Everyday Cosplay: Carl Grimes

You guys, ever since I had to bow out of recapping The Walking Dead for The Mary Sue, my Walking Dead life has been a mess. I am currently two–yes, TWO–weeks behind on TWD. I just don’t even know what to do with myself right now, because I know the last two episodes were intense, and remaining out of the loop is just a bit too much for me right now.

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So while I am painfully behind on TWD, I decided to do what I could to keep the walker-fever alive with some CORAL-inspired everyday cosplay. I even included a fancy purse that I found on Etsy that straps around your thigh. And, no spoilers in this post, but I included some sunglasses since Carl’s all about the…um…eyewear these days. Trust me, in this outfit, you’ll NEVER be able to stay in the house*.

Everyday Carl Grimes

 

 

Are you caught up on The Walking Dead? Without giving spoilers, are you enjoying this half of the season so far? Let me know in the comments!

*Okay, I know Carl is way beyond his “where is Carl, I told you to stay in the house, Carl” days, but it will still be one of my favorite TWD inside jokes ever–second only to Rick Grimes dad jokes

The Walking Dead: Nobody’s Safe? Really?

First off, let me just say that I’m sorry for the radio silence around here. I was super sick for the past several days, but it’s all good now!

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Back to the matter at hand! Fandom! Geekery! Zombies!

You may have noticed that I didn’t post a Walking Dead recap this week. Unfortunately, because of huge amounts of scheduling conflicts, I’m not going to be able to recap The Walking Dead at The Mary Sue anymore. It’s a bummer, and I’m so sad to have to miss out. However, I am going to be so incredibly busy in the next few months and I just won’t be able to do a good job for TMS recapping. I don’t know who is going to be taking up the helm, but I’m sure they’ll be great so check ’em out. And don’t worry, I’ll still be live-tweeting the show when I can and writing about the show here when I can.

I was able to watch the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead, and I had All the Thoughts. So before I jump in, all those not caught up on The Walking Dead be warned:

Spoilers

My thoughts on the premiere? Overall it was a fun episode. It had lots of zombie gore and Daryl saved the day with a rocket launcher twice. Even so, I didn’t fully agree when I tuned in to Talking Dead and Chris Hardwick called it one of the best episodes ever. Why? There was drama. We watched Rick lose Jessie, a woman he was starting to allow himself to fall in love with. We saw Carl get shot, and then Rick got a great monologue where he told Carl he wanted to show Carl the “new world”. Dr. Denise and her Wolf captor had a lot of great character development, but I didn’t think it was the best because it didn’t exactly live up to the expectations I had.

After all, they were calling this premiere one of the bloodiest in a while, and touting how “everyone will NOT survive”. That’s the thing with The Walking Dead. The show always preaches about how “no one is safe” and that every single character could die at any moment. For a while, we all believed them. The early seasons brought us Carol’s husband’s death, Andrea’s sister’s death, T-Dog, Sophia, Dale, Andrea, Herschel, Lori, Tyrese, Beth, Noah, and Shane. All major characters whose deaths were shocking, but since Noah died last season, we haven’t had any big character deaths. You could maybe count Deanna in that, but since we were only just getting to know her, I’d say she wasn’t quite yet to the level of Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Carol, Rick, or Carl.  Instead of a major character death, we get situations like this:

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In case you can’t tell, in the center of that horde (in front of the magic dumpster) is Glenn Rhee. He survived this by simply scooting and camping out underneath that dumpster. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that Glenn is alive, but as more episodes go by without major character deaths and the show runners keep saying, “No one is safe!” it makes me wonder. Is that even really true anymore? Do I even want it to be true?

 

Over the past several seasons, they’ve seriously culled the herd of major characters. Now we’re down to a pretty small member of “main characters”–I’d say that’s Rick, Carl, Carol, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, and Michonne. They all feel almost vital to the show. I can’t imagine The Walking Dead any one of those characters, but still, watching the show knowing that anyone who isn’t in the main bunch (or even the secondary main bunch like Sasha, Abraham, and Eugene) is essentially a Red Shirt really lowers the stakes for me. The Walking Dead is often likened to Game of Thrones, another show notorious for killing off its main characters. That show has killed off loads of highly popular, main characters, and it keeps on killing it in the ratings. It’s kind of awesome to watch a show not knowing exactly who will live and who will die. For a while, that was The Walking Dead, but I fear that they’re moving away from those crazy high stakes that we’ve come to love. Sure, it’s rad to know that our main characters will be safe more often than they’re endangered, but after a while doesn’t that start to remove the urgency of a zombie-ridden, post-apocalyptic world? In the mid-season premiere, there were loads of times where the survivors wiggled away from a near death experience, and by the end of the episode, I almost felt like rolling my eyes.

No, I don’t want any of my walker-fighting babies to die, but part of what I love about TWD is how brutal the world is. If it’s only brutal to Red Shirts, that urgency and moral questioning is gone. Of course, this all could be lulling us into a false sense of security. If you know the story of Negan from the comics–don’t worry, not spoilers here–you know that he will be bringing some serious craziness into the safe lives of our survivors. So it could be that the stakes are just about to get higher.

Ultimately, it’s a fine line to balance, making sure there are enough characters for us to get involved in the show without losing the show’s edge. I don’t want to lose any of my faves, but I also am really concerned that The Walking Dead could potentially be losing its edge by giving in to fan pressure. Of course, only time will tell.

What do you guys think? Is The Walking Dead losing its edge by keeping so many of the core group alive for so long–even in crazy circumstances like Glenn and the dumpster–or is it simply taking time to develop characters before they launch into the next, gut-wrenching story line? Let me know what you think in the comments!  

5 Fandom Friday: Fave Late To The Game TV Discoveries

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Y’all, Netflix has to be one of the greatest inventions ever. It’s definitely a killer when it comes to my productivity, but it’s allowed me to experience a load of shows that I would have never had the opportunity to watch without it. A great deal of my favorite television shows are a part of my life thanks to Netflix. Even though I’ve come to them late in the game, I still love them like they were brand new. It can be tough to come to an AMAZING show long after everyone’s watched it, but it’s a magical experience nonetheless. Like I said, I’ve found several TV show gems since introducing Netflix into my life, but here are my top 5 late in the game TV show discoveries.

Breaking Bad

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This show was completely amazing, and I’d argue that it’s one of the best shows of my adult life. I had heard from everyone and their mom telling me how brilliant the show was, but since I didn’t jump in at the start the Breaking Bad era passed me by. I didn’t start watching the show until at least two years–but it may have been more–after the Breaking Bad series finale. Of course I was instantly hooked, as was my husband, and we also managed to get my parents hooked as well. In fact, they were so hooked that even though we started watching before my parents, they finished up the entire series a few weeks before us. I come from a proud line of Netflix bingers.

Doctor Who

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I’ve mentioned before that Matt Smith is my Doctor, and that he gets such a hallowed role in my life because he was the Doctor who brought me into the series. I joined the Whovian world in the Eleven/Pond era, which was only a handful of seasons late in the New-Who era, and CRAZY late if you’re thinking from the first episode WAY back in 1963. Regardless, I was instantly hooked on the world of Who and immediately began re-watching the series starting with Nine on Netflix. I still need to watch Classic Who, though. I’m really late to the game there.

Spaced

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I don’t even remember how I discovered this show. I know it was a Netflix find, but I can’t remember if I heard about it and searched for it, or just started watching it because I recognized Simon Pegg. Either way, I’m so pleased to have found Spaced when I did–especially because a month or two after I watched the show, it got taken off Netflix. I just love Simon Pegg’s brand of humor, and I think he’s at his best when he’s working with his friends Nick Frost, Edgar Wright, and Jessica Stevenson. They are all just hilarious together, and I really hope it finds its way back to Netflix soon. I’d really love to re-watch the series.

The IT Crowd

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If you’ve been on the internet for four seconds, it’s likely you’ll have run into a gif or something from IT Crowd, be it the infamous, “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” a picture of The Internet, or even that gif of Denholm Reynholm jumping out of the window. Even if you’ve never seen the show, you’ve likely seen something online referencing it. So once I got Netflix, I knew that this was one of the first shows I needed to add to my queue, and I am so glad I did. The show is hysterical, often makes zero sense, but is one of the funniest shows ever.

Being Human (UK and US)

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This is another show that I can’t recall how I discovered it. Probably a mix of Tumblr and a general infatuation with Aidan Turner’s face if I’m honest, but I don’t remember the exact catalyst. Regardless, I watched Being Human UK first because I’m a snob and wanted to watch ~the original~ before watching anything I deemed to be a “stupid American knockoff”. It didn’t take me long to become obsessed with the show and zip through the entire series. Bereft and alone without more Being Human UK to watch, I sneered at Being Human US (which had aired its final new episode about six months prior to this). It wouldn’t be as good as the UK version, and I knew it. Even though Netflix recommended the US version as soon as the credits rolled on the final episode of Being Human UK, I was indignant. I wouldn’t watch that version. Then one day, I decided to watch it just to prove to myself that it was, in fact, a trashy knockoff. But then I got obsessed. It was similar enough to the UK version for me to fall in love with it easily, but different enough that I wasn’t constantly saying, “Mitchell is a better vampire, or is Aidan? Is Josh sweeter than George? Would I rather be friends with Sally or Annie? Annie probably makes better tea…” Plus, the show also featured the acting talents of one of my favorites, Mark Pellegrino, playing Bishop (the US version of Herrick), a vampire that’s essentially Supernatural‘s Lucifer with fangs.

And, because I can’t follow rules, here’s a sixth show (seven if you count Being Human US and UK as two shows–which they technically are, I guess): 

Supernatural

This show started when I was a junior in high school, and I just didn’t get into it. However, the older I got and the more I got into the Tumblr world, the more I saw Supernatural stuff. It got tough to scroll through the interwebz not having watched the show.

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So I watched the show from season 1 to season 6…and the rest, as they say, is history. I’m officially in the Supernatural family and hopelessly obsessed with this ridiculously wonderful show.

What are your favorite late to the game TV finds? Let me know in the comments and, as always, check out my other Fandom 5 posts, and follow the #Fandom5 hashtag to see what everyone else is talking about today! Be sure to follow me on Twitter to follow the hashtag–the hashtag and series, of course, are courtesy of the awesome Kristen and Megan). 

The Mary Sue Post: The Walking Dead Season 6 Mid-Season Finale Recap

Well, we’ve finally reached the end of the first half of season 6 of The Walking Dead. This season has been quite unique in that it has only spanned across the time of a couple of days, but despite that small amount of time, this season has been packed with action. I’m talking about the entire thing over at The Mary Sue–and the crazy ominous introduction to NEGAN.

Speaking of Negan, did you catch the “post credits” scene that was the prologue to part II of this season? If not, never fear, I’ve got it for you right here. Didn’t see the finale? No worries. There aren’t any spoilers in this clip:

OH MY WORD, I’m so nervous about Negan, you guys. But enough hand-wringing over what’s to come. For now, head over to The Mary Sue and we can talk about the mid-season finale. Here’s a bit from my recap (SPOILER ALERT):

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…I can officially say that I am frustrated beyond belief with Morgan. His character progression has been fascinating to watch, but I’m so tired of his new lifestyle putting literally EVERYONE at risk. I appreciate Morgan doing everything he can to keep a firm grasp on his humanity, but I fear that all he’s ultimately doing is making naive choices that will crush him and the entire group. I’m curious, especially with the introduction of Negan and the Saviors (we’ll talk about them in a second), how Morgan will fare in the second half of the season.

Over at Rick’s group, the group makes a startling discovery once they are safe in Jessie’s house: Deanna has been bitten. As they decide what move to make next, and as they allow Deanna some time to process that her life will soon be over, Ron and Carl are in the basement having the worst-timed fight in the history of ever. Last week’s episode ended with Ron very clearly intending to shoot Carl. Ron holds a lot of anger towards Carl and Rick, with Rick killing Ron’s dad, and Carl having a strange relationship with Ron’s girlfriend, Enid. I had hoped that the ginormous walker herd would sway Ron’s teenage bursts of anger, but it only served to amplify it. Ron attacks Carl and tries to shoot him, breaking windows and letting walkers in the house in the process. When Rick asks Carl if everything was okay in the basement between the two boys, Carl assures Rick that everything is fine. Carl then goes into the other room with Ron, lays the verbal smack down on Ron. While Carl managed to diffuse the situation for the moment, I feel very certain that we haven’t seen the last of murderous Ron…

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue, and let me know your thoughts about the episode and what’s to come in part II of season 6 in the comments!

The Mary Sue Post: The Walking Dead Recap

You guys, this season of The Walking Dead has been giving me tons of feelings. With a major character that I love potentially dying but potentially being okay, this season has left me a hot mess of big fandom feels. It also doesn’t help that the showrunners are low-key trolling us all by taking the actor’s name out of the credits and making us wait WEEKS to find out this guy’s fate.

Well, this week still didn’t give us answers on that particular characters fate (can you tell I’m avoiding spoilers up here?) but it did give us an episode more Daryl-focused, which is always a plus. I’m over at The Mary Sue talking about it, and I hope you’ll join me over there to break down the episode–and the mysterious voice on the walkie at the end! (spoilers ahead–be wary)

Daryl

…Daryl is separated from Sasha and Abraham after a spontaneous attack. While my first instinct was to call the attackers Wolves, they seem far too in control and too calculated for the crazy, unrestrained brutality of the Wolves. They’re also attacking in cars with guns, when Wolves–at least the ones we’ve met–attack on foot without guns. I have a guess on who the attackers are, but more on that later.

As Daryl is trying to hide from his attackers, a group of three road-weary travelers take Daryl captive and steal his crossbow. Right off the bat, it seems like these three think Daryl is someone he isn’t, repeatedly saying Daryl is “one of them”, defending the bag they’re carrying by saying, “we earn what we took.” It’s obvious that these guys have clearly escaped from someone, but again, their lucid nature and the lack of a grotesque W carved into their forehead makes me think they aren’t Wolves.

While Daryl was busy being a prisoner, Abraham and Sasha held up in the office of Sunrise Auto Insurance to wait for Daryl and plan their next move if he never showed up. I’ll be honest, things got a bit weird between those two. Sasha spent a great deal of the episode trying to figure out where exactly Abraham’s head was. Both Sasha and Abraham have really struggled with living life in this new world, but Sasha seems to have some wisdom and peace that Abraham is notably lacking. While Abraham is busy being reckless, jumping from moving cars, nearly shooting a lone walker, and yelling in the faces of walkers, Sasha tries to figure out what exactly Abraham’s motivation is for being so reckless. Sasha and Abraham have big conversations on the point of life, especially in light of their losses, Abraham losing his family and his world-saving mission, and Sasha losing her brother and her boyfriend. Their entire interaction here seems bizarre, Sasha trying to keep Abraham lucid and safe, and Abraham essentially going a bit stir crazy. Of course, it all culminates with Abraham coming on to Sasha because he just knows she’s into him. That gross pick up line aside, it’s unclear if he was right about Sasha’s feelings for him. It’s also unclear if, when she said he had things to get in order back home, if it was in reference to Rosita. We’ll have to see how that random pairing plays out…

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue, and tell me your thoughts on the episode in the comments!

The Mary Sue Post: Walking Dead Recap, “Now”

I’ll be honest, y’all. Yesterday I took a vacation day, and I had BIG plans to get All the Writing done, and it didn’t happen. Turns out I really, really needed a day to recharge my batteries and do nothing other than play Ocarina of Time. Because of that, I didn’t even link to my recap of Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead. Fail for me.

Still, I wanted to be sure I linked to it because Sunday’s episode was filled with some solid character development, a big announcement, and still NO WORD on that certain character for which I’m still holding out hope of his survival. Here’s an excerpt (spoilers ahead, obvs.):

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…Deanna was not doing well after losing her son, her husband, after the attack on Alexandria, and then Rick leading a twenty-deep herd right to the city gates. It’s been a rough week for a woman who has essentially been riding out the apocalypse in a gated community. She spent most of the episode walking aimlessly around Alexandria and getting yelled at her drunk son.

As she’s processing the horrors she’s seen, Aaron confesses to the group that the Wolves found Alexandria after he and Daryl fell into a Wolves trap while out recruiting, and Aaron lost his bag—which led the Wolves right to Alexandria. Rick shoots Aaron a glance that I had a tough time reading—I’m not sure if it was one of anger, frustration, or understanding. Either way, he says they’ll talk about it more later, so we’ll have to see what comes of Rick and Aaron’s relationship. Regardless of Rick’s feelings towards what happened, it’s obvious that Aaron feels personally responsible for all of the death in Alexandria, and is looking for some way to try to make amends….

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue and let me know your thoughts on Sunday’s episode in the comments! 

The Mary Sue Post: Walking Dead Recap

Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead slowed things down a bit and gave us a glimpse into Morgan’s back story. It was great. The acting was spectacular, and the story was compelling. The thing is, after leaving us on the CRAZY cliffhanger that they did last week, I was annoyed that the story not only didn’t address those cliffhangers, but the timeline actually went backwards. Avoiding cliffhangers aside, the episode was a pretty great one. I’m over at The Mary Sue talking about it. Here’s an excerpt:

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…when he encounters a crazed, gun-wielding Morgan creeping around in his yard, instead of killing him, Eastman offers several warnings before knocking Morgan out with his staff and locking him in that living room-jail. Eastman even has sarcastic conversations with Morgan despite the fact that Morgan doesn’t do much beyond screaming “KILL ME!!!!” at him.

Just like Morgan was a godsend for Rick in season one, Eastman was a similar type of “guardian angel” for Morgan. Eastman is incredibly patient, helping Morgan work through his PTSD and offering him a healthier way of living in the midst of the destruction around him. When Morgan explains that he’s still alive only to “clear”—basically kill every single thing he encounters—Eastman insists that all life has value, and that there is a way out of the depths of despair he’s found himself. Slowly but surely, Eastman is able to pull Morgan out of his shell. He protects Eastman’s goat, Eastman begins to train Morgan in aikido, and eventually Morgan is able to level up enough to unlock Eastman’s tragic backstory…

What did you think of the episode? Read the rest of my recap at The Mary Sue and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

The Mary Sue Post: Walking Dead Recap, Episode 3 “Thank You”

There will be MAJOR spoilers ahead in both my linked Mary Sue recap and in this particular post. If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of The Walking Dead yet, TURN BACK NOW.

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Alright, let’s continue.

This has been an AMAZING season of The Walking Dead. Every single episode has left me breathless. This week was no exception, certainly, but this week also reminded us that while The Walking Dead is full of gore and zombie thrills, it’s also a terrible, gut-wrenching, soul-destroyer of a show. This week was rough, you guys, and while the actual amount of roughness is still a bit ambiguous as we don’t know if Glenn is alive or dead. He was notably missing from Talking Dead‘s weekly “in memoriam” (though they did end that section with “Please don’t be true. Please don’t be true. Please don’t be true.”), and he wasn’t an infamous “surprise guest”. Scott Gimple released a statement that Chris Hardwick read on the show that, well, really told us a whole lot of nothing.

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We’ll have to wait until next week to find out what really happened to Glenn (PSA: Next week’s episode will be 90 minutes). I, for one, choose to believe he’s alive, but we’ll see what fresh hell next week brings us. It’s worth noting that on next week’s Talking Dead, there will be a “surprise guest”.

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Somewhere in the distance Chris Hardwick is screaming, “A SURPRISE GUEST DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING!!!”

So while we wait to see what comes of next week, let’s talk about what went down this week over at The Mary Sue. Here’s an excerpt of my recap:

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…the group ultimately decides to split up to help their people in Alexandria and deal with the herd. Sasha and Abraham stay in the car, directing as many walkers as they can, Daryl breaks off to head back to Alexandria, Rick goes off by himself to get back to the RV, and Glenn and Michonne take the rest of the group back to Alexandria. From there, Glenn and Nicholas (boo, hiss) break off to set a fire to draw the attention of the walkers.

Michonne really has a pretty rough job. She’s got to protect one Alexandrian, Annie, who has a sprained ankle, Scott, who was shot in the leg, one bitten by a walker (and offering his super sweet post-apocalyptic love story as the virus slowly destroys him), and Heath, who was super skeptical about Rick, Glenn and Michonne. Michonne manages to lay a serious truth bomb on Heath, shutting down his doubts against Rick and that entire group, proving that Alexandrians don’t understand the reality of this new, harsh world. Heath gets to see this first hand when all but one of his fellow Alexandrians met a grisly end at the hand of walkers, and finally starts to understand where Michonne was coming from. Though Michonne’s group isn’t wholly safe just yet, they seem to be the group in the best situation out of everyone.

Rick, on the other hand, is in a seriously sticky situation. He’s badly injured his hand while he was hacking through walkers, was attacked by the Wolves Morgan let go in last week’s episode—Wolves that Rick promptly killed—and is now stuck in an RV that is not working as the walker herd closes in…

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue! Let me know what you think will happen to Glenn (and Rick, as he’s in quite the pickle, too), and let me know your thoughts on the episode in the comments. 

The Mary Sue Post: TWD Recap, JSS

Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead was INTENSE, you guys. The episode started off deceptively slow, and then kicked things into high gear and didn’t wind down until the credits rolled. After my meh reaction to Fear the Walking Dead, I’ve loved that the first two episodes of the show ran at fast pace with tons of action. But, I’m breaking all this down over at The Mary Sue. I’d love it if you’d join me over there and let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments! [spoilers ahead, obvs]

Lennie James as Morgan Jones - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Lennie James as Morgan Jones – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead was intense, and sent us on an hour-long adrenaline rush. Before we jump in, be warned that there will be spoilers ahead, and be sure to check out the recap of last week’s episode if you haven’t already.

Essentially, this week’s episode can pretty be much be summed up with this single gif:

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Starting a tad bit before the honking that diverted the walker herd being led by Daryl on his bike, this week’s episode started out pretty slow—some might even say it was a bit boring. Jessie and Ron were fighting over Ron’s behavior and whether or not Rick is a good man. Eugene and Tara were meeting the new Alexandria doctor, Denise—who, though she went to med school, was actually a practicing psychiatrist prior to the walker uprising. Maggie and Deanna were talking about planting crops. Carol was meeting with some of the other Alexandria women talking about pasta makers and quitting smoking. Carl was offering to teach Father Gabriel to fight and getting a little sad because Enid was cozying up to Ron. Carol pops a casserole in the oven, she starts the timer, looks out the window to see her friend smoking …

… and then watches her get hacked to death by a strange man with a machete…

Read the rest at The Mary Sue, and be sure to follow me on Twitter so we can live tweet together during the show!

Everyday Cosplay: Michonne

Sunday marked the intense return of The Walking Dead, and I couldn’t be happier to have that show back in my life. So, of course I had to create an outfit to pay tribute to one of my favorite characters from The Walking Dead, the one and only Michonne.

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Michonne is crazy talented at killing walkers with her katana, she’s fearless, she’s a fighter, but she’s also loving and funny.

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Really, if I could bring even a small portion of Michonne into my everyday life, I feel like I’d be doing a great job. So, to do just that, please enjoy this Michonne-inspired outfit. You’ll have to bring your own katana, though.

Everyday Michonne