My Favorite Things: Fantastic Beasts, Nerdy Handbags, Wonder Woman, and Custom-Made Comic Book Covers

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’ll be highlighting the latest installment in the Harry Potter movie franchise, a geek chic handbag, a one-of-a-kind comic book, and a must-read run on Wonder Woman. Read on for more!

Casey’s Favorite Thing is… Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! (Warning: some spoilers ahead)

With all of the holiday whirlwind and a multitude of other happenings, I still somehow managed to slip away to the theater to catch Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. I loved it! I didn’t exactly grow up with dear old Harry Potter, but Rowling’s series was my first true fandom. I have a great deal of affection for the series. When I heard that more stories were on the way, I was so excited. The movie did not disappoint. It was a wonderful widening of the universe. The story was such a fun premise. Newt Scamander was absolutely adorable. The film itself was much darker than I was expecting, but that is in no way a bad thing. I have heard the movie described as being Harry Potter for grownups. I can most definitely see this in the themes that were explored here. This is a darker time in the wizarding world. Grindelwald’s ability to infiltrate MACUSA and manipulate people made him more frightening to me than Voldemort ever was. I am so happy that this movie exists and I look forward to more stories set in Rowling’s expanded universe!


Keyes’s Favorite thing is… The Handbag of Holding!

I’m always looking for ways to subtly nod at my hardcore geekiness in my work life without besmirching the hypothetical dignity of my profession (I’m a lawyer). Work bags are one of my favorite ways of doing this, as are desk toys, both of which I’ve mentioned before. My latest workbag came courtesy of a holiday gift from a good friend and it’s one I find truly delightful. Among other nerdy pastimes, I’m part of a semi-regular Pathfinder campaign. Aside from being the resident self-centered asshole wizard (…is there any other kind?), my character also keeps the Bag of Holding, which last time I checked contained, among other things, something like fifty cloaks of resistance +1, a truly alarming quantity of alchemist fire (read: Greek fire), an assortment of gnomish  drugs intended to be administered by eyedropper, and the head of a legendary pirate. My work Handbag of Holding contains far more prosaic things, like pens, legal pads, case summaries, and my tablet, but still, extremely useful, and also tasteful enough that unless you get real close, it passes without comment in a court of law.


Shara’s Favorite Thing is… her Custom Mad Max comic book cover

Fun fact: you can buy comic books with blank white covers on them. Not all comics have them, but some issues do: just a blank white page with the series logo, and that’s it. You may wonder: what’s the point of such a thing? Because some day, you may meet a comic book artist and that artist may sketch their own version of a character on that comic book issue just for you. It’s a fun way to have your own personalized and unique piece of comic book art. When my husband bought such an issue of Mad Max: Fury Road: Mad Max Part One, I had no idea what he had in store: behold! this gorgeous, commissioned piece of Furiosa by artist Jessica Hickman. It was meant to be a birthday present, but my husband, when he mailed the issue to the artist, told her to take her time (also expecting a black-and-white sketch), and received the finished product two months later just in time for Christmas. I was shocked and thrilled by the beautiful detail and coloring. Needless to say, it’s easily my latest favorite thing.



Nancy’s Favorite Thing is… Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman

I read all of my DC comics in trades, which means that I am pretty behind on what’s going on in Wonder Woman. But after hearing so many good thing about Greg Rucka’s current run with Diana, I decided to respond by going back and reading his LAST run on the title, from about ten years back. And guys, it’s pretty great.

Wonder Woman can be a tricky character to nail. Like many real-life women, she wears a lot of hats. She’s both a warrior, and a peacekeeper. A diplomat, but also a killer when necessary. A modern woman despite being from an ancient society. A leader, but also a member of a team (The Justice League). Balancing all of these different roles isn’t easy, but Rucka makes it look that way, providing us with a complex, yet admirable superhero who embodies all of Diana’s seemingly conflicting elements, yet never loses her sense of bravery and dignity. The artwork isn’t as consistent as I’d like it to be (which might have something to due with the fact that you have multiple artists), but it’s pretty enjoyable all around. I have yet to get to every issue (just one more trade to go!), but each one is such a joy to read. I can see why DC has been re-releasing this run in new paperback collections.

Any thoughts on the selections above? Please let us know in the comments.


  • Olya (aka Weasel of Doom) January 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Oh wow, Shara, what a cool gift from your husband! The man certainly knows you well 🙂


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