Welcome to the world of The Brooding Muse! We would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves, we’re Patrick + Jen an originally awesome East Coast couple now residing in the Olympia, WA area. We have found Washington to be a very interesting place with a culture all to its own.

Olympia is a very eclectic place, lying in a region well known for its creativity with boasting names as Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Pratt, Jimi Hendrix, Bill Gates, Kurt Cobain, and members of Pearl Jam and Queensryche.

Recently there has been a wave of creativity in the direction of comics and art as shown by the growing popularity of regional comic cons such as Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle and Rose city in Portland which both boast nearly 100,00 visitors yearly.

After settling into our place we found ourselves getting some commissioned artwork back for use on a website of ours. The picture included a spider, lantern, and a wicked cool stained glass window that just begged to have its past uncovered, to be given a purpose of a higher calling. And with that picture began the story of The Brooding Muse.

We are so happy you are along for the adventure. We have a great story to tell. So hang on, enjoy, and have fun!

Stake the date! We promise more menace and intrigue to follow in spades as new pages to sink your fangs into arrive next month so bookmark us and stick around!

Until then…Get in the fight! – Join The Resistance – head over to our Prologue page or click the book on our home page to read away and march along with Kayla and Company on the path.

New News? What’s the News!?

Hey everyone, I want to welcome you to the world of the Brooding Muse. After almost two years of working hard to bring her to life we are super excited to be live and active for all to see.

I have to tell you, it was one heck of a ride getting the webcomic to where it is now. It started back in 2016 as an idea from a piece of artwork we had done for our sister site The Sonic Fringe. This illustration was of a spider, a girl w/ a sword, and a story to be told. And so it began…

Our vision as we started out was to make something that we ourselves would enjoy reading. Its origins lie in the black and white horror fantasy comics of the 60’s and 70’s with some early 80’s mixed in too. We always enjoyed story based content, Eerie Magazine, Creepy Magazine, The Savage Sword of Conan, and comics like The Walking Dead. So using influences such as those, we ended up with something entirely original and by itself.

Here I will give you a behind the scenes look at some of the obstacles we have encountered and have gradually overcome. We have always put what was best for our story first and foremost. We also thought about what we would want to see and in the best interest of the reader. An example of this very thing was early on, when the artist we were working with began handing back pages, that we came to the conclusion that the style the comic was heading in just wasn’t what we wanted for our story, it just didn’t have the right feel. But it was perfect to use for storyboarding and to develop concepts. Also due to circumstances, the pages were being completed out of order, so it made the final version of the work harder to see. Then on top of all of this, pages were taking 4 weeks or more each to complete, this amount of time was an eye opener to people who had never done this before.

Then I came across Nik on FB, where he is an active part of the Warren Publishing Co’s groups and posts work that he does for the magazine “Creeps” I immediately loved his style and showed Patrick as I saw this type of art being perfect for our own comic. We decided to touch base with him and see if he would be interested in working with us. We were very happy when he got back to us and said he was.

In the following weeks we set him to work on page one of the prologue. We worked around deadlines he already had with others and he did a great job getting us in and started. Over the coming months he worked away on getting the first few pages of the prologue done and is currently on stand by as we get pages funded, to start on them as he is able.

This is where you can help! We are proudly an independent working on getting the pages completed. As you may have seen we have a great merchandise collection where any proceeds from the purchase goes directly to funding pages being completed and posted online monthly. Ads! We also have ads that by clicking and visiting them helps us fund pages as well, and a donation section too through which we are putting proceeds towards to create new pages. We are absolutely amazed by the good nature and positivity of all of you and we truly can’t thank you enough.

Always feel free to drop us a line and say hello and please spread the word of Kayla and Company to friends, family, and neighbors it’s appreciated absolutely and we would love to hear from everyone.

Jen…and Patrick!

The Herald Sings

Hey Brooding Muse fans! For the news this week I’m writing on all the fantastic events going on in the region for all of us comic and toy fans. Here in WA state we are lucky to have a ton of events that are unique and that everyone will find something to enjoy if you’ve been to a pop culture convention, or comic con as their commonly referred to, you know they are a great place to meet like-minded folks of your favorite tv or monster star and pick up some unique and exclusive merchandise. Also, if you find yourself one of those that like to dress up, those events are known for their huge cosplay communities, often offering contests and meet ups to further encourage participation.

There has been extensive growth in cons in the past several years with the different cons of all sizes cropping up all over the country. But unfortunately with such growth comes the end of others. Our family experienced this in January, we had tickets to the Walker Stalker Con (a con dedicated to fans of the tv show The Walking Dead) to be held in Portland. Then came the email that stated the con had been cancelled due to slow ticket sakes despite sales such as $10 tickets and buy 1 ticket, get 2 free. We, like so many, we’re very disappointed but since then they announced their intention to try again in Portland next year, so here’s hoping it works out better then!

Coming up in March is our family favorite of Emerald City Comic Con or ECCC in Seattle. It is held yearly in the spring at the WA State Convention Center. We usually go every year however this year we decided to skip. There were no favorite celeb guests to meet and so we decided to try two new events out in May which I’ll mention in a bit. ECCC is just a fantastic time. Aside from the headlining guests there are comic guests, panels, exhibits halls, and a large artist alley area. ECCC is unique in that it has a dedicated area for regional artists where you can go show your support for artists of the area. We always come back with either a great photo op picture or merchandise from our favorite brands or both!

Now I mentioned our 2 new events were doing this year. Funny thing is they both fall on the same weekend in May so it will be a busy one! The first is called Everfree North West in Seattle. I personally can’t wait for this one as this is an all age’s convention for fans of My Little Pony. I am a lifelong fan of My Little Pony having a decently sized collection of the 80’s generation of ponies myself. Even my two little kids want to go to this one! The other event that shares this weekend is Minefaire, and official Minecraft community event taking place at Century Link Field.  The kids love Minecraft so this will be a super fun event to do with them and we are definitely excited to try it out and add these new events to our family life!

A new event that has come up on the last few years is the WA State Summer Con (formerly the WA State Toy and Geek Fest) held at the WA State fairgrounds in Puyallup, WA. This event is definitely carving itself a nice part of the con audience for themselves.  This year they have the following guests scheduled: Billy Dee Williams, Carl Weathers, John Ratzenberger, and many others. This con is very affordable with tickets ranging from $35 for a one day and $60 for a 2 day with kids to age 12 $15 and under four free. We haven’t made it to this one yet but hope to soon.

The other larger con in the area is Rose City Comic Con held in Portland, OR. We have gone to this one twice and have had a great time. This is a typical con with guests, panels, exhibitors, and artists. It is generally a bit smaller in size than ECCC but has been growing larger each year.

Lastly and worth noting a large contributor to the market of collectables at these cons is toy manufacturer Funko. Funko’s HQ is just up the interstate from us a bit in Everett, WA. The HQ is a wonderful toy wonderland for kids and adults to enjoy. We have visited it ourselves and had a wonderful time. It’s a great asset to have these guys in our region.

The events I mentioned here just covers till September, and there are other town cons/events out there if you are interested. In Olympia in June is the Olympia Comics Festival which is fantastic to have locally. We have found, since moving here 5 years ago, that Washington State and the greater NW area has a lot to offer and delivers year after year rich experiences to fans of all things nerdy and of popular culture and grows each year. One day sooner rather than later you may even see The Brooding Muse there!

As always, we want to extend our deepest thanks for all your support as we continue to get the word out there about the Brooding Muse. Until next time…Keep an eye out for the conventions in your area and enjoy all they have to offer!

Star Trek News 🙂

What do you find interesting in today’s television?  We here have discovered a wonderful little streaming device in Roku. We have found that Comcast even has a streaming service in where you can get the “basic” channels streamed to the device. We, for several reasons, had been away from TV for a few years for several reasons, so we are a bit behind the times in what it has to offer.

Recently on one of these channels, we discovered for a few fun hours every evening they play one episode from each of the Star Trek series starting with the Original Series, the Next Generation,  Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. Now we are fans of the first two and have awesomely fun, laid back evenings incorporating watching these shows into our night when possible.  I have always loved the original series and William Shatner’s beloved Capt. Kirk, even having met the legend himself at a con a few years back. And the Next Generation ranks as one of my top 5 TV shows ever. We watch these shows with some popcorn, wine, a cold beer and some good company.

Enjoying nights like these really makes it clear that no matter how much TV and its delivery methods have changed, some things don’t change at all. And it makes me happy that there is still an audience that includes us here at the Muse that enjoy evenings such as these.

What are some of your favorite TV shows? Do you think TV has gotten better or worse over time?

Catwoman and Company

So as you all know Friday March 8 was International Women’s day, celebrating the global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. As a woman myself, I can get behind a day celebrating equality and justice for a group of people I am a member of. This day dates back to 1911 Europe and has only grown since.

Comics have always been a welcoming home for strong female characters, and our own Brooding Muse is no different. Traveling back in time to Feb 1940, is the first known female super hero by writer-artist Fletcher Hanks. “Fantomah” was an ageless, ancient Egyptian woman in the modern day who could transform into a skull faced creature with superpowers to fight evil. She debuted in Fiction House’s Jungle Comics #2 Feb 1940.

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, holds the official Guinness Book record of the first female character to act as the main heroine in her own comic series. Her first issue was published in the US in 1942.

Back then it is estimated that females made up 50% of comic book readership. Growing from these roots you now, once again, have a huge influx of female fans watching movies and TV shows, and cosplaying their favorite character at conventions all over the world. Statistics show female readers are the fastest growing group enjoying comic books.

Now according to online sources consistently the most popular heroine is Wonder Woman. As a warrior for the Amazons, Diana shows a fearlessness and perseverance that would rival any male counterpart as well as a self belief I would be proud of any young girl to emulate. She also displays compassion and kindness dedicated to defending those who can’t defend themselves. She also shows a great physical strength.

On the other side of the aisle is another favorite, Catwoman, one of the most popular villains. Her real name is Selina Kyle, and was one of the first female TV characters that showed what empowerment for a female was. She had her own gang of male followers, she had a take charge attitude and on top of all that, beauty. She was her own woman and has been dating back to 1940, having had her own comic for 15 years now. She now has had some martial arts training and has lost those most impractical heels to improve her fighting abilities.  She also now has a daughter.  She sees herself as a protector of the poor and disadvantaged, interestingly enough, also an accurate description of Wonder Woman.

One last female, one of many worth noting, is also from Batman, is Poison Ivy.  A Gotham City botanist, Dr. Pamela Islet got her powers when she was injected with plant toxins. She joins forces with Bane and Mr. Freeze to try and take over Gotham.  What she really wants is to giver her beloved plants the ability to fight back against humans who are destroying Mother Nature. Her personality is deceptive, seductive and will do anything to protect and safeguard the environment even if it means death to the destructors. She prefers to blow her pheromone dust to attract Gotham City residents.

Looking back at these three well known female comic book characters you can see how each characters brings a caring and protectiveness to a specific group of living things.  Whether they are the poor, the Amazons, or Mother Nature herself they all have a female guardian in the comic book realm. What is your favorite comic book heroine or female villain?  Write us and let us know either here or on Facebook! 

MY LITTLE PONY AWESOMENESS!

1981 was the best of years, not only because it was the year I was born it was also the birth year of my favorite toyline ever…My Little Pony.

Back then however it was known as My Pretty Pony. The first generation or “G1” toyline started in 1982 and ran to 1992 in the US and 1995 internationally. Hasbro, having sold around 150 million ponies in the 80s eventually produced 2 animated specials, a feature length film and 2 animated TV series. There have been four updates to the toys attempting to appeal to new and younger audiences.

The first line, known as G1 evolved from the unsuccessful My Pretty Pony line and was developed by Bonnie Zacherle in 1981. Each pony featured a colorful body, brush able hair and a unique symbol or “cutie mark” on their rear. The My Pretty Pony line was a 10 in tall hard plastic figure that could wiggle its ears, swish its tail and wink an eye. When My Little Pony came out they were more colorful and smaller in size. Six ponies were initially introduced known as Earth Ponies, their names were Cotton Candy, Blossom, Snuzzle, Blue Belle, Minty and Butterscotch.

In 1997 came G2 which proved to be unsuccessful in the US but a bit more liked in Western Europe. The ponies featured jewel eyes, longer legs, turning heads and were smaller in size. Hasbro ceased production in the US in 1999 and several years later in Europe.

The 3rd gen or G3 began in 2003 targeting a younger audience than in the past. Accompanied by several animated films, this version ended in 2009.

Generation 4 began in 2010 and runs through the present day. During this time My Little Pony saw a theatrically released movie and a TV series titled My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It was also here where adult fans grew in number and became collectors.

In addition and lastly, and I am only mentioning this for the accuracy of the timelines, is the Equestria Girls version, and they were introduced in 2013.

As a child I adored My Little Pony and as an adult I still do. I have managed to amass a rather large collection of G1 ponies that also contain many European exclusives from my time living in Germany.

Recently my family and I have enjoyed finding all the 35th anniversary re-releases found in Target stores. Now on the fourth line, with more planned, these ponies are reproductions that are very well done and are produced by Basic fun. Any collector or fan of My Little Pony is going to want these. They come with their own collectible poster or sticker, their own brush and ribbon. They are very reasonably priced at $9.99.

Lastly to celebrate all things My Little Pony there are now fan conventions dedicated to the fandom and they are popping up nationwide. Here in Washington, Seattle plays host to Everfree Northwest on May 17-19. For the first time my family and I are going and will have a blast! I absolutely cannot think of a better way to spend time with the family than celebrating My Little Pony!!

If you’re interested in learning more about the G1 vintage version of My Little Pony, visit http://www.ponylandpress.com for complete identification, information and more!

We here at the Brooding Muse love to hear from our fans and supporters. Drop us a line and let us know what you think. Be sure to check out our Prologue pages and have fun reading away. We update monthly so book your return visit in a few weeks!

Have fun, read away and happy collecting!
Jen 🙂

Star Wars

Dec 20, 2019, No this isn’t the date for some great Christmas sale it’s the release date of the 9th Star Wars movie and we are already excited. We are huge Star Wars fans here, in fact my first tattoo is of Darth Vader, which since then other characters have joined in. The Star Wars galaxy also has grown, the amount of products out there has grown exponentially since the original release of the films. Many would say Star Wars started the toy collecting hobby.

Since 1983 when episode six, Return of the Jedi came out, a prequel trilogy arrived in theatres between 1999 and 2005 and after that a decade passed without another film released. Then came 2015 and a whole new sequel trilogy beginning with The Force Awakens began along with these new movies came new clothing, accessories and toys. Our family loved it. I personally stock up on shirts, backpacks, even toys.

I was never a big fan of the prequel trilogies but I very much enjoyed The Force Awakens seeing it in 3d IMAX in addition to the 2d film. It was an awesome experience of again seeing new Star Wars movies in the theatre, having missed the experience being too young of the original ones. Now I could share this with my sons as well.

Last Dec, 2017 when The Last Jedi came out was a similar experience, we had a blast. Even though the movie wasn’t quite the hit that The Force Awakens was, it was still quite and event for us to go see it in the theatre. We were actually visiting relatives on the East Coast at the time.

We took pictures and all to mark and remember the occasion. In addition to the trilogies, Disney experimented with the individual background story of Han Solo- called Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018. Even though it made $329.9 million with its $300 million budget it was largely considered a failure by Star Wars standards. And then there was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 2016. It is mainly battle scene after battle scene. That film took home a $319 million profit and was better received then the Solo movie.

Here in 2019 we see the Star Wars universe larger than it has ever been. There are events, exhibits, and even Disney itself has built new parks in its Disneyland and Disney World parks called Galaxy’s Edge to give fans the ultimate Star Wars experience.

I see no end to their growth as more movies are planned and the Star Wars world grows in all directions as fans and money call. What do you expect, or want to see in the newest Star Wars movie? Feel free to drop us a line and let us know!! We would love to hear your thoughts!

“I Am She-Ra!”

“For the honor of Greyskull, I am She-Ra!” These are the words spoken by my favorite female character since I was young, Prince Adams twin sister, Princess Adora, or She-Ra.

Adora, along with her Great Rebellion, battles against the Horde and freeing Eternia from their control. Initially she is introduced as Force Capt. Adora, an agent of the Horde, who discovers that she is the long-lost twin sister of Adam of Eternia, also known as He-Man.

She had been kidnapped by the commander of the Horde, Hordak, as a baby. She is given the Sword of Protection which is like He-Man’s Sword of Power, and gains the ability to become and transform into She-Ra. She is a part of the larger Masters of the Universe intended to capture the interest of girls in the same way He-Man did to boys.

Her introduction came in the movie “The Secret of the Sword.” Adora and Adam were from Eternia, her parents where King Randor and Queen Marlena. Adam is sent to Eternia to find the Sword of Protections rightful owner by the Sorceress. It is through the jewel in the sword that it is revealed what happened to Adora. By saying “For the honor of Greyskull!” She is transformed into “She-Ra”. Along with her horse Spirit who also transforms into her alter ego, a unicorn named “Swift Wind”. Adora having been trained and raised by the Horde, assumes the Rebellions leadership and the battle to free Eternia from the Horde continues with a new heroine.

Along the way we meet She-Ra’s friends and foes in the rebellion, and there are many. There’s Glimmer, Bow the Archer, Mermista, Madame Razz, Shadow Weaver, Kowl, Entrapta, Frosta, Catra, Castaspella, Broom, Grizzlor, Angella, Sweet Bee, Perfuma, Light Hope, Flutterina, Hem-Man, and of course Hordak.

She-Ra was surprisingly a toy line produced by Mattel before she was anything else. She was produced with the intention to expand the Masters of the Universe to girls. Mattel provided financial backing for the series which ran for 93 episodes of 2 seasons 1985-86. The toys in the 80’s were released as part of the Princess of Power toy line and the Evil Horde was made part of the Masters of the Universe. New toys were released in the 2000s including our Princess She-Ra for the MOTU 200X line. Now the toy line is continued by Super 7 as well as a MOTU dedicated convention called Powercon which has a nice turn out yearly, as well as a thriving community with awesome sites like he-man.org we are big fans of both!!

Most recently there has been a relaunch of sorts in 2018 of She-Ra called Princess of Power on Netflix. Along with a complete new look, the characters are smaller and younger in an attempt to appeal to kids. The represent different ethnicities and backgrounds. The show has just been renewed for its second season and despite its new look it has been fairly well received. I personally have a hard time getting past their drastic difference in appearance and the fact their much younger- they’re kids. But it is nice to see She-Ra back in the headlines, gaining new fans and continuing the MOTU Legacy. We are even getting new She-Ra toys, that’s cause for celebration for sure!

What do you guys think? Do you like the new younger She-Ra? Have you watched the shows on Netflix? Drop us a line and let us know what you think.

The Rise of Skywalker

So you’ve probably seen it, definitely heard about it, we finally have the title and first trailer for Star Wars episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker. The rather ambiguous trailer succeeds at answering nothing, only raising more questions that’s bound to increase leading up to its release in December. I’m the type of person to go into the movie theater opening night not having read any opinions or theories online or anywhere else for that matter. More often than not opinions turn into complaints and agendas-neither of which will ever represent Star Wars to me. In our family we are huge Star Wars fans and to me its the greatest series of movies ever made. Sure there’s been some failures in the series like Jar Jar Binks and pretty much the entire “Attack of the Clones” movie but the series has also managed to get a lot of things right.

I am one of the fans that liked “The Last Jedi.” I thought it was a refreshing break from the Star Wars formula that this new series has been following from the original three. Episode 9 appears to, with JJ Abrams directing, be back to that formula possibly undoing some of those changes.

The biggest surprise to come out of the trailer besides seeing Kylo welding his helmet back together and Lando back at the helm of the falcon was the laughter at the end with the black screen. Think back…its a familiar laugh, familiar voice…its someone that’s been there from the beginning looming over it all…Palpatine. Although the actor who portrays the emperor, Ian Mcdiarmid, says he was and still is dead according to George Lucas, I am hoping for a return. But as with it all, we will have to wait and see.

One loose end that has been drug through this newest trilogy is the background of our hero Rey. It was revealed by none other than Kylo Ren himself that her parentage was unremarkable, born of junk traders as opposed to being a descendant of the Skywalkers. If true, it brings the new possibility that Rey could be a powerful force figure without the almighty Skywalker genes. That itself is a rather new concept for Star Wars. If that turns out to be false and Kylo was being facetious and Rey is a relative of our buddy Luke, then I fear we’ve been a bit hoodwinked into a retelling of Luke’s story. One other thing, that i mentioned before that caught my eye (I’m a big Kylo fan) is the cut to him welding that iconic mask back together…Darth Vader’s biggest fanboy is back!

So back to that title. ..The Rise of Skywalker…this could point to several different outcomes. What I hope happens, is Kylo reveals his true good self and reclaims the Skywalker legacy. Or could this refer to Leia, who after Carrie Fisher’s untimely death, JJ Abrams built scenes around un-aired footage from the Force Awakens. Will any of it actually involve Luke? We will all have to wait impatiently for several more months to see for sure where this final Skywalker driven Star Wars will go. Will this one follow a nostalgia laden plot or go the way of a more radical one? The good thing is we have 8 more months to guess, speculate, and theorize how one of the best and most popular familial legacies will come to a close.

We here at the Brooding Muse love to hear from our supporters, so drop us a line, tell us what you think! Head on over to the Prologue read away and then check out our awesome merchandise taken right from the comic. Purchases from our shop directly supports the comic and producing our pages. Thanks for reading!!

Jen

He can fly!

Recently our family got to see the new live action Dumbo that just arrived in the theaters. Now encase you missed it this is the live action rendition of the 1941 animated classic Dumbo. It is directed by the great Tim Burton and stars Danny DeVito, Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Alan Arkin and Eva Green. The run time is a comfortable 2 hours.

We are a bunch of animal lovers in my family, not lovers of circuses who cruelly keep wild animals locked up, forcing them to learn and perform tricks to do in front of crowds of people. Often that process includes enduring physical and emotional abuse at the hands of “trainers” their entire lives. The beloved original centers around a loving mother elephant, Mrs Jumbo, who has her baby delivered via stork and whose baby is not like the others. Dumbo, who he is later named, has been blessed with extremely large, winglike ears and is ostracized from the other elephants. He makes a friend in Timothy mouse and together they forge a friendship that truly is Dumbos only friend, other than mom who is cruelly imprisoned following an “attack” protecting her baby. The original was produced in 1941 at a time when there were no animal rights, advocates or thought put into this inherently cruel institution. Now in 2019, things are very different. Nothing could send that message clearer than the shuttering of Ringling Brothers circus in 2017 after 146 years of being dubbed the “Greatest Show on Earth.” Nope, your not any longer and I’ve been waiting to see this out for a long time. So I was very interested in how this long outdated idea would be replayed on the big screen in this live action adaptation. So the kiddos and I took the afternoon, after watching the original prior to going, to see it on a day off from school. The verdict-my oldest, age 9, called it “probably the best movie I’ve ever seen.” It was superb. Tim Burton worked his magic and created an all ages movie that will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. It does not sugarcoat what circuses are but depicts the reality in a way that kids won’t find startling or jolting, but hopefully may question why. They will definitely see the unpleasantness of the experience and if that is ever in question the ending, which differs from the 1941 original, cements that fact. Times have finally changed and the film acknowledges this in the ending. Animals in captivity would not choose their “happy ending” to be an upgraded captivity by going from the circus to film roles as the original ends with. Burton has put in place a revised ending that better defines “happy ending” the one I’m sure Mrs Jumbo and Dumbo would really want.

My family and I could not recommend Dumbo enough for a great movie to see with the family, or anyone for that matter. Danny DeVito is excellent as family circus ringleader Medici, opposite Michael Keaton’s Vandemere with family man Holt played by Colin Farrell trying to find his way somewhere in between. Thank you Disney for doing the original film justice while portraying the struggles the animals live with as real and showing our children this is a practice that deserves to die worldwide.

We here at the Brooding Muse want to thank you for your support and ask you to come back at the beginning of each month to see our comic updates and check out my “News” page that gets added to weekly. We love having you along for the ride and hope you stay on and see all the awesomeness we have in store!! Until next week!

Jen

Find that Loot Llama!!

So, anyone out there hear of this game Fortnite? Its the newest video game-pop culture phenomenon that started back in 2017 from Epic Games. Currently its the most popular game in the world boasting more than 125 million players since its inception. It has 3 different game modes, Save the World is player vs environment with up to 4 players cooperating towards a common objective on various missions. The Sandbox is where creators are given complete freedom to create anything they want in an island and then there is Battle Royale. Its a player vs. player for up to 100 players, allowing play in a duo or squad. Players drop from the sky onto the map to begin their search for weapons, items and resources while trying to stay alive avoiding other peoples fire. Creative and the Battle Royale are free to play but monetized through ingame purchases using real money to purchase V bucks which can then be used to buy characters, skins accessories or the Battle Pass.

The idea of Fortnite arose from the idea at Epic games of merging the construction game genre with shooter games. The battle Royale name came from the 2000 Japanese movie of the same name. They are defined as blending survival, exploration and scavenging aspects of a survival type game with last man standing battle. It involves challenging large numbers of people, all starting out with little to no equipment or resources, to find such things while attempting to avoid being trapped outside a safe area whose boundaries are shrinking. The winner is determined by who can survive the longest by being the last competitor standing. Examples of other such games are Epics other game PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds and Apex Legends. All received tens of millions of players within months of their release. Fortnite, during it’s first two weeks of release, saw ten million players taking part. Celebrities began playing it, even using the popular emotes in their public lives. Last year Epic organized a Fortnite Pro Am with 50 pairs of celebrities and pro players that took place at E3 2018. This year its the Fortnite World Cup in June.

Currently there is for the second time, a Fortnite/ Marvel crossover event marking the release of an Avengers movie, this time its Endgame. It features weapons like Thor’s hammer, Capt. America’s shield and Iron Man’s repulsors as well as Black Widow’s skin and accessories. Along with the return of Thanos, there are challenges to open unlockables like the Quinjet as a deployable glider, also Fortnite has announced there will be another skin coming to accompany Black Widow.

Now in its 8th season, Fortnite shows no signs of slowing down. Epic is sure to be already looking at the future finding new ways to keep Fortnite at the front of the pack, looking for the next “big thing,” doing everything it can to keep its success going by adding new features and furthering the story. The game benefits greatly from contributions popular players of the game make to it as well. Along with their daily streaming of game play to their millions of subscribers, they are also beginning to host events as professional esports teams become more popular and professional. They also are taking part in events hosted by Epic like Pro Am and World Cup.

So in the future, when Battle Royales are no longer the most popular type of video game, Epic will still have the apparel, toys, books and costumes that the fans want and ask for. Fans have even began asking for more collectibles that are straight from the game making sure to evolve Fortnite past just the most popular video game and into its own brand. I know Epic will continue to find many more ways to keep Fortnite relevant and in the hands of our children for many more years to come….Parents brace yourselves now.

Do you play Fortnite, finding yourselves hooked to the dances, skins and thrill of victory? Feel free to drop us a line and share your story, we may even post it on our news page! Also, check out our great comic pages we have posted and that update monthly and checkout our merchandise ripe for these warm summer months ahead.

Until next week!!

Jen

From Eerie to Creepy to the Creeps

The era of the horror and fantasy comic appears to have peaked in the 1970s when as a result of self censorship in the 1950s, it flourished in the form of black and white comic magazines from the mid 1960s through the 1980s. The first full length adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde in Gilberton Publications Classic Comics #13 in Aug 1943 appears to be the first dedicated comic book. Avon Publications Eerie (1947) was the first to appear with all original content.

Eerie magazines issue #1 by Avon only published one issue in 1947 before going dormant but by 1951 returned to newsstands as an ongoing magazine. It ran over 17 issues from May/June 1951-Aug/ Sept 1954.

Then in 1966 came Warren Publishing and their Eerie magazine. It was black and white and for newsstand distribution and outside the censorship control of the Comics Code Authority. Its sister publications were Creepy and Vampirella. Warren’s Eerie was published from early 1966 to Feb 1983 for a total of 139 issues, distributed bimonthly. By the later 1960s many of the magazines well know artists had departed due to lack of funding causing Warren to rely on reprints until issue 26 (Mar 1970). Then things began to pick up with Vampirella’s premiere with artists including Frank Frazetta returning for issues 29-33. In Feb 1974, with issue 54, color stories began appearing within its pages. Beginning in late 1971 artists, from the Barcelona studio, Selecciones Illustradra started appearing, which brought well knows Sanjulian, Esteban Moroto, Jamie Brocal and Luis Garcia. Eventually even Alex Toth and John Severin returned followed by a wave of artists from the Phillopines joined Warren until its end in 1983 with issue#139 when Warren went bankrupt.

Eerie’s sister publication was Creepy. Creepy, also a Warren produced magazine, was a black and white newsstand publication that was also outside the comic authority’s code. It was initially published quarterly but went to bimonthly. It was hosted by the character Uncle Creepy. It began in late 1964 till 1983 and was relaunched in 2009 and ran until 2016 for a total of 145 issues.

In 2007, New Comic Company LLC, completed a total rights acquisition from Warren for Eerie and Creepy. Shortly after New Comic Co. completed a partnership agreement with Dark Horse which republished in archival hardcover all 285 issues of Creepy and Eerie. Then starting in 2009, Dark Horse and New Comic Co. published the new Creepy, and it featured art from Bernie Wrightson and Angel Torres.

So now we go from black and white horror comics from Warren Publishing to Warrant Publishing who gives us the modern day tribute to Creepy in their comic magazine The Creeps. It too is black and white and has harnessed the power of former Creepy contributor Richard Corben who is now involved with The Creeps. Now getting ready to release its 19th issue, it proudly boasts original Warren creators Vic Prezio, Don Glut and Nicola Cuti regularly contributing to it. Even fans of heroines/ anti heroines like Vampirella, Lady Death and Red Sonja would find a home with The Creeps. They are a great example of old as well as modern horror comics of all shapes and forms appealing to a variety of audiences. They really capitalize on atmospheres created by classic, dark, creepy, scary comics even described and compared to other comics like Tomb of Dracula, Vampire Tales, and Tales From the Crypt and pulling connections to classic art from Dungeons and Dragons.

Another modern form that is not so common are horror webcomics. They come in several genres like fantasy and dystopia future comics that can take, because of their form, different chances that traditional print floppies can’t. But no matter what the form, they will all have a place in the future of comics.

We at the Brooding Muse, want to remind you that we just posted our new page update, so click on Prologue and check it out. When you’re done there, head on over to check out our summer ready merchandise all taken right out if the pages of our comic. All purchases support the production of more pages! Thanks for reading!

Have you met my friend Jason?

The story of Jason begins with “Friday the 13th” that debuted May 9, 1980. Even without any live appearances he is shown within the memories of his mother, Pamela Voorhees as well as in the hallucinations of the character Alice. Mrs. Voorhee’s memories tell of an earlier time when Jason was a child, attending camp at Crystal lake. The counselors had been preoccupied with themselves when Jason was in the lake appearing to try and ultimately unsuccessfully swim. In the film, it appears he may have drowned, while Pamela worked as a cook at the camp. Moving back to contemporary time, these new visitors to the camp many years later are picked off one by one, each in their own grotesque way. We end with a struggle between Alice and Mrs. Voorhees with one of the two loosing their head.

In the sequel, “Friday the 13th Part 2” (1981) it is revealed Jason is indeed alive, living as a recluse in squalor in the woods. He is now an adult and none too happy about the death of his mother, who he is now out to exact revenge. It is approximately 5 years after the original, with a new set of counselors staying at the camp. Jason wears a burlap sack over his head to hide his deformities. Again one by one the counselors meet their end coming down to a sole survivor battling it out with Jason.

In “Part 3” (1982) his rampage to takeout camp counselors continues when he finds one of his most iconic possessions, his hockey mask. He takes it from one of his victims and wears it from this point on. He has now escaped to an adjacent resort where some friends are staying on their family property. Jason viciously defends his hideout against these teens leaving another battle to the end.

“Friday the 13th The Final Chapter” (1984) picks up where “Part 3” left off with a presumed dead Jason headed to morgue. Here is where he awakens and begins yet another killing spree. He kills his way back to Crystal Lake now focusing his terror on the group of teens renting house there. He then heads next door and meets Trish and Tommy Jarvis. Tommy is eventually able to kill Jason.

“Part 5 A New Beginning ” (1985) now follows the new lead character, a protagonist introduced in “Part 4,” Tommy Jarvis. He had been so traumatized by Jason in his previous encounter he has now been committed to a mental hospital, haunted constantly by thoughts of Jason’s return. “A New Beginning” follows a copycat killer who has now taken the persona of Jason and continues his reign of terror. The actual Jason only appears as dreams and hallucinations.

“Friday the 13th Part 6 Jason Lives” (1986) again finds Tommy Jarvis confronting his past leaving the institution and looking for Jason’s supposedly cremated remains. In his quest for closure, he finds himself doing the unthinkable and resurrecting the buried body of Jason and dealing with those consequences.

That leads of course to “Part 7 The New Blood” (1988) after an untold amount of time since “Jason Lives” with again Jason being resurrected by unsuspecting victims. Moving along to “Part 8 Jason Takes Manhattan” that gets a bit too much after Jason reaches Manhattan after stowing away with a group of high school students and their class trip aboard a river cruise boat.

“Friday the 13th Part 9” is also called “Jason Goes to Hell:The Final Friday” (1993). After that was “Jason X” (2002) and “Freddy vs. Jason in which Jason battles his box office foe, Freddy Kruger. In 2009 came the inevitable reboot attempt and even since that there are always rumblings of yet another reboot in the future. These movies stray further and further away from the original Jason and plot, mainly focusing on gore and how many people people Jason can kill.

Even after 12 movies that have Benn made about him, he is a pop culture icon and people will always be asking for more. Now whether what we get is worth our time and money, we will just have to wait and see.

Do you have a favorite Jason movie? Drop us a line and tell us, and make sure to head over check out the prologue and take a look at our merchandise, it all supports the production of our comic.

Yo Joe!

So awhile back I wrote about my personal favorite toyline of My Little Pony. Well another favorite of mine is another of Hasbro’s oldest, GI Joe. There were two versions that were considered successful, the 22″ and 3.75″. The 12″ ones were the original, debuting in Feb 1964. Known as Action Man abroad, the line was relaunched in 1982 in 3.75″ scale figures complete with playsets and vehicles, to aide the GI Joe team in their struggle against the Cobra. The line in the US eventually evolved into the Real American Hero line and Action Man became Action Force.

When you first think of GI Joe, your mind probably visions the 3.75″ figures. Before I get to those, I’m going to touch on the first incarnation of Joe, the 12″ clothed military doll figure. It was first designed by Stan Weston in 1963. He presented his primitive prototypes to Hasbro’s Donald Levine and was told he would make a “fortune” with these. Weston then sold his concept to Hasbro for $100,000.

“America’s movable fighting man” as was trademarked by Hasbro, were originally named “Rocky” (marine/soldier), “Skip” (sailor), and “Ace” (pilot). An original one of these prototypes actually sold at auction for $200,001 in 2003 proving even after 60 years, men still want their dolls.

Because the human figure itself cannot be trademarked or copyrighted Hasbro copyrighted certain features of the figure. One such example is the scar on the right cheek and the placement of the thumbnail on the underside of the thumb, which allowed the company to pursue cases against companies making imitations of the GI Joe figure.

During the 70’s Hasbro renamed the line “Adventure Team” in an attempt to down play the war theme in which it had been known for. Features added were flocked hair and beards, a Kung Fu grip with softer plastic which allowed for a more pose-able grip and eagle eye vision involving movable eyes and a lever in the back of the head.

In 1975 Hasbro tried and failed to buy the rights the 6 Million Dollar Man so they issued their alternative, “Mike Power, Atomic man” also “Bulletman” a super hero that was added to the adventure team.

The 12″ line ended in the US in 1976 at which time a line of cheap mannequin dolls called Defenders were released.

Hasbro began re-releasing the 12″ figures, there was a hall of fame and anniversary series all based on 1960’s releases.

Lastly from 1995-2004 Hasbro released the classic and timeless collections as well as a pearl harbor line and 40th anniversary line that were reproductions of the earliest figures made in 1964.

Now onto what I always think of when I think of GI Joe, the 3.75″ line. This size relaunched the Joe toyline in 1982 and were highly successful. They were the same size as Kenner’s Star Wars but had more points of articulation. At the time these figures were on the shelves, there was an animated TV mini series and a comic book as well as vehicles and playsets for use by the figures. Spin offs of these original products included posters, t-shirts, video games, board games and even kites were available.

These 3.75″ figures were cancelled at the end of 1994. This year also marked the 30th anniversary of GI Joe and a series of 12″ and 3.75″ figures were released based on the original Action Team figures from 1964.

Between the years 1997 and 1998, a line of figures called Stars and Stripes forever were Toys R Us exclusives. They were released to celebrate the 15th anniversary. In 2000-2002. The A Real American Hero collection were sold in packs of 2 and were repainted versions of figures of the RAH series. Some figures featured newly repainted versions and were given new names and characters.

In 2002-2005 new sets of figures and even vehicles were released. Each set centered on a story line, such as Spy Troops and Valor vs Venom. There were also coordinating DVD animated features and trading card game. In 2005-2006 there was a direct to consumer line that could be purchased at Hasbro’s website and various online retailers. This success led to wider availability at outer retailers such as Toys R Us. There was a 25th anniversary line that presented newly sculpted 4″ figures, a shift away from the 3.75″ figures and replaced the O-ring core with a swivel chest and more articulation. This set included the leader of MASK, Matt Tracker. This line was very well received and expanded beyond the originally planned 2 sets of 5 and became a full fledged line running through 2009. The Resolute figures also came out in 2009 in wave 13 and had an animated feature in April 2009.
The 25th anniversary line was later canceled, instead releasing figures for the upcoming live action movie. Eventually some of the cancelled figures were released as 2 seven figure packs called, Defense and Attack of Cobra island.

In 2009 figures were released based on the movie Rise of Cobra, they were a mixture of old and molds and designs. Then from 2010 all the way through 2016 there were 4 other lines that came out: the Pursuit of Cobra, the 30th Anniversary, figures from the movie Retaliation (2013), a 50th anniversary line and characters based on the cartoon series, A Real American Hero. Then came three series in between those Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles, GI Joe Extreme (accompanied by a comic book) and Sigma 6. Wow, that’s alot of GI Joe!

So there are a ton of Joe action figures, something for everyone out there and have been around for a long time. But unless you check out the collectible toy stores that offer vintage toys, they cannot be found on the toy shelves today which is unfortunate. I’m sure there would again be an audience for GI Joe.

Unboxings, Streaming and Slime, oh my!

When I was young, I loved watching my Saturday morning and Disney afternoon cartoons, playing with my Barbies and My Little Pony and going outside to play. I’m around a lot of kids these days with having two of my own and I can really tell how things have changed over the years. The old standbys will always be popular like playing outside on nice days and watching their favorite tv show but playing with traditional toys in the traditional ways, maybe not so much. The new player on the block are electronics and the technology they bring to kids like phones, tablets and computers. The impact that they have had on kids of all ages has been huge.

As I mentioned I have two kiddos, ages 5 and 9 and they have both been impacted by technology and definitely opened my eyes up as a parent to the world of parental controls, the turning off of “mature language” when possible and the monstrosity that is Youtube. Traditional video game console gaming with cartridges has turned into downloads and traditional tv has turned into Youtube channel watching. My 9 year old is one of the millions currently obsessed with the video game Fortnite. He spends his free time playing away and talking with his friends via headphones and microphone. Gone are times of sleepovers and playing GI Joes, at least for now. When he isn’t playing the game on his Xbox One he is watching his favorite gamers stream playing the game, so he is learning the tricks of the trade from the “pros” when not playing it himself. He has also recently discovered Youtubers and their fairly idiotic challenges. The headlining “I spent 24 hours floating in my pool while in a tent” or “Spending 24 hours in a haunted insane asylum” or the fairly popular “Crushing random things with my expensive car” vlogs or video logs that everyone seems to be putting out there now to make a buck, and they definitely are. The kids doing these are young and rich and I find my kid is the ripe age to be sucked in to watching these activities. This is where I show my 38 years and stand back and watch the silliness unfold. The newest form of reality tv? Maybe….

Now having seen this with the 9 year old, the 5 year old is not far behind but I, as a parent, have learned a thing or two and have gotten a bit wiser myself. The use of parental controls and settings blocking inappropriate language when available can be very helpful but they certainly do not block everything that should be, as well as block things that do not need to be. In short, physical parental supervision is still necessary when dealing with young kids and technology. Unfortunately there are hundreds of videos on Youtube aimed at this age group and even younger. The rise of “toy reviews,” unboxings and slime related views appear to make a big part of them. Where now kids are watching the Youtube kids go to Chuck E Cheese and amusement parks, unbox toys from stores and even make toys and playing with them in their own homes. Kids are now watching kids play instead of playing themselves…that’s silly!! After awhile, enough is enough and we do our own playing!

To combat all this, I get them outside as much as possible. Where we live we are really lucky and have about a dozen super nice parks with trails, playgrounds and beaches close by that we alternate visiting. This is really nice to have for the warm spring and summer months. We ride our bikes, scooters, play basketball, soccer and everything inbetween. More time outside, equals less screen time at home. We love nature and we get out and enjoy it.

Parenting has never been easy and there are new challenges daily. I miss the days of playing with action figures and doing crafty type things. It really appears that children are getting weened from traditional toys earlier and earlier at the same time exposed to a much broader world via the internet. I aim for well roundedness and interactions with other kids and friends in this world not the virtual one. It takes effort but nothing is more worthy of your time. Every family must find the balance between the worlds that fits them the best, its not one size fits all. Priority should be however, keeping them safe while they are spending time in either. Talking to your children about cyberbullying, predators and inappropriate content is a must to keep our kids safe. For tips for keeping kids safe online check out the site www.kidshealth.org/en/parents/net-safety.html.

While you are here check out our site, we have it chock full of great merchandise ready for the summer. We carry custom skateboards, clothing and accessories galore. Then check out our webcomic and read away, with new pages arriving monthly. Thanks for spending some time with us and see you next time!

Goonies!

So how is everyone’s summer going? Ours is going great here! We just recently returned from a wonderful quick getaway to Astoria and Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast. Now if you’re familiar with 80’s movies you may recognize the names of these places from the Goonies movie that was popular that decade. We usually enjoy this area from the view of a yurt in Ft. Stevens State Park. Its a beautiful park with its own coastline and beach, topped off with its own shipwreck of the Peter Iredale that ran ashore in 1906. We have visited this area for the past five years and always have a great time. It is a great opportunity for some family friendly fun in nature.

Astoria, home of the Goonies house, is in many ways a throwback town with many large Victorian type houses and store fronts that many have been empty and seemingly forgotten. It seems like each time we visit the town, there are more and more empty stores, with our favorite downtown retro arcade closing shop two years ago and a mom and pop music store closing within this last year. Located directly on the Colombia River, the town relies heavily on fishing and processing industry. It does have a nice maritime museum, some good restaurants and a few nice remaining shops and toy store. I have had several years of good visits to Astoria and it will always have a special place in my travels, and I will continue to visit when I can.

Our favorite destination is Cannon Beach. It is a beautiful thriving beach town with cute shops, good restaurants and a great beach. We even got to touch Haystack rock this time. We discovered this is a wonderful and protected tide pool at the base of the rock that is home to many creatures. They have it set up as a scavenger hunt, without the touching and picking up of these fragile creatures. The views are spectacular and so is the smells in the local candy and ice cream shop!

Seaside is another nearby town we are able to visit. It is close enough to Ft. Stevens, and Astoria, even Cannon beach which is a bit further south, to be seen on the same trip. It is a very typical beach town with swings for the kids and adults on the beach by the promenade. It boasts a large modern arcade, many touristy souvenir shops as well as crafty artisan shops. The restaurants vary nicely as well, with everything from steak to pancakes being served. There are several hotels situated right along the beach too. It is a fun, modern, family destination.

All of these places are about 30-40 mins away from each other, so it’s a perfect overnight trip. Each place, Ft. Stevens State Park, Astoria, Seaside and Cannon Beach all have unique things to offer and all of them promise their visitors a great time that they will remember for years to come.

Wherever you find yourself going this summer you can take the Brooding Muse with you! We update monthly and invite you to check out our store at www.broodingmuse.com. We are chock full of summer ready skateboards and apparel right out of the pages of the Muse. Also feel free to drop us a line on our site, or you can find us on Instagram and Facebook! Till next time!!

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