Outfit of the Day: Forever Red

This past Tuesday, Margaret Stohl’s newest YA book, Forever Red, debuted in stores and it’s a pretty special one because it’s all about the origin of Black Widow.  If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, you can purchase one here :-) The publisher sent me a finished copy of the book along with some special props including a Black Widow wig, a S.H.I.E.L.D. comic, and a dagger.  I knew I had to throw together a little casual cosplay with what I was sent and I had a blast channeling Natasha.  I love the cover and I can’t wait to read my copy! Margaret Stohl is going on a book tour for Forever Red and you can find out if she’ll be in a town near you by viewing her schedule.  Here’s a synopsis of the book followed by my outfit / casual cosplay photos!

Enter the world of the Avengers’ iconic master spy… Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments—until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type. Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned—and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava’s dreams. . . .

Black Widow: Forever Red features all the heart-pounding adventure readers expect from Marvel, written by #1 New York Times best-selling author Margaret Stohl. Uncover a new side of the Marvel Universe that will thrill loyal fans and newcomers alike, as Stohl reveals the untold story of Black Widow for the very first time.

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Faux leather jacket: Forever 21 (similar) | Leggings: Black Milk | Boots: Sam Edelman

Book, Wig, Comic: c/o Disney Hyperion

Photos by Andrew Gallagher

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Kristin

NYCC ’13: Top 7 Exclusives I Need!

This year at NYCC, there seems to be more exclusives than ever!  There are so many great items being offered by vendors that I know I’m going to have a difficult time narrowing down my purchases.  Here’s what I’ve already decided I must have.

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Rocket Raccoon Plush by Marvel $34.99 & comes with a Skottie Young lithograph

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Super Best Friends Forever Poison Ivy $24.99 (She’ll match my Super Best Friends Forever set from SDCC!)

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Harley Quinn Funko Pop Vinyl Metallic Figure

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Stan Lee Funko Pop Vinyl Figure

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Batman & Batmobile Funko Pop Vinyl Figures

1

Her Universe 12 Doctors T-shirt

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Personalized S.H.I.E.L.D. Badge

What are you most looking forward to buying at New York Comic Con?

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Why Marvel’s The Avengers Will Always Hold a Special Place in My Heart

First I would like to forewarn you that there will be spoilers in this post (not until the last paragraph, but still, they’re coming).  But if you haven’t seen The Avengers yet then you are doing yourself a disservice and I encourage to immediately disconnect from all social media and spend a solid 2+ hours reveling in Joss Whedon’s film adaptation.  The other day I had gotten into a conversation with a friend about Marvel’s The Avengers, when I realized what I dork I am when it comes to that epic masterpiece of a movie.  It turns out that I remember the exact date of the first time I saw the film (April 26th), and for me, it’s theatrical release date (May 4th – it was a struggle but I ultimately decided to sport apparel supporting Earth’s Mightiest Heroes even though it was Star Wars Day) has become intrinsic knowledge.  I attended a midnight showing despite having to wake up at 5:45am the next morning for work (even though I had already seen the movie!).  At the time that The Avengers was debuting, there were a ton of exciting things happening in my life.  Regardless of how the actual film was, I knew I would always have an emotional attachment to it, but as time has passed and certain memories have been corrupted, I am thrilled to say that The Avengers haven’t been tainted in the slightest.

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After many of the things I mentioned in my 2012 recap blog post had come to pass, I was finally ready to start going out and living my life again.  I’ll never forget sitting at my desk on what I thought was going to be just like any other day when suddenly, my Twitter DM notification went off.  I had my suspicions as to who would be sending me a private message at that time, so I was even more shocked when I looked down to find that one of my favorite Spider-Man writers, Dan Slott, had DM’ed me about going to the Marvel screening with him to see The Avengers a whole week before it debuted in theaters!  I was so excited during the week leading up to the release that I made an Avengers headband out of felt from Michaels (as seen above), among other things.  It’s events like this where it’s near impossible for me to suppress my inner nerd, so I obviously felt the need to accessorize with a plethora of pieces representing as many Avengers as I could.  I already owned an Avengers skirt, I had previously transformed my Tokidoki Iron Man frenzie into a necklace (also seen above), and I ordered squinkie Thor earrings, and a Captain America hair bow, to complete the look I wanted to create.  What can I say? I’m enthusiastic! AND THIS IS THE AVENGERS! Hence, no justification is really needed.

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During the screening, Dan and I sat next to Cliff Chiang (one of the most amazing comic book artists in the industry), and I met a bunch of other Marvelites before and after the show.  We also ran into my friend Lauren, who was currently interning at Marvel before she graduated college that semester, and best of all (well, besides the actual movie of course), was the super swag they gave to us before the screening.  We received pairs of the limited edition 3D glasses (I have Iron Man, and Captain America), a giant Thor poster, which has resided on the wall next to my bed ever since, and an awesome Avengers cup that I still use to this day!  And just before the film started Joe Quesada made a speech but to be honest, I was too excited to see the movie to pay attention to anything anyone may have said to me earlier that day.  As I’m sure you can imagine, I laughed, I cried, and for almost the entirety of the film my mouth was agape and my eyes were open wide due to complete and utter awe.  But more about my thoughts on the film later!

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For most people it would be pure torture to see such a film as The Avengers and then be forced to wait an entire week before discussing it’s genius with the rest of the world, but for me it was worth the wait.  The movie elated me because it was everything I was hoping it would be and then so much more.  The next time I saw the film was at the midnight showing with all of my closest friends from high school.  Just to interject a quick anecdote, my favorite superhero is Spider-Man, which everyone who has ever met me can easily determine.  During the midnight showing one of my friends was so excited to tell me that there was a Spider-Man cosplayer in the theater but when I turned around it quickly changed into a facepalm moment because the cosplayer in question was none other than Deadpool…  Yea.  For this showing (don’t worry, I promise I won’t go through all five times I saw it in theaters!), I wore my Tokidoki Captain America sweatshirt (which someone else in the theater thought was a Thor sweatshirt hence another facepalm moment), my Tokidoki Thor necklace, and I brought some of my favorite plushie Funko Avengers along with me.   I didn’t get home until 3am and I was so pumped from my second screening that I didn’t bother attempting to sleep that night.  My favorite part of my second viewing was at the end of the film during Marvel’s infamous after credits scene when all of my friends turned to me and asked who they had just seen on screen. It was Thanos!

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So now, for the reasons I was driven to see The Avengers in theaters five times before purchasing a copy of the blu-ray on it’s release date and deeming the film the official montage to every moment spent in my room thereafter.  I’ll start with the writing.  It’s Whedon, thus it’s perfect.  The amount of humor he was able to inject into the film, particularly with Iron Man’s lines, is enough to make you crave multiple viewings.  With the exception of Hawkeye who I would’ve liked to see more of, each Avenger had a complete and thorough storyline with ample screen time.  Prior to seeing the film I had been nervous about Black Widow’s less than impressive handguns, but Natasha proved to be a badass.  I would love to see ScarJo star in her own Black Widow film sometime in the near future!  Another minor concern before the movie, mostly for continuity’s sake, was the replacement of Edward Norton (my favorite actor of all time despite detesting The Hulk movie), with Mark Ruffalo.  But many people would agree that Bruce Banner stole the show.  Especially in his ending scene with my favorite troublemaking villain, Loki.  Tom Hiddleston simply nails the part of Loki.  He has beautiful and mischievous eyes with a pristine demeanor fit for an Asgardian.  And speaking of Asgardian’s, it would be impossible to neglect to mention Thor who has the best beard in any dimension.  The film was an action packed adventure as The Avengers battled each other before coming together to defeat the Chitauri army which Loki had unleashed upon New York City.  But the event that brought them all together was the most heartbreaking scene in superhero movie I have ever seen.  Admittedly, even after viewing The Avengers more times than I can possibly count, I still break out into hysterics every time I witness Coulson’s demise.  I can sincerely say that The Avengers is one of the only movies I’ve ever been to where the entire audience was completely invested.  It took three viewings before I could finally  hear Hulk’s line after smashing Loki into the ground in Stark Tower (“Puny god,” for all those who may have missed it).  Oftentimes, when a movie is saturated with great talent, they’re trying to compensate for a lackluster script.  This was not the case with The Avengers.  Whedon seriously raised the bar, and not only for comic book genre films.  But anyway, enough of my gushing! I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I encourage you to share them in the comments section! And then eat Shwarma after.

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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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