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Anime Tokyo Grand Re-Opening

You guys!!!! This past weekend I got to check out the new, larger location of a local anime shop! The kids stayed home to hang out with grandma so it was just DJ008 (my hubby) and I, but we’ll be back with them another day. The store is known to locals as Anime Tokyo, and it started out as a hole in the wall with anime rentals, manga, and fun figurines. I was excited even then because it’s on the west side of San Antonio, and stores catering to the anime nerd crowd just aren’t common over here.

It turns out, Anime Tokyo was hosting it official grand re-opening this past Saturday. We stopped by because the Facebook page was advertising Q&A panels, cosplay, and pizza. I’m down! I should’ve paid closer attention, because we got there early in the day and the stage was still being set up when we got there. Oh well.

We did get to see that Anime Tokyo has expanded to include T-shirts, Plushies, a viewing area with couches and tv, and a much better snack selection. We had to treat ourselves to some treats, of course. What I know my boys will love, though, is the awesome wall of gashapon! I’m going to get them a pile of tokens and let them go nuts starting a collection of capsule toys. As best I can tell, there was no longer a section for renting anime, but I imagine that in the age of Crunchyroll and Otaku-Streamers, renting anime probably wasn’t their biggest seller.

DJ008 and I didn’t get to stay long because we got a call saying that little man wasn’t feeling well. We grabbed our treats and went straight home. I was lucky enough to see a couple of amazing black girl cosplays before leaving, though. I wish I had asked them about potential Facebook pages to follow or something. I guess I’ll have to go back and hope I run into them again one day. In the meantime, go check out Anime Tokyo if you’re in San Antonio! And if you know of any other awesome shops in town, please do share!!!

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Five Tips for Con Vendors from an Attendee

I’ve been going to conventions since 2011, which isn’t long; but being in a major metropolitan area means I still get a pretty awesome rotation of local cons to attend each year. I’ve been to enough to start noticing things I do and don’t like about con vendors. I love my nerd interests, but I hate to see a vendor cut corners thinking they’ll get my money or attention just based on how much I love Mortal Kombat (and that’s a LOT). So let’s talk about what it takes to separate me from my money/time/attention, shall we?

  1. Have an online presence!- I can’t believe I have to say this in the age of toddlers owning iPads, but seriously, get a website! A Facebook page! An Etsy shop! An Instagram! Get something!! I go to cons knowing I can’t afford EVERYTHING that I want that weekend, but if you have a means to connect online, I can order something later. If I like your product, I can order again. Why would you not have some sort of online presence in this era?
  2. Look up when I approach your booth- I can’t tell you how many times somebody’s work has attracted my attention, and then their lack of interaction sent me right on my way. All I want is a hello. Acknowledge my presence! I don’t need your entire sales pitch right when I walk up but let me know that you’re aware I’m there. I see this problem most in the Artists Alley.
  3. sword replicas final fantasy kingdom heartsBe unique- The fastest way to get me to buy something is to make me believe you’re the only place I can find it. I’m a big fan of finding a good deal, and if you’re selling nerdy t-shirts, I’m going to look around at the 6 other vendors also selling t-shirts and probably not buy from any of you. However, my Mortal Kombat nightlight was definitely a unique item which I had to have right then and there.
  4. Be pro level- We are not all crafty people. That is why some of us are willing to pay others for their custom made work. In this age of Pinterest and Youtube tutorials, it is very easy for me to convince myself that I can do most things on my own. Your wares need to look like I can’t do that at home for cheaper. I once saw a vendor selling custom onesies. They were adorable, except the part where they looked like simple cut felt hand-sewn onto the blank onesies. I sew all my own cosplays. I think I could manage a felt applique on a onesie. Impress me, please.
  5. do you even gameBe geeky- This doesn’t happen often, but there have been occasions when I encounter a vendor who actually knows zero about geek culture and the products they’re selling. That bugs me. Maybe that’s exclusionary, but if you aren’t at least a little bit into geek life, I feel like you’re just here to profit off of my nostalgia.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, be accessible. I mean, how far did you come and drag all your wares to just stare at your phone while thousands of people walk by? I know the world tries to act like geeks aren’t a social people; but if that were true, why are conventions a thing? Yes, as a con-goer I am thrilled to see a vendor selling wall clocks made out of classic consoles. You still have to give me a reason to buy it, though. I’m curious to hear what some vendors and other con attendees have to say on this subject. Tell Blerdy Momma what you think!

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Free Comic Book Day Family Haul

free comic book day haul

Last Saturday was Free Comic Book Day! You knew that right? I had a countdown going over in the corner just in case.  The family and I got up that morning and rushed on over to Alien Worlds comic book store to browse this year’s selection. Check out our spoils!

  • free comic book day haulCivil War II #0 (Marvel)
  • Suicide Squad #1 (DC)
  • Valiant 4001 A.D.
  • Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft/Titan)
  • Steve Rogers Captain America (Marvel)
  • The Legend of Korra (Dark Horse)
  • Sonic Sampler (Sega)
  • Street Fighter V #1 (Capcom)
  • One Punch Man (Viz Media)
  • Batman: Earth One preview (DC)*
  • The All New, All Different Avengers (Marvel)*

*Those last two were in the store’s old Free Comic Book Day inventory.

We always try to support businesses during events like FCBD, so we bought a few things while we were there too.fcbd loot

  • Comic book box with organizers
  • Guardians of the Galaxy playing card deck
  • Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spiderman #1
  • DC Comics Essential Graphic Novels #1

Can I just take a moment to be proud of my 3-year-old? He comes with us every year to Free Comic Book Day but this was the first year that he really participated. He picked out his very first comic, the Sonic Sampler.

fcbd trip haulHonestly, I’ve never been heavy into comics like my husband was growing up. Of course, with all the best characters and franchises crossing over different media platforms; you can’t really avoid any one corner of geek culture. Not that I’m trying to avoid comics, but it’s certainly hard for any geek to not dip a toe in every sub-culture when you really love a character or franchise. That sounds like a topic worthy of further discussion…

So what did you get at Free Comic Book Day this year? Let’s compare notes!

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2015 New Year's Resolutions for a Stay-at-Home Geek

Happy-New-Year-Picture-4An entire year has flashed right by me once again, you guys. I recently reviewed my New Year’s resolutions from this past year, and I realized that I did not accomplish a single one. That’s a little embarrassing to admit, especially after I crafted them so carefully following my own how-to guide.

Let’s try this again, shall we? Another new year is upon us, and sooner or later I’ve got to get this whole “resolutions” thing right. I’m thinking that first I’ll set the goals, then I’ll come up with a simple plan to make sure they actually happen this year. Like I said in last year’s post, I’ll limit myself to 5:

  1. Potty-train my son.
  2. Lose 20 pounds.
  3. Learn to properly hydrate my hair.
  4. Finish my B. Orchid cosplay. (Preferably in time for Classic Game Fest.)
  5. Finish at least 2 games from the stack I bought at last year’s CGF. (lol.)

resume headshotI’ll have to reflect on these resolutions at least once a month to make sure that I make progress before 2015 speeds by as well. I think they show a good balance of homemaking, personal achievement, and geek life. I could certainly go on and on with this list, so I certainly hope that I can accomplish them early and replace them with additional resolutions. I didn’t even get to mention couponing, my home business, or cooking. My logic is that these are unique goals, whereas things like “build my stockpile” are habits that I hope to accomplish regularly. It would be awesome if next year I could choose some bigger projects for my resolutions, but my lack of achievement this past year has enlightened me. Clearly, I need to take baby steps. At least I can see the finish line this year. Happy New Year, y’all! What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2015?

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Approach Fitness Like a Video Game and Start Leveling Up

gamer finish line fitnessI loved this article! A friend sent it to me on Facebook, and I feel like it’s absolutely speaking my language! I want to take this approach to my fitness and see if I can last longer than 3 months. After reading this, I have a few new goals for my fitness journey:

  1. Define my levels.- When do I consider myself leveled up?
  2. Relate my workouts to games I love.- If I think of it as Ultimecia’s Castle instead of Cardio Axe, I think I’ll be much more hyped to kick butt!
  3. Play a video game.- I really haven’t logged any gaming hours in quite some time. No wonder I’m slowly losing my mind!

Anyway, if you’re a gamer and you want to get fit, read this article. Tell me what you think! Maybe we can start a guild! 🙂

Approach Fitness Like a Video Game and Start Leveling Up.

Thanks for reading!

~HC

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Surprise! I Made a Sailor Saturn Cosplay in Only 7 Days!

Sailor Saturn Cosplay

Sailor Saturn CosplayIn case you weren’t aware, the iconic anime franchise Sailor Moon recently had a revival in the form of Sailor Moon Crystal. Back in July, my family and I went to San-Japan, an annual anime convention in downtown San Antonio. I was scrambling to finish my Princess Jasmine cosplay in time when my husband reminded me that it was an anime convention. So, I decided to put my Princess Jasmine cosplay on pause to do a Sailor Saturn cosplay for San-Japan.

By the time I made this decision, I only had 7 days left to build the costume, start to finish. That is why you didn’t see any progress posts here or on Instagram about it, sorry guys. I did take some pictures of the process, though, so now I’ll share the cliffnotes pictorial version of how Sailor Saturn came together.

All materials for this cosplay came from Walmart and Dollar Tree, except for the wig. The tiara is just a foam strip with an elastic strap. I painted it gold and glued a glass rock to the center. Feel free to ask questions if you’re wondering how I did something!

I really wish I’d had time to make her scythe, but I knew I couldn’t do it justice in a week, so I went without it. Eventually, I’ll wear this cosplay again, though. And when I do, I’ll have the prop to match. The secret to this costume was some light-weight interfacing. That’s what really made the bows stand properly and the sleeve petals. This costume was way more comfortable than Sindel, but remind me never to wait till the last minute to put together a cosplay again.

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I Went to San-Japan! (My First Anime Convention)

This past weekend, San-Japan happened in downtown San Antonio. Let me just say, this annual anime convention is an experience like no other! For one, it’s a 24-hour experience! Maybe this is common and I’m just unaware, but I’d never seen a convention go all night long before. I just wish we’d had a babysitter so we could experience late-night geek life! I guess I’ll have to plan better for next year. (Note to self: Invest in babysitters and energy drinks)

The theme for this year was Samurai 7, an anime that I’ve only seen a couple episodes of. I debuted my Sailor Saturn cosplay, and my husband dressed as a Steampunk DJ. Our son was a button-mashing no0b, haha. Our cosplays are discussed in a separate post. In the meantime, San-Japan did soooooo many things right! I definitely got my money’s worth (and spent much more than I originally planned). So let’s talk about how they impressed me.

  • Open space- San-Japan took place in an entire convention center PLUS portions of the hotel next door. This offered breathing space for everyone, which is something other cons I’ve been to didn’t do. You could walk around without rubbing anyone inappropriately, despite the fact that there were thousands of people in the rooms at any given time.
  • 24-hour events- There was ALWAYS a panel, watch party, workshop, tournament, or other worthwhile event going on. From masquerade balls to sparring circles to karaoke, there was always something for everybody.
  • Affordable admission- My badge only cost $50 for the entire weekend, and had I ordered it earlier, I could’ve paid as low as $35. That’s an INSANE deal!
  • Pre-judging the Cosplay Contest- I love cosplay contests! What I don’t love, is sitting there for 3 hours just to get through the first stage of displaying all the costumes and then sitting around for another hour while the judges wade through their notes to figure out who won. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t start at 7pm, but really I just want to snap some awesome photos and see who won! San-Japan had cosplay contestants report during the con for a step called “pre-judging” where they got an in-depth look at the cosplays and got to ask whatever questions they had about construction. This meant that at the actual contest, contestants spent a grand total of 20 seconds on the stages each, and all the competitors were displayed in a timely manner. YES! It still took quite some time because the list of people was long, but it would’ve been sooo much longer if they hadn’t done it that way.

I had a great time at San-Japan. I only wish that I had more energy and hours in the day to attend more events, and maybe more guts to participate in a contest of some kind. I also wish money grew on trees, because the pile of loot I brought home is nothing compared to the pile of loot I wanted and left on the tables. My only gripe is that most of the celebrity appearances were very obscure people. The kind of folks who have cult followings but most lay-people wouldn’t actually know. It didn’t take away from my experience, but it would’ve been nice to see some bigger names. Maybe that’s just me being an anime novice…

Now check out my awesome collection of new geek swag!!

 

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Texas Comicon was Awesome!

Sindel MK Day OffTexas Comicon was a few weeks ago, and I was only able to go on Saturday. I made it worth it, though! I haven’t been to Texas Comicon in 2 years, because the last time I went (2012) it was a total bust. This year they announced that Jake “the Snake” Roberts would be there, so we decided to go. Of course, now that we live right around the corner from the old venue, they moved to a new venue :/.
Sindel is in desperate need of repair, which I only just discovered 2 days before the con. I may have to rebuild her from scratch, so I went with a “Sindel’s day off” look. I was still recognized, so I’m content with that. It was pretty crowded at the convention, so it was actually nice to be dressed comfortably.
The con had an interesting setup. It was taking place in a mall, so many of the vendors were located in open access areas. They saved the best vendors, celebrities, and exclusives for paid only areas, though. The feature was Optimus Prime and Transformers, but the VIP line for that was insanely long, so I passed that up. Instead, I met Jake “the snake” Roberts! He signed my Pick Your Poison DVD and a glossy photo and I got to touch his WWE Hall of Fame ring! How cool is that?!

I got a lot of cosplay inspiration from the costume contest, and I wish I could’ve watched it from a spot that would allow for better pictures, but I’ll still share them with you all. My favorites were definitely Akasha (Queen of the Damned), Dart (Legend of Dragoon), and Black Waltz #2 (FFIX). Honorable mention goes to Rule 63 Bumblebee, because she went so far as to include cupholders, lol.

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I Went to Mini-Mini Con!!

mini-mini con signMy goodness! Life has been extra busy lately! I’m sorry I haven’t posted much lately, but the world is not even trying to slow down for me. At least now I can tell you about my time at Mini-Mini Con!!

Mini-Mini Con is a one-day event (ok, really 4 hours) sponsored by San Japan (an annual comicon) and Nine Tails (a local geek shop). Lots of local vendors come out, and I guess the best way to describe it is a “comicon preview”. Patrons and their kids were in cosplay, a live DJ played dance remixes of our favorite theme songs, and of course there was a game room set up.

san japan pre registerI was able to pre-register for San Japan: Samurai 7, which is the full-size comicon taking place next month. YESSSS!!! My only regret was that we couldn’t hang out long, so I didn’t get to take many pictures. I was there long enough to get an awesome coupon for Game Over Videogames, however, which I used to spoil my husband for Father’s Day. Now admire my sweet new hair clip from Bonus Life Jewelry! Are you coming to San-Japan?