December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Crazy random happenstance brought me across these Nightmare Before Christmas decorations. I was doing some last minute shopping last Friday night, and I stopped to pick up dinner on the way home. Earlier in the afternoon I had put the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack on in my car. I got turned around after I grabbed my take-out and took a side street that I've never been on. Something caught my eye. I stopped the car (it's fortunate no one was behind me) and found the closest stretch of empty curb. I walked back and before I could see exactly what the decorations were, I heard the soundtrack from the Holiday Haunted Mansion at Disneyland wafting in the air. Then I saw Jack Skellington and Zero and a delightful graveyard. It might have made my Christmas.

On that note, merry Christmas to those who celebrate it!

December 22, 2011

I watched half of the Star Wars Holiday Special, and I'm not the same.

For years, I've avoided the Star Wars Holiday Special. I'd heard tales about it... and for the most part those tales actually resembled horror stories. I probably would have continued along in my blissful ignorance, but a friend sent out invites for a Wookiee Life Day party and I couldn't say no. If I was going to watch the infamous special, I'd rather do it surrounded by friends. And booze.

I had low expectations. That's where I went wrong. I shouldn't have had any. I was hoping for camp but of the "it's so bad, it's enjoyable" variety. You know, like a Nicholas Cage movie (I adore Con Air). I mean, I didn't sit down thinking I'd like any part of it, but it was Star Wars and I looked forward to the experience. Let me just say: WOW. I stared at the screen with my mouth open. Nothing made any sense. Granted, the bootleg version (the only kind you can get) was not the best quality and everyone was adding a Rifftrax-style commentary to it but I don't think absolute quiet or HD prints would have helped.

We were on Kashyyyk, but Imperial officers kept calling Chewbacca's home planet Kazook. Chewie's family is scurrying around a treehouse carpeted with astroturf, and his wife is wearing an apron. His kid, Lumpy, plays with a holographic table that shows acrobats in neon, and Chewie's grandpa, Itchy, umm... has a special moment while watching a hologram of an attractive human woman with sparkly hair. Apparently, he likes his ladies shaved. Meanwhile, Chewbacca's wife,, Malla, is prepping for Life Day and she watches a cooking show hosted by Harvey Korman as a four-legged, humanoid alien. Seriously. I couldn't make those things up.

The overriding premise is that Chewbacca and Han are trying to get to Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day, but the Empire is getting in the way. I thought it would get better when characters from the original trilogy showed up. No. It doesn't always get better. Luke Skywalker was wearing eyeliner, and Princess Leia was obviously high from inhaling uh, Hoth snow. Boba Fett made his grand entrance in animated form, and those scenes were enjoyable. He was sort of pastel and had a Loch Ness monster, but he was still Boba Freaking Fett.

At this point of the night, the viewing party started to disperse. Rapidly. Sure, it was late, but an hour of the Holiday Special was all anyone could take. I have vowed to finish watching it - I mean, I've heard Bea Arthur shows up, that can't be terrible - but I need to stock up on alcohol first. And I should trick a few friends into coming over. I don't think I can do it alone.

I think the Holiday Special demonstrates Lucas is not all about the money. He could release this on DVD, and initially at least, fans who must have a complete collection (which are a large portion of Star Wars fans) would scoop it up. It's never re-aired on television or been made otherwise available. It would make some dollars even though it probably wouldn't be sustainable. Lucas recognizes that this special is not exactly the best foot forward. It's not high quality, it's not good, and he'd rather it didn't exist. He's certainly not putting it out there for the wide audience.

If you'd like to watch it for the first time or experience the bizarre all over again, you can watch the special (the whole darn thing!) on YouTube:

Next on my list: the Ewok movies.

December 19, 2011

A Wishlist from Hoth

Ralph McQuarrie's Battle of Hoth
Hoth has a special place in my heart. It's weird that this planet reaches me the most; I don't have much love for the frigid locales of the world. Actually, not quite true. I can enjoy snow and cold with the condition of limited exposure. From the safety of my couch with a warm blanket, Hoth is magical. It's featured in my favorite of the Star Wars films. It has wampas, tauntauns, AT-ATs, memorable quotes, Han and Leia flirting, and did I mention the AT-ATs? Yeah, I have passion for this ice planet.

Thusly, a wishlist from Hoth:

Wampa. Rug.
Furry, soft, and it has two arms!

Down Sweater Vest
It's the closest and warmest thing to Leia's Hoth vest.

Hoth Skywalker Shoes
Sneakers may not be the most practical footwear on the tundra, but they blend right in.

So many tauntauns, so little time.
Also, while you're thinking about tauntauns listen to this dog sound exactly like one.

Washcloth Wampa
There's a wampa hiding in your bathroom closet! Get the Star Wars Craft Book to learn how to make this little guy.

Han's Snazzy Jacket
Lando dresses like Han, so why shouldn't you?

Cuddly AT-AT
You can squish this Imperial Walker as much as you want. I also recommend the slightly less huggable Galactic Heroes AT-AT.

Be a Probe Droid (#notaeuphemism)
Sneak around the planet and do investigations for the guy in black while donning this screenprinted Imperial Probe Droid tee.

Snowtrooper Memory
Get a Mimobot ready for the snow and 2-16GB of data.

I Heart Hoth

December 17, 2011

Gingerbread Gone Geek

The holiday season always looks best when painted with a geek brush. I bet many of you will agree. Though I drool over pictures of elaborate gingerbread constructions I've never made anything more complicated than cutout cookies. One year I'll create a gingerbread diorama of the Rebel Base on Hoth. Until then, I'll keep drooling over the creations people much more talented and patient than I make.
SS Ginger Amelia
Gingerbread pirate ship that has a very Amy Pond sort of name! Three thousand eggs were used to build this. That's a lot of hens.

Ewok Village
It's quite a party on Endor. After the cameras left the celebration, they broke out the gingerbread, icing, Rice Krispie treats, and apparently, all the fun. The best part may or may not be biting off Ewok heads.

Superhero Sweets
Even gingerbread superheroes wear their underwear on the outside.

Edible Writing
If I had a gingerbread typewriter, I wouldn't get any writing done. I would procrastinate by eating. Wait - I do that anyways.

Baking Serenity
My second favorite ship looks beautiful when decorated with candy. It probably tastes much better than the "chocolate" cake Kaylee made in Out of Gas.

Castles are an ambitious project, but this replica has it all. Yeah, it lights up. I wonder if the staircases move.

The Pandorica Opens
Who eats the Pandorica takes the universe! Who's coming to take it from me?

crossposted at Geek Girls Network

December 14, 2011

Attack of the Holiday Gift Guide, Part III: Getting Crafty

Christmas is only 11 days away. I know, I'm a jerk for reminding you. Maybe you've left all your online shopping until the last minute, and it's getting close to the time when you'll have to pay rush shipping fees to get presents under the tree. Or maybe you don't want to face the growing crowds at stores. If either of those sound like you and even if they don't, you might want to consider taking the last weekend before the holiday to make gifts. Yeah, you'll probably have to go to a store or two for supplies, but you'll save money in the long run, hopefully have fun, and make someone smile with your thoughtfulness.

To assist your craftiness or maybe you inspire to scour the internet for more tutorials, here are five tutorials for presents you can make in a day.

Comic Book Coasters - Haven't you always wanted to put your glass on Batman's face? No? Well, these coasters make really cool presents anyways. This tutorial is easy to follow, and the list of supplies isn't crazy long. Comic book images look great, but you can of course substitute anything to suit the recipient.

Stack of Books Necklace - I bet you know someone who can't live without books. She (or he) will love this necklace. Bonus points if you add In the Library perfume.

Stitch Away - Sometimes a cross-stitched tauntaun head says it all. This pattern designer offers all sorts of nerdy designs, and they're emailed as a pdf so that you can start stitching immediately.

No-Sew T-Shirt Tote Bags - Almost everyone has t-shirts that don't fit them anymore. If there aren't any buried in your drawer, go to the thrift store. Find a nerdy t-shirt, a sports tee, or whatever the person on your gift list likes and turn it into a bag. I know I'd love to have a pile of Star Wars tee tote bags.

Amigurumi Happiness - Itty bitty cuddly dolls are always well received. I'm told that if you understand the magic of crocheting these are simple to make. Again, this seller has a variety of patterns and they are all emailed to you quickly.

Merry crafting!

My other gift guides this season:
Ten Books/Comics to Give/Get
Ten Star Wars Presents to Love

December 12, 2011

Nerdiest (and best) baby shower ever

Baby showers are not my thing. Besides the facts that I don't have the slightest idea what to do with babies and that pregnancy freaks me right out, the whole baby shower tradition isn't usually bearable. Mostly it's the silly games that turn me off. Sometimes they involve eating baby food or smearing stuff in diapers that you pass around and smell. Why would a person do such a thing? I can't understand. However. When a friend of mine, Autumn, announced her baby shower, I knew it would be epic and nerdy. I've found this statement to be true repeatedly: adding a sprinkle of geek makes any event infinitely better. It had that effect on the baby shower. Here's why Autumn's baby shower was awesome:

Exhibit A: Tauntaun with a life-sized head.
The party took place in a recently finished garage, and among the stacks of games and books rested a tauntaun. He was friendly.

Autumn's pet mynock dangled from the ceiling. You can learn how to make one just like it here.

Since her baby boy is sure to be the stallion who mounts the world, Autumn requested horse heart cupcakes from our talented friend Jenn. None of us ate the cupcakes Daenerys style (that clip is not for the faint of heart), but we really should have. Ah, hindsight.

Gifts included items to make her Wookiee the Chew themed nursery cozy, an array of onesies with Starfleet and Star Wars emblems, and stacks of books. I'd also like to mention here that Autumn opened all her presents with a knife. She held it in her teeth between gifts... yeah, I wouldn't tick her off.

The baby shower game was just as impressive. You had a list of prophecies, and you had to match the right character to the right destiny.

Finally, the best part of the shower: I kissed a tauntaun.

December 7, 2011

Attack of the Holiday Gift Guide, Part II: Ten Star Wars Presents to Love

After more than thirty years of merchandising, it's almost hard to imagine there are still any new Star Wars gifts to buy. However, fans are rabid and the demand hasn't let up in decades. There's a constant flood of fresh toys, clothing, books, and novelties. It's almost impossible to keep up with the latest offerings.* I've done some of the hard work for you. Here's my list of ten Star Wars items to give this holiday season.

Star Wars: The Old Republic - TOR is probably the hottest game of the season. It has beautiful graphics and extensive options, and it seems like it has a great story. This game will ship on December 20, just in time for the holiday.

Star Wars Omnibus: Episodes I-VI The Complete Saga - All the comic adaptations of the films are collected in this beautiful, giant omnibus.

AT-AT Necklace - Who doesn't want to wear an Imperial Walker around her neck? The seller also has a plethora of other Star Wars and geek symbols.

Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube Trays - This silicone tray is good for Han Solo-shaped ice, chocolate, jelly, and more. If you want to go for the complete set, pick up the R2-D2 mold as well. They are ideal for the baker on your list.

Star Wars: The Blueprints - Let's discuss the obvious first. Yes, it's $450. But. This is a collection of original blueprints created for the filming of the Star Wars saga. I flipped through some of it at Comic-Con, and it was indeed stunning.

AT-AT Walker - Is it sad that I could probably make an entire list comprised entirely of AT-ATs? This toy made a splash last year because it's over 2' tall! It's like having a pet without the annoying clean-up.

Droids & Aliens Cookie Cutters - Williams-Sonoma keeps adding things to their Star Wars line, and these droids and aliens cookie cutters are the newest. If you buy these for someone, chances of you getting Star Wars cookies increase.

Minimalist Poster Set - The Star Wars movie posters are awesome; particularly those from the original trilogy.  These are subtle and sexy though. They'd look great in a house or even an office.

Heir to the Empire: The 20th Anniversary Edition - This is the novel that kickstarted the modern Expanded Universe. It's a big deal. The recently released 20th Anniversary edition has annotations, commentary from Lucasfilm, and new novella starring Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Lightsaber Candlestick - Star Wars home decor can be classy. This candlestick comes with three no-drip taper candles and will make a romantic dinner at least ten times more special.

May the Force be with you this holiday season!

* has recently launched a section that lists licensed Star Wars merchandise and where you can buy it. Browse the catalog here.

November 30, 2011

Attack of the Holiday Gift Guide, Part I: Ten Books/Comics To Give/Get

Tis the season, and as such, I'm making lists upon lists of ideas for presents. I mean, I should do that throughout the year instead of waiting until December but besides being a procrastinator, I also can't keep secrets about gifts that long. If I buy presents early, I can't stop myself from giving them to the recipient long before the holiday (or birthday). Anyways. As I'm sorting, I thought I'd categorize and share my gift ideas. I'll be posting three or four themed lists here and also lists on Fashionably Geek and That's Nerdalicious over the next few weeks.

Among my favorite presents to give (and get) are things to read. I love to share books and comics I've enjoyed with others. I think any of these ten books/comics would make the reader on your shopping list happy. Most of these are self-published or small press because I like supporting indie creators who make awesome stories.

The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale (Pt. 1) by Lora Innes - This wonderful comic combines history, adventure, action, and romance. Sure, buy one for someone else, but buy it for yourself first.

Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie Burton - This book makes the ideal gift for the geek crafter in your life. You'll find projects such as Admiral Sackbar and Yoda finger puppets; it's definitely for all ages!

Gronk, Vol 1 by Katie Cook - Gronk is a story about a monster finding her place in the world. She also happens to be freaking adorable. Every page of this comic makes me laugh, squee, or get teary.

One Con Glory by Sarah Kuhn - Romantic comedies and geekdom don't run into each other often enough. This book has both. It's endearing, funny, and geek girls and uh... not geek girls will be able to relate to the heroine's journey.

The Bean, Vol 1 by Travis Hanson - This volume collects issues 1-4 of the fantastic journey of a young dishwasher named Bean. Great adventure and characters, and it was also nominated for an Eisner this year. No big deal.

The Storyteller  - This anthology, available 12/13, collects new stories inspired by Jim Henson's The Storyteller. Lovely art, magical stories, and even an adaptation of an unproduced screenplay written by Anthony Minghella. Yeah, it's awesome.

Deus Libris: An Illustrated Collection - This is a beautiful, high-quality compilation art book; the theme is gods and goddesses. It's droolworthy.

The Killer, Vol 1 by Matz and Luc Jacamon - This cutting thriller focuses on a hitman who's ready to retire. His inner conflict and views on the world are fascinating. It shouldn't be missed. This is great for someone who likes Dexter.

Monster Commute by Daniel Davis - Monster Commute showcases world building at its finest. The comic about traffic and the hell of surviving it takes place in a steampunk influenced world filled with monsters. The art and general design are impressive. The end.

5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) by Matthew Inman - A collection of comics, captions, cartoons, etc from The Oatmeal. It causes laughter.

I won't blame you if you decide to keep a book from this list rather than giving it away.

November 26, 2011

Review: Cow Boy Comic

Cow Boy: A Boy And His Horse by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos is obviously a comic made with love. I could tell that just from Cosby's tweets about it. I couldn't wait to dive in.

Cow Boy will fool you. If you look at nothing more than the cover – which you shouldn't ever do, incidentally – you'll think it's an adorable comic for kids. You'd be half wrong. It is adorable, but the subject matter is for all ages and the well done combo makes this a story you'd be silly not to check out.

Meet Boyd. He's a kid. He has a horse that's not his, and he's figuring out the fine art of being a bounty hunter. Oh, he also has an impressive gun that isn't what it seems to be. He's far from your average ten year old. He's got determination and all the spunk a kid needs to make it through the world on his own. He's not just hunting any old bounty either - he's bringing in his no good father.

This story and art tugged at my heartstrings. It went from grabbing me with cuteness to catching me off guard by causing strong emotional reactions. Some of the more adult themes that are touched upon include kid/parent relationships, bullying, and racism. Sometimes that stuff feels inserted as if the writer were trying to meet a "serious subject matter" quota. Not here. It's all organic and serves a purpose. Every panel tells or shows. Each panel propels the story and characters forward.

I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. MUCH better. Really though. I did laugh, I felt pity and anger and loads of admiration for this kid. He's got a little curmudgeon sprinkled into his temperament that I can relate to, but he's still likable. It's easy to put yourself in his shoes, too. Who didn't want to be having adventures like this when they were kids? And now you get to see someone actually live it out.

Every detail in the background and even the palette capture the setting to such a degree I wanted to watch a Western immediately after I finished reading Cow Boy. Short comics by the talented likes of Colleen Coover, Mike Maihack, and Roger Langridge break up the chapters. They're all Westerns, and the stories stand separate from Boyd's tale.

In the end, it comes to this: Cow Boy takes me to a happy place. I see it having that effect on about everyone who reads it.

Keep up with news on Cow Boy at Tumblr! You can also stalk the creators on Twitter: @NateCosBOOM @ChrisEliopoulos. Archaia will be releasing five issues of Cow Boy digitally in January, and a hardcover collection will follow in the spring.

crossposted at Geek Girls Network

Small Business Saturday Deals (of the nerdy variety)

Yesterday, shoppers went crazy (and occasionally became violent) over Black Friday deals. If you survived the fight for the cheapest KitchenAid mixer, consider using your spending power for good today. It's Small Business Saturday. These are the businesses that perhaps need the most support to keep going in today's not-always-awesome economy. And guess what? Creators are small businesses. Keep the people who make the stories and products you love going. It's one of the best gifts you can give.

Here's a list of creators, designers, etc having sales online today. Support them if you can!

just jenn designs - justJENN is offering free shipping all weekend on her stationery, comics, buttons, and more. Everyone needs "Thanks for nothing" cards and a "you're on my sh*tlist" notepad! Don't forget to check out her sweet O.G. comics.

Love and Capes - Thom Zahler is offering all 18 issues of his superhero, romantic comedy for $39.99 (normally $60) and an equally incredible deal on prints. If you've been thinking of checking out this comic or getting for someone, why wait? Offers only available today.

Cow Shell Graphics - Mike Maihack is offering 30% off everything, including books and prints! He's the genius behind Cleopatra in Space and has a huge selection of ridiculously endearing art, including Catvengers. Offer available all weekend.

Luxury Lane Soap - This is the place that has Han Solo in Carbonite soap, game controller soap, and all manner of nerdtastic, high-quality product. This weekend you can get free shipping, 20% off your entire order, and more. Complete list of deals here.

Dragon Chow Dice Bags - Been wanting to buy one of the BEST dice bags ever designed? (I'm not exaggerating). Now's the time, and you can share the love. Buy three dice bags this weekend, and get the fourth free.

Roburbia - Artist Adam Levermore has created a new world, Roburbia, and just released some holiday cards featuring the inhabitants. Get 25% off the cards by using the code "cybermonday" at checkout.

The Oatmeal - I mean, technically, The Oatmeal is still a small business. Through midnight get deals on shirts, prints, magnets, and pretty much everything. You are bound to make someone laugh if you give them a gift from The Oatmeal.

Team Unicorn - Support your favorite unicorns by purchasing a shirt, print, poster, or tattoo at their online store. If you spend more than $20, get 25% off by using the promo code "unicorn" at checkout.

Marissa Crafts - Free shipping for the weekend; get scarves, Doctor Who themed jewelry, or a Space Invaders barette!

Sparkle J - 15% off the entire store and there are Jayne hats! Just saying.

Domestic Goddess Enterprises - 10% off everything until Monday! She has recycled blue tooth and dice jewelry. Shiny.

Have a deal you want included? Comment here or hit me up on Twitter, and I'll add it!

November 12, 2011

What Was On My Shelf Before Superheroes

I feel like I've said this here a few times, but in case I haven't made it clear: I don't read a lot of superhero comics. In my five years or so of reading comics I've gone from reading almost none to reading a handful, mostly because of the DC New 52 and also because I fell for Captain America. That's a new development, just since August or so. When I tell this to people, the almost universal reaction (sometimes accompanied by a "something is surely wrong with you" look) is "what have you been reading?" I fumble to remember all the fantastic books on my shelf and rattle off a list of whatever books were most recently in my hands and heart. My faulty memory causes me to leave out a ton of great titles. I feel like I'm failing the person asking; sometimes it's a person just getting into comics who doesn't want to go the superhero route either or sometimes it's a strictly capes person who wants to branch out. And I'm forgetting fantastic stories. So I did the logical thing and took pictures and saved them on my phone (I may have also scanned every one of them into Goodreads).

This is only parts of three shelves. I'm in the midst of reorganizing, and this doesn't include the stacks of unread books and comics I have about my house (really, it's shameful). Some storybooks and sketch books are mixed in as well. All that aside, I still think there's plenty of representation of great indie stories and even mainstream ones that don't focus on superheroes.

It's obvious from these photos that I love Star Wars and anything published by Archaia. My love for that publisher began when I found Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 in a Barnes and Noble a few years ago. Their titles are always solid and as a bonus, always presented nicely. My two favorite stories from last year are both from Archaia: Return of the Dapper Men and The Killer. I also have graphic adaptations of books like Coraline, Stardust, and The Looking Glass Wars. 

I know, even more Star Wars. You're shocked. Click to zoom in on the rest though. You'll see V for Vendetta, the first comic I read (aside from some Muppet Babies stories when I was five and I mostly just colored in those instead of reading them). I have some Girl Genius, Love and Capes, Sandman, The Dark Tower, and Conan.

Fables and ElfQuest are two of my favorite series, and I have more them scattered around my house. If you like fairy tales, Fables is for you. If you like strong female characters and adventure drawn in a manga style, ElfQuest is fairly awesome.

Superheroes aren't taking the place of these treasures. Not even close. I see it as broadening my horizons. I'm learning comics history from them, too, by going back to read older titles. It doesn't mean I'll abandon indie comics, it just means I've made a little room in my heart for the big 2 and for capes. And that's okay.

crossposted at Geek Girls Network

November 9, 2011

For Carl Sagan's birthday

Today is Carl Sagan's birthday. He would have been 77. It makes me sad that he hasn't been around to see our knowledge about the universe grow in leaps and bounds since his passing in 1996. He would have had so much valuable insight and passion to offer... still, he gave us so much. Remember him today. Watch an episode of Cosmos (it's even available on Hulu), declare your percentage of star stuff, and embrace the unknown. Listen to the story of how he and Ann Druyen fell in love (it's incredibly romantic). Choose any option from this list.

Listen to his "Pale Blue Dot" essay; I dare you not to be moved:

Commemorate the day by looking at the sky. Realize we are small in comparison but also, that we are mighty because we go out and explore.

Happy Birthday, Carl Sagan.

October 31, 2011

If they celebrated Halloween in the Star Wars universe...

Aside from Life Day, not a lot of holidays are mentioned in the Star Wars universe. Maybe that's because the inhabitants of every other planet saw the Holiday Special and decided to keep their days of note to themselves. Probably not a bad idea. But - could you imagine Halloween in the Star Wars galaxy? I bet trick or treating on Coruscant would be fabulous, perhaps less so on Tatooine. The residents of the upper levels of the city planet probably give out the Star Wars equivalent of a full size candy bar, but Jawas strike me as the type to hand out droid parts instead of candy. We won't even think about what the Tusken Raiders would pass out.

I have a good feeling about the costumes, too. Girls across Naboo would probably dress up like the Queen and end up tying their hair in knots. If the Rebels were still on Hoth, they'd be dressing up their pet tauntauns in Ewok outfits. The tauntauns would hate it as much as dogs in our universe do. Little Wookiees would make paper mache rancor heads, and Lando would dress up like Han - oh, he already did that, didn't he?

Stormtroopers would celebrate the holiday by doing this:
Stormtroopers 365 project, photo by Stefan
Every Youngling kid without midi-chlorians (I bet Younglings wouldn't be allowed to celebrate Halloween, those Jedi can be so mean!) would have this bag for candy:
Bag from Her Universe, designed by Katie Cook
Overall, it would be a good time. I mean, you've seen the end of Return of the Jedi, the galaxy knows how to throw a shindig. They should do it for occasions other than the end of an evil empire.

For Star Wars Halloween fun, visit the official Star Wars blog. You'll find ILM Halloween party invites, 1977 Star Wars Halloween cards, vintage costumes, and more. And last but far from least, let's not forget Star Wars pumpkins.

Happy Halloween!

October 28, 2011

Death and Hipster Wonder Woman (costumes, that is)

I've been a cosplay slacker this year. If I've worn a costume, it's been the from-the-closet variety. By that I mean I didn't spend hours gluing beads on a scarf or making plastic look like metal. I just pieced outfits together (like a Hogwarts student or an Amy Pond-ish costume). I decided to take the easier, quicker path for Halloween, too. It doesn't mean I'm turning to the Dark side though. Promise.

I had two costumed events for Halloween and both of them were last weekend. I waited until the day before to think about what to wear, and of course, I didn't just pick something out of my costume closet (having a whole coat closet in California is unnecessary). That would have been too easy. Instead, I ran around like a crazy person on Saturday afternoon searching for new costume pieces for Death from The Sandman comics for my Sunday night event. While I was out, I found a perfect solution for the Saturday night party, too.

One of my favorite characters in comics so far is Death. I'm not sure what made me think of her Friday afternoon, but she crossed my mind and I knew I needed to be her for one of my costume parties. Well, dress up like her. Black tank, black pants (ideally leather), gloves, wristband, black hair, ankh necklace, and done.

I'm not saying it was spot on, but I think I did okay. I gave up on the idea of leather pants because I didn't want to go to multiple thrift stores and dig. Anything I didn't own, I found at the mall. Here's where I found everything in just a few hours:
Tank top, skinny jeans, gloves - Sidecca (a sort of Hot Topic type store, great for solid color tanks, gloves, leggings, and so much more)
Boots - Already owned, but I just bought them from Target recently. They're sufficiently strappy for Death.
Belt - Already owned, but I spotted a perfect one at Target the other night.
Wrist gauntlets - I bought one at Hot Topic, and I wore my Jayne Cobb replica wristband on the other arm.
Ankh necklace - Made from silver polymer clay about two hours before the party.
Wig - Borrowed from a friend. It's not quite the right style, but it was better than finding and paying for a new one.
Make-up -  The white paint is alabaster pancake make-up applied with a sponge (don't forget your ears) and sealed with KY Jelly. I used a black eyeliner pencil on my eyes and eyebrows, liquid eyeliner for the Eye of Horus under the right eye, and black lipstick that I carefully applied with a tiny brush.

I didn't want to carry an umbrella, but I've seen lacy ones at Michael's in the wedding aisle. You'd just have to spray paint it.

I'd fix a few things for next time - mostly the wig and better make-up application on my arms, but really, I'd love to be Death again. Repeatedly.

Hipster Wonder Woman
While I was searching for a wristband at Hot Topic, a blue tutu with stars caught my eye. It was part of a display for superhero bustiers and hot pants. Though I was tempted to buy the tutu, I resisted. I couldn't resist the Wonder Woman bustier though. I picked it up knowing I would wear it eventually or just around the house (and be entirely happy about it). Then I walked by Forever 21 and saw a bright blue blazer ( that again, is something I'd wear as part of my regular wardrobe) and it clicked. I could be hipster Wonder Woman. I just added skinny jeans, heels, a messy bun, and glasses. And now I sort of want to put together a hipster superhero cosplay group for San Diego next year.

What are your Halloween costume plans?
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