6/11/16

convention recap: wizard world philadelphia


Last week, Jordan and I headed to Philadelphia for Wizard World and fun post-con adventures. Since I hadn't been to Wizard World Philly since 2008 (back when I used to help out with Kaiju Big Battel), I was really excited to see how the show has grown and to wander the city with my friends. I spent the majority of the convention assisting Jordan and Joe in Artist Alley, but I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with our friends, meeting tons of new people, and I even got to check out some panels. It was also Lauren's birthday weekend, so we had the pleasure of spending the entire convention with the birthday girl, Alex, and Tony. We had such a great time in Philly - I can't wait to go back next year!

Highlights:
  • Since Sebastian Stan was one of the many MCU celebrity guests at this convention, both Jordan and Joe were bombarded with Bucky/Winter Soldier commissions. It was great.
  • Our hotel situation was 💯💯💯 The hotel was attached to the convention center through a sky bridge, which was super convenient and relieved me from having to walk in the balmy 89°F weather. Additionally, since our friends were staying on the same floor as us, it felt like we were in a fancy dormitory~
  • The one thing that I missed the most about Philly was hitting up the Reading Terminal Market for a variety of quick and affordable meals during the convention. I really loved the egg foo young rice plate at Golden Bowl during my previous trips to Wizard World Philly (which I treated myself to during this trip (twice)), and I was a big fan of Keven Parker's Soul Food Cafe. We were also able to pick up some healthy snacks to hold us over during the week at the market.
  • Although I don't really cosplay that much anymore, I did put together a last-minute Jubilee outfit (I literally found the top and skirt the weekend before the convention!), and I had a lot of fun running around as a qt mutie.
  • On Saturday morning, I got up super early to wait in line for the Captain America panel. I haven't actually attended a large/celebrity panel in a long time, and while I'm not crazy about lines or huge crowds, we got to see Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie being qts.
  • Thanks to Jordan and Wizard World, I got to meet the Bella Twins on Sunday. Ever since I got addicted to Total Divas last year, I've been absolutely inspired by the Bella Twins and they were the celebrities that I wanted to meet the most at this convention. Although I was originally going to wear a Wonder Woman-themed outfit, I opted for a red x black Bella Army ensemble, complete with my Divas Championship Belt to get signed. Brie and Nikki were unbelievably sweet in person - they loved my outfit and gave me hugs and I was just so over the moon~ I also think this was the first time I've ever, like, cried after meeting people that I admire? The entire experience just really moved me and it was the perfect way to end our trip
  • I took a bunch of photos of all of the amazing cosplay I saw at the con - check out the gallery on ComicsAlliance.
Anyway, here are a bunch of photos~~~

5/12/16

travel adventures: los angeles / disneyland


In honor of Throwback Thursday, I decided to put together some of my favorite photos from our LA trip last September. Since AK & I hadn't been to the West Coast since 2012, we decided to treat ourselves to a trip to LA for our birthdays (with Jordan in tow). Despite the dreadful heatwave during our entire trip, we had an amazing time and got a chance to catch up with friends and go to Disneyland. I really hope to return to the West Coast soon when the weather is nicer, but until then, let's relive some of the highlights of our trip ☆彡
  • We stayed with J-Hat (our fan club president), who arrived to the airport with balloons and Sleigh Bells blasting in his car.
  • Caught up with Andy at the beautiful new DC Comics headquarters.
  • Wandered around on Hollywood Boulevard to find our favorite stars. Hollywood Boulevard makes Times Square seem tolerable.
  • Went to the opening of the Guillermo Del Toro: In Service Of Monsters show at Gallery 1988, where Jenvy had an adorable Pacific Rim piece on display.
  • Spent an entire day at Disneyland, where we met Donald Duck, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and Captain America.
  • Ate lunch at Panda Inn, in honor of our yearly tradition from San Diego Comic Con and now I really want crispy noodle houses.
  • Ventured around Little Tokyo for some shopping and snacks; I got a two-foot-tall Kewpie doll.
  • Went to UCB for the Shitty Jobs show; our show featured Ben Schwartz, Dominic Dierkes, and Ben Rodgers, and they were hilarious.

Anyways, there are, like, 40+ photos below~

4/11/16

convention recap: mocca fest 2016 / nyc trip

art by Noelle Stevenson
This past weekend, I hopped on the Lucky Star to NYC to see my friends and to check out MoCCA Fest 2016. I realized that I hadn't gone to MoCCA Fest since 2012 (which is like, one high school ago) and since some of my favorite artists were tabling, I figured it was about time that I return to MoCCA. I originally started going to MoCCA Fest back in 2007 to assist my friends in Kaiju Big Battel. Ever since, I've always been fond of MoCCA Fest and the assortment of artists and work exhibited every year, and I went almost every year up until 2012 and I guess life and limited vacation days got in the way and now it's 2016 so hi hello welcome to new york it's been waiting 4 u

we out here [feat. Lauren, Ricardo, & Derek]
This year, Lauren, Caitie, Darshana, and I went to MoCCA Fest together, where we got to catch up with some of our friends who were tabling and attending the show. I also got to meet some of my favorite artists, including Trungles & Jane Mai, who were too sweet in person. Since I was only at the show on Saturday, I only got one commission (a beautiful Creamy Mami from Trungles) but I gathered some beautiful comics and art treasures (and also a button of Rob Liefeld's face). Unfortunately, the show was a little too crowded to take more photos and conduct interviews for Speech Bubbles, but hopefully I'll catch some of these creators at another less-crowded convention in the future~

Jane Mai ☆彡

jane is so cute

hi Trung!

Creamy Mami, by Trungles

And then I bought some tsum tsums and we picked up Boston Market for dinner and had a sleepover where we spent way too long discussing our favorite Sanrio/San-X/Morning Glory characters. On Sunday, I met up with Jasmine to check out her new beautiful digs in the Upper West Side. We hadn't seen each other in over half a year, so it was really lovely being able to catch up on life and magic while watching Teen Witch, and I hope that we'll be able to hang out more this year. And then I was on a bus back to Boston, wishing that weekends were longer (or that I had some kind of arrangement with my work where I could telecommute for a month and couch surf in NYC or something so that I can finally have enough time to do everything that I want to do? Hey, it could happen. ~McWorld~).

Regardless of my telecommuting/couch-surfing proposal, I am eternally grateful for beautiful art, beautiful friends, and a cheap bus from boston to nyc.

Wendy Xu / Eileen McLain / Trungles

Daisy Ruiz / Emily MacLean

free rob liefeld button, from David Iseri

exhausted post-MoCCA selfie~

Nori and the Bats in the House (by Rumi Hara); See You Next Tuesday (by Jane Mai); Quarter Life Zine; Moon Kingdom (by Trungles); Harry Potter's Private Diary (by PEOW! Studio); Souchi sticker (by Draizys); Kewpie patch (by Dynamic Doll); Animal Crossing stickers (by Kevin Jay Stanton); Pigeon Boyfriend postcard (by Wendy Xu); sticker sets (by Jane Mai); postcards (by Trungles)

Jasmine's cat son, Brandon

~new tsums~

4/8/16

speech bubbles: anime boston 2016 [interviews]

As I mentioned in my recap of Anime Boston 2016, I did a test run of interviews during the convention for Speech Bubbles. Speech Bubbles will be a series of fun micro-interviews that I will conduct at conventions with artists, writers, cosplayers, attendees, and more; the interviews will be collected on my blog alongside my general convention recaps. Since Anime Boston is an incredibly lively (/crowded & busy) convention, I wasn't able to conduct as many interviews as I hoped; however, I was still able to get some face-time with some incredibly talented folks. I hope to fine-tune and improve this feature at future conventions (and maybe even film some interviews?), but for now, I hope you enjoy the first installment of Speech Bubbles!

Who are you? 
Arielle Jovellanos
What is your profession?
 Illustrator, comic artist, freelance magical girl
Where can we find you? 
 What are you currently working on? 
A secret project about secret things from Stela! Written by Jeremy Lambert and colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick. Coming soon to a phone near you. 
What inspires you? 
All the clothes I can't afford and 1960's lifestyle illustration. 
Five favorite things at the moment:
1) The "Reply All" podcast and Email Debt Forgiveness Day
2) The 2015-16 Broadway season. Thanks, Lin Manuel.
3) Steve Rogers, haha.
4) Grilled cheese.
5) Movies about zoo animals, apparently.

 Who are you? 
Jonathan Adrian
What is your profession?
Freelance illustrator
Where can we find you? 
 What are you currently working on? 
Self-publishing a set of tarot cards and a series of zines and maybe a webcomic!
What inspires you?
Fantasy, gaming, comics, other artists, children's books, old school cartoons, disney, and fashion. 
Five favorite things at the moment:
1) Dungeons & Dragons
2) The Magicians
3) Paper Girls
4) Andrew MacLean's art
5) Sailor Moon Crystal

Who are you?
Janet Sung
What is your profession?
Day-job designer, night-time illustrator, weekend art educator, full-time cool person
Where can we find you?
janetsungart.com 
· tumblr · twitter · instagram
 What are you currently working on? 
I just wrapped up a group zine I put together called Quarter Life Zine. It’s 28 pages of comics and illustrations about being a young adult and I’m really excited for it to come out! I’m also working on a few smaller projects including a book cover, pieces for a gallery, some new patch designs, and a piece for a coloring book about Tina Fey/Amy Pohler!
What inspires you?
The internet, youth culture/my childhood, angst, my friends, and daily oddities
Five favorite things at the moment:
1) the felt brush pen by Platinum (so fun to mess around with)
2) 80’s/90’s anime
3) smoked salmon
4) Van Leeuwen ice cream (it’s dairy-free!!)
5) Game Grumps (hahaha)
Who are you? Lisa Kurth Quinn
What is your profession?Graphic Designer + Illustrator at Mimoco and Dreamii (my new brand!)
Where can we find you?
smallwish 
· dreamii · twitter · dreamiishop twitter
What are you currently working on?
Working on my first tees & patches for Dreamii and new licensed projects at Mimoco!
What inspires you?
Cute 80s stationery, Japanese streetwear, bootleg toys, 90's nostalgia, and 25¢ machines!
Five favorite things at the moment:
1) Listen Flavor's spring line
2) the first looks at the third season of Sailor Moon Crystal
3) my new pink diy angel wing headphones
4) Bei Badgirl x Sugarpill's lipstick “Trinket” (my go-to!)
5) planning my upcoming trip to Japan!

4/5/16

convention recap: anime boston 2016

"Are you cosplaying Blake?"
Jordan and I went to Anime Boston a couple weeks ago, but like, it already feels like a month ago because conventions have a tendency to warp my sense of time. Anyway, we always look forward to this convention because anime is cool again, and I love shopping for new henshin treasures, photographing cosplayers, and reuniting with friends. For a while, I've been toying with the idea of doing mini-interviews at conventions with exhibitors, artists, and attendees, but I finally took my concept for a trial run this year. There are still a few things I want to fine-tune with how I conducted my interviews, but I had a lot of fun doing them and I hope to do more at future conventions. Anyway, I will be posting those interviews later this week, so keep an eye out on those and let me know if you dig them!

We spent the majority of the weekend checking out the exhibitor's hall and the artist alley, where we picked up some souvenirs and chatted up some artists. Although we didn't find many things on our respective Anime Convention wishlists (since a lot of the booths had the same merch), I did come home with a new ringer tee from Fangrrlz, a Moonstruck-inspired print by Janet Sung, and some other small treasures. The highlight of the convention was this beautiful portrait that Jonathan Adrian drew of me and Jordan in exchange for "saving him" earlier in the weekend from some lurking creeps around his booth. Such are the perks of being vigilantes~

Since Anime Boston is a convention that constantly strives to improve the show every year, one of the most notable changes this year was the added security measures at every entrance for the con, which included the standard bag check, metal detectors, and a weapons/props check. Because of AB's large attendance (many of whom were cosplayers with props/weapons), the security checks inevitably created longer lines to enter the convention. Fortunately, we didn't have too many issues at the Boylston Street entrance; the security line wait was about 5-10 minutes max, and apparently way quicker than the Prudential Center entrance. So yeah, there's a pro tip for y'all next year!

The other noticeable difference this year (although it's not the fault of Anime Boston or the Hynes Convention Center) was that the Prudential Center food court is currently under reconstruction as it transforms into Eataly, thus prohibiting the attendees of Anime Boston from their daily serving of Sarku Japan and Panda Express. Jordan and I ended up opting for Cafeteria (a reasonably priced joint that serves American food and amazing sangria) and trekking out back toward Harvard Square for dinner at Night Market. As much as I miss teriyaki chicken from Sarku, it was nice to treat ourselves to finer dining beyond the Prudential Center.

Anyway, here are some photos from our Anime Boston adventures~






ran into k8 😎

it me

METEOR READY~!

my new fitbit


happy 4-year friendaversary, arielle~!

I'm in the burger club now.

convention haul:
Study Buddy (by Fangrrlz), cookie cat patch (by gentlemoonbell), they're fine patch (by Janet Sung),
ceramic pin (by Fangrrlz), bulbasaur charm (by mojgon),
eye enamel pin (by 1%talent), zelda lanyard (by mojgon)

Peko ringer tee (by Fangrrlz)

here's a qt pic of me & jorbo~

3/18/16

review: firmoo glasses [& giveaway]

#DBSN62168 [link]
As someone who's been severely near-sighted for over two decades, I was thrilled at the opportunity to partner up with Firmoo, an online retailer that specializes in stylish eyewear under $40. Since prescription glasses can be incredibly pricey (usually, like, a few hundreds of dollars for a new pair of glasses? UGH!), I used to refrain from upgrading my boring glasses to cuter, face-flattering frames. Luckily, eyewear retailers (such as Firmoo, Warby Parker, & Coastal) have managed to create fashionable glasses that won't make your bank account weep.

Since I usually tend to go for wide black cat-eye frames, I opted for the squarish Wayfarer-esque style of eyeglasses #DBSN62168 in Matte Tortoise. I submitted my order on February 22nd, and after obsessively refreshing the tracking number, my new glasses safely arrived in two weeks in a cute carrying case, packaged with a tiny glasses screwdriver and a microfiber cleaning cloth. I've been wearing my glasses for a little over a week now, and they've quickly become my primary go-to pair; the frame shape is really classic and chic, and the lenses are fairly lightweight (despite my strong prescription). Since I primarily work on my computer at my day job and for my freelance work, I end up wearing my glasses for most of the week; it's really important for me to be able to find a pair of glasses that are comfortable to wear for the entire day, and these glasses have served me well thus far, and I can't wait to treat myself to another pair of glasses from Firmoo.

Here are some other frames that I've been eyeing:
 #PM1013 [link]

#K9006 [link]

#K9175 [link]

#DBSN62236 [link]

#DBSN62187 [link]

BONUS: I'm hosting a giveaway for a pair of free prescription eyeglasses from Firmoo (note: s&h not included) and five $10 off vouchers off of your purchase - be sure to enter and leave a comment with your favorite pairs of Firmoo glasses!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

3/7/16

Cambridge Antique Market



After spending a large chunk of this weekend watching movies, we decided to venture away from the couch and spend the afternoon at the Cambridge Antique Market. Located between Lechmere Station and Twin City Plaza, the Cambridge Antique Market is only a thirty minute walk from our apartment, and yet, I think the last time I went here was, like, two years ago? Anyway, the Cambridge Antique Market is a five-story building filled with antiques and vintage treasures curated by over 150 dealers; each floor is organized into little nooks for each dealer to display and sell their wares, varying from jewelry, clothing, housewares, art, disneyana, bicycles, and more. I don't really get a chance to venture out of the city for antique fairs or flea markets, so the Cambridge Antique Market is a treat whenever I'm in the mood for window-shopping and treasure-hunting. If you ever find yourself in the Boston area with a couple hours to spare, swing by the Cambridge Antique Market~!

And for those of you who aren't local, here's just a small glimpse of some of the gems I spotted today: