NYCC 2014: Cosplay Roundup

Every year I attend New York Comic Con more and more fans cosplay. It’s tough picking favorites but the ones that made me squee the most were Death from East of West and Steven Universe and his mom as Garnet. Oh and here’s my post about my Sailor Moon (aka Sailor Goon), Space Dandy and Spike Spiegel cosplay.

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NYCC 2014 Cosplay & Coords: Sailor Moon, Space Dandy, Cowboy Bebop & More

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It was only a year ago when I posted “Confessions of a First Time Cosplayer” and look how far I’ve come! Now I know I’m not building Tali armor from scratch like my friend and cosplay sensei @DarthRachel, but I’m proud of myself nonetheless.

Sailor Goon

I introduce to you, Sailor Goon; my gangsta take on Sailor Moon. I was Sailor Moon and my friend Roshi was Black Lady. People at the con said we were cute and creepy so mission accomplished basically.

I was inspired by Asiey Barbie’s Sailor Gang art on tumblr. I tagged her on Instagram and Twitter and her reaction was, “O.M.G. yasss, this is EXCELLENT!” and “I am SLAYED. absolute perfection.” She reblogged my post on Tumblr which is probably why it’s getting so many notes and said “YOU GUYS LOOK AT THIS FLAWLESSNESS”. So of course that made my day!

Artist Babs Tarr was also a big influence on this cosplay design. Her Bōsōzoku Sailor Scouts helped us come up with accessories like the denim jacket, patches and ripped nylon stockings. Babs was at NYCC this weekend so I was lucky enough to meet her and get a gorgeous Bōsōzoku Sailor Moon print and my Batgirl #1 signed. She is super sweet and LOVED our cosplay. She took a photo of us and gave us some of her stickers I actually planned on buying anyway!

As you can probably tell, Sailor Goon was my favorite cosplay of the weekend. The fun part was coming up with ways I could change Usagi’s regular costume from Moon to Goon. And my friend Roshi was giving some Black Moon realness with her Black Lady cosplay. Surprisingly, Sailor Goon was the first woman I’ve cosplayed. Up until now I’ve Rule 63’ed my favorite male characters like the Eleventh Doctor, Spike Spiegel and Space Dandy.

Space Dandy

Space Dandy is amazing… and weird. But that WTFness of Dandy is why I love it so much. I remember how excited I was hearing that the GAWD Shinichirō Watanabe of (Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo) was going to be the chief director of a new anime called Space Dandy. I admit, I had to adjust to the randomness of the show. Although Dandy is a bounty hunter in space, it’s nothing like Cowboy Bebop. Once I got that through my head, I fully enjoyed each episode. The finale was mind-blowing. Maybe I’ll blog about it at some point.

I’m not a crafty person at all, but I managed to make some Dandy accessories and I’m really proud myself, even though these are nothing compared to other stuff people make. It’s my first time “crafting” so give me a break! I made the necklace out of poster paper and paint marker, but it doesn’t look that bad as it sounds. It’s kind of like a Monet and looks better the further away you are. I hope my kanji isn’t too embarrassing; it was my first time writing that as well. The jacket is from Csddlink and I made Dandy’s belt buckle out of foam which I painted gold. Since I decided to go with high-waisted leggings, I turned the buckle into a pin. The items that are missing are his hair, bracelet and shoes. So this is kinda a half-assed cosplay. But now that I have most of his costume, I’ll give the rest my best effort next year.

I made a Space Dandy playlist because the music is so good. Shake your booty while reading this blog post, baby. It’s the Dandy way!

 

Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop 

If this looks familiar it’s because I did this female Spike last year. I loved it so much I had to do it again! Nothing new added to this except I’m channelling Faye Valentine with my purple hair. It’s been a year and I still haven’t gotten a good Spike wig. I’m the worst you guys I’m so sorry.

Kawaii Street Style

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I wasn’t always dressing up as someone else at NYCC. These last two additions aren’t cosplay but some pretty cute coords if I do say so myself.

On Friday I wore my new favorite sweater from Omo-Cat called ‘Toast Girl’. I was going for kawaii street style and did cult party kei makeup which is hard to notice because… you know… I’m black.

Subtle Princess Serenity 

*Queue magical girl transformation* I went from Sailor Goon by day, to Subtle Princess Serenity by night (with an emphasis on “subtle”). I wore this to the Fan Girls’ Night Out Party hosted by Geek Girl Brunch (that org I co-founded). There are tons of galaxy prints out there but the Shadowplay NYC shop on Etsy has some of the best I’ve seen. Better than Black Milk (yeah I said it!). I ordered two dresses from them and wore the Mystic Mountain Jersey Dress to FGNO. It features a Hubble Print of the Mystic Mountain, a Pillar in the Carina Nebula. I kept the space theme going and paired my Nebula dress with Princess Serenity and Sailor Moon accessories. I got so many compliments!

Well, that’s a wrap for my New York Comic Con cosplay and coords! Stay tuned to see if I get better at cosplay crafting next year. Spoiler: I probably won’t. I already have my eyes set on Leatherface Joker, Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolian and a a young Major Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell: Arise (all featured in my Cosplay Bucket List post).

Fangirl on a Budget: Cosplay Hair

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As I mentioned in the comic book edition of Fangirl on a Budget, being a geek girl can be pretty expensive, but being a cosplayer is even more expensive. Sometimes one cosplay can cost hundreds of dollars. Although it isn’t always easy to cut the costs of fabric and building materials for your costume, one way you could save some cash is with cosplay hair.

Wigs can be expensive and at times unavoidable. But, if your hair is similar in length to your cosplay character, but not color, try using hair chalk or comb-in hair color. I’ve been playing around with hair chalk since I’ve had my Rouge-inspired blonde streak. It’s a cute and non-permanent way to play around with hair colors. They wash out in about 1 to 2 washes and don’t damage your hair like bleaching and dying.

The products I tried in the video below are Creative Comb-In Hair Color (neon pink) and Hair Artist Hair Chalk (blue-green). The comb-in hair color pigment is vibrant, but keep in mind it can get a little messy since it is the like consistency of pudding and needs about 15 minutes to dry. The hair chalk isn’t messy at all and can be applied in less than 5 minutes. It’s like drawing on your hair which is kinda fun. In my experience hair chalk comes out bolder and brighter on light colored hair and is great if you want to do streaks or allover color. For dark brown and black hair I think hair chalk is best for streaks and highlights. The best thing is they both under 10 bucks.

I’ve been working with some fine folks from FYE on the reopening of their geeky pop culture store. If you’re in the NY tri-state area, check out the new FYE store in Woodbrigde Center Mall in New Jersey. They have lots of geeky pop culture clothes, toys and accessories. They’re even selling Her Universe! They have a beauty section where they sell hair chalk and other beauty products that are all under $10.

My Cosplay Bucket List

As you may remember from my post “Confessions of a First Time Cosplayer” I really like cosplaying. Who doesn’t?! But I have to admit, even after my numerous Doctor Who cosplays and my pretty killer femme Spike Spiegel, I still feel like a newb since I didn’t actually make anything from scratch myself. The designs and concepts were my own, but the crafting was not. But after some drinks with Cosplay Queen Darth Rachel and a little pep talk from her, I feel less newby.

I let my lack of craftiness limit me, but I will not let it hold me back any longer! I will try my damndest to create most of these clothes and items by hand. I will probably fail many times, but that’s part of the fun… right?

Either way, here’s my cosplay queue, the characters I want to cosplay badly because they are my faves and they look super freaking cool. Shout out to the homie Leslie IRL for the blog post idea!

 

Space Dandy 

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Space Dandy is ridiculous anime and I love it so much. I’ll genderbend this up with a ’50s style dress or skirt and top to match Dandy’s Greaser look. But this cosplay is actually happening irl at NYCC this year! I have the jacket already, I just need to make shoes. >_<

 

Delirium from Sandman

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Sandman is one of my favorite comic book series of all time. Delirium was definitely one of my favorite of the Endless. I was always excited when she would pop up in the comic. Making the wig for her cosplay will be fun!

 

Gwendolyn from Saga

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I freaked out when I first saw Gwendolyn. Being a black girl who reads comics, I don’t see lots of characters that look like me, so when BVK created bomb-ass Gwendolyn I was beside myself. Just look at her looking all magnificent!

 

Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell 

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The Major is one of my favorite characters ever! She’s a shining example of a strong female character. The Ghost in the Shell series is one of my all time faves as well. I even wrote a 20 page paper in grad school about GITS and post-humanism (see: Cyborgs Exist and Humanity is Doomed for a shorter version). There are so many looks I could go with; but I already know I’m not going to do the one where she doesn’t wear pants.

 

Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan

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Spider is one of my favorite comic book characters. He’s such a lovable bastard! I’m doing a genderbent Spider. I really like genderbending.

 

Leatherface Joker

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I want to cosplay Leatherface Joker so badly. He’s so gorgeously gruesome! I’ll probably genderbend this one too because I just like to do that and it’s fun. I have no idea how I will even do the mask but if there’s a will, there’ s a way!

 

Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time

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Oh my glob! How can you not love LSP?! With this cosplay I’ll probably go the non-lumpy route and wear a over-the-top dress instead, with a big purple wig and of course, the star.

 

Berg Katze from Gatchaman Crowds

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So I actually haven’t finished this anime yet… whoops. BUT I immediately fell in love with Berg Katze and his character design. I MEAN LOOK AT THAT HAIR! He’s fun villain and reminds me of the Joker because you don’t really hate him as much as you probably should.

“Say I Love You”: A Realistic Shoujo Anime… Sort of

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Nana broke my heart, in more ways than one. So after I dried my tears, I put on some lipstick, my best dress and went searching for a rebound anime. That’s when I ran into, Say “I Love You” (Suki-tte Ii na yo.).

[HorribleSubs]_Sukitte_Ii_na_yo._-_07_[480p].mkv_snapshot_04.00_[2012.11.20_10.39.10]I’m pretty picky with my shoujo since I typically prefer josei and seinen manga and anime. But of course, I find myself falling for some amazing shounen and shoujo like Bakuman and Ouran High School Host Club. I find a lot of shoujo anime too unrealistic for my tastes. I know, I know, that’s just the nature of the beast. But Say “I Love You” is not your typical shoujo. I found the characters and its depiction of high school life realistic… Well, as realistic as possible when you’re in shoujo land.

On the surface, it seems like the typical teenage romance you’ll find in a manga. Handsome popular boy, Yamato, falls for the wallflower, Mei. Yet, under the surface, there’s a lot more going on in this anime. But don’t fret shoujo-lovers! Say “I Love You” definitely has plenty of sappy moments and enough blushing to remind you what kind of anime you’re watching.

Despite their cliché appearance, the main characters have some depth and interesting qualities. Mei starts off as a socially awkward loner. She is quick to push people away and slow to trust others. But she’s emotionally stronger than she looks. As the anime progresses, she becomes more approachable and opens up her heart to friendship and love. She doesn’t make a complete change, but she’s getting there.say-i-love-you-anime-430x244

Then we have the charming Yamato, however, we discover he isn’t as perfect as everyone thinks. Mistakes he made in his past haunt him and he even makes some mistakes in his relationship with Mei. But he tries, and we love him for that. Although I do admit, I wish Mei didn’t need to fall in love with Yamato reconnect with the world… But it beez like that sometimes.

Because Nana was more mature and intense, I often felt like I was constantly getting my heart broken. Say “I Love You” was different. Oh trust me, it has its fair share of baby heartbreaks, but it also gives you moments that mend your heart.

Doki Doki: Anime & Manga Helped Me Get Over A Heartbreak

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Last year, I was going through some up and downs. Some of the downs had to do with love. I stayed home a lot because I was in a crappy mood and didn’t want to be crappy around my friends. Also, I just wanted to be alone a lot. Being a bum in my house was literally on my schedule. So what did I do? I turned to anime. Lots and lots of anime.

Nana_manga_anime7Anime was doing a great job distracting me from being sad. Despite being a fan of many geeky mediums, anime is what I turn to when I’m sad and need some cheering up. Then Nana came along and messed everything up. I thought it was going to be a cute, harmless little shōjo/josei anime, but by the time I got to episode 5 I felt like I was looking in a mirror. So much for a distraction, right? I became completely consumed with Nana after I started reading the manga. I began playing that, “Just one more chapter!” game, and before I realized, it was 3am.

Interestingly enough, I continued to obsess about Nana even though reading it made me sad. I turned to anime for temporary happiness, but I clung to the one that did just the opposite. I saw Nana and Hachi go through the same experiences I’ve been through, and because of that, I couldn’t look away. I hoped that in the end, they would live happily ever after, which would mean I would live happily ever after. But the manga is incomplete. The author, Ai Yazawa, became sick and wasn’t able to finish the story… my story. But I think in the end that was the point. Nana_manga_anime6

What I got out of my Nana experience was that regardless of how different everyone’s experience is with relationships, love and heartbreak, there are universal themes and truths we all go through. The manga forced me face my feelings of sadness in a space I normally associated with happiness. Nana was unfinished, but I imagined a happy ending for the characters… Because that’s what I deserve.

Manga & Millennials: How I Found Comfort in “Solanin”

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Solanin, by Inio Asano, is about Meiko Inoue, a recent college grad working a 9-5 that she hates. Sound like anyone you know? She fears she’ll end up a faceless employee, so she quits. Her boyfriend, Taneda Naruo is a freelance illustrator and doesn’t make enough to support himself so he permanently crashes at her apartment.

Meiko, like many of us twentysomethings, is in that transitory stage where she’ll have to make critical decisions that may affect the rest of her life. She struggles with figuring out her place in society, which causes her to question if she’s even cut out for the real world.

With our thirties tapping us Millennials on the shoulder, we are left with this nagging feeling to search for purpose before we get trapped in a passionless routine. (Queue existential crisis.) Like a remixed version of Joan Didion’s essays, a lot of us are “Slouching Towards Adulthood”. It’s a splinter we try to ignore. We hope it goes away, or that we’ll get used to the pain. But there will come a day when we’ll have to either do something about it, or decide to live with that splinter. To quote my favorite anime Cowboy Bebop, “You’re gonna carry that weight.”solanin_meiko

Meiko’s first step was quitting a job that wasn’t fulfilling. But what’s next? What do you do, when you don’t know what to do?

You live. You make mistakes. You get to know yourself. Find out what you like and what you don’t like. You cling to your passions like Teneda clung to music and his band. You do what you want to do.

I know I’m dangerously flirting with the age where I have to start acting like a self-sustaining adult. These are the years where I’m sculpting my future and I wasn’t happy with the shape it was taking. So I did something about it. Just like Meiko, I don’t want to end up spending 9+ hours of my day feeling empty.

I know nothing good can come by waiting for good to come. You have to take risks. It’s scary, but also exhilarating. If you’re a recent grad, or feeling lost about life and your place in it, I suggest reading Solanin.

Life’s too short to be anything but happy.

Always follow your happy.

Girl Gone Geek’s Best of 2013

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Let’s just dive right in, shall we?

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Game of the Year- Pokemon XY

I’m 2 badges away from beating the game because I keep getting distracted by Pokemon-Amie (but like, how can you not?!).

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Comic Book Series of the Year- Saga

What praise is left to say about Saga that hasn’t already been said? Saga is damn near perfect.

Runner up: Nowhere Men

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Comic Book Issue of the Year- Batman #17, Death of the Family Conclusion

The entire Death of the Family arc had me stressed. I was so concerned about Alfred’s wellbeing that I would think about him throughout the day and hope he was okay. Scott Snyder sure can come up with some twisted shit, but I love it!

Runner up: East of West #3

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Comeback of the Year- Sandman Overture          

I really just made this category to gush about Neil Gaiman. Sandman is one of my favorite comic book series of all time, so when I heard that he was making a prequel I practically had to call out of work because of the feels. Then! Then! They said that the J.H. Williams III was going to be the artist and I just about fell out of my seat. JH3 deserves an award alone for his imaginative panels in the first issue.

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Author of the Year- Matt Fraction

This guy! Hawkeye is pure brilliance and I was practically buzzing when I read the debut of Sex Criminals. It’s smart, funny, provocative and included a Lolita reference. What’s not to love?!

Runner up: Scott Snyder

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Artist of the Year- Fiona Staples

The characters in the Saga universe are pretty diverse to put it mildly, so it takes someone pretty amazing to make them all blend together. Fiona Staples does just that in a breathtaking way… Even that giant ogre with the dirty private parts.

Runner up: Nate Bellegarde

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Colorist of the Year- Jordie Bellaire

I am a super fan of Jordie Bellaire. From the clean lines of Nowhere Men to the expressive and painterly art of Pretty Deadly and American Vampire Anthology, Bellaire is a master of color.

Runner up: Fco Plascencia

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Show of the Year- Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad was flawless. I have never been this fully satisfied with a show since The Wire. Every episode, scene and line was carefully calculated and is easily one of the best shows. Ever.

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Film of the Year- Gravity

I don’t know what scared me more, The Conjuring or Gravity. It was intense, beautiful and emotional.

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Episode of the Year- Game of Thrones, The Red Wedding

:(

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Anime Series of the Year- Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

I saw someone on tumblr describe Attack on Titan as the anime that uses blood like most anime use cherry blossoms. Its first season was fully equipped with enough “holy shit” moments to probably last you the whole series. It’s a lot of fun.

Runner up: Another

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Anime Film of the Year- Wolf Children

I may, or may not have cried.

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Fandom of the Year- Welcome to Night Vale

Brilliant, eerie and funny! It’s basically Lovecraft without the stick up his ass.

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TV Special of the Year- Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor

Clearly, I just added this category so I could add Doctor Who to my list. The 50th anniversary episode was everything I needed it to be.

Confessions of a First Time Cosplayer

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I’ve cosplayed as the Eleventh Doctor, but for whatever reason, I feel like my femme Spike Spiegel was my first legitimate cosplay. I can now proudly call myself a cosplayer, albeit, with only one cosplay in my bank.

girlgonegeek_TicciRockabilly_sketchSit down, grab a cup of tea and I’ll tell you my cosplay story… It starts off with a major dilemma. I can’t sew for sh*t. Which is what always held me back. I felt like I wouldn’t be a “real” cosplayer because I can’t make my costume from scratch. But after a few months of deliberation I said “Eff it!”. I decided to be Spike Spiegel from my favorite anime series, Cowboy Bebop. With my Femme Eleven and now Spike, I find that I really enjoy crossplay and I might just make it my thing.

Since this would made from scratch (by someone else), why not femme it up and make it my own? I looked up a few rockabilly pin-up designers on Etsy and discovered TicciRockabilly. I loved her designs and contacted her about making my custom femme Spike cosplay. The sketch she came up with was better than I imagined!

The outfit wouldn’t be complete with a few accessories of course! I bought fake cigarettes and fake gun at Halloween Adventure. I also ordered some cute revolver earrings from Girl Props for only $2. It’s the little things. I tried two different green hair sprays to give my black hair the green highlights Spike has but it didn’t look good, so I went with a sleek and classic look instead. Femme Spike wouldn’t have messy hair in my mind, especially wearing a dress! Also not sure how she’d be able to Jeet Kune Do, but that’s besides the point.

It was down to the wire (literally the first day of New York Comic Con) but my outfit was finally complete and ready to make its début. People seemed to love it and I had a blast posing for photos! I now know why people love cosplaying so much. It made me so happy and I can’t wait for my next cosplay!

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Tattoo Tuesday: LunaRae’s Sailor Moon & Lion King Ink

Girl Gone Geek Blog Tattoo Tuesday LunaRae tattoos Lion King Yoshi Fullmetal Alchemist Sailor Moon

LunaRae is back with new tats! You may remember her from her Yoshi and Fullmetal Alchemist Tattoo Tuesday Featurette a while back. We’ll she mentioned in that interview getting new ink and now she’s here to show it off!

If you’re interested in being featured in a Tattoo Tuesday or Tattoo Tuesday Featurette please email me at girlgonegeekblog(@)gmail(dot)com. 

Tattoo Tuesday Featurette Interview with LunaRae:

What are your new tattoos of and why did you get them? 

Girl Gone Geek Blog Tattoo Tuesday LunaRae tattoos Sailor MoonLunaRae: Sailor Mars tattoo – this is the symbol seen in Sailor Moon Super S and Sailor Moon Stars. It took me a while to decide but I liked the idea of keeping my ankle tattoos as symbols. Sailor Mars is my favorite Sailor Senshi. I’m also an Aries, and my name is Rae. Perfect huh? After not being able to see my best friend/sister in over a year (because she had to move away for a while), we are finally reunited and I have my matching [Simba tattoos] this time!

I’m loving your geeky collection of tattoos! Any plans for new ones?  
LunaRae:  Future tattoo plans?: I’m debating on The Hunger Games Mockingjay pin for the outside of my left leg. The book series is by far one of my favorites, and the movie was really good as well. The other idea is to do my favorite APC (A Perfect Circle) album design (“Mer De Noms” album). There are always ideas going through my head about adding to my Yoshi tattoos on my back, but I’m still up in the air about it.
Where do you live on the internet?

I’m on Facebook of course, though I keep that personal. I do have a photography page there “LunaRaePhotography“. I am also on Deviantart, LunaRaeB.
Girl Gone Geek Blog Tattoo Tuesday LunaRae tattoos The Lion King Simba Girl Gone Geek Blog Tattoo Tuesday LunaRae tattoos The Lion King Simba 2