If I were single, I would take advantage of all of the Cosplay workshops so that I could prepare for the Sci-fi speed dating session and photo ops. Kate Beckinsdale would be my #1 choice for photo ops this year. John Barrowman is a close second.
First, I would attend the workshop with cosplayer Britt Bliss called “How to Draft and Underbust Corset.” It’s for anyone interested in learning how to make their own corset. Anything that will help make you look good in your photo op with Kate Beckinsdale is worth your time.
Then it’s time to decide between going to the “Working with Worbla” Coplay workshop with Mogchelle for making your own armor. I’m not even sure what worbla is so maybe I’ll check out the speed dating session. (FYI: After googling, I discovered that worbla is not a sci-fi character.)
There are speed dating sessions for the LGBTPQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Pansexual and Queer/Questioning) community. I don’t fit into that category but I might stick around to make some new friends. Another speeding dating session will be held later in the day.
What do you do if you love cosplay but you’re broke? Attend the Cosplay on a budget workshop with Knightmage. He has some amazing costumes. His Spawn costume is beyond gorgeous. It’s ridiculous how much it blows my mind. Check out some of his pictures here:
If you’re a geek girl, like me, then you might enjoy the Geek Girl Brunch. There are probably refreshments and maybe you can make some friends that like the same geeky stuff that you do. Besides, you will need to build your strength for the . . . . Q & A session with Kate Beckinsdale.
Amber Love is not necessarily a comic book artist per se but she has been involved with writing webcomics as a guest writer. Love also has a podcast called Vodka O’Clock. She also interviews people from the arts and entertainment world, which is pretty cool.
What was the first thing that you were proud of drawing/writing?
My first comic Holyoak was the first time I had more pride in accomplishing something up to that point. It was part of a collaboration and part of a larger class project anthology so it felt like people were really interested in supporting each other. Opening the box and seeing it in print was fantastic! In prose work, it was getting into impressive anthologies like Protectors volume 2 edited by Thomas Pluck was an unreal experience; my name is in a book with Harlan Ellison and Joyce Carol Oates along with a lot of my dear friends in the creative world.
What are you working on now?
The only comic project I have at the moment is a story that’s gone through so many revisions, it’s been several years in the making of a one-shot. It’s a historical fiction that became a supernatural historical fiction script. I honestly haven’t worked on scripts in quite some time in order to focus on my novels.
Who has influenced you the most as an artist?
What’s been emotional for me as a new novelist is that several advanced readers and even an agent, who I consider a friend, told me that female characters shouldn’t use foul language in my genre of choice (mysteries); the readers at large would be off-put by it and it’s “just not done” that way. So, I look to comics, in particular Bitch Planet, and my response is maintaining the status quo is not a valid work process for me. I’m not taking away from the demure female protagonists out there; Jessica Fletcher is my favorite character of all time! All I want is to add some realism to the book shelf — and sorrynotsorry, but I curse up a storm in real life. I’m a big ol’ proponent for understanding rules but knowing it’s fine to break them when it doesn’t do any harm. Bitch Planet’s team shows non-compliants like myself that we’re okay to exist regardless of genre and medium.
Who is your favorite female superhero/villain/comic book character?
In contemporary works, it’s Penny Rolle from Bitch Planet. Athena Voltaire is always on my list of favorites too and I even got to write her which was unbelievable. Classically, I always loved Rogue and Firestar.
Do you think people expect a certain type of art from you since you are female?
Absolutely! It’s 2016 and women are still disguising their identities with gender neutral names. As I said, if a male creator writes a female character that swears, she’s called badass and strong; as a woman, I was told “that’s just not done” and it’s total bullshit.
How often do you go to comic book conventions? Do you enjoy conventions?
I usually go to at least two comic conventions a year and then try to hit some other subculture ones like Steampunk World’s Fair. I used to enjoy it a lot more a few years ago, but things have changed drastically for me in my personal life and with my health, so as much as there’s a longing for me to want to go to cons, I’m usually better off not considering them, especially giant cons. I love small shows so much more.
Introvert or Extrovert?
I’ve always had issues with these labels because I don’t think they’re accurate and come off limited. I was called an extrovert most of my adult life even though all those tests you can take would say I’m in an introvert. Based on what seems to be the accepted definitions of them, I’d say I’m an introvert. I do love my chance in the spotlight, but I need serenity more and more to prepare and recover from even basic daily functions.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I love podcasts and memoirs on audio book. People who have listened to my show Vodka O’Clock know that I’m not a regular Stephen King reader, but I love his writing advice. He’s motivational and honest. I also love the real stories of women who found their true calling and success defeating the odds like Malala Yousafzai and Jennie Lawson — two extremely different women that have made huge impacts on other people.
What do you do if you have writer’s block?
I don’t believe writers need to write every day. That only works for some people. I can’t do it. There are days when all I can manage are showering and putting on clean clothes. On a bad writer’s block day, as long as I’m up and about, I’ll put on interviews with authors or audio memoirs. If that doesn’t work (and it often isn’t enough), I’ve learned to forgive myself for not having a productive writing day. Sometimes my brain needs to tune out and marathon Netflix or take on a different kind of task like sewing or cleaning. If I get stuck on the plot, I usually ask friends or even throw questions out on Twitter in the #amwriting #help tags.
Have you had any interesting or awkward experiences since you’ve been an artist/writer?
I think rejection is an awkward experience! However, it’s something you have to learn to live with as a creator. More awkward was when my mother read my novel that’s now available, Cardiac Arrest, and she said she couldn’t read any more of my stuff because there’s too much “me” in it. She’s one of only two people that read the previous manuscript that I tossed out years ago and eventually pulled pieces from to make Cardiac Arrest and she said the same thing back then. I see her point. There are all these characters and each one is so blatantly exposing something about myself. She’s a great proofreader so I hoped that she would be my first round editor, but I guess that’s not going to happen.
Beverage of choice?
Melitta Enchanted Evening coffee, Cosmos, and Sidecars. Otherwise, filtered water.
When was the last time that you dressed up for Halloween?
Halloween is sacred for me so half the time I’m either in ceremonial garb or fancier dress regular clothes. I haven’t donned a real costume for Halloween in several years. It used to be a big deal in my house, especially as someone who cosplays, but I’ve scaled back and want to stick with wearing anything that’s self expressive as opposed to being a character (at least for the time being).
What do you want people to know about you?
I’m never going to be the kind of author that only posts about where to buy my books. My feeds are brutally honest and genuine accounts of what my life is like and that includes living with mental health issues and personal problems. My Patreon (amberunmasked) is there to help me make a living because I’ve even stepped back from most of my modeling jobs that required me to drive far and were tough physically. The best thing anyone can do is support me at Patreon directly or share links and write reviews. Even a review that meets the minimum word count on Good Reads or Amazon can help. Amazon is programmed to pay more attention to titles with reviews.
How are things going with you guys? I had an awesome week until . . .
Again with the migraine. What in the heck?!
I had plans for today. However, it was a big no on that event. I was going to drive to Bowling Green and take some pictures at the anime convention. It could have been fun, except for the migraine. It would have just been too bright and happy. All of the Sailor Moons in one room would have just been . . . . well, it would probably be awesome and yet too much for me today.
The people in charge also emailed me at 2 a.m. to say that I couldn’t bring any major camera equipment. 2 a.m. Just in time for the second round of migraine city.
In the last migraine post, someone gave me some good advice about the cold cloth on the back of the neck. It did help. Thank you! 😉
I also applied to go take photographs at the anime convention in Sandusky this summer. I might even dress up like someone. Maybe Toadette from Super Mario Brothers. I already have hat shaped like a mushroom.
I also have something in the works for photos of drag queens and/or kings because why not?!
After the migraine went away, I did go to the store and buy a New York Yankees beanie. I bought a pink one for me plus a black one that my teenager will “borrow.”
Earlier in the week, my boyfriend and I went to the Iprevail show in Cleveland. I’ll do a separate post because it was sooo awesome.
AND I also have another edition of Destino’s Black & White Photo Challenge that people are welcome to join. The theme this week is “Friends.”
We made it to the Indiana Comic Con – finally. All of the cosplayers were very cool about taking pictures with us. Mostly cosplayers are pretty cool with the picture taking. It’s how they roll.
There were so many that I didn’t get to take a picture of but I would’ve been there all day. Little Sister #2 only lasts a few hours at big events. She get overwhelmed but she does like the costumes, especially Poison Ivy. I think I saw about four Poison Ivy’s. This Poison Ivy that we are pictured with had the best outfit. She was super sweet.
Next year, both she and Little Sister #1 want to dress up. They asked several times if this was possible. It is totally possible.
I had my picture taken with Jason Momoa. It was awesome. He was awesome and very tall.
The line was not so awesome. In fact, it was a little chaotic. The volunteer started a second line so no one knew where they were going. The powers that be just seemed to lose control of the situation. The lines for photo ops are something they should think about in advance.
Indiana Comic Con did have a nice area for kids. I don’t think Ohio Comic Con had one last year. Little Sister #2 spent a lot of time in the hall at Ohio Comic Con. She just needs to run free. She did enjoy the kid’s area at this event quite a bit.
I met Thom Zahler, who I had an interview with not too long ago. He was also very kind to my children and I. I bought a print for Little Sister #2, even though she was running free in the hall.
Since I was trying to keep track of the kids, I didn’t meet as many comic book artists as normal. I did get a few business cards. I’ve been looking up many of them online after the fact.
I was sad to leave but we’ll be to more conventions. Don’t tell Lucas. He needs time to recover from this one. I have a feeling I will be going solo to the next one. Our GPS was a filthy liar and took us into a parking garage.
P.S. I think I would love to be a cosplay photographer. I could totally do it. If only I knew some cosplayers. I didn’t think of this idea until we were driving home. It could be all kinds of awesome.