Celebrate Kirby Day by helping Kirby4Heroes!

Pop Culture Uncovered:

Come on out and celebrate Kirby Day!!!!

Originally posted on HAND OF FIRE:

August 28, 2014, just over two weeks from now, would have been the 97th birthday of Jack Kirby, who passed away twenty years ago, in 1994, at the age of seventy-six.

Kirby means so much to the history of comics that I believe his birthday ought to be, for fans, a holiday—a day of remembrance, celebration, and thanks. I think of it that way myself. As Tom Spurgeon has observed, over at The Comics Reporter,

there seems to be a slowly developing movement to honor Kirby on his birthday,

and I’m glad to participate in and encourage that. Kirby Day: a day for acknowledging comics, cartoonists, and in particular the history of the American comic book.

Kirby Day! I like the sound of that. And it can be much more than a private celebration among fans—it can be a way to give back:

Kirby4Heroes Facebook page--please lend your support!Kirby’s family continues to celebrate his…

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…and a Star Wars villain too?

*** PLEASE TAKE ANY RUMORS LIGHTLY UNTIL VERIFIED**

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Hot on the heels of possible storm trooper sightings, Baddassdigest.com claims that they have info of a new villain and the clue is in the photo. Allegedly, the note is from JJ Abrams.

 

The site wrote:

    “As had been rumored, they will be Inquisitors, connected to the characters to be introduced in Star Wars: Rebels (although my source says the word ‘Inquisitor’ has not been used on set, so maybe they’ll be called something else in the movie). But there’s more, and I can fill in the blanks.

    “There’s a main Inquistor [sic] villain (I don’t know his name) Want to know what he looks like?

    “He wears a black robe. His eyes are deep red. And half of his face is metal. He’s a cyborg. That was his hand in the picture JJ Abrams shared with the note about A Force For Change.”

Stay Tuned for more as it comes out.

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Are Stormtroopers returning for Episode VII?

**Even though you are seeing images, take these rumors with a large grain of bantha poodoo!!***

According to Indie Revolt, these images are possibly a modern take on the storm troopers forthcoming in Episode VII.  The designs have been slightly altered from what we all have known and loved over the decades and one of the designs looks to be a part of a hostile terrain gear set.
Nothing is knows as of yet on how the storm troopers or the Empire will figure in to the new movies but so far, these helmets look cool and I know a few 501st guys that are wetting their lips to be the first to build the new armor!

st1 st2photo credits to Indie Revolt

 

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Cosplay Spotlight: Elizabeth G. !!

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Elizabeth G (Studio Eingana) is an Actress and Cosplayer in the DC Metro Area.

She has been a costume designer for over six years. She is also an avid Podcaster and Marvel Funko Pop Collector. Liz has been featured on multiple media outlets for her Cosplay work and has appeared on many popular TV shows, including House of Cards.

 

Where are you from originally or reside currently: I am from NOWHERE (being an ex-military brat who lived all over the world, I really don’t have a home base). I currently reside in Alexandria, VA!

 

How long have you been cosplaying: I have been costume designing for about 6 years.

 

Other Characters cosplayed: Chii – Chobits Bulma – Dragon Ball Princess Serenity – Sailor Moon Purim – Secret of Mana Poison Ivy – Batman Botan – Yu Yu Hakush Ciel Phantomhive – Black Butler Kira – Rozen Maiden FemShep – Mass Effect FemEzio – Assassin’s Creed Nurse – Silent Hill Mononoke – Princess Mononoke Rainbow Dash – MLP Elizabeth – Bioshock: Infinite Flapper Loki – Thor Sailor Uranus – Sailor Moon Mafia Jinx – LoL Bucky (Winter Soldier) – Captain America Amora – Thor (In-Progress)

 

Website or facebook fan page: Studio Eingana

 

  1. Best costume that you pulled off that you thought you could not.

I think that the best Cosplay I was able to pull off was Commander Shepard (Mass Effect). I play/played the games religiously and felt like I could Cosplay her really well but was unsure on how I would look in armor and how people would react. Most of my Cosplays, at that time, were from Kawaii animes. To finally play a bad ass was exhilarating. Walking around in armor is my new favorite thing. What were some of the reactions that you got on it? I have received the best reactions with FemShep. I randomly wore it one time at a bar, with friends, and I felt like a star. Not only did I NOT have to pay for anything but having people take selfies with me and tell me that I made dreams come true was an amazing experience. I have also received a more emotional response than just a random fist pump or just a “Commander.” During Katsucon 2013, I received a tearful hug from a young girl. She said that it was the first time she had ever gone to a con and was always raised to believe girls were too weak to play tough characters. She stated that Commander Shepard was her hero because her gender did not define her ability to be the hero the universe needed. Seeing me in my armor brought her to tears because she said it was like seeing her favorite character actually come to life and prove that girls could be cool too. I treasure my FemShep and find it almost impossible to retire her.

 

  1. What do you find great about gender bender cosplay?

I am a little different when I “Gender Bend” a Cosplay. Some females think that if you turn a male cosplay sexy that you’re Gender Bending it; however, I disagree. My first Gender Bend was FemEzio from Assassin’s Creed. I wanted to do something new and different by making it a dress but not something I believed over-sexualized the character. I remember seeing someone on Tumblr reblogging my photo saying “The most modest Female Assassin I have ever seen.” That made me excited and also sad. In a society that is based on over-sexualizing women, I wanted to do a Cosplay that was a Gender Bend but also something that proved you didn’t have to show off your boobs to be an awesome Gender Bend Cosplayer. My second Gender Bend was Bucky (Winter Soldier). This was a full on Gender Bend. I’m an actress by design so I wanted to do a full on male version. I wanted to try my hand on method acting which means to actually talk and act like a boy while Cosplaying Bucky. I found it brought a very different experience to a con for me. When I wear my mask, no one knows I’m a girl. The high fives and the fist pumps from guys was so awesome. It was actually the first time I was treated normal at a con. I usually get mocked for being a “Fake Nerd” or sexually harassed.

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  1. Any character you want to do but is just impossible right now?

My dream cosplay is Queen Esther Blanchett from Trinity Blood. I am far too incapable of pulling this Cosplay off just now. I still have a lot to learn before I even attempt this Cosplay.

  1. Of course the hot topic is sexual harassment and cosplay. Any advice for MEN that may read this?

It’s sad that it even has to be a Hot Topic. I could spend hours talking about this subject but won’t bore you. All I will say is that I have been Sexually Harassed a lot at cons. Even if I’m just wearing my Marvel dress. Men seem to think it’s ok to walk up to a girl at a con and try to grab their ass or say inappropriate things to them. Real life isn’t 4Chan. You are not anonymous. Like I told the one man I punched in the face for grabbing my ass at Dragon Con, “Sexual Harassment is not an invisible threat at conventions. It is not a place where you can get away with it. It is just like any other place in the world. If you sexually Assault someone, there will be consequences.” The fact that I have to come up with game plans to make sure I am not alone at a con when it gets late, is a sad experience for me. Conventions are the one place where I feel normal and not judged. I really hope one day to see more men stand up for women because, honestly, men do not do these things. Only immature boys do this. We are all not “Fake Nerd Girls.” Some of us bleed Nerd. I’m not sure what color that would be but I am assuming some kind of rainbow. I was born a Nerd and will die a Nerd. My home and life is surrounded by comics, games, Cosplay, Star Wars Role-Playing, etc. I am not saying that all girls are real Nerds, but don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t assume that because a girl is pretty and has big boobs that she is just looking for attention when she Cosplays. I am an OCD Meticulous Asinine person and try and make my cosplays, as close as my budget will allow, to the exact design that the creators made it. It is not my fault that women are given bras and underwear as armor in games and comics. Blame the industry.

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Otakon- A Celebration of Firsts

by Britany Marriottbrit4

The well anticipated Otakon has come and gone and post con depression has swept over Facebook faster than the geek flu at a winter convention. I myself must say that I have a touch of it, but I will say that this is an Otakon that will go down in history for me.

This year when applications popped up on my RSS feed, I decided to just bite the bullet and show the otaku world what I had to offer with my close friend Margaret, the brains behind Magga Draws. This would be my first time selling my artwork at a convention whereas this would be Margaret’s first large con. Through months of stress and sketchpads we had finally made it to Thursday; the calm before the storm.

After having a great time at the Matsuri festival where all of the same groups of people who’ve had a table there last year (BSFS, AnimeUSA, etc.), Margaret met me at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum where we work, just to make sure we were able to meet up without confusion. We walked down past the long line down to the second set of doors to the convention center to just check in, but instead of the artists going there to check in where there was no line, we had our separate line inside the convention center. We did have line priority to skip the line so we would have extra time to set up. Unfortunately, waiting in line because there was only one set of people taking care of one artist at a time, the system shut down and we waited for two hours until it was back up and running. Hungry, tired, and ready to get out of line, with what little time we had left, Margaret and I had no choice to leave our stuff at our table and worry about set up tomorrow. That evening was met with a ton of friends I haven’t seen in a year (since last Otakon, really) who couldn’t get their ticket because they had cut off the line to make their 10:30 stopping point and others who successfully acquired their ticket after hours of waiting in line. After a few drinks and reminiscing of Otakon’s past my boyfriend met me there listening to the stories we shared about past experiences and of what’s to come; this was his first Otakon.

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After relaxing the night before I was ready to go and sell my artwork with my usual overconfidence dressed as Shadow the Hedgehog. My partner began to feel a little nervous, but what normal person wouldn’t be? We had a small grace period where the VIPs first came in an hour early to see what we had to offer and it was the calm before the storm.

Then the clouds rolled in and it began to rain.

There was no time to rest. There were times where I had no time to eat. During this time, unfortunately my boyfriend had to go to work during the day and experience Otakon at night because his job wouldn’t let him take off. After my first night I was super busy, Margaret was super happy, and he was super disappointed. He didn’t quite understand the obsession I felt about attending conventions and I didn’t understand why he hadn’t been consumed with a passion for conventions. The next day was a similar experience. More people visited my table with amazing costumes which I could take pictures of, having them take pictures of my Garnet costume from Steven Universe, buying my product, chatting with people who are in similar fandoms, and all around having a great time with my partner. However, even though I was having a blast, by the time my boyfriend got off of work and made his way back to the con, most of the things he was looking forward to go to already over and it was ending. We decided to have dinner and I began to tell him about the amazing day II. Even though he wasn’t happy with what his second day, he was proud of mine, which pushed him to go and experience the con for one last day.

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We both started on a bad start, with the bus running late (after the first one drove right passed us) and didn’t even get to the convention until much later, I was late to open my half of the table; understandable because I was dressed as a weeping angel which probably scared the driver off. My awesome tablemate took care of most of the work for me and I was off and running as soon as I sat down. Not only that, meeting people who love the cosplay I do, who just want to talk and share a conversation with me about fandoms is always my favorite part of this whole weekend. This was also the first day that my boyfriend could venture on his own during the day in his first ever cosplay: the 11th doctor to go with my weeping angel.

Once everything was done, I took the train home with my boyfriend who was extremely quiet with a large grin on his face. He looked at me and began to tell me a story. He fixed his bowtie as he walked me through his day of people taking his picture for the first time and having a great time talking with others without a worry for once. Then he started to tell me about a time where he was taking a picture and his wallet dropped out of his pocket. He didn’t notice it was gone until much later and hoping for a lucky strike, he decided to go to the lost and found just to see if it was there. It was there with all the money still inside. It was rearranged because it looked like someone was just looking for his ID. Nothing was missing. He sat there for a second letting it sink in. That was the first time he had ever experienced that sort of nobility; that sort of kindness in the outside world. He realized that with that level of chivalry still existing in conventions, he now knew why it meant so much to me to have cons in my life.

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Despite the waiting in line for hours, forgetting about missing the big events this year, letting go of the fact that we missed all of the panels that we wanted to see, just the fact that there was someone kind enough to do something as simple as return a wallet blew all of his expectations out of the water. There were several firsts that we both experienced that made our experience at Otakon this year. He grabbed my hand as we got of the light rail on the way home and after a couple of seconds of silence he turned to me and said, “I can’t wait for my second con. I already have a second cosplay in mind if you’d like to hear it.”

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The Review Crew – 8/14/2014

**AS ALWAYS, BE MINDFUL THAT THERE WILL BE SLIGHT SPOILERS, READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL!!**

 

 

 

 

All New X-Men #30

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Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Reviewer: Lee Gordon

The one thing about the All New X-Men is that you get to do all new things, although I wonder when the All New X-Men will become old and Marvel will start over with the All New, New X-Men #1.

All New X-Men is a playground. It gives today’s artists and creators a chance to play with the characters they grew up with. The original cast was brought forward in time allowing Scott to travel with his father, Jean to see how powerful she could be without the Phoenix force, and Bobby to use the same jokes on new people.

Issue 30 cheats a little by relying on the artwork for almost four full pages with no dialog. It reminds me a little of G.I. Joe #21, but not as good. I liked the idea of X-23 being happy with someone and at first it looked like it would be Scott, which felt natural, but it’s with Warren, as the cover dictates, and it feels forced.

Jean begins training with the White Queen. This is just wrong. I still consider her to be from the Hellfire Club, the image of her presiding over Kitty Pride telling the New Mutants that they will forever be hers from the last page of New Mutants #15 will forever be etched on my psyche.

Jean Grey seems a lot smarter, while Emma is still a bit… Emma, and that is only the first half. If you like Guardians of the Galaxy, you get a taste of that here. If you like crossovers, the last page works, and if you like a pacer issue between the Brotherhood and whatever comes next, this is it. All in all, a decent issue, but I am looking for something better, something maybe a little more old, than new.

3 stars out of 5

 

X #16

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Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Artist: Eric Nguyen
Reviewer: Ray Willis

At this point in time X has finally met a foe that’s literally out of league to fight after trying to get back in the fight. Mr. Winter who has came to discuss things with Carmine is one tough guy and whatever X has isn’t working against this guy. This issue is brutal with a very one sided fight that X has seen scene since the last arc. At the mercy of Winters he was prepared since he installed a device in the lock that spit sulfuric acid. Even after having acid in his face Winters shrugged it off after a few seconds. Winters is a monster taking everything that X throws at him such as breaking a knife at the blade with his bare hands, taking acid in the face, Winters smashed through a brick wall like Juggernaut. This man is near unstoppable. The dialogue is really good and art is very gritty and goes really well together. I did have some trouble deciphering who was taken out in a gunfight and how was Winters able to heal from a acid splash from X after a few panels. Also the art gets a bit rough in some panels. Overall this was a good issue with an intense fight taking place with the odds not in X’s favor with some minor gripes. Also someone gets kicked through a wall but you’ll have to read to see who.

4 out 5

 

Starlight #5

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Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Goran Parlov
Reviewer: Oz Longworth Jr or the Droid Nobody Was Looking For

You know, I was at the comic shop picking up the new releases for the week, I saw issue #5 of Starlight on the shelves and it occurred to me. Mark Millar is actually remaining on schedule with a book. And a really good book, too. It’s sort of a momentous occasion. Of course, the reason you’ve all gathered here on my page isn’t to hear me dump on the Infinite Iffy-ness of Mark Millar. It’s to hear the latest word on Starlight and the latest word is: This Book is Good.

This issue features a brief flashback from Duke McQueen’s sidekick, “Space Boy,” depicting the events on Tantalus that led to him recruiting the retired galactic swashbuckler. Not too long afterwards, the shit proceeds to hit the fan as the evil Kingfisher orders a massive assault on the rebels. The action beats here are exciting but not quite as brutal as we’ve come to expect from standard Millar. I mean, McQueen just persists in being a badass. The end of the book is the sort of thing that leaves with a downright childish ear to ear grin. We also get to spend a little more time with Kingfisher and he comes across as sort of a one dimensional Big Bad. But the fact that this is sort of a send up of old space serials means that kinda makes sense. I mean, let’s be honest. Ming the Merciless wasn’t exactly a villain of true depth like Ozymandias or Kanye West. Goran Parlov’s artwork is still strong but it still feels claustrophobic for a book that mainly takes place in an alien locale. Still, that’s a minor complaint in the grand scheme. This book is still dope and if you’re still not buying it….well, I don’t feel comfortable drinking after you anymore.

Bottom Line: This book is still strong in its simple straightforward nature. This was definitely one of Millar’s more fun outings.

 

4.5 out of 5

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Is the Comic Book Movie Bubble Set to Burst?

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By Aitch Cee

Comic and sci fi geeks are living in a very good time.   We are living in a time where not only we are getting movie treatments to some of our favorite characters but it’s also due to the fact that technology has advanced to a point that worlds only imagined through drawings and paintings have come to life.   3D and surround systems have fully immersed us in these worlds giving movie goers a unique experience.

As great as these times are, is there a point where we may have to reconsider what makes not just good movies but good art? The question arises as movie companies are in a scramble to lock in dates for their ‘next big franchise geek film’.   Just last week, a report came out listing all of the possible dates and movies we could expect between next year and 2020 and that’s just comic book movies and Star Wars films. It still hasn’t factored in any other new-ish Twilight-like movies or even new possible sci-fi projects or even 80s reboots. And God forbid if another Transformers movie comes out, which Michael Bay reportedly may not direct.

The question we need to ask ourselves is how much longer can Hollywood sustain making these types of movies that to a degree only attract a certain market before it’s deemed time to move on to other film? Everything has its time. In the 50’s and 60’s had religious movies, the 70’s were disaster movies which also gave rise to the blockbuster films thanks to Jaws, the 80s was all about teen comedies, sci-fi, and action movies and the list continues. So when we look at this trend now of superhero movies ruling the roost for nearly 20 years with Blade being one of the first to revitalize the genre, what will be the one film franchise that will tank that sees the demise of these films?

Then again, maybe it’s not so much that there has to be a film tanking that will spell the end of comic movies.   We have already seen films that tanked commercially, such as Green Lantern, Green Hornet, Punisher, Ghost Rider and a few others that didn’t quite live up to expectations yet the comic movie genre thrives. Of course, looking at some of the franchises just named, many of them are not top tier A list movies (with maybe Green Lantern being an exception) that were expected to thrive. But then, you have Iron Man.

What may have to happen is if there was a high ranking movie such as your Iron Man, Spider-Man or even Justice League or Avengers which is such a woeful commercial and critical failure that audiences start to see the fatigue of having so much of a good thing that we may not always recognize the mediocre films that are set in front of us.   Many still argue to this day about whether or not recent films such as Man of Steel was a good or bad film and what made it so in their eyes but one this is for sure, the companies don’t care as long as we still vote with our wallets.

Lastly, in the battle for our dollars, a question we must consider is who stands the most to lose should that day come when all geeks finally tire of superheroes on screen. One of the answers considered may not sit well with some of us but it may be Marvel Studios that may lose out the most should the day come that comic book movies are no longer the in thing. And the reason why is obvious as it’s all Marvel does is just comic book movies.   In a conversation I had last night with a good friend, he made the excellent point that as much as some fans say that the Batman vs Superman film must succeed in order for DC to stay viable in the movie making industry, truthfully, it doesn’t. For one, again, refer back to the Green Lantern. Then ask yourself what is the one edge that DC comic movies have over Marvel Studios? DC Entertainment is owned by Warner Brothers. The same company that has brought us Ocean’s Eleven (both original and remake) the Harry Potter series, dropped bombs on movie goers such as The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever. And it goes without saying that WB has brought about some Oscar worthy work with The Green Mile and The Departed. The point is, Warner Brothers is a diverse enough company that should a comic movie come out and fail, there are other movies in their portfolio that one failure won’t shutter their windows. Not to mention their animation division is top notch right now as well. Marvel Studios while now a part of Disney obviously is a lot more limited in their scope and to a degree, failure is not exactly an option.   As stated earlier, comic book movies is all that they do and right now even though financially they are hitting them out of the park with a high success rate, what will be that movie that could quite possibly pop the bubble?   Or is there a secret to Marvel Studios’ success that remains unknown to us? Obviously, many can point to the gamble that Marvel Studios took with Guardians of the Galaxy and wish to believe that they know something that many other companies don’t when it comes to taking virtually unknown franchises and making them into household names, but many pundits are sitting back and waiting for Marvel Studios to trip themselves up.

All good things are not meant to last and while we may be enjoying this renaissance of great comic book and sci-fi films that are coming, we have to remember that one day, this time we had will end and something else will take over. While our pockets may give companies a pulse on what the public thinks is good or not good, there are some of us that in the back of our minds feeling a sort of a fatigue coming on. We are getting what we asked for but …when will we say ‘stop’? When is enough of a good thing, enough?

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