Features

Questing for Experience in the MMORPG of Life

We started the summer with a simple plan—give our daughter the chance to try new things, while still giving me the chance to keep my various balls up in the air. In theory, it seemed simple. With the exception of a couple weeks, the kiddo would be occupied in various day camps, giving me the vast majority of the day to focus on various freelance opportunities. In reality, though, that theory could be best summed up with maniacal laughter...

How Can Writers of Color Reconcile H. P. Lovecraft’s Influence with His Racist Legacy?

August 20, 2018, marks the 128th birthday of the polarizing American writer H. P. Lovecraft. A resident of Providence, Rhode Island, he is best known in fandom for his interconnected stories collectively referred to as the Cthulhu mythos—or Yog-Sothothery, as he is said to have preferred. A consistent joke is that the list of things he wasn’t afraid of was shorter than the list of things he was, and that is clearly reflected in his writing. He’s one of...

Badass Braids Brings Bunches of Pop-Culture Hair Inspiration

Usually, the spark that makes a television series or movie compelling and memorable is great plotting or vivid characterization. Sometimes, though, the popularity of a work is helped by what the characters are wearing or, more specifically, how they are wearing their hair. Star Wars is great, but think about how many people over the years have attempted to wind their hair around their head in attempts to recreate some of the most iconic sci-fi styles of all time....

Minnesota Fan Fusion (Formerly Minnesota Fan Fest) Is Back For 2018

Last year, I wrote an in-depth article about Minnesota Fan Fest’s somewhat strict cosplay policy. This year, Minnesota Fan Fest has now become Minnesota Fan Fusion, and it’s back with modifications to celebrity guests, a bigger convention space, and a revised cosplay policy. Honestly, I’m disappointed in not being able to attend this year because of all of the announcements I had been seeing on social media for this con. Browsing Minnesota Fan Fusion’s site, there is a dropdown...

Want to Try 3D Modeling? This Beginner-Friendly Software Will Get You Started for Free

People often ask me what software I use for 3D modeling. This is usually followed by asking how much it costs and how hard is it to learn. While these exchanges are usually short—Autodesk Fusion 360, it’s free, and it depends on what you want to do with it—I wanted to elaborate on the topic of 3D modeling and where to start, specifically with an emphasis on this program. Before we start talking about software, remember that learning to...

5 More Things Not to Do When Meeting Cosplayers of Color

I’m a cosplayer of color (as you can see in the photo below) who attends quite a few cons every season. Over the years, I’ve developed somewhat of a thick skin when running into people who do any of the following, but it still takes away from the overall positivity of the con experience. Last year, I offered five tips for interacting with POC cosplayers. While I received a handful of snarky rebuttals, from what I could tell, the...

In 2018, Why Are There Still Boys’ and Girls’ Toys?

Hey, various fast food-places that serve their kids’ food with a toy: can we stop calling them “boy” and “girl” toys already? The other day I took my tiny geek to grab a quick lunch from the Subway in Ridgedale mall. When the cashier was assembling my daughter’s meal, an apology was included. “I’m sorry, we only have boys’ toys,” the cashier said, placing a ham sandwich into the bag apparently not meant for someone who doesn’t identify as...

5 Lessons I’ve Learned from the Cosplay Community

Convention season is well underway. That means that for a lot of the local Twin Cities conventions, cosplayers are also out in full force, sometimes to the amusement, bemusement, or horror of the normies who walk among us in our day to day. No offense to normies, of course. Though I’d like to point out that the looks on their faces are often priceless. In my case, at the beginning of 2018, I hung up my rather con-famous outfit,...

The Perfect Scoop, Now in Its Second Edition, Is Perfect for Minnesota Summer

It’s just spent a week over 90 in Minnesota, a month after the last snowstorm, so it’s definitely time to start thinking about ice cream. If you have made ice cream at home, you have probably at least heard of David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, originally published in 2008 and generally considered to be a seminal text on the topic. The author is also very generous with sharing recipes on his blog, so even if you haven’t purchased the...

Your Native American Cosplay Is Racist AF

Every spring, as Coachella wraps up, I breathe a quick little sigh of relief knowing that it’ll be a while before my Twitter feed fills up again with white kids in Urban Outfitters headdresses, Party City chokers, buckskin bikini tops, and Revlon war paint. You know, redface. Also known as cultural appropriation. And sure, that might not be the biggest problem you can think of right now—after all, you might think that of all the kinds of genocide out...
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