Because these are the things I love. Mon, 27 Jul 2015 23:10:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Anglicon 2015: The Regeneration Mon, 27 Jul 2015 23:08:16 +0000 - Because these are the things I love.

Last month, anglophiles of Washington rejoiced at the regeneration of Anglicon – a fan-run British media convention with an emphasis on Doctor Who. Despite being its first year back in over a decade, Anglicon had some stellar guests lined up for fans, including the Sixth Doctor himself, Colin Baker, Doctor Who’s monster extraordinaire, Jon Davey, and beloved classic Who companions, ...

Anglicon 2015: The Regeneration

]]> - Because these are the things I love.

Last month, anglophiles of Washington rejoiced at the regeneration of Anglicon – a fan-run British media convention with an emphasis on Doctor Who. Despite being its first year back in over a decade, Anglicon had some stellar guests lined up for fans, including the Sixth Doctor himself, Colin Baker, Doctor Who’s monster extraordinaire, Jon Davey, and beloved classic Who companions, Katy Manning and Sophie Aldred.

Anglicon is without a doubt the smallest convention I’ve ever attended but I was totally okay with that. In fact, I think I enjoyed it more because of it. I had a lovely time despite finishing three final projects for school that same weekend.

The con had a laid back feel to it. There wasn’t a rush to get to autographs or the next panel, which may or may not already be full by the time you get there. I felt like I was stepping back in time to catch a glimpse at conventions of old, when the guests and the fans weren’t so stressed, when the barriers between celebrity and fan were taken down a notch to just enjoy yourselves for a weekend without expectations.

The smaller size of the convention lent itself to other perks as well: there was actually a hospitality room the whole weekend with free soda and snacks! On Saturday evening, they even provided British sodas for some taste-testing. I can’t say I’ve ever had that kind of experience at any other con.

I had the pleasure of attending Anglicon with my good friend Christina of Urbanflower Designs. I love going to events with her, we share so many fandoms and have a rather similar outlook on things. I always know we’re going to have fun together and Anglicon was no different. Christina actually wrote up her own Anglicon review that summarized generally how I felt as well. Here’s what she had to say:

Much like Doctor Who itself, I came to Anglicon only upon its relaunch, which followed a decade-long hiatus. The event ran annually from 1988 to 2004, after which declining attendance forced its closure. Ironically, it was very shortly after the demise of “Classic Anglicon” that Doctor Who was reborn, giving rise to a whole new generation of fans.

As a newly regenerated event, this year’s Anglicon was easily the smallest and most intimate convention I have ever attended. This comes with a lot of perks, including the opportunity to see and speak with celebrity guests without waiting in atrocious lines, being herded through like cattle, or having to pay for an autograph when all you really want is to say, “Hello, I love your work. Thanks for coming here”.

The downside, some might say, is that it would never attract the likes of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. I am okay with that, and I get the impression that most of the attendees would agree. While I didn’t grow up on classic Who (as my father did), I have a deep respect for the roots of the series. Being able to hear some of its early stars speak about their experiences with the show was like listening to my Grandmother tell stories about her teenage years; I became more aware of the connections between the past and present, the way that these people ultimately shaped the program that I love today.

I was further wowed by a glimpse into the life of Jon Davey, who has played some of Doctor Who’s most notorious monsters. A time-lapsed video of him being turned into a Whisper Man (from Series 7 finale, “The Name of the Doctor”) played at his table, prompting the question, “How did you breathe in that?” I consider it a commendation of the series that unmasking the mysteries of its visual effects does little to diminish the awe and appreciation for the spectacle it creates.

Another bonus of attending such a small convention was that my failure to secure childcare was pretty much a non-issue. My four-year-old son, whose badge was free, happily ran amok while wearing his homemade Ood hood, zapping people with its sparkly ball “brain”, and generally being unbearably cute. He posed for photos (or not), talked with vendors, and asked for endless cups of water, which was readily available throughout the convention space.


Speaking of water, the numerous coolers of chilled H2O and plentiful cups weren’t the only way in which Anglicon sought to keep its guests and attendees comfortable. The hospitality lounge (which occupied one of four rooms which were located away from the main halls) was stocked with complimentary fruit, pretzels and chips, candy, and soda. Yes, you read that correctly: free food.

Adjacent to the hospitality lounge were a video room, a gaming room, and a craft room, all of which were well supplied with various forms of entertainment. While I was not actually present at the time, I am told that a rousing game of Doctor Who-themed Cards Against Humanity was played on Saturday evening in the game room.

Back in the main part of the convention, panel subject matter ran the gamut from Q&A with the Sixth Doctor to British humor to writing fanfiction. The combination of relatively small crowds and spacious halls meant that the panels were never full, and it was easy to move from one room to another.

Of course, this being Seattle, the cosplay was on point. I saw far more classic Doctors and classic companions than I typically see (or perhaps notice) at larger events, but the newer incarnations were well represented as well. I went as Amy Pond on Friday and happily found a Weeping Angel to pose with me in the outdoor garden. On Saturday, I resurrected my very first cosplay and dressed as the Tenth Doctor.


Billed as a “Doctor Who and British Media” convention, Anglicon 2015 was definitely Whovian-centric. With the exception of a few panels, the focus was squarely on Doctor Who. As an ardent fan of the show, I wasn’t troubled by this fact. However, I think there is also a lot of potential for celebration of other British imports, from Downton Abbey to Harry Potter. As the convention grows, I expect so will the programming.

Thanks, Anglicon, you were fantastic! Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I!

*All photos in this article were taken by Fearless Photoworks.*

Anglicon 2015: The Regeneration

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Sakura-Con 2015 Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:06:13 +0000 - Because these are the things I love.

Sakura-Con is one of those conventions I know I’m going to have a blast at and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. It was my first large con and was the gateway to meeting nearly all my cosplay friends. As such, it is usually one of my busiest conventions for photoshoots as well. However, due to Sakura-Con ...

Sakura-Con 2015

]]> - Because these are the things I love.

Sakura-Con is one of those conventions I know I’m going to have a blast at and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. It was my first large con and was the gateway to meeting nearly all my cosplay friends. As such, it is usually one of my busiest conventions for photoshoots as well. However, due to Sakura-Con being one week after Emerald City Comic Con, and with my school’s Spring quarter beginning the following Monday, this year’s convention was a lot more low key for me. Still, I had an amazing time with all my friends and took a ton of photos. I just made sure not to push myself as hard as previous years.

I went to con with no set plans and it was really nice, on Friday I had an impromptu shoot with Feldon as Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell, which was just lovely. We’d been meaning to get together for ages, it was nice to finally chat her up and get some photos of her. The photos turned out absolutely fantastic as well!

I had the opportunity to work with Ai-Rika and Pantyshotapproved for a quick and delightful Revolutionary Girl Utena shoot at the gazebo in the park attached to the Washington State Convention Center. Along with the Utena shoot, I also was able to “bear” things with Aubrey and Bella with a Yurikuma Arashi shoot. One could say it was a rather gay afternoon! (I’m sorry I couldn’t pass that one up). But, for real, it’s always a thrilling time hanging out with these ladies and it’s even more fun when we get to take fantastic photos.

After a few more hours of wandering around with friends, it was time for the masquerade. The masquerade ball is one of my favorite parts about Sakura-con. I just love seeing everyone getting dressed up and having a good time on the dance floor. It’s like every school dance but without the anxiety because you’re in cosplay and know that everyone else around you accepts you and your hobbies. The theme for this year was “Carnival”, with decorations and pink and yellow lights to match.


I enjoyed sleeping in on Saturday and didn’t get to the con until around 1pm. I eventually I met up with my hotel-mates, Benny and his sister, for a No Game No Life photoshoot. Afterwards, I ran off to a large Sailor Moon meetup.

My biggest plans for Saturday of Sakura-Con was definitely the Moonie meet up hosted by Shelby from the PNW Moonie Club. So many wonderful Moonies showed up! It’s probably the largest meetup I’ve ever been to, but thanks to Shelby and Trista it was beautifully run and well organized. It was so thrilling to see so many other Sailor Moon enthusiasts in one spot. Sailor Moon was the first anime I dove into and that really got me into fandoms, so it always gives me warm fuzzies to see so many other fans. Everyone looked amazing and took directions really well despite the chaos of having so many people in one place. Great job, Moonies!

I spent the rest of the con day walking around getting hall shots and browsing the dealers room. It was nice to take a slow pace after directing so many people at once during the Moonie meetup.


Come Sunday morning, I was really feeling the effects of going to two cons in two weeks. I was sore and very tired, so I made sure to have a super chill day. I didn’t do any shoots or meet ups. I mostly checked out the dealers room and snagged some deals on things I’d been eyeing all weekend. I also sat around with a few friends from out of town, getting a last hangout before they’d be leaving. At one point, we ran into these two nice con-goers that had brought their birds and took several photos with them. It was a lot of fun and a great way to unwind on the last day of the con.


Sakura-Con is a con that I’ll always migrate back to and look forward to every year. I always know that it’s going to be a fun and family friendly event suitable for all ages. It’s a guarantee that I’ll run around with friends and get some awesome pictures and make many precious memories. As always, I look forward to attending next year.

All photography by Fearless Photoworks.




Sakura-Con 2015

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The New Spider-Man Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:50:44 +0000 - Because these are the things I love.

The identity of the new Spider-Man has finally been released. This time round, Tom Holland, a 19 year old British actor, will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the next film, in theatres July 2017.  Who is Tom Holland, other than the next Spider-Man, you ask? Well, he is known for having played the title role for Billy Elliot the Musical in ...

The New Spider-Man

]]> - Because these are the things I love.

The identity of the new Spider-Man has finally been released. This time round, Tom Holland, a 19 year old British actor, will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the next film, in theatres July 2017.  Who is Tom Holland, other than the next Spider-Man, you ask? Well, he is known for having played the title role for Billy Elliot the Musical in London. He has also performed in “The Impossible,” and “Wolf Hall”. Marvel and Sony Pictures, as well as producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal were impressed by Holland’s performances, as well as his screen tests. In an extensive search for the Spider-Man star, a few actors were put through rigorous screen test with Avenger’s star Robert Downey Jr.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel and Sony saw more than 1500 actors and finally narrowed down the 6 most promising actors for the role. The 6 were flown to Atlanta for tests, where marvel is currently producing Captain America: Civil War. Strangely enough, the new Spider-Man will first appear in Civil War, and later move on to headline his own trilogy. Robert Downey Jr., the face of the famous Iron Man also will appear in Civil War. He will be sharing some scenes with Spidey, and so the shortlisted actors had to participate in screen tests with him as well. The producers looked closely for chemistry between Downey Jr., and the Spider-Man potentials, until finally, Tom Holland and Charlie Rowe were the two main contenders to the role. While the actors also tested with Chris Evans (Captain America) , the one to impress was Downey Jr., who remains to be the linchpin of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the second round of screen-testing, Holland came out ahead, and was chosen as the next Spider-Man.

It is interesting to note that Holland is only 19 years old. The producers choose to go with a young Spider-Man for once, so that the Peter Parker character would truly look like he was in high school. It’s hard to image Robert Downey Jr., who became an Avenger in his 40’s playing Iron Man at the young age of 19. Similarly, Chris Evans was casted as Captain America in his 30’s.

Image courtesy of Classmates (celebrities)


Nonetheless, Holland shows much promise, and will be signed for at least three movies, as well as his brief role in Civil War. All in all, we are looking forward to this Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios collaboration, and can’t wait for the 2017 release!

The New Spider-Man

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Soaring Through Superman Celebration 2015 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 16:00:17 +0000 - Because these are the things I love.

Another year, another Superman Celebration. In spite of the heat and humidity, though, this year's event was the best one yet!

Soaring Through Superman Celebration 2015

]]> - Because these are the things I love.

So this year marked my third year at the Superman Celebration, but my first year doing a whole weekend, as in spent two nights in nearby Paducah so I could attend all the events of the weekend that I wanted. And you know what? This year was the best ever!

Yeah, I’ll probably say that every year. But last year, I made friends, and those friends introduced me to a wonderful group of friends on Facebook, the Superfriends of Metropolis. I’ve had a whole year to get acquainted online with these people, and this year, I met many of them face to face. It seemed like everywhere I went in Metropolis, I bumped into someone I knew from that group.

So this year, Superman Celebration felt just like a big old family reunion.

I began my Friday by leaving my house early enough to make lunch at this wonderful bar and grill called Fat Edd’s, which is where the Superman Super Site was having a meet-up. I arrived and it was jam-packed with people, including people giving away DVDs and things.

Super Site Meet-Up At Superman Celebration

Guess what? I WON A DVD! It was pretty cool, because I never meet anyone. I had lunch with my friend Allie, her mom and another Superfriend, Rose.

By the time we were done with lunch, I decided I should head to the hotel in Paducah where I had booked my room (no offense to Metropolis accommodations, but I like to pay less for more, if that makes sense). I got all checked in and cooled off, because well, to say it was hot and humid is putting it lightly.

Then I got all Wonder Woman’d up for a photo shoot at 4:30 p.m. Of course, my superhero partner in crime, Supergirl (Allie) was in the shoot, too.

Wonder Woman and Supergirl

Pardon my squinting, it was also very bright. We posed for some cool photos (which haven’t been uploaded yet) and then it was so hot, that I was ready to go grab some dinner (which I did) and change for my second photo shoot of the day, because, well, I’m crazy.

Hey, guess what the second photo shoot of the day was?

Rose Tyler

That’s right: my favorite fandom, Doctor Who! That was a really fun shoot, and yep, I made new friends. For those wanting to see the photos from that shoot, they’re here on Facebook.

After that, I was hot again (really, I wasn’t going to wear the jacket, but I did anyway, because it just pulls the costume together), but I had a bag of jelly babies to comfort me (I ate them all in one sitting). And although I got invited to a Harry Potter photo shoot (sans costume, because I didn’t know about it beforehand), I was exhausted from the heat, so went back to the hotel to cool off and get some sleep.

The next morning, it was time to get up and at ’em again, because I was sort of working. Caity Lotz (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow) and Candice Patton (The Flash) were in Metropolis for the Celebration and because I was doing a panel later that day, I got an autograph ticket for that. I met both actresses, who were lovely, and Caity commented on the Wonder Woman necklace I wore, which was a gift from my Superfriend Rose the day before.

Then I grabbed some water, ran down to the Metro tent and waited for their Q&A, which I recorded for an article (you can read that here).

Time for lunch! Obviously, I headed back to Fat Edd’s and had BBQ nachos, which probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do before getting into a corset, but it was worth it. I changed in the bathroom at Fat Edd’s for a 1940s Heroes History panel, which was a LOT of fun. Photos of that can be found here (sorry for all the links, but these aren’t my personal photos).

At some point (I don’t even remember when), I had Kurt Busiez sign my copy of Astro City #1. But it’s all a blur now, because HOT AND HUMID. It was one of those “feels like 100+ degrees” days.

Signed Astro City #1

How awesome is that?

After the Heroes panel, I had to run back to my hotel AGAIN to change for yet ANOTHER photo shoot (I decided to be super social this year, and you know what? BEST IDEA EVER). This time, the shoot was for Supernatural and I signed up as Mary Winchester. Which is, basically, a blonde wig and a night gown. Let me tell you… that was the most comfortable and cool costume of the weekend.

That was also the most fun I’ve ever had on a photoshoot. This is a fun group of people. Seriously, check this out. This guy cosplayed Ash! Everyone’s favorite dude in a mullet, right?

Supernatural Ash cosplay

We don’t yet have all the photos in from that shoot yet, but there are a few here. I look so angelic in my white nightgown, right?

It was nearly 9 p.m. by the time we were done, so I went back to the hotel and passed out. I slept so well that night.

Sunday, though, was the day I would cosplay one of my all-time favorite comic book characters, Death. If you know me or read this blog, you know that Neil Gaiman is my favorite writer. So cosplaying one of his characters was a dream come true.

I had the make-up and everything, but then I went outside and slowly started melting. But here’s a very cool photo I got with one of my new friends, Jeff. I call this “Death and the Joker take a holiday.”
Death and Joker take a holiday

I stayed for the costume contest, but not before getting so hot that I thought I’d pass out and ended up in a t-shirt and shorts instead. You know it’s awful if I’m wearing shorts in public. Because that’s something I NEVER DO. But I thought I was going to pass out in all that black. Seriously, this outside thing in June sucks. And I’m pretty sure that this was the hottest it’s been for me at a Superman Celebration yet. But hey, there’s always next year, right?

Anyway, it was a fun weekend, and although I didn’t get to see the whole costume contest because I had to get home and edit photos and get transcriptions done, I had a blast. Meeting so many wonderful people (and now adding them all on Facebook) is awesome! Now I can’t wait until next year.

Anyway, here are some photos, but also check out my article on cosplay at Superman Celebration over at Tech Times.

Soaring Through Superman Celebration 2015

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Game of Thrones: Recap of Season 5 Tue, 16 Jun 2015 14:35:19 +0000 - Because these are the things I love.

As the fifth season of Game of Thrones draws to a close let’s take a moment to look back and reflect. Sometimes it seems like nothing can compare to the shock of the Red Wedding or the Purple Wedding in the past seasons. But this season might have changed that. There were big, character defining, heart stopping, emotionally exhausting moments ...

Game of Thrones: Recap of Season 5
Maria Ramos

]]> - Because these are the things I love.

As the fifth season of Game of Thrones draws to a close let’s take a moment to look back and reflect. Sometimes it seems like nothing can compare to the shock of the Red Wedding or the Purple Wedding in the past seasons. But this season might have changed that. There were big, character defining, heart stopping, emotionally exhausting moments in this season, some of which all came down on us like an avalanche in the finale. Spoilers ahead.

In a lot of ways, many of our beloved characters developed and grew with new chapters in their lives. Despite that, it seems that this season was the hardest on Sansa Stark, who has been mistreated, abused, used, and discarded by one man after another since the show began. She had one of the most controversial storylines of the show in season five, causing a huge ruckus over many fans online. After going along with Littlefinger’s plans, she found herself beaten, raped, and constantly degraded by her new husband Ramsay Bolton. Needless to say, it was difficult to watch a character that had tried so hard to be brave be tortured repeatedly. In the final moments of the finale she seemed to take back some of her strength, as did Theon ‘Reek’ Greyjoy, as they jumped to their likely death.

When it seems like Arya was one of the last Starks still fighting, we find that she has taken up a sort of apprenticeship to learn the ways of the Faceless Men. She spends countless days trying to learn about them, to become one of them, and give up her identity as “Arya Stark.” However, it doesn’t seem that easy as she brutally murders Meryn Trant, one of the people on her revenge list. When it comes down to it, she is ultimately Arya Stark, out for revenge. For this, Jaqen punishes her.

In King’s Landing and after a long while of rivalry with her son’s wife, Cersei reinstated the Faith Militant to rid herself of her competition – Margaery Tyrell – and ended up getting arrested and disgraced herself. We were shown her at her lowest, with her hair cut off, nude and barefoot walking throughout King’s Landing while her people spat and threw whatever disgusting things they could get their hands on. While her walk of shame through King’s Landing should have taught her a thing or two, the presentation of her new Knight in shining armor at the end of that walk may cause a setback in her education.

After murdering his father, Tyrion went through a lot to get to Daenerys. He was shipped across the world in a box like a meaningless object, kidnapped by Jorah Mormont with whom he almost met his death by the Stone Men, was taken as a slave and given as a gift once finally reaching Meereen. Despite all this, Tyrion’s time with Daenerys was cut short as the Sons of the Harpy attacked during a show at the fighting pits and split the power couple, with Dany riding off on Drogon. And now, with the Queen gone and as Daenerys’ advisor, Tyrion is left running the city and hoping that the Mother of Dragons will return from her trip. Though, in the Queen’s last scene of the season, it seems that things are dire as we find Dany being surrounded by a Khalasar.

Meanwhile, Stannis Baratheon had just as hard a time of it this season as everyone else. The Lord of Dragonstone couldn’t get the help he wanted at The Wall, then he sacrificed the daughter he started to show loyalty and love for, and in the end, his army fell and his Fire Priestess abandoned him. Ultimately, he met his killer in the form of Brienne of Tarth, who had been searching for Arya and Sansa this whole time. Unable to find Arya and failing to collect a reluctant Sansa, Brienne and her squire, Podrick, awaited Sansa’s signal to save her.

Jaime Lannister also went on a journey, this time in the hopes to restore what was left of his family. As he tried to gather Myrcella from Dorne with Ser Bronn, they are attacked by the Sand Snakes and Bronn is thrown into prison but is eventually set free. After a bit of negotiation, Myrcella and Trystane agree to head back to King’s Landing. On the ship, Jaime tries to tell his daughter that he is her real father and Myrcella reveals that she somehow always knew. However, moments after their heartfelt embrace, she collapses and presumably dies from the poison she ingested through Ellaria Sand’s kiss.


Possibly the most gut-wrenching (pun intended) death of the finale was Jon Snow. Throughout this season, Jon has been focused on what he sees as the real threat to Westeros – not the political machinations of lords and ladies and kings and queens – but the army of White Walkers that may descend at any moment and wipe all of them out at any moment. As seen in Hardhome, the Army of the Dead seems invincible and downright terrifying. And even members of his own team are too busy plotting and scheming and ultimately betraying him and each other to focus on the real problem at hand. When Olly delivered a false message to Jon to lure him out, members of the Night’s Watch repeatedly stabbed him in the stomach, ultimately killing him. However, many still believe that he is not actually dead.

As the finale episode of season five closed, it left just as many questions as it answered. With the show deviating so much from the books at this point, even fans who have read through the entire series thus far are in the dark on what will happen next. Don’t worry if you missed the finale (if so, why are you reading this?!) or the whole season for that matter. Make sure you catch previous episodes online (both Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS have them on demand now, as does HBO Go of course) and maybe you can pick up some hints on where the next season will go. Will Bran and Rickon prove to be the final Starks alive in the world? Will Cersei regain her foothold on the Iron Throne? Will Daenerys and her dragons ever finally reach Westeros? Where’s Hodor? Only time, and the next season of Game of Thrones, will let us know.

Game of Thrones: Recap of Season 5
Maria Ramos

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Highlights from the 2015 Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con Thu, 28 May 2015 18:24:42 +0000 - Because these are the things I love.

In case you missed this past weekend's Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, here are some of my personal highlights, along with cosplay photos.

Highlights from the 2015 Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con

]]> - Because these are the things I love.

I’m sure if you follow me on social media, you’re already tired of me talking about all the fun I had at this past weekend’s Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, but I’m still blogging about it, so there! Yes, it was a lot of fun, especially since was my first Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con press gig (I covered the WW Nashville con last year as press).

Having been to a few WW events now, I felt better prepared this time around, especially when it came to budgeting, because I spent entirely too much money at last year’s event. I still went over my budget this time around, but only by about $30, so go me!

I arrived at the con on Friday, and decided to put on my Emma Swan cosplay from Once Upon A Time. Only about three people actually got the costume, so I’m not sure I’ll wear it again, although it is super comfortable. I actually mix and match a lot of the pieces of that costume with my normal everyday clothes, so it’s not a huge loss.

Emma Swan cosplayOf course, wearing a leather jacket inside a crowded convention center in 80+ degree weather got hot, but I was determined to get a photo with Giancarlo Esposito who plays Sidney Glass on the series. I bought my ticket and stood in line only to be told that he wasn’t available for photos that night. Instead of getting a refund, though, I knew I had my STAR Labs t-shirt in my backpack, so I changed and got a photo with Rick Cosnett from The Flash instead. When I met him, I was like “EDDIE!” (If you’ve seen the season finale of The Flash, you’ll understand my distress). He gave me a massive hug and said “I’m still alive. I’m right here.” Totally cool guy.

I came back Saturday, though, and had him sign the photo for me. Look! I’m a babe! I wore my 1941 Wonder Woman costume and he high-fived me and told me I was awesome after he did a double-take because I looked so completely different in costume.

Rick Cosnett and me

It’s a good thing I got that early, though, because Saturday is always the busiest day of the con and there were long lines for everything after that.

Like I said, I wore my Wonder Woman costume on Saturday, which meant I got a lot of attention. This, however, is the first photo I posed for of the day. And probably one of my favorite photos ever because I think it just sort of represents what cosplay means to me.

We are all Wonder Women

By the way, here’s my friend, Allie, and me, dressed in our superhero costumes on Saturday.

Supergirl and Wonder WomanAllie and I had plans to check out the panel with Robin Lord Taylor, so we snuck into the panel before his and munched down on some peanut butter and crackers until we could get further sustenance. Then Allie got up and asked Robin Lord Taylor an awesome question and we both fangirled out. I covered the panel for Tech Times, and you can check that out here.

After that, we got our photo taken with Penguin himself. This is the sort of ironic photo where Supergirl and Wonder Woman team up with one of Batman’s villains. But hey, Penguin is COOL.

Supergirl, Penguin and Wonder Woman

He’s a very sweet guy, but unlike Rick, he’s not a hugger. I think he’s still sort of getting used to being famous. But he’s earned it because he is, seriously, the best actor on Gotham.

With that out of the way, we ate an overpriced slice of pizza (well, actually it was a BIG slice of something that tasted a lot like a Digiorno) and walked around the floor posing for photos. We took a lot of Justice League shots, and did I get any for myself? Of course not. Dur. I was too busy taking cosplay photos of other people for work. And then I had to go to the Agent Carter panel with Hayley Atwell and Lyndsy Fonseca. You can read more about that here. Both women are now my two new favorite feminist icons.

So that’s about it for Saturday. I wandered around the showroom floor… well, I limped because Wonder Woman’s boots hurt after being in them all day. I got more cosplay photos and took off, deciding to get a good night’s rest for the next day.

Which arrived quickly. Sunday brought on one of my favorite costumes of the weekend: Liv from iZombie.

Liv cosplay from iZombie

And with the show being new, I wasn’t sure people would get it, but I posed for more photos as Liv than as Wonder Woman! Everyone talked about how much they loved that show. And the icing on the cake is when the real Liv (actress Rose McIver) saw a photo of me on Twitter and replied that she “loved it!” This one is definitely a keeper.

I spent Sunday working, when I wasn’t posing for photos, getting a few more cosplay photos, as well as a few shots of some of the guests. Unfortunately, it was finally time to go home, and thanks to the fuel provided by a Starbucks S’mores frappucino, the three-hour drive went quickly.

For some of the photos I took over the weekend, you can check out my gallery over at Tech Times. But here are a few more for your viewing pleasure, including this guy who stole the hot sauce from my cosplay.

Michael Rooker with my hot sauce

Highlights from the 2015 Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con

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Guest Post: 5 Must-Haves If You Are A Marvel Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fan Tue, 12 May 2015 17:53:50 +0000 - Because these are the things I love.

Whether you are a diehard Marvel aficionado or a newbie to the world of SHIELD, you must have at some point wished you could be a part of this universe.

Guest Post: 5 Must-Haves If You Are A Marvel Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fan

]]> - Because these are the things I love.

by Tasha Kates

Whether you are a diehard Marvel aficionado or a newbie to the world of S.H.I.E.L.D you must have at some point wished you could be a part of this fantastic universe – I know I have. I’ve spent a good half-hour after every Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D episode wishing I could be riding aboard the Quinjet saving the world. The show seems so real that I often wonder whether my dream will one day become a reality. Unfortunately, I don’t think that time is quite as near as I’d hope, so in the meantime, these must-haves that will make anyone feel like a true Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D  will have to suffice!

1. Every agent needs a badge – how else would you get in to super-secret bases hidden in random parts of the world? This website lets you create your own S.H.I.E.L.D badge , customizable with your name, photo, access level and more – and it’s free! You can download your badge and publicize it all over social media, but a real S.H.I.E.L.D agent would surely print out this bad boy, laminate it, and carry it everywhere in their wallet!

Agents of SHIELD Badge

2. In almost every episode, we are given insight to a new and crazy invention by Fitz and Simmons. Really, Fitz and Simmons are two of the coolest cats out there. One of my favorite inventions are the D.W.A.R.F.s (Drones Wirelessly Automated to Retrieve Forensics), that can seek and scan evidence at various S.H.I.E.L.D hot-spots. While you may not be able to acquire a real D.W.A.R.F, this “drone” comes pretty close. It rolls, flips, and flies and looks significantly like a D.W.A.R.F when in the air. It even has a mini camera, allowing you to survey locations!


3. Every S.H.I.E.L.D fan is familiar with Director Fury’s toolbox, now in the hands of Phil Coulson. Wouldn’t you love to have your own toolbox, to store all your information about secret missions, files on enemies and/or friends? This development in holographic technology allows you to just that. The first of its kind, your “toolbox” would be extremely handy, letting you access your information anywhere in holographic 3D.

Nick Fury's Toolbox

4. Seen Avengers: Age of Ultron Yet? If not, don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you. All I’ll say is this – you better know how to communicate over old school radio. You probably have a radio stashed somewhere in your garage, but what good is it if you don’t know how to use Morse code?  This comprehensive guide explains the basics, and contains a variety of resources to some of the best Morse code tools out there. Maybe you will decide to invest in a pair of walkie-talkies too!


5. All that’s left now is mobility. It may be a while before the Quinjet becomes a reality, and unless you have your own private jet, you aren’t going to be able to fly around the world. However, with this 2-in-1 bike and motorcycle, you will be able to ride and chase bad guys when you need to, much like the wonderful Agent May! It is fingerprint activated and controlled, and is pretty much the ultimate hi-tech mode of transport for any agent.

Agent May's Bike

So what are you waiting for? Go on and get some swag, and reveal the S.H.I.E.L.D agent in you!

Tasha is a freelance writer who loves to read, watch TV and concoct things in the kitchen. As a certified scuba diver, she has a passion for travel, and has had the privilege to explore some of the world’s wonderful oceans. 

Guest Post: 5 Must-Haves If You Are A Marvel Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fan

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Cosplay: Becoming 1941 Wonder Woman Sun, 10 May 2015 14:00:05 +0000 - Because these are the things I love.

Have you ever wanted to cosplay the 1941 version of Wonder Woman? If so, read on, because here's how I created that costume.

Cosplay: Becoming 1941 Wonder Woman

]]> - Because these are the things I love.

So last year, after I completed my first sort of handmade costume, which was Wonder Woman, a friend put the idea into my head that I should do a more vintage version of the character. So I started doing some research and decided on creating a costume based on Wonder Woman’s first comic book appearance in 1941:

1941 Wonder Woman

That shouldn’t be too difficult, right? But this time, instead of using bits and pieces of other things found on clearance racks and in costume shops, I decided to make the costume from scratch. I’ve got a sewing machine now, so why not?

The good news is that I already had the boots from my previous costume, along with tights, a pair of shorts to wear underneath everything and a red corset to give me some support (and give me a nice lean line when wearing the costume). So I started with the wig. I searched everywhere for a good representative 1941-style wig and eventually found this one on the Wiltshire Wigs website in black.

Then I bought a gold satin fabric I found dirt cheap on Etsy (yay for budget cosplay). It took me a few tries to decide how to do the tiara and after deciding that using hot glue on the fabric to wrap it around craft foam wasn’t going to work, I decided on a different plan of action. In the end, I used fusible interfacing and Liquid Stitch to make the tiara. The Liquid Stitch made it stiff, but that was okay. I used velcro and hot glue in the back to make it adjustable. I had some red glittery craft foam stickers left from my previous Wonder Woman project, so, voila, tiara.

1941 Wonder Woman tiara

Of course, then I had to find the right material for the bottoms, which I first thought was a skirt, but after some serious research, I realized that this was actually more like a culottes, or split skirt. I searched through pattern sites, and settled on Simplicity 1429. Of course, that left me hunting for fabric. You’d think finding blue fabric with white stars in a knit would be easy, right? Guess what? IT’S NOT! I found a spandex fabric that was $11/yard (EEP!), and was willing to buy it, until I saw that the company charged another $11 for shipping (which is the most ridiculous thing ever as it weighs next to nothing). Although the pattern on that fabric was perfect, I’m a budget cosplayer.

Instead, a hunt on Etsy found a good fabric that I was happy with, although the stars were smaller than I initially wanted. But the price was right, so I purchased it. Unfortunately, that fabric is no longer available (sorry about that), but I’d recommend Etsy for a good place to search for fabric that’s hard to find elsewhere. When I got it in, too, the fabric was great: very easy to sew with just the right amount of stretch. The pattern was also really easy to work with and I had the split skirt done quickly.

But I came across a problem with other material purchased from Etsy. I purchased a gray, red and white stretch fabric that was really cheap and really stretchy that I just couldn’t work with (it kept getting pulled into the sewing machine’s teeth). So there’s also a lesson: always get fabric samples first to make sure you can work with it.

I tossed the red fabric out because it was impossible, but somehow I managed to make a white waistband for the shorts (I bypassed the elastic because the white material was already super stretch). Lots of cursing was involved, but once the shorts were done, I was thrilled.

1941 Wonder Woman Split Skirt

I ended up losing weight and had to take in the waistband twice, though, but sewed it by hand because that material sucked so much. Lesson learned.

Unfortunately, I still had to do armbands with the gray. I somehow managed to get those sewn by machine, but again, I sewed about five before I had two I was happy with.

1941 Wonder Woman Bracer

I also ordered some adorable red sequin-like earrings from Etsy, that were perfect for the look.

1941 Wonder Woman earrings

I ordered samples of red satin knits from so I could figure out what I was going to do for the top. While waiting for those samples to come in, I started on the eagle chest piece. This was by far the hardest thing I’ve worked on. First, I figured out quickly that my initial idea of using the gold satin fabric wrapped around craft foam wouldn’t work. And although I really wanted to do something else, the only real solution was applique, something I’ve never done before.

But hey, I enjoy costuming because it challenges me, so I began. I finally found a way to make the piece that would work: I started with card stock and traced the design for the eagle’s body, arched feathers and individual feathers. I cut those out and used those as a pattern on fusible interfacing. I cut the fusible interfacing pieces out and attached those to the back of my gold satin fabric. Then I measured 5/8″ around each piece and marked that with a fabric pencil. I cut along that line and then sewed around it with a satin stitch. After that, I cut around the satin stitch to make each individual piece.

If that sounds like a lot, it was. And it took me a lot of tries to get exactly what I wanted. I threw away a lot of pieces and cried a lot over the final thing. I eventually got all the pieces to where I thought they were decent and hand-sewed them into just one piece.

1941 Wonder Woman eagle crest

By then, my new red fabric had been chosen and ordered, and fortunately, it was really nice and of a very good quality. So that meant I had to make the top. I had no idea how to make the top and although I downloaded a sweetheart neckline pattern from Etsy, it wasn’t exactly perfect, at least to my measurements. I’m pear-shaped, which means that with shirts, I need a little extra room once they go past my waist.

So I searched the web and found a good tutorial that shows how to make a custom-fit sweetheart neckline shirt. However, that tutorial didn’t add a seam allowance, so I was left to do that myself. I did get the shirt made, though, and it was too big.

So I had to figure out how to take the darn thing in. I ended up with a big dart on the side and a tuck in the back, but in the end, I had a good fitting sweetheart shirt. I carefully pinned the eagle to the shirt while it was on the dress form (because I do have a few curves) and then hand-sewed it while it was on the dress form.

However, the costume was finally complete, so I took a preliminary shot of the full thing, including my 1941 make-up:

1941 Wonder Woman costume

I’ll be debuting this costume at Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, but you’ll see it onstage at the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL, in June, where we’ll be discussing superheroes of the 1940s at a panel. Hope to see y’all there!

Cosplay: Becoming 1941 Wonder Woman

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ECCC 2015: Days 2 & 3 Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:26:09 +0000 - Because these are the things I love.

I did so much at ECCC this year that I had to split my review into two parts! This is part two, if you’d like to read part one head over to ECCC: Day 1. *** Amazingly, my Saturday was actually a lot tamer than my Friday of ECCC. The first thing I did was head to the autograph area ...

ECCC 2015: Days 2 & 3

]]> - Because these are the things I love.

I did so much at ECCC this year that I had to split my review into two parts! This is part two, if you’d like to read part one head over to ECCC: Day 1.


Amazingly, my Saturday was actually a lot tamer than my Friday of ECCC. The first thing I did was head to the autograph area to see Gina Torres, my Firefly book in hand. I ended up spending a lot longer waiting in line for Gina Torres than anticipated which set a course of missing a few photo shoots and all the panels I had anticipated going to that day. It was totally worth it though, Gina was so sweet and I was able to get another autograph in my book! Plus, I was able to spend more time socializing with friends after a panel heavy day 1. I got to see Marissa of Titanesque Cosplay who was visiting from Texas! She was there for Saturday only and with the cell service so unreliable during con we hadn’t gotten a hold of each other most of the day, but fate was on our side and I ran into her towards the end of the day when I was trying to find a seat for the Clark Gregg panel. It was standing room only by the time I got there and opted not to stay but having found Marissa I stole her away from her family for a bit and introduced her to some friends before snapping a few photos of her fantastic Spider-Woman cosplay. It was good to take a day to relax and be with friends.

Marissa totally rocking her Spider-Woman cosplay.

Erin and I left the convention around 6:30 in favor of getting to the Sheraton early to snag good seats for the event, An Evening with John Barrowman. There were only 200 tickets sold, so really there were no bad seats, but we scored some seats in the second row. Let me tell you, the event was everything I had hoped for and so much more! Being twice as long as a convention panel awarded us more stories, and being a private event with no cameras allowed granted us access to stories he doesn’t usually tell. It was an intimate affair and it really felt like sitting around with friends trading stories. John even made sure we all got out of our seats to socialize before he started. Not to mention all the delicious appetizers they served during the whole thing. Oh, and did I mention he brought his parents? Well he did, and that didn’t stop him from being totally naughty, in fact he kept making raunchy jokes about his parents! It was hilarious. Definitely a highlight of my whole weekend.


Sunday was a blur of photo ops and a few panels. They changed the layout this year so that the autographs and photo ops were in the same area on the 6th floor. I’m guessing they did it so that the guests could get from one thing to the other easier, and that makes sense. But having two main attractions in one area like that is pretty rough crowd wise. If they decide to have that layout again next year I would suggest taking over the whole large area of the 6th floor and moving the Writer’s Block section to another part of the convention. Other than that though everything was absolutely fantastic.

Most of my day was spent hopping from one line to the next, starting with a photo op with Tyler Hoechlin around 11:30 followed by the “Avengers” photo with Clark Gregg, Stan Lee, and Anthony Mackie. Like with con photo ops our encounters with the guests were brief but pleasant. Everything was running pretty smoothly until I went to get in line for my last photo op of the day with John Barrowman. There were so many people trying to form an unofficial line that the staff had to beg us to disperse because it was violating fire code. Eventually they lined us up in John’s autograph booth while he was still finishing up the last of his signings before heading to the photo booth area. That was definitely the most chaotic and crowded photo op line I had ever been to, with good reason really, everyone loves John Barrowman. It also turns out that Stan Lee’s photo op was scheduled right before Barrowman’s and naturally his line was so long that nothing could start on time. Once the photos did get started there were so many people that they had to move even quicker than normal because Barrowman had a panel to get to by 3pm. He was charming and sweet to everyone as usual despite how quickly everyone had to move.

Photo op with Tyler Hoechlin

Avengers photo op with Clark Gregg, Stan Lee, and Anthony Mackie

Photo op with John Barrowman

Since John Barrowman’s photo op ended up starting about an hour late, I missed part of the Firefly panel. Luckily, my friend saved me a seat so I was able to jump right in though. I still caught enough of the panel to enjoy Jewel Staite and Gina Torres’ sass. They shared stories about Firefly and discussed what it’s been like for them to have played so many influential female characters in television.

Gina Torres and Jewel Staite with moderator Grant Imahara

Next up was John Barrowman’s panel. That man is such a delight I swear I never get tired of listening to him. Despite having just seen him the night before there was actually very little repeat of stories between the two events, which was nice. He told so many wonderful stories covering his long and successful career and even sang with one young lady aspiring to get into musical theater. His panel was humorous, heartfelt, and inspiring. I loved every moment but I’d say the part that left the most impact was right at the end when the convention staff tried to cut him off early. He stood up for us and told the staff how dare they threaten to cut his mic, everyone has paid a lot of money to come to this show and they deserve to see the guest of their choosing for the full extent of promised time. He even told them if they ever tried to pull a stunt like that again that he would never come back, and when we all let out a cry of dismay he turned to the audience and said he would come back and make his own event in Seattle if that happened. This, more than anything else showed me just how much he cares about and cherishes his fans. We were all feeling very loved and respected.

What lovely biceps you have, Mr. Barrowman.

The last panel we went to was Anthony Mackie’s. He was super chill and cracked a lot of jokes, it was great. He had several stories to tell during his time on set for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Hurt Locker. I also really enjoyed hearing about his time at Julliard and the hard work he put into his career to get this far. A fan also came up to thank him on behalf of her younger cousin, who is so excited to finally have a black superhero to look up to. He thanked them back and talked about how happy he is to be a part of the Marvel universe for that very reason. He kept things light-hearted but didn’t stray from the serious topics either. It was an excellent last panel of the con.

Anthony Mackie with moderator Clare Kramer

After the panel I got together with my friend Pixie and several others for an impromptu Doctor Who shoot in the park. We ended up taking a ton of photos that I’m still wading through but for now here’s an epic group shot of everyone!

Look at how awesome they are!

ECCC is one of my main cons that I look forward to all year long. Seattle just embraces the geeky culture in ways I haven’t really heard of in other cities. I’m looking forward to attending ECCC for many more years to come.

With the exception of the photos from celeb photo ops, all the photography in this article is by Fearless Photoworks.

ECCC 2015: Days 2 & 3

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