Five Fandom Friday: Favourite Halloween Candy!

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Here in England, Halloween isn’t a massive deal. Unless you’re a kid under ten who can go trick or treating or you’re old enough to go out to nightclubs for all the themed drinks and costume contests, Halloween tends to just roll past, interrupted by the odd trick or treater. I’ve been trick or treating twice in my life, and I didn’t really enjoy it that much either time. However, now I’m an *cough cough* adult, I can buy my own treats! So, Without further ado, here are five of my favourite Halloween treats:

1.) Spooky Gingerbread

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I LOVE gingerbread sooo much. I could honestly just eat it all the time. Most supermarkets in Britain sell gingerbread men/shapes year round, usually seasonally themed, but it’s the Halloween-themed ones I love the best. Spoopy ghosts? Tesco have got you covered. Bone-rattling skellingtons? Sainsbury’s sell ‘em! However, this year I wasn’t able to buy up gingerbread goodness, but thankfully my friend Amy (who is an epic baker!) made some gingerbread headstones and ghosts and shared them out at university. It was so good!

2.) Krispy Kreme Halloween donuts

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This year, for the first time ever, I had Krispy Kreme donuts. I’m lucky enough to live near a big shopping centre which has a Krispy Kreme stand, and when I visited recently, I was able to pick up a Halloween themed one. It was a ‘Trick or Treat’ flavour, and you’d get either chocolate truffle in the centre or lime. I got the lime and it was so delicious! When Halloween rolls around next year I plan on stocking up on those bad boys!

3.) Chocolate and/or toffee apples

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These have been a childhood favourite of mine. I really love apples (I’ll be a Shinigami before I know it!) and the combination of sweet, sticky toffee or yummy chocolate is absolutely perfect. I would buy and eat these all the time if I could! Maybe next year I’ll finally make the jump and make my own…

4.) Haribo Tangfastics

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I know, I know. Tangfastics are available all year round, but they’re so yummy I just had to include them on my list! They’re simultaneously sweet and sour, and I could just eat them for days and not realise it! Haribo make the best sweets, and Tangfastics are the best of the best.

Smarties

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I have always, always loved Smarties, ever since I was a little girl. My Grandma would always be a big tube at Christmas, and I’d usually eat them all that day! Smarties were always my choice of sweets at any given time throughout my childhood, and I always get tempted to pick them up again now and enjoy some sweet candy nostalgia!

What are some of your favourite Halloween treats? Let me know in the comments section!

 

Confessions of a World of Warcraft Noob #2

Welcome to part two of my Confessions of a World of Warcraft Noob blog series! I’m a little late (almost a week!) in posting this, but in that time, a lot has happened to my Blood Elf Warrior Wém in Azeroth.

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Interestingly enough, I’ve been questing on my own this last week. While the Boyfriend Wonder Iain, Daryl, and our other friend Joe have boosted me through some dungeons and helped me rack up the levels, I didn’t get much chance to play on my own, and learn much for playing solo. This week, that has changed, as once I hit level 71, Iain took me over to Northrend and left me to fend for myself.

An enemy in the Stratholme dungeon

An enemy in the Stratholme dungeon

As it was the first time playing on my own, I didn’t have the luxury of a healer to heal me up if my health dipped, and I didn’t have an epic tank to take hits for me either. While I was running, flying and fighting my way through the Tundras and dealing with Garrosh Hellscream’s war command, Daryl, Iain and Joe were levelling their own characters through dungeons, and making the most of the recruit-a-friend perk, which offers 300%+ EXP. For new players, it’s a really easy way to gain EXP quickly and gain a lot of levels, especially in big dungeons. It took me a while to get used to playing on my own, and I had to keep a careful eye on my health as much as I could! Luckily, I only died a few times, and was able to pick myself back up pretty quickly.

Standing at the gates of Orgrimmar

Standing at the gates of Orgrimmar

I spent a lot of time in the Northrend. I flew from corner to corner, doing quests and killing monsters for every person I came across. I really enjoyed questing like that, as it allowed me to always have something on the go. As soon as I completed one quest and handed it in, I already had another three I could get started with, and I managed to build up a lot of experience and get some decent (ish) gear for myself that actually looked pretty good too! I absolutely loved the look of Northrend. Even though my laptop can’t run it on especially good graphics, it still looked absolutely gorgeous, and when I reached The Nexus I was in awe. Everything was so pretty, and the colours looked fantastic.

Flying around the Amber Ledge

Flying around the Amber Ledge

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The Nexus! So pretty, even on low graphics

The Nexus! So pretty, even on low graphics

I took a few days off to work on some of my university work, but then I jumped back on as soon I could! Daryl, Iain and Joe ran me through a few more dungeons, and before I knew it, I was level 75 and the enemies in Northrend didn’t challenge me anymore, and thus it was time to leave. Iain recommended I fly over to Dragonblight and start questing there. I flew over (carefully avoiding the PvP area) and made a start, killing off a few enemies here and there. Again, I was in awe of the look and aesthetic of the place, and set off doing as many quests as I could gather and hand in! I eventually made my way to Naxxramas and took out the necromancers, and after flying around for a bit, killing the odd skeleton, I realised the enemies here were too easy. So, after some talk with Iain and his ridiculous encyclopaedic knowledge of WoW, he loaded in his level 80 character and we headed off to Mount Hyjal.

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That’s when I saw the biggest dragon in a game I have ever, ever seen. The route that I got taken on when I flew took me via Deathwing, and my reaction was “holy shit that’s a big dragon I hope I don’t have to fight him!” then Iain informed me that yes, you have to fight him on a raid, and I died inside a little bit. Deathwing aside, Iain and I quested around Mount Hyjal for a while, killing slightly smaller dragons and harpies, and I enjoyed flying around the place. I’ve come to realise that WoW is probably one of the most expansive and beautiful games I’ve played. Every area looks different, and has a different type of monster, and the music for it is superb. I could honestly listen to WoW music all day, every day.

My last quest completed; Kill Sethria

My last quest completed; Kill Sethria

Aside from my usual questing in large areas, I ended up teleporting to Dalaran and running around there for a while. I watched the Lich King cinematic, and then rendezvoused with Iain, who took me through a few more dungeons and helped me get some better gear.

Dalaran

Dalaran

Iain (Cipheon) and I in Dalaran. The seasonal pumpkin heads never fail to make me laugh!

Iain (Cipheon) and I in Dalaran. The seasonal pumpkin heads never fail to make me laugh!

As of now, I’m level 82, and still questing on Mount Hyjal. I play on the Chamber of Aspects server, and if you’d like my Battlenet ID so you can add me, just drop me a line in the comment section below!

MCM London Comic Con October 2014

I’m a small-town girl and I’ve only ever gone to small town cons. Most of the cons I’ve attended in the last three years haven’t attracted more than a few hundred people, and Leeds Thought Bubble is the biggest convention I’ve ever been to. So, when my best friend Gina told me that she’d bought tickets to MCM London Comic Con for her birthday back in June and asked if I wanted to come with her, I jumped on board straight away! I hadn’t been to London in years, so I was eager to visit the big city again. The days and weeks rolled by fairly slowly, but then before I knew it, it was the week before it kicked off and I had nothing prepared by way of cosplay or outfits. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Royal Mail gods smiled on me that week and I was able to get everything in time. Gina, however, was less lucky! She had ordered a wig from discount Lolita brand Bodyline that never arrived, and the waistcoat that she ordered arrived on the Friday, at which point it was too late.

There was a lot of travelling for Gina and I. I got the train over to Gina’s on Thursday afternoon, after hurriedly packing several minutes before I left, which meant I foolishly left behind my petticoat, the nametag for my cosplay, and a borrowed pair of the Boyfriend Wonder’s glasses. When I got to Gina’s, she let me borrow her mega poofy petticoat and a pair of fake glasses, and we settled in to play Lego Harry Potter and watch Family Guy. Friday morning saw us setting off bright and early at 9AM, with Gina’s Dad kindly driving us all the way to our hotel in a hired car. We eventually reached the Holiday Inn Express at about half one, after travelling for several hours and getting lost on the tricksy London roads! We checked into our hotel, ditched our suitcases and headed down to the ExCeL building. Our hotel was a mere ten minutes walk from the convention centre, which was super lucky for us. There was also a Tesco Express and a few pubs and takeaways dotted around so we definitely didn’t have any problems finding food. After some recon in the area, Gina and I stopped in at a pub for lunch, and then joined the most enormous queue I have ever seen. As Gina had bought us priority weekend tickets, we had entrance to all three days, but that didn’t stop us needing to queue! After queuing for what felt like an eternity, we made it in! As someone who has predominantly lived in a small town, went to college in a slightly larger city, and then moved to a slightly larger city for university, I was not expecting the place to be so big, or for there to be so many stalls and people!

Us in the hotel room!

Us in the hotel room!

I wish I’d thought in advance to have an outfit prepared for the Friday! Instead, I was just wearing ordinary clothes, and not even a nerdy tee. However, it seemed a lot of people made the same choice, so I didn’t feel too out of place. There weren’t too many people there on the Friday, probably half as many as on the Saturday, and a bit less than Sunday. It was nice that there was less people, as it was a lot easier to navigate the halls and stalls. As well as checking out the myriads of stall and people in cool cosplays, Gina and I also got to play some pretty ace video games and pick up some freebies! I played Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Borderlands the Pre-Sequel. I enjoyed Shadow of Mordor (even if I died almost straight away from a pack of uruks who had it out for me) and loved the fluid combat style and movement. I can see that game being a lot of fun! As for Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, I’ve never really played any of the Borderlands games so I had no idea what to expect. I like FPS games, but it was a bit fast-paced for me and I wasn’t quite ready for it, and so I died pretty promptly. However, I got some pretty ace freebies from both stalls, including a pin, a travel wallet holder and an awesome Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies wristband. I also spent most of the time on Friday scouting out what I wanted to buy, because there was so many stalls!  At every stall there was something new, cute and nerdy that I wanted to buy for myself, the Boyfriend Wonder or Daryl. I had to exercise a lot of discipline over myself and my bank account! I could easily have spent three times as much as I had, as there were so many things I wanted. There was stalls selling manga/anime merchandise, video game merchandise, figures, models, replica weapons, J-fashion, nerdy fashions, comic, Japanese snacks… I’m not even scratching the surface! I only bought one thing on the Friday, which was from the Cyanide and Happiness stall. Because Gina and I spent a certain amount of money, he did a sketch for me, which turned out hilarious. I picked out three prompts from a box and got nerds, flappy faces, and corpses. The results speak for themselves…

This piece of artistic genius has pride of place on our door and I laugh every time I look at it.

This piece of artistic genius has pride of place on our door and I laugh every time I look at it.

Pikachu hats were everywhere, courtesy of the Pokémon trading card stall.

Pikachu hats were everywhere, courtesy of the Pokémon trading card stall.

One of the best pictures that exists of me. Fact.

One of the best pictures that exists of me. Fact.

Exhausted after a long day of window shopping, taking pictures and getting freebies, Gina and I went back to our hotel, via Tesco for snacks, and spent the night watching TV. That is, after we saw a random guy walking around in his underwear on our floor… It wasn’t a quiet night, as we had the misfortune of having a room next to really loud group of people who yelled and bickered through the night, interrupting our Family Guy! Our hotel room was really nice, and we were quite lucky. The bed was nice and comfortable, the bathroom was clean, and the shower ran really hot water.

Saturday morning rolled around and I WAS NOT READY. I was not made for early mornings! As you may have seen pictures in my previous post and on my Facebook, Gina and I cosplayed as Cecil and Carlos from podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and we got recognised  a lot throughout the day, which surprised me. Gina was fairly recognisable as Cecil, but I put a slightly more feminine twist on Carlos and still got plenty of compliments and was asked for photos. I spent the Saturday buying up the things I’d seen the day before, and was lucky enough that most of it was still there. However, my main purchases were my World of Warcraft Horde hoodie (Or Hordie as I call it. Review to follow!) and my Fallout 3 bobblehead. I picked up some other pretty good things, but they were my two favourite buys. Again, I saw a lot of things I could have bought, but chose not to. Rent is a bit (only a tiny bit) more important than a replica of Tyrael’s sword from Diablo 3, or a huge alpaca plush. I hit up the Insert Coin clothing stall and picked up a lucky pack too, and lucked out on the warmest Assassin’s Creed hoodie ever (review to follow!) Gina also tried her luck, and got a Killzone tee and some really cool Assassin’s Creed leggings which she instantly fell in love with. I played a few more games on the Saturday, including Persona Q, a cute JRPG for 3DS. As I plan on getting a 3DS for my birthday (it’s almost a month away and I’m getting excited already!) it was nice to play such a classic feeling game. I used to play RPGs all the time when I was younger, and I miss them so much. Persona Q had a really classic turn-based combat system, and downright adorable animations and visuals. Plus, the 3D didn’t hurt my eyes too much, so Persona Q will probably be a purchase in the future. Gina and I also really wanted to play the new Adventure Time game, but every time we walked past it, it was packed to the gills with people. Instead, we played the new Harvest Moon, Dangon Ronpa 2 (which was weird as balls) and the weird new Pac-Man game, based on the animated show. Pac-Man has changed so much! As well as playing video games, buying ALL THE THINGS and taking pictures of awesome cosplayers, Gina and I also attended the Welcome to Night Vale meet-up, which was made up of a pretty big group of cosplayers and we took tonnes of great pictures and met fellow fans. After the meet, we roamed the halls a bit longer, taking regular breaks to rest our feet, and we bought some small alpaca plushies. They’re so cute! Before we knew it, 7PM had rolled around, and it was time for Gina and I to head back to our hotel and rest our tired feet and fall asleep watching Family Guy.

Here comes the next photo spam!

Carlos cosplay!

Carlos cosplay!

Gina and I as Cecil and Carlos

Gina and I as Cecil and Carlos

The alpaca plushies were so cute!

The alpaca plushies were so cute!

I saw this amazing Night Elf cosplayer from World of Warcraft and just had to take a picture of her. She later went on to win the judge's award at the Cosplay Masquerade on Sunday!

I saw this amazing Night Elf cosplayer from World of Warcraft and just had to take a picture of her. She later went on to win the judge’s award at the Cosplay Masquerade on Sunday!

This Fallout group was the best!

This Fallout group was the best!

The Rilakkuma on this display didn't look best pleased...

The Rilakkuma on this display didn’t look best pleased…

Carlos'!  I'm on the far left.I was trying to look all knowledgeable and pensive, but ended up looking pissed off. Story of my life!

Carlos’! I’m on the far left.I was trying to look all knowledgeable and pensive, but ended up looking pissed off. Story of my life!

ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY GLOW CLOUD

ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY GLOW CLOUD

My alpaca Conrad!

My alpaca Conrad!

Gina and her alpaca!

Gina and her alpaca!

My post-wig hair was a bit crazy.

My post-wig hair was a bit crazy.

My con haul!

My con haul!

Roll around Sunday morning, a heavenly later start, and Gina and I frilled up in our Lolita finery! I wore my new R Series Luna in the Sea dress and Gina wore her Innocent World dress. We decided that day two would be all about attending panels, as we realised there were quite a few that looked good! First of all, we kicked off Sunday with more window shopping (I was very very very close to buying cute laser cute jewellery from Glitterbomb to go with my Masterball ring) and then went to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries Panel that Gina wanted to go to. I knew very little about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but after attending the panel and seeing the passion that the writers and actors have for the project, I’ll likely give it a watch some time. After the panel had finished, we took a quick lunch break, and I tried to find some cosplayers who were cosplaying Tyrael and a Demon Hunter from Diablo 3, but had no luck. It was as soon as I stopped looking for them that they walked right past me!  Gina and I reconvened after lunch, and went on to our next panel, 18 years of Resident Evil, which was partly a playthrough of the new game (a remake of the remake of Resident Evil 1) and a Q&A session with Capcom Community Guru Neil Gorton and the voice of Albert Wesker in RE5, DC Douglas. DC was absolutely hilarious and charming and answered some great questions while going in and out of his Wesker voice. I couldn’t stop laughing! I got some pretty neat RE6 stickers from the panel, and I’ll be working out where to put them now… After the RE panel, we headed out to the Tofu Cute Fashion Walk, but sadly, it got called off. So, after another look at the kawaii stalls around the Tofu Cute stand, Gina and I went to the hall where the Cosplay Masquerade would be… And apparently everyone else decided to go there too. We were lucky to get seats at all, and a lot of people had to stand up. There was less people than there were on the Saturday, but there were still a lot, and it was commonplace for there to be queues for food, cash machines and signings. The Cosplay Masquerade was amazing, even if we had far, far back seats. There was absolutely loads of entrants, and they all looked incredible, and I’m glad the winner of best in show got her award, as she looked amazing. I eventually found the Diablo cosplayers before they went in and got my picture taken with them, as well as nerding out a lot.

Sunday photo spam:

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I met some "friendly" xenomorphs...

I met some “friendly” xenomorphs…

These cosplayers looked amazing!

These cosplayers looked amazing!

This Princess Bubblegum cosplayer was adorable!

This Princess Bubblegum cosplayer was adorable!

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Big Pikachu!

Big Pikachu!

I was very, very sad to see the con go. There was no negativity there, and everyone was friendly. No one minded being asked to stop for pictures, and it became second nature to say, “hey, nice tee!” to people who were wearing cool clothes. It was an absolutely incredible convention and experience, and I would go again in a second. I absolutely plan on going again in May (or again in October next year) and would also love to check out the Birmingham show too! If you ever get the chance to attend MCM, I absolutely recommend it. There’s nothing like it in the world.

Gina also put together an ace video if you wanna check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNSt3xjBpEA&feature=youtu.be

Ariellalphabet’s Week: Last Minute Cosplay Prep and MCM London!

This week has been crazy. I’ve had a job interview (fingers crossed!) travelled halfway across the country (more or less) and prepared for a cosplay at literally the last minute. I’ve also been watching the anime Paradise Kiss and playing the usual amounts of World of Warcraft. I’m a little behind on posts, but I have so, so many coming up over this week. Most of them are con-related, but there’ll be the usual comic reviews and I have a big Confessions of a World of Warcraft Noob post coming up.

I had class on Monday, but skipped out of the screening. This week’s film was Halloween, which I’d seen a bajillion times before, so I decided to stay at home. I’ve also been hard at work on my script outline and ideas for it. I have most of my idea fleshed out, but it still needs some tweaking. I’m looking forward to actually starting it and beginning my writer’s circle with my university friends. Our ideas are so varied and diverse, it’s always interesting getting together and chatting. I had an interview for a job this week, and hopefully it went well. Aside from a panic about my skirt breaking before I left, I feel it went really well. Hopefully I’ll have a job this time next month!

I am always last minute getting things together. Christmas presents, birthday presents, and now, apparently cosplays. I’ll never learn. My best friend Gina and I cosplayed as Cecil and Carlos from radio podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and despite the fact that there are very few physical descriptions of either characters given, Gina and I still had our own ideas for what the characters looked like. By the start of the week, I had three items for the cosplay, which soon dropped down to two after my skirt broke. By Thursday, when I went to Gina’s to go down to London, I had everything! I managed to get a black wig (Thank you Black Candy Alternative Fashion!) a lab coat, a name tag (which I promptly forgot) a new skirt, and a clipboard. Thankfully, Royal Mail had my back for once and everything turned up in fantastic time. Overall my cosplay turned out pretty good and I was recognised by more people than I thought! I put a bit of a feminine twist on Carlos and I’m glad it worked out so well. There will be many more pictures to follow in my MCM post, but in the meantime, enjoy this selfie I took in the hotel mirror:#

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I spent the entire weekend in the capital of England, the lovely Laaahnndann for MCM! Aside from some issues actually finding our hotel, it was amazing. Our hotel was right around the corner from the ExCeL building, and there was a Tesco Express and a few pubs on the way, so we never had far to go if we wanted snacks. We arrived at about half one on the Friday, and after we’d checked into the hotel and freshened up a bit, we headed out to join the epic queue of doom to get our wristbands. The Friday was really quiet and a lot more relaxed, and I spent my time scoping out things I wanted to buy, and only bought a book from the Cyanide and Happiness guys, and got a custom sketch. I’ll be writing more about MCM in a later blog, but it was ah-mazing. I saw some incredibly cosplays, bought some epic loot, and probably walked several miles. I had an absolutely amazing weekend, and Gina and I plan on going again in May. Hopefully I can do a better cosplay and actually get it together in plenty of time.  We’ll see!

Gina and I as Cecil and Carlos

Gina and I as Cecil and Carlos

My con haul! Mostly made up of cosy hoodies and nerdy tidbits!

My con haul! Mostly made up of cosy hoodies and nerdy tidbits!

 

In the meantime, here’s this week’s posts:

Edward Scissorhands #1 Review 

Bee and Puppycat #5 Review

 

Edward Scissorhands #1 Review

STK650923At this point, IDW have pretty much cornered the market on film and TV show adaptations. Aside from Kaboom’s tie-ins, IDW have all the great shows, film adaptations and stories (Ghost Busters, Borderlands, and all the Cartoon Networks tie-ins you could ever want) as well as reprints of classic 2000AD strips. IDW always tend to have sleeper hits on their hands, and Edward Scissorhands by internet-and-comic queen Kate Leth and artist supreme Drew Rausch is one such title.

Edward Scissorhands #1 is a spiritual successor to the 1990 Tim Burton film, and follows the life of our title character as he continues trying to find a companion. No one in the neighbourhood believes that he’s still there, but Kim’s granddaughter does, and wants to believe in Edward and all the seemingly crazy stories her grandmother told her. The story takes a turn for the worse as Edward finds another broken boy left behind by the Inventor called Eli, and as Edward tries to bring him to life like him, he realises it’s harder than he first thought… Edward Scissorhands #1 has covers by Gabriel Rodriguez, Gabriel Hardman, Drew Rausch, with Rodriguez and Rausch also offering convention and Hot Topic variants respectfully.

I’ll begin my review by saying I am hugely biased in terms of Kate Leth. I’ve been following her online webcomic, Kate Or Die! for about a year or so, and I find her humour and her storytelling absolutely fantastic. She’s strong-minded, smart and funny, and I almost always end up loving her work, and I think that Edward Scissorhands is her best book yet. She captures the dream-like, modern fairytale feel that the original film has, while also making a completely new story within the story’s universe. Her dialogue and interactions are superb, and she manages two simultaneous story threads fantastically. Leth captures the childlike wonder of Edward’s character perfectly, and she handles the story twist excellently, matching a equal parts of horror and wonder. As for the storyline with Megs and her mother, the arguments between mother and daughter feel horribly realistic. They jar the comic by bringing it back to earth, and outside of the fairy tale that is Edward’s solitary life, and oddly complement it. While all Megs wants is to be alone with her thoughts and hear her Grandma’s stories, Edward has nothing but himself, and is wrapped in comfortable loneliness. Leth manages the themes with ease, and this dark fairy tale not only echoes the original, but it brings a fresh breath of life to it, complete with Leth’s trademark warmth and humour.

I’m a big fan of Tim Burton’s spoopy, gothic films, and I also enjoy his poetry (I read The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories when I was younger and fell in love with it) and his artwork. The art is dark, cute (in a weird way) and inimitable. Artist Drew Rausch’s art is all of this and more, and excellently suits Burton’s cinematography and filmic eye. Rausch’s art looks dark and cute, perfectly suiting the tone of Leth’s storytelling. His artwork is cartoonish in some place, with a hint of Rob Guillory and Roman Dirge for good measure. Rausch captures the world of Edward Scissorhands with a careful eye and creative style.

Edward Scissorhands #1 is the spiritual sequel to the film, and writer Kate Leth brings a unique take to the dark fairy tale, capturing the themes of the story perfectly. Leth has delivered a superb first issue which balances storylines and sets up on heck of a cliffhanger. The artwork from Rausch is excellent, and blends gothic with cute, perfectly complementing Leth’s story. Edward Scissorhands  #1 is an exciting start to what is bound to be an interesting story, well told by Leth and Rausch.

Bee & Puppycat #5 Review

STK649293Bee and Puppycat is the comic book for the slightly older Sailor Moon generation. We’re in our late teens/twenties, and have finished school, and most of us have jobs. Bee, our magical super-heroine, is like us in that sense, and her adventures with Puppycat add a little bit of magic we wish we had in our lives. Returning to the Sailor Moon analogy, Bee is Usagi, unwilling at first but ultimately fights against adversity, and Puppycat is a grumpier version of Luna. The comic runs alongside the webseries, created by Natasha Allegri from Cartoon Hangover and features Bee and Puppycat in a variety of misadventures. Each of the comics take on a slightly different format, with either one main story and a back-up strip, or a series of shorts, all by different creators. #5 is the latter, with a selection of strips with subjects varying from coffee addiction to karaoke!

 

The stories in Bee and Puppycat #5 are as follows: A Coffee Problem, by T. Zysk wherein Bee gets addicted to fancy coffee and has a caffeine rush; One Hit Wonder, by Chrystin Garland, where Bee and Puppycat have to appease an alien queen with karaoke; The Claw Game, by Flynn Nicholls, in which Puppycat gets stuck in an arcade machine and Bee tries to win him back; and Je Ne Sais Quoi, by Meredith McClaren, which features all the costume changes you’ll ever want! Bee and Puppycat #5 also has three super cute variant covers by Emily Hu, Zac Gorman and Emily Partridge.

I really enjoy the format of the Bee and Puppycat comics. They complement the main story set by webseries while also adding fun filler material and allowing us to get to know Bee and Puppycat a little bit better, as well as the strange world they inhabit. As each different creator comes in with a new story, they all become part of the wonderfully colourful tapestry that Natasha Allegri has helped to create at Frederator Studios.

However, my favourite story in #5 is a tie between A Coffee Problem and Je Ne Sais Quoi. A Coffee Problems functions so well because it’s straight forward, self-contained and downright hilarious. I’ve felt myself falling into caffeine spirals like Bee, and it’s the reality of the story that makes it so funny. Puppycat fighting through a mountain of paper take-away cups is incredibly funny, and Bee’s ramblings in her caffeine high are just as humorous. The story is charming, not just because it’s so humour and charm, but because Zysk’s artwork is adorable. Zysk uses cute, pastels as a main colour palette throughout the story and draws Bee in some downright cute outfits. Zysk also manages to capture the more cat-like actions of Puppycat, which makes him look more like the strange creature he is. Zysk writes great dialogue and has crafted an incredibly brilliant, charming story.

As for Je Ne Sais Quoi,  I love it for its simplicity. It’s well known how much Bee hates her space-suit outfit from the temp agency, and everyone knows Bee has a slammin’ fashion sense. So, Puppycat takes Bee to the dressing room, and allows Bee to look through all the retired outfits, and choose something new. The outfits are a hilarious testament to the silly costumes in anime, including a kimono-themed outfit, and one of those ridiculously skimpy 18+ anime costumes. The one she settles on is super-duper freaking cute, and is part Japanese schoolgirl and part Puppycat. But these things come with a price; for the time that Bee spent choosing an outfit, she has to work the time back! D’oh! McClaren’s story is again, simple in concept, but brilliant in delivery. McClaren combines influences on the show/comic, and adds the usual type of twist on the end. McClaren’s artwork is again, super cute, with vivid colours and a simplistic layout. I like how modern the lettering is, and everything is done in simple bubbles with an easy to read font. The storytelling itself feels like it could be a mini-episode, and as a Sailor Moon fan, I absolutely adore the outfit changing reference!

The problem I find with comics that contain a series of short stories like this is that the good stories always outshine the weaker ones. Not to say that I don’t like One Hit Wonder or Claw Machine, but I feel that Je Ne Sais Quoi and A Coffee Problem are stronger, and have a good narrative with well-timed comedy moments and cute artwork. All the artwork in #5 is good in its own way, taking inspiration from anime and manga in the same way that the show originally did. All of the stories absolutely capture the very heart and soul of Bee and Puppycat, and reading it as a supplement to the webseries is an absolute treat.

If you’re a fan of magical girls anime combined with a fun, realistic slice-of-life story, then you should definitely pick up Bee and Puppycat #5. While it might be a little hard for new readers to jump on, it surpasses this by being suitable for all ages- as well as being downright adorable. T. Zysk, Chrystin Garland, Flynn Nicholls and Meredith McClaren all capture Bee and Puppycat superbly, while also adding something of their own to the mythos. Bee and Puppycat is fun, cute and totally hilarious.

 

Ariellalphabet’s Week- Back to Blogging

I’m so glad to be back blogging again! As much as I was grateful for a bit of time off during summer, I really missed doing it. It was a good way to set myself goals and stick to them. I’ve been playing around with my blog schedule recently (on account of having class on Mondays and Fridays) so hopefully in the following weeks I can get into a decent writing schedule. We’ll see!

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My classes on Monday are the best. I’m studying Contemporary American Horror Films as part of my course, and I LOVE horror films. Not just the fact they’re scary, and reflective of cultural worries and fears, but because I like scaring myself. I love scary games, scary films and scary books, and I always have, so getting to study scary films at an academic pace and analysing the subtext of American horror films is absolutely fascinating. In my first week I watched Night of the Living Dead, George Romero’s first zombie film. The only other times I’ve seen it were on tiny TV screens (one time preceded by a ‘horror host’ one night on a random Sky channel) so getting to watch it on the big screen was amazing. The second week’s film was Last House on the Left, but I elected to skip because I honestly cannot stand that film. It’s incredibly hard to watch (which is kind of the point) but there’s a limit. This week, I had to confront my fears and watch the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I didn’t find it as scary as I expected, but my heart still raced at the end! Watching old, classic horrors like Texas Chainsaw Massacre shows how influential they are. As many Resident Evil fans know, Leatherface is the inspiration for Dr Salvadore in RE4 (and thus the reason why people with obstructed faces wielding chainsaws scare the bejeesus out of me) and the chainsaw majinis in RE5, as well as inspiring countless remakes and rip offs.

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Aside from dissecting horror films this week, I’ve jumped on the MMORPG train and started playing World of Warcraft, as well as starting a new blog series to accompany it. Because the new expansion is coming out, the previous games were going for a super cheap price, so I decided to snap it up, and I’m glad I did! I’m having tonnes of fun on it, and I’m currently adventuring a bit on my own. In case you’re wondering (or didn’t read my post, Confessions of a World of Warcraft Noob #1) I play a Blood Elf Warrior on the Chamber of Aspects server. If you want to add me, send me a message and I’ll send you my Battlenet ID!

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I’ve also been preparing for my mini-holiday of the year- my best friend Gina and I are going to London MCM next weekend! We’re cosplaying on the Saturday (I’m Carlos, and Gina is Cecil from Welcome to Night Vale) and on the second day we’re dressing up in Lolita. I bought a new dress especially, and I can’t wait for it to arrive! I haven’t been to London in years so I’m really excited for it! If any of my friends and readers are coming let me know in the comments section and I’ll keep an eye out for you and say hi. Roll on Friday!

It’s been a mostly quiet week for me with lots of video games involved, but that’s just the way I like it. I’m also working hard on my script (an urban fantasy!) and reading Lord of the Rings. It’s such a long book, but JRR Tolkien’s beautiful descriptions makes it more than worth it.

Also, the lovely Mariko over at Gamerwife included a picture of my dumb cat Chet in her Caturday post! Thanks Mariko!

As always, you can find me on Twitter.

 

Confessions of a World of Warcraft Noob #1

Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly nerdy or geeky, you will have heard of World of Warcraft. According to the stereotype, it’s played predominantly by overweight fedora-wearing virgins in their Mum’s basements, but obviously, that’s not true. It’s been a part of nerdy culture for a long time, and WoW itself celebrates its 10th birthday this year. There’s an entire webseries loosely based on it in Felicia Days’ The Guild (which is mostly what made me want to play an MMORPG), there’s documentaries, and South Park have done a parody of it. It attracts thousands of fans worldwide who attend BlizzCon, and were I not poor and living in the UK, I would be right there alongside them. Generally WoW is considered as one of the more hardcore nerdy things to do.

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As many of you may know, I love video games, and I’ve played a lot of them in my time (check out my 30 Day Video Game Challenge for some of my best) but I’ve predominantly been a console gamer, mostly through ease. It’s always been a hell of a lot easier for me to buy myself a console than it is to buy a PC and all the bits you’d need. As far as PC gaming goes, all I’ve really played is Facebook Tetris, Catlateral Damage and the odd Facebook game here and there. My main reason is that I’ve always had a pretty naff laptop. My old laptop was pushing on four years old, regularly blue-screened and the track pad didn’t work. After my laptop was so kindly burgled from my house, I decided to buy a new laptop, and it is so much more powerful and slicker than my old one. Ever since I’ve lived with Daryl he’s been quietly nagging me to start playing WoW with him, and the Boyfriend-Wonder Iain has been saying the same. With a shiny new laptop, I thought, “why not?”

As a quick bit of background, Iain and Daryl have been playing World of Warcraft for six years, and they’ve pretty much seen it all. They’ve watched the new expansions come and go, they’ve beaten the raids, got the epic loot. They’re the most experienced players I know, and basically the best people to help me out on the game. It’s partially been Iain showing me the Warlords of Draenor cinematic (I mean seriously, how good does it look?!) and various other things from the games that has made me want to play it so much, as well as a love for RPG style games that made me jump on board. So, after seeing that Blizzard had put the core game and all expansions going up to Mists Of Pandaria for £9.99 and including a month of free game time, I cracked my knuckles, reached for my bank card, and bought it.

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So, I paid up and got a Battlenet account. Sadly, I picked Patch Day as the day to download it, and so I encountered many technical problems. First it wouldn’t recognise a default language to install in, and then when I fixed that, the download wouldn’t initialise due to ‘network problems’. I put the problems down to strains on the servers and whatnot, and continued trying to download it. Eventually, Daryl managed to fix it with some computer wizardry and it finally installed, and my grand, mega-nerdy World of Warcraft adventure began…

After a bit of research on class and race (thank you Beginner’s Guide!)  I eventually decided on a Blood Elf Warrior. Blood Elf mostly because they look pretty (I know, I know I’m predictable) and Warrior because my main method of playing games is running and dealing damage as quickly as possible. I played a lot of Diablo 3 and Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls on Xbox 360/Xbox One and played as a damage Monk and really enjoyed it. Obviously, Diablo on console is very different to World of Warcraft and a lot more watered down, but I found it to be a good introduction to the game and to the battle systems.

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I’m pretty unfamiliar to general PC controls, and it took me a while to get used to the WASD directions, but I was able to pick it up pretty quickly… I guess you have to when you play for four hours non-stop! After logging Wém in, I began my first quest- killing Mana Wyrms. However, because everything was still up in the air because it was Patch Day, and the Mana Wyrms were killing everyone in one hit. Thankfully, Iain swooped in with his Tauren and took them out for me, so I was able to start the game properly and explore and pick up quests.

That’s more or less what I did for the next hour. I ran around, killed monsters and did quests. Kill Lynxes to get Lynx Collars. That kind of thing. When I finally hit level 15 in the Ghostlands, Iain and Daryl took me through some dungeons which were super fun! There were enemies everywhere, and bosses around every corner. I managed to level really quickly and I finished the night on level 34, with tons of better gear and a better understanding of how everything works in WoW.

I’ll be on again tonight, levelling and doing more dungeons. If you want to add me as a friend on Battlenet, drop me a message on Twitter  and I’ll tell you my ID. Otherwise, I play on the Chamber of Aspects server.

5 Fandom Friday: Characters I Would Love to Dress Up as for Halloween

Huzzah! I’m finally able to make a post for Kristen (SuperSpaceChick) and Megan’s (The Nerdy Girlie) blog link-up project! I’ve missed the last two weeks as I’ve been elsewhere, but I’m super excited to jump on board for this.

I love Halloween. I love it so, so much. It’s not really that big of a deal in the UK though. You get the themed club nights, you get the parties, and of course, you get the costumes and sweeties. Kids trick or treat, but rarely over the age of 10. Last year I spent Halloween hanging out with my friends Gina and Charlotte and watching a frankly dire burlesque performance, and eventually going to a bar ad drinking cocktails like fancy ladies. I’ve been to Halloween/dress up parties, but I’m never anything more exciting than a cat (whiskers drawn on with eyeliner for the win!) and there are tons of characters I’d love to dress up as for a Halloween party…

  • Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time

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Most people who know me know that I ADORE Adventure Time. I’ve got graphic novels, figures, t-shirts and made most of my friends watch it and love it. I actually bought a blonde wig with the intention of cosplaying as Peebers one day, but I never did, and the wig is still sitting in my wardrobe. I love P-Bubbz because she’s sweet, smart and sassy when she needs to be. Her entire kingdom is super cute candy and it suits me right to the ground! I’ve seen internet queen ALBinwonderland do an amazing Princess Bubblegum cosplay and I’d love to replicate it. However, if I get invited to a Halloween party this year, I may well have to dress up as her…

 

  • Ash from The Evil Dead Trilogy

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I have a mega soft spot for horror films. Whether it’s because I grew up reading and watching Goosebumps and pretty much any other creepy story I could get my hands on, as an adult, I have an undying love for horror films. I watched the Evil Dead Trilogy for the first time two years ago and I completely fell in love with how brilliant the films are. I prefer the second film to the first one mostly because it’s more like comedy-horror and Bruce Campbell does some of the best and funniest body acting I have ever seen! Not only that, the film is packed with hilarious one-liners and Ash’s costume is a classic. Plus, it’d be a super easy costume to get together! I’ve seen an amazing pin-up, female cosplay version of it and it is gorgeous.

 

  • The Lone Wanderer from Fallout 3

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I have played Fallout 3 a lot. My old save file had something like 130+ hours game time, and I consider myself to be a big Fallout fan. I haven’t played the original games yet, but I’d still consider myself to be a pretty big fan. I love the post-apocalyptic open-world exploration in the games. I’ve played New Vegas as well (with roughly the same amount of playtime) but I much prefer Fallout 3, partially because there’s less glitches. I love the story in Fallout 3, and how everything unfolds bit by bit, as well as the amazing 40s/50s music. As much as I love New Vegas, Fallout 3 was my first Bethesda love and so I’d love to dress up as the Lone Wanderer, Pip-Boy and all.

 

  • Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter book series

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Harry Potter was my first fandom. I fell utterly, hopelessly in love with the books when I was a kid, and it’s partly what contributed towards my love of books and the speed at which I read them now that I’m an adult. When Order of the Phoenix came out, I spent the entire summer sat on my doorstep re-reading the books. When I first came across the character of Luna, she was so quirky and funny and adorable I instantly fell in love. I was one of the ‘weird kids’ at my school, so I identified with her a lot. I’ve been a complete Potterhead from the ages of 7-15 she became my literary hero, only just beating out Hermione Granger.

 

  • Classic Jean Grey from X-Men

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Given that my blog is called Comics and Cookies I figure I should include at least once comic book character! I did actually dress up as a casual Kitty Pryde to a fancy dress party a few years ago, but now, I’d rather go Jean Grey. Especially classic, 1960s Jean Grey. That iconic green dress! The yellow belt! The hair! All of these things are what make her a classic. That, and the fact she was one of the most powerful X-Men in the original line-up. Sure, Cyclops could shoot lasers from his eyes, but Jean Grey could move things with her mind, read minds and more. Sure, the whole love story between the two got extremely convoluted, and in the whole Emma Frost vs Jean Grey thing I am so on Emma’s side, it’d still be cool to dress up as Jean, and you can get some really cool themed dresses from We Love Fine.

So what characters would you like to dress up as? Tweet me or comment below!

 

Review of Wytches #1

For me, October is the best month of the year. Everything gets a little bit spookier and darker in the run up to Halloween, and comics are WYTCHES-Cover-1-Final-7cd41absolutely no different. There are a lot more creepy comics coming out, and Wytches from Scott Snyder and Jock is the latest offering from Image Comics. It’s the epitome of what horror comics should be; eerie, creepy and subtle in its scares, not relying on ultraviolence or gore to get its point across. One of the best horror comics I ever read (The Dreaming, by Queenie Chan in case you were interested) stayed with me for so long because the art and story was extremely creepy and eerie. There was one particular panel I couldn’t get out of my head for days, and it always scared me, even though I knew it wasn’t real. That sense of being creeped out for a long time stays with you when you read Wytches, as Snyder and Jock capture horror comics perfectly.

After being subject to a year-long assault by bully Annie and following a violent confrontation, Sailor Rooks and her family decide to move. New school, new scenery, new start, right? Not quite. Sailor is a nervous young girl who’s main way of staying calm throughout the day is keeping to herself, and playing a silly game word game with her Dad involving the slaughter of mythological creatures. While Sailor is at school, her parents stay home; her mother is in a wheelchair, and her father is a graphic novel illustrator, struggling to complete his work. At school, Sailor is asked an awkward question which brings the bullying back up t the surface. Meanwhile at home, the Rooks’ find themselves with a strange visitor in their house… You’ll never want to go into the woods again.

Snyder is no stranger to writing dark comics (He’s been on Batman since the New 52 relaunch, and wrote the incredible 10-issue series The Wake) so Snyder is right at home in this genre. While horror comics are ten-a-penny at this time of the year and in general, Wytches stands out a mile. It presents what feels like a very real threat (who hasn’t been in the woods and felt scared?) and creates superb atmosphere. In one single issue Snyder effectively fleshes out the main characters, establishes the extremely scary threat and manages to throw some of his humour in for good measure. All of the dialogue feels extremely natural and well thought out, and the issue has some incredible moments. The scene where Sailor faces off against her bully is incredibly dark, but it captures how incredibly horrible and twisted bullies can be, and it also made me feel sick to my stomach. Snyder’s taken the kid gloves off with Wytches, and I can’t wait to see how it progresses.

Jock and Matt Hollingsworth’s artwork… What more can I say that hasn’t already been said? Jock’s trademark artwork which is a combination of broad, painted lines and minute detailed ones combined with Hollingsworth’s excellent eye for colour make this comic drop-dead gorgeous. Jock’s frenetic artwork works superbly during the actual horror moments of Wytches, and the two make the nighttime scenes look incredible. It gives off that feeling I haven’t had since I was a kid; it looks like there’s something out there, but I’m not sure what. That feeling of almost infantile fear at what may or may not be there is something that Jock and Snyder capture expertly and bring to the page.

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Wytches is absolutely not for the faint-hearted. It’s a dark, dark story illustrated incredibly by Jock and Hollingsworth, allowing the world to come to life in more ways than one. With only one issue out so far and it successfully selling out in its first print run, expect something amazing from Snyder, Jock and Hollingsworth.