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Chadwick Boseman, T’Challa in Black Panther, Dies From Colon Cancer

I woke up this morning, hoping in my sleepy haze that this was all a dream.

Reality hit me like a falling brick. Chadwick Boseman, the actor who portrayed T'Challa in Black Panther, has died due to colon cancer.

There isn't much that can knock me off my feet during these pandemic times. I've battled the news of COVID-19, murder hornets, and even the death of Glee star Naya Rivera. I haven't written a post since last year, because at best, I have been coping with all of this. Not always in the best of ways either. If I wasn't working, I was sleeping, engrossed in Animal Crossing, or gorging myself with fast food

It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I said to myself that this has got to stop. I started eating healthier, going on walks, and embracing what is now the new normal. I was dealing with the pandemic and coping beautifully.

Last night, when a family member sent me a message asking me if I knew Chadwick Boseman died, I felt all that work I did in embracing this new normal come crashing down. I searched for any sources that might prove this to be a wild hoax. I cried myself to sleep. And woke up to this horrible nightmare.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Katie Jones/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (9982486ao) Chadwick Boseman Variety Actors on Actors, Day 2, Los Angeles, USA - 18 Nov 2018

One of my first posts on this blog was about how Black Panther helped me with my Post Partum Depression. Seeing the movie gave me hope that maybe things weren't all bad. And that was a milestone that helped get me through my first year as a mom.

What's even more devastating to me is that Chadwick and I had more in common than I thought. We both dealt with chronic illnesses. While Multiple Sclerosis is not fatal, there is a lot of treatment, a lot of hospital stays, and a lot of sitting and waiting on test results.

I've very open about having MS, but I haven't always been. I've had the luxury of having control over who knows and who doesn't. And I don't have people who I've never met knowing about my health status.

Keeping your chronic illness secret can be a form of self care. Your energy goes towards your own treatement and test results without having the added stress of explaining your illness to healthy people. There's no faked sympathy, there's no prying or asking for what should be private information, and there's no need to comfort others with the posibility of your own death.

In a weird way, as much as the news of his death hurts me to my core, there is an old tired saying about how now he isn't suffering. If you've ever been sick before, imagine a life with out the beeping of hospital monitors, clumsy nurses who can't find your vein, and dealing with the narly side effects of yet another new perscription. There is peace in that he gets a break from all of this.

But that silver lining is as thin as a needle. I sit at my desk wrapped in my Black Panther fleece blanket hoping for some form of comfort. I'm hoping for a way that 2020 can suck less.

And hoping I did all I could to celebrate Black Panther while Chadwick was still with us.

Do you have any memories of Black Panther of Chadwick Boseman that you want to share? Drop a comment below and let's heal together.

‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ review as told by Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ characters

***This is a spoiler-free post. Well, for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker anyway. If you haven't seen Pixar's Inside Out, you may want to brush up on that movie here.

So here we are! The highly anticipated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is here and I...well, I have a lot of feelings.

I always get nervous about posting some of the highly anticipated movie reviews. In fact, I haven't been this nervous since Avengers: Endgame. Seeing Endgame a week and a half early had me sweating bullets. What if I say something that *might* be a spoiler? Luckily, I just told you guys when the best time to go to the bathroom is, so no spoilers there.

Let's get this out of the way. There are a lot of negative reviews of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker out there but I enjoyed it! Along with that enjoyment, it made me feel a lot of feelings. With that being said, I've found the perfect way to discuss Star Wars without spoiling a thing for you.

Remember the movie Inside Out? It followed the emotional journey of 11 year old Riley. Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness banded together to teach us the inner journey of one pre-teens emotions.

Much like Inside Out, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was an emotional roller coaster. So let me use the Inside Out characters to vaguely tell you how this movie made me feel.

Joy

Like I said earlier, I really loved this movie and there were many moments that had me grinning from ear to ear. I am a huge fan of Rey doing...literally anything. Many people were up in arms about having a female protagonist in Star Wars and I strongly disagree with them. Rey is an amazing character to watch on screen and I root for her until the end.

I've had a pretty big crush on Fin since Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but man, in this movie, he looks fine as hell. Its nice to watch him on screen *swoon*

Fear

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker does a pretty amazing job of keeping you on your toes. There was a moment where I thought a very bad thing happened to a character I loved and I was distraught! Everything ended up being ok, but my heart dropped when I watched that scene.

Anger

I can't go into detail on what I'm pissed at in case I spoil anything. Let's just say Fin doesn't finish what he is going to tell Rey and I am FURIOUS that it was never revealed what he was going to tell her.

Disgust

There's a quick scene where I was very much like "They's better not, They better NOT!...ew, they did" That was not a ship I wanted to sail.

Some of you may have loved this. But I still say "ew!"

Sadness

We all knew that Carrie Fisher passed away before the 3rd movie. And we knew well before that the studio had plans to use her image in the 3rd movie. Knowing that Carrie Fisher is no longer with us, it's a little bit of a tear-jerk to see her appear onscreen.

Bonus: Nostalgia (not an Inside Out character, but a very relevant emotion)

You want throwbacks to past Star Wars episodes? You got it! I think longtime fans will be pleased.

Overall, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gave me all the feels in a good way. I highly recommend that you go see it!

How did Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker make you feel? Sound off in the comments section below.

Disney’s ‘Frozen 2’: A Non-Spoiler Review

*I know you just read this in the title, but the following will NOT contain spoilers for Disney's Frozen 2. None. And I won't be discussing that part where Elsa [redacted] so you are free to proceed 

If you are stumbling upon this article, you might fall in one or more of the following categories: 

  • You are a big fan of Frozen 
  • Your children have sung "Let It Go" so much over the past six years that your ears have bled 
  • You HATE Frozen and need everyone to know!! 

There's something about Disney's Frozen that brings adults, singing children, and haters together. Because for the haters, when you can't stand something, you just HAVE to let everyone know.

Some of the hate was understandable. I will admit, the success and repetition of "Let It Go" delayed my interest in Frozen. I didn't even watch it until it came out on DVD. and even then, I waited a while after that.

My biggest takeaway from watching Frozen for the first time: Han was a jerk. I actually gasped out loud at this reveal! How dare you, Han!! 

Over the past six years, the Frozen fandom has only grown. Cute little girls have been running around dressed as Elsa, YouTube is filled with thousands of covers of "Let It Go", and don't even get me started on how much Frozen merchandise is in the toy isle currently. 

The stage has been set for Frozen 2. So was it worth the wait? Let's dive in! 

Make It Make Sense, Elsa 

Elsa in Frozen 2 Credit: Disney

Without giving away anything, I am going to to say this one thing. If you think that you are going to watch Frozen 2 and get all of your questions answered from the first Frozen, you're not only going to leave out of this theater disappointed, you're also going to leave with even more questions. 

Frozen has never been a movie where things make sense. Why the trolls? Where are Kristoff's parents? Also, why the trolls?

We can't be good at everything right? That can include a complete and linear backstory. But that doesn't mean we can't have a good time, right? 

Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah 

So there's a pro and con to this section about the music of Frozen 2 

Pro: It's pretty good! 

Con: Your children will think it's pretty good too! 

Oh yes! You prayed for the day that "Let It Go" would die. You pleaded "children sing something else, ANYTHING else. I'll give you 20 bucks, please!" While you may see a decline in how many times you hear "Let It Go" while walking around the mall this season, there's a new song in town. And it's got "Let It Go" potential.

 Idina Mendzel jokingly apologized for the popularity of "Let It Go" a while back. However she is right back at it again with a new hit song in Frozen 2 called "Into the Unknown".

That's right everyone. There's a new "Let It Go."

It's a pretty great song actually. You might not feel that way after the 215th time hearing it, so listen to it now while the getting is good. 

On a positive note, Panic! At The Disco covers “Into The Unknown”. If you know Brendon Urie's vocals like I do, you know he is one of very few people who could match Idina Mendzel's range. Now this is a song I could play on repeat! Listen for this song to play in the end credits and see if you agree. 

All The Snow, All The Fire 

This I will say about Frozen 2: the animators get an A+ for the awesome amount of skill and work that they put into this movie. Much like how I felt with the landscaping animation in Abominable, watching the snow on the big screen was awe-inspiring. In fact, I am a little surprised there isn't a 3D version of this. Normally I am pretty skeptical of the cash grab of 3D, but it would have been cool to have snowflakes shooting at you. 

I Cried 

But I literally cry at everything. Still *sniffs* I don't wanna talk about it. 

“When You're Older, Everything Make's Sense” 

*que Kristoff* I'm gonna tell him 

Wanna know if your kids will love Frozen 2? Let’s just say a small child shouted “Elsa!!” with glee when she appeared on screen. Cutest thing ever. Your kids will love it. 

For adults: Don’t ask too many questions of the plot, just enjoy the pretty things on screen. Don’t cry as much as I did, either. Your popcorn will get soggy. I still think you'll have a good time.

Frozen 2 will be out in theaters on November 22nd. After you see it, leave us a comment and let us know what you thought. Some comments are worth melting for 🙂

I Cried During ‘Abominable’ And You Will Too

Seriously, this movie is stunning.

And no, it wasn't because it was sad, not because anyone suffers a horrible, onscreen death or anything.

But this movie was both so visually and audibly beautiful that it brought me to tears.

Don't like animated movies? TOO BAD. You still need to go see this one.

Let's back it up a second, Abominable is about a young teenage girl named Yi, who lives with her mother and her grandmother. Though it's not discussed how or what happened, we learn that Yi's father passed away. After playing her violin on the apartment rooftop, she runs into a creature who is in hiding that she's never seen before. She realizes that he is a Yeti that escaped from a science lab and he's just trying to get back home to his family. Yi, along with her cousins Jin and Peng, embark on a journey to bring the yeti back to his home in Mt. Everest.

Oh, and they name the yeti Everest. I know, so cute!

So back to the beauty of this movie, the music is everything. You learn that her dad taught her to play the violin but with his passing, she will no longer play for her family. Luckily, we get a front-row seat to some of her private rooftop sessions. Gosh, I love classical music.

Fun fact about me: I became obsessed with classical music one day after music class at 8 years old and it stuck with me my whole life. Imagin baby Quinzel walking around with a bright yellow walkman blasting Mozart.

So each time Yi plays her violin, I just sit in my seat and melt.

The music paired with the beautiful landscapes is indescribable. I don't even know how to tell you that this is simply a gorgeous movie! Yi, Peng, and Jin travel across China to get Everest back to his home.

You will be in tears with how beautiful some of the scenes are. Dreamworks knocked it out of the park with this one. It's absolutely stunning.

Abominable is out in theaters now. Do you think you will check it out? Give us a shout in the comments section below.

Cosplayer Convos: Cosplaying Over 30

One of the most infuriating things I hear (mostly at my day job) is "Quinzel you STILL go to comic book conventions? You STILL play video games? You STILL dress up?

Yes. Yes. and, in case this is your first time to the blog, yes?

There was a time when I was much, much younger (I'm talking high school-ish age here) where I worked hard to cover my nerd flag as much as possible, lest I'd be called out and embarrassed for it.

Fast forward to today, I let that go a LONG time ago. Once I accepted who I was, the comments bothered me a lot less. I am taking the time to do something that makes me happy. And that isn't making fun of other people's interests, Carol.

The comments still come through. On top of that, we put a HUGE emphasis on turning 30 years old and what it means. We cry and cry in our last moments of 29 like 30 really changes things.

I am a firm believer that 30 is not the mile marker for all of your life's accomplishments. 30 is only the beginning.

That is one big reason why I really connected with Erica (Suga Bear Co) because it was so refreshing to meet someone so unbothered by age. Not only is she unbothered but, as I stated earlier, this is only the beginning of many new adventures for her.

"The biggest piece of advice I can give a cosplayer over 30 is don't be afraid to be you." Erica says "If cosplaying is something you have always wanted to do, make it a bucket list item and get it out of the way. Age only means something if you decide it means something. It doesn't have to cost a ton of money or be exactly perfect. Get out of your head and just do it."

Erica is a cosplayer and talented seamstress. Known by Suga Bear Co, she's got a lot of life under her belt. That isn't to say age. I think one thing people get intimidated about starting to cosplay later in life is because they feel as though it strays away from the current life path that you've built.

Erica is living proof that at any point in life, you can press restart. She isn't just carelessly starting and stopping things, she's an inspiration that, at any point, you can redefine yourself and your goals. And this has earned her a fulfilled life.

She received her associate's degree at 30, her bachelor's at 32 and her master's at 36. If this isn't proof that your life isn't over at 30, I don't know what is.

Erica had always loved fashion and initially wanted to be a fashion designer when she was younger. But unlike the notion that says you must decide what you want to do by the time you turn 18, Erica took the time to explore different career and degree options. Along with that, she worked full time, went to school full time, and also was raising a child.

Cosplay didn't come easy for this hardworking gal. She couldn't attend conventions at first because she couldn't get the time off work. She had worked in operations in hotels where weekend shifts were required. Instead of giving up on cosplay altogether, she fit it in by dressing up for birthday parties and special occasions.

"My first con experience was at C2E2 2018." Erica says "Sounds weird since I've been a cosplayer for 13 years, but between job schedules and cost, it was not a priority. I made it a priority last years and I'm glad I did. I got to see what he hype was about and how extravagant the cosplays really could be. I was able to attend the panels for plus size cosplay and Costumers with a Cause. I think I did about 20,000 steps per day and of course, was extremely tired. I even did a costume change one of the days. That experience also let me know that I didn't need to go to any con for an entire weekend unless there are things I'm participating in each day."

Since then, she has also attended (and judged cosplay at) Toys and Cosplaycon as well as both years of Wakandacon. Wakandacon is where we initially met and I wanted to know if she loved it as much as I had.

"I have loved my experiences at Wakandacon because we weren't the afterthought. People are looking to photograph you and talk with you, interview you, respect you, because the con is about you and your tribe and how we interact. I have met some wonderful people and I hear people every time tell me how I've inspired them by something I said at a panel. You don't really get that at bigger cons where there is no real focus and you're in a crowd of people who may not be so welcoming."

As amazing and strong as Erica is, that doesn't mean that she doesn't recognize that there can be negativity in the cosplay world. Not just toward age, but size and race as well

"Some of the negative comments I've seen towards other cosplayers is that they are too dark to play a character or said character isn't Black, so you have to do someone else. I've seen people tell some of my cosplay kids that they ruined a character for them because they didn't feel they were perfect or that they were too fat to be certain characters. I've seen people be called the n-word version or ghetto version of a character."

Erica recognizes that it can be hard for new cosplayers to deal with that level of negativity “If I had gotten into cosplay when I was younger, I would have gotten out of it” She says, but then smiles and tells me “I’m secure in myself that I’m gonna check em and keep it moving...I don’t give them what they’re looking for…”

The positive side of growing with age is that you also grow out of f*cks to give. However, there is one negative aspect that we haven't covered, and it isn't what people think of you.

Spoiler alert: its money

I can attest that the biggest thing that prevents me from going to more cons and donning myself in more cosplays is money. More than what people say, cause what even are words, money, it seems, will snatch your dreams a lot faster than hurtful words can.

"Money is a challenge in cosplay because even the cheapest cosplay will still probably cost you at least $20 if you can get it all through the thrift. Let's also add in any make-up needs, wig or hair needs, shoes or boot covers, accessories, etc. Then add in the cost of actually attending cons. Because I am now on panels, my costs have started to be covered a bit (for some cons), but before that started, I had to pay for my tickets, hotels if necessary, parking, gas, etc. I also cosplay with my kid, so there's the added cost of all of that stuff for him as well. "

To deal with these burdens we learn, with age, that self-care is key. I get being busy, but it's inspiring to know that with how busy Erica is, she still prioritizes the importance of self-care. Also, have I mentioned that she is a trained therapist who is starting Group Cosplay Therapy?:

" Self-care is a must for me. Being a therapist, I teach self-care to my clients so that they know that this is a need and not a want. I also teach them what self-care all includes because many people think it's massages, bubble baths, and shopping sprees. Self-care is also spending time doing things you love and with people you love. Cosplay is definitely a self-care, both making it and wearing it at the con or other events. Sewing, dancing, drawing, painting, and listening to music are also part of my self-care routine. Spending quality time with my kids watching our favorite anime or movies is also huge. Hanging out with my friends and family is always a fun time."

Erica proves that with everything you have to balance, school, kids, full-time job, that cosplay is possible if you want it to be possible. Just take the strength you have used in all of your other life situations and apply it to something you would have fun doing

Push yourself out of your comfort zone (and other peoples comfort zones) and shine

Are you a cosplayer over 30? What challenges have you experienced? What are some of the most fun or amazing experiences that you have had with cosplay? Tell us all about it in the comments section below

Philosopfher Review: Cute, Comfy, and Satisfying

I received this shirt and onesie in exchange for an honest review. These are my honest thoughts (but spoiler alert, it's pretty great, y'all)

I feel like we discussed this on the podcast at some point (the Captain Marvel roundtable of all places) but one of the biggest pet peeves of mine is that there is hardly any Black Panther merchandise around. As much as I love Black Panther, I am sure that I could fund an entire Disney project, should they just give me what I friggin' want.

So imagine my surprise at showing up at Wakandacon and seeing this incredible Wakanda-ish shirt. And I completely lost it when I saw the Baby-ish onesie.

Wakanda-ish shirt by Philosofher: The Love and Life of Her. Black Panther skirt by Madre Yerba. Note: Skirt has pockets!

Before I get deep into this review, let me tell you a little bit about Philosofher: The Love and Life of Her. One look at the site and you'll be drawn in by the and eye-catching apparel. Concitta, the genius behind Philosofher, also does event branding, wedding invitations, and more. She is a well rounded creative.

According to the site (because I cannot do this amazing level of writing justice), this is Philosofher's story:

With intent, philosofher is a collection of apparel, stationery, novelties, and such, curated to celebrate the life of, the love of,  creatives and women - “…from [their] hair follicles to [their] toenails,” -Jill Scott.

The selection of each item, the quotes penned or borrowed, the custom designs, and everything in between are all made possible with creative energy, passion, and detailed attention.

Embracing the laissez-faire and soul-snatching energy of New Orleans and the brazen, charming spirit of Chicago, philosofher is what happens when the creativity of two cities collide and merge...

Simply, lagniappe.

First things first, I'm a plus-size gal. So with almost any clothes I wear, I find myself very disappointed to find they have nothing in my size. Pictured below, the Wakanda-ish shirt is in an XL and very roomy, I tucked it in to give it a fitted appearance, but the XL fit is AMAZING. Not too tight, not too big. I usually wear a 2X in shirts due to an abundance of boob-age. So this was an absolute win.

I live in an area where not many people get Black Panther or Black-ish references, but I still got a lot of compliments on it anyway.

The one who got the biggest compliments was my little Bb-y 8. He rocked that onesie like the model he is. The only thing he didn't like? The tag in the back. But it's an easy solution to cut the tag if needed. I've had to do it with A LOT of his clothes. Here he is pictured in an 18-month onesie.

In case you couldn't tell, I love this company. The shirts are comfy. The sizing is dope, and it's cute as heck. 10/10 would recommend.

What do you guys think? Think you'll head over to Philisofher: The Love and Life of Her and buy? Hop in the comments section and let me know what you

Dora The Explorer is Every Quirky Girl’s Best Friend in Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Sure, you never lived in the jungle and had a best friend named Boots. You probably never had a song about a backpack or even a cousin named Diego.

But as I kept watching Dora and the Lost City of Gold, I had to shake my head and say "Shoot, Dora is me." And I can bet that if you spend enough time on Geeky Girl Guide, you will feel the same way.

First of all, let me say that, next to Aladdin, this is one of my favorite live-action remakes. Not only did they address the awkwardness of Dora breaking the 4th wall (can you say delicioso? say delicioso!) but that entire high school experience was accurate. When Diego told her that high school was life or death, it wasn't even an exaggerating. High School, in my experience, was being in survival mode all the time. Being in the jungle was probably a lot easier.

Now before I go any further, some of you may ask "why in the heck should I go see a movie about a cartoon for preschoolers?" I promise you, it's not like that at all. It's got a good plot and it's pretty funny if you remember OG Dora. Even if you're an adult, I think you will still enjoy it. Heck, I did!

Back to Dora. While it was hilarious that her dad told her about the dangers of raves, that piece of advice made me think. When we go to high school, none of us are prepared. All we have is tidbits of advice that we got from High School Musical or She's All That. We all go in thinking we are just going to go and be ourselves.

The scene of her dancing (doing the peacock, specifically) was enough to make me cringe with nostalgic embarrassment. I WAS that girl, I was inherently strange and getting laughed at non-stop. At the same time, I wish I had another Dora when I was in high school.

We would be weird best friends. We would sing songs and explore places and randomly yell "Swiper no swiping!" at anyone who tried to stop us.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold hits theaters on August 9th. Be sure to check it out. And be sure to stay for this new version of "We Did It."

Trust me, it will be a good time. Cheers to you Dora, Quirk Queen of the Century!

Wakandacon Day 3: Do I Really Have to Go Home?

Do all good things really have to come to an end? Can't we just keep going and going and *cue music for "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye"

I woke up this morning feeling two opposite emotions. Super excited to spend one last day at Wakandacon and also super sad that I only had one last day at Wakandacon.

I ran into Lusciously_Wicked Cosplay and her fiance again (shout out to that amazing SNOWoncye cosplay) and we hugged and were so glad to run into each other one last time.

Don't worry, it won't be the last you hear of her through this blog *wink*

The amazing thing about this con is it's not just a love for all things Black Panther, it's a love for all black people. Black people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, college degrees ALLL kinds of black people were welcomed here.

That isn't to say (I can't believe I even have to say this) that this con is against white people or ONLY for POC. It's all about the openness of the atmosphere. How comfortable I was to just exist.

I wasn't a black blogger. I wasn't a black fan. At Wakandacon, I was simply Quinzel

Panel: Writing While Black

Now listen, y'all already know that I am a writer. So this panel was exclusively for me and for my needs y'all XD. But let me share with you a couple of really cool quotes I heard from the panelists:

  • "You can't revise a blank page"
  • "No one can write that story the way that you do"

I can't say enough good things about this panel! Check out Book Euphoria to learn more about the awesome panelist (which are all black authors, btw)

Panel: Closing Ceremonies With The Founders

As much as I want to beg for more time, this was the final panel that marked the end of the con. Remember that Women of Wakandacon article I wrote last year? Well I got to see Lisa and Taylor on this panel. Sadly, Ali wasn't in attendance and had another engagement.

They thanked everyone and gave the floor to anyone who wanted to say anything. What followed was an outpouring of thank you's that was enough to bring the founders and everyone in the room to tears.

Also, a couple got engaged during the closing ceremony. Y'all know I'm a sucker for romance.

Like I mentioned in Day 2, if I have one regret with this con, it's that I can't do everything. Some things that I missed out on that I regret now are:

  • Shuri's Room: The Official Wakandacon Code-a-Thon: Seriously bummed because I've always wanted to know how to code. Everyone who stopped in, whether they already knew how to code or not, loved it.
  • Gaming Marathons: I had hoped that since it was going down all weekend that I could catch a sneak in the gaming room but I did not. I know there was a Mortal Kombat and a Smash Bros. gaming competition and I would have been down to watch (and maybe play) that.
  • Queerkanda: That was a panel I would have especially loved to see for myself. But it definitely got OUTSTANDING reviews. Next year, Quinzel, next year.

This was a hard, hard con to leave. Usually, the Con Depression sets in after I've had some time to reflect. But this...it just sucks because I don't want to go back to real life. I want to code and I want to see people walk around in amazing costumes and I want to be comfortable at the intersection where my blackness and nerdiness meet and...

Con depression can really make you spiral. But it's important to know that Wakandacon isn't just one weekend. It took all of these wonderful people to plan this, to attend this, to vend wonderful merchandise at this, and to network and speak about this.

We out here, Wakandacon just gave us a way to all be in the same space at the same time.

I still don't wanna go, though #crying

Wakandacon Day 2: Cosplay and Cupcakes

Spoiler Alert: I think Wakandacon may just be my favorite con.

Yeah, I've attended lots of cons. I've volunteered with a few too. But man, this one is top-notch.

What can I say? The volunteers were great, seriously ALL of them. The vendors were extremely friendly. Heck, Leia from Just Play Entertainment was nice enough to do a demo of her game "Hip Hop Charades" with us. It was a hilariously good time. I'm definitely buying the online version of this game.

Family-Friendly And They Mean It

One thing I also loved about the con is that it doesn't preach about being a family-friendly convention, Wakandacon just is. They have more than just a play area for kids. Kids can have their own panels and even a STEM booth was set up for them. There were no side-eyes at crying children but overall, the kids seemed extremely happy to be there. I think I'll be bringing my (not so) little Bby-8 next year. I definitely think Leslie should bring her Geeky Baby one year

Panel: Cosplaying While Black

I'm disappointed that I couldn't clone two of me for just that day because there were SO MANY amazing panels and I couldn't go to them all. Some of those panels were "Melanin and Mental Health", "Taking Black Magic to New Heights: Diversifying the Space Industry", and "Queerkanda".

The discussion was revolved around things we already know and experience as black and brown cosplayers. The two biggest takeaways were:

  • Black cosplayers get so much more hate than a white person doing the same cosplay
  • because of that, it can be extremely emotionally taxing to cosplay while black.

We as POC know this, but it was so validating to hear. I hate when I bring up an issue with racism in cosplay and people dismiss me by saying "Nooooo, we are all the one race: the human race"

That's great, but it still doesn't solve the issue of people threatening us and calling us "apes".

These cosplayers shared their pain, but they also shared their strengths. This panel was full of inspirational people who give back to their communities and are overall strong and positive people. They inspire anyone who wants to cosplay to go out and DO IT. There was even a short slide showing the panelist and their cosplay evolutions. It really proved that your craft gets better over time.

I LOVED all of their cosplays, but my absolute favorite cosplay was Ashhuhlee who was cosplaying as Max dressed as Powerline from A Goofy Movie

For those of ya'll who don't know, it's this scene from the movie:

All of these cosplayers worked super hard to put on this panel and it turned out amazing. If you want to get to know them, here are their Instagrams:

Icy Ace Cosplay IG: @d.etheridge.alpha

Outta Line Cosplay IG: @outtalinecosplay

Lusciously_Wicked Cosplay (with Javon Jackson. They are engaged and cosplay together awwww) IG: @Lusciously_Wicked Cosplay

SuperDan6488 Cosplay IG: @danlemon88

Ashhuhlee IG: @ashhuhlee

Suga Bear Co IG: @sugabearco

Cosplay Contest and Parade

Showing again how good this con is to their kiddos, they had the kiddos come out first and I about drowned in cuteness. The "awwwww"s never stopped.

The adults still came and showed out. Congrats to the winner Dr. Esquivel Ph.D. It lights up!!!

After the contest. There was a cosplay parade. As the line of cosplayers circled around the convention center, they began Jabari Tribe chants that echoed throughout the halls of the convention center.

I L I V E D!

Convention Cupcake

I'll admit, whether I'm working or doing press at a con, I am not the greatest at remembering to eat. I know I know I need to take care of myself, but it is what it is. my mind just isn't on food.

So imagine my surprise as I came across this lovely booth with cupcakes and chocolate turtles. Sweet Tooth Confections by Ariel "Cocoa" Scott was a lifesaver at that moment. But when I tell you how DELICIOUS this cupcake was...woo chile... I am so sad I don't live in Chicago. But she did say she would try to see about shipping cupcakes in the future. So that's good. You will hear my shout from the rooftops if that happens.

Overall, it was an amazing day at an amazing con. I am a die-hard fan now. Wakandacon forever. I don't want to leave.

Wakandacon Day One: Throwing Greyhound Under The Bus

I'm not sure if this counts as an official day one, because I didn't get to see the con until about one hour before they closed. You can thank the Greyhound Bus for that one.

This story is one for the podcast, but if you follow my twitter, I gave you a snippet of what happened. From the driver telling us to act like "real" men and women, to driving off the road and telling us to "shut the hell up" when we alerted him of such, to being well over 8 hours late to Chicago, this is a story for the ages.

I wish I could say sorry for this. But being as that Greyhound hasn't done anything but send a copy+paste tweet at this point, I have to, for lack of a better pun, throw them under the bus.

You would think that god-awful bus ride would be enough to set the tone for my vacation but no. You could imagine my relief of seeing that purple Wakandacon sign and walking up to the table for my press pass. Everyone had a big smile and was super helpful. If they were at all overwhelmed, I couldn't tell. I got a quick peek in the vendor hall and, let me tell you, you are going to LOVE what they have to offer.

Sorry about not getting this one out last night folks. I needed a minute to recharge and relax after that whole debacle.

I'm super excited to show y'all everything that Wakandacon has to offer. Stay tuned!

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