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August Art Roundup! Groot, Batgirl, and Baby Animal Plushes I MUST SNUGGLE NOW

Friday, August 22, 2014

Time for more great geek art!

Think you can handle this cute? BECAUSE I CANNOT.

 Groot! By Piper Thibodeau
SQUEE! I don't see any prints for sale, but Piper does allow you to download the image on DeviantArt. (New wallpaper?) Plus check out the rest of Thibodeau's gallery for more goodness like this:


Since I'm still catching up on posting all the art I found at Supercon, I tried not to buy any more at Tampa Comic-Con - I did. But when Mike Maihack is offering $20 watercolor commissions? COME ON.

I actually asked Mike what he wanted to draw, and he suggested the new Batgirl. SOLD! Here she is, all framed up in my office:

Watch for Mike at your local cons to snag a commission like this, or head over to his online store for prints and books.

When I posted this "art haul" photo from Supercon last month, some of you immediately zeroed in on that adorable Toothless in the middle:

That's an original commission by our friend Nathan Szerdy, but after seeing your response to it, he decided to give it a digital makeover and make it a print!

Now, despite our scolding Nathan still doesn't sell prints online, but he volunteered one for the give-away board, you lucky ducklings, you. ;) Be sure to follow Nathan on Facebook to keep up with his convention schedule, and/or look for him at Dragon Con next week!

Charlie Thurston - creator of that adorable WHObacca you all loved - donated his latest for the board, too. It's a geeky twist on the Christmas tradition of the Elf on the Shelf, called...

Wedge on the Ledge. 

Ok, so it's a little early for Life Day celebrations, but this is seriously cute stuff. The mini book is written & illustrated by Charlie, and the paper Wedge doll can sit up on, well, ledges. ;) Check out Charlie's Etsy shop (which he keeps fully stocked now, thanks to my constant badgering, ahthankyouverramuch) for lots more mini geek books and prints.

Also from Supercon, I picked up a few more of Alex Asfour's big 12X17 posters for the give-away board, since you guys snapped up the last batch I featured. You won't find these anywhere online; you can only buy from Alex in person or win them here!

Follow Alex on Pinterest to see the rest of his geek posters, or head to his website to see his travel posters (which are gorgeous) and design work.

Kit Steele had stacks and stacks of original pencil sketches like this beauty at Super Con:

It's accented with metallic gold, so the horns and scales gleam in the light. SO COOL. (I'm planning to frame it in silver for our bedroom.)

And I think you guys will like Kit's robot:

 I hope so, anyway; I bought it for the give-away board.

Follow Kit on Facebook to see all her newest stuff (GROOT!!), and you can buy her prints over on Society6.

Bamboota (aka Crystal Fontan) makes some fantastic t-shirt art you might recognize - and I just found she also sells them as prints and stickers over on Etsy:

Her postcard prints are only $5, and the larger 11X14 size is $15.

Bianca Roman-Stumpff is another local artist-turned-friend that I'm desperately trying to get selling online. She has a few things on Society6, and occasionally sells original Puff Monsters on Etsy, but that's not even a fraction of her work.

Here are two of her newest print sets:

That Avatar set is stunning in person - I so love Toph.

And since John and I disagreed on which of these next two you guys would like best, I just got both:

 Alien vs Predator. Bwhahaha!
If you like Bianca's stuff, do me a favor and go tell her on Facebook you'd like an online store; maybe we can badger her into it like we did Charlie. ;) Sometimes Bianca offers sales through FB with shipping, too, so don't be afraid to ask.

And finally, I promise these hand-sculpted and poseable art plushes WON'T drain your bank account - if only because they're already sold.

Yes, my friends, that is a handmade and sculpted ART DOLL. Can you believe it?? It's by Wood Splitter Lee's Fantasy Creations, who makes all kinds of different baby animals and auctions them off on ebay - for prices I'm betting neither of us can afford. Heh.

Check out her panda:

OH. Migosh.

And her latest, a wolf pup you won't believe isn't a real live animal:

AAAIEEE! Seriously unbelievable. And Lee does everything, too, from constructing a wire "skeleton" inside the plush to handpainting the eyeballs!

Head over to Lee's DeviantArt gallery for lots more cuddly creatures, and for ebay links to her current auctions.

K, that does it for this month! Now you know the drill: comment below for a chance to win your choice of prize from my Pinterest Art Give-Away Board, which has all KINDS of new goodies on it. (More than I've posted here, in fact, so be sure to check it out!) I'll pick a winner at random in a few days, and I'll ship anywhere, so internationals are welcome.

Happy weekend, and happy commenting!

Posted by Jen at 8:00 AM   |  261 comments  |   Labels: ,

Countdown to Dragon Con!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

(New logo!)

With Dragon Con just about a week away (ahh, I can almost hear the panicked screams from here), I thought I'd remind you guys of two potentially helpful mailbag posts:


That second one wasn't written specifically for DC, though, so let me also add:

- Know the hotel layouts, so you can find the exits quickly

DC crowds can be suffocating at times, so unless you're on stilts you probably won't be able to see very far ahead, making it surprisingly easy to get lost. There are maps on the official DC app - which I highly recommend downloading now - so take the time to study them and get the lay of the land, as it were. Knowing where you are - and how to get out - will go a long way towards alleviating panic.

Also, there are far fewer crowd-free halls and rooms at DC, so it may be harder to find a quiet recovery area than at other cons. Try to plan accordingly, and don't push yourself too far, anxiety-wise. If you feel uneasy, take a break. Don't be afraid to sit on the floor - provided it's out of the walkway - and keep an eye out for out-of-the-way nooks and crannies in the hotels you can come back to, if necessary.

Speaking of which, if you're able to reach the Hyatt, the lowest floor there is usually a quiet respite from the madness. Keep taking escalators down until you reach it, and you should be able to find a spot to sit on the floor in one of the hallways. (We've even taken our lunch down there before.)

K, I think I covered most everything else in those two posts up there, so be sure to check 'em out if you're new to DC this year, or even if you just want a refresher.

Lookin' forward to seeing lots of you in Atlanta next weekend! Watch my Twitter for sporadic updates on where I am, and as always, don't be afraid to tweet at me for a meet up! John and I tend to be constantly moving targets, but we always do our best to find you guys to say hi. (And as always, I'll have free pins!)

Oh, and as for costumes, watch for John as Dreamfinder on Friday, Lady Vadore Saturday night, and Death Eaters Sunday night. During the day I'll just be the shortie in a cap & two ponytails with a camera glued to my face. :D


Posted by Jen at 9:21 PM   |  25 comments  |   Labels:

My First Anime: Attack On Titan

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So I just finished binge-watching the first season of Attack On Titan last week, and I have thoughts.

Yes, it's shockingly gory for an animated show, and gut-wrenching, and the subtitles can be hard to keep up with during some of the action sequences, and everyone just. keeps. DYING!

...but you should totally watch it. 

The premise of the show is as compelling as it is crazy: all of humanity now resides inside a single enormous walled city, hoping to defend itself against the scores of human-eating giants outside called Titans. The soldiers who fight the Titans use a funky harness-and-cable system around their waists to zip around like Spider-Man, hacking at the giants with swords. This makes for some super fun fight sequences that almost feel like a virtual roller coaster.

Attack on Titan is one continuous narrative, so don't expect any resolution from episode to episode; you'll just get more cliff-hangers. The mystery of the Titans is addictive, though, and even now I cannot WAIT to see what happens in season 2. Plus, at only 22 minutes per episode, you could find yourself binging on 5 or 6 a night like I did. (There are 23 episodes in the season.)

The three main characters -  two boys and a girl - are childhood friends who enroll in the academy to become Titan-killing soldiers. They each have tragic pasts and buried secrets, but their loyalty to each other is what really ties the whole series together.

And I've gotta say, I especially appreciate the women in Attack On Titan. They fight alongside the men as equals, wear the same uniforms, have realistic anatomy (no comic book boobs here), and demonstrate equal amounts of eminent bad-assery. And while only one of the main characters is female, there are plenty more in the ensemble cast.

Mikasa here is also the best fighter in their class, and routinely kicks Titan butt.

Be prepared for a truckload of heart-wrenching awfulness in the first episode, but if you can make it through that, you can make it through the season. Also don't expect many light-hearted moments, though there are a few. It's mostly death and war and striving to survive. 

And yet, threaded through all that, there is friendship, and loyalty, and strength against impossible odds. You'll find yourself cheering for the team, and desperate to see what happens next.

You can watch season 1 of Attack On Titan on Netflix streaming, but be warned there's no English dub available there, so you're stuck with subtitles. (I know most anime purists say you should only watch with subtitles, but I find a lot of the original voice actors a little... over the top. Plus it's hard to appreciate some of the stunning fight sequences when there's so much text flying by.)

English dubs of the episodes just started airing in May on Cartoon Network, so if subtitles are a deal-breaker for you, check there or elsewhere online. Or just wait, since I'd guess (and hope!) the dubs will eventually be on Netflix, too.

So what do you think, guys? Anyone out there willing to give Attack on Titan a try? Anyone already watching it? If so, tell me what you think, and maybe how it compares to other popular animes, too,  since this is my first.

Posted by Jen at 7:40 PM   |  59 comments  |   Labels:

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