Happy week after Memorial Day! That’s a thing, right? I’m making it a thing, and celebrating by telling you about Quirk Books’ new title Presidential Campaign Posters: Two Hundred Years of Election Art. I thought this book was a joke when I first saw it, considering the cover prominently displays an image of Gerald Ford dressed like the Fonz; however it is all too real and the surprises don’t begin or end with Ford.
It’s not just the subject matter that makes this book unique, but also the format. As opposed to the typically stout mass-market paperbacks that make up most of the history section at any bookstore, Presidential Campaign Posters is tall and 208 pages long. It begins with Andrew Jackson pictured as a King by his opponents and ends with Obama’s “Hope” campaign. Each of the posters is perforated so it can easily be removed and framed, however the back includes factual and anecdotal information about the presidential race in which the poster featured. Even if I had the wall space, I prefer to preserve the book the way it is. Not only is each poster a gorgeous, high-quality re-print direct from the Library of Congress, but the story that the posters tell from beginning to end reveals how little has changed in our country’s politics in the last two centuries.
Really, when I first read about this book I thought it was a clever trick; some kind of satirical commentary on each president’s reign. I thought there was no way posters as ridiculous as President Carter dressed like Jesus could be real until I was flipping through this book and reading the stories that went along with each image.
What fascinates me even more than the posters themselves is the narrative that they spell out about our history. Presidential elects have always tried to appeal to the common man, and no smear has ever been too low.
This book is credited to “Library of Congress” as the author. I’m a dramaturg, so I love research and love seeing it organized in interesting and innovative ways. My press copy of Presidential Campaign Posters arrived along with an interview with the Library of Congress’ Publishing Director W. Ralph Eubanks, and I wish that the interview had been included in the book itself. Eubanks specifically talks about how television changed the way that campaign posters were composed, and while the book touches on this element of campaign races it only does so briefly. Eubanks explains the broad effects: “Whereas early campaign posters were vehicles for publicizing candidates’ political messages, the post-1960 posters were simply ways to get the names of the candidates in the minds of the voters, with political messages communicated via television commercials and the news media.”
If I had a rating system of five stars, this book would get all five. It took a subject in which I was only mildly interested, and made me pour over pages and pages without realizing how much time had passed. Not only that, it’s a brilliant piece of dramaturgy and a fascinating way to present what could very well have been dry, dusty material. Highly recommended for…pretty much anyone who can read.
In a surprise move, the MTV Movie Awards not only announced a new interactive way to vote for your favorite categories such as Best Fight and Best Kiss, but have taken a cue from The Hunger Games and lumped together the guys and the gals for their brand new category, “Best Hero.”
Jennifer Lawrence is repping the ladies as a Hero (not a heroine!), with her portrayal of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games currently holding down second place in the brand new category, and as of right this moment… 7,498 votes behind He-Who-Can-Be-Named, Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe. Not that I’m keeping count or anything.
The inclusion of the Best Hero category puts Lawrence herself in the running at four solo nominations (Best Hero, Best Female Performance, Best Kiss with Josh Hutcherson and Best Fight with Josh Hutcherson and Alexander Ludwig) and The Hunger Games as a whole at 9 nominations total, including the coveted Movie Of The Year category.
Voting for all categories but MOTY and Best Hero ends on Saturday, June 2nd, with voting for those two continuing all the way through the LIVE airing on Sunday, June 3rd until 9:00 PM ET. You can cast your vote for all categories online by visiting the MTV Awards page, or vote for Best Hero by simply tweeting with the hashtag #votekatniss! You can also check the Best Hero #vote tracker to check how your favorite bow slinging hero is stacking up against her competition!
The 21st annual MTV Movie Awards air live Sunday, June 3 at 9 p.m. ET. And with so many total nominations, it looks like the odds are ever in her favor at this years MTV Movie Awards!
What comes after the first book, 50 Shades of Grey? The next one! But only if the first book says it can . . . terrible, terrible, I know.
After embarking on my quest to get through the newest, most salacious book on the market right now, 50 Shades of Grey, by E L James (I tried desperately not to pee my pants laughing) I have trudged onwards to book two, 50 Shades Darker.
Again: Spoiler alerts are everywhere in this. So don’t read on, good reader, if you want to be spoiled (Wait, what? What the crap? That is not what I meant. But, yes, Spoiler Alert.)
So what do Cuisinart Standmixer’s, paperback books and Christian Grey all have in common? Well Anastasia, they won’t love you back.
For those of you who haven’t paid attention to the trashy book wires, the 50 Shades series is a Twilight fan-fiction based erotic novel series where the unwitting Anastasia Steele literally fumbles her way into a control freak, tortured past, god-like (ew) handsome, private helicopter piloting, stalker billionaire’s sex life.
And… GASP… into his freaky little hyperbole using heart.
Blah blah blah, she’s a virgin, blah blah blah, he doesn’t want to be touched, blah blah blah, her every inner monologue is an “OH MY!” or “OH CRAP,” or “HOLY COW” or “AAARRGH” or “JEEZ.”
But, to the point, these two lust birds do lots of freaky-deaky in a sex room.
50 Shades of Grey ends with Anastasia realizing she doesn’t like a belt across her butt super hard, and that after less than three weeks of sex for every day, she can’t change him and she ends up calling it quits. On a side note: They always use protection. Every time. Good job, writer!
Enter Book Two: Oh myyyyyy.
Scene: Little Boy Flashback to a pimp beating his mother. Reader, I was totally not ready for that.
It has been three, count it, THREE days since Anastasia dumped Christian and she’s freaking out. Three days, folks. Not, you know, a reasonable amount of time. Maybe a month in between or something. It has been less than half of a week. They broke up Friday night, it is now Monday morning and Anastasia is a sad little rain cloud of “WHY DOESN’T HE LOVE ME BACK?”
And he is… still rich. And apparently still looks like, you guessed it, a Greek God of some sort. Because Adonis is the only descriptor in the world.
Someone decides to email someone else and voila! They are going to her creepy friend’s photo gallery opening. Said friend tried kiss Anastasia when she was drunk in book one and she said no and he was all, “Oh Ana, I’ve felt like this for so… I just want to stick my tongue in your mouth.” Yawn.
So far, the first three chapters are just tons of lame dialogue. “Oh, my Fifty Shades . . . he’s so tortured”-esque and Ana making dead-fish attempts at what I assume are come on lines? “Yeah, you know what else we could be doing…?” I don’t know Ana, what else could we be doing? I know, do some yoga. It’s the thing these days. Don’t forget the, “Oh Ana, you are so be-witching, be-guiling, be- ”
Oh good lord, get new words. I swear, if bottles and cans were recycled the way this book recycles phrasing, the earth would have been a better place years ago.
Back to crappy, over thought drama.
Art Show: Dumb friend has a collection of candid photos of Anastasia. Creeeeepy. But Christian Grey buys all of these photos, because he doesn’t want any creeper other than him seeing her.
Man-emotions: Out of nowhere, the enigmatic Christian Grey spills more beans than ever about his horrifying childhood. And it really does nothing for what is now a storyline driven novel.
Weird Woman: Obviously effed up woman stops Anastasia in the street, while she is on her way to hang out with the co-workers. Rather than tell anyone, even her omipresent-can find anything, anyone, anywhere boyfriend [oh yeah they’re back on] she just keeps mum. Does this girl not have Facebook? Or Twitter?
I can see it now:
@AnaSteeleSub: OMG!! Whts w/ cray cray lady in street talkin to me like we know each other?
Anastasia apparently has plenty of time to email, though. And rather than texting, she just emails sexbillionaire waaaay too much. No joke, pages of this book are in email format. Subject line and all. Oh Ana, coy emails do not suit you. And besides, it’s all monitored at work! OOPS!
Did I mention that? Yup.
Oh yeah. They finally got to having the sex again. Afterwards, she thanked him explicitly for the very nice iPad he gave her. Hawk-ward pillow talk.
I sat down for Chernobyl Diaries excited to see something new from Oren Peli. Unfortunately, the movie is not directed by Oren Peli. Chernobyl Diaries smartly (or sneakily) used Peli’s name to promote the film to maximize profit, and although it is based on his screenplay the final product feels like it didn’t quite understand Peli’s style.
Hit the jump to read what Chernobyl Diaries succeeded at and where it terribly failed.
Great White Shark
Not to be confused with King Shark of current Suicide Squad fame (“meat, meat, meat”), Great White Shark started out as just a regular scumbag by the name of Warren White. He used every ounce of cunning and wit to embezzle everything from every person in his companies, and cleverly deduced that he could get off lightly if he pretended to be insane. Instead the Gotham judge overseeing Warren’s case, sent him to Arkham Asylum indefinitely, where he was the labeled “fish” much like highschoolers dub the fresh meat or freshmen.
Stan Lee. Patrick Stewart. Summer Glau. George Perez. Kevin Conroy.
DALLAS COMIC CON!
This star studded event demolished Ben Steven’s previously anticipated “hopeful” goal of 15,000 with around 20,000 – 25,000 comic fans lining the walls and prompting the convention itself to apologize for nearly doubling the capacity of the Irving Convention Center! Though we here at IHOGeek, especially our Dallas natives ladyvader99 and killerrqueen, are no stranger to the chaotic nature of cons in general, pulling up to the convention center an hour after their scheduled opening time of 11am was extremely surprising. Luckily, being shoulder to shoulder with our cosplaying bretheren was distracting enough that time flew by and, before we knew it, our autographs were collected and we squished our way to various stands.
There was the usual convention fare: dealers specializing in rare figures, gorgeous prints to be signed by Captain Picard or art legend Perez, comics by the long box, artists pimping their particular brand of crack (i.e. prints we must buy), and on the fourth floor, a company called Big Freeze had set up a platform that took fucking amazing 3D action photos of cosplayers and con-goers. Click here to see an example of their craftmanship featuring local cosplayer, Lhars Ebersold. Hint: She was the amazing Catwoman!
Not to be put out by the damper that was Friday, one shining moment of DCC Round Two was meeting Stan Lee on Saturday, something every geek dreams about! In a wonderful moment of connections forged and favors being asked, we were able to spend ten glorious minutes in the presence of Stan Lee. Energetic and with a flair leaning toward theatrical, Stan charmed the figurative pants off of us. With one leg swung over the arm of the chair, he regaled us with the tale of how he ended up co-running Comikaze Expo (yep, the same one we interviewed Regina Carpinelli about!). As our mini-interview came to a close, we turned our attentions to capturing photos of our fellow geeks in colorful costumes, but due to the utter mass of people crowding each and every hallway, finding an empty spot was nearly impossible. We decided to reconvene the next day in hopes of getting better coverage.
On Sunday, the lines were thankfully lessened and we felt less sardine-like as @ladyvader99 made her way to the Kevin Conroy (or as some may know, Bruce Wayne from Batman: The Animated Series) side of the convention in the hopes of acquiring an autograph and hearing a raspy rendition of “I am the night!” Unfortunately, this quest sadly failed as Conroy’s line was capped 20 people ahead of her after two hours of waiting. The absence of thousands allowed us to easily explore the rest of the convention and take many as many photos of wandering cosplayers as we could capture. Our discovery of the fourth floor photo exhibit, The Big Freeze, left us captivated. The Big Freeze exhibit consisted of a raised platform with well over a hundred mounted cameras that when triggered create a bullet time special effect, sometimes called the Matrix camera or 360 camera. The effect left us stopped in our tracks for a good half hour as many, many extraordinary photos were taken (our favorite being a fight scene between Deadpool and Dark Phoenix) Luckily, this is when we were also privy to an adorable chase scene between a tiny Robin cosplayer and an adult Joker cosplayer, another highlight of the day.
As the afternoon began to wane, we decided to try our luck with Firefly and Serenity actress, Summer Glau. While we were denied the time for an interview due to the multitude of people and Glau’s quickly approaching flight to catch, we were allowed to shadow the last half of her private autograph session. Summer Glau is as absolutely stunning in person as she is on film, a petite beauty with locks that fell in perfect waves. Someone make a tutorial on Summer Glau’s hair, STAT! As her session ended, we expected to be ushered out with the other media but surprisingly were allowed to linger and witnessed Laura Vandervoot coming in to meet and fangirl over Summer almost as much as we were doing ourselves! All too soon though, we decided to head out and ran into several of the gamer models for Charisma+2, including owner and founder, Yvonna Lynn (who was representing the warrior princesses dressed as Xena!) before heading out for the day.
Unfortunately, the moment that the convention was over, fans took to the Interweb/Facebook/Youtube to vent their personal frustrations on waiting 3+ hours for autographs and swag in a packed Dealer’s Room. Listening to fellow fans around us definitely shed some light on their experiences and expectations, though Con-goes need to expect the unexpected at times and remember that not every issue can be blamed on someone else. Stan Lee and Patrick Stewart, both previously scheduled for the entire weekend, ended up having to cut their visits short as their schedules changed which prompted a lot of attendees to shift the days they planned to attend to make sure they saw who they paid for. The conclusion of the convention saw numerous fans lodging complaints with the convention organizers, most notably a one hour long diatribe from YouTube user escottish140 personally directed to Ben Stevens, to the point where NBC sought out Dallas personality, cosplayer and long time Convention fiend, Taffeta Darling, to get her thoughts on the whole thing based on her initial response video to escottish140. You can also read the full article via Aggressive Comix HERE.
Despite the small slice of negativity, most fans realize that the mishaps, mistakes and mayhem of conventions is part of the excitement that leads us geeks to go there in the first place! If you attended DCC, what were the highlights of your experience? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out our photos on FB!