Friday, 7 July 2017

Everything Left Episode 19 - March Madness

In this episode I'm joined by Hannah Simpson and Adi Anhang as we talk about the Chicago Dyke March ejecting participants that were carrying a Jewish Pride flag.

Twitter: @_EverythingLeft

Everything Left is a Trans-Scribe Production
Hosted by Amy Walker
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Now a part of the Black Hole Media Network

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Everything Left Episode 18 - Magic Money Tree

In this episode I'm joined by Hannah Simpson and Adi Anhang as we talk about Trumpcare, Mike Pence, and the fact that the Tory party managed to find their magic money tree.

Twitter: @_EverythingLeft

Everything Left is a Trans-Scribe Production
Hosted by Amy Walker
Theme music

Now a part of the Black Hole Media Network

Friday, 30 June 2017

The Mist Episode 1 'Pilot' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

I enjoyed the 2007 film version of Stephen King novella 'The Mist', I still think that it's got one of the bleakest endings in film history; so when it was announced that Spike would be producing a series based upon the story I was a little unsure how they would make an effective show.

The premise is a good one, a mysterious and otherworldly mist that hides monsters and horrors that you couldn't imagine, but to spin the story across a dozen or more hours of television would require a great deal of expansion upon the original story.

As such, the first episode of 'The Mist' is dedicated to set-up, to letting us get to know the inhabitants of Bridgeville before they start getting killed off.

Unfortunately, most of this episode left me feeling bored and unenthusiastic, with many of the characters actually either outright boring me or ending up with me wanting them to get killed at some point. There's only a couple of characters in this first episode that I found myself liking and one of them was one of the first to die.

Bridgeville seems to be inhabited by complete arse-holes. The main family consists of Kevin, a boring father, Eve, a flat and uninteresting angry and overprotective  mother stereotype, and their daughter Alex, who is forced to go through a date-rape plot to add extra conflict between her parents; as well as having half the town turn against them and their 'whore' daughter.

Outside of the main family there's Adrian ,the 'freak' outcast who's the victim of homophobic abuse at the drop of the hat with at least three other characters attacking him for it. There's the high school quarterback/son of the sheriff rapist Jay, who is instantly unlikable even before becoming a rapist. 

Connor, the town sheriff comes across as a bully and a coward. Mia's a drug addict murderer who likes to be aggressive and picks fights with people. Bryan is the amnesiac soldier who's definitely connected to whatever's behind what's happening but can't be calm enough for five minutes not to have people think he's crazy. Then there's Benedict Raven, one of the few likable characters in the show who seems to know that something is wrong before the Mist rolls into town, but after seeing her husband murdered in front of her seems to being set up as going crazy later in the series.

Whilst the majority of the pilot episode is given over to the human drama of Bridgeville, much to the detriment of the episode, when the mist finally does reach town in the last ten minutes things start to get interesting.

People get attacked by swarms of insects, others seem to go a little insane and turn on each other, whilst one particularly unpleasant woman gets her jaw ripped out before being dragged into the mist by something unseen.

Whilst the series appears to be pushing the horrors of people as one of the main points of conflict over the monsters in the mist I'm hoping that this is a focus that will begin to shift as the show goes on. As it is after the first episode 'The Mist' has managed to hold my attention on the hopes that things might get more interesting, but runs the risk of losing me.

The pilot episode probably won't be one for everyone, and whilst some may enjoy it I'm sure that it will struggle to hold other's attention. Fingers crossed that the series will soon improve in quality.

Go to Amy's Blog

Gotham Actor Donal Logue's Transgender Daughter Jade Missing

Jade Logue, the 16-year-old daughter of Gotham star Donal Logue, has been reported missing since Tuesday this week.

Logue tweeted a post on Tuesday saying that his daughter did not return home and was missing. The tweet was later deleted by Logue, who has since told the media that he is unable to comment on the situation as he is speaking to police.

The tweet has since been shared around social media, however, an NYPD spokesperson has said that as of Wednesday morning the teenager has not returned home.

Jade was last seen wearing a green jacket, lime green hoodie and a grey baseball cap.

Anyone with information that can help to locate Jade is urged to call (800) 577-TIPPS. All calls are allowed to remain anonymous.

Go to Amy's Blog

Everything Left Episode 17 - The Stand Up Special

In this episode I'm joined by some of the team behind the exciting new publication Stand Up, a magazine aimed at giving young people in the UK a voice in politics.

Twitter: @_EverythingLeft

Everything Left is a Trans-Scribe Production
Hosted by Amy Walker
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Now a part of the Black Hole Media Network

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Netflix Release New Death Note Image

Adam Wingard, director of the upcoming Netflix live action Death Note series, has released a new poster for the show, revealing the first look at one of the main characters; the shinigami Ryuk. Ryuk will be voiced in the series by veteran actor Willem Dafoe.

The official synopsis for the show was recently released by Viz Media;

'Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and Light vows to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But will Light succeed in his noble goal, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?'

What if you had the power to decide who lives and who dies? We suggest you obey the rules. Based on the famour Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realising it holds within great power; if the owner inscribes someone's name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.

Fan reaction to the first trailer for the series was mixed, with many complaining that the show had failed to capture the seedy supernatural aestetic that the series is known for, and others criticising casting choices and making accusations of whitewashing.

Death Note will be released August 25.

Go to Amy's Blog

Supergirl and Martian Manhunter Brickheadz Coming To Comic Con

Lego has revealed two brand new Brickheadz that are coming to San Diego Comic Con, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter.

Both characters are based upon their CW Supergirl series designs, and the set will cost $40.00.

Go to Amy's Blog

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Star Wars Forces Of Destiny Animated Series To Premier Next Week

Since the announcement that Star Wars Rebels would be ending with the coming fourth season Star Wars fans have been left wondering what to expect for the next television installment. Luckily, the wait will soon be over as the latest animated series, Forces of Destiny, will be premiering on Disney's Youtube channel next week before heading to television.

Forces of Destiny is an anthology series, with stories following well known and beloved Star Wars characters such as Princess Leia, Padme Amidala, Sabine Wren, Jyn Erso, Rey, and Ahsoka Tano, with narration from intergalactic bartender Maz Kanata.

These stories will be set throughout the Star Wars timeline, showing events before, during, and after adventures we have already seen; leading to fan speculation that we may learn more about the time between Episodes 6 and 7, and even events after The Force Awakens.

Many stars of the Star Wars franchise will be appearing in the show, reprising their characters, such as Felicity Jones, Lupita Nyong'o, Tiya Sircar, Ashley Eckstein, and Daisy Ridley.

The series will premier on Youtube on July 3rd before it's television release on July 9th.

Go to Amy's Blog

Everything Left Episode 16 - Wonder Woman

In this episode I'm joined by Adi Anhang as we discuss the new Wonder Woman film in more detail, and an extra film starring a famous comic book Chris.

Twitter: @_EverythingLeft

Everything Left is a Trans-Scribe Production
Hosted by Amy Walker
Theme music

Now a part of the Black Hole Media Network

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Student Told To Remove Pride Badge As It 'Promoted' Homosexuality

A 16-year-old student at St. Kentigern's Academy in Blackburn, Scotland, was told to remove Pride badge as it 'promotes' homosexuality.

The student, who has chosen to remain anonymous, told the press that they had recently attended Edinburgh Pride, where he received a small badge with a rainbow heart on it. Upon wearing the badge to school, however, he was told by staff to remove it.

The teen said that the instruction was given by a teacher on behalf of the Academy's head, Mr Sharkey.

'I was given no reason as to why, then after I got upset about it I was told by the teacher who told me to take it off that the school had 'no problem' with me being gay, but however I'm 'promoting' it by wearing the badge,' he told Pink News.

The student reported that after he refused to remove the badge the same instruction was then given to him by a senior member of the staff, giving the same reasons,

A member of the West Lothian Council has stated that all pupils at ST. Kentigern's are made to remove non-school related badges from their uniform as a standard policy. However, the student has countered to say that the policy only states that students must not wear jewelry which could be seen to encourage rivalry, cause offence, damage flooring, promote a message contrary to the values of the school, carry advertising or can be used as a weapon.

The student has said that not only does his Pride badge stay within these specified guidelines, but that students are often allowed to wear badges as part of their uniform.

'I was told by the senior staff member that the school was okay with my sexuality, I just can't promote it.' The student said. 'I said to her that I wore the badge because it was the only place where I felt safe about my sexuality and she told me 'you don't need to wear a badge for that'.

'I feel shocked by the whole thing as well as scared as I no longer feel comfortable going to school. I feel I am going to a place where there's homophobia from staff members, Which feels much more scarier than when I encountered the same from other pupils.

'I feel that there is a lack of understanding of what I am wearing, it's significance, what it stands for, as well as what it doesn't stand for.'

The student has said that he was particularly distressed because he has not yet come out to his family and his school was an environment that he felt comfortable to be himself in.

A spokesperson for the Time For Inclusion (Tie) campaign, which advocates for LGBT+ inclusion in schools released a statement on the matter, saying;

'For almost two years now we have been campaigning for an LGBTI inclusive educational approach in all schools to help eradicate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. A crucial aspect of our work is challenging negative or prejudicial attitudes towards LGBTI learners.

'Schools can take the lead here, and a central part of their efforts should be around encouraging visibility - alongside a whole school approach towards LGBTI inclusion. The suggestion that the wearing of a Pride badge is 'promoting homosexuality' is not only incorrect, but offensive.

'We would urge the school in question to rethink their approach here, and we would be more than happy to work alongside them in order to help create a more inclusive environment for all their staff and pupils.'

Monica Lennon, the spokesperson for Scottish Labour inequalities, said; 'Sadly LGBTI inclusive education is still a right to be fought for in Scotland's schools. If a school believes that that celebrating love and equality is something to be hidden, serious questions need to be asked about that school.

'The Scottish government must work at pace towards enshrining LGBTI inclusive education in law to prevent more young people being failed.'

Go to Amy's Blog

New Inhumans Poster Reveals Air Date

Marvel's latest television series, Inhumans, has received a new poster advertising the start of the show and their IMAX premier, along with the air date for the series on television of September 29th.

Inhumans will star Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Serinda Swan as Medusa, and Iwan Rheon as Maximus (all featured on the new poster). The show will also include Ken Leung as Karnak, Eme Ikwuakor as Triton, Sonya Balmores as Auran, and Isabelle Cornish as Crystal.

Inhumans will follow the story of the displaced Inhuman Royal Family on Earth.

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Sesame Street Celebrates Pride Month

Sesame Street has long been one of the most progressive and groundbreaking children's shows, having covered topics like death, HIV and Aids, divorce, Autism, financial difficulties, disability, parental incarceration, and environmentalism to name but a few.

With such a rich history of supporting good causes and raising children's awareness of real world differences and issues it's of little surprise that the show has come out in support of the LGBT+ community and Pride month.

The show's official Twitter page tweeted an image of popular character Elmo and several other muppets forming a rainbow.

Whilst the tweet has received a great deal of support and approval on social media some people are decrying the tweet as 'evidence of an agenda' at Sesame Street and HBO, with some on the extreme end claiming that the show, and Pride, are trying to sexualise children.

Go to Amy's Blog

Monday, 26 June 2017

Teenager Arrested Following Pride Death Threats

A 19 year old man from Cumbria has been arrested following online threats to kill people at a Pride event with a machete.

The young man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested by Cumbria Police after posting threatening messages on a Facebook page for a Cumbria Pride event that was being held at the New Empire pub.

'I'm going to walk in with a fucking machete and slaughter every one of the gay bastards.' He wrote on the events post, along with a photograph of the weapon he had purchased.

'I've had enough. I don't want to live in a gay world and I sure as hell don't want my children living in one. What happened to our traditional qualities? They're fucking ruined.

'I don't care if I die, I'm fighting for what I believe in and that's the future of my country, my folk and my race.'

The manager of the New Empire pub told the press that they did consider cancelling the event, however, after discussions with attendees and staff decided to go forward with the plans.

'We asked customers in the pub if they wanted to stay or leave and they all said no. We felt safe as armed police were parked outside. We had lots of phone calls and massages of support but obviously, some people stayed away.' They told news outlet Pink News.

'We are very proud to support the LGBT community and will not be deterred by any of this.'

The man was arrested shortly before the event, with Cumbria Police Superintendent Mark Pannone releasing a statement to reassure the public and the attendees of the event.

'I can confirm that following further inquiries it was determined that it would be appropriate for the investigation to be led by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit. We will support them, as required, with their ongoing investigation.

'Public safety is our absolute priority which was why we acted quickly last night to protect the community, and arrested a 19-year-old man from Barrow.

'I can reassure the community that we have robust procedures in place to respond to reports of of serious activity and we will continue to work closely with our local communities to help keep Cumbria safe.

'Over the last few weeks we have increased patrols in our neighborhoods and at local events to prioritise the safety of the public and would ask people to continue to be alert and report any suspicious activity to the police.

'There is no place for hate crime in Cumbria, it will not be tolerated.'

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Chicago Dyke March Bans Jewish Pride Flag, Ejects Participants

The Chicago Dyke March, part of the larger Chicago Pride events happening in the city this month, has faced controversy and condemnation as it has banned participants from carrying Jewish Star of David flags at their event.

Local LGBT+ newspaper, Windy City Times, reported that three people were asked to leave the celebration after flying the flags.

The Windy City Times wrote;

However, also asked to leave by Collective members of the Dyke March were three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (rainbow flags with the Star of David in the middle).

According to one of the individuals - A Wider Bridge Midwest Manager Laurel Grauer - she and her friends were approached a number of times at the park because they were holding the flag.

'It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag,' she told Windy City Times.

She added that she lost count of the number of people that who harassed her.

One Dyke March collective member asked by Windy City Times for a response, said the women were told to leave because the flags 'made people feel unsafe', that the march was 'anti-Zionist' and 'pro-Palestinian'.

'They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that found it offensive,' Grauer said. 'Prior to this I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me.'

The Dyke March is billed as a more inclusive event, one that has a stronger focus on social justice issues that larger Pride events. More than 1,500 people participated in this years march.

The American Jewish Committee condemned the actions and called for others to do so too, to speak up against the decision to eject Jewish LGBT+ people. American Jewish Committee Chicago Director Amy Stoken said, 'In the heart of our city one of the most blatant incidents of anti-Semetism took place at the Dyke March. Where is the collective outrage over this despicable targeting of Jews?'

Dyke March did release a statement about the matter on their social media, which read;

Yesterday, June 24, Chicago Dyke March was held in the La Villita neighborhood to express support for undocumented, refugee and immigrant communities under threat of deportation. Sadly our celebration of dyke, queer and trans solidarity was partially overshadowed by our decision to ask three individuals carrying Israeli flags superimposed on rainbow flags to leave the rally. 

This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed their support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke March Collective members. We have since learnt that one of these individuals is a regional director for A Wider Bridge, an organisation with connections to the Israeli state and right-wing pro-Islam interest groups.

A Wider Bridge has been protested for provocative actions at other LGBTQ events and has been condemned by numerous organisations for using Israel's supposed 'LGBTQ tolerance' to pinkwash the violent occupation of Palestine.

The Chicago Dyke March Collective is explicitly not anti-Semetic, we are anti-Zionist. The Chicago Dyke March Collective supports the liberation of Palestine and all oppressed people everywhere.

From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have to go!

In January 2016, a Shabbat service being held for Jewish participants of a gay activism conference in Chicago, was protested by hundreds of people.

Protesters entered the conference area chanting 'Hey hey, ho ho, pinkwashing has to go', eventually taking over the stage and preventing visitors from being able to speak at the event.

Pinkwashing is the term used to describe the alleged efforts by the Israel government to cover up treatment of Palestinians by celebrating its record on gay rights.

Views on events on social media such as Facebook and Twitter seem to be divided, with some members of the LGBT+ community supporting the Dyke March's decision to remove members of the Jewish community from the event, whilst others have condemned it as an act of anti-semetism.

Go to Amy's Blog

Friday, 23 June 2017

Everything Left Episode 15 - Coalition of Chaos

In this episode I'm joined by Adi Anhang as we discuss the results of the UK election, terror attacks, a racist mother and the Grenfell disaster.

Twitter: @_EverythingLeft

Everything Left is a Trans-Scribe Production
Hosted by Amy Walker
Theme music

Now a part of the Black Hole Media Network

Donate here to support those affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire:

Friday, 9 June 2017

Everything Left Episode 14 - Cannibal Murder Pope

In this episode I'm joined by Pete Gaskell and Adi Anhang as we discuss Trump's visit to the Middle East, the horrors of the Manchester bomb attack, the UK General Election and the upcoming Wonder Woman film.

Twitter: @_EverythingLeft

Everything Left is a Trans-Scribe Production
Hosted by Amy Walker
Theme music

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Theresa May Meets With Anti-LGBT+ Church In Run Up To General Election

On Sunday Prime Minister Theresa May visited London's Jesus House church, a part of the Redeemed Christian Church of God movement, which has a long history of anti-LGBT+ conduct.

May, who has a record of voting against LGBT+ rights, described the visit as 'fantastic' and the church as 'one of the most lively growing churches in the UK'.

Jesus House has publicly expressed extremist views on sexuality, marriage equality and abortion rights, even going so far as to liking homosexuality and transgenderism to bestiality. Their website even included a section dedicated to anti-abortion propaganda.

The church has also been accused to have links to gay conversion therapy and and to have allegedly performed exorcisms on gay people.

Whilst this 'fantastic' visit itself is troubling when added to the news this week that a Tory candidate has stood by her choice to accept an intern from a Christian hate group that advocated gay conversion therapy it begins to paint a worrying picture of the Conservative Party less than two weeks before the election.

Go to Amy's Blog

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 Cast Confirmed

Following the events of the second season of Legends of Tomorrow it seemed pretty certain that most of the main cast would return for season 3. However, once the official synopsis was released it became clear that one particular character was not mentioned, resulting in fans speculating that they would no longer be part of the team.

'After the defeat of Eobard Thawne and his equally nefarious Legion of Doom, the Legends face a new threat created by their actions at the end of the last season. In revisiting a moment in time that they had already participated in, they had essentially fractured the timeline and created anachronisms - a scattering of people, animals, and objects all across time!

'Our team must find a way to return all of the anachronisms to their original timelines before the time stream falls apart. But before our Legends can jump back into action, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and his newly appointed Time Bureau call their methods into question. With the Time Bureau effectively the new sheriffs in town, the Legends disband - until Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) discovers one of them in the middle of his well-deserved vacation in Aruba.

'Seeing this as am opportunity to continue their time travelling heroics, Sara (Caity Lotz) wastes no time in getting the Legends back together. We reunite with billionaire inventor Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), the unconventional historian-turned-superhero Nick Heywood (Nick Zano), and Professor Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson 'Jax' Jackson (Franz Drameh), who together form the meta-human Firestorm.

'Once reunited the Legends will challenge the Time Bureau's authority over the timeline and insist that however messy their methods may be, some problems are beyond the Bureau's capabilities. Some problems can only be fixed by Legends.'

Thanks to a tweet from Brandon Routh it's been revealed that the Amaya Jiwe version of Vixen from the Justice Society of America (played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers) will also be returning despite not being mentioned in the previous press release.

Legends of Tomorrow will return on the CW this autumn.

Go to Amy's Blog

Universal Reveals The Dark Universe

As the release of The Mummy from Universal Pictures fast approaches the studio has once again been discussing their plans for a shared monster universe, this time with a title, the next film in the series announced and an image of the current principal cast.

The series of films will be known as the Dark Universe, and The Bride of Frankenstein will follow as the next film in the franchise on February 14th 2019. The film will star Javier Badem as Frankenstein's monster, however, no casting has been announced regarding the titular bride.

Some of the other films in the series will include the already announced The Mummy, which stars Tom Cruise as Nick Morton, Russell Crowe as Doctor Jekyll/Mr Hyde and Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet; The Invisible Man starring Johnny Depp. No news regarding other classic Universal monsters such as Dracula, the Wolf-Man or the Creature from the Black Lagoon have yet been announced, however their inclusion does seem to be hinted at in the Dark Universe teaser.

The Mummy is set for release on June 9th.

Go to Amy's Blog

Woman Who Sued Her Transgender Daughter Loses Case

In November 2016 Annmarie Calgaro began legal proceedings to sue her daughter for transitioning from male to female. Along with her daughter Calgaro took legal action against two non-profit healthcare providers, the St Louis School Board, the principal at her daughter's school, Saint Louis County, and the director of the county's Health and Human services agency, This week a judge called the case 'meritless' and dismissed the lawsuit.

Calgaro began the lawsuit after learning that her daughter was transgender and was undergoing treatment to transition. She learnt that members of her daughters school staff and other organisations had helped her daughter to begin this process, something that she claimed violated her rights as a parent.

Whilst Calgaro's daughter is considered a minor, she had been officially emancipated with help from a local aid group. Calgaro's daughter had moved away from her family home and was living alone, which the school argued allowed the teenager to make her own medical decisions.

The judge in the case, Paul Magnuson, concluded that teenager was not in fact emancipated as it 'did not act under color of state law' as Minnesota law does not allow a minor to become emancipated for their parents unless a state court makes the decision, which did not happen. Despite this, Calgaro's case was dismissed on Tuesday.

Calgaro's lawyer, Erick Kaardal of the Thomas More Society, has stated that she may consider appealing the decision.

'It was brought to my knowledge that my son began receiving hormone replacement treatment from Park Nicollet Health Services to transition from male to female, with medical assistance paying for this. I was not consulted or informed in any way,' Calgaro told journalists, claiming that her daughter's actions had violated her rights under the 14th Amendment.

The Thomas More Society is an anti-abortion law firm who are currently also in a legal case where they are representing a Texan activist who has attempted to frame Planned Parenthood for buying and selling organs.

Calgaro's daughter, who turns 18 in a few months time, has stated that those who helped her did not pressure her into transitioning or to exclude her mother from the process, but that both decisions were her own.

'My providers had no involvement in my decision not to involve my mother in my healthcare decisions,' she said in court documents. 'I was not pressured in any way by my providers to consent to this treatment.'

It is currently unknown if Annmarie Calgaro intends to appeal the ruling.

Go to Amy's Blog

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Dragon Ball Super To Introduce First Female Super Saiyan

After sixteen years of Super Saiyans Dragon Ball Super will finally be introducing the Dragon Ball saga to the first ever female Super Saiyan.

The latest episode of Dragon Ball Super the Saiyan warrior from Universe 6, Caulifa, will transform into a Super Saiyan for the very first time in preparation for the Multiverse Tournament. The preview for the upcoming episode shows the transformation as she trains with Cabba, her fellow Universe 6 Saiyan.

As Caulifa transforms she's watched by yet another Universe 6 Saiyan, Kale, who we know from promotional images will soon be following Caulifa to become a Super Saiyan, though one who bears a striking resemblance to the Legendary Super Saiyan Brolly.

Go to Amy's Blog

Birmingham Pride To Go Ahead Following Manchester Bombing

Following the tragic nail-bomb attack on the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena last night police and event organisers have assured the public that Birmingham Pride will go ahead this coming weekend.

Organisers are currently in talks with West Midlands Police to review the security of the event, but state that they will not allow the tragedy in Manchester to stop the event.

Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray of the West Midlands Police told the press; 'Birmingham plays host to Pride this weekend, and we're expecting tens of thousands of visitors to the city. This is an annual event with a parade, music and festivities that are enjoyed by many.

'I appreciate that people planning to attend may feel a sense of nervousness - I would like to take this opportunity to give you some reassurance that a full policing operation is in place and subject to ongoing review.

'Tragic events like last night's explosion in Manchester remind us that attack can occur at any time or place without warning. Everyone needs to be vigilant - be alert not alarmed. As ever, we ask the public to be our eyes and ears. If something doesn't feel right, call us.

Headline acts at this years event include Charlotte Church, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Basement Jaxx and Gabrielle to name just a few.

You can visit Birmingham Pride's website below to learn more about the event.

Go to Amy's Blog

Monday, 22 May 2017

Image Comics Reveals Pride Month Variant Covers

Image Comics is celebrating it's 25th anniversary by making each month of the year themed for variant covers, and this June they're celebrating Pride.

June will see the release of elven variant covers that the company say are 'to celebrate the LGBTQ community and the progress made by the Gay Liberation Movement in promoting inclusivity and support for all'.

So far Image have revealed six of the covers, the proceeds of which will go towards the Human Rights Campaign.

Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson released a statement saying, 'We are so thankful to support the LGBTQ community during Pride Month later this year by partnering once again with the Human Rights Campaign.'

'It's never been a secret that Image Comics is supportive of creative freedom, but it's important that we also make it clear that we stand for inclusivity, diversity and equality, now more than ever. We hope these variants will serve as a positive display of that ongoing commitment.'

The first of the Pride Month variant covers will go on sale on 7th June.

Go to Amy's Blog

Sunday, 21 May 2017

First Trailer For CW's Black Lightning Arrives

The first trailer for the CW's latest addition to their DC television universe, Black Lightning, has been released following months of speculation.

The series will follow Jefferson Pierce, the retired superhero known as Black Lightning who quit crime fighting for his family. Since then Jefferson has gone on to become a high school principal and fights to help his students in a different way.

When Jeffersons daughter Jennifer is recruited by a local gang, however, Black Lightning comes out of retirement to clean up the streets once again.

Black Lightning is scheduled to air as CW's midseason show this coming winter.

Go to Amy's Blog

An Apology

If you're a regular reader of this blog then you'll know that I haven't been writing nearly as many articles as I have in the past. Last year I managed to produce just shy of 300 pieces, now five months into this year and I've made barely more than a dozen.

I want to apologise for this lack f dedication to this site, and to those who have supported me so much over the years.

Part of the reason for this change has been an increase in the amount I've been working in my day to day job, and the launch of my podcast, but it's also because I've not been well.

I've been suffering from a currently undiagnosed medical condition in my leg, one that's been gradually getting worse and more painful. The result of this is a great deal of pain and fatigue, and I've found myself lacking motivation for most of my ordinary tasks, let alone writing articles.

I've been selfish and for that I want to say sorry. I'm going to be trying to do more on this site again, and hope that I can get things back to the way that they were before.

I hope that you'll be as kind and understanding as you've always been, and I hope that you'll bear with me during these ups and downs. Thank you.

Go to Amy's Blog

Six Of The Best - Children's Shows

The first of my contributions to the Smorgasbored websites Six Of The Best articles, here's six of my favourite children's shows.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Whilst the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films were not the best received this new era of the franchise did give birth to one of the best parts of the whole Star Wars saga, The Clone Wars. The films glossed over the Clone War conflict, something that was first mentioned way back in A New Hope, but the series was able to explore this so far untold story.

The series showed us why Anakin Skywalker was considered a great warrior, why he was respected by many. It showed us how awesome a fighter and tactician Obi-Wan was. Most importantly, however, it gave us some of the best characters in the franchise.

The Clone Wars introduced Ahsoka Tano, Anakin's apprentice who would go on to be not only an incredibly important character in the Clone Wars itself, but to be one of the most popular new characters in the Star Wars universe. Along with Ahsoka we we given Captain Rex, one of the coolest clone troopers around, and Asaaj Ventress, the deadly sith assassin.

The show had some dull moments yes, three episode stories following C-3PO and R2-D2 could often become quite dull, but when you had epic lightsaber duels between Obi-Wan and General Grievous, hordes of battle droids fighting clones, and even the surprise return of Darth Maul the high points definitely outweighed them.

The Clone Wars is a must watch for any Star Wars fan, especially if you want Revenge of The Sith to feel like a better film, because this show will make you actually care about what happens in it.

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z rocks. That's pretty much the main argument for why this is on my list.

Dragon Ball began the franchise as a whacky adventure series that was loosely based off the Legend of the Monkey King, as was a great show. But when the series evolved into Dragon Ball Z things went from good to amazing.

The action ramped up to such a degree that it bordered on the ridiculous (the third season DVD set is a whole season for one fight!), but even at it's most ridiculous there were moments that kept you glued to the screen and made your draw drop with awe.

There have been a number of follow-ups to Z, with Dragon Ball GT having now been erased from continuity to make room for Dragon Ball Super, but none have managed to capture the fanbase in the way that Dragon Ball Z did.

Despite having finished airing in 1996 the show has remained on the air since in reruns, with video games based on the series released every year, and enough merchandise to fill a museum there's no sign of the series popularity fading any time soon.

Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls is the show on this list that I've discovered most recently, and it's one that I fell in love with almost instantly. The show follows twins Mabel and Dipper as they spend their summer staying with their great uncle Stan at his mystery shack in the town of Gravity Falls when they discover that the town may hold the secret to many supernatural and bizarre mysteries.

The best way to describe Gravity Falls would be by mixing Twin Peaks, the X-Files, Stephen King and Doctor Who all together into a blender and animating the results. It's got a great mystery that plays out slowly over the two seasons, but leaves enough hints and clues at the early stages that avid viewers are still finding easter eggs and connections.

The show might be a cartoon aimed at kids but it's easily a masterclass in how to balance character development and plot, humour and horror, and to create a mythology that at times feels wacky and random but makes complete sense.

Out of all the shows on this list Gravity Falls is the one that I will recommend every time someone asks for a good show to watch, even if they don't watch cartoons.

Star Wars: Rebels

Okay, so yes there is a second Star Wars series on this list, but it is my list and I think Rebels is worthy of a place on it. Star Wars Rebels covers four years in the expanse between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and follows a misfit group of freedom fighters who eventually become a part in the creation of the Rebel Alliance as we see them in the later films.

Rebels takes a lot of design queues from the original concept art for the first film and as such has a look and style very much its own yet in keeping with the feel of the larger Star Wars saga. The series also uses its position as a middle stage in the saga to continue on the stories of several prequel/Clone Wars characters whilst also putting into place things that we see play out in Rogue One, A New Hope and even further beyond.

The series has just completed its third season and will soon be beginning its third and final year, so now's a great time to catch up.

Whilst the series is made for kids any adult fan of Star Wars is going to get a whole lot out of it too, and with the final season looking like it's going to end very dark and with probably more than one death (remember, there were no Jedi other than Luke in the rebellion come Episode IV) its sure to offer a satisfying and impactful ending.


With video games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty dominating a great deal of shelf space in stores and being the franchises of choice for 'hardcore' gamer it may be easy for people to overlook how much of a force the Pokemon franchise is, it's the third biggest selling game series of all time behind Super Mario and Sonic.

A part of the success of Pokemon is down to the animated series, which began in 19197 and hasn't been out of production since. With close to 1000 episodes (it's going to be 962 as of 18th May) there's a lot to this series, and with no sign of this monster franchise going anywhere anytime soon there may be another 1000 by the time you get up to date with where the show is now.

I'm a long, long, long way from being up to date with this series, but it holds a very special place in my heart, as I'm sure it does for a lot of people who were the target age when the show started. Whether it's the amazing original theme tune, the bumbling misadventures of Team Rocket or what is still the fantastic Pokemon The First Movie this is a series that is sure to have something for everyone.

Doctor Who

It might be easy for people to forget but Doctor Who started as a show principally designed to appeal to children, albeit one that adults could also watch. The show might not have as many episodes as Pokemon, only 832 so far, but its reach is just a huge.

One of the longest running genre shows of all time the series has been on the air for over 50 year, though with a few decades gap in the middle. It might not be to everyone's tastes, some episodes are very silly and childish, some are very dark and have some high concept sci-fi, but of all the shows on this list it's probably the one with the broadest appeal.

The current series is seeing the final year from both the current show-runner Steven Moffatt and current Doctor Peter Capaldi, so now may be the time to give the series a go if you've not watched it before or if you've not watched the show in a while.

If you enjoyed this article and want to read more like it you can always head over to the Smorgasbored website for loads more! :

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