July 29, 2014

Another Comic-Con in the bag

Stick a fork in me, I'm done. I'm nearly recovered from San Diego Comic-Con. Though the convention is all kinds of crazy and exhausting, I wouldn't trade it for anything. It did feel harder to navigate the crowds this year and getting from point a to point b made me more tired and crankier than usual, but I have a hunch the high humidity and heat that plagued San Diego had something to do with it. Come on, weather controlling people, San Diego's supposed to be breezy and tolerable!

Here's a rundown of some of the cool things I saw and did this year:

- I met the real-life Chopper (not the statue in the above picture) from Star Wars Rebels. I want one.
- I saw the first episode of Star Wars Rebels, and it was delightful. My spoiler-free thoughts are at IGN.
- I interviewed the cast and executive producers for Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Once Upon a Time, and Supernatural for IGN and Nerdist.
- I covered some cool panels including ones for the shows listed above and iZombie and Toy Story that Time Forgot. I'm feeling jazzed about iZombie.
- I got in some Baymax love because I've already fallen for the character from Big Hero 6:

Art by Amy Mebberson

- I didn't eat nearly enough food.
- I received my first ever blisters in nine years of attending Comic-Con. That was not my favorite.
- I hugged people I only see a few times a year.
- I followed Guillermo del Toro in a makeup chair during an IGN livestream recording thing.
- I got stuck in a swarm of crowds at least one million times.
- I watched people run through an Assassin's Creed parkour/obstacle course, video here.

- I stopped by the Wired Cafe and had some Game of Thrones beer:

- I attended my first fashion show, and it featured geek haute couture.
- I dressed like a Lumberjanes scout with some of my dearest friends:

- I had an amazing time despite being sweaty and wiped for 4.5 days straight.

See all my photos from Comic-Con over at Flickr or browse the cosplay highlights at Nerdist. You can check out my coverage from the convention at IGN, StarWars.comAskMen, and Fashionably Geek.

July 25, 2014

WeLoveFine Has Lumberjanes Merchandise!

Are you reading Boom! Studios' Lumberjanes? It's my favorite new comic and maybe even my favorite comic of the year so far. It's all about friendship and weird things and summer camp and laughter. There are four issues out, and it's the kind of book you should buy duplicates of so you can give them all of your friends - especially kids! The material is definitely the sort of stuff that could bring young readers into the world of comics, and don't we all want that?
In summary: go read Lumberjanes.

Once you've done that, you'll be excited to learn that WeLoveFine is releasing some t-shirt designs inspired by the series. They would look great with a plaid shirt and a sash full of badges (oh yeah, Boom! is going to be selling Lumberjanes badges). Check 'em out:

I'm going to need the shirt that says 'Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for “Hardcore Lady Types."'

h/t Comic Book Resources

July 24, 2014

5 Uses for Those Oversized Comic-Con Bags

Today is the first day of Comic-Con! Bring on the madness, San Diego. I'm ready!
Okay, I'm not really ready, but I'll get through. I always do. Besides the banners all over the Gaslamp District and the hordes of people, another sure sign that it's Comic-Con time is seeing all the gigantic bags all over the place. I feel like the oversized bags attendees receive upon badge pick-up get bigger and bigger every year. You could easily fit a medium-sized dog or small child inside the sturdy totes.

For the past few years (at least), Warner Bros. has put their franchises all over the items. This year's selection includes Supernatural, Gotham, The Vampire Diaries, Batman, and many other designs. Like a ton. I'm drooling over the Supernatural bag, but at this point, I've amassed and thrown out my fair share of the snazzy sacks. I've been thinking more about uses for them though, and I've come up with five ways you can use the oversized bags after the convention is over and you've swagged your last swag.

Laundry bag

The bags are too big to be effective grocery bags, but the amount of stuff they hold is ideal for laundry day. You can squish one into a rectangle and stuff it in your bag for travel and/or leave one by your dirty clothes hamper.

Dresses, suit jackets, skirts - oh my!

Handy with a needle and scissors? You can take part in the time-honored tradition of transforming the huge Comic-Con bags into outfits. People have turned them into dresses, skirts, corsets, vests, and tuxedo jackets. If you're not incredibly skilled at sewing, start simple with a pencil or A-line skirt.

Smaller bags

Cut the bags down to a smaller, more usable size. You can feature a title of a show or a character's face and cut around it to make a tote bag, messenger bag, or even a clutch. You can make multiples and give them as gifts to your convention buddies. You can use an old bag or thrift store find to cut apart and use as a template.

Wall art

Tired of your bags being stuffed in a closet year after year? Cut off either the front or back - whichever image you like better - and frame them. You can leave the size as is or cut it down to something more manageable. If you have several you'd like to feature, slice them up and make a collage.

Epic bag quilt

If the bags can be sewn into outfits, they can be transformed into an epic, nerdy quilt. You'd only need to save a handful of the bags to make it happen, and trust me, it's not hard to get extras. Ask friends if they have any old bags saved or will be keeping their bags after the convention. Worst case, you can buy older bags at a relatively cheap price on eBay. Stitch the squares (they're almost like Tyvek) on top of a soft fabric, and you'll have a cool blanket-scrapbook visit of your trips to Comic-Con.

Do you have any other suggestions for recycling the huge bags?

July 22, 2014

Review: Titan Comics' New Adventures with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors

If you've followed the Doctor from the screen to the pages of comic books, you most likely know that Titan Comics picked up the license for stories about the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors from IDW Publishing. BBC Worldwide made a new deal with Titan Comics, and the partnership was announced in January. The first comics from the deal are out this week with #1 issues for new adventures with  Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. You can read my spoiler-free reviews of the comics after the image.

The Tenth Doctor #1 features writer Nick Abadzis and artist Elena Casagrande and is set after Donna Noble has left the Doctor's side. We meet Gabriella Gonzalez, a young woman caught up in what she feels to be dead-end work in her family's businesses. She has dreams but doesn't see a way out of her current situation. Enter the 10th Doctor. While I could do without the "saving a young girl" bit, I realize it's a standard part of a Doctor Who tale... for now, at least.

The story definitely has the right vibe, and it's easy to picture an on-screen version of the events in your head as you read. Abadzis found the Tenth Doctor's voice, and I found myself hearing the Doctor's lines as though David Tennant were speaking them.

I can see that Gabby has potential as a companion, but I don't get a complete sense of her personality just yet. It's only the first issue though, and there's plenty of time to get to know her more. As it stands, I'm intrigued enough to keep reading.

This comic features a mystery that needs to be solved, and the Doctor and Gabby have barely scratched at the surface. It looks like their first adventure together could cover several issues.

Being a huge fan of Casagrande's work, I wasn't disappointed by the art. Her landcapes are enchanting, and she's skilled at making the characters' emotions jump right off the page.

The Eleventh Doctor #1's story appealed to me a little more and not necessarily because the Eleventh Doctor is my Doctor. Writers Al Ewing and Rob Williams and artist Simon Fraser infused a lot of feelings into the issue. It takes place after the Doctor left the Ponds after they got hitched.

We meet Alice Obiefune. Again, it's a similar set-up of the Doctor sweeping in and making things better. Alice is down on her luck when the Eleventh Doctor shows up, and she's presented in such a way that you empathize with her immediately. I felt a strong connection with her, and I like seeing the Eleventh Doctor paired up with a personality so different from Amy's and Clara's - those two feel like the same person at times.

Anyway, the first issue for the Eleventh Doctor presents a one and done story with an adorable but troublemaking alien dog, and despite Alice's heavier moments, it's a light and feel good story. It's a well mixed combination.

Fraser does a spendid job at capturing Matt Smith's expressions, and I like the brighter palette of the Eleventh Doctor's story.

I recommend giving both #1s a shot. They'll be available at a comic shop near you tomorrow, July 23rd.

Full disclosure: Titan Comics provided these comics for review purposes. This did not affect my opinion of the comics or my reviews.

July 21, 2014

Check Out Jess Archer Versus

Like Veronica Mars? Then web series Jess Archer Versus is probably right up your alley. Writer and director Amy Taylor created the characters in a short film (embedded below) and describes the series as "Veronica Mars as a comedy with the style and sensibility of an Edgar Wright film." Sounds like a can't-miss combo, and in the newest chapter, high schooler Jess Archer helps a classmate accused of selling midterm exam answers.

Learn more in this video about the project

After watching that, I want to be Amy Taylor's friend. She's hilarious and seeing the amount comedy just in the introduction video makes me feel more excited for the web series.

The Kickstarter campaign for Jess Archer Versus is trying to raise $15,000. The money will go towards location permits, insurance, production equipment, and paying the cast and crew. Making quality web content takes money. Rewards include cookies, using your name or likeness in production design, being an extra and more.

Get a look at the characters from the Jess Archer world in this video:

Support Jess Archer Versus at Kickstarter.

July 20, 2014

The Line for Comic-Con in 1982 (not 1983)

It's no secret that attending Comic-Con has become a challenge. Obtaining a badge and a place to sleep is a test of fortitude. It wasn't that way when I started attending in 2006, and it especially wasn't that way in 1982.

Yes, the photo that's been going around the internet is from 1982 not 1983. It was taken by Alan Light and commemmorates the 13th event. The convention started in 1970, but it happened twice in that year. The first event in 1970 was a minicon used to raise funding for the actual event that happened in August. Both were big enough to count in numbering. In 1982, San Diego Comic-Con took place from July 8th-11th - the only year the dates line up with what's shown on the marquee in the above photo. The comic convention happened at Hotel San Diego.

Other glimpses at the 1982 event from Alan Light:

The dealer's room:

A bigger crowd outside:


And yes, a Women in Comics panel! From left to right, the line-up features: Dori Seda, Unknown, Jan Duursema, Trina Robbins, Carol Kalish, Jo Duffy, Lee Marrs, Catherine Yronwode, Carol Lay, Terry Boyce, and Melinda Gebbie.

You can see more photos from Comic-Con 1982 on Flickr.


July 18, 2014

Best Bee and PuppyCat Cosplay Ever

Adorable cosplay makes me happy, and I don't think this Bee and PuppyCat ensemble could be any cuter. Amanda Dawn wore the ensemble recently and while I love the dress, hair, and facial expression, my favorite part is the bag of crotch ice:

The er, prop, comes into play in the first episode of the cute cartoon series. And if you haven't watched it, please give up ten minutes of your time to check it out because you will cry from laughter. Then you can come back here and appreciate the creativity of this outfit.

I love everything about it, and I really must get a PuppyCat plush to call my own.

h/t The Mary Sue

July 17, 2014

A Character from Frozen is in the Big Hero 6 Trailer

The first trailer for Big Hero 6 dropped this week, and the animated film from Disney and Marvel looks like a lot of fun. We see the main character, Hiro Hamada, and his robot Baymax trying to file a report in a police station. The corkboard by the police officer's desk features some wanted posters, and one eagle-eyed Tumblr user spotted a familar face: Prince Hans from Frozen. The jerk was sent back to his home by Queen Elsa, but it looks like he may have escaped custody.

Do you think it's just a fun reference, or does it mean the worlds of Frozen and Big Hero 6 are connected? What did Hans do to become a known criminal in San Fransokyo? Or is it a more evil twin brother? He does have a lot of siblings...

What are your theories?

h/t Nipah
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