Only at a Convention Apr21

Only at a Convention

San Diego ComicCon, MegaCon, and DragonCon are just around the corner, a long with many other conventions spread across the country. For a weekend, geeks flock from all over for unadulterated fictional fun at these events. And while attending them, I’ve found my mindset changes. I act in ways at conventions that I wouldn’t elsewhere. It’s weird and wonderful. Here are some things you might find yourself saying when you’re at one of these fan-centered events. 1. Elsewhere: “I’m not parking in the back forty to get into the supermarket. I’ll just do my shopping somewhere else.” At a Convention: “I don’t care how far I have to park, nor how far I have to walk. I’m going to see Nathan Fillion if it’s the last thing I do!” 2. Elsewhere: “If I’m not comfortable in it, I’m not wearing it.” At a Convention: “This costume may take two hours to get on and cause me to overheat… it may be hard to walk in and wearing these coloured contacts hurt my eyes, but I look epic and that’s all that matters.” 3. Elsewhere: “I never spend more than ten minutes on my makeup, except for maybe weddings… Maybe…” At a Convention: *Spends almost three hours doing elaborate contouring and erasing eyebrows to look like L from Death Note.* 4. Elsewhere: *Passes by stranger. Says nothing.* At a Convention: “Oh my gosh! That costume is amazing! Can I take a selfie with you?” 5. Elsewhere: “I maybe take two pictures a day and they’re usually of my cat.” At a Convention: *Fills up memory card within the first two hours, frantically deletes bad photos while waiting in line to free up space for more because there’s an awesome Obi-Wan Kenobi cosplayer over there and must get 30 photos of him.* 6. Elsewhere: “I’m not waiting in this line...

Meet the Geekdom House Staff: Jason Dueck Apr19

Meet the Geekdom House Staff: Jason Dueck...

Who are the people behind Geekdom House and what do they do? You well might ask, but question no longer, because Casey Covel has gone deep into the trenches to determine who we are and what you need to know. Today’s biography and nerd-cred heavy questions are all about our Infinity +1 Producer, Jason Dueck. A Muggleborn of sorts, Jason was born a geek into a non-geeky family and grew up in a small town with a population level of over four thousaaaaaaand—! A fan of Star Wars, Redwall, and other geekery before it was cool, Jason’s experiences led him to connect the once-persecuted geek culture with his Christian faith and realize that the two groups had much more in common than just an ability to embrace the fantastical and supernatural. The rest, as they say, is history. Jason began his hero’s journey in the Creative Communications Program at Red River College, where he pursued Journalism. In order to complete an independent professional project for his degree, Jason interned at Geekdom House as a staff writer, only to discover that his passion for discourse could be more fully realized through audio. Thus did Jason pitch the Infinity +1 Podcast to Geekdom House and fulfill a lifelong dream to host his own podcast, all in one fell swoop. Legend says that Jason consumes no less than ten different podcasts per week to fuel his next brainchild. As a part of Geekdom House’s Triforce, Jason wields the power of Conversation, driven by a passion to reexamine what he believes about faith and fiction through deep discussions with others. We have, from a respected source, that the closest Jason has ever come to fangirling is when James Arnold Taylor recorded an intro for the Infinity +1 Podcast...

The Dark Art of Bloodbending Mar03

The Dark Art of Bloodbending...

What separates an extraordinary power from a dark art? There are enough dangerous powers in the Harry Potter series to fill a class at Hogwarts and enough in Star Wars to power the Dark Side of the Force. In those stories, darkness is characterized by how a power is used. The Unforgiveable Curses are illegal and Force Lightning is frowned upon because they lead the users down a dark path. Bloodbending is another dark power. In Avatar: The Last Airbender, bloodbending is explored in detail, including how it’s mastered. Katara encounters a bloodbender in the Season 3 episode “The Puppetmaster.” Team Avatar is travelling through the Fire Nation in disguise when they meet Hama, a waterbender from the Southern Water Tribe. Hama has been living among her enemies as an innkeeper. She doesn’t tell Katara the full story of her escape from a Fire Nation prison until the two of them are alone under the light of the full moon, the time when waterbenders are the strongest. Decades ago, Hama was kidnapped from the southern water tribe with other waterbenders and locked up. Similar to Magneto’s prison of plastic, her prison was kept entirely water-free, and her hands were bound when she was given water to drink. She finally devised an escape plan that relied on the full moon’s extra strength. “I realized that where there is life, there is water,” she says. “The rats that scurried across the floor of my cage were nothing more than skins filled with liquid, and I passed years developing the skills that would lead to my escape—bloodbending. Controlling the water in another body. Enforcing your own will over theirs. Once I had mastered the rats, I was ready for the men.” She used the technique on a...

42 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Geek Feb10

42 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Geek...

It’s the time of year for Love Potions, Heart Pieces, and those three magical words. (No, I’m not talking about “Use the Force” or “Beam me up.”) Whether you’re looking for a geeky way to ask your date out to a video game symphony, or planning to print your affections on a Luvdisc-shaped Valentine’s card, here are 42 ways to say “I love you” in Geek. (Why 42? Because it’s the answer to all mysteries in the universe, of course. And love may be the greatest mystery of them all.) 1. If you were a starter Pokémon, I’d choose you. 2. Are you a fairy? Because you fill all my heart containers. 3. All my base are belong to you. 4. I’d travel there and back again for you. 5. You’re my final fantasy. 6. I’d take an arrow to the knee for you. 7. I-it’s not like a l-like you or a-anything… b-baka—! 8. Be my Beka/Faye/Vincent Valentine. 9. Ruby is red, Neptune is blue, hope I get put on the same team as you. 10. You’re the hero Gotham deserves, and the one I need right now. 11. When I looked in the Mirror of Erised, I saw you. 12. You’re my precious. 13. SoH Dughajbe’bogh jaj rur Hov ghajbe’bogh ram. 14. Hello, Sweetie. 15. You are the center of my mind palace. 16. I know. 17. I’d volunteer as your tribute. 18. You were expecting Dio, but it was me—your Valentine! 19. Without you, who else will I have ice cream with? 20. With you, my life is 20% cooler. 21. *Wookie sounds* 22. You’re my player 2. 23. You fill me with determination. 24. Like a Headcrab, you’re always on my mind. 25. You’re the arc reactor to my heart....

The Mysteries of the Secret Sister Feb06

The Mysteries of the Secret Sister

“For there is no friend like a sister…” —Christina Rossetti In the latest—and perhaps last—series of BBC’s Sherlock, co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat deftly wade into the murky waters of Holmes non-canon by introducing Sherlock’s third sibling as the series’ Big Bad. The show has included an extended subtextual examination of family dynamics—Sherlock’s sibling rivalry with his older brother, Mycroft; John and Mary’s marriage and family; Sherlock and John’s chosen family; and Sherlock’s role as John and Mary’s “child.” With the revelation of Eurus, another, smarter Holmes[i], Sherlock further develops its ongoing interest in familial bonds, both blood family and chosen family, while providing Holmes with a much needed foil of equal, perhaps superior, abilities who threatens his emotionally detached perspective. His sister is not only Sherlock’s greatest adversary, but, by forcing him to confront his feelings by engaging his sympathy and empathy, also serves as the catalyst to his maturation. One of the major limitations of adapting the Holmes stories is the lack of strong antagonists, ones who can match Holmes’s superior mental (and, when it’s convenient, physical) prowess. When Arthur Conan Doyle introduced his “Napoleon of crime,” Professor James Moriarty, the sole purpose was to find a way to end the series Conan Doyle had grown tired of writing. Moriarty, though universally hailed as Holmes’s arch-nemesis, appears in only one short story, “The Final Problem” and in a late and very inferior novel, The Valley of Fear. But even within these original short stories, Moriarty’s place as Holmes’s equal is subtly drawn by characterizing him as a symbolic brother, a technique Conan Doyle used a number of times throughout the stories and identified by Michael Atkinson in the excellent The Secret Marriage of Sherlock Holmes and Other Eccentric Readings. In Moriarty and Holmes, we see traces of ancient brother battles, Cain and Abel, Gilgamesh. Sherlock made excellent use of Moriarty (played with menacing camp by Andrew Scott), emphasizing his importance as Sherlock’s equal by alluding to his presence and showing his influence throughout Series One and Two, and then (sort of) bringing him back at the end of Series Three as a surprise postlude. But, like the canonical Holmes stories, once Moriarty exits the narratives, all other criminals seem somehow second rate by comparison. She has a unique way of challenging Sherlock’s very identity and ways of perceiving the world. In introducing Eurus, a Holmes sister, Gatiss and Moffat create an antagonist who pushes Holmes not only mentally but emotionally and further some of the interesting feminist groundwork laid in Victorian-era special, “The Abominable Bride.” She actualizes the archetypal relationship Conan Doyle often uses—she’s his actual sister and therefore his equal—but she has a unique way of challenging Sherlock’s very identity and ways of perceiving the world. Her attempts to battle Holmes require him to push himself further, engaging honestly with the strong emotional connections he has made despite his cold, logical perspective. As emotions are traditionally considered “female,” the revelation of a secret sister allows Gatiss and Moffat to reimagine the overly masculine source material in which Holmes is frequently dismissive of women and emotions to explore the power of feelings. Eurus pushes Holmes with logical problems behind a backdrop of emotional manipulation. With each puzzle, Holmes must also directly confront his own powerful feelings and attachments; he must face an endangered child, choose whether to kill Mycroft (his blood brother) or John (his chosen brother), and (most gutwrenchingly) manipulate Molly Hooper into saying “I love you.” One of the strengths of Sherlock has been its awkward relationship to the course material. While generally faithful to spirit of the law, though not the letter, Gatiss and Moffat have created an intelligent and engaging show that’s as much an exploration of human relationships as it is of mystery. They took minor characters like Mycroft (who only appears in two stories and is mentioned in two others)...

Our Favourite Things from 2016 Jan02

Our Favourite Things from 2016

Charles’ Anime Picks 1. March Comes in Like a Lion Very rarely have I found media that’s both rip-roaringly funny and genuinely touching. March Comes in Like a Lion, a story about a shogi prodigy (think Japanese chess) trying to find his way in the world is just that. Memorable characters, beautiful artwork, and catchy music—all of which you’d expect from the spiritual successor to Honey and Clover—are the icing on the cake for a series that tackles issues like loneliness, adoption, neglect, illness, and poor parenting. This is the best anime of 2016. 2. Re:Zero A video-game-playing shut-in is spirited away to a fantasy world where he makes friends with would-be princesses and assassin maids, fights creepy cultic leaders, and dies agonizing deaths before restarting the “game.” Oh, and did I mention there’s an entire arc based on Moby Dick, but with flying whales? 3. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash A show that takes place in a world with some similarities to Sword Art Online. But Grimgar is far more intense and takes unexpected turns that advance the story of comrades learning to survive in a harsh world. The animation is very pretty and the show has lots of thoughtful, quiet moments, but be prepared, Grimgar is violent—most of all, to the viewer’s heart. Jen’s Superhero Movie Picks 1. Captain America: Civil War You can’t go wrong with a Captain America movie, but this one was especially awesome. Besides being action-packed, fun, and full of great characters (loved Black Panther!), it was relevant to the real sense of division that many people are feeling these days. The intro of a couple of new characters to the Avenger group and a storyline that I can’t wait to see developed really made this movie stand out in the Captain America series. 2. Doctor Strange This movie was visually interesting and had super cool special effects. The storyline was compelling and thought-provoking. I like that Marvel is bringing out some of the lesser known guys like Doctor Strange. I also really enjoy seeing the birth of a hero and watching Strange come into his. The during credits sneak peek vignette was the best one yet (Yay Thor!). 3. X-Men: Apocalypse I love Magneto (and Michael Fassbender), so any story giving insight into his character is good in my book. The scene with Quicksilver was the best part of the movie, and the theme of family was a good one—that’s really what the X-Men are, after all.   Kevin’s Animated Movie Picks 1. Kubo and the Two Strings This movie is simply beautiful. The visual design of the stop motion animation evokes feudal Japan. It explores the importance of story and themes of love, loss, sacrifice, and redemption. It’s my favourite animated film in a year crowded with amazing entries. 2. Zootopia Zootopia took us to another world populated by anthropomorphic animals. The structure of the story is heavily influenced by the classic film noir stories, but the bright colours and sheer inventiveness of the world-building made it an amazing journey. 3. Moana With stunning visuals, a Chief’s awesome daughter (emphatically NOT a princess), an epic quest, amazing songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Alan Tudyk as a chicken, this is one of my favourites. Honorable Mention – Sing! While not a great film, this movie has an exuberant third act which will sweep you away. Victoria’s TV Show Picks 1. Stranger Things This was one of the best shows I’ve seen in years. I binge-watched it over two days—twice. The acting was superb, the plot drew me in, the characters were original and delightful, and I still quote lines from the show on a regular basis. 2. The Muppets Though this show only lasted one season, it brought me back to my childhood. I adore Muppet humor and this show had me laughing out loud. I loved seeing Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and the rest of the gang...

The Best of Area of Effect 2016 Dec30

The Best of Area of Effect 2016...

Happy new year!! If you’re new to Area of Effect or want to catch up on some reading you might have missed, here are the top Editors’ Picks from 2016. Let us know your favourite article in the comments, and what you hope to see us write about in 2017. Cheers, y’all. ANIME 1. “The Gift We Can’t Earn” by Charles Sadnick — on Clannad After Story 2. “Pain Can’t Keep us Together” by Casey Covel — on Kiznaiver 3. “Choosing Peace in Nausicaa’s Wake” by Charles Sadnick — on Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind COMICS 1. “One of Your Many Toys” by Dustin Schellenberg — on Suicide Squad 2. “Losing to Win: Doctor Strange and Fear” by Victoria Grace Howell — on Doctor Strange 3. “A Bizarro Kind of Love” by Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry — on Superman the Animated Series FANTASY 1. “I Must Not Tell Lies” by Kyla Neufeld — on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2. “Of Mice and Words” by Casey Covel — on the Redwall series by Brian Jacques 3. “Call Me Treebeard” by Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry — on The Lord of the Rings SCI-FI 1. “Stranger Things: The Villains in Authority” by Michael Boyce — on Stranger Things 2. “I Ain’t Afraid of No Truth” by Kevin Cummings — on Ghostbusters 3. “Identifying with a Sarcastic Martian” by Allison Barron — on The Martian TABLETOP 1. “Confessions of a DM: NPCs are People Too” by Sheela Cox — on Dungeons and Dragons 2. “Keeping it in the Game” by Michael Penner — on Settlers of Catan 3. “Not Just a Board Game Design Class” by Kevin Cummings VIDEO GAMES 1. “A Colossal Lie” by Casey Covel — on Shadow of the Colossus 2. “Our Response to Fear and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” by Dustin Schellenberg — on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 3. “Life, Death, and Mario Kart” by Kyle Rudge — on Mario Kart HUMOUR...

The 12 Days of Geekdom Dec23

The 12 Days of Geekdom...

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, the one ring to rule them all (My Precioussssss) On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them all On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 3 X-Wings 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them all On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 4 green rupees 3 X-Wings 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them all On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 5 Halo Riiiiiiings . . . 4 green rupees 3 X-Wings 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them all . . . . . On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 12 wookies mrwwwararrraara’ing 11 Time Lords quipping (technically it was only 1 from 11 different times but at slightly different intervals and the first one was the last one to arrive and the last one was the first one to arrive so they know progressively less and less, or more and more depending on how you look at it . . . it’s complicated) 10 Red Shirts dying 9 Wraiths a’ringing 8 orcs exploding 7 wands a’waving 6 Zombies shambling 5 Halo Riiiiiiings . . . 4 green rupees 3 X-Wings 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them...

Putting the “Special” in Holiday Dec16

Putting the “Special” in Holiday...

There are a few franchises that get away with what Star Wars could not, but here are a few stories that none have attempted (yet). The Avengers Advent Spectacular Tony Stark whips up a high-tech light display and turns the Avengers HQ into a Christmas tree for the city. The Hulk and the Black Widow star in a touching remake of The Gift of the Magi where he gives up his superpowers to buy her bullets and she pawns her gun to buy him an ultra-stretchy pair of pants. Captain America complains about how Christmas was better when he was a scrawny kid. When Bucky Barnes shows up, he and Cap sing a sweet duet of The Little Drummer Boy. And Harvey Korman appears as a cross-dressing intergalactic TV chef. Battlestar (Christmas) Carol-actica It’s Christmastime in the fleet and Commander Adama just isn’t feeling the spirit of the season. He’s too focused on feeding and protecting the survivors of the Cylon massacre. Apollo tries to get him to lighten up, but is chased off by Adama’s cries of “Humbug!” That night, in his quarters, Adama is visited by the ghost of Colonel Tigh, who mysteriously died just in time for the Holiday Special. Tigh warns Adama that he’ll be visited by three specters. In quick succession Adama’s sleep is disturbed by visitations from Gauis Baltar, President Roslin, and Number Six. Just as he’s about to give in and reclaim his Christmas spirit, Adama realizes that it’s a Cylon trick. He finds and destroys the Basestar and proves that grumpiness is a true superpower. The show ends with Harvey Korman appearing as a cross-dressing intergalactic TV chef. Doctor Who Christmas Special The Doctor… wait a minute.  We live in the universe where the Doctor Who...

Fiction on My Skin: Connecting through Cosplay Dec07

Fiction on My Skin: Connecting through Cosplay

When I was seven years old, I made a tail and hooves out of my dad’s tube socks and went to church as Philippe, Belle’s horse from Beauty and the Beast. When curious passersby raised their eyebrows, my father (the very proud assistant pastor) would point at me and say, “Ask her!” And I would happily tell anyone who would listen that I was masquerading as my favourite steed. On the Disney scale of heroic horses, from one (Samson) to ten (Maximus), Philippe is in the negatives. But in retrospect, I think that’s why I chose him as my first (unofficial) cosplay. I saw myself in every wide-eyed balk and panicked whinny. The moment the shadows in the creepy forest started moving, I knew I’d dump poor Maurice on the road and run away too. If Phillipe’s cowardice drew me in, though, his strength is what kept me infatuated. He had the biggest hooves I’d ever seen—so big that, in my little mind, only my dad’s enormous tube socks could possibly do them credit. Philippe’s big hooves protected Belle from wolves until the Beast could make his heroic entry, and they rushed Belle to the Beast’s Castle just in time to save the cursed prince from giving up on life and love. These realizations only come to me now that I have the vocabulary to express them, but, in hindsight, I realize that Philippe taught seven-year-old me that even cowards could be heroes. Each time I pulled on the tube socks (and stuffed one in my pants for the tail), I felt a little of Philippe’s fight-or-flight courage brace me for my next battle with the boogeyman. Cosplay isn’t escapism; it’s a means to explore who we have the potential to be. I don’t stuff tube socks in my pants these days, but I still make a habit of dressing up as my favourite characters in public. Through cosplay, I find the ultimate creative challenge: embody the experiences I’ve had with a character or story and impart a little of that cathartic magic to others. Subconsciously, though, cosplay is a dedicated drive to become a little bit more like the characters I admire. Growing up, I loved to play “make believe,” pretending to be a knight or a dinosaur or Sonic the Hedgehog… I didn’t realize it then, but every time I set aside “Casey Covel” and became someone else, I was figuring out who “Casey Covel” actually was and who I wanted her to become. It’s been a while since I’ve run across a playground Sonic-style, but putting myself in the shoes of a fictional character is something I still do every time I open a book or power on a video game. By diving into the souls of characters from all walks of life, I take on foreign perspectives and expand my own. Sometimes, like C.S. Lewis, I find myself gawking, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” Fiction rarely provides direct answers, but always provides reflections—about the journey I have taken through life, about what I believe is true, and about what I want to change within myself. My life is a timeline of transformations influenced by the imaginary. Certain characters have lingered in my mind years after I finished their final chapters—from Matthias, who taught me that even a little mouse could triumph over evil, to Zack Fair, who hammered home the power of a life built on daily sacrifices. When I lose myself in fiction in order to gain the psyche of its characters, I engage in what psychologists call “experience-taking.” Cosplay takes that character-consumer relationship and articulates it as a cooperative performance. It says, “Yes, we all know and love this character’s story. Now let’s add yours to it!” L Lawliet, Death Note’s hunchbacked, sweet-toothed detective, is a relatively simple character to cosplay, making him a popular choice at events....

The FANtastic Geek Gift Guide Nov25

The FANtastic Geek Gift Guide...

Christmas is coming, folks. And we know gift shopping can be a hassle. What to get your geek buddies that they don’t already to have? What to ask for because no one knows what to get you? We did a Gift Guide to Geek Art already, but thought you might be on the lookout for other ideas too. We did the research for you and have compiled a guide to satisfy every fan’s dream. For the Anime Enthusiast We know RWBY‘s not technically an anime because it’s American; calm down, folks! Calm down. Also, our Small-size editor’s wanted that Attack on Titan hoodie for a long time. Just sayin’. Attack on Titan Hoodie – $34.99 RWBY Ruby Figure – $34.95 Works of H. Miyazaki – $188.99 Crunchyroll Subscription – $6.95/month Princess Mononoke Art Print – $28 Eevee Earrings – $13.16 For the Tabletop Titan No one can understand why the board game organizer is so awesome unless they are a board gamer. Escape: The Curse of the Temple – $70 Dice Bag – $9.95 RPG Dice Set – $9.98 Dungeon Master Screen – $15 Board Game Organizer – $15-$50 King of Tokyo – $39.99 For the Comic Cavalier Marvel’s taking the Star Wars universe to great places… need we say more? Plus some other cool stuff. Star Wars Comics – $4.99 Inky Superhero Art – $30-$75 Superhero Fingerless Gloves – $25 Nimona Graphic Novel – $15.99 Ms. Marvel Comics – $2.99 DC Comics: A Visual History – $35 For the Fantasy Fiend That handmade Falkor, though! Lindsey Stirling album – $9.99 Elf Ear Cuffs – $27.75 The Name of the Wind – $10.79 Handmade Falkor – $131.83 The Grisha Trilogy – $36.53 Game of Thrones Dog Tag – $14.99 For the Sci-Fi Supporter The closest you can get...

Hymns and Heroes: 10 More Matches Made in Heaven Nov18

Hymns and Heroes: 10 More Matches Made in Heaven...

Ask and ye shall receive! Here are ten more hymn-meets-hero matches made in heaven, because we believe in the power of resurrection here at Geekdom House (whether for Jesus, Gandalf, or a mashup list). See Part 1 of this list here. 1. Sonic the Hedgehog — “There is a Green Hill Far Away” Twenty-five years far away, in fact. And boy, do we hope Sonic Mania brings it back. 2. Pit (Kid Icarus) — “The Fight is On” Step 1: Insert Smash Bros. Brawl. Step 2: Select Pit. Step 3: Press “up” on the D-pad. Step 4: Continue as directed until all opponents gang up to pound you into silence. 3. Pick an Age of Ultron Avenger, any Age of Ultron Avenger — “Be Thou My Vision” This isn’t the first time we’ve made this pun, and it won’t be the last. (Maybe next time we’ll apply it to Daredevil instead…) 4. Ichigo Kurosaki — “The Call for Reapers” He answered that call in the dubbed version. 5. Eren Jaeger — “Fire of God, Titanic Spirit” Sink your teeth into that colossal pun. Seriously, though, we just want to hear him rage his way through the lyrics in Titan-ese while he’s on fire. 6. Pikmin — “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go” “Except when I see a pellet. Or get stuck behind a bridge. Or decide to get lost 20 seconds before launch.” 7. Glorfindel/Arwen — “Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!” Or, as we elves say, “noro lim!” 8. Solaire of Astora — “Praise the Father; Praise the Son” And engage in jolly charismatic worship. 9. Haruka Nanase — “Take Me to the Water” We bet he only sings freestyle. 10. Thor — “The God of Thunder and the Lightning” “This hymn, I like it. ANOTHER!” We can just see Thor hurling a...

Out with the New Nov11

Out with the New

Newer isn’t always better. Just ask all of the loyal Samsung customers who ran out and bought the new Samsung ‘splody phone. They thought they were getting was new-and-improved technology. What they actually got was the choice between keeping a pocket bomb or trading it back in for last year’s phone. They also got a stern warning not to carry their new phones on airplanes. If you’re not a Samsung customer, don’t feel too smug. If you’ve got Windows 10, Microsoft has been quietly force-feeding your computer the Anniversary Update, which might improve your device. Or it might turn your perfectly functional computer into a giant paperweight. Don’t even get me started on iOS 10. I miss the slide-to-unlock feature desperately and wish my iPad and I could just go back to the way we used to be. As a geek, I should know better than to expect good things from an upgrade. If fiction has taught me anything, it’s that upgrades are usually a very, very bad idea. Upgrades are bad, right? When Rose wanted to save the Doctor from the Daleks, she exposed the heart of the TARDIS and was infused with the Time Vortex. Like the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, it wasn’t exactly voluntary. It also didn’t go well. The power was too much for Rose and the Doctor sacrificed his incarnation to save her. Oh sure, we got David Tennant out of the deal, but… actually, that is a pretty good deal. But as for unnecessary upgrades… do you remember what happened to Lt. Barclay in Star Trek: The Next Generation? He and Geordi went on a little away mission to see why the Argus Array wasn’t working. He got knocked out by an alien probe and woke up greatly...

Gift Guide to Geek Art Nov04

Gift Guide to Geek Art...

Like winter, Christmas is coming. And if you know anything about geeks, it’s that we love fan art. Since art is a big part of what we do here at Geekdom House, we’ve got the inside scoop on where you can go for your art lover’s Christmas gifts this year, including a list of some of the fandoms they cover so you can search this post for anything particular you’re looking for. That’s right, we did all the work for you. Or, of course, you could send your friends this link so they know what to get you. That works, too. 1. Paper Beats Rock Super Smash Bros. • Mario • Pokemon • Avatar: The Last Airbender • Spiderman • Venom • Attack on Titan • Big Hero 6 • Spirited Away • Gundam • Street Fighter • The Legend of Zelda • Link • Samus • Megaman • Fairy Tail • Natsu • Fullmetal Alchemist • Deadpool • The Flash • DragonballZ 2. Fabled Creative Pokemon • Jurassic Park • Retro • Space • BioShock • Supernatural • Mario • Batman • Fallout • Portal • Destiny • Luigi • Daisy • Mario Kart • Wario • Toad • Bowser • Maps   3. Otis Frampton Star Wars • Firefly • The Lord of the Rings • The Hobbit • My Neighbor Totoro • Doctor Who • Mad Max • The Legend of Zelda • Star Trek • The Big Bang Theory   4. Joe Hogan Art Pokemon • The Legend of Zelda • Majora’s Mask • Adventure Time • Mad Max • Final Fantasy • Cloud • Mario • Megaman • Spider-Man • Star Wars • Banjo-Kazooie • Stranger Things • Super Smash Bros. • Link • Peach • The Wind Waker • Rick and Morty • Ghostbusters • Sonic the Hedgehog • Journey • Mass Effect • Undertale • Halo   5. Sandara Fantasy • Dragons • Dungeons & Dragons • Myths   6. Wisesnail Art Sherlock • Deadpool • Guardians of the Galaxy • Rocket Raccoon • The Avengers • Harley Quinn • Suicide Squad • The Joker • Moriarty • The Falcon • Captain America • The Lord of the Rings • Vision • Groot • Assassin’s Creed • Doctor Strange •...

Hymns and Heroes: 10 Matches Made in Heaven Oct07

Hymns and Heroes: 10 Matches Made in Heaven...

Not many fictional characters stumble into church (except to set the existential mood), and even fewer actually practice Christianity, unless we’re talking Nightcrawler or Nicholas D. Wolfwood. (No, Sephiroth, being a Jenova’s Witness doesn’t count.) But imagine if our favourite characters were—for no particular reason—suddenly forced to choose their epic theme songs from a hymn book (or else face cricket-chirping silence during their otherwise awesome advents). We’ve got a hunch that these 10 hymn-meets-hero mashups might, literally, be matches made in heaven: 1. Obi Wan Kenobi —”Higher Ground” He takes “plant my feet on higher ground” literally. Maybe if Anakin had given this hymn (or, y’know, his Jedi Counselors) a listen, he’d have fewer artificial limbs. 2. Prince Zuko — “Thine Honor Save” Change thy haircut whilst thou art at it. 3. Aerith Gainsborough — “Holy, Holy, Holy” That was the plan. To her credit, the evilest seraphim did eventually “fall down before her.” 4. Light Yagami — “Is My Name Written There?” You’ll know in about 40 seconds. 5. The Night Guard (Five Nights at Freddy’s) — “I’ll Stand By Until the Morning” …if I’m lucky. 6. Edward Elric — “Small Things Count” Except Ed isn’t “small”—he’s fun-sized. I hear arms and legs count, too. 7. Gandalf — “He Lives” And now he comes in more colours. 8. Link — “Must I Go, and Empty-Handed?” (1) Yes, though it is dangerous. (2) No, take this! 9. Goku — “Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand” 100,000,000. Now that’s a power level. 10. Ned Stark — “Winter is Coming” Yes, this is an actual hymn, though it’s more about ice than...

Geek T-Shirt Roundup Sep30

Geek T-Shirt Roundup

If you’re like most of us at Geekdom House, you enjoy showcasing your fandom for all the world to see and only a small percentage to understand. Geek t-shirts are kind of a thing now, and we’re okay with it. But where to get the best/affordable ones after Comic Con season? Here are our top five favourite websites. 1. TeeTurtle Pretty great prices for a lot of fun, cutesy geek t-shirts. 2. TeePublic We love this site because the shirts are affordable and it supports independent artists around the world. You can search pretty much anything geeky and you’ll find some great designs. 3. Qwertee Qwertee is fun because there’s a new t-shirt available for $12 every 48 hours. 4. ThinkGeek They have some pretty cool stuff, ranging from classic logos to some more original things. 5. Her Universe We like Her Universe because it was created for female geeks! It’s also founded by Ashley Eckstein, the voice actor of Ahsoka...

Confession of a Tech Addict Sep26

Confession of a Tech Addict...

To most, “addict” is a term defined by drug or alcohol abuse, substances that can destroy physical health and break down relationships. When I think of addiction, my mind goes to Frodo Baggins and Gollum. Both characters experience a physical pain and a mental anguish when they are separated from the Ring for any period of time. They undergo physical transformation the longer they are in contact with the Ring and their relationships with other people are damaged because of their desire for it. Gollum killed his cousin for possession of the Ring, and will stop at nothing to get it back from Frodo. Even Frodo, who shows extraordinary resistance to its powers, is affected as the journey goes on. When he’s separated from it, he lashes out at Sam for doing nothing more than keeping it safe. My addiction, however, is not so obvious. I can relate more to Gregory House from the TV series House. House’s addiction is to the pain killer Vicodin. On its own, there is nothing inherently evil about that particular drug. Vicodin actually serves a very important and good purpose for House. Due to a physical injury to his leg, he lives in constant pain. Vicodin takes away the pain and makes it possible for him to focus on the complex diagnostic puzzles of his patients. I strive for change because I will never be healed if I don’t reach out. But House begins to rely on the drug for other reasons. It becomes more than simply a way to relieve pain or even a way to escape. It’s a soother of his misery and a way to occupy himself when he gets bored. Something that served a purpose for good becomes destructive as House’s relationships with Wilson,...

Superheroes Who Didn’t Make the Cut Aug26

Superheroes Who Didn’t Make the Cut...

With the worldwide success of the Avengers franchise, applications for non-existent openings have been coming in from all over. Fans of the comics know that there have been a few less-than-stellar Avengers over the years (*cough* Gilgamesh), but these never before seen applications never left Jarvis’s desk. These “heroes” won’t make the Avengers. Noodle Man Real name: Tom Perkins Powers and Notable Talents: I have harnessed the power of limp noodles. Method of Transportation: Noodle-cycle; my mom’s Acura. Catchphrase: Uh oh, spaghettiOs! Menno-Momma Real Name: Elveria Rempel Powers and Notable Talents: Guilt; passive aggression; baking Method of Transportation: Access to the church mini-van Catchphrase: “Call your mother!” The Snuffer Real Name: Leon Murdock (no relation) Powers and Notable Talents: Whenever I am around, some lights mysteriously, and without warning, go out. I’m not sure why, and I can’t predict which lights will go out, but I thought that might help with the element of surprise. Method of Transportation: City transit. Catchphrase: “Lights out?” White Man Real name: Chester K. Smith Powers and Notable Talents: Privilege. Method of Transportation: I am propelled by my sense of my own importance. Catchphrase: Let’s Make [x] Great, Again… for me! The Mosquito Real name: Classified Powers and Notable Talents: N/A Method of Transportation: N/A Catchphrase:...

Artist Spotlight and Giveaway: Joe Hogan Art Aug18

Artist Spotlight and Giveaway: Joe Hogan Art...

“My favourite moment as a fan that came about because of my art was when James Arnold Taylor (the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi on The Clone Wars) agreed to lend his amazing talents to an unofficial Clone Wars motion comic I was creating called ‘The Siren of Dathomir’.” Working with people like James is one of the reasons Joe Hogan loves being an artist. He also loves bringing his fandoms to life through his art. “Art is my way of expressing who I am, what I love, what I care about,” Joe says. “Any time I’m really excited about something that I can’t quite get out of my system, or something is bothering me, or whatever, I can just sit down and put in on paper (or a digital screen!) and now it’s in the universe and not just inside me any more. There’s something very liberating about that.” Joe has done professional work for Topps, Upper Deck, Cryptozoic, and other companies. He’s dabbled in some of the most exciting franchises, including Star Wars, the Marvel universe, Batman, The Legend of Zelda, and more. He loves being a Star Wars and geek artist because he gets to make things he would want to see as a fan. “When you’re a kid, your imagination is all over the place and I used to express it with action figures. I never quite grew out of an active imagination, so drawing those new stories in comics/motion comics/etc. replaced the toys. And okay, yes, the toys are still on my shelves. Don’t judge me! Growing up is overrated anyway.” Check out samples of his work: Pokemon! Massively Effective The Twelve Smashers Pass the Torch Blue vs. Red The Promise – Final Fantasy VII Undertale Link Nouveau In addition to...

Watch Along with Geekdom House: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Jul28

Watch Along with Geekdom House: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull...

You voted for it and here it is: the first Geekdom House Watch-Along, featuring Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull! Join your hosts Jason Dueck, Allison Barron, Michael Boyce, and Dustin Asham as they let the sequel that nobody needed wash over them. In the first few minutes of the file, you’ll hear how to sync up your movie so you can see watch along with us. Either click the play button on the file below or right click and click “save as” to download the file to bring it with you wherever you go. Download and subscribe to Infinity +1 on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play Music now! RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/geekdomhouse/infinitypodcast Jason’s Twitter: @ThatVorpalEdge Dustin’s Twitter: @D_Asham Allison’s Twitter: @AllisonBarron12 Michael’s Twitter: @mwboyce Geekdom House on Twitter: @GeekdomHouse Buy Infinity +1 merch...