Posts tagged Comic Con

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The Her Universe Fashion Show at Comic-Con 2014

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Her Universe, Hot Topic and Nerdist Industries put on their very first “Geek Couture” fashion show last night at SDCC and it was fantastic. The Hyatt Ballroom was packed, the designers came up with some beautiful and unique nerdy outfits, and Her Universe’s very own Ashley Eckstein looked beautiful in a Totoro inspired couture dress, mainly because she was excited to announce that Her Universe has acquired licensing rights for Studio Ghibli merch to be sold at Hot Topic this fall! Yes, I’m just as excited as you!

My personal favorite designs of the night were Lauren Bregman’s “Effie’s Trinkets” worn by stunning model Adrianne Curry, and Andrew MacLaine’s “Regina’s Curse” which literally wowed the crowd. Regina herself, Lana Parrilla, even tweeted about it.

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Hopefully this will become an annual event, so you nerds can attend next time. And props to DJ Amanda for playing some sweet 80s jams during the Back to the Future and Metroid inspired portion of the night.

For more information on the event and where to buy cool geek fashion visit http://www.heruniverse.com/

 

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Interview: Nathan Hamill (Toy Designer, Artist, Nerd)

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It’s almost time for San Diego Comic-Con 2014 and, like all of you nerds, I’m trying to figure out what I really want to spend my money on because, holy crap, there are always so many cool toys there! So, in my quest to find all the must-have releases this year, I decided to interview one of my friends and favorite toy designers, Nathan Hamill. I already own most of his figures, and since he keeps coming up with even cooler ones every year, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next. So, if you’re one of the many lucky nerds attending the convention this year, make sure you don’t miss out on his awesome SDCC releases. Photos and info on where to buy below!

1) Most of us know you’re a ginormous nerd with a pretty solid toy collection that I often want to steal from, but how did you end up becoming a toy designer? What was your motivation to release Boris, your first vinyl figure?

I started with Boris when Patrick Geologo, who I once worked with at Toy Planet when I was in high school, was looking for artists to work with as U1Toy Arts was just starting out. Boris was originally a design for a cartoon called Animal Bandits. He’s a surly, suspicious little guy with a Napoleon complex. Like a Joe Pesci of the forest. And thanks for not stealing my toys. I know it can be hard not to.

2) What toys did you cherish most as a child? What are some of your favorite figures that you own now?

I carried a Darth Vader 3 3/4″ Kenner figure with me wherever I went. I had a vice like grip on that one. And currently it is Lavabear: Classic Ed., which I took all around Disney World on a recent trip. Some things never change.

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3) You have some really cool releases coming up for SDCC. In particular, I’m excited about Lavabear and can’t wait to get one. What’s his story? Where did you get the inspiration to create him?

His backstory is inspired somewhat by the Gollum of Jewish lore and even a little by Tik-Tok of Oz, who was a protector of sorts too. There are obvious pop culture elements in the design but there are some that are more subtle and some that were subconsciously incorporated. I have no control of my pop culture soaked brain.

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Lavabear: Classic Ed. Vinyl. 8 inches tall. Limited to 125 pieces. $80. SDCC 3DRetro Booth #5049

4) What about Octopup? How did you decide on all the different colorways? Were you trying to make me angry because I gotta catch them all?

Making you angry is always just a happy accident. As my first sofubi, I just chose color ways that would really pop. Stay tuned for some custom pieces from others artists soon.

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Octopup: Octocrush Ed. Sofubi (Soft Japanese Vinyl). 2 inches. $10. SDCC 3DRetro Booth #5049

5) You also collaborated with Flat Bonnie and came up with a rad and squishy Octoplush version. Any future collaborations with her or other artists?

For SDCC, Flat Bonnie and I will have 3 Octoplush: Aquapup Ed. mini plushes as giveaways at the 3DRetro booth #5049. There will be 3 “Golden” tickets hidden inside the header cards of the Octopup: Octocrush Ed. sofubis. If you get a ticket, present it to 3DRetro and take home a free Octoplush.

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SDCC 3DRetro Booth #5049

6) Your toys are awesome, but you’ve also released some fantastic art. What artists do you admire? Is there anything in particular you think influences your style?

There are too many to list if we’re talking about admiration and even influence whether big or small. But I think artists like Kozik, John K., Tim Burton and others that juxtapose cartoons with darker themes or underlying messages probably influenced me the most. I like taking a cute, large character and adding something subtly sinister or off to them. A friend once called my style “cute macabre”, and I’ll happily take that description.

7) “My Father, My Lord” might be my favorite print of yours because I’m a dark, emo nerd. For those of us who can’t even draw stick figures, can you talk about the process of coming up with a piece like this? Is this how you usually work?

I don’t ever really work the same way from one piece to the next.  It really depends on what it calls for and the mood I’m in. This one in particular came together really quickly. Once I had the concept, the rough was finished surprisingly fast. It’s something very dear to my heart, so it just came naturally. Then, it was just adding bits here and there and refining the whole thing.

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8) Out of all the characters you’ve created, which one are you the most proud of?

Lavabear is my favorite hands down. It contains many elements that I’ve found myself using in other toys and resins. In addition to that, there are a few pop culture references too, one obvious and the rest were subconsciously incorporated. Bubbling up from my nerdy pop culture ladened brain.

9) What other exciting things can fans and collectors expect from Nathan Hamill in the future? Can you give us any spoilers?

2015 will be a great one. Lots to look forward to, but the one I’m most excited about will be very appropriate for the year. And, no, it’s not Star Wars!

Thanks, Nathan! And I’m totally getting one of your MimoPowerTubes while I’m at the con. So rad looking and practical!

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Mimoco’s SDCC Booths #5245 and #2913M

Visit www.nathanhamill.com for the latest news on his current and future releases.

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Forbes, Sexism, Booth Babes, and Preparing for Cons

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Recently, Forbes.com published an article about what to wear to E3. This article was was only aimed toward women, and was amazingly offensive. Now, if you click that link you’ll see that there’s a disclaimer at the top of the article. Hilariously, after the backlash they received, they removed the offending points. While I have to applaud them for listening to the feedback, I also find it appalling that they clearly didn’t do any research on the demographic they were trying to reach with that article to begin with – and the fact that they don’t stand by their opinions. Let’s see a quote from that original article before the edit:

If you’ve been to E3 before, you know the challenge.  How do you convey credibility in promoting your game, your studio and yourself at the convention in a room full of guys gawking at larger-than-life, theme-park-like attractions and scantily clad ‘booth babes’?

Many women prefer to keep a low profile with “non booth babe” wear – like a baggy t-shirt and jeans.  But in an industry trying to attract more female gamers, its worthwhile to spend some time thinking about how what you wear can help you stand out as the savvy gaming industry expert that you are.

Looks like someone just learned the term “booth babe.”

E3 may have come and gone, but there are still plenty of conventions planned for the rest of the year, and the fact that a company as prominent as Forbes would post something like this at all is important.

Women: your credibility is not defined by your wardrobe. Your credibility should be dependent on your merits, not your appearance. Of course specific situations will require a specific dress-code; in general, if you are good at what you do, it doesn’t matter if you have green hair and cleavage. People will listen when you speak. Do not allow anyone to treat you differently based purely on what you’re wearing. Especially at a convention.

Men (and woman, in fact): you should be treating people you encounter with equal respect, no matter what they’re wearing. All people. If you judge her by her t-shirt, you could be missing out on your new favorite artist. If you judge him by his facial piercings, who knows, you may lose the chance to meet to best programmer in the room. You do not get to slut-shame women or men for their bare skin or for cosplaying. Making snap judgments about someone based on their appearance will only make you lose out on that person’s best qualities.

On “Booth Babes”:  it’s true that the gaming industry has a history of employing attractive women, dressing them scantily, and using them to bait young men into visiting their booths at cons. However, this is 2013, and these companies aren’t stupid. You will see a dramatic shift in the coming years of these companies hiring knowledgeable, personable people to represent their products. Do not assume that just because you see an attractive woman is at a booth at a convention means she’s only there to look pretty, and knows nothing about the brand she’s representing. After all, you wouldn’t see Jamie Dillion from Child’s Play or Barbara Dunkelman from RoosterTeeth at a convention, and assume they’re know-nothing booth babes, would you? No. They’re professional women who are integral parts of the companies they represent, and obtained their positions by being the best at what they do. Don’t let an antiquated gender idea sully your idea of how you want to present yourself, and certainly don’t let any silly slut-shaming prevent you from cosplaying your favorite character.

I think it’s time we start thinking more about having a good time at the conventions we attend, and worry less about being mistaken for booth babes. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips that might actually help you while you attend a convention. Don’t worry, fashion geeks, I’ll still include a couple of outfits for inspiration.

Tips for Attending a Con:

  1. Wear Comfy Shoes. Throughout any convention, you will be on your feet for hours a day, usually multiple days in a row. Bring a pair of shoes that you won’t worry about getting scuffed up, stepped on by other people, or getting dirty. It’s also a good idea to carry a back-up just in case.
  2. Drink Plenty of Water and Don’t Forget to Eat. There is a ton of excitement involved in going to a con, and sticking to panel and presentation schedules can make for very little free time. Plan ahead, and take a look at what food options will be near you, set alarm reminders for mealtimes on your cell phone, and carry a bottle of water with you everywhere. You don’t want to wind up dizzy and tired by 4pm just because you forgot to eat lunch.
  3. Carry Business Cards. If you’re in the industry, or hoping to network in any way, bring plenty of business cards. Don’t be pushy about giving them out, but do be creative. Conventions can be the absolutely best place to hob-knob with fellow industry workers, and make some helpful friends. Make sure you have something to give them, and make it impressive.
  4. Bring A Bag. Hitting the booths, you’ll encounter a ton of fliers, cards, posters, and prints. This doesn’t even include the various memorabilia and items you may purchase while you’re there, or the personal items you may need to bring with you. Be smart, and bring something to carry those things in. A tote bag is a cheap, easy way to address this issue, but a messenger bag might be more durable and have more handy pockets.
  5. Things to Carry in That Bag: band-aids, snacks, water, cell phone, charger/extra battery, extra pair of shoes, light jacket, camera, deodorant, mini sewing kit. You’d be surprised how often these items might come in handy. It’s possible you’ll never need any of them, but when you do, you’ll be glad you have them. Sidenote about the camera: not all venues will let you bring in a camera, so check the rules of the event before attending (this actually goes for all items), but you never know when you might run into a photo op – either an amazing cosplay of your favorite video game character, or maybe your favorite actor. Come prepared, you may never get that opportunity again!
  6. Plan and Check in with Your Buddy. The buddy system isn’t just for elementary school. It’s easy to lose your group in a large crowd, and people can easily go missing. If you’re with a friend or a group of friends, plan ahead to meet at certain places at certain times. Make sure everyone gets where they’re going safely, and be sure everyone has everyone else’s phone numbers in case of emergencies.
  7. Plot Your Course. There’s a lot to see at a convention, and you don’t want to miss out on some key opportunities. Figure out what panels you want to attend, and buy any applicable tickets early. Plot out which booths you absolutely want to visit, and find them on the floor map. Allow for plenty of time in line – it could very well be hours. You don’t need to be militant about your planning, but if you have a general plan in place, you’ll be more likely to see everything that you want to.
  8. Bring a Book. You may have to sit in line for a very long time at a busy con. Bring something to keep yourself occupied – whether it’s a good novel, a thick graphic novel, or a Sudoku book, make sure you won’t be bored. Or, you could always make new friends around you!
  9. Shower and Deodorant are Your Best Friends!  Personal hygiene should be common sense, but you’d be surprised. If you’ve ever been to a packed convention, you truly know the stink of body odor. Try to be considerate of those around you, and boost your own confidence by showering every day, and wearing deodorant and clean clothes.

Tips for Dressing at a Con:

Now, we’re not going to tell you that you shouldn’t show skin, dress provocatively, or really dress any way beyond how you want to in public. That’s nobody’s place but yours. However, we can give you some words of wisdom about being prepared for an event in how you dress. This tips go for both men and women.

  • Check the Weather. Look at the forecast for the days and locations that you’ll be out at a con. Even if it’s an indoor convention, keep travel and after-events in mind. If it’s going to rain, bring a small umbrella just in case. If it’s going to be cold later in the evening, bring a light jacket to be on the safe side.
  • Wear Layers. A packed convention hall can get gross and sweaty in an instant. If you wear a couple thin layers, you can add or remove them to adjust to your comfort level at any moment.
  • Flexible Clothing is Key. You’ll be moving around a lot, and don’t want your clothes to be restrictive. Wear something you’ll be comfortable in either sitting in a convention hall for a couple hours, or running to catch a bus.
  • Keep Your Items Close. Just like tips for visiting new cities, keep your personal belonging close to your body. While we hope everyone we come in contact with will be honest, you still need to account for the possibility that you might drop or lose something. If you have a bag that closes, or pockets that zip, use them.
  • Plan Ahead with Costumes. If you’re wearing a costume, make sure it’s something you’re not going to get hot, sweaty, or uncomfortable after a few hours. Also make sure you build yourselves some pockets or a clever carrying case (for example: if you’re cosplaying Chell from Portal, maybe make yourself a purse in the shape of a companion cube). Also, make sure any items you intend to bring to enhance your costume don’t go against the convention rules. If you’re cosplaying Gordon Freeman, it’s probably best not to bring a crowbar. You may also want to bring a change of clothes in case of emergency or if you want to change for after parties.

Any way you go, let your geek flag fly. As promised, here are a couple con-inspired outfits that might help you build your own ensemble.

Batman Inspired Con Outfit (note the tennis shoes for running around, the bag for collecting items, and the simple accessories):

 

con style - batman

Or for something a little more feminine, try this subtle Green Lantern Style get up (note the easy-to-move-in ballet flats, and the light, comfy dress that’s easy to pair with a jacket):
con style - green lantern
Sorry, fellas, I don’t have any guy outfit suggestions at this time, but feel free to list any below!
The number one rule at a convention is to have fun. You spent the money, and probably traveled to get there, so enjoy yourself! Whether you’re networking with some industry execs, or showing off your creative costuming skills, just be yourself, and have a blast.
If you have any convention wisdom you’d like to share, please leave a comment, and let others learn from your experiences!
UPDATE:
We received wonderful contribution from Rachel Steiner in the comments below, I’d love to include her suggestions here.
I can think of some amazing yet geeky men’s style that I’ve seen on people such as Chris Hardwick and even Kevin Pereira that looks put together but still allows them to show their geekiness without fear. I’ve put together a few men’s geek inspired looks on Polyvore:
A complete Batman look (Yes I know the button down costs $100+ but you can find similar items for under $20)
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Some various neckwear for men:
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Additionally
Converse has the licensing for Batman: Arkham City. So you can customize your own pair of shoes and even have different graphics and color schemes to each shoe. For example:
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Thank you, Rachel!
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Comikaze 2013? Yes, Please! (psst – there’s a sale on tickets!)

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Planning on hitting up Stan Lee’s Comikaze this year? You should be. This year looks like it’s going to be spectacular. Just the comic, scifi, gaming, fantasy, anime, and horror expo you’d expect to see from Stan Lee. Take a look into what’s in store for this year:

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I love that Dot Com will be there. I hope he gets plenty of “No one can hear you, Dot Com!” jokes.

All in all, it looks like a fantastic lineup, and tickets are now on sale. Beyond that, we have some insider info that they’re having a 72-hour sale on tickets right now. So if you’re planning on going, now’s the time to check out your options – weekend passes, in particular, are a great deal today.

New York Comic Con – Day 3

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Well, here we are folks – the end of the road. My last day at Comic Con was relatively low-key, but there were enough exciting moments to make it just as good as the rest of the weekend.

8:00am – Wake up for Day 3 of Comic Con! I am excited about the adventures that await, but also somewhat glad it is the last day. To be perfectly honest, I have worn myself out with all this fun I’ve been having. I might be getting too old for this…

Nah! That’s crazy talk!

9:01 – The journey begins with a train platform full of people dressed to the nines for NYCC. We all sit in the same part of the train. It occurs to me that all 3 days this weekend I have met cool people because of this convention.
10:21 – Back inside NYC, but have to get the monies before making my way. This convention is cleaning me out.
10:45  After meeting a friend en route to con, I arrive at Javits Center. We are made to go downstairs just to go back up again. I think this is silly but whatever.
11:09 – Haven’t been here that long and already spent a ton of money. Got my copy of “Days Missing” signed and talked to the guys about the panel last night. They threw in a free poster, also signed. Dudes were super nice and gave me a great start to my morning. I also got my screwdriver for the Doctor Who costume I’m working on and discussed the series for a bit with the people running that table. I vow to not spend any more money this weekend, as I am close to being The Broke.
12:40pm – Found some cool prints and decided to break my “no spending” rule. Talked to the artist (Tim Smith) for a bit as well. He was really cool and nice. You could tell he loves his craft and doesn’t really care about the money.
1:36 – I feel like half my time here has been spent on lines. Standing in one now, this time for the Walking Dead panel. While waiting, a friend and I come up with new nicknames for each other – basic and expansion. This because her holding onto my shoulder so we wouldn’t get separated made me think of an expansion game. We are such nerds! But I love everything about it.
2:34 – After much craziness, and a near riot, we finally get seats for the Walking Dead panel. First we got a 6&1/2  minute clip of footage from the 2nd episode. I’m not gonna lie, Gracie, the series looks pretty bad-ass. I’m looking forward to the premiere on Halloween.

Next, we got introduced to the people behind the show (writer, director, producer). The moderator went through a series of questions about some of the decisions involved (making it a TV show instead of a movie, the choice of doing it on AMC & how the network responded to it, and how it feels to see the thing finally come to fruition. Apparently AMC has been very supportive of this project. They also said they plan on taking this “on every spastic direction we can”. It sounds like there will be plenty of surprises while still keeping fans of the book happy. I think it will help that it’s on a cable network, because it means they can push the boundary on how far they take it and what they can do without getting hounded by the network.

After we got through a round of questions, we got another clip from the show. More questions followed, this time focusing on casting as opposed to story and production. We then got introduced to the cast, as the actors were added to the panel. Each actor got a chance to talk about their character for a bit and their familiarity with the comic the series is based off of. The panel gave us a good look at the series and its characters without giving away too many details. They eventually opened it up to questions from the audience, then concluded by playing the trailer and telling everyone one final time to watch the show. Their success depends greatly on us, so don’t let them down! (That last part is all me, but I’m sure the panel would have agreed).
4:12 – Panel concludes. We wander a bit before another friend sends out the bat signal and I meet them for dinner. Overall I would call this weekend a huge success. I will do a wrap-up and photo blog ASAP (hopefully tomorrow). Until next time, fellow nerds!

Special Episode 2/4 – Guest Directors – Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling & George Lucas – Mad Dog McGillicuddy and his Rabid Band of Howler Monkeys

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I asked people on Twitter and Facebook what they thought of the possibility that JK Rowling will do another two or three Harry Potter books. We got tons of great responses but one follower, HowlerMonkeys, shared this wonderful cartoon with me.

Good little entertaining way to end the weekend 🙂

Special Episode 2/4 – Guest Directors – Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling & George Lucas – Mad Dog McGillicuddy and his Rabid Band of Howler Monkeys

NSFW: Cranialspasm chats with Clay Robeson (Hey! It’s a pre-podcast podcast!)

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I’m too exhausted to figure out how to add a podcast to my actual website, so I found a place to host it for free. Sorry about the ad at the beginning.
I had the opportunity to interview Clay Robeson, the dynamite mind behind “Frak You”. We talked puppets, nerding out, plugging the Node “in non dirty way” and odd Google searches. Probably NSFW. Actually, most likely NSFW.
I also soapbox. What can I say? Interviews = opinions. My opinions may not coincide with all of the other NiB (That’s short-hand for nerds in babeland.)
Here’s a teaser picture that you will get about 40 minutes in. You’re welcome.

If you are opposed to me getting tipsy and talking to Clay, this is not the interview for you. If you want to giggle and hear about upcoming awesomeness… LISTEN!

Here are the links!

Twitter: @StanleySpeaks
Twitter : @George2020

ARRRRRRRRG

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This thread is dedicated to my latest obsession, ARGs. I discovered my first, and only, ARG at Comic Con this year and it is based around the TV show, Dexter. For anyone who has ever played an ARG they probably understand why it would be impossible for me to describe this entire puzzle at this point (it’s been going on for almost 2 months and we have done A LOT). However, the most amazing, Angel, has done a wonderful job of recapping the ARG since the beginning. Check her shit out here: Angel Recaps F8.

For those who have never played an ARG before, ARG stands for Alternate Reality Game. Since I am new to this whole world, I suggest checking out Unfiction or ARGn for a full explanation. However, if you want a brief explanation right NOW I suppose I could provide that thanks to unfiction.com’s history page:

“Alternate Reality Gaming (also known as beasting, unfiction, or immersive fiction) is an interactive fusion of creative writing, puzzle-solving, and team-building, with a dose of role playing thrown in. It utilizes several forms of media in order to pass clues to the players, who solve puzzles in order to win pieces of the story being played out.

Clues can be passed through web pages, email, voicemail, snail mail, television advertisements, movie posters, campus billboards, newspaper classifieds… really, in any way that information can be passed.

Many times, the puzzles that must be solved cannot be solved alone. This genre of game almost requires participation in a group or community that works together to win past the more difficult hurdles.

Beasting is unique in that it wouldn’t be possible without the community-building and networking power of the Internet. Besides the obvious fact that there would be no web pages or email in which to hide clues, it would be nearly impossible for the diverse audience to coordinate the sheer amount of data, speculation, and solutions among players.”

While I have loved following the clues (even though I haven’t solved any riddles/games myself), I think my favorite part of this world are the people you meet and the community you form. The link below is to a Flickr page dedicated to the cartoons/artwork done by a couple of players in this game. In addition, Angel has become something of a guru with regards to the game thanks to her website (she was even accused of being the killer at one point) and I had a whole thread started about my avatar (shiny) being dead because I was gone for a week. It might be considered a time-suck but I absolutely love spending hours talking to these people online and getting a better idea of the wide variety of people out there that are “nerds.” Plus, there are TONS of sexy nerd babes in this game, and we tend to be the dirtier/more inappropriate jokesters in the game (hence the sex-dating jokes).

Please check out my friends’ art and consider checking out an ARG. I think it’s definitely going to be one of many new ways that entertainment companies advertise in the future.

Fun with Dexter ARG

PS – The wonderful term/joke “sex date,” came from one of the multiple spam threads that showed up on Angel’s recap page. It offered sex-dating to us early on in the game and we have not stopped talking about it since.

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