Month: July 2016

Comic Books – Marvel: Meeting the Line-Up (part 4)

Comic Books – Marvel: Meeting the Line-Up (part 4)

We are to my final part of this. I could continue for a whole lot longer, but I only have so many more that I know about. Gambit: Gambit is just awesome in my opinion. He is the raging Cajun Remy Lebeau. He is one of […]

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 32: Secrets if the Underground

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 32: Secrets if the Underground

After defeating the Hobgoblins what is it that they are really after down under the swamp? Tate, Nim, and Finja have to figure it out. If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter! […]

Summer Nerdery: Take It Outside!

Summer Nerdery: Take It Outside!

As I get ready to head out for a fun weekend of camping with some friends, I’m finding myself inspired to write about the great outdoors! We nerds are not exactly known for our love of outdoor adventuring, but with so much gorgeous, sunny weather (especially if you live in the Midwest and you know just how fast this season tends to fly by), indoor activities tend to kind of feel like a waste in the summertime.

There are lots of great ways to take advantage of the great weather while engaging in glorious nerdery at the same time — here are a few ideas!

Image Credit: The Odyssey Online
Image Credit: The Odyssey Online

Taking indoor activities outside

This is one of my favorite on the list, because it’s the best of both worlds–you get to do something you love doing all year round, but you also get to soak in the warmth and sun at the same time! Grab a book and a quilt and read in the yard for a while; bring your laptop outside and get to work on your latest story; take your sketchbook to a pretty spot and do some drawing; even have a backyard movie screening — this can be as simple as watching something on Netflix with a friend, or setting up a projector and screen and having your own outdoor movie theater!

Outdoor role-playing games

This type of activity is generally for the more committed nerds among us, but can yield lots of fun possibilities! Summer is the best time for those of you who are into LARPing (Live Action Role-Playing), Belegarth (a type of role-play that involves fighting with homemade foam weapons), and the like. You and your D&D group could find a spot in a park to run your next session, or even have a session on a camping trip, like we and our other two Dungeons & Flagons players did last summer!

Image Credit: Pinterest
Image Credit: Pinterest

Cosplay groups

If you’re part of a fan group that sometimes takes part in cosplay, consider planning or attending a cosplay outing, or even just having a fun hangout time in the park with your group! It’s always great to have another good excuse to cosplay, and doing so with your group in a public spot can lead to some fun conversations with passersby, and maybe even a chance to do a little role-playing! When I was at the zoo last week, I saw an anime group having an event like this in a nearby park, cosplay and all, and it looked like such a great time!

Attend a festival or outdoor convention

If you do a little looking and asking around, I bet you’ll find that there are lots of this type of event near you! Things like your local Renaissance Festival, art shows, cultural festivals (Peder’s and my favorite is Obon, a Japanese lantern-lighting festival held in a nearby park every August), or outdoor events promoting a movie release or other nerdy event, are great ways to enjoy some time outside with fellow nerds. These are often great chances to dress up as well, whether it’s in Renaissance garb, traditional dress (like yukatas at Obon! I still want to do this…), or good ol’ fashioned cosplay. Just come prepared to get a little extra-warm if you do dress up!

Image Credit: The Verge
Image Credit: The Verge

Pokemon Go!

Obviously I had to mention this one! This uber-popular game has taken over pretty much everywhere, and when you see someone walking around with phone in hand, there’s a really good chance they’re trying to catch ’em all. Not only is the game a great excuse to get outside and go for a nice walk, it’s also inspired a lot of meetups in parks and other public spaces; game players come by the thousands to catch Pokemon together and meet other players. And I have to say, with all the stuff that’s been going on recently, it sure is wonderful and refreshing to see tons of people, sometimes with very little in common, bonding over something as simple as a fun new game.

These are just a few fun ideas to inspire you to enjoy some outdoor nerding, but there are many more possibilities! What’s your favorite nerdy activity to do outside? What new activity would you like to try out?

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TableTopics: Arkham Horror

TableTopics: Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror is a game that I’ve only played once, but I enjoyed a lot. However, it is fairly different from a lot of other games that I’ve reviewed. Most of the games that I’ve reviewed, I would say that the average person can play […]

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 31: Tonight We Fight

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 31: Tonight We Fight

What is in the ziggurat that they have found, and is it worth the battles they are going to have to fight to make it to this “weapon” that the hobgoblins have told them about? If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails […]

Have You Heard Of: The Final Girls

Have You Heard Of: The Final Girls

Well, friends, we’re halfway through July, and it’s been a doozy for us so far! What with our big move to our new house and CONvergence 2016 happening right around the same time, I managed to wear my immune system down severely and ended up getting a nasty bug that had me confined to the couch for a couple of days over the 4th of July — not exactly the fun weekend I had planned.

But like any good nerd, I made the best of my mandatory downtime by having an impromptu movie marathon! And one of the movies I took in is the topic of today’s blog post — The Final Girls. This film has been on Peder’s and my to-watch list for a while. Our mutual love for cheesy movies, satire, and Thomas Middleditch made this one a must-see for us. The Final Girls has all the goofy greatness of a made-for-TV flick, and is as (surprisingly) deep as it is delightful.

Image Credit: Simple Film Reviews
Image Credit: Simple Film Reviews

The heroine of the story is Max Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga). As the film begins, we learn that it’s the third anniversary of Max’s mother’s death — and that her mom, Amanda Cartwright (Malin Ackerman), was an actress best known for her role as a scream queen in a 1986 slasher called Camp Bloodbath. It just so happens that there’s a special screening of Camp Bloodbath that very night, and a half-reluctant, half-yearning Max is dragged along to see it with a few of her friends. After a freak accident starts a raging fire in the theater, Max and her friends try to leave via what they think is an exit behind the movie screen. But they don’t end up outside of the theater like they expected — when they step behind the screen, Max and friends soon find that they’ve stepped right into the movie itself.

To escape, they’ll have to defeat Billy, the villain of Camp Bloodbath, and there’s only one person who can deliver the killing blow — the final girl, that quintessential character who’s always the last one standing in slasher flicks. Matters are further complicated by the fact that, inside the movie, Max gets the mixed blessing of coming face-to-face with Nancy, the character her mom played in the movie. Will Max and her friends make it out of the movie alive? And will Max find a way to bring Nancy (or, as she can’t help but see her, her mom) back with them?

Image Credit: Fandango
Image Credit: Fandango

Peder and I both really enjoyed this movie. It had all the campy goodness (literally and otherwise) we expected, and a pretty surprising amount of emotional depth. It was a great combo of slapstick humor, hilariously caricaturized horror movie tropes, and a fast-moving plot. It had a lot of heart without feeling sappy, and just the right amount of incisive, sarcastic humor, showing that the writers understood its source material well enough to make fun of it in a hilarious, satisfying way.

The Final Girls was the perfect sick-day movie, and would be just as much fun for a lazy afternoon, or even as part of a parody movie marathon (it’d fit in quite nicely with the likes of Hot Fuzz and Spaceballs, for example). If you’re a fan of parodies, horror films, or just good old-fashioned campiness, do yourself a favor and watch this one!

Have you seen The Final Girls? What was your favorite bit? If not, is this one on your list?

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Comic Books – Marvel: Meeting the Line-Up (part 3)

Comic Books – Marvel: Meeting the Line-Up (part 3)

Let’s roll with some more heroes. Doctor Strange: A brilliant and proud doctor gets in a car crash and becomes Sorcerer Supreme. But it’s not quite that simple, first he has to become a broken man, no longer able to do surgery because of shaking […]

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 30: Swamps of Sulfur

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 30: Swamps of Sulfur

What are they going to find in the swamps of sulfur? What dangers might be lurking out there? If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter! We’ll be doing a recap and Q&A […]

Comic Books – Marvel: Meeting the Line-Up (part 2)

Comic Books – Marvel: Meeting the Line-Up (part 2)

Alright, CONvergence week is over. It was a blast, but now time to get to some other heroes (and a day late).

The X-Men

Charles Xavier/Professor X: The most important player in the X-Men world. Charles Xavier, one of the earliest mutants and one of the most powerful, he has had many interesting story lines. Along with his psychic and psionic ability, he is known for trying to help humans and mutants living together peacefully and keeping things from blowing up on him. Mutants generally don’t get a fair shake, and Xavier, originally following the civil rights story line and then going into the issues that Magneto causes and that he has to try and undo the damage that has been done. But he doesn’t give up on mutants but wants to create the safest world for all people.

Wolverine/Logan: Probably the most iconic of all of the X-Men roster. Wolverine, or Logan, is a wild card. He doesn’t follow orders well and he doesn’t get along with people, but he is reliable to come through when he is needed. His story is very tragic. An experimented upon person, he did things that he really didn’t want to do, and for that reason he hasn’t been trusting of authority and while he and Xavier get along for the most part there definitely has been friction, and compared to the other teachers/instructors at Xavier’s School, he has much more latitude to leave for a long time. He crosses over a fair amount between the X-Men and The Avengers roster. He almost literally can’t die, which has been a blessing and a curse of him, and his claws are just cool.

Scott Summers/Cyclops: He’s often considered the leader of the X-men, and in the storylines where Xavier isn’t around, that is generally true. However, he is kind of a push over. As a character, his powers are fairly cool being able to shoot a beam of light from his eyes and not being able to open them without his mask/goggles on. However, he is built up by Wolverine and Jean Grey and the love triangle that happens and then torn down as the most boring part. He is almost too much of a boy scout and has been for a long time. And when he goes to the edgier side of thing, it doesn’t seem to fit with the history of his character as much as one would expect. Much like most heroes, he had a tragic story with his parents dying, but doing so saving himself and his brother, Alex.

Jean Grey/Phoenix: Probably the craziest of the heroes. Jean Grey is possibly more powerful than Xavier with her psionic/psychic ability. However, she has an alter ego that is constantly in struggle. It comes across several times in the comics that this cosmic force comes around and Jean Grey goes into full Phoenix mode. The issue with the Phoenix is that it is a force of destruction. While Jean Grey can at times control the Phoenix powers, she is eventually consumed and has eaten stars at the Phoenix and killed off planets doing so. She often uses Xavier’s help to control the powers, but she is a wild card as to what is going to happen.

Storm: Storm is probably the least used out of the previous X-Men, but her powers to control the weather are quite cool.  Her backstory of being the daughter of an African princess and the separation because of the death of her parents and her inability to truly know and control her powers. Eventually she learns on her own and becomes connected with Xavier. She is probably the most stable teacher at Xavier’s School. The issue is that I don’t have that much more to say about her. She is a reliable character who is always going to be up for helping out in a fight and is one of those characters that wouldn’t make sense not to have there in the background, but having a story only about her would be harder to pull off. And if everyone was in a love triangle, it would become stale pretty quickly.

So here is a start to the roster of X-Men. I will definitely come back to talk on Gambit, Colossus, Kitty Pryde and more who have their own interesting backgrounds and stories. Who else from the X-Men do you like?

Pictures Coming

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