We're a geek couple living in PA with our two boys -- Milo and Otis -- who are short, orange, and furry. Oh, and they're the cats we're bookended by! We love movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mocha On the Shelf 2015

Look! It's Mocha Claus!

Our little pal, Mocha, really gets into the holiday spirit. You could say he becomes quite the helpful little elf ... on the shelf. Well, excepting the fact that he's a Gund monkey and not an actual elf.

For some cute holiday cheer, you can follow his adventures on Twitter or Tumblr (all photos are also posted to his Facebook page).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#NerdyThanksgiving



Happy Thanksgiving, nerds!

A little while ago, @Crazy4ComicCon posted this question:




We decided to play along. Here is @Dangrdafne's Twitter reply:


And here is @Brainwise's reply:



How would you answer @Crazy4ComicCon? What Nerdy things are you grateful for? Tweet them at @Crazy4ComicCon, or reply to this post. (If you tweet 'em, make sure you tag it with #NerdyThanksgiving).





Saturday, November 14, 2015

SDCC Pre-Registration!



I know we haven't posted in a while, but I thought it would be interesting to note a little something: In a little while, our group will attempt a team effort to purchase SDCC 2016 tickets. Our group consists of 13 women and 1 man.

Who says women don't like Comic Con?

#PreReg

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Justice League: Gods & Monsters -- A Review



Finally, our long-awaited review of Justice League: Gods and Monsters, the 2015 direct-to-video animated superhero film ... also known as the reason we returned to SDCC 2015. You know, because the film was having its world premiere there!

Now, we already posted a pre-review on July 11. This is the "more complete review" that was promised. And we deliver on our promises ... no matter how long it takes us to do so. If you want to get our take on the flick, it starts just after the break. Oh, and there will be spoilers.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Black Widow cosplay

So for this year's San Diego Comic Con, we originally had decided we were not going to cosplay. As SDCC drew closer I realized that I really wanted to do something. So I recalled a scene or two with Black Widow where she had clothing just like I had in my closet. So I decided to research Black Widow in the movies and see what I could find. The pictures below show you what I found. Please note I did not buy anything at all to make these outfits. Well except the arrow necklace that I decided I wanted to purchase as special piece for the outfits - I actually had an arrow pin that I could have mocked up but I decided to splurge a little. Everything else is my own and from my closet.





You can’t see it in her photo but she does have purple shoelaces in her shoes.
Who has purple shoelaces laying around??

It appears that I may actually be Black Widow in my secret life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fan Mail


No, we don't have any fan mail. This Fan Mail is a new box subscription service that I joined during SDCC this year. It is geared towards the woman nerd/geek/fan and run by two amazing women, Rose and Jenny. You can learn all about them and their box here.

I received my first box during SDCC and I just recently received my second box from them in August. Brainwise and I already subscribe to LootCrate and we love them but I keep asking them to do a Female Superhero box but nothing yet. Then Fan Mail came along and not only is it geared to female characters, it is geared to females overall (jewelry, clothing items for females, etc). I couldn't pass it up.

So without further ado, here are the contents of the two boxes I have received from Fan Mail after the break.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The July 2015 Comic Block is Here!


About two weeks ago, we mentioned that we had added another subscription box to our list. We have a three-month subscription to @NerdBlock's Comic Block. Each Comic Block is supposed to come with three cool comics and some other cool stuff. Well, our first box -- the July 2015 Comic Block -- arrived on Friday, so it's time to start talking about it.

Why? Because we opened it!

Let's see what's what in here, shall we?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Comic Block by Nerd Block


OK. So, we have a bunch of posts in the hopper (SDCC summaries, a few movie reviews, a Loot Crate unboxing, etc.), but we haven't actually published anything here since July 13 when we said goodbye to SDCC 2015.

That makes us very bad bloggers.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Farewell Nerdhalla

Batman and Vicki Vale dangle from a flimsy stone precipice in Batman 1989

San Diego Comic-Con 2015 is now in the past. Dangrdafne and I will have a post-con write-up later this week. For now, we are trying to hang onto those good Nerdhalla vibes. We already miss everyone intensely, but we have a few more days in San Diego. And we will catch a show with Dangrdafne's childhood friend before we head back east.

Oh! But first, we'll visit the local comic shop ... again.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Justice League: Gods & Monsters -- A Pre-Review

Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman ... but not Diana, Kal-El, or Bruce!

In what has become a tradition for Dangrdafne and me, Friday night at SDCC was spent watching the world premiere of a direct-to-video film from DC Comics. We have previously seen Batman: Year One (2011), The Flashpoint Paradox (2013), and Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014). This year, we were treated to Justice League: Gods and Monsters which features the return of Bruce Timm to the animated universe he launched with Batman: The Animated Series in the 90s.

But this Justice League -- and, indeed, the world surround them -- are much different than what we've seen from previous Timm productions. It would be easy to say that this grayer version of the Justice League is simply in keeping with DC's current trend of seemingly trying to make their heroes darker and edgier. And there is plenty of evidence to support that claim: This animated film is more violent than previous DC fare, the main characters run full bore across the line to anti-hero, and there is almost a nihilistic tone that can be pulled from parts of the story. However, I would like to offer that there is much more to this film than can be gleaned from the surface.

And I'll post those thoughts in a more complete review at a later date. It's quite late on the West coast now, and I need to get some sleep so I can attack the con once again in the morning. (I did say this post was a pre-review).


But, before I go, here is a quote from tonight's movie and two bits of news came that out in the panel following the movie presentation:
  • "Go! Make the universe feel your might!" ~Zod
  • DC and Bruce Timm's team are planning a web series to follow the Gods and Monsters movie.
  • Next year's DC movie offering will be an animated adaptation of -- wait for it -- THE KILLING JOKE!



Thursday, July 9, 2015

Game of Bloggers Meet-Up Wrap-Up (The Short Version)

After hustling and bustling, bobbing and weaving all through SDCC's Preview Night, we had one more bit of exclusive content on our "must" list: The Game of Bloggers Meet-Up. So, we set aside our convention swag and purchases, did a quick change, and headed for the Dragon's Den.

And we had a great time. Seriously, that's all I can write right now. I mean, as far as our east coast bodies are concerned, it's 4:30am. And we're far too tired to adequately post a wrap-up about all the wonderful people and all the interesting conversations. So, there'll be another wrap-up post. At some point. Because we really want to make certain we thank everyone who took the time to talk with us.

So, for now, please consider yourself thanked.

Oh, and here's a photo of us with the guy who brainstormed tonight's gig: Tony of Crazy4ComicCon!

Brainwise, Crazy4ComicCon, and Dangrdafne

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

We're Here! We're Finally Here at SDCC!

Brainwise and Dangrdafne at the Convention Center
We landed at the San Diego International Airport just before 10am yesterday. Shortly after that, we had checked in at our downtown hotel and hit the streets to do some shopping. We even walked over the the convention center -- I posted a few photos on Twitter yesterday with the caption "SO CLOSE GUYZ!! #SDCC." But, this morning, Dangrdafne reminded me that we had not posted over here letting folks know that the Bookended by Cats crew is in San Diego for the big convention.

Well, consider that oversight corrected.

That's right! We're here in town and ready for Preview Night of SDCC this evening! We've scoped out the area, and can confirm that this place is ready for all of Geekdom, in its various and illustrious forms, to descend upon it in a celebration of all things Nerd!

Dangrdafne Scopes Out the Map!

That means we're also here and ready for Game of Bloggers Meet-Up at the Dragon's Den this evening. In fact, we were so excited about it that we lined up last night:

"Guess we're the first to line up
for Game of Bloggers, eh?"
Bookended by Cats is a fledgling blog, and we're excited about connecting with other bloggers at any level. We're trying to take Tony's "mission" advice to heart. However, we're not sure we have a stated mission just yet. So, we want to know what yours is. Maybe it will inspire us to do something more than write about stuff we read and watch with our cats. Maybe we'll have a connection for you. Who knows! 

So, if you see us here tonight:



Be certain to stop us, say "Hi!," and ask for a wristband!

Connect with Us and get a Wristband!  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Food at SDCC



So I, Dangrdafne, have Celiac Disease, and I need to eat food without wheat or gluten in it. So how in the world do I survive at SDCC? It actually isn't too hard. Brainwise and I pack most of our own food and we do a little shopping after we arrive in San Diego. This ensures that we can eat breakfast in our hotel room and pack our own lunches for each day during the con. Here are the specifics:


What we bring from home:



What we buy:

  • Hard boiled eggs, cereal, and rice milk for our breakfast. 
  • Ham, cheese, and gluten free bread to make our sandwiches for each day. 
  • Two gallons of water so we can fill our personal bottles each day before we leave the hotel room.


Where we shop:
We head to Ralph's as soon as we get to San Diego to pick up the items mentioned above. Jimbo's…Naturally is another option for natural foods and gluten free options, but we did find them to be a bit more expensive than Ralph's last year when we first found them.

Where we get dinner:
After a long day of Comic Con activities, we like to eat a good dinner. Fortunately, there are some very good gluten free options around the convention center and in the Gaslamp District. Our usual haunts are Burger Lounge, Fox Sports Grill at the Hilton Bayfront, Marina Kitchen at the Marriott Marquis, and The Grand Lobby Bar at Manchester Hyatt. There is the Old Spaghetti Factory, too, but we have not tried it yet.

How we find gluten free options:
A great resource for searching for gluten free options is an app called Find Me Gluten Free. It is customer run/supported. That means all places listed on the app are put there by people who choose to review places and submit them to the app. It might not find all the gluten free options on the area, BUT I do like that it is run by other gluten free customers.


What are your go to foods during the con? Do you have any gluten free favorites to visit when you are in San Diego for the con? Let us know in the comments.


[Draft: Dangrdafne   |   Final Copy: Brainwise]

Saturday, July 4, 2015

"What the Heck Should I Take to SDCC?"

"This will all fit in the overhead, right? Right??"

We already posted about what we do with our Comic Con items as we prep for SDCC (see SDCC Boxing), but how about some suggestions for what to actually bring on the trip? Well, we have only two suggestions. And by that, we mean we are recommending posts from two other sources.

  1. We've previously referred to Crazy4ComicCon's Ultimate Packing List, and he conveniently has an updated post for 2015.
  2. And, over at the Toucan Blog, you can find a perfect list of things to take to SDCC -- straight from SDCC! Check out Let's Get Ready for Comic-Con 2015!

Just remember: Even though packing for a long trip can be frustratingly hard because you don't want to forget anything, you don't want to be this guy either:

This heavy image lifted from The Traveling Professor's blog


How closely do the above lists match what you pack? What are your must-have items to bring to a convention? Please share in the comments!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

SDCC Boxing



No, not hitting each other,  although that could happen over the Batman Jim Lee Exclusive, you never know. This post is about storing and retrieving your comic-con gear. We're going to share with you an the idea that we implemented 2 SDCC's ago...

Friday, June 12, 2015

Marian Call and the Space Weird Thing


You might recognize Marian Call as the main figure in the above image. She's one of our favorite people on Twitter and in our earbuds; we've even had the pleasure of hanging out with her at SDCC and ECCC. You might also recognize a younger David Bowie in the inset of the above image. And, maybe, you've correctly identified it as coming from Bowie's 1969 music video for "Space Oddity." However, unless you're on Marian's mailing list, or connected with one of her loyal fans, you might not know just what the two nearly mirror images have to do with each other.

Well, I'm going to tell you.

Several days ago, I received Marian's latest newsletter email. It contained info about upcoming appearances, a new album in the works, and a video oddity. Regarding that last item, it seems that Marian got together with Alaska Robotics, Molly Lewis, and Seth Boyer to make a video. And they didn't do just any ol' video. No, they went and sweded the aforementioned music video for "Space Oddity"! Oh, and on top of that, they redid the lyrics so as to use only the 1000 most used words in English (see Randall Munroe's Up-Goer Five on xkcd.com).

Now, in case you're not familiar with the concept of sweded films, it refers to the recreation of popular pop-culture films using limited budgets and technology -- mainly a handheld camcorder and whatever odds and ends you can scrape together as props. It has been heralded as "the end of Hollywood as we know it," and the term has its roots in the 2008 film, Be Kind Rewind. And, lo, a pop-culture phenomenon was born!

But back to Marian Call and the point of this entry...

If you see only one music video this month, or one sweded film this month, it really should be this one. I mean, c'mon, even David Bowie's website is promoting it!




See also:



Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Property by Rutu Modan

So Brainwise left a book/graphic novel(?) on my pile to read - The Property by Rutu Modan. I honestly don't remember what he told me about the book that made him want me to read it. But I left it in my pile... for quite awhile. Today I decided to read it.

It turns it out it is about a Grandmother and Granddaughter who travel to Poland to supposedly reclaim some property. Now here is the weird part, I have always had an affinity for Jewish culture and history. I am not sure why but I am always drawn to Jewish things. So I assume this is why Brainwise gave me the book. I wonder though, if he recalls that my Grandmother's name was Regina, the same as the Grandmother in this book. That hit home and then as I read the book all I could think about was what my Grandmother had gone through in her life.

In this book Regina was sent away from her first true love who had gotten her pregnant. He didn't know what happened to her and she was always hoping she would get back to him. Well, she does get back to him although I am not sure he realized it at first. It turns out Regina's true plan for the trip was to meet up with this man. She wanted to tell him that their son had passed away two months before. The son is also the Granddaughter's father. The Granddaughter had no idea about this story but she does learn it through the various people she meets while trying to find the property.

They are in Warsaw for Zaduszki and it plays a major role in the story. I honestly can not recall this "holiday" but I will say I wish I could have travelled to Poland with my Grandmother for this "holiday". I wish so much my Grandmother were here now so I could ask her more questions about her life. The Granddaughter in this story was very lucky to learn all the secrets of her family and to finally meet her Grandfather.

As for the property, it turns it out it is where the Grandfather lives. He "bought" it from the Regina's parents to protect it during the war and he was to return it once he received Regina's address of wherever she was at the time. Well as we already can guess, this does not happen, as Regina turns up at the door instead. She does not want the property, only the closure of the relationship with her first true love.

This is quite the story with many intersecting parts. It is beautifully drawn and a very easy read. There are also lots of funny things that only Polish people will understand. So if you have any affinity for Jewish tales or Polish heritage you will want to check out this book.

I give The Property 4 paws: 

-Dangrdafne


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Game of Bloggers Meet-Up at SDCC 2015!

https://crazy4comiccon.wordpress.com/game-of-bloggers-meet-up/


For our fifth consecutive SDCC, we will be part of the Game of Bloggers Meet-Up hosted by the one and only Crazy 4 Comic Con! If you're going to SDCC this year, and you're free on Preview Night (Wednesday July 8th), come join us and more cool-and-nerdy bloggers than you can shake a sonic screwdriver at!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron



So we finally got out to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. It seemed a very appropriate movie for Memorial Day. Although this movie has been out since May 1, and even though you've had every chance to see it before we did, we still feel the need to post a little warning: Our review is filled with SPOILERS. If you're OK with that, you can read more after the break.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Edge of Tomorrow or Live, Die, Repeat



dangrdafne  says: So we finally got around to watching the Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise feature originally called Edge of Tomorrow but then released on DVD/Blu-Ray as Live, Die, Repeat.

Whichever name you call it, I call it great. I admit that I always seem to like Tom Cruise movies but this time I hardly remembered he was in it. Emily Blunt stole the show for me. She was amazing. She was strong, vulnerable, smart and cocky. I loved her character and her portrayal of her. I have never read the manga this movie is based on but I definitely didn't need to in order to follow along and enjoy the story. I was worried how many times I was going to have watch certain scenes but that went away quickly as the story moved forward without distraction. It is a very clever premise and the movie told the story well.

I did call this a mini Pacific Rim, however I didn't really like Pacific Rim but I definitely liked this movie. It is great eye candy for the action and I definitely enjoyed watching Emily's character have to shoot Tom's character quite a few times. She definitely seemed to enjoy this aspect of the movie ;)

Overall I give the movie 4.5 paws:



brainwise says: Of the two of us, I'm the only one who read the source material: All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Er, actually, I read Takeshi Obata's manga adaption. Still, that slightly influences my impression of the film with Blunt and Cruise. But only slightly. I'll focus on three of the differences.

The biggest difference between the novel (or manga) and the film is also its most creative: Writing the 50-year-old Tom Cruise as the jaded and cowardly PR hack, William Cage. This was a good way to get around the fact that Cruise was three decades older than the 20-year-old aimless and anxious protagonist, Keiji Kiriya, who actually appears in the novel. And although I always tend to see "Tom Cruise" rather than the character he is supposed to be portraying, I actually found him pretty entertaining in this role. Cruise's Cage also has far more interaction with Rita Vrataski than Kiriya does in the book. But that works because we, as the viewers, also get more time with Rita.

Speaking of Rita Vrataski, Emily Blunt's portrayal in the movie is also very different from the novel or manga. For one, Blunt is older than her novel's counterpart, and the Rita she portrays has not been involved in as many battles. Still, as dangrdafne said above, Blunt was pretty damn amazing in the film and I couldn't take my eyes off her whenever she was on the screen. Her Rita was powerful, sure of herself (for the most part), and able to handle the chaos of battle, almost bending it to her will. I do wish she would have had something closer to the axe used in the book instead of the sword she had in the movie, but the sword worked fine. Unfortunately, in the movie, we did not get the scene where we learn why Rita uses a bladed weapon (instead of the rail gun) which then encourages Kiriya to get his own -- the reason being, the axe doesn't jam or run out of battery power.

The movie version of the enemy -- the unrelenting mimics -- is also very different from that of the novel. And here, as in the script change to accommodate Cruise's casting, the change is successful. In the movie, the mimics are somewhat amorphous, tentacled killing machines. They are so much scarier and impressive this way! The battle scenes have enough action, tension, and humor to keep them interesting (which is good because the time-travel/reset angle means you have to view some of these scenes over and over), and the deadly seriousness of the mimics portrayal definitely provides the correct sense of the stakes involved.

There are a few other differences in plot and characters, but you can find other sites that will take you through all of those changes point by point. Besides, if I do that, I'll spoil the ending of the film (or the book) for you, and I don't want to do that. Suffice to say that the movie looks great, the main characters are acted well, and I was entertained. I would definitely watch it again!

I give the movie 4 paws!

(If I had not read the manga, I would have rated it 4.5 paws)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Loot Crate May 2015 Unboxing

Look what's here! It's a Lootcrate box!!

We've been subscribed to Loot Crate for roughly a year now. And the latest one arrived this week, so why not blog about unboxing it? If you're interested in what we received and how we rated it, read on after the break.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

STARMAN by James Robinson and Tony Harris

STARMAN OMNIBUS IV Cover

Shorter Recommendation: Robinson and Harris' STARMAN is everything that is great about modern superhero storytelling, while still evoking the wonders of the golden and silver ages.