The League of Extraordinary Grade-Schoolers

Chapter 1: Nancy’s Power

When eight-year-old Nancy Clancy stepped out the door to visit a neighbor on a Friday afternoon, she wasn’t expecting to be attacked by a giant robot.

Nancy had just come home from third grade, but after dropping off her schoolbooks on the dining room table, she headed out the door again to see Mrs. DeVine, who had invited her for tea. Mrs. DeVine was a severe-looking but kindly old matron who lived in the fanciest house in the neighborhood: she had a front gate of cast iron entwined with roses, and a yard full of flowers. Her house brimmed with the most interesting things—brocaded drapes that hung to the floor, cushions of silk, divans nestled in bay windows, cabinets loaded with eggshell china, paintings of dignified but mysterious gentlemen, and elegant porcelain dolls too delicate to touch.

Many children might be afraid of a house so full of breakables, or intimidated by Mrs. DeVine herself, who stood tall and straight, with a down-turned mouth and a head piled high with white hair. For as long as she could remember, however, Nancy had been taken with Mrs. DeVine and fascinated with her ornate and treasure-filled home. The other houses up and down the street were all white and boxy and nearly indistinguishable, and all had neatly trimmed but unadorned yards. Only Mrs. DeVine’s house stood out, beautiful and old-fashioned, and Nancy loved it. She loved everything fancy. She always had, and she was determined that she always would. Continue reading “The League of Extraordinary Grade-Schoolers”

The Night before Christmas in Urbanopolis

A Poem

T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the city,
Lots of girls were stirring, and all of them pretty.
They stalked all the baddies that threatened mankind,
To blast them with magic and kick their behinds.

They crouched beside all the dark chimneys with care,
And slipped across rooftops—evildoers beware!
One might wear a kerchief, and one has a cap,
But they all got short skirts, what you think about that?

Then at City Hall, there arose such a clatter,
That Plum Fairy Lyssa went to see what’s the matter.
A monster appeared with a roar and a flash,
Lyssa called up her powers and got ready to bash!

But what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a slavering, fanged, and bloodthirsty deer?
T’was Rudolph! Whose powerful nose,
Had at last warped his mind with its sinister glow!

Lyssa, however, was ready to brawl,
So she leapt like a gymnast to the top of a wall.
“Halt, evil monster!” she said with a scoff,
“You’ve attacked us on Christmas, and that ticks me off!”

The Moon Princess blest her with power and might,
That she might be quick to kick butt in a fight,
Whether to halt evildoers in the midst of a crime,
Or to battle vile creatures from beyond space and time!

Now punch him, now bludgeon! Now blast him with power!
And yet his eyes glowed with a menacing glower!
Now kick him, now stab him, now strangle and blitz him!
That deer is no match for this doe-eyed vixen!

At last Rudolph gasped and lay dead at her feet,
As his bright ruby blood ran out into the street.
“I’ve vanquished the creature,” the Plum Fairy mused,
“But why do I feel as if I should lose?”

In leapt Marionette, the famed robot girl,
With her magical pencil, which she soon gave a twirl.
“Young Lyssa, my girl, you’ve fought well and brave,
But you just killed poor Rudolph, whom you should try to save.”

“Well, no one ever taught me any of that,”
Said Lyssa, perplexed, as on the pavement she spat.
“To fight off the monsters that threaten our world,
That’s what it means to be a magical girl!”

“We war for mankind, that much is too true,”
Said Marionette, whose cold fingers turned blue.
“But we must always remember to serve only the Light,
So merry Christmas to all, and to all a clean fight!”

Jake and the Dynamo’s Epic Halloween Blowout Extravaganza, Part 3 (of 3)

Pumpkin, Spice, and Everything Nice! The magical girl Halloween showdown comes to its thrilling conclusion!

Featured image: “#PunkinDidNothingWrong” by Roffles Lowell

FIRST | PREVIOUS | LAST

Margherita stood by, biting her nails. Tears ran down her cheeks as she stared at all her boxes of ruined pizza. Her eyes flicked back between Jake and Magical Girl Punkin Spice.

“Please,” she pleaded. “Please, no more. Please don’t ruin any more food—”

In spite of the chilly night air, Jake felt sweat forming under his collar. He took another pull on his coffee, but then raised his hands and slowly backed away from Punkin. Her wand still pointed at his chest.

“Wait, hold on,” he said. “You don’t want me to get a taste for pumpkin spice—”

“Oh yes I do,” Punkin whispered. “I want everyone to know the joys of pumpkin spice!”

Jake chuckled nervously. “Look, I don’t know exactly how this kind of thing works, but I’m pretty sure pumpkin spice isn’t my thing. I mean, I’m a guy. I bet I’d have to have a lot more estrogen in my system before I could enjoy something like pumpkin spice—”

“I can take care of that,” Punkin hissed. Her wand trembled in her grasp. Continue reading “Jake and the Dynamo’s Epic Halloween Blowout Extravaganza, Part 3 (of 3)”

Jake and the Dynamo’s Epic Halloween Blowout Extravaganza, Part 2 (of 3)

It’s Halloween night, and a spicy new magical girl has her eye on Jake! Can he survive another magical battle? And can he survive the scourge of artificial pumpkin spice flavoring?

FIRST | PREVIOUS | LAST

Magical Girl Punkin Spice leapt lightly from her broomstick, which with a flash of light shrank into a small dust broom. she clipped it to her belt. Flipping her braided ponytail off her shoulder, she cocked her enormous pointed hat, and her bright blue eyes surveyed the scene. The other magical girls stood tense, and the normal humans slowly backed away. Over near the bubbling cauldron of cider, Pretty Dynamo rested a hand on the wand holstered at her side.

Jake shrugged and took another bite of his pizza. Margherita’s pizza was good when it was cold, too.

“You there!” Punkin at last shouted, jabbing a finger toward him. “What is this blasphemy?”

She marched his way. Jake merely raised an eyebrow and sucked up a wayward strand of mozzarella. “Excuse me?”

“Pizza?” Punkin Spice cried, shaking a fist. “You’re eating pizza on Halloween night?” Continue reading “Jake and the Dynamo’s Epic Halloween Blowout Extravaganza, Part 2 (of 3)”

#WaifuWednesday Special: Andalusia Trading Card is 50% Off!

On this Waifu Wednesday, are you alone? Are you lonely and miserable, sitting in your mom’s basement with your fedora askew on your unwashed hair as you scratch your unshorn neck and pick at your acne? Are your hot pockets tasteless, no longer satisfying? Does your anime character body pillow no longer comfort you as it once did? Do you wonder if this is all there is to life? Do you yearn for something more? Are you in need of a warrior dame named after an autonomous community of Spain to lift you out of your doldrums?

I think so. In fact, I know so.

That’s why, in honor of Waifu Wednesday, our one-of-a-kind Magical Girl Lady Paladin Andalusia trading cards are half off for one day only! Featuring Andalusia’s genuine signature and the professional photography of artist Roffles Lowell, this card depicts Andalusia in a striking yet sensitive pose, eyes humbly cast down as she thanks God and the Moon Princess for her latest victory over monsters and Saracens … or maybe she’s just thinking about the Backdoor Boys, because, I mean, Donnie in those tight jeans? Like, OMP.

So don’t delay. Shut up and let me take your money … or something like that.

Drawn Like My French Girls: ‘Miraculous Ladybug’

Les filles magiques de la France sont les meilleures filles magiques, non?

Miraculous Ladybug (a.k.a. Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir). Directed by Thomas Astruc. Written by Fred Lenoir, Matthieu Choquet, et al. Zagtoon, Method Animation, and Toei Animation, 2015-2016. 26 episodes of 22 minutes (approx. 9.5 hours). Rated TV-Y7.

Available on Netflix.

For over a decade, probably the most successful magical girl title from outside Japan has been the Italian cartoon Winx Club, a dungeon-punkish hot mess that’s like a cross between Harry Potter, Tinkerbell, and Sailor Moon. But within the last few years, France has gotten into the act with at least two strong contenders, LoliRock and Miraculous Ladybug. We’ll discuss the former some other time, but we’ll discuss the latter right now. A French magical girl cartoon rendered in CGI, Miraculous Ladybug is known in some countries (including the U.S.) under the more cumbersome title of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir.

Le City of ze Lights et les girls de majeeks, oh ho ho ho!

Continue reading “Drawn Like My French Girls: ‘Miraculous Ladybug’”

Magical Girl Mixed Drinks!

See? I’m not the only one doing it.

A few days ago, I amused myself by inventing magical girl-themed mixed drinks (all are untested, so create at your own risk), except the Madoka is basically a ripoff of a standard Baby Guinness, only with Cannon Shot.

But I’m not alone. Kyla M. Covert beat me to it by creating the Magical Girl, a cocktail involving viniq, prosecco, and cranberry juice. I don’t even know what those are. Well, except for the cranberry juice … okay, viniq is apparently moscato with vodka. That sounds appropriately disgusting. Maybe not as disgusting as what I suggested for the Utena, but still.

Unlike me, Covert actually tested her creation. Here’s the result:

Reasonably classy.

It looks okay. It’s probably pretty sweet, but it really shouldn’t be called “the Magical Girl” unless it’s cloying and gross.

Speaking of which, if you really want outrageous girly drinks that will cause heart palpitations or possibly fits of rage in anyone with a Y-chromosome or a modicum of respect for alcohol, you totally have to check out the abomination known as a “unicorn.” As described on a blog inappropriately called Kidspot, a unicorn is an alcoholic beverage made with such ingredients as ice cream, milk, and cotton candy. And there’s booze in there someplace.

So, do you eat the cotton candy first, or do you push it into the drink, or … ?

This is apparently something of a trend, as Kidspot reports several bars with several variations on this diabetes-inducing creation.

Eww.

So there you go. Now we know what magical girls drink on their down time. As for me? I’m gonna go crack open a beer.

 

Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, four!)

The Ten Days of Hate: Day Three!

Two days ago, we kicked off the Ten Days of Hate with a discussion of Cardcaptor Sakura, the hugely popular magical girl franchise. Then we followed that up with further hate.

Now we continue with more of Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura:

Number 8: Lame Magic.

Supposedly, Clow Reed, the creator of the Clow Cards, was the bestest wizard ever, and he supposedly encapsulated more-or-less all of his magic in the cards that Sakura steadily collects across the series. But there’s a problem—

The cards are hella lame.

Looks like Sakura isn’t the only one collecting a lot of crap.

Continue reading “Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, four!)”