San Diego Comic Con 2018 Recap!

If you’ve been following us on social media, you know that for the last few weeks, we haven’t been able to stop talking about San Diego Comic Con. While we didn’t have a booth at the convention this year, our COO, Jazzlyn Stone, spent the weekend talking on panels, getting to attend a seriously amazing geeky fashion show, handing out prizes, and getting to meet you – the members of our ever-faithful Bomb Squad!

After giving Jazzlyn some time to recoup after her busy and exciting weekend in San Diego, we just had to sit down and pick her brain a bit about the experience. She spoke on three different panels alongside our friends from Espionage Cosmetics, with a rotation of other awesome professional geeks to talk about their experiences and to share their wisdom about building their careers.

Each panel focused on taking your passion for the nerdier things in life and establishing a career around them, with focuses on slightly different areas of the process. “Building your own Themyscira” talked finding your niche and building the professional relationships needed to turn it into your life’s work. “Level Up: Be a Nerd Boss” tackled the technical side of getting your brand off the ground, like marketing, licensing, sales. Last but certainly not least, the “How to be a Nerd for a Living panel shared how they got their start and tackled questions about what it took to carve their paths in the industry.

"Building Your Own Themyscira" Jazzlyn Stone (COO), Sam Maggs (Writer), Robyn Warren (Geek Girl Strong), Jaimie Cordero (CEO & Glitter Jedi of Espionage Cosmetics), Jordan Dené Ellis (Jordandené & Sartorial Geek), Rose Del Vecchio (FanMail). Moderated by Lisa Granshaw (GeekFold).

“Building Your Own Themyscira”
Jazzlyn Stone (COO), Sam Maggs (Writer), Robyn Warren (Geek Girl Strong), Jaimie Cordero (CEO /Glitter Jedi, Espionage Cosmetics), Jordan Dené Ellis ( Sartorial Geek), Rose Del Vecchio (FanMail), Lisa Granshaw (GeekFold).

Was this your first time being on a panel?

No; I did a panel with Nerd For a Living previously at C2E2! That’s how I met their producer, Wendy Buske. She’s amazing, so I was really excited to work with her again. When she was like, “Hey, do you want to come to San Diego to be on this panel?” I was like, “Forever YES. Just – blanket yes.”

What advice would you impart on somebody preparing to speak on a panel for the first time?

Chug water in the hour beforehand so your mouth doesn’t get too sticky while trying to talk. Eat food – like real food. Don’t over-practice; you’ll likely have an outline beforehand and it’s good to read that a couple times, but don’t practice your answers because you’ll sound too forced. Be authentic, but read the room. If people obviously want to hear more about a story you’re telling, you can divulge a little bit more. I was on three panels that were similar, and different parts of a story I told at all of them got more exciting at different parts depending on the crowd.

"Level Up: Be a Nerd Boss"  Jaimie Cordero (Espionage Cosmetics, CEO), Jazzlyn Stone (COO), Jordan Ellis (The Sartorial Geek), Allison Cimino (RockLove Jewelry), and Mandie Roman (Geeky Glamorous)

“Level Up: Be a Nerd Boss”
Jaimie Cordero (Espionage Cosmetics, CEO), Jazzlyn Stone (COO), Jordan Ellis (The Sartorial Geek), Allison Cimino (RockLove Jewelry), and Mandie Roman (Geeky Glamorous)

What was your favorite panel moment?

When Susan Eisenberg leaned back in her chair and winked at me, very secretly and quietly. It was amazing and I almost screamed into the mic. But I didn’t, and that’s probably one of the chillest moments I’ll ever have.

Do you have any favorite sentiments or pieces of advice that really stood out to you?

So much! I was taking a lot of notes during each panel because so much wisdom was being dropped. A few favorites:

“Think about it like a stovetop, you can’t burn all four burners at the same time or you’ll burn too much gas. Switch your energy between the four to stay focused and move forward.” – Robyn Warren of GeekGirlStrong, on sticking to four points of focus to avoid burnout.

Jaimie Cordero (CEO & Glitter Jedi of Espionage Cosmetics), Travis McElroy (The Adventure Zone podcast; My Brother, My Brother and Me), Susan Eisenberg (Voice of Wonder Woman, Justice League / Justice League: Unlimited), Tomi Adeyemi (author, Children of Blood and Bone), Ben Blacker (Vertigo’s Hex Wives, co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour), Jazzlyn Stone (COO)

Jaimie Cordero (CEO /Glitter Jedi, Espionage Cosmetics), Travis McElroy (The Adventure Zone podcast; My Brother, My Brother and Me), Susan Eisenberg (Voice, Wonder Woman, Justice League / Justice League: Unlimited), Tomi Adeyemi (author, Children of Blood and Bone), Ben Blacker (Vertigo’s Hex Wives, co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour), Jazzlyn Stone (COO)

“Stand out by finishing something. Create something, make something, and just ‘do’. Don’t be a afraid if the first round is bad.” – writer Sam Maggs, on how the biggest hurdle in starting something new is actually starting!

“I could have saved a lot of time by asking the customers wanted they wanted first, and not just assuming.” – Jaimie Cordero, CEO of Espionage Cosmetics, on listening to your customers and fans!

We also talked about our “bugs” and seeing them not as flaws but as features instead. My OCD and ADHD were hell when undiagnosed, but now that I’ve gotten ahold of them I’ve learned to redirect that energy and use them as tools instead of letting them hinder my lifestyle. I’m learning to rethink what I originally saw as flaws in my design.

You also got an invite to the Her Universe fashion show – what was that like?

The fashion show was fucking amazing. It was like a Beyonce concert – everyone dressed to the nines to be there. Also, some of the designers were their own models and I was in the front row (very luckily – thank you, Espionage Cosmetics!) and so I got to see them before they walked out on stage.

I would see them right before going out on the catwalk and they’d be backstage pumping themselves up and then they’d step out like “HELL YEAH!” and it was really sweet and also really inspiring to see what these people were doing. The one I voted for (and won!) was inspired by Ripley from Alien[s] and she didn’t even have to pump herself up on stage, she just got onstage and her music came on and she just did it. It was so good, I was losing my mind – we were all losing our shit. It was a really, really good show.

Speaking of showcasing fashion, you wore a skirt prototype to the convention. How did that go?

People were really excited about it and asked me where I got it! I think they were really excited that I was actively trying out a prototype at a convention and that they had the chance to see something that no one else has yet. I got the most compliments on that outfit. I, personally, am even more excited than I already was about this skirt because of how much shit I shoved into those pockets and it stayed up!

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Thank you, Jamie Rage, for this adorable photo!

Last but not least – favorite cosplay?

An amazing Shade the Changing Girl, and an incredible Jon Snow:

If you know either of these talented humans, please let us know so we can give them proper credit!

Meet Our Fabric

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Happy National Textiles Day!

When you click on a pair of Shells in our catalog to get a better look, have you ever thought to scroll down to the bottom of the product page? If not, you’re missing out – there’s some good stuff down there. Below the product description and 360° viewer is a rundown of what goes into making a pair of Shells.

In honor of National Textiles Day, we thought it was only appropriate to focus on the first element of what makes them so great:

The Fabric

 

#SweetsTrifecta

#SweetsTrifecta by Big Gal Yoga

When we first started Bombsheller, we traveled the world and the seven seas in search of a material we could wear on the run or on the runway. In Italy, we found Fabric Fatale.

There’s absolutely no question as to why we fell in love with this material:

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This 4-way stretch polyester/spandex blend hugs your body while still allowing for comfortable movement, like a second skin. It’s kinda like being naked – but better.

 

 

We love the versatility that this material provides, especially when combined with our catalogue of designs. There are few items of clothing that really can be worn out on the street or to a fashionable event, but also the gym or over a mountain, and still be a great option for lying on your couch all day.

 

 

The vast majority of the designs in our catalog are submitted by independent artists, and we wanted to make sure we could do their art justice. Quality art deserves a quality medium, right? This fabric is perfect for sublimation printing; some artists put some serious details into their designs, and they come through loud and clear!

#ZapBangPow

#ZapBangPow by Ivy Chen

The icing on this already-delicious cake? It’s bluesign® certified. The bluesign® system aims for clean, ethical textile production and minimizing environmental impact using these five basic principles:

Air Emission

Water Emission 

Resource Productivity 

Occupational Health & Safety 

Consumer Safety 

Overall it’s a pretty sweet system, and it helps us leave a smaller carbon footprint. You can read more about the bluesign® system by clicking here.

Bomb Squad Spotlight: Tracey Wong (aka MacTrayy)!

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If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Instagram, you might remember a cute and colorful little video that we posted last year in anticipation of National Butt Day:

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The talented human shakin’ these pastel #CakeWalk shells is Seattle dance educator and Bomb Squad babe Tracey Wong. Tracey is formally trained in waacking, voguing, hip-hop, and house, and minored in dance at the University of Washington, where she took courses in modern dance, jazz, and ballet. She also currently reps more than one dance crew; Malicious Allure, a waacking and voguing performance group,  kiki house, and crew, and Chinatown After Hours, a collective group of street dance battlers and organizers for the community.

She’s also the event organizer for Funkee Monkee’s monthly open sessions, as well as the organizer for the annual all-womxn dance battle Queen of the Hill @ Folklife Festival – the largest waacking battle in Seattle, Punk & Funk. She also works at a local and POC-owned boutique called Moksha, located in Seattle’s International District. Not just a boutique, Moksha collaborates with and gives artists platforms for their work.

As if all of that isn’t already completely badass, she’s also training in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and has recently taking up DJing. You can probably understand why we wanted to learn more about her.

Make sure to keep reading after the Q&A for Tracey’s upcoming classes and dance battle events, plus a sweet behind-the-scenes video of Tracey showing off her moves for this photo shoot!


Have you been a dancer your whole life? What got you into it?

A year after my training in the studio, I began learning more of the foundation in hip hop and other street and club-style dances.

 actually started training in dance at almost the age of 21. I had always loved to groove and get down with my friends at functions and dabbled a little in Lindy hop whenever my mentor would take me, but I never had the financial privilege or knowledge about dance classes that I could take. I took my first hip-hop choreography class with my homie, Alexa at Westlake Dance Center. After that, we kept coming back every week to take it because it was so much fun. After class, we would just be so pumped. We did a student performance called Sign of the Times and after that, I kept dancing more consistently.

More and more opportunities kept coming my way to move towards performing, competing, joining crews, and I kept saying yes and worked hard at whatever I committed to. I worked really hard! What kept me STAYING was learning about the rich culture in street dances and knowing that there was way more than what I thought street dance was. There was a community that worked hard to keep the culture going and help elevate folks.

Did you have any heroes in the dance community growing up? 

Dang, a lot of folks inspired me in the community. I looked up to folks for different reasons and could learn a lot just from watching ‘em. One person who comes to mind right now is Rina Pellerin from Vancouver, CA. She inspired me to want to learn how to waack and I took my very first waacking class was with her a few years ago.

Two other people that I look up to as mentors are Kumari Suraj and Dani Tirrell. Both Kumari and Dani have taught me about the importance of understanding the history and roots of street and club-style dances. All these street/ club-dance styles came from black/latinx communities and a lot of the times many folks don’t know much about the culture so there is a lacking of the feeling and essence for the dance styles. I am definitely still learning, but I appreciate these two a lot for being able to challenge me to do better, to explore what inspires me, what the dance means for me, and to keep diving deeper in my own individuality.

One more hero…my boyfriend, Lonnie! He has been with me since day 1 of my dancing and before I thought to continue dancing, he saw the fire in me and told me to always go full out 100% in it because he believed in me. If I never had that push, his constant love and support, I would probably not be where I am today.

You instruct classes on waacking – is it your favorite style of dance? 

Waacking, Voguing, and House are my favorite styles of dance. These are all club-style dances and the dance styles I typically do when I am at the club. These are my favorite because these are styles that help heal me. When I do these dances, I feel feminine and empowered. I feel as if I am re-claiming my body, my sexuality, myself. A decade ago, I was struck and dragged by a speeding car as a pedestrian and had major physical injuries to the body and mind. Functioning physically and mentally were difficult. It was a lot of trauma I was trying to heal from and I am still trying to navigate my healing process with this.

These dance styles are more than dances, but a culture – conversations I share in exchanges with my friends in the dance community. It is so releasing to be able to free myself completely through expression via movement and my experiences to drive my movement.

 

You recently posted a video on Instagram of you DJing – how long have you been DJing? Are we about to see the rise of bb DJ HAI CHEW?

I am definitely a bb when it comes to DJ-ing. However, I am feeling really grateful for so many opportunities being given to me so it drives me to work even harder. I started learning from DJ magicsean in the fall and had my debut in February of this year. I have 3 gigs lined up for next week and it’s so much fun being able to create good vibes especially for my dance community to get down to! I am still trying to decide what my DJ name is going to be, but leaning towards DJ Mac Tray!

If you had a chance to collab on a music video with any musical artist, who would be in your top three choices?

(1) Erykah Badu

(2) Sade

(3) Louie Vega

Last but not least… Favorite Bombsheller design?

#Seattle1890 – I have so much love for Seattle as I grew up in Beacon Hill. Of course, so much has changed since then, but I have mad love for my community of folks that still keep it 206.

#killbill – The Bruce Lee leggings because he and martial arts are huge inspirations for waacking. He is also my role model and makes me feel proud to be a Chinese American.

Tracey in #Jungle


Thank you so much, Tracey, for taking the time to let us get to know you better and for a great photo shoot! You can find Tracey on Instagram as @Mactrayy to stay up to date on what she’s up to next, and make sure to check out some of her upcoming events below this adorable behind-the-scenes video!


 Upcoming Events

Tracey recently placed in semi-finals in a solo competition and her group Malicious Allure placed 2nd in the crew competition! Check out these events if you need a little help with your dance moves or just wanna cheer her crew on at their next battle!

FUNKEE MONKEE :: Funk, Soul, and Disco Open Session 

MONTHLY OPEN SESSIONS

Upcoming Dates: Tuesday, 5/1 and Tuesday, 6/12

830-10pm @ The Beacon: Massive Monkees Studio

$5 Drop-In

More info

 

PUNK & FUNK (VOL II) :: Waacking and Open-Styles Dance Battle and Party 

A FUNDRAISER FOR QUEEN OF THE HILL

Saturday, May 5th | 4-10pm @ The Beacon: Massive Monkees Studio

*4pm-5pm: Waacking Workshop with Sheena

*530pm: Battles Begin

More info

 

QUEEN OF THE HILL :: All-Ladies 7-to-Smoke Openstyles Dance Battle 

DANCE WORKSHOPS/ PRE-PARTY/ QUALIFIER BATTLE

Saturday, May 26th

12pm-3pm Dance Workshops @ Washington Hall (open to all)

430pm-8pm Qualifier Battle & Dance Party @ The Beacon: Massive Monkees Studio

MAIN EVENT

Saturday, May 27th 2-330pm @ Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheater

“Special shout-out to Trichome Seattle… a local and POC-owned shop in Chinatown/ID that also supports me and will be helping to sponsor Queen of the Hill. Please go support!” – Tracey

More info

Looking Back at Emerald City Comic Con

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Exactly one week ago, we returned to the real world after an incredible weekend at Emerald City Comic Con. Our first year of having our own booth on the show floor went far better than we could have imagined; even though we’re back on our daily grind, we’re still glowing from the experience! After some time to reflect, we thought we’d share some of our favorite things from the convention.

We’re so proud of how our booth came together. It seemed right at home in its corner of the show floor, and it was exactly how we’d envisioned; bright, bold, exciting, and sleek. Our signage, all made in-house (yes – even the plastic tags!) let everyone know exactly what we’re about. Our new mirrors were adorned with bold words meant to embolden everyone that stepped into our fitting rooms. The entire weekend, people were excited to try out superhero level spandex, were intrigued by our ability to print on demand, and asked if they could buy our pink and holo bags, because they’re just that damn pretty.

We wanted to start our first year on the show floor at ECCC with a bang, so we started a scavenger hunt, of sorts. We came armed with a bag full of tokens, each good for one free pair of shells. We gave tokens each day to artists and bloggers at the convention, then they Instagrammed and Tweeted where to find them until a lucky winner showed up to claim their token. Throughout the weekend, we gave away 10 free pairs of shells! If you needed any evidence that it pays to follow us on social media, there it is. 

Our booth debut also included two live signing events! On Saturday, we had a live signing event with artist Jen Bartel - the talent behind #GalacticCats, #StellarDinos, and #CelestialCetaceans. If you’re not familiar with how a live signing works, it went like this: 

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The ECCC-exclusive variant of Jen’s #StellarDinos featured appropriately green dinosaurs, to keep with the Emerald City theme. Each fan went home the very next day with a memory that is actually not only unique but also wearable, with signatures that will never wash off or fade. Suck it, “permanent” markers!

On Sunday, we hosted another live signing for Kelly Sue DeConnick, the writer for Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly. This live signing was scheduled just days before the convention, though you might not have realized it if you came to the signing. When we learned that Kelly would be joining us at the table, our production team was able to print a backdrop just for her – that’s right, that badass Bitch Planet background was made by our team the same weekend as the signing! That’s the beauty of on-demand printing (and having an amazing production crew to do it).

Over the course of the weekend, we met so many of you. We had a blast talking to you, laughing with you, shopping with you, and talking spandex with you. So many of you went out of your way to find us, and some of you made a point to introduce your friends to us. A few of you came by just because you wanted to us see that you were proudly sporting shells, which is just so amazing to us. Our hearts couldn’t be any more full, and we couldn’t have gotten to this point without your love and support. 

Thank you.

Thank you for getting us to Emerald Comic Con.

Thank you for making it amazing.

Thank you for supporting us. 

We’ll see you on the show floor next year!

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Artist Spotlight: Jade Gordon

Our Lady of Perpetual Kittens, Jade Gordon

You’ve most likely seen Jade’s work around Bombsheller before. Perhaps you pined for #SkullPile around Halloween, or recently agonized over which color variant of #Tentacles to choose (correct answer: all of them). Maybe you considered wearing #ThanksgivingCats or #ChristmasCats to family dinners last year, or found yourself wondering just how many cat leggings is too many cat leggings (correct answer: no such thing).

Jade wearing an early iteration of #Tentacles at Steamcon

Jade wearing an early iteration of #Tentacles at Steamcon

 

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Jade’s selection of shells continues to grow – we just added her 11th design to our catalog! Welcome #Corgiflage – perfect for those times when all you want is to blend into a pile of fluffy-bottomed puppies.

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We adore Jade and her designs, and we think that building a collection of that size is the perfect excuse to introduce her to you!

While Jade makes a lot of badass textile prints, it’s not her only focus, and certainly not her only talent. She creates using a variety of mediums – pen, pencil, watercolor, digital – but has also managed to create works in a variety of different styles while still making everything undoubtedly her own. Her creative works range from animals in suits to human bodies in motion, from fan art to fairies, from earth to the deep reaches of space. Chances are, no matter what your interests, you’ll find something in her gallery that you’ll love. We asked her a few questions, and we were delighted that she provided us with answers to share with you all!


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ee, JA Tentacled Jade Gordon Self-Portrait

You use a variety of styles and techniques in your art. When it comes to creating, do you have a favorite artistic style, or does that vary depending on your mood? 

Well, how can I ever let go of a love of the organic-ness of Nouveau? I think these days I spend a lot of time admiring independent comic artists. There’s so much variety in style and technique, yet there’s often still a heavily organic and crafty feel to it.

My own work definitely varies with mood, or whatever I’ve been looking at lately. I try to seek out new inspirations when I feel like I’m habitually making things of a formulaic technique rather than being creative. I feel like I go in waves for a long time, then I move on to a new style/technique/theme. 

A steampunk robot Jade Gordon, otherwise known as J-99-B1

Do you have a favorite medium or mix of mediums? 

Blue pencil and inks are probably the most beloved, but I’m leaning more toward digital and tablets because the increased speed and simplification are a lot less wear and tear on the joint and neuromuscular issues I have. 

Last year, you created hundreds of new textile designs. Just how different is the process of creating them versus your fan art and your paintings?

Textile designs can be so prolific because I can play with my original art and include that as well as things intended to be patterns from the start. I think developing for textiles gets me in the habit of thinking about how the art can be used – even simple prints need space for bleeds, and sometimes the ability to print as a square or a rectangle… or on a button, sticker, etc. I feel I’m getting better about having that in mind earlier in the process.

Textile prints from Jade Gordon’s website

What do you like to listen to or have on in the background when you’re creating? Do you have a playlist you’d like to share?

I do have to be listening to something while I work! Sometimes I’ll use Pandora for a little randomness, but I often find concentration is best aided by Classical, Instrumental/Movie Scores, or something driving and loud like NIN, Daft Punk, or Ministry – it’s all enjoyable but more of a noise that locks distractions out and I get a little more focused on the work at hand. I also sometimes find re-watching favorite movies or TV shows to have a similar effect as a familiar long-form music piece.

Most of my music lives on my computer, but sometimes I’ll throw together a list like this (click the top left icon on the video or click here to see the full list):

Are you working on any projects right now that you’re particularly excited about?

Not especially! I am generally working around my health needs and limitations, so I feel like I’ll never be done with all the little ideas, much less planning for the bigger ideas (though I am trying to gather my lists and notes to design some kind of new workflow)! I’m hoping to do more painting soon, now that I’ve worked out a little more space for an easel, my last painting mishap sprayed electric blue paint all over a kitchen wall. Thank goodness acrylic paint peels off many things when dry!

44th president Barack Obama follows you on Twitter. How does that make you feel?

Grateful that I don’t feel the need to entirely block him out like I do with 45? I’m also curious to see what Obama does from here on. Presidents don’t historically have the best track records/lifespans, but watching them as we can in the modern era, the choices they make, their priorities, their continued sacrifice and care of others, and how the process and atone for their errors is… interesting!


Thanks for chatting with us, Jade! We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

View the full collection of Jade Gordon shells here!

For more of Jade’s work, make sure to check out her website and follow her on social media!

@jadegordon

www.jadegordon.com

www.facebook.com/jadegordonartist

#Bestie AF Challenge

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GUYS! Thank you so much for all of your submissions for week one of the Feelin Yourself February. If you haven’t seen the winner of this week’s challenge, we would like to take more time to congratulate Stacey Dono on winning this week’s challenge!

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This week we are taking things up a notch by challenging you to pass on the Feeling Yourself vibe to the person in your life that keeps you grounded. This person is the first on your call list after you killed your interview and when you lose your wallet while running errands. When you are low, they lift you higher than you started with support, love, and understanding. They are someone to be celebrated!

Tag your (@) Bestie and tell us (and them) the positive impact they have on you and your life. By doing so you and them are entered to win free shells! #Twinsies

Today (Monday) kicks off the challenge week and Friday is the very last day to participate in this week’s.

XOXO

Bombsquad Whisperer