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.

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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!

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! 

Is Zack Snyder Right About Grant Gustin?

Okay, I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that Grant Gustin, who plays Barry Allen/the Flash on the CW’s wildly popular show, The Flash, wasn’t allowed to play his character in the DC Cinematic Universe. While Grant has been characteristically classy about it, fans were certainly curious why Zack Snyder decided to start over from scratch with the Flash in the films.

I mean, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Well, Snyder might disagree with how well the Flash is characterized on the CW show. Here’s what he told NY Daily News:

I just don’t think it was a good fit. I’m very strict with this universe and I just don’t see a version where…that (tone is) not our world.

Sure, I get it. The Flash is super lighthearted, and Barry himself is particularly bright and sunny. Just look at this happy smile:

the flash

Understandably, Zack Snyder might not want such a sunny character ruining his dark and twisty vibes. And to top it all off, Snyder has even come out to say that Batman and Superman hail from an entirely different universe from The Flash and Arrow (which is evidenced by the Flash/Supergirl crossover ep).

But…

Snyder is still including the Flash in the Justice League movie, and Ezra Miller’s Flash will get his own movie. So clearly, there’s enough there to add him to the DC Cinematic Universe, right?

Side note: I should also point out that word on the street is that, should the Green Arrow find his way to the Justice League too (which he should since he’s a vital part of it), Stephen Amell will probably not be the movie Green Arrow. That brings up an entirely different argument of Zack Snyder inadvertently shooting DC Comics/DCTV in the foot by turning the CW’s Flash and Arrow into the “poor man’s Flash and Green Arrow”. While I could talk about that more, I want to go back to what he said about Grant Gustin and the tone of his Barry Allen.

There was a lot of success behind the Dark Knight trilogy and the dark and twisty-ness that came with it–despite the fact that Batman properties have been lighthearted in the past. Like this:

batman shark.gif

Or even this:

batman and harley

Of course the Dark Knight trilogy was based on the equally dark and twisty Dark Knight comic book series. Still, there have been plenty of times where Batman is depicted in more lighthearted stories both in movies, series, and comics. Superman, too.

So is Snyder and the DC Cinematic universe making a mistake planting their flag in the dark and twisty superhero camp? After all, Man of Steel didn’t exactly blow the doors off an box office records, and the fact that Brandon Routh has a solid place in the DC TV Universe as Ray Palmer/The Atom on Legends of Tomorrow means that most of us probably forgot that he had a run as Christopher Reeve’s doppelganger/the protector of truth, justice, and the American way in 2006’s Superman Returns.

brandon routh

Meanwhile, the MCU is dominating ALL THE THINGS because they’ve allowed their superheros to be for kids and grown-ups alike. Sure, MCU heroes may have some rough stuff in their backstory, but their films are ultimately fun and uplifting to watch–and just about everyone takes the MCU seriously. Even if you’re over superhero movies and the MCU, there’s no denying that they’re doing something right.

But, Kendall, you say, what about Deadpool? He wasn’t necessarily uplifting and he definitely wasn’t for kids!

I’m so glad you brought Wade up! Let’s talk about Deadpool! Remember when we first met the mouthless, laser-eyed”Deadpool” in the Wolverine movie?

Deadpool

Deadpool fans were pissed. Why? Because that was not our Deadpool. Hell, it wasn’t even Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool, and he played the abomination. The Deadpool we all know and love is foul-mouthed, he’s crass, and any story involving the Merc is hella gory. Deadpool’s origin story is also a heavy one, and unlike a lot of our favorite superheroes, his doesn’t have the happiest of endings. Wade will always be disfigured, and he’ll always be in some sort of pain, despite his healing factor. If anyone has a reason to be dark and twisty, my friends, it’s Wade Wilson.

But he isn’t. Like a lot of us, he masks his pain and anger in snark, silliness, and several asides. And unlike a lot of us, he also masks his anger in wielding weapons and killing bad guys. You know, whatever works for you, Wade.

So when Ryan Reynolds took over making an actual Deadpool movie, he focused on doing it right. As a fan of the Merc himself, he was obsessed with sticking true to the Wade we’ve all come to love, and worked for eleven years to make a Deadpool movie the right way. Which, as we all know now, he did. The movie has exploded at the box office, because it was true to the source material. Reynolds made sure of it. We got a good balance of the tough moments:

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and the silly:

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They made him feel familiar, right down to the illogical eyes on his costume that change shape depending on what expression Wade is making. By staying true to the source material, they made a solid story that not only brought in new fans to the series, but they also made sure not to alienate their core group of Deadpool fans.

So what does this have to do with Zack Snyder and Grant Gustin? It all comes down to the fans and the source material. Like it or not, Barry Allen isn’t a dark and twisty superhero. He’s just not. Yes, he’s got some demons and a tragic past, but he’s ultimately a pretty upbeat guy. I fear that by forcing DC into this dark, tormented hero box, they’re going to alienate their core fan base–which we saw in Man of Steel when they tried to make a stylistic, darker Superman movie. A superhero doesn’t have to be exclusively for kids, Deadpool proves that, and a dark superhero franchise can work as we saw with the Dark Knight trilogy. However, making a darker, R-rated superhero just to try to bring “legitimacy” to superhero films or make them feel more realistic while not necessarily sticking to the source material is usually where superhero movies tank.

Or not. I could be totally wrong. After all, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman looks crazy badass (and inspired by the New 52 Aquaman), and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman has got me ALL KINDS of excited for her debut in the DCCU. Still, I can’t help but think that Zack Snyder is making a mistake by making all of his DC movies have that darker, stylistic vibe, regardless of what we see in the comics. I hope I’m wrong, but if Deadpool is any indication, comic book movies do much better when they stay true to the source.

What do you think of Zack Snyder’s choice to cast a new actor to play Barry Allen? Do you like the darker vibe that the DC movies have, or do you think it’s too forced? Let me know what you think in the comments! 

Everyday Cosplay: Bombshell Wonder Woman (and a giveaway!)

I’ve been talking about how stoked I am to have two amazing–and very different–female superheroes on TV in Jessica Jones and Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl). Some like to say that because Kara is a bubbly, sometimes goofy superhero that she’s irrelevant, or that Jessica’s serious tone and very mature (and often hard to watch) subject matter makes her a more solid superhero. Like I said in my previous post, deciding that we can only have one type of female superhero, that there is only one “correct” way to be a woman and a costumed hero is just crazy talk. If you don’t believe me, check out the zillions of male superheroes, amirite?

supergirl shrug

So, to continue celebrating the amazing female superheroes on TV and the ones coming to big screens, I decided to dedicate this week’s everyday cosplay to the next female superhero to have her own space in the superhero TV and movie world–Wonder Woman. However, instead of copying her traditional outfit or Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, I decided to base my everyday cosplay look on Bombshell Wonder Woman (seriously, if you haven’t read the Bombshell comic by the lovely Marguerite Bennett, you NEED to). Plus, I have a pretty fun giveaway at the bottom of the post, and I felt like going with a WWII-inspired outfit would fit nicely with the giveaway. Check it out:

Everyday Bombshell Wonder Woman

 

 

Of course, I did promise you all a giveaway in addition to some retro Wonder Woman fashion. So here it is: three of you lovely readers will win either a copy of Chartwell Books’ Superman: The War Years, Batman: The War Years, or Wonder Woman: The War Years, all three by comic book legend, Roy Thomas.

DC Comics War Years

These books are gorgeous, you guys. They’re large, hardcover books, and contain the stories of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman during WWII. The exact years vary for each character, as each character was introduced at different times, but all three were around for the large majority of WWII, helping comic book fans cope with the war. Not only does each book explain the character’s role in helping readers process the war, but it also provides beautiful, full-color images of the comics from back then. These books are essential for any comic book fan. It’s a great collectible piece, and it looks great as a coffee table book. If you wanted to buy your own, they each retail at about $25, or you can enter my giveaway to win one of these three!

Here’s the scoop on the giveaway: I’ll be picking three winners (US only–sorry international readers) to randomly receive one of these three books. To win, you can follow these five easy steps:

  1. Comment on this post telling me your favorite superhero, and why.
  2. Follow me on Twitter.
  3. Follow me on Instagram.
  4. Follow DC Comics on Twitter.
  5. Tweet and/or Insta the picture above with this message: I entered to win #RoyThomas’ Superman, Batman, or WonderWoman War Years from @Kendall_Ashley (Twitter) @kendallashley_0128 (Insta)! Enter here: http://bit.ly/1XEsqL1 #DBFreebie

The contest will run for a week, and will close at 12 noon MST on Tuesday, December 9. Remember, US entrants only. Good luck, you guys! 

Everyday Cosplay: Captain Cold

If you’ve been around here for long, you’ll remember that after a few episodes of The Flash‘s first season, I wasn’t sure if I was a fan of the show. Because of that, I backed off of The Flash for a bit, and didn’t really keep up with Barry Allen and the rest of the gang at Star Labs. Sure, I’d watch the crossover episodes, but that was about it. But as more episodes passed, more and more people told me that I needed to give the show another shot. They said that though The Flash had some growing pains starting off, they definitely found their groove as each episode passed. I’m always game for another superhero show in my life, so I gave the show another shot, and I am so glad that I did. Any doubts that I had about the show previously are completely gone. I’ve fallen madly in love with Barry, Caitlin, Cisco, Iris, and Joe. I even have a soft spot in my heart for Harrison Wells, even though I know the truth behind his identity. Though, full disclosure, I’m pretty sure my love for Harrison Wells is a side effect of my love of Tom Cavanagh.

I like to think Harrison Wells mourned the failure of his particle accelerator in a similar fashion to Dan Dorian.

I like to think Harrison Wells mourned the failure of his particle accelerator in a similar fashion to Dan Dorian.

Regardless, I rescind everything negative I said about The Flash. It’s a fun, exciting show, and I love having it as a part of my superhero TV lineup. Because I’ve fallen back in love with the show, I thought I’d do an everyday cosplay outfit dedicated to one of The Flash‘s sassiest villains–and a future hero on Legends of Tomorrow: Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold.

Everyday Captain Cold

Who is your favorite villain on The Flash? Will you be watching Legends of Tomorrow when it premieres? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Everyday Cosplay: The Flash

Fall TV is officially back in full swing! My faves are all coming back this month, and one of those–The Flash–premieres tonight! It looks like things are going to be getting pretty crazy in Central City this season, and I cannot WAIT to see what is in store for Barry and the gang. To get in the spirit, I’ve pulled together a super comfy look to pay tribute to Barry Allen himself. Check it out! Everyday Flash

The Flash premieres tonight on the CW at 8/7c! Be sure to tune in!

Chatting with Gwenda Bond about Lois Lane: Double Down

A few months ago I read–and promptly fell in love with–Gwenda Bond’s first Lois Lane novel, Fallout. So when I heard about Gwenda writing a second Lois Lane novel, Double Down, I got incredibly excited. Check out the amazing working cover:

double down cover

Here’s a bit from the official press release:

DC Comics’ iconic character Lois Lane will be back for more in Lois Lane: Double Down, the second book in a new series from Switch Press, the Young Adult imprint of Capstone.  Following the success of the first book in the series, Lois Lane: Fallout, author Gwenda Bond returns with a new story of the adventures of a teenage Lois Lane, as she begins to discover her passion for journalism and become the character loved by generations of fans.

“Lois Lane is an icon, one of the most well-known and enduring figures in American pop culture–and for good reason,” says Bond. “She’s a hero all of us can relate to. It’s been a tremendous honor and a great pleasure to get to write about her in an all-new way, as a modern teenager, and I’m thrilled to be continuing her story in Double Down.”

Lois Lane has been an integral part of the cultural landscape since her first appearance in Action Comics #1 in 1938, which also introduced the world to Superman.  A Super Hero without superpowers, the character has been featured in a dizzying number of comic books, films, and television shows.

“Switch Press has been thrilled with the critical and fan response to Lois Lane: Fallout and we are all excited to see the series continue with Double Down,” said Miles Stevens-Hoare, Managing Director of Capstone’s Global Trade business. The Lois Lane series is produced through Capstone’s licensing partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment.

While press releases are great, I knew I had to chat with Gwenda about the book and see what bits of info we could squeeze from her. Luckily, Gwenda is always up for a chat about everyone’s favorite reporter, and we got to talk a bit about what we can expect from Ms. Lane in Double Down. Check it out:

Kendall: How much time has passed between Fallout and Double Down?

Gwenda: I like this – an easy one! About two weeks.

K: What do you think draws Lois to journalism rather than other justice-­focused careers like a cop, lawyer, or spy?

G: She’s a writer at heart, and always on the side of justice, as you say. With journalism, she never has to pick a side she might not be on otherwise, except to get to the bottom of the story and tell the truth that people need to know. As far as being a cop or a lawyer, she has a slight problem with following the rules that might pose more of a problem in either of those lines of work—not to mention a decided lack of patience. And as far as being a spy goes, can we imagine Lois obeying an order if she thought it was shady? Or standing by watching a bad guy get away with something? I don’t think so. ;­)

K: How has Lois’ life changed since Fallout?

G: So a lot of what we’ll see for Lois in Double Down is the complications of her finding her place in the world—namely, hanging onto it. She knows she wants to be a reporter doing big stories, but is having some trouble finding the next one when the book starts. She’s never really had friends before, and so when her new friendships do become tangled up in a story, she has trouble navigating that territory. And she feels like her relationship with her online friend might be evolving, but isn’t sure how to ask.

K: What kind of adventure can we expect in Double Down?

G: I think the last answer gets at this a little, but hopefully one with even higher stakes—both personal and professional—for Lois.

K: Of course this book is all about the AMAZING Lois Lane, but there’s a giant, Krypton­-shaped elephant in the room with SmallvilleGuy. Can we expect to hear more from him­­and maybe learn more about him in Double Down?

G: SmallvilleGuy is definitely a big part of Double Down. There is some developing drama and intrigue related to Strange Skies that poses a threat to him and to Lois, and through that we will learn more about The Inventor too. *twirls fingers*

K: Does Double Down have a release date yet?

G: It’ll be out May 1, 2016.

K: Anything else you want to say about Double Down?

G: Just that I’m so grateful for the enthusiastic reception to Fallout and the excitement for Double Down. I hope everyone loves this book just as much—or more!

Thanks SO MUCH to Gwenda for answering my questions. I am so incredibly excited about Double Down, and you should be, too! If you haven’t had a chance to read Fallout yet, go out and buy yourself a copy now. Lois has one amazing story to tell, and I can’t wait to read about her next adventure in Double Down!

Have you read Fallout? What did you think of it? What do you want to see in Double Down? Let me know what you think in the comments!

News Break: Matt Ryan will play John Constantine on Arrow

We were ALL sad to say goodbye to the NBC show Constantine. While it doesn’t look like the series is being nabbed up by any network (yet, anyway), we can expect to see Matt Ryan reprise his role as John Constantine on Arrow this season. Here’s the official word from The CW:

As announced at TCA this afternoon, we have cast Matt Ryan as John Constantine in episode 405 of “Arrow,” entitled “Haunted.”

John Constantine is a weather worn exorcist and expert on the supernatural and the occult.  He is a detective, magician, and a hunter of demons, and will provide critical support to Oliver (Stephen Amell) when arrows aren’t enough.

EP Marc Guggenheim says: “We are thrilled to have Matt Ryan reprise the role of John Constantine on an upcoming episode of Arrow. Matt is an incredibly talented actor and his portrayal of this beloved character was always something we admired. The introduction of magic and mysticism on the show this season has provided a truly organic opportunity for us to bring John Constantine to Arrow and the CW’s DC universe. It will be a well-deserved tip of the hat to all the Constantine fans who were so incredibly supportive of that series.”

And here’s the man himself letting us know to expect him in Star City:

Are you excited to see Constantine on Arrow? What do you think of the Constantine universe colliding with the Arrow-verse? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

DC Super Heroes Origami Review, Or Kendall Sucks at Paper-Folding

When I got the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of DC Super Heroes Origami by John MontrollI was so incredibly excited. I mean, just check out this book trailer:

Looks like a TON of fun, right? I couldn’t wait to get my copy of the book. When it finally arrived, I was thrilled to see that the book itself was not only SUPER thick (meaning LOTS of fun origami stuff to try), but the lovely folks at Capstone had also included a pre-made origami Bat-Signal to get me inspired.

Origami

I couldn’t wait to get my origami on. I flipped through the table of contents and saw that they had designs for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League. Because I had just seen the amazing Gal Gadot in the Dawn of Justice trailer, I felt it only right to give the Wonder Woman designs a shot. Of course, because I’m a moron, I didn’t pay close enough attention to notice that they provide you with colored paper for your origami endeavors. Full disclosure, I just noticed this about three minutes ago…

paper

Just a note, it not only mentions the origami paper in the table of contents, but also on the cover, and in the press release Captstone sent me. Sherlock would have been so ashamed at my lack of observation… Regardless, because of my lack of perception, I ended up doing my origami on printer paper. My first endeavor into the world of super hero paper folding was Wonder Woman’s tiara.

Tiara attempt

Of course, because I was using printer paper, the dimensions were out of whack. So after a few failed attempts at following directions and just general trouble folding, I realized the problem and worked to remedy it. Happily, I cut my paper just right, and was able to work my way through the instructions. The final instruction was my personal favorite:

After you've finished all of your folding, the book helpfully reminds you to make sure your tiara is facing the correct direction...

After you’ve finished all of your folding, the book helpfully reminds you to make sure your tiara is facing the correct direction…

Finally, I finished the tiara, for better or for worse. Behold!

Tiara Collage

So, it wasn’t perfect by a long shot. The front was quite a bit too tall, and I couldn’t master the folding necessary to make the back hold together on its own–so I cheated and taped the back. Regardless, I was pretty stoked about how my first foray into paper folding turned out. I was ready to try another design, and I knew just the one:

star

Yes, I was going to try a paper star. I was certain I could pull it off. However, I didn’t notice this on the bottom of the page of the tiara instructions:

level 1

Which means I also didn’t notice this on the first page of the star project’s instructions:

level 2

For someone who has literally never done any serious origami in her lifetime, that jump from level one two level two is a pretty significant jump. So I did not experience the same level of success that I experienced with the tiara. There was a serious disconnect for me between what the instructions were trying to tell me, and what I was actually doing with the paper. When I finally gave up, my “design” was not even close to a star.

Star Collage

Seriously. Look at all those arrows and dotted lines. How am I supposed to keep that straight?!?

But before I could get too down on myself, I reminded myself quickly of my success with the tiara. For someone who was never able to fully grasp the concept of folding notes in middle school in those cool designs, and someone who couldn’t make one of those paper fortune tellers very efficiently, I was quite proud of my efforts. I had a LOT of fun playing around with the projects, and will most definitely be trying others in the future.

All I could think as I goofed my way through each project was how much I wish I had this book back when I was a nanny. It would have been a hoot to try to work through the origami designs with the kiddos I watched. These projects are a hoot to try, and with the paper in the back of the book, it’s a perfectly portable project for kids or crafty adults.

What I love the most about this book is that it has origami projects for all levels of paper-folders. If you’re an origami n00b like me, there are origami projects just for you, and if you’re an origami superhero, there are plenty of designs in the book to challenge your skills. Because the book covers so many skill levels, it’s also great to give someone who is trying to improve in their origami. Basically, there’s something for everyone in this one.

UPDATE: If you want to get a step-by-step tutorial on how to create the origami Bat-Signal, Capstone has released just such a video! Origami enthusiast Chris Harbo will walk you through the process in the video below. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to work with a person rather than a diagram!

If you want to get your hands on one of these bad boys, you can pre-order yourself a copy of DC Super Heroes Origami by John Montroll, or you can wait until the book officially hits stores on September 1. Have you ever tried origami, or any fandom origami projects? How did you do? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of this book for my honest review. Capstone Publishers did not influence my review in any way. 

Giveaway! DC Comics New 52: The Posters Collection

I’ve been on a bit of a DC kick lately (if you haven’t seen my interviews with Becky Cloonan, Marguerite Bennett, and Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti you should check those out). So I was really excited when the team from Insight Editions approached me, and they asked if they could send me a notebook and a poster collection for review and giveaway. They sent me a fantastic Wonder Woman notebook, and a poster collection from DC’s New 52. I took the notebook with me at Denver Comic Con, and it not only worked famously but also got me tons of compliments. It’s not surprising. The notebook is pretty darn slick:

wonder woman notebook

On the inside, in addition to the slick cover, there is also a bit of story before you get to the blank pages:

wonder woman notebook 2

The story is that in the midst of a treacherous attack by Cheetah, Wonder Woman drops the journal in which she has been recording her thoughts on the epic battle ahead. That journal has now fallen into your hands. The journal contains several pages of notes and sketches created by the Amazing Amazon herself, before giving way to blank ruled pages on which you can jot down your own notes. The journal is fabulous, and it does a great job putting you square in the middle of Wonder Woman’s world. It’s the coolest journal I’ve seen in some time. Even better, I recently discovered a pocket in the back as well, which is where I am currently storing my drawing from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti until I find a more worthy home for it.

All in all, the notebook worked famously. I couldn’t have been more happy with it, and I love the look of it. It’s fits perfectly in my purse, but it isn’t one of those notebooks that is so small you can only fit two words to a page. This is a proper notebook, and you can tell by the feel that its sturdy. The cover didn’t tear and the pages didn’t fall out–even after being tossed around at Denver Comic Con. Want your own copy of the journal? Head over to Insight Editions website to pick up your own.

Of course, I couldn’t leave you guys hanging, so I’ve also got something for y’all that I’m giving away. For you fine folks, I’m giving away a copy of Insight Edition’s poster collection from DC’s The New 52.

DC New 52 Collage

Featuring cover art from the biggest names in the DC Universe–including Scott Snyder’s Batman, Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, and Geoff Johns’ Justice League–this high quality poster book presents forty iconic covers from the most popular comics in the DC Comics The New 52. Since its launch date in late 2011, The New 52 has delivered some of the most visually thrilling and creatively innovative comic books art in recent history. And now, it’s yours to own in this rad collection of posters.

I’m running a Rafflecopter giveaway just for you guys. You can visit the giveaway on Rafflecopter or head over to my Facebook to enter the giveaway. The contest ends on June 8 at 12:00 AM and is open to US entrants only. Didn’t win? No worries. You can pick up a copy for yourself at Insight Editions.