Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for July 31, 2020

[KooKoo] -- On July 31, 1981, Debby Harry released her solo album, KooKoo. This date info is from the blog Inside the Rock Era which posted the following note on their 7/30/2011 summation of This Date in Rock Music History: July 31 -- "some websites claim the album was released July 27, and others say it was released August 8, but according to the book 'Punk Diary:  The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock:  1970-1982' by George Gimarc, it was released July 31." KooKoo was the solo debut of Blondie's lead singer, and it featured some sweet cover art by Alien artist H.R. Giger. Giger even directed promo videos for two tracks, "Backfired" and "Now I Know You Know." Both videos are embedded in the Giger link. For this week, I'm sharing the entire playlist rather than selecting a few tracks. But for your reference, the album had two official singles, "Backfired" and "The Jam Was Moving" which peaked at #43 and #82 respectively on the US Billboard charts. No jump this week; go right to the tunes!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for July 24, 2020

[Comics and SDCC!] -- I was, of course, planning to be in San Diego for San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) this week. And this would have been the 10th SDCC in a row that @dangrdafne and I attended! But then, the COVID-19 pandemic claimed the convention in its wake of cancelations. So, this venerable Nerdhalla, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, conducts its first-ever virtual convention in 2020. If you are unfamiliar with the event, here's some background: It was founded in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention. As it grew, this convention was later rebranded with the name we have come to know and recognize. SDCC bounced around to several locations in San Diego until it landed at the San Diego Convention Center where it has been held since 1991. SDCC is now widely recognized as a juggernaut of TV and film events. So much so that critics regularly complain it's "not about comics anymore!" However, there is still plenty of comic book related activity at SDCC, as Comic Spectrum pointed out in 2018 and in 2016.

Last year, to celebrate SDCC, I selected several 80s tunes inspired by, or about, comic books. There were several tracks that did not make that list, so I'm using them this year. What made the latest playlist? Read and hear more the jump.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for July 17, 2020

[Serendip Covers] -- Earlier this week, I discovered the four-piece ensemble known as Sons of Serendip. They were set to be featured guests in an upcoming webinar, and the email invite linked to the group's cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." I liked it. I looked for more of their music. And I might have become a little obsessed with them. Now, Sons of Serendip are not an 80s band -- this classical crossover ensemble has been active since about 2014. But while looking into their catalog, I quickly found that they had covered at least one 80s tune. Where there's one 80s cover, there could be more, right? Right! You can read more about how Kendall Ramseur (cellist), Cordaro Rodriguez (pianist), Mason Morton (harpist), and Micah Christian (lead vocalist) came together while in graduate school at Boston University by visiting their webpage. To find out which of their covers I've highlighted this week, you can read and hear more after the jump.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

SDCC 2020 - Comic Con @ Home

So as you all know there is no in person SDCC this year. And while I will miss all my friends terribly and miss all the fun that is SDCC, but I am ready to enjoy Virtual SDCC or Comic Con @ Home.

I like the idea of not having to pick what to do or figure out what room I can get to for a panel... they are all in MY room. And if I really miss the run between the rooms, I can walk around my block between the video panels.

I like that I can even do more than one panel at a time if need be or I just want to. The very first day of panels, Wednesday, I had a conflict and I got my normal anger at first and then I realized, I can do both! I have a pretty packed schedule of panels for all the days now and it makes me so happy.

I loved seeing some names on the panel lists that I didn’t know were going to be there and I know I will get to see them. There were also some missing names but hopefully I will catch up with them in other areas.

I also got to add some panels I know I wouldn’t normally get to for various reasons.. hello Kevin Smith.

One very real part of Comic Con @ Home is that I still feel like I am going to miss out on things. I already feel like I am missing things. There is so much that can be done for this SDCC Virtual and so many places to find information that it still feels overwhelming, like I am really going to SDCC. I was hopeful for more quiet but apparently not.

Every day I turn on more Twitter feeds to get their tweets so I can follow along and try not to miss out. It is a lot of people :)

@CrazyForComicCon is tweeting SDCC lists for this year. One of the items is what will you miss? Besides the obvious of seeing my friends I only see during SDCC, I realized it would be missing out seeing the Legion of Superheroes table on the mezzanine. We visit them every year now and they are awesome! We always end up spending a hour or so talking to them and sometimes every day... as you have to pick up a pin every day. I will miss their smiling faces and catching up on our lives. It is a quiet respite and a perfect example of SDCC friendship. I hope they are all happy and healthy.

So I ask what will you miss most about SDCC this year?

And if you know of any special information I might be issuing out on, please let me know :)

Lastly, if someone could mail me the gluten free turkey burger with large fries and a Lavender Mint Lemonade from Burger Lounge, I will owe you big time!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for July 10, 2020

[Lemony Goodness] -- In 1988, The Mighty Lemon Drops released their second studio album, World Without End. This record yielded only one single, "Inside Out," which peaked at #74 on the UK Singles Chart. Still, that one jangly single was as catchy as anything else released that same year. And World Without End, as a whole, is a damn fine example of British post-punk ... with just a hint of late-'60s psychedelia for good measure. And while I can't be certain of this, I do have a feeling that the music video for "Inside Out" is the band's jab at being labeled part of the shoegazing genre. Check out my three selections from this record after the jump!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Runaways panel from Wizard World online

On Sunday June 28th, our good friend Tony Kim, owner of Hero Within, was the moderator for the Runaways Wizard World panel online. A free panel put together to ease the lack of in person comic conventions not happening right now. I love these free panels and I am grateful that they offer them. I also enjoy them just a little but more if Tony is the moderator. You can buy things from the website but the panel itself is free to stream and watch.

I have not watched the show but after this panel I will seek it out.

Two of my favorite vampires are in the show and were on the panel: Annie Wersching (Momma Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries) and James Marsters (Spike on Buffy The Vampire Slayer). It was nice to see them and they both seemed very happy with the show and their experiences with the cast.

I also recognized quite a few of the other panelists and spent some time on IMDB to catch up on names and other things I would have seen them in. It is quite a cast and they all talked of how much they missed the show and each other. They all seemed to hold their characters in high regard and when asked what super power they would love to have, it was very interesting to hear many of them choose the ability to heal.

I wish such a large panel could last more than 40 minutes, though, because there definitely was not enough time to cover everything. Tony did a great job moving things along and getting some questions in from the viewers in the chat.

It felt like being at a con, just from the comfort of my couch. I highly recommend checking out these panels as they really do fill the void of canceled comic conventions. Also you may find some new shows to binge during quarantine.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for July 3, 2020

[Three Day Weekend] -- When in the Course of human events, the Fourth of July lands on a Friday or Saturday, and many of us in the States are given a three-day weekend. This is done to celebrate a unique event: when 13 scrappy, English colonies engaged in an act of civil disobedience. Well, it was actually an act of treason. And it was committed by writing a sternly worded letter to King George III, who wouldn't receive his copy until August 30, 1776. (And, no, you cannot blame that delay on the USPS). Now, I don't know what the Founding Fathers would make of this week's playlist. But there will be plenty of serious fare discussing the events of 1776 on the web, radio, and television. So on the Flashback, we're gong to cut loose and have some fun. If you're ready to celebrate with me in 80s music style, then read and hear more after the break.