Archive for the ‘Film, Music, and Television’ Category

She Makes Comics is a documentary film exploring and celebrating the many roles women play in comics and fandom featuring interviews from Joyce Farmer to Joan Hilty and many more.

As a fellow female in comics who has experienced many of the associated triumphs and tribulations, I cannot recommend supporting this project enough.


So I read the reports from multiple sources that Tom Cruise compared his job as an actor to fighting in Afghanistan. Further investigation revealed that his lawyer actually made the comparison, talking about the amount of time the actor took away from his family to work on location shots. Tom Cruise, rather than telling his lawyer to curb the hyperbole, agreed with the comparison, calling it “brutal.”

Mr. Cruise can still cry me a river.

Deployed troops spend time away from their families to protect our nation. Lots of working class parents also have to spend similar stretches away from their families (among them, my husband) just to keep their families housed and fed. I sincerely doubt Mr. Cruise’s time working on location shots is as important to national security or as essential to keeping his family above the poverty level as the sacrifices these people make.

Some of Tom Cruise’s defenders have pointed out that acting is scary work. It’s true. I’m no stranger to acting myself. Even way off-Broadway repertory theater can be nerve-wracking. However, it’s nowhere near as scary as the prospect of not being able to pay the bills, and it’s absolutely nothing compared to looking death in the eye.

I got PTSD from a car crash. A real crash, involving no special effects, stunt cars, or professional stunt drivers. A real crash causing real and long lasting injuries. A real crash that- at the time- I did not expect to survive. But while my friends who’ve served in the armed forces have proven very understanding and instrumental in helping me cope, I would never compare my experience to theirs. Mine was a one-time incident. They’ve seen and been through much worse, living in daily fear for their lives and souls and those of their brothers and sisters in arms.

Tom Cruise, on the other hand, is just a movie actor in desperate need of some perspective.

Warning! This post is full of an evening’s worth of fannish contemporary fantasy entertainment! You might want to set aside an evening for this- preferably tonight.

I’ve been feeling particularly lucky these past several days. One of them was that I had just finished reading Cold Days, the seventh book of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files. Normally, I would not consider that much of an accomplishment, except that I never just read one book at a time. In this case, I was also reading Journey of Heroes while also trying to keep up with the FUBAR books, The Shadow, The Dresden Files comics, Wolverine and the X-Men, and The Walking Dead.

Then I found out that I had pulled that off in time for Jim Butcher’s birthday, which also happens to be the birthday of my brother Kreg and my friend Robert. (Happy birthday you guys. Stay out of trouble!) So here’s a little present. I’m not actually writing a book review, though I did indeed like Cold Days and eagerly look forward to the next installment, Skin Game. Rather I will share how some people I suppose we could call Dresden-philes have chosen to pay tribute.

We “officially” premiered this movie at Missoula, Montana’s MisCon back in May, and Jim Butcher just so happened to be a guest. I also say “we,” because it’s not just another crazy coincidence that all the people listed in the credits have the last name of Finnigan. Like a lot of fanfilms, this was a family affair. Rather than just waste an entire panel talking about how awesome our movie was, however, we showed a preview for another fanfilm that was, at the time, still a work in progress.

What did Jim Butcher think? After he saw our movie and the trailer, he had this to say to Tower of Turtles Productions, the people who made this next movie.

jim butcher

Because you’ve put up with my rambling so far, I won’t just show the preview. I’ll reward you with the whole thing. Just another warning – This movie is not for the little ones.

I, like many feminists and other people put off by the sleaziness that’s slithered its ugly way up the pop charts had in mind making my own video parody- perhaps showing how women would realistically respond to the pickup lines in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” That would include reactions ranging from, “Ew,” to thrown drinks, to Krav Maga.

But why do another “Blurred Lines” parody when Rosalind Peters has already made the point in a much wittier and more original fashion?

2002 was a good year to be a Star Wars fan. It was an even better time to make a fan film, with Lucasfilm and the Sci-Fi Channel (before anybody thought to pronounce it “Siffy”) sponsoring a Star Wars fan film competition- with George Lucas himself as one of the judges.

I had the honor (yes, I consider it an honor) of serving as an uncredited extra. My husband- who had a bigger role- and I accompanied some of the other folks involved in the film to the awards ceremony at Star Wars Celebration that year.

This film garnered an honorable mention.

Eleven years later, a lot has happened to the group that made this film. Folks went off in different directions. Jawa-sized kids grew up. I met other creators who are happy to let fans play in their universes (more about Jim Butcher later). Most importantly, I discovered that it’s still a good time to make a fan film.