I am soooo excited to share this video with you all!!!
As some of you may remember, I had helped my friend Simon out a while ago with the Kickstarter campaign for his game Cashtronauts. Now, the campaign may not have been successful, but Simon was able to finish (mostly) the game and release it on Steam in Early Access, where you can play it now too!
There have been many changes and improvements to the game since I first talked about it, so Rick and I decided to make a little video of us playing it to give you an idea of what to expect:
However, as a thank you for my help with the Kickstarter, successful or not, Simon has generously provided me with THREE Steam codes for the game which I will be giving to lucky readers below:
A couple of weeks ago I had the incredible good fortune to win a jumbo Meowbox from Geek Girl Penpals. For those of you not familiar, Meowbox (as the name suggests) is a monthly mystery subscription box geared specifically for felines. Being a true crazy cat lady I’m been meaning to try it out for ages, so I was extra stoked to be getting one for free.
Unsurprisingly, Gatsby could not wait to get into the box, sniffing it and rolling around all over it. But would he be as excited once I got the box open?
I really liked the fact that they wrote our kitties names on the box. I know, cats can’t ready, but I thought it was a nice touch and shows that Meowbox is just as crazy about cats as their customers.
The INSTANT I got that box open, Gatsby had already stuffed his face into the box to drool all over the Hauspanther Modshaker catnip toy. Although Kala is usually the more rambunctious of our kitties, she’s oddly not that into catnip toys, so Gatsby got to enjoy this one all on his own. I couldn’t even reach in to take out the other items, Gatsby was in full predator mode.
Luckily, after about an hour of kitty-trippin’ he retired to the bedroom to sleep it off so I could finally get some proper pictures of all the goodies. In addition to the afore mentioned Modshaker, the August box (which is the one we received) had a Fou-Stick in Calm, a Felted Snake toy by Snow Leopard Trust, a sample of Natural Healthy cat food by Nutrience and a Here Kitty Kitty Sampler pack by 4 Paws Pure. I really like that most of the products included are actually Canadian, as Meowbox has Canadian, US & UK options.
The favourite so far is definitely the Modshaker, while the Here Kitty Kitty treats were a little hit and miss (shrimps were gobbled right up, beef was left untouched), but I’m pretty sure that’s just our cats. I haven’t gotten a chance to try out the calm stick or the cat food, but I have a feeling the calm stick will come in handy the next time Kala decides to be extra needy at 3 in the morning.
All in all I was really happy with this box and think it would make an awesome gift for the cat lover in your life.
Do you subscribe to any pet boxes? Would you recommend them?
How was your week? I was quite the little social butterfly, attending an office warming party for Double Stallion and the Critical Hit Showcase. Look who’s finally getting her networking back on! Joking aside, it was really wonderful to finally work up the nerve to reconnect with the indie community and touch base with people I’m actually very glad to call my friends.
I also posted my first tutorial video on the N00b Beauty channel. It’s a summery, Japanese inspired festival look using lots of Japanese and Korean products. And bonus: you get to see me in my yukata at the end!
This weekend will involve tea and games, more video editing and a new super-secret project I’m involved with.
I realized after I posted it that I banged on and on in my Otakuthon 2015 post about all the awesome fan art I bought, but then failed to actually show you any of it. Since there ended up being quite a bit of it, I figured it was worth coming back and dedicating a whole post just to the awesome art and artists I saw in the exhibition room.
This was the first print I bought. It was a total impulse purchase, but it’s sooo cute I just couldn’t resist. My one gripe is the the DM’s book should say “Humans & Dragons” to keep the joke up, but mostly I just needed to be able to gaze on the little fairy dragon with his soda on a daily basis. Sadly, I don’t remember who the artist was for this one, but if you recognize it please leave me a comment so I can credit the artist properly.
Next up was this pair of prints by Pascale Lamoureux-Miron. I was initially drawn to the Chrono Trigger piece for Rick since it’s his favourite game of all time, but when I noticed there was a discount for buying two I snatched up that Grim Fandago piece as well, since it’s probably Rick’s second favourite game of all time. Have you played either game? I’ve started both and enjoyed them, I just need to find the time to get back to them.
More impulse purchases! The ‘Purgatory Life’ mini-print is by Paula Cloutier. I mostly got it because I’d never seen Supernatural fan art featuring Benny before and Rick and I had just been talking about how underrated Benny was as a Supernatural co-star. He got killed off way too soon. I was very excited to learn that **SPOILERS** he does make a surprise appearance in Season 10, which gives us something to look forward to when it finally hits Netflix in a month or two.
And while we still need to finish The Legend of Korra, this bookmark featuring Kosami by Roxane Daneault was just too gorgeous to pass up.
Last, but certainly not least was this pack of Feminist Sailor Moon stickers by the incredible Starchild Stela. If you live in Montreal you may recognize some of these prints by their large size counterparts that can be found graffitied around town, particularly in the Hochelaga area.
A couple of weeks ago I attended my first ever Otakuthon, Montreal’s annual anime & Japanese pop-culture convention. Despite having friends who attend every year, I’d never considered myself enough of an “otaku” to attend. I am very picky with my anime, preferring more slice-of-life style shows to the giant space opera/magical girl/battle porn that seems to be most popular, and the only manga I really read is fucked up horror stuff that gives Rick nightmares. I can’t stand most J-Pop, only speak enough Japanese to apologize for not understanding something, and find most JRPGs overly obtuse and melodramatic.
However, since we’d scheduled the August Geek Girl Brunch Montreal meet-up to be a pre-Otakuthon 2015 meet-up, I figured I’d grab a ticket and see what all the fuss was about. However, it actually turned out that the 3-day pass was only $5 more than the Saturday pass, so I ended up getting that. In the end, I’m very glad that I did because while I couldn’t spend that much time there each day, I do feel like I got a lot more out of the event showing up for a little while each day.
Since it was my first time attending I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I knew the cosplay game would be epic, but man was I blown away. The main lobby of the convention center was buzzing everyday with people just posing and showing off. This was mostly because of the large glass windows there, meaning that the lighting was perfect for photographs. Also, since this part of the convention center was open to the public it was the best place to get the most admirers.
I was also blown away by the variety of activities. There were panel discussions, workshops on everything from ikebana to makeup for cosplay, a video game room with tons of consoles, a board game room with hundreds of games from D&D to Cards Against Humanity, J-Pop concerts, martial arts demonstrations, a cafeteria with Japanese foods like taiyaki and katsu kari and tons of other stuff I probably didn’t even know about. Predictably, I spent a lot of my time in the exhibition hall, scooping up fan art like it was going out of style.
Probably my favourite activity was the World Cosplay Summit Canadian finals, which I attended with my friend Almathea. Unlike the usual masquerade that happens on Saturday night, this cosplay competition was for professionals only with the winners being sent to Japan for the 2016 World Cosplay Summit, an international cosplay competition for which Canada had just been granted full participant nation status. I was absolutely blown away by the level of craftsmanship on display, and couldn’t help but squee a little when I realized that one of the teams was doing Princess Jellyfish. They didn’t end up winning, but honestly I’m not sure I could have picked a winner myself, they were all so amazing.
I only made it to one workshop and one panel, but man was that a fun panel. It was all about slash fiction in the Supernatural fandom (I know, not exactly what you’d expect at Otakuthon), and it was just an hour of being super-silly and weird with fellow Supernatural fanatics. I usually keep my Supernatural fandom on the DL, but was really great to indulge my guilty pleasure and hoot and holler at Destiel fan art.
The workshop, however, wasn’t very well organized and seemed to cover stuff I already knew a bit better than the woman leading it, so I ended up skipping out after 20 minutes. Which meant more time for shopping! There weren’t quite as many Japanese beauty products on offer as I’d hoped, but that was probably for the best. And somehow I managed not to spend all of my money on a giant stuffed alpaca. I know, I’m not sure how I resisted either.
I probably spent most of my time photographing cosplayers, which frankly is my favourite thing to do at conventions. I was really impressed by how many awesome video game characters I saw, including Princess Aurora from Child of Light, Red from Transistor, Banjo & Kazooie and, of course, FemShep. I even managed to find another Delsin, who gets extra props for actually being native. #weneeddiverseheroes
I will admit that I actually started my Otakuthon a little judgmentally, preoccupied with worries about cultural appropriation and racism. Was it really okay for white girls to wear yukatas around a convention center? And what about the lady in the chongsam. Should I explain to her that Chinese and Japanese dress is different? Or was I just being a big snob about the whole thing?
I’m happy to say that after three days of mingling with people just as obsessed with Japanese pop-culture and geekiness (if not more so) than I am, I realized that this segmenting of geek culture I was doing in my head with regards to otaku was no different than the shaming of “fake geek girls” I decry in other parts of geekdom. I slowly started focusing on our similarities instead of our differences, and realized that we were all just there to have fun, no matter our relationship to Japanese culture.
The other thing I noticed was that Otakuthon has a much more grass-roots feel than Montreal Comiccon. While both events are huge undertakings with hundreds of volunteers and staff, with guests from all over the world, there’s something about Otakuthon that just felt more home grown. While Comiccon has only been running for a few years in Montreal, 2015 was actually the 10th edition of Otakuthon with all stripes of geekdom represented.
One thing I did appreciate about attending a 3-day con in my home town was that I didn’t feel too much pressure to stay all day every day. If I started feeling a little overwhelmed in the afternoon I could just whip home on the metro for a nap before attending the Harajuku fashion show. I even got Rick to meet me in Chinatown after the last day for delicious dumplings.
While I might have come into Otakuthon as a skeptic, I’m glad to say I left as a convert. Here’s to Otakuthon 2016.