We’re All Still Here

Still working lots of overtime although I’ve gotten two Saturdays off in a row. The critters are all stable at the moment (Suzu’s and Miki’s annual blood work was unchanged) although we do have good and bad walking days. Caring for geriatric babies is hard work, but they need me to keep them comfy as long as I can. 

Patience handled being home alone while Suzu and Miki were at the vet far better than expected. She did pee on a dog blanket, but there was no other destruction…and no barking when we approached the door. Hm. 

Back to chilling with TV, comics, and books to decompress after a very long week!

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Fanbase Press Invites Readers to Check In at ‘Hero Hotel’


Fanbase Press Invites Readers to Check-in at ‘Hero Hotel’

LOS ANGELES, CA – August 15, 2016 – Fanbase Press is excited to announce the newest addition to its comic book publishing slate with writer/artist Yehudi Mercado’s (Pantalones, TX, Rocket Salvage) creator-owned series, Hero Hotel.

Hero Hotel is a hilarious all-ages comic book series that follows Chet and his cat, Boomer, as they work in a hotel… a hotel for super heroes! Awesome, right? Wrong. Because there’s nothing worse than a hero on vacation.

Collected into a trade paperback featuring four side-splitting adventures, Hero Hotel will be a full-color book that will be released on November 21, 2016.  In addition, the trade paperback will feature bonus stories by several notable creators, including Dennis Culver (Edison Rex, E Is for Extinction).  Additional guest creators will be announced leading up to Hero Hotel’s November release.

For Mercado (co-writer and art director of The Guardians of the Galaxy mobile game), Hero Hotel has been a long-time dream project:

“When I was in elementary school, I used to tell my family that I wanted to become a Hotel Manager,” says Mercado. “My sisters and I used to play hotel all the time. We’d use our stuffed animals as the guests, and we’d put masking tape on all the doors and write the room numbers on them. I would deliver room service and officiate various teddy bear weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. While other kids were playing cops and robbers, I was making beds and putting peppermints on pillows. After working on Marvel properties at Disney Interactive, Hero Hotel let’s me explore the other side of superheroes.”

Hero Hotel is currently available for pre-order through the Fanbase Press website (www.fanbasepress.com), and pre-orders made by Wednesday, October 12, 2016, will receive an original sketch of one of the heroes in the book! The trade paperback will be released for sale on November 21, 2016.

Founded in 2010, Fanbase Press (formerly Fanboy Comics) is a comic book publisher and an online community supporting other creators and fans through daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts that span the pop culture spectrum.  Fanbase Press seeks to provide an outlet for up-and-coming artists and writers with a desire to create new works and media.

Fanbase Press’ previous graphic novels, Something Animal, Identity Thief, The Arcs, Fearworms: Selected Poems, and Penguins vs. Possums, are available online in the Fanbase Press Online Store and digitally through ComiXology.

For more information on Hero Hotel, please visit http://www.HeroHotelComic.com or http://www.fanbasepress.com.   Hero Hotel may also be found on Facebook and Twitter, @HeroHotelComic.


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Posting May Be Spotty

I’m working a lot of overtime right now on top of caring for my geriatric pups (Suzu is actually doing much better though!), so Sunday is my one day off. I don’t have much mental energy to come up with posts, so if something strikes me I’ll write, and if it doesn’t I won’t. Hopefully things will calm down soon even if the extra money is awesome. 

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And Now Sick Dogs

Last night Patience woke me up to provide door service and discovered that Suzu wasn’t in the bedroom. I found her lying on blankets in the living room, and when I tried to help her up she was unable to stand. When I supported her torso her back feet were unable to flip back into proper standing position, a sure sign of neurological problems.  I scooped her up and put Suzu in the bed with Miki and me, fitfully falling asleep wrapped around my little old dogs.  

I unearthed the dog stroller in the garage this morning even though Suzu was shakily able to stand in the grass. Both Suzu’s and Miki’s back legs have gotten progressively weaker, so they can barely make it around the block. After they peed on the walk, I bundled both dogs into the stroller. Suzu definitely was feeling peppier because she managed to throw herself out of the stroller, but Miki mostly enjoyed getting wheeled around in the dog chariot. 

I’m so thankful Suzu seems to feel better today because I was afraid that the end was imminent in the middle of the night. Neither she nor Miki appear to be in pain, but I always worry. Still this type of neurological episode implies Suzu is going downhill quickly. I just need to focus on loving her and building up my emotional reserves for when the time comes. 

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Sick Kitty

My Gabe kitty has obviously lost weight, so it’s a tough time at my house right now. Blood work was inconclusive, so he’s getting an ultrasound on Wednesday. The vet suggested pancreatitis, but I’m worried about cancer. 
My bigger worry is that I’m struggling to find things Gabe will eat. He nibbles at dry kibble, scarfs treats, and will lick tuna cans though, so those may be our staples for a while. I have ideas for healthier options, but finances limit how quickly I can buy them. 

I just hope Wednesday brings some answers. 

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Fanbase Press #Geeks Care interviews Zachary Levi of NerdHQ about Operation Smile!


Fanbase Feature / Geeks Care: Zachary Levi’s NerdHQ Partners with Operation Smile (Exclusive Interview)

As a special feature of The Fanbase Weekly podcast, the Fanbase Feature focuses on and celebrates a specific element of geek culture.  When Fanbase Press is not providing you with the latest in geek news and entertainment, the Fanbase staff hopes to offer our readers a myriad of opportunities to give back to the community. We love reading comics, watching movies, and playing video games, but we are never happier than when we are able to help others in need. With #GeeksCare: How You Can Help, Fanbase Press will provide you a variety of causes that would greatly appreciate your time.

In this joint Fanbase Feature / Geeks Care installment, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with actor and NerdHQ co-found Zachary Levi regarding NerdHQ‘s partnership with Operation Smile, the largest volunteer-based medical charity that has been providing free cleft surgeries since 1982.  Nerd HQ is a FREE, four-day event held the same weekend as San Diego Comic-Con and offers exclusive gaming and tech activations, nightly events, and intimate celebrity panels benefiting Operation Smile. The event is scheduled to be held July 21-24, 2016, at The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego, California.  Dillon and Levi discuss the genesis of The Nerd Machine and NerdHQ, how he became aware of Operation Smile, and how fans can get involved and give back to Operation Smile to help children all across the globe.

Find the full audio interview at: Fanbase Press!

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Serena’s Plight by Carol Madison Book Review


Serena has grown up poor, unambitious, and unmotivated since she knows her life will never be more than she has now.  She’ll become her minimum wage earning alcoholic mother struggling to get by on her meager paychecks if her dreams don’t come true…Serena envies her childhood best friend, Sam Everhart, for having a normal family, but she also thinks he started her downfall into being used by her string of boyfriends when they had sex and then she was unceremoniously dumped. By the end of high school Serena has given up hope of being with Sam, but when he approaches her with a proposal to help him afford the Ivy Leagues and get her out of backwoods Kentucky she finds herself giving in…even if it means letting the young man she thought she loved turn her into a high priced whore.

I have absolutely no problem with erotica, and I’ve read a variety of novels with explicit sexual content.  However, my initial reaction to the blurb for Serena’s Plight was “How is this romantic? She loves him, but she lets him pimp her out? We’re supposed to want these people to get together at the end of the trilogy?” (Yes, there are three volumes to Serena’s degradation).  I decided to give it a chance to prove that the topic could be handled in a compelling, engaging manner.  Unfortunately, Serena’s Plight was worse than I could have imagined.

First, I envisioned Sam and Serena have a sweet but platonic relationship that bordered on the line between friendship and love, which is why Sam felt that he could beg Serena to sleep with Ivy League men to help him pay his way through college.  It still feels pretty icky, but at least there’s a bond that helps explain why a young desperate woman would sacrifice herself. The author of Serena’s Plight told me that Serena and Sam shared a strong bond, but they’d barely spoken after he dumped her right before high school (oh, and right after they’d had sex a few times).  Sam even tells his childhood friend that the “only thing she’s good at is sex,” which is why he thinks this might be an opportunity for her. Nothing convinced me that Serena cared enough for her first boyfriend to let him pimp her out.  Actually, neither of the two primary characters felt well-developed enough to read as more than a bad porno (seriously, at one point Serena goes over her looks and her cup size as she gets older, which feels like male gaze more than female in a book allegedly marketed to women).

The other characters don’t have much more in the way of development.  Serena’s johns mostly exist in terms of their penis size, physique, and how comfortable they are with sex. Other than a few brief exceptions they treat the main character well, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are paying for sexual access and companionship. Mrs. Nobels, Serena’s elderly landlady, seems too good to be true given that she never questions the rotating stream of young men to the cottage’s door and even gives her tenant the head’s up that the pool isn’t visible from the house and that it’s okay to have sex in the hot tub (although I did love her encouraging Serena to read by having her start books by reading them outloud until it was obvious the young woman was hooked). Everyone seems to love Serena, which almost makes her a self-insert except that she’s not bright and has a horrible background.

Aside from the abysmal character development the entire book suffers from various typos.  The most egregious caused me to snicker wildly because it could have been fixed with a good editor.  Authors, there is a distinct difference between “striping” and “stripping;” only one is considered erotic. Once would have been forgivable, but when the wrong word is used nearly twenty times in a long scene I couldn’t unsee it.None of the other errors were quite as bad, but repeated words and phrases or bad spacing did not improve the reading experience.

For many readers the characters in an erotic novel don’t matter, and they can forgive a multitude of writing sins if the sex is steamy and exciting. Unfortunately, for me Serena’s sex scenes with her various johns just got, well, dull. I liked the non-bedroom interaction between the lead and the various young men who had purchased time with her, but it wasn’t enough to make me care about the drawn out, mostly vanilla sex scenes between two people in a business transaction. For me part of the thrill of erotica is when there’s an element of a chase between two or more people who are drawn together by various forces. Because Serena is an exclusive prostitute there is no chase, no will they-won’t they. The sex is a foregone conclusion, which just contributed to my lack of interest in the story.  The fact Sam develops jealousy toward Serena’s sex partners as the story progresses is supposed to add an element of excitement, but their bond was so poorly developed that I just didn’t care. Besides becoming a high class call girl wasn’t Serena’s idea, so Sam needs to own up to his role in advertising and soliciting her exclusive lovers for pay and accept that he created the situation.

Overall, I started out hating the concept of Serena’s Plight but I ultimately found the presentation even worse. It wasn’t well-written enough to be edgy and help me look at things from Serena’s perspective (if it had made me understand her struggle with loving her pimp but supporting him by selling herself, etc, I might have been more sympathetic), and the characters all felt like tropes i.e. the incredibly beautiful but poverty stricken girl, the boy next door, the shy guy who can’t talk to women, the artist, the intellectual, etc. If you can get past all this and enjoy porn without pictures, this book is for you.  However, I cannot, in good conscious, recommend this book to anyone. It’s so flat that I would have stopped reading it if I hadn’t committed to providing an honest review.

1 Penis Measurement at a Glance out of 5

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