Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Geek Girl Review: Elektra

By Thea Nikolic

So here I am again furthering my Marvel education with the new Elektra restarted in June 2014 edition. First of all, Elektra was actually one of the first characters I ever cosplayed at Halloween, not because I knew a lot about her but because she looked awesome and was a ninja assassin. Being a martial artist myself, I was drawn to her (no pun intended) Years later, I find myself wanting to read more about her and her story.

This reboot did not disappoint. The art is stunning and unique, Del Mundo has a water colour style that leaves me wanting to see more and enjoy the next issue. The story starts at a point when Electra has suffered from various traumas, and she is lost and needs something to focus her energy on. She visits the Matchmaker (a character which I loved the moment I saw her for her vintage feel) for a contract. She is on the hunt again for someone equally skilled at killing as her. Meanwhile you find out someone who was previously thought dead is alive and held in secret by S.H.I.E.L.D. (I presume dead, I have to read further to find out). I can't wait to keep going and find out what happens.

Thea Nikolic aka Critical Miss has been cosplaying for several years and has just recently started hosting panels at various conventions about cosplay. She is also an actor, so she loves to play and act like her various characters that she loves. You can follow her cosplay shenanigans with her costuming husband at their Facebook page You can also follow her on Twitter @HarleyQuinnBabe as well as on Instagram harleyquinnbabe. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Flash Forward: Hopes For CW's The Flash

Spoiler Alert: There are some very mild spoilers for season two of  Arrow in this article. You have been warned.

By Courtney Lockhart

If you caught the season finale of Arrow on regular broadcast television, You were given a sneak peak of Grant Gustin in his full Flash ensemble.  However, if you were like me and watched through Itunes or one of the authorized apps, then the extended trailer The CW released the next day  made up for missing out.   Check out the videos below:

Other than the fact that the show was happening and Gustin’s casting, until these clips Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg  had kept somewhat tight lipped about  what would be going on in Central City this fall.  The lengthy first look helped, but  still left a lot of room for interpretation.  Based on  the few interactions Team Flash and Team Arrow had this season and the previews above here's what I'm hoping to find on Tuesday nights.


Back when a new Star Trek series every few years was more of a thing, I used to joke that if you wanted an extra season of Next Generation just watch the first six months of Deep Space Nine. There tends to be a learning curve on any new television show. The writers need to get to know the actors, the actors need to understand their characters. Spin offs have a secondary problem. They also have to find their own unique voice separate from the product they spun off from. 

The Flash can’t try to be Arrow. It needs to be The Flash. The dark, militaristic, survivor viewpoint of Oliver, Diggle and Roy is going to look pretty misplaced on Barry and company.  Likewise, if the tall broody crew tried to be too awkward and up the humour quotient, it would look fake and disingenuous to the characters we care about.  I’m hoping the rookie show will learn from its older brother’s mistakes and we’ll see a cohesive product far before mid-season.


While long elaborate story arcs are rewarding for long term viewers, there is something to be said for some straight forward bad guy of the week action. Especially in the early days, when drop-in viewers are most likely. I’m hoping they will take advantage of Barry’s day job in forensics to take us on some good old fashioned whodunit cases. It has already been established that he has a habit of dropping everything to follow strange and unusual cases, that is how he got to Starling City in the first place. Which brings me to my final wish:


Felicity is already buddy-buddy with the S.T.A.R Labs crew and the extended trailer shows Barry asking Oliver for some advice on life under the mask. Obviously, this means they are planning on a certain level of fluidity between the two shows. Which I love, as long as it makes sense.  Some programs dutifully squeeze in a crossover every sweeps to the point where you can almost predict when that story will happen. 

What I would like to see is smaller, more appropriate swaps.  Is A.R.G.U.S going to decide that Flash is a threat to national security?  Without handy access to Queen Consolidated Applied Sciences division is Oliver going to need to ask Caitlin and Cisco to help him synthesize some pit viper venom or anti-toxin herbs? There is a fine line between acknowledging you are occupying the same space and relying on it. 

Even if I don't get everything on my wish list, given the cast and  production team I am very excited to add The Flash to my viewing list. Serious question though: Do you think it will download faster from iTunes than the other shows? 

Courtney Lockhart lives in the west end of Ottawa with her husband and step-cat.  She is polishing her skills to pursue one of her dream careers as either a costume drama character, Torchwood operative or executive assistant to a billionaire vigilante. You can follow her daily mission to DFTBA on Twitter @corastacy.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Geek Girl Fun: Roller Derby, Geek Documentary, & Fringe Festival Stuff!

by Jordan Danger


Many of you may have heard about a little indie play called Roller Derby Saved My Soul. Writer and actor of the one-woman show, Nancy Kenny, created and performed this show much to the joy of many roller derby enthusiasts, and she’s back at it again.

Kenny is currently raising money for a nationwide tour of Fringe festivals as she and a crew are heading out on the road to film a documentary called On the Fringe, detailing the life and experiences of the people who spend their summers participating in Fringe festivals. It’s a unique concept, and a cool one to be sure. Kenny is working hard towards raising the necessary $10,000 to make this documentary, and you can check out her Indiegogo campaign here.

What this means for Ottawa folk is that this Friday, May 30 2014, you can catch a one-night encore of Kenny’s cool show, Roller Derby Saved My Soul. Kenny’s piece is a narrative of one girl’s experience with roller derby, and how much it makes her feel like a superhero. As a former derby player myself, I can tell you this isn’t far from the truth.

FRIDAY MAY 30 2014
TICKETS: $15-25

Kenny and her show are heavily decorated with awards and highly critically acclaimed. Whether or not you’re familiar with derby, this show shouldn’t be missed. And of course, we love to support geek girls in all areas, so please do contribute to Kenny’s Indiegogo campaign if you can! The documentary project is gathering strong support, not the least of which is the loan of a Volkswagen Passat for Kenny & crew to travel around the country this summer, donated by an independent Ottawa dealership, Hunt Club Volkswagen. So extra snaps for Hunt Club VW for supporting geek girls and girl filmmakers!

You can check out all sorts of info about the show, the documentary, etc etc etc at the info below. You’ll see a couple of our CGG writers at the show on Friday, so be sure to say hi!

About the documentary:
About the Roller Derby Saved My Soul:
On the Fringe Indiegogo campaign:
About Aventus Films:

About May Can Theatre:
Hunt Club Volkswagen:

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Stargate SG-1 Reunion at Ottawa Comiccon

by Marla Desat
The award-winning series Stargate SG-1 is close to the hearts of many Canadians, having been filmed in and around Vancouver. Amanda Tapping, who played Samantha Carter, and Chris Judge, who played the alien Teal'c, joined Stargate SG-1 director Martin Wood to talk about the series at Ottawa Comiccon. The trio spoke to a packed crowd on Sunday, May 11.
Credit: Marla Desat
One of the most beloved episodes of Stargate SG-1 is "Window of Opportunity", wherein Teal'c and Colonel O'Neill, played by Richard Dean Anderson, are caught in a Groundhog Day-like loop, reliving the same day over and over again. A fan asked Tapping what she would do if she was caught in a similar loop. "Samantha Carter would probably get it on with Colonel O'Neill," said Tapping, to giddy cheers from the crowd.
Tapping spoke about her charity work with Sanctuary For Kids, a charity she founded with Damian Kindler and Jill Bodie in 2009. Sanctuary For Kids helps children in crisis around the world. The charity has now raised over $650,000 through auctions, donations, and other fundraising drives. Tapping's charity has worked with organizations all over the globe, providing medical care, food, and even bus passes to homeless youth. One of the organizations that Tapping has worked with helps teens get off the streets. "One of the things they struggle with is providing transportation," said Tapping, so bus passes are a way to support these teens and help them access education and employment. 
Another fan favourite episode is "200", a parody episode where crew members pitch science fiction films about wormhole travel, as part of a Pentagon plan to cover up the Stargate program with fictional films. The episode pays homage to Star Trek, Farscape, The Wizard of Oz, Thunderbirds, and classic noir. "Farscape was the most fun for me," said Tapping. "I liked all of them, but for a whole different reason," said Judge, grinning. "I always thought Teal'c should have a codpiece. So, if you look in each of the vignettes, Teal'c has these ridiculous codpieces."
Credit: Marla Desat
Asked about their clumsiest moments on set, Tapping answered, "I got blown up!" She related a story from the first season, where a mortar was set to go off after three of the SG-1 crew passed by a mark. Unfortunately, a steady cam operator was running backward through the scene, and the special effects operator counted the camera operator as the first of the three people to pass through the scene. So, when Tapping hit the mark, the fourth person through the woods, the mortar went off and sent her sprawling. Thankfully, Tapping escaped with only minor injuries. Judge shared a story about an uncomfortable spacesuit. At the end of season four, Teal'c was supposed to perform a spacewalk. "That thing was painful!" said Judge about the spacesuit. Judge refused to wear the suit, so director Martin Wood ended up in it. Wood, shaking his head, told the audience, "When you see Teal'c floating out there, it's not Chris, it's a tiny man who should be directing!" 

Stargate SG-1 wrapped in 2007, but you can still experience the award-winning series in its entirety on DVD or through Netflix. 

Marla Desat is a recent University of Waterloo grad living and working in Ottawa. When she isn't playing the latest video games, she's geeking out over comic books, board games, tabletop roleplaying games and science. Marla also writes for The Escapist as a freelance news writer. You can follow her on Twitter @mrdesat

Friday, 23 May 2014

Confessions of a Comic Book Destroyer: why my comics are destroyed

by Jordan Danger
My poor comic books.

Let me talk to you about my comic book collection.

It started when I was about ten years old. Dad began bringing them home one by one, starting with X-Men, meandering into Batman and Spiderman, and then at my request, back to X-Men. Any title under the X-Men banner was welcome. Later when my brother and I became more possessive of the comics, he brought home Wolverines for me, and something else for Mike. I had the Rogue miniseries. I had every book from the Age of Apocalypse storyline. I loved them.

You wouldn’t know it from looking at them now, stashed haphazardly in an old tomato box, covers torn and pages water damaged. You’d think they were something that was never taken seriously, never truly appreciated.

I tell you, that isn’t so.


Why are my comic books in terrible shape? Because I never thought of them as collector’s items. When I say I read those comics, I mean I read them through and through.

I examined every detail of every drawing, noting the difference between each artist. I studied the poses, the costumes, the backgrounds, the artistic renderings of what super powers like telekinesis look like. I read each line in my head like it was actually being said. If I had trouble following the order of the panels on a particular page, I would reread it, again and again, until I got it perfectly right…down to the pauses, the tone, the inflections.

I dragged my comics to the cottage and back more times than I can possibly recount. I read them in the musty damp bunk beds in our trailer, and I stuffed them into backpacks for sleepovers. My comic books were loved to death the way our first teddy bears meet the same fate: dragged through the mud, our constant companion, we are never without them.


Not long after we started collecting, there was a power outage at my grandparents’ house in the woods and we were stuck there, in the dark—something I didn’t do well with as a child. Desperate for a distraction, I grabbed a candle and some paper, and began drawing. What did I draw? Super heroes, of course.

So naturally, then comic books became something to study and trace over, as well. I knew which artists I liked and which ones I hated. I designed my own characters based off all my favourite attributes and personality quirks of the pre-existing characters. I created new super powers. I stuffed those comics into the pages of my sketchbooks, and I dragged those around with me to every family outing, every trip, and every place with a corner where I could curl up and draw.

I cried when Wolverine lost his Adamantium. I cheered when Sabretooth turned out not to be lobotomized by Logan’s claw, and I gasped when he eviscerated Psylocke. I read with fearful eyes when the Phalanx began assimilating the young mutants, and I then added Generation X to my reading roster.

Always, there were comic books in my bag, in my locker, under my pillow, by the bathtub.


So when I hear the occasional geek gasp in dismay when they see my tomato box of the favourites that have stayed with me for over twenty years, I just smile. They think that the state of my comics suggests a lack of love for these volumes. I know that in reality, I loved these comic books to their very deaths. Yes, some of them could have been worth some money; but they were worth far more to me, read by candlelight in the middle of the woods in a rain-soaked sleeping bag with my pencil and sketchbook by my side. I savaged these books, devoured them whole, and left behind nothing but staples and spines. They are a part of me in a way that few other things ever have been.

My comic books are in terrible shape because they helped shape me.

Jordan Danger is a veteran blogger, writer, and marketing consultant based in Ottawa, Ontario. She is also President and Editor of Jordan blogs at, a lifestyle blog about crafting life both literally and figuratively. She loves DIY projects, her dog, and Oxford commas.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

OMG They Killed {Redacted}!! A Guide To Surviving Character Death

By Courtney Lockhart
Well, it’s happened again. That person you love, the one who never got enough screen time yet was so crucial to the very heart and soul of the show is now dead.  No matter how many times it happens, and in genre TV  it seems to be at least once a season,  it never seems to get easier.  
Too Soon? Source: Kotaku
The emotional connection that a fan feels towards a character can be overwhelming. I’ve been banned from watching certain shows while my husband is home after he walked in on me crying my eyes out over a character death on The Vampire Diaries.   If you find out one of your friends is mourning,  the best way to find out where they are in the five stages of grief is to check their twitter:

Anger: They did not just do that! @showrunner How could you? I’m never watching this show again!
Bargaining: Let’s send a message! Maybe if we get #bringbackcharacter trending they’ll listen!
Depression: #imnotover Character’s death.  Seriously… I just can’t..
Acceptance:  Time for another #tvshow marathon!

The fact that viewers can feel this strongly is a huge credit to the writers and actors on these programs.  They have created characters that resonate, that we care about.  If we weren’t gutted or shocked when these things happen it would mean they haven’t done their jobs. 
“But why do they have to die?!” I hear you lament.  There has to be a risk. There needs to be suspense and something to lose.  If you were promised that all the character would make it home from every single conflict or mission the show would get boring very fast.  Change is necessary to keep dramatic shows dramatic.   If the show is about saving the world, fighting a war or explicitly states “what we do is dangerous”, it’s even more obvious that eventually,  someone is not going to be on the cast anymore. 

So next time it happens, have a good cry and text your buddies to wallow together.  After that, maybe send the writers and actors a little note to thank them for taking you along for the ride. 

Courtney Lockhart lives in the west end of Ottawa with her husband and step-cat.  She is polishing her skills to pursue one of her dream careers as either a costume drama character, Torchwood operative or executive assistant to a billionaire vigilante. You can follow her daily mission to DFTBA on Twitter @corastacy.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Last Unicorn and Peter S. Beagle Visit Ottawa

By Marie Victoria Robertson

I was going to start by saying ‘This weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing The Last Unicorn and meeting Peter S. Beagle’. But to call it a ‘pleasure’ would be a huge understatement.

The 1982 movie The Last Unicorn, along with Peter S. Beagle, the author of the 1968 novel, has recently toured through Canada and, as of this writing, is about to conclude in the maritimes. Like most children of the 80s, I grew up enamored with the movie—it was the source of wonder and escapism I needed in my sometimes-grim childhood. When I discovered the novel, I was in love. It was obviously written from a place of great love for magic and the little mysteries of this world.

In the story, the titular last unicorn embarks on a quest to locate the others of her kind, who have been driven into the sea by the Red Bull. She is aided on her quest by Schmendrick the fumbling magician, and Molly Grue, the sassy scullery maid. Along the way, the unicorn temporarily turns into a human woman, and learns about love and regret. 

The Last Unicorn was written from 1962 to 1968, though it took two years of cumulative writing. The half-finished book, Mr. Beagle said, was stashed away due to his doubts about the story, and it was only at the insistence of his wife that he pulled it out again and kept working at it. 

Seeing the movie on the big screen at Silvercity was a treat. It was heartening to see so many youngsters in the audience, a new generation of boys and girls who will grow up knowing the movie like I did. But it was the presence of Peter S. Beagle, there for a signing and a Q & A, that made my day. I was fortunate enough to speak to him before the movie, before the fans began to swamp him.

Mr. Beagle absolutely radiates charm and sweetness. He graciously took questions from tiny children at the Q & A and answered them on their level. When I confessed an attack of nerves at the thought of speaking to him, he told me, “Don’t be nervous! I’m nothing special, just an old man who fell asleep in the van on the way over here.” He then took my hands and we talked about books and writing for so long that I was worried the people around me would start a mutiny. 

But this is Mr. Beagle’s way. When an organizer was asked how long he would stay after the movie, the reply was “As long as it takes for him to meet and speak to every fan!” Class act, all the way. 

I asked him what his favourite books were as a child. He said he was fond of the Jungle Books, Edgar Allan Poe, and “anything with animals”. I was moved to hear him talk about how Molly Grue was his favourite character; she wasn’t based on anyone in particular, but was influenced by several strong women he’d known in his life, including his mother.

“How did you invent the unicorn?” a little girl asked him at the Q & A.

With a good-hearted smile, Mr. Beagle explained how the concept of the unicorn came from all the mythology tomes and tales he’d devoured as a child. As an interesting point, it was mentioned that, before The Last Unicorn was written, unicorn in myths and culture had always been depicted as male. Mr. Beagle was responsible for creating the concept of the female unicorn. 

He was responsible for so much more than just that, of course. The Last Unicorn is a childhood classic that will surely continue to spark children’s imaginations for years to come. 

Thank you for the memories, and thank you for my childhood, Peter S. Beagle. Despite what you may think, you ARE special. 

Marie Victoria Robertson is a published speculative fiction writer and playwright, as well as the board president of Jer’s Vision: Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative ( When all the other girls wanted to marry Johnny Depp, she wanted to run away with Worf on the Enterprise. She enjoys giant robots, time-travel paradoxes, and forcing her son to watch Futurama

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Real McCoy: Karl Urban at Ottawa Comiccon

By Christina Marie
It was the moment I had been looking forward to all weekend, Karl Urban.  I arrived early enough to get a front row seat just to the right of the stage.  I had a perfect view of Mr. Urban as he sat atop the stage answering questions from many elated fans.  Many whom just his presence made them speechless and star struck.  Karl Urban is from New Zeland and has performed in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dredd, Bpurne Supremacy and of course, as Dr. McCoy in the relaunched Star Trek series.
One of the first questions to be asked was what it was like working with Leonard Nimoy and which Spock he liked better.  Urban emphasized the presence Leonard Nimoy brings.  The second Leonard Nimoy puts on his Vulcan ears, the other actors were all in absolute awe as they realized they were in the presence of an icon.
When he was asked what kind of life advice, other than staying in school, could he give to younger people who look up to him the answer came quickly.   Without skipping a beat he replied, “If a child says they want to be an actor, you need to say, sorry son, you pronounced it wrong, it’s doctor”.  After a thought, he stressed that the power of positive thinking will get you where you want to go.  “Even if you don’t make it all the way, three quarters of the way is better than never having tried.  Any drop of negativity spread ripples that go out and interfere with positive thinking.  Always think positive.”
Aside from having great advice, Karl Urban is an exciting and entertaining story teller. He recalled being on the set of The Lord of the Rings, shooting the scene where the horsemen are heading to Gondor to fight.  He glanced to the left to see a hobbit stunt double flying by him on his pony real fast and thought “Wow, he’s really keen to get to Gondor!” then he realized the stunt double was out of control and it became a situation of shock and horror as they were travelling on a very rocky terrain.  The hobbit stunt double eventually bailed and rolled to safety.  Now that it has past and he was safe, it had once again become funny remembering a tiny little hobbit rolling like a ball.
Many of those asking questions became tongue-tied and flustered, but there’s no question, Karl Urban has a big fan base and loyal followers.  Fans wanted to know if there was a Dredd sequel coming, and who they could petition to get one started.  Many were saddened by the recent announcement of the cancellation of Almost Human and although it was thought to be a touchy subject for Mr. Urban, he seems to have some projects all lined up.  In the new year, he will begin filming the next movie in the Star Trek series, and currently the search for a director is underway.

I know I am looking forward to anything that Karl Urban will be acting in and have re-watched the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Doom, Ghost Ship and Star Trek since ComicCon.

Christina Marie is a student at Carleton University, working on her Bachelor of Computer Science. She has a background in web development and programming and her extra time is spent on being a single mommy to little geeklings, playing sports and gaming, with her current favorites being Warcraft, DayZ, CoD and CS:GO.  She enjoys blogging and tweeting gaming and tech updates @Xtina_Marie04.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Skyping Spock: Leonard Nimoy at Ottawa Comiccon

by Marla Desat

In a rare convention appearance, Leonard Nimoy spoke to a packed crowd at Ottawa Comiccon via Skype. The renowned actor, best known for his role as Mr. Spock on Star Trek, no longer travels to conventions as he suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Despite quitting smoking forty years ago, Nimoy developed the chronic condition, and he warned fans, "If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do, stop!"

Some technical issues troubled the start of the Q&A, but after a dropped call Nimoy reconnected and began jovially answering fan questions. Nimoy made light of the difficulties, saying "Is there anything we can do to help this connection? This connection is treacherous, I think the Klingons have been messing with it."

The first question was how it felt to pass the torch to Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the J. J. Abrams reboot of the franchise. "Zachary is a very good friend of mine," said Nimoy. "He's a wonderful actor and very talented. He did a great job as the new Spock, and I am glad to see the Spock character live on with such a great actor."

Karl Urban, who plays the role of Dr. McCoy in the reboot, surprised both fans and Nimoy himself when he appeared at the Q&A. Urban asked Nimoy, "Of all the actors you worked with on the new Star Trek movie, who was your favourite to work with?" Urban implied that naming Quinto might smack of nepotism. Grinning, Nimoy said, "No one's better than you, Karl!" As Urban left the stage, Nimoy added, "He's done a wonderful job as Dr. McCoy, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart."

A fan asked what inspired Gene Roddenberry to create a character like Spock. "Up until the early '60s, most of the aliens in science fiction were portrayed as something dangerous, something to be afraid of," said Nimoy. Spock was a much different character from these stock aliens, a character that actively worked with humans to overcome problems, and coexisted peacefully with humanity. "That was the most important thing for Gene, to present an alien character who was helpful and could work with the human characters."

Asked about his funniest memory shooting Star Trek, Nimoy told a story about a prank that William Shatner once pulled on the late DeForest Kelley. Kelley had a habit of going to the food services table on set every morning and putting a muffin in the toaster. While it toasted, Kelley would go get a coffee, leaving the muffin unattended. Learning this, Shatner waited one morning for Kelley to leave his muffin, and promptly popped it out of the toaster and ate it. When Kelley returned to get his muffin, he was understandably confused. Kelley put a new muffin in the toaster, and Shatner got another cast member on set to distract him. Shatner popped the second muffin out of the toaster and ate it, too. Now realizing the prank, Kelley became quite angry. "I said, De, don't worry about it. You stand the two of you side by side, it's easy to see who's been eating the muffins."

The Ottawa Comiccon crowd closed out the Q&A with a standing ovation. Nimoy plans to connect with more fans at other conventions via Skype in the future, and I for one hope the trend will live long and prosper!

Marla Desat is a recent University of Waterloo grad living and working in Ottawa. When she isn't playing the latest video games, she's geeking out over comic books, board games, tabletop roleplaying games and science. Marla also writes for The Escapist as a freelance news writer. You can follow her on Twitter @mrdesat

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Letter from the Editors: Our Perspective on Our Ottawa Comiccon Panel

Credit- Morris Rothman

This past weekend, Courtney Lockhart, MJ Baker, and I presented a panel at the Ottawa Comiccon called “The Girl’s Guide to Being Geeky”. When we started gathering notes for this (asking all our CGG writers to contribute their two cents) we really didn’t know what would come out of it. As I was working on the notes, I kept thinking, “Is any of this really all that novel? Don’t we all already know this stuff?"

What I think I forgot is that, working here in our ‘Ivory Tower’ of geekdom, the CGG writers have managed to incubate a sense of happy geek safety and support where we always have people with whom we can ask questions, share ideas, rant, and generally feel connected. When you’re building a lighthouse in the dark night by which other ships may steer, the light is obviously most radiant right where you’re working because you have to foster such a profound brightness to have it shine beyond the waves. This, I think, blinded me to the fact that for many geek girls out there, the waters are still dark and murky indeed.

I can’t say enough thank you’s to the full house we had—both men and women. It was an absolute honor to chat with you all, and those that stood up and gave their thanks for the work of CGG, you moved me more than I can tell you. To the Princess Leia who made me tear up, and to every other woman out there who’s ever felt alone in the geek world, let me quote Valerie’s letter from V for Vendetta: 
“…what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may not meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you: I love you.”

Hearing people stand up, support other question-askers, share ideas, pose queries, and smile at us from their seats…this was a humbling and epic moment in my geek life. Thank you for letting us share some of the knowledge, ideas, and reassurances we’ve gathered for you. I look forward to geeking out with you all in the future.

-Jordan Danger

Editor/Founder, Capital Geek Girls

I’ve sat down to write this about three times. It’s been really hard because I’ve found myself just wanting to say two words to everyone who attended the panel, shared the event information, or just wished us well: Thank You

Thank you to Jordan for coming up with the idea for the panel and including MJ and I in her cunning plan.

Thank you to Ottawa Comiccon for putting on a great weekend and letting us be a part of it.

Thank you to our tech ninja Morris for keeping everything running smoothly and playing The Safety Dance to pump us up. 

Thank you to our families, friends and pets for putting up with pre-con crazy.

And most importantly, thank YOU. The Capital Geek Girl Community is full of such lovely people. We had hoped to have a simple discussion in a safe space and you blew us out of the water. Everyone laughed at the silliness, supported the people with more serious concerns  and made sure that little alpaca had the opportunity to get his earmuffs sewn back on!  I spoke more candidly on what exactly constitutes my nerdiness than I ever had before. That wasn’t a room of 60 strangers, it was 60 friends.

So until next time, Don’t forget to be awesome, and thank you. 

-Courtney Lockhart
Assistant Editor, Capital Geek Girls 

P.S : Slides from the Presentation will be uploaded soon! We Promise!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Summer Glau at Ottawa Comiccon

by Angela Hartwick

What better way for me to start off a day at Comic Con than to attend a Q&A session with one of my favourite actresses. Summer Glau is best known for her roles in Firefly/Serenity, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Arrow but I also loved her in Dollhouse and The 4400. Summer walked onto the stage with her ballerina figure, casual attire, friendly smile, and jumped right into taking questions.

Summer confessed that as an actress she initially wanted to be Emma Thompson and credits Joss Whedon for the sci-fi/fantasy genre becoming her niche stating he was the first person to believe in her. Before Whedon cast her in an episode of Angel, Summer says her resume was “pretty much made up” and even when she would nail auditions, she would be told to return when she had more experience. Summer shared that what she loves most about sci-fi/fantasy roles are the complex, challenging and inspiring way in which female characters are written. 

When asked how, as such a seemingly nice person, she is able to channel her inner evil to play villain Isabel Rochev on Arrow, Summer laughed and admitted it feels good to be bad. The hardest part of playing Isabel, she revealed, was finding a wardrobe of high heels and jewels, and learning to express power in a different way than fighting. 

Summer shared that she’d planned to skip out on her audition for Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles but happened to call her mom that morning who convinced her to follow through. I probably wasn’t the only fan in the audience scratching my head when she commented on feeling intimidated at the tall beautiful actresses auditioning (minions: get this lady a mirror!). She joked about being a very awkward runner and how she tried to convince every director that Cameron didn’t run but rather walked ominously. She also joked at her own expense about Sarah Connor Chronicles being the longest series she was a part of (even though it, like several other series she’s been in, was canceled).

I wondered if the slew of questions related to Firefly/Serenity would be to Summer what a chart topping song is to a long standing band; they’re glad it was successful but tired of having it requested at concerts. It was quite the opposite, which was good news to all the browncoats in the room. When Summer was asked which role she would choose if she could have just played just one, she replied that of River Tam. Summer said the cast of Firefly provided her with a safe place to make mistakes. She also expressed a connection with the character of River, at that point in her life especially, as she could relate to having difficulty expressing herself and trying to make sense of new surroundings.

Summer is currently working on a show for Crackle, Sony TV’s free streaming channel, called Sequestered.

Angela is a 30-something year old mom of three kids - a baby, a school-aged kid and a teenager – and a furbaby, living in Orleans with her geek soul mate husband. She studied English Literature and Social Work but took an unexpected turn somewhere and ended up working as a policy analyst for the feds. Hobbies include reading, playing boardgames and Magic: the Gathering, cooking healthy foo

ds, blogging, and discussing favourite tv shows and movies. She is the proud organizer of the Ottawa Geek Social Club, which strives to provide meetup opportunities that reflect the many facets of geekdom and beyond!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Cosplay Double Trouble: Tank Girl and Jet Girl at Ottawa Comiccon '14

by Jordan Danger

For Ottawa Comiccon 2014, CGG contributor MJ Baker and I did a very special cosplay. Special, because in all our years as besties, and all our years as Tank Girl fans, we have never done a Tank Girl duo cosplay. So, after a lot of planning and hard work, we did the con this year as Tank (MJ) and Jet (me)...and it rocked. Oh yes, it rocked.

MJ spent hours on her helmet, and for a point of reference for other DIY cosplayers, about $60 in materials. It was a huge undertaking and it was worth every penny and every minute.

We both agreed, it was a) almost too easy to put together our outfits from existing clothing we owned, and b) we felt way more ass-kicky dressed up this way than on a regular day. I proposed we just dress like this all the time. It could be our new signature looks in our day jobs. No? Yes, I say.

Anyway, it was a ton of fun and a great bonding experience. It gave a special pageantry to the entire weekend, and it was a wonderful conversation starter. If you haven't cosplayed, girls, I suggest you get out there and try it. Every time I do, I find more things to love about it.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Star Wars Casting Analysis: I find your lack of female characters disturbing

By Angela Hartwick

It’s the talk of the interwebs: Lucasfilms and Disney have announced the cast for Star Wars VII! Fans are rejoicing in the return of Carrie Fisher as Leia, Mark Hamill as Luke, Harrison Ford as Han, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, and Kenny Baker as R2-D2. Newcomers include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Max von Sydow, and John Boyega. It’s suspected that Daisy Ridley, a relatively unknown actress, will play Jaina Solo, daughter of Leia and Han. 
Photo by David James - © David James and Walt Disney Studios

In terms of leading actors, that’s one female for every five males. This is classic Smurfette principle, that is, including one female amongst many males rather than the roughly half in existence. As Annalee Newitz writes: “Are we seriously still pretending that the universe is comprised almost entirely of men (and mostly white men at that)? Mythic tales are supposed to open up possibilities, not shut them down.” Exactly. This deal is getting worse and worse all the time.

As one of those people drawn to reading comments sections of articles I read, I noticed many fans reacting negatively to casting criticisms specific to gender. Their arguments are that the original Star Wars films also have few female characters, and that other blockbuster films don’t don’t do any better at equal representation. While both these points are true, improving the situation means we have to start somewhere.

Each of the six movies in the franchise featured only one lead female role - Fisher as Leia Organa in the original trilogy, and Portman as Padme Amidala in the prequels, and only a few significant background roles such as that of Mon Mothma, one of the Alliance founders. I hoped for a more significant female presence in Episode VII in part because of the plethora of female characters in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (books, comic books, video games, toys, animated series, other media). The Tumblr account Women of Star Wars illustrates hundreds of them; for example the Clone Wars cartoons featured a slew of strong female Jedis (Ahsoka Tano, Barriss Offee, Adi Gallia, Shaak Ti, Aayla Secura, Luminara Unduli) as well as Nightsisters (Asajj Ventress, Mother Talzin).

The Battlestar Galactica remake is an example of taking a beloved fictional universe and adding more women (including rewriting a main character as a woman) and, despite initial fears, it worked out rather well. Fans also hoped JJ Abrams, Producer and Director of Star Wars VII, learned from the criticisms received for his portrayal of women in the new Star Trek movies, and fear that Star Wars is heading in the same direction.

If other movies are guilty of these offenses why single out Star Wars? Because again, we have to start somewhere, and because it’s a big one; a movie that is likely to impact boys and girls for generations to come if it follows its predecessors.  Truly wonderful the mind of a child is - let’s not hinder their perceptions of the role of women.

The good news is there is still one female lead character to be added to the cast. Now if they’d just announce wanting to add three more I’d be all like “I never doubted you! Wonderful!”


As for the Star Wars VII story, it’s set to take place 30 years after events in Return of the Jedi, and that the projected release date is December 18, 2015.  Here’s hoping it will be on par with the original trilogy, but never tell me the odds!

Angela is a 30-something year old mom of three kids - a baby, a school-aged kid and a teenager – and a furbaby, living in Orleans with her geek soul mate husband. She studied English Literature and Social Work but took an unexpected turn somewhere and ended up working as a policy analyst for the feds. Hobbies include reading, playing boardgames and Magic: the Gathering, cooking healthy foods, blogging, and discussing favourite tv shows and movies. She is the proud organizer of the Ottawa Geek Social Club, which strives to provide meetup opportunities that reflect the many facets of geekdom and beyond!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Hollaback! Ottawa: Cosplay =/= Consent

By Marla Desat

Source: Marla Desat

"Just because we're wearing a costume doesn't mean we're not people," Courtney, CGG’s assistant editor, was one of the four panellists at the Hollaback! Ottawa "Cosplay =/= Consent" panel at Ottawa ComicCon 2014. Hollaback! Ottawa director Julie Lalonde, and cosplayers ÁLI and Rogue joined her, to talk about harassment at conventions. 
The Hollaback! Movement is dedicated to ending street harassment. Lalonde explained that harassment on the street or on the bus is no different from harassment at a convention. Hollaback! interviewed cosplayers who have had photos taken without permission, been groped, or had upskirt photos taken, but many cosplayers don't immediately identify these actions as harassment. "Because we don't name it that, people don't identify it as harassment.”
L-R: Julie, ÁLI, Rogue, Courtney- Source: Hollaback! Ottawa
Harassment isn't limited to uninvited sexual touching, leering, or inappropriate photos. Cosplayers are often harassed for having a different gender, race, or weight than the character they are portraying. ÁLI, a musician, discovered cosplay in 2012. She has used cosplay to help overcome bullying she faces in her career. Unfortunately, cosplay has opened her to other avenues of harassment. ÁLI spoke of a fan whose constant messages online were supportive, but unsettling. Despite getting no response from her, the fan continues to contact her daily. Recently, ÁLI faced bullying from the press over preferring to use ÁLI, her cosplay and artistic pseudonym, to her legal name. 
CGG's Jordan and MJ- Source: Hollaback! Ottawa
Rogue shared stories about online harassment. "Ninety percent of the harassment that has affected me has been online, not at conventions," says Rogue. As a writer for GeekxGirls, Rogue has received death threats and worse for her work. "Stand up for yourself," she says, but also cautions, "There's no tone online. We all read our own tone into comments." Sometimes responding to a cruel comment with overwhelming kindness can yield a better result than anger. 
Harassment doesn't just come from other con-goers or from online comments. Courtney talked about how hard it can be to identify as a geek at all. "I had what I like to call the Kardashian/Cardassian complex. I was really into both mainstream stuff and geeky stuff," She said. "My mainstream friends would give me flack for the geeky stuff and my geeky friends would give me flack for liking mainstream stuff." 
Hollaback provides support and education about harassment, encouraging its three step model for stopping street harassment: direct, distract, delegate. Directly intervene if you can, distract to indirectly stop the harassment, or tell a convention representative about what's happening. In online spaces, you can intervene directly by sharing your views.  Rogue suggests writing your concerns somewhere, even if it's as simple as a Facebook post. "Without a dialogue, we can't move forward," says Rogue, whose first published article was born from a letter to the editor over an article that misrepresented cosplayers.
As ÁLI says, "It's really about a community. We're all connected, so if you see something, say something, do something. This is supposed to be our safe space."

Marla Desat is a recent University of Waterloo grad living and working in Ottawa. When she isn't playing the latest video games, she's geeking out over comic books, board games, tabletop roleplaying games and science. Marla also writes for The Escapist as a freelance news writer. You can follow her on Twitter @mrdesat
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