Artist Spotlight and Giveaway: Wisesnail Art Jul14

Artist Spotlight and Giveaway: Wisesnail Art...

Claudia Gironi, a.k.a. Wisesnail Art, is one of our extremely talented Area of Effect magazine cover artists and web art contributors. A huge fan of atmospheric landscapes, portraits, and colour explosions, she mainly works in Photoshop, combining the versatility of the digital approach to the expressive brushstrokes of a more traditional method. “Art is how I express myself. It’s what I do when I’m upset, when I’m happy, if I need a distraction, or if I want to concentrate on something,” says Claudia. “As a person with face blindness (meaning I have problems recognizing people’s faces), I feel like I have a small measure of control when I paint portraits.” Born in Italy, Claudia currently lives in London. She is a Japanese Language and Culture graduate, Schiele enthusiast, and art lover. She decided to teach herself digital painting four years ago—since then she has never abandoned her stylus. Check out samples of her work: Altair I am Groot! The Man of Iron Sherlock The Dark Lord Thor Thranduil Oropherion Bucky As a geek herself, Claudia enjoys drawing subjects from science fiction, fantasy, and comics. She says that The Lord of the Rings is one of her favourite fandoms and she greatly admires J.R.R. Tolkien; The Silmarillion especially provides her with inspiration. “I like the fact that I have more room to play with the characters themselves, especially if they don’t appear in the movies. Also, the other fans are really super nice, and welcome all new takes on the characters they love.” Claudia sings out loud while she paints (embarrassing herself in front of the whole neighbourhood if it’s summer and the windows are open), likes dogs, enjoys baking, and is always happy to talk about art and fandoms with other people. You can find her art on her Society 6 page and...

Inappropriate Geeky Quotes for a Job Interview Jul13

Inappropriate Geeky Quotes for a Job Interview...

Can you tell me a little about yourself? 1) I’m Batman. 2) They call me Gato, I have metal joints. Beat me up and win 15 Silver Points. 3) Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V. 4) I am Groot. 5) I am Iningo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 1) Well there’s always money in the banana stand. 2) Dead. Of Dysentery. 3) Probably killed. By a Zamboni. 4) Well… here. It’s a contract that says when the war is over, all the materia will belong to me. 5) Ah spaghetti. Ah, ravioli. Ahh, mama mia. How did you hear about the position? 1) Can’t stop the signal. 2) I cannot tell! Suffice to say, is one of the words the Knights of Ni cannot hear! 3) Guy came looking for me. Real Grim Reaper-type. I don’t know. It furthered the plot. 4) I was weak. That’s why I needed you… Needed someone to punish me for my sins… But that’s all over now. I know the truth. 5) I am Groot. What would you say are your best assets? 1) I can run very fast over short distances. 2) I know kung fu. 3) When 900 years old, you reach… Look as good, you will not. 4) I see dead people. 5) I never give up. I never surrender. How do you deal with conflict with the workplace? 1) Resistance is futile. 2) Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! 3) Rule #2: Double tap. 4) I am Groot. 5) Nuclear launch detected. What is your greatest flaw? 1)...

A Depraved Mind Dec11

A Depraved Mind

Foraging for food, seeking shelter, and facing hordes of undead is just another day in the life of the group of survivors from Atlanta, Georgia, in The Walking Dead. Something else that strikes me, though, is that there are several occurrences in The Walking Dead that are reminiscent of Christianity—from the group holing up in a church in episode 2.1, to Hershel’s daily Bible study, occasions of prayer and scripture quotation, mentions of Christ, and the character of Father Gabriel. Beyond these nods to the Christian milieu of the American South, the show’s portrayal of the human condition is of particular interest to me. Namely, The Walking Dead juxtaposes hope with the brutality of a savage, amoral world. The behaviour of the people in the world of The Walking Dead evidences the depraved disposition of humanity as described in the Bible. The Walking Dead, like other apocalyptic fiction, portrays humanity as self-serving. It is this selfishness that leads to the human-on-human thievery and violence that begins full-force in Season Three. As Rick and Shane’s factions threaten to split the group after they imprison a stranger who attempted to kill them, Dale’s plea for the group to remember its humanity by not executing the young man is a moral event horizon. When Dale dies and the walker herd descends on the farm, the characters lose their home as well as their hope that the world can ever go back to the way it was. Dale was a tangible symbol of that hope. Now, other survivors may be more of a threat than the walkers themselves. Without the promises hope provides, can altruism truly exist? Congruent to The Walking Dead, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight provides an apt ethical meditation on the implications of facing a merciless foe who...

Oh, the superhumanity Nov09

Oh, the superhumanity...

The second that we got to the train station—before we even parked—I spotted some co-attendees for my first-ever Comic Con. The red cloak and Thor’s hammer were the first things to clue me in. Costumed folk were everywhere on the way to the convention, and as I walked the streets of New York with my husband, we played many rounds of “Cosplay or Everyday?” Some I was able to figure out and some remain inconclusive for me. My husband and I met the first Godzilla suit actor, Haruo Nakajima, and got his autograph for my son, who has wanted to be a kaiju actor since he was four. Doing that for my son made my day, but seeing the cosplayers, the merchandise booths, the life-sized TARDIS, and the exhibits was amazing—I’d like to do that every year. But my favourite part was attending a presentation by Scott Snyder (Batman writer), called “DC Entertainment Spotlight on Scott Snyder.” Snyder shared the challenges of writing and all of the rejections he faced before he got anywhere (that was great for me to hear). However, his best insight was when he shared about his vision of Batman. Much of the discussion focused on the villains that plague Batman, because no hero can be discussed independently of his or her villain(s). While a true hero isn’t defined by his villains (try as the villains might to make it so), he is, in part, shaped by them. Snyder pointed out that the villains totally outweigh the heroes—the hero-to-villain ratio favours villains almost exponentially—making the defeat of evil an insurmountable task.Batman’s awareness of his weakness makes him stronger and a better hero. In the Batman universe, the most formidable villain is Gotham itself. The city is the embodiment of evil;...