Posts Tagged ‘Lauren’

Cosplaying While Human

June 12, 2014

Turn on your television on any given day and chances are good you’ll see a show about cosplay. Or someone talking about cosplay. Or somehow cosplay is involved. The world of cosplay has been forever opened up to any Average Joe with shows such as ‘Heroes of Cosplay’, ‘King of the Nerds’ and even ‘Big Bang Theory’. It’s no longer just something that’s an underground thing, it’s a very viable and profitable market to the masses now. Walk into any Halloween store or Hot Topic, and with just $50 you can become Naruto, Sailor Moon, Chun Li, or whomever else.

Personally I love cosplay. I’ve been cosplaying since I was 13! It’s a fun hobby and a great way to celebrate what you love. I’ve never competed for any kind of prize and I’ve certainly never won any kind of money from doing it either. Shows such as ‘Heroes of Cosplay’, while fun, is not a representation of everyone that does cosplay. I don’t cosplay to be “famous”, I don’t cosplay to win money, and if I don’t finish a costume in time it’s not the end of the world. I also love meeting other cosplayers. Some costumes clearly take months and thousands of dollars to complete. Some were bought at a store. To me it doesn’t matter. If you love something enough to put on a costume and brightly colored hair, who am I to tell you likewise. Yet some people do feel the need to shame others for their choice of costume, the quality, or even the person’s physical appearance as well.

And that’s where I have a problem.

Guys and gals, it’s just not cool to shame someone because they don’t “have the right body type”, “aren’t the same color” or what have you. It’s not funny, it doesn’t make you look rad, it just makes you look like a jerk. If a person’s choice of costume really bothers you so much, maybe you should take a big step back and think long and hard about why it bothers you. Does the person’s choice really impact your life? Your job? Your friends and family? If you answered no, then maybe you should let it go. Cosplay is for every body. It doesn’t matter what color skin you have, how large or small you are, it just matters if you’re having fun while dressing up as something you love. It’s also not cool to sexually objectify the men and women who cosplay as well. Following them around, only taking pictures of their behinds, or even just saying lewd remarks are all rude and tasteless. They’re people with complex feelings and emotions just like you. Just because a woman is dressed like Wonder Woman or a man is dressed as a Spartan warrior, does not mean you have the right to harass them. Being a respectful, decent human being will get you a lot farther than being a creep. Summer con season is in full swing, so let’s try and make these next few months as incident free as possible. Everyone deserves a good con experience whether they are in cosplay or not!

-Lauren

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Katsucon 2014

March 18, 2014

It’s been a few weeks and the dust from Katsucon 20 has startled to settle. This con had a lot of high, and some very low points. For the most part everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. After the madness of last year with a certain youth group, this year seemed to be more relaxed, given the awful weather. I got to the con around 1 on Friday and promptly went to pick up my badge. I did at the door registration and for good reason. The pre-reg line took something around 3 1/2 hours for most people while at the door took 30 minutes.

The programming was kind of lack luster. There were a few conventions about western comics (there was a DC New 52 panel), which is all fine and good, but if your focus is on Japanese culture and ONLY Japanese culture, there’s no place for a panel on western media (with exceptions of course).

Let’s talk about the gazebo, the all mighty white, wooden structure that cosplayers near and far apparently dream about. I won’t lie, it is a nice looking gazebo in a middle of a nice looking hotel. There was some drama before the con about Katsucon REQUIRING you to have a convention badge in order to gaze your eyes on the gazebo. Turns out you didn’t really need a badge. No one was checking badges anywhere near the gazebo. Badge check was still in full swing for the rave, the artists alley, and dealers room. What still gets me is that you have to pay $80 for a badge in order to go into another room and spend more money. But that’s not something that just happens at Katsucon; that happens at every con.

I didn’t attend a single panel. I went to the rave for around 30 minutes, and checked out the video game room. I want to desperately believe that every anime con I attend will have something for me, but unless it has something related to Sailor Moon, I fear I won’t be enjoying them at all anymore. But that’s life!

-Lauren

The Boys Only Club

December 15, 2013

When I was a young girl reading through old copies of Batman and The Flash I had no idea I was embarking on a life long hobby into a “boys only” club. Growing up I was isolated most of the time. I went to an all girls school, was bullied horribly, and my only escape were my comics. To my bullies my comic hobby wasn’t a “boy” thing. It was strictly a nerdy thing. To my father who supported and supplied my lust for comics, it wasn’t a “boy” thing. It was a thing he and his daughter enjoyed together. We both would read each others comics. He would take me to see most of the super hero movies that came out when I was young. I wasn’t abnormal to him.

But recently it seems like being a girl in this hobby has been everything but normal.

Websites such as Jezebel, Bleeding Cool, and io9 have all had articles on women enjoying this hobby. Cosplayers have come out of the woodwork to share with the internet stories of being sexually harassed. Certain comic book executives have gone on to say they do not want a largely female following, or that women simply don’t read comics. We’re not smart enough, not cultured enough, or we simply can’t understand the plight of an angry orphan who stalks bad guys in a bat costume.

That’s wrong.

Women make up 51% of the population. To say you do not want us in your hobby is frankly stupid, because last I checked my money was as good as anyone else’s. I also don’t want you to treat me with special gloves either! I don’t need to be put on some kind of shelf, to be gawked at and talked about as “that’s a girl who likes comics!”  Maybe you haven’t noticed the influx of women in this hobby. That comic cons are filled with as many women as men. Some of the very best comic writers are women as well. Have you read anything Gail Simone has written? Most of you out there get and understand that this is a hobby for everyone. I don’t want it to be a “boy” or “girl” thing. We need to realize we are living in the era of the nerd. We have shows called “Heroes of Cosplay”, “Comic Book Men”, “King of the Nerds”, “Big Bang Theory”, “Nergasm” and who knows what else is due to come. Movie theaters are constantly showing super hero movies, which in turn have been some of the highest grossing films ever. Target, Wal Mart, even Nordstrom carry Batman clothing for all ages. Everywhere you look there are kids adorning themselves with Bat symbols, Captain America shirts, and proudly proclaiming “I am a nerd!” for the whole world to see.

This is a hobby for everyone to enjoy regardless of who you are. I don’t need special “girls only” comics or other things. I just want to talk about the characters I love with other like-minded people. Come on people, let’s make this a better nerd world for generations to come.

-Lauren

Archie Makeup

April 1, 2013

Archie Makeup

This has been my obsession for the past month. I somehow managed to buy the entire collection. It took a ton of time and a ton of money. But if you like Archie and you like makeup, this is a win win. The Veronica blush (as shown) is literally the best blush I’ve ever used. The collection is available through MAC, although many stores are sold out you can still score it online through eBay.

-Lauren

Savage Wolverine #1

January 17, 2013

For years I’ve flirted with the possible idea of maybe reading a Marvel series. Growing up I’ve always been a DC. But with the new Marvel Now line I have the chance to jump into a new series without missing a beat. This past Wednesday Savage Wolverine came out. Cards, Comics and Collectibles, located in Reisterstown Maryland, had a release party for the comic with Frank Cho on hand. I figured this would be a good series to start with. After all, Frank Cho is a great writer and artist, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to get him to sign a comic for me.

The series opens with a S.H.I.E.L.D mission underway. Agent McSwiggin and his crew (which includes agents we’ll never know as well as the lovely Shanna the She Devil) are off to explore the Forbidden Island. Things don’t exactly go the way they planned and the ship crashes on the island. Eight months later Wolverine also crashes on the island mysteriously. He wakes up to a dinosaur attacking him, which ultimately leads him to a group of Neanderthals carrying a nearly dead Agent McSwiggin. In his last breath he tells Wolverine where his ship has crashed, and that’s when Wolverine and Shanna cross paths.

The first issue is a great build up to what I hope turns out to be a great comic run. Frank Chowrites both Shanna and Wolverine with such care that it’s easy for a non Marvel fan to become fans of these two. The art is also top notch, something I’ve come to expect from Mr. Cho over the years. For $3.99 I feel you’ll be getting your money’s worth, regardless if you’re a Marvel or a DC…or if you’ve never read a comic at all!

-Lauren

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Baltimore Comic Con 2012

September 9, 2012

The convention started off kind of rough. I was dropped off Friday afternoon to help with set up, and while there Pat’s car had been broken into. This in turn caused him to feel like crap, and therefore he didn’t join me this weekend. So I apologize for the lack of quality pictures. However because of this I wound up staying late on Friday, which gave me time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. I even got to catch the first part of the Friday night Stan Lee event, but I left shortly before he arrived. Hearing about the failed “re-launch” oh Atlas many years back. Most of the comics failed after three issues since they switched writers so quickly in.

Saturday I rolled down to the convention with a friend. I promptly got to work, running food to volunteers and guests. This was a great way to meet artists at the con, and a chance to really see how conventions work. Baltimore Comic Con has in the past few years exploded with popularity. Up until a scant few years ago, the costume contest was held behind a curtain on the main floor. Last year we saw the real boom with this convention, due in part to Stan Lee being a guest. Baltimore Comic Con is also one of the few shows that is still really about comic books. You won’t see washed up wrestlers, reality starlets, and other such silly things here. The people who do run the show really put their all into it. The few hours I helped exhausted me (as did my cold). The lines were in control, everything seemed to move smoothly. Heck, I even met Stan Lee. I also got to make silly faces at Han.

Comic wise I didn’t really check anything else. Everything seemed so artist heavy this year that comics were a second thought. I picked up a ton of new art. I met some fantastic new artists, and harassed a few of my favorites. Everyone involved in this con really does put their heart into it and I love every minute of it. If you have yet to visit Baltimore Comic Con, I urge you to visit next year.

Stan Lee and friends.

-Lauren

 

Archie #635

August 7, 2012

While on a recent outing to the comic shop Cards, Comics and Collectibles in Reisterstown, Maryland, I picked up Archie #635. It’s been a few years since I’ve read an actual ‘Archie’ comic. Over the past few years however, the Archie of my youth has evolved into a more complex universe that tackles real world problems in a way that children can comprehend and understand. The story is written by Alex Segura, who does a fantastic job of connecting these timeless characters with real world problems. Accompanying him is the very talented Gisele Lagace on pencils, who gives these characters a slight manga twist.

In this issue the occupy protests have fallen into Riverdale. Led by an Andy Martinez, the 99% are protesting the 1% of Riverdale (which apparently consists of only three people; Veronica, her father, and Reggie). Caught in the middle is Archie. While he certainly is a 99% he doesn’t necessarily agree or see eye to eye with the protests. The gang does have a few things to say. Betty mentions that her mother had to pick up a second job. Reggie says he doesn’t care, that his mind of more concerned with what luxury car he’s taking this weekend. Kevin calls him lucky and Veronica says luck has no part in being successful. Her father built his fortune on his own. Things start to get heated until Mr. Weatherbee informs everyone they are late for class, but they can pick up this conversation during detention.

The next day Archie comes across the protesters again. This time his friends have joined in as well. Kevin, Betty and Jughead all urge him to join, but Archie is still not convinced that protesting is the right thing to do. Everything starts to heat up when the media appears, followed by the 1%. Mr. Lodge gets into an argument with the leader, the mayor shuts the protest down, and someone almost gets arrested! However, this is an Archie comic, so there is a happy ending.

While the story is great, it also gives us new insights into many characters. We learn that Mrs. Cooper had to get a second job. Jughead may or may not have been in jail (since he’s “heard” the food is bad) and that Veronica needs to grow thicker skin (she’s also used to dating guys who have no money or a car). We also see that Mr. Lodge can be reasonable. In the end Kevin sums up what’s been going on in this comic and the Archie universe as a whole best:

“Riverdale’s always been about more than the one percent or the 99 percent–It’s about the 100 percent! It’s a safe place where everyone is welcome!”

Indeed it is, Kevin!

-Lauren

New Sailor Moon Anime in 2013!

July 6, 2012

Big news for fans of the classic anime, Sailor Moon is getting a reboot in the summer of 2013! Kodansha and Takeuchi announced on Friday that the manga would get a fresh new anime to accompany it, with Momoiro Clover Z doing the theme song.

While I am positively excited over this, I have a few questions;

Will Takeuchi be more involved in the anime?
Will it cover all five seasons?
Will they finally have a consistent animation team (ala Sailor Stars) so every episode looks the same?
I can’t imagine anyone else but the original cast as the voices. Will they be coming back?
If it’d going to follow the manga more closely, does that mean the Doom Tree saga saga will be dropped?
Will we see Luna, Artemis, and Diana in human form?
Will there be a Sailor V anime special to go with it? Please?
There’s like 50 billion more that have popped into my head.

And the most important question of them all;

Will the American audiences get to see it (legally) as well as the original 200 episodes? I remember clear as day how hard it was being a Sailor Moon fan in the 90s. That bug hit me in 95, and trust me. It wasn’t easy. It was a big deal when the manga was being released by Mixxzine (Tokyopop) but they did a horrible job with it. While we are finally getting the manga we’ve always deserved, we still have yet to get ALL 200 episodes uncut.

-Lauren

The Amazing Spider-Man

July 3, 2012

After much deliberation, I went and saw The Amazing Spider-Man at midnight. Overall, it was a great movie.

The best part of this movie is how well the characters are developed. Almost every character gets enough screen time to be given some kind of depth. They’re not just introduced because they happen to be in the Spider-Man world but rather because everyone plays a part in the story. Uncle Ben is shown as a real father figure to Peter, and Aunt May isn’t a helpless old lady. They’re people, and you really can’t help but love them.

Peter and Gwen clearly get the most screen time and thus development. Andrew Garfield plays a terrifically awkward Peter Parker, but sometimes he mumbles through his lines. But on the flip side, mumbling through lines while talking to Gwen makes sense. Peter is a “nerd” and he is “shy”. I thought he was charming as Peter. Emma Stone played an equally fantastic Gwen Stacy. She’s smart, self-assured, and is kind of a hero in her own right. She’s not just some damsel that Spider-Man has to save.

The story was also good. Easy to follow, but there were some questions we had when we left the theater (which would be spoilers that I will not talk about). It still has the fundamental back story; Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive (really genetically engineered) spider while snooping around in the Oscorp lab. But this story has much more to it than that:

While cleaning out the basement Peter stumbles on a suitcase that belonged to his father. He snoops around and finds a photo of his father with another man. He does some snooping and finds out the man is Dr. Curt Connors, who just happens to work for Oscorp. Peter sneaks into Oscorp with the intention of meeting Dr. Connors. He does, and he impresses him with his science know how. One thing leads to another and Peter winds up in a room where there are tons of genetically altered spiders. And one bites him. After discovering his super awesome spider powers, Peter becomes almost reckless everywhere else. He is now obsessed with figuring out what his father and Dr. Connors (who has also taken Peter under his wing) were working on. This leads Peter to forget to pick up his Aunt May (who insisted she was fine with walking home 12 blocks by herself at night) which causes a fight between Peter and Uncle Ben. Peter storms out upset and Uncle Ben goes after him. While looking for Peter Uncle Ben intercepts a man who robbed a grocery store, attempts to stop him, and is shot dead. Peter runs over, see’s it was Uncle Ben, and that’s when he realizes what he must do. He must now go after the man who killed Uncle Ben.

This dream is short-lived (he never finds the guy in this movie) and thus he becomes a vigilante.

Overall it was a good story. As I said earlier there are some things that don’t make sense, but hopefully they will clear up in the following sequels. The only thing I fear is that the next movie will have a similar plot. The underlying story is that Oscorp is trying to make a serum to correct/cure human beings. They never resolved that issue in this movie, so there’s a possibility that it will be coming back to haunt Peter in more ways than one. I also think Peter had the “mutant” DNA in him, but it wasn’t activated until he was bitten by the spider. Which in turn would mean his father was secretly some asshole who used his son as a science experiment, hence why he was so secretive and left him to live with Aunt May and Uncle Ben. But again those are just wild guesses.

The CGI is a little silly in this movie. When Dr. Connors is growing his arm for the first time just looks dumb. Pivotal but dumb. When you see the world from Spider-Man’s point of view…well we could have done without it. The obviously made for 3D scenes were also cheesy. We saw the movie in regular 2D and it was fine. I don’t think seeing this in 3D will somehow enhance your viewing pleasure.

I give this movie a solid A. I will see it again.

-Lauren

 

Batman vs. Wolverine

June 29, 2012

So there’s a video on YouTube where a group of people (two guys, two girls) are talking about who would win in a fight. Batman or Wolverine. The video intrigued me since I love Batman, and oh look! Women! That’s pretty fantastic. So everyone gives their opinion on who will win and blah blah blah. There was no real in-depth discussion. Just Wolverine can heal fast and Batman is smart.The women vote for Batman, the men vote for Wolverine. If the Batman wins the men have to dress like Burt Ward era Robin and have a pillow fight. If Wolverine wins, the women will “Dress in sexy costumes and have a pillow fight.” You had me up until that part.

The actual fight between Batman and Wolverine though is really well done. The costumes and action were spot on. If the video was nothing but this without the banter before and after, it would be epic. Perhaps the special effects crew of “X-Men Origins” could take a few notes on how to make stuff look real.

Wolverine wins. So the ladies dress up in sexy costumes and pillow fight.

I usually don’t get offended easily (honestly I’m still on the fence on if I’m just annoyed or offended) but for the love of Batman.  Dressing up in sexy costumes and pillow fighting? Is that what I want non comic book geeks thinking about me and other women in the hobby? Ladies, you have lost all credibility with me. Way to make it about sex when in the end, it isn’t. I’ve been in plenty of “who would win” debates. Some I’ve won and some I’ve lost. But I’ve never made it fundamentally about “HEY I’M A GIRL! I HAVE BOOBS! I LIKE COMICS TEE HEE!” because that’s stupid and not classy. I firmly believe you can be a nerd and catch a guys attention without dressing like a superhero and having a pillow fight. Use your nerdy brains. That’s amazingly attractive.

-Lauren

You can find the video here. It is well done, but I seriously question the people in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuKQ3Oc97Wk&feature=youtu.be