We’re back and better than ever

Let’s address the elephant in the room, we disappeared on you guys, for which we apologize. But you may ask where have you been and why should I care? Well simply put, life got crazy with all the shit recently and not just Covid-19 related. The last couple month has consisted of major changes in our life and positive changes at that.

First I’m am a finally a college graduate. Done with school after 10 fucking long years. And second finally started a new career. It’s been quite busy lately but we are back!!!!

But with us being under quarantine for a little bit longer, it’s time to get back to this blog. Keep an eye out for upcoming blogs on physical vs. digital comics, countdowns & lists, and sharing our opinions on certain comics and comic related news.

We just want to thank you for discovering us or rediscovering….. and for those that have stayed with us, thank you for your patience. You guys are rockstars and please don’t be afraid to contact us. We love talking comics and everything geeky.

Wait, women read comics? Really?!

I have been reading comics now for about three and a half years, and it has dramatically changed my emotional well-being. That time flew by. Whether it be DC, Marvel, Image, or other independent imprints like IDW or Boom! Studios, stories told with illustrated characters intrigue me. From my first article, I never thought that I would be caught dead in a comic store and now I go in by myself when I am not with the other half (which is rare).

I have discovered that comics are not all the same, there is a topic and genre for any person. More so now than ever, I think. Whether it be the author or the artist that draws you in, or even if it doesn’t at first it keeps you wanting more. I tend to lean towards the indie titled books that are more open to interpretation and pull-in the reader either by the artwork or the dialogue that tells a story, but also keeps you reading.

Women are getting more prevalent and diversified in stories, which turns the female reader onto a certain title or publisher. I find myself picking up more independent titled books instead of DC or Marvel (I tend to lean more towards DC comics) because there is a wide range of topics that continue to keep my reading attention. I did not know much about the independent books at first, but found myself picking up a single issue of a book and then getting it every month or every other month because it kept me wanting more. Then I would buy the trade paperback or hardcover when it came out.

Women are getting more into this hobby because of the positive female characters in comics or comic related shows or movies. Going to a convention, I love to see women cosplaying and thinking to myself that I should be doing that as well. They are not afraid to express what they love through a form or art and self-expression. Some day I will. It has become more main stream for women to come out of that nerd closet and admit to others that they like comics or can relate to a character in a movie, show or video game.

For example, films like Marvel’s Endgame or The Dark Knight, Daredevil or Jessica Jones on Netflix are turning people onto comics because they realize there is more content that is portrayed or alluded in a show. For example, I never have loved horror films when I was in grade school or high school, but there are so many horror-themed comics out there now that I am more intrigued to see them turn into a film or movie.

Now I look forward to the new DC or Marvel content that gets announced and I am not afraid to talk about it to others, or express my opinions about an upcoming movie or show along with others in a comic shop. The camaraderie in a shop or a convention make me so happy to be alive as a nerd and embracing all the exciting news and content that it entails.

Comic shops want more women to come in and buy books, and I hope that they do feel comfortable to. I hope to find more friends that are female that love comic culture to build relationships around that common bond. I find comics to be my escape from reality and are always there when I want to immerse myself into a different world. The creation of Noggin has showed that there are many women who have Instagram accounts based on their love of comics and showcasing their collection and favorite books. I love seeing that and hope to continue seeing more of that and posting more about books I read. Hoping to start doing book reviews and how I interpret them.

Stay tuned, this year is going to be great for us!

It’s No Laughing Matter: The Academy Awards and Comic Book based Films

Remember (if you are old enough) celebrating the performance by Heath Ledger on February 22, 2009 when he won Best Supporting Actor posthumously for the Dark Knight at the Academy Awards. His portrayal of the character left all of us speechless, at that time it was the greatest performance in a comic book based film. That was eleven years ago (start counting the wrinkles, cause we are getting old) and we have another actor nominated for Best Actor for the same role in Joaquin Phoenix’s breathtaking performance in Joker.

With the news of Phoenix’s nomination, a question popped in my head, are comic book based films finally being recognized as award caliber films or is it just the Character of Joker?

It could be argue that Joker is a special film and should not even be in the same category of comic book based films. The reasoning because it was different from the traditional film we get from the genre and that it was Todd Philips own story. But, it is based on a character that originated from the pages of a comic, so it has to be included in the discussion of films. The fact that it is different, that it acts more like Taxi Driver than Batman, gives us hope that future projects in the genre could result with the same accolades.

A little breakdown of the eleven awards that Joker has been nominated for (it’s a long list): Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director for Todd Phillips, Best Original score for Hildur Guonadottir, Best Adapted Screenplay by Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, Best Cinematography for Lawrence Sher, Best makeup and Hairstyling, Best costume design, Best film editing, best sound mixing, and Best sound editing.

Joker has become the most nominated comic book based film of all time after beating The Dark Knight‘s eight nominations and Black Panther‘s six nomination last year. Truthfully I am still surprised that Michael B. Jordan was not nominated for his performance as Killmonger, but becoming the first comic book based film to be nominated for Best Picture is still an amazing feat. As I am surprised about the lack of nomination for Jordan, I was upset with Green Book winning best picture last year, it should had gone to BlacKKKlansman or A Star is Born.

So this marks the second year in a row that a comic based film has been nominated for best picture, so is that a good thing for the future? The answer absolutely. These are films that we want to see and to see them be awarded is amazing. Personally I don’t see the genre going the way of the western especially if films like Joker, Logan, Road to Perdition (yes, based on a comic) and A History of Violence (based of a comic as well) can come from the medium.

As for Marvel, will they ever have a film win Best picture? I don’t want to say no, but they would have to take a risk like DC has. Who knows maybe The Eternals could be an amazing film, I know the book by Neil Gaiman was fantastic. Also Sony has the spider-verse, which has already snugged a best animated film award. If Joker has proven anything, its that with the right director and crew, a comic book based film could win Best picture. All the studio has to do, is let the filmmaker work on their vision. That is why I am excited for Ava DuVernay’s New Gods with Tom King as a co-writer, if DC and Warner Bros continue to leave filmmakers with their own visions, we may see another film like Joker.

It is easy to compare Marvel and DC films, Marvel will always be this box-office juggernaut and DC has the opportunity to become a mainstay in Oscar season if they leave the filmmakers alone. With Patty Jenkins doing Wonder Woman, Matt Reeves with The Batman and James Gunn with The Suicide Squad, DC is in good place.

I think I need to end this with saying I love the MCU, the films are fun and feel like comics. I always cry watch Avengers: Endgame and Thor: Ragnarok is among my favorite films, but I feel like the future is really bright for DC and as a comic fan that has me excited for the future. Come February 9th, I will be rooting for Joker as it would be great for a film to be based on a comic to be recognized as the best of the year.

A Second Home: The Impact of A Local Comic Shop

Many of us have a place that we consider a second home. In our youth, it was our best friend’s home or the grandparents house. As we get older, our second home tends to change to fit with our personality and what we like. If, we are someone that looks like Dwayne Johnson (Not me!) its the gym. If we are someone that is fighting for a promotion, the second home becomes your job. But what is the second home, to a fan of comics, to someone that eats, sleeps, and breath comics?

I think it is pretty obvious to admit that Nora and myself have an investment in comics, so we consider our local comic shop(LCS) to be our second home. Shout out to Issues Needed in Apple Valley, Minnesota ,as over the last year it has shifted from a comic shop we visit every once in a while to the shop we have to visit weekly.

So why do we consider our LCS our second home?

It comes to down to the attachment to the shop and the crew. In the couple years of collecting comics and become Wednesday warriors, we have had a pull list at a few shops. I will admit that it was disappointing to cancel a pull list. It is almost like breaking up with a significant other, you build a relationship with the crew, only to say you have found someone better.

Unless you move or absolutely have to cancel a pull list, it is something that I would advice against. The pull list is the first thing to gain you entry into the comic community, by that I mean committing to a pull list, shows the shop that you will be loyal to them. The crew at this shop will recognize you and even spark a friendship.

When we walk into our LCS, the first thing we hear is “Hello Kyle and Nora” or usually “Hey Nora” (She is loved at the shop). The feeling of walking into a shop that sees a good amount of people and to be recognized, it creates this feeling of belonging. If you read the previous post by Nora, you will see that belonging to a subculture or community was lacking and something that she now cherish.

I know we live in the era of digital comics, but personally you do not get the same joy of walking into a comic shop every Wednesday to pick up your pull list. The personal connection and communication with someone with the same interest is the main reason why the LCS is important to the comic industry and needs more support. Granted it may be cheaper and more convenient to get comics digital or even off a discounted website, but saving 20 cents to a dollar is not worth cutting out the communication you will find at a LCS. Also most shops will give you discount, if you have a pull list with them.

The best part of picking up a pull list is the relationship with the store. Yes, you look forward to reading the comics, but discussing them with the owner or store assistant makes the experience worth so much more than the expense you pay for the comics. The majority of comic shops we have visited, we have spent most of the time talking to those that work in the shop than shopping. That is not something you will find shopping online.

Another thing that is great about a LCS is the acceptance of different opinions. We went to the release party of Detective Comics #1000 and everyone at the party felt differently about Batman, DC Comics, and the Comic Industry. Yet, we were all discussing the best variant cover for the release (Bruce Timm’s variant) and the best live action batman (Michael Keaton without question) without any anger being shown. That is another thing you will not find online, people with different opinions getting along.

If we spend 5 minutes or 5 hours in a LCS, it doesn’t matter because no matter the time we spend, we feel at home. So, basically this is a way of saying thank you to any LCS, as you keep the community strong.

If you want to shout out any LCS, please do so, show some love to the place that brings you joy every Wednesday. Or even argue why you prefer to read digitally and shop online.

The long awaited female side of Noggin introduction:

As a child, I don’t believe I ever fell in the category of a female nerd. I was always active and outside, rarely watching TV or watching a screen. There was no draw towards watching cartoons, except occasionally on Saturday morning Recess or Hey Arnold. I grew into my own category, made it into my own and then realized there are so many females who are not afraid to hide who they are..

Fast forward to high school, I became a “band nerd” and only really fit in with my friends in band at the time. I never really thought I would become a different kind of nerd, and belong to a community that is so welcoming. I never really thought a female could be a nerd, all through high school I was afraid to be different. I tried to fit in, but I have always been a tom-boy and had a more athletic build that my present self is very jealous of now. I like to believe it all started with Star Wars…

Star Wars was always being watched with my brother on VHS tape, yes that old school way of watching movies. We would borrow my neighbor’s original trilogy tapes and always remember to rewind and rewatch. I was thrown into this galaxy that I have only grown to love so much more after the prequels and animated shows. Star Wars has always been relatable for me, it is something that you can get lost in, but it also brings you back in with its love and loss. My brother would always be building Legos and then breaking them, but at the time I only watched the movies. Now, I am reading the canon books, graphic novels and reference books almost all the time. Engrossing myself in the world because it makes me happy and takes me away from the real world and learning to adult.

I never really thought I could dive into collecting something, until I met Kyle almost 5 years ago. We started out as friends, which obviously grew into more. But when we were still friends, he had a small graphic novel collection going and gave me Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe to read. I took it home, thinking I would not like it at all, but it was great to me. I had only read Maus in high school for an English Literature class, so I did not think I would like the humorous superhero side of comics. I was wrong.

From there, after about a year of dating and being dragged to comic shops, I picked up George Perez’s Wonder Woman run in graphic novel form. That was around time same time that I really got into the Daredevil show on Netflix and started watching MCU and DCEU movies, since I had never seen them before.

I fell in love with these characters at the same time as I was falling in love with Kyle. This nerd bond that we have together only strengthens our relationship. Now that we have officially moved into a bigger place, and a second bedroom for our graphic novel shelves and about 30 comic boxes, we have a place of our home filled with nerd-based love.

Those who know us, know that we are always together and hunting for Funko pops or comic issues on the weekly new comic book day, Wednesdays. I never thought I would look forward to anything like comic issues in the middle of the week, but it is more fun doing this tradition with the one I love most. We have come to know local comic store owners, creators and they have come to know our individual names as well as Noggin, sometimes.

Going to C2E2 last spring was the best moment of our lives, it was our first road trip together and first time that we went to a large convention not too far from home. The experience was so incredible, and we hope to go back this next month to take it all in for another year. Seeing females cosplaying as someone they love and relate to is inspiring to me and it has made me realize that there are no stereotypes in this community.

Indie comics are the main stories that I feel I can relate with the most. There are a variety of stories that have stood out to me, but the main and most recent one has to been Saga. I found myself reading the entire 9 volumes in a matter of a few days, I simply could not put it down. Definitely a must read for any person, regardless if they like comics or not.

Alright, let’s bring it back to the Noggin side of things. When Kyle first suggested we share an Instagram account together, I was hesitant. But today, we surpassed 500 followers. We are both in shock, and a recent post of a Justice League Dark cover by Clayton Crain, has us at almost 350 likes. What? How is this possible? Hashtags is how. We never thought we would use them or that they would get us this many likes!

Thank you to all of our followers thus far, we hope to expand on Noggin and take it to some new and improved levels with time. Let us know if you have any ideas, we accept the feedback and love to connect with people who are fellow comic nerds, or enthusiasts if you want to be more proper. I love talking comics to people and recommending or receiving recommendations for more comics to read.

Thanks for reading!

Hope You All Had A Merry Nerdmas!

Now, you may be saying “hey dumbass, nerdmas is not a word”, which you would be correct but see here is the thing, much like “Noggin”, Nerdmas means something to us, it is every Christmas that we spend together.

While we see our families on Christmas, Nora (Other half of Noggin) and I also have our own holiday. We take a Christmas tree (sometimes the size of a charlie brown tree) and we fill it up with funko key chains and superhero ornaments. And underneath this tree, our gifts are wrapped in strange and unique paper. This year it was Star Wars and Umbrella Academy.

While most couples give gifts that represent their love, we buy each other Funko pops and graphic novels. Nora got herself a first print of Black Hammer #1 and I am still waiting on her to get me a key issues of a book I love. Hint, The Batman Adventures #12 or Mister Miracle #1.

We promise that not every blog will be like this, we will break down comics, films, and video games but after hearing Nora wish me a Merry Nerdmas on Christmas, I had to write about it. Now we have a tradition, instead of having “All I Want For Christmas is you” playing, we have the Into the Spider-Verse Christmas EP playing with the DC Universe Yule Log on the TV. Also, Batman Returns is a Christmas Movie, we may have to add that to our tradition next year.

But as we get back to the daily grind, we hope that whoever is reading this had or is having a happy holidays.

Our Story! (Why Noggin?)

Noggin means I love you! No seriously it does. See when we first started to date, One of us could not say I love you. I know, stupid right? If you love someone say it. Instead to get past this fear of saying “I love you”, one would say “Noggin” and the other would reply back “Dude”. We took a quote from Finding Nemo and turned it into something romantic. Now we are way past that point and the fear of three little words has disappeared, but we wanted do something to remember those days and show how far we have come as a team. So two years ago, crammed in a tiny apartment we decided to start Noggin Comics on Instagram as a hobby. Took the saying of Noggin, which to us meant love and aimed it towards something that we both loved, that being comic books and pop culture. At first it was a sense of discovery and rediscovery, as one was discovering the utter enjoyment of comics, the other was rediscovering the emotional connection to comics. Little did we know, Noggin would become a part of our lives, almost daily we would be posting about something related to comics and nerd culture.

One of us would find themselves writing comic reviews for a local geek culture magazine. Which would ultimately create the idea of why not have a blog for Noggin. Now, we are here, hoping to create weekly to daily content on how we feel about a certain comic or film.