Jan 272015
 
(This interview was originally posted on June 2014 ) Last week I saw a photo of this awesome Batgirl cosplay which you can see on the right.  Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to that awesome Batgirl  in my new cosplayer interview.
Batgirl 1 Web

Photo by SuperHero Photos

 

Who are you and where are you from?

I am Kay Jay Cosplay and I am from San Antonio, TX.

 

How long have you been cosplaying?

A little over a year.

 

How did you get started and what was your first cosplay?

The first time I cosplayed was for a local comic book store’s Free Comic Book Day event, and I was Artemis from Young Justice

 

What did your friends and family think when you started?

Everyone was very supportive, but I don’t think anyone knew it was going to stick!

 

Where do you get your inspiration for choosing what to cosplay?

I mostly stick to characters I am familiar with. I pick a costume when a character’s story or personality resonates with me.

 

When you cosplay how much do you try to be in character?

It isn’t my biggest priority. I try to remain true to the character while remaining approachable.

 

What has been your easiest and most complicated cosplay?

My easiest was X-23 by far, the only construction for that was the claws. The most difficult would have to be Hawkgirl. The wings alone took 7 days!

photo (1)

If you could cosplay anybody from anything who would it be?

Grand Duchess Anastasia. Who wouldn’t want to be a sarcastic princess?

 

Do you know a lot about the characters that you cosplay?

Usually. Most of the characters I portray I know a lot about, and if I don’t, I put in time to do research before the costume is made.

 

What was one of your most memorable experiences you have had while cosplaying?

I was cosplaying as Wonder Woman this past Free Comic Book Day and had taken a photo with a little girl. About 10 minutes later she ran back over to me, said “I love you, Wonder Woman!” and hugged me really hard! It was the sweetest thing!

 

Do you prefer your cosplays to be exact or do you add your own changes?

I try for accuracy. I find pride in making the most exact representation of a character that I can.

 

How would you describe the state of the cosplay hobby right now?

BLOWING UP! Cosplay has been getting a ton of publicity lately, both good and bad. I’m glad that people are becoming more comfortable cosplaying, regardless of their race, age, size, or gender!

Photo by Frank Dimas Aguero

Photo by Frank Dimas Aguero

What advice would you give to somebody just starting out cosplaying?

Start with a character you love! Your passion for the character always comes through in your representation of them.

 

Besides cosplaying what other hobbies do you have?

Singing, playing video games, and having netflix marathons for longer than what is considered healthy…

Photo by Frank Dimas Aguero

Photo by Frank Dimas Aguero

 

I want to say thank you again to Kay Jay Cosplay.

To see more awesome cosplays of Kay Jay Cosplay check out her Facebook and Instagram.

Jan 272015
 

I will admit that I do love the murder mystery genre. I was searching for some anime in this category and I came across Danganronpa. After watching I found out that this anime is based off a video game, but since I haven’t played it this review is just the anime only. This review will contain no spoilers so don’t worry. What fun would it be to ruin the ending for a mystery?

The plot revolves around a group of fifteen high school students that are selected for a special high school called Hope’s Peak Academy. It’s so special that the principal is a bear named Monobear. Monobear tells them that they are trapped in the school until they graduate and if you do you are guarenteed to succeed in life. The only way to graduate is to commit the perfect murder. You have to kill one of your classmates and get away with it. The rest of the students have to decide which one is the killer. If they can discover the killer he or she is executed. If they choose wrong the killer goes free and graduates while the rest of the students get executed. Of course there is always the choice of nobody killing anybody and just living your life at Hope’s Peak Academy but do you think Monobear will just sit back and let that happen?

danganronpa

Once a murder happens and the victim is found the show begins to change direction. Monobear gives them some time to examine the crime scene and look for clues. When a clue is found the anime will let you know and zoom in on it. After the students have had a chance to gather some clues that will bring them closer to identifying the killer they go to a class trial. The class trial has all the students around in a circle and is led by none other than Monobear. In the trial the students declare a suspect and give all clues they have proving their guilt. This goes back and forth with reasons why and why not a person could be the killer. Once they decide on a single person Monobear reveals if they chose correctly or poorly.

danganronpa-the-animation-episode-3-pic1

I really liked the idea for this anime and that’s what got me to watch it in the first place. It seemed liked it would be a cross between Hunger Games and Big Brother. It has that kill or be killed feel and they are all stuck in one place with Monobear ( Big Brother ) watching. If you’re wondering about how graphic the death scenes are you shouldn’t. You see the aftermath of the murder and not the action itself. They even change the color of blood from red to pink. I’m not sure why and it did throw me off a little at first but I eventually got used to it.

The pacing was a problem with me. It felt a little slow in the beginning and toward the end of the series it felt like it rushed events quickly. There were characters that I started to like and would have loved to have seen fleshed out more. Each character was different and unique but you don’t see much of the uniqueness and no development at all. Since there weren’t that many episodes I guess I should have expected that not all characters were going to be giving the spotlight.

Danganronpa had the potential to be a little more creepier and better than what it was. I didn’t hate this anime but was a little disappointed. If you like the mystery horror anime genre and need something new I would say check this anime out. Danganronpa isn’t the next greatest anime but it did provide some entertainment for me in a genre that I like and that is always a good thing.

Jan 252015
 

( This interview was originally posted on March 2014 ) Last week I discovered a new cosplayer from a suggestion on Twitter. I always like discovering new cosplayers and the Supergirl cosplay profile pic looked really good. I found a new cosplayer and got a chance to interview her to learn more.

Photo by Emerald Coast Cosplay

Photo by Emerald Coast Cosplay

Who are you and where are you from?

My actual name is Brittany. However, you all can call me Sparky Cosplay or just Sparky! I hail from the great state of Alabama! I originally dropped from the mother ship in Tennessee.

 

How long have you been cosplaying?

I have been cosplaying for a little over three years now!

 

How did you get started and what was your first cosplay?

I got into cosplay when a person I was friends with said, “Hey, you sort of look like Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. There’s a convention coming up soon and you should dress up as her and go!” So, my story began at Kami Con Season 3 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama! I wore my very first costume, Lightning Farron from FF XIII a three days.

 

What did your friends and family think when you started?

Well, I grew up in a very small town in Tennessee, so cosplay was unheard of. I was a big “closet nerd”. At first my friends and family were very skeptical of the whole cosplay community. They were honestly slightly worried about me. At the time I was living two hours away from home. So, I could understand their concerns. But luckily I had a loving and supportive convention family. Now, my family and friends think it’s exciting and support me full on. They’ve even helped me with a few costumes! It means the world to me that they accept me for who I am and the community that I cherish.

 

What is your most recognized cosplay?

I’m not really sure. Hahaha, I honestly never really pay too much attention. At first, it seemed to be Lightning. She was a costume I stuck with for a while. But now, it seems my Neliel from the anime Bleach has taken her place. Which I am okay with. That costume is SUPER comfortable!

 

Where do you get your inspiration for choosing what to cosplay?

My inspiration for my cosplays mostly come from my love of the series or characters. I always have some kind of connection whether it’s the attitude, trials the character goes through, or the feels I get when I see the character, I want to love and appreciate what I cosplay.

Photo by Whitney's Wonders

Photo by Whitney’s Wonders

Do you make all of your cosplays?

My first costume was straight up bought. Back then, I had never touched a sewing machine. My friend at the time tried showing me, but it was hopeless….those things still scare me today! Haha. I have come a long way since then. But sometimes, I do not make ALL of a costume. There are somethings that are beyond my skill levels right now, like full spandex body suits, that I can’t do. However, I always try to make as much as I can. In some costumes though, like my Female Red Robin, I just borrowed stuff for a fun shoot with friends. I will be making an official version soon though! My skills are growing though! I haven’t been in cosplay for long, but luckily I am a fast learner!

 

 

What has been your easiest and most complicated cosplay?

My easiest cosplay has to be Neliel. I mean, come on guys have you seen her costume?! Haha, while she’s difficult to pose in, I can flail and derp around without too much of a care. One of my most challenging costumes would be my version of Poison Ivy. I hand glued ALL of those flowers, not to mention had the bright idea to make the train of flowers and greenery off of the back. It was so much fun to wear though. My Pyramid Head is a close second. And to think I am remaking both of them. HA!

 

If you could cosplay anybody from anything who would it be?

I was a big fan of the Gundam series growing up. I would absolutely love to cosplay as an actual Winged Zero Custom. I mean, those wings just call to me.

 

Who have people said that you should cosplay as?

I get a lot of people wanting me to cosplay from comics. Which I am okay with, I grew up with them. Recently it’s been Wonder Woman (my hero) and Black Canary. I also get requests to cosplay from League of Legends. Which I am currently working on a Midnight Skin Ahri for Anime Weekend Atlanta.

 

What was one of your most memorable experiences you have had while cosplaying?

One of the most memorable things to happen to me at a convention happened at this past Anime Weekend Atlanta. I had been in Poison Ivy all day and was starting to feel the aches and pains of cosplay. I was sitting at a table when a family passed. They had a young boy with them who flipped out over my cosplay. Even though I wasn’t a cannon version of Ivy, he knew who I was. He hugged me and said he loved my new outfit and that it was nice to see me in person. He had been reading about me in the comics. He also apologized for Bruce Wayne shutting down my program. Hahahaha, I thought that was so precious. He thought I was the actual character. It brightened up my night of fatigue and gave me a new energy. THAT is one reason why I cosplay. You can’t get those memories anywhere else.

Photo by MV Photography

Photo by MV Photography

What do you think makes a good cosplay?

I think love for the genre and character you cosplay as makes a good cosplay. It doesn’t matter who makes what or who bought this or that. Who looks more like that character or who has more sex appeal. At the end of the day you are surrounded by friends and people who share your passions. Sharing that love is a beautiful and wholesome thing.

 

How would you describe the state of the cosplay hobby right now?

As of right now, I am glad that cosplay is getting more attention and being recognized as a community. Though I feel some things are more negative than positive, it is nice to see the community growing. My only hope is that we do not forget where we came from and how to love one another.

 

What advice would you give to somebody just starting out cosplaying?

My advice would be to have fun! Cosplay who you want to and don’t be afraid to ask for help! I still do all of the time. You would be surprised at who would help you out and give you some excellent tips! If you see me at a convention say hi! I love new friends. Also…fear the hot glue.

 

Besides cosplaying what other hobbies do you have?

I love gaming, cuddling up to watch Dr. Who and all those nerdy things. I also love to hang out and meet new people. When I go to Tennessee to see my family, I will ride my horses or ATVs. (I grew up a redneck!) I also love photography. So when I can get my paws on a camera, I’m almost as bad as the paparazzi.

Photo by Chris Auditore Photography

Photo by Chris Auditore Photography

Thank you again to Sparky Cosplay for the interview. You can visit her other sites here.

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Jan 222015
 

This past November I had the opportunity to attend BGG.Con 2014.  This convention’s focus is all about  board and card games.  This was my first time to attend this convention in two ways.  I’ve been to conventions as an attendee and as press before but not as an exhibitor.  That’s right.  I said exhibitor.  I was going to be demoing games for Upper Deck such as Legendary Villains and Legendary Encounters.  If you’ve never played any of these games I encourage you to check them out.

 

The first day Jacob and I met up with Jason and Travis from Upper Deck and got our badges.  We got to the booth and I started setting up for the scenario I would be running all day for Legendary Encounters.  I was mentally telling myself to not mess up anything.  I didn’t want to make a bad impression on the guys from Upper Deck.  The doors opened and the gamers kept coming in.  It didn’t take long for my first group to sit down that wanted to play.  My first game went very well and after that I wasn’t really nervous anymore.  I spent all day running Legendary Encounters and it seemed like it was a popular game.  Our booth was busy from people just checking out our games to the ones that sat down and played.

IMG_1221

 

The next day I switched to running Legendary Villains.  Jacob and I decided to take a break from what we were running.  This day went a lot like the first.  One thing that was different were the groups I was getting.  I got more families and kids with Villains than Encounters.  I had a father and son that wanted to check out Encounters but after I showed him some of the art he decided it was too much for his son.  I thought I would like running Encounters more than Legendary but some of the people I played with changed that.  I enjoy both games but I decided to run Legendary Villains the rest of the convention.

I do have one story that happened that I would like to share.  There were these two guys who stopped by everyday to play Legendary.  They didn’t have the game and were thinking about picking it up.  BGG does this huge giveaway.  Everybody that attends gets a ticket which could be drawn for a prize.  It isn’t a few prizes they offer.  They give away a lot of games and it is something to see.  Upper Deck donated a copy of Marvel Legendary for the drawings.  The guys that stopped by everyday won the copy of Legendary.  They were so excited and so were we.  It made me feel good to see it go to people that really wanted the game.

One thing that you might not think about that dealers have to do is clean up.  After the convention is over what do you think happens to the booth?  We had to tear down both setups and pack them in a case to ship out wherever it needs to get to next.  It wasn’t real difficult but it wasn’t easy either.  I am glad that we didn’t have a lot of games to ship back also.  Normally I would just leave a convention and not think about the dealers and staff.  This made me appreciate the dealers and staff that come out to all the conventions even more.

I had a great time running games all weekend for Upper Deck and want to thank them for the opportunity.  Sure, after the convention I didn’t want to play any Legendary for awhile.  Playing the same game most of the day for a few days can take it’s toll.  It didn’t make me hate Legendary but I wanted to play something else.  I may not have gotten to see and do a lot of what the convention has to offer but I did enough there to make me happy.  I got to play a game that I enjoy with a lot of new people.  I hope that I’m lucky enough to do it again next year.

Jan 222015
 

I just got this in an email this morning from Sony.

If You Had a PlayStation Network, Qriocity, or Sony Online Entertainment Account Before Ma‌y 1‌5, 201‌1, You Could Get Benefits from a Class Action Settlement.
A settlement has been reached with the Sony Entities about the illegal and unauthorized attacks (the “Intrusions”) in A‌pril 20‌11, on the computer network systems used to provide PlayStation Network (“PSN”), Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment (“SOE”) services. The Sony Entities deny any claims of wrongdoing in this case, and the settlement does not mean that the Sony Entities violated any laws or did anything wrong.
Who is included? The Class includes everyone in the US (including its territories) who had a PSN account, a Qriocity account, or an SOE account at any time before Ma‌y 1‌5, 20‌11.
What does the settlement provide?
There are various benefits, depending in part on what type of account(s) you had. Benefits you could get (if you qualify) include:
Payment equal to paid wallet balances (if $2 or more) in PSN or SOE accounts that have been inactive since the Intrusions,
One or more of the following: a free PS3 or PSP game, 3 free PS3 themes, or a free 3-month subscription to PlayStation Plus (once valid claims exceed $10 million, class members will still be eligible for one free month of PlayStation Plus),
A free month of Music Unlimited for Qriocity accountholders who did not have a PSN account,
$4.50 in SOE Station Cash (amounts will be reduced proportionally if valid claims exceed $4 million).
Identity Theft Reimbursement: If you had out-of-pocket charges due to actual identity theft, and have documentation proving that the theft was caused by the Intrusion(s), you can submit a claim for reimbursement up to $2,500. Reimbursements will be reduced proportionally if the total amount payable on all valid claims would exceed $1 million.
How can I get benefits? To get benefits, you must file a claim form. Claim forms are available at WWW.PSNSOESETTLEMENT.COM. You can also request claim forms from the Claims Administrator by writing to PSN-SOE Settlement, P‌O Bo‌x 1‌947, Fariba‌ult, M‌N 55‌021 or by calling 1‌-87‌7-5‌52-1‌284. The earliest deadline to file a claim is Aug‌ust 31, 2015, or 6‌0 d‌ays after the settlement becomes final and effective. Visit the website for more details on submitting a claim online or by mail.
Your other options. Even if you do nothing, you will be bound by the Court’s decisions. If you want to keep your right to sue the Sony Entities yourself, you must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class by Apr‌il 1‌0, 20‌15. If you stay in the Settlement Class, you may object to the settlement by Ap‌ril 1‌0, 20‌15. For instructions on how to exclude yourself from the Class or object to the settlement, please see WWW.PSNSOESETTLEMENT.COM.
The Court will hold a hearing in this case on M‌ay 1, 20‌15, to consider whether to approve the settlement, and a request by Class Counsel for fees, costs, and expenses up to $2,750,000. You or your own lawyer may appear and speak at the hearing at your own expense.
For more information or Claim Forms:
WWW.PSNSOESETTLEMENT.COM or 1‌-87‌7-55‌2-1‌284
PARA UNA NOTIFICACIÓN EN ESPAÑOL, VISITE NUESTRO SITIO DE INTERNET.

Jan 222015
 

Moon_Knight_Vol_5_11_TextlessBrian Wood, Greg Smallwood, and Jordie Bellaire continue their intriguing Story arc with this eleventh issue of Moon Knight.

We last saw our hero, Marc Spector, being arrested for seemingly trying to assassinate the head of another country. He successfully saved the dignitary’s life while sacrificing his own freedom in the process.  Rendered opens with the signature vision that has arisen with Moon Knight. It has two pages that are composed of fifteen individual panels. These panels tell two alternating tales. One shows the daytime activities of Marc while he is being held captive. The other show the beatings that he endures in the night time. The series of small panels end with Marc meeting his new doctor. It quickly becomes apparent that he is being held for some purpose other than punishment as the doctor states they need him to be a willing participant without explaining in what.

The most interesting bit of this issue is that Khonshu shows up and begins talking to Marc again. We get to watch as the tortures happen to Marc and he investigates the nature of the prison in which he resides. From the perspective of Khonshu, it seems like Marc has given up and is not much with out Khonshu to guide him. The interplay between the two while Marc plots his escape is priceless. Wood’s storytelling has remained strong throughout this arc and Rendered is not exception to this rule. In particular, I enjoyed how Marc chides Khonshu on his choice of representative while he is in the middle of his daring escape. He points out that despite being a god, Khonshu needs to better vet his choices.

The art in this issue is phenomenal. I have enjoyed the work of Smallwood throughout his run but this issue does an excellent job of highlighting his skill. I particularly loved the two opening pages with the variety of panels depicting alternating stories. There is a also a page where we get to watch as Marc is escorted back to his cell while the doctor speaks to him. the stark nature of the room against a background of white does a wonderful job of highlighting how the level of isolation that has befallen Spector.

This new creative team continues to knock it out of the park with Moon Knight. They capture the feeling of crazy that is a carry over from previous volumes of Moon Knight while not allowing it to override the story. The surreal nature of the character comes through without sacrificing the heroic nature of this new iteration of Moon Knight. I thoroughly enjoyed this issue and can not wait to see how they answer the cliffhanger that ended this issue.

 

 

 

Jan 212015
 

​Hello Ladies and Gents this week on Direct Damage Cast we join Layfield and Kaesi on the final Day of prerelease weekend. After the dust has settled and Ugin has been reborn or healed anyway. Listen to our stories from prerelease weekend. We also go around the table and off the rails as one of our hosts had been up over 24 hours and couldn’t remember the episode number. Sit back and curl up with another great episode of DDC and a fine glass of Kraken.

Jan 212015
 

TOP 32 FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR RPG SUPERSTAR 2015 GAME DESIGNER COMPETITION

REDMOND, WA (January 20, 2014): Paizo Inc., creator of the popular Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, announces today the Top 32 finalists for 2015’s RPG Superstar, the annual, worldwide open call for would-be game designers to have their talents discovered, and the chance at being published in an official Pathfinder RPG module.

RPG Superstar™ 2015 Top 32 Finalists

Gabriel Almer – Staff of the Prime Mover
John Laffan – Staff of the Thieving Magpie
Charlie Bell – Crook of the Unseen Forces
Monica Marlowe – Spectre Blight
Charlie Brooks – The Hero’s Breath
Matthew Morris – Psychopomp’s Crosier
Russ Brown – Ice Fang
Kalervo Oikarinen – Fate-binder
Christopher Donnangelo – Staff of the Vanara King
Ben Parkin – Magrim’s Mountain Crusher
Brian Fruzen – Pyrolastic Spike
Anthony Pennington – Depth Charger
Mark Hart – Venom’s Kiss
Newton Philis – Breach Barrier
Jeff Heikkinen – Flowing Fortress Armour
R Pickard – Harvestweal
David Higaki – Earthcracker
Olivier Raye’- Lalonde – Ring of the Investigator
Dana Huber – Ophidian Coil
Justin Riddler – Mountain Stance Armor
Taylor Hubler – Fist of Havoc
Matt Roth – Rimewinder
Ben Iglauer – Fool’s Scepter
Chris Shaeffer – Hide of the Vibrant Frog
Jason Keeley – Rod of Exorcism
Marina Smolina – Shield of Stormwall
Jacob Kellogg – Soulshifter Staff
Frankie Trombetta – Interrogator’s Ally
Patrick Kilcullen – Swarm-strike Caster
Christopher Wasko – Windstrider Mail
Scott LaBarge – Keyhole Stiletto
Benjamin Wilkins – Staff of the Trusted Physician

Alternates

Jeff Hazuka – Fellbough Hookhammer
Allana Sliwinski – Harlequin’s Hurlbat
R D Ramsey – Tunnel Fighter’s Ring
Jensen Toperzer – Rod of the Iron Rose

These Top 32 finalists will move on to Round Two, which will require the contestants to create a full-page map, or previously unmapped fantasy-themed location, in Golarion.

“The map itself is the entry, so it is important to make it interesting and creative,” says Owen Stephens, RPG Superstar MC and Pathfinder RPG Designer. “The map should spark the imagination, and lead to exciting encounters.”

The deadline for these entries is January 23, 2015, and public voting on the maps will begin on January 27, 2015. For more information, or to submit an entry, visit paizo.com/rpgsuperstar.

Now in its 8th year, RPG Superstar receives thousands of entries from all over the world, which are reviewed by a panel of experienced game designers, and then voted on by the paizo.com community, who have cast millions of votes over the years.

The winner of the competition will have their adventure published by Paizo as a Pathfinder Module, a full-color, 64-page, high-quality softcover book, compatible with not only the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (RPG), but also with any game published under the Open Gaming License (OGL). Also, three runners-up will win assignments to write adventure scenarios for Paizo’s Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign, offering all four finalists professional writing contracts with Paizo Inc., and an opportunity to begin their game design careers by working on the world’s best-selling roleplaying game.

Jan 202015
 

 

D&D Elemental Evil (3)

 

Dungeons & Dragons Fans Called to ‘Unearth the Deception’ in 2015

Elemental Evil Storyline & Product Offerings Unveiled

January 20, 2015 – Renton, WA – Today, Wizards of the Coast announced the newest Dungeons & Dragons storyline and accompanying product offerings for both digital and tabletop RPG players. Coming off of the biggest and most exciting year yet for Dungeons & Dragons, the Elemental Evil storyline starts in March and runs through mid-summer. During that time, heroes are needed in the Forgotten Realms to discover and defeat secret cults that threaten to annihilate the Sword Coast by harnessing the powers of the elements of fire, water, air, and earth.

The product line-up includes the release of a new downloadable module—Neverwinter: Elemental Evil—for the highly acclaimed free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment. Serving as an additional way for fans to experience the storyline, Neverwinter: Elemental Evil brings a new playable class—the Paladin—and increases the game’s level cap to 70. Neverwinter is set in the Forgotten Realms, and the new expansion launches in early 2015. Cryptic also recently announced Neverwinter on Xbox One will be available in early 2015 as well.

Characters in the D&D tabletop roleplaying game can help prevent devastation to the lands and people of the Forgotten Realms in the Princes of the Apocalypse adventure by Wizards of the Coast and Sasquatch Game Studio. Princes of the Apocalypse is available on April 7, 2015 and includes an epic adventure for characters levels 1 – 15 as well as new elemental spells and the element-touched genasi as a new playable race. In addition, a free download will be available in mid-March that includes more new races plus the player content available in Princes of the Apocalypse, just in time for the start of the Elemental Evil season of the D&D Adventurers League.

Other products tied into the Elemental Evil storyline include the Temple of Elemental Evil Adventure System Board Game and pre-painted collectible miniatures, both from WizKids Games. WizKids has also partnered with Perfect World Entertainment to bundle in-game items for Neverwinter with the Temple of Elemental Evil Adventure System Board Game and miniatures boosters. Rounding out the tabletop RPG game products is Gale Force Nine’s new Dungeon Master’s screen featuring Elemental Evil art, as well as unpainted, resin miniatures that tie into the adventure, all slated to release beginning in March.