Loot Crate and Her Universe’s #Loot4Fangirls Crate

I recently got the chance to write over at Nerdist about Loot Crate and Her Universe’s awesome Loot4Fangirls crate that was being released exclusively for this year’s San Diego Comic Con. While I didn’t go to the con this year, they were kind enough to send me a crate of my very own.

Loot4Fangirls

I was so excited, and I wanted to show you guys IMMEDIATELY all of the awesome swag inside, but I wanted to keep it a secret until the convention. After all, the crate contains an exclusive Her Universe dress, so I wanted to keep the secret until at least a few other people started doing unboxings of their crates.

You guys, I could rave for quite a while about all of the awesome stuff in this box. It was utterly fantastic, and is filled with stuff that any fangirl would love to have.

All the swag

The first was this adorable, exclusive little Wonder Woman figure based on DC Bombshells. The figure itself is so frakkin’ cute, but the little tin it came in is also really adorable.

Wonder Woman

The crate also included some adorable fangirl stickers (I’m OBSESSED with stickers), and a cute fangirl coloring book:

Stickers

And, of course with Star Trek heading to theaters and the 50th of the original show, they included some Enterprise-worthy gear with an adorable little makeup bag. What made it awesome was clearly Uhura-inspired. The bag is red, just like Uhura’s uniform, and the bag also has a little keychain with a few tribbles and an image of the Uhura herself (Nichelle Nichols-era Uhura, not Zoe Saldana).

Star Trek Bag

I’m not much of a makeup girl, but I’m SO excited about this bag, you guys.

They also catered to two of my faves: The Walking Dead and nail wraps. The Walking Dead wrap bracelet they included is simply wonderful. It’s cute and subtle, but it’s perfect for any TWD fangirl. Plus, I’m a sucker for bracelets, y’all. And the nail wraps are Borderlands-themed, and THEY GLOW IN THE DARK. You guys, I didn’t realize this when I applied them (even though I’m certain the packaging was pretty clear about that–I just don’t pay attention) so I got a big surprise the first time I was in a dark room after applying them!

Miscelleny

Of course, the biggest surprise was the exclusive Her Universe dress. Ashley Eckstein promised the dress would be awesome and empowering, and boy was it!

HU Dress

The dress featured some of my FAVORITE women from Marvel comics with my girl Captain Marvel right there in the front. It’s a light and airy dress, and even though it’s black it’s cool enough for summer and will work well under layers when it gets cold. I’m so happy that I got a chance to get this dress. I’m not sure if Her Universe will be selling this dress outside of the crate later on, so I’m glad I got my hands on this bad boy!

Of course you don’t have to be at SDCC to grab yourself one of these amazing crates. If you want in on the Loot 4 Fangirls action, you can order one for yourself online. Just don’t wait too long!

Have you ordered one of the #Loot4Fangirls crates, or did you pick one up at SDCC? What do you think of it? What do you hope to see in any future crates like this? Tell me about it in the comments! 

Should You Go See Ghostbusters?

Hey, guys. It’s been a while! I’ve been taking some much-need rest from writing at Nerdist, Geek & Sundry, AND my new gig at a wedding website (because I’m a diverse writer, dammit) AND trying to populate my own website. I love this site, but since it doesn’t pay the bills, I let myself take some serious time off to recharge a bit.

But I’m back! So let’s get to it!

SO! Should you see Ghostbusters? Here’s the short answer:

yes

For some reason, this film has garnered a lot more ire than any of the hordes of remakes and reboots coming to big screens lately. Frankly, I think its ridiculous, and if you aren’t going to see this movie, you’re straight up missing out. There are plenty of reasons I love this movie, but a huge one can be summed up in this tweet:

The fact of the matter is, this movie is giving today’s little girls something that I didn’t have when I was a kid. We get to see four very different women come together to chase ghosts, kick ass, and not worry about things like a makeover, getting a guy, losing weight, or any of the other “chick issues” we often saw in movies. No, instead we watch them chase their passion, wrestle with believing in themselves when literally no one else does–and even when they’re mocked for their beliefs–and it shows them supporting each other as they do it. It’s awesome, and I’m so glad little girls growing up today get to have them as examples.

Of course, all of those mushy feelings mean nothing if the movie is crap. These women had big shoes to fill when they strapped on their proton packs–Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, and Sigourney Weaver are legends, and the original film is a modern comedy classic. Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters would totally lose its empowering punch if it couldn’t live up to its predecessor.

Thankfully, the movie is effing hysterical.

I don’t even know where to start with this film. The entire cast is fire, and they have a chemistry that is so palpable. My personal favorite is definitely Kate McKinnon’s character, Jillian Holtzmann.

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No one can make me laugh like Kate McKinnon can. She is my all time favorite cast member on SNL right now, and she definitely wins the award of Kendall’s Favorite Ghostbuster. Holtzmann is brilliant, she’s weird, unintentionally and intentionally funny, and she’s also got great taste in hats. Also, she kicks so much ass. Seriously.

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Of course, one McKinnon does not a movie make. The other women in the film, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, and Kristen Wiig also bring amazing performances. All of these women are hilarious, and each of their characters are interesting, funny, and make the movie a fun adventure fighting ghosts. I have loved Leslie Jones since I first saw her marry Martin Freeman on SNL, and she absolutely delivers in this movie. Her character, Patty Tolan is sweet, funny, and knows more about the history of New York City than anyone I’ve ever met. I loved watching her against Kristen Wiig’s character, Erin Gilbert. Wiig played a more serious character, but she was still absolutely hysterical. Plus, her friendship with Melissa McCarthy’s character, Abby Yates, is a hoot (and reminded me a bit of the friendship between me and my bestie). And, of course, Thor himself has a role as the Ghostbusters’ administrative assistant, Kevin.I had no idea that one of my favorite Asgardian Avengers was so effing hilarious.

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The main cast had such great chemistry, that even though the movie is a bit far-fetched it kept the story grounded. Sure, there are some dumb jokes here and there, but all in all the movie keeps you laughing and having a great time, which is why you go see a Ghostbusters movie in the first place. By the end of the film, I just wanted to hang out with Abby, Patty, Erin, and Holztmann and hunt ghosts for them.

But one of the things I really loved about the film was how intentionally they credited the original Ghostbusters. The movie has cameos from Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Akroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, the Slimer ghost (a character that was created as a tribute to the late John Belushi, who was set to play Venkman before his death), and has a dedication to the late Harold Ramis at the end of the film. The movie does everything it can to recognize its predecessors while also telling a fun, new story for a new generation of fans. It’s everything you want in a reboot. Sure, the movie has some flaws, but every movie has flaws. You watch a Ghostbusters movie to have a fun, exciting escape from reality with characters you care about that also make you laugh, and Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters is just that. Don’t believe the haters, kids. Ghostbusters is good cinema, and definitely worth the trip to the movies.

Have you seen Ghostbusters? What did you think of the movie? It looks like there is officially going to be a Ghostbusters sequel in the works–what do you hope to see in a second movie? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

Everyday Cosplay: Vox Machina

You guys, I’m obsessed with Critical Role. I’m not just saying that because I write for Geek & Sundry either. I am actually shocked at how much I love that show. Prior to working with G&S, I had no connection to D&D whatsoever. I knew what the game was, but that was about it. However, since writing for the site I’ve been completely enthralled with D&D, and am fascinated (and a bit obsessed, let’s be honest) with Critical Role. I’ve wanted to do an everyday cosplay based on their characters, and now that Denver Comic Con is over, I finally have the head space to create something. If you’re new to Critical Role, I highly, highly recommend you checking out the show. This is the show’s 50th episode, where they first unveil their new title sequence (what I based my outfits on). Check. It. Out.

When I created my outfits, I based it on the show as it stands now (so no Tiberius), and since I was focusing on Vox Machina, I didn’t create an outfit for our fearless leader and magnificent DM, Matt Mercer.

Mercer

I know. I know. Yell at me later. For now, check out my everyday cosplay looks for Vax, Vex, Pike, Grog, Scanlan, Keyleth, and Percy!

Vex

Oh, I love Vex. She’s an archer with a bear companion? I mean, what’s not to love, right? And yes, that is a bear-shaped ring you see. Because you can’t have Vex without Trinket, amirite? Also, all her jewelry is gold. Because LOOT. You’ll have to master your own Vex wink to really pull this look off.

Everyday Vex'ahlia

 

Vax

Vax is probably one of my favorite characters on Critical Role. He’s a great brother to Vex, and he’s also SO snarky and sarcastic (though that might be more Liam than Vex, I’m not sure), I love him so much–which is why this outfit lines up the most with my personal style, probably.

Everyday Vax'ildan

 

Keyleth

Vax might be one of my favorite characters, but I love Keyleth‘s style (both her gaming style, you know, how she dresses). She’s the only chick I know who can pull off an antler headpiece flawlessly.

Everyday Keyleth

 

Pike

Pike is another of my favorite characters. Though I love characters like Vex and Vax for being so cool, sly, and sneaky, I relate the best to Pike. I’d like to think it’s because I’m brave and kind like she is, but I think it’s more likely because I too am short and I’m not good at sneaking up on people.

Everyday Pike

 

Grog

Grog! I love this big guy. Since painting your entire body blue isn’t super practical for an everyday look, I just went with a low key denim dress. I also purposely avoided too many shiny things in this outfit to help you avoid unnecessary distractions whilst raging.

Everyday Grog

 

Scanlan

Trying to embody Scanlan‘s attitude, his love of Pike, and his knack for inspirational songs and cutting words was quite a challenge. Honestly, you’ll have to bring a lot of that attitude into the outfit yourself.

Everyday Scanlan

 

Percy

Finally, we’ve got Percy. A character from the group’s Pathfinder days, Percy brings a bit of steampunk flair to the group and some serious firepower. I love Percy because he’s so incredibly clever, and he’s got a dry wit that just kills me. Percy for president.

Everyday Percy

 

 

Who is your favorite member of Vox Machina? Have you ever done cosplay or everyday cosplay inspired by them? Tell me about it in the comments!

Denver Comic Con 2016: Sunday Panels

Over the weekend of Denver Comic Con 2016, I loved, loved, loved, spending Friday on the exhibition floor and freaking out over my panel, and I loved spending Saturday with the likes of John Barrowman, Cary Elwes, and Hayley Atwell. However, the Sunday panels were hands down my favorites. In DCCs past, Sunday was always more of a slow day to help you wind down from the con craziness. Not this year though. Sunday had people from Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Marvel, Doctor Who, and my favorite internet ladies, The Hillywood Show. It was a great day, but by the end of the day I was EXHAUSTED! Here’s how the day shook out:

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

JDM

I was soooo thrilled to hear that Jeffrey Dean Morgan was coming to Comic Con this year. His appearance was a bit of a late announcement, so it made me even more excited to see him at the con. I didn’t have time to save up to get a photo op with him, unfortunately, but getting to see his panel was treat enough. So what did he have to say about Negan’s role on The Walking Dead? Nothing. He said that he gets to laugh a lot as Negan, which in turn upsets Andrew Lincoln, which makes him laugh more, and he said that waiting for an answer to “who met Lucille” isn’t the worst thing in the world. But apart from telling us how much fun it is to play such a twisted bad guy, we didn’t really learn too much–which is unsurprising. What I really loved was hearing him talk about Supernatural, and his feelings towards Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. He talked about how seeing them “all grown up” made him feel incredibly proud, and he liked to think he had a small part in that–even though he’s only ten years older than Jensen Ackles. He also mentioned that he’d love to come back to the show, especially if it was for the series finale, and if Jensen directed. I’m all for that. He was also asked a question by a girl in genderbent Comedian cosplay, which he thought was so rad that he brought her onstage.

JDM and Comedian

JDM hasn’t been doing the convention circuit for long, but he seemed to be pretty comfortable onstage (his wife–who he met through Jensen Ackles, btw–and adorable son were in the front row, which I’m sure helped him out) and he put on a super fun panel. He was funny, sweet, sincere, and you could tell how much of a genuinely fun time he has working on and talking about the shows he’s a part of. Papa Winchester didn’t disappoint, you guys.

JDM.gif

Of course that was only a fraction of the day. Next, we took things over to the Marvel ‘verse…

Clark Gregg

Clark Gregg

What makes a Clark Gregg panel so fun is how much of a fanboy he is IRL. If you didn’t know, this guy is essentially Coulson himself. He loves comics and the heroes from Marvel just as much (though I don’t think he has vintage cards like Coulson–although Coulson doesn’t even have his cards anymore), and when asked if he was Team Cap or Team Iron Man, he full Coulsoned everyone, calling the question-asker “young lady” and asking how the Sokovia Accords would affect the Inhumans in his charge. It was THE BEST. He also spoke about life after Coulson died in Avengers. He happened to see the #CoulsonLives Twitter campaign while running his wife’s (Jennifer Grey) Twitter while she was on Dancing with the Stars. After that crazy campaign and seeing the Marvel fans flock to bringing Coulson back, we got a living, breathing Coulson and the amazing show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So can we expect to see him back on the MCU? Or what about his feelings of bringing in some of the other Marvel TV characters into the MCU? Coulson–I mean Clark is game, but he’s okay with waiting. Obviously, he’s got to figure out a gentle way to let the Avengers know he’s still alive. You know, in a way that won’t make any of them so mad they kill him…but more than that he’d love to see the Marvel shows (he named Matt Murdock specifically) mix with the MCU, but in the right way. He thought having some brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo wouldn’t be the best, but if they could blend the worlds in a natural and awesome way, he’d love to see that. So we can hope our future will hold some rad crossovers.

Alex Kingston and Jenna Coleman

Alex Kingston and Jenna Coleman

I wasn’t able to stick around for this entire panel, but I did enjoy getting to see these two together. The biggest thing I felt from this panel is that when Jenna originally took the job as Clara on Doctor Who, she had no. idea. how much this would change her life. To this day, I feel like she’s still trying to understand Whovians, convention culture, and why the heck a bunch of randos are paying upwards of a hundred bucks to take a picture with her. Still, it’s obvious she loved the show, the characters, and her fellow actors, which I always love seeing. Alex Kingston, on the other hand, is ALL ABOUT this kinda thing. She totally seemed to feed off the crowd, and was a lot more vocal than Jenna (introvert vs. extrovert, basically). When Jenna asked if she would be coming back to Who–especially after Peter Capaldi made some cryptic remarks about her–she shrugged it off as Peter being Peter and trying to create buzz. She also said that she’d only just left, and Pearl Mackie was starting her run as companion that very day. So even though she seemed to make the answer seem like a solid “no, I’m done”, she never officially said her days in the TARDIS were over. She just didn’t want to take the spotlight from Pearl. Alex Kingston also made some controversial remarks saying that she wasn’t on board with turning the Doctor into a woman in a future regeneration. We’ve seen with two other Gallifreyans that a gender change in a regeneration is possible–The Master/Missy being the most notable–Alex thought that since he’s always been a guy, he should stay that way. I love you, Alex, but we’re gonna have to agree to disagree there.

The Hillywood Show

Hillywood

I actually got to interview Hannah and Hilly (an interview that will be coming out on Geek & Sundry, so stay tuned for that), but I also couldn’t wait to attend their panel. While I’m pretty sure they were in Hilly!Dean and Hannah!Cas cosplay the day before, their Sunday panel was in Dean and Cas casual cosplay (sporting their Hillywood Supernatural parody beanies, obvs). These girls are so sweet and just a ton of fun. They were encouraging to members of the audience who wanted to start their own show on YouTube, and they were so grateful that they had the opportunity to create the show thanks to their Patreon supporters (you can support the show here if you are so inclined). They also watched some of their parodies with the audience, namely their Lord of the Rings Parody, the Walking Dead Parody, the Doctor Who Parody, and their Supernatural Parody.

Hillywood Shake It off.jpg

When I first saw the Supernatural parody, I was by myself and had to fangirl with friends online. So it was really fun to get to watch it in a room FULL of other fans and Hannah and Hilly themselves. Their biggest encouragement to the audience was create something original and don’t try to copy what someone else is doing. You’ll only gain a following and stand out from other YouTubers if you are providing something that only you can give an audience–that’s what people want to see, not a knock-off. These girls are amazing. I was so impressed that they not only did zillions of panels and took the time to not only do photo ops, but they also manned a booth and spent individual time–and the occasional selfie–with each fan who came through to buy some merch.

Of course the unsung hero of the convention is also the lovely Clare Kramer, who was the moderator/interviewer for most of the mainstage panels. She was busy the ENTIRE weekend, and helped make every single panel awesome. I have no idea how she was able to stay energized for it all, but she did a great job. If you haven’t checked out her or GeekNation, you totally should do that. She’s fantastic, and helped make all of the panels amazing. She’s hosted mainstage panels for a while at Denver Comic Con, and I’m always impressed at how she handles the panels–even as they’ve grown significantly over the years. Seriously, Denver Comic Con had record attendance this year, and I know that a huge part of that is because they put on some truly impressive panels. I’m already getting excited for the adventures in store next year!

Have you seen any of these folks at a convention? What question would you like to ask them if you could? Tell me about it in the comments!

Denver Comic Con 2016: Saturday Panels

Friday was a day that, apart from my own panel, not much else happened for me. I got to explore the exhibition floor–which was SPRAWLING this year. This is just the Pop Culture Classroom area:

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But on Saturday, I attended panels galore. In previous years, the big “main stage” panels were held in one of two (maybe three) ballrooms. You had to line up outside for FOREVER in a different ballroom that was essentially modeled after Crowley-run hell. This year, they had one giant theater for the big main stage events that didn’t clear after each panel. So, in theory, you could stay there from the first panel to the last. So on Saturday, I really just parked myself in the main stage room and enjoyed some of the amazing panels–they really got a pretty amazing lineup this year.

Hayley Atwell

Hayley Atwell DCC

I was so. excited. for the Hayley Atwell panel. Though I’m painfully behind on Agent Carter, I love her and the entire Captain America story in the MCU. You guys, if you are ever in the position to see a panel with Hayley on it, GO SEE HER. She is full of energy, and you can tell she has loved every second she’s gotten to play Peggy. Of course she touched on some of the more painful things happening in the Peggy-verse these days. She addressed the show’s cancellation, letting fans know that she hadn’t given up hope just yet. When she was asked if Peggy could fit in well with the darker tone of the Marvel Netflix shows, she smiled and said, “Peggy could handle it.” So it’s unclear what Peggy’s future holds, but Hayley seems up for whatever opportunities Marvel gives her. Of course, she also spoke about the infamous Hydra Cap situation. Of course, Peggy Hayley wasn’t entirely convinced he had gone full dark side.

So hopefully Cap’s story is one that will be redeemed. If Peg has faith, so do I. But that wasn’t the only Cap scandal she covered. She also mentioned that kiss Cap shared with one Sharon Carter–Peggy’s niece. Of course she made headlines when she said the relationship was a bit messed up, and while she still stands by the fact Cap dating Sharon is wrong, she reminded fans that it’s all in good fun. After all, it’s comic books and superheroes. They should be fun, right? The panel also touched briefly on her episode of Black Mirror, which she called just a long crying session for her (which is fair, because that’s what it’s like to watch Black Mirror), as well as an answer to her interest in playing the Doctor. Her one stipulation? Her companion has to be Billie Piper.

atwell piper.gifI think the Doctor Who fandom would be more than happy to see a run of Hayley Atwell’s Doctor travelling around with Rose Tyler, amirite? These two are such a huge IRL BroTP for me anyway, so I’d love to see them having adventures across time and space in the TARDIS.

So if you need me, I’ll be campaigning for an Atwell/Piper season of Doctor Who.

Cary Elwes

cary elwes

You guys, I had no idea Cary Elwes was so great. I mean, I love most of the stuff he’s been in, but this guy is HILARIOUS. He does some of the best voices, and spent his panel impersonating everyone from Andre the Giant to Rob Reiner to Cockney British actors. He also spent a huge chunk of his panel telling us stories from the set of Princess Bride, like the fact that he severely broke his foot just two weeks into shooting after going on a wild ride on Andre the Giant’s ATV. It’s so bad that Elwes says you can see him occasionally limping or hopping about in some of the scenes on Princess Bride. Even better, they had to postpone all of his sword fights until the very end of filming just so he could be standing on a solid two feet. And though he started out his panel really trying hard to not say “as you wish”, calling them “those three words that I say”, he obliged when a fan finally asked him directly to say it. That movie was such a huge part of my childhood, so it did my heart good to not only say his most iconic line from the film, but also to hear how much fun the cast had together.

John Barrowman

Barrowman Outfits

The last panel of the night was John Barrowman–who I got to interview with his sister over at Nerdist, btw–and his panel was NUTS. John basically feeds off of the energy of a crowd, so his panel was tons of fun because he was just amped the entire time. He came out in genderbent Cas cosplay (he loves Supernatural, and would love to be on the show), and then changed mid-panel. But his panel was full of fun hijinks like that. He brought a fan up to dance with him and his husband, and at one point he crawled over all of us (I was thisclose to touching his ankle when he went past me, but I deemed that creepy) to answer a fan question up close and personal.

Silly Barrowman

Of course no Barrowman panel would be complete without talking about talking about Torchwood. He and his sister Carole are bringing us new Torchwood adventures with the new Torchwood comic. Of course, its up to us to keep more stories coming, so buy the comic, you guys!!!

You guys, I was so impressed about how amazing these panels were, and the sheer size of the event was astounding. Denver Comic Con has grown so much over the past few years, and I’m so happy to get to be a part of the convention. If you want to see another perspective, check out my buddy Amelia’s recaps of day one and two over on Geekly Planet!

Did you go to Denver Comic Con? What was your favorite part of the Saturday panels? Tell me your thoughts about the panels or any other Atwell, Elwes, or Barrowman panels you’ve seen in the past in the comments! 

Denver Comic Con 2016: What I Learned From Being On a Panel

Denver Comic Con came and went over the weekend, and I had a complete blast. There was so much to digest, but the biggest thing for me was, of course MY PANEL.

WiGi

As I previously wrote, I was asked to sit on a Women in the Geek Industry panel along with two other women. The entire experience was crazy and overwhelming (seriously, I got an anxiety migraine after and had to go home early), but it was ultimately amazing. I am so thankful that Denver Comic Con allowed the spotlight to get put on women within the “geek industry” (I’m still not sure what the geek industry actually is, but I’m glad to be a part of it).

I also realized how severely I underestimate myself. As I was sitting there on the panel, I remember looking at the other two women sitting on the panel with me and thinking, “Oh my gosh, they are so much more knowledgeable than I am. I don’t know anything at all. What am I thinking, sitting on a panel like this? All of these people are gonna realize I’m one big, fat, fraud and boo me out of the con!”

Of course this didn’t happen, and the more I talked, the more I realized I actually know a thing or two. Sure, I don’t know everything, but I’ve been doing this for several years now.

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The most shocking thing that came from my panel was getting a taste of the kind of impact I can have on people–even in my own small corner of the internet. After the panel, a little girl came up to me and asked about being a writer, and I got to give her some tips on becoming a writer for a publication you love. After that, a woman walked up to talk to me and told me how she’d read all my stuff, and that she was into gaming because of things she read that I wrote.

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Crazy, right? I didn’t even know how to process those last two. In what universe do I get to be the one encouraging the writers of tomorrow, and inspire another human to try gaming because of my words. I was caught between being a bit teary and speechless after those two came to talk to me, but it ultimately made me feel incredibly thankful for the jobs I have with Geek & Sundry and Nerdist.

Ultimately, the panel was tons of fun, and the questions from the audience were thoughtful. I was nervous the entire time, but I think the panel went pretty darn amazing. I was so honored to get to be a part of such an important panel, and I really hope that we inspired the women in the audience to chase after whatever their dream role in the geek industry might be.

I’m still blown away that I actually got to sit on an actual panel at comic con…

If you want to see my panel, I’ve got some video of it here. I haven’t watched it (I hate watching myself on camera), but I’ve heard the audio isn’t the best in places. Regardless, it’s here if you want to check it out:

And if you weren’t at Denver Comic Con, I live-tweeted every single panel I attended, so you can head to my Twitter to see what went down. I try to use my #KenAtTheCon hashtag, but eventually I just stuck with the convention’s #DCC2016 hashtag. Not into reading live tweets? Never fear though, I’ll be writing about the panels–with pictures!–in more detail this week. Stay tuned!

Well, That’ll Do: My Winter Soldier Hoodie

Guys. I have a real problem. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s somewhere between delusions of grandeur and over committing. Either way, I think I have the time and ability to do all sorts of magical things that I simply do not. Case in point? The Winter Soldier hoodie.

I was certain, absolutely certain that I’d be able to easily re-create a low-key winter soldier hoodie for myself. Did I flake out on the project? No. I made myself a damn hoodie, but it was at quite the personal cost. Here’s what I learned, and I’d like to impart that knowledge on to you.

Don’t Have a Sewing Machine? Rethink Your Lofty Plans…

Guys, sewing something without a sewing machine takes a lot of work. Trying to do something intricate without a sewing machine and solid sewing skills? Yeah, it’s kinda like this:

Cap.gif

The initial tutorial I linked to was fairly straight-forward with very little sewing. Take a gray hoodie arm, sew it onto a black hoodie, and draw on the black marks to make your arm look like Bucky’s. But this girl was like, “That’s too easy! I want it too look ~authentic~”. I decided I would leave the black hoodie arm on and sew on gray strips. It felt more authentic to me, but it really was just a pain in the ass that ended up leading to me drowning about 16 hours into a project that I ultimately scrapped and started from scratch.  If you’re a sub-par seamstress with no equipment, keep it simple, kids. Definitely measure and pin stuff, but keep the end goal easy to achieve.

Know Your Limits, and Bail When You Need To

bucky escape

Like I said, I definitely didn’t give up. I made myself a Winter Soldier hoodie, but after I realize what a dumpster fire my first attempt at a hoodie was, I just left it alone for a while.

Whether or not you need to bail on the project completely is up to you, but don’t be afraid to admit you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, and either scrap the project or just re-imagine it.

Get Advice and Support From Other People

besties.gif

If this is your first time sewing anything more complicated than, hypothetically, ribbons on your pointe shoes, seek out the advice of others who have done this before. Sometimes they’ll freely offer advice, sometimes you’ll have to ask for it, but either way glean as much experiential knowledge as you can. Learning from other people’s mistakes is way easier than learning from your own, right?

Don’t Freak Out If This First Project Knocks You Out Or Isn’t Perfect

black panther kick

I’ll be honest. This project was a lot of work, and the end result…it isn’t perfect, y’all. The red star isn’t centered enough, the stitching isn’t gorgeous, and I sort of lost steam when it came time to adding the lines. It’s just a straight up, two-toned gray arm. But I’m kind of unreasonably proud of it. Yeah, I know it’s not great, and the entire thing was a LOT harder than I expected for a result WAY below what I was hoping. But I did it! I completed a project, as crappy of a final result as it might be. Now I know what I can do better going forward, and I’ll always be able to look back on this first project fondly. Here’s how it turned out (and please enjoy my picture with Bucky-inspired eye makeup).

Winter Soldier Hoodie

So like I said, it isn’t perfect, but I sewed the entire thing by hand, and I’m pretty excited to say that I actually finished a project I wanted to attempt. My next project will be far better, and by then I’ll hopefully have a sewing matching that will keep me from wanting to kill something.

Tell me some of your less-than-perfect cosplay/sewing stories, and feel free to give me any tips and tricks in the comments!

Women in the Geek Industry Panel at Denver Comic Con

I’ve been not-so-subtly hinting at it for a while, but now I’m officially ready to make the announcement: I’m gonna be on a panel at this year’s Denver Comic Con. I’ll be on the Women in the Geek Industry Panel at the con this year to talk about my slice of the geek industry. Specifically, my writing for Geek & Sundry and Nerdist (in addition to the zillions of other places I’ve written through the years). Here’s the rad, official Women in the Geek Industry logo:

WiGi

This panel seriously inspired me a few years ago, so I’m honored to be featured as one of the “women in the geek industry” this year. We’ll each talk about what we do and answer any questions audience members have. It will be an awesome panel celebrating women in the industry, and will hopefully inspire you to chase after whatever goals you have in geekery. Heading up to Denver Comic Con this year? I’d love to see you there! The panel will be on Friday, June 17 at 2:45 in room 607, and in addition to me the panel will also feature cosplayer Tiffany Wangerin, comic book retailer Alice Lexx, and will be moderated by Kirei.

Are you coming to Denver Comic Con? Have you ever been on a panel before–let me hear any tips you have in the comments! 

Outfit Lineup for Denver Comic Con 2016

Alright, kids, it’s official. I’ve landed on my what I’ll be wearing at Denver Comic Con this year, and I’ve officially decided that this year’s Denver Comic Con will be the Year of the Fandom Shirts. I have zillions of shirts that celebrate my favorite fandoms, and comic con is the PERFECT place to wear them. So here are my outfit plans for the week:

Friday: Wayward Academy

So this isn’t the most recent Wayward Daughters shirt (if you’re interested, as of right now you have about six more days to snap a #waywardaf shirt), but it still shows your wayward pride. Also, I may or may not be appearing on a panel this day (stay tuned!!!), so I wanna rep my girls.

Wayward Daughters Academy

 

Saturday: #TeamCap

I don’t even want to hear about your “Hail Hydra” nonsense…

#TeamCap Style

 

Saturday: Always Keep Fighting

Okay, so I know I talked a big game about wearing my Hamilton shirt, but then I remembered that I also owned *this* shirt. A con is the perfect place to wear some SPN family swag.

Always Keep Fighting

 

 

How do you style your favorite fandom shirts? Let me know in the comments! And of course, be sure to pick up your tickets to Denver Comic Con if you haven’t already. Let me know if you’ll be at the con this year. I’d love to say hi! And remember, stay tuned because I’ve got a fun panel announcement to make this week! 

Supernatural Hellatus Re-Watch: Am I Becoming a Sam Girl?

It’s been a while since I’ve re-watched the entire series of Supernatural (I think I’ve actually only done it twice, which is shocking to me since I’ve watched the entirety of shows like Arrested Development, The IT Crowd, and Bob’s Burgers like…seven thousand times). Since we’re on the summer hellatus, I figured this would be the perfect time to start over from the very beginning.

hunting trip.gif

I just have to say that I love, love, love the first season. It’s full of urban legends, MOTW episodes, and it’s way before the boys had to worry about stuff like the apocalypse, The Cage, crossroad demon deals, The Darkness, and all the craziness. It was a simpler time, wasn’t it? In fact, in the episode “Phantom Traveler,” Dean says that dealing with demons is way out of their league. Of course that’s hilarious since these days exorcising demons is so second nature that they’ve literally made a voice note on their phones to exorcise demons for them.

But apart from being reminded of how green the boys were when it comes to hunting really nasty monsters back in the early days, I’m starting to see something else: I might be morphing into a Sam girl. I’ve never had any animosity towards Sam, but out of the two Winchester boys, I’ve always related to Dean more than Sam. Dean’s super protective of his little brother like I am…of course, with both Winchesters any point that you “relate” to them is super amplified on the Winchester’s side of things. For instance, I’d say I’m protective and worry too much about my little brother, and Dean would say, “Yes, I too am protective and worry too much about my brother which is why I SOLD MY SOUL TO A CROSSROADS DEMON AND ROTTED IN HELL FOR 30 HELL-YEARS TO BRING HIM BACK FROM THE DEAD.”

…I just…I just like…worry a lot about my brother making good choices and not dying in car crashes, but yeah, Dean, I totally get you. Hashtag Older Sibling Problems, amirite?

But I love how much of a mother hen-type Dean is. He looks out for Sam–often to his own detriment, but whatevs–he looks out for Cas, and don’t even get me started on his relationship with Charlie and Kevin…

charlie and dean.gif

But as I’ve gone through the first five episodes of the series again, I’ve really tried to watch the show with fresh eyes. Sure I know what’s going to happen, but it’s been forever since I’ve seen those early seasons of the show, so it’s a lot easier than I expected for me to leave my Supernatural baggage at the door and try to watch the show with a clean slate. As I’ve done this, I noticed that I’m starting to get some major Sam feels…and like, zero Dean feels. There’s really not much to Dean in those first few episodes, is there? Now don’t jump down my throat, I know the character develops, but I had forgotten how much time they spend developing Sam as a character. Really the most we get of Dean in those episodes is, well, this:

dean flying

Meanwhile, we see Sam build a life with someone he wholly relies on and loves…

sam jess

…he loses her (spoiler alert I guess, but it’s been literally over a decade so it’s your own fault)…

sam winchester.gif

…blames himself because he had dreams of Jess’ death days before she died (also giving us a first look into his psychic abilities)…

sam jess grave.gif

…and then completely uproots his entire life to avenge the death of his true love (and his mom, but mainly Jess).

we've got work to do

Sometimes it’s easy for me to forget where Sam has been on “the road so far”. For me, the stuff that have always stuck in my mind about Sam’s journey were things like his demon blood addiction, his Dean and John-less heaven, starting the apocalypse, not looking for Dean while he was in Purgatory, losing his soul, and the lack of bro-ments after Sam realized Dean let Gadreel use Sam as a vessel. Typical things for a Dean girl to cling to, but as I’m re-watching the early episodes, the giant train wreck of Sam’s life prior to learning about being “chosen” by Azazel, his horrible childhood, his terrible relationship with his father, essentially being kicked out when he went to college, then losing the only person in his life that anchored him to a safe life…Sam’s just got a shaky foundation all around. Really the only constant in his life is Dean, and Dean doesn’t always live up to that role.

dean tosses samulet.gif

Don’t get me started on where the Samulet has been since Dean trashed it (I won’t say since it’s an actual spoiler from this season)…

Sam has been through quite a lot, and he hasn’t always made the best choices, but getting to go through his journey again is showing me so much to Sam I’ve never noticed before. I’m also seeing HUGE ways that Sam is basically a shaggy-haired version of John Winchester. I know they say Sam is like John in the series, but I hadn’t picked up on the similarities my first watch through (which makes sense since all we really get of John for most of the first season is coordinates and sketchy voicemails). Sam starts the series with that monomaniacal drive to get Jess’ killer that John had, and we see him continue that singular focus throughout the series (though I’d argue that Sam loses John’s less desirable qualities as the series continues). Obviously, I’m only five episodes into my re-watch, but I can’t wait to see what else I see for the first time.

Have you re-watched Supernatural recently? What new things are you learning? Are you a Sam girl or a Dean girl, and why? Let’s talk about it in the comments!