Tsunacon!

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Tsunacon will always be a little special to me. Not only is it the first con I visited, it also takes place on the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, which happens to be the university I addend to. I was once buying merchandise in the same room where I made an exam two days before, and I’m watching a cosplay competition in the room where I usually go to lectures. I can’t describe the experience in another word but weird. It’s weird to see the boring grey building transform into a place where people cosplay and play games. It’s weird to see those two separate worlds collapse into one. It has a surreal feeling. But it also feels like coming home. Like I’m the one inviting all those other people into my own home.

The M building

This was my third time visiting Tsunacon. Usually, Tsunacon takes place on that one day in February where it suddenly snows again. This year that was not the case (no snow at all this winter in this part of the Netherlands), but both last year and the year before, I had to stand in line for an hour in cosplay while it was snowing before opening. So I decided this year to arrive 1,5 hours after opening, so I didn’t need to stand in line. Brilliant idea. And it only took me two years to think about it.

Triple Links! Left to right: me, Eric van Dongen, and Babette Sonnevelt. Picture taken by Danique Wieling.

But I was not the only one who learned from my experiences. Tsunacon grows and improves every year.  In my first year, ordering food was a disaster (a two-hour line for a miso soup), last year they left the catering to the caterer of the University (which happens to be bad, but Tsunacon couldn’t know that and I only had to wait for 20 minutes this time, so it kinda improved), and this year they sold Japanese food and they also had a bakery, and I only had to wait for 10 minutes. Also, the cosplay competition took place on a stage in stead of a flat floor (which happened last year). So credit for the organization for listening to the complaints and flaws of previous years and improving them.

Kokoro Connect figures

So what did I do while I was there? I visited the dealer room and bought two Kokoro Connect figures, and my boyfriend bought a few Gundam model kits. I also had a €160,- Zelda action figure in my hands, but unfortunately that was one digit too much for my wallet. We had a HAAMC (Holland’s Anime And Manga Club) mini meet and made a group photo, and got in touch with some awesome people. We watched the AMV (Anime Music Video) competition, which was kind of disappointing this year in my opinion (I will do a blog on AMV’s in the future 😉 ). We had lunch, took some pics, and watched the cosplay competition.

This year there was a regular cosplay competition and a Capcom cosplay competition. Some memorable contestants from the regular competition: Elsa (Frozen), a lot of League of Legends characters and an amazing Jessica Rabbit. She has BOOBS and she knows it. If I had such a large chest I would probably feel uncomfortable, but she owned it! It fitted the cosplay perfectly and  she got the whole room going crazy. I later heard she got second place. The Capcom cosplay competition was a little disappointing, exept for the first to contestants; two girls in full Monster Hunter Armor with an exceptional arsenal of props (they won). The other contestants were a black dude with  boxing gloves who was supposed the be Balrog from Streetfighter and some dudes in a regular suit who did Ace Attorney cosplay. Meh.

The HAAMC mini-meet. My boyfriend as Hijikata Toshiro (with the mayonaise) and me as Link next to him

The last two years I left at 17/18 o’clock, but since I arrived later than usual I wasn’t tired yet. Which was good, because at 18:30, it was time for playing the Werewolfs of Miller’s Hallow (also organized by HAAMC). After that, the day came to an end and it was really time to go home. I’m already looking forward to the next convention!

Links:

HAAMC fb-page (Dutch): https://www.facebook.com/groups/247452401968471/

HAAMC on My Anime List (Dutch): http://myanimelist.net/forum/?clubid=21349

Tsunacon (Dutch): http://www.tsunacon.nl/

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Museum Review: World of Manga

Hello everybody!

First of all: Sorry for writing in such a low pace. Life can be busy sometimes! But I’m planning to write about lots of stuff (Tsunacon, cosplay, an anime review, and more!) in the near future so I’ll make it up to you!

World of Manga was an exhibition in the Word Art Museum (Wereldmuseum) in Rotterdam from June 28th 2013 to January 12th 2014. I visited in July, before I’ve even heard of Hot Cute Girly Geek, hence the (very) late review. But if you missed it and want to know what you missed: this is your chance! But since it’s about half a year ago since I visited, I don’t remember the exact details of the exhibition 100%. So I’m just going to give you the highlights of what I remember.

Also, for credits of the artwork and photo’s, please keep your cursor on the image for a bit 😉

Let’s first watch this trailer:

Sounds cool doesn’t it? I thought so too! I remember we first entered a room with a lot of ancient Japanese relics and statues, of course each with it’s own story. Later in the room, they showed parallels with ancient Japanese folklore stories and characters from the video game Street Fighter. Very amusing to read. I always like in-depth analyzation of games!

Next was a room which focused on mecha. There were a lot of mecha artworks, either from the the games series Armored Core or just from the fantasy of the artist. The drawing below is especially made for the exhibition. You can see the Erasmus Bridge on the background!

A few other rooms I remember, in random order: a room dedicated to Japanese tattoo art, a room with drawings of a specific artist which told a story about an emperor and his lover, and a room with photographs of people as manga-like characters. The room I enjoyed the most displayed (digital) art of various artists. The colors and details were amazing! The drawings are not related to any official manga or anime. Here are a few examples:

Last was a room dedicated to the recent movie Wolf Children. They showed concept art, stills from the movie and a few short fragments.

What did I think of the exhibition? I liked it a lot! But there is one, but very BIG ‘but’. The whole exhibition didn’t have anything to do with manga. I haven’t seen a single manga page. I expected that they would give information about manga, like my manga 101 blog or my genre 101 blog. Some information about the history of manga or famous artists like Tezuka or famous anime creators like Hayao Miyzaki. But there was none of that. Yes, they did give some in depth information, but that was about (only 2!) games. And the last room was just one big promotion of Wolf Children. Even in the museum shop, I could only find three manga booklets. There was other cool stuff though, like kimono’s and informative books. But no manga.

Conclusion: World of Manga was in interesting exhibition! But if you visited the exhibition with the intention of learning something about manga,  you would’ve been disappointed. ‘World of Japanese Visual Culture’ would’ve been a better name.

More photographs, artworks, and information about the artworks (in Dutch) can be found here:

http://www.wereldmuseum.nl/nl/nieuws/pers/the-world-of-manga-28-juni-2013-tot-12-januari-2014.html

Web shop: Zelda Link hat / pointy hat.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. My lovely fellow blogger Tekira asked me for a custom made hat. A Zelda Link hat

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She needed the hat for a cosplay outfit and I do love a challenge so I accepted.

The hat is made out of 75% acrylic and 25 % wool. Machine and hand washable on 30 degrees and wearable everywhere.

So if you need to portray your inner Link and go on adventures, or just like an epic pointy hat to wear this winter this is the right spot.

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The hat comes in two sizes, medium / large (mostly women) and large / extra large (mostly men).

And the colour options are endless. Just specify the colour number in the comment section (ps choose nr 20 for black), and if you want a combination of colours, so to get a stripe design, that’s also possible, just let me know.

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Prices: the hats cost €20,- shipping in the Netherlands €2,- within Europe €3,- and everywhere else €5,- for every additional product shipped I ask €1,- extra.

IMG-20140207-WA0013I accept custom orders. And please contact me about delivery times, seeing as I knit each hat per order.

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I accept PayPal and you can either order with the contact form below or on my Etsy site.

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

PS and a huge thank you for Tekira modelling for this hat! As well as James.

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Web shop: Tardis beanie hat / Tardis earflap hat.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on something epic, at least I think it’s pretty epic. Tardis hats!!!

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DSC_0213You heard it right, I said Tardis hats. What better way to show your inner whovian to the outside world by wearing one of these cool and may I add ‘sexy’ hats.

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DSC_0193The hats are made out of 75% acrylic and 25 % wool. Machine and hand washable on 30 degrees and wearable everywhere.

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Run of with your own Tardis, go on adventures, add a bit of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff to your life. Enjoy your tea and jammie dodgers even more while wearing this hat.

 

And may I just say, Tardis hats are cool!

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Every hat is soniced to the maximum durability, wearability, epic geekery and to withstand travel inside the vortex, although I can’t promise it’s bigger on the inside.

The hat comes in two sizes, medium / large (mostly women) and large / extra large (mostly men).

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DSC_0185Prices: the hats cost €15,- shipping in the Netherlands €2,- within Europe €3,- and everywhere else €5,- for every additional product shipped I ask €1,- extra.

I accept custom orders. And please contact me about delivery times, seeing as I knit each hat per order.

I accept PayPal and you can either order with the contact form below or on my Etsy site.

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

 

Comic book men a series review.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Due to some unexpected lifting last Saturday, my back gave out and I was couch bound for the rest of the day. I stumbled upon a very geeky series by accident on discovery channel. They did an all day rerun of comic book men.

Now I saw previews of this series a couple of weeks ago on the Dutch Discovery channel, but I sort of forgot to set my recorder and now I had the perfect excuse to watch a lot of episodes back to back. And I absolutely loved it!

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Synopsis according to the official website:

Kevin, Walt, Bryan, Mike, and Ming are back – behind the counter and in front of the microphone – as AMC’s unscripted series Comic Book Men returns for its third season this fall. The show will continue to entertain audiences by following the antics in and around master fanboy Kevin Smith’s Red Bank, New Jersey comic shop, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. The sixteen half-hour episodes will continue to document the daily banter of the Stash staff and customers as they geek-out over mind-blowing pop culture artifacts and iconic celebrities and personalities from the fanboy world including the Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from the original Star Trek series), Jason Mewes, Brian O’Halloran, and legendary comics writer and illustrator George Perez. Whether it’s about buying and selling memorabilia or embarking on wild adventures away from the store, the men of The Stash share all the juicy details with Kevin through their hilarious podcast, which is woven throughout the series.

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My thoughts:

Ok, at the moment, and I don’t know how it is at where you guys live, but Dutch TV is overrun by all these insight series. Whether it is on baking, a wedding shop, toddlers in ugly dresses, you name it and there is bound to be a series about it. People love this stuff. And most of the time you can watch it during daytime TV.

I hate Dutch TV, they don’t broadcast in proper order, sometimes shows disappear, we have terrible commercials, and that’s why I pretty much have other means to get to watch my shows, that and I buy a lot of stuff on DVD. But sometimes you get lucky like I did last Saturday and with great entertainment I watched a full afternoon filled with a couple of geeks running a comic book store.

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Although I’m not a comic book fanatic, pretty far from it actually, besides the occasional Donald Duck I read as I child. I like my books without pictures. And I know there are a lot of comic book fans out there and I salute you for geeking out over it. It’s just not my thing. But that doesn’t mean I can enjoy something like comic book men.

These guys are passionate about their love for comics and found a way to earn money with it. How cool is it that you can actually get paid for doing the thing you love! As in fangirling / fanboying about your geeky interests.

And the fact that Kevin Smith (Silent Bob from Jay and Silent Bob) owns the store and runs the podcasts is just epic.

I suggest you try to find a way to catch up with older episodes and start watching the new ones as well, they start on February 9th, midnight on AMC (yes they also produced the Walking Dead, also coming back in February).

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It’s not all comics, a lot of modern day geekiness is imbedded as well, plus they also talk a lot about older cartoons (the ones I grew up with thanks to sky channel, the first non-Dutch channel we could watch at my house).

If you’ve seen it already, let me know what you think, or otherwise, like I said, catch up with it.

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

The Great British Sherlock Read Off – A Scandal In Bohemia and The Red Headed League

Sherlock Challenge

 

As I’m heading into the Holmes short stories, I thought that it would be better to combine posts rather than doing an update for each story.  So, for this update I am focussing on the first two stories from “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” collection, “A Scandal In Bohemia” and “The Red-Headed League”.

 

A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA

People who are viewers of “Sherlock” will know that the contemporary parallel to this particular story is “A Scandal In Belgravia” and Sherlock’s opponent is, of course, the only woman to best him in “The Woman”, Irene Adler.

Unlike the “Sherlock” version of the story, Watson is happily married to Mary by the time the time Holmes encounters Irene Adler and has been living away from Sherlock, as in the television story “His Last Vow”.  In fact, fans of “Sherlock” will recognise some of the dialogue from “Vow” in this story, specifically the dialogue regarding the fact that Watson has settled into married life from the evidence of him putting on weight.

You can sense that this is still early days for the Holmes mythos because, yet again, Holmes gives Watson another lesson in observation and deduction with John as the example – the third time in three stories – as though Conan Doyle was still trying to drive home Sherlock’s powers of detection.

Given that this is a shorter story than “A Study In Scarlet” or “The Sign Of Four”, this story is particularly Sherlock heavy.  It starts with Watson relaying the fact that Sherlock doesn’t see women in the romantic sense, which given the fact that Irene bests Holmes in this story lends the story a tinge of the romantic.

As in “Belgravia”, this story hinges around the fact that Irene is seeking to blackmail a notable royal, in this case the King of Bohemia, due to an indiscretion when he was the Crown Prince.  Holmes is entrusted to be the agent to recover the evidence.

The narrative is very pacey, in comparison to the first two stories (it took me a couple of hours to read), which is fitting as Holmes’s adventures were being chronicled in newspapers and the character of Holmes and Watson are consistent with how they are portrayed in “Scarlet” and “Sign” – Holmes as the cold, calculating investigator and Watson as his chronicler – as intelligent and ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his comrade in arms, but always half a step behind due to his view of the world in comparison to Sherlock.

The King of Bohemia is very much seen as just a client in this case, as opposed to Mary Morstan, who is very much somebody who accompanies Holmes and Watson in their previous adventure.

The character of Irene Adler is an interesting one as she seems to have been retconned through the passage of time.  If you’ve seen the Downey Jr. “Sherlock Holmes” films, Adler has become a career criminal, of sorts, whilst the “Sherlock” version is a dominatrix who deals with obtaining classified information and working as an agent of Jim Moriarty.

In the book, Irene is a totally different kettle of fish – she’s an opera singer, actor and “adventuress”.  Her driving motivation a sense of injustice, as in the cases of Holmes’s two previous adversaries, and is described at the end of the story.

Another interesting thing is that, unlike the adversaries from the first two stories, you hardly see a great deal of “The Woman” herself.  A lot of what is described of her is through conversation, observation and by a significant letter.  In fact, we only see her interact with Holmes twice in the story and briefly so.

The fact that her appearances are so fleeting, the fact that she beats Holmes, plus the fact that there is no case of murder in this story, are really what gives “Scandal” it’s romantic touchstone, even though Holmes himself would not see it so.

Unlike the previous two stories, it’s not essential to have seen the “Sherlock”, in fact, it may be helpful to try to put aside Lara Pulver’s fantastic portrayal as the modern day Adler when reading this story as the two versions motives are poles apart, even though her actions aren’t.

 

THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE

For fans of “Sherlock” and who haven’t read the books before, this is a story that you may not be familiar with.

Basically, the story involves a pawnbroker by the name of Jabez Wilson who consults Holmes on a case where he has felt that he has been on the receiving end of a practical joke.  Wilson, a man with red hair, answered an advertisement for a job with a beneficiary trust called “The League of Red-Headed Men”.  His job, to copy all of the entries in the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

There are conditions to his job, however. He must work there between 10 am and 2 pm, he must not leave his place of employment and he cannot take a day’s absence or he will forfeit his role with the League.

However, after two months service with the League, Wilson finds on attending work that the League has been dissolved and that nobody has heard of the League’s administrator, Mr Duncan Ross.

I do have a familiarity with this story through the first series of the Sherlock Holmes stories as transmitted by Granada Television.

The story, like “A Scandal In Bohemia” is a short one and therefore means that the narrative is fast-paced, but manages to be full of detail, partly down to the exposition that the character of Jabez Wilson provides at the start of the story and partly because, unlike the previous three Holmes stories that I’ve read, there are no establishing demonstrations of Holmes’s powers of detection, apart from his ascertaining and linking up clues as to Wilson’s past.

With readers now becoming more familiar with the partnership of Holmes and Watson, there is also less need to describe specifics about Holmes’s methods of detection in this story, with the clues coming in a “blink and you’ll miss them fashion”, something that to this day appears in many a detective or procedural television programme, book or film.

One area of interest in this particular story is Watson’s observations of Holmes himself – in particular, the two sides to Holmes’s character.  On the one hand, he is a man who is in his chosen vocation for the thrill of the hunt, whilst on the other, he is an admirer of the calm atmosphere of the musical arts – whilst dispelling the popular myth that Holmes was poor at playing the violin as he describes Holmes as being both a competent violinist and a composer.  (A trait that “Sherlock” fans will certainly recognise from the episode “The Sign Of Three”).

The story itself is a straight-forward procedural story with a beginning – Jabez’s story flowing swiftly into Holmes and Watson’s investigation and the final act of their apprehending the suspects.  It’s also a less emotionally led story than what I have read before, certainly less so than “A Scandal In Bohemia” or “The Sign Of Four” which attempts to shine some light on the emotional character of Sherlock and John.  In fact, this is a much lighter, in fact slightly comedic, story in comparison to the previous three.

For fans of the televised “Sherlock Holmes” version of this story, there is a major change between the original work and the TV version in the fact of who actually masterminds this plot.  No doubt due to the fact that even in the 1980′s we were being treated to a minimal story arc which culminated at the end of the first series of Granada’s adventures for the Brett incarnation of the role.

In summing up, a pleasant read and a story that can be read with ease in a couple of hours.

 

 

For those of you following this challenge, the next story that I’ll be reading will be the short story “A Case Of Identity”.

52/52/52 challenge, January progress.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. My 52/52/52 challenge, how is it coming along? Well, here’s the update from my first month:

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Movies:

  • Sherlock season 2, episode one: a Scandal in Belgravia
  • Sherlock season 2, episode two: the Hound of Baskerville
  • Sherlock season 2, episode three: Reichenbach Falls
  • Sherlock season 3, episode 1: the Empty Hearse
  • The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug
  • How to train your Dragon
  • Rise of the Guardians
  • Sherlock season 3, episode 2: the sign of three
  • Frozen
  • Monsters University
  • Monsters Inc
  • Sherlock season 3, episode 3: His last Vow
  • Supernatural season 7
  • Supernatural season 8
  • The hunger games catching fire
  • Thor: the dark world

Yes I am counting the Sherlock episodes as 1 movie, come one, they’re an hour and a half long and even the creators say each episode is a movie on its own. So there you have it!

Books:

  • How to train your dragon 1, by Cressida Cowell, read by David Tennant.
  • How to train your dragon 2: How to be a pirate, by Cressida Cowell, read by David Tennant.
  • The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • Liveship Traders 2:  the Mad Ship, by Robin Hobb

I didn’t read as many books as I wanted, and if you count accurately, I only read two. Been too busy and too tired to read a lot. I hope I can make February a bit more bookish. But since I’m travelling a lot more for work again, I’m positive I can pick up my reading to make a serious dent in my 52 books a year challenge.

Where I used to read a lot in my spare time, it doesn’t distract me as it used to be. I don’t know if it has anything to do with me getting older, but it’s like I can’t seem to find the peace to sit down and read. I need to be busy, so that’s why I basically only read before bed and during travelling. The rest of the time I’m too fidgety as it where to do anything else.

I mean, even when I watch TV I’m doing something else simultaneously, like knitting, or writing or whatever. But this is what I did last month. God, I watch a lot of TV. Hihi, but it’s my relax moment after work and I happily watch a couple of episodes of a series per night. By the looks of my list so far I would have bigger trouble getting to finish my reading challenge then my movie watching challenge.

How are your challenges coming along? Let me know!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.