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“The common conceit that the human species has evolved over the last several centuries is ludicrous. What gains we have made have come at the cost of our own core identities.”
      -- Alixus


One of the ironclad rules of writing is that no villain thinks of themselves as a villain. It’s also one of the most frequently broken rules out there. Granted, it’s very rare to actually have the bad guy say, “Because I’m evil!” and follow it up with a Haunted Mansion laugh, but murky motivations have led to a phenomenon my larger social group has dubbed Doin’ It for Darkness. This is when a villain’s motives have no larger purpose than pure evil, even if they’re completely idiotic on the face of it. Unsurprisingly, these kinds of motives are most common in paranormal action shows, but they’re present even when the genre doesn’t easily support them. That’s why it’s such a pleasure to see a truly evil person who honestly believes they’re the paragon of virtue, like the baddie in this week’s episode.

“All I could think of, as I looked at her, was that this was not my Keiko.”
    -- Chief Miles O’Brien


Genre labels are, by their very natures, reductive. Even in cases that encompass the mood of the piece, they don’t account for moments that break the prevailing atmosphere, such as comic relief in the middle of a stern drama, or a romantic subplot in the midst of a werewolf apocalypse. They remain necessary, because people generally know what they like and don’t like being forced to expand their horizons without ample warning. The key to a useful genre classification is in the distinction it provides. Not long ago on Facebook, I saw an author sneer that hard-boiled and noir weren’t the same thing: hard-boiled means the protagonist is a cop or a detective of some kind, while noir does not. Turns out, he’s correct, or at the very least edited the relevant Wikipedia page. I personally don’t find the distinction to be a useful one, as it’s unnecessarily reductive on a genre I truly love.

The following is an interview with husband-and-wife team Kevin and Lori Bertazzon, who founded the production company Lovely Studios and, together, have co-produced, written, directed, and animated everything from film and comic books to animation.  In this interview, the Bertazzons chat with Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon regarding their latest project, Tugger the Ship, how they approach their creative process, the comparisons of working as an independent creator versus collaborating with a larger studio, and where you can find more of their work.

When I was little, I was first introduced to Wonder Woman via the television series starring Lynda Carter. I was head-over-heels in love, a crush that holds strong to this day. While Wonder Woman clearly has appeal on her own, Carter is largely credited for immortalizing the live version of everyone's favorite Amazon Princess. Naturally, I was thrilled to learn DC Comics had announced the launch of another Digital First series with Wonder Woman as the star, the first being the well-received, non-continuity-based Sensation series. This time, DC has followed its successful Batman '66 formula based on the popular, campy television series from the '60s starring Adam West, with Wonder Woman '77 based on the campy television series from the '70s using the likeness of Lynda Carter.

"Yowza! Yowza! Yowza! Step right up . . . to the greatest show on Earth! We got dancing, legless girls! We got creepy lobster boys! We got a woman with three--- what?!?"

We wait for it every Halloween, the return of Ryan Murphy's juicy drama/thriller/spooky chiller anthology series on FX, American Horror Story.  This season's subtitle, Freakshow, pretty much sums up the premise.

“Marriage is the greatest adventure of them all. It’s filled with pitfalls and setbacks and mistakes, but it’s a journey worth taking, ‘cause you take it together.”
     -- Chief Miles O’Brien


There’s an unfortunate truism that has become more and more apparent in the current Age of Antiheroes on television: nobody likes the wife. Beyond simple misogyny, there’s a pretty simple and obvious reason for this. If you’re tuning in to watch a serial killer dispatch bad guys, a high school teacher cook meth, or a retired cake maker operate his toddler MMA league (Call me, FX!), anyone who stands in the way of this is going to be roundly loathed by the audience. It doesn’t matter that the wife often has pretty sound, logical reasons for not wanting her husband to hunt dangerous people for money/engage in violent drug wars/watch babies pummel each other. She is standing in the way of entertainment, and so she is a monster on par with a combination of Hitler and Godzilla, vaporizing joy with her atomic fire breath.

The following is an interview with comic book expert and New York Times bestselling writer Daniel Wallace, author of Star Wars: Imperial Handbook, which will be released for sale on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Wallace about what readers can expect from this Imperial Military guide, the "in-book authors" that will share their villainous perspective, and the amazing features of the deluxe edition that every Star Wars fan will want to own!

“Constable?”
“It’s a nickname that I barely tolerate.”
“It’s an expression of affection that you find difficult to accept.”
    -- Dr. Mora and Odo


Traditionally, the outsider character in any Star Trek property has difficulty with emotions. Whether or not they actually can’t feel them like Data, actively resist them like Spock, or something in the middle maybe like Seven of Nine (I don’t know, I barely watched Voyager.), emotions are the enemy of the outsider. It speaks to Roddenberry’s vision of the future that the chief defining characteristic of humans -- indeed, much of our power -- comes from emotion. Odo is no exception, but true to DS9’s richer use of backstory and characterization, he comes to emotion from a much different place than the others.

The following is an interview with Emmy-winning author A.R. Witham, creator of the new animated novel, Black Jack. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Witham about the inspiration for his moving novel, the design of the story and how it is enhanced when read through an iPad, and more!

“In the end, it all comes down to luck.”
     -- Cos

This is my third time through the entire series of DS9, not counting the innumerable instances I’ve caught full or partial episodes on TV or cued up one of my favorites from the collection. I have a pretty good idea of the contents of an episode before I screen it for review. Sometimes, it’s down to only the basic skeleton of the plot, but there’s always something. Which is what made this week’s episode, “Rivals,” so weird. I couldn’t remember a single thing. Oh, I had a vague image of Chris Sarandon -- that’s Prince Humperdink -- standing at a doorway with lights, but that’s all. It was like the episode had abducted me like a UFO, and I was going to wake up with bits of latinum in my skin.

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