Saturday, May 31, 2008

Speed Racer OMG

My dad grew up in the 60s and was a big Speed Racer fan. He was the youngest of three children who had but one television in the house. In the race for after school television shows, my dad, much like his hero Speed, had to use cunning to make sure he got to watch his favorite cartoon. He set his sister's clock back an hour so she missed the Monkees and he and his brother could watch Speed Racer.

I didn't grow up watching Speed like my dad, but I saw the love he had for the series and enjoyed the few episodes I did see. I am familiar with anime and Speed Racer was really America's first introduction into the genre. The action, drama and plots are over the top, the colors pop and we are taken to a fantastic world that we want to be a part of. A lot of people feel nostalgia for these kinds of beloved shows (evidenced by the popularity of Comic Cons and Cosplay) so contemporary reworkings of favorite characters rarely lives up to standards. For evidence of this in Speed, look no further than the vomit inducing tragedy that is Speed Racer the Next Generation.

So my 6 year old son and I went yesterday to see the new Speed Racer film by the Wachowski brothers and I thought that at least it would be a fun kids film. I'd heard a lot of negative press about the movie, namely that the CG was poor and it was just too much, like a hyperactive kid's sugar rush. The film was completely over the top insane and it was perfect.

You can tell watching this movie that it was made by fans who understood what Speed is all about. They took the heart of the anime and punched it up, taking it to the brink of what film can do. It was like watching a live action comic book. The edits work much like the panels in graphic novels and it takes a moment to get used to how the film tells the story. In the beginning flashbacks are woven into an intense action sequence that the younger members of the audience might not completely get, but it serves to establish an essential drama in the rest of the film. The edits are jarring, but for a reason.

I don't want to get into the plot too much for a couple of reasons: one, fans of the series already know the plot. The Wachowskis were smart enough not to deviate from the original story. Two, it's very simple: Speed has to win the race fair and square. Everything that falls in between are details that are easy to geek out over, but aren't necessarily what makes this a movie to see.

What most impressed me was that it was intense in every respect without being too much. It's weird to talk about restraint in a movie like Speed Racer, but it could have so easily been cheesy. The sweetness wasn't sappy. The sincerity wasn't forced (or insincere). The action was crazy but believable in the world of the movie. The bad guys were bad, but not too goofy. The comedy was slapstick, but not the kind that makes you groan.

One thing I did find distracting: Susan Sarandon's boobs. I had no idea she had such huge knockers. All the clothes they had her in made her boobs look really big and it was hard to look away. Did they do that on purpose? Oh yeah, and one of the bad guys says, "turd" twice, which is my all time most hated word. It hurts me to even type it. Ugh.

This is a movie I will definitely see again in the theater. I don't remember the last time I had so much fun at the movies. If you go in looking for flaws, you can probably find them, but that's true with anything. Go in open to the fun and you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pengcath is watching you pee

One seller whose shop I like to peek in on from time to time is pengcath. Although I haven't actually made a purchase from this shop yet, it's on my list of things to do.
Her shop has lots and lots of really cute illustrations, water colors, cards and stickers. Her work has tons of charm and is executed with a whimsy that isn't sickeningly sweet. Most impressive are the cats. This is a woman who gets cats and it shows in her art. Her work is very expressive and you can see the personality of her subject come through. I can only image the wonderment that would be aroused by actually having a piece of her work.
She's got a wide variety of products to appeal to all sorts. So what are you waiting for? Go check it out. She is found online and in B&M stores all over. For all the information you need to find her work, visit her site at

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Book Review: The Zombie Survival Guide

I'm not afraid of zombies, but I do have a feeling of high anxiety about them. Anyone who knows me knows that I can't watch zombie films, even during the daytime, without going into a state of paranoia about the iminent zombie uprising.
Part of my anxiety comes from a legitimate (I feel) concern about a fast spreading viral pandemic. I think we kind of tune out just how many people there are in the world milling about to spread diseases around. The zombie craze feeds into this fear of the unstoppable virus that overwhelms vast populations in a short amount of time.
I had been eyeing this book on the store shelves for some time but didn't buy it because I told myself it was silly. But when Lisa gave it to me a few days ago I was actually releived to have it in my hands. At last I would know what to do when Z-day arrives! I knew pretty well what not to do from watching movies. Anything those guys did ended in disaster.
This book really helped dispell those lingering anxieties I'd had about the zombie invasion. Author Max Brooks' treatment of his undead subject is so clinical and matter of fact, you almost forget that the topic is quite grotesque. He demystifies the zombie myth, even going so far as to name the virus which causes zombification. This guy wrote a whole book about zombies and he isn't worried, so why should I be? It's a bit like when you were a kid and were scared of garden snakes until your dad got out the encyclopedia and made you read whole entry on garden snakes. Or maybe that was just my childhood. The point is that once you know all the details, whatever you were scared of isn't so frightening anymore.
Brooks' tips aren't all practical for immediate application, though. I won't be building a ten foot high concrete wall around my yard any time soon. That isn't a huge problem, though, because Brooks offers several options and scenarios for self defense against the living dead. He goes through weaponry, travel, home defense, and many other issues that may arise with the undead.
If you, like me, get uneasy on the topic of zombies and are the type to peek out the window to check for zombies in yard before letting the dogs out at night, then this book may help to relieve some fears. The textbook style of the book may be a turnoff for some readers. The book doesn't revel in its subject, but rather takes a distanced and decidedly unfunny perspective. You may want to flip through it first before making the purchase.


Originally uploaded by mycatisfat
New things are in the Nerdbomber shop!

Book Clutches and Tshirt totes are being added daily.

I am also adding new zipper pouches, patches, flower pins and buttons!

Coming soon will be cards as I get them photographed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Welcome to the Nerd Jungle

I was going to do some awesome rehash of Gun 'n' Roses lyrics, but my creativity totally just took a walk. ANYWAY.

Junior Nerd here (or N.I.T.) with a report from NERD HQ... things are looking good. Head Nerd Karen has some most excellent updates in the shop. And there are always more on the way.

We are working on more designs almost daily. I am going to give you a TINY hint... robots. It's a topic we have never dealt with as nerds, but something that is very much near and dear to our hearts.

We also have some awesome new book clutch designs coming soon, and some new and witty pouch designs. Huzzah!

Now I am going to take a brief moment to discuss a shop I just found (like less than a minute ago) but heart FOREVER!

Zygopsyche Oh what glorious mounds of cute fluffy plushness. I have a yearning (and/or burning) desire to swim in a pool filled with the delicious puffballs. With a lot of sales and excellent feedback I know I will be purchasing from this shop soon. Probably a momma sized guinea and a bunch of baby sized ones. My own guinea family. Love!

And now I will leave you with Womby the Sauntering Wombat

*saunter saunter*