Monthly Archives: February 2013

Comic Book-inspired Valentine Lanterns


lanternsThe candle-lit dinner just got geekier.

With Valentine’s Day dangerously close, here’s a way to set the mood with these paper lanterns.

What You Need:materials
Black poster board
Vellum (find it in stationary or craft stores) or regular printer paper.
Frame template (included at bottom of page)
Craft glue and regular clear tape

Before you get started, scour the web or your comic collection for “romantic” comic book covers, artwork or even those cheesy retro valentines.   Make sure these images are the sizes you need, then copy and print them out on the vellum or printer paper.

Ready? Good!

Here’s three versions to try: a fairly easy lantern using a template, a less-structure and quicker tube-style votive and an incredibly quick “Oh crap, I didn’t expect her to say ‘yes’ and she’s headed here in 20 minutes” version.

Template Versionbackside of lantern

Use template provided (or make one yourself if you think this is dorky), and trace four of them right next to each other on the poster board. Next, cut the pattern out, using an X-Acto or other hobby knife for to cut out the center squares and triangle.

Once you have the framework, cut the printed out images out a little bigger around than the openings and glue them on the back (make sure you face the image away from you so it doesn’t show up backward when you assemble the lantern.

Finally, gently fold the lantern where the four traced sides meet and tape the open edge together (on the inside if you don’t want a big tape strip to show). Then push the top “triangle” pieces together and tape as well. If you don’t want to mess with the top, you can just avoid tracing it and still have a nice four-sided lantern. Set it gently over an artificial tea light. If you want to use real votive candle, make sure it one in glass holder (even a cheesy air freshener candle will work), to best avoid any spontaneous tabletop bonfires.

“Free Form” Version:

easy frameCut the poster board in rectangular pieces of different heights and use the hobby knife to cut random squares, rectangle or other shapes staggered throughout. Paste the printed images on the back in the same manner described earlier and then tape the two ends of the rectangle together to form a cylinder.

Still not easy — or fast — enough? Here’s the last minute lazy method that still turns out looking pretty neat.

Print out full, horizontal images on regular printer paper (comic splash page images works well, because they are usually pretty colorful and detailed). Cut them out to the desired height paste the ends together in a cylinder. That’s it!

Now arrange a few of these together in the center of a table of over a mantle and you’re not only classy, but also charmingly clever and creative. And who doesn’t find that irresistible?lantern feature

Party tip: If you have a string of white Christmas lights, tape one of the quick versions over each of the lights for some retro party patio lights (I’ve done this with vintage Haunted Mansion concept art at Halloween and they were a hit).

Bonus tip: Don’t want to get romantic? Try these with any random comic cover or page and they make great accents anytime of year, but really, do I need to tell you this?

There you have it, instant ambiance.

Now quick…order something Italian…yes, pizza is fine, too.

Lantern Template

Lantern Template


Quotes for your Nerdy Valentine


v-day feature photo

You can find the updated version of my post…with even MORE quotes on

“You had me at Hello.” No thanks. That’s not necessary.
“I wish I knew how to quit you…” Really? Grow up, cowboy!
I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.” Ewwww, let go already idiot. The boat sank!!

Valentine’s Day is coming and unimaginative (I mean romantic) fools everywhere are busting out the movie love quotes. Those same pleas of helpless, undying, unconditional saccharine dribble we hear from the pretty people each year are meant to bring out the innocent flirt or unbridled passion in all of us, but honestly they really make us throw up a in our mouth a little.

Settle down, now, don’t brand me as cynical and unromantic. Okay, I’ll admit to the first but I’m certainly not unromantic. I just know we literate and loyal geek culture inhabitants can do better.

Why go to those rom-coms or tear jerkers for love quotes, when we have a world of comic books, super heroes, video games and sci-fi movies, television shows and books to provide us with a much larger pool of romantic, encouraging and inspiring commentary tailor made for your fangirl or boy paramour or pal.

Since money is getting tighter than Black Widow’s suit this year, a simple paper heart with a well-suited quote printed out or hand-written (oooh, better yet) with that perfect phrase or inside joke that says “You and I are the same kind of weird” can mean so much more than any expensive or impersonal gift.  You don’t have to completely cheap out, however, attach one of these to a single rose, candy bar or action figure.

I’ll even give you some starting points. Here are some of my picks for quote-heavy sources from the bleeding obvious to the more obscure.brainynewsexy

Star Wars (the movies):
Feel free to venture into the extended universe for more:

 “Scoundrel? I like the sound of that.”
— Han Solo

“I’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee. “

“When I’m around you, my mind is no longer my own.”
— Crazy Anakin

“ My love for you is a puzzle…for which I have no answers.
— Padmé

 And, let’s say the last one together:

“I love you. “
“I know.”
—   Han
(You can flip this “Empire Strikes Back” quote around with Leia responding “I know” as she did in “Return of the Jedi.”)

Superheroes (both comic and movie sources):

“Love should never be a secret.”
— Dr. Otto Octavius

“I cannot preach hate and warfare when I am a disciple of peace and love!”
—  Wonder Woman

“I’d rather not rule the earth. I just want to marry the girl next door and live in the suburbs.”
— Captain Dynamo (This one is a great inside joke because this Image Comics character was a habitual womanizing pig)

“Face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot.”
— Mary Jane Watson

“Waves are but water. Wind but air. And though lightning be fire…yet it must answer thunder’s call.”
— Thor Odinson (Not technically a “love quote” but who wouldn’t want to hear this from him?)

 “…love is not a constantly stable factor, it’s (a decision you’ll) have to make again and again.”
— Black Panther (great for long-term relationships)

“They were young. They were in love. They were heroes.”
— Narration  about Jean Grey and Cyclops in The Uncanny X-Men #137

“Paradise unearned is but a land of shadows!”
— The Silver Surfer

“In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight.”
— Green Lantern

“I should break your face for that, but that would not teach you of love.”
— Slaughterman

 “When you look in her eyes and she’s looking back in yours… everything… feels… not quite normal.”
— Peter Parker (about Mary Jane)

“I’ve been bitten.”
— Peter Parker
“So have I.”
—  Gwen Stacey

“Let’s face it, this is not the worst thing you’ve caught me doing.”
— Tony Stark (to Pepper Potts)

 Star Trek, Dr. Who, and other TV Shows:

“Why did you marry her?”
— Spock
“It seemed the logical thing to do at the time.”
—Sarek (Star Trek)

“If you prick me, do I not… leak?”
— Data (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

“Nice Legs… for a human”
— Worf (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

“You have that face on again… The one when you’re thinking ‘he’s hot when he’s clever.’”
— The 11th Doctor (Doctor Who)

“I’m going to pull time apart for you.”
—Amy Pond (Doctor Who)

“I married me a powerful ugly creature.”
— Jayne Cobb (Firefly)

“Love is Poison. A sweet poison, yes, but it will kill you all the same.”
—Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones)

“Brainy is the new sexy.”
— Irene Adler (Sherlock)

“I may be on the side of angels, but don’t think for one second I’m one of them.”
—Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock)

Have you ever been told you’re beautiful in flawless Russian? Get used to it.”
— Howard Wolowitz (The Big Bang Theory)

my preciousHobbit/Lord of the Rings Trilogy

I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world.”
— Arwin

Love or an act of kindness that are the things that keep darkness age bay.”
— Gandalf

Loyalty, honor, a willing heart, I can ask no more than that.”
— Thorin Oakenshield

“My precious….”
— Gollum

“I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure.”
— Gandalf

Video Games:
Because good gamers can make anything romantic.

“The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.”
—Half-Life 2

“Stay frosty.”
— Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

“Wakka wakka wakka!”

— The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

“Remember when the platform was sliding into the fire pit and I said ‘Goodbye’ and you were like ‘NO WAY!’ and then I was all ‘We pretended we were going to murder you’? That was great.”
— GladDOS from Portal 2

“It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum…and I’m all out of gum.”
—Duke Nukem

And some other random geeky treasures:

“As You Wish.”
— (Westley) The Princess Bride

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
— Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (interesting enough this is also Matthew 6:21)

“Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love.”
— Albert Einstein

“Say ‘Kiss me’.”
— Deckard (Blade Runner)

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
— Dr. Seuss

“…sometimes, when you fall, you fly.”
— Neil Gaiman (The Sandman: Fables and Reflections)

“Every lover is, in his heart, a madman, and, in his head, a minstrel.”
— Neil Gaiman (Stardust)

“Don’t Panic.”
— The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
— Douglas Adams

Still feeling a little “quote impaired?” I’ve included a little “starter” template below for you to print out, cut out and hand out freely. Need any further inspiration, check out my free printable Valentines suggestion from last February, as I am not above shameless self-promotion.

Hope these little snippets of nerdy love help you win your true love’s heart, share a laugh with a good friend or keep Mom off her “you never call me” kick for another month.

Consider this my gift to you, my wonderful readers because as George McFly said, “You are my density.”geeky quote valentines