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September Art Roundup: Dragon Con Special Delivery!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Before I get to the art, a quick recap. Feel free to skip!

I rave about Dragon Con's artist alley all year, but I gotta say, this year's DC artist alley selections were kind of lackluster. DC turns away dozens of mega-talented artists each year, so it's not for lack of options; I think they just tried to put more of an emphasis on original indie comics this year, since technically it IS called the "Comic & Pop Artist Alley."

As a result, more than half of the artists in AA were pitching their own indie comic books, and another 30% were the typical "T&A" comic artists we lady geeks have come to know & loathe. (Think the new Spider-Woman cover, but more explicit.)

I actually like a lot of pin-up art, don't get me wrong; there's just a line most older comic artists tend to cross, to the point even John was pointing them out in horror. ("I thought Supergirl was a superhero, not a porn star?")

That left about 20% of artist alley with stuff I actually wanted to shop, which made it easy on my bank account, but still disappointing.

Fortunately, DC has *two* art areas; next to Artist Alley is the Art Show, which features more fine art styles and paintings, no indie comics, and an enormous art auction display area, set up in aisles. That's where I found most of today's picks, and I'm excited for you guys to see!

So let's get to it!

My favorite new find in Artist Alley was Autumn of Daydreams & Giggles Studios. Take a look at all these amazing originals:

My favorite was Rainbow Brite, but the diva from Fifth Element gets major points, too:

And more from Autumn's Facebook page:

Sadly the originals were out of my price range, and Autumn only had prints in a whopping 11X14 - too big for me! If she'd had 4X6 prints I'd have picked up several, so I hope she'll offer smaller sizes some day.

Autumn has an empty Etsy store, so watch that and/or her Facebook page (both of which she shares with another great artist, Mark Dos Santos) for updates.

In fact, I've featured Mark before, but here's one of his latest:

It has a fun Norman Rockwell feel to it, right?

Tom Taggart is an artist & sculptor who had these fabulous ornaments for sale:

 They're big - larger than my closed fist - heavy resin, and utterly charming. These photos don't do the paint jobs justice, either:

My favorite was the squid, which comes in several different colors & has an awesome splattery fade to it. They're $75 each, and watch Tom's Etsy shop for listings, since I'm guessing he'll restock there soon. (Or follow him on Facebook for updates.)

Now from the Art Show side:

 Justin Gerard was sold out of this one completely, and it's easy to see why:

"The Seahorse" 8X10 print, $15 (or 11X14, $20)

SO PRETTY. And luckily you can still buy one online!

This one seriously tempted John:

Justin had this print there for $20, I think, but I don't see it in his online store. Keep an eye out, though; maybe he'll list it.

He also had a companion print in reds & oranges of a little dragon reading a comic book and dreaming of being a big bad, but I can't find it on Justin's site yet, either. Maybe soon? I hope so, since that was my favorite!

Keri Ruediger was also sold out of all my favorite prints by the time I reached her booth - and again,  easy to see why!


Two more:


Keri has such a rich style & vivid color palette that her prints practically jumped out at me coming down the aisle. This is the kind of fine art you can display in any room of the house, too, not just your fun/geeky office!

Check Keri's DeviantArt for the rest - so much eye candy! - and while she does have a print shop at Storenvy, it's currently empty. Boo. I guess watch that and/or her Tumblr for updates. (Also, how's this for confusing: her card says Keri Ruediger, but all of her online sites say Alice Chan. Um... ? o.0)

Caralyn of Mystic Reflections draws the CUTEST little dragons:


In addition to that general cuteness, she also sells geekier versions as prints:

Each 5X7 print is $10, and comes matted to fit an 8X10 frame. Nice!

And THEN, Caralyn also has this:

Fairest Of Them All, 8X10 print (in an 11X14 mat), $20

Steampunk Snow White! Suh-WEET! Head over to Caralyn's Etsy shop to see the rest.

More dragons, this time by Stanley Morrison:

 He has dragons themed to all different kinds of drinks and fruits, which is fun, but I like this colorful mushroom dragon the best:

Head over to RedBubble for all of Morrison's big prints, starting around $22.

I've featured my friend Jasmine Becket-Griffith before, but I have to show this off: it was actually selected as the art Dragon Con used on all the room keys at the Hyatt!

"Clockwork Dragonling"

(Hit the link for all the different print options, starting at $14)

Jasmine & Matt gifted me with a canvas print of this - STUNNING - so then I immediately turned around and bought the canvas companion piece:

"Wind Swept"

These two are possibly my favorites of anything Jasmine's EVER done, and that's saying something; I've been following her work for over 10 years! Can't wait to get them on the wall in the dining room... just as soon as I find space. Heh.

Oh, and Wind Swept is limited to just 25 canvas prints, so if you want one, act fast! The canvas is $100, or you can get an open edition print for $14.

That's all I have for you guys from Dragon Con, amazingly enough, so lemme plug in one more find:

While searching Etsy for Soul Eater art I stumbled across Sarah Ellen Cheney's adorable Chibis, and, ah! IN LOVE.

 She has full sets of all the characters from Korra & Soul Eater, too.

And here's a super sweet Corpse Bride:
 Everything in Sarah's Etsy shop (aka Star In My Pocket) is surprisingly cheap: lots of button sets & key chains in the $5 range, or jewelry for around $15. GO NUTS.

 Or you can do what I did and pick any 3 of her 4X6 prints for $12.

The prints are gorgeous in person, and come individually packaged on sturdy foam boards. Color me impressed!

There's lots more where those came from, too, so go see!

K, that's it for now, so... GIVE-AWAY TIME!!

This month I'd like to clear out some of the older pieces on the give-away board, SO, if there's something you've been pining over for ages, tell me which one in your comment! 
In addition to one general winner - who will be free to pick something new -  I'll randomly pick a few extra winners who want some of my older prize selections. You don't *have* to tell me which one you want to enter, of course, but it'll up your chances if your choice has been on my board a while! (Keep scrolling down on the give-away board, btw; it refreshes & adds more!)
And as always, I'll ship anywhere, so BRING IT, internationals! I'll announce the winners in a few days.

Happy commenting!

Posted by Jen at 8:00 AM   |  598 comments  |   Labels: ,

StayPuft Donuts, Steampunk Movies, and Dapper Days!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

 I'm coming up for air from work and cosplay photos to remember there IS a world outside my office.

 A world... soon to be filled with Ghostbuster Krispy Kreme donuts:

 They're filled with marshmallow goo, and they just went on sale this week. WOOT!

I do love it when my two blogs collide, but my Cake Wrecks experience can assure you: they will never look this good in-store. [evil chuckle] Poor StayPuft.

Hey, just realized I'm wearing a StayPuft shirt right now! But then, I have at least half a dozen different StayPuft shirts, so... (It's a sickness. A wonderful, wonderful sickness.)

I'm mostly posting those to assure you guys I *have* seen them, since I'm being bombarded - albeit in a good way - from all social media sides. Heh.

Similarly, yes, I'm SUPER psyched about Hullaballoo, the 2D animated feature being put together by Disney animators (but not for Disney):

They've already raised nearly FOUR TIMES their goal amount, and the campaign runs through October 1st, so, YAY STEAMPUNK. (Doesn't it look gorgeous? I'd love to see this turned into a whole series!)

Speaking of Disney-related stuff, Cori S. reminded me that Dapper Day at WDW is coming up again on the 27th, so for you locals or well-timed vacationers:

I like how they call it the "Fall" Soirée, when it's still 91 degrees over here. If last year was any indication, there are going to be some sweaty fur stoles and wool suits over at DHS that day. :( We really should stick to Winter Dapper Days in Florida, don't you think?

That said, I looooove seeing all the fabulous clothes and Disney-Bounding, so I'll try to make it out for the 6PM meetup for photos, at least. (Here are my photos from last year, if you're looking for fashion inspiration!)

Also on the Epbot Facebook page, Teresa M. found me the perfect t-shirt:


On average I think I leave the house once a week, and the only times I enjoy leaving the house are for conventions or dates with friends and/or readers. So, yep, gonna need this shirt. (Aha! Finally found it on Look Human for $20.)

And finally, 'fess up, you commenters: John Strangeway paid you all to convince me to watch Tucker & Dave Vs Evil, didn't he? DIDN'T HE? Because he's been pestering me for ages, but it took all your comments on my last post to finally get me to watch it. (That, and John wanted to. ;)

And my verdict?

Absolutely hilarious (I thought John was going to sprain something,) and screamingly gory. (Two words: wood chipper). Fortunately the gore wasn't too psychologically disturbing, if that makes sense, so I just hid behind a couch pillow and yelled my way through it. And you guys are right: Alan Tudyk is a genius. Both guys are, but some of his lines... 

It also helps that you can usually tell when the bloody stuff is coming; no surprise decapitations or anything. Still: SO GORY.  o.0

John and I are already hard at work (him actually working, me "consulting") on another big geeky project, but no pics yet, for fear of the Epbot Project Jinx. Maybe soon, though?

'Til then, Happy Thursday, everyone!

UPDATE: Jamie asked over on Facebook how my cat Lily is doing with her over-grooming, and since that's a FAQ: Lily's doing grrrrr-REAT! Granted, she's still on steroids, which aren't ideal, but we're still testing new foods in the hopes we can wean her off the pills some day. For now, though, she's a playful purr-box constantly demanding hugs. So, you know, perfect.  ( <-- opinion="" unbiased="">

And since I'll take any excuse to post Lily Glamor Shots, here's one I just took on my phone:

I moved her box onto the table to keep her off my lap while I'm trying to craft. She's still really distracting, though. I mean, LOOKIT DAT FACE. (Must... snuggle...)

Posted by Jen at 8:30 AM   |  38 comments  |   Labels: , , ,

The Best Cosplay of Dragon Con 2014, Pt 3

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Time for more Dragon Con goodness!

And we're going to start off with a bang, because a battle-ready Cinderella holding a bazooka named "Fairy Godmother" is preeeetty much the coolest thing I've ever seen:

Look closely: the bazooka shoots pumpkins. YES. And look at all the other princesses geared up for battle! Lots of great details, but I'm especially loving Aurora's Maleficent-skull staff.

Next up, a stunning... Lady Loki, I think?

 That staff alone is a work of art, but also check out her filigree arm bracer, and the delicate snake on her corset! So many pretties.

Dragon Con can be quite family friendly, as this extended family of Krieger clones from Archer will attest:

 This whole group is related: I think there are two parents with their kids & kids' spouses. Now that's how you do a family reunion!

And a reference for the characters:

I'm pretty sure everyone will recognize THIS character:

 Remy from Ratatouille! BRILLIANT!! 

Those of you looking for Halloween costume ideas, take note; this would be relatively easy to do!

And here's another easy one, but it made me laugh with delight. Let's see how many of you recognize it:

His shirt says "Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho."


Optimus Prime, ROLL OUT:

 I love that he has windshield wipers.

A perfect Hans & Anna:

By the time I recognized this Zealot from Bioshock Infinite, she'd passed right by me:

(Zealots carry a coffin on their backs, painted with the likeness of Lady Comstock:)

Fortunately John leaped into action, and managed to run ahead for a photo of the Zealot's front - and to my delight, the cosplayer turned out to be a lady Zealot!

Zealots are always men in the game, and are rarely cosplayed, so seeing a gender-swapped version made it that much cooler!

Next up, the whole gang from The Lego Movie:

Check out Metalbeard - hee! And the Unikitty Girl is adorable. Oh! And do you see the human version of Wyldstyle in the middle?

Here are four steampunked members of the Green Lantern Corp:
 Plus a classic Green Lantern on the right.

Green Lantern's ring was crazy bright, but I thought it looked really cool in this shot:

I saw some familiar faces, too: remember this Ronald/Joker & Wendy/Harley mashup from last year?


 But no matter how many times I see it, I will never get tired of Consuela from Family Guy cleaning other peoples' costumes:

And then there were two!

Next, some assorted baddies:

This one is from the video game Alice: The Madness Returns, and I immediately fell in love with her chess piece staff:

Here's the closest reference I can find - sorry it's from the back!

 Next up, a little hurdy durdy cäken schmööshing:

 Swedish Chef! I even got a complimentary "bork bork bork" for my trouble.

I'm proud to say I knew EXACTLY who this was the moment I saw him:
 It's Lt. Dangle from Reno 911! - as a Ghostbuster.

Now THAT is a mashup show I want to see.

Really loved this Strawberry Shortcake outfit:

SO SWEET. Hard to see, but her shoes had the sparkliest crystal strawberries on them.

And how cute is this 2nd Doctor with his Cyber(wo)man lady friend?!

That armor dress is SO GOOD. And look, she cut out eyelash notches in the helmet!

And while we're talking Doctor Who, here's one of The Silence:


I generally prefer creepy over gory, but I have to show you guys this next one:

That's my friend the infamous John Strangeway (aka Steampunk Boba Fett) as Dale, and his friend Ben as Tucker - from Tucker & Dale vs Evil.

Aaand a reference, for those of you who - like me - haven't seen it yet:
So if you're wondering, yes, that IS half a torso Strangeway's carrying around his neck up there.
(I've been assured this movie is a comedy. Still not sure I'll ever see it. o.0)

How's this for a perfect accessory - and a fun example of forced perspective?

Carl is wearing a garden hose harness - just like in the movie - and floating behind him is the house from Up! So perfect! Plus he was careful to put on his "grumpy face" for the photo.

As someone who prefers masks when cosplaying, I'm always on the lookout for new and creative ways to cover your face. These two ladies had some of the most unique examples of the whole con:

Funky cool!

I've photographed him before, but this year was the first time I got to officially meet Dave Lee, aka steampunk Darth Vader. Here he is in his diver's costume, which some of you may recognize from the DC parade:

 The back was equally impressive, with all kinds of colored lights and doo-dads:
 And here's Dave's daughter, sporting an incredible captured mermaid cosplay:

Dave tells me they'll be adding even more to this one in the future, like interior lights and more detailing on the robot. She really pulled it off beautifully; definitely one of those costumes that make you look twice!

 Awww, sad mermaid. :(

 I'm hoping to find more photos of this Warhammer Space Marine later, but for now, here's a grainy one:
These space marines have a zillion different color schemes & varying details, but here's a general reference:

The cosplayer did have a helmet, too, but apparently he can't really see out of it, so most of the time he left it off.

And finally, what was arguably one of the greatest costumes Dragon Con has EVER seen:


Thank goodness he was so tall, too, or else I'd never have gotten any shots at all. The crowd was glued to him, and a full-body angle was completely out of the question.

This happened when I caught another camera's flash, and I thought it was pretty cool:


And then ANOTHER Groot came out, and the crowd went nuts:


And one final shot, which almost has a kind of melancholy to it that I love:

He seems so stoic and sad. I just wanna hug him. Or water him. Or something.

Oh, and do you see the little twig sticking out of his shoulder? Love that.

K, that's it for this installment! And I think I'm just past my half-way point, so... EEK. (I'm pacing myself, so forgive me if it takes even longer for the next batch. I want to talk about things besides cosplay from time to time, too!)

Posted by Jen at 3:20 AM   |  41 comments  |   Labels: ,

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