Nailed It. Highlights From Wizard World Des Moines 2015.

At least now the world knows. YES. Iowa – little old, in the middle of the country, surrounded by cornfields, home to James T. Kirk & Clint Barton, Iowa – can most definitely support a large-scale comic convention. The weekend was so successful that Wizard World has already announced their return in May of 2016.  3-Day Passes sold out weeks before the event (much to the detriment of one procrastinating blogger) and Saturday passes were sold out by Friday. People have wanted this for so long and we had something to prove to those Wizard World Execs. Pretty sure we nailed it.


Based on my experience, the event was very well-organized & the venue was highly conducive to the flow of such a convention. Vendors and Artists set up booths in the main exhibition area, while celebrity meet-and-greets/photo-ops were housed in a smaller, adjacent area. Panels could be accessed either from an escalator within the photo-op area or via the main escalators in the lobby. The smaller breakout rooms were packed & made it easy to find whichever panel guests were interested in attending.

I’m thrilled by the success of this event and cannot wait to return year after year. It’s a single step towards getting all kinds of large-scale events to come to the Midwest AND for showing the world what kind of crazy fun us nerds can have when we all come together to celebrate our fandoms.

And now, the weekend in photographs:


We spent the majority of Friday just exploring the exhibition floor & getting in lots of selfies with our favorite cosplayers. I met the greatest Spock impersonator I’ve ever seen & obviously HAD to get a photo. I was honestly a little intimidated (dude was 6’7″!) and maybe acted a bit of a fool, but whatever. Happens, right? I was excited.

My girl KiT & I made one large sweep of the autograph area, where we ran into Miss Iowa 2014, Autumn Weaver, dressed as Wonder Woman! She is such an inspiration & a total doll. I spied her on Saturday dressed as Slave Leia (I think it was her) and then again as a member of Starfleet.

There were a number of Clark Kents floating around, but this was by far the best. I was really struggling with my camera here, thus the ridiculous faces.

When we headed back to the bar, we ran into this all-female Guardians of the Galaxy group & definitely had to get a picture. And then hubby snuck up on us & gave us the best photobomb of the weekend. Because of course hubby was at the bar. I should have known.

The best part of Friday, though, was ABSOLUTELY the 41st Chapter of the Mandalorian Mercs, Vhett Manda Clan, who were taking bounties & arresting members of parties for a small donation to their charity. We arrested KiT’s husband since we had lost them & didn’t feel like scouring the hall to find them. Instead we paid $5 & waited for them to come to us.

Hahaha. I giggled for a long time.

After the convention closed for the night, we all went out for a group dinner at Quinton’s (because Zombie Burger had a 1.5 hour wait…obviously). Look how cute we are!


Saturday was the only day any of us Cosplayed, and we had 3 very different characters. One of these times, we’ll have to figure out a group thing, I think.

I have to say, for pulling hubby’s costume together so last-minute (we’re talking Wednesday night), I’m pretty damn proud of myself on this one. I give you: Matt Murdock (and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, just for good measure).

I had never done SFX makeup before, but I’d say this turned out pretty rad. I did  a couple trial runs on myself Thursday night, just to make sure I knew what I was doing. I still had a few difficulties with the prosthetic Saturday morning, but it all came together in the end 🙂


Of course, then you’ve got my iteration of Days of Future Past Quicksilver! This was a costume hubby wore for Halloween last year, but since I wanted to color my hair silver anyway, I decided to just hijack the costume.  We even found my twinsie (although from a different universe) and I slowed down long enough to get a photo. The rest of the day I must have been moving too fast, because I don’t have any other pics of my cosplay. Oops.

Of course, then you have the most in-character cosplayer of the day: our Joker, aka RyanTheGr8. He was hamming it up for the camera all day. The kids loved him (except for the one that screamed bloody murder….oops) and the professional photographers loved him, so he’s in a bunch of official Wizard World photos from the weekend, too.

Here’s that time he found the rest of his villain buddies & Batman.

And that time he got his head chopped off by Revan.

That time he got REALLY excited about finding Carmen San Diego & Waldo.

That time he protested against vegetarianism with Poison Ivy.

And that other time I slowed down enough to be caught on camera.


Last, but not least, my comic con haul – not as big as I would have expected, but that’s probably for the best considering our current financial situation:

My first and only purchase on Friday was this Spike Funko! I mean, obviously.

We passed the Colorworld booth on Friday & I just KNEW I needed to buy something from them, so I rushed back over on Saturday. We found out they had a discount for people who have the ConTV app (which I do), meaning I got a free paper print with my purchase of 2 bookmarks (which only cost $5 total)! These bookmarks are AMAZING. They are printed on aluminum & appear holographic. They’re just gorgeous. I got a Boba Fett (which I don’t have a pic of) and this Hermione Patronus one. I’m super obsessed & will probably buy more from them in the future. Also, the Colorworld book sounds so interesting & is now on my TBR.

The paper print I chose from the Colorworld shop was this Super Smash Bros. print – it’s so epic & will look great in our guest room, but it did get a little bent before I had the chance to buy a protector for it. Womp womp. Hopefully it won’t be noticeable in its frame. If so, I’ll just have to go ahead & buy another. Because I lurrrrve it.


Sorry for the absurdly long post today, but it was such a great weekend. I don’t even think I recapped 60% of it here, but these are the only photos I ended up with. Lol. SOOO that’s what you get. Because I’m a bad blogger. It’ll be better next time, I promise!

Until Next Time ❤

Con Time! Plans for WWDSM Weekend

Tomorrow is Day 1 of the inaugural Wizard World Comic Convention in Des Moines, IA (WWDSM). We’ve never had a large-scale con like this before, so it’s encouraging to know that the 3-day passes sold out sometime last week (except that means hubby & I didn’t get weekend passes because we’re procrastinators…oops). I have a feeling this is going to be a very successful convention – it may actually surprise the Wizard World execs. Hopefully they opt for repeat performances & make Des Moines a standing stop on their tour going forward.

We’ve got a great lineup for this weekend, even though I’m heartbroken that BOTH James Marsters & Emily Kinney cancelled their appearances. We’ve still got Brandon Routh, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Cudlitz, Jewel Staite, Jason-Freaking-Mewes, Ernie Hudson, David Della Rocco AND Sean Patrick Flannery, Lou Ferrigno, and more! Plus I’m suuuuuper excited to cruise through Artist Alley & talk to creators/ fan artists. I’m hoping to pick up a few indie issues & maybe find some new favorites! Plus, artwork, artwork, artwork. I could spend the entire day in Artist Alley & not even care about the celebrities. I mean, I CARE, but I might geek out more over the creators. That’s just me.

A small group of our friends made the trip up to Wizard World Minneapolis in May 2014, so we kind of know what to expect from this event. I actually only attended that convention on Sunday, when everyone was starting to pack up, so I’m REALLY excited to see what the place looks like on Saturday when EVERYBODY & their mother is there. The boys all went all weekend, but I happened to have a pre-planned girls’ weekend (coincidentally also in Minneapolis) with my mom, aunt, and cousin for my cousin’s graduation – so I was booked up with MOA & Ikea on Friday & Saturday. Not that I’m complaining. AT ALL. That was one of the greatest weekends ever. *reminisce*

Show Floor @ Minneapolis Comic Con 2014

Anywho. So since we’re TERRIBLE planners (I mean, really, really terrible), hubby & I: a) didn’t get weekend passes, as mentioned above; b) didn’t plan cosplay far enough in advance; c) didn’t book a hotel room in advance; or d) all of the above? I think you know the answer.

It was yesterday when we started feverishly making plans. He booked a hotel for Friday night – luckily right across the street from the convention center & still reasonably priced. I called every beauty supply store in a 100 mile radius to find the right toner to dye my hair silver; only one store out of 5 that I called had the product in-stock, so I drove 45 minutes to pick it up.  When I got home from that adventure, hubby was grouchy that I stole his cosplay, so we scrambled to figure out something we could pull together last-minute for him (let me tell you: the one we settled on is going to be GREAT, but you’ll have to wait & see). We have yet to purchase event tickets.

Tonight’s agenda consists of a shit-load of laundry, bleaching & dying my hair silver (hopefully my employer doesn’t mind the atypical hair color), ticket-buying, and pack-pack-packing for the weekend. We depart tomorrow at noon!

I’ll be instagramming & tweeting our weekend adventures with the hashtag #WWSWATH, so if you want to see some crazy antics, make sure to check out that tag or follow me on twitter & instagram!

Want a Sneak Peak of my DOFP Quicksilver? Of course you do.
(I may have stolen it from hubby, but I’m the one who assembled it in the first place, so I still have some claim on it, right??)

That ^ is a wig. I think it’ll be much better when my natural hair is just dyed silver 🙂

Until Next Time ❤


NewBo Con 2015


Well, this post was a little slow in coming to fruition, but I wanted to put together a quick recap & review of NewBo Con 2015 in Cedar Rapids, IA.The convention was held on February 7 at the NewBo City Market in the New Bohemia district of Cedar Rapids. It only ran from 10am-6pm, but in that time saw over 3,500 visitors.  This was the first year for this con and, in my opinion, it was a remarkably successful event. There were a lot of things done well – especially considering the whole event was organized by a single person.

I have to say, I was pumped for this event & waiting in anticipation for MONTHS. Like, since it was announced in October (I think that’s when it was?). Going to Wizard World Minneapolis last year was what really jolted me back into obsessing over all these things I love – and even got me thinking more & more about comics in general. I was thrilled to hear that Cedar Rapids was getting its own convention AND that it was free admission, making it easy to convince everyone I knew to at least consider going.

If you can’t sense my enthusiasm about this event, you’re completely blind. So, without further ado, here are some of the highlights from NewBo Con ’15.


*sidenote: I was trying to corral my 4-year old daughter in the morning & my slightly inebriated friends in the afternoon, so I didn’t take any photos. Most of these photos were hijacked from the NewBo Con Facebook page*

The Venue


NewBo City Market is a great venue – and It was the perfect choice for the first year of this event. NewBo has a huge following of people who visit every single weekend. These non con-goers increased attendance and (I can only assume) sales for the vendors just by letting their curiosity bring them over to the convention side of the market. I think this was an incredibly smart decision on the part of the organizer to tap into a demographic that normally wouldn’t have any interest in attending such an event. Really, it was mutually beneficial because peckish con-goers could just walk across the market to any of the regular (exceptional) vendor locations & get a drink, snack, or a full-blown meal. Top-notch choice for year one.


Unfortunately, the size of the venue was not adequate to support the amount of interest this event generated from convention vendors.  There were a total of something like 30 spaces available and 80 interested vendors had to be turned away. That’s huge. I know they’re looking into bigger venues for next year, making the name “NewBo Con” & the totally rad logo now obsolete. Collector’s item. Doneski. I’m just really pulling for the new “Cedar Rapids Comic Con” to be held at our new Convention Center. There are multiple spaces that would be suitable to the event and I just feel like it’s the right place to host the event going forward. Unfortunately, cost could easily affect the likelihood of this happening, as I know the organizers want to keep the event free for the foreseeable future.


Bye, bye, logo </3


The downside with the way this event was organized was that all vendor spaces were first-come, first-serve. I get it. That seems like the right way to do things the first time around. I just feel that we ended up with too little variety in the limited number of vendors that were set up. Don’t get me wrong – the majority of vendors were awesome & their products were well-curated and/or well-crafted. I’m not here to bash on anyone, but I will say that there were a few items for sale that really caused me to raise an eyebrow & I hope there’s some level of screening for next year’s vendors. Here are a few of the stand-outs for me:

I know I’m (incredibly) biased here, but I genuinely feel that Geek City Games had one of the best booths. I could barely walk up to the table at a few points throughout the day due to the crowds gathering around to check out the merch. They had games, collectibles, omnibuses (omnibi?), boxes upon boxes of comics, and even had 2 guest vendors sharing their space. It was really well organized & the displays made everything easy to find. Good work, boys!

A to Z Toys & Collectibles was right next door to Geek City & instantly captured the attention of my husband & friends. They seemed to have a great selection of vintage collectibles, as well as some new items. Now, I know nothing about vintage toys & whatnot, but the boys sure seemed impressed, so I give you a thumbs-up, A to Z Toys & Collectibles!

Candle Light Press. Now, I didn’t get to chat with the guys like I would have liked (again, due to the inebriated state of certain companions and general tomfoolery afoot) but these guys had it going on ALL. DAY. LONG. scores of people walked up to the booth, chatted, and walked away with mad stacks of comics. I’m gonna need to get my hands on some of those in the near future.

Lastly, 515 Comics seemed like a pretty awesome vendor. I didn’t even glance at his booth until the end of the day & I saw what turns out to be my favorite item I couldn’t buy that day (because he was sold out). It was this glorious shirt, and I am ordering it very, VERY soon.


I also bought this pretty cute steampunk necklace and a Rainbow Dash keychain (for the kiddo) from another vendor, but alas, couldn’t find any information on the shop responsible for such cute tchotchkes. Womp womp.


Overall, I was SO impressed by this event. It was incredibly well-organized and just made me happy to spend my Saturday there. There are clearly a few improvements that could be made for subsequent years, but I’d say for its very first con, Cedar Rapids gets a 10/10.

If you live anywhere in the Midwest (or farther, I’m not here to pigeonhole you) and are looking for a fun, casual convention – check out the Cedar Rapids Comic Con webpage & sign up for email updates so you can come visit in 2016!


Until Next Time ❤

OGF Signature



  1. Book: The Duff – Kody Keplinger
  2. Comic: Saga, Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  3. Music: Talking Dreams (Album) – Echosmith
  4. TV: Gilmore Girls, Season 7
  5. YouTube: Lauren Fairweather
  6. Blog: The Book Nosher

Casual Cosplay: Charlie Bradbury

So, I went to a small con called NewBo Con this past weekend, and it was awesome. This was the first convention in Cedar Rapids, and it was so successful it sounds like next year is going to need a bigger venue!


I totally slacked on pulling together a cosplay, so I went the Casual Cosplay route, and threw together an outfit inspired by one Charlie Bradbury. The best part? Every single piece (except the shoes) came from Old Navy! I was too dumbfounded by the con itself to remember to take pics of my outfit (stupid, I know. newb mistake), but here’s what I wore:

Charlie Bradbury Inspired

 As you can see, I sort of made a hybrid of a few different outfits she wears in the show. I wanted to emulate her style without looking like I tried to copy an outfit and completely failed (seeing as I threw this together in like one 30-minute shopping trip). In the end, only one person caught the reference – one person who is a diehard SPN fan – BUT I felt cute & badass at the same time and I was comfortable all day, so that’s good enough for me.

I’m hoping to get more into these character-inspired outfits as time goes on. I’ve never actually cosplayed, but I do tend to go over-the-top with halloween costumes. I’ll have to post about that sometime. I’m hoping I can pull something awesome together for Wizard World Des Moines this year & do my first true cosplay.

Anyway, I’ll have to post a bit more about NewBo Con later this week. It really was a great event with a great turnout. I can’t wait to visit again next year in the new venue!


Until Next Time ❤