Cosplay Corner – Knightmage

When I first had the opportunity to interview Knightmage last year, it was for Almost Nerdy.  I was, and still am, completely in awe of his Spawn project.  I got a chance to catch up with him recently about some super cool stuff he is doing so I took the opportunity to ask about his Predator project.

Predator 1

Mixing cosplay and charity is pretty cool and you have been doing that in different forms for a while.  What made you start this new project?  

In an effort to continue to make the costumes I create more meaningful than just a creative outlet for myself, I’ve decided to start a new charity print campaign. I’m partnering with various photographers, charities and websites and doing location-based photo shoots that coincides with the character as well as choosing a charity that directly or indirectly correlates to the character in some way. The character that is on deck is Predator.

Prints can be purchased from my Storenvy. All photos in the set for one flat price.

The charity that proceeds will benefit is “Noah’s Lost Ark“. Noah’s Lost Ark is a non-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) Exotic Animal Sanctuary, located in Berlin Center, Ohio. A facility that is dedicated to providing a permanent safe haven for unwanted and abused exotic animals. They are a NO-KILL facility that allows these magnificent animals the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives in a safe and caring environment.

Photographer Credits: Black Apple Studios – MJP Photos

Gwendolyn Graham (No Link)

I have made it no secret that Predator is one of my two all time favorite movie monsters.  It hasn’t really mattered which movie it was; I still love it. Predator 3

These pictures are stunning!  Tell me how this came about?  Did you just wake up one day and say, “I’m going to make the Predator?”

I love doing collaborations with other cosplayers. Duo and group cosplays are the best. My friend “Mewpuff Cosplay” wanted to do a Predator duo for Katsucon this year. I was really happy that she chose character that but admittedly I was slightly intimidated on how to put it together. Predator is one those characters that many people who cosplay as it takes very seriously, spending sometimes hundreds if not thousands of dollars creating. Me being a budget builder I wasn’t really sure how I would tackle it. After sitting down and really thinking of how I wanted my version to look, I got work. Predator 4

The helmet looks amazing.  How long did it take?

First, I make it know that have absolutely no qualms about modifying store-bought costumes and items. I found the face mask and helmet online for pretty cheap. Once I got it both the mask and helmet was repainted. I also added more dreadlocks to the mask using a combination of backer rod and mesh tubing. A few people told me that it wouldn’t work but that was precisely why I did it. I wanted it to have a unique look. All in all the mask and helmet was done in a few hours with the entire costume being finished in about 4 days.

Predator 2

What ended up being the most difficult thing about this build?  Was it something different in the end than you anticipated having problems with when you started?

The most difficult part was probably finding the fish nets. I never thought that I would have to shop around for those. It was definitely a first. The second most difficult part was figuring out how to put the fish nets on. All in all this build wasn’t difficult but I’m really happy and proud of how it turned out. Especially because the end cost was only $125. Again, there are some serious Predator cosplayers out there and a few have nitpicked my build to a fault. However it doesn’t get to me at all. It really has become one of my most popular costumes. Even catching the eye of the YouTube channel “AWE” and their show “MAN AT ARMS: Reforged”. They brought me in as their Predator for their Predator wrist blade episode which was an incredible experience. Predator 7

What new stuff do you have coming up? 

I’m always working on new costumes and projects. From creating to con appearances to charity events and now with this charity print set campaign I’m staying busy and trying hard to connect with as many charities as I can.  I always feel like I can be doing more. Unrelated to my cosplay ventures I also just started production of a movie that I’m doing titled “Zone 8”. This is going to be a really cool new take on the found footage concept. You can learn more about it here.

How cool is that?  So go get you some Predator prints and give to Noah’s Lost Ark at the same time!

Every hero has some weakness…

Originally posted to www.diaryofashieldmaiden.com

Check out the new one from Giles Kristian
Check out the new one from Giles Kristian

Some days it is hard to remember when I wasn’t struggling to get my Warrior to remember something. Then those days come that I have too many things that need remembering in my head and then I forget. HOW IRONIC.

I talk about different ways to help him all the time but one of the easiest ways to help a TBI/PTSD patient work different parts of their brain is to get them to read. Not the easiest thing, granted, but there is really something for everyone out there. It’s worth a shot.

One thing about my Warrior is that he LOVES action (big surprise there) anything. Movies, television, books. One of his favorites is historical fiction books, particularly anything related to other warriors (see a theme here?) I can’t even remember how our household stumbled upon Giles Kristian only that it happened furiously and all at once. It wasn’t possible that we could get enough of him.

Then a funny thing happened…

My Warrior inadvertently became the best fan of Kristian. I don’t say biggest because that’s not really what I mean. I say best because a TBI/PTSD patient is likely the BEST kind of fan because they are constantly setting down books and forgetting where they put them. Sometimes it’s frustrating and sometimes it is hilarious. During our travels, many Kristian books have been left behind in hotels rooms across the country, like some sort of Viking Gideon Bible program. We laugh about it now and imagine all the new fans we have inspired because we leave a book behind somewhere. I can’t remember how many times we have bought each book but it is safe to say MULTIPLE times.

Why keep buying them, you ask?

Because they are just that great. When we first started buying the books, they were not available in the US. I literally would scour EBay after each new release to find which bookstores in the UK and Australia would post them for sale (I bought from both.) When he announced via Twitter that they would be released in the US, we literally had a WOO HOO moment out loud in our house. Now we are hoping for a series of movies based on the books!

Books are the best gifts. Especially Viking books.

One thing my Warrior noticed once we started working on a sleep plan to try to help with the memory loss that sleep deprivation adds to the TBI/PTSD patients problems, was that if he was watching too many of his action/drama type movies, they seemed to activate those parts of his mind that caused the reoccurring nightmares. When I suggested that we switch to reading before bed there was a dramatic decrease in those nightmares. But what happened when he began reading the Raven series was something different altogether.

He was excited to read.

There are a great number of things I could say about the way Kristian writes but largely, for our household, the greatest thing is how he so richly captures the life of a warrior. There are sad and terrible events, but there is bonding, friendships and loyalty. More importantly, he deftly depicts the HONOR. Too many times Warriors return from any number of conflicts and are not revered or cared for. Sadly this continues but one thing so prevalent in Viking culture and shines through Kristian’s stories is the honor in which these warriors live their lives.

I would recommend reading any and all of his books. There are often social media contests in which you can win book copies (both of us have each won once) and you will not be disappointed in any of them. I had the great privilege of previewing his short The Terror and as usual it is full of fierce loyalty, warrior competiveness and love. What is better than that?

That’s right, NOTHING.

So pick up a copy, or two, of the Raven series for a Warrior you know. Check out The Terror HERE. You will be glad you did.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Twitter Giveaway

So, I am continuing to pretend to set up my forever home and clean out my office and I have too much stuff.  Like bordering on ridiculous but not quite hoarder level stuff.  Its hard when you have a small place because you love things but don’t have room for all the things. I am going to pass some of those thing on to my Twitter peeps. Twitter has been very kind to me and the interactions always interesting.  In this, I hope to inspire others to swap old things for new friendships or repurpose, recycle or just have fun. First, here are the rules:

(come on, you knew there would be some kind of rules!)

Giveaway rules:

  1. I have no provenance for any of this stuff.  If it’s a fake, don’t freak out on me.  You get something for free so if that isn’t awesome enough, don’t play.
  2. You have to be willing to DM me an actual mailing address.  If you don’t want to give out your address, don’t play.
  3. You have to follow me on Twitter, place a note in the comments below on this blog, tell me your Twitter account name and that you are following me.  If you don’t want to follow me on Twitter, why are you here anyway?
  4. Don’t send me hate mail if its broken when it arrives or it takes three weeks to get there.  You are getting it for free so I am paying for the shipping I can afford and it won’t be overnight, mkay?
  5. I ask that you tweet me when the item is received with a picture and if so inclined, a thank you.  I come from a long line of paranoid mailers, started from Grandma Harper who would call me every year to say “Did you get my card with the money because the mailmen steal money from birthday cards?”  (Pretty terrifying for little kids and should explain a lot)
  6. Sometimes it will be a vintage item, a comic book, an old book or something funky I picked up somewhere.  There will be no method to the madness.  I will ship something on the first of each month until I have no more stuff to ship.  Check back often because if I get really crazy, I might send something out more than once a month.

Bonus entries:

  1. You will receive a bonus entry if you follow me on my blog and on Tumblr…also enter that in your comments.
  2. You will receive bonus entries for any time you retweet me during the contest time for ANY RANDOM JUNK up to 5 additional entries.
  3. Tell me a little known fact about yourself in the blog comment and you earn both my respect and an extra entry

At the end of the contest period, everyone’s Twitter handle will be put in a bowl and Angus the cat will choose the winner.  If he eats it before I can read it, I can promise you I am not checking the cat box after, I will just pull out another winner.  Sorry.  #notreallysorry

If you are the winner, you will be notified via Twitter and the item sent out on the first of the month.

 

Rejoice!

 

So this month’s item is…DRUMROLL PLEASE:

 

photophoto_1

 

At one time I was told this was an US Army compass, Civil War era.  I am sure that is a lie.  I would estimate this to probably be US Army era 1950-1970.  I have no idea if its worth $5 or $500, I just don’t have any where to put it and I think if you dig history, it’s just too cool to pass off in a donation box.  I thought one of you nerds might like it, so let me know!

I will go through October 31st accepting entries and on November 1st, Angus and I will choose a winner and ship it out when the address is received.  Unless you DM me at some stupid hour of the night, use your brains cause there isn’t going to be a trip to the Post Office at 2 AM.

I hope I covered everything.  If I didn’t, I know one or more of you will tell me FOR SURE.  GOD BLESS THE INTERNET!

 

 

 

Great Comic Mashup

If you are ever here, you have probably seen my nerdy kitchen or know how much I love Halo (the artist, not the game).  When I saw this Kickstarter come across my dash, I immediately went into fan girl mode.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of those cartoons much like He-Man, Thundercats and Transformers, that you were either really into or didn’t watch at all.  I admit, I am a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan.  I was pretty upset when I heard about the changes to the story line in the upcoming movie.  I will watch it because I want to see how they pull it together but in those changes, they completely removed the teenage and mutant part.  It will be whatever it is and we will love or hate it.

Let me just say, THIS I love:

Mike

The artist J.Q. Hammer came up with a FABULOUS idea of a conventional Western mash up with the TMNT that I can’t stop talking about.  Of course, my prints are going in my nerdy kitchen but you still have time to get your own!

Check it out:  TMNT Western Concept Redesign Project