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Pull List: July 31, 2013

Oh my God, you guys! This is our last pull list together! I'm going to be sincere for only a second, and not a moment more. There's so many different things out there that are related to comics. There's no way we would have touched on them all in just a month. I hope you made it out to your local shop and/or Amazon and picked up a few things. Ok, have a nice summer! BFF4EVA, KIT! Christina

1. Justice League The New 52 Wonder Woman vs. Katana 2-Pack Action Figure from DC Direct
Figures of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy from the video game Arkham City are also available today. Ivy looks like she has a skin disease. Soooooo sexy.

2. Issue #12 of It-Girl & The Atomics from Image Comics

Series finale, kind of a bad time to jump into a new comic. Just buy it for the art. Mike Allred is the current artist for Marvel's FF. His work is beautiful.

3. Volume 1 of Ghost from Dark Horse Comics
Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto? How did I not know about this? What is wrong with me?

4. Capote in Kansas from Oni Press

Did you guys ever read In Cold Blood? No? Um, did you ever see Capote? Oh, well . . . long story short: the guy who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's (a.k.a. that Aubrey Hepburn picture) also wrote the first non-fiction novel about a quadruple homicide in a small Kansas town. It's because of Truman Capote that we have Investigation Discovery and for that, I will always be thankful.

5. Issue #14 of Captain Marvel from Marvel Comics
I wonder if I actually planned ahead, if this whole month would have been a disaster. I should wing it more often.

DIY Cosplay: Captain Marvel

Let's take our lazy cosplay to the next level. We're going to transform a piece of Urban clothing into Captain Marvel's new uniform. Just follow these simple and easy-to-comprehend steps. I would like to preface this post by saying that blogging is a completely different skill set from technical writing. Christina

First, research the character. Between multiple artists, cartoon or movie appearances, costume updates, or fan recreations, there will be several different versions of your character's costume. If you have trouble getting a full view of the costume from official art, try checking out fan art, toys and statues, or other cosplayers. (Checking out other cosplayers may all help you figure out tricky parts of the costume. These characters tend to have idealized bodies wearing fabric that fits in impossible ways.) Here's what I found for Captain Marvel:

The costume's primarily navy with yellow and red accents. It has raglan sleeves with red piping along the sleeve seams. She wears gloves that reach mid-forearm; each glove has five gold buttons on it that go from the edge of the glove to the wrist. There are two matching buttons on the collar. She has an eight-pointed star on her chest that is matched by the medallion closure on the sash. There are two yellow stripes that go around the upper chest, back, and arms. They form a V in the front and on the arms. There is a black or navy gap between the stripes and around the star on the chest.

The gold V on the back mimics the shape of the front. The red sash rides high on the right hip and low on the left hip. Here the boots are high heels and reach mid-calf.

In this picture, the raglan seam and the piping are lower on the side. The gold zipper is long; it reaches from the bottom edge of the collar to the crotch. She has flat red boots with seven more matching gold buttons. (It's six gold buttons on the very first picture of this post.) Unlike her previous costume, the ends of the sash are short.

Next, be honest with yourself. Decide which one you like best and which one would be best for you. I don't believe in that bullshit that you should only cosplay characters that match your body type/skin color/gender/whatever. At the same time, cosplay can be a lot of work and a lot of money. Don't bother working your ass off on a body armor bikini if the idea of showing that much skin in public makes you freak. Also use this time to decide if you want to carry any props such as weapons. It's a different skill set from making a costume and you may need to budget more time.

Being honest with myself, I do not have the time nor the money to make the full Captain Marvel costume. Especially not the money. I don't even really feel like making the sash, the medallion, or the gloves. So, we're gonna keep this one easy. We're taking a hoodie and adding some cheap fabric and notions to it. Imagine Captain Marvel on her day off, hanging around the Avengers mansion in her sweatpants with Spider-Woman. That's the look I'm going for.

Now let's make some stuff! I'm going to use a sewing machine but if you feel more comfortable painting on the fabric or hand sewing or knitting, do that instead. The point is to have fun, not to drive yourself insane. We're going to use this BDG hoodie as our base:

BDG Speckled Raglan Zip-Up Hoodie

I would take a picture of myself wearing it, but I haven't showered in three days. I look and smell like Swamp Thing.

Besides being super warm and comfy, it already has raglan sleeves and comes in the perfect shade of navy. The zipper is white and silver instead of gold, but zippers can always be replaced. Same with the drawstring. You will also need:

1/2 yd each of red and yellow knit fabrics 
pencil and paper

The rectangle on the sweatshirt is a packet of red piping, meant to highlight the raglan seams. As I went on, I decided against using it. I felt like ripping open seams was a little too much work for lazy cosplay.

Get out your pencil and paper and start sketching. With my ruler, I measured the different pieces of the sweatshirt: front, back, and sleeve. Be sure to mark seam allowancesfold lines, the top of the pattern piece vs. the bottom, etc.; mark anything that will help you keep the pieces straight and will help you remember how they go together.

This is my sleeve. For me, the sleeve was the trickiest part of the sweatshirt. I bet it's really easy for you, isn't it. I marked the fold line (top of photo) and I added a 1/2" seam allowance (bottom of photo). Seam allowances are usually between 3/8" and 5/8". Make sure you keep them all the same width. 

This will be the part of the project where your cat will get angry that you're not paying attention to her. She does not forgive and she will never forget.

When you have your basic pattern pieces drawn, that's when you start color blocking. Keep your research materials close by. We have the red shoulders, a yellow star, two yellow stripes, and the navy/black gaps. I started with the star. It's the part of the costume that grabs the eye. The problem, of course there's a problem, is that I couldn't get the star to look how I wanted. The angles were all wonky and some points were longer than others. Thank God for the internet.

I Googled "captain marvel star" and printed out a Marvel cover in three different sizes.

I cut out all three and pinned them to the sweatshirt one by one until I decided on which one I liked and where I wanted it to be on the sweatshirt.

Measure from the top of the zipper tape to the top point of the star. Use that measurement to properly place the star on your pattern piece. Remember that the star is split vertically by the zipper, so you'll only be tracing half of the star. If we go back and look at our research, we see that stripes don't match up exactly with the points of the star. The center gap doesn't match up with the concave part of the star either. 

As you can see, I drew the star and the stripes before changing my mind and moving it all a few inches lower. Don't be afraid to make a mess of your pattern. 

To make sure that the stripes line up, I cut out the pattern pieces (last chance to add seam allowances!) and matched up the seams. You can line up your ruler with the stripes and just continue you them onto the sleeve. Because of the angle of the stripes and the fold line of the sleeve, the stripes will automatically form the V shape. Do the same with the sleeve and the back pattern piece.

I deleted the photo that showed the next step because it was blurry and never took a better shot. You see those stripes? Imagine them even longer and going towards the right.

For the gaps between the stripes, we're gonna use negative space instead of cutting narrow strips of fabric. Using your ruler, draw parallel lines next to your stripes to form the gaps. Mine are 1/8" wide. Do the same for the stripes on the sleeve and back pieces and the star.

I colored in the lines to better visualize the negative space. At this point, you may also want to mark which pieces are red and which are yellow.

Cut out your red and yellow pattern pieces, leaving the negative space behind. Fold your fabric in half and lay out your pattern pieces. If they move around a lot, you can pin them to the fabric or weigh them down with soup cans. 

All of the back and sleeve pieces will be cut on the fold. Remember to cut two of the sleeve pieces. The front pieces will not be cut on the fold; you will need two of these pieces are well. Starting with the red pieces, pin then sew them together and then pin them to your sweatshirt.

Do you guys see the error I made? Like I said earlier, the sleeves were the trickiest part for me. The sleeves ended up being pointy at the neck seam and slightly too big.

See? Too much fabric on the shoulders. If this happens to you, feel free to either redraw and recut your fabric or dart the hell out of it. If you dart, your seams will not line up like you hoped.

Not only did I feel like Pinhead, I stuck myself so many times with these pins that I ended up bleeding. I suffer for this blog.

Using the pins, I marked 1/8" from the bottom of the red piece. I recommend pinning the star in place next. Mark 1/8" around the star. Sew the pieces of the top stripe together then pin that whole piece to the sweatshirt. You may have to re-pin the star and the stripes several times to get everything in the right places. Take your time. What's your rush? New York Comic Con's not until October. 

Sew the top stripe in place. Mark 1/8" from the bottom of the top stripe.

No one wanted to model this for me. Note: get different friends or get much better at selfies.

Did you know that sewing professionals don't use pins? When you're a pro, pins just slow you down or break your machine.

Sew together the pieces of the bottom stripe then sew it onto the sweatshirt. Finally, sew on the star.

At this point, your cat will enact her revenge by farting on your sewing machine table and stinking up the whole room. What a jerk.

And we're done with the sweatshirt! Mostly. You can keep working on it by trimming any uneven stripes, finishing the edges with a satin stitch or some other embroidery stitch, adding buttons, or using a scarf as the sash. Make it as complicated as you like. I'm stopping here so I still have time to play Tomb Raider.

So dainty with the drawstring.

This kind of looks like a Captain Marvel Romper.

To finish the Captain Marvel look, try styling you hair with VERB Sculpting Clay and pinning it back with Hershesons Get A Grip Hair Pin. Her makeup is pretty light. Try bh cosmetics 28-Shade Neutral Eye Shadow Palette and NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Chic Red or Ulysses. 

Now that I've made this semi-prototype, I'm pretty sure I'm going to make the full suit for Halloween. It feels right. And I want those boots.

Lazy Cosplay: Static

Virgil Ovid Hawkins (hope you're up to date on your ancient Roman poets) is your typical teenage dork. He hopes to get back at some bullies who were hassling him but instead gets trapped between rival gangs. The cops show up, unknowingly release teargas that has been tainted with a chemical called Quantum Juice, and electromagnetic Static, along with other mutated teens, is born. Once belonging to Milestone Media, Static has since been absorbed by mainstream DC continuity where he has starred in his own cartoon and comic, as well as many other series. Static mixes his superhero wear with everyday accessories like baseball caps and long, dramatic coats. Expect a lot of yellow and blue with lightning motifs. Christina

Brixton Rift Snapback Hat
It even has a centered X on it.

Ray-Ban Justin Youngster Wayfarer Sunglasses
I have this problem where sunglasses make me look like a giant douchebag. I would never wish my plight on anyone. Except, you know, giant douchebags. These are cool, though.

Lightning Bolt Shop Tank Top
There's a long sleeve version as well. You can put so many tiny things in that pocket.

Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
This jacket might be the brightest article of clothing in the entire Men's section of the website. Perfect for Static.

Levi' 511 Skinny Stonewashed Twill Pant
These pants will be perfect to complete the ensemble.

Hawkings McGill Ripple Chukka Boot
Chukka is a real word, just in case you were wondering.

Bat Ladies

Everyone's always talking about Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. They're the ultimate crimefighting team. Through Robin, Batman gets to right the wrongs of his childhood. Batman's a pederast and Robin is his underage gay lover. I'm so over it. Here's a cheatsheet for just some of the ladies who work under the Bat symbol. Christina

Barbara Gordon
To the outside world, she's the librarian daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon. To those in the know, Babs is the mama bird of the dysfunctional Bat family and the boss of pretty much everyone else ever. She was the first Batgirl and after a run-in with the Joker that left her paralyzed from the waist down, she became Oracle. As Oracle, she ran the DC Universe due to her gigs with the Justice League and the Birds of Prey. She has since regained her mobility and is back on the streets of Gotham as Batgirl, bossing people around face to face.

Cassandra Cain
Let's get this out of the way first: Cass easily wears the creepiest Bat costume. But the gimp mask has a purpose! Cass is the daughter of David Cain and Lady Shiva, two premier assassins, and she was raised as the perfect fighter, responding only to body language. She could not read, write or speak. See, the mask is all poetic and whatever. Cass later learns English, gives the Batgirl mantle to her BFF Steph, and becomes the Black Bat

Stephanie Brown
She's been Spoiler, a superhero focused on spoiling the plans of the Cluemaster, her deadbeat villain father. She's been Robin, flying high over the city of Gotham. She's been Batgirl, where she came into her own and starred in one of the best Bat books ever written. Steph's had a quite depressing storyline and publication history but there are two things you must remember about this young woman: she doesn't buy into Batman's doom and gloom approach to life and she slapped Batman in the face after he came back from the dead.

Kate Kane
Kate is a Jewish lesbian that decided to become Batwoman after being kicked out of West Point under "Don't ask, don't tell." (Isn't it nice that her cutting edge origin story is now a tiny bit outdated?) There's more to talk about with her, but let's just look at the artBest art ever. 

Bette Kane
Bette is the younger cousin of Batwoman. As Flamebird, and later Hawkfire, she is Batwoman's go-to-girl. Guys, she kicks ass in ballet flats. Ok, not really but it's fun to pretend. Fun fact: Bette first appeared as Betty, the original Bat-Girl, in 1961. She worked with Batwoman back then too. She also constantly tried to kick it with Robin. Back when he unironically wore hot pants.

Carrie Kelley
She fights crime with a slingshot and fireworks while wearing the coolest glasses. Carrie is a Robin of the future, specifically the Robin from The Dark Knight Returns. She goes toe to toe with the Joker and his accomplices and wins! Hell, she even fights Superman. Future Batman may be a big ol' grumpasaurus (just like regular, present day Batman) but Carrie makes it work.

"Batgirl Beyond"
She's so mysterious! The newest Batgirl has popped up in Batman Beyond Unlimited, a digital comic based on the turn-of-the-millennium cartoon. (Don't you miss using "the millennium?") Who is she? What does she want? No one knows but Gotham City Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon (the older woman with the Carrie-Kelleyesque glasses in the background) is gonna find out.

Artist: Noelle Stevenson

I first found out about Noelle Stevenson because of her "Broship of the Rings" series of drawings. Her art and sense of humor felt like part Adventure Time, part Quentin Blake and I fell in love. She's the artist and writer behind Nimona, a webcomic about a supervillain and his shapeshifting sidekick. She's also credited with inspiring The Hawkeye Initiative which you need to go look at right now. Check out her tumblr for more art and news of upcoming projects. And buy some prints while you're there. Artists gotta eat. Christina

Pull List: July 24, 2013

Regan should never smile, not even if the comic she's reading is delightful. It is terrifying. Christina

1. The Daniel Clowes Reader: A Critical Edition of Ghost World and Other Stories, with Essays, Interviews, and Annotations from Fantagraphics
It's almost like I planned this or something. Nope. Happy coincidence.

2. Hawkeye Annual from Marvel Comics
If you've been reading Young Avengers like I've been all but ordering you to, you already know who Kate Bishop is. If you've been ignoring me, you jerk, pick this comic up. Kate's one of two street level superheroes named Hawkeye, the other being Jeremy Renner . . . I mean Clint Barton. And as a street level superhero, she doesn't have to play nice.

3. Mars Attacks Statue
I know that it costs $230, but it's a Martian stepping over a corpse and the Liberty Bell. I'm from Philadelphia, I have to like this. (Fun Fact: Did you know the Tim Burton movie was based on trading cards? I didn't.)

4. Part 1 of Book Girl and the Scribe Who Faced God 
This is actually a novel and not a comic but I support this book on principle. That is an amazing title. The Book Girl series has been adapted for manga and film, so check those out of you need pictures.

5. Issue #51 of The Unwritten from Vertigo 
Don't buy this comic, especially not this crossover issue. Instead, go to your local shop and ask for The Unwritten #1 or the first collected edition, Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity and start there. It is a series about a man who was the inspiration for/might actually be Tommy Taylor, a Harry-Potter-esque boy wizard. The Unwritten is a love letter to literature and if that sounds like your sort of thing, check it out. This series makes my soul happy in a way that few other stories do.

Style Icons: Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca Doppelmeyer

Ghost World is the story of Enid and and Rebecca, two best friends who just graduated high school and are trying to figure out what they're going to do and who they're going to be. In 2001, a movie adaptation was released that starred Thora Birch as Enid and Scarlett Johansson as Rebecca. Read it and watch it. 

Rebecca is the "skinny blonde WASP" of the pair. As a proper young professional, Rebecca wears a lot of solid separates and buttondown shirts in neutral colors. If you can wear it in an office, Rebecca has it in her closet. Enid, on the other hand, has a carefully curated thrift store style: bright colors, prints, and graphics with some fantastic accessories. I would even argue that sometimes, her outfits are more like costumes: different identities she adopts to face the day. Don't let me analyze Ghost World. We'll be here forever. Christina


Coincidence & Chance Piped Oxford Shirt
Piping? So edgy!

BDG Denim Mini Skirt
Rebecca wears a lot of mini skirts and shorts. Embrace your legs too. After all, they take you places.

Filigree Headwrap
Is a headwrap a hairband or hair jewelry? Doesn't matter, either way it holds back your bangs.

BDG Classic Cardigan
Every office you ever work in will be almost freezing. It's pretty much the law. The cardigan is the pinnacle of officewear. 

Coincidence & Chance Neon Embroidered Party Dress
Your stupid friend will one day take you to a stupid party where you will be surrounded by stupid middle aged men who know that milk-drinking weirdo. Kill her now before she gets the chance.


Vintage '60s Mod Floral Coat
Someone needs to buy me this coat.

Quay Kittie Cat-Eye Sunglasses
Enid messes around with the style and make of her glasses, but those suckers stay black.

Deter Zebra Reflection Tee
We're being economical here: graphic tee plus zebras.

Dr. Martens 1460 Boot
For your 1977 original punk rock look.

Vintage '50s Striped Sailor Dress
I wish the pattern were more '70s but it's beautiful and slightly nautical so it's in the blog post!

Comic Con Recap

Months of planning, weeks of manual labor, days of setup, hours of "Do you have this in a medium?" Unfortunately now Comic Con is over and the beast has gone to sleep for another year. Other writers on this blog will have more information, interviews, photographs, and observations for you as the week goes on, but today, let's check out some of the bigger stories. Christina

Not much happened in comic land, really. Not when compared with the spectacles that movie studios produce. Over at DC Comics, Lois Lane will be a big part of an upcoming Superman story but it will be because "what we do to her will be really bad." Wow. Can't wait.

What I am actually excited about at DC is a new Harley Quinn comic. It'll be co-written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner with covers by Conner. This duo did a great Power Girl series a few years ago and I can't wait to see what they do with Harley.

You probably remember Harley more like this.

Neil Gaiman is returning with a Sandman miniseries at Vertigo. Sandman is a pretty big comic series in terms of influence, prestige, and sales. By the end of its run in 1996, it was selling more copies than Superman or Batman. To go with Gaiman's spectacular writing were Dave McKean's creepy and trippy covers. He's back for the miniseries as well.

Over at Marvel, Young Avengers is getting a New Year's Eve storyline with several guest artists: Becky Cloonan, Ming Doyle, Joe Quinones, Emma Vieceli, and Christian Ward. It's going to be beautiful.

Look at all the teenage superheroes!

Rockstar writer Grant Morrison, previously of almost every major superhero series, will debut a video comic series called 18 Days. It is based on the Mahabharata, an epic from ancient India, and Morrison has been working on it for over three years. Grant Morrison is one of the more inventive authors working in comics today and seeing his work in motion will be a treat. 

Other comics news: The Walking Dead celebrated its 10th anniversary; Darwyn Cooke announces his next Richard Stark adaptation; The Absolute Promethea Immateria will be published next year; Did you ever actually read the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or did you just get swept up in the hysteria? You know it's a comic, right?

Marvel had a big panel for their movie projects. Tom Hiddleston appeared as Loki, bringing with him footage from Thor: The Dark World. Scarlett Johansonn, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, and Anthony Mackie showed up to talk about Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The main cast of Guardians of the Galaxy were brought on stage after that. OMG Karen Gillan shaved her head to play Nebula!

(L-R) Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon. It has not yet been announced who is playing Groot and Rocket Raccoon.

We finally have a name for the next Avengers movie: Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now, if you know your comic books, you have an idea of what's headed your way. More interesting is how many more Avengers characters are tied into the Ultron stories. Come on, Scarlet Witch. Let's get you in a movie.

DC had a movie panel as well. I hope you liked Man of Steel. Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill will be back with Superman/Batman. Yes, that is a movie starring both Superman and Batman. In one movie. Together. No word on if JGL will be Batman, which is a shame because that is the only way I'll see this movie.

This is looking like a Superman-Meets-Twilight movie to me.

Quick quibble: Batman has had seven live action feature films since 1989. Superman has had six since 1978, including a reboot in 2013 because the 2006 film was seen as a flop. There's been a Jonah Hex movie, for Christ's sake. You can't take a chance on a Wonder Woman movie? Not even once? Fuck that.

I would spend obscene amounts of money on a live action Wonder Woman film. She is legit the greatest.

Guys! Jennifer Lawrence was at Comic Con!

As well as some other Hunger Games actors, but no one really important, just the co-stars. They brought a new Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer with them. And look at Effie rocking that McQueen. She's living the dream.

Other movie news: The first Veronica Mars trailer premieres; New Godzilla movie; Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity brought Sandra Bullock to Comic Con; Did you not hear me say Jennifer Lawrence? Look, here's the panel!

Doctor Who celebrated its 50th Anniversary a bit early at Comic Con this weekend. They showed a trailer that was apparently awesome. It had Daleks in it. I would show it to you, but it has not been released. It was an exclusive treat for the Whovians at Comic Con only. I am not pleased.

These are Daleks, the Doctor's greatest enemies. I know they look silly. Trust me, they are scary. And funny. Funny-scary.

For those nerds: Both David Tennant and Billie Piper will be back for the anniversary special on November 23. Steven Moffat, the current showrunner of Doctor Who, hinted at John Barrowman showing up again as Captain Jack Harkness . . . maybe. He's a tricky one, that Moffat. They haven't yet decided on a 12th Doctor. Matt Smith put on a Bart Simpson mask and walked the floor at Comic Con. I'm sorry if this paragraph makes no sense to you. You should start watching Doctor Who so that you and I have more to talk about.

Steven Moffat had another panel earlier in the convention for his other show, Sherlock. I know you just want to see Benedict Cumberbatch, so I won't waste any more of your time:

It's Breaking Bad's final season which makes this Breaking Bad's final Comic Con until the inevitable reunion panel in however many years. Attendees got to see a few minutes of the next episode; the rest of us will see it August 11 or whenever it gets put on Netflix. Here's the Comic Con trailer:

Speaking of Breaking Bad, I can't wait to see Aaron Paul congratulate all of you you-know-whats.

Other television news: Khal Drogo! My sun and stars!; Supernatural's getting a spinoff; new Walking Dead trailer; Here's a video of the Teen Wolf panel.

Artist: Annie Wu

Annie Wu is an artist you should know. She sometimes does comics: she's done some work for Marvel's Hawkeye and is the current artist of DC's Batman Beyond. She sometimes does animation: she just finished working on Venture Bros. season five. She sometimes does illustration and design: check out her submission for The Strand. In short, she's magic. Be sure to check out her Flickr for tons of fashion inspiration. Christina

Seven of Swords

Star Trek Fashion

Theseus and the Minotaur


Rachel Zoe iPad Jacket

Remake/Remodel: Justice League

Sewer Fashion: Goldfish


Lazy Cosplay: Comic Con Edition

So you've survived your first day at Comic Con. Congratulations! Did you notice that all of those cosplayers seemed to be having a really fun time and everyone was excited to see them? It's a shame you didn't have the foreknowledge or sewing skills to give it a try. Have no fear! There are several Urban Outfitters in the San Diego area that can help you channel your favorite characters. Christina

The Joker
Heath Ledger may be the reigning Joker champ, but you can't deny that Jack Nicholson had style.

BDG Cigarette High-Rise Jean
Stores should have more purple things. It's the color of royalty! Who doesn't want to feel majestic every day?

CPO Screech Candy Shirt
This shirt makes me want to eat candy corn and that stuff tastes like chalk.

One & Only X Urban Renewal Cropped Vest
The more I read about the Urban Renewal Project, the more I like it.

UO Silk Tie
I was going to link to a bandanna or scarf, but then I saw this model. Hello, sir.

Graftobian Flourescent Hair Spray
I need to see this under a black light. I hope it looks like this.

Halo Jones
The Ballad of Halo Jones begins when a young woman goes shopping and discovers that her best friend ends up murdered. Her life unravels and becomes quite fantastic from there. Where did she go? Out. What did she do? Everything.

MINKPINK New Dawn Kimono Jacket
Look, no one has a coat like Halo. The most difficult part of her look is the crazy shoulders. Oddly, the style hasn't caught on and is difficult to find. You can try to replicate it with big ass shoulder pads or craft foam, but who has the time. Instead, try to find bigdramatic, sweeping, colorful coats and capes. And the girl has a thing for collars.

Cooperative Cary Shirt
Layer up, people.

BDG High-Rise Seamed Jean - Blue
Realistic, muted colots are for boring real lives and office jobs. You're at a convention and you're trying to look like a comic book. Go bright!  

Dr. Martens Britain Tall Platform Boot
In honor of Halo's British roots, here is a very British boot. I am also a fan of this pair which bear the name of a very British model.

Fone Bone
You recognize Fone Bone, don't you? I remember seeing Bone is those Scholastic book order forms they'd hand out monthly in grade school. I never ended up reading it until I was much older but trust me, this comic holds up.

Penfield Idlewood Backpack
If you receive any royal medallions or quiches along your journey, store them in this backpack for safekeeping.

Small World Bangle Bracelet
And here's your map to see where you're going, as long as where you're going is a very small part of the largest continent on the planet.

Beyond that, you are completely naked. Enjoy Comic Con!

Let's Plan Your Comic-Con Schedule

After Wednesday night's previews, the San Diego Comic-Con officially starts today! From July 18-21, downtown San Diego turns into a geektastic fantasy land full of cosplay and sci-fi and celebrities and God knows what else. I don't know what else because I have never gone to Comic Con and if I did, I would probably just go to all the panels that look like college lectures. The Comic Con experience is hella expensive and the tickets sell out quickly, so this guide is for the few 130,000+ of you who somehow managed to get tickets. You lucky bastards. Christina


Comedy Central: Workaholics
2-3 P.M. at Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
I heard this blog likes Workaholics.

TV Guide Magazine Celebrates the X-Files' 20th Anniversay
3:30-4:30 P.M. at Ballroom 20
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny will be there! My khaleesi and David Duchovny! Worth the price of admission.

Masquerade 101
6-7 P.M. at Room 23ABC
One aspect of cosplay that you really only see at conventions is masquerades. They're costume competitions that can include skits, lipsyncs, and/or big theme groups. This panel introduces you to masquerades and gives some tips on how to get started in costuming and how to compete - and win.

Also on Thursday: Sherlock, Spotlight on Jeff SmithSouth Park: The Stick of Truth, Teen Wolf

FRIDAY: JULY 19, 2013

The World's End: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost Reunited
10-11 A.M. at Hall H
Everyone knows that Simon Pegg's a big geek but Nick Frost and Edgar Wright can surely hold their own. After all, Frost co-wrote Paul, which begins at the San Diego Comic Con, and Wright . . . Edgar Wright might know everything there is to know about film. They're at the convention to promote The World's End, the final movie in the Cornetto Trilogy

Spotlight on Bruce Timm
2:45-3:45 at Room 5AB
You may not know him by name, but you sure as hell know him by the work he's done. Bruce Timm's art is the foundation upon which DC Comics animated universe has been built. He co-created Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and Justice League. You grew up on his cartoons.

Making Roger Rabbit: 25th Anniversary
5:45-6:45 P.M. at Room 6BCF
I can't believe this movie is older than some of the people who: (1) read this blog and (2) work on this blog. Babies, the lot of you.

Also on Friday: Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A Session, Cosplaying 101: Costuming for Beginners, Archer: Screening and Q&A


Geek and Sundry: Leveling Up
11 A.M.-12 P.M. at Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Let's ignore Felicia Day's acting credits for a second and focus on her business lady side. She created, wrote, and stared in The Guild, a web series about six strangers who become friends due to a video game. She's an executive producer and co-creator of Tabletop, a web series focused on board games hosted by Wil Wheaton. (Dear Wil, thank you for teaching me how to play Pandemic properly. I could not figure out why the game was so easy.) She also co-founded Geek & Sundry, a Youtube channel that produces all kinds of geeky goodness. Be sure to check out this panel for what shenanigans the network will be up to in the future. Back to her acting credits: she's really successful.

Nerdist Industries
3-4 P.M. at Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Has Nerdist Industries become Nerdist Empire yet? Nerdist Industries started as a single podcast hosted by Chris Hardwick. It is now a podcast network, hosting about 21 podcasts at the moment; a Youtube channel; a TV show on BBC America; and a big ol' website that will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about fun things. Who knows what Chris Hardwick and co. will conquer next? I'm guessing the people who attend this panel will find out.

Her Universe: Geek Girl Fashion: A Dialogue Between Fashion Professionals and Fans
6:30-7:30 P.M. at Room 24ABC
Ashley Eckstein, founder of Her Universe, is going to school you all on geek fashion. I hope she does it while wearing this. Take notes.

Also on Saturday: When Grrls Fall in Love, The Tick 25th Anniversary, Cosplaying 102: Intermediate and Advanced Costuming, Marvel Studios: Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Best and Worst Manga of 2013 

SUNDAY: JULY 21, 2013

Women of Marvel
11:15 A.M.-12:15 P.M. at Room 5AB
I lean DC. I'm sorry, I'm trying to correct it. This panel, a discussion about the women who work at Marvel Comics at every level, seems like a great start.

BBC America's Doctor Who 50th Anniversary
12:30-1:30 P.M. at Hall H
OMG DOCTOR WHO. You know what, don't bother with the rest of the con. Just camp out in Hall H starting Thursday to guarantee a seat for the Doctor Who panel. I'm sure everyone would be completely okay with it.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Live Action Role Playing . . . But Were Too Embarrassed to Ask
4-5 P.M. at Room 30CDE
One of my best friends once stumbled upon a LARP group at her local park. They gave her a foam sword and let her join the battle. I think she fought dragons or something? I don't know. I do know that she loved it and recommended it to everyone she knew. Why not try something new?

Also on Sunday: Breaking Bad, Comics Arts Conference Session #14: Comics and the Punk Aesthetic, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Screening and Q&A, Harry Potter: Still Magic!

Pull List: July 17, 2013

POOL PARTY. Christina

1. Issue #18 of Batman Beyond Unlimited from DC Comics.
I feel like we've been over this a million times. I'm pumped for this comic.

2. Issue #1 of Red Sonja from Dynamite Forces.
I'll admit, I've never read Red Sonja. It's never appealed to me before and her costume makes me flinch. (Really, that's what passes for body armor these days?) But the title has just been given to Gail Simone and you know what? I'm gonna trust her and check it out. But which cover do I choose: Nicola Scott (above), Colleen Doran, Jenny Frison, Fiona Staples, or Amanda Connor?

3. Issue #9 of FF from Marvel Comics.
I can't do any better than the blurb: "What happens? POOL PARTY. Who do they fight? POOL PARTY. What do we get? POOL PARTY."

4. Issue #1 of Batman '66 from DC Comics.
I try to avoid mentioning two products from the same publisher for these pull lists, but this week I can't resist. A comic version of the 1960s Batman TV show and movie? How's that for a slice of fried gold?

5. Stan Lee's How to Draw Superheroes from Random House.
Because if there's one thing Stan Lee is known for, it's drawing.

10 Reasons Not To Date A Superhero

TL;DR You'll die. Christina

1. There's a trope called "Women in Refrigerators" which refers to the disproportionate number of female comic book characters who are injured, killed, or stripped of their powers, usually to further a male character's story. The term was coined by Gail Simone, the current writer of Batgirl, The Movement, and Red Sonja. The name of the trope comes from Green Lantern #54 (1994). The Green Lantern at the time, Kyle Rayner, comes home to see that his girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, has been murdered by a villain named Major Force and stuffed into the refrigerator. (Major Force later decapitates Kyle's mother and stuffs her head in an oven. But don't worry, she's fine, it was just a mannequin. Because comics are ridiculous.)

2. By my count, 16 of Wolverine's love interests have passed away, sometimes even by the hand of Wolverine himself. This count includes Jean Grey (above); Mariko Yashida, Wolverine's fiancee; and Itsu, Wolverine's wife and the mother of his son, Daken. I know Wolverine is all mysterious and damaged but please, keep your distance. He will outlive you and it's not because of his possible immortality.

3. Oh, Madelyne Pryor. If Jean Grey isn't getting out alive, why would her clone? Madelyne, who also has a needlessly complicated back story that involves marrying Cyclops and tons of other nonsense, commits suicide, hoping to telepathically take Jean Grey with her. And yes, she wears this silly costume during the confrontation.

4. Donna Troy is . . . for simplicity's sake, let's just stick with her being Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman's younger sister. She married Terry Long, a middle aged, divorced college professor and single father. They had a child together and later went through a bitter divorce where Donna lost custody of her son. This all happened in a book called Teen Titans, a comic about young adults aimed at young adults. I don't get it either. Luckily, Terry and his children died when their car drove off a cliff during a storm so he never had to face an alternate future where his son became an evil dictator. It's almost better this way.

5. If you want to be surprised when watching The Amazing Spider-Man sequels, don't click on these links. (I feel weird putting a spoiler warning up for a comic from 1973.) If you know your Spider-Man, how did you feel when you saw these set pictures?

6. Even actual superheroes aren't safe. Tora Olafsdotter, better known as Ice, was a member of the Justice League and the girlfriend of Guy Gardner, a Green Lantern. She was murdered by the alien Overmaster and ended up being sent to Hell.  Guy attempts to rescue her but, like the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, she is sent back to the afterlife when her best friend, Fire, turns to look at her. She is later resurrected only to be turned into zombie intent on removing her ex-boyfriend's heart. But the DC Comics universe rebooted and she's totally okay now!

7. The story of Rachel Dawes was never going to end well. She was created for Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and Batman is not known for ever getting a happy ending. (Have you seen what Batman's been dealing with recently? Will someone give the man a break?) She gets drugged by Scarecrow, stalked by serial killer Victor Zsasz, and tossed out of a building then blown up by Joker. I'm surprised it took so long.

8. The relationship between aliens Karolina Dean and Xavin is far from typical. Karolina is a vegan lesbian who is essentially a super-powered rainbow. Xavin is a shape-shifting gender-swapping royal who has been betrothed to Karolina since childhood. When Karolina's people come to punish her for her parents's warmongering, Xavin shape-shifts into Karolina's form and disappears in a spaceship, ready to endure her love's punishment. She has not been heard from since. Let's be hopeful, just this once. Repeat after me: Xavin's not dead and there will be more Runaways books. Xavin's not dead and there will be more Runaways books. Xavin's not . . . 

9. Betty Ross a.k.a. Betty Banner is the wife of Bruce Banner a.k.a. Mark Ruffalo. After years of an on-again off-again relationship with the giant green man, Betty discovers that she has become sick due to gamma radiation exposure. (Gamma radiation is what turned Mark Ruffalo into the Hulk.) One of the Hulk's enemies, Abomination a.k.a. Tim Roth, discovers Betty's illness and injects her with irradiated blood. Betty's illness and death is just proof the Hulk is a living, breathing cancer diagnosis. Oh, the Hulk knocked over a building? Big deal. The fact that you might need chemo after being rescued by him is way more worrisome. 

10. In the comic book tie-in to the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, the Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane and the super-fetus chilling in her uterus. If Lois Lane isn't safe, we're all fucked.

Comics for Actual Teenagers

Comics have this reputation of being kid-stuff, but that's really not true. There's a lot of violence, sexualized characters, adult subject matter, and straight up creepy story lines, like that time the Joker had his face cut off then reattached it with hooks and staples and walked around like it was no big deal and ugh. Here's a list of age-appropriate comics starring teens, written for teens, and sold to adults because it turns out that teens love stories about sex, violence, and impotence. Christina

The six newest students at the prestigious Morning Glory Academy quickly realize that having no internet access may not be the worst thing about their school. After all, when dealing with kidnapped students, time travel, murder, and mysteries too numerous to count, who has time to worry about Facebook? (Do people still use Facebook? You do know your Granny's on there, right? She's the one commenting on every sloppy photo of you she sees.)

2. Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli (Marvel Comics)
At 13, Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales is on the younger end of teenagerdom. (Don't worry, Peter Parker's fine. This is an alternate universe comic.) This may lead to you wanting to pick him up and assuring him that everything will be okay. He's just so tiny! But watch out for the venom stingers

I have a soft spot for accidental superheroes making the best of it and trying their best. You can buy this comic or you can follow the above link and read it for free with creator commentary! You'll fall in love with Scout and Sparkle and drool over Kyisha.

4. Blue Beetle created by Keith Giffen, John Roger, and Cully Hamner (DC Comics)
The third Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, had a FANTASTIC comic book from 2006 to 2009. Then it was canceled. He popped up in some other books but DC rebooted their comic universe in 2011. So they were all ultimately canceled. After that, another Blue Beetle series started but it was canceled in 2013. The character showed up in a few TV shows before lucking out and grabbing a role on Young Justice, the Cartoon Network show about teen superheroes. But it was canceled. You see a trend? It's a shame. Jaime is perfection.

5. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol (First Second Books)
Anya's embarrassed of her immigrant family, stressed about gaining weight, and is kind of a friendless weirdo at school. Her life starts to change for the better when she befriends a ghost. Or does it? Bum bum BUM! 

6. Runaways created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona (Marvel Comics)
This is the "teenage angst with magic, mutants, and monsters" I was talking about! Buy it. 

Style Icon: Storm

I've always wanted to be Storm. She's been an Avenger and the leader of the X-Men, a teacher and a goddess, a thief and a queen. And with her white hair, the way her cape moves when she flies, the fact that she is one of the most powerful mutants alive—she kicks major ass. Now, all I have to do is find the right crown for my mohawk and I'll be one step closer to my dreams. - Christina

Silence + Noise Kelly Dress
See that picture above of Storm wearing a leotard with cutouts? That's from 1975. She's already perfected every millennial trend.

Schott Perfect Leather Moto Jacket
Oh, a punk phase? Check!

Sparkle & Fade Asymmetrical Back Maxi Dress
When she's off-duty, Storm prefers maxi dresses. The comfort of pajamas mixed with the class of a ballgown.

Lightning Strikes Necklace
I guess I should be a responsible writer and mention that she controls the weather. All weather. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, nor'easters, acid rain, solar flares... you name it, she's the boss of it.

Junk Food X-Men Tee
If you're sick of superhero sausage parties, check out the newest X-Men comics. Storm's in charge of a team of X-Women which includes Psylocke, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, and Rachel Grey.

Pull List: July 10, 2013

There's a Big Bang Theory version of Clue out today. You know, just in case you hate fun. Christina

1. Issue #7 of Young Avengers from Marvel Comics.
Oh, is that teen superhero America Chavez throwing someone through space, where he will drift for God knows how long, all alone? That's actually kind of horrifying now that I think about it.

2. The Muppets: Miss Piggy Wacky Wobbler
Everyone tries bangs at least once.

3. Issue #4 of Batman: Li'l Gotham from DC Comics.
I love Dustin Nguyen. Love love love. He is the artist and co-writer (with Derek Fridolfs) of this series that focuses on Gotham during the holidays. This issue: St.Patrick's Day and Easter.

4. X-Files Classics Volume 1 from IDW Publishing.
A collection of X-Files stories starring Scully, my Khaleesi, and Mulder, the funniest man fictionally alive.

5. The Love and Rockets Companion: 30 Years (and Counting) from Fantagraphics Books.
Love and Rockets is a long-running (duh) comic series done by Los Bros Hernandez, Gilbert and Jaime (and sometimes eldest brother, Mario). The series features a ton of different storylines but the best known are Palomar by Gilbert and Locas by Jaime. The Companion features interviews with the brothers, unpublished art, and multiple appendices to help with reading Love and Rockets.

Rule 63 Cosplay

Rule 63: For every given male character, there is a female version of that character; conversely, for every given female character, there is a male version of that character. 

Cosplay: A portmanteau of costume and play; a subculture based on the creation of character costumes and roleplay.

Rule 63 Cosplay: The photos I end up staring at and thinking, "Oh, god. I would read the SHIT out of that comic." Christina

Scarecrow, Joker, Riddler, and Two Face
This Two Face costume is what Tommy Lee Jones should have worn. He'd look amazing in feather lashes.

Pink Ranger
I will always give it up for a Power Ranger.

(Back) Green Lantern, Flash, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Powerboy, Superwoman, Wonder Man, Vixen, Batwoman; (Front) Aquawoman, Plastic Woman
This Genderbent Justice League took the internet by storm in 2011 and they're still one of the best examples of a group cosplay done right. Hello, Powerboy.

Jughead always seemed like a better choice than Archie - you know, if you ignore the fact that he's not really attracted to anyone. Who wants to be strung along while your crush goes off and dates a bunch of impossibly pretty, impossibly rich girls? (Oh, didn't I mention? I'm a total Betty.) 

Havok, Cyclops, and Colossus
Anything that might make Cyclops bearable. And Colossus, your bodysuit is incredible. I've never seen lamè so shiny that it worked like a mirror.

Babe Sapien and HellGrrl
Blue and Red, paranormal investigators from the Civil War and Hell, respectively.

Captain America
This is Christine of the Dangerous Ladies, my favorite cosplay group on the whole entire internet. (I've been fangirling from afar for quite some time. Like, the check-to-see-what-they're-working-on-daily sort of fangirling.) Check out their tumblr for tutorials, tons of progress photos, and real talk about feminism, superhero movies, and body positivity. Now get stitchin'!

Lazy Cosplay: Miss America

America Chavez is a Young Avenger from space who ditched her former team due to "musical differences" and hot damn, she's cool. And she does not care about your Game of Thrones geekspeek, so stop asking her about it. —Christina

Dr. Martens 1460 Worn Broken-In Boot
When you need to kick adults into gooey halves, choose a boot you can trust to get the job done. Choose Dr. Martens: worn by badasses since 1960.

Kimchi Blue Rosie Pinup Short
This is the closest we'll all get to looking this good from behind.

Le Shirt Paint Star Muscle Tee
Girl, flex those biceps. Show your teammates what you're working with.

Altru USA Stars Tank Top
I was going to say, "The shirt for those who lack subtlety," but honestly, we're putting together a straight-up American flag outfit here. Have at it.

Alternative X UO Zip-Up Hoodie Sweatshirt
This is for the fall/winter version of this outfit. If you wear this outside now, even if you are a superhero, you will probably melt and die.

BDG Americana Sleeveless Zip-Up Hoodie Sweatshirt
Here's the spring/summer version. Keeping the organs warm while letting the extremities breathe.

BDG Americana Denim Vest
Denim might be the most American thing there is.

Pull List: July 3, 2013

A pull list works like a subscription service at your local comic shop. You let them know which titles you like and they'll order an extra copy just for you. Here are five comics and comic related goodies that will be available July 3, 2013 (today!). Christina

1. Issue #6 of Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake from Boom! Studios.
This is the final issue of the series and it's written and illustrated by Natasha Allegri, the creator of Fionna and Cake. For those of you not following the Cartoon Network masterpiece, Adventure Time tells the story of Finn, the last (?) human on Earth, and his best friend, Jake, a yellow dog with Stretchy Powers. Fionna and Cake are the gender- and species-flipped versions of Finn and Jake. They are also the way cooler versions of Finn and Jake, making Finn and Jake the way weak version of Fionna and Cake. Yeah, I said it.

2. Issue #1 of Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow's Avengers from Marvel Comics.
If you plan on going to the movies in the future, do your homework now. Guardians of the Galaxy is lining up to be Marvel's next big blockbuster (if you ignore The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier). This is a one-shot intended to introduce new readers to the characters in preparation for the 2014 film. It features a talking raccoon who shoots lasers and flies spaceships. You know you're gonna get this.

3. Trade Paperback of Doctor Who: Eye of Ashaya from IDW Publishing.
This collection contains two Doctor Who stories: "Eye of Ashaya," which features TV companions Amy and Rory, and "Space Oddity," a two-part story where the Doctor squares off against a familiar enemy in 1965. A Doctor Who t-shirt and three Doctor Who audio plays are also available on July 3. I love Doctor Who. I will probably end up mentioning it as often as possible. I apologize in advance if that drives you crazy.

4. Issue #3 of The Movement from DC Comics.
I originally thought The Movement and its 1% counterpart, The Green Team: Teen Trillionaires, were tacky Occupy Wall Street wannabes. I was wrong. Instead, The Movement is an interesting take on a subset of the super-powered community: social justice activists. It's rare to see a group of superheroes concerned with helping the mentally ill and the homeless while planning to take down a corrupt police force. All that and Triangle Shirtwaist Fire references. What more could you want? (Note: If you're a comedy podcast dork, one of the superheroes is named after Kulap Vilaysack of Who Charted?)

5. Star Trek Into Darkness 2014 Wall Calendar.
Any excuse to look at photos of Zachary Quinto.

Style Icon: Ramona Flowers

In the Scott Pilgrim comics and the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World film, Ramona Flowers is Scott's dream girl. Literally. It's no wonder he soon signs up to fight her seven evil exes. You'd probably do the same to score her wardrobe. Here are some tips in the hope of curbing the senseless violence: Ramona's all about layers and legs, pinks and blues. And giant hammers. Christina

Get the Look:

Ecote Classic Surplus Jacket
For those cold Canadian nights as you travel through subspace.

Alternative Super Long-Sleeve Tee
Super long sleeves are for those girls who are always losing their gloves.

Classic Bob Wig
Look, I get it. You've been growing your hair out for over a year and you just found a hair color that doesn't wash you out. That's why the good Lord invented wigs.

Go on. Piss off your parents. And look! It's vegan!

BDG Alexa Mid-Rise Denim Short
Damn, girl. All that rollerblading has paid off. Flaunt it. Speaking of . . . 

Moxi Jungle Roller Skates deliveries wait for no man.

Deena & Ozzy Studded Tassel Crossbody Bag
Hey, you need somewhere to stash the boyfriend.