This year has been marked by several outstanding events. From weddings to engagements, to conventions, Broadway shows and milestones. On a personal level, it is a year to remember. Entering October, with three months still in the balance, it’s a good time to go through a little reflection. Not to mention, I’m also gearing up for NaNoWriMo, which I’ve done the past three years (and won).
Fall is my favorite season. It really boils down to the coziness of the entire time. Also, the best things happen in fall. New York Comic Con, Halloween, Thanksgiving… basically nerdy stuff and food. I will be at NYCC this year as an attendee, which is nice considering last year I worked at the event. Looking toward next year, I hope to return as a guest. It will be another great year at the event as I am already booked to meet the great Stan Lee.
On Sept. 21, I had the opportunity to see Hamilton on Broadway. The musical created by the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda went above expectations for me. It was humorous and honest, self-depreciating and intelligent. I have been listening to the soundtrack on a daily basis since November of last year and it has truly been gift to me throughout the entire year. I mention it because I want to get to my point.
My life is filled with so much art. And fall is always that season where art is incessantly there. I curl up with books more, watch more movies and television shows. Even video games fit into this section. I am my best self when I am surrounded by it, and people who feel as strongly and passionate about art.
With a chill in the air and leaves returning to warming hues of autumn, I am most excited for all the art that I will get to experience.
So this year at New York Comic Con DC didn’t have much of a presence other than a few television show related panels (Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, Constantine…) and also the big homage to Batman and his 75th anniversary.
However, in 2016 it will be Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary. Though the woman with the indestructible gauntlets, a tiara, the Lasso of Truth, and sometimes an invisible airplane is a cultural icon just as synonymous as her DC mates Batman and Superman, she hasn’t quite received the same red carpet treatment them.
Just yesterday DC announced their 10 plan film from now until 2020. And Wonder Woman is on that list with Gal Gadot set to star (she is also starring in Batman vs. Superman and Justice League). Here’s the thing, this is Wonder Woman’s first big screen movie. In all her 73 years she has elusively slipped into supporting roles, or not even a role at all.
Wonder Woman was introduced to us in December 1941 in All Star Comics #8 and a month later she snagged her own cover on Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942.
At New York Comic Con I saw girls of all ages donning her iconic red, blue, and gold attire. They were each embodying the strength of the Amazonian. But it was only Batman who got the big stage lights on him. The homage to Batman included a moving statue and cardboard cutouts of his progression through the years. And Batman even got his own postage stamps.
Will Wonder Woman get the same treatment Batman did for his big birthday? We have yet to know.
I love Batman, but as a little girl Wonder Woman and all the other female characters amazed me on my favorite cartoons. They saved the day, they did not rest on their laurels like so many female characters are depicted on. They didn’t need to be saved because they were the ones doing the saving. It confused me because I don’t know what woman who is a damsel in distress and every other woman I saw depicted except for these ladies was always getting into some mischief. Not Wonder Woman. Not The Black Widow, not Storm, not She-Ra, not Hawkgirl, or Catwoman….
Women need to stop being depicted as secondary characters because we are not secondary people. We have jobs and roles in life. Many women are mothers, arguably the greatest role. And while more and more male characters get their own television shows such as the barrage of ones DC has been launching, women are once again being maligned. Women are killed or hurt or used as bait to progress the male characters story. Women are more than antiquated tropes and plot points for male characters.
The 2017 Wonder Woman is certainly a step towards the right direction but it is not the end for what the media companies need to wake up to. We don’t need just ‘strong female characters,’ we need well-written, engaging, and realistic women that reflect the women we see in our everyday lives.
Here’s to Wonder Woman, to many more years of breaking the mold.
I highlighted my experience with the Weta Workshop booth at New York Comic Con in my previous post, but I wanted to especially elaborate on the conversation I had.
Since I did do a quick write-up on one of my other blogs, I’m pretty much going to re-write that here and just edit out the choppiness and haste of the piece.
This conversation happened on Sunday, the last day of NYCC. My friend and I were just exploring the Weta booth which had great figures and props on display. One of the Weta guys, I assume he does something in the design work for them, came over to us and started a lovely conversation. He had on what looked like dwarf ears and you can tell from his New Zealand accent he traveled a great way to be here.
This gentleman explained to us how he had been working with Weta since the early planning stages for Lord of the Rings. He’s essentially worked there since about 1996/1997. He continued on with the conversation about Tauriel’s role in the Hobbit films. As you may or may not know, she is not a written character in the book, merely an invention of Peter Jackson and his writers.
So, this Weta guy begins telling us how many people have came up and told him how they felt about Tauriel [negative comments from book purists, positive from pretty much anyone else]. In the Hobbit it is mentioned that Thranduil has guards. The guy posed this question to me: couldn’t these guards be male and female?
I agreed with him on that one.
Next he talked about the running pool the crew has on whether or not Tauriel survives in The Battle of the Five Armies. It’s apparently been kept up in secret pertaining to her fate. I inquired as to what he thinks and why and he said he believes she dies as an impetus for Legolas to become involved in the eventual forming of the Fellowship.
I don’t like this reason. The problem with it is that it is a very tired trope we see all the time. It is poor female writing, especially for a character like Tauriel who is the embodiment of tough and boundary pushing. Constantly female characters are killed to further a male characters storyline. Constantly.
Anyway, we shifted the conversation back to the reception of Tauriel. The guy told me that Evangeline Lily, who plays Tauriel, was quite upset the first few weeks after hearing the backlash her character was getting. That must be so hard to hear, especially when Tauriel is an incredibly driven and intricate character and was delicately woven into the existing story as to not disrupt any main plot points. But, he also said she was one of the best actors on set. She did almost all of her own stunt work and was a joy to be around on set. He said he was reminded of Miranda Otto who kicked so much ass while filming the LOTR.
We closed out the conversation with him reminiscing about his time working on all of these movies. He definitely had a great sadness behind his eyes. At least Weta is a design company that is seemingly doing well, not like other studios that are paid feebly and shut down after the movie is out and made its bank (which is what happened to the studio responsible for creating Life of Pi’s visual effects).
All in all it was an enlightening and entertaining conversation.
Phew! It is a damn good thing today is Columbus Day because I definitely need a day to recuperate. New York Comic Con was intense! Intense in all the good ways, of course!
My first time at NYCC was in 2011, and I only got a taste of what it was since I was there for a few hours on the final day. This time around I won a 3-day pass from the wonderful Pete’s Basement Comic Book Talk Show and came equipped with a better knowledge of events and the floor layout.
I took my cousin Sandra as my first guest (I won 2 passes) and she has never been to a Comic Con. I think she totally loved it just by the sheer volume of pictures she took. We arrived to the Javits Center before 10am in hopes of making our way to the Marvel booth. All went well until we got inside, I wasn’t sure where we were in relativity to the booth (we walked in closest to the Weta Workshop booth) and by the time we elbowed our way to Marvel the line for the raffles was looped around a couple times. We still got on line praying for a miracle. Marvel set up their panels and autographing session with Clark Gregg a bit differently then the rest of the Con, you basically get on line and pick a ballot. Some ballots give you the wristband and some don’t so it is a complete gamble. We were maybe 10 people away from getting a chance to pick a raffle before we were told they were out. I’m guessing you have to seek your first-born child to get into a Marvel panel/screening because I lucked out the rest of the weekend too.
Denied but not defeated, my cousin and I perused the showroom, gaping at the ginormous Bumblebee at the Chevrolet booth (real person in there too). I bought an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. t-shirt from the Super Hero Stuff booth and I made it my mission to also track down a Funko Pop Vinvl of The Winter Soldier. That figure has been just as elusive as the character is and I finally found him an hour before we left. I also bought an original Winter Soldier paining by Tony Santiago and a Hello Kitty style Winter Soldier from I believe Tom Kelly. It’s pretty evident that I really love this character and I am so glad there was plenty of great artwork that has interpreted him.
Comic Con also has a lot of fun photo booths scattered all over the place. My cousin and I took lots of them and had lots of goofy faces to give the camera. Artists Alley was also another highlight. We spent a lot of time just watching these artists at work and admiring their craft. I know who to keep an eye out for as I learn more about comics and what I like in reading and viewing comics. It was really something special to meet Allen Bellman who drew for Marvel in the 1940s and 1950s.
Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) was doing his signing at the Marvel booth. We were able to watch him and got some photos of him. Gregg has one of those demeanors that make him look so warm and caring. Two of the people getting autographs signed had a phenomenal cosplay of Captain America and The Black Widow and Gregg jumped up to take a special picture with them. He is a total fanboy and proud.
Our day ended around 4:30/5ish. My cousin had to leave to go to work and I left with her because I needed her 3-day pass for Saturday since I was bringing a friend.
Saturday was easily the busiest day. My friend Cat and I arrived about an hour in and it was already bustling. Unfortunately, it had been a very rainy morning and while I kept my Winter Soldier metal arm dry, putting it on my own wet arm was a bad, bad, terrible idea. I suspected the top part was beginning to crack the night before when I was trying it on one last time but I felt it crack more on this morning. There is still no visible crack but it is going to need a Franken-fix on it. The water also smudged some of the paint. I couldn’t get the arm up to my shoulder due to my arm being wet so it didn’t look right in its placement. Also, I need to make the cuts better so I can have some mobility with it. ONE MORE THING: A lot of people kept bumping into my arm. Dear people, please try to respect anyone wearing a homemade costume, it is likely that we spent a LOT of time and MONEY on it and even if it’s not that good it is still near and dear to our hearts.
Despite my cosplay snafu I enjoyed the rest of my day. I didn’t buy much except for lunch, beer, and an Agent Jemma Simmons identification card. My bank account needed a rest from how much I spent on Friday. We tried to get into a couple panel’s such as the Mary Sue one on women in comics but we were shut out. We even showed up an hour before it would start. I guess I just don’t know how to get into them!
We met up with some other friends who had taken advantage of the fact you can buy alcohol. It was fun to talk with them and hear about their Con stories. I ended up taking the same train ride home with them which was definitely nicer than traveling by myself.
I arrived on time and by myself this time. My friend Erin was caught up in an assignment and didn’t make it until the late afternoon, but I am so glad she got to enjoy herself for a few hours. I did bring my nice D-SLR camera so I roamed the floor taking shots of people cosplaying. I’m always in awe over these costumes. The time, love, and craftsmanship that goes into them is astounding. It’s interesting to see what people chose to cosplay, to see what’s important to them.
Erin and I had a lot of fun trying on silly hats and goggles. We had a really awesome conversation with one of the guys from the Weta Workshop (post will come later). I bought some cool prints made from a 95 year old press machine and also a Doctor Who tumbler so I can enjoy my pumpkin spice beverages any time I want.
There was a guy outside of the Javits Center dressed up as The Doctor and he brought his own Tardis. He was a great sport and a fantastic Ten impersonator. He definitely put a lot of smiles of peoples faces that day, including mine.
New York Comic Con was a blast and I wish it was every month. I barely slept with how excited I was every night. There a few things left in my adulthood that cause that kind of reaction. It had a way of making me feel so relaxed. I was surrounded by things I love and people who love them just as passionately as I do. And like the heroes we admire, I had no fear.
Well, there’s now less than 365 days until next year, time to get planning!
Here are couple pictures I took throughout the weekend:
Today is the first day of New York Comic Con. I am attending tomorrow (Friday) through Sunday. But, in preparation for my long weekend of fun, I am checking off my lists to make sure it goes off without a hitch.
One of these steps is taking a look at the New York Comic Con Harassment Policy. It is so, super important that NYCC implemented a solid policy and it is one of the better things they’ve done this year.
There are whole blogs dedicated to exposing the assault that many cosplayers face, especially female. NYCC has made it very clear that assault of any kind will not be tolerated through their harassment policy. They teamed up with The Mary Sue, a geek culture website with a niche for female readers, to create this years policy. The one thing that stood out to me that is very, very important is:
If it’s difficult to read the main point of the above says ‘Cosplay is not consent.’
I definitely feel safer knowing I can wear what I want and if I feel someone is not treating me respectfully I can contact them through the NYCC App or a NYCC crew or security member. Just because someone has a costume on does not give you special privileges to their body. You do not get to touch someone because they are wearing a costume. Taking pictures without someone’s consent is also really weird.
I can’t wait for tomorrow and the rest of this weekend. It has been a few years since I’ve been to NYCC and I am looking to have a safe and amazing time. Remember everyone is entitled to having a great time and don’t be the one who ruins someones day. It really is as simple as that.
Here are some progress shots! I am now near completion!!
I spray painted my arm with Chrome Aluminum spray paint. It came out better than I expected.
Once all was good and dry I cut out a a star template, taped said template to arm and used painters tape to mark the shape out.
Then I did what normally takes place after preparing to paint, I painted. I used Behr’s Flirt Alert color because it’s a bold red against the shiny metallic Chrome Aluminum spray print I used on the arm.
This is just after painting. It dried pretty well, I don’t think I need a second coat, however, despite my best efforts to keep the lines straight, the painters tape didn’t stick well to the arm and there was some smudging on the edges. I may draw a thin black line around the star to keep it looking polished, but I’ll need another eye on that.
It is looking really great now that it’s painted and almost complete. Comic Con here I come!!!
I am going to New York Comic Con! I haven’t been since 2011 so I am SUPER EXCITED!
My favorite superhero movie is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, partly because I love Ed Brubaker’s comic that started it and also Sebastian Stan’s portrayal of the Winter Soldier.
So, I have been working on my costume, known in the nerd world as cosplay, of the Winter Soldier. I have a few steps left with making the arm, which is essentially the most difficult part of the costume. The rest of the costume is pretty much black clothes with some gadgets and gizmos. I’m also dressing as a female version of The Winter Soldier.
Here are some progression shots and my explanation of what’s going on:
1st Part: After wrapped my left arm in Saran wrap and then masking tape, we cut it off my arm. Here I am stuffing the makeshift cast of the arm with plastic bags so it will retain its shape during the process.
2nd Part: This is it closed back up. My biggest regret is not smoothing down the masking tape edges, it became such a headache later on.
Step 4: Here’s another picture of the application of the wood glue. This time I mixed the wood glue with water putty to have some flexibility in the material. After many coats and letting it drive I sanded it for days.
Step 5: This is the arm covered in worbla, a thermoplastic material. It’s hard when room temperature but once heated it becomes quite malleable. You can also see that I split the arm in two so I have bend my arm.
Not pictures, but will be in my part two of this post is cutting the back open again and affixing elastic to it so it doesn’t slide on my arm and stays fitted. I’m looking to spray paint it next and added details.