Geek Street: Winter Warmers (For Him)

A few weeks ago, I posted my top geeky winter accessory picks for us ladies. (I can confirm that I myself am now a proud owner of a cutesy animal inspired hat…how can you say “no” to their cute little faces?!)


This week, it’s time for the boys.

Aren’t you excited, lads?

Temperatures are seriously dropping here in Merry Ol’England, so this is the perfect opportunity to let your inner fashion geek shine through! Accessorising doesn’t just have to be for the fashion conscious. The high street, and web are big places, brimming with ways for you to find something that will express your personality….

…last week, in a coffee shop, I saw an old man sporting a rather fetching baseball cap! You could just tell he was a dude!

So, here they are; my top accessory picks. Of course, these are things that I would choose to wear. You may have your own preferences, but hopefully you’ll see that there is something out there to suit everybody!


Source: Amazon

The minute I saw this hat from Amazon, I knew it had to be on my list…I absolutely LOVE Gears of War. I think it’s safe to say it is my favourite XBox 360 game of ALL TIME (I’m always Dom)!! This hat is great because not only does it have the COG logo…it’s reversible….I mean….how much cooler can a hat get?! Fashionable AND functional. The colours are great for this season too. Plus, this hat isn’t just limited to the colder months….beanies are lightweight enough to be worn all year round!

Source: Jinx

It’s bright, it’s bold, it’s got pixels…. It’s a Minecraft hat!!!

Yay…or should I say “Sssssssssss”

Yes, it may be neon green, but just look at this hat. It’s amazing!! And perfect for any Minecraft fan out there. The colour is bold, and will create a massive impact when you wear it. You certainly won’t go unnoticed. This beanie is great for any of you guys out there who want to stand out from the crowd and get noticed! Bold, Bright, B-eautiful!

This hat is definitely not for the faint hearted!


Source: Etsy
Seller: TheSilkMoon

I found this scarf on Etsy when I was researching for the Winter Warmers article I did for us ladies. The print is really subtle, and the colour subdued, so I think it’s perfect for guys who want to express their geeky side, but don’t want to do it in an ostentatious way. It’s a great unisex scarf, and would look good on anybody…and you can wear it as a scarf, or a scarf/hat combo…what more could you ask for, really?

Source: Forbidden Planet

Yes…you’re right, I did feature a Harry Potter scarf on my Winter Warmers article last time, but I just couldn’t help but feature one again. I think there is no better way to wish yourself into the amazing world of magic, Muggles and madness than to own a Harry Potter scarf. And this one from Forbidden Planet is so reasonably priced…you could collect all four houses! There’s a scarf to suit everybody!

Which house would the Sorting Hat put you in?


Source: ASOS

Aztec prints have been around in fashion for a while now. These gloves from ASOS are a good example of how to pull off the look, without being too in-your-face! I love the almost pixel-ated (new word right there) look of these gloves. They remind me of Space Invaders for some reason! They’re fingerless too, so using your smartphone/laptop/other technological device is NOT going to be a problem!


Source: Play

These gloves are ingenious! I love the fact that somebody had the clever idea to create gloves that you can use with touchscreens! I actually want to hug that person!! These gloves look sleek and chic too, so tick a lot of boxes! And…personally, I’m a sucker for a guy in dark gloves….they remind me of something a spy would wear!

So, there you have it; my top winter accessory picks! I have tried to be as varied as I can, and choose pieces that will appeal to the masses!

And with the run up to the festive season approaching, some of these would be great for stocking fillers! *wink*

PREVIEW: Bedlam #2

Last month, Mark chose Bedlam #1 as his ‘Comic of the Week’.

This month we’re delighted to bring you an incredibly creepy six page preview of Bedlam #2 – a “dark and twisted psychological thriller” written by Nick Spencer (Thief of Thieves) with artwork by Riley Rossmo (Rebel Blood) and another fantastic cover by Frazer Irving (Seven Soldiers).

Fillmore Press aka Madder Red, a “homicidal maniac and criminal overlord”, terrorized the town of Bedlam for years. Then he got better and this is what happened next.

I’d really enjoyed Rossmo’s character design in the first issue and when combined with Spencer’s snappy prose, this was worthy of the ‘Comic of the Week’ mantle.

Bedlam #2 is scheduled for release Wednesday November 28 and is published by Image Comics.

Courtesy of Image Comics.

NEWS: Mind MGMT Webcomic

Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT, published by Dark Horse, is one of the finest in print comics today and is a completely novel reading experience; a multi-layered mystery and with the conclusion of the first arc, we’ve glimpsed ‘behind the curtain’.

Mind MGMT, in which a writer investigates a mysterious event involving a passenger plane (815 co-incidentally) and collective amnesia (save for a young child and a missing traveller) and uncovers a spy organisation training people with ‘mind powers’ – weaponised psychics, immortals and the like.

Therefore we at GU were delighted to read the Mind MGMT experience has expanded to include daily webcomics over at io9 – the first strip of which launched today.

It’s uniquely enjoyable.

See our advanced review of issue 5 (my favourite of the series so far) HERE.

See our preview of issue 6 HERE.

And details of the info packet HERE – obtained by piecing the back ‘advertisements’ together.

REVIEW: Deadpool #2 Marvel NOW!

Resist/Recommended/Required – the humour has already grown tired in Deadpool’s second outing, part of Marvel NOW!’s Revolution.

Deadpool #2, by Gerry Duggan (The Infinite Horizon) and Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program), is a joy to behold – Tony Moore (The Walking Dead, The Exterminators) renders caricatures of dead American presidents expertly and Val Staples’ (Criminal) colour pallete serves to enhance the look of this Marvel NOW! title. I’d love to see this pair draw half the books I buy, such is their quality.

However, in my review of issue 1 I’d been concerned regards the books’ lack of depth and that as long as the jokes remained funny, the title would be fun – and we all need more fun, right?

Unfortunately, the comedy has grown tiresome already – the incessant one-liners are particularly problematic, hindering development of plot or character. And if that’s your thing, by all means, enjoy.

Deadpool isn’t for me.

Deadpool #2 was published by Marvel and was released Wednesday November 21, 2012.

TAKE TWO: The Amazing Spider-Man

On release, Nathan reviewed The Amazing Spider-Man; “far superior to the original…Rhys Ifans was fantastic”, personally I couldn’t disagree more. And on the eve of the Blu-Ray release, here’s why.

The Amazing Spider-Man had none of the expected heart, given Webb’s directorial debut, (500) Days of Summer, save for scenes involving Charlie Sheen, and to a lesser extent, Sally Field. With woeful CGI – a step backwards from 10 years past – and a tone not dissimilar from the Twilight franchise – this was a studio’s vision, rather than a creative one. Once again the pursuit of the almighty dollar won out.

The Amazing Spider-Man feels needless and second-hand, given the re-treading of old ground, covered better by Sam Raimi (a fear which I hold for Evil Dead, although I am somewhat comforted in the knowledge that Raimi is involved and the excellent trailer). The Amazing Spider-Man required a significant departure, similar to that of Nolan’s Batman from Burton’s, however this was sadly lacking.

Rhys Ivans was a poor choice for Conners’, who in turn was a poor choice of villain, given Spider-Man’s catalogue of foes, and Andrew Garfield too much the pretty boy for Peter Parker – neither seemed a good fit for their respective roles.

I opted not to see in 3D therefore couldn’t possibly comment, save for, no film has been enhanced by its use (and that includes Final Destination 5).

Whilst critically well received and being a major draw at the box office, this reworking wasn’t for me. However, such is my love for the character, I’ll likely be in the cinema on the opening night of the next Spider-Man movie, even though the villain will be another of Spider-Man’s lesser enemies, Electro.

And so to the Extras, which include “Rite of Passage: The Amazing Spider-Man Reborn” – in which Producer Laura Ziskin reveals the reason for the switch from Spider-Man 4 with Tobey Maguire to The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield; ‘Peter Parker just grew up too fast…This reboot has allowed us to change the tone of the franchise’.

Another feature is the classic ‘cast and crew’ interviews – in which Andrew Garfield reveals he was ‘unsure if he could do the role’ yadda-yadda-yadda. What follows are various shots of the design of the new suit, including custom web shooters as designed by Peter Parker, outlining his brilliance, and the Lizard’s design.

There are numerous deleted scenes we featured previously HERE, as well as stunt rehearsal videos and a look at the process of developing the video game. All as captivating as it sounds.


ALBUM REVIEW: Green Day – ¡Dos!

© Green Day

Means number 2 in Spanish, and that’s how Mike Judge would probably describe this album.  But in all honesty it’s not all bad; I mean the CD cover is pretty good and the fact that it has Green Day splashed on it means it’s something to look forward to, but that’s where it stops.

The album starts off with some Christian campfire sounding song which is too odd for words.  I would understand if it’s meant to be some kind of statement but I can’t find a message in there anywhere.  Perhaps it’s meant to be ironic, to lead you into a false sense of security, and then blast you into some ‘Go Loud!’ music and the come along Fuck Time.  Oh yeah!  A song title like that with a band of this calibre can mean only one thing.  It’s going to be fast, it’s going to be loud and expect some anarchic sound forcing repentance from your eardrums, now listen to it… disappointed?  It just sounds like a conceptual funny song, however I do laugh at the attempt at a guitar solo thrown in.  Stop When the Red Lights Flash I can only describe as totemistic.  It’s not quite an anthem because, quite simply it’s not strong or memorable enough, but totemistic – for me – is more like a tribute to an anthem itself, and this is all this song is: a half baked attempt at being hard-hitting.

Then just as you think that this album couldn’t get anymore worse, it doesn’t.  The song Lazy Bones is a great song, there’s nothing new to their structure or songs that they’ve done in the past, but it doesn’t sound like ‘re-visited’ material like the rest of the songs so far, it sounds a lot more, well, classic Green Day simple and perfected.  Then this is when the album reverts back to going downhill with Wild One, just a boring ballad with no deep or emotional connection to the song, it sounds like someone from X-Factor wrote it and Green Day stole it.  Makeout Party another excellent title that promises more than it can live up to.  It’s not an awful song, it’s really catchy and no doubt will have a video to follow but it’s just not what was expected, midway through and no songs of note or recognition, whereas ¡Uno! had plenty.  Then again perhaps I’m putting Makeout Party in here (on a good note) because I’m starting to sound really negative about a band that I love so much.  Perhaps I am being a little too harsh, overly critical some may say, but there are good things.  The songs Lady Cobra is brilliant and somehow feels like Hitchin’ a Ride from the album NimrodStray Heart is worth of being up there with Good Riddance on the love song front with a bass line that just vibrates right through you with force, and Ashley just screams at you and forces you to ‘Rock Out’, albeit with a more ‘pop’ sound.

However then it throws songs in like Wow! That’s Loud and I don’t understand.  It’s Punk-Rock through and through but what the hell are they singing about – from what I can determine – a ladies dress, I, I… I just don’t know how to comment on it.  One song that I do know how to is Nightlife, Green Day, Rap, Rn’B…… NO!  And if Amy is a prelude to what the third album instalment will sound like then I’m not holding out much hope.

Perhaps I am being too negative, but Green Day are at the top of their game and have been now for the best part of a decade.  I remember hearing about ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! And ¡Tre! When I was scouring the World Wide Web to see what they were up to.  I hadn’t listened to them for about a year or so and wondered what would come after 21st Century Breakdown and ¡Uno! didn’t disappoint and couldn’t wait for the second instalment that is until now.  I feel cheated and not looking forward to the third whatsoever.  It’s occurred to me that Green Day are slowly becoming a moderation, like Blink-182.  Top of their game but that reign is coming to an end.

REVIEW: Captain America #1 Marvel NOW!

Recommended – a new creative team and direction results in an enjoyable tale.

Following Ed Brubaker is an unenviable task; countless have tried in books ranging from Daredevil to Catwoman, and most have come up short in their endeavours, whilst producing excellent comics. Over the course of eight years, Brubaker redefined Captain America and gave us some of his greatest stories.

Rick Remender attempts the seemingly impossible by taking a completely new direction – transporting Captain America to ‘Dimension Z’, with John Romita, Klaus Janson and Dean White. Gone is the political espionage for a return to the Cap of Kirby in the 1970’s.

Remender’s strength has often been multilayered storylines traversing time – here we glimpse Steve Rogers’ childhood, his ‘modern day’ life as an Avenger and his relationship with Sharon Carter, and then in Dimension Z with Arnim Zola, where he is likely to remain for the foreseeable.

Whilst we are reminded of Cap’s abilities, Remender is keen to impress upon the reader Cap’s real superpower – his morality.

Romita’s art is polarising – personally I think his action sequences are some of the best in modern comics, however his character posing is often unnatural and therefore jarring; the cover is one such example.

Whilst not as strong an opener as Mark’s ‘Comic of the Week’ Indestructible Hulk, and a significant departure from what has gone before, Remender’s Cap is an enjoyable tale worthy of my $$$ next month.

REVIEW: Comeback #1

Recommended – a proficient introduction to an “intriguing premise”.

Written by Ed Brisson, with artwork by Michael Walsh, Comeback #1 was Stephen’s pick for the ‘Wednesday Watchlist’ earlier this week, which prompted me to read it.

Stephen had been impressed with Brisson’s work in Jay Faerber’s Near Death, and on hearing the “intriguing premise involving a secretive organisation which sends agents back in time to rescue people moments before their deaths” to reunite them with their families, he was (quite rightly) “really excited”.

Having devoured Philip K. Dick’s work as a teenager, I was equally excited.

And Brisson skilfully crafts this first issue into an enjoyable yarn – Reconnect is more than a company, it’s an opportunity for good. Retrieving loved ones from the past before their mortal end and reuniting them with their loved ones is a noble endeavour, albeit exploited for profit.

However, as we’ve often seen, reversing tragedy with time travel often doesn’t end well.

The issue falls short on expanding upon its concept and character development, both of which are key when the miniseries is scheduled for 5 issues. However, Comeback #1 raises questions, tempting the reader back next month.

We previewed the issue earlier this week, which featured Jordie Bellaire’s (Journey Into Mystery, The Rocketeer and Nowhere Men, #1 on sale November 28, 2012) beautiful colours. Michael Walsh’s artwork, particularly in facial expressions, is somewhat reminisce of Charlie Adlard’s – in that the pencils lack fine detail. However, when packed with Bellaire’s colours, the effect is more than the sum of its parts.

Comeback #1 dips a toe into the deep waters of its concept, worthy of a second chance next month.

REVIEW: The Darkness #108

Highly Recommended – Jeremy Haun’s artwork is well suited to the tone of David Hine’s excellent story; that each of us has a dark side, which isn’t oft shown.

Selected for the ‘Wednesday Watchlist’ and previewed earlier this week, The Darkness #108 is the penultimate issue of ‘Breaking Dark’, David Hine (The Bulletproof Coffin) and Jeremy Haun’s (Artifacts, Detective Comics) second game-changing arc, in which Jackie’s world has been upturned by his wife’s descent into madness and the emergence of Balakov, not to mention his daughter’s ‘transformation’.

In order to save the world, Jackie Estacado destroyed and then rebuilt it – saving his childhood sweetheart from her untimely end, for a more fairy tale end.

However in the process, out protagonist’s actions have caused ‘a shift in the arrangement of the universe’ – there are now weaknesses in the barriers which guard the portals to his world.

And the ancient ones want in.

That’s the problem with fairy tales – they often have dark undertones.

What’s more is Jackie is now separated from The Darkness, who exists in his doppelganger and whose will is beyond the control of Jackie.

And he’s raising an army, the purpose for which, as yet, remains unknown.

The Top Cow universe is changing, not necessary for the better for its inhabitants, but for the reader it’s a wonder. Whilst the issue lacks the action of the previous outings, it is steeped in characterisation, which is often well-established or absent in mainstream comics – it’s a refreshing change. Credit to David Hine and Jeremy Haun for injecting such verve into a character who was introduced more than 15 years ago (first appearance Witchblade #10 circa 1996).

The ‘big two’ should take note, reboots, whether soft or hard, aren’t necessary the way forward.

Classic Novel Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
©Random House, Inc.

I happen to love old novels. There’s just something different from the way they wrote books fifty years (and earlier) ago compared to how they write them now. The first two novels in the Classic Review series are clearly defined as “classics”: John Steinbeck’s The Pearl and JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

The Pearl was published in 1947 and The Catcher in the Rye in 1951. So, what about new classics? What really defines a classic? Everyone tries to explain what it means to them, though it seems that a major commonality is the ability to stand the test of time. Why is it then that someone saw fit to coin the term “instant classic?”

It’s probably because amazing pieces of literature are coined nearly everyday. A lot of those are never intended to see the light of day. (Did you know that the majority of Emily Dickinson’s poems were discovered by her sister and published post-mortem?) This brings me to my topic of this Classic Novel Review, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which is relatively newly published in 2006.

I didn’t pick this book out for myself. In fact, it was part of a very long list that my somewhat eccentric Lit teacher handed out at the beginning of the semester when I was in college. So, for our huge end of term paper, each student had to do a literary analysis of a book on that list. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time with The Road, a whole semester in fact. When you are required to write what could be considered a novella explaining the depth of a book, you start to appreciate it in a whole new way.

However, I realized after countless hours in the library with other students that I really lucked out. The Road was slammed packed with metaphors and an utterly chillingly beautiful setting.

(I’ve been doing my classic reviews a lot more like literary analyses because that is how I’m used to handling that type of fiction. Even when I try to treat it like a normal review, I have a hard time doing it because I’m afraid a real feeling review will stop a reader from picking up a copy. But, let’s give this a try, shall we?)

McCarthy has a noticeable writing style, and it can be a bit hard to read because the guy doesn’t exactly believe in punctuation. Of course, while I don’t recommend writers doing this, it does kind of lend itself to creating a very hopeless, wandering feeling. And truly, this only added to the desolation of this book. It was a clever writing device that was effective, but it does take a little getting used to.

The whole idea is that the world has burned itself up and there are very few survivors. The characters we are set to follow are a father and a son. The movie that was based on this book does not do it justice. See, in the movie, they gave you a barren wasteland and the horrific scenes of the cannibals. (Yes, there are cannibals because the world has gone to waste leaving little to no food.) But, in the book, the scenery, the plain wording, the route they take, the food they eat, the way they interact with each other, the descriptions of all that’s left of nature, pretty much every aspect heightens the relationship between this father and son. It makes it tangible in a way a two-dimensional movie never could.

I will say this is not a light and easy read. It’s more of something that will make you see the world differently. It’ll help you see relationships differently. It defines humanity differently. When I finished the book, I felt changed. Something about the desolation of that world and the strength between the father and son gave me more compassion and gratitude, and that is something I never thought I’d bring away from a book so plainly written. I felt as if I was there. It’s like he tricked me with his common speech and casual dialogue. And when I was finally finished, I felt as if I had awoken from a bad dream, feeling both relieved and awakened.

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