How I Vanished for a Summer, Discovered My Life’s Ambition, and Dyed My Hair Purple (Also: Guild Wars 2)

To those of you who were readers from before June: It’s good to be back! I have missed the blog and all of the kind words of support from our readers.

To those of you who started reading after Joanna’s epic takeover: Hello! My name is BatCat. Joanna’s BFFL and co-founder of geekalitarian. I hope that you continue to reading our blog and help us by shamelessly promoting it to your friends (/shameless plea for promotion)

This summer I worked at a Girl Scout Camp as the Program Coordinator, Art Specialist, and Unit Leader. I have already extensively written about how awesome Girl Scouts is and how influential it can be on girl’s lives. The majority of those articles were for the newspaper The Laurel Mountain Post, but my pro-girl leanings have snuck their way into geekalitarian as well. Going into this experience I thought that working for Girl Scouts and running programing was exactly what I wanted to do with my life. My prospects of becoming an art teacher are few, so this was another way to apply the skills I have learned and still make a difference. By the end of this experience, I was really ready for it to end. I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, but working 6 days a week (or 7 days on the off-week) from 6 am- 12am with children? Not for me.

But something happened at the beginning of the summer that I didn’t know would lead to one of those course-of-life-altering-decisions. I took my boyfriend to the Carnegie Museums. He had never been to a museum before, and I was practically raised in one. We went to the Natural History Museum first- for those of you who have never been, it’s amazing. There are lots of activities to keep you engaged in the information or the artifacts. There are documentaries, authentic music, a hall of ‘stuffed animals’, and a lightshow explaining the Navajo creation legend.  Then we went to the Carnegie Museum of Art (which is in the same building), and it was a much different experience. As a student of art, I could walk around at a leisurely pace and actually appreciate what I was seeing on a different level. What I have noticed in other people is that they walk really quickly, don’t stand in one place too long, glance at a work, remain completely silent or shush their children, or walk away saying “I don’t understand why that’s art.” Later in the summer on one of my breaks I was thinking about this again and decided that that is it. That’s my life’s goal. Infiltrate the ‘institution’, tear it down, and bring art to the people! I want to make art museums just as engaging and interactive as science and history museums (and I am not talking about making a ‘children’s’ art museum) . Think about it: What is the difference between art museums as we know them and galleries? That you can buy the work. What is the difference between a history museum and an auction house? That you can buy the antiques and the museum provides the public with interactive and informative information. Why can’t art museums be like that?

Of course infiltrating the ‘institution’ will require me to go to graduate school. So I was looking into things and realized that I only have one semester left before student teaching. One more semester to be unprofessional. This was my last chance to do anything crazy to my hair. Thus, I dyed the underneath of my supa-blonde hair purple. End of that story.

This summer I also purchased a HP desktop pretty much exclusively for gaming. Guild Wars 2 comes out Saturday, so in celebration I want to share the infographic below with you. It is about the economy of Guild Wars 2 and has me pretty much convinced that we should elected game developers to Congress and budget committees:

-BatCat

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Completely Unsolicited Advice to Storm

Hey Storm,

You might remember me from that last letter I wrote to you a while back. You didn’t respond, but that’s ok. I’m sure you were really busy.

Anyway, I found out about what happened between you and Black Panther. I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry. T’Challa really should have talked to you about it before going ahead and having the marriage annulled. I know you guys were in couples therapy, but that kind of lack of communication is pretty low, in my opinion. I get that being on different sides of a superhero war can really strain a relationship. But I think that T’Challa is just hiding behind this conflict. I don’t think he gave you the respect you deserve, and the way he behaved about this is an indication of that.

Namor destroyed half of Wakanda, you didn’t. You didn’t even know that Namor was going to, because only Emma Frost did. You don’t even know anything the Phoenix Five are doing, because they don’t tell any other X-Men what’s going on. Maybe T’Challa doesn’t know that. But he should have given you the benefit of the doubt. He should have trusted you. You came back to Wakanda because you wanted to help after Namor destroyed Wakanda. That shows you care about your people, and you care about him. You did the right thing.

I also wanted to say that I think you can do better than T’Challa. Maybe that sounds harsh. You guys did only get divorced like yesterday. But I mean it. You deserve someone who will believe that you didn’t know Namor was planning anything. You deserve someone who will communicate with you, let you know that he’s going to give up on therapy instead of getting an annulment behind your back. You deserve someone who will stick with you through this superhero war.

So here’s my advice, Storm: Forget about him. Not completely. The time you two spent together probably affected you deeply, so you can’t just wave the magic wand and ignore that part of your life. Relationships are complicated. Even ones that involved retconning origin stories in order to seem real. But I think you should try not to think about him for a while. You need to do things to take your mind off him, and, most importantly, you need to socialize.

Call up your girls. Have some fun. Talk about relationships, or don’t. I’m sure Rogue’s got a thing or two she could say about Gambit. And don’t get me started on Sue and Rick. Yeesh. But if you’d rather just hang out, drinking Cape Cods and talking about last’s week’s Project Runway or the future of Downton Abbey, that’s fine too.

Don’t let this rule your life. You are better than this behind-your-back-annulment. You are better than the man who did it. Always remember it’s not your fault. He failed to communicate with you, and that is his fault. There was nothing you could do to prevent either Namor’s destruction of Wakanda, or T’Challa’s misunderstanding your role in all this.

Keep on fighting for what you know is right, Storm. You’re powerful, intelligent, and brave. Remember to always be true to your heart, because that’s when the heavens will part, and someone will actually understand the Mulan reference I’m making here.

I know you’ll find someone better, someone who will respect you for being the strong, indomitable force of nature that you are. But if you don’t find anyone else? No problem. You’ll always have the X-Men, and friendship can be just as meaningful as romantic relationships. So don’t stress out about finding a new man.

In short, Storm, don’t get too down about T’Challa. It might hurt to hear now, but he’ll never be half as badass as you, and he couldn’t handle that.

Lots of love and admiration,

Joanna xoxo

One Woman’s Journey from Comic-Fan to Comic-Professional

Reposted from ComicMix.com

Emily S. Whitten: Getting Started in the Comics Industry

by Emily S. Whitten on May 22nd, 2012 at 8:00 am

I love comics. I love reading them, thinking about them, discussing them, and even critiquing them. I also love writing them, something I’ve discovered in the last couple of years as I started writing a series of webcomics about characters in upcoming comic book-related movies, which were then published on movie news websites like MTV Splash Page and ReelzChannel. Since that time, I’ve realized that I’d really like to keep writing comics, including, hopefully someday soon, full issues for a major company, to be seen by all the worrrrrrld [insert maniacal laugh here].

That may seem like a big leap, but it could happen. After all, most of the people who are or have been involved in professional comics started out just as I did: as ridiculously huge fans of the medium and the characters and stories. I mean, sure, maybe a few here or there got pulled into a job and then discovered they liked it, but for the most part, the people making comics do it because they were fans who, basically, landed their dream jobs through expressing their love of or thoughts on comics.

There are some great public examples of this amongst the current Big Names in comics. They include Geoff Johns, who wrote in to DC Comics as a kid with suggestions for the Superboy storyline. There’s also Kevin Smith, whose lifelong comics fandom landed him a number of roles in comics-writing after he’d already made a name for himself with movies (and he also owns Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, the first comic book store I ever went to, being a Jersey gal). There’s also Gail Simone, who came to the attention of comics publishers through her website Women in Refrigerators, which critiqued the treatment of female characters in comics, and has since written a weekly column on Comic Book Resources and a lot of great comics about both male and female characters, including well-received stints on the all-female group comic Birds of Prey. (I mention this comic in particular because I think it’s great that after Simone expressed her opinion on a certain issue in comics, she had the opportunity to address that issue by writing a number of female characters.) And let’s not forget Mark Waid, whose studio tour on Comic Book Resources reveals just how much of a fan collector he is, as well as giving us this quote about a three-page sequence from Flash #0 that hangs on his wall: “[it’s] the scene where the adult Wally West meets his ten-year-old self and tells the boy that no matter how rotten his young life seems or how hard the days are to get through, when he grows up, every wish he’s ever wished for will come true. It’s hands-down my favorite sequence I have ever written because – and I say this in all sincerity – I often dream about being able to travel back in time and tell young Mark Waid that same thing.”

Aw.

Of course, compared to these greats and all of their former-fan-now-professional companions, including my esteemed fellow columnists at ComicMix, I wouldn’t say I’ve had too much of a “career in comics” to date. But like, I suspect, at least a few big names today, I have gone from being “just a fan” to being much closer to where I’d like to be in the industry, and have high hopes of continuing along that trajectory in the future. I know that a lot of other fans have similar hopes. So I thought I’d take a couple of minutes to look back at my own experience with comics so far and see how it’s progressed.

As a kid I hadn’t read many comics, and didn’t even know there were such things as “comic book stores” devoted to (gasp) just that medium. There were a few comics in the house that belonged to my oldest sister – the ones I remember being some old collections of Archie and some individual issues of Richie Rich – and I did read those few books countless times, and remember being enamored of both the funny and entertaining stories and the way the illustrations complimented and enhanced them. But I didn’t lack for reading materials, with an English teacher for a mom and two older sisters who loved books, so I never went looking for more comics.

Television, however, was a different matter. You didn’t have to go out and find television shows – they came to you! So I grew up on a healthy mix of cartoons like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ThunderCats, X-Men: The Animated Series (I still love the theme song!), DuckTales and Darkwing Duck, Batman: The Animated Series, and countless others, most of which either started as or ran concurrently with comic books (although I didn’t know it at the time). I also, thanks to my dad, got a healthy dose from an early age of adventure and comics-related shows and movies he loved, including Sky King, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, and the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. Fast forward a few years, and I was addicted to Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (and even later, I got hooked on Smallville. Apparently I can’t resist on-screen Clark Kent). So comics have always been a part of my life, and I’ve always been a fan, but I didn’t realize it.

In 2008, that all changed. Thanks to an ex who suggested we go to the local comic book store for Free Comic Book Day, I started getting interested in collecting paper comics. On that fateful day he recommended a character that “I think you’ll like,” i.e. Deadpool; and after flipping through a couple of issues, I was completely hooked. In the following month I acquired and read all the Deadpool books I could find (as well as a slew of other comics, both new and old), and, in a joking conversation with the ex in which I was pretending to answer questions as Deadpool, I think I said something like, “wouldn’t it be funny if Deadpool was online answering questions?” and he said, “You should totally do that,” and thus, the first entry of Ask Deadpool was born. I made up the first few questions myself; and by the next day, people were writing in. I’ve now been regularly answering questions online as Deadpool for four years.

I’ve never had much of an interest in writing fanfiction generally, but with comics, it feels a little different. In a strange way, the comics industry could be looked at as the ultimate repository for quality fanfic (except that as it’s published, it becomes canon). There are so many professionals that got their start playing in sandboxes that were built by previous professionals that writing a comic book character non-professionally feels less like fanfic and more like practicing to join the fun. Sure, my Ask Deadpool writing is still fanfic (until I take over Deadpool at Marvel and write it for the next 20 years, mwahahaaaaa), but it’s different than someone writing about a closed universe such as, say, the Harry Potter series. Not only is writing comics fanfic a great way to practice writing previously published characters’ voices, but there’s actually the chance that all that practice might someday be put to use, professionally.

And there’s also the chance that in writing about something you love, you will accidentally become known as a gigantic Deadpool fan to everyone you know and many people you don’t, which will result in a friend getting a cool Deadpool print signed to you by one of the best inkers in the business (hey-oh, Nathan Massengill!), and you will be so excited about it that you will get it framed, and send a thank you email and photo of the framed print to the inker, and subsequently become friends with the inker, who incidentally convinces you to go to a comic con and introduces you to a bunch of other cool people in comics, and soon other fans and all these people who actually work in comics will know you as the biggest Deadpool fan ever, and this turns out to be a pretty good thing.

Because then you will turn out to be “the most passionate Deadpool fan” that a movie news site has encountered, and will be asked to write a fan article about Deadpool for them, at the same time that you just so happened to have started writing comic strip scripts using Deadpool and other characters to commentate on current pop-culture news, and have found another fan who’s a great artist and has agreed to draw the comics, and it turns out that you’ve already written a script that exactly fits the topic of the article. And the news site likes it, and want to see more.

That’s how I ended up having webcomics published on popular movie news websites. (Although it’s also important to know your own value and not be afraid to pitch something. My Avengers three-part series ran on MTV Splash Page because I actually pitched it to the editor, rather than him finding me.) The same passion for comics and network of people and happenstances has also led to me meeting the folks here at ComicMix and being invited to write a weekly column; and to me meeting another writer who has already had several comic scripts published professionally, and with whom I am now plotting out the greatest comic series ever created (well we think so, anyway). And although I can’t predict the future, I have high hopes that for me, it will hold an abundance of work in comics.

The interesting thing here is, until recently I didn’t really sit down and think to myself, “hey, maybe I could actually write comics. Like, professionally.” Instead, I was just having fun with something I enjoy, and expressing a passion for characters and a medium I’ve come to love. As it turns out (I think, and evidence suggests), this is a pretty good way to get started in comics, and the more I think about what I’d like to write in comics, the more ideas I have. Along with the greatest comic series ever created, I’d love to write Deadpool for Marvel someday (after much more practice, perhaps!) and I’ve got a Superman story in my head that I think would knock people’s socks off. And that’s just what’s percolating in my brain right now. But really, whatever happens in my future, I’m overjoyed that I am where I am today, writing about a medium I love and interacting with people who keep me inspired, and plan to continue to write columns, and webcomics, and anything else people will let me write professionally, for as long as I can. And maybe, if you’re a passionate fan like me, you can do that too! Servo Lectio!

Dare to Play: Nancy Drew for a New Generation

Nancy Drew is one of the most celebrated and recognizable characters of all time. Created by Edward Stratemeyer ( also creator of the Hardy Boys) in 1930, the character of Nancy Drew became the super-chic and intelligent heroine of her own series of mystery novels.

Nancy Drew is a fictional 18-year-old amateur sleuth (16 in earlier versions). She lives in the fictional town of River Heights[14] with her father, attorney Carson Drew, and their housekeeper, Hannah Gruen. Nancy’s mother died when she was three (10 in earlier versions). Nancy is often assisted in solving mysteries by her two closest friends, Bess Marvin and George Fayne, and also occasionally by her boyfriend, Ned Nickerson.

Nancy has often been described as a super girl: in the words of Bobbie Ann Mason, she is “as immaculate and self-possessed as a Miss America on tour. She is as cool as a Mata Hari and as sweet as Betty Crocker.” Nancy is wealthy, attractive, and amazingly talented.

“At sixteen she ‘had studied psychology in school and was familiar with the power of suggestion and association.’ Nancy was a fine painter, spoke French, and had frequently run motor boats. She was a skilled driver who at sixteen ‘flashed into the garage with a skill born of long practice.’ The prodigy was a sure shot, an excellent swimmer, skillful oarsman, expert seamstress, gourmet cook, and a fine bridge player. Nancy brilliantly played tennis and golf, and rode like a cowboy. Nancy danced like Ginger Rogers and could administer first aid like the Mayo brothers” (Wikipedia)
Nancy Drew has undergone numerous transformations over the years to keep her relevant to the generation. In 1998, Her Interactive began a series of Nancy Drew computer games and became my personal heroes. With their 27th game in the series released last week, the franchise is still going strong. Nancy is still the attractive and talented sleuth who is capable of thinking her way out of any situation (but who has also been known to karate-chop and threaten baddies with a gun).
Part of Her Interactive’s mission involves one simple fact: Girls play video games too- just like the executives that spearheaded the creation of the original novels realized that girls also read mystery novels. I’ve been playing Nancy Drew games since I was in the 4th grade. Before that, I really didn’t have any insight into the world of video games or computers. This is what sparked my interest and made me want to learn more. Not just about gaming, but each Nancy Drew games focus on some sort of niche or knowledge-base that the gamer has to call upon (this is usually in the form of a puzzle or a conveniently placed book) and in the process sneakily learn about things they may never have had exposure to. For example: Secret of the Scarlet Hand- you are a junior curator at a museum in Washington, D.C. and explore temple replicas, play traditional games, and explore a virtual exhibit while also learning what its like to work in a museum; Danger By Design, Phantom of Venice, Shadow at Water’s Edge and the Captive Curse all have puzzles involving other languages. I could go on and list examples for all 27 games- but I think I’ve made my point.
However, if you are still not sold that as an adult Nancy Drew is a role model, a friend of mine recently lent me ‘Confessions of a Teen Sleuth‘ by Chelsea Cain in which me learn that everything we thought we knew about Nancy Drew was a lie- invented by her unattractive, jealous college roommate, Carolyn Keene. The novel is Nancy’s true confessions about her life, from her time as the cool, trendy teenage to her elder years. Although it is a parody, Nancy experiences a lot of the same troubles women faced then and face now. Since I apparently all about books that relate to life to help you through issues, pick this book up.
Now I am about to play the crap out of the newest Nancy Drew game with my little bro. Yeah, that’s right. Boys can like Nancy Drew too. Here, enjoy these videos about female and homosexual video game characters:
\
-BatCat
PS: Oh and did I  mention the Nancy Drew manga?

Princess Free Zone

Insert genric excuses about being on antibiotics, finals, and paper writing.

So I have decided to plug Princess Free Zone, a pretty amazing brand and site that encourages youg girls to explore their interests and not to live up to th ‘princess’ role.

“‘Girls need to know that they can do anything they want—that might include hammering a nail into a wall or fixing a broken faucet. But just saying the words doesn’t make it so.’  She believes a girl can wear a tiara if she wants, but she should feel free to take it off as well.” -Michelle Yulo, founder of PFZ

Follow PFZ on Facebook for all the lastest updates, buy shirts with bugs an dinos for your girls, and support the message that girls can be more than princesses!

-BatCat

Werewolves! Lesbians! Pot! Erotica! Fish Puppets! (Not All At Once)

I decided to browse the comics section of Kickstarter today and highlight a few of my favorite projects. The great thing about Kickstarter is that anyone with a project can join, which means a lot of women who might otherwise go unnoticed by mainstream industries end up creating the comics/films/theatrical productions/games/etc. the world needs.

So, what exactly is it that I think the world needs?

Body-Positive Erotica!

Luckily, Sarah Benkin is working on Star Power: A Body Positive Erotic Comic… Told in Rhyme.

According to the Kickstarter page, “Star Power is a 32-page book about what happens when sexual competition and body modification go too far.” What isn’t awesome about this? Currently, the project is at 24 days to go, with only $700 of its $7000 goal met. In case you’re wondering what all that money goes to, “Funding is needed for printing costs, artist fees and to cover the many incentives attached to the project.”

The world also needs more superheroines who smoke pot!

Ok, I’m not so sure about that. But, it’s certainly a niche in the comics industry that isn’t being met. The Superhighs is about two girls who save the world by smoking weed. I have literally no idea what this actually means. However, the author, Dani Marie, says that, “I was conscious of gender and sexuality as I wrote this comic book. I wanted everyone from every religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to be able to see themselves in the comic… you don’t need to be a white heterosexual male to save the world.” Even though I’m a little lukewarm on the concept, I can definitely get behind inclusivity. With 25 days to go, The Superhighs has met $225 of their $3500 goal.

Are you into horror and lesbian werewolf protagonists? Rachel Deering and Anathema have you covered!

According to Deering, “Anathema is a six issue limited series horror comic that tells the story of Mercy Barlowe, a tormented young woman with a dark side. She must fight through treacherous lands and unspeakable horrors to reclaim her lover’s soul, which has been stolen by members of a sinister cult, bent on resurrecting a terrible and ancient evil.

In issue #1, we saw Mercy’s world torn asunder, and watched as she accepted the curse of the wolf. Can Mercy learn to harness her horrible new powers and stop the raven cult before they succeed in their vile plan? Mercy needs your help to see her journey through!”

This Kickstarter campaign is to finish the 6-issue series. Deering explains the money will specifically go to paying her artists and colorists a fair wage and paying the Amazon and Kickstarter fees. If there’s any money left over (which there is now, the $20,000 goal having been met), it will go to funding Deering’s convention appearances.

Last but not least, the world needs more videos with fish puppets.

Luckily, M. Alice LeGrow and her video on Kickstarter promoting The Elephant Book have provided us with that. (Seriously, watch the video. It’s really funny.)

Unfortunately, the comic has nothing to do with fish puppets (or elephants). What it is about: “The Elephant Book is an action/fantasy story set in Philadelphia, about a couple of kids named Williams and Fairfax (which one is which is anybody’s guess), who are caught in the middle of a power struggle between two covert groups that are seeking to either preserve or destroy the one trait that defines humanity: the power to invent.  A series four years in the making, the story spirals down levels and levels of millennium-old conspiracy and fear that has protected civilizations from the biggest trick ever played on the human race.

And this being Philadelphia, along the way everyone eats crab fries, goes to the game and ponders the mysteries of the Eternal Wawa.”

Who doesn’t love conspiracies?

If you’ve got spare monies, consider giving one (or more) of these projects some, or browse Kickstarter for some other worthy projects. Support women as active creators!

-Joanna

Roll for Initiative, Universe

Recently while I was perusing the comic book section of Barnes and Noble, I found a novel tucked in the shelves looking really out-of-place. It was called ‘Everything I Need To Know I Learned from Dungeons and Dragons’ by Shelly Mazzanoble, and I was instantly sold. Essentially, it is a self-help (or elf-help) book written by someone who believes that Dungeons and Dragons, not Dr. Phil, holds the secrets to overcoming life’s difficulties.

In the first chapter we are introduced to Judy, Shelly’s busybody mother who sends her every self-help novel she sees offered on television. When Shelly gets a job for Wizards of the Coast (the creators of D&D and God to many nerds), an argument about the D&D stereotype inspires Shelly to go forth and prove her theory that D&D, and not Oprah, can lead you on the path to enlightenment.

Shelly conducts an interesting experiment in an attempt to find religious/spiritual resolution. For one week, every day she is devoted to a different D&D god. Monday, Avandra (God of Change), Tuesday, Kord (God of Battle, Wednesday, Ioun (God of Knowledge), Thursday, Moradin (God of Creation), Friday, Pelor (God of Sun and Summer). While I don’t think this experiment was exactly successful, it might be an interesting one to try. Even if you don’t achieve spiritual salvation, you may learn something about your personality that you didn’t realize before by making the conscious choice to act a certain way.

The chapter on relationships was the most interesting to me. Shelly points out that you can learn a lot about a person by what character they create and how they handle different in-game situations. This can be applied to other RPG gaming as well. For example, I always play a big, badass tank who is all righteous fury, when in real life I am much more laid-back and prefer to settle my fights verbally rather than a bar brawl. When analyzing her boyfriend’s character, Shelly says that she would definitely never date him. While she loves Bart, his character is apparently an asshole. When creating a character we have to ability to focus on one aspect of our personalities and emphasize it, while detracting others. D&D is also a great way to meet new people. In another experiment, Shelly had her recently single and attractive friend go jogging wearing a D&D shirt. The first time out was apparently attracted the wrong kind of nerd, while the second time she met a really nice guy, they got along well, spent the day together- then she found out he was a Dungeon Master and it was over. 😦

Which brings us to the next subject: “Oh Those Charming DMs” Shelly, trying to improve her own talents when it comes to winning friends and influencing people, decided to study the behavior of the DMs. She chose four DMs (who all happened to be named Chris) and observed how they conducted themselves both at the game table and when giving presentations at the office. Shelly then used these observations and was able to convince everyone in her apartment building that they needed to spend the money to make the building repairs it sorely needed. (The previous encounter ended with Shelly punching a cookies and storming out in tears.) Needless to say, the traits she observed are exactly the traits that thousands of self-help books are dedicated to teaching. Only for these people the experience was gained through a game that they love.

For people who live life by a certain schedule or who always like things to be just so, D&D can help you too. For another week, Shelly tries to live life like her adventurer, Tabitha. Instead of carting around a purse and a bonus bag just in case of a natural disaster, Shelly cleans her life of the clutter and only lives with the basics. I am definitely guilty of these over-prepared traits, and this chapter really made me want to loosen the reigns- especially when it comes to my always obese backpack! Shelly did this experiment because Bart was finally moving in, and for someone who had been living in a space for 10 years and who is already anal retentive, allowing someone else’s stuff to occupy your shelves is a big deal.

Obviously as we have discussed before on our blog is that games like D&D are empowering. Not just for adults, but for children as well. Since I am normally on the soapbox about little girls and gender-specific children’s activities, allow me to make this brief: Little girls who play D&D can learn to be strong, monster-battling heroes- not helpless maidens.

Overall, I think this a book everyone should read. Although this may surprise you, I did not give away the gory, life-changing details. I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this book, even if you aren’t in need of any elf-help at the moment.

– BatCat

PS: Shelly wrote another book ‘Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: A Girl’s Guide to the Dungeons and Dragons Game’. I am not sure how I feel about the title, but I am willing to give it a chance.