Thursday, September 29, 2011

Funny Book Friday: A Parent's Guide to Teen Titans #1

Welcome to my new column!  In Funny Book Friday I'll review a comic (either a single issue or a trade) and post my thoughts, including a Parent's Guide with possibly objectionable material listed - things that I may or may have not found to be inappropriate, but feel that some parents may want to be aware of.  And because I think that comic books are FANTASTIC for kids and their parents to read together I'll a include list of questions you and your kids can discuss together.  Have a Family Comic Book Club and have everyone read the same book over the course of a week and then talk about it over dinner, it'll be fun!

Teen Titans #1
Written by: Scott Lobdell 
Drawn by: Brett Booth.
Published Monthly by DC Comics

For my first Funny Book Friday I wanted to read something that was totallly new to me, but still appropriate for at least a teenaged reader and so I figured I'd go for something in DC's New 52.   My pals at Arcane Comics recommended and provided me a copy of Teen Titans #1.

I'm not a big DC reader, I wanted to use their recent reboot to discover some of the books my readers, friends and colleagues have been talking about for years.  Outside of the gorgeous All-Star Superman and mind-blowing Red Son, I am pretty clueless about most of the characters and goings on in the DC universe. You all may know what the deal with Tim Drake and Kid Flash are, but I've only ever heard of them in passing.  I'm truly coming at these reintroduced characters with very little knowledge about them, and experiencing them the way only a first time reader could.

This book is clearly a first issue.  Most of the content is character introduction and exposition.  You know how when you go back to watch the pilot of an established TV show and it's weird because characters that have become more nuanced over 5 seasons seem like characitures of themselves?  I'm hoping that this book goes in this direction.  There's a lot of potential for the characters and plot they introduced but right now it's a lot of exposition and introductions.  I expect the next few issues to follow in that vein as the rest of the Teen Titans team is introduced.  The writing is snappy enough to show promise, and the mysteries introduced piqued my interest. I could definitely see kids getting into this,especially as a first foray into the more complex characters and story telling that can be found in more mature comics.  I'm sure those already familiar with Teen Titans have a better idea about where this is going than a brand new reader like me, but from a first time reader's perspective it was clear enough to not confuse me, but mysterious enough that I left the first issue eager to find out what happens next.

Parent's Guide: 
Age Appropriateness: This book is rated Teen. Besides the use of a single mild curse word and some flagrant disregard for authority it's pretty mild.  I'd let Nate (age 11) read this one with a bit of guidenance.
Things to look out for: One mention of the word "ass" as in "That kid is acting like an ass" (not a direct quote, but in that same context), a teen driving what is implied to be a stolen car, a teen disregarding a firefighter's instructions, a teen blowing up his apartment to escape a villain.
Talking Points: Why does Kid Flash behave the way he does?  What is he trying to accomplish?  What do you think Red Robin's goal is?  How does Cassie feel about her powers and why do you think she feels that way? What did you think of the ending? What do you think will happen next?



Have a suggestion for a book for Funny Book Friday?  Leave it in the comments or email me at sharon(at)ParentingGeekly.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Can you make it on $9 an hour?

Urban Ministries of Durham has put out "Spent" a game that simulates the decisions that the underemployed in America have to make every day.


Playing the simulation with Nate was enlightening.  He constantly chose the options like "Take the money out of your kid's birthday card" and  "Miss the kid's school play because you were offered a side job".  I asked him to really think about how that would make him feel and he said "I'd be mad, but at least I'd have food."  As a mother, I made the opposite desicions, sacrficing the money almost every time it would somehow affect my child.

We were able to talk about what it meant to be "underemployed" and some of the myriad of reasons why someone with a child would have to take a minimum wage job.  This was a fantastic way to teach Nate about the sacrifices people have to make everyday. 

Try your hand at Spent here.

Did you succeed? Did your kids try it?  How were their answers different than yours?  Share in the comments!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Jet City Comic Show Today!


I'll be at Jet City Comic Show today. Jet City was developed as a breath of fresh air for those who are looking for a smaller, one day comic and pop culture convention.

The show runs from 10am-6pm today at the Seattle Center.  I'll be helping out at the Arcane Comics and More booth off and on and kicking around the convention for the rest of the show. Tickets can be had for $8 at the door, and kids under 10 are free!  See you there!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Muppet Parody Trailer

Everyone kinda figured that once the "real" trailer for the new Muppet Movie came out we had seen the end of the parody videos.  I'm super happy to report that the filmmakers/promoters weren't quite done with these hilarious clips.  The latest pokes a bit of fun of the trailer for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and the film promoting process in general.



Here's the original trailer in case you have been living under a rock missed it:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Practical night light option form Think Geek

Think Geek sent an email today announcing the launch of 30+ new items!  The one that caught my eye was this rad Moon Clock.  The moon is cool, clocks are cool...so as far as I'm concerned this product is already  full of win, but it gets even better.  The clock glows in the dark!  I'm not usually a huge fan of glow in the dark items, I think most of them are pretty tacky, but this one is an exception.  First of all, the real moon actually glows (granted, it's because of the sun's reflection and not because of photo-sensitive paint or whatever makes this clock glow, but whatever), secondly I am sooooo tired of going into my kids' room and seeing the harsh glare of the LED nightlight.   I'm ordering this clock hoping that it's gentle glowing, which lasts about 2 hours, is enough to soothe the kids, and save my eyesight/power bill.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Buffy Season Nine Guest Blog at Dark Horse

I've been very excited about a guest post that I was approached to write, but didn't want to say anything until it was all said, done and published.  On Friday Dark Horse Comics ran my Buffy Season 9 guest post!   You should head over there and check it out.

On a related note (go read the post!): here is Kitty's first day of pre-K picture:

DnD for Little Girls (and Boys!)

After playing Pathfinder at PAX with Nate, I'm the in the middle of writing a post about why Role Playing with your kids is a great idea.  Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels this way, and this is just too good to wait on.  The full post is still coming but in the meantime I had to share this with you:


Artist James Stowe has created a series of character sheets inspired by playing Dungeons and Dragons with his 8 year old son.   There are six male characters, and taking input from his fans, there are now six female characters as well!  While these are designed for kids, these easy to read sheets seem like they would be fantastic for any novice player. And how cute would they look framed in a geeky kid's bedroom? 

Do you play Dungeons and Dragons (or Pathfinder, or Shadowrun, or any other RPGs) with your kids?

Stowe is offering the PDF downloads for free, but if you like them please consider donating at Stowe's Paypal Donation Page!

Thanks to The Geeky Hostess for the heads-up on this!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Halo Swag Giveaway: Winners!

Drumroll please....

To pick the winners I used Random.org and had it pick a number between 1 and 37 (the total number of comments).  Random.org picked comment #1 from Shelly and #7 from DigitalPlague.  So if you are Shelly or DigitalPlague please send me an email to sharon(at)parentinggeekly.com with your name and address and I'll do my best to send those out ASAP.

Thanks to everyone for your great comments!  Some were really touching, and they really show how something that a lot of the world considers frivolous is such an important part of our lives for so many different reasons.

This was such a popular giveaway I may be able to find some other Halo Fest swag around here to give away, so stay tuned!


Don't forget that Parenting Geekly is up for Best Parenting Blog in Western Washington.  You can vote here: http://best.king5.com/parenting-geekly/biz/630549

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's an honor just to be nominated...

Click here to vote!
...but how cool would it be to win?!?!  Parenting Geekly is up for King 5's Best of Western Washington in the Parenting Blog Category!  If you feel like we're deserving of the title please head over to http://best.king5.com/parenting-geekly/biz/630549 and vote.  You can log in using your Facebook or Twitter account and you can vote once a day.  You don't have to be local an d if we win the added publicity will help us bring you even cooler content!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

PAX Swag Giveaway: Halo Fest Microfigure

I've finally come out of my PAX-induced haze and I'm ready to give you guys some of the cool stuff I got at the convention!

First up are two Mega-Blocks Halofest micro figures. If you have a kid who is into Halo, chances are you are already familiar with these tiny guys. They are "blind" collectibles, meaning that you don't know exactly what you're getting until you open it. Some of the figures are rare while others are more common. This is like kid crack. The collectible nature, the association with Halo, and the ability to use them in the related Halo building sets has made them extremely popular with Nate and his friends.

This year PAX had an entire expo hall devoted to Halo. The game is celebrating its tenth anniversary and Halofest was setup to celebrate it. There were panels, demos and giveaways, all Halo related. Mega Blocks had a huge presence at Halofest, and their giveaways were some of the most coveted at all of PAX. On top of giving away the micro figures, each morning they gave away a limited edition Halofest vehicle building set. There is no way I'm prying that out of Nate's hands for a giveaway, but I did manage to score a couple of my own micro figures to give away!

I have a Halo CE UNSC Spartan and a Halo CE Convenant Elite to give away. These are limited edition Halofest versions of the figures and each comes with a Halofest brick to set it on. They're pretty cool.

To enter the giveaway leave a comment in the space below telling me why you or your kids love Halo or Megablocks. I will choose two winners at random on September 8th at noon Pacific Time, each will receive one of the micro figures.

For an additional entry follow @ParentingGeekly on Twitter and tweet a link to this blog post. Leave a separate comment here telling me you tweeted!

Contest is open to residents of the US only, sorry!
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