July 31, 2012

My Little Pony and Dr. Horrible (yes, it's a thing!)

If the mash-up of My Little Pony and Doctor Who isn't enough for you, you should know that there's more MLP-geeky happiness: Fluttershy as Dr. Horrible!!

I am a fan of cute and Fluttershy, so you can imagine my high pitched squeal of delight upon discovering this mash-up. I'm not sure how Dr. Adorable started, but I can tell you the source of the image in this post as well as a comic featuring Dr. Adorable (!) can be found on Dr. Adorable's Ask-Along Blog. You'll find lots of illustrations of the timid pony doing her best to be adorable (spoiler: she succeeds) and some funny comics detailing her adventures.

If you fall head over heels, there's some pretty pony-tastic (I can't help that I used that word, watching My Little Pony has affected my brain) wallpaper you can download:

AND! WeLoveFine has a t-shirt design featuring the Dr. here. Maybe I own it.
Finally, someone took the images and words from the Ask-Along Blog and added a voiceover tape. Bejeezus.

This makes other people happy, right?

My Lady Crusader Costume (the time I dressed up like a superhero)

I decided that I couldn't let another year of Comic-Con pass by without wearing any costumes. Dressing up may be uncomfortable, painful, and require a lot of time and/or money, but ultimately: it's tons of fun. One of my costumes this year came about at the last minute. You see, I'm a fan of Thom Zahler's comic: Love and Capes. It's a superhero romantic comedy that always brightens my day. The main character is a Mark Spencer, aka the Crusader. He has a cool costume and after seeing something that happens in an upcoming issue, I decided I'd do a femme version of the outfit one day, eventually.

That wasn't too long before Comic-Con. I expected I'd work on finding someone to make the costume in a year or so, but coincidentally a designer/seamstress/awesome lady who I watch on Facebook (geez, that sounds creepy) happened to post she had room for commissions for Comic-Con. I figured why not check? Yeah, Lauren is awesome. She's the force behind Castle Corsetry (she's made costumes for Team Unicorn among many others) and had me over for measurements in no time. She took one small image I had and some reference comics and came up with the PERFECT Lady Crusader design. Seriously:

This is a good view of the costume as worn by Mark:

Yeah, reference the awesome comment above. The costume fit superbly and was actually comfortable. I got so many compliments on how well it was put together. The mustard yellow color was spot on, and she even figured out the cape that Thom thought was physically impossible. She also taught me a great trick for my boots. It was going to be next to impossible to find a pair of mustard yellow boots. Most costume boots come in bright yellow to match anime colors. Instead of paying a ton for custom boots or trying to cover a pair, she just gave me some spandex scraps to make cuffs for the tops of the white go-go style boots I already owned. Genius!

Oh, and thanks to Lauren I've discovered the magic of dance tights. Who. knew.

I can't wait to work with Castle Corsetry on more costumes in the future (like... Kitty Pryde!), and I'll definitely be wearing my Crusader costume again and again. This time around, I wore the tights for three or so hours behind the Love and Capes booth. I learned that flat shoes are an absolute must for me. Some people can survive in heels, I'm not one of them. I'll remember this one day. I also learned that even though I was there with my fancy cape, more than one person completely ignored me to get his or her photo taken with just Thom. He very kindly pointed out a couple of times that he had a Lady Crusader... it was cute. I think next time I'll be sporting it will be at Baltimore Comic-Con.

July 30, 2012

All the Comic-Con articles!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars panel at SDCC
Remember when I mentioned I wrote a bunch of articles for Comic-Con? Here's the list! It includes TV coverage for IGN on shows like Firefly, Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more. There are also daily con diaries for Back Stage and some video interviews with comics creators for Blastoff!

Comic-Con: Firefly's Ten Year Anniversary Focuses on the Fans - it was amazing to be in the audience for the 10 year reunion panel!
Comic-Con: Grimm Will Widen the Mythology in Season 2 - interview with producers and some cast members

Diaries for Back Stage - I couldn't make their search feature cooperate, so you just have to flip one page back in their features to see my posts!

Blastoff at the San Diego Comic-Con – J.K. Woodward - video interview with artist J.K. Woodward!
Blastoff at the San Diego Comic-Con – Jenny Frison - video interview with cover artist Jenny Frison!

Treasures I found at Comic-Con

One of my favorites part of any convention is wandering through the Small Press and Artists' Alley aisles looking for books and art that make me smile. Sometimes it means visiting artists I know and admire again and again, and sometimes it means stumbling across new people and stories. It makes my convention when I get to do both of those things, and though my free time was limited at Comic-Con, I managed to achieve both. Maybe some of these things will make you smile, too:

Gwendolyn and the Underworld by Ian Samuels and Bill Robinson is a delightful story about a little girl who is a Pet Reaper and wants to solve the mystery of her Overworld life. The art is smack-you-in-the-face pretty, and Gwendolyn has all kinds of spunk. I enjoyed reading along with her story.

- Sawdust Bear sells hand-sculpted specimens that are wacky and awesome. The designs are always neat, and artist Shing Yin Khor paints her creations with neat colors and textures. Seriously. She's got skills, and she's one of the sweetest artists/people I've ever met.

- Beastlies also fall into the category of hand-sculpted adorable things I need to own. Each little monster has its own quirks, and I'd guess that no two are exactly alike. I had a very hard time choosing which one to bring home with me.

- Wayfarer's Moon by Jason Janicki and Leigh Kellogg is a high fantasy graphic novel that follows the story of two memorable ladies, Iri and Lily. I'm only a quarter of the way through this book so far, but I'm really enjoying it!

- Gronk and mini art by Katie Cook! It wouldn't be Comic-Con if I didn't come home with some new mini art by Katie. This time I got an archer-ific (yeah, I just did that) trio of Hawkeye, Katniss, and Merida. I also got volume two of her freaking adorable webcomic Gronk.

Last but very far from least, I picked up a sketchbook and print from Grant Gould. I really dig his art style, and my collection of his work just keeps growing. I had a hard time choosing, but I ended up with a Game of Thrones print.

I would have liked to spend more time in Artists' Alley, but it might be best for my wallet that I didn't.

Have you found any treasures in Small Press/Artists' Alley recently? Tell me about them!

July 24, 2012

That crazy little thing called Comic-Con

I cannot believe Comic-Con was two weeks ago. I had to look at a calendar to fact-check that. Whoa.

It was a blast. I worked my butt off and still had a good time... but frak me, that convention wears a person down. If you've never been, let me explain. I arrived Wednesday afternoon and from then until I left Sunday evening was a nonstop blur of see this person, buy this exclusive, get to this panel, turn in this and that story, transcribe this audio, wear this costume craziness. I averaged around four hours of sleep a night (not because of partying either) and generally let the convention kick my butt. Recovery the week after was such that other than attending work and hitting the deadlines I couldn't miss, I didn't even have the energy to remove some horrible looking nail polish I'd applied on Sunday of the convention for my Amethyst costume. Yeah.

Of course, Friday I woke up with con crud and realized why I'd been stupidly exhausted all week. The crud is still persisting.

Given all that whining, you'd think I'm ungrateful about attending SDCC. Nah. Not at all. I'm lucky that I got to attend and cover it for a few websites. This was definitely the hardest-to-get-through Comic-Con for me, and I've learned some lessons about how much work I want to take on during conventions in the future, but I still had fun. A lot of it. (I'll post a list of my Comic-Con articles this Saturday - TV stuff for IGN, video interviews for Blastoff Comics, and daily diaries for Back Stage). I got out to a couple of parties, ran into lots of friends while running from place to place, and I wouldn't trade the 4.5 days of crazy for anything.

I dressed up for a few hours on a couple of days, and I'll post about my costumes as well as the geek girl fashion show I participated in later this week. For now, I want to share some of the coolest things I saw in the exhibit hall at SDCC:

Trolls!! I am downright giddy about The Hobbit, and Weta brought all kinds of statues and props and creatures to drool over. Sure, they had Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield, but these guys were the most impressive. They had every last detail, too, including snotty noses.

Lucasfilm put out a press release stating they would have a pit of live snakes at Comic-Con, but I really didn't believe it until I saw it. It just sounded like trouble, but as far as I know, the snakes stayed in their enclosure. One friend saw a wrangler in there in the morning "arranging" the snakes before the hall opened.

It doesn't seem like this is for sale yet, but I so want this Death Star bean bag chair. As you can tell from the picture, it's made by the people who produced the awesome R2-D2 camp chair. So cool.

Speaking of Star Wars, some of my favorite new toys are the Fighter Pods line from Hasbro. I don't care about the pods or the fighting part, I just love that the figures are tiny and adorable. I squealed with happiness when I saw this bin full of the lil toys and the giant-size (comparatively speaking) Chewbacca!

I'll share some of the cool costumes I saw and the neat art and books I discovered in Artists' Alley and Small Press soon!

(If you'd like to see more, please check out all my pictures from the convention here.)

July 23, 2012

Another reason to go to Star Wars Celebration VI

I realize that Orlando in August isn't exactly the best combination of time and place, but that's where Celebration VI is happening, so that's where I'll be. The gathering of fans is unlike any other convention I've attended. It's such a fun time, and cheeseball as it sounds, it truly is a celebration. There are plenty of reasons to attend, but something has just been announced that makes going to the party even more appealing: the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience.

Steve Sansweet will be bringing part of his collection to the convention and will be setting up a 600 square feet exhibit on the main exhibition floor. I know. He'll be bringing a variety of treasures from his museum (the largest, private Star Wars collection in the galaxy) all the way to Orlando for attendees to drool over and ask questions about. Blastr has a peek at some of the items Sansweet will be packing for the exhibit. Also, be sure to check out this video tour of the museum (or as I like to call it, the happiest place on Earth):

One more important item of note about Rancho Obi-Wan and Celebration VI. If you like their Facebook page you'll be entered in a contest to win an Initiate Level Membership to the non-profit museum. They're giving away a membership every Friday until Celebration (August 23-26).

Adorable Chibi style Marvel Tees

I know. Saying adorable and chibi may be redundant; it is as far as I'm concerned. I am very fond of Kawaii style illustrations, and I love when the style is paired up with superheroes. WeLoveFine has released a whole bunch of freaking cute Marvel tees that fall into this category, and it's hard for me to pick my favorites (okay, maybe the Nightcrawler one is near the top):

Buy one or several of these tees at WeLoveFine for $25 each!

July 10, 2012

The Clone Wars Season 5 Trailer (I can't wait!)

Though I've watched the trailer for season 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars repeatedly, I just lost track of time and forgot to post it. If you haven't seen it:

I can't wait. This series just keeps getting better year after year in terms of stories and visuals. If you like Star Wars, and you're not watching The Clone Wars, you're missing out. It's adding so much color and background to the universe I love, and the series just continues to knock my socks off almost every week. If that's not enough to convince you to watch, Pablo Hidalgo of Lucasfilm pointed out an interesting fact on Twitter recently:

Yeah. That's quite impressive.

I'm looking forward to the Darth Maul, Savage, and Ventress storylines the most in season five. More bounty hunter action is always good, and I bet that Ahsoka will continue to grow up and become more like Anakin as far as the way he dances around the Jedi rules. I have a feeling that eventually she'll learn about his marriage to Padmé, and that the fallout from that will somehow be tied to her ultimate fate... though we probably we won't get there this season.

As for the Death Watch, well, their scenes always end up being exciting to watch but I feel like they say the same things on repeat. Pre Vizsla seems to have only memorized one speech and just throws in new words once in a while to change it up. I mean, I can write it off to the fact that he's a warrior and not an orator.

What are you guys most looking forward to seeing next season?

July 9, 2012

Amy Mebberson's Pocket Princesses Will Slay You With Cute

I have a special place in my heart for most things Disney, especially Disney Princesses. Combining theprincesses with adorable is a sure way to make me emit a high-pitched squee of delight. No, really. I hit a tone that probably only dogs can hear. Anyways. Amy Mebberson Pocket Princesses make me squee on a regular basis.

The cute comics feature chibi-style Disney Princesses talking about things you'd expect: a lack of shoes, hair, bears, horse-riding, and tea. They feature everyone from Merida to Ariel to Mulan, and I think they'll make you happy. I can almost guarantee they'll at least make you crack a smile.

Here are a few of my favorites (click to embiggen):

Mebberson has many more Pocket Princess strips; read them here!
She'll also be set up at San Diego Comic-Con with a Pocket Princesses surprise. She's at DD11. I also highly recommend her commissions. If you're thinking about getting one, just make sure to get on her list early.

July 8, 2012

Stuff I've written lately

I've written about DeLoreans, Ready Player One, Spider-Man, Batman, and more over the past two weeks around the interwebs. I also interviewed Len Wein (creator of Wolverine among other characters). Here are links:

Our Interview With ‘Ready Player One’ Author Ernie Cline (With Details About That DeLorean He’s Giving Away) [Feature] - My interview with Ernie Cline and pictures of the DeLorean he's giving away.

Interview with Len Wein - This is part one of my interview with creator Len Wein about getting into comics, creating characters, Lucius Fox, and more. Part two is coming soon.

Spider-Man Does What a Spider Can And More - I wrapped my last post about Spider-Man for Blastoff Comics by talking about Peter Parker's powers.

A Story That Sticks With You - July at Blastoff Comics is all about Batman, and I confess I haven't read many Bat stories. I dived into The Killing Joke last week, and it really dug into my head.

Quick Blurbs
Game Of Thrones 16-Bit RPG For Season 2 [Video]
This Sonic Screwdriver Bouquet Is The Coolest Bouquet Eve
Make Your Own TARDIS Photo Booth
Star Wars Apparel That Gives a Whole New Definition To The Word “Tacky”
Spider-Man’s Lesser Known Superpower [Video]
Make Your Own Princess Leia Robe
The Timeless LEGO Clutch

July 6, 2012

Where I'll Be At SDCC and Coverage/News!

This time next week I'll be enjoying the spectacle that is San Diego Comic-Con. In fact, right about now I'll probably be recovering from my first full day of coverage and parties. It's a fun five days, but it's definitely exhausting. Anyways, readers, I hope to see some of you there! If you see me wandering about, please at least say hi! I may be on my way somewhere and have to dash off, but trust me, I'd love to meet you. I'm nice and only a little awkward.

Here are some places I'll be for sure over the convention!

Preview Night - I'll be in the exhibit hall for all of preview night just wandering and taking photos.

9:30am-12:00pm - I'll be in costume at booth #2000 as the Crusader from Love and Capes. It's a femme version of the costume, and I'll be nervous. I'll feel better if you come say hello.
8pm - ? - I'll be at the League of Extraordinary Ladies meet-up at the Top of the Hyatt Lounge. Please click that link for the venue address and information. Everyone's welcome!

I'm covering panels pretty much all day. If I'm not doing that, I'll be plugged into an outlet somewhere typing or in line.

Again, covering panels. I'll be at this one for sure:
6pm - Geek Girl Trendsetters

I have a few panels to cover, but then I'll be wandering around dressed like Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld from 12pm to 3pm or so.

Can't make it to Comic-Con? I'll be covering the heck out of it so you can feel like you're there. First of all, I'll be tweeting like a madwoman. Follow me here. I'll be posting photos to Flickr nightly. I may be updating my blog, too. We'll see. I'll also be covering several TV panels for IGN, they'll go up here. I'll be conducting some video interviews for Blastoff Comics, but I don't think those will go up until after the con. Finally, I'll be posting daily diaries and news over at Back Stage. I'll also be tweeting from their account and posting on their Instagram feed. 

Whew. I'm going to be drinking SO much caffeine.

Hope to see you there!

July 5, 2012

Brave art to drool over (but not on)

I'm a little obsessed with Merida these days. I adored Brave, and I'm finding myself to be very protective of the movie and of Merida. It really just touched that place in my heart and moved me. I want to be Merida when I grow up; she has qualities that I respect. I could stand to take more risks, take hold of my fate, and be more understanding with my mother. I think drinking from the Fire Falls would be easier than that last bit.

Anyways, I have a hunch I'll be starting my collection of Brave related art at Comic-Con next week. Here's some pieces I've seen around the internet that I've admired!

Amy Mebberson has been drawing all kinds of Merida art. I'll definitely be seeing her at San Diego Comic-Con to see if I can find or commission something Merida!

I really like the art on this t-shirt from WeLoveFine:
This marker piece by Thom Zahler with the triplets is freaking adorable (and still available):

I adore the muted colors in this piece by Sean Chaithe:

This chibi Merida and Elinor by David Gilson makes me squee:

Merida and Angus by WillowWaves:

Love the pastel look of this one by Samanta Erdini:
Do you have art you adore from Brave? If so, please share links!

Geek Girl Trendsetter Panel at Comic-Con

As far as I'm concerned, one of the can't miss panels of Comic-Con this year is Her Universe's Geek Girl Trendsetter panel on Saturday night. Ashley Eckstein has moderated fun, engaging panels at SDCC the last couple of years, and I bet it won't be any different this time around. The focus is on geek chic attire; yeah, it's pretty fitting that her company specializes in sci-fi themed fashion for the ladies. Panelists will include designers, stylish geek girls, and a buyer and  the social media manager at Hot Topic. Catherine Taber (the voice of Padme Amidala in Star Wars: The Clone Wars) will co-host the panel with Ashley. Attendees are encouraged to dress to show off their style:

6:00-7:00 Are You a Geek Girl Trendsetter? Show Off Your Style to the Fashion Experts and Win Prizes!— Inspired by the NBC television show Fashion Star, Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars:  The Clone Wars) wants to give geek girl trendsetters the opportunity to show their unique style and original designs to the experts! Comic-Con is full of geek girls who create, design, and construct their own fashions, and what better way to get feedback than to show your trendsetting creations to this panel of fashion professionals. Girls are asked to attend in their own custom-made everyday geek/sci-fi inspired outfits and accessories. A select number of girls in the audience will be chosen for a chance to present their look in front of the panel to get their feedback and advice. Each panelist will choose one girl who truly impressed them with their overall design and flair, and those girls will receive a special prize. The panel is made up of fashion buyers, designers, stylists, and actresses from the sci-fi world who will also give their advice on how to create your own geek style and look. MTV Geek will be filming the panel for their Comic-Con coverage. Room 25ABC 
I definitely enjoy wearing geeky t-shirts and jeans, but I also like dressing it up. I recently purchased a red dress to go with my black and red leather Darth Maul belt. I try to think of fun ways to work my nerdy attire into outfits for every occasion. I'm not sure what I'll be wearing to this panel yet - possibly my new R2-D2 skirt. I mostly want to see what everyone else wears and how they put it together. I plan to take several photos!

July 4, 2012

Captain America Says Happy Independence Day!

Remember that time Captain America punched Hitler?

Happy Fourth of July!

July 3, 2012

So, about this comic book princess named Amethyst

A few months ago, the boy and I were talking about comics – like we do – and somehow, Amethyst was mentioned in the conversation. Being that I'm still exploring the very vast world of comics (I don't know if I'll ever feel like I don't have to add that clarification, there's so much comic book history that I'll never catch up on), I hadn't heard of her before. It turns out Amethyst is the story of a girl named Amy. I was instantly hooked when I heard that. The gist is that she finds out she's not actually a teenager on Earth: she's a princess of another land called Gemworld. She's the heir to throne of that land, actually. She kicks butt, wears purple, wields magic, and has a pegasus unicorn. Yeah. What's not to love about that?

I don't remember the last time I've been so excited to get a hold of a comic, but the issues from the 80s weren't readily available. I couldn't get them digitally, I couldn't find them at a local store, and for some reason I don't remember, I didn't look on eBay. I patiently waited until WonderCon and dashed like a five year old from one comic book dealer's table to another. I finally got past the Golden and Silver Age dealers and found a booth with boxes and boxes of comics. I went right to the “A”s and there it was: the first 12 issues of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld. I piled them up, paid, and walked back to my friends literally hugging the bag.

The weekend after WonderCon, I curled up on the couch with my stack of Amethyst comics and coffee. I couldn't stop reading. The story was fabulous and surpassed my admittedly high expectations.

At first glance, the story about a teenage girl learning about her real life in Gemworld with an enemy named Dark Opal might sound silly. It's not. The character and story created by Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn and drawn by Ernie Colon definitely has light moments and it may have been aimed at young female readers, but it has darker overtones. The classic battle of good vs. evil plays out in a world with magic, and Amethyst is the most powerful magic user on Gemworld. She has allies like Lord Topaz, Lady Turquoise, and Princess Emerald. The bright colors of the different houses stand in stark contrast to the struggles of the universe. 

All of that is layered with Amethyst wrestling with her youth, inexperience, and her home on Earth as Amy Winston.
Yeah, it's excellent. And it's excellent even if you aren't named Amy and don't love the color purple.

You may have heard of Amethyst recently because she's appearing in the DC Nation block and a reboot starring her will be out soon as part of the New 52. Before you pick up the new series, I highly recommend checking out the original. Find it like I did at a convention or pick up the Showcase Presents edition this fall (the only part I don't like about the showcase version is that it's in black and white). You'll be glad that you did.

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