Interview with Emily Whitaker: author of Ladies of Market Street

Today we bring you an interview with independent comic book author Emily Whitaker. She will be unveiling the story behind her latest creation of Ladies of Market Street, a comic about “crime-fighting hookers”.

The comic is out for sale through amazon and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N37BQ3T

You can also follow Emily on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ee_whit

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So Emily, please tell us… We know you and Trey met at a local art show, and that is how you two managed to pull this off, because of your cool skills were like peanut butter and jam…But how did you come up with something as remarkable as crime fighting hookers?!

This is actually a story that has been with me for years now.  I elude to the fact that the Ladies are also Real-Estate agents.  I get into more of this in the next issue.  But they use the vacant apartments for parties and to entertain their Johns and such things!  And it is that Real-Estate Agency that first gave birth to this strange story.  In 2003 I worked at a Real-Estate agency in New York and all the people were young artists.  We would use the vacant apartments for everything… if we needed a bathroom, a place to change, or some privacy!!!  My roommate was in love with an apartment on the upper east side that wouldn’t sell because they were asking too much.  So every Sunday she would go there to paint because the sun would come through the windows just right!  I wrote our story at first, but it was about that time that I was coming face to face with facts of human trafficking throughout the world and in the city.  The only way I knew to fight it was to write about it.  And to create women who were strong enough and savvy enough to truly fight something so heinous.  So I put pen to paper and got to create these amazing women and  fight the war the only way I knew how.  It is a serious subject, but while I was writing it I felt I wanted to be friends with these women.  And that is the joy I hope my readers have as well.

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Post-Apocalyptic Badass Kung-Fu; or how to make an Oriental-like TV series for Western people like Into the Badlands

Into the Badlands, this series AMC has kinda made out of the blue and that although it seems incredibly popular in Spain, the USA and elsewhere, it seems the folks in the UK are just not aware of it. Why though? Who doesn’t want Daniel Wu doing some crazy Kung-Fu? Perhaps you just haven’t realise the show is actually out there. To be honest, I wouldn’t blame you. Unless you are very much into your martial arts and wuxia kinda thing, the announcement of the series was fairly underwhelming when the first season came out. AMC did a very short run of 6 episode for the first season back in 2015, and it has taken them 2 years to get season 2 out. A lot of people thought the show wa snot gonna get a second chance, and I suspect that may be the reason why the season why so short. Yet, I insist, why wouldn’t you give this series a go? It is refreshing, the acting is good, and it is just not more of the same. Perhaps we should talk about this so you can get what I mean.

Martial arts are not a popular theme for TV – at least not in the west, or in non-animated form. Why? Well, it may have something to do with its oriental traditions and the fact that every time a white guy tries to do something of the sort people call it white-washing – I refer myself to Iron Fist. (Now for those of you who do not get the fact that Iron Fist is NOT white washing, but part of the colonialist themed comics…I am not gonna bother, but I suggest you speak with my friend Nick from AUS about it, and he will give you a lecture on it. Please refrain yourselves from just slacking term like white washing on to things you do not fully understand…). Of course,e I do appreciate there is an audience issue there as well: that is the reason why China produces hundreds of martial arts films a year that we will never see on our screens. Okay, fine. Yet, you would sit through the Last Air Bender, Naruto, and a long list of shōnen animes which include this at the core of their narrative…This may be the time to expand your horizons. Now, what they have done here, is not just throw in some Kung-Fu cause it’s fun – well, that too –  but because it is fitting.

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3 ‘Grandes’ of Spanish Comic-book Art: Kenny, Rubin & Calderon

Today I bring you something I think is pretty cool: some golden gems drawn on the spot from some top Spanish comic book artist that are not given the creds they deserve outside of my home country. So this is a tribute to their genius and to Spanish comics. If you know anything about me (if you are reading this it is likely by this stage you know something) it should not come as a surprise that a comic book scholar owns things like this. What is surprising is the art work itself. These pieces have also interesting and sentimental stories attach to them, therefore I’ll give you some details about these stories, – and the comics themselves, of course!!

El Misterio del Capitán Nemo (2012) – Mathieu Gabella & Kenny Ruiz

This is actually the piece that started the collection. I first engaged with Kenny’s work when I was in college, with one of his most renown works to that moment: El Cazador de Rayos (The Lightning Hunter). An incredibly touching story about believe, technology, survival and the making of oneself. But this reinterpretation I guess you can call it of Captain Nemo was just amazing. I loved every single page. Although very much a villain, Nemo is fantastic. There is, I don’t know, I guess slight Jaffaresque essence to him that makes him a lovable evil in a way. So how did this end up with me? Well, my parents were living in Toledo at the time and they happened to go to the Feria del Libro in Madrid (Madrid’s bookfaire), where Kenny was doing some signings. That was like 4 years ago now (2013), so very shortly after the comic was actually released.

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Geek Economy – The Board Game Cafe Experience: Draughts & Board-in-the-City

Hello and welcome to one of them updates where we discuss how being a geek affects our domestic economy. Today I am going to discuss with you guys my personal experience from two board-game cafes that have opened in the last couple of years in the UK and that I have now frequented enough times to have a formed opinion on the subject. These are Draughts (London), and Board-in-the-City (Southampton). First of all though, let me give you the background to what have been the parameters I have used to make up my opinion. As a board-gamer I have been brought up and developed in a space that was friendly and cosy: home. Mum and Dad always happy to give you a run for your money at any game we own. So, for me, cracking some board games and having fun is not just about being sociable with my friends, but also about being comfortable whilst having a good time. Some of you may relate to this: having being bullied for years for being “weird” and liking games, comfortable is important. What other things have influenced my thoughts? Well, the games, of course. This is again something I have inherited with my genes I suppose: back at home, my parents have cartloads of games. From the classical Cathedral which I fondly remember playing as a child in the 90s with my dad, to the most recent releases in the market – I would say it is thousands but that is an exaggeration. You get the just nonetheless. With such an extensive collection, you cannot help but develop the following characteristics: you care for your games (particularly when you have friends coming over), and a healthy diversity of length, themes, number of players, dynamics and formats. And now, on to the practical stuff. Gamers of the world, you sure must agree with me, when you are playing you require the following: space and food. Why? Because board games take up space, and you may be playing something as sweet and simple as Story Cubes, then the next thing you know, you are halfway through an X-Wing party. Therefore, you need a decent sized surface to be able to get around and spread yourselves. But also, you need food – snacks and a drink mostly, and these take up space too. When we have games nights, we usually order lunch/dinner as well, and for sure you cannot have always space for the game and your meal at the same time – plus what kind of heathen wants pizza grease on their tiles?! Sure you stop for a sec, right…?. I am more concerned about the snacking factor in any case. You know: we want crisps, little nibbles to share, that sort of stuff you can yell at your best friend with your mouth full for closing your own train track whilst in the middle of a Ticket to Ride; that sorta thing. These are, in my opinion, indispensable. So, let’s see how this battle comes across.

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Geek Obsession #7 – The Goth Dolls Collection

Today I bring you something quite dear to me, perhaps one of my earliest collections ever: my Goth dolls. These came from two brands: the Bleeding Edge Goths (also known as BeGoths), and the Living Dead Dolls. And this all started in a very unexpected way.

My first trip to the UK took place when I was 9. My parents obviously took me sightseeing everywhere possible, and one of the days we ended up down Oxford Street and towards Canary Wharf. Back in the day there used to be a branch of Forbidden Planet near there – an outlet if I remember well! Mum and dad had visited it frequently when they used to live in London, so they took me there to see what they had as we didn’t really have that sort of thing in my home town – this was no ordinary comic store. And there she was: red-headed, goth looking Lillian (With 2 ‘L’ like me!). It was a sign. I took it home with me and, well I guess the rest just started flocking a little later.

I started with the 12″ dolls, then I acquired I few of the 7″ models, and finally perhaps my favourite and most precious item ever…I do appreciate the pics could be better, however, these boxes are bloody difficult to photograph without reflections, because the thing is…These gals have never come out of the box! (And never will as far as I am concerned…).

So this is Lillian on the left. She was part of the first original series (1), that only had 5 models and are as of the early 2000s sold out. Believe it or not, I am confident in a moment of my life or two, I’ve probably looked like that…barr the piercing. Of series 1 I do also own Victoria – my good friend Remi brought that all the way from the USA for my birthday one summer he was out there learning English! It was epic! (However, Victorias box is probably the worst of them all so trying to get a decent pic of her is pretty hard, poor thing!). The one on the right is Lolita Sun. She was an exclusive edition launched between series 1 and 2…She is pretty special.

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Juegos que Hacen que me Muera del Aburrimiento

¡Buenas! Ya sé que el tema que traigo hoy es bastante controvertido, pero eh, para eso estamos, ¿no? Como siempre, lo que digo es lo que pienso, y no lo digo con ningún tipo de malicia: simplemente expreso mis sentimientos sobre determinados juegos que, aunque he intentado cogerles el gusto, la verdad es que me pueden. Así que preparos para la lista de la muerte:

-Catan: Si, si, ya lo sé, soy una desalmada…PPPFFFFF que queréis que os diga, me importa un comino este juego. Me aburre de forma abismal. Normalmente no puedo aguantar más de cuatro turnos antes de querer acabar con mi sufrimiento. ¿Por qué? Pues, veremos. Creo que posiblemente sea porque me parece una dinámica muy repetitiva y formularia, en la que un par de estrategias funcionan bien, y es uno de esos juegos en los que o te agarras a esa estrategia y ganas o no te comes ni los mocos. Tampoco me gusta la estética del juego – es feo con avaricia. Y nada oye, que es que no puedo entre una cosa y otra sentarme a jugar una partida de Catan (en cualquiera de sus variedades). Y la verdad es que lo he intentado varias veces. Al principio pensé, “jo, soy torpe y no lo pillo”. Pero no tenía nada que ver con eso; incluso ganando me aburre. Punto.

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Games I Tried to Like but Bore Me Endlessly

Hello everyone!! Yes, I know, I come with a controversial title, and I know I am going to get evils from many of you as I write this post but I really needed to get this off my chest. There are some games that it seems everyone loves…But me. I am not saying they aren’t good games, they just don’t cling with me, you know? I have tried them, and tried them, and played them…And i just cannot be bothered. And sometimes I play them just to please others and get along, but if it was down to me, they will never touch the surface of a table. EVER. So here is my list:

-CATAN: I KNOW!!! YOU ALL HATE ME NOW!! Well…Whatever! I really couldn’t care less for Catan. I can last about 4 rounds of the game without my jaw dropping into an insane concatenation of yawning. Why? Well, who knows. I think it feel rather repetitive and very formulaic, in the sense of xyz strategy works and that’s it. I don’t personally find it aesthetically appealing, and the general mechanic of it, I really just cannot find the will to make it through. Not even on my first game ever, years ago, did I actually enjoy playing it. I thought, “huh, I must be doing something wrong as everyone Loves this game”, and that is why I kept insisting. But Nope. Not for me.

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