Culture

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

Sat
21
Jan

Melissa Benoist Invokes Supergirl During Women's March on Washington

Unless you've been living under a rock, or buried in some deep corner of the world, you know that with Donald Trump now officially President of the United States, there comes a lot of controversy. Many actors in Hollywood have spoken out against our new President. Melissa Benoist, star of The CW's SUPERGIRL, has joined the fray.

Today, the day after President Trump's inauguration, a "Women's March on Washington" movement was planned to raise awareness of several remarks he's made that are derogatory towards women. Melissa Benoist plays a character on television that empowers the feminine spirit. Shown wearing a "Feminist" sweatshirt, her picture just started circulating around the internet holding a sign that reads:

Fri
06
Jan

Weekend Blast: My favorite movies of 2016

My Two Bits: The Movies of the 2016

It’s January.  Which means it’s time for that time-honored tradition of internet columnists spending the next several weeks re-hashing 2016.  I had actually intended for this to be my last column of 2016, but it got pushed back, so instead, I will join the navel gazers.  Promise next week I will move on talk about the exciting world of the future: 2017.

Tue
03
Jan

Voting Open for the Best of 2016!

Critical Blast 2016 Awards

The year 2016 is officially behind us. And while many of us regard that sentiment with a wipe of the forehead and a heartfelt, "Phew!" there were also a lot of good things to come out of the year. And this is where we recognize those things.

This year, Critical Blast is offering voting opportunities on ten categories, expanding on last year's awards. In addition to best movie, television show, film actor, etc. we have also added a voting category for our cosplay feature added this year, allowing our readers to vote for the first ever Critical Blast Bombshell of 2016!

The nominations were settled on by the Critical Blast editorial staff, but we realize that we don't know everything about our readers. So every category (with the exception of the Bombshell category), readers have the opportunity to suggest an "Other" option, so there's no reason to let your opinion go unheard.

Sun
01
Jan

Ring in the New Year with Our First 2017 Bombshell, Dallas Bryant!

Dallas Bryant as Ram from Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

New York may have dropped thet ball, but not us here at Critical Blast. It's a national holiday, but we're still set to continue bringing out cosplayers who deserve to have a light shined on their creativity and hard work.

Fri
16
Dec

Weekend Blast - Escape Rooms

My Two Bits: Escape Rooms

I have a huge love for the “point and click” adventure video games that Lucasarts and Sierra put out in the 80’s and 90’s.  Space Quest, King’s Quest, Monkey Island, Sam and Max, Leisure Suit Larry, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle and on and on.  The problem with these games were they tended to be short, and once you beat them, there wasn’t a lot of replay value to them.  Don’t get me wrong, I would still replay them even when I knew how to get through all the puzzles since many of them had great stories and a great sense of humor.

Fri
09
Dec

Weekend Blast - The Last Witness

My Two-Bits: The Last Witness

Pretty much my entire life, I have had a reading addiction.  It's not as dangerous to the body as a drug addiction, but it can get pretty rough on the wallet.  I have gotten better about using the library, but I still spend quite a bit on books.  The worst part of this addiction is when I really get into a series, and have to wait for the next book.  Dark Tower came close to killing me several times…6 years between books????  

Fri
02
Dec

Weekend Blast - YouTube Culture

My Two-Bits: YouTube Culture

As I close in on 40, I have discovered that I am starting to become a cranky old man.  When it comes to social media, I don’t wander too far out past Facebook or Twitter.  I don’t know the difference between Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, or Periscope.  And for the most part, I am fine with that.  

Thu
01
Dec

Ho Ho...Whoa! Our December Bombshell Aidan Jay is Truly Explosive!

December 2016 Bombshell Aidan Jay: Rapunzel

Tis the season for cosplay! Don't believe us? Visit any of your local department stores and take a look. There'll be elves all over the place, not to mention a saint! And just because they're not carrying bows, arrows and swords doesn't mean they're engaging in any less respected version of cosplay. Heck, they're even getting paid for it, so that's something to aspire to!

To round out the year, we wanted to set up a bombshell who would truly blow you away -- someone who would explode off your screen. And we believe we've found just the one to make the end of the year pop!

Our December Critical Blast Bombshell, Aidan Jay, demonstrated a range of cosplay capability, from the demure princes Rapunzel (inset left) to the wise-cracking explosives nut from OVERWATCH, Junkrat (below). Check her out below, then follow her social media connections.

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