An Indefinite Hiatus

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Alright, I've been putting this off for quite some time now, out of denial and other things. I know I have been vague about so many doctor's visits on Twitter and have dodged questions so here is your answer: This blog is on an indefinite hiatus due to an injury of mine earlier this summer. As a result of this injury I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) which is, in short, nerve damage in my wrist that has spread to my hand and the rest of my arm. It's a severely painful disease to have and is at this point, incurable. I won't bother you will the gritty details but you can read the Wikipedia page here for those  of you curious types. (However, my hand does not look like the gruesome picture shown, thank goodness.)

As a result of this injury it's incredibly painful to do every day activities, including typing. Between severe chronic pain and trying to deal with my every day life, I have no energy left for blogging unfortunately. I'm not the type of person to complain about personal problems online, but my hand hurts every day, every hour. Sometimes it feels like the inside of my arm is on fire, sometimes it feels like I broke a bone, sometimes it feels like my funny bone just got hit and that searing tingling pain lasts all night. Sometimes my hand is icy cold if you touch it. Basically, it sucks. 

Until I have figured out a way to type without being in pain, this blog will not be updated. I also will not be taking any commissions or promotional contracts. Thank goodness for Twitter where I can use only one hand, so if you can check out my ridiculous musings there. Thanks for everything you guys, and until next time, 

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Cosplayers: Dress Sexy, Act Smart

, by Zoë Gulliksen

The pilgrimage to nerd Mecca starts in a couple of days: San Diego Comic Con has once again arrived! Every July fans of all ages travel to the biggest convention in the world to seek out their favorite movie stars, comic book creators, and ultimate collectibles. Over 130,000 people attended last year, many of them participating in cosplaying.

There's one main difference between Comic-Con (and similar comventions) as apposed to other mass gatherings of people for an event: Cosplay. Simply put it's when fans dress up as fictional characters. A lot of problems can arise when someone see's a good looking woman or man wearing the revealing costume of their favorite comic book character. 

Whenever this time of year comes around, bloggers give advice to attendees on how to properly interact with those in costumes. One of my friends and the best Comic Con guru around, Crazy4ComicCon has written a wonderful piece on his site about Cosplay Etiquette, which you can read HERE. I would also recommend his other tips on all matters concerning SDCC.

My advice to attendees is to simply be courteous to cosplayers. For example, don't initiate physical contact or follow someone around to take their pictures without permission. Treat them with respect and suppress your urges to shower them with affection. This may seem like common sense but when thousands of people get together in a crammed, rushed environment excitement eclipses manners. Another thing I've noticed (which is the central theme of this piece) is that there is a distinct lack of advice to cosplayers themselves: Don't forget your common sense.

my Black Canary costume
After every major convention there are a slue of people complaining about the harassment they received while in costume. Most of the time they are well warranted complaints that deserve attention, but those seem to be the ones that end up taking a backseat to the people who lament endlessly about being cat called or having inappropriate pictures of them showing up online. 

Let me make this distinction clear right off the bat: I do not defend nor support the harassment of cosplayers at conventions. Comic-Con in particular has a very large police, security and staff presence throughout their public areas. Stalking, sexual assault and the like are a sad but very real part of our society. If you feel threatened or harassed look to them for help immediately. 

YOUR SAFETY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FEELING EMBARRASSED ABOUT ASKING FOR HELP. 


That being said, more people need to take a smarter and more realistic approach when cosplaying. If you are dressing up as a character with a revealing costume you need to  be accepting of that from day one.

(click for bigger image)
I don’t care how much you love Power Girl’s personality or good intentions or her importance to the fate of the DC universe. If you decide to cosplay as her you are making the conscious effort to show off your breasts in a manner that will draw much attention. From ALL genders. Cosplaying as Power Girl and then complaining afterwards that everyone kept starring at your chest all weekend is not an argument; it just shows how little common sense you have.

If you are choosing to wear a costume that purposefully shows off your rack then embrace it! You're wearing a costume for a reason, so have fun with it. Show it off, don’t complain about it. If you run into a fellow attendee who makes a rude comment in passing, BY ALL MEANS call them out on it (you ARE dressed like a superhero after all, feel free to be courageous).  But you have to let it go. They do not deserve your time nor your effort. Assholes are all around us, and that doesn't excuse Comic-Con especially considering how many people who attend have a tendency to act immaturely. If you spend your entire time there miserable because of one or two people's unnecessary comments you'll miss out on the HUNDREDS of people who enjoy seeing you flaunt your fandom. 

I'm not new to cosplaying. I have dressed up as various characters over the years from Ramona Flowers (practically every interpretations of the character including from the Scott Pilgrim video game where I simply wore underwear & a sweatshirt), to a Pokémon on kid’s day, as well as Peggy Carter from Marvel's Captain America movie. Back in 2010  I dressed up as Black Canary at an anime convention. Now, I made a few conscious decisions about my costume: I chose a leotard that covered my butt more than Black Canary's customary thong. I also did not zip my costume down to my navel. Why? Because as much as I love the character I didn't feel the need to be naked in public to prove it. Granted, I was still in a skin tight leotard and fishnets but I was fully aware of the consequences that might ensure. Many costumes at Comic-Con look like my Black Canary leotard: skin tight and hardly covering the butt. I knew that every time I squirmed to fit into the costume and that there was no denying it was revealing. 

Sure enough, within 15 minutes of my leaving my room and walking down to the lobby of my hotel a teenage guy called out to me from the upper level. He said I dropped something behind me. I turned and couldn't see anything, so I bent over lower, worried that one of my boot straps had already fallen off. Of course I hadn't actually dropped anything, the guy just wanted to see me bent over. I quickly realized my mistake, gave him the finger, and went on my way. I did not dwell on it because that idiot did not deserve my attention, which is what he was ultimately after. But you'll be dammed sure I never made that mistake again. 

If you go to a convention and are disgusted by attendees having any type of reaction to your costume besides the exact thing you want them to do/say, don’t wear it. Does this seem unfair? Maybe, but it's even more unfair of you to demand everyone to act the way you see fit.  The attention and compliments for a cosplay well done is empowering and deserving after weeks of hard work building the costume. Not to mention the gym time put in to make sure your abs look perfect. There is nothing wrong about wanting to look sexy at a convention! However, wearing a costume that's more revealing than half the stuff you'd find at Victoria's Secret and then complaining that attendees were staring or taking pictures of your ass is idiotic. You are attending an event with over 100,000 people (again, some of which are a bit more immature than regular folks) and if you truly believe that no one will objectify you then you are naive.

Surprise, surprise: Characters in comic books and movies are sexualized! This is not a new fact and anyone dressed up in a sexy costume and claiming they did not do it to look sexy is either lying or in utter and complete denial. If a cosplyer does not want to dress up in as revealing an outfit as a character, he or she can easily modify the costume to be more to their liking. If someone wants to dress up as Power Girl but doesn't feel comfortable with the bust opening, there are other Power Girl costume options one can chose.

There are countless articles written degrading men for saying lewd things to women in revealing costumes at conventions. I am not giving those arguments any less meaning. Some people can shrug that stuff off but if you're honestly offended, you're honestly offended. What I'm saying is that you need to apply the same awareness and common sense you use in your day to day life (i.e. wearing revealing clothes to bars, clubs, etc) to what you do at conventions. 

Utilize self preservation, ladies and gents. Take care of yourself, and have a fun (and safe) Comic Con.


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The Force For Fun Winner: 'Jim vs Vader'!

, by Zoë Gulliksen

After weeks of voting and showcasing all the entries into the Force For Fun contest held by Pringles and Star Wars, we finally have a winner! Congrats to Erick Beck and Justin Johnson for winning the $25,000 grand prize!

The Force For Fun was a promotion in which over a thousand fan made ideas were crowdsourced on Tongal.com. After months of hard work, only seven final videos competed to be chosen as Pringles national advertisement! As I mentioned before, I was chosen to be a The Force For Fun Influencer and it was such a fun experience!

You can check out the winning video below and behind the scenes footage in a previous post here.




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The Force For Fun: 'Don’t Hold Your Breath'

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Two of my favorite companies, Pringles and Star Wars have put together "The Force For Fun" promotion which resulted in over a thousand fan made ideas to be crowdsourced on Tongal.com. Now, after months of hard work, there is only seven final videos competing for the grand prize of $25,000 and to be chosen as Pringles national advertisement! As I mentioned before, I was chosen to be a The Force For Fun Influencer so I'll be bringing you behind the scenes footage and the chance to win your own Star Wars and Pringles swag! 

   

 Last week's video was 'The Delectable Weapon'. This week I'm bringing you the fifth of seven commercials: Here is  by Matt Sklar & Colin Duffy of  “Norman Invasion"


 I know a ton of ladies who would marry a guy because he speaks like Vader =P Matt and Colin filmed at all these locations in only ONE DAY!! 

 Make sure you go to www.YouTube.com/Pringles to check out the seven The Force For Fun videos! 

 Now enter below to win 2 cans of Pringles and a Jawa plush doll!!
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BookExpo America 2013

, by Zoë Gulliksen

This past weekend I was able to attend BookExpo America for the second time. BEA is "the largest annual trade book fair in the United States". The expo is meant to showcase books that have recently been published or are going to be in the upcoming year by publishing houses. Everyone from authors, librarians, buyers, and fans have attended since the first show in 1947. It's the comic con for the book industry, where everyone can come together to share their love of literature. Since 2009 the event has been held at the Javits Convention Center in new York City. 

The best part about BEA is scoring all the free books the publishers give away all weekend. Over the course of two days I easily brought home 100 books, everything from a non fiction WWII history book to a finger puppet book called "Little Penis"- not even joking. I also attended Penguin Publishing's Bird Bash where I mingled with famous authors such as Elizabeth Gilbert of 'Eat, Pray, Love' and David Schickler, who wrote one of my favorite novels "Kissing in Manhattan".

At the expo itself I was also able to meet more authors, including David Levithan, which has been on my To Do List for a while now. Levithan is known as young adult novelist, but my favorite of his works is an adult novel called "The Lover's Dictionary", which is about the course of a relationship defined using words:

If you love books period, add this book to your list immediately. Other known works of Levithan include "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist", "Lily and Dash's Book of Dares", "Boy Meets Boy", and "Will Grayson, Will Grayson". Levithan was at BEA signing his new book "Two Boys Kissing"that comes out August 27th. I finished it last night and it was amazing, a review for it will go up sometime later this week. I also met Tony Kushner, who wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln". He was an adorable man who took my fangirling to heart and signed a copy of his book for me. 

However, the highlight of the weekend was meeting Grumpy Cat. Yes, the one and only queen of Internet memes: Tardar Sauce herself. I skipped out on meeting Jim Carrey and waited in line for two hours to meet this feline and it was so worth it

That time Grump Cat & I hated everything together

Now I have enough books to keep me occupied for the rest of the summer, not that this will stop me from buying even more books, of course. =) What books are you guys excited to read this summer?


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The Force For Fun: 'The Delectable Weapon'

, by Zoë Gulliksen



Two of my favorite companies, Pringles and Star Wars have put together "The Force For Fun" promotion which resulted in over a thousand fan made ideas to be crowdsourced on Tongal.com. Now, after months of hard work, there is only seven final videos competing for the grand prize of $25,000 and to be chosen as Pringles national advertisement! As I mentioned before, I was chosen to be a The Force For Fun Influencer so I'll be bringing you behind the scenes footage and the chance to win your own Star Wars and Pringles swag!

   

 Last week's video was 'Sounds Like a Party'. This week I'm bringing you the fourth of seven commercials: Here is 'The Delectable Weapon' by Ryan O’Rourke & John Griese  

 This video is great, because don't all of us picture our bosses as Darth Vader at least once a week? Make sure you go to www.YouTube.com/Pringles to check out the seven The Force For Fun videos!


Check out this behind the scenes look at Ryan and John's FANtastic video!


 Now enter below to win Pringles & an R2D2 folding chair!
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Bookish Journal #9: That Thing You Do

, by Zoë Gulliksen


It’s been a crazy couple of weeks here in New York City. We’ve encountered spring weather, and then winter and rainy, and now back to 90 degree summer heat today.Pietro is currently putting together a space station of a cat litter box while I type this, but he would be mad that I’m revealing how domestic he is. I hope the cats like their new poop box because it cost a fortune and is the size of an R2 unit.

Two weeks ago my friend Nate from California spent a week here on the east coast. I took him to great New York attractions such as Shake Shack, the bridge from Spider-Man 3 and the finale scene of Avengers- both in Central Park, FAO Schwartz toy store, Rockefeller Center, Times Square and more. The best part was that we got frozen chocolate bananas from an Arrested Development Banana Stand in Columbus Circle! We also caught a showing of the Broadway hit musical “The Book Of Mormon” which was exceedingly offensive and very well done. Nate is one of my dearest Twitter friends and we met at SDCC a few years ago. He has a great big beard and understands my obscure movie references in normal conversation.

A day after Nate left the best of the best, Angela, then came to stay with me for a night. It was the last Liverpool football match of the season and we wanted to watch it at the Liverpool bar downtown. She
Angela ^
brought Pietro and I jerseys to wear and we drank beer at 10 in the morning, singing along with other fans when our team won.

Angela left Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon my other long time friend from Twitter, Dawson, came to stay. Dawson is from Missouri and we met over three years ago when he came to visit for New York Comic Con. Over a weekend of crazy Cosplaying, a ridiculous MTV party, and riding the Path train drunk- we became great friends. He only stayed for a few nights and we spent our time wandering Central Park, watching movies, and creating a website dedicated to terrible marketing. As one does.

And then, a few days later, Alyssa also came to visit New York! Known as @Instalyssa on Twitter, she is one of the very first people I became friends with on Twitter over four years ago and we finally met after all this time. I was able to show her ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and take her to the restaurant from the movie, Café Lalo, for some delectable dessert.

For someone as quiet as myself, this was more social interaction that I get in two months! No, but really it was great seeing so many of my favorite people. I’ve also picked up a ton of books about Hemingway lately. I read The Paris Wife, which is a fiction bestseller about Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson and it was a brilliant read. I highly recommend it. I’m also in the middle of a few other books including The Hemingway Women and The Selected Letters of Martha Gellhorn. Gellhorn is Hemingway’s third wife, and my personal role model. I’ve never really had one before, besides Jo March from Little Women, but she’s a fictional character. I’ll write more about Gellhorn in the future.


In short, life is good my friends, and I hope you are all doing well too.


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The Force For Fun: "Sounds Like a Party"

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Two of my favorite companies, Pringles and Star Wars have put together "The Force For Fun" promotion which resulted in over a thousand fan made ideas to be crowdsourced on Tongal.com. Now, after months of hard work, there is only seven final videos competing for the grand prize of $25,000 and to be chosen as Pringles national advertisement! As I mentioned before, I was chosen to be a The Force For Fun Influencer so I'll be bringing you behind the scenes footage and the chance to win your own Star Wars and Pringles swag! 



                Last week's video was 'Wookie Mistake'. This week I'm bringing you the third of seven commercials:
                          Here is Jared Hedges & Dave Cain from "Team Spaceman"'s video "Sounds Like a Party"


I love this video so much because of all the ingenious ways they tried to recreate Star Wars in their home, especially the use of a spatula for Darth Vader's mask! Who knew Pringles gave you the ability to sound like a Star Wars character. Make sure you go to www.YouTube.com/Pringles to check out the seven The Force For Fun videos!

          Check out this quick video for more scenes and a side by side comparison of the commercial and "A New Hope"!


                                                   Now enter to below to win Pringles chips and Star Wars earbuds!
a Rafflecopter giveaway





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New Her Universe Apparel at Star Wars Weekends

, by Zoë Gulliksen


2013 NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13th, 2013 - 

 The Force is back at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park as Star WarsWeekends returns May 17th through June 9th. Fans from all over the world come to share their love of all things Star Wars and Disney during this special event. Returning for the fifth year in a row is actress Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and founder of the popular sci-fi merchandise line for fangirls, Her Universe™. As with previous years, Eckstein will be bringing an all-new, unique range of Star Wars by Her Universe designs to the month-long event at Disney's Hollywood Studios including fashion tops, tunics, tanks and dresses located in Darth's Mall. Eckstein will be meeting fans and signing autographs every day during the event and she will also be returning as host for Behind the Force: Star Wars Voices each weekend. "As a lifelong Disney fan, it's a dream come true for me to return to Disney's Star Wars Weekends and debut my new Her Universe merchandise," said Eckstein. "It's been an honor to work with Disney to create designs for this event. We have an assortment of new items for female fans of all ages, including our new exclusive Return of the Jedi necklace in honor of the 30th Anniversary!" 







Her Universe has only made 1,250 necklaces to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of this beloved movie. This extremely limited edition piece will come with an autographed certificate by Eckstein and will only be sold at select Her Universe events debuting at Star Wars Weekends. Only 500 necklaces will be available for sale at Disney starting on May 17th. They are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Also debuting at the event will be will the highly anticipated Rogue Squadron dress and X-Wing Pilot tank top. Other items premiering will be matching youth and adult R2-D2 tunic tops, an adorable youth Princess Leia tunic top, retro women's fashion tops and a limited edition Asajj Ventress costume top. 



Pretend that you are a part of the Rogue Squadron in this colorful hooded racer-back tank. With the hoodie up, you're ready to pilot an X-wing yourself!


Personally, this R2D2 hoodie is my absolute favorite! However, all of these items will be a part of my summer wardrobe!

Source: Her Universe
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The Force For Fun: 'Wookiee Mistake'

, by Zoë Gulliksen



Two of my favorite companies, Pringles and Star Wars have put together "The Force For Fun" promotion which resulted in over a thousand fan made ideas to be crowdsourced on Tongal.com. Now, after months of hard work, there is only seven final videos competing for the grand prize of $25,000 and to be chosen as Pringles national advertisement! As I mentioned before, I was chosen to be a The Force For Fun Influencer so I'll be bringing you behind the scenes footage and the chance to win your own Star Wars and Pringles swag! 


The first video was 'Jim vs Vader'This week I'm bringing you the second of seven commercials:
Here is the video by Jordan Allen, Luke Rocheleau and Brooke Dooley, team "Side of Fries" called 'Wookie Mistake'


The best part about this contest is that hardcore Star Wars fans are the ones creating these commercials, which adds that extra spark. Fans who love these movies are the ones bringing you the advertisements, so they know what other fans would love to see! Make sure you go to www.YouTube.com/Pringles to check out the seven The Force For Fun videos!

 Here are some behind the scenes with Jordan, Luke, and Brooke!
Now here is your chance to win some swag! Last week Laura Begley won cans of Pringles and a Star Wars usb stick! This week you can win more Pringles and an adorable Ewok!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, check out Google+ Hangout featuring all seven filmmakers as well as Lucasfilm and Pringles reps.
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