Opinion pieces and recommendations on Sketchy Details

The NYCC Cosplay Experience: Putting It Out There

futuramafrysource 172x300 The NYCC Cosplay Experience: Putting It Out There

Fry from Futurama is a simple cosplay (except for the wig) [click for full]

I normally have some anxiety issues when I go to a convention. I am not good with crowds and do not like to be touched at all. You would think that someone like me would not want to draw extra attention at a massive event like New York Comic Con.

You’d be wrong. I’ve really grown to love the challenge and community of cosplay. I’d like to have a signature costume that people know me for. I also prefer to have multiple costumes instead of one costume for an entire weekend. That’s the OCD kicking in. I don’t like the idea of people thinking I don’t change my clothes every day.

This year, I set out to do three new costumes but got derailed by illness. Wander from Wander Over Yonder got replaced with an updated Fry from Futurama costume. That was Sunday. Friday was Wilson from the indie survival horror game Don’t Starve and Saturday was Chris from the web series Bravest Warriors. Both were brand new costumes.

Sketchy Details @Home #9: Deadly Sins

Now that New York Comic Con is over for the year and I’m mostly recovered, I can get back to full time work on this site. I have lots of things planned from the convention and other happenings to share with you. And don’t forget to enter the #NYCCSwag contest. I have books, bags, games, and more to give away from NYCCs past and other conventions.

To start off, we have the new episode of Sketchy Details @Home. This is a speed painting video. It’s a triptych of paintings inspired by Face Off‘s Seven Deadly Sins challenge. I chose Wrath, Envy, and Pride and did them entirely in the color scheme of my haunt: red, black, white, and metallic. I have a little tweaking to do before Halloween but the design won’t change. It’s opacity, not content, that’s the issue.

Watch, then click through for behind the scenes.

New York Comic Con 2013: A New Hope with New Technology

nycc2013rfidcrowd 300x169 New York Comic Con 2013: A New Hope with New Technology

A long line to get in breaks up real quick with only official visitors [click for full]

I wouldn’t have recognized New York Comic Con if it weren’t for all if the bold, graphic, street art-style signage all over the Jacob K. Javitz Center. Gone is the bizarre basement holding pen for early arrivals. The chaos over where, exactly, to go is gone, too. What’s left is a large convention that made a huge technology investment that is paying off big dividends.

This is the first year that NYCC has RFID badges. Instead of anyone with a badge that looked remotely like the actual badge getting in, you have to scan your badge at the entrance. You put the metallic sticker up to the volunteer’s iPad and it quickly scans to make sure your badge is valid. You register the badge before you show up and you check out whenever you leave.

The only downside is a longer wait for general admission. Sorry, fan pass holders, you will be queuing up for quite some time. It’s worth it.

Slipstream #9: NYCC Swag Giveaway

The new episode of Slipstream is a contest announcement, good people. I am giving away at least two large flat rate priority mail boxes of swag from NYCC and other conventions. I have signed books and convention exclusive merch. I have art, toys, games, clothing, posters, and convention exclusive material taking up way too much space in my house and I’d rather see it go to a loving home.

Watch the video, then click through for all the contest details.

The Binding of Isaac

thebindingofisaaclogo The Binding of IsaacMy name is Robert and I have a Binding of Isaac problem. Like some people might latch onto a Facebook game like Candy Crush Saga, I have become hooked on The Binding of Isaac. The roguelike adventure/horror game hits my tastes just right and refuses to let go.

Isaac is a six year old child trapped in a nightmare. His mother is a very religious woman who begins to hear the voice of God. His first message is to save her son from the corrupting influence of the world, resulting in all of Isaac’s belongings being destroyed. His second message is to save her son from all outside influences, resulting in Isaac being locked in his room. His third message calls on Isaac’s mother to prove her devotion to him above all else by sacrificing her son. Before God can pardon Isaac’s mom from the task as he did with the Abraham and his son Isaac in the Old Testament, the test is stopped by Isaac jumping in a trap door leading to a monster filled basement.

The game randomly generates a new map with each level of the basement. Three rooms–a boss battle, a golden room with a guaranteed upgrade, and a shop with ever-changing prices for a small pool of items–appear on every level. Otherwise, it’s a free for all. I’ve had it happen where I’ve fought the same combination of monsters and room layout four, five, even six times in a row before reaching a boss battle. Other times, rooms will never repeat for several playthroughs in a row.

Listen: Royals by Lorde

lorderoyals Listen: Royals by LordeI’m currently obsessing over Lorde’s debut single “Royals.” It replaced the magnificent recording of “Joy of the Lord” from the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hands on a Hardbody that burrowed into my brain upon release.

Originally, I was just intrigued. She had a unique voice. The beat was different from the synth-driven dubstep-esque pop dominating the airwaves but it wasn’t the totally organic new folk revival happening, either. It stood out.

Then I really started the break the song apart and fell hard. A 16 year old (now 17) writing a song this clever is a rarity, indeed. There’s a playful sense of disinterest that really drives the song. Lorde claims she’s not driven by the high life in her music or life yet she’s interested enough to namedrop a rather lengthy list of pop culture tropes.


The new Foreign Chops is starting late because I got sidetracked with all kinds of work not even related to writing for once. Deadline for submissions is 16 October, LAMB members only.

Announcing Foreign Chops #16: European Horror

Slipstream #7: Banned Genre Books

This week on Slipstream: The Pulp Culture Vlog, we celebrate Banned Books Week. Specifically, we look at the five most challenged horror, sci-fi, and fantasy books and books series according to the American Library Association’s wonderful challenged book resources. The list was derived, specifically, from the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 list. The rankings very well may have shuffled a bit since 2009. The Harry Potter series is not appearing as frequently and Captain Underpants actually topped the list for 2012.

Watch the video, then click through for all the behind the scenes gossip.