Jem and the Holograms

Jem: The Misfits Issue #1


Jem: The Misfits issue #1
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Jenn St-Onge

Colours by M. Victoria Robado

People love villains. A really good baddie that people love to hate can turn a story into something great. I mean, it can be pretty hard to root for your hero if they don’t have much interesting to go up against.

One of the most classic and well-loved group of baddies has to be The Misfits from Jem and the Holograms. A sassy, bad-to-the-bone band of ladies who love to make life hell for the Jerrica Benton’s band (and their record label… and even sometimes their fans).

What Kelly Thompson has done with the original Jem and the Holograms comic series for IDW is really flesh out contemporary personalities for each of its characters. While it’s been fun to watch The Holograms grow, the other part of the fun has been watching The Misfits get into lots of trouble and totally implode.

Which is why Jem: The Misfits works so much as a series. The Misfits are so good at being evil, it’s kind of fun to watch them suffer because of all their nasty deeds (and makes rooting for them even better).

The first issue of the new series opens up with the Misfits on holiday after being dropped by their label 5×5. While at Pizzazz’s beach house, Eric Raymond delivers the news to her that literally no label is willing to take on the Misfits due to their reputation for creating trouble. Though he does tell them that they have one option (or two – kind of): either make a Misfits reality show or be booked as entertainment on a cruise.

Pizzazz is immediately not on board with the reality show idea, “We’re musicians. We’re not some talented hacks that just want 15 minutes of fame.” Her defiance is also a look into her younger years which is totally illuminating. Readers even get a Misfits origin story, both of which we never got much of in the original cartoon.

And while sure, the Misfits are technically the baddies, you can’t help but root for them a bit. Pizzazz “lost” her original family, made she managed to make a new one with the girls she chose herself. And really, there’s a lot that hits homes about the sentiment.

It’s because of Pizzazz’s fierce dedication to her band that she ultimately decides that the Misfits need to do the reality show, especially when the only other option would be to disband. Sometimes sticking together is a bit more important than your dignity (or something).

Jem: The Misfits manages to be silly, delightful and sweet as Thompson continues to dominate with her writing for the franchise. She’s done just a fabulous job with the main title, it’s great to see her work her magic with the Misfits as well. When Pizzazz tells her band that they’re doing a reality show (note: not asking) – their reactions are totally priceless. Jenn St-Onge is perfection at bringing each of the girls to life.

It really is fun watching the band rise and fall and rise again – even if they are supposed to be the villains.

Issue two of Jem: Misfits will be in shops on the 1st of February.

Love Jem and the Holograms? Support this truly outrageous fan film


Remember how last year Universal tried to release a movie and pass it off under the name of Jem and the Holograms? Great. Now remember how shit it was? Well, we can just stop talking about 1the atrocity all together. But thankfully, now the fans of the 80’s television show can finally get a taste of what they really wanted and deserve with CREATURE’s fan-made short film, Truly Outrageous: A Jem Fan Film. 

The ladies over at the production company CREATURE (a YouTube page that makes videos covering things all geeky and lovely) have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for their fan project. CREATURE made a video, JEM REACTS – to the new Jem and the Holograms Trailer, and totally said what we were all thinking. Inspired by the positive reaction, the company have decided to take the video one-step further with a fan-made movie.

According to their Kickstarter page, “Truly Outrageous! A Jem Fan Film is a sincere Jem live action adaptation, and one a lot of us fans out there have been dreaming of for a very long time. We hope we have provided many reasons to garner your support but it’s not about “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” for us – it’s about giving back to you!”

The story will not be based on the incredible IDW comic as hopefully there will be a movie based on it one day. The movie will also not be making jokes at the live-action film because, well, we’re all over that and that’s not what Jem is about. And it also will not be an origin story, though inspired by the original series.

Music? Check. 80’s fashion? Check. Being truly outrageous? Yes please!

Jem and the Holograms really means a lot to people of multiple generations. It’s cool to see a group of people group together to make something they’re really passionate about. If you’re interested, hop on over to the movie’s Kickstarter page to donate. The group have a goal of $12,000 to produce the first half of the movie. There are more goal to be unlocked, and hopefully they reach them. Maybe one day a movie studio will listen and make something for fans and newcomers.

IDW bring announcements and flannel shirts to MCM Comic Con London

Comic book publishers IDW brought great conversation to an engaging discussion of ponies, art books and those pesky constant restart comics at a morning panel at MCM Comic Con London.

VP of Marketing at IDW, Dirk Wood, and Comic Book Legal Defense League Fund deputy director Alex Cox ran the panel with a presentation before a Q&A. Wood introduced a number of new books. The big announcement for IDW this weekend was their procurement of the Action Man rights, which was news warmly received by the overwhelmingly British audience.

Also announced were the new Micronauts comic and the Star Trek Starfleet Academy, a title aimed at the young adult demographic. A second Orphan Black book is also in the works with the title “Helsinki”, which any Orphan Black fan who has watched Season 3 will fully understand the meaning. They also spoke about the Star Wars Artist’s Edition that is due to be out later this year. The book will include scans of originals artwork. Artwork that had to be hunted down by buyers from years past.

Amelia Cole artist Nick Brokenshire and comic book writer M Zachary Sherman joined the panel to lend their advice to aspiring comic book creators. In a world that is increasingly open to new comics, Brokenshire and Sherman encouraged the hopefuls to begin creating their own work not only to share it within the industry, but to also use options such as crowd funding as a way to get comics off and running.


Team Flannel: Brokenshire, Wood, Cox and Sherman at the IDW panel at MCM Comic Con London.

When asked about the new Jem and the Holograms movie that was released this weekend and it’s relationship with the well-received comic, Cook seemed tight-lipped other than saying that they were not approached for anything related to the movie from Universal.

Sherman further explained that several titles are more tightly controlled, like his America’s Army comics. But Wood and the other panelists sang praises of artist Sophie Campbell, who will be returning as artist for issue #11 with Dark Jem.

The group also spent time talking about the ups and downs of comics. There was a general agreement that the constant restarting a comic series may change the way classic characters once were, but that the comic scene has never been more diverse and inclusive.

For a laugh, the group also included some dream crossovers like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Daredevil. Wood explained that at IDW they usually think tank great ideas. When he was working at Dark Horse (where he was for fifteen years before he moved to IDW five years ago) that’s where he saw the birthplace of the idea for Alien vs Predator.

Wood also mentioned that his dream books would be Goonies or Gremlins. IDW spent nearly five years trying to procure the rights to publishing the Back to the Future comics. Hopefully Gremlins will be just around the corner because there’s probably no publisher who could do it better.

Back to the Future issue #1 was released on Wednesday and is in stores now. All attendees were given a copy with an Artist Edition variant cover by Dan Schoening.

Nerd Block October 2015 unboxed


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.


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.

IDW’s Jem and the Holograms comic truly, truly, truly works

IMG_1147Something happened a few weeks ago that rocked the world of every Jem fan: that movie trailer was released. Some were pretty upset, while others were just bewildered. What was given was a one-dimensional coming-of-age fart fest. Definitely not a film anyone would want to see and definitely not about Jem, surely. Though, I say there is hope.

When I wrote about the film back in May, I gave a passing mention that IDW was currently publishing a Jem comic saying it was worth checking out. After issue #4 came out on the 24th, I still stand by that claim, but now with a little more emphasis because this comic is SO great. Out of the series I am currently reading, this is one that I genuinely can’t wait until the next issue comes out. The book is

Now I have to admit, I was a little put off by the art when I saw it. Everything was so bright and colourful my mind somehow translated that into meaning there would be a ‘silly and senseless’ story. I do love it when I’m wrong. Once I dipped into the story I completely understood Sophie Campbell’s art and why it worked so well (and it’s insanely beautiful). Because remember what the theme song told us:

“Jem is excitement! Jem is adventure! Glamour and glitter, fashion and fame! Jem is truly outrageous truly, truly, truly outrageous.”

And excitement, adventure, and all the fashion is all there. But of course there isn’t a straight re-hash of the cartoon. Be thankful for that. Kelly Thompson has taken the story forward in re-invented it in many ways. I’m not going to promise that this will be everyone’s cup of tea, but personally I find it a refreshing way to look at several characters who have been around for so long.

While watching a YouTube review of the trailer, one woman pointed out that there isn’t a single woman on the writing or production team for the movie. That’s pretty damn sad for a movie with a cast that is almost entirely women. No one is going to say that is has to be all women, but hello? No women? Fear not! IDW has struck a great balance of equality and talent – how it really should be.

Thankfully, the delivery is both sweet and exciting – very much like Christy Marx’s original characters. But everyone is updated to present day with new tastes and full personalities.

If you’re interested in starting the comic, there are have been loads of re-prints that are sure to be easy to find. I picked up a “Plugged in Edition” of issue number one just a couple weeks ago. I’ve genuinely enjoyed reading this series and really recommend it to both Jem and non-Jem fans alike. There are so many fun variants it’s a bit difficult not to go totally nuts and buy them all. It sure beats moaning about the movie.

Issue #5 should be out by the end of July.

The terrible tragedy that happened to Jem and the Holograms

Poor Jem.

For Three years and 65 episodes, Jerrica Benton and her friends transformed into a stellar band of pop stars – all with the help of a hologram computer and badass earrings. It was strange and dreamy and something that could have only been created in the 80’s. For many Jem was a shining beacon of everything cool.

That’s a lot of hard work for one 80’s pop star. After years of hard work being an absolute icon (reruns continued into the early 90’s), and creating generations of dedicated fans, Jem and her band the Holograms received their first live action movie. Last week the first trailer premiered and… it was this:

Well, at least there should be a trailer released for a movie about Jem and the Holograms, but where that trailer is is a complete mystery. The trailer that was uploaded couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the iconic TV show. There are no Misfits, Eric Raymond is now a woman, there isn’t even a hint of original music (which would be ridiculous for a movie about a band). This packet of questionable material certainly leaves a lot to be desired. A lot.

Putting the Jem title on this is a bit insulting to fans. Fair enough if you want to make an uninspired, crap movie but if you claim something is based on a certain content, make sure it is there in some form or another. While it might seem like a lot of hoopla over a movie and a cartoon, people have to remember that this was a character who broke a lot of barriers. She was a young woman who could do everything: she could balance being in charge of a foster home and be a CEO of a record company.

Stefanie Scott, who plays Jerrica’s sister Kimber in the movie, told Superhero Hype:

“I think you have to see the movie to understand. You can’t put it all in the same movie, and I feel like it really does set it up in a cool way. I think a lot of the things that people think are missing are in there. You just have to see it to understand. You can’t put the whole movie in the trailer. I want people to see it so they can see it’s a heartwarming story,” she continued. “It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story about family, but the music is incredible and it’s really our rise to fame and then after that… I think it really needed to set up the story before we could get into everything.”

First off, isn’t the purpose of a trailer supposed to bring hype and excitement? Shows what people know…

But so much for girl power. Heartwarming and coming-of-age stories are so rare these days, right? Angst has its place, but it certainly doesn’t in a story about Jem. Girls need all types of women to look up to, and denying them a character that has power and talent is actually really sad. This is clearly a movie targeted at teen girls and probably not the 30-year-old fan demographic. Even still, it’s a bit insulting of the writers and anyone else involved to think that this is all young girls can handle.

But reminisce about the good old days because there is no way anyone could compete with Britta Phillips.

There is also a really cool IDW comic based on the show going on right now. Check that out to see how adaptions should be done.