Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cosplay Feature | Nakie Doggo Cosplay

Let's talk Hamilton first. What was the first song you listened to?
I was actually really reluctant in listening to Hamilton. I didn't really get why people were so obsessed with a musical about our founding fathers. I finally gave in when I was completely bored out of my mind. I listened to it in chronological order, so the first song I ever heard was "Hamilton". By the time I got to Daveed Diggs' verse, I was sold!

What convinced you to put together an Alexander Hamilton cosplay?
The Hamilton cosplay actually wasn't originally mine. My best friend Alisa was the one who accidentally the coat when they were out thrift shopping for another cosplay. Alisa wore it for a Friday of SacAnime 2016. I didn't have a cosplay for Sunday, so Alisa let me borrow it, and the rest is history (no pun intended)! Since then, I've made a lot of modifications to it, and definitely improved on my beard-makeup, haha. Personally, I think Alisa made a much better Hamilton than I did! Alisa and I have been planning to do an Eliza/Hamilton photo shoot, actually!

Daveed Diggs is such a joy in both acts. Do you enjoy him more as Lafayette or Jefferson?
I love Daveed, as an actor and singer, but I definitely prefer Lafayette over Jefferson, in the play and in history, haha.

How did you get acquainted with cosplay?
I first got acquainted with cosplay in fifth grade. One of my best friend's sister actually got me into it. She had been cosplaying off and on for a few years before me. She was the one who took me to my first SacAnime, back when it was still at the Lions Gate hotel (at least I think that was the name of it, haha). If I remember correctly, my first cosplay was Germany from Hetalia. I know everyone says not to be ashamed of your first cosplay, by every time I look back at those photos I cringe a little bit.

Are there anymore cosplays that you are working on for conventions this year?
I have tons of new cosplays coming up! I think I'm making some real show-stoppers this year, including my Voltron cosplay group, Mulan, Te Fiti, and many more!

Te Fiti sounds very interesting. It's very nice seeing people cosplay as Moana characters not based on Moana and Maui. Very green, but you seem to have a grasp on painting yourself? (ie: Mettaton & Marshall Lee)
Oh yes, I've definitely had quite a bit of practice when it comes to face paint. I've experimented with a lot of different brands of paint, but not a lot of colors, so it's definitely going to a new adventure trying to jump straight into such a bright color(green). I actually didn't use face painting tutorials to learn how to apply paint. Instead, I watched a lot of different makeup gurus, and drag queen tutorials to learn!

What inspired you to do a Yuri!!! On Ice cosplay? Minami is such a colorful character in the series, and a personal favorite of mine.
I actually didn't intend to cosplay Minami. I had planned on cosplaying Yuuri or Viktor, but I realized that the show would be so popular, it would be really difficult to create a stand-out cosplay. So, I choose a character who (at the time) had the least amount of screen time. I loved his cute personality, but that's not usually the type of character I'm drawn too. However, as the show progressed, and more fan works started coming out, he definitely grew on me!

Which events do you plan on attending for the remainder of the year? Are there any out-of-state events that you would like to attend in the future?
I'm hoping to go to a lot more events this year! I'll be at SacAnime Summer, SacCon, and the next CVCG for sure. Since SacAnime is my home con, I always love going out there and showing support all the artists and vendors. I'd like to go to Wizard World Sacramento too, depending on the guest this year (seriously, I would kill for them to get the Voltron cast this year). Tracy Comic Con also invited me to go to their con in November, which I'm really excited for! Hopefully I'll be able to make it out to the San Fransisco Anime Festival this year, too! I would love to be able to go to Dragon Con one day. It seems like such an awesome con, with a beautiful venue that I would love to go to! My only worry is that, if I go to Dragon Con, my cosplays couldn't even hold a candle to the absolutely stunning cosplayers that attend!

See more Nakie Doggo Cosplay | Instagram

Friday, May 5, 2017

LEGO Minifigures Series 17

I was strolling around the toy aisle in Wal-Mart when I came across the latest LEGO Minifigures Series 17 blind bags. A fresh case was sitting around LEGO section, so I basically had first dibs at this new series. At first glace of the case artwork, I had my heart set on the corn on the cob guy and rocket boy. Figuring out which bags contained the two figures wasn't that challenging. Basically had to feel for the bubbly corn surface and rocket-shaped suit.

The rocket boy is such a delight with a classic space top and hand drawn flag. It's a nostalgic figure that probably makes any collector's top 5 figure lists when it comes to this series. I'm a fan of the red/grey paired up for rockey bot. Essentially everything about this figure screams classic space.

Corn on the con guy is just like hot dog guy and banana guy. This must-have minfigure sports a gnarly mustache to complement an epic corn suit. Something about these food-related outfits make LEGO minifigures extra fun to collect.

There is a mystery figure that has been dubbed highway man. I wouldn't mind adding to the minifigure collection since it looks cool to me. Not sure how rare this mystery figure is, or why it's even advertised as a mystery. Judging by secondary market prices for highway man, it isn't fetching that much over retail price.

Blind bags are $3.99, so it looks like LEGO is maintaining the same pricing following The LEGO Batman Movie minifigure series. It's unfortunate these aren't priced at $2.99 anymore. There isn't anything particularly premium about a non-franchise minifigure series. The cost, in theory, should probably cost less since there isn't licensing fees involved. However, a slightly more expensive price per bag means I get to be extra selective on which figures to collect. I'm probably saving a bit more money by resisting any thought of completing the series as well.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017 | Coverage

Returning for another weekend of fun last month was Silicon Valley Comic Con. This is one of my most anticipated comic cons this year, so being prepared was a top priority in terms of having all the gear necessary. Cameras were packed. Film was packed. Microphone and mini tripod for vlogging packed. Everything packed except a wind shield for windy audio.

Attending as press means I did not get to wear a wristband. This means I didn't really get to experience the scanning process. Basically I flashed a badge and walked through. However, it seems a bit more thought was devoted to making sure a steady flow of traffic entering and exiting. There was never really a gridlock jam like last year. Another thing to note is all wristband scanning happened outside of the convention center, so there was no one allowed inside to ghost, even in the spacious lobby inside.

The artist alley contained a wide variety of content. Some I recognized, even local favorite artist Riri Mon had a table. Since this is a comic con, there was a big presence of independent comics that took on all sorts of topics and art styles. It's one of the reasons why I enjoy walking around the SVCC artist alley. The creativity in this artist alley is incredible, and the familiar artists I see at other events always bring new things that are relative to the event content.

Notable exhibitors this year include NASA, Wordpress, Acura, Warner Brothers, Joby and Lowepro. These were the booths that grabbed my attention each day, making sure I didn't get stuck too long in one particular spot. However, rest stops at the Wordpress tables was extra convenient since they had charging stations for phones. Not an exhibitor, but the couches and tables with chairs offered plenty of spots for people to take a break. This helped prevent people from sitting against walls and crowding up space in the exhibit hall.

Special guests were somewhat spread across the exhibit hall. There wasn't one particular area where the event guests could be found together. You kind of had to walk around, but Celebrity Row contained most of the celebrities. The likes of Steve Yeun, John Cusak, Grant Gustin and Tom Felton had another area for autographs and photo-ops. Lines for them were considerably long and there was no space in the exhibit hall to accomodate large crowds standing in a line.

Food was readily available in the exhibit hall and in the lobby area. Local spots like Psycho Donuts had a little pop-up shop serving up donuts and a selection of bottled soft drinks. There was another local food spot that set up, and they served a small assortment of Asian foods; the name is slipping my mind right now. However, just outside the convention center were the ice cream and hot dog vendors. That is something to take advantage of. Hot dogs were $5, but they were loaded with bacon, onions, jalapenos, mayo, mustard and ketchup.

There was so much going on the two days I went. Schedules were quite busy, but I made sure to check out one panel on Saturday. Finding Your Path to Greatness as an Actor of the Future with Anjali Bhimani was such a great panel to be at, but I'll be writing up a bit more on this in another article pretty soon. It was that good!

Anjali Bhimani (Fallout 4, Overwatch)

I am already looking forward to the next SVCC. Dates for next year will be April 6-8, 2018. Coverage this year spanned over 2 of the 3 days, but I'll be pushing to cover SVCC from beginning to end next year. This event has expanded so much that I think it is worthy of drawing in out-of-state crowds. It brought up some southern California folks, so it's obviously catching the attention of people outside the bay area. The special guests line-up next year has a tall order to fill after having an amazing line-up last month. Tickets for next year can already be ordered online with a 25% discount, making the 3-day adult pass $74.25.

The video below is a little vlog that I made. Not really little, it's 40 minutes long, but includes clips during Saturday and Sunday. There are some audio issues in a few parts, mostly due the not bringing a wind shield for the microphone. Check out the video since it shows off the exhibit hall and other random happenings at SVCC.

Links to more SVCC 2017 coverage
Photo Gallery | Facebook
A Panel with Anjali Bhimani -- coming soon
Instax Snaps -- coming soon