Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Newest paper sculpt project!

Sonic Screwdriver trio for my friend's birthday.

An interview with Adam Harum of Transolar Galactica.

They achieved their Kickstarter goal, and now the world gets more of their award winning sci-fi comedy!

Doctor Who themed lip balm!

Brought to you from Earthtastic! and A Bit of Geek.

Minecraft paper sculpt!

My submission to the Mojang community art contest. Watch the video!

A TARDIS desk lamp!

Instructions and babbling on how to make a TARDIS lamp from foam core!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Top Ten Comics to Read Before you Die

Throughout my many years of geekdom, I've always considered myself something of a comic connoisseur. By no means am I the best there is, but I've read my fair share of pages to have developed an extensive knowledge and refined appreciation on the matter. You name it, I've either read it or heard of it. But as the years have gone by, I've noticed that some books stick out further than the rest. These stories exemplify the pinnacle of comic book storytelling and I've logged them in my brain as some of the best you can read. They are so essential to a comic fan that if you have not read them, you must put it on your bucket list to do so. Now keep in mind this list is subjective, so it's my own personal pick of the best. But you'll be hard pressed to find many others who would disagree that these comics are not great in quality and merit reading. So without further adieu, I present:


#10. Old Man Logan


Written by Mark Millar (the author of countless comic book greats), Old Man Logan brings us a futuristic, dystopian telling of the Marvel universe, told from the perspective of everyone's favorite Canadian X-man. But trust me when I say: everything's fucked.

One day long ago, the super villains banded together and decided to systematically eliminate almost all the superheroes. Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, you name them, they're gone. The only heroes remaining have either gone into hiding or retired. Enter our hero (or rather, X-hero), Logan. He no longer goes by “Wolverine,” has a little family on the homestead and even refuses to pop out his claws. Until one day, Hawkeye shows up asking for help with “a job.” Without a means to pay his landlords (the incestuous brood of the Hulk), Logan agrees and our adventure starts.

Normally, I only merit alternate reality stories at face value (What if Captain America was a ginger? What if we set the DC universe in medieval times?). Stories to be read lightly to see all the variations and then put back on the shelf, never to be read again. Not so with Old Man Logan.

Sure, you get to see all the ruin of the characters of the Marvel universe, but the story is more than that. You'll be shocked to know that I'm mostly indifferent to Wolverine on a normal basis. He was never more than a hack n' slash character to me. But this story really added depth and development to his character, culminating his final badassery in the last pages of the book. It meant something as to why he was tearing up baddies, instead of “Hey bub, you looked at my team funny.” And that sold it for me.

#9. Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth


As you may pick up from the title, this story was the basis for the popular video game, Arkham Asylum. But as warped as that game might've been, it pales in comparison to the insanity that is this book. Written by a DC favorite, Grant Morrison, the plot sounds like any other Batman story: the Joker has taken hostages at the Arkham Asylum and it's up to Batman to stop him. But right there is where we leave any semblance of “normality.” Because every character in this book, Batman included, is insane. As in has a debilitating mental illness catered specifically to their character in the established universe.

Batman is a masochistic figure whom actively hears his parents berate him. Joker is a multipersonality schizo who seems sexually attracted to Batman.

It's the Batman mythos on acid, basically.

But it would be a sin not to mention the artwork. Done by Dave McKean, the art is so disturbingly twisted that it perfectly synchronizes with the motif of the story. Its non-linear panels and graphic images will leave you turning on a night light in bed.

If you love the Batman universe, this is definitely a version you're going to want to read.

#8. Scott Pilgrim


Breaking with the entirety of the rest of the list is our number 8 spot, Scott Pilgrim. But while it may not be as serious as the rest of the entries, this series makes up for being totally awesome and hilarious. Just as the movie you've probably already seen, the Scott Pilgrim series follows the progress of our self-titled protagonist, who journeys from zero to hero in the course of 6 books. He must defeat his girlfriend's 7 evil ex-boyfriends in an attempt to win her heart and become the hero we all need him to become.

Written and illustrated solely by Bryan Lee O'Malley, this series is waaaaaaay better than the movie (which is hard to do). It's filled with countless video game and pop culture references, has its own quirky humor and leaves you with a satisfying progression of story and development. Even better, it's got a ton of little jokes that you might miss the first read through. So it gives you a reason to reread the series, all to catch the things you might've missed before.

And speaking of books you should read more than once.....

#7. Watchmen


It had to be on here. You knew it, I knew it, we ALL knew it. No top comic book list would be complete without Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's masterpiece, Watchmen. However, there's a reason it makes it onto every list: it's truly a work of art.

This book, both in narrative storytelling and artwork, is some of the finest you'll find in the medium of comic books. It's a great satire on the superhero culture that shows us the dark truths of the world of capes and masks. But even better than this, it introduces characters that are at the same time new and familiar to us. The characters parallel the well-known superheroes so well that it brings to light new perspectives and changes our outlook on heroes.

And it has a ton of hidden messages and reveals masked in plain sight. Plot points you learn late in the story are disguised so masterfully in the beginning that you have to reread the book just to appreciate them. Definitely a comic book fan's must-read.

#6. Batman: Year One


Prepare yourself, because this isn't going to be the only entry by Frank Miller on this list. Here Frank brings us the origin story of the Caped Crusader, as told for the first time since the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot of the DC universe (trust me, too long to go into).

This new origin tells the one we've all been used to: Bruce Wayne's parents are murdered in Crime Alley and thus he dedicates his life to becoming Batman, the cloaked fighter of justice and champion of Gotham city. But this book is more than just that simple story. It chronicles not only Batman's story, but also that of Commissioner Gordon, one of Batman's most trusted allies. The two stories parallel each other as they both come to rise in defense of the innocents of Gotham, even explaining how the two came into alliance.

Not only this, it reminds us what we shouldn't forget about Batman: that he is human. It shows his amateurism at crime fighting and even lets us know that Batman makes mistakes. But despite this, he learns and becomes the legendary figure we've all known to love. THE BATMAN.

#5. Marvels


It's no secret that the Marvel universe is my favorite. To me, they provide some of the most interesting and realistic superheroes in any medium. But what you don't see is what goes on behind the scenes of this universe. With what happens to the ordinary citizens who have to live in this world of super strengths and killer laser beams.

Thus comes Marvels, a book that follows Phil Sheldon, an average citizen witnessing all the great events in Marvel history. From the birth of the first Human Torch (not the one of the Fantastic Four, mind you) to the end of the Silver Age of comics, Phil sees it all and narrates his thoughts on the events as they happen. It's a great window to the bystanders of the Marvel world and what they think of all these costumed heroes and villains. Possibly even greater than the story is the artwork, painted by the holy-cow-I-want-him-to-paint-so-many-things-for-me, Alex Ross. It's all beautiful and the story compliments it perfectly. You won't regret picking up this book.

#4.  Batman: The Killing Joke


This is another great story brought to you by Alan Moore, but it differs by being his greatest work to date. The book follows the story of the Joker, both past and present, as his origins are told in a series of flashbacks. Moore weaves it all together beautifully while at the same time providing you with an insight into the relationship between Joker and Batman.

Joker, in his mad grasp of logic, believes everyone is capable of being insane and that only a proper nudge is needed. Meanwhile, Batman is in hot pursuit and fretting about the final end of Joker and Batman's go around. It all works wonderfully and is one of the best Batman stories I've ever read. Well, second best.....

#3. The Dark Knight Returns

dark knight returns

The Dark Knight Returns. The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller. Possibly the greatest Batman story every told. Why? Because it's got everything ever cool about Batman: Batman coming out of retirement to kick ass, being hunted by the police (and always having the upper hand), a final and poetic fight with the Joker and to top it all off, a showdown with the Man of Steel, Superman.

It dares to answer the question that's been asked ever since their creation: Who would win in a fight? And seeing as this is a Batman story, you can just guess who comes out on top. The Dark Knight Returns gives us all this and more with astounding social commentary. I remember finishing the book and being in awe of the Batman legend.

#2. Y: The Last Man


Out of all the entries on this list, this is probably the least well-known. But damn should everyone read it. I'm serious, everyone needs to read Y: The Last Man.

It's a compelling story that's so well written that I honestly consider it one of my favorite books, comic or otherwise. Written by Brian K. Vaughan, Y is one simple premise: suddenly, every man on the face of the Earth dies...except for one. Sounds like the makings of a porno, but the mystery is even deeper. How did he survive? Is he really the last alive? What will happen to mankind without reproduction? These questions pull you in and keep you wanting to read on. But what I really love about this series is its theme. For a story about the last man alive, this story is really about what it means to become a man. When the story begins, the protagonist Yorick Brown is a goofy man-child who's chalked full of references. But over the course of his ordeal and adventures, he learns what it means to take responsibility and to stand up for what you believe in. It's beautiful and tragic like a fine painting played to a soulful symphony. Truly, a fantastic story.

There is only one greater...

#1. Earth X


Earth X is hands down the greatest comic book I have ever read. It's the culmination of the Marvel universe, past, present and future. It weaves together the history of Marvel and attempts to give meaning to every superhero, super villain, cosmic entity and the very nature of super powers. It does so with a philosophical finesse, bringing new insights and commentary on mankind in general.

The plot takes you into the future, as narrated by Uatu the Watcher, where everyone in the world suddenly gains super powers. The established characters of Marvel have aged and are all going through their own personal crisis, dealing with the new world and fighting their own demons. But it's all told so well that I truly consider this alternate future to be cannon (don't even get me started on their explanations for the Asgardians). Lest I mention it was co-written by Jim Krueger and...ALEX ROSS. And although he didn't illustrate it (John Paul Leon did, but it's still fantastic), it's clear Ross is also handy at writing a story.

If you only pick one comic book from this list to read, make it Earth X.

That's the list, ABOGers! If you've got any thoughts on the entries or have your own suggestions, let us know in the comments!


Header Image Source, Source, Source and Source

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Diva (Fifth Element) - Sculpt Video

A gift for Rachel's dad! This is the first time I used gouache (or any type of paint!) and I'm really excited with the results.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

So You Want to be a Convention Exhibitor

Have you ever wanted to attend a convention as an exhibitor? You know, have a booth, sell products, giveaway business cards, get photos with people, and have a great time while promoting what you do? Perhaps all of that sounds peachy but you're just not sure if you're ready, or where you would even start?

If any of that sounds like you, then welcome to my world of nervous excitement at the thought of exhibiting, and enter Anna Lee of GlitzyGeekGirl fame to lay down some useful facts!

She recently had a booth for the very first time and was kind enough to answer my barrage of questions about the experience. She provided wonderful information and advice for any first timers (and those who hope to be first timers) out there!

Abog: From what I’ve read on your blog and Facebook page, The Heart of Texas Comic Con was your first time as an exhibitor. How did that come to pass? I saw something on your Facebook page about being invited, so did you request a booth or were you actually invited to be an exhibitor? What was the process (registering, assigned booth space, etc.)?

Anna: This was the first year for the Heart of Texas Comic Con in Waco, Tx. It was put on by a few of my friends that I have met through other conventions. I got an email from one of the founders asking if I would be interested in coming as a cosplay guest. I was excited to be personally invited to a brand new convention. I was also asked to help judge the costume contest along with a few of the other cosplay guests. After a few emails back and forth to get all the details straight (like if I would have a table, could sell things, etc) I decided to accept!

Abog: Before this opportunity came up had you been interested in exhibiting at a convention?

Anna: Yes I have! I've considered purchasing a booth at local cons before so I could have a central location to sell goodies and meet people. The prices for a booth can be expensive. I don't make a profit from my hobby. So all the money I receive from purchases of my prints and jewelry goes straight back into my website and supplies. I'd still like to have a booth at one of the bigger Dallas conventions someday, but I'm worried I would have to raise my prices to pay for the booth itself. And I'd hate to have to do that! So I was really glad I was able to go to the Heart of Texas Comic Con as a guest and not have to worry about booth cost.

Abog: What made you decide or realize that you were ready to have a booth? If you had any reservations or worries about it, what were they?

Anna: At the last couple local conventions I've had a handful of people come up to me and say "You're Glitzy Geek Girl aren't you!" That's when I decided having a booth would beneficial. It gives you a landmark for friends, fans and newcomers to come chat and snap a pic. I did worry that no one would come by my table. I am not a big name celebrity AT ALL, but I was happy to see several of my friends come up and give hugs and high fives.

Fionna from Adventure Time. 
Fionna from Adventure Time.

Abog: What type of preparations went into your setup? Do you feel that you over or under prepared?

Anna: Since the Heart of Texas Comic Con was out of town for me, I made a big list of everything I needed. Not only did I have to make sure I had all my costumes, but I also had to make sure to bring all the supplies for my table. I made some jewelry and wizard wands, and I also had some prints made of my cosplays. The week of the convention I realized I still hadn't ordered a banner. So I had to spend extra on shipping to get a small banner in time for the con. One thing I wish I had brought was a better table cloth. I grabbed some extra fabric I had at home, but it didn't cover the table well.

Abog: Were you selling any merchandise, or were you there to promote your website with meet and greets and small giveaway items? If you were selling merch, what was your thought process for deciding how much of each item to bring?

Anna: I expected to just have people ask for my photo while in costume so I decided not to bring too much merchandise. I knew I wanted to have some business cards at my table so they can check out my blog, and I love to give out free stickers and buttons. I just recently started making jewelry and wands to sell so I brought those with me just for fun. I didn't expect to sell much, but my wands went fast! Those were the best seller. Also, people were eager to grab a card after I told them I share tutorials for my costumes on my website.

wand ad

[note: you can check out the GlitzyGeekGirl etsy shop here!]

Abog: Based on your personal experiences with meeting exhibitors at conventions, what type of an experience with attendees were you expecting? And a follow up: what was your actual experience?

Anna: When I visit tables at conventions I don't like to be bombed with a lot of questions and sale pitches. So as an exhibitor, I tried not to make anyone feel pressured to buy anything. People came to my table to see me in my costume, which most vendors might not have as a perk. After they snapped a photo with me, I would ask if they wanted a free sticker or button. Everyone was very nice and after they looked at the prints of my other costumes I think they were more interested in buying something or at least taking a business card.

Abog: What was the feel of the convention and your fellow exhibitors? Do you think that a sort of camaraderie develops with the people who are on either side of you/across from you?

Anna: As an exhibitor you feel like you're part of a small community. Everyone has their own spot, you get to know your neighbors and we would all walk around to say Hi to one another. I knew several of the other cosplayers in attendance so we had a great time. On Sunday I actually shared a table with Krystle Starr in the other room. Sunday was a little slower so not as many folks were coming into the room we were in on Saturday. We were able to share a table in the dealer's room to get more traffic. Krystle and I made a great team!

Abog: Being new to the exhibitor scene, do you feel that your experience was heightened or diminished by appearing in costume? Which factors led to you appearing in costume for the weekend?

Anna: I was happy to appear in costume because I work very hard on my outfits. It was nice to be able to talk to people one on one about my work. At other conventions I feel rushed around the con floor or hallways. At Heart of Texas I could sit at my table and share conversations easier. Since I was invited as a cosplay guest I wanted to stay in costume all day. However, wigs and corsets aren't the comfiest. Next time I would like to bring a change of clothes for the last half of the day.

Shredder from TMNT. 
Shredder from TMNT.

Abog: Did you have any extended moments of being alone at your table while people walked by? If so, did you appreciate the breaks in conversation, or did this leave you feeling nervous about people’s level of interest in your booth?

Anna: There were not many times that someone wasn't walking by or asking for my photo. The Heart of Texas Comic Con was a huge success. For its first year I was surprised how many people came out. I rarely had a chance to sit longer than a couple minutes. I did appreciate the volunteers coming by frequently to ask if I needed any water. They were incredible!

Abog: What are some of the best things that happened over the weekend? Strangest? Most challenging?

Anna: The best thing that happened was giving advice to girls that wanted to try cosplaying for the first time. I was able to share with them a few tips and give them my card to check out my tutorials online. The strangest and most challenging thing was judging the costume contest. I have entered a few before, but have never judged until this con. It was really difficult to narrow the contestants down to just a top 3. Even with the help of the other judges, we were very impressed with all of the entries. I was happy to acknowledge the winners, but it was hard not to include more because everyone deserved it.

Abog: Do you plan on attending any conventions as an exhibitor again in the future? If so, what would you do differently for your booth?

Anna: March 28-30 I will have a booth at Animation Celebration in Lewisville, Tx. This is a three day event and because it's local I expect to see a lot of my friends come out. I definitely plan to have a better table cloth and plenty of business cards to hand out. I'm planning to make several more wizards wands to sell, too. Also, I am debuting two new costumes so that is exciting.

Abog: What advice would you give to a person or group of people who want to exhibit at a convention, but they’re not sure if they’re ready?

Anna: My advice would be to look closely at other tables at conventions and see what you like and don't like about their setup. Take note of what types of banners are more eye-catching and what type of products you think will sell well. Be prepared to make a big list of everything you need like extra cash to make change, sharpies and pens if you are going to sign things, and also an inventory sheet so you can keep track of how much you sell. Try to create a lot of buzz about your booth before the convention so people will know to look for you, too.

Abog: If there’s something else you’d love to share that I didn’t cover in my questions, please share away! I’m super curious about your time running a booth and I believe your excitement and positive experience will help and encourage others who are thinking about exhibiting, too!

Anna: I think if you decide to get a booth remember to have fun! I know there's a lot of business to it, but try not to think about the numbers too much and just enjoy the experience. Even if you don't sell a single item having a booth at a convention is still a great way to meet new people.

I hope Anna's advice is helpful to people! It was quite informative for me and gives me hope that someday A Bit of Geek will have a booth at one of the local conventions!

Have you ever attended a convention as an exhibitor? What advice would you give?


*All images in article and on header image are from

Monday, March 24, 2014

Final Fantasy 8 Diary - Entry 8

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Reaction Diaries - Connor & Shane.

Not every character on the show can be a winner.

-MJ and Rachel

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pokémon Centers Really Exist and They Are Everything You've DreamedThey Would Be

Pokemon Center Entrance

Pokémon Centers are real and they are amazing! There are 8 in existence in various locations around Japan. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to heal your Pokémon in a futuristic beeping machine while you furiously press A over and over again. Pokémon Centers are in reality retail stores that have one purpose: to sell you Pokémon merchandise that you didn't even know you needed. These stores are MUST sees for any Pokémon trainer who visits Japan.

Welcome to the Pokemon Center

We’ve all been to Toys ‘R’ Us and seen the Pokémon card sets and action figures they offer for sale but the Pokémon Centers go so far above and beyond in terms of range of merchandise. From the usual cards, action figures and school supplies to a wide and constantly rotating selection of plushies, cell phone cases, apparel, household goods and food products. If you can think of it, they probably have it with a Pikachu slapped on the side. Coffee mugs? Check. Computer mice? Check. Yeah, well…what about macaroni?

A special Pikachu created for the Osaka Pokemon Center’s 10th Anniversary.

Protective card sleeves in many designs.

Pokemon themed snacks to buy and give to friends and family as souvenirs.

They even have books on how to construct Pokemon-themed bento boxes.

Adorable Pokemon school supplies.

A set of mugs where the Pikachu male and female tails make up the handles.

Pikachu chocolate coins! Why not?

Male and Female Pikachu tail keychains.

Vegetarian, I hope.

We bought these, and I was terrible at them.

Pokemon Center Osaka’s Mascots.

Yes, Japan has these things too.

Even the Escalators get the Pokemon Treatment.

The ball. It beckons to me.

A way to keep your starter close to you at all times.

In case your luggage isn’t cute enough.

The plush selection is regularly updated with new Pokemon.

Take us hoooome!

Giant inflatable Pokeballs? We must be in the right place!

Have you ever seen a cuter Snorlax?

Each Pokemon Center has 3 different Pokemon Mascots. One of them is always Pikachu.

So many socks.

Exclusive merchandise only available in Fukuoka!

Adorable tiny mice for laptops.

Are you overwhelmed with cuteness? Take a breath. It’s going to be okay.

Besides the delightful merchandise, the Pokémon Centers also regularly hold special events for holidays, new game and movie releases, and sometimes just because. Typically there are games set up where children can play for prizes. Sometimes one of the store workers will come out in full Pokémon costume for photo ops.

The entrance archway to a special events games area, where children can play to win prizes. 
The entrance archway to a special events games area, where children can play to win prizes.

A game where kids stomp on mats.
Japanese children play "Pokemon Swimming" by stomping on mats and making their characters race each other on the giant screen.

Having myself lived in Japan and having been a Pokémon fan for over a decade, it became my mission to visit as many of these shops as possible. So far on my travels I’ve only been to four out of eight of them: Osaka, Tokyo, Yokohama and Fukuoka. The others are located in Sapporo, Tohoku, Nagoya, and the newest location, Tokyo-Bay, which opened on November 22, 2013. For addresses and access maps to each of the locations, consult the Japanese Pokemon Center semi-English website:

But for Japanese residents, 8 locations simply isn’t enough. The official Amazon Pokemon Store fulfills the need for licensed Pokémon merchandise, shipped directly to your (Japanese) door. If you’re crazy desperate to get your hands on some of these Japan-only Pokémon goods, you could try using a shipping fulfillment website like Tenso, OPAS, or Danke Box . For a fee, these websites provide you with a Japanese address to ship to, and then forward the packages to your U.S. address. Alternatively, there is which offers these items direct to you with a price markup. I can’t say which option is best, nor can I vouch for any of these sites as I have not used them myself.

What about if you're unable to get to Japan in the near future? Well, there still may be an option for you to get your hands on some officially cool Pokémon merchandise. The Pokémon Company International operates a few mall mall kiosks in the Seattle area of Washington state. There is also a section of the Nintendo World Store devoted to Pokémon merchandise.

I'm going to close this article with a mention of my most-prized Pokémon Center possession. Magikarp has always had a special place in my heart, and in April of 2013 a special limited-time over-sized shiny golden Magikarp plush was released. I found it at the Pokémon Center in Osaka, but didn't buy it. It was around $100, and too large to carry home on the train. I hemmed and hawed for a few days, but finally decided to order it online. The Magikarp salesman got me, but I couldn't be happier.

Giant shiny Magikarp, human for scale. 
Giant shiny Magikarp, human for scale.

Magikarp shown here in its new home: nestled behind the headboard.
Magikarp shown here in its new home: nestled behind the headboard.

I just hope it doesn't evolve into Gyarados. I simply don't have the space!


Twitter Facebook Stumbleupon Favorites More