Culture

Mon
01
May

It's a Photo Finish for May Bombshell Florencia Sophen

Captain Marvel Salutes - Florencia Sophen

photo credit: Clint & Jillian Cosplay and Photography with Fali Ruiz-Davila

A moment of honesty is called for here. I could not just dive in and give a simple, glib introduction with something clever about our monthly Bombshell's representation or about whatever holiday might be coinciding with the timing of our publication.

Florencia Sofen's story, just as much as her skills, put me in a position of awed admiration. Her courage to leave her country for one halfway across the world, and her passions that drive her cosplay journey are inspirational.

Thu
27
Apr

NFL Draft with a Marvel Comics Spin

With the NFL Draft starting tonight, I often wonder what it would be like if there was a draft for a new team of superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Who would be the first pick?

I would have to say for Marvel Comics, the selection of heroes is far more complicated than our DC Comics draft. Given the state of Marvel Comics, the popularity of some heroes exceeds their actual powerset. You could probably take these heroes into consideration for the top 5 picks:

Thu
27
Apr

The NFL Draft with a DC Comics Spin

With the NFL Draft starting tonight, I often wonder what it would be like if there was a draft for a new team of superheroes in the DC Universe. Who would be the first pick?

I would have to say for DC Comics, the first 3 picks would be easier to predict than our Marvel Comics draft. It most likely comes down to the following 3 heroes:

Tue
25
Apr

Best Pop Culture Gambling References

Simpsons Home

Pop culture is usually a reflection of real life and in both cases, we see references to gambling. Art imitates life and these pop culture references definitely reflect this pastime!

 

 

Krusty the Clown’s Sports Betting

Few shows manage to capture life quite like The Simpsons does, it’s pretty much the epitome of pop culture. Krusty the Clown is Springfield’s loveable comedy character and he hits rock bottom on more than one occasion. We all know someone that isn’t great at betting and boy does Krusty fall into that category.

 

He bets against the Harlem Globetrotters in an episode, which every basketball fan will know is a big no no. In typical fashion, he loses it all and subsequently rushes out in a fluster.

Tue
11
Apr

Talking Cosplay with SuperKayce

Super Kayce Wizard World St Louis

Look! Up near the sky boxes! It's a Raven! It's a Viking!

No, it's all those things and more -- because at Wizard World Saint Louis, fans got to meet professional cosplayer, Super Kayce!

During the mayhem that constitutes a media convention like Wizard World, I was able to meet up with Kayce for a few moments to ask her about her art. The exchange has been recorded for posterity and presented for the readers (in this case, viewers) of Critical Blast.

Tue
11
Apr

Talking Cosplay with Ashe Lynne Cosplay

Ashe Lynne Cosplay as Captain Marvel

One of the real pleasures of attending a convention is to take in all the cosplay -- the good and, yes, the bad. And among the most impressive cosplayers this year at Wizard World St. Louis had to have been Ashe Lynne, who spent Friday saluting the fans as a stunning Captain Marvel.

We caught up with Ashe on Saturday, when she had transformed herself into X-Man Jean Grey in her White Phoenix of the Crown aspect.

Offline, we spoke more about her Disney experiences, so if I'm ever in a parade, I know exactly how to get the wave correct. ("Wipe the window. Get the spot.")

Mon
10
Apr

Wizard World St. Louis Attracts Cosplayers (Even Those Who Don't Cosplay Harley Quinn!)

Gotham City on display at Wizard World St. Louis 2017

Wizard World St. Louis was the weekend place to be to find fan art, celebrity signatures, fantasy weaponry, iconic vehicles, and sundry other geeky goodies. But it didn't put the slightest strain on your wallet to enjoy the free show that was brought to the Dome at America's Center by the attendees who took advantage of the event to show off their talents at transmogrification, bringing to life some of our favorite comic book, animation, video game and television characters. It's all part of the phenomenon known as cosplay -- a portmanteau word of 'costume' and 'play' -- and it's serious business for a lot of the attendees. This isn't a pair of red shorts and a bathtowel tied around your neck and calling yourself "Superman." Utilizing body paint, plaster casting, rubber molding, rivets, stitchery, and every other manufacturing method available, cosplayers pull out all the stops to make their characters look as off-the-page and out-of-the-screen as possible.

Mon
10
Apr

Nerds Unite! Wizard World Comes to Saint Louis

Wizard World of Two Worlds

Spring is here, which means it’s that time of year again--the time when newness and life spring forth. For those so inclined it means baseball, but for those of us more eclectic types in the Saint Louis area it means one thing above all: It is time for the now apparently annual Wizard World Convention at the America’s Center.

Sun
09
Apr

Wizard World Whiplash

For the last five years Wizard World has brought comic con to St. Louis. Overall the cons have had their ups and downs. Unfortunately this year was more down than up. Let's break down the con for 2017.
 

The Good

Wizard World packed in some star power this year with guests such as Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter, Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder, Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols, Sean Gunn and Michael Rooker from Guardians of the Galaxy and The Weasley Twins from Harry Potter, James and Oliver Phelps to name just a few.
 

Overall the show was super kid friendly with magicians, balloon artists, face painting, and meet and greets with Disney characters and superheroes. In fact there was an entire Kids Zone designated for kids programming during the entirety of the con.
 

Wed
05
Apr

In the Age of MAGA, Does Kendall Jenner Deliver "Pepsi Power"?

Kendall Jenner Gives Policeman a Pepsi

There's a movement happening. It's not explained what it is, what it stands for, or what it's all about, but it's a movement nonetheless, and it attracts the attentions of bored and frustrated young creatives who leave behind their work to join the passing parade.

These creatives include a blonde-wigged Kendall Jenner doing a modeling shoot when she's beckoned to join the throng. She doffs the wig, joins the march, and finds they've thoughtfully provided an ice-bucket full of Pepsi. She takes one and joyously dances to the front of the movement where she steps past the perimeter of the crowd where a line of policemen stand for no apparent reason other than to be a counterpoint to whatever the march was about.

Sat
01
Apr

Subtle as a Spring Shower: April Bombshell Momma Kawaii

April 2017 Bombshell Momma Kawaii as Yui from Diabolik Lovers

When participating in the fandom of cosplay -- particularly when you're participating in it from the vantage of a spectator -- it's easy to get caught up in the intricate props, the ostentatious costuming, the unreal weaponry and accoutrements.

But cosplay can include far more subtle aspects. Not every worthwhile character out there requires all the baggage that serves as their calling card; not every anime girl is defined by her accessories and not every superhero boy is defined by the size of his sword.

As subtle as a spring rain comes our April Bombshell, Momma Kawaii, a cosplayer who can do as much with just her eyes as many do with a whole garage full of flexible foam and reams of fabric. Whether portraying Yui from DIABOLIK LOVERS (left) or Noodle from GORILLAZ (below), Momma Kawaii is the definition of "less is more."

Fri
24
Mar

The Search for Satoshi Nakamoto: Who is Bitcoin's Enigmatic Creator?

Brownian Bitcoin Pile

(image: "Brownian Bitcoin Piles" by fdecomite (CC BY 2.0))

Very little is known about the bitcoin creator or creators, except for the name Satoshi Nakamoto. But no-one knows if this is a person or group name. This lack of information has sparked a lot of interest in the bitcoin origins and the personality or personalities behind this digitally encrypted currency. Some people believe the name is a pseudonym as it can be translated to “thinking clearly inside foundation”, which adds further to the mystery of who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Fri
24
Mar

Weekend Blast - Recap of the Week and Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death

My Two-Bits: Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death

We are about a month out from Doctor Who Season 10 (APRIL 15th)!  This season is the last season for star Peter Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat. But what some people may not know is that Moffat got his start with Doctor Who way back in 1999.  As part of Comic Relief, BBC had put together a very funny Doctor Who parody written by Moffat and starring Rowan Atkinson as the Doctor, Julia Sawalha as his companion, Jonathan Pryce (as the Master), and Richard E. Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, and Joanna Lumley as later incarnations of the Doctor.

Fri
17
Mar

Weekend Blast - Recap of the Week and Commentary on Stephen Colbert

My Two-Bits: My Love of Stephen Colbert

A few weeks ago, my daughter asked me the question, “If you could spend the day with anyone, who would it be?”  I started to talk about family and all that, and she said, “I mean famous person.” And without hesitation, I answered “Stephen Colbert.”  Colbert is a source of endless fascination and entertainment for me.  

Mon
13
Mar

Rumor Mill: Man of Steel's Henry Cavill Has Found Hal Jordan

Has Kal found Hal? If you enjoy a good conspiracy then we've got a juicy one for you!

File this one under EXTREME SPECULATION but given the clues, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Henry Cavill being spotted in a gym with Nathan Fillion could mean more than just a random encounter. On February 28th, Henry Cavill posted a couple of interesting pictures to his Instagram account:

His dog, 'Kal', staring out the window with an interesting caption:

Mon
13
Mar

Stranger Fruit's Strange Defense of Michael Brown

Stranger Fruit by Jason Pollock

In 2014, Ferguson, Missouri went from being a nondescript suburb of St. Louis to ground zero in the debate of racism. Two and a half year's later, director Jason Pollock shows that those wounds are still struggling to heal.

Critical Blast has already weighed in a few times on these events, having already opined on the events as they happened, and have spoken with Ferguson residents (like rapper Justin B. Williams). STRANGER FRUIT, however, has us chiming in again on what one would have thought was a settled issue.

Wed
01
Mar

In Like a Lion: March Bombshell Michael Bruener is Ready to Blow You Away

March 2017 Bombshell

It seems no matter what convention you attend, there's always a joker running around. No, literally, a Joker! Sometimes more than one.

But few can carry it off with the panache of our March Bombshell, Michael Bruener! Not only does he have the perfect bone structure for the lanky clown prince of crime, his tailoring skills deliver a tuxedo that you just can't pick up off the rack or a costume shop.

We were also impressed with Michael's John Constantine, someone who doesn't get a lot of cosplay attention. So as the winds of March bring in a blustery Spring, we hope you'll take a moment to enjoy Michael's unique cosplay and follow him on Instragram.

Critical Blast Bombshell, March 2017

Michael Bruener

Tue
28
Feb

The First Ever Critical Blast Bombshell of the Year is...

Curtains

 

 

Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! Yes, we're unveiling here and now the winner of our first ever Critical Blast Bombshell of the Year!

The Critical Blast Bombshell of the Month was an idea we had in an editorial brainstorming session that involved no alcohol. Starting back in July, we said we wanted to devote attention to some of the great cosplayers out there -- but we were going to be a little different about it. We weren't going for cheesecake (although we understand that you can't dress up like a fantasy character without running up against that), but for <i>people</i>, regardless of gender or body type. If you want that, there are too many other places on the Internet you can go to get it.

Thu
16
Feb

A Cringeworthy Marketing Ploy: MiraBurst

MiraBurst

Today’s teens have it tough. There, I said it. Lots of times, kids hear “Well, when I was your age,” or “You think it’s bad these days.” As parents, we often lament that today’s kids are either lazy, or misdirected, or they are getting into all sorts of shenanigans that we could not have even dreamed of. And we are kind of right. Let’s look at some statistics, shall we?

  1. Drugabuse.gov says that almost 5% of 12th graders have used Ecstasy, also referred to as MDMA or Molly.

  2. According to dosomething.org, 50% of high school seniors do not think it’s harmful to try crack or cocaine once or twice, and 40% believe it’s not harmful to use heroin once or twice.

Thu
02
Feb

Valentine's Bombshell Lady Zero Will Stop Hearts

Lady Zero as Zero from Drakengard 3

February is a month that may be short on days, but it's big on heart (it does have Valentine's Day in it, after all!) And in addition to the holiday of love, we at Critical Blast want to make the month big on cosplay as well, and we can't think of a better way to do that than with the extremely talented and dedicated Lady Zero.

Drawing inspiration from video games like FINAL FANTASY, Lady Zero brings us her versions of Zero from DRAKENGARD 3 (seen left, photograph by Lexa One Photagraphie) and Kaine from NieR (below, photograph by Narcisse), this Canadian-based Poliish cosplayer puts her whole heart into her work, and it definitely shows in the results!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Critical Blast Bombshell, February 2017

Lady Zero

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Culture