was to hear that because I’m late to the party, I won’t have to wait too long until the second book in the Aftermath trilogy. Aftermath: Life Debt comes out July 12! Of course I’ll have to wait a while for the third book, but that’s Future Kendall’s problem. The Aftermath trilogy, like Bloodline, takes place between Episode VI and Episode VII, and gives us the details of how the galaxy went from chaos under the Emperor to peace to somehow being in chaos again under the First Order. I am so excited about these books, I can’t even.

Lois Lane: Double Down by Gwenda Bond

Double-Down-Final-Cover.jpg

Image credit: Switch Press

This is the second book in Gwenda’s Lois Lane series, the first being Lois Lane: Fallout. I’ve been reading this one for a bit, and I LOVE it. Gwenda is doing something totally awesome with Lois, and I love getting to see her as a teen, chasing down stories, and helping the little guy. Of course it’s also fun to see her interact with SmallvilleGuy, but I really like how Gwenda is portraying Lois. Even though she was occasionally portrayed as nothing more than a damsel in distress in the comics, Gwenda shows Lois as she really is. Lois is a hero in her own right. She might not be from Krypton and she might not be from the House of El, but Lois is a badass and she fights for justice. Since she isn’t bulletproof herself, it kind of makes her that much more of a hero. Lois is human just like the rest of us, but she still never hesitates to put herself in harm’s way. I just love that about her. Plus, she’s hella sarcastic which is the quickest way to get to my heart.

Investigating Lois Lane by Tim Hanley

Investigating Lois Lane

Image credit: Chicago Review Press

I had to toss a non-fiction book into the mix, right? Plus, I feel like this one is a great chaser for Gwenda’s book. Tim Hanley investigates the history behind the Lois character, and discusses her evolution throughout the comics and even into television shows and movies.

Like I said before, Lois wasn’t always portrayed as a strong, capable character, so it will be really cool to see how she’s changed over the years and how different mediums have treated the character. Here’s hoping they mention something about Terri Hatcher’s version of Lois lane and those epic, nineties pantsuits with the shoulder pads.

But in all honesty, I’m really excited to get to read something that takes a critical, almost academic look at comics. Taking a genre studies in comic books and graphic novels in college is what made me fall  in love with them, so I can’t wait to read something about comics that goeses beyond  a basic love for the art form and does some deep dive into character evolution. Plus, I don’t have to write a research paper after reading this, so HUGE bonus!

What is on your summer reading list? Have you read any of the books on my list? If you have, give me your non-spoilery thoughts in the comments! 

Denver Comic Con 2016: Seriously, What Should I Wear?

Okay, you guys. I’m having a bit of an outfit crisis up in here. I know that I’ve posted a few things of outfit options for Denver Comic Con and I’ve got LOADS of other everyday cosplay outfits, but I just can’t find something I love. Last year, I knew almost exactly what I wanted to wear to the con, but this year I’m not so sure. So one thing I’m considering is nixing everyday cosplay this year, and just wearing different outfits around the Jordandene tanks I own. Here’s what I’m thinking:

My Hamilton outfit:

I know you’ve already seen this one, but I love this outfit. I’ve been obsessed with the musical for a while, and equally obsessed with this shirt since it arrived. So I think this outfit is a DEFINITE contender for my Denver Comic Con 2016 look.

Everyday Low-Key Hamilton Trash

 

#TeamCap Style

I loved, loved, LOVED Captain America: Civil War, and I’m still riding that post-movie buzz, so I think it’d be the perfect time to style an outfit that gives a nod to Cap and his team. Also before you give me a hard time–and warning, a spoiler alert for Civil War below…
*I realize Nat starts out Team Iron Man, but she ultimately ends up switching teams, so I’m comfortable with including my Her Universe Black Widow jacket*

#TeamCap Style

 

Don’t Blink!

Of course I have to pay tribute to my favorite doctor with this “Don’t Blink” (it’s pictured in sweatshirt form here, but I’ve got it as a tank. And, of course, TARDIS blue nail polish.

Doctor Who Style

 

We’re All Stories in the End

This was the first tank I ever bought from Jordandene, and I LOVE it. It’s also one of my favorite lines from the Eleventh Doctor. I’m sticking with the TARDIS blue nail polish, as well as a “Hello sweetie” temporary tattoo I got from Jordandene.

We're All Stories In The End

 

What do you think of my Jordandene-styled convention style? I’m definitely feeling a lot of these outfits far more than any of my everyday cosplay outfits, but I’ll just have to wait to see what I decide. Do you have a fave look, or do you have a fave Jordandene shirt that I don’t (yet) own? Let me know your faves in the comments, and be sure to check out Jordandene for your own ADORABLE geek chic tanks, tees, and more! Also let me know if you’re coming to Denver Comic Con this year–be sure to buy your passes before they sell out! 

#TeamCap Civil War Premiere Outfit

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know that I am unabashedly #TeamCap for this Civil War business in the MCU.

cap salute.gif

So I want to be sure I show my party alignment when I go and see Captain America: Civil War this weekend. While there’s always options in the everyday cosplay realm (I made a few Civil War everyday cosplay outfits for Geek & Sundry), maybe you want to explore some different ways of expressing your side. Here are some options:

Nails and Makeup

I’ll be honest with you guys. I’m terrible at makeup. I wear as little as possible, and even then I’m pretty sure makeup gurus would tell me I’m applying the stuff wrong. So the thought of doing fancy makeup for a movie premiere makes me a bit itchy (I’ll stick to nails, really). BUT after watching this totally awesome makeup tutorial for Cap makeup, I couldn’t help feel a bit inspired. Her nail choices were also amazing.

Of course, in the video I posted above, she uses gel polish. Here’s a nail tutorial in case you’re not on the gel nails train:

Hair

If you’ve got longer hair, you’re not going to be able (and probably won’t want) to recreate Steve’s hairstyle. While you might be able to swing Bucky’s hair, ever since the whole Winter Soldier thing his hair is more bedhead-chic with an emphasis on bedhead. So instead of trying to copy Cap or Bucky, why not channel a more Peggy Carter-themed hairstyle and don a classic forties ‘do? Here’s a tutorial for some vintage waves:

Outfit

You didn’t think I’d actually leave you without a new everyday cosplay outfit, did you? Of COURSE you can’t go to the premiere in your regular old clothes! With this outfit, there will be no DOUBT that you’re 100% in on #TeamCap

Captain America Everyday Cosplay

 

 

Are you seeing Captain America: Civil War this weekend? What are you wearing to the movie? Tell me about it in the comments, and if you’re #TeamIronMan let me know! I promise I won’t be angry…

disappointed

Everyday Cosplay: Louise Belcher

I love Bob’s Burgers. It’s one of my favorite shows on television, and it’s my go-to show if I need a pick me up after a bad day. While I love just about every character on that show, one of my favorite characters is Louise.

evil

She’s hysterical. She’s sarcastic. She’s clever. She’s a little evil. And to top it off, she’s voiced by the hilarious Kristen Schaal. So as I’m still noodling over what outfits I want to wear to Denver Comic Con this year, I got the idea of this low-key everyday cosplay as a tribute to my one of my favorite Belchers. It’s perfect for wearing to a summer convention!

Everyday Louise Belcher

 

 

Obviously, the look includes a ring that doubles as your bunny ears and a weapon–just like Louise would want–and I’ve included a hoodie to the look for maximum comfort when you’re inside a highly air-conditioned room or if some stupid boy steals your bunny ears.

Who is your favorite Belcher? Why do you love them? Let me know in the comments!