Emerald City Comic Con 2019 Recap!

Since our first Emerald City Comic Con last year, we’ve talked a lot about what we’ve learned and how we could take that to go bigger and better this year. The end result? A bigger booth, two live signing duos, five panels (including our first ever Bombsheller-programmed panel!), and an afterparty with Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, creators of The Wicked + The Divine!

The Booth!

Our booth stood a little higher this year, with with a Bombsheller banner above the booth to make us easier to find from across the show floor. We were able to add one more rack along one side, meaning room for even more Shells than we had this year! 

The extra space gave us the opportunity to soft launch two new products: scrunchies and Wide Waistband Shells! If you were at the convention, you may have gotten a chance to check out the new additions to our spandex family. You can find some sneak peeks of both in the background of our photos on page 2, but if you’re feeling left out, don’t worry – they’re coming soon!

The extra space also gave us the ability to hang up a backdrop. Throughout the weekend, people in costume and badasses rocking their Shells would stop to take pictures with “Stay Badass” cheering them on in the background. We had multiple people who wanted photos with us (which is just so damn sweet), and people would wear their new Shells straight out of the booth, making sure to stop for a photo op.

The Live Signings!

This year, we got to host a live signing for both The Wicked + The Divine (Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie) and Bitch Planet (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro)! Seeing people’s faces light up when they get to meet their favorites never gets old, nor does explaining to people how a Digital Live Signing works. If you aren’t familiar, the artists create signatures on a Wacom instead of in ink, which we bring back to the factory and print into custom pairs of Shells. How amazing is it that we live in an age where you can have an artist sign your clothing and you can actually wear it without worrying about it fading?


After our Friday signing with Kieron and Jamie, we actually printed the Shells that day, so that folks could pick them up on Saturday morning and wear them to the afterparty later in the evening. We’ll come back to that, but first…

The Panels!

Over the weekend, our COO, Jazzlyn, spoke on five panels. All of the panels carried the same theme of being a creator in the geek industry, and each had an A+ lineup of panelists. If you happen to see “Building Your Own Themyscira,” “Nostalgia Marketing in Geek Biz,” “Level Up: Be a Nerd Boss,” or “The Cult of the Side Hustle” in any of the programming at the next con that you attend, we highly recommend that you check them out!

Behind the Merch Table was the first panel that we programmed and submitted to ECCC – you can only imagine how we were thrilled we were when the panelists enthusiastically accepted our proposal and the con approved our application. Not every application gets approved and it can be hard to schedule that many incredible people to be in one place during a convention weekend – we really felt like we hit the jackpot! Click here to see the full list of panelists!

The panel itself was so, so good. It fostered a lot of discussion about the importance of not trying to do everything yourself. Whether it’s delegating work, finding a good table mate, or finding somebody to handle “just” shipping (trust me – there’s way more involved in shipping than you might think), all of the panelists had something to share. I did my best to live tweet the conversation, but I was only able to capture a very small fraction of a lot of excellent advice! We were able to record the panel, so we’ll make sure to share the video once it’s available. 

The Afterparty

Where do I even start? Where. Do. I. Even. Start?

When Kieron and Jamie of The Wicked + The Divine said they wanted to throw a party with us, we were excited and honestly flattered, though we knew it was going to take quite a bit of planning. We were incredibly nervous, having never organized anything quite like this before, and we wanted to do both The Wicked + The Divine and their fans justice. The guys wanted to DJ a party where fans of the series could come together, unwind after a long day at the convention, and just dance.

And oh, we danced.

 

We ran the door speakeasy style, with a passphrase necessary to get in. Throughout the night, people would approach the door, often in costume, sometimes surprised when we actually asked for the phrase.

“D… Dio invited me to the party?”

“…And he’s so glad you’re here,” we’d reply, flashing a smile and gesturing them towards the doorway.

Their eyes would light up and they’d eagerly make their way through the door. On the other side, we could sometimes hear them gasp as they took it all in. 

The Fred Wildlife Refuge feels like it was made for this party, with a dance floor downstairs and cozy pink chill out spaces upstairs. The first thing you could see crossing the threshold, though, were the projections. Jamie McKelvie’s art. Matt Wilson’s colors. Clayton Cowles’ letters. Our very own Tati Soutar turned them into larger than life images that swirled and moved with the music. In the DJ booth above, Kieron, Jamie, and friends Ivan Salaczar, Ray Fawkes, and Tia Vasiliou mixed playlists  for the party below. Amongst fans and visages of the gods, it really felt like we’d been pulled into the pages of the comic.

By the end of the night, many of our WicDiv and Bombsheller show flyers taped around the venue were gone, and rumors were beginning to swirl about some of the more, ah… amorous shenanigans that may or may not have occurred that night. Despite our nerves at the beginning, we felt we’d truly thrown a party that would have made Dionysus proud.

More party photos and links to Jamie and Ivan’s playlists can be found here!

On to the next chapter!

But first, this wouldn’t be a Bombsheller blog post without a billion chances to say “thank you.”

As always, thank you, Bomb Squad, for not only supporting us, but for also just being so damn cool. So many of you came by the booth just to say hi, or thank you, or to show off which design you were wearing that day. It honestly moves us to tears sometimes how grateful we are for all of you!

Thank you

To the panelists and panel moderators, for sharing your experiences, expertise, and senses of humor, for giving us seats at your tables, and for helping make our own first panel go smoothly.

To Kieron, Jamie, Kelly Sue, and Val for bringing the magic to our digital live signings and for believing in us!

Also to Kieron and Jamie for helping us put together a party that might result in at least one baby with a god’s name at the next ECCC.

To the booth crew – you made my first year as booth manager go so ridiculously smoothly and we haven’t stopped hearing how friendly and helpful everybody was! When I asked the team for their favorite things about ECCC, the responses almost unanimously involved making our visitors happy. Thank you for bringing that kind of kindness into the world and into our booth!

To all of our team; everybody pulled extra weight to make this convention go as well as it did for us. If I could thank each person individually, I would need a whole separate blog post. I am grateful every day that I get to work with so many talented, badass people. Our success cannot be credited to any single one person and I am constantly amazed by what we manage to accomplish.

And THANK YOU to Fred Wildlife Refuge for having us. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue or a better team at the door, behind the bar, and behind the scenes. (Seriously, if you’re looking for a Seattle venue, please check them out!) 

Here’s looking forward to the third installation of the Bombsheller x ECCC Anthology!

Make sure to check out some of our favorite convention photos from ECCC weekend on page 2!

Afterparty photos can be found here!

Bomb Squad Spotlight: Mandie Roman AKA Geeky Glamorous!

Get to know this badass geek.

Meet fandom fashionista Mandie Roman; Twitch streamer, host of Game Talk Live, and all-around badass babe. Her Instagram is a treasure trove of geeky fashion inspiration and creative “casual” spins on cosplay – and those seriously cute controller necklaces she’s often wearing? She makes them!

She’s been our Bombsheller Babe of the Week before, but after our COO, Jazzlyn Stone, had the opportunity to speak on a panel alongside Mandie at San Diego Comic-Con, we wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know her, too.

Geeky Glamorous lookin' good in #Graph

Geeky Glamorous lookin’ good in #Graph

Tell us a little about your gaming life. What was the first title you ever streamed on Twitch? Do you still stream it?

First game I ever streamed was Overwatch, which I still consistently stream. It’s my go-to when I just want to zone out and hang out with my viewers.

Hard mode question: what’s the first game you remember ever playing?

Oh gosh, this is tough! I had a few of those Tiger Electronics handheld systems, likely one of the Disney versions of those, haha. The first console game I remember playing is Super Mario Brothers for the original Nintendo.

Aside from playing games on stream, you’re also the host of Game Talk Live. How did you get your start on the show?

I wish this was a more exciting story, haha but I discovered the show through a friend, went through a few rounds of auditions, and got it! It’s been one of the best experiences, a dream job really to discuss and debate video games with some incredible guests and our live chat.

On the “glam” side of things – who are some of your biggest or current favorite fashion inspirations?

I am riding that vaporwave trend strong; I am all for ’80s and ’90s inspired design and colors. It’s also the era I grew up in so there’s a strong sense of nostalgia there for me. Additionally, I’ve been listening to a lot of synth-pop music lately and all the cyberpunk album covers have been super inspiring. I can’t wait for Cyberpunk 2077 to come out!

What inspired you to make controller necklaces? 

I originally launched the Geeky Glamorous controller necklaces back in 2012 when there was a huge lack of women’s gaming accessories available. We’re seeing a lot more nowadays (huzzah!) which I’m super hyped about. I brought them back because I missed designing and bringing more cute gaming stuff into the world.

Mandie's Widowmaker casual cosplay, via Instagram

Mandie’s Widowmaker casual cosplay, via Instagram

Of the inspired outfits and casual cosplays that you’ve done so far, does one stand out as your favorite?

My favorite outfits recently have been my Overwatch casual looks. I’m working my way through the entire line-up of characters, but so far it’s been Widowmaker. I wasn’t sure if people would get it and know who I was but she was super well received! It’s fun to put my own spin on the characters and what they would wear on a day off.

Before you go – any badass babes (streamers, cosplayers, creators) that you’d like to give a shout out?

My two baes, iamchubbybunny and yumewarlock! So glad to have these two hyper-supportive, creative, geeky babes in my life.

Thank you so much, Mandie! We’re honored to have you in the Bomb Squad and we can’t wait to see what’s next. Last but certainly not least – got any cool projects or events coming down the line that we should be watching out for?

I’ve definitely got some cool outfits planned for BlizzCon, and stay tuned to my website for more products coming soon!

Keep up with Geeky Glamorous

www.geekyglamorous.com

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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!

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 12.30.10 AM

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!