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Based on the sci-fi mystery novels penned by James S.A. Corey (a nom de plume serving the endeavours of the writing team Daniel Abraham and Ty Franc, Leviathan Wakes) The Expanse titles have spread like flowering spores into a SyFy original series. Some two-hundred years in the future, a now-fully-habitable solar system serves as the ripe-for-rivalry mise-en-scène. Space provides the optimum landscape, especially space under colonial administration, to host not one, but all three classical conflicts of storytelling: man vs. man, man vs. nature, and man vs. himself.

It is in this expanse where a new breed of mankind operates in roughly the same rigid, egocentric and tenuous fashion that ancient mankind did when Earth was, essentially, his only domain; yet, now there is more territory to cover and more peoples to monitor, and control. If resources, greed, logistics, prejudices, power trips and egos proved existential beasties on one planet, whilst the endgame may remain the same when dealing with an entire solar system, the wider struggle proves a significant hurdle.

In The Expanse, dominant Earthlings, militant Martians and second-class Belters (those living and working in space, in the asteroid belt) clash like Real Housewives thrown together at a theme party. As the humans delicately co-exist, the United Nations - yes, still in "action" - persuades against a roiling warfare burgeoning between Earth and Mars, under the auspices of violet-cloaked U.N. exec Chrisjen Avasarala (played regally by Shohreh Aghdashloo whom, if you know your Portlandia, will recognize her from S2e3 as the visiting author at Women and Women First.).

In these potentially warring skies, Captain James Holden (Steven Strait) and his skeleton crew of the ice trawler Canterbury face a more immediate concern: who blew up their ship? Fortunately, Holden and his crew were saved from annihilation, as they all happened to be on a (set-up?) distress call, on-board a Canterbury short-range shuttle. So, who killed the Cant? The offending machine was a stealth vessel. Who has the funds for, and access to, a stealth vessel. The war-happy Martians, of course ... or was it?

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Maybe my focus was on all the supa kawai'i Sanrio merchandise. (Have you met Hello Kitty's friend, Gudetama the Lazy Egg?! Please, leave me alone.)

Maybe my focus was on a potential brush with greatness, a possible gallery-soirée with Stan Lee. Yet, to my eyes, cosplay this year at San Diego Comic-Con (S.D.ConvCtr 21-24 July 2016) appeared less prevalent than in years past. It seemed a hipper, more mellow element pervaded the Con. A cool, lackadaisical mood lingered on the floor, like an après-surf, red Solo cup party in Long Beach rather than a meticulously planned, high-energy, kitschy cocktail party in West Hollywood. If I had to associate a drink with the vibe, it would be a craft IPA, served by a chap uninterested in eye contact and sporting a well-worn Overlook Hotel tee, a Turnberry tweed cap and mutton chops.

Note: This blasé attitude does not include anything associated with Hall H, Rotten Tomatoes' Your Opinion Sucks! panel or SyFy's Will Arnett broadcast. This is strictly a floor observation.

This year's populace felt so casual it bordered on loitering outside Apu's Kwik-E-Mart. It felt like going to a Hallowe'en party, over which you've been salivating for weeks and a friendly surfer and his buds shows up with six-packs of Sculpin, Stone and Sierra Nevada, and no costumes, except the one guy ironically wearing a rubber unicorn mask. Somehow, even though it's a Hallowe'en party, they're so damn cool, you end up feeling like the dork because you were high-strung enough to play dress-up. Being the designated dork doesn't change your good-timin' frame o' mind, but you still feel slightly stoopid and a little awkward. At times, Comic-Con felt like that:  like you're Forrest Ackerman and Myrtle Jones at the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. (Right? Am I right? Ha! Cosplay humour.)

Without a doubt, at least from the perspective of Yours Truly, the scales tipped from intense cosplay to graphic tees and jeans. Even so, there was still enough cosplay to fill The Drunken Clam; yet, with a noticeable dip in mass participation. If you swung Jar Jar Binks by the ears, you'd hit less cosplay than not. As SDCC has reached such a phenomenally coveted stature, it has become a top-shelf entertainment score. A badge of honour, as it were, attracting A-listers, H-townies and their more desperately-casual following. As much as we love the "It" crowd, sometimes, unknowingly, they mow over the IT Crowd.

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I have always pondered what an experience it would have been to claim, casually over a tankard of Port, back at my fave, Yorkshire pub, The Gargoyle's Daughter, in my twee, riparian village of Notting-on-Scythe, “Yeah, cool. I was at this amazing party last week, in London. Yeah? Shakespeare was there. No, I didn’t get to talk to him, actually. But I saw him, yeah. Cool. Had loads of people around him. Dinna wannna bother him, yeah? He was hanging out by the wooden glove-forms, writing bits of dirty sonnet for some of the guests. Crazy, I tell you. Cool. Yeah, okay cool.”

Well, that never happened, not to Moi anyhoo. History is chock-a-block with visionaries we, today, will ne’er get to meet: Socrates, Didier, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Ben Frankin, Th. Jefferson, Mozart, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Walt Disney, Jane Austen, Coco Chanel, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Marie Antoinette (yes), Tim Burton and, natch, Stan Lee. So, I have to ask the universe, What the heck?! More precisely, what the heck, Stan Lee’s handlers?

So, you know when Wile E. Coyote sprints off a Sedona Red Rocks cliff, giving myopic, laser-focused chase to The Road Runner? The effort, the spirit, the heart woven into that sprint? Then, suddenly, Coyote realizes he’s mid-air, sans gravity, whips out his Bye-bye! sign and plummets to the desert floor with a great Splat!? So, that feeling. Mbeep-mbeep!

Allow me to be very clear here … I speak not ill of Stan Lee. Great Odin’s Raven, who would?! Stan Lee’s generous persona, infectious cheer and historic vision are the very reasons I have a beef of any kind today. I also do not speak ill of Chuck Jones Gallery. My post-event reconnaissance with an anonymous consultant, and pre-event communications with multiple, very kind individuals, assure me the gallery is not my personal Road Runner. My Road Runner, as it were, is the team of Stan Lee assistants and/or handlers at the, personally, much anticipated Chuck Jones Gallery event during San Diego Comic-Con 2016.

See, wha’ ha’ happen was …

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75 Years of Archie Comics: Betty & Veronica, American Girls

by

Jennifer Susannah Devore


To me, Betty and Veronica symbolize something that is so right about America, where two girls from completely different backgrounds can find each other and become the best of friends.

-Johnathan Goldwater, co-founder/publisher Archie Comics

 

 

Veronica Lodge has everything endless wealth can provide: a mansion, cars, travel and a trendsetter's wardrobe. She also possesses qualities generally unaffected by means: beauty, intelligence, self-confidence and a supportive family. One wonders, why is she at public school, rather than private? Mother and Father Lodge must raise a privileged child, without letting loose on the world an entitled adult.

Mr. Lodge thinks thatVeronica is exposed to a more diverse group of students and is hopefully developing some lasting friendships.

-Victor Gorelick, Archie Comics Co-President/Editor-in-Chief

Betty Cooper has everything endless sweetness can provide: loyal friends, a true heart, a clear conscience and altruistic intentions. She also possesses qualities generally unaffected by means: beauty, intelligence, self-confidence and a supportive family.

Old-fashioned, American pluck runs in Betty's family: working-class parents, an investigative-reporter sister, and a secret-agent brother. Old-fashioned, American success runs in Veronica's family: a self-made, multimillionaire father and a generous, elegant mother. Whether inner strength comes via nurture or nature, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge are two girls not to cross. American rules state if you mess with the bull, you get the horns. Betty and Veronica are those horns.

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The Darlings of Orange County - Epub format The Darlings of Orange County - Epub format $4.99

Customer Reviews:

Sea Gypsy  (Saturday, 24 March 2012)
Rating: 5
I can't remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud. This is a must read!!! I've only had the book for two days and i can't wait for the
sequel!!!


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book I Savannah of Williamsburg: Book I $14.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 4
via "Lisa's List" NPR Review: What a pleasant surprise Savannah of Williamsburg is. At first glance I thought a story about a squirrel who comes to
Colonial Virginia, dressed in pretty frocks and traveling with a steamer trunk and a violin would not be my cup of tea. But I’m game, so I started
reading.


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book II Savannah of Williamsburg: Book II $15.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 5
via J. Carroll on Amazon: An interesting history lesson, much of it told in the third person, through the eyes of a little, English squirrel who made
her way to America and settled in Williamsburg during the early years of this nation. See previous writing by the same author, titled "Savannah of
Williamsburg".


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book III Savannah of Williamsburg: Book III $15.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 5
via Larry on Amazon: Very interesting read. Just enough history to make it interesting. Will look for other Savannah of Williamsburg books. Recommend
to all for enjoyable read!


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JennyPopcorn: Netflix New Releases

  • Hardcore Henry

    Newly revived cyborg Henry has only been "alive' for five minutes when his wife is abducted by a power-mad despot, and it's up to Henry to save her. But with low battery power and no knowledge of the city he's in -- Moscow -- he has his...
  • A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits

    Tessa Golding is hired as an assistant by her Stepmother, Divine and her stepsisters, Olympia and Athena to accompany them to The Royal Lagoons Resort for an audition. The stepsisters audition to play 'Cinderella' for Reed West, a famous singer, who is putting on a show called,...
  • Barbershop: The Next Cut

    In this off-the-wall addition to the "Barbershop" franchise, Calvin, J.D., Eddie and the whole cast of bizarre neighborhood characters stumbles through a new set of comical misadventures.
  • Maggie's Plan

    Although Maggie may not be able to sustain a romantic relationship, she has the rest of her life figured out. But just when she's ready to roll with her plan to have a sperm-donor baby, Maggie meets the man of her dreams.

Theme from Savannah of Williamsburg: The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates (Book II)

Blackbeard's Chanty:"Me Cup is Broke!"Music by PBIII, lyrics by Jennifer Susannah Devore

Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

Meet The Darlings

The Darlings of Orange County

The sexy, cashmere beaches of southern California aren't always what they seem. The dirty little secret here is what it takes to survive. Everyone has a trick up their silk sleeve. Liz Lemon meets Parker Posey, Veronica Darling is smart enough to know what it takes and is willing to soil her soul to bring Hollywood to the California Riviera. The Darlings of Orange County is a salacious, hilarious, harrowing romp chock full of eco-terrorism, horse-racing scandals, weed deals and the obligatory lipstick-lesbian affair that inevitably leads to murder. It all climaxes in a white-knuckled, glitzy, celebrity-stacked Laguna Beach Film Premiere that spells success for Veronica Darling and trouble for her friends and family.

Meet Miss Savannah Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!

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Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!