SDCC 2016: 6 Twitter Feeds to Follow During the Con

Welcome to the Monday before Comic Con International: San Diego! Are you constantly panicking about potentially having forgotten something or not completed a deadline before the con? That’s cool. All of us are. Heck, I’m taking it pretty easy this year and I’m still a mess.

To ease some of your potential anxiety and/or build up your excitement for the weekend, I was originally going to tweet out a quick list of great feeds to follow during the con — but then I realized that each of these Twitter feeds (and the people behind them) bring something very unique to the table, so I’ve decided to jot up a slightly-less-quick list with their specialties and other notes. Here are my top picks for Twitter feeds you should be following by Wednesday of this year’s San Diego Comic Con!

1. Parks and Cons

I have no idea how, but the folks behind @ParksandCons are constantly highlighting events at theme parks, conventions, and events all over the place, and their coverage is awesome. Wanna see pictures of what’s going on around the Gaslamp ahead of the con?  Follow them for early updates and a chance and finding out where all the good swag is.

2. Crazy 4 Comic Con

Tony Kim is @Crazy4ComicCon. He’s constantly engaged with upcoming events at the convention, and heads up a few great panels. Tony knows SDCC inside out because of his well-researched expertise and his knack for making friends with literally every human on the planet.

3.  Hall H Line

These crazy kids are already trekking around the con area for first-looks at this year’s Comic-Con! @HallHLine is part comedy, part informative, and all fun. This account is great for when you’re stuck in any line, really, because they go above and beyond to engage with the folks that follow them.

4. The Nerdy Girlie

Megan Gotch is one of my favorite bloggers on the planet because of her positive attitude and her incredible taste in the visuals that accompany all of her work. Her account, @TheNerdyGirlie, shares helpful blog posts and on-the-go tips for Comic Con. Think of this account as a series of reminders for things you’d otherwise forget and regret later! BONUS: Megan’s annual SDCC Instagram Photo Hunt looks like so much fun.

5. An Englishman in San Diego

@EnglishmanSDCC is exactly what he sounds like: an English guy who really, really, really loves Comic-Con. Leonard hosts A Cup O’ Tea SDCC, a weekly podcast all about Comic-Con, and is constantly updating his followers on special things to check out during the weekend. He’s also hilarious, and a blast to follow.

6. Friends of Comic Con

If you’re looking for seasoned SDCC attendees who can help you out without any old-blood snobbery, @FriendsofCCI is the account to turn to. There’s a constant stream of great tips, news updates, and other helpful things to know about surviving the weekend, so this account is a must-follow if you’re a first timer.

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My First Disneybound: Captain Phasma

(Stick around ’til the end for a bonus vlog with Passholder tips!)

Phew! It’s been a while since I cracked my blogging knuckles. I apologize — life has taken a few great turns, and I’ve decided to ride along with it. Today, though, I’m focusing on something that makes me utterly nervous: my first-ever Disneybound ensemble. I have some incredible friends who have made headlines for their creativity with these outfits, so it feels like I have quite a bit to live up to. For my first outfit, I wanted to go with my favorite now-Disney-owned franchise, Star Wars. As you know, I’m very unpredictable.

With that in mind, my continued and bafflingly unrelenting Captain Phasma obsession made its way into my plans, and I went with it. I’m not exactly happy with the turn-out, but hopefully one day, when I’ve coordinated much more impressive outfits for other events, I can look back on this with a sense of appreciation.

For those not familiar, a “Disneybound” is basically an outfit inspired by Disney properties and characters. It is not a costume — rather, it’s an arrangement of pieces inspired by certain elements or color themes found in its subject. Since both Lucasfilm and Marvel are owned by Disney, there’s a bit of leeway when it comes to what you can use for inspiration. For a better explanation, check out this helpful guide by my pal Sarah Snitch.

Anyway, on to the outfit!

Caught up with an old pal from my bounty hunting days #StarWars #BobaFett

A post shared by Catrina D. (@ohcatrina) on

I found the dress at a thrift store and it immediately reminded me of the bold black on Phasma’s mask. While I could have gone with something shinier, this jersey knit high-low dress (paired with dark grey tights) was perfect for both the hot days and cold evenings that tend to happen during Southern California summers. I paired it with black flats (plus comfy insoles to last me for the day) and used a black H&M shoulder bag to carry my things around in.

As for my accessories, I went with mostly reflective “chrome” pieces, including a necklace resembling Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced from Hot Topic. To resemble the bold red on her cape, I found a cute flower crown and went with the “Captain Phasma but as a forest spirit” look.

Have you ever done a Disneybound before? I would love to see your posts for inspiration — and if you’re looking for some, The Nerdy Girlie has plenty of ideas for you to check out!

As promised, here’s that video…

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SDCC 2016: 5 Apps For Summer Con Survival

Here it is, folks: June. With the thick layer of unexpected heat comes California’s massive summer con season, which includes hits like San Diego Comic Con, Anime Expo, ColossalCon, and many more. With busy days and varying schedules, the average con attendee might not use every app on their phone — but there are plenty that I’ve found helpful, and I wanted to share those before “con season” truly began to set in.

NerdOut! – Connect With Your Community

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NerdOut (Apple/Android) is a self-described “mobile nerd event calendar”, and thanks to a community of editors, it is easily one of the best guides to local events for anyone looking to familiarize themselves. Specific, big panels for conventions, as well as great after parties and cosplay gatherings, can often be found in this app. NerdOut is easy to use and has been my go-to for evenings at my favorite conventions for months.

Plant Nanny – Water Consumption

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One of the biggest reasons that people leave conventions on stretchers (or rather, the least horrible reason) is dehydration. Plant Nanny (Apple/Android) is my daily app for monitoring my water intake, and it functions as a cute game as well. Players are given a plant to raise, and the less water that planet gets (according to your diet plan) the quicker it dies. Since the plantsare adorable, that kind ofguilt can weigh on you enough to go grab a glass. It’s not intrusive, but it often does the trick when I need to keep my water up, and that;s important at a con where it’s very easy to forget.

CosPlanner – For The Meticulous Cosplayer

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I’m not big on cosplay, but when I do decide to dress up, I try to do it to my best ability. CosPlanner (Apple/Android) is a greatresource for organizing your costumes, planning out and budgeting for future projects, and effeciently performing that final check before packing your costume away for the convention.

Lyft – Or Any App For Quick Transportation

Shanghai, China. February 13th 2014. Driver images for UBER marketing content.
Shanghai, China. February 13th 2014. Driver images for UBER marketing content.

This one is optional, but I always try to have an app handy for quick transportation back to my hotel from the con. Whether you’ve had a long day in a bulky costume or you’re crawling back from the evening’s festivities, it’s always best to take a car so that you get homesafe and stress-free. There are plenty of apps out there, so choose the one that’s best for you.

The Official Convention App

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Many conventions are building their own apps that include their full maps and schedules, ways to plan out your day, and even (with some) the ability to connect with other convention goers during the convention. One of my favorite examples of these apps would be New York Comic Con’s official app, which went the extra mile last year and included a way for attendees to report any unsafe activity, and allowed them to call for help from convention staff discreetly. Check the convention’s website ahead of time to see if they don’t have an app. In the event that they don’t, plugging the schedule PDF into a good reader will help you locate events and schedule points in a slightly less maddening manner.

As we head into convention season, I hope this guide helped you have an even better time than you were already going to have. Enjoy the rest of your 2016 con season!

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Review: Passion Planner (2016 Limited Edition Paradise Blue)

When I made the choice to become an independent freelancer, I knew that I was going to need to work on how I handled time. In the weeks leading up to my last day at my full-time job, I was in something of a panic, downloading and deleting apps for health, time management, and water consumption (more on that last one in a future blog post!). I knew that I wouldn’t be a millionaire when I decided to write full-time, but that wasn’t the goal. What I wanted was financial and emotional stability, and to achieve that, I wanted to go in prepared.

There were only a few investments I could make going in, and I decided that one of them would focus on all of these problems. As if by chance, a friend retweeted a gorgeous image from Passion Planner just one week into my search, and I was instantly obsessed. The planner’s combination of time management and goal-making were exactly what I needed with the objectives that I’ve set before me. The 2016 Limited Edition Paradise Blue had just released not long before, and after a week or so of debating, I snatched it up.

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Black Canary’s First EP Is An Electro-Punk Road Trip In The Dark

And your bird can sing.

 

We love getting lost in fantasy.  It’s a broad statement that might call for a few research studies, but a quick glance at the world today reveals an audience that loves immersive experiences.  From the early viral campaigns of Batman Begins to the anticipation surrounding the upcoming Star Wars extension of Disney’s theme parks, fans are constantly searching for ways to become part of their favorite stories.  While Black Canary’s first ever EP isn’t exactly a theme park, it does take the listener far away, scaling the tall currents of electronic synths and classic punk vocals, with a group of renegades on their way to spray-paint the neon suite at the top.

The EP takes you on a ride with thrilling switches in beat, with the brassy, nostalgic Siouxsie-esque lead vocals at the steering wheel.  The band almost exists as the Gorillaz did: with a storyline that revolves around Black Canary herself, a supervigilante with a kick-ass rock band and a team of creative minds brewing the lyrics, music, and mix. Brenden Fletcher, who currently writes the comic series, teamed up with the likes of vocalist Michelle Bensimon (of Caveboy), Joseph Donovan (Recievers), and a team of songwriters that includes Daniel Ash, David J, Kevin Haskins and Peter Murphy.

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Black Canary as a character is not new to comics, or even TV, for that matter.  The character currently plays a major role in The CW’s Arrow, and her popularity in both incarnations on the show has brought in an even larger comic fanbase for the beloved blonde butt-kicker.  Having served several roles in her lifespan as a character, Fletcher’s Dinah Lance is a woman on a journey to reinvent herself in the face of a dark past, but this often beaten-into-the-ground trope is radically different from the way that the rather messy New 52 stories attempted to tie it all together. For these reasons, Dinah’s involvement and leadership of a punk rock group on the gritty streets of her city fits directly into her plotline, woven expertly by Fletcher.

 

Meant to coincide with the release of the first volume, Black Canary’s EP is dreamy and haunting, dark and light — not unlike the heroine herself.  Each song guides you through a different scene, opening with it’s strongest song (“Fish Out Of Water”, with a fast-paced, out of this world melody), simmering the listener down with an emotional confession (“Old World”), and speeding up unpredictably in “The Man With The X-Ray Eyes”. 

But what makes the album special, certainly, is the sense of true immersion.  The listener is plugged into the world of Black Canary and for these moments, the sarcastic siren is singing.  There are a few other fan-made projects similar to the album, and they’re great, but having an actual EP in a somewhat official manner is what really brings you in.  Mix that with the fact that the album itself is wildly enjoyable, and you’ve got yourself a decent ten minutes to listen to some good music.

For only $3.50, the EP is a steal. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to listen to your favorite superhero jam out with a nod to Metric and Sleater-Kinney, then this is the album for you.  Pick up the first volume of the comic, while you’re at it.

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