Looking for Leia on Kickstarter

Here at Tosche Station, we’re always happy to see excellent projects that promote women’s involvement in fandom and Looking for Leia is one that most definitely does so. Director Annalise Orphelian aims to tell the stories of the women in the Star Wars fandom through this documentary. In her own words:

LOOKING FOR LEIA is a feature documentary film that explores the phenomenon of Star Wars “fangirls,” women and girls who connect deeply to the galaxy far, far away and are unique in the stereotypically male Nerd arena. The film reaches beyond Princess Leia to look at how female fans have shaped and expanded the Star Wars Universe, and how these stories speak to experiences of gender resilience and resistance. 

We’re featuring an intergenerational and culturally diverse group of female fans, as well as women who are film buffs and cultural scholars, cosplayers and gamers, artists and authors. We’re talking to women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math); women who use Star Wars in the classroom; women whose career path was shaped by Star Wars; women whose love of Star Wars has helped them battle cancer and live with disability and mental illness; mothers, daughters, and sisters in Star Wars families; women who are rebels and royalty, imperials, bounty hunters, and Jedi. Every generation has a Star Wars story, and we’re hearing about the original trilogy, prequels, animated series, comics, Extended Universe/Legends, video games, new trilogy, stand-alone films, and conventions.

The project filmed a little at the Drowning in Moonlight Gala at Celebration and we cannot wait to see what else they’ll do. The Kickstarter is in its final days and still needs your help. You have until 2:59 ET on Saturday, June 24th to back the project and we cannot encourage you enough to do so as it would be a shame if this project doesn’t move forward.

SDCC 2014: Firefly cast reunites for Firefly Online

Several months ago, we let you know that Firefly Online was going to be A Thing. (The fact that I can’t find that post says something about my inability to tag my posts.)

Today at SDCC, we just got the news that the entire cast will reunite for the game, Alan Tudyk will be providing several roles, and Niska, one of the most terrifying of Mal’s personal nemeses, will also be returning.  More details can be found at the Firefly Online website.

Stuff We Love: Welcome to Night Vale

nightvaleImagine Neil Gaiman got drunk and started writing the local dispatches for a small town NPR station.

Welcome to Night Vale.

Here at Tosche Station, we like to bring you the very best of non-Star Wars geekery and flail about the awesomeness of things like Mageworlds and Pacific Rim, in addition to our main mission.  Now we are adding Welcome to Night Vale to our collective list of things to be enthusiastic about.  In June, Welcome to Night Vale overtook NPR’s This American Life to become the #1 most downloaded podcast on iTunes.  (You can listen to NPR’s interview with Night Vale creators Jeffery Cranor and Jeremy Fink here.)

Night Vale has slowly been taking over Tumblr lately.  It’s the second best podcast on iTunes (after Tosche Station Radio, of course), featuring the news and events from Night Vale, a small desert community somewhere in the American Southwest where all sorts of strange things happen.  Narrated by the sonorous tones of Cecil, listeners can keep up with what’s going on around town, what new civic works are opening (like the dog park), public service announcements (people and dogs are not allowed in the dog park), and be reminded that the sheriff’s secret police and a vague, but menacing government agency are always watching.

It may take a few episodes for the humor to truly sink in, but Night Vale also produces a number of incredibly quotable comments that you can then use to torment your friends and relatives, such as “The future is here, and it’s about a hundred feet above the Arby’s”; “Wednesday has been cancelled, due to a scheduling error”; and “ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD” (The Glow Cloud now being the Night Vale school board president).  Citizens of Night Vale include Cecil, the radio broadcaster, Carlos the Scientist with his perfect and beautiful hair, Teddy Williams, owner of the Desert Blossom Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex and its mysterious city under Lane 5, Old Woman Josie and her angels, the Hooded Figures, City Council, and Hiram McDaniels, a 3600 lb. 5-headed dragon currently incarcerated for insurance fraud, among other notables.

If you listen to only one podcast, it should be Tosche Station Radio.  But if you listen to only TWO podcasts and have have a yen for something that might have resulted if H.P. Lovecraft had lived in the American Southwest and had a sense of humor, and you also have about thirty minutes twice a month, then we suggest adding Welcome to Night Vale to your iTunes subscription list.

(Trust us, you won’t regret it.  Until you will.  Good night, dear readers, good night.)

(Also, if you *do* listen to Night Vale and didn’t read this post in Cecil’s voice, you totally should have, because that was completely how I wrote it.  For shame, readers, for shame.)

Free Comic Book Day

The first weekend in May is usually a busy one in the geek world and this year is no different.  Not only do we have the premiere of Iron Man 3 on Friday and then May the 4th but the first Saturday in May is always Free Comic Book Day!

Maybe you’re not really a comic book person though.  Maybe you’re not sure that you really want to go check this out.  Well, to quote NPR:

Yes, Free Comic Book Day is about you, O person who hasn’t set foot in a comics shop in years, or ever. It’s the industry’s attempt to change that state of affairs: Walk into a participating shop this Saturday, and they will hand you a bunch of free comics. Or maybe just one free comic. Or maybe they’ll let you pick from a table heaped with piles of free comics.

The point is: Free comics! Woo!

For most comic stores, this is a day about more than just handing out the freebies provided.  It’s much more of a celebration of the comic book world.  Many stores will have local artists and writers on hand (or big names in the comic world if they were lucky enough to get them to agree to appear) and even more will have costumers.  Just in case you thought this was only a superhero related thing, don’t worry because Star Wars always has a presence!  Dark Horse’s contribution to the day this year involves a comic with Vader and Fett and it’s not unheard of for 501st and Rebel Legion members to appear at stores.  In other words, it’s a great and fun way to dip your toe in the comic book waters.  Who knows?  You might find some new books to love!

You can check out all of the titles that will be a part of the promotion and find a local comic book store near you over on the Free Comic Book Day site.  Now go get some free comics!

Think Geek wins at listening to customers

jayne-hatIt made the rounds this week that Fox started sending cease and desist orders to Etsy sellers who were producing their own version of the iconic ‘Jayne hat’ from Joss Whedon’s cult TV show Firefly. Both Ripple Junction, who now owns the license to make the hats and ThinkGeek, who sells them, denied any involvement in sending the C&D orders. ThinkGeek posted a blog entry attesting to as much.

While there’s not much that can be done for intrepid Firefly fans who want to sell their own versions of Jayne’s hat, ThinkGeek just announced that they have heard the outcry from fans and therefore will donate all proceeds from the sale of the official Jayne hat on sale at their website to Can’t Stop the Serenity, an organization that hosts charity screenings of Serenity in order to help support Equality Now, a worldwide charity that works to further the cause of human rights and end violence and discrimination against women around the world.

Four for you, ThinkGeek. You go, ThinkGeek.

Baseball Writer Realizes Sports and Geek Fandom are the Same Frakking Thing

You might know that I’m a baseball fan. An unfortunate one that chose the hapless Seattle Mariners as his team. In my defense, I blame the fact that I grew up here and it was only logical to pick the Mariners as my team. If I seem testy lately, it’s because they inexplicably traded three cost-controlled years of a good player for one expensive year of a bad player. Argh Mike Morse.

A little while back I wrote about how it was kind of weird that sports fandom is considered culturally acceptable while being a part of more traditional geek fandoms will get you a lot of awkward side glances while you’re on the MARTA to the Peachtree center in Atlanta for Dragon*Con. And I was just wearing a generic Star Wars shirt, you should have seen the looks given to the person next to me in a TARDIS dress.

I’m not the only one that came to the realization that sports fandom and geek fandom are one and the same. Noted Seattle Mariners and baseball blogger Jeff Sullivan came to the same conclusion yesterday while trying to make sense of Star Trek fans arguing over whether the “i” in “into” in “Star Trek Into Darkness” should be capitalized or not.

If they’re odd, we’re odd. If we’re normal, they’re normal. For the sake of another comparison, what’s the difference between debating a capital letter and debating a team logo or uniform? The “i” won’t change anything about the entertainment value of the movie. A logo won’t meaningfully change anything about the entertainment value of a sports team. How is Uni-Watch a thing? People like to share and debate. Their chosen interests determine the things they will share and debate about.

Even if you’re not a Mariners or baseball fan, you should give the whole article a read. Sullivan is one of the best writers in all of sports and baseball and his thoughts pretty much mirror what Ashley Eckstein wrote for CNN’s Geek Out blog a while back and what she said when we interviewed her on the podcast.

Sports fandom and geek fandom? Pretty much the same frakking thing.

What Would Alderaanians Wear?

If you didn’t know, our staff writer Bria runs a geek fashion blog with her friend Linh. One of the features they run is a “What Would [X] Wear” set of posts that take your favorite fictional characters, place them on Earth, and figure out just what kind of fashion they would be into. Today’s feature is an especially neat one that asks what would Alderaanians like Princess Leia and Winter wear if they were here.

For more on what Alderaanians would wear and for more in geek-inspired fashion in general, be sure to visit White Hot Room.

Gail Simone leaves Batgirl; Comics Weep

I don’t read a lot of comics. I never really have, but when a friend started me reading comics, she reached into her long box, pulled out a long run of Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey and said, “Here, read this. It’s awesome.”

I now have a long box full of Birds of Prey. But only as written by Gail Simone. When she left Birds of Prey, I read a few issues, then was so disgusted with the way the story was going, I gave up. That was okay, though. Because then she started writing Wonder Woman. And all of a sudden, Wonder Woman was interesting! She was more than the pontificating diplomat. I didn’t buy a lot of Wonder Woman because I’d hit that graduate school stage of broke, but I got copies however I could. And then she was back on Birds of Prey and all was right with my world. Yes, I read other Batfamily comics, but that was only to get the context of the rest of universe in which Birds of Prey existed.

Oh, wait. Then DC rebooted. And we were losing Oracle, who I loved, and who Simone wrote so incredibly well. We had a character who was disabled and who still kicked butt, and we were losing that little bit of diversity. But Simone was going to write Batgirl, so that soothed the soul a bit.

Until today, when we discovered that DC fired her from Batgirl, leaving their most well-known female writer out in the cold.

I don’t know what to make of this. The Wired article I linked above points out that DC’s had plenty of problems with gender issues of late. What I am, however, is incredibly disappointed, because the woman who got me–and a lot of other girls–into DC comics–and who kept me interested in them over the last ten years–is no longer associated with them, and I see no good reason for it.

I don’t have a lot of analysis for this, partly because I don’t have a lot of insight into DC’s internal workings right now. But this decision hit me right in the feels, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one. Gail, have you thought about writing Star Wars comics?

Tosche Station Radio #38: 2012 in Review – Geek Entertainment

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This week on Tosche Station Radio, the hosts are joined by staff writers Bria and Shane to discuss 2012’s geeky (non-Star Wars) entertainment!

Kicking off the show, Nanci highlights what’s new on the blog. Bria gave a tutorial on how to get into Marvel comics. Bria continued on the Waru Express with The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones era books. Fanwork Friday featured the Geek Art blog and Smuggler’s Gambit. Cosplay Monday featured the Hogwarts Founders and The Wampug (courtesy of Emily).Trope Tuesday featured Off With His Head. Emily revisited the Coruscant Craft Fairwith Star Wars snowflakes. In another edition of Brian gets his staff to write ridiculous blog posts, Bria made Star Wars/Disney mashup princesses.

This week in Fixer’s Flash, Nanci’s kept herself busy by finishing Nano and treating herself to a trip to Disney to ride Star Tours a few times. Brian’s been reading Mageworlds and the latest issue of Captain Marvel. Bria’s been going through her comic pull list and went to see Lincoln. She’s also been reading through Expanded Universe novels as well as Star Wars fanfic. Shane’s blasted through Redshirts by John Scalzi, read the new Dresden Files book, and has been playing a lot of League of Legends.

In Deak’s Dirt, we kick off with news that Rick McCallum retired from Lucasfilm. Don’t forget to pre-order Winner Lose All, a digital short story by Timothy Zahn that ties into Scoundrels. It’s only $1.99 and comes out December 10. Speaking of the EU, new Legacy comic! Lucas talks his role as creative consultant on Episode VII. As far as who’s directing Episode VII? We still don’t know. The Disney/Lucasfilm buyout was okayed by federal anti-trust regulators. There’s a new Star Trek Into Darkness poster. Harrison Ford showed up in an Ender’s Game picture.

Camie’s Concerns this week takes a look back at the year in geeky entertainment. 2012 had a number of highs (and lows) and the hosts, Shane, and Bria dive in to talk about the nerdy books, films, conventions, and comics this year has given us. The snark is high in this discussion!

Wrapping up the show, the hosts and guests answer questions from listeners in a segment we like to call Ask Us Anything.

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of the Solo Sound network. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store or the Zune Marketplace. We can also be found on FacebookGoogle+, and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.