Editor’s note: A little context for today’s post. I find comic books very intimidating. I’ve read a few runs of Ms. Marvel and Wonder Woman, but the idea of diving into Spider-Man or The Incredible Hulk is totally overwhelming. The back catalogs are so intense and so deep, it’s almost scarier than the idea of watching all of Doctor Who. But of course, deep down you want to take it all in, but where’s the time? And so my brother, Adam, who is a much more versed in the world of comics offered to write a post on getting into the comic book vortex. Enjoy!
Iron Man 3 finally hits theaters tomorrow. But you already knew that, of course. Here’s something you may or may not have known: one day later, on Saturday, comic shops all across America will celebrate a rad little holiday known as Free Comic Book Day.
In honor of the weekend’s comic book-tastic events, I’m here to tell you, non-comic book readers of the world, that today is the day for you to start reading comic books. There is truly no better time than now. Here are just a few reasons why:
There are great jumping on points for you
You may say to yourself, “Comics are too intimidating and inaccessible!” I know the feeling, I’ve been there. Good news though, the comics juggernauts at Marvel and DC are aware of this common cry, and in recent days they’ve made efforts to extend a hand to new readers.
Marvel’s newest initiative, Marvel NOW! is offering up a fresh start for many of the Marvel universe’s greatest characters, with a bevy of #1 issues. There’s even a neat little red stripe at the bottom of covers in the Marvel NOW! line, which provided a newbie like me a very useful wayfinding tool while roaming the comic shop. DC Comics did the same a couple of years ago, launching 52 new #1 issues, known as “The New 52.” Both universes may still posses some unwieldy continuities and histories to confront, but these new efforts ensure they do little to get in the way for new readers like you.
You guys, this is scary. I’m on camera. You can see all the weird hand motions I make when I’m trying to express myself properly. What can I say? I’m a hand talker. But it’s all in the name of getting to know you, my readers, better. And of course capturing the craftiness of this great project:
So without further adieau, here’s my on screen debut. Don’t laugh. I’m sorry it’s so long. I’ll work on that. For now, it’s all part of a larger scheme behind making this blog bigger, better and more A/V oriented:
“Have you ever tried shawarma? … I don’t know what it is, but I want to try it.”
Among the first thoughts that entered the mouth of newly conscious Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, in the penultimate scene of this summer’s blockbuster, The Avengers.
If you stuck around til the end of the credits (the very end!), you know the Avengers assembled once more after the big fight to save Manhattan for a bite to eat at the shawarma joint.
(If you missed it, check out the scene here.)
It turns out, an authentic shawarma sandwich is not easy to make at home. Most of us don’t own a giant conical spit to continually roast large cuts of lamb or chicken. This recipe is, however, a very good substitute. I used lamb chops removed from the bone. Feel free to use whatever cut of meat you like: a mix of pork and beef, chicken or turkey.
To make the Shawarma-Style Lamb Meat, you need:
Got your ingredients? Here’s your steps:
* In a small bowl, mix together the spices until fully combined.
* Remove meat from bones, if needed. Use a meat tenderizer or heavy pestle to pound the meat to half it’s original thickness.
* In a shallow baking dish, toss meat with vegetable oil and 3 tsp of the spices. Mix with your hands until fully coated. Allow to marinate 30 mins to 1 hour.
* Brush a grill pan with cooking oil, then heat over medium-high heat. Grill strips of meat, about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
NOTE: If you are not going to serve all of the meat immediately, consider cooking some of the meat only to medium/medium rare so that the meat doesn’t get overcooked if you reheat for a second serving.
To assemble sandwiches, you need:
Got your ingredients, now you can:
* Mix the Greek yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic and shawarma seasoning in a small bowl; cover and place in the refrigerator until time to serve.
* Start with a warm pita and slather 2 TBS yogurt sauce and 2 TBS hummus in the middle. Layer lamb, then top with onion, tomato and lettuce, if you wish. Fold and enjoy!
Emma Carew Grovum is a digital journalist working in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as the Digital Editor for The Cooking Club of America and blogs at kitchendreamer.blogspot.com Emma loves Star Wars, pandas and all things Joss Whedon. Find her on twitter at @emmacarew.
I love DIYs that are crazy easy, yet have a big impact. This is one of those. Wearing lots and lots of beautiful bracelets and bangles is really in right now (and not just with fashion bloggers, I promise.) - but if you don’t want to invest a ton of cash on some new sparkle, this project is easy and lets you share a bit of your personality by using comic book art.
1. Pre-string a piece of stretchy cord with half your beads. I used silver and blue faceted glass beads - and here’s a tip - they’re 50% off at Michael’s Craft stores this week, so it’s $2.50 for a 9 inch strand.
2. Scan the portion of your comic book that you want to appear in your charm. You can use a couple different panels or a cover. I think 80s comic book covers are some of the best art out there, so I chose a Thor Journey Into Mystery cover from ‘86 and an Avengers West Coast Annual cover from ‘89. I scanned them and shrunk them down to about a half an inch. Then, print out two for each side of the charm.
3. Remove the stock photo in the charm and keep it. You’ll need it to stiffen the comic book prints. Tape a copy of your comic book of choice to each side and then trim the excess.
4. Now, use another piece of clear tape to create a lamination effect on the paper. You want to be careful not to touch the tape, because it will put fingerprints on it. Sandwich it in and cut the excess tape off.
5. Slip your comic book into the photo frame charm - being sure not to damage the tape.
6. Now, put your charm on your stretchy cord and finish beading. Tie it off and enjoy!
Total cost: $3.50 per bracelet (Note: I bought my charm at a Michael’s store for $1, but you can find larger packs online for about the same price.)
I’m taking a couple days off to hang out with my boyf and be jealous of my brother while he hangs out at Comic-Con. Anyway, day 1 of road trip commences so I thought I’d share a casual look.
Sunglasses are just some piece of crap I picked up at a discount shop. They’re hip though.
Earrings are Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. ($9.99 at ThinkGeek)
The necklace is something I picked up at a flea market forever ago, but it’s perfect for summer sunning it because there is no metal. I hate metal on my neck when it’s hot out. (Similar at Target, $24.99)
Best sandals ever. Seriously. Better than Birkies. Better than Keens. I ordered something like 14 pairs of sandals this summer and had to return them all. Trusty Target to the rescue. (Target, $7.48)
So I won’t be around the rest of the week, but I’ve got a couple guest posts lined up. See you next week, lovers!
Something really cool happened yesterday.
I told you all about the business of Spider-Man and the Decay Rate Algorithm, which was fun and yay. But the big, happy moment came when the director of The Amazing Spider-Man, Marc Webb, tweeted the video. I was pretty jazzed. Like super jazzed. I know it’s just a tweet, but the fact that the man who directed 500 Days of Summer watched my video made my day. Probably made my whole weekend actually.
So that happened and I’m hurriedly working on some other cool stuff to share with you next week. In the meantime, let’s review the other news of the week.
5 awesome women from Nora Ephron films
I’m making my boyfriend watch When Harry Met Sally this weekend in honor of Nora Ephron. He’s never seen it and that’s a shame. We all owe Ephron a debt of gratitude for her honest writing and her unforgettable characters. RIP Nora.
Guardians of the Galaxy next from Marvel?
Rumors abound! The basis? “Marvel has apparently filed various trademark applications for its Guardians of the Galaxy brand; Bleeding Cool states that everything from, “jewelery to beverages to furniture to cosmetics” has been covered in the applications, which span numerous international classes and also cover the usual merchandising materials (toys, video games, food, retails services, etc).”
Pixar backlash post-Brave
I agree with a lot of this, so if you have time, read it. In summary, it seems that the Disney-Pixar creative merger has caused two very distinct things: more Pixar-esque Disney movies (Meet the Robinson, Tangled) and more Disney-esque Pixar movies. (Cars 2, Brave) Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Hard to say just yet, but I’m over-the-moon excited for Wreck It Ralph.
My stuff elsewhere!
I’m creating in a lot of other places lately, so I wanted to be sure to share it.
How to support your local tech economy
Three ways your eReader can save money
Spider-Man and the Decay Rate Algorithm on the Internets