This is Not a Costume Party: Sugar Skulls Edition

Remember at the end of my last post when I said I had to run because I was picking up Melissa from the train station?  Well, she visited with me this weekend and as usual, the antics we got ourselves into could easily be used as the premise for a sitcom.  On Saturday night, we spent hours applying sugar skull makeup to our faces because we were attending a belated costume party to celebrate my friend Amanda’s birthday and Halloween.  We were supposed to arrive around 9pm, but as our makeup was taking longer than usual I texted Amanda to let her know.  She replied “LOL,” with no other explanation.  At 11pm when we finally entered the party there were a bunch of folks standing around outside dressed in everyday civilian clothing.  Mel and I glanced at each other but assured ourselves that once we walked inside the room would be decked out to the nines in elaborate costumes.  So as we entered the door, and surveyed the crowd, we burst out into a hysterical laughing fit because it was apparent that we were the only ones in costume.  The bouncer even told us to just go because he wouldn’t be able to tell if it was actually us anyway.  Amanda apologized and said she had no idea what I meant when I said our makeup was taking a long time.  She also forgot to text anyone to tell them not to wear costumes, but everyone else (besides Me & Melissa) had decided of their own accord and laziness to come without getting dressed up.  Luckily for us, we both love dressing up and since we both don’t care what other people think, we had a great time.  No one had any idea what we were, but that’s a whole other story.  Anyone who is unfamiliar with Long Island, may not know that most of the people here are not the most, er, accepting of people.  I dislike making generalizations about large groups of people because there are always exceptions but for the majority of my life I knew that I  was meant for Manhattan and not this island.  Anyway, we were receiving weird looks all night from strangers, and accidentally scaring people whenever we turned around.  But obviously, this was not an issue for us, because look how totally AWESOME our makeup turned out!

Because of Hurricane Sandy and her aftermath causing a lack of transportation in NYC, I missed my Wreck-It Ralph screening which I had been looking forward to for over a month.  I had been determined to see Wreck-It Ralph and the “Paperman” animated short early but since I was unable to, I had my heart set on catching it on opening weekend.  There is still a gas shortage and commuting hasn’t returned to normal just yet, but luckily the movie theater is very local so Melissa and I headed out to see them on Sunday afternoon.  I fell both madly and deeply in love with the “Paperman” short.  I even cried during it!  For me, there’s just something about Manhattan that enhances love stories.  Maybe it’s because I’ve lived near or in New York City for my whole life and I know that I belong here, so to see such a touching film set in my very own world leaves me feeling hopeful and inspired.  “Paperman” definitely deserves an Oscar and I’m very certain that it has a good shot after the Academy impressed me with their choice last year.  If you haven’t seen it yet, or would simply like to relive the magic of “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” you can click the link and be transported away :o)  I was so enthralled with “Paperman,” that upon arriving home I immediately tumbl’d a whole bunch of “Paperman” posts, and I even created my own paper airplane which I kissed after applying a coat of cherry red lipstick.  I was also extremely pleased with Wreck-It Ralph.  The movie was adorable and I loved all of the references to my favorite childhood video games.  I was charmed by each of the characters and I was definitely rooting for Ralph throughout the entirety of the film.  I might’ve cried during the actual movie too.  (Don’t judge me, I’m a sucker for Disney!)   It became apparent that if I ever were to move, the only other place I might enjoy living is Sugar Rush.  Disney did a wonderful job with both the animated short and the full length feature film.  Further proof that my favorite franchise (Star Wars, obviously), has fallen into good hands <3

I know I ended my last blog post gushing about my excitement for the upcoming holiday season, so I won’t bore you again :o)  But I will say that I am planning on making the absolute most of my season and enjoying each and every moment of it!  As you can see from the below photo I’ve already been unable to resist devouring some more of Starbucks’ Gingerbread lattes.  I also picked up a pair of Stormtrooper earmuffs from the Star Wars gift shop in Disney (after riding Star Tours five times) so I’d be prepared for my upcoming Manhattan adventures.  I’m most looking forward to wandering around the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park in the coming weeks.  What are you looking forward to this season?
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How I Spent Hurricane Sandy

Since Hurricane Sandy has struck, there has been little to no transportation available around New York, plus most establishments were out of power, and some still are.  Never in all of my years have I seen the school district close down for six consecutive days and counting.  I am so thankful that everyone in my family and all of my friends made it through the storm okay with only minor damage and power loss in some instances.  One thing Hurricane Sandy has forced me to do is spend a lot of time inside my house.  Work was closed for two days last week (we were nowhere near as lucky as the schools!), and I used that time to finish reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, reorganize my book and graphic novels shelves, reorganize and minimize my DVD collection, straighten up some of the cluttered areas in my room (all while watching The X-Files), and spend a lot of time watching classic movies with the rest of my family.  It feels like I’ve been on the go since last March so it was really nice to enjoy a relaxing week at home for a change.  Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy curling up in my bed with a good book and a hot cup of tea, or lounging on my downstairs couch for family movie nights.  It’s always lovely to reconnect at home and spend some time selfishly indulging in the things that make you happy.  But now that it has been a few days, I’m ready to run out to Manhattan for more adventures.  I have plenty of exciting things coming up this holiday season, which I’ll be sure to share with everyone :o)
(I almost never wear my glasses, and I definitely never post photos in them, but since so much of my time was spent at home it just seemed easier than putting in contacts everyday.)  Anyway,  before I left for Florida I took a Twitter poll to see what I should read.  I began reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline on my flight there thanks to the overwhelmingly positive recommendations of some of my Twitter followers!  After the first page of the story, I was absolutely hooked.  Cline mixes my love of the 80’s with my love of classic video games to create a compelling story about an international video game challenge where players were competing to inherit the fortune and control over OASIS in real life after the creator passed away and left a video explaining the prize and a clue to begin the contest as a part of his will.  It took years before the first key was found (there are three keys and three gates that must be cleared in order to win the game) but once Parzival got the ball rolling, it was only a matter of days before other gunters (players who devoted their lives to the hunt for Halliday’s hidden easter eggs), began to crack the vague clue.  I think I enjoyed this book so much because it felt like I was piecing together a puzzle.  I spent just as much time reading as I did contemplating the possible places keys could be found or how to clear any of the gates.  Cline wrote Ready Player One in a way that made it difficult for me to ever put it down.  If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest ordering a copy on Amazon so you can begin the hunt as well.  If you do read it, or have read it already, please tweet me with your thoughts or contact me on tumblr as I would love to discuss it!  My brother is currently reading my copy and it’s so difficult for me to keep my mouth shut about what’s going to happen while he finishes.
The next activity I mentioned was cleaning, but since that is extremely uninteresting I’ll move along to the classic movie marathon my family has been having.  I’ve always been a fan of old movies.  I find the glamour and classiness of old Hollywood to be irresistible.  The first night of the storm we watched Hitchcock’s Vertigo staring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak.  Stewart’s character Scottie is hired by his friend to tail his wife around town because he believes she has been possessed by a spirit.  As I’m sure you’d imagine, chaos ensues as Scottie gets closer and closer to his subject, and his affliction with vertigo plays a major role in the outcome of his assignment.  The next movie we watched was also done by Alfred Hitchcock, and is one of my personal favorites, Rear Window.  Jimmy Stewart also stars in Rear Window, but this time he is an adventurous photographer confined to his apartment after he breaks his leg.  He spends his time staring out his windows at his neighbors and gaining insight into their lives.  It’s all fun and games until he believes that he may have witnessed a crime.  With his the help of his companion, the lovely Grace Kelly, the duo collect evidence against their suspect and involve one of the local detectives.  The movie is quite exciting and the ending really moves you to the edge of your seat as you watch the story unfold.  The rest of my family hadn’t previously seen Rear Window so I was really happy that I was able to introduce them to it and share in their viewing experience.  We’re also planning on watching another one of my favorites, Casablanca, several Audrey Hepburn films, and a few more Hitchcock masterpieces in the coming weeks.

I’ve always been the kind of person who loves holidays.  It’s a great excuse to craft things, bake delicious pumpkin and gingerbread desserts, spend time with your loved ones, and simply enjoy the spirited atmosphere that surrounds them.  Christmas has always been my favorite, but Halloween is a close second.  Because of the storm we didn’t have a traditional Halloween this year but I still ate my candy and watched James Gunn flicks.  One of the most exciting things to happen this week (you know, besides that whole hurricane thing), is that Starbucks brought back their holiday cups!  That means that Christmas is right around the corner! I had my first gingerbread latte of the season this past Thursday and it was the perfect way to console myself for being at work while the rest of my friends and family were at home.

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On Meeting R.L. Stine at Spooky Empire

This past weekend was Florida’s annual horror convention, Spooky Empire, and I just so happen to be visiting my best friend/blog partner Kristin during that time.  I didn’t really know anything about the convention or what to expect while were heading there but I did notice that R.L. Stine was giving a Q&A Panel which was an event that I immediately knew I could not miss.  I credit R.L. Stine with being the man who changed my childhood and made me love reading.  When I was younger, there was nothing more exciting to me than acquiring a new Goosebumps book.  My grandmother lived within walking distance of an independent bookstore called The Oaktree Bookstore (sadly, it’s no longer there), and every time I would visit her, we would walk there together and she would buy me a new Goosebumps book.  I’ll never forget how overcome with happiness I had felt in those pre-internet days when I would walk into Oaktree, hurry over to the Goosebumps section and see that a new book had been released and added to R.L.’s shelf.  After carefully choosing my next read, my Grandma and I would also buy candy from the card store, and then run back to her house where I would immediately begin my next horrific adventure.  Whether it was a Halloween mask that adhered to it’s wearer, a ventriloquist dummy named Slappy who plays ill hearted pranks on his owners, a hamster named Cuddles who ingests Monster Blood, or a pair of lawn gnomes who wreak havoc while everyone sleeps, I could not get enough of Goosebumps.  I owned and read all 62 of the original Goosebumps books in the series multiple times, took out all of the television adaptation VHS tapes from the library for multiple viewings, and collected every last Goosebumps trading card available.  It’s been a long time since I was a child and experienced Goosebumps, but in that moment, at Spooky Empire, everything came flooding back to me as I shoved Kristin and yelled to her that R.L. Stine had just strolled past us on the show floor!
Kristin was shocked at my reaction and asked me how I was even sure that was R.L. since he was just nonchalantly walking around and chatting with fans in line for his panel, and I turned to her and desperately exclaimed that I just knew!  I waited for him to finish his conversation and then nervously ran over to introduce myself and thank him for making my childhood so memorable.  R.L. was friendly, and kind, and had an amazing sense of humor.  I told him the story about my grandma and how he is responsible for getting me excited about reading. He thanked me for telling him and when I told him that I read all of his books, he said “hey and you turned out okay!”  It was honestly a dream come true.  It’s been 3 days since I met him and I still cannot stop talking about it every chance I get.  But the reason R.L. Stine was in attendance was to promote his newest adult novel, Red Rain.  He explained during the panel that all of his readers had grown up and he has become nostalgia.  He didn’t like that feeling so he wrote a book to cater to all of his long time fans.  He also informed us that he had spent so much time writing about good kids, that he thought it was time to write about some evil ones.  Stine explained that while most people find children to be frightening, everyone finds twin children to be exceptionally scary.  Even an actual twin he spoke too.  He talked to us all about Goosebumps and Red Rain for nearly 90 minutes and I left feeling enthused and with a renewed love of my favorite childhood author.  I was able to get a copy of Stine’s Red Rain at Book Expo last June, and it is now at the top of my reading list.  I’ll let you all know how it is via Twitter and tumblr!  So I’ll leave you, dear reader, with one of my favorite aspects of Goosebumps, their irresistible cover art :o)
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Star Wars Celebration VI: Her Universe Fashion Shoot

This past August I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a convention that I have always dreamed about experiencing firsthand, Star Wars Celebration.  I was asked to help film for FanGirl TV, a new webseries that focuses on fangirls who love all things geeky.  The convention was being held in Orlando, Florida, which is also the home to my lovely blog partner Kristin Fowler, so the decision to accept was a very simple one to make.  After a lengthy drive down to Florida, the guys I traveled with (Gary, Brandon & Dave) and I finally arrived and began filming.  I was in charge of interviewing the girls we selected to film including Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the brains behind one of my favorite clothing companies, Her Universe.  Kristin and I often gush about Ashley’s designs on our site On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.  I was so overcome with excitement about having the opportunity to interview Ashley, that I completely forgot to be nervous.  And once we started chatting, I quickly realized there was never any need to be worried after all because Ashley was nicer than I could’ve ever imagined!  She is very genuine and friendly and you can easily tell how much she cares about her fans and the girls wearing her line.  Which is one of the reasons Ashley decided to host a photo shoot at Star Wars Celebration featuring the real girls who wear her clothes as the models.  The photo shoot was a lot of fun and you can see the pics on the Her Universe Facebook page.
As a long time Her Universe fangirl, I was so happy to have been part of the photo shoot.  The only challenging part was deciding which piece to wear!  I currently own all of the Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, and the majority of Star Wars clothing Her Universe sells, but seeing as how this was a Star Wars convention, I was able to rule out BSG and DW.  You would think that would make choosing simpler, but believe me it was no easy task.  (And if you don’t believe me, you can see for yourself by checking out the extensive merchandise selection in Her Universe’s online shop).  In fact, for the duration of our car ride to Florida, pretty much all I talked about was how the Her Universe booth had to be our first stop because I was dying to obtain the limited edition R2D2 charm, and the Mara Jade t-shirt (both of which I purchased, along with the Rebel and Imperial tanks and Ahsoka tunic).  After careful deliberation, I decided to wear the Star Wars Calavera Vader scoop tee with a Star Wars miniskirt and hair bow that I made myself from fabric patterned with 70’s Star Wars comics.  I had such a great time getting ready and Ashley made the photo shoot super fun.  You can also watch the video of Ashley taken by my coworkers at FanGirl TV.  It’s interspersed with clips of me modeling during the photo shoot!
And just for fun, here are some of my other favorite photos from Star Wars Celebration:
Me & my Star Wars lunch box from William Sonoma
Me & Ashley Eckstein after I interviewed her for FanGirl TV
Me & Katie Cook (One of my favorite artists!)
Me wishing R2D2 & C3PO will save me soon
That time I convinced a Stormtrooper to give me his blaster
Kristin & I riding Tauntaun’s
The Mara Jade shirt by Her Universe that I acquired at Celebration
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5 Comic Book Characters I Relate To Most

Anyone that has known me since I was old enough to write can attest to the fact that I adore making lists.  Whether they be traditional to do lists or grocery shopping lists, New Years Resolutions and goal oriented lists, or simply lists of the next movies, television series, or books I plan to indulge in, I cannot get enough when it comes to list making.  Perhaps it’s the accomplished sense I experience when I get to slide my pen across the page and cross off another thing I’ve completed.  Others may argue that I have OCD, but either way, no one can come between me and my lists.  So for my first list blog post, I decided to layout the top 5 comic book characters I relate to most.  I don’t think anyone will be surprised which leading lady comes in at number one but I will spell out exactly why I identify with her so closely.
5. Sailor Moon – For one thing, Usagi Tsukino and I can certainly both rock pigtails and bow-back dresses.  Throughout the manga series Sailor Moon grows to be a more mature heroine than she is in the first book which is something we all go through in our own lives.  Both Usagi and I share a love of arcade games and comics, and we both spend a lot of our time daydreaming and shopping.  Other similarities include our love of ice cream and other sweets, pretty jewelry, rabbits, and the color pink.  We both value friendship above all else and we’re always successful at achieving our goals once we set our mind to them.  Sailor Moon is a true friend and she is always going out of her way to befriend other girls and include them in her group of Sailor Scouts.
4. Casey Blevins – Casey Blevins of the Morning Glories ranks as number four on my list of comic book characters I relate to most.  Casey is very close with her family and even after her admittance to MGA, she refuses to cut off contact with her parents.  She tends to take on a similar persona to me in that she is always looking out for other people (ie. Jade).  Casey never gives up hope in Jade and she is able to help turn her life around.  Casey is a determined girl who will not let anything get in her way.  She takes responsibility for her actions, and for events that she cannot truly be held accountable for.  Casey takes on the leadership role in her group and she plots to get even with the evil Headmistress without any concern for the consequences of her actions.  To put it quite frankly, Casey is full of spunk and she realizes that she is responsible for her own future.  She takes the necessary actions to change her life’s course instead of wallowing in sorrow about her loss and complaining like other kids her age may do.
3. Cinderella From Fabletown – I’ve always enjoyed Cinderella from the Fables series, but it wasn’t until she received her own spinoff series that I realized just how similar the two of us are.  Cinderella comes off as an innocent Fable who loves shoes (she owns her own shop) and traveling around the country.  Many of the other Fables think Cindy is kind of flaky partly because she assumes a dumb blonde stereotype, but little do they know that Cinderella is actually an undercover agent carrying out missions for Bigby.  Both Cinderella and I have been trained in martial arts (crazy, and downright unexpected, right?!).  There is more to both of us than meets the eye.  Part of the reason Cinderella is able to be such a master of espionage is because, like me, she looks very nonthreatening.  The back cover of the first volume of Cinderella From Fabletown says it best “Fashionista, Socialite – Spy? Hey, if the shoe fits…”
2. Supergirl – Kara Zor-El, or my Kryptonian counterpart as I often refer to her, exerts an energy level that rivals my own.  We both thrive in the warm yellow Earth sun and it serves as a method of recharging our batteries so to speak.  In the summer, I barely sleep and I’m able to function perfectly.   This ability actually tempts me to move to a place that’s warm year round (but alas, I can never picture myself leaving New York City).  Like me, Kara is very motivated and is more concerned with her career than she is with other distractions.  We both recover quickly and have quick metabolisms.  Kara is blonde, bold, brave and willing to risk her life for her family.  I’ve also recently taken a strong liking to the Supergirl of DC Nation’s Super Best Friends Forever, because really, where would a girl be without her super friends?
1. Gwen Stacy – Everyone who follows my twitter account should’ve known that Gwen Stacy would be number one on this list.  Gwen and I share many similar characteristics in addition to our love of Spider-Man.  This past June when I saw The Amazing Spider-Man movie, I could barely breathe when Peter Parker set foot into the OsCorp building because of how familiar it was.  Within seconds I realized that the actual building filmed as OsCorp where Gwen Stacy interned was the Hearst Building in Columbus Circle, which is the very same building that I myself interned in while I was in college.  Unlike Mary Jane, Gwen is interested in science and she genuinely falls in love with Peter Parker whereas MJ seems more drawn to the mask than the man behind it.  That’s not to say that Gwen and Peter don’t have their fair share of issues, but hey, whoever said true love is easy?  One thing Gwen and I definitely share is our ability to be rational in difficult situations.  Upon reading Marvels, one can see that although Spider-Man is present in the death of her father, Captain Stacy, Gwen is able to be logical and realize that Spider-Man is not to blame for the unfortunate event that occurred.  Another quality we share is the ability to forgive people no matter how deeply they’ve hurt us.  Gwen is a good hearted character who doesn’t want to see anybody get hurt.  Above is a painting of Gwen Stacy done by Paolo M. Rivera which was brought to my attention by Dan Slott (@DanSlott).  The painting closely resembles me and I’ve loved it ever since Dan tweeted it!
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My Favorite Moments: New York Comic Con 2012

New York Comic Con is the convention that I look forward to attending every year.  It’s local, it’s not overwhelmingly crowded and the panels are usually pretty interesting.  That is, until this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast at NYCC, but there is no doubt that the Javits Center severely oversold the event this year.  There was even a point on Saturday when they closed all of the doors and were not admitting any more attendees into the convention because they were over capacity.  I had arrived late that day, but luckily because I had a press badge and Melissa had an exhibitor badge we were permitted to enter anyway.  I had also heard people complaining about the lack of guests and interesting panels.  I disagree with this point.  Last year, the two big panels were The Walking Dead and The Avengers panels.  The Walking Dead returned for a panel again this year, but it wouldn’t have made sense for The Avengers to return when their next movie isn’t scheduled to be released for a few years.  Plus, Clark Gregg crashed the Marvel TV panel to be there when Joss Whedon and Kevin Fiege’s video clips announced that the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series would feature Agent Coulson.  That’s pretty darn exciting if you ask me!  Not to mention that Tom Felton, Adam West, Burt Ward, and Stephen Arnell (the new Arrow) were all in attendance.  As for other guests, I was very pleased.  Maybe it’s because I love comics, but the main reason that I attend conventions is to see the authors and artists behind each of my favorite series.  I don’t get overly excited when I meet movie stars, but place me in front of an author like Neil Gaiman and I’m speechless.  I love getting my books signed and just being able to have a few moments in the presence of someone talented enough to have created a series I respect.
So now, for my favorite parts of NYCC.  I was really pleased with the amount of Twitter people I was able to run into at the convention.  It’s so lovely to be able to finally put an IRL face and voice to a Twitter handle.  I do wish I could’ve spent more time with some of the people I met, but NYCC weekend flew past like a whirlwind.  I didn’t even get to spend the majority of time with my close friends with the exception of Melissa (@mechamelissa) and Jen (@jennifermarie). Luckily, I was able to catch up with some others that I missed at the con at the after parties.  On Thursday night, Melissa, Chris (@CapSteveRogers), and I ended our night early and nommed on Mexican food and margaritas before turning in.  It was the perfect end to an exhausting day.  The following night, Melissa, Alan (@SizzlerKistler), Lisa (@LisaMcMullan) and I attended the Psychology of Cosplay panel given by none other than Andrea (@ArkhamAsylumDoc) and Jill (@TheNerdyBird).  It was a great panel and the girls did a wonderful job speaking and informing us about cosplay demographics!  Immediately afterward we headed to The Mary Sue & Her Universe party which was moved to Beer Authority after the Houndstooth Pub lost the reservation.  We had a great time just hanging out and eating cheesecake and fries.  Saturday night was by far my favorite night of parties.  We left the convention around 10pm and attended the Geek Girl party at Stitch, followed by the Marvel Comics party.  In fact, we had so much fun that we didn’t end up getting back to Melissa’s until 5 AM (which we undoubtedly paid for the next morning).  It was so much fun catching up with Brad Walker (@IamBradWalker), who drew the art for Guardians of the Galaxy.  He just looked on at us embarrassed when Jen, Melissa, and I broke out into an Oasis sing along.
Part of what I find most fun about going to any convention is putting together outfits.  On Thursday (the first photo), I was decked out in Wonder Woman attire which other people kept referring to as a costume.  I had to assure them that those were in fact my normal clothes and are the way I dress on a day to day basis.  The next day, Jen and I wore our galaxy dresses by Black Milk and I made us complimenting Lantern headbands.  Jen is a Sinestro fan so she represented the Yellow Lanterns while I stuck to the classic Green Hal Jordan.  We were planning on collecting Lanterns to take photos with, but sadly we did not see very many Lantern cosplayers.  Then on Saturday we donned more of our BlackMilk pieces.  We attended the con as the droids you’ve been looking for with me as R2 and Jen as C3PO.  Almost immediately after entering the con, Melissa and I decided to impulsively purchase wigs and we spent the rest of the day roaming in our vibrant headwear.  Our friend Lauren (@LaurenMoran), was also dressed as an adorable Ewok on Saturday so she perfectly fit in with our theme!  Then on Sunday, I decided to cosplay since I hadn’t any of the other days.  I went as Stephanie Brown Batgirl and Melissa went as female Solomon Grundy.
As for highlights inside the convention, I was really excited to meet Jim McCann and get a signed copy of his Mind the Gap Volume 1 trade.  I’ve been loving each issue of the series and Jim even gave me his email address so I can interview him for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.  I also acquired a signed copy of Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, a beautiful Harley Quinn statue by Kotobuyika, an Indiana Jones Handbook from my friend Eric (@EricSmithRocks) at Quirk Books (@QuirkBooks), a few adorable tees from WeLoveFine (@WeLoveFineTees) which I’m sure I’ll be modeling soon via instagram, a signed Fables print from Bill Willingham, Harley Quinn and Batgirl iPhone cases, and I had Kyle Higgins sign my Nightwing trade.  And, I was able to accomplish my one convention goal which was to meet Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples and have them sign a Saga trade for me.  We arrived at the Midtown signing quite late, but thanks to Thor Parker (@ThorParker), we were able to get in line and be the last few to meet them!  Overall, I’d say it was a very successful convention.  I’m sure that I’m forgetting things because like I said before, this NYCC really did fly by.  What were your favorite moments from NYCC?  Let me know in the comments section, on Twitter, or tumblr!  And for a full album on NYCC pics, feel free to friend me on Facebook.
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Batman #13 by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

I’ve always deeply loved and adored Gotham’s finest crime fighting Bat team, whether they’re gradually kicking butt across the beautifully drawn panels in a comic, animatedly doing so on my television, or being portrayed by actors on the big screen.  I definitely own more Batman comics and trades than any other title in my personal library and I love each and every one with my whole heart.  I’ve often spoken with people (more recently) that have enjoyed the Christopher Nolan films, but are intimidated by the comics because they’re unsure where a good starting point would be amongst all of the Bat history.  With DC’s reboot of The New 52 last year, it made it easier for some folks to jump in on the story and gain some background knowledge before delving further and exploring the extensive Bat lore.  Many longtime comics readers have been critical of DC’s New 52, but I myself was thrilled to be given the opportunity to introduce my world to a bunch of newbies.  Having already been very familiar with Batman, and with Scott Snyder’s beautiful prose, I had very high hopes for the series and as anyone who has been reading will tell you, Snyder and Capullo’s Batman is certainly a standout in the new wave.  If you haven’t already, you can pick up a copy of the first trade Batman Volume 1: Court of Owlsand the second trade Batman Volume 2: The City of Owls on Amazon.  And you can read my spoiler free review of the issue after the photo ^.^
After tearing through the first 12 issues of Batman, and waiting (not so) patiently after reading all of Scott Snyder‘s tweets, I was extremely anxious and excited to see one of my favorite villains return to wreak some havoc in Gotham city.  After months and months of waiting, it finally happened.  Today was the day that the new story arc began and The Joker himself resurfaced!  I literally counted down the minutes until my lunch break so I could run to my comic book shop and hold in my hands the very issue I had been coveting all along.  If anyone could write a Joker story, it would be Scott Snyder.  Again, the high expectations were set, the pressure was on, and my heart began to race as the first speech bubble appeared at the top of the page.  I read and read until finally, on page 8 his giant face graced Bruce’s monitor.  I don’t want to spoil any of the issue for those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I will say that it was everything I wanted in a Joker-centric story arc and more.  And it was only the first issue!  Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl all were already involved in the story, and The Joker made it clear to Gordon that he has is out for Barbara.  There was even an appearance by my favorite female villain, The Joker’s lovely counterpart, Harley Quinn.  The final page of the issue was so shocking and terrifying, that I’m quite uncertain as to how I will be able to wait until next month to get another piece of the story.  And as always, the artwork is absolutely breathtaking.  Greg Capullo designed gorgeous die cut covers for each of the issue #13’s of the titles involved in the “Death in the Family” story arc which I recently blogged about for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.  I was pleased to find that I was able to intimidate several of my instagram followers who all admitted that they would be having nightmares after viewing my ‘mask.’  On Sunday during NYCC, my number one priority is to attend DC’s Bat panel, and if the audience dons Joker masks (at SDCC they were all Court-of-Owls-mask-clad) I will simply squee in delight!  What have you all thought of the story so far?!  Tell me in the comments, on twitter, or on tumblr!
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A Weekend Full of Zombies & Doctor Who

Q: What do a Doctor Who bar, Looper, a Zombie Walk, Mean Girls, and Left 4 Dead all have in common? A: They were all contributing elements to my fabulous weekend!  And what’s even better is that 1) it’s not yet over, and 2) NEW YORK COMIC CON STARTS THIS WEEK!  After a stressful day at work on Friday, I was forced to employ my Speed Racette driving techniques to ensure I made my train into Manhattan.  Seriously, I need to move there ASAP so I can avoid these types of close calls!  First on the agenda was to see the movie Looper, staring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis.    I had been wanting to see it since the movie trailer was released because besides the obvious reason (JGL), time travel is my absolute favorite sci-fi subject to explore in movies, novels, television, and *crosses fingers* hopefully IRL one day.  After a brief mishap with the ticket machine (aka Melissa & I’s first blonde moment of the weekend), we purchased our movie snacks and headed into the theater.  It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth and thankfully the concession stand at the theater was able to satisfy my major Sour Patch Kids craving.  Overall I really enjoyed Looper.  I’m thinking about writing a full review of it for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink sometime this week if I can find the time between all of my NYCC planning. I was excited to see that Paul Dano had a small part in the film.  I’ve loved him since I saw him in Little Miss Sunshine, and I’ve been following his film career ever since.  Immediately following the movie, we were planning on going to the Bottleneck Gallery for their Zombie Art Gallery opening, but since we have all month to view it, we opted instead to head over to The Way Station.
It was my first time going to the famed Brooklyn Doctor Who bar and I had a blast! I will definitely be going back there the first chance I get.  Melissa and I decided to do a quick photo shoot in the bathroom with all of the fun paintings on walls.  Tom Baker’s scarf lines the wall, Matt Smith’s signature is framed above the toilet, there are Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, K9, and more, all are enclosed in a TARDIS which is definitely bigger on the inside.  The bar even has Doctor Who themed drinks (we stuck to River’s Red Setting which is a mix of Absolut Citron, Orange Juice and Grenadine), and they also have a supply of Sonic Screwdrivers.  At the bar we met a nice group of guys, one of which was body painted silver (the photo below is super blurry, but you get the idea!), and another that appeared to be cosplaying as David Tenant, although when Melissa inquired, he informed us that those were his normal clothes.  But the fun did not stop there! After The Way Station, we headed back to Melissa’s lovely apartment and then proceeded to play Left 4 Dead until 3:35 AM.  It was my first time playing Xbox, so Melissa was giving me tutorials and tips on shooter games.  We spent hours taking out zombies and I can definitely say that Xbox is at the very top of my wish list.  (The limited Star Wars edition Xbox that I mentioned in my last post =^.^=).  After we successfully slayed said virtual zombies, we knew we had a long day ahead of us on Saturday but we opted to watch Mean Girls anyway.  It was so much fun to watch it with some else who also knows all of the words!
After a night of 2 hours of sleep, I woke up Saturday morning, took a train home, and had just enough time to shower before driving back to the train station.  Normally it’s my train rides home from NYC where my comic reading is interrupted by drunken club goers, but as soon as I boarded my 11:54 AM train it was evident that Irish Day was being celebrated by the rest of the Long Islanders.  Leave it to me to be the outcast in the Imperial logo tank while everyone else was sporting kelly green and Irish accents.  Luckily I survived my commute and was going to have to re-read everything I began anyway due my lack of sleep.  So as everyone knows, my first stop in Penn Station was to acquire my obligatory Treinta Unsweetened Green Iced Tea from Starbucks, and some pumpkin bread for good measure.  The walk was in Asbury Park in NJ, so I met up with Mel and we hopped our next train to New Brunswick where we were greeted by Cassie.  Our next stop was the Halloween store where we tried on numerous costumes before finally settling on our final choices.  I ended up choosing to go as a Zombie version of Jem, the infamous animated front woman of Jem and the Holograms, while Cassie dressed as a Zombie Slytherin, and Melissa as a Zombie Chucky doll.  We headed back to Cassie’s where we bloodied ourselves up and then drove down to Asbury to join the herd of walkers and our friend Kim her fiancé Xander, and their friend Eric.
We roamed around town a bit, did some quick shopping at the booths set up by the boardwalk, and ran down the beach for a bit!  We missed the Zombie Thriller dance due to our tardiness, but hey, transforming into a zombie is no easy task.  We saw some very clever costumes while we were walking around, but my favorite was a group of people who were LARPing in the food court as the characters from the video game (Left 4 Dead) I had just played on Friday night!  We basically froze the entire time we were there which reminded me to start perusing ModCloth for new winter coats!  I was so cold the entire time we were waiting for our train back to NY that I couldn’t even tweet or text correctly.  Which made me even happier to think that in a few short weeks I’ll be in a much warmer climate when I visit Kristin in Florida.  Yesterday I spent the majority of my day curled up in my bed watching The Vampire Diaries, which is one of my new television obsessions.  I had never caught any of the episodes before but I took a twitter poll a few weeks ago and I received overwhelmingly positive responses from all who replied.  My verdict has been the same as what everyone forewarned.  The first few episodes are kind of silly and Twilight-esque, but by episode 5 they find a great action packed stride.  I’m going to start DVR’ing the current season in the hopes that I’ll catch up soon, although that may just be wishful thinking with all of the events I have lined up in October.

I’m planning on trying to start writing some more blog posts throughout the week which won’t only recap the events I’ve been attending, but will also give an inside look into what I’m currently reading, watching, listening to, and just loving in general.  I may also put together some fun cosplays to blog about, and some fun personal top 10 lists of my own.  Is there anything specific that you guys want to see?  Let me know in the comments section, on twitter, or send me a message on my tumblr!  But anyway, I must go get ready for the New York BlackMilk meet up!  First we’ll be doing a photo shoot in Central Park and then eating dinner with JL & Handsome Cam at a swanky Italian restaurant.  I can’t wait to meet the rest of the East Coast sharkies!

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Vintage Video Game Day at Cassie’s

There are very few things that I love more than vintage video games.  A vast majority of my childhood consisted of me, my brother, and two of our closest family friends (who lived 5 houses away from us!) sitting on our couch or theirs and competing against each other in video games.  We had all of the best systems growing up including regular Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Playstation, Playstation 2, Nintendo 64, Xbox, Game Cube, and of course Gameboy’s.  Needless to say, Santa was always good to us!  Our household is currently equipped with all of the aforementioned game systems in addition to PS3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and we’re hardcore coveting that limited edition Star Wars Xbox Kinect (which is at the top of my Amazon wishlist on the side of this very page!)  Anyway, my best friend Cassie and I decided to pay homage to our childhoods, break out the old systems and declare it to be Vintage Video Game Day!
The first game we chose to play while getting back into the video game groove, was one of my all time favorite games, Mario Party for Nintendo 64.  We played a 20 turn game on Peach’s Birthday Cake board.  I played as Peach and Cassie played as Yoshi.  We had set the computer players, Mario and Luigi, to easy but both of us would attest that Mario was anything but.  It was so fun going back and playing the old mini games.  The first one we played was Crazy Cutter in which Boo or a Goomba is fossilized in the ground, and in order to win the game and set them free you must obtain a score of at least 80 points.  Some of my favorite mini games were always Face Lift, where you rearrange Bowser’s face to match the one in the middle, Buried Treasure where you dig through the ground to try to be the first player to find the treasure chest, Tipsy Tourney where you use a turtle shell on an uneven board to reveal a picture, and Bobsled Run where you and a partner try to be the first to complete the course.  During the game, Mario ended up stealing my star away from me, but luckily I was able to acquire another one and in the end I beat that plumber! After Mario Party, we decided to switch over to Super Nintendo to play Donkey Kong. We were planning on playing Donkey Kong Country 2 because we both love playing as Diddy and Dixie Kong best, but in typical Super Nintendo fashion, we could not get the game to load.  Even after minutes of Cassie blowing on said game.
Then it was back to Nintendo 64 for us as we took on the rest of the Nintendo family on Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 64.  This time I played as Toad, and Cassie stuck with Yoshi.  We were ruthless  and struck each other with lightening each time the opportunity presented itself.  We also attempted to play in Sherbet Land, and I say attempted because neither of us could fully navigate that board!  In fact, we placed in the bottom 2 on that level.  We started our morning out with the best New York Bagels which I picked up before hopping a train to go visit Cassie, and we continued eating throughout the day.  Cassie purchased some of the most delicious cupcakes from the Sweet Spot Bake Shop which had recently won Cupcake Wars (although she shopped there all the time before their rise to cupcake fame).  When we finished our game playing, we ended the night in the best way possible.  We went to Cassie’s friend (also named Cassie)’s apartment and spent the evening watching Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods.  Cabin is one of my favorite movies I’ve seen this entire year!  I even did a spoiler free review of it for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend you change that ASAP!  I normally get scared really easily by horror movies, but Cabin was so inexplicably awesome, that it cannot even be classified solely as a horror flick.  You’ll know what I mean when you see it.  If you do watch it and want to chat about it, feel free to drop me a line in the comments section (no spoilers) or on my tumblr (spoilers are a okay!) since I’m a diehard Whedonite!  But anyway, it’s time to get back to NYCC planning! Is everyone exited for next week?!
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My Favorite Moments: Baltimore Comic Con 2012

This past month was the first time I have ever attended Baltimore Comic Con and I can confidently state that it is one of my favorite (possibly even my most favorite) of all the cons I have ever attended.  The convention is very comics-centric and since it’s much smaller than SDCC or NYCC, you’re able to see and do everything you could possibly want to without spending any time waiting on long lines.  Many of the industries leading talents were in attendance and because of the size, everyone was very approachable and you were able to have actual conversations with the people you admire without feeling rushed.  Not to mention all the shopping I did and all the rad cosplay I saw!  So once our press passes were approved, my brother and I got up super early on Saturday morning (like 3AM early), and hopped on a train to Maryland.  For the first day of the con I decided to sport my Lazy Oaf Batman bodysuit, which was lucky because one of the guys at the Stylin’ Online booth loved my outfit so much, that he gave me a pair of these Batman earrings for free!
I also ran into Scott Snyder again!  He and Greg Capullo were signing together and I had them put their John Hancock on a copy of one of my single issue Batman variant covers.  Greg was also giving out a limited edition print, and I was able to snag one of those as well.  Immediately afterwards, we found out via Twitter that Jeff Lemire (for those who don’t know Lemire is my absolute favorite comic book writer), was signing at the Top Cow booth.  Even though I had already read his latest graphic novel, Underwater Welder three times and own a hard copy and review pdf, I decided to purchase another, in which Jeff drew a beautiful sketch of Jack complete with bubbles and a personalization to me.  But here is the craziest part, there were only about 5 people waiting on his line, so I did not have nearly enough time to try to relax and be cool when I met him (see the photo of me smiling all uncontrollably silly with Lemire as proof).  That alone made my trip worth it, but there was so much more!  If you haven’t already read Lemire’s Essex County, Underwater Welder, or Sweet Tooth, you should immediately drop everything and pick them up!  I even cosplayed as Sweet Tooth earlier this year.
My next favorite part of Baltimore Comic Con was definitely the shopping.  I got a Wonder Woman messenger bag (lined with navy blue fabric with white stars), a kawaii Superman backpack, a Totoro necklace, Wonder Woman and Batgirl Barbies, and a ton of artwork.  I also finally got to meet my Twitter friend Joe Eisma who is the artist and one of the masterminds behind Morning Glories.  Joe totally made my day when he told me that he loves looking at my instagram photos to see the kind of outfits I’m wearing since the Glories are all just a few years younger than me.  I got a gorgeous Morning Glories print of Casey signed by Joe, since she is one of my dream cosplays.  I also met Thom Zahler and Amy Ratcliffe where I purchased some of the best Spider-Man artwork I’ve ever seen.  The art I now own depicts Gwen Stacy (aka me) and Mary Jane fighting over a Spider-Man costume.  It’s absolutely adorable!  I also was really excited to meet Amy, who is a writer for Nerd Approved with a serious affinity for Star Wars, and she was super sweet in person!  Next I visited Cliff Chiang’s table and we reminisced about seeing Marvel’s The Avengers.  Dan Slott and I had sat next to him during the Marvel screening last April.  I’ve really been loving Cliff’s Wonder Woman artwork in the New 52, and I always loved his Zatanna art as well.  I got a really cute set of mini prints from him that included Batgirl and Teen Titans art.  My last stop for artwork was at Paolo Rivera’s table.  I simply had to have the iconic Daredevil snow angel cover from issue #7 of Mark Waid’s run and of course a Spider-Man print.
And lastly, what would any convention be without some good ole fashion cosplay?  On Sunday’, Baltimore Comic Con hosted their annual costume contest, so that is the day to attend if cosplay is your thing.  I loved some of the really unique costumes I saw such as Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, The Riddlers, and a Captain Marvel fashioned after Kelly Sue DeConnick’s new series.  After the con my brother and I grabbed some dinner and drinks near the hotel before calling it a night.  Oh! Another favorite highlight was during the Marvel NOW! panel when Mark Waid made my brother stand up and model his “I’m Not Daredevil” t-shirt from WeLoveFine.  For full coverage of the panels I attended and the Harvey Awards, you can view it all at On Wednesdays We Wear Pink!
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