Gizmo

Nerd Block October 2015 unboxed

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I splashed a tiny bit more cash this month to try out the classic Nerd Block, who also runs Horror Block (which is being sent out later this month). As I receive the newsletter every week, the teasers for this month’s Nerd Block caught my eye immediately for containing two items from some of my most favourite brands. After opening this block, I was more than satisfied.

  1. Bob’s Burgers Mad Libs

I have to admit I don’t know the first thing about Bob’s Burgers other than watching an episode or two back in my university days. It seems fine enough, but who the hell doesn’t love a good Mad Lib?

2. Zombie Hunter Dog Tags

Do people still wear fake dog tags as fashion accessories? For a few of my teenage years I wore my father’s dog tags, but I had to stop after several people thought I was actually in the army and started thanking 14-year-old me for my service (who ever said Americans were smart?). Anyway, this is hands-down the worst item in the block and that’s including more of those god-awful Titan Vinyl figures.

3. Peltzer’s Pets ShirtPunch t-shirt

I cannot and will not talk about this t-shirt rationally. LOOK AT THIS FUCKING T-SHIRT!

This shirt and the Jem annual are the two reasons I tried out Geek Block this month. And I really, really was not disappointed by this t-shirt. I’m normally a pretty normal adult by bland white-people standards: skirts or dresses every single day. But the one time I usually go out on a limb is with shirts with mogwai on them. Especially if said mogwai is everyone’s favourite hero, Gizmo. I’m going to MCM Comic Con London again this weekend, and this shirt is bound to make an appearance.

As an added bonus (just when I didn’t think this shirt could get any better) – the information card tells me that IT GLOWS IN THE DARK. Not only glows in the dark, but the sweet image of Gizmo disappears and a gremlin appears instead with “feed after midnight!” as the caption to egg you on to make bad choices. God. I fucking love Gremlins.

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4. Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual #1 with exclusive cover

I’ve already read this Jem annual twice already since I picked it up when it came out a couple weeks ago. As we all know, I’ve really been loving the shit out of this IDW series. The annual is a selection of short stories all illustrated by various artists. The Holograms attempt to watch a movie after a long day, but all fall asleep to have some rather interesting dreams.

There are about five different covers for this first annual, and there are some really nice variants (as always because IDW always publish about 8 covers for each issue and I need them all). This Geek Block exclusive cover is by artist Amy Mebberson. Mebberson also drew a variant cover for the first Jem issue and did the art for the “Wired” part of the annual.

5. Moe’s Tavern coasters

These are really great. While I was never a massive Simpsons fan, it’s pretty difficult to deny how fun these coasters are. And for once these are really nice quality. They even have proper cork on the back and a plastic (?) topping, which means they’ll last infinitely longer than the usual cardboard fare.

6. Geek Block Ripley and Xenomorph Titan Figure 2-pack

Fucking great. Is this how you repay me for months of support, Nerd Block? MORE of these disgusting things? Who on earth likes these? Seriously. Who are you so I can hunt you down and make sure you never buy one of these horrifying things again. Last month’s rant on my Horror Block unboxing is enough. I’ve said all I can about these monstrosities and I shall never give them anymore of my time. Even if it is Ripley. Sorry.


Next month the people at Nerd Block are launching the new Sci-Fi Block, which promises plenty of science fiction-related goodness from brands like X-Files, Firefly and Star Trek. The first block (which is shipped in November) promises a Star Wars: The Force Awakens Funko Pop and a celebrity autograph.

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MCM London Comic Con haul: let’s talk about comics

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Half the fun of going to comic cons is learning about new comics, shows and products that you might have missed elsewhere. After attending my first two comic cons last October, I was determined to go out of my way to discover the greatness people had to offer. I certainly found it in different shops, independent comics and art.

Both of these buggars in the photo above came from the A Place in Space stall. This shop is located in Croyden. It’s so close to my neck of the woods I was almost embarrassed that I had never heard of them before. But alas, they had a great selection of Funko Pop! figures that were calling out to be purchased. My husband and I have a slowly growing collection that I’m afraid needs to stop growing soon or we will be out of a room.

Being the fantastic wife I am, I picked Ultron for my husband. But of course I had to nip Hong Kong Phooey for myself. The unfortunate thing about comic con is if you’re not into superheroes, you really miss out on a chunk of what’s going on. I greatly appreciated that someone carried a bit of nostalgia for a unusual collector like myself.

Another store I came across was Travelling Man. All of their stores are mostly up north (another thing that greatly pleased my Northern husband), but they also have a very nice online shop. I assumed that most stalls would run deals at the convention this weekend, but clearly marking up prices seemed to be the game for most vendors there. Travelling Man was one of the few exceptions. They had such a great selection of books and board games, and all at a great price. They will definitely be a shop I keep an eye out anytime I leave London. I also send my apologises to the nice man who tried to talk to me about the Saga volume I bought. This was another gift for the husband and I could only say “yessssss” in response to any questions. Plus my conversation skills usually extend to “hmmm” and “aaaaah” anyway.

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A great part of MCM was the fantastic Comic Village. Absolutely every type of comic and manga art under the sun was there from superheroes to sloth people to unicorn women. And it covered big names like Marvel, but had a superb amount of indie comics and prints available. This was the first place IMG_1016I headed to on Friday because I knew exactly what I was looking for: a Lee Bradley print. I have seen his work at every con I have been to in London. There was one piece in particular that had been on my mind since the last batch back in October.

Enter his The Walking Dead illustration with Gizmo and the gremlins. Everything about this piece is something to love, but for some reason I had talked myself out of buying it then. Thankfully it were prints still available and I bought one without the slightest bit of hesitation. Unfortunately every bit of free time I had seemed to be at a contrast with Mr Bradley’s schedule. Every time I popped back to his table for a chat, he was busy or had gone. Next time, sir.

I picked up one indie comic for a read from Attackosaur Comics. Their comic Devil Executioner immediately caught my eye because the cover art reminded me of early Karl Moline and because it appeared to be one of the only horror IMG_1017comics available at the convention. The work on the inside is quite interesting. Written by Martin Ian Smith and art by Nicolás Giacondino, Devil Executioner is one beautiful badass book.

It is a contained one-shot comic, which is really a cool way to get exposed to a new area of comics. This particular story follows the gun-toting exorcist Father John Torrento as he tries to save the life of of an Italian girl who has been possessed by a demon. I’ve always found real exorcisms extremely fascinating. The fact that I happened upon a comic that was based on those instances was pure, happy luck. Actually, I’m so into this comic it probably deserves its own write-up later.

Clearly I spent a fair bit of cash this weekend (sorry, bank account), but I’m already really looking forward to the next con – theLondon Film and Comic Con that’s happening in July. Lots of great guests coming up on that one, but for now this commences my coverage of my crazy weekend at the MCM London Comic Con. I am off on my honeymoon in Scotland this weekend, but I promise to return and not touch any stones at Craigh na dun.

The day an obsession went too far (probably)

Being unemployed for any amount of time has never been good for my health.

Since I was 15, there have been few periods in my life not spent either working, going to school (or usually both). People have told me to enjoy this time I have before I enter the “real world” of adulthood. There is nothing enjoyable about waiting around for two months waiting to get back to work. Maybe I could get a hobby, but there is no motivation when you could just sit around and watch a marathon of Hoarders: Buried Alive.

This is my reasoning for playing the Gremlins Gizmo game for the Wii. Probably because I really have no other excuses.

IMG_0571 My poor father took me out of the house for the first time in a few days. As there is a used gaming store going out of business, we decided to take a look at the picked-over selection.

As a side note, the Gremlins have somehow taken over my life. Even reading that sentence over has made me realise my situation is perhaps a little more pathetic than I’ve been able to admit to myself. The movie terrified me as a child. Stripe and co constantly raided my nightmares and I absolutely refused to join in at the height of the Furby craze.

And yet… and yet mogwai have now become ‘my thing’. I even went as a sort-of female version of Billy Peltzer for Halloween. Even as we approached the store, a vision of Gizmo flashed into my mind. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t surprised to see him staring back at me from the shelves of the sad store.

Unfortunately I’m the type of sucker who can’t resist the sweet face of a fictional monster, so I bought (25% off, baby) the game completely unaware of what I had done.

Gremlins Gizmo is kind of a shit game. There really isn’t two ways to put it. Like most Gremlins merchandise, the game is aimed towards young children. Always a bit bizarre considering the movie’s dark tone and the sequel’s occasional mature-content (sexy gremlin, anyone?).

I could tell instantly when turning on the game I had entered some sort of bizarre mishmash of a child’s innocence learning to be spooked for the first time and a game made purely for Gremlins die-hards. There are plenty of references in the game that only people who know their Gremlins films would get (the dancing game, being able to play as one of the scrapped mogwais from New Batch).

Before I knew it I was three hours in and had poor Gizmo dressed as an alien. I couldn’t resist. Even in a video game I couldn’t stop myself from needing to reference the book’s back story for the mogwai from an alien world. He bobs around playing with toys, racing a little doll car and spends time learning about constellations. It’s a strange universe, but it’s the one I’ve entered.

The mental decline of a young-woman and her mogwai.

The mental decline of a young-woman and her mogwai.

I’m not even entirely sure if I’m supposed to say if this is a good game or not. If there’s any dignity involved, I would say this game is a completely stupid waste of time.

But there I am, still thinking about trying to play it again later. Even if it’s just to see what other costumes there is to unlock.

Whatever. Haters gonna hate. Right, Giz?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIwrP1Od0Qw&w=420&h=315%5D

Merry Christmas from an American in London

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

May your days be filled with good food, great drinks and hopefully even better music. If not, always always be glad you’re not a French exchange student in the United States.

This is my second Christmas in my new country and it has had plenty of drinks and great conversations. But I do want to send the message to my friends and family back home that I miss you all dearly and next Christmas – I hope there is snow, schnapps and stollen. What I’ve learned over these few years is that you can still have your dream life and miss the old and I certainly feel that today.

Lots of love to all (and especially those French exchange students….)