Science Fiction Indoctrination

My husband and I are fans of science fiction; I've been going to sci fi conventions since my early teens, and I introduced my husband to them. We love the atmosphere of like-minded individuals and enjoy examining costumes created by fans over many hours-- and the prosthetics are just, wow. Needless to say, we were absolutely mortified the first time we took our children to one of these wonderful events. Our son was afraid of Darth Vader and our daughter, out loud, said, "I'm bored." We scrammed out of the convention, tail between legs, in shame, and vowed to properly indoctrinate our children before the next convention.

Why weren't they fans before?

We take our roles as parents seriously, and we tried to protect the kids from screen violence. As a consequence, the kids hadn't had the opportunity to experience this genre at its best. We talked about violence with the kids and explained that the stories were fiction and pretend.

How we taught them about the wonders of the genre

Then, we sat them down for mandatory television viewing, starting off with E.T. (They were young children, after all.)

Now, we don't want to turn our kids into tranced out produce by watching too much television, so mandatory science fiction indoctrination took a long time.

After E.T., the next step was the six Star Wars movies. The kids liked Jar Jar and seeing robots die didn't seem to bother them. By the time we got to the Ewoks, the kids were hooked on the universe.

Meanwhile, Leon reads to the kids every night before bed. Still, at the ages of 8 and 10, they have story time each night, they cuddle together, and daddy reads. The stories changed. They don't get Dr. Seuss anymore. Leon read to them all of the Harry Potters. They enjoyed the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. After hearing the story in story time, the kids got to see the movies. My son, in fact, loves some of the songs from the Hobbit cartoon and occasionally bursts out with "their feathers were charred by the fiery breeze."

The kids and I listened to all the Chronicles of Narnia during road trips to visit my grandma. After Narnia, we went on a Madeline Le'Engle binge. Now, when we go on trips, we head to the library and read the back of CDs until we find something that everyone will be happy with. As a rule of thumb, everyone's happy as long as there are super powers.

Ah yes, comics. They've learned to appreciate comic books and they love superhero cartoons and movies.

The end result

The kids save their allowance for months before the convention. They talk about their costumes for months and demand my help. My son got "beat up" by a slightly older girl in a bat'leth competition, and my daughter was chastised for striking an unarmed opponent.

Yes, these days, the conventions are a joy.

Gwen Nicodemus is a freelance engineer/writer and a homeschooling mom. Visit her website, Notion Nexus, for unit studies, worksheets, notes, and educational videos.

Invest In Comics! My Top Copper Age Comics To Invest In!

So you want to invest in comics, do you? In many of my previous articles, I've stressed quite a lot about silver age comic investing, with a slight emphasis on bronze age comics to invest in. I've also stated quite profoundly on modern age comic books as being unwise investment comics to pursue.

Whether you consider copper age comic books as part of the modern age or not, there are some, although very few, wise key issues to invest in. These are a tad more affordable than bronze or silver age books, but they are well worth owning to bring more value to your collection.

There are quite a few copies floating around at high grades, especially in the 9.8 area. Unlike many high demand silver age books, in which mid to low grades are still investment worthy, these copper age selections on my list are best to invest in at high grades. I'm advising no lower than low NM or 9.2 according to CGC universal standards.

So, without further a due, here are just a few of my top copper age comics to invest in:

    G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #21 (1st Storm Shadow/Silent issue).
    G.I Joe A Real American Hero #26 & 27 ( Snake Eyes origin, 2 part story).
    G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #150 through #155 (Low Print run. Issue 155 is last issue).
    Amazing Spider-Man #299 (1st brief appearance of Venom. Todd McFarlane art.)
    Amazing Spider-Man #300 (1st full appearance of Venom. Todd McFarlane art.)
    Marvel, The Transformers, 1984 #1 (1st Transformers comic based off Hasbro Toys.)
    New Mutants Vol 1 #98 (1st appearance of Deadpool).
    Uncanny X-Men #221 (1st appearance of Cable as baby Nathan.)
    Uncanny X-Men #244 (1st appearance of Jubilee.)
    Uncanny X-Men #248 (1st Jim Lee artwork on X-Men.)

Of course there are more from the copper age that are well-worth investing in. These are just my first-round picks, as you could say. The great thing about many of these issues is that they are still well under a hundred dollars for many copies that are over 9.4 NM (near mint).

All the issues here are in demand, and ones like the last five issues of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero by Marvel Comics have low print runs. That means that they're pretty scarce and some hunting for those issues at a high grade may be needed. Be sure to see the links below for even more fantastic invest in comics advice and picks from all comic book ages.

Want more investment comics advice? Be sure to visit the link to discover even more of my top comic investing picks of 2012, and why these comics will continue to rapidly grow in demand and value over the next few years.

Visit my blog Total Comic Mayhem to learn even more about investing in comics, and how you can make the right and most profitable choices when it comes to which comics to invest in.

Cartoon Drawing Tips In Easy and Simple Steps

There are many people who pickup cartoon drawing just to have some fun in their spare time but get hooked later on. This shows the fact that cartoon drawing is really a hobby that can get people easily attracted. But most of the time the guys and gals those who take up the art without much pre-planning fail to make much advancement. And this is quite understandable.

Taking this art for fun is not the issue here but the casual attitude is the reason behind it. To be good at cartooning you have to be ready to do some hard work. That is you would need to do some serious and methodical practice work to be perfect.

Though if you really love cartooning it would not be that difficult for you. And after some efforts your work will be something that you yourself will start enjoying.

Here in this article I will give some pointers that can help even the most casual guy to pickup some good & presentable cartoon drawing skill.

1>>Pick Some basic drawing book & learn and how to hold pencil about various types of lines, so that you can draw smooth lines without difficulty. This may appear too basic to be a helpful tip, but believe me this is a very important step and a very high percentage of enthusiasts are not very comfortable with these things.

2>> Learn how to use eraser so that you can edit or make changes to your art work without making it ugly. Keep in mind that the type of eraser you use also plays an important role here. It in often said, that you need a high quality eraser more than you need a high quality pencil. And I would say it is really true: at least for the newbies.

3>> Go to a bookstore or a library and find a drawing course that shows how to analyse a complex shape into constituent simple geometric shapes. Like if you try to analyse a human figure you will find that human figure can be roughly thought to be made up of few cylinders [for trunk, hands and legs] and a sphere[for head]. In similar fashion any object can be analysed into a number of simple 3D geometric objects. And believe me this skill is the most valuable skill that you can acquire as an aspiring visual artist: as it will give you the confidence to attempt to draw anything no matter how complex it is.

Want to make amazing cartoons fast and amaze your buddies? Visit how to draw cartoons to know how you can do that.

Anime Art

We all grew up with aspirations to want to be some kind of artist. Whether we were drawing cars or even painting scenery as children we always wanted to keep drawing and playing with our colors. We also loved and still do love to look at real art as well as beautiful art that touches us when we look at it. One such art that you can love to look at would be anime art.

Though in comparison Japanese anime art is not really the kind you find in art museums we love to look at them and probably put them up on our computers wallpaper and screen savers. If you are looking for this art you will probably find them through the numerous online websites that have anime cartoons.

Many of these anime art is of three dimensional also known as 3D and two dimensional also known as 2D and many will be still pictures. They will probably be of famous anime cartoon characters that you already know and some of who you don't. The art might be confusing at first because you know that they are Japanese and strangely they look more of western than Asian. With their blue eyes and yellow or orange hair the cartoons and pictures resemble more of the western look than those of the Japanese.

What always gets me however is the clothes they wear and the surroundings visualized in the cartoons. They are usually of the early days of Japanese history with Ninja's and Samurai's being key figures in the cartoon series and the manga comics as well. You will also find the manga comics and the anime cartoons play important key roles in the art of anime.

Peter Gitundu Creates Interesting And Thought Provoking Content on Animes. For More Information, Read More Of His Articles Here ANIME ACTION FIGURES If You Enjoyed This Article, Make Sure You SUBSCRIBE TO MY RSS FEED!

Comic Book Review - Has Hollywood Destroyed Comics or Brought Them New Life?

Comic books have been around with us for well over a century, but the origins to the "Golden Age" of comic books; the DC and the Marvel comic superheroes as we know today have been around since World War II. The first major comic book hero was Superman, a character who donned himself with tight colourful tights and a bright red cape. Through the following decades we have seen our most favourite comic book heroes' change and develop dependent on the world around them. Over the last 10 years we have seen different faces portray the character of Clark Kent and actors ready themselves for the position of the Dark Knight himself, Bruce Wayne. But has Hollywood displayed our most loved characters in the best way, or have they gone against the origins and fans and developed a character that will be a lot more than its character profile predecessor and in turn be more approachable to a wider audience?

The transition from comic book strip pages to the small screen wasn't a short one. The early life of comic book superheroes was short; emerging in the late 1930's characters became stars over the war period however the massive fan base began to diminish around the 50's. The superhero genre was coming to an end, but characters did not die off. They were revamped and brought to life through the magic of TV. Captain Marvel, Captain America, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman had already begun to hit the smaller screen over the 40's but over the next decade these comic book heroes became television superheroes. This movement saw a resurrection of characters to comics, as well as new breed of hero's that came along with them. The result was a snow ball effect of comic book characters to the bigger screen. Batman the TV series with Adam West was one of the earliest transfers of action hero's to big theatre screens, and with the success of Star Wars the "Sci-Fi" genre was born. This capitalized into further feature films such as the commercial hit of Superman with Chris Reeves.

This began a new age of comic heroes; printing became expensive so comics were minimal but the cinema provided a new venture and provided the expansion to a larger audience. Comic characters were now becoming main stream and were no longer for geeks or sci-fi buffs but acceptable to the entire public domain. The momentum carried from the 80's with sequels to Superman and Tim Burton's Batman being a phenomenon as well as a cult classic. However do our comic caped heroes really work when stripped from the pages of a graphic novel? Is it a true representation of the character as we know them when they are brought to the big screen? For most this could cause a great debate. The cinematic view of Batman for instance is a theatrical and dramatic performance which contains the gothic nostalgia of Burton, but as for the character, he seems sadly missed. The film briefly depicts the killing of his parents that all fans will all know of; however the character behind the mask has little development. We do not get to see the character step through life; we do not see the stages that led Bruce to become the Bat as it is never displayed on the screen. Instead we sit back and admire the theatrical display as most will know the back story. The Joker (as played by Jack Nicholson) is more of a namely title. The character has much greater presence within the motion picture, just because his character is so fun to watch although the comic character is no more developed.

I believe this film had a significant influence to future comic heroes that have been developed into film. If you look into the many comic heroes that have come to the big screen and are now onto DVD it's easy to see how Hollywood may have changed the characteristics of our favourite superheroes, or like this motion picture the character was never depicted, a story of when good fought evil is told. However there has been a new age of comic books and films. Late comic novels such as "The Watchmen" (also produced into a blockbuster hit) began a generation of "dark" comic books that displayed not just similarities to us a character but to the world around us. We can now begin to see how our caped crusaders are not much different to you and me. They face a moment of weakness; we see how the character can relate to us as a mere human. In the same narrative we see that a hero is also affected by notions of love and affection like ourselves and a hero can also face pain, grievance and other feelings. In the same way we can relate to these characteristics, we ourselves can believe that we are superheroes in our own right if we live with the belief justice will prevail.

Through this era and into the millennium we have seen an array of DC and Marvel comics fly onto the big screen, although the debate over these films will continue to whether they are bad or good. I for one enjoy the majority of comic book characters that face the Hollywood make-over, although some have been better than others. Arguments will still occur over the fact comic book characters transfer to cinematic superheroes but the process has been in place for years. Marvel have worked long and hard to produce the best action sci-fi films over this decade and with upcoming films like "The Avengers" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" I believe they are trying to amend any previous mistakes. With prequels to these both movies, all characters from the main plot line have been displayed before so there is no need for a back story to them so let's hope the action storyline any negative reviews against the films. Along with the films there is sure to be gifts, novelty goods and figures. These will be collectables for most, but for others this is their first generation of super hero so these entities will bring these characters a new life through the face of Hollywood.