Tekko 2014: Merch!

Now before I start this I want to point out that in the hustle and bustle of everything we lost a couple of business cards.  I’d like to show off who made each item that we purchased, but with the loss of the cards I can’t do that for every item.  If you believe you made an item that I haven’t attributed a creator/seller to, then send me a line using the form on the right side and give me a link to your site or your etsy page or whatever.  We also don’t remember the prices we paid for anything, so…uhh…yeah, sorry on that; next year I’ll take better records on this stuff.  Also, each picture (that we remember the makers to) link to their website if available.  So if you like what we got, and want one of your own, click the pic to get a lookie-loo at their other stuff for sale.

With that out of way, let’s get to the fun stuff!  First off we have this cute little, figuratively speaking because it’s huge, bunny pillow!

It's soo fluffy!!

It’s soo fluffy!!

And yes, that’s one of the ones we lost the card to.  The other one is this nifty cloth bookmark.

We hope it says something like 'Awesome Book' or 'Secret Manga', but it probably says, "This guy can't actually read". =(

We hope it says something like ‘Awesome Book’ or ‘Secret Manga’, but it probably says, “This guy can’t actually read”. =(

We got this nifty faux-flower headband from the folks at Domenica’s Fine Fashions.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s a really nifty looking blue fabric flower.  They also make medieval outfits, costumes, and all kinds of custom-made outfits.  We also bought a lot of stuff from them, we definitely could have blown our entire convention budget on their stall, alone.

Made by Jessica Cowan of Domenica Cimatori.

Made by: Domenica’s Fine Fashions.

On the right hand side of this next one is a star-shaped jar pendant filled with glow-in-the-dark rocks.  On the left hand side is a really awesome idea: A circlet made with wig clips so that you can just put them in barrettes (or such I’m no hairdresser and really have no idea what I’m talking about) and not have to mess up your hair, but still keep the circlet in perfect place.  It has a turquoise-colored gem in the middle, which looks cool.

Made by: Manifested Dreams

Made by: Manifested Dreams

Every year it seems like we absolutely have to buy something from the A Case of Random stall.  We’ve bought barrettes, ankle jinglies, wrist jinglies, chopsticks, all manner of things from her before.  Always happy with our purchases, the wife wanted another rainbow item (you can never have too many rainbow shinies, she claims) so we picked up some more ankle jinglies.  I can’t not suggest this fine lass for all your chainmail accessory needs.  Did I mention shiny jinglies?

Made by: A Case of Random

Made by: A Case of Random

I mentioned buying a sticker of a cop named Dick from the Phoenix Wright series; he’s the dude in the middle, Dick Gumshoe (Itonokogiri Keisuke).  On the left we have Loki from the Thor and Avengers movies (and the comics before that) and on the right we have Sailor Jupiter (Lita/Makoto).  They are all stickers made by one Lacey Shreffler.

Made by: Lacey Shreffler

Made by: Lacey Shreffler

And the last thing we bought is another case of ‘lost card syndrome’, which is a shame because the last time we were at Tekko we bought a bunch of Chinese wall scrolls from them which currently adorn my home office.  Anyway, this cute little kitty clutch was perfect since the other day when we went to the theater to see Wicked (which was fantastic, BTW) my wife had trouble carrying her ID and all that fun stuff.  You see, my wife’s not a big purse kind of woman, and ladies pants (and dresses, of course) don’t have very deep pockets, if they have pockets at all.  So a clutch that she can hang from her wrist is great.  This little number was only a few bucks and it has a cute kitty on it.  You can’t really go wrong with a cute kitty, right?

DSCN0210

And that was everything non food-related that we spent money on this year.  All this talking about Tekko has me wanting to go back, already.  Hope to see you folks next year!

~RCS

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Ebert’s Death Gets Two Thumbs Down

As you’re all certainly aware if you’ve seen the news at all recently: Legendary movie critic Roger Ebert has died of cancer, at the age of 70.  I’ve always been a fan of his witty movie reviews and valued his opinions, especially since he was one of those critics who would look at an action film devoid of any original storyline or fancy videography and say, “Two thumbs up, because it gives you exactly what you expect for a story-devoid action flick!”

He wasn’t a ‘hipster’ critic who would give a movie low ratings because it didn’t have a moral message or didn’t have fancy screen transitions or crap like that.  He would watch a movie and say he liked it and tell us all “if you like this stuff, you’ll like it, too”.

As a gamer, however, I have been on the supportive side of a lot of vitriol against the man.  This is because in 2005 he took a ‘greater than thou’ stance against video games.  Not because of violence, or overt sexism, or even over-sexualization…but because he believed that video games are not and will not ever (he later modified to ‘not in this lifetime’) be art.

I think his opinion is incredibly faulty when you consider this…

abstract_art Weeping Woman 1937 by Pablo Picasso 1881-1973 warhols_campbell_soup_image_flickr-15112330_std

…to be art.  But not this…

FF 20100207_heavy_rain LC

And we’re just talking visually, let’s look at sound.  Movies have iconic music such as the Godfather, the Terminator, Lord of the Rings, Titanic, Indiana Jones, James Bond, etc.

But what about video games?  Listen to the Halo opening, FTL’s Milkyway theme (which I’ve been playing a bit of recently, BTW), Final Fantasy 8’s theme song for the Landing at Dollet, Assassin’s Creed III’s title theme.  And that’s not even including the classic games like Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, Mega Man, and Castlevania!

Especially considering Ebert felt that movies were art.  The same thing that in the early 1900’s was laughed at as a passing fad and writers and literary critics said that movies would never be considered art.

But that was just the start, calling games not a medium of art.  He went further when he defended his position and was asked whether or not he had ever even played a game to see their artistic significance.  His response?  “I’ve never found a game worthy of my time.”

He did later soften his stance and admit that he didn’t have enough experience with the medium to really consider any opposing views because he just had no interest in games to even research them.

Naturally even normally non-vocal gamers rose up in arms against Ebert, some going so far as to call for boycotts of his show, articles, and even appearances.  People wanted to see him fall!

But now?  Now he is dead…and gamers are sad.  We admit our differences of opinion and we lament the passing of a legendary movie critic.  We admit that ‘our’ boycott failed miserably because we valued his opinion on movies too much to ignore him.

This is, ironically enough, exactly why we were so mad about his flippant opinion.  Because it made our ‘art’ sound like some childish fascination, when really we are high-thinking individuals whose opinions and experienced should be valued and regarded just as equally and just as highly as a movie watcher.

That being said, it’s a sad loss for good criticism.  Not perfect criticism, because there’s no such thing.  But when it comes to movies…I know I’m probably going to be forced to watch a lot crappier movies without his advice to guide me in the right direction.

~RCS

Introducing: Dick Lee

Recently I commissioned one of my favorite artists to design and draw our new site mascot.  Her name’s Kim Samson and she drew my first anniversary gift to my fiancé.  It was a great picture and was for a really nice price.

Needless to say when I thought of getting a mascot drawn, Kim was the first name on my list.  She’s got great prices, does a great job, and is willing to draw naked things.  The perfect artist for a commission that read something to the effect of, “I need you to draw an anthropomorphic penis in a karate gi.”

Here he is…

Dick Lee

I shall name him: Dick Lee

Such a great job, I was amazed when she sent me the finished version.  I was amazed at the sketch and the first color copy, too, actually.

If you want to see more of Kim’s work, I highly suggest giving her website, mhho.com, a gander.  She also draws a webcomic, Maq #041.

I’ve known of Kim for about 5 years, if not more, and I think I’ve been reading the comic since Chapter 2.  I finally met Kim, in person, about two years ago at Pittsburgh’s Tekkoshocon anime convention.  She’s a bright young lady full of vigor to match her artistic capabilities.

Here’s a funny anecdote involving Kim (and proving I’m weak in conversational transitions):

Last year at Tekkoshocon she had a bunch of artwork that she was selling, as usual, but they were pieces she was phasing out.  This would be the last time to buy them.  So my fiancé and I jumped at the chance to pick up some discontinued merchandise.

We bought a picture of Rock Lee (from the anime Naruto) in Orioke no Jutsu/Sexy Technique form, a cool mermaid picture, one of her drunken sailor moon pictures, and a trio of zodiac stickers.  The mermaid and sailor moon pictures were 5x7s and the stickers were small, but the Rock Lee pic was a full-size 8.5×11.  We spent the rest of the day at the convention, had fun, drove home around 2 in the morning.  Went back to the convention for a few hours the next day and roamed through the last few panels we were interested in, then went home.  We were home for about an hour that day before we both looked at each other and groaned, “Why didn’t we get Kim to personally autograph everything for us?”

So I have since warned Kim that she’ll be glomped with sharpies if she dares to come back to Tekko this coming year.

Anyway, I highly suggest considering Kim if you want some artwork done.  And keep in mind, as great as Dick Lee is…it’s only half as good as the picture she made for my anniversary gift to my fiancé last year.  So she can actually make even cooler stuff than that.

~RCS

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