This is a follow-up post about how female geeks are making comic conventions their own in different ways. Obviously SDCC has been over for awhile, but there are still plenty of other conventions coming up this year (NYCC!) and these women can serve as inspirations for what can be done within geek and pop culture by individuals. In this post I talk with Jenn from justJENN Designs & Recipes. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting her table at SDCC or don’t follow her on twitter, you should!… but in the meantime the links to her websites are listed below.
Jenn has been blogging about her family’s adventures in Los Angeles for 10 years, creating unique family dinners and geeky baking for her food blog www.justjennrecipes.com. She recently launched www.homegeekonomics.com where she features crafters and creators, bringing the best of geek to home and everyday life. She was Her Universe’s fangirl of the day and her award winning recipes have been featured on StarWars.com, LATimes online, The Today Show blog and most recently the cover of Food Network Magazine.
A contributor for Geek Mom, King’s Hawaiian and First5LA, she also has been a guest panelist at San Diego Comic Con, WonderCon and Geek Girl Con.
1) First thing’s first, tell me about JustJenn Designs and JustJenn Recipes and your career in the geek world.
I started justJENN designs on the side when I was working at an architecture firm. I was working 60-80 hour weeks and while it was killing me I still wanted something that was all my own. So I thought an online business was a good idea because then I could just fill orders from home.Years later I had my kids and I was suddenly compelled to make sure they only ate healthy food and I wanted to make everything from scratch. I started creating recipes and putting them online so that I could access them at all times without dragging recipes with me or having to turn my computer on. Smart phones and my own website made keeping track of my recipes much easier.
2) The combination of foodies and geek culture makes perfect sense and you do an amazing job combining the two. I love your Ultimate Star Wars party! Where did get your initial inspiration to combine the two?
Food and geek recipes came together again, because of my kids. As they grew up they started having fandom fascinations with things that I loved as well. Everything old was new again…to them! So Star Wars, Transformers all the things I grew up with and loved they were taking an interest in and I love the idea of encouraging fandom in kids. I think it opens them up to creative thinking. I decided to incorporate that into our meals just for fun. When I posted the party and recipes I didn’t think anything of it until I started getting a lot of adults saying how great it was and then I realized it wasn’t just me that loved all that geek culture reinterpreted, everyone wanted to recreate their childhood fandom in an updated way!
3) When was your first SDCC? Can you tell me a bit about your history with the convention (ie did you start off in Small Press or as an attendee, etc)?
My first SDCC was a long time ago as an attendee. I can’t even remember the year but I can tell you I got into Hall H easily if that means anything. Years later when I had the online stationery biz I thought, ‘how great would it be to be here as a fan, but also sell my creations to people as well?’ Small Press seemed like a good first step and I honestly haven’t moved from there in the past 6 years.
4) This year you were able to participate in the first major panel for foodies at SDCC, ”A Feast For Your Eyes: Creativity In Comics and Cuisine.” What was that panel like? What were some of the highlights?
I was very excited to participate in the ‘food and comics’ panel since they are two things that I love and incorporate into my art as well. It was great to see a whole room filled with people who love those things too. Food and comics are very connected and we talked a lot about our inspiration and how we came into fields that we made uniquely our own through food.
The highlight of the panel for me was the other panelists! Everyone had unique food stories. I am a big fan of Food TV and watched both Brian Malarkey (@BrianMalarkey) and Justin Warner (@eatfellowhumans) on their shows. I have been ‘twitter friends’ with C.B. Cebulski for a long time and his posts about food and travels always make my day. I learned a lot from Amy Chu (@AmyChu) and Nacho Cervantes (@pizzaportbeer) about their inspirations. And I felt like Rosanna Pansino (@RosannaPansino) had a real geek girl connection, which is always cool when you meet someone who had the same interests as you and is a great person.
5) Do you think this panel signals the growth of foodie-related geekdom at SDCC? Other than the panel, what were some other geeky food-related fun stuff that you saw at SDCC this year (including your own activities)?
I think food and geekdom go hand in hand, both can be creative and inspirational. There is definitely a growth in this field, you can see it in the new food centric graphic novels that are coming out, but honestly it’s been around for a long time. As a kid I always felt connected to the comics I read that featured families cooking, or food somewhere in the comic. It made it relative and made me happy. I think that’s why food tv and food graphic novels are so popular now, because people like that familiar connection that food gives them.
6) I know you recently published a Mochi cookbook. I just got my copy and I’m really excited to try making some! What are some future projects you have coming up?
The mochi cookbook was fun because it updated old traditional recipes that didn’t think it was possible to modernize. My comic cookbook that I drew about my Grandma’s family recipes is still popular and I would like to do another one of those and delve into more of our family recipes, with humor of course.
7) Finally, silly question. I know you’re a huge Wolverine fan. If you had unlimited resources and were hired to throw a surprise party for Wolvie himself, what would some of the dishes be?
If could throw a Wolverine party I would make a lot of things on skewers and probably incorporate Canadian Bacon and Maple syrup to give props to his homeland. Basically whatever you ate would make you live forever, obvs.
Espionage Cosmetics launches premier
Nail-Art Line via Kickstarter
You’ve seen the Espionage Cosmetics team at every con you’ve attended in the last 3 years. You’ve played with the tiny Jayne hats that top the Browncoats collection, and you’ve squeed over the facebook pics of Bonnie Burton and Felicia Day with the shadows as you sign up for giveaways hosted by your favorite bloggers. Here’s what’s next from your favorite purveyors of geek-chic cosmetics…
NAILED IT! On August 5, 2013, Espionage Cosmetics—the makers of hugely popular mineral make-up by and for nerds—launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign (www.EspionageCosmetics.com/Kickstarter) for their latest product line, “NAILED IT!,” the world’s first nail-art line designed exclusively for nerds and lovers of all things glitter. 8 nerd-inspired designs are printed on high-quality, self-adhesive nail wraps that can be filed to a custom fit, with the potential to unlock up to 24 nerd-tastic designs. According to Espionage Cosmetics representatives, NAILED IT! is designed for “those of us who don’t have the time or talent to make our nails look like a Pinterest board.”
NAILED IT! is designed with you and your crazy eclectic, nerdy interests in mind. How about these gems: Cthulhu-inspired glitter tentacle wraps; turtle nails with glitter masks and googly eyes (googly eyes!); zombie nails dripping with glitter blood… and that’s just the first level of products available for pre-order on the Kickstarter.
Not just another Kickstarter. Espionage representatives say, “We know everyone is so tired of hearing about Kickstarter. That’s why we’re using this like a pre-order. Instead of rewards, you get the actual product, and help to fund the line for other customers.” Espionage Cosmetics is aiming for a goal of $20,000 in pre-orders with an “unlock achievement” feature, where sales past the goal unlock bigger rewards for all subscribers. As soon as the first achievement is unlocked, everyone who has ordered product at or above $100 automatically gets more nail-art—for free!—in their cart.
After the Kickstarter, for those who can’t make it to Espionage Cosmetics table at a convention, your best bet is to head over to ThinkGeek.com… they’ll be carrying the entire line in fall 2013.
The NAILED IT! Kickstarter includes products and rewards at every price point, from $15 to $10,000 and several points in-between. What does that get you? Some examples: $15 for a single nail-art set; $200 for a grab bag of Espionage Cosmetics products valued at $300; at $10,000 you can “Get Espionage’d.” At that level, you’re invited into Espionage Cosmetics design studios where the creative team (whose work has been published in Rolling Stone and other big-name publications) will design and shoot a photo concept for you, including professional wardrobe, hair, make-up, and graphic design. “This offer is ideal for people who are rebranding an existing product, getting started with a new business, or for anyone who just wants to live out an ultimate cosplay or fantasy photo-shoot experience.
Nerd-inspired designs, you say? Other NAILED IT! designs to look forward to include: Cats (“the Internet on your nails,” in high-quality photo format), chain mail, circuit boards, and full sets of glitter nails in versatile colors specifically designed for cosplayers (Black Widow? Wonder Woman? Covered). Espionage reps say they’re especially excited about the Nebula Nails set: wraps bursting with neon cloud
swirls and black holes. “You can find galaxy designs all over Pinterest and the Internet, but none of them are real, existing nebulas. We’re nerds and we like accuracy, so we scoured the night sky for the prettiest, coolest nebulas.”
Espionage Cosmetics: All girl, all nerd, all amazing. Espionage Cosmetics is a small, woman-owned business based in Tacoma, Washington, creating make-up for nerds, by nerds. “We’re a niche make-up company,” say Espionage representatives. “We have other things going on besides the perfect eyeliner. You’ll see us where we hang out, where our customers hang out. We’re at comic book stores and conventions.” …with the perfect glitter eyeliner, of course. Like you have to ask.
Founded in 2011, the company has seen enormous growth in their niche nerd market. In the last year alone, Espionage Cosmetics has expanded from a living-room operation to a Tacoma-based studio space with 3 fulltime women employees. Bi-monthly product launches and fully produced ad campaigns pour out of the studio manned by a full-time wardrobe master/cosplay expert, an interns and conventions coordinator, and the CEO/artistic director/marketing coordinator (her business card says Glitter Jedi).
NAILED IT! nail art is the latest Espionage Cosmetics product line, joining the newly released lip-gloss lines and the Espionage staple, “Everything Shadow,” a large range of mineral make-up colors that can all be used for 17 different cosmetic uses and counting. Everything Shadow has been featured on the Geeky Hostess, Fashionably Geek, and by popular youtube stars. Espionage also continues to draw clientele from high-profile Nerd Celebrities, including Bonnie Burton, Felicia Day, Chloe Dykstra from Heroes of Cosplay on Sci-Fi
network, and Ashly Burch (the voice of Tiny Tina on Borderlands 2).
Last words? Kickstarter pre-orders will be delivered in December 2013.
In my many journeys through the internet, I stumbled across something awesome, and thought it deserved to be shared. Catherine Gretschel with Aisha Voya Creations makes these intricately glittered geeky shoes by hand.
Not only are they very expertly done, but she has such a fun geeky collection. Take a look:
All of those pics lead to the actual shoes, and it looks like she has a ton of sizing options. Take a look at her shop for other fun geekness: http://www.etsy.com/shop/aishavoya
Writing by: Ian Thomas
Art by: Adam Bolton
This is the story of a little boy who has lost his pet and sets out on a journey to find it. He’s searching for his Shoggoth; what exactly that is remains a mystery until the end. This is a children’s book but with a definite horror theme, filled with gloriously detailed monsters and ghouls. As the boy travels through all sorts of spooky terrains and encounters all sorts of creatures he’s disappointed when each one is not exactly his Shoggoth.
The art of Where’s My Shoggoth is just plain gorgeous. Super detail, gothic coloring, so much careful attention to the particular textures and weight in each individual environment. Although the creatures are satisfyingly scary for an adult to enjoy, the boy’s easy bravery and casual attitude towards them keeps the story from ever being too terrifying for a child. The kid never shows a bit of fear when faced with a new beast, which keeps the story light-hearted. It’s a very crafty, well done approach to children’s material with in the horror genre.
Where’s My Shoggoth is a brilliant mix of Dr. Seuss style rhyme and rhythm, classic ‘searching for my mommy/pet/friend’ story line and H.P. Lovecraft demons. There are some extra great goodies included here too, like a Chutes & Ladders type board game. In all aspects, this is a fantastic book for the kids who enjoy a little scare and of course just in time for Halloween!
Where’s My Shoggoth is available now from Archaia.
Never be boring.
Always feel beautiful.
Anything could happen.
Every little girl, at some point in their life, has probably imagined what their wedding would be like. As a nerd, you probably want to be a little more creative when the special day finally arrives. That’s where Little Petal is here to help you. Based in Brooklyn, Little Petal makes custom alternative style wedding dresses that reference comic books, science fiction, and horror themes. Since their target audience is largely nerds, it makes perfect sense that the little company that could would like to go to NYCC to show off their fashions. They currently have a Kickstarter running that, as of the time this posts, will have already reached their goal of $5,000. That’s great, but they could still use help. That’s where you, our lovely readers, come in. Extra funds will help them with advertising and labor costs. The Kickstarter also has way more information telling you what they’re all about, what goes into making one of their dresses, etc. You can also check them out on Facebook, if you so desire. And don’t forget to go visit them at NYCC this year!
Yeah, I’m a little late to the Big Bang party, I know. Once a show gets that much hype, especially within a particular social circle, I tend to write it off quickly. ~I couldn’t possibly like something that so many other people like!~ After seeing Jim Parsons appear on a few talk shows and finding him intriguing and charming, I finally decided to give the show a shot.
I gave it 4 episodes then declared it a waste of my time and informed my husband that we would no longer be watching the show. Specifically I said “I’m done, let’s stop watching now’. As we are prone to do, we immediately launched into a critique of the show, bouncing pros and cons off each other as if an audience of anxious viewers were waiting to hear our opinions. Recently, it’s been fun to acknowledge how we digest some of our favorite shows differently, often due to our gender biased viewpoints. Shows like Mad Men, Modern Family, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire are a few that we sometimes have differing interpretations of, all of which rely heavily on relationships and events that put a spotlight on the gender specific ideals of that time period, family or social environment.
When it came to digesting The Big Bang Theory, there was no difference in our opinions. The show is based heavily on some old and tired ‘geek culture’ stereotypes and lacks enough of funny scientist Sheldon to mask how offensive it is. Even leaning on the use of a chunk of the cast of the highly popular Roseanne isn’t enough to carry the comedic weight of a distasteful main artery clogged with bumbling, socially inept, sexually terrified geeks. Yes, the deep cut science, video game and pop culture references are fun and well represented, I admit. The relationships and depth of the characters, however, are not.
How sad is it that after so many years of well written, successful, charming and attractive geeky tv characters we find ourselves back to this? The group of friends who congregate in Sheldon and Leonard’s meticulously organized apartment while away their days playing an MMOG, debating scientific theory and the practical uses of it and proudly announcing their career achievements, yet this same group seem to lose half their brain power when faced with the air-headed, blonde waitress who lives across the hall.
Penny doesn’t seem to understand much of what her neighbors say to her, in 4 episodes I never heard the girl mention any career motivation beyond working at Cheesecake Factory and she often asks for favors from the guys but never volunteers to help out in return. Leonard grovels at her feet, doing everything he can to impress her while she casually ignores his crush and unabashedly explains how spending the weekend with some equally attractive and dim witted guy wasn’t that much fun. Meanwhile, we are introduced to smart, frumpy little Leslie who tries in her nerdy way to flirt with Leonard, but just isn’t attractive enough to catch his eye.
It’s an old stereotype of ‘smart girl must dress badly, not be too attractive and struggle to catch the eye of the man she wants, regardless of how much of a dick he is to her’ and ‘super pretty girl must be ditzy, shallow and not notice the nerdy guy who does everything in his power to impress her’. To be completely honest, I’m not so much angry at this cheap shot, but disappointed. I really wanted to like Big Bang Theory but for a show stuffed full of smart characters, with an opening intro that cutely sings the big bang theory, I expected so much more of a smartly written core. I can’t stomach a show based on an insultingly outdated stereotype that I’ve so often found myself having to argue against. Exhibit A: my friend Elliott’s celebration of some accomplished, smart ladies (Top 11 Geek Girls of 2011), which was hotly debated over when a female reader declared that she ‘can’t take any of these woman seriously’. The reader went on to explain that her feelings were based on the ladies being too overtly sexy or attractive in their profiles.
I’m also a hairstylist and I’ve encountered numerous intelligent, accomplished women through the years with the feeling that if they try too hard to be sexy or pretty, folks won’t take them seriously. They will lose the credibility they’ve earned simply by wanting to be attractive. This belief is gross, ugly and completely a by product of stereotypes like the one represented in Big Bang. The sooner we stop supporting this idiotic idea that smarts and good looks somehow work against other, the sooner the geeks of the world can stop feeling guilty or ashamed of being sexy. Wouldn’t it be great to win the love interest you yearn for based on both of those blessings? If you read through the Geek Girls article, you’ll see that pretty geek girls really do exist, so why the hell shouldn’t they in tv and film?
Thanks for listening and feel free to offer your own opinions.
*The opinions expressed here are not representative of Nerds in Babeland, but only of the writer herself*
Have you been following the chronicles of our BFF here at Nerds in Babeland, BugEyes? If not, why not? Everything I write is golden, and also you should miss the ’90s. It was the greatest decade ever. People are always like, “If you could go back to any time, where would you go?” I would do the ’90s all over again. But, I digress.
If you wanted some closure but didn’t feel like you got it before, check out this YouTube clip, where we see him in action behind good old Agent K, whom you should remember from the ’90s. If not, you were probably neuralized, so consult your VHS collection immediately.
We only get a glimpse of BugEyes, but he’s clearly up to something. Here is a list of possible things he could be doing:
- Saving the world. Likeliness: Unlikely. He’s 14. I have a sister who is 12 and she can’t figure out how to use the microwave.
- Walking casually back and forth trying to get Agent K’s attention. Likeliness: Probable. This is what I do whenever I want someone who’s way cooler than me to notice me at work. I just come up with excuses to walk back and forth until they see me and speak to me. Okay, so I’ve been in actual awe of my employers before. BIG DEAL.
- Being sent on an errand. Likeliness: Highly likely. If a 14-year-old kid works for you, even if he has great promise, and you work at an organization focused on keeping terrestrial citizens and extraterrestrials safe, you probably make him lick a lot of envelopes and go out and buy a lot of coffee.
- Snooping. Likeliness: I bet he has tried, then realized there’s no point, so unlikely. He’s like one of those women who went to college in the ’50s to find a husband. He may have been ruthlessly devoted to the truth before, but now he’s like, “I no longer need this. I have gotten what I wanted. You guys find your own truth!” I can’t blame him. It’s rough trying to get a job you like in this economy. You wouldn’t want to ruin it like that.
- Trying to walk off all the weight he gained eating so much surprise cake. Likeliness: He’s a 14-year-old boy. That jerk can probably eat whatever he wants without experiencing weight gain.
So what do you guys think? Will you miss BugEyes? You’ll probably see him again sometime. Wear sunglasses.
As you may recall from some previous updates on the subject, we here at Nerds in Babeland were following the exploits of the 14-year-old BugEyes, a conspiracy theorist with big dreams, and his website, TheMenInBlackSuitsAreReal.com. He’s been on the trail of a mysterious “Pink Surprise Cake,” on sale en masse with purchase of tattoo at Clive’s Tattoo Parlor, and finally, he seems to have figured out the answer: documents! People were hiding documents in the cake to keep them hidden from the Men in Black Suits, because people ALWAYS go to tattoo parlors to get cake and documents. I KNOW I DO. It’s how I ended up with this weird tattoo of Tony Stark on my bosom. I just went in to sign some papers.
What were the documents? Perhaps only time will tell. Perhaps the documents include Arianna Huffington’s long-form birth certificate (SURE, ARIANNA, I BELIEVE YOU [it is interesting to note that neither James Franco nor Stephanie, co-founder of this blog, have come forward with THEIR birth certificates after MY accusations, but I guess no one takes me seriously]).
Whatever the case, as you can see in the video, BugEyes’ dedication to the cause was rewarded by membership in the elite and mysterious group of Men in Black Suits.
Can we talk about this? For one, I’ve been devoted to this since the ’90s, and the Men in Black Suits have YET TO CALL ME. Or even e-mail me. What a disappointment! What does a girl have to do? I can eat cake. I WILL dive in a dumpster for a full-time job. I’m just that desperate for one.
For another, it seems hideously irresponsible of the Men in Black Suits to enlist a 14-year-old kid. I’m just saying, he can’t even go into R-rated movies by himself! He probably hasn’t even finished taking Algebra II! This is the guy you want to help keep space aliens in line with the rules of Earth? PICK ME INSTEAD. I look great in black, and can type over 135 words per minute!
Well, “Mr. Eyes,” as Arianna Huffington calls you, it was nice chillaxing with you, and I hope you enjoy your time in a wonderful job that I can’t even get two years out of college. ENJOY IT. It is kind of adorable so I can’t be that mad. I’m just saying, I wouldn’t have to sit on a park bench all night and watch the sun set over the New York skyline like SOME PEOPLE. I won’t name names. I’m just saying, I would chill out, max, and relax all cool in that job. No b-ball, though.
Have you ever gone to the Huffington Post before, read a couple of the articles, and then been solidly convinced that something really bizarre or really sinister is going on?
Well, I know I have. Don’t pretend like you haven’t, either. Recently, Patton Oswalt began a Twitter hashtag, #BandNamesFromHuffPoHeadlines, which wasn’t just because the Huffington Post is internationally renowned for its status as a jumping-off point for indie music. NO. It is because strange things are afoot at the Circle K.
“But why?” you ask yourself. “What is the big picture? What is the point of all this? What am I not getting? Oh god! The horror, the horror!”
Well, our friend BugEyes from TheMeninBlackSuitsAreReal may at last have an answer: Arianna Huffington, extraterrestrial? That’s what BugEyes claims in this editorial that he had the gall to actually write on the Huffington Post. A tip from someone who is admittedly not successful enough to write for the Huffington Post so maybe you shouldn’t take my advice after all (for those interested in immediately hiring me to write for big name blogs, see my resume…it’s a rough economy), but maybe think of it as a tip from someone who can read and has common sense: perhaps it’s not the greatest idea in the world to accuse a globally (and perhaps extra-globally) recognized author, for whose blog you have been asked to contribute, of being an alien. I wonder what Arianna Huffington will have to say about all this.
On a related note, I have reason to believe that one of the founders of this blog is an alien also. I’m not going to name names, because I’m not the Fox Mole, or something, but I’ll give you a hint: her name rhymes with Wephanie Blooten. I also have pretty convincing evidence that James Franco is not of this Earth, BugEyes. So, Earthlings, feel free to drop me a comment and let me know what you think, or go ahead and just tell BugEyes on his Facebook.
If you read this website at all, and I imagine you do because you are reading it now, maybe you read a couple days ago when our new BFF BugEyes over at TheMenInBlackSuitsAreReal.com found some crazy technology that does not belong in the 1930s, which is weird because that’s apparently where it came from. He was also on the trail of Clive’s Tattoo Parlor, and an ice cream cake with an unknown ingredient that you get to eat for free and all you have to do is get a tattoo. (Honestly, maybe this indicates that I have a problem, but that might work on me.) Something weird was clearly going on with this place and its affinity for Pink Surprise Cake, but what is the surprise in the cake, and why does Clive’s Tattoo Parlor have 29312938985 of them?
Well, judging by this video, the surprise ingredient is dumpster. I’m putting it out there. BugEyes, do not eat cake that you find in the trash. Cake that a crazed supervillain sent you, yes. Cake from a serial killer, yes. BUT DO NOT EAT CAKE FROM THE TRASH. GOD. 14-year-old boys can be so gross. I once paid a boy a dollar in high school not to drink the half-finished bottle of Coke he found sitting in the middle of the parking lot in front of me.
Anyway, in addition to finding Clive’s Tattoo Parlor he has also found a contraption that seems to extract the core from the cake, which is RIDICULOUS because THE FROSTING IS THE BEST PART. But what could be in the core?
If you have any tips for BugEyes, you can drop him a line at 1 (888) 202-9797. I have a tip for BugEyes: DON’T EAT DUMPSTER CAKE.