Northern Ireland based geekery & nerdisms

Tag Archives: comics

Look! A blog that isn’t about Game Of Thrones. Well, I’m going to mention it just the once, but you can ignore that if you want, because it’s not entirely relevant to the story.

So, there are some incredible movies set for this year, and while I am not quite as excited as I was in the run up to The Dark Knight Rises (but then again I have never been that excited ever, so that’s to be expected), I shall be counting down the days.

Man Of Steel

14th June

First up, Man Of Steel! I saw the new trailer for the first time during Game Of Thrones on Monday night (told you, but that’s the one mention, promise) and jumped right out of my seat.

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Unfortunately, WordPress won’t let me embed videos in my blog, which is a shame, because I would totally do that all the time. Click the picture of General Zod to see the new viral trailer for Man Of Steel. Speaking of which, Michael Shannon is shaping up to be an amazing disgruntled Kryptonian! Look at that build! That snarl! The latest trailer (I gave you the link, go watch it) makes him sound awfully familiar…he definitely has a hint of Bane-ish-ness about him; he seems like a more modern, intimidating and intelligent villain, which is fantastic, because this is what Zod NEEDS to be! We need to be terrified of him, we need to believe he could exist.

Everyone is comparing Man Of Steel to Nolan’s Batman trilogy and of course they are. I am trying not to read TOO much about it, or study the trailers TOO closely. I have high hopes and expectations, and for once I think I would rather be surprised.

The Wolverine

25th July

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While there is no doubt in my mind that Man Of Steel will be awesome, I am not as sold on The Wolverine. Set after the events of The Last Stand (which is news to me, I thought it was a sequel to Origins, but there you go), Logan travels to Japan and confronts a mysterious figure from his past.

A mysterious figure from his past?! Gosh, no X-Men medium has attempted this EXACT thing before…

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Okay, so I’m being sort of harsh, the truth is this is shaping up to be huge. Based on one of the most popular story lines from the comic books, there are samurai, Yakuza crime gangs and Svetlana Khodchenkova. Gentlemen, you are going to want to Google her.

300: Rise Of An Empire

2nd August

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Now. If you know me at all (in real life, where there is grass and fresh air and real people), you might know that I have a degree in Ancient History and that I am slowly groping my way towards my Masters’. Given this brand new information, it should not surprise you that I CANNOT WAIT for this. The prequel to 300, this flick will focus on battles that happened at the same time as the ill-fated Battle Of Thermopylae, centering on the characters of Themistocles (Athenian politician who was popular with the rabble) and Artemisia (one of Xerxes lovers and queen of Caria). Best bit? Guess who’s playing Artemisia.

Yay!

Yay!

All in all, I am planning very little over the summer, except for sitting in a dark room with a sticky floor with strangers. And maybe going to the cinema, too.

S.

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This post is a special post, because it is my 100th. Marvellous! I am devoted and I remember to write things. Good ol’ me. On that note, no Sunday review this week because I was ill. So ill. I didn’t forget though, that’s the important point that I’m trying to make.

Before I delve into the wonderful world of Etsy, I thought you might be interested to know that Fox recently took a little hissy fit, contacting a number of crafty darlings who sell via the sit with cease-and-desist orders. This particular number of fiddley dears were making Firefly themed merchandise. Although Fox cancelled the show after one season and a movie, they are apparently still well within their rights to be uppity about their ‘intellectual property’. Ewk. Big co-operations. Ewk. The law.

Anyway, you can read more about this whole clusterfork here.

Onwards, to the things that people are still allowed to sell…

(As ever, click on the pictures to buy buy buy. All locally sourced, of course).

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First up, a shiny new trinket from HearHoofBeatsThinkZebras (who incidentally fell victim to Fox’s ban on Firefly merchandise. Buy other things from her, so she feels better?). This deluxe Game Of Thrones charm bracelet is extremely thoughtfully made, by a real fan for other real fans. The House sigil can be changed depending on your own personal alliances. I, for example, have recently decided I am more of a Tyrell than a Greyjoy. My blood runs quite warm, you see. The other charms are equally adoring and meaningful – tiny castles, swords and dragons.

Also. Free shipping with the code FREEPOST until April 23rd. Don’t say I never help you.

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I hope you are laughing as hard as I laughed when I first saw this. Picard facepalm t-shirt. Is there a nicer three word phrase in the English language? I doubt it.

I only recently encountered Hallion Clothing, but they have some really brilliant t-shirts (and only £7.50!). You should go take a look.

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I am pretty sure I’ve babbled away about shoes pretty similar to these at least once before…but hell, look at how cute they are, they deserve all the babbling. Look at the little bows! The best thing about these particular shoes is that the lovely lady who makes them is willing to collaborate on the design. So you could have Batman shoes! Or Spider-Man! Or Thor! Or Batman!

Another bargain, only £20, but if you’re looking for something more glamorous, there are heeled versions available for £35.

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I seem to pop something from this Etsy store in every other blog, but I cannot help it. I like that everything is handmade, I like the little faces, I like the bright colours. I can’t help it, I am a girl and as such, I am easily led by woodland creatures.

Especially bunnies. Yesterday, I was in Pets At Home at Sprucefield, watching the cutest white baby bunny eat hay with his fat little paws. Then loads of French teenagers came in and started shouting ‘Oooo, LAPIN!’, which apparently means ‘rabbit’. Both an interesting anecdote and a learning experience. If a tad irrelevant.

Anyway, go forth and shop. If you buy anything beautiful and geeky, I want to know about it. I want to know very much.

S.


Finally! I have been waiting so very long for this precious announcement, and it was starting to look as though it might not be coming at all…but yes, TitanCon 2013 has been confirmed and announced.

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For those of you that have read by blog faithfully and devotedly (lovely people), you’ll know that it was at TitanCon last year that I decided I should start a blog for the geeks and nerds of Northern Ireland. With this in mind, I sort of consider TitanCon weekend to be RefugeekNI’s birthday. I should get a cake or something, maybe. However, the date has changed. As has the venue. While the last two conventions have been held in the Europa Hotel in Belfast City Centre, this year, proceedings have been moved to the Wellington Park Hotel (up Malone Road direction). At first I was a bit like…’oh’, because I like the Europa (so fancy!), but apparently this venue change means that the organizers can spend more of the limited budget on guests – obviously, this is a good thing.

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For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it’s over three days and is essentially a sci-fi fantasy convention – with a whole lot of Game Of Thrones. A Friday evening event (last year, Belfast Culture Night. This year, a TitanCon specific Literature Night, with readings by the author guests), the convention on a Saturday, and then the coach tour on the Sunday. Friday night is a free event, but the rest of the weekend requires a membership to the event. It’s so worth it, though. I promise.

While guests have yet to be announced, the extra budget should mean even shinier people to adore – I’ll try my very best to keep you updated, as long as you promise you’re not planning on kidnapping anyone.

If you are intent on getting a Game Of Thrones cast member to keep for your very own, well. That might be okay, too. I want an Alfie Allen, after all.

He will be mine. Oh yes, he will be mine.

He will be mine. Oh yes, he will be mine.

You can find ALL THE DETAILS – here, and you can find ME – here.

S.


I have done many things in my life, things of which I am proud. Yet none of these things I could boast about compares to the greatness of that title. What a glorious pun, I clearly have the most advanced and magnificent of minds.

ANYWAY. I am always in rush, recently. My alarm goes off early, I am on the go all day, I get to bed later than I would like. I work, I study, I clean and I blog. Go, go, go. Yet, somehow, I always seem to find at least an hour a day to play a game on my phone. It’s the strangest thing; almost as if the rules of time and space don’t really apply to me when I’m playing Angry Birds or whatever. Magical, even.

Well. I say Angry Birds, but I feel I have finally outgrown it. Even Angry Birds Space and Star Wars Angry Birds are boring me now – there’s only so many times you can fling a bird at a pig, while taking into account rickety obstacles and the laws of gravity. Besides, the pigs would’ve figured out that they should be using cement by now, surely?

Mind you, that is a pretty dim face, considering he's meant to be some sort of ruler.

Mind you, that is a pretty dim face, considering he’s meant to be some sort of ruler.

I have discovered new games – better games. Great games. Okay, great is an exaggeration – they are addictive, if nothing else.

I shall do them in the order I discovered them, saving the best for last, as is tradition. So, first up, is The Simpsons: Tapped Out. The premise is simple – Homer Simpson is playing with his MyPad (teehee) in work at the nuclear plant, gets distracted and somehow causes a melt down that destroys all of Springfield. You, the player, then have to earn money and donuts to unlock and build all of the town’s buildings and characters. Simples.

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It is too addictive. It takes forever to earn enough money to do anything, but somehow, this is not so much a deterrent to play as a motivational tool. The game builds on years of Simpsons trivia and hilarity – catch phrases, famous episodes, beloved minor characters – all are pimped in the hope of keeping you hooked. Unfortunately, they want you hooked for a very obvious reason. In order to get the game to progress any faster, you need to spend (rather a lot) of real world money on in-game bonuses.

Urm, no. If I wanted to pay for a game, I would not be scrolling the ‘Top Free’ chart on the App Store, thank you very much.

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Next up is Sonic Dash. I went through a good month long phase of being hooked on Temple Run (and Temple Run 2), so when I saw that my favourite blue hedgehog had stepped into the arena, I knew I had to give the little guy a chance. And not to be a fangirl, but it’s SO GOOD. Like Temple Run, but more colourful, cuter and with more incentive to play (I must, must earn enough red rings to unlock Knuckles).

It’s also a great deal harder, which is nice, because as a constant phone gamer (which is like a step down from casual gamer, but I step up from VTech children’s games, I reckon) I appreciate a bit more of a challenge. Usually you just feel like your doing something to keep your idle hands busy, you know? Yet this little number is a great time burner, and calls for real concentration. An unfortunate side effect of this is the swearing on public transport and the splitting pain of dry eyeballs.

Oh well.

Gameplay screen shot.

Game play screen shot.

FINALLY. My most recent download, which is unfortunately not going to be on my phone for very long, because it runs about as slowly as I do. That is very, very slowly indeed.

The Injustice: Gods Among Us app is obviously just another advertising tool that DC/Warner Bros./NetherRealm have pulled out of their box of tricks; but oh, it is such a fantastic box. The build up to this game has been so well done that fans are working themselves in a frenzy counting down the hours to the UK release. From the YouTube interviews, to the character reveal clips and the MASSIVE roster, this is surely what advertising should be.

On the other hand, I think I’ve seen everything the game has to offer, and I occasionally feel like I’m drowning in clips of Bane fighting Batman AGAIN.

He's still my boy though, aren't you Batman?

He’s still my boy though, aren’t you Batman? (Screen shot of the opening sequence)

On to the game itself – it’s obviously just a snippet of the glory the full console game will have. Attacks and blocks are done by well timed taps and swipes, and you don’t get a lot of characters to fight as (you start with Sinestro, Nightwing and Lex – I’m not sure if you get more as the game goes on) and there’s no story line at all, just little fights. Still, the graphics are neat, it’s another good little time burner, and Nightwing is sexy.

All these games are available to download now, FOR FREE! I may have to do another blog on apps that are actually helpful and useful, and not just for filling in your commute to and from work, but for now, that’s your lot.

If you have been hooked on an awesome smartphone game, I want to know about it. Go tell me on the FACEBOOK PAGE! Also, like it, because I like you. So very, very much.

S.


I am showering you with blogs today! April showers. See what I did there? It’s April now.

Lisburn has been really disappointing recently as far as magical geeky shopping is concerned – I suppose it doesn’t help that all the shops are closing. I’ve seen a few wee bits and bobs I would rather like, though. I thought you might like them too, although I’m not convinced all of them are geeky enough to warrant blog coverage. Still, they’re nice, you might like them. Bear with me.

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The pictures are giant, to make my blog look nice and colourful. And to make you think this is longer than it looks, because I am crafty that way. First up, this framed poster. It’s both adorable and geeky, because it references Twitter. Geeks like Twitter, almost as most as C-list celebrities and comedians do. I only meant to take a picture of the one poster, but I seem to have caught a second, equally adorable one in the bottom right. It’s mean and sarcastic.

I like it.

These works of art were in TK Maxx (Lisburn). They’re probably not there anymore, but there’s usually a great variety of every-changing oddities in that place, so it’s always worth a look.

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And we come, inevitably, to Primark. This time last year you couldn’t move in Primark without walking into something with a Bat-symbol on it. However, the times have changed, and Batman isn’t ‘trendy’ anymore. It’s okay, Bruce. I still love you. While ‘geek-chic’ is finally over (don’t get me wrong, it was handy, but there’s nothing I hate more than a chav or a skank with a Superman t-shirt), there are still a few precious gems to be found. The picture above (another Twitter reference, obviously) is from a pair of girly pants. Adorable.

Boys, zone out for a moment. Thank you. Ladies, have you noticed that Primark have changed their pant sizings? You can now either get them in ‘too small’ or ‘too big’. I do not like this, not one little bit.

Sorry. Back on track now.

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I am aware this is not remotely ‘geeky’ (unless you are passionate and enthusiastic about ice-cream…which come to think of it, everyone should be), but so cute! And it smells like summer and sugar and everything nice. I’m just so glad that winter finally appears to be ending, that I am suddenly attracted to everything yellow and shiny.

Like a magpie, but with candles.

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Okay okay, so again, maybe not super-geeky, but who doesn’t love a nice pug? Look at that face. I am mad about cushions, but my boyfriend doesn’t see the point of them.

Maybe he’ll read this and realise that I’m rather upset we don’t have more snuggley lovely cushions on our sad, cold sofas? Maybe? Hello?

Ack. Nevermind.

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And finally (still in Primark, by the way), there is this thing. It’s a shower glove? Face cloth pocket? I don’t really see the point of these things at all, but mostly they’re for children, so I don’t really think about it. I think this one goes under the name ‘wash mitt’. Good to know. Anyway, it’s only £1 and has Spiderman on it, so it must be worth owning.

So, that’s your lot. Mini-findings. I intend to have a good hunt around Belfast at some point this week, as places get their Spring/Summer stock in around now, so there could be a Batman themed stationary set that I’ve never seen before. How exciting!

That was only a little bit of sarcasm. I really like stationary.

S.


Not even a Monday review, it’s freaking Tuesday and I am only getting around to this now. Oh, gentle, devoted readers, I am sorry. I am a but a weak willed little lady…and the chocolate eggs, they call to me. I spent my Easter weekend eating all my mother’s food (she dreads my visits, I bet), and talking to kids about Indonesian shadow puppets and Inuits.

No, really. I have a cool job, did I mention?

ANYWAY. The Sunday Review. The very, very late Sunday review.

In the past few weeks, I’ve reviewed books, movies, comics…all very serious, proper things. Wonderfully geeky and marvellous things. This week, I thought I might try and remind myself that this is a blog for those of us based (stuck) in the Northern Ireland area, and get a little bit ‘Norn Iron’ specific.

If you’re not from Northern Ireland, I apologise…but also, you should visit sometime, because it’s occasionally pretty and nice to look at.

While my own little home town mall is slowly closing down and turning into a…ghost mall (that’s definitely a thing) and Castlecourt has neglected to modernize since the mid-eighties, Victoria Square, in my opinion, is going from strength to strength. There is no other shopping centre in Northern Ireland that I take quite so much pleasure in dandering around, but most importantly, it’s the shopping centre that puts the most effort into drawing the people in and keeping them there. And not just children! Last week, there was a petting zoo! WITH A LLAMA.

On second thoughts, that might have been for children, but I enjoyed it more than they ever could have.

Moving on. The stores in Victoria Square have something that nowhere else really does (Lisburn, in particular); they have variety. If you need a quirky, fancy, thoughtful, funny gift for someone – this is the place to go. And oh, the subtle geekeries that domed paradise has to offer. Like…

THIS in Topshop/Topman.

THIS in Topshop/Topman

THIS (Rainbow Dash!) in Build-A-Bear.

THIS (Rainbow Dash!) in Build-A-Bear

THIS in Paperchase.

THIS in Paperchase

Such lovely things. And such lovely shops! If you REALLY want a fancy day of shopping, it’s fun to dress up real nice and stroll around House Of Fraser or Ted Baker and pretend you can afford things…

I never do that.

Honest.

S.

p.s. If you aren’t terrified of heights, climbing to the top of the Square and squinting at things from the Dome is must. As in, YOU MUST.


I am a huge fan of finding geeky things in places in which you may not expect to find geeky things. Like Tesco or a cat boot sale. I was wandering around Toys ‘R’ Us rather recently, and was pretty darn impressed with some of the toys that are out there for tiny children to gnaw on. They are the geeks of the future after all, and it is our responsibility to leadeth them in the ways of the force/Star Fleet protocol/One Ring.

We should also instill in them an idiot proof zombie apocalypse plan, because if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime, it’s sure as hell going to happen in theirs.

Click for hilarious captions/insights.

I have to admit, out of all the many hundreds of geeky toys for kids, the Lego has always been my favourite; I think it always will be. Video games and light-up-singing-wonder-dolls are fairly amazing, yes, but there is no joy in childhood like building something vaguely resembling a spaceship all by yourself. And then hurling it at walls and siblings until you get a good wreckage to start all over again with.

Many happy childhood memories. Although there is no pain like standing on a Lego brick in your bare feet.

S.