Phoenix Comicon is back again this year and it promises to be better than ever. With celebrity guests, artists, writers, amazing vendors, and plenty of after-hours activities, there is sure to be something for everyone at this convention.
This year will mark Phoenix Comicon’s 14th year, with each passing one getting bigger and better. The event will be June 2-5 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Along with an amazing Cosplay Fashion Show, Steampunk Fashion Show, and Masquerade, the convention will be hosting a Geek Bridal Showcase! (Seeing as I am recently engaged, I am super interested in this event). All you geeky lovebirds out there will be able to contact Phoenix Comicon with all your wedding, renewing vows, or proposal needs!
If you’re the type that can still party it up after a long day on the convention floor, be sure to check out the One Party To Rule Them All presented by Blue Ribbon Army, Drinks with Authors, Geeks Who Drink Pub Trivia, or a stand-up comedy show. Don’t miss Jareth the Goblin King’s Masquerade Ball Friday night as well!
If you like to attend as many panels as you can (like I do), there is a full lineup of programming that can be found here. Once you’re logged in you can add them to your Conquest and easily access them from your mobile device. I already have a ton of conflicts and need to prioritize my panel schedule since there’s just too much great programming this year!
Whatever your interests be certain to not miss this year’s Phoenix Comicon! Tickets are now available, so don’t hesitate to grab yours while you can!
The multi-location convention is coming back to Las Vegas for its second year and will once again be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Featured guests include Jewel Staite (Firefly, Serenity, Warehouse 13, Stargate: Atlantis), Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob, Clerks II, Mallrats), Sean Maguire (Once Upon A Time, Meet the Spartans), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead, Jumper, Mallrats), and Lori Petty (Tank Girl, Gotham, Orange is the New Black, A League of Their Own).
In addition to entertainment guests, the event also will host a vast array of authors, artists, creators, and cosplay guests. There will also be a full line-up of panels to attend where guests can ask their favorite actor or author questions and gain general knowledge on a variety of geeky subjects.
If you have never attended a comic convention, then I highly recommend attending Wizard World. Conventions are a great way to meet people like you who are into comics, fantasy and sci-fi! There will be amazing vendors to help you fill your home and dress your person with the best in all manner of geeky goods and wares (we will be highlighting a few of those vendors soon, so stay tuned). Compared to other conventions, Wizard World is unique because they set a large area aside just for tattoo artists, where you can forever ink your love for your favorite character or fandom.
A full list of all the amazing guests attending Wizard World: Las Vegas can be found on their website.
…If you listen, he’ll tell you how he got there. How he forgot where he was going and that he woke up. If you listen, he’ll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel or dreamt of being perfect. And then he’ll smile with wisdom, content that he realized the world isn’t perfect. We’re flawed, because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had. – Don Draper
Mad Men is in its 7th and final season. The series finale is this Sunday night. The show has been called the best drama on television and I would have to agree. Mad Men is a period drama set in the early 1960’s, and is now ending in the 70’s. Even though I didn’t grow up during this era, Mad Men still has a way of making you feel nostalgic for a past you never experienced. The show doesn’t gloss over this time period, and isn’t afraid to explore the issues of sexism and racism that were so prevalent to that time; issues that are still relevant to this day. It avoids getting preachy by expressing these issues through the show’s characters and bringing it to a personal level we can all relate to. The characters on this show are all so beautifully flawed, and through their tragedies and happiness you end up learning more about yourself as you watch. There are so many instances where this show leaves you with such a profound sadness, but it’s a type of pensive sadness that makes you wonder about life, the human experience, and why we make the decisions that we do.
The show (created by the brilliant Matthew Weiner) as a whole, is beautiful in all its imperfection, just like its characters. The design and costume choices for this show are impeccable. Just from watching the opening title sequence, you get a sense of how stylish this show is. The opening title sequence is one of my favorites and I never get tired of watching it. It’s inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, and the falling man pays homage to the movie poster for Vertigo. Alfred Hitchcock’s influence is prevalent throughout the series ,and in a way fitting to the recurring theme that some of the horrors in life are the ones we create for ourselves. Not only does the design stay true to the time period, but everything is so fashionable you just want to step inside the set of an episode and live in it. Maybe you haven’t seen the show or you don’t care for it, but its style influence is everywhere. The year after the show premiered, all of the fashion runways were covered in designs influenced by the show. To this day, home decor is influenced by the show as well, everyone wants and needs to own a “Mad Men” bar cart for their living room. I dare you to watch this show, and not want to own every outfit featured. In honor of the series finale, and in celebration of such a stylish show, this week’s NerdyBound is all about Mad Men.
Happy Mother’s Day!!! In honor of Mother’s Day today, I’m dedicating this week’s NerdyBound to the amazing moms we’ve known and loved in nerd culture. In preparation for this NerdyBound I tried to find sites, blog posts, and basically anything having to do with awesome moms in nerd culture. I found a lot of sites/posts dedicated to actual real life nerdy mothers out there, and although they left me with several new DIY projects I want to try out, none of them really led me to what I was looking for. Needless to say mothers are extremely underrepresented in the nerd world, which is kind of crazy (prepare for a huge order of cheese coming your way) because moms truly are the real superheroes of this world, and they deserve to be portrayed as such. Luckily, I read way too much and watch more TV/movies than any person should, and I already had a running list of my favorite moms ever to be written into existence for our entertainment. It was hard condensing that list, and I hated leaving characters out, but for the sake of my sanity and this article becoming too abstract I had to. I hope you enjoy the mothers I chose, and let me know who your favorite mom in nerd culture is. Have fun this Mother’s Day weekend and if you’re lucky enough to have a mom to call, go call her. Don’t just text and tell her how much you love her. Call, and above all, appreciate her.
Morticia AddamsShe’s a style icon with relationship goals and relates to her kids on a murderous level. Morticia is the full package.
Mary Margaret/Snow I know there are several mothers on Once Upon a Time but if I did them all this would just turn into a OUaT NerdyBound. OUaT is one of the best shows out there that proudly portrays women with very powerful and complicated characteristics. They’re not afraid to show pregnant women as strong heroines and that speaks volumes. Also, you get to see all of your favorite fairy tales come to life. Who doesn’t want that in a show?
I don’t have to convince anyone that Game of Thrones is one of the best shows out there. This season started off slow for me, but I don’t mind that at all. There has been some important character development that I was excited to see. Also, for everyone who caught last week’s episode, how proud are you of our boy Jon Snow?! I can’t wait for tonight’s episode and I can’t wait to see the fashion that’s featured! Game of Thrones has the most beautiful costume designs and every time I watch the show I see such gorgeous clothing, each piece more intricate than the last. One of my missions in life is to commission every piece and dress every day like I’m about to sit on the Iron Throne. Until then, we have the brilliance that is everyday cosplay. This week, I’m featuring my favorite style influences from the show and I decided to do a special “Game of Thrones Fan” NerdyBound since there’s so many awesome retailers out there offering cute fashion themed around Game of Thrones. So, enjoy being a nerd, enjoy the show tonight and dress like the Khaleesi I know you are.
One of my favorite loves in life is anything and everything to do with Joss Whedon. So when I heard he was directing and writing The Avengers movie I had extremely high hopes and I was not disappointed. The Avengers would come to be my favorite movie of 2012 (along with everyone else that saw it, I’m sure). It was an unquenchable obsession with Loki/Tom Hiddleston that jump started my journey down that cyber rabbit hole known as Tumblr. I had always been a Marvel fan, but now I was in the Marvel fandom! I’ve made lifelong friends in this fandom and I basically got to go to my first San Diego Comic Con because of this fandom. I’m so happy that the Marvel Universe is a part of this superhero cinematic golden era we’re currently in because I get see my heroes come to life. We can criticize the mistakes movie adaptations make until we’re blue in the face, but you can’t deny the magic those movies bring to the fan experience. We get to cosplay outside of Cons, midnight screenings become instant fan meet-ups and, you know, if you’ve been to a good midnight screening, you know they’re kind of akin to a rock concert, the energy level is that amazing. Movies bring more fans, and with that comes more merchandise which equals more fan events. So, yes I’ll probably criticize with the best of them, but for now I’m just thanking the geek gods that Joss Whedon still manned the helm for The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
I’m so excited for the premiere of Age of Ultron! I can’t wait to see their interpretations of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Although I wish Loki could be the villain in every Avengers movie, I have to admit those trailers featuring Ultron with James Spader’s sexy voice had me going. So in honor of the premiere next weekend, I’m dedicating this NerdyBound to The Avengers! I just want to give a quick shout out to Hot Topic who is currently killing it in the everyday cosplay game. I’m a huge fan of their Orphan Black line and they’ve recently announced their new Avengers line. All of the looks are retro inspired takes on The Avengers, they’re all available in plus sizes, and I need to own every piece. I’m honestly so impressed and I can’t wait to see what fandom they do next. I didn’t use every piece in their line, but I felt I should mention it since I’m doing looks for the Avengers and if it were me reading this, I’d want a link to the line ASAP. There are so many Avengers to choose from, but I decided to stay true to the movies and only feature the film’s core group, as this is in honor of the premiere of Age of Ultron. I also had to feature Loki of course, because I would never not feature him in anything having to do with The Avengers. I hope you’re inspired to try one of these looks for the premiere!
Quicksilver(Okay, I know this isn’t Quicksilver from The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but I feel like the styling they chose for him really fell flat. I’m sorry, but I’m just not fond of it at all. Now Quicksilver from X-Men: Days of Future Past is amazing. I’m kind of obsessed with everything about him, and so I just had to base my NerdyBound Quicksilver on him.)
In honor of Orphan Black returning tonight, this week’s NerdyBound is all about my favorite clones. If you’ve never seen Orphan Black I can say with full confidence that you’re depriving yourself of one of life’s better creations. The show, in a nutshell, is about a girl who finds out she’s one in a set of clones that a corporation created and has been tracking and attempting to control for experimental purposes. There are also people/organizations who know of the existence of the clones that are trying to kill/harm them. This show is so smart, funny, emotional and full of mystery and suspense. It’s basically everything you’re asking for in a series and it features a diverse set of female characters from every walk of life that are real; this series doesn’t shy away from their flaws. Yes, I hate stereotyping female characters, but I also love when they show female characters as these strong, beautiful, and intelligent super humans. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.
I styled my looks around the Hot Topic Orphan Black Collection. I’m honestly so impressed by this collection. I’m so used to pop culture being sold to the public as photos on shirts and maybe a couple of themed accessories with more than just the name on it if you’re lucky. This collection not only recreated outfits from the show, but the designers added personal touches that portray each character’s personality. Sarah’s collection combines her outfit from episode one with established pieces that Sarah later wears regularly. Cosima’s collection is my favorite. They recreated her signature red dress, but added a DNA print which is just so perfect for our science loving clone, I love it. Her cardigan is a gorgeous ombre color that I would love on any piece of clothing, Orphan Black themed or not. I didn’t really use Alison’s collection here, only because I feel like the fans know Alison more for her iconic pink preppy looks. I get that Hot Topic was going for a housewife vibe and Alison totally goes Stepford all over the place, but I wanted to go for a more iconic “Alison” look. Helena’s collection is perfect and I want every single piece. They have the wedding dress, complete with Helena’s clone stick figure pattern. Also, both her jacket and top come with her angel wing scars printed on the back. Every item sold out during pre-sales and is almost selling out right now. The collection is also offered in exclusive plus size at Torrid.
I’ve always been obsessed with fashion, but unfortunately growing up a nerd meant that those worlds never really collided. There has been a nerd movement though and the times they have changed. Girls are encouraged to let their geek flags fly high and with that comes a demand for our favorite nerdy obsessions to come tailor made for us. This has brought upon one of my favorite new trends, everyday cosplay. It’s like someone heard my cries that I want to play dress up every day of my life and hand delivered this lovely escape of the mundane even if just for a little while.
Throughout this series, I hope I can give you new ideas for your everyday cosplays, and if you’re new to this I hope to inspire you to try it out or to incorporate pieces into your personal style. There are so many designers and retailers out there that cater to our everyday cosplay side, and I know my friends and I get really excited when we find new nerdy fashion online, so I just want to showcase all of that in one place. One of my inspirations is my favorite everyday cosplay blog, DisneyBound. It makes me want to move states just to be closer to Disneyland so I can DisneyBound all the time. This blog definitely inspires my Disney style in a way that I can incorporate it into my day to day life and all I could think of is I need to make this exist for all of my fandoms. I want to make a blog that not only showcases nerdy fashion, but fashion that’s achievable to everyone. I need the pieces to be budget friendly and being a curvalicious girl, I need plus size options. So I came up with NerdyBound! I’m excited to interpret my favorite fandoms through fashion with you.
I want to begin with one of my all-time favorite shows and a force to be reckoned with in the everyday cosplay game, Doctor Who. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to Doctor Who and it’s a beautiful thing. I remember being in love with this show after I caught a marathon on the SyFy channel (back when it used to be SciFi) and feeling like the weird girl, because no one had heard of this show and when I tried to explain it to people they all just commenced to slowly back away from me. Now it’s everywhere and everyone understands how powerful and emotional and amazing this show is and it just makes me a happy girl. This set was styled around the Her Universe Doctor Who line. I’m obsessed with Her Universe! They offer the cutest nerdy fashion around, their styles are current with the new movies coming out, and my favorite, their sizes range from XS-4XL.
I have to start with the Tardis, without the Tardis this show wouldn’t even exist. I wanted to do a look that you could wear from a convention straight into a date or just to hang out with your friends. Something that says intergalactic casual, but chic.
Her Universe is amazing and offers villain cosplay as well. They offer this Dalek dress in other colors and in a bodycon style as well. I thought it’d be fun to style the Dalek cosplay as a special occasion high end look. I tried to find structured pieces with a lot of clean geometric lines, so the essence of a Dalek who’s all business and very serious would be conveyed.
I think I might have to do a villains post, because there’s so many more Doctor who villains I’d like to do Nerdy Bound’s for. There are definitely many more options within the world of Doctor Who, like the companions and friends of the Doctor, but we’ll save those for later. Doctor Who even has an entire bath products line; you could nerdy bound your entire bathroom shower caddy and all. They even have pajamas so you’re set for every time of the day. The possibilities are endless. Feel free to send in requests for Nerdy Bounds. I hope you’re inspired to have fun with your style.
Rob Dunlop and Peter Lumby are a team of comic book writers behind the multimedia sensation Cosplay Fever. They became interested in showcasing the world of cosplay and it’s talented inhabitants when they were making appearances at different comic and anime conventions. Cosplay Fever was launched with two books of the duo’s photography, and has evolved with a new series of “lip-dub” videos that are spreading fast across the internet. I had the opportunity to chat with Rob about their inspiration and future plans for Cosplay Fever as well as their current lip dub of “Let Me Entertain You.”
Ari: How did you guys catch “cosplay fever” and do you also cosplay?
Rob: We don’t cosplay, but if we did I’m sure our costumes would be utterly terrible due to lack of sewing skills! Peter Lumby (the other half of Cosplay Fever) and I used to make comic books, so we went to a lot of cons over the years and saw this unusual but strangely alluring pastime growing around us. The first time we witnessed cosplayers en masse was at the MCM Expo in London, October 2005.
Ari: What aspect of the art form of cosplay do you like the most?
Rob: The creativity and ingenuity involved in the design. What I really love is when the original character lacks detail (for example when the character is from an old video game) yet they come to life in costume form. The transformation is almost magical
Ari: Are you inspired more by Japanese manga as an artform or Western Comics?
Rob: I’m a lot more familiar with western art forms, so that’s more of an inspiration to me. I wish I had more knowledge of Asian culture but that’s something I aim to address
Ari: What was your favorite thing about making both books?
Rob: Meeting all the amazing, talented cosplayers! When we embarked on this project, we hoped that we would at least be tolerated by the cosplay community but we were bowled over by how friendly and open minded everyone was. These days most of my friends seem to be cosplayers. They are like superior lifeforms.
Ari: How do you think cosplay in the UK is different from the rest of the world? Or Is cosplay in the UK different from the rest of the world?
Rob: The relatively small size of the country probably makes the scene more intimate than in Japan or the US. You don’t have to go to many cons before you feel like you know half the people there, which adds to the experience I think. And although I’m slightly biased I do think that we have some of the most skilled, passionate cosplayers here in the UK, who help to infuse the community with energy and creative ambition.
Ari: How has the culture of cosplay changed since you have been documenting it? Or has the culture of cosplay changed at all?
Rob: I don’t think the culture has changed really, but there’s more people cosplaying now, and perhaps the standard of costume has got more impressive. There’s a competitive edge to cosplaying, but as far as I can tell it’s a positive thing – great artists inspiring each other to always keep aiming higher.
Ari: How was Aya Con?
Rob: Sublime! And tiring They played our “Raise Your Glass” video on the big screen during the masquerade and it was epic being there for that. So much positive energy
Ari What was the main inspiration behind the new lip dub for “Let Me Entertain You”?
Rob: “Raise Your Glass” was a song about the triumph of the underdog, and it’s a contemporary American track. “Let Me Entertain You” has a different tone, it’s more sexy and edgy, and it’s an old Britpop classic, so we thought it would make a nice change in pace. The song was actually suggested to me by a friend. We don’t want to do the same kind of track every time. After the Aya vid we shot a zombie / cosplay music video, to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns n Roses, so that’ll be VERY different, when we finally get round to editing it
Ari: What inspired you to start making lip dubs?
Rob: To be honest, it was a lot to do with the technology. I only recently bought a DSLR camera which could shoot video. Before that I had cheap camcorder, but the quality was mediocre at best. If you look at youtube, pretty much everything made before 2008 looks horrible compared with what people can shoot today with a budget DSLR. The shallow depth of field you get with a nice lens on a DSLR is hard to beat, so us little guys can finally make videos which don’t look like they were shot with a phone.
I’m also a big fan of Ackson Lee’s cosplay videos. He has a lot of imitators but there’s only one Ackson. He has a great eye and knows how to construct a shot and choreograph action with little or no planning. He started something of a revolution in terms of cosplay videos and he’s rightfully become something of a legend. I also knew that if we tried to do anything similar it would just be Ackson-lite at best, so with the lip dubs we’re going down a different route.
Ari: What is your creative process?
Rob: After we choose a song, we try to find a theme so we can plan the intro scene, and we look for any particular lyrics which might work for certain characters. We lucked out with “Raise Your Glass”, which had a couple of lines that were perfect for some cosplayers we knew. The actual shots are worked out on the day, as we don’t know exactly what characters will be available, where we’ll be shooting or what the weather will be like. The camera is generally on a tripod, so that once we’re happy with the framing we can film a few people in a row, to speed things up. It’s a video tripod, which means we can do smooth tilting and panning when the performer moves around. If there’s time, we’ll shoot close shots, which have nice blurry backgrounds, and wide shots, which show the cosplayer’s full costume. We often shout and wave our arms around during the filming, and even bust out some dance moves ourselves, which probably looks quite frightening. There are a few cosplayers who need absolutely no direction, and they are constantly coming up with great ideas. Being prepared to try something new and risk failing is a great skill.
After the shoot comes the editing, which is fun but grueling due to the amount of footage we get. This is the price we pay for including so many performers, who are often singing the whole song. To be honest, it’s not a perfect system, hours and hours of footage to get 4 minutes of final video very inefficient, and I’m sure we’ll refine it in future to make the editing more manageable.
Ari: Any plans to bring Cosplay Fever to other countries besides the UK?
Rob: We’d love to go abroad with Cosplay Fever, but right now we don’t have the budget for that. If we get a publisher on board for the next book, or a con wants to ship us over, we’d go in a heartbeat