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Are you an aspiring comic book artist or writer? Top Cow is looking for you!

Whether it’s a story or character of their own invention, or the title they’ve loved since childhood, I think anyone who loves comics dreams of someday writing or illustrating their own book. I’ve heard from many a comic writer and artist that it’s a hard business to jump into, much like show business is, but there are ways of getting your foot in the door. And if you’re looking to get your foot in the door in a big way, you should think about entering Top Cow’s Talent Hunt 2013.

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The company behind WitchbladeCyberforce, The Darkness and Aphrodite IX recently announced a sort of writer and artist casting call, seeking the best undiscovered talent.

Four previously unpublished writers, and four previously unpublished artists will be selected from all who enter the Talent Hunt, and will work together to create their own published single issue through Top Cow. In addition, 10 runner-up writers, and 10 runner-up artists will be chosen to create short stories that will be published together in an anthology book through Top Cow.

The search is open until Jan. 31, 2014, so you’ll have plenty of time to study the 7-page rulebook and create the 22 page script or sample artwork based on the provided scripts. You can view all of the rules & regulations, ask questions, post work and receive peer reviews on Top Cow’s Talent Hunt 2013 Forum.

Good luck to anyone entering! 

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Peter is now with PittStop Comics!

There’s nothing like walking into your local comic book store and they automatically know you’re name. That’s what we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing for the last several months since we discovered PittStop Comics just down the road from us. They have always been so cool, so accepting, so willing to take us into the circle. Which is why this announcement is so exciting for us, because Peter has officially joined the PittStop Comics crew! 

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So if you live in the San Fernando Valley, come check out this amazing shop! And make sure to say Hi to Peter!

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It’s our first Giveaway! Win 6 Tokidoki Marvel Frenzies!

If you follow us on Twitter or Instagram, you’re well aware of our current obsession with Tokidoki’s Marvel Frenzies. They’re cool, they’re small and we’re desperately trying to collect them all before they are gone for good.

Of course, we don’t get the ones we need all the time, which has left us with a lot of double and even triples. But instead of letting these little guys sit on a shelf somewhere, we wanted to give them away to a good home in our very first giveaway!

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The winner of the giveaway will get 6 awesome Frenzies: The Vision, Doc Ock, The Punisher, Invisible Woman, The Thing and Mr. Fantastic! 

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Head over to the Wrong Button blog to enter! 

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Cosplay Closet: Battle Bunny Riven— The Sword

This post comes a little later than promised, but here it is! Making the Battle Bunny Riven sword was a tough and awesome experience, and despite a few mishaps, I’m really proud to have pulled it off. I’d never even attempted to make something like this, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

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The Sword

If you’re looking to make something, the first place to turn is always YouTube. A quick search for a Battle Bunny sword turned up some great videos by Coca Rocha of Glamourous Gamer Girls. One set was a series on how to make the original Riven sword and a time lapse video on making the Battle Bunny version. These videos were super helpful in giving some step by step instructions and overall ideas on how to construct the sword.

If you’re thinking of constructing this sword too, I’d give yourself 2 weeks or more, depending on how busy you are. For us, we had 5 full days to work on the sword with some little work in between, and you have to give yourself time for things to dry too.

Here’s what we used:

  • 12 sheets of particle board
  • Tape or adhesive
  • Ruler
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Box cutter and/or x-acto knife
  • Fast mache or paper mache materials
  • Sandpaper/sander
  • Household Plaster
  • Spray paint
  • Acrylic paint

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The first thing to do is to sketch out the shape of the sword on the particle board. Fun tip: the Dollar Store sells these sheets so it’s cheap to stock up on them. We wanted the sword to be big, so we used two sheets, one of the top and one for the bottom of the sword. We freehanded the sketch and I used the videos and images as reference. Using a ruler to measure between things like wear the hilts leaf details began and ended was helpful too.

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Once you have the shape you want, use the box cutter or x-acto knife to cut it out. I’d suggest cutting it as close as possible since you can use this first piece to trace the other pieces. It also helps cut down on shaving and sanding later. After ours was cut out, we traced and cut out 5 more full sword shapes to layer.

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To give the sword mass, you simply hot glue the pieces together in a stack. How many layers you do is really up to you in terms of how think you want the sword to be. We did 6 full sword pieces and then two layers of just the hilt detail (circle with leafs, etc.) on each side of the sword. We also cut out the shapes near the hilt and at the top of the blade for two of the pieces to give them some depth.

When stacking, you want to be as exact as possible. We ran in to some problems where things were really off and we had to spend more time cutting these down so they were correct afterwards.

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After you have the sword shaped and stacked the way you want it, it’s time to mache. If you’re more comfortable paper mache-ing, that’s cool. I think Coco suggests in her video to do 3 or 4 layers to make sure the sword doesn’t break. But since we were a little short on time and the sword had a lot of little details, we decided to go with fast mache. You can find fast mache mix at Michael’s of JoAnn’s for about $25 and it’s enough to last you a while.

Basically, you mix it up with water until you get the right consistency, and then you spread it on the entirety of the sword. Admittedly, Peter was much better at this than I was. Mostly, you just have to be careful to spread it evenly and not let it get clumpy. It takes about 18 hours to dry and we did it one side at a time, so make sure to leave yourself enough time for it to completely dry or it could effect your sword.

After the fast mache is dry, you’ll probably have to sand the sword. I just used straight sandpaper in varies grains, but if you have a sander, that would be easier. Sand down any rough edges or to bring out the little details more. If you run into places that the fast mache didn’t quite cover or places that are a little lumpy, you can use the household plaster. This is the same plaster you’d use to cover nail holes in your wall and it’s available at Home Depot and Target. I used an old gift card to help spread and smooth the plaster on some places on the sword. The plaster takes about 2 hours to dry completely.

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And after all this time waiting for things to dry, you can start to paint. I used some plastic bags to cover different places on the sword, but the biggest area I did first, then the hilt. Don’t worry if some of the paint bleeds into some areas since you can always cover it later on.

Unfortunately, the day we were supposed to leave for San Diego, we noticed that the middle of the sword (where the two pieces of particle board were attached) was sagging a little bit. We really didn’t want the sword to snap in half so we made a last minute decision to wrap the middle section in painters tape. If we’d had more time, we could have re-fast mached that section, but we didn’t so we just went with a quick solution. We went with painters tape because we knew it could be painted over.

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Here is the final result! We did silver paint for the outside and edge, since it is a sword after all, and then used acrylic paint to do some detailing. We used a bright green to pop out some of the hilt details and we used a darker orange for the inside edges. I love the way the paint job turned out, it really made the sword look awesome.

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I was so excited to rock the whole Battle Bunny Riven cosplay at Gam3rCon’s cosplay lounge party. My favorite part of the sword was how big it was! It definitely looked intimidating. A lot of people asked about the sword and I was really proud to talk about making it. It really gives me the confidence to tackle other weapons projects in the future.

If you have any questions about making the sword, leave them below or check out the videos that helped me! 

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Cosplay Closet: Battle Bunny Riven— The Costume

It feels like I’ve been talking about my Battle Bunny Riven cosplay forever! I can’t remember exactly when I decided to create this cosplay to wear at Gam3rCon, but it’s finally coming down to the wire of when I’ll be actually wearing it! Before the final touches are put on the sword and I’m dawning my cosplay on Friday night, I wanted to give a little insight into the two main parts of this cosplay: the Costume and the Sword.

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The Costume

Obviously, it wouldn’t be cosplay without the costume. Luckily, the League of Legends Battle Bunny Riven costume was rather simple to put together. Some of the elements I already had from my Black Canary cosplay, like the corset and spandex bottoms, and the other pieces could either be purchased or easily made.

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  • Black Corset or “Bunny Suit”
  • Black Spandex Bottoms
  • Short Gray or Silver Wig
  • Bunny Ears and Tail
  • Purple or Pink Pumps
  • Sheer Black Tights
  • White Detachable Collar
  • White Shirt Cuffs
  • Short Black Necktie
  • Brown Sash with Carrot Buckle
  • Purple or Pink Ribbon

Along with the corset and bottoms, I had the necktie, cuffs and sheer tights already. I purchased the wig and shoes from Amazon, the collar from Etsy, and got the materials for the sash and the purple ribbon from JoAnn Fabrics.

The best thing about this cosplay, aside from the fact that it’s actually pretty comfortable, is that a lot of the pieces can be used in other cosplays!

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I love how this cosplay turned out and I can’t wait to wear it again! 

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Titan from ‘Attack on Titan’ invades Anime Expo

We love Con season. It’s a magical time when all kinds of people from all walks of life come to single locations and hang out together. Some dress up, some don’t. And some dress up, dance their ass off and make everyone’s day. This is exactly what happened at Anime Expo in LA this past weekend.

This is the second video featuring cosplayer P Diddy as a Titan from the hit anime Attack on Titan; he also wore the suit at AniMega Con. P Diddy might be better known for his series of videos called Deadpool Vs the Universe where you can find the mischievous Marvel character at Free Comic Book Day, Fanime, WonderCon and others.

You gotta respect a man who knows know to twerk it. 

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On a Geekly Basis: Comic Book Kid

on a geekly basis

Welcome to this week’s installment of “On a Geekly Basis,” a feature that profiles awesome geeky people and things! This week we want to introduce you to Adam Snape, creator of Comic Book Kid, a comic book, movie/tv, review & video game blog.

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geek or nerd

Definitely a nerd. I don’t really know what the official categorisation is but my girlfriend often tells me that I’m a nerd because geeks are smart. Personally I find the term geek to be a little insulting, I know a lot of people find it endearing but I often jump in with “I’m not a geek, I’m a nerd!”

first nerd or geek

It wasn’t until pretty late on really. I had been watching Spider-Man, X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons religiously for as long as I could remember then I started reading graphic novels when I was at college but I didn’t truly embrace it until about 2 years ago when I started reading comics.

comic books

It’s really hard to pick up comics where I live as there is one small store that is more focussed on table top games than comic books. So I started buying regular books when I got my iPad and could start reading digitally.

fandom

I am a huge Spider-Man fan but the fandom kind of scares me. I mean, what is Spideypool all about?! I’d probably say Scott Pilgrim is a fandom I really enjoy. I am known to quote the film at random intervals and Bryan Lee O’Malley is as big a fan as the rest of the people posting under the Tumblr tags.

projects

Well, I’ve been running Comic Book Kid for just over a year now and that’s just started to gain some really traction recently. I also tell myself everyday that I’m working on a zombie apocalypse based mini-comic but I get so stressed out when I can’t draw it to the standard that it is in my head and usually just give up.

character

Spider-Man is definitely up there, although now that it’s Doc Ock is Peter Parker’s body he’s kind of a tool. Doctor Who would be fun because you could literally go anywhere 9as long as you don’t mind a little life threatening danger.)

tell us

Erm… What else is there to tell?

I’m Adam, I’m a 21-year-old online marketer with a love of pop-punk, Marvel comics and pizza. I write opinion based articles on ideas such as “What If People In The Marvel Universe Stayed Dead” on the blog. I love video games but I’m not very good at them, I have an Xbox 360 but will be getting a PS4 because xbone. You can follow me on twitter @ComicBookKidUK.

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