Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Are we living in the Golden Age of Geekdom?

Are we living in the Golden Age of Geekdom?

Not too long ago when someone mentioned the word "Geek", this image came to mind:

 Nowadays, when someone talks about geeks or you were to search up the term, pictures like this appear:

Before I go further, I want to inform you that my goal here is not to ramble on about how there are now "Fake geeks" or "Posers" and how we should rally to exclude them from various of our geeky gatherings. But rather I am here to talk about how incredible it is that our borderline obsessive love for various fandoms has now become widely accepted rather than frowned upon. 

This is me, DeAngelo. I am currently 23 years old and have a huge love for all things geek. From Warhammmer 40k to D&D to World of Warcraft and so much more. Growing up, I did what every little geek did and watched Star Wars 50 times a day whenever Dragon Ball Z and power rnagers were not on. In my spare time I played games like Pokemon(Go Red version!) Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Metal Gear Solid, Golden Sun and so many other games. 

My peers, even at such a young age looked on in judgement and labeled me not worth talking to for many years. That was until Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and various Super Hero films emerged causing all kids across he world to embrace fantastic fictional worlds. Soon those same peers that casted judgement on me soon turned into cherished friends by engaging in recess conversation about various theories regarding the end to Harry Potter or if Gandalf could defeat Dumbledore in a wizard duel. 

It was from this moment on that opened the flood gates for all things geeky and hardly anyone could be found bullying another kid for loving Dragon Ball Z or Yu gi oh. That was because everyone was doing it.

Girls who uttered the words "Star Wars is dumb" or "I hated Lord of the Rings" were usually met with this reaction:

Even when our childhood transitioned into our teenage years and hormones kicked in, a large majority of people did not abandon their geekiness. In fact, it got worse due to a little game called World of Warcraft. I kid you not, most of my High school played. We would spend our school days talking amongest each other about ways to improve our Damage Per Second, Heals and ability to tank that way when we left school for home, we could hop on and be that much more efficient.

This bastard was the bane of our existence for the first half of my highschool career. 

Moving onto my college years I found that a number of my peers had dropped off their love for all things geek in an attempt to appear more attractive in the eyes of the opposite sex. Which I found very silly because I never hide my love for things. (Granted I also went tot he prom alone so I can understand :P )

However if there is one thing I have learned in my 23 years of life is this: Everyone, everywhere is a geek. It may be a tiny hidden guilty pleasure or the highlight of their life but everyone is a geek in one way or another. And the way I made friends was by finding out what they loved and exposing it. In just a few conversation I could get them to come out of their shell and tell me all about how much passion they had for whatever fandom. (Guys was Dragon Ball Z and girls were usually Harry Potter)

For Example...

Displaying IMG_20130625_112639.jpg
I was actually able to go out to lunch with her for the interview! :D

This is Genna. 

She graduated from the University of Phoenix with a degree in Business, is the head manager of a team of Account Managers that service over 600+ small business owners across North America. If there is a problem, she jumps in the fray to see it gets fixed. Her work week consists of well over 60+ hours of hard work.

The reason I know so much is because, well, she is my boss and also one of my closest friends.

When I first met Genna, the word 'Geek' had been furthest from my mind. That was until she casually mentioned one day how she loved the Kingdom Hearts series, was a huge fan of Harry Potter and had gone to comic con quite a few times, absolutely loves board games and is still the reigning champ of Mario Kart in her family. 

Looking super cool as always.

This is Mauro. Tall. Dark. Handsome. Charming. Modest. 

Pretty much the kind of guy every girl dreams about having. Best part is that he is the furthest thing from being a jerk. Mauro is a great guy! When we first met I had no idea who he was and was generally pretty jealous because I knew that if I stood next to him, all of the females in a 20 mile radius would flock to him and ignore me. 

Did I mention he is also a photographer? Not just a mediocre one either but a good one!  

I would have never imagined him to be a geek when he had so many women fighting over him. Yet he was actually very humbled to meet me. Upon our first encounter he informed me of how much he wanted to be apart of my Dungeons and Dragons group as well as play with me on various video games. He also introduced me to quite a few Animes. (As well as advice on women)

Good ol Wendy and her famous smile!
This is Wendy. 

Smart. Fun. Kind. Pretty.

I actually went to high school with Wendy for all four years. I honestly do not believe that we ever exchanged words once during that time. Not because of any ill will from either party but more so that life pulled us in different directions and different friends. From what I could tell was that Wendy was incredibly hard working, driven, kind and very smart. Most of the time I saw Wendy was either out at High school foot ball games or on stage for a theater performance. 

It wasn't until long after we got out of school that I actually got to know her.  We added each other  on Facebook and I would see her posts from time to time and one day I stumbled upon a post from her which displayed her excitement for the next Dead Island installment, Riptide.  

Needless to say I was stunned by what I read for never in a million years did I think that Wendy would ever be excited for the launch of a video game, let alone a franchise that I too love! We chatted about the game and she revealed that she actually carried a huge passion for a number of geeky things including Harry potter (Which she made sure I added how she had attended every single midnight premiers for both the films and books.) 

 Wendy has graduated from ASU, is a first grade teacher and has even won her first of no doubt many awards for her stellar performance. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why I love Jessica Nigri. One humble geek's opinion on one of the world's most famous cosplayers.

Why I love Jessica Nigri.

One humble geek's opinion on one of the world's most famous cosplayers.

Jessica Nigri and a fellow cosplayer.

In a recent conversation with a few friends, we discussed our excitement for the upcoming Phoenix Comic Con. It is the biggest local comic book convention in Arizona and my friends and I plan on doing everything! From attending panels to getting photo ops with our favorite celebrities as well as shop for well known comics and indie ones alike.

Among these activities is cosplaying. If you are unfamiliar with cosplay, it is "Literally 'Costume Play.' Dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character (usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character)." (Source).

Personally, I love cosplay with a huge passion. I like to think of it as a form of geek modeling and the most wonderful thing about it is that anyone can participate! As long as you have a character in mind that you'd like to portray and work towards making their costume you are cosplaying. Some very creative cosplayers have created their own rendition of characters from Gender bending all the way to steam punk.

Nowadays cosplay is a very common term and is widely known. However it was not always so, cosplay was done by the dedicated few geeks who didn't care what others thought of them. No one really cared for it until this image made it's way to the interwebs:

This is the one and only Jessica Nigri. In 2009 she debuted her "Sexy Pikachu" which quickly went viral around the internet. It led Ms. Nigri to get hired to do a Gears of War 3 promotion by then cosplaying as Anya Stroud, a character from the game.

She then went on to create costumes for a number of other popular geek icons and in 2012, Nigri won IGN's contest for a model to portray Juliet Starling, protagonist of Suda51's video game Lollipop Chainsaw, and was hired as a spokesmodel. this then led to a series of events that boosted her fame to that of an international level.

With it, cosplay also grew and aspiring costumers raided their local craft stores for supplies and began rushing to whip up their own costumes to display at conventions. However, as the fandom grew, there also came a sense of elitism. Soon costumers began judging one another based off of whether or not too much skin was showing or if they believed that the quality of the cosplay was not up to their standards.

That hate has recently targeted Jessica Nigri for her revealing costumes. granted she did get her fame by wearing a push up bra, mini skirt, pikachu ears and tail. However, what made it special was her cleverness. And throughout the many years of cosplaying she has never lost that creativeness. Sure she may show leg, and chest but that is her M.O.

What I love about Jessica Nigri is that you can look at an overwhelming majority of her costumes and see the quality and originality in them. There are a lot of cosplayers out there but not many of them are able to reach the talent of Nigri.

You'd think that someone with such talent and fame would think themselves better than others and have a sense of elitism about them. However you would be wrong. Another admirable quality about Jessica Nigri is her incredible kindness. I personally have met and interacted with miss Nigri and was greeted with a warm smile, a hug and her full attention for the moments we chatted. If that does not convince you, she also has Mail Mondays where she reads her fan mail and takes a moment to appreciate her fans and all they do for her.

Another charming quality of hers is that she is a pretty smart cookie and knows why a majority of her fans follow her. She makes no effort to pretend otherwise, yet works hard to ensure her costumes are of the highest quality. Best of both worlds.


To sum everything up, I love Jessica Nigri because she is a genuine human being who knows what she wants, is actively working towards it as hard as she can and being spectacular to every single person that she encounters along the way.

You may love her.

You may hate her.

Either way, she deserves your respect for making Cosplay as well known as it is today. :)

All photos were used from