SBR journalists make The Village Voice NYCC 2016 Cosplay List!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oct. 10,  2016- Sara Barton

Only at New York Comic Con (NYCC) can a journalist have their 15 minutes of fame. Every year, thousands of cosplayers are photographed by fans and the press. Each media outlet has their own version of a top or best cosplay/costumes list. This year we got our moment in the sun.

Anita and I, joined by guest correspondent, Digi Kolobong, were on our way to the Rooster Teeth booth to interview Barbara Dunkelman & Miles Luna from RWBY. As we left the Press Room, we were approached by a woman from The Village Voice. She was impressed by Anita and Digi’s costumes and asked if they’d liked to be photographed. Ecstatic-we seized the opportunity!

Anita cosplayed as Shiro, from Voltron: Legendary Defender(2016)  and Digi cosplayed as Weiss Schnee, from RWBY (which was fitting for our interview.) The photographer, C.S. Muncy, loved my tinted rainbow glasses. He asked if I wanted to be photographed as well. I was surprised given the simplicity of my costume. I was cosplaying as Radio Times Reporter, Jilian Holtzman, from Ghostbusters (2016).  (I thought it would be funny to play up the journalism pun.)

New York Comic Con 2016 has been a magical experience for SBR!

To see the full article:

“Incredible Cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016”
http://www.villagevoice.com/slideshow/incredible-cosplay-at-new-york-comic-con-2016-9204567

Photos by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice

Advertisements

The Most: Pokémon Go Sign Countdown!

August 4, 2016- Sara Barton

It’s the mobile app heard around the world as Pokémon Go sky-rockets into a global phenomenon. The game has not only brought joy to the public; it’s increased the shares of Nintendo (even though it’s created by the company Niantic), encouraged fitness, and now local businesses are jumping on the bandwagon.

There are several ways businesses can use Pokémon Go to increase customer traffic. The most popular are checking if your establishments are located near a Gym or Pokéstop then catering to local foot traffic. The second is to purchase Lure Modules and host a Bar-Crawl/Meet-up. The Village Pourhouse hosts Pokémon Go Parties on Friday nights.

13692645_10154313916563607_9016024445118494420_n

Yelp has also made it easier for players; by adding a filter that identifies businesses within nearby Pokéstops. (available on the app and Yelp.com)  It’s called “Pokéstop Nearby” and Yelp users can also identify a business in the vicinity of a Pokéstop by checking in to the location and answering a question that will make note of the nearby Pokéstop. (1)

Before July 20, 2016, businesses could apply to become a Pokéstop or Gym. However, due to the overwhelming number of requests, Niantic isn’t currently accepting any more applications. (2)

Furthermore, in an effort to attract customers Pokémon Go has brought out the artistic side of many local NYC establishments. While this SBR correspondent was testing out the latest tips and hacks; I discovered some very creative restaurant, bar and business signs.

Presenting: [Drum Roll]…

The Most: Pokémon Go Sign Countdown! 

5) The Most: Sarcastic  [Osteria Del Principe, 27 E. 23 St]

most sarcastic

This sign is sarcastic and funny. Whether it was born out of frustration or the staff wanted to crack a joke about this latest trend. All I can say is; I got a good laugh. Yes, Osteria Del Principe does have a good wine selection.

4) The Most: Helpful [Ampersand, 294 E. 3rd Ave]

direct

If you ever needed help finding a Pokéstop; this sign is it!  It’s direct and to the point. It’s referring to the Pokéstop: TAMA- Tree Planting by Mayor Abraham Beame (located on 23rd & 3rd ave). It’s the 1st of 75 trees that were donated to beautify the community.

The Ampersand is a bar/restaurant located near SVA’s and Baruch’s college campuses. Plus, it’s a short walk from Madison Square Park. Universities and college campuses are popular Pokéstops. These buildings are known to be hot spots for catching certain Pokemon. After following up on a tip, I caught a Vulpix at the Baruch Campus Library Pokéstop.

A few universities have even gotten in on the action. NYU Alumi  posted an article on their website listing its campuses Pokéstops and the university is even hosting Pokétours to attract prospective students.

img_5302
If you plan on catching Pokémon around these college campuses; the Ampersand is a nice place to take a break and grab drinks or something to eat.

3) The Most: Witty [Amsterdam Billiards, 110 E. 11st]

funny

This sign was created by the talented staff at Amsterdam Billiards. Their signs are known to showcase various pop-culture references (ex. Futurama, Garfield, Peanuts, and The Simpsons) making witty banter involving: pool, alcohol and good times. Amsterdam Billiards is located 1/2 block from the Village Pourhouse. It’s a shrewd business strategy, considering that the Village Pourhouse hosts Pokémon Go parties on Fridays. Can you catch the pun?  (Hint: It’s Pokémon’s famous catchphrase.)

2) The Most: Crafty (literally) [Nanoosh, 111 University Place]

crafty

The sign is courtesy of Nanoosh. The restaurant is a great venue from Union Square, NYU, and Washington Square Park, (which each have lures, gyms and several Pokéstop in between.) It’s obvious it was a labor of love. Instead of Pikachu being drawn from chalk, this one is made out of fabric and is an homage to the short film, “Pikachu’s Vacation” (1999).

2) The Most: 可愛い  (Cute) – This one is a tie!
[Milk Bar Chelsea 220 E. 8th Ave] & [Nanoosh 111 University Place]

Milk Bar and Nanoosh both tie for this category. The 1st two signs  are at Milk Bar’s new Chelsea location; which isn’t too far from the High-line(a great place to catch grass Pokémon) and is close to the SVA Silas and Beatrice Theater (also a Pokéstop). These signs appeared within a less than 2.5 weeks after the app was released; welcoming tired and hungry Pokémon trainers. The chalk drawings are incredibly adorable and will put a smile on anyone’s face.

1) The Most: Savvy [Spruce, 228 E. 8th Ave]

bellspourt2

Spruce’s sign works on a variety of levels. It’s a florist and gardening shop, hence making Bell-Sprout the perfect mascot. Pokémon Go players know that Grass Pokémon will appear in their natural habits, such as plants, lush fields, and parks. (I caught two Bulbasaurs’ on the High-line.) The artist did a great job. Bell-Sprout is beautifully drawn. Nevertheless, what makes this sign #1 is, that it doesn’t matter if the owner plans to put a Lure Module or is hinting that their establishment is a place to catch Bell-Sprout’s. It’s simply a clever ode to Pokémon and a comic observation of the cultural impact of Pokémon Go.

——–

Pokémon Go Terminology:

Lure Module:  is a purchasable item that attracts wild Pokémon. It’s attached to a Pokéstop of your choosing (several establishments use these to increase business!). They attract a wide variety and large number of  Pokémon. However, they only work for a limited period of time. 

Pokéstop: provide’s players with free items, such as Eggs, Poké Balls, Potions and can be equipped with items called lure modules. Pokéstops can include Universities/Colleges, Famous & Historic Landmarks, Church’s, Parks, Trees, Art Sculptures/Murals, Local Businesses and much more. 

Poké-Gym/Gym: are locations where a player can battle the Pokémon belonging to rival teams. The other purpose of Gyms is to train the player’s own Pokémon by getting into a fight with the Pokémon assigned by other members in the same team.

——

Sources: 

(1) http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/07/15/pokemon-go-yelp-now-identifies-businesses-with-nearby-pokestops

(2) http://blog.qsronline.com/how-to-turn-your-restaurant-into-a-pokestop-in-pokemon-go/

 

Kart in the Park hits Washington Sq.

13310342_479517345571719_1920066925910921634_n

June 30, 2016- Sara Barton

As journalists it’s our job to chase after a scoop, yet sometimes the stories find us. I was passing through Washington Sq. Park; when I spotted something out of the ordinary. A group of people playing Nintendo’s Mario Kart 64 (N64 version) next to the large fountain near the Washington Sq. Arch.

kart in the park-2.jpg

Retro video games are making a comeback. The hunger for childhood nostalgia has lead to the creation of bar & arcade chain, Barcade, the low key LES joint, Two-Bits Retro Arcade, Modern Pinball NYC; and the meetup group Retro Game Night NYC (just to name a few). It’s a fitting tribute, since these classic games made their debut in dive bars during the 1970’s.

Retro Game Night NYC, (sponsored by Video Games NY), hosts their events mainly at the East Village’s, Bar None and uses the original gaming systems (N64, Sega Genesis, NES, among a few others). Nevertheless, aside from being alfresco and child-friendly; this set up is ingenious. Mario Kart 64 was broadcast via a projector/film screen, the game is hosted on raspberry pi (a small emulator), which is powered by a cell-phone battery. It’s a light and compact system; talk about mobility!

Teaching the younger generation

Teaching the younger generation

Welcome to Kart in Park, found by Nico Martiny, who simply wanted to spread joy and whimsy. “Who wouldn’t want to play video games outside?”, as he playfully put it. Kart in the Park has hosted 5 events and is planning on expanding to Madison Square Park and Bryant Park. Nico hopes to feature other classic games, such as: the N64’s beloved Super Smash Bros. and The Simpsons Arcade.

kart in the park-kids2

It’s been 20 years since the N64 was released and video game technology has come a long way. The N64 lacks the fluidity and cruise control of the Nintendo Wii. However, Kart in the Park is about the experience. I played alongside a variety of players and we had a blast. At the end of the night, having fun is what really matters.

Kart in the Park’s schedule can be found on their FB page.

NFL and Fine Arts Project

Inspired by Nov 12, 2015- Jets v Bills game (Color Rush) to create my own fan gear; this lead to an idea, “Why not transform the NFL team logos into Fine Art pieces?”

Thus, the NFL & Fine Arts Project was born.

I currently created pieces for the NY Jets, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints and Seatle Seahawks.

Stay tuned! Watch as this project continues to grow.

 

The New York Jets

IMG_1908

The inspiration for this design comes from the 1960’s cartoon show, “The Jetsons”.  I also wanted the design to reflect the time period. (ex. The Space Age, sci-fi fashion and the Jet age)  In addition, it turns out the 3 green dots represent the Jets winning Superbowl 3, but that’s a coincidence.

The Buffalo Bills

IMG_1905

I believe that graphic designer was on point with the original Bills logo. I loved the way it represents speed and power.  It also reminded me of the artist, Lyubov Popova. This piece is an homage that reflects the dynamic and simplicity of both artists. (Plus, it’s also intended to be recognizable by Bills fans)

The New Orleans Saints


The logo for the Saints is the fleur de lis (translated, fleur = flower and lis = lily) It’s most famously known as the French Royal Coat of Arms and a representation of the Holy Trinity. The fleur de lis has a great historic and religious significance. I felt it was important to find a unique way to showcase it.

This piece was inspired by the gold fleur de lis gate at the shrine for Our Lady of Czestochotwa at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s an aerial representation of this great historic & religious icon. The yellow circles are the lilies and the white ring and circle symbolize the strings that bind them. Of course, it’s in the teams respective colors.

img_4949

The Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks team colors and their mascot are strongly associated with the ocean and marine life. So, it felt natural to give the piece an aquatic feel. It’s meant to resemble sea-glass. The 12 small circles represent the team’s hashtag ‪#‎weare12‬.

The green & blue strips can be read as 13/14, signifying the Seahawks 2013 Superbowl win and their return in 2014. (They lost to the New England Patriots, but it was a spectacular game.) However, this last part was unintentional.

 

 

 

Toy Story- Horror Film Teaser

 
This was an assignment for Final Cut Pro class. The objective was to pick a film, and create a teaser or trailer that alluded to a different plot line. In the spirit of Halloween, I turned the beloved Pixar classic, Toy Story into a horror film.

In the teaser, you can hear the soundtracks from: Halloween, Psycho and The Exorcist.  Apparently, according to Mental Floss; it turns out that a few scenes from Toy Story were inspired by the The Exorcist and other classic horror films…Go figure!

SBR’s Top 10 Countdown: NYCC 2015!

-Oct. 12, 20 15- Sara Barton and Anita C. Wang

As 2015’s New York Comic Con (NYCC) comes to a close; Samurai Beat Radio (SBR) is counting down our Top 10 favorites. {Drum roll if you please}

10) The Progressive Lockers

For the 1st time in NYCC history attendees had access to free storage courtesy of Progressive Insurance. These wonderful lockers were a god-send and hopefully they’ll return for NYCC 2016.

9) Coffee-Mate in the Press Room

coffee

Another 1st- Coffee in the Press Room!  SBR correspondents among other fellow journalists were very grateful to have coffee in the press room.Thanks to Coffee-Mate for their generous donation.
(photo: Sara Barton)

8) The Jelly Empire

The Jelly Empire makes its mark on The Block. Jelly, is a robot who travels to Earth and falls in love with human Pop-Culture. Selina Briggs, is the creator/artist for The Jelly Empire. The Empire consists of: comic books, stickers, art-prints, necklaces, jelly-magnets, tote-bags and a kickstarter campaign for an adorable Jelly plush toy.

7) NYCC Sports Fans 

We noticed a high influx of sports fans this year; including a few  unique cosplay mash-ups, such as: Spider-Mets and Captain America(in a custom sports jersey.) Even Simplicity Patterns got in on the action displaying their own NY Giants superhero-costume.
(Spider Mets photo via: Tuesday Night Movies)

6) Back to the Future

Back to the Future cruised on to NYCC show floor for their 30th anniversary- In Style!  A replica of Cafe 80’s was built; showcasing the famous DeLorean(autographed by the cast) and promoting the release of Pepsi Perfect. Each day, 20 lucky winners had a chance this special bottle before it went on sale.

5) DC Superhero Girls

12087914_10154233953830110_5623437887797193157_o

DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Mattel have teamed up to create a superhero storytelling universe that is geared entirely toward young girls. DC Super Hero Girls features DC Comics’ female characters as teens.  The premise of the TV series deals with all the awkwardness of growing up (with the added stress of having superpowers). DC Super Hero Girls stars heroes such as: Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, Katana and many more. The characters will be in their formative years and not quite at the top of their superhero (or -villain) game.
(photo: Knightmare6 )

4) Wikia Fantasy Food Truck

Always wondered what your favorite fictional  cartoon/video game snacks taste like? Wonder no more thanks to the Wikia Fantasy Food Truck. This years fantasy foods brought to life: Cookie Cat from ‘Steven Universe’, Nuke Cola from Bethesda’s ‘Fallout’ franchise,  Mabel Juice from Disney X D’s ‘Gravity Falls’, Greedy Milk from the video game ‘Warframe’. I received a Critical Roll!  Anita’s rating: Delicious!

3) Charles Battersby

CB

Charles Battersby is a play-write/actor/video game journalist; and is well-known for his crossplay(gender-bending cosplay). His elegant Princess Peach and Disney mash-up (Cinderella/Belle) ball gowns are a sight to behold. Charles is also the founder of PressXY, which addresses transgender issues in video games. You can often see him moderating panels on transgender themes in comic books nationwide. He’s crossplaying a lovely Bio-Shock gown.
(photo: Sara Barton)

2) Anita gets a photograph with Steven Blum!

anita and steve

Steven Blum is an American voice actor who’s career spans from: anime, animation, video games and film. Among NYCC fans he’s best known for voicing Cartoon Network’s Toonami host, TOM, Spike from Cowboy Bebop, Amon from The Legend of Korra. His film credits including The Boxtrolls and A Cat in Paris(Englishdub). Steven, along with rapper, Logic were co-moderating to promote Logic’s, hip hop album/motion picture, The Incredible True Story. After the panel, Steven stayed for autographs and photos; Anita got the photo of a lifetime.

We saved the best for last. SBR’s #1 favorite moment:

1) Naruto Creator Masashi Kishimoto makes his 1st US appearance!!

It’s a series of 1st’s! His first time in the US, in NYC and at US convention. New York Comic Con warmly welcomed Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of the manga series, Naruto. He recently completed the series at 72 volumes and was eager to answer questions. Check out this heartfelt interview.  (Footage courtesy of Anime Games Online)

Waku Waku + NYC at Kinokuniya

August 22, 2015,  -S. Barton

Waku Waku +NYC, a new Japanese pop-culture festival taking place next weekend in Brooklyn, held a special event at Kinokuniya.

Haven’t heard of Waku Waku +NYC? This festival is a fusion of Japanese pop culture and Brooklyn culture. It brings together the worlds of anime, manga, music, food, film, and fashion inside Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods. Featuring exhibits, panels, screenings, and interactive events across multiple locations. The name itself,  “Waku Waku” (わくわく) is a Japanese word for “excitement”; along with strong sense of anticipation for a marvelous occurrence.

The festival may only be a week away, nonetheless, the Kinokuniya event was indeed exciting. It included last minute ticket sales and a raffle for weekend passes and puzzles from the popular anime/manga series Sword Art Online and Magi The Labyrinth Of Magic.

The raffles were held every 1/2 hour from 1-4 pm, there was even a last chance raffle at 4:30 pm. Over 10 lucky winners went home with weekend passes, (a $65 dollar value); and even this reporter got lucky and won a Sword Art Online puzzle. Anticipation is already in the air with a strong sense for a marvelous occurrence next weekend.

Waku Waku +NYC is Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30 from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. To purchase tickets, please visit: http://wakuwakunyc.com/