Stephanie Haley

Stephanie Haley

(15 comments, 154 posts)

Stephanie 'swoots' Wooten's first true obsession in life was the Baby-Sitter's Club but that was quickly thrown to the side once she discovered the X-Men and, more importantly, Rogue. She took a break during high school (where she tried to be 'cool' but realized that was no fun) and then got back into things in undergrad. She quickly consumed all things Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon, and a good majority of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore's work. Amongst her more recent comic book interests are Mike Carey, Ed Brubaker, Brian Michael Bendis, etc.

In undergrad and grad school, Stephanie focused on television studies. She enjoys nothing more than the idea of delving into an entirely new, believable universe full of characters that you genuinely cared about as though they were real people. Amongst her favorite television shows are BSG, The X-Files, Dexter, Deadwood, Supernatural, Buffy (obviously), Firefly, The Avengers (1960s), and, of course, Doctor Who. The list could go on forever but basically it is a love for characters. These fictional worlds are what made her realize she is a nerd. For a long time she was on her own but now, thanks to the lovely folks at The Node, she has found a place where she can share the things she geeks out about on a daily basis.

Posts by Stephanie Haley
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Los Angeles Nerds! July 10 – July 16 at NerdMelt

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Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

July 10th at 8:30pm – The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail
Jonah Ray
 and Kumail Nanjiani helm the good ship Meltdown every single Wednesday, to host the show that’s been named one of the best live shows in LA by LA Weekly, Splitsider, and more. At The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, you’ll see some of the biggest comics, up and coming acts just before they get famous, and as always, surprise drop-ins that will knock your socks off. July 10, catch: Al MadrigalChip PopeJohn MulaneyNate FridsonNatasha Leggero!
$8.

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Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

July 11th at 9pm – This Show Is Your Show with Matt Bennett
This show is more than a show. It’s your show. Matt Bennett (“Victorious”, “The Virginity Hit”) presents a night featuring Matt Bennett, Matt Bennett’s friends, and even some special guests, for an hour of music, comedy, interviews, and general Matt Bennett-ness.
$8 in , $10 at the door.

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Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

July 12th at 8:30pm – SketchMelt
SketchMelt proudly presents a showcase of the best of new live and video sketch comedy every month! Guaranteed to be totally sketch. See live and video sketches by: Josh Fadem, John Ennis & Cale HartmannThe Dress Up GangEd Salazar! Submission winner Lyrical Flash MobMonster PartyLeave it For MeThe Fringe Riders!
Hosted by Brad Gage [Family Sandwich] and Christian Spicer [Double Jump, IMPRO(vs)TANDUP] with Danielle N. Kramer!
$8 in , $10 at the door.

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Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

July 13th at 8pm – The Fringe Riders present Stampede!
A rip roaring raucous wild west revue featuring LA’s best comics. Hosted by Mustang, Papa D, and The Birdman. July 13, catch: Sean PattonJerrod Carmichael, and more!
$8 in , $10 at the door.

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Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

July 14th at 8pm – Harmontown
What is Harmontown? It’s awesome. It’s unique. It’s one of a kind. It’s something only Dan Harmon (creator of Community and the upcoming Rick and Morty) and Jeff B. Davis (Whose Line is it Anyway) can do. It’s a different show every time and it’s every week. Lucky us! Playing Dungeons and Dragons? It’s happened. Dan Harmon freestyle rapping? Yup, that too. Calling Chevy Chase from stage? Happened…more than once. A celebrity guest? Allison Brie, Donald Glover, and Gillian Jacobs among others have all stopped in. Getting super personal with an intimate audience? Always. It’s Harmontown. It’s awesome. It’s unique. Don’t miss a single week.
$10.

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July 15th at 8pm – Nerdist Open Mic
Come watch Matt Mira and Kyle Clark host this comedy free-for-all. You’ll see brand new comics, comics you know and love trying out new material (Chris Hardwick and Kumail Nanjiani are frequent drop ins), and the magic that is live comedy.
Free.

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

July 16th at 9pm – Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction
Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction is a comedy show (and soon-to-be podcast) founded in Seattle, created & hosted by Bryan Cook. Each event features 10 comics, writing and performing Erotic Fan Fiction pieces, based on their whims or audience suggestions. It’s really stupid. Featuring: Sean PattonAndy HaynesBeth StellingJohn RoyDavid HuntsbergerBarbara GrayMatt GoldichJoe StarrVirginia Jones!
$8 in , $10 at the door.

The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition On Blu-Ray September 24th

 Burbank, Calif. July 1, 2013 – Christopher Nolan’s reimagining of the Batman franchise beginning with 2005’s Batman Begins enjoyed phenomenal critical and box-office success.

Now on September 24, Nolan’s three Batman films  Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises – will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition. The six-disc set will feature all three films with their existing extra content, two new featurettes and exclusive new collectible memorabilia. This must-own collection for fans of DC Comics’ Caped Crusader is available in premium packaging and will sell for $99.97 SRP.

 

About the Ultimate Collector’s Edition (UCE):

*Disc 1 – Batman Begins Feature and Special Features

*Disc 2 – The Dark Knight Feature

*Disc 3 – The Dark Knight Special Features

*Disc 4 – The Dark Knight Rises Feature

*Disc 5 – The Dark Knight Rises Special Features

*Disc 6 – Bonus Disc of New Special Features (details follow)

 

NEW Special Features:

  • The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of The Dark Knight Trilogy  The inside perspective on the fascinating story behind the creation of one of the most celebrated franchises and how it changed the scope of movie making….forever.  Full of never-before-seen footage, rare moments, and exclusive interviews with  Guillermo Del Toro, Damon Lindelof, Michael Mann, Richard Roeper, Zack Snyder and others.
  • ·         Christopher Nolan & Richard Donner: A Conversation – For the first time, Directors Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Richard Donner (Superman) sit down to discuss the trials and triumphs involved in bringing the two most iconic superheroes of all time to the big screen, and how Superman influenced Nolan when developing Batman Begins.
  • ·         IMAX® Sequences: The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises – See your favorite scenes as they were intended in the original IMAX© aspect ratio

 

Exclusive NEW Memorabilia:

  • ·         Premium Mattel Hot Wheels Vehicles: Batmobile, Batpod and Tumbler
  • ·         Newly commissioned collectible art cards by Mondo featuring Scarecrow, Joker, Bane, Harvey Dent, and Ra’s al Ghul
  • ·         48-page hardcover book featuring production stills and behind the scenes images from all three movies

 

 

About The Films

Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight’s emergence as a force for good in Gotham. In the wake of his parents’ murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who uses his strength, intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city.

 

The Dark Knight (2008)

The follow-up to Batman BeginsThe Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in his continuing war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker (Heath Ledger), who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the cast as Rachel Dawes. Returning from Batman Begins are Oldman, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.

 

Dark Knight Rises (2012)

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.

 

But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane. Christian Bale stars, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Morgan Freeman.

 

Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.

Blu-ray Disc™ and Blu-ray™ and the logos are the trademarks of Blu-ray Disc Association.

® & © 2009 IMAX Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Warner Home Video Blu-ray Discs™ offer resolution six times higher than standard definition DVDs, as well as extraordinarily vibrant contrast and color and beautifully crisp sound. The format also provides a higher level of interactivity, with instant access to extra features via a seamless menu bar where viewers can enjoy features without leaving or interrupting the film.

 

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com and WB Ultra.

About Warner Home Video
With operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc., commands the largest home entertainment distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video’s film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Video and New Line Cinema.

 

About DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its content across Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world. In January 2012, DC Entertainment, in collaboration with Warner Bros. and Time Warner divisions, launched We Can Be Heroes—a giving campaign featuring the iconic Justice League super heroes—to raise awareness and funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.

 

the magic circle

Book Review: The Magic Circle

the magic circle

The Magic Circle by Jenny Davidson is the story of three young women whose lives revolve around games.  Ruth is a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University in New York City whose research focus is on game theory and design.  She pulls two friends, Lucy and Anna, into the development of her most recent alternate reality game, Trapped in the AsylumThe Magic Circle follows the dramatic, life-altering effects game development and practice has on these three women.

The Magic Circle has a lot of potential.  It explores a segment of geek culture that I personally love (live action role-playing gaming, ARGs, etc) and involves three strong female protagonists.  Additionally, Davidson incorporates different forms of story-telling, including having portions of the story told via gchat conversations, online forum conversations, and blog posts.  It has a much darker tone than I expected and includes some interesting twists.  While I would love to be more involved in LARP and ARG culture, I admit I do not know all of the intricacies of that world and therefore cannot speak to the validity of the culture they portray in this book.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading a book that acknowledges how enlightening and fun this world can be, primarily with regards to the Trapped in the Asylum game.

Nevertheless, there are some problems with the book.  The first half of the book is slow.  Aside from the parts of the book that serve to develop Trapped in the Asylum, I found myself having to struggle a bit to gain interest in these characters and their lives.  The second half takes a dramatic turn and becomes much more of a thriller.  It is faster-paced and much harder to put down.  My biggest problem with the last half of the book is that there are a number of plot points that never get fully explained.  These plot holes left me feeling slightly unsatisfied by the end and wishing the author had added just a few additional pages to wrap some things up.  Admittedly, I am not familiar with The Bacchae, the Greek tragedy the latter half of the book is focused on, and therefore I might be missing part of the story.  Regardless, I would have liked a little more wrap-up of the primary story lines in the final resolution of the story.

The Magic Circle is a dark thriller that skirts on the edge of a full examination of game culture and design.  While I have a handful of issues with the way certain story-lines and characters were handled, I admire the effort Ms. Davidson put into exploring unique ways of handling prose and the examination of live action game culture.  I am definitely interested to see what future stories Ms. Davidson has to offer.

 

 

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Los Angeles Nerds – This Week at NerdMelt, 8/15-20!

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Wednesday, August 15th at 8:30pm – The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail

Our weekly popular standup show, hosted by Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani, hosts the best standups in the country as well as the amazing acts you haven’t heard of quite yet but should! Plus there’s original art each week, surprise drop-ins, and sometimes a puppy!

Susan Burke, Jamie Lee, Nick Turner, Tony Sam, from NYC, Max Silvestri & Maria Bamford!

$8

 

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Thursday, August 16th at 8pm – Incubator

Sean Conroy and Kyle Kinane present THE INCUBATOR, a comedy showcase where seasoned comedians try out brand new material for the very first time. Kind of like an open mic but without all the uncomfortable silence, crickets and yawning.

Featuring Chris Hardwick, Jen Kirkman, Andy Blitz, Leo Allen, Joe Wengert and more, hosted by Sean Conroy!

$8 in , $10 at the door

 

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Friday, August 17th at 9pm – Harmontown

People always ask us “What is Harmontown?”, and that’s a tough question to answer, but here’s the closest thing we’ve got: we gave the creator of Community a night to do whatever he wanted, and what we got was Harmontown.

Attend a town meeting in a land free of brevity, where Mayor Dan Harmon and Comptroller Jeff B. Davis (Whose Line is it Anyway) take another small, vodka-soaked step toward colonizing the moon. Evening may include ineffectual rants, songs, shameful stories, special guests (Allison Brie, Donald Glover, and Gillian Jacobs have all stopped in), forehead sweat and repeated exposure to the phrases “like” , “uh”, “sort of” and “you know.”

$10

 

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Sunday, August 19th at 5pm – Nerdist Writer’s Panel

THE NERDIST WRITERS PANEL series is an informal chat moderated by BEN BLACKER (co-creator of “The Thrilling Adventure Hour”; writer for Supah NinjasSupernatural, among others) with professional writers about the process and business of writing. Covering TV, film, comic books, music, novels, and any other kind of writing about which you care to hear.

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 19th, come down to The Nerdist Theatre at Meltdown Comics to catch the writers of KEY & PEELE discuss the process of making Comedy Central’s new hit sketch show.

 

The writers scheduled to appear are:

Rebecca Drysdale

Colton Dunn

Keegan-Michael Key

Jay Martel

Jordan Peele

Ian Roberts

Alex Rubens

Charlie Sanders

Rich Talarico

 

The line-up is subject to change. And as always, proceeds from the live panels benefit 826LA, the national non-profit tutoring program.

$15

 

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Sunday, August 19th at 7pm – Matt Mira’s Day Off

Matt Mira of the Nerdist Podcast needs a Day Off, so we decided to give him Sundays at Nerdist Theater. Come watch Mira and Paul Cibis host this comedy free-for-all. You’ll see brand new comics, comics you know and love trying out new material (Chris Hardwick and Kumail Nanjiani are frequent drop ins), and the magic that is live comedy.

FREE

 

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Monday, August 20th at 8pm – Harmontown

Yup, that’s right, it’s weekly! Attend a town meeting in a land free of brevity, where Mayor Dan Harmon (creator of Community) and Comptroller Jeff B. Davis (Whose Line is it Anyway) take another small, vodka-soaked step toward colonizing the moon. Evening may include ineffectual rants, songs, shameful stories, special guests (Allison Brie, Donald Glover, and Gillian Jacobs have all stopped in), forehead sweat and repeated exposure to the phrases “like” , “uh”, “sort of” and “you know.”

$10

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Los Angeles Nerds! NerdMelt Awesomesauce This Week, 8/8-8/14

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Wednesday, August 8th at 8:30pm – The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail

Our weekly popular standup show, hosted by Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani, hosts the best standups in the country as well as the amazing acts you haven’t heard of quite yet but should! Plus there’s original art each week, surprise drop-ins, and sometimes a puppy!

Featuring Julian McCullough, Justin Ian Daniels, Tom Segura, Jen Kirkman, Nate Craig & Chelsea Peretti!

$8

 

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Thursday, August 9th at 9pm – Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend LIVE

Alison Rosen (The Adam Carolla Show) won’t help you move but she will perform her super popular new podcast, Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend, live. Featuring a very special guest or two, embarrassing confessions, probing discussion and a sombrero.

Featuring special guest Pete Holmes

$8 in , $10 at door

 

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Friday, August 10th at 8pm – 4 Points with Alex Albrecht

The popular quick-witted weekly commentary show on the Nerdist Channel comes to you LIVE at the NerdMelt Theater. Join ALEX ALBRECHT (Diggnation) and his co-host ALISON HAISLIP (G4’s Attack of the Show) for a special extended live taping as they are joined by celebrity guests to discuss four weekly topics in the realms of technology, pop culture, current events and other genres.

Previous guests have included: Andy Richter, Wil Wheaton, James Gunn, Ted Raimi, Matt Braunger and Zac Levi.

LINK to “4 POINTS” episodes: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL81B749732BE15F7E

$8 in , $10 at door

 

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Saturday, August 11th at 8pm – Keith and The Girl Live

Keith and The Girl, one of the most popular podcasts since 2005, bring their caustic wit and fun attitude to L.A. for a rare live-audience show at the Nerdist Theater. Join Keith, Chemda, their favorite guests and some special surprises for what is guaranteed to be an exciting night out.

Featuring Dave Holmes, Myq Kaplan, Chris Gore, Jesse Joyce, Claudia Cogan & MC Mr. Napkins!

Tickets available here.

$20 in . $25 at the door

 

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Sunday, August 12th at Matt Mira’s Day Off

Matt Mira of the Nerdist Podcast needs a Day Off, so we decided to give him Sundays at Nerdist Theater. Come watch Mira and Paul Cibis host this comedy free-for-all. You’ll see brand new comics, comics you know and love trying out new material (Chris Hardwick and Kumail Nanjiani are frequent drop ins), and the magic that is live comedy.

FREE

 

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Monday, August 13th at 9pm – Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction

Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction is a comedy show (and soon-to-be podcast) founded in Seattle, created & hosted by Bryan Cook. Each event features 10 comics, writing and performing Erotic Fan Fiction pieces, based on their whims or audience suggestions. It’s really stupid.

Come see what Laughspin.Com said CEFF “might be one of my favorite comedy shows I’ve ever taken in. Period.”

The start-studded lineup features:

Kyle Kinane! Baron Vaughn! Ali Wong! Dave Ross! Ian Karmel! Andy Haynes! Lisa Beth Johnson! Adam Cayton-Holland! Brandon Johnson! Andy Wood!

$8 in , $10 at the door

 

 

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Tuesday, August 14th at 8pm – This Is Your Show With Matt Bennett

This show is more than a show. It’s your show. Join Matt Bennett (“Victorious”, “The Virginity Hit”) and friends, and even some special guests, for an hour of music, comedy, interviews, and general Matt Bennett-ness.

$8 in , $10 at the door

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Los Angeles Nerds – This Week at NerdMelt, 8/1-8/7

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Wednesday, August 1st at 8:30pm – The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail

Our weekly popular standup show, hosted by Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani, hosts the best standups in the country as well as the amazing acts you haven’t heard of quite yet but should! Plus there’s original art each week, surprise drop-ins, and sometimes a puppy!

This week features Barry Rothbart, David Angelo, Eliza Skinner, Joe Mande, Fahim Anwar & Pete Holmes!

$8

 

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Thursday, August 2nd at 8pm – Horrible Movie Night

Do you love to make fun of bad movies, but are shunned by friends & family because of it? Then come home to Horrible Movie Night! We invite YOU to riff the worst movies you’ve never seen, and you could win a prize!

Your hosts John Mathot (Disney’s “Phineas & Ferb”), Susan Wright (The Because Show podcast), and improv troupe The Omelettes will present 1983’s Hercules, starring Lou Ferrigno, Sybil Danning, and a lot of hilarious stop-motion animation. If you like MST3K and RiffTrax, this is your thang!

$8 in , $10 at the door

 

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Friday, August 3rd at 9pm – The Business

Four comedians from San Francisco (Alex Koll, Chris Garcia, Bucky Sinister and Sean Keane) bring their popular variety show to LA for a night! See standup, sketch, and weird songs galore! With Guy Branum and Bobcat Goldthwait!

$8 in , $10 at the door

 

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Saturday, August 4th at 9pm – Joke Machine

Three comics battle in the LA’s original roast-meets-gameshow juggernaut Joke Machine. Comics perform new material on an assigned topic, enter a wildcard challenge to do anything from crowd work to reviewing a movie, and gain bonus points for relentless slamming– all in under a minute! The show features a changing cast of LA’s best and brightest.

This epic battle pins Brody Stevens vs Howard Kremer vs Chris Fairbanks with your host Bil Dwyer and announcer Tom Sharpe. Who will survive the comedy blitzkreig?

$8 in , $10 at door

 

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Sunday, August 5th at 7pm – Matt Mira’s Day Off

Matt Mira of the Nerdist Podcast needs a Day Off, so we decided to give him Sundays at Nerdist Theater. Come watch Mira and Paul Cibis host this comedy free-for-all. You’ll see brand new comics, comics you know and love trying out new material (Chris Hardwick and Kumail Nanjiani are frequent drop ins), and the magic that is live comedy.

FREE

 

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

Monday, August 6th at 9pm – Harmontown

People always ask us “What is Harmontown?”, and that’s a tough question to answer, but here’s the closest thing we’ve got: we gave the creator of Community a night to do whatever he wanted, and what we got was Harmontown.

Attend a town meeting in a land free of brevity, where Mayor Dan Harmon and Comptroller Jeff B. Davis (Whose Line is it Anyway) take another small, vodka-soaked step toward colonizing the moon. Evening may include ineffectual rants, songs, shameful stories, special guests (Allison Brie, Donald Glover, and Gillian Jacobs have all stopped in), forehead sweat and repeated exposure to the phrases “like” , “uh”, “sort of” and “you know.”

$10

 

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Tuesday, August 7th at 6pm – The Mutant Season With Gil: The Awesome 10th Birthday Extravaganza Show!

THE MUTANT SEASON is a Nerdist Industries podcast where grade-schooler Gil Dominguez-Letelier talks to adults who have cool jobs and shares the awesome things he likes with you, the listeners at home! (Like, did you know that the raddest animal ever is a Cat-zilla? That’s a fact!) It’s Gil’s 10th birthday, so there will be cake!

Featuring special guests Pete Holmes, Geoff Johns, Jonah Ray, Matt Bennett and Justin Willman!

$5

 

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Tuesday, August 7th at 8pm – Justin Willman’s Magic Meltdown

Join JUSTIN WILLMAN (Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”, The Nerdist Channel) as he and his friends present a cataclysmic evening of prestidigitation, make-believe, and excessive sleight-of-mouth. You’ll spend the entire time wondering “how’d they do that?” and gasping at the wonders of…. MAGIC!

$8 in , $10 at the door

Wonderland-Alphabet-Cover-150x150

The Wonderland Alphabet: Interview with Alethea Kontis & Janet K. Lee

Two weeks ago, a gorgeous new book was released from Archaia entitled The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABC’s and What She Found There, written by New York Times best-selling author Alethea Kontis (The Dark-Hunter Companion, Enchanted) and illustrated by Eisner Award-winning artist Janet K. Lee (Return of the Dapper Men, Emma).  It’s a little different from their typical graphic novels as it is more akin to an illustrated children’s book.  Regardless, it is delightful and beautifully illustrated and, as a result, appealing to any fan of comic art and/or Alice in Wonderland.  Archaia continuously releases top-of-the-line products (as is evident by their six 2012 Harvey Award nominations), and this book is no exception.  Kontis provides fun, whimsical poetry that meshes perfectly with Lee’s signature decoupage art style.  Even an adult who already knows his/her alphabet can appreciate and love the energy and quality of art (written & illustrated) exuded by this book.

 

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak with Kontis & Lee about their new book.  Check out their responses below and when you’re done run out to your local comic book shop and pick it up!

 

1) First and foremost, congratulations on such a gorgeous book! How did this collaboration come about?

Janet: It all started because of a art show at a local (Nashville) gallery.

I was part of a group of gallery artists who aspired to be book illustrators. Shortly after Jim McCann and I got the green light from Archaia to do Return of the Dapper Men, I agreed to be part of a children’s-illustration-themed gallery show called “Protopulp: Classic Books of the Future”. The idea was that each artist would illustrate a children’s book and show (and sell) it’s pages at the gallery. Naively, I thought I could just show pages from Return, since that was the book I was working on. But of course, no. That can not happen before a book is published. So I was left to come up with a new book idea– and quickly!

During a long drive back from DragonCon in Atlanta, I suddenly thought: I don’t think anyone has ever done an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed alphabet book. (My incessant love affair with Lewis Carroll was at a fever pitch that year.) When I got home, I did some quick research, and sure enough, I was right! Then I did a Very Smart Thing: I asked my friend Alethea Kontis to help me. Alethea was already a published author of two alphabet books, AlphaOops and AlphaOops: Halloween as well and the New-York-Times-bestselling Dark Hunter Companion. Happily, she said yes!

 

2) Why Alice in Wonderland in particular?

Alethea: Alice is one of the very best fairy tales. It’s absurdism without incoherence. All my first favorite authors–Grimm, Andersen, Burgess, Nash, Shakespeare, Seuss–were dark, smart, and had a playful sense of whimsy–just like me. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were a natural progression in my literary development. Alice was also a little girl who had magical adventures all in her own head, so these books ere very personal. And Lewis Carroll had snuck puzzles into the book, as if somewhere inside every chapter was a secret message for me to find. This was all Very Important Stuff. (After the advent of Google, I discovered that Julia Margaret Cameron even took a famous photograph of Alice Liddell that is entitled “Alethea” — how crazy is that?)

 

Janet: I bought my first copy of Alice in Wonderland when I was seven. I think even then I had some grand plan that it was going to be part of a large library one day; the book was bound in red leather and there was gold on the edges of the pages. Like the Bible, or something! And inside there were the most beautiful, bizarre illustrations. John Tenniel remains one of my heroes.

And I’ve simply never grown tired of it. I think I’ve spent my whole life waiting for a White Rabbit with a pocket watch to hop by. I’m sure I’ll see him one day.

 

3) This year at NYCC I noticed a number of handouts that were focused on showing teachers and educators effective ways to use graphic novels and/or comic books in the classroom. Obviously, in addition to being a work of art on it’s own, The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABCs and What She Found There can be used for educational purposes with young children. What are your thoughts on this growing ‘genre’ of educational comic books/graphic novels? Do you have interest in doing more books like this?

Janet: Haha! Funny you should mention that! I actually am contributing a story to an anthology called The Graphic Textbook, which aims to use comics to teach kids national school curriculum. Beyond the many benefits to the students, comics in education provide a benefit to the comics community at large. Classroom use legitimizes comics in a way that’s never been done before, and it introduces kids to comics. Imagine what life would have been like if your teacher had handed you a copy of Superman to help teach you about onomatopoeia, or story sequencing. Imagine children being taught to read– and love–comics in school. The idea makes me a little giddy, and I’m absolutely up for more.

 

4) You both have such unique and talented artistic voices. Can you describe a little bit about your respective creative processes?

Alethea: Janet and I were just talking about this at HeroesCon actually–the fact that we don’t get our ideas from just one place, they come from EVERYWHERE. It all goes back to “writedraw what you know” eventually, but what we know comes from a million places and a million influences. Some are obvious, and some are not. That amalgam of completely seemingly random stuff is what gives us our voice or our style, and we embrace that. We are by no means breaking new ground, but instead presenting things from a fresh perspective.

Personally, I’m always asking myself a million questions. Why did X happen and Why did P happen really? What’s the story behind the story? How can I fill in the blanks and have this fairy tale or this alphabet make sense?

 

Janet: If possible, I like to have at least a day to mull over a script before jumping into thumbnails. Honestly, if the story speaks to me, I “see” what the images should be and how they fit on the page and their layers. If I’m having difficulty envisioning a page, I will often just doodle. Draw little sketches. Sometimes they work with the page; sometimes they generate a whole new story idea. Either way, they always help the difficult page to flow.

 

5) Who are some of your favorite artists/writers out there right now? Who are some of your biggest influences/role models?

Alethea: I am a huge artist fangirl. I love KY Craft, John Jude Palencar, Michael Whelan, Wendy Pini, Charles Vess, and Janet Lee. (But you probably didn’t want me to answer the artist portion of that question.) My writing influences are very heavily old school: Shakespeare, Austen, and Voltaire. In poetry: Ogden Nash, Gelett Burgess, and Dr. Seuss. In fantasy: Diana Wynne Jones, Jane Yolen, Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffrey, Lloyd Alexander, Tamora Pierce…and pretty much every other author in the Juvenile section of the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, South Carolina. Personally/professionally: Sherrilyn Kenyon, John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Janet Lee.

 

Janet: Favorites out there now: Shaun Tan (The Arrival), David Peterson (Mouse Guard), Jim McCann/Esquejo (Mind the Gap), Layman/Guillory (Chew), Hill/Rodriguez (Locke & Key), Perez (Tale of Sand).

Biggest influences: Winsor McCay, John Tenniel, David Weisel, Chris Van Allsburg, Mo Willems, Mucha, Jon Muth. But it goes on and on. I’m influenced by everything I’ve seen or read.

 

6) What new projects do you have coming up?

Alethea: My first novel, a young adult fairy tale called Enchanted, launched in May of this year and was just nominated for YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list. (hooray!) The paperback edition of AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First will be coming to bookstores in July. Right now I am working on the sequel to Enchanted, tentatively entitled: Hero.

 

Janet: Well, as I mentioned, I have a story in the upcoming Graphic Textbook and I’m also working on the sequel to Return of the Dapper Men. I’ve also got three other projects in the wings that I can’t talk about yet. But soon…

 

7) Last question (and perhaps most important): Favorite Alice in Wonderland character and why.

Alethea: The Cook! In a production of Alice in Wonderland in high school, my best friend Casey (a small blonde) got to play the lead role of Alice. For successfully fake-sneezing to cue a scene during audition, my horrid, vengeful drama teacher cast me in the no-lines role of The Cook. I was to stir a pot, throw Frisbee-plates left-handed under a curtain (I am not left-handed!), and mumble “Pepper!” while Alice and the Duchess were talking about axis and axes. I stole the scene every time. On purpose. There are small parts and small players, and I’m not ashamed to say that for that particular production, I WAS BOTH. For that reason, The Cook has always held a special place in my heart.

 

Janet: Artistically? It would have to be the Duchess. She is creepy and a little scary and so angry. Love the giant head. Love the baby who turns into a pig. But favorite character would have to be the Cheshire Cat. So puzzling and mysterious. He’s also the only once who actually listens to Alice and, though his advise is contrary, speaks to her rather than at her.

 

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Los Angeles Nerds! This Week at NerdMelt, 6/27-7/3

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Wednesday, June 27th at 8:30pm – The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail

Our weekly popular standup show, hosted by Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani, hosts the best standups in the country as well as the amazing acts you haven’t heard of quite yet but should! Plus there’s original art each week, surprise drop-ins, and sometimes a puppy!

With guests Matt Kirshen, Ali Wong, Brendon Walsh and more!

$8

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Thursday, June 28th at 8pm – RISK!

RISK! is the show where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public– stories they’d normally only tell to close friends. At the RISK! Live shows, the brightest stars of TV, film and literature drop their usual act and show a side of themselves you’ve never seen before.

RISK! Live in LA is hosted by comedians Kumail Nanjiani and Pete Holmes.

June’s topic, “Vindication,” will be touched upon these great storytellers:

Sarah Walker (“McSweeney’s”/”Drunk Girl/High Guy”)

Carlos Kotkin (author “Please God Let It Be Herpes”)

Kevin Broberg (“Quote Unquote”)

Beowulf Jones (“Risk!” producer, MyDamnChannel.com)

$8 in , $10 at door

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Friday, June 29th at 9pm – DOMINIC DIERKES & DC PIERSON: Stand-up Half Hours

Live from The Nerdist Theatre at Meltdown Comics, it’s Dominic Dierkes and DC Pierson! Come spend a hot Summer night with two-thirds of DERRICK Comedy and stars of the cult classic “Mystery Team” as they each do a half-hour of stand up.

$8 in , $10 at door

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Saturday, June 30th at 8pm – Joke Machine

Back by popular demand, LA’s original roast-meets-gameshow juggernaut returns to Meltdown Comics. Three comics battle in the Joke Machine performing new material on an assigned topic, entering a wildcard challenge to do anything from crowd work to reviewing a movie, and gaining bonus points for relentless slamming– all in under a minute!

Hosted by the dangerously unbalanced Bil Dwyer, featuring a changing cast of LA’s best and brightest.

$8 in , $10 at door

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Sunday, July 1st at 7pm – Matt Mira’s Day Off

Matt Mira of the Nerdist Podcast needs a Day Off, so we decided to give him Sundays at Nerdist Theater. Come watch Mira and Paul Cibis host this comedy free-for-all. You’ll see brand new comics, comics you know and love trying out new material (Chris Hardwick and Kumail Nanjiani are frequent drop ins), and the magic that is live comedy.

FREE

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Monday, July 2nd at 8pm – Horrible Movie Night

It’s movie riffing DIY-style! We scour the bottom of the VHS barrel to find the worst movies you’ve never seen, and invite YOU to help us make fun of them. Come up with the best one-liners of the night, and you could win a prize! Your hosts, John Mathot (Disney’s Phineas & Ferb), Susan Wright (The Because Show podcast), and improv troupe The Omelettes will present a disastrously bad Bo Derek movie (is that redundant?) called Ghosts Can’t Do It. If you dig MST3K and RiffTrax, HMN is for you!

$8 in , $10 at door

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Tuesday, July 3rd at 8pm – Justin Willman’s Magic Meltdown

Join us for our favorite variety show, hosted and curated by Magician Justin Willman, and featuring magicians, comedians, bizarre guests, and more fun than you ever had at a kid’s birthday party.

$8 in , $10 at door

Return of the Dapper Men SE Cover

Archaia Announces ‘Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition’

ARCHAIA ANNOUNCES ‘RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN: SPECIAL EDITION’

 

New printing of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel will contain new extras, stories, and never-before-seen artwork

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 14, 2012) – On the heels of the news that the second printing has sold out at the distributor level, Archaia Entertainment announced today its plans to publish the Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition, a brand-new printing of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel that will contain new extras, stories, and never-before-seen artwork.

Return of the Dapper Men is an enchanting, all-ages, original graphic novel created by writer Jim McCann (Mind the Gap) and illustrator Janet K. Lee (The Wonderland Alphabet) about a faraway land where time has stopped and grown-ups don’t exist—just children who don’t age and machines that have come to life. All that is disrupted when 314 dapper-looking gentlemen rain down on the land, intent on starting time up again and causing a ripple effect that affects everyone’s lives. Featuring a Foreword written by TV personality and fashion consultant Tim Gunn, the graphic novel received critical acclaim for its storytelling and distinct art style—each page by Lee is, in itself, a work of art, an elaborate decoupage glued onto a wooden board and coated with protective varnish. The book earned many accolades and was awarded the ultimate honor when it won the 2011 Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Album. Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition will feature a new-look cover with the official Eisner Award seal, and will contain the exclusive reprintings of the two Dapper Men short stories that appeared in Archaia’s Free Comic Book Day publications in 2011 and 2012, as well as never-before-seen artwork from Lee. The book will serve as the perfect run-up to the forthcoming sequel, Time of the Dapper Men (2013).

“For the first time, fans can get ALL of the stories from the Dapper universe so far in one volume—not only can they read the original story, they can also enjoy two tales that were only available previously for Free Comic Book Day,” said Lee. “In addition, we’re excited to include never-before-published Dapper artwork and behind-the-scenes concept art. The Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition is a ‘special’ way to get ready for the next volume, Time of the Dapper Men, which is coming in 2013!”

“When we knew we had to go back to press on Return of the Dapper Men for a third time, we thought, why not make it extra special? New fans will still be able to appreciate the Dapper Men universe, while existing ones can have a new experience with never-before-seen material,” said Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy.

Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition (hardcover, full color, 128 pages, $29.95, 9.5” x 11”, ISBN 978-1-936393-91-6) is scheduled for release in August 2012 and is available for pre-order now through comic book shops (Diamond Order Code JUN12 0796) and wherever books are sold. Limited-edition copies autographed by McCann and Lee will be available at the Archaia booth (#2635) at San Diego Comic-Con, July 12-15, 2012, while supplies last. A leather-bound version of the previous edition is available now for order exclusively through comic book shops and the Archaia webstore.

About Archaia

Archaia is a multi award-winning graphic novel publisher with more than 50 renowned publishing brands, including such domestic and international hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Gunnerkrigg Court, Awakening, The Killer, Days Missing, Tumor, Syndrome, Artesia, The Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels. Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds, building one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. Archaia was named Graphic Novel Publisher of the Year according to Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy and Comic Related, and was honored with nine 2011 Eisner Awards nominations and two Awards for Best Graphic Album and Best Anthology. Archaia has also successfully emerged as a prolific storyteller in all facets of the entertainment industry, extending their popular brands into film, television, gaming, and branded digital media.

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Los Angeles Nerds! NerdMelt Line-Up This Week, 6/13-19

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Wednesday June 13th at 8:30pm – The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail

Our weekly popular standup show, hosted by Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani, hosts the best standups in the country as well as the amazing acts you haven’t heard of quite yet but should! Plus there’s original art each week, surprise drop-ins, and sometimes a puppy!

This week: Baron Vaughn, Greg Behrendt, Justin Willman, plus the continuation of Anthony Jeselnik’s Summer Fling!

$8 in , $10 at the door

 

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Thursday, June 14th at 8pm – Straight, White and Lovin’ It!

Charlie Sanders has faced many struggles living as a straight white male. He tells comedic stories about overcoming the odds – and tries to get you to upgrade your AAA membership in the process.

$5

 

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Thursday, June 14th at 9pm – The Benson Interruption

Join Doug Benson (Doug Loves Movies, Last Comic Standing) and some special surprise guests who don’t mind being interrupted while trying to tell their jokes. Fun + awkward = fawkward!

$10

 

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Friday, June 15th at 7:30pm – Sex Nerd Sandra LIVE!

Sex Nerd Sandra is the awesomely frank podcast where the endlessly curious sexeducator Sandra Daugherty and her comedian co-host Dave Ross explore the fascinating world of human sexuality. With tell-all interviews, juicy topics, tips and more, Sandra and Dave keep it fun, keep it sex-positive and keep it real.

June’s topic: “Does Size Matter?” Sandra and Dave will focus on various aspects of the human body. (Gee, can you think of what they might cover?) Girth vs length, pumps & pills, size queens, condom fit and female body stuff, too, like truths about tightness and cup size. Fun stories abound!

$8 in , $10 at the door

 

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Friday, June 15th at 9pm – The Friday Forty

The Friday Forty is a current-affairs sketch-comedy drinking-game quiz show. 40 questions about the events of the last 7 days, while we all drink 40s of domestic beer. Nourishing!

Lineup: TBA

$8 in , $10 at the door

 

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Saturday, June 16th at 8pm – Harmontown

Attend a town meeting in a land free of brevity, where Mayor Dan Harmon and Comptroller Jeff B. Davis (Whose Line is it Anyway) take another small, vodka-soaked step toward colonizing the moon. Evening may include ineffectual rants, songs, shameful stories, special guests (Allison Brie, Donald Glover, and Gillian Jacobs have all stopped in), forehead sweat and repeated exposure to the phrases “like” , “uh”, “sort of” and “you know.”

SOLD OUT!

 

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Sunday, June 17th at 7pm – Matt Mira’s Day Off

Matt Mira of the Nerdist Podcast needs a Day Off, so we decided to give him Sundays at Nerdist Theater. Come watch Mira and Paul Cibis host this comedy free-for-all. You’ll see brand new comics, comics you know and love trying out new material (Chris Hardwick and Kumail Nanjiani are frequent drop ins), and the magic that is live comedy.

FREE

 

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Monday, June 18th at 8pm – Comedy Film Nerds 100ish Episode and Book Signing

Join Chris Mancini and Graham Elwood along with your favorite Comedy Film Nerds for a special live podcast taping and book signing. (There may even be cake!)

Featuring special guests Dean Haglund, Jackie Kashian, Laura House, Matt Weinhold, Allan Havey, Neil T. Weakley, Suzy Nakamura and Dave Anthony plus surprise guests!

$8 in , $10 at the door

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Tuesday, June 19th at 8pm – F@#ked-Up Futures

Entertainers and writers share their hilariously twisted visions of what could be, but probably shouldn’t.

Brian Posehn (“The Sarah Silverman Program”) shares his post-apocalyptic comic book, “The Last Christmas”

Jane Espenson (writer – Buffy, Battlestar, Game of Thrones) unveils the document that created the world of Caprica

Chris Gore (Attack of the Show) selects the Five Most F@#ked-Up Futures on Film

Phil Lamarr (Futurama‘s Hermes Conrad, Justice League‘s Green Lantern) reads his favorite F@#ked-Up Future Fiction

Mike Upchurch (writer – Mr. Show) presents the De-Restored version of Metropolis

Joel Levinson performs the Top 3 Billboard Hits of 2084

and SPECIAL GUESTS TBA!

Presented by CONAN writer Rob Kutner, author of “Apocalypse How” and “The Future According to Me”

$8 in , $10 at the door

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