My Favorite Things: Geeky Fashion, Speculative TV, Spooky Podcasts, and Eerie Bookcovers

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we’re all about fashion-forward Star Wars accessories, a network that does genre TV right, an addictive and spooky podcast, and cover art that will make you want to read the book right away. Intrigued? Then read on for more.


 

Erika’s Favorite Thing is… Star Wars Accessories!

Star Wars paraphernalia has become almost comical in the variety of products that have become available to consumers over the decades. The Jar Jar tongue lollipop is an accident I think many remember all too well. With the resurgence of the franchise after the 2012 Disney purchase and the promise of a new movie release every year means fans are able to take advantage of the one thing Disney — regardless of how one feels about the quality of the movies, both past and present, the company produces — seems to excel at: marketing. Fans can now purchase even more weird and wonderful, yet now practical, things like a BB-8 USB car charger or a Death Star waffle maker. Not to mention one of my absolute favorite things since 2010: the creation of the clothing company Her Universe. Recognizing the presence of women in fandom with a company like Her Universe is in part why I feel like geek fashion has managed to branch out successfully into jewelry and other accessories. Loungefly and Love and Madness are just two of the companies providing beautiful and quality handbags, wallets, necklaces, and bracelets. That is why this month I can’t pick just one accessory. I love my A New Hope crawl wrap leather bracelet, my Yoda hair clip, my R2-D2 handbag, and my array of Her Universe sweaters and jackets. Each and every piece is a statement and an instant conversation starter. I’m always proud to literally wear my fandom where people can see and share in that universe with so many others!

 

Lane’s Favorite Thing is… The CW!

My Favorite Thing for December is the CW.  And yes, I’m supposed to be too old to be so fond of their shows, but I’m a fan.  Mostly, what I love about the CW is how thoroughly they’ve embraced their spec-fic shows.

There’s the Superhero foursome — Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow.  All of which are entertaining even when the plots are less than stellar, with charismatic casts.  I have always loved superhero shows — I cut my teeth on Wonder Woman, Isis, Super-Friends, and The Amazing Spider-Man.  Now that the CW is embracing the comic bookiness of the source materials, and the CGI is decent — it’s hard to pry me away.

For my darker yearnings, there’s Supernatural — still going and going and going.  I checked out a few seasons ago, but watched it the other evening and remembered how much I cared about these characters.  Five episodes later, I was hooked all over again.  Sure, death’s rotating door gets ridiculous, but there’s a lot of good, genuine horror here.  And the eye-candy main trio doesn’t hurt.  Plus, again, inspired casting.  Mark Sheppard as Crowley, King of Hell, and general chaos agent?  Rick Springfield as the new Lucifer?  Sign me up!  More horror lurks online — the CW Seed allows you to watch the sadly canceled Constantine — again, not the best show ever, but Matt Ryan made a great John Constantine.

And I really want to see Riverdale.  It might not be spec-fic, but a modernized Archie is definitely comic booky.  The CW is like someone took all the types of bad-but-fun SF/F that I watched as a teen (Misfits of ScienceThe Powers of Matthew Star!  Starman, the series. Manimal, for god’s sake.) and put it on the same channel.  How can I not love that?

 

Carey’s Favorite Thing is… Welcome to Night Vale!

My favorite thing is Welcome to Night Vale. My friends had all been avid listeners almost since the beginning; one or two had even cosplayed as Cecil Baldwin. But I put off listening to it. I’m not an audio-oriented learner; I can’t listen to audio fiction. I haven’t found many podcasts that I want to listen to on an ongoing basis. So I couldn’t imagine that a podcast, however geeky, could hold my interest for more than two minutes. Yet last year on a long car trip I decided to give Night Vale a shot. I wasn’t hooked right away — not that I thought, anyway. I listened to improbable stories of a town full of contrasts and conundrums, out in the middle of nowhere. Neighbors talk to angels; planes mysteriously appear in high school gymnasiums during games; the dog park is strictly off limits to dogs; a highway administration that insists cars are figments of people’s imaginations; cats that hover in place above sinks; mysterious lights and shapes… The kookiness and the spookiness goes on and on, all told in Cecil Baldwin’s precise but calm voice — which is part of the horror. Everyone remain calm; don’t worry about that blob that just invaded the radio station and killed an intern. Night Vale is mythological storytelling at its best; its stories gently poke fun at the entire range of UFO and conspiracy lore. There have been some hits and misses, but I’m up to episode 26 now. Sometimes all the conundrums break my brain, much like an episode of Adventure Time, but overall Nightvale has snuck up on me and fills the gap that my beloved X-Files left behind.

 

Sherry’s Favorite Thing is… the cover for Asylum!

I love the cover for Madeleine Roux’s book Asylum. The coloring captures the age of the setting and gives off an eerie feeling of abandonment. And the blurred image of the girl suggests movement, as if the photo is alive. It draws me in and makes me, as a reader, understand the creepiness, the mysteriousness, and the unsettling nature of the book I’m about to read. It is rare for a cover to be such a perfect representation of the story. Normally I look at covers and I’ll say “Oh, that’s nice, what’s it about?” and read the back cover, and maybe a page or two, and decide if I want to read the book. Seeing the cover for Asylum though, I thought, “I have to read this immediately.”

 

 

 

 


Any thoughts on the items above? Let us know in the comments below!

2 Comments

  • J.L. Gribble December 19, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I also regularly watch all five of those shows on the CW. Supernatural has had some amazing episodes this season and left us on a major cliffhanger for next year!

    Reply
  • Lane Robins December 19, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Based on this season–the few eps I’ve seen–I’m going to spend some time catching up on the last couple of seasons of Supernatural.

    Sherry! That is a striking cover. It’s what made me pick up that book! I enjoyed it.

    Reply

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