The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for March, 2008!

by
Aloha Y’all! Catgirl Island www.catgirlisland.net & Clan of the Cats www.clanofthecats.com purr-sent a Mike Moon purr-duction of

The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for March, 2008!

Mike (the catgirls’ purr-ducer):
(in his Star Trek the Motion Picture uniform) Welcome back to The Mew! Today we’re at the Convention Center of beautiful downtown Catgirl Island!

Yvonne:
(wearing a yukata) Nihao, nya!

Elizabeth:
(wearing her miko attire) Hi Hi!

Jeannie:
(wearing her belly dance costume) Hello everybody!

Mary Nyan:
(wearing her hula costume) Aloha y’all! Instead of our usual monthly reviews of science fiction, fantasy & horror books, comics, movies, music, games & toys-

Elizabeth:
this we’ll be devoting most of this mew to the visual and performing art of costumes!

Yvonne:
Costumes! Costumes! I hope there’s another convention, festival, or masquerade ball that we can go to soon, nya!

Jeannie:
Of course there are many types of costumes worn for a variety of purr-poses, from traditional cultural attire worn at holidays to big furry suits worn by sports teams’ mascots or theme park characters! Costumes are worn at carnivals, parades, parties, conventions, concerts, pageants, historical reenactments… by dancers, ice skaters, circus troupes, comedians, rock stars and actors! Faerie Festivals and Renaissance Faires are wonderful events, where folks of all would be encouraged to purr-ticipate in the costumed fun!

Mary Nyan:
There are even organizations noted for their costuming efforts, such as the medieval recreations of the Society for Creative Anachronism and sword-fighting groups such as The Shadowplayers and European Medieval Arts of Arms. There are many Live Action Role Play (LARP) groups, such as World of Darkness and New England Role-playing Organization. Among fan groups known for their impressive science fiction & fantasy theme costumes are the 501st Storm Troopers, Starfleet, and the Klingon Assault Group to name a few!

Elizabeth:
Rocky Horror, Stargate, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, Doctor Who, Marvel & DC characters, and KISS are but a few popular subjects whose fans are known to dress up! Fans of Japanese anime, manga, games and pop music who wear costumes are especially referred to as cosplayers, a term derived from the words ‘costume’ and ‘play’! So for our first costume special edition of The Mew, we’ll be mainly focusing on those cosplayers, nya! We’ll be interviewing four very talented special guests from different parts of the country, nya!

Mike:
This month, the ladies of The Mew welcome cosplayers Crissy, Hezachan, Bunny and Bix!


cosplayers

top left: Crissy as Magic Knights Rayearth’s Umi, costume by Beverly Faerie http://www.charmedseed.net/ photo by Reinii http://www.myspace.com/artchick848
top right: Hezachan made, models, and photographed this Haruhi Suzumiya costume, with a headband from the DVD box and an Ibanez guitar
bottom left: Bunny does the Caramell Dance in this costume she made of the character Misa, from the manga and anime series Death Note
bottom right: Bix cosplaying at a convention as Baiken, from the Guilty Gear video games, with a katana in this photo by her neice Chibi Kyo

Yvonne:
Thank y’all for coming and please help yourselves to a beverage, nya! Could y’all tell us where you’re from, and what do you do for a living or for fun, nya?

Hezachan:
Well I am originally from Cincinnati Ohio, but I have recently moved to Green Bay Wisconsin. I do lots of things for fun; for instance, drawing, playing video games, and cosplay (duh)!

Bix:
I’m from Arizona USA, and right now I work in a restaurant but hopefully that’ll change soon! I also draw/take commissions for pocket money, though more often than not it still goes to paying bills, haha.

Bunny:
I’m originally from Gastonia in NC. Currently I’m a college student and I do housekeeping as a part-time job.

Crissy:
I live near and work in New York city as a secretary for a construction company. I love my workplace. As for fun, a lot of the things most “geeks” do, I watch TV, I watch anime, I read manga, I play video games, I work on websites, I go to karaoke, I go to goth clubs, have movie nights with my friends, that kind of stuff.

=^.^=

Yvonne:
What inspired you to be a cosplayer, nya?

Bunny:
Going to my first convention in 2003 and seeing cosplayers; it was amazing!

Hezachan:

I don’t really know. All I know is that I wanted to go as Lime from Saber Marionette J for my first convention back in 2001. I had no idea what cosplay was, and just figured “well if they dress up at Trekky cons, they must do it at anime cons too!” — I was hooked ever since.

Bix:
Well Halloween has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember so I already enjoyed dressing up, and then when me and my friends discovered Sailormoon we all made costumes of the senshi one year for Halloween (not very good mind you but hey we were like 12 at the time haha). Then in 2001 friends of ours went to Anime Expo and afterwards introduced us to the crazy fun of conventions, and cosplay. We’ve been cosplay fiends ever since, always trying to get better every year but still just having fun with it.


Crissy:
It’s a bit of a long story. I’ve always LOVED Halloween. And even as far back as the eighth grade, I wanted a Chun Li costume, but I had no idea how to go about it–I always thought I’d have to take my Street Fighter booklet (remember, this is from the days before the internet!) to an old German seamstress somewhere in my neighborhood, and that it would cost a thousand dollars, and that it probably wouldn’t come out right (it’d end up looking like a dress, because that’s all most people know how to make), so it was a lost cause. Then one day (spring of 1999, I think), my stepfather e-mailed me with a link to an eBay auction for a Sailor Mars fuku. I missed the end of the auction, but I was so disappointed, I took a chance and e-mailed the seller, who turned out to be Setsuna Kou. She made me one of my very own, and that was my first cosplay costume.

To tell you the truth, though, at that point, I didn’t even know the term “cosplay”! I just wanted a Sailor Mars costume for…whatever. Whatever reason. So I hung on to it. About the same time (perhaps a little earlier), my friend Usagi Seion (who was the person who got me into Sailor Moon in the first place) and I wanted to start “Teh best Sailor Moon page EVAR!” (okay, we weren’t really going to call it that, but I think that’s pretty much how we thought of it in our minds), with images of EVERY Sailor Moon artbook image, screencaps of every episode, just…you know. Everything. The only problem was, neither of us knew how to make a website. ::laugh::

So Usagi Seion decided she’d be in charge of the artistic design, and I decided I’d be in charge of the technical mumbo jumbo. Now, I learn better by trying, then by studying, so I decided to make a “trial” webpage to learn on. I still wanted it to be useful, though, and Sailor Moon related, so I decided, since most Sailor Moon images exist somewhere on the web already, I’d make an image gallery of people dressed up as Sailor Moon characters. My search for people dressed in Sailor Moon costumes led me to a Sailor Moon newsgroup, which led me to my first Sailor Moon cosplayers, which led me to the COSP mailing list…and it was all downhill from there. :)

=^.^=

Yvonne:
Who are your favorite characters, anime or otherwise, nya?

Crissy:
Sailor Mars and Utena are definitely my two favorite anime characters. They’re strong without losing their femininity, they’re confident without seeming bitchy, they’re loyal almost to a fault, and very idealistic.  I’m also in love with Terry Bogard, but I don’t have any such deep philosophical reasons for liking him.  He’s just sexy.  ;-)

Hezachan:
Oh wow  I have way too many to list all of them, so I’ll just list the top 5 of both categories. Characters: (1) Chibi Usagi from Sailor Moon, (2) Raichu from Pokemon, (3) Pucca from Pucca Funny Love Story, (4) Mashimaro from Mashimaro and (5) Chococat from Sanrio. Anime: (1) Saber Marionette J, (2) Popotan, (3) Nurse Witch Komugi-Chan Majikarte, (4) Sailor Moon Super S, (5) Magical Project S

Bunny:
Shindou Hikaru from “Hikaru no GO”, Lime from “Saber Marionette J”, Alita & Sechs from “Battle Angel Alita”, and Sailor Venus from “Sailormoon”.

Bix:
My favorite characters anime/manga wise are Tenoh Haruka / Sailor Uranus (Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon), Alexiel (Angel Sanctuary) and more. I also love video game characters like Amaterasu (Okami), and if you ever look into my room you’ll see somewhat of a shrine to Cloud and Tifa from Final Fantasy VII. I have tons of characters I love from all kinds of media but it would take too long to say them all.

=^.^=

Yvonne:
Aside from anime cosplay, does your masquerading include Star Trek & Star Wars, Renaissance faires, fairie festivals, SCA, historical re-enactment, Halloween, pageants or parades, and so forth, nya?

Bix:
Well I do have cosplay of J-Rock musicians and video game characters, but I really want to make a Star Wars costume as well since that’s one of my big nerd loves too, haha.

Hezachan:
I do dress up for Halloween still — but unfortunately I haven’t had the pleasure dressing up for other things. I do want to go as a borg for a Trek con sometime…

Crissy:
Generally speaking, I only wear anime, manga, and video game related cosplay to anime conventions. For comic cons, any of those are acceptable, but I’ve been planning more comic book characters for this year because I wouldn’t wear them to an anime con. I’ve never been to a Star Trek convention, but I do have an original Trek Halloween costume. I’ve never been to the Ren Faire yet and I REALLY should rectify that.  And I still love Halloween, and now I have the added challenge of trying to find a costume people will recognize, while staying away from anime, manga, video game, and comic characters.

Bunny:
Not really. I like to dress up for Halloween and want to do some skits with friends in the future.

=^.^=

Yvonne:
What purrcentage of the act of cosplaying for you is making / buying the costume, posing & modelling, or performing in character, nya?

Hezachan:
Uh, for some reason this question confuses the heck out of me… I make all of my costumes, and posing comes quite naturally when you really like the anime/game you’re cosplaying from… I don’t always perform though so I guess 75% is in the construction, and 20% is posing/modeling and the other 5% is performing. I’d say that the most enjoyable part of cosplaying is when you finish all the work. Sometimes it can be quite nerve-racking to get a costume finished, when other times is sort of relaxing. Sometimes while I walk around I get into character — take Koyori for instance, she’s just too much fun not to laugh or act like her! Other times I’m so busy talking to people I don’t remain in character, and I’m just myself in a silly costume. If people ask to take a photo of myself in costume, then I often pose like the character would. I don’t perform much in character. My skits usually are short and sweet, and go along to music most of the time– meaning I don’t say much, just act / lip sync to music.

Bunny:
I think it should all be 100%. If you can sew, do your best; if you can’t, try your best to get the best costume possibly. ALWAYS stay in character, if possible- of course, if your character is a complete bitch, don’t be on to officals and whatnot.

Crissy:
You know, I think I’d have to say the biggest percentage of cosplay for me is in the photo shoots. I don’t make my own costumes, so I don’t get to fully enjoy that process. I don’t try to stay “in character” at a convention, because that’s always been a little creepy for me–if I’m talking to you, I’m talking to YOU, not the character you’re portraying.  On the other hand, I don’t like seeing people behave extremely out of character–there’s nothing more disheartening than a really meanspirited Sailor Moon. Cons are my chance to hang out with my long-distance friends, who I really want to be “Crissy” around, you know?  So definitely the photo shoots are when it all comes together, the costume and trying to portray the character to the fullest.  Plus, you can look at the photos for months afterwards.

Bix:
For me, the construction of the costume is WORK. I mean, there’s its element of fun too, especially when me and my friends join together to do cosplay work, but in the end all I’m thinking of how happy I’ll be when it’s done. For me it all comes together when I put it on for that first time at the con and step outside. I usually don’t go acting in character all the time, maybe just for kicks around friends, but for the most part I’m just me in a costume. I guess I can say I enjoy modeling the costume, the result of all my time and money, more than anything.

=^.^=

Yvonne:
Do you need to mentally or physically prepare for the cosplay or practice with props, weapons, body language, nya?

Bunny:
Sometimes I practice, but I usually pick characters that I love and know well, so its natural.

Hezachan:
Honestly, I don’t do any of those things. I just go out and do my thing.

Bix:
I usually at least try to think of poses and facial expressions to do for each costume, though a lot of times I improvise depending on if I’m posing with any other people for a picture.

Crissy:
Eh, not much. I try to work out and take care of my skin so I’ll look good, and I’ll research official artwork so that I have a few good poses down, but other than that I don’t go too crazy. Of course, it helps that I usually only cosplay characters from media that I’m a fan of, so I already have a pretty good sense of the character that I’ve chosen to be.  Also, I’ve never really had props with any of my costumes, so that hasn’t come up yet.

=^.^=

Yvonne:
Are there certain types of costumes in general that you tend to favor such as Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL), uniforms, furry, mecha, kimono, Jpop, etc, nya?

Bunny:
I don’t think so…. Maybe? o.o

Hezachan:
I tend to lean towards mahou shoujo [magical girls]. Pretty much anything that is colorful, outlandish, not like normal clothing, and has animal ears and a tail, I’ll cosplay.

Crissy:

I think I’ve just about done the “magic girl” costume to death, with no signs of stopping. ::laugh:: I do enjoy EGL outfits and kimono as well, and I’ve never delved into mecha or Jpop. And furry just isn’t my thing, although I don’t see anything wrong with it.

Bix:
For others, right now I really love Jpop / Jrock cosplay, or even just cool original outfits someone has put together or made for themselves, or people that have giant, amazing looking props because I’m useless when it comes to making them. For myself, I just love cosplaying a character or person I really like.

=^.^=

Yvonne:
How many of your costumes are based on famous characters vs your own original concepts, nya?

Crissy:
I’ve only ever done pre-existing characters in cosplay. The EGL dresses are original designs, but they’re not my original designs. I do have an EGL design in mind that I’d like to tackle this year, but it depends on my funds and my chosen seamstress’s availability.  I do have an original school uniform in mind, but cosplaying an unrecognizable character never seems to be as much fun as cosplaying a well-known one.

Bunny:
All of mine are existing characters, though I’d love to do a few of my own OCs someday

Hezachan:
I don’t do a lot of famous character cosplay. A lot of cosplays I do, not a lot of people know of the series… which is sad because the series I cosplay from are so funny and cute! I never cosplay original concepts because of several reasons; mostly because I don’t have the time and they don’t get as much recognition.

Bix:
Well I’ve yet to make a costume based on an original design, but I plan to in the near future hopefully.

=^.^=

Elizabeth:
Hi there! So, what are some of your proudest cosplay moments? Awards?

Bix:
I’ve never really entered any contests with my costumes, but I feel proud anytime someone asks for a pitcure or gives me a compliment. It makes me feel like all the holes in my fingers and stress and money that I put into the costume was worth it, haha. I also love when I’m crossplaying and I’m mistaken for a boy! It really makes me happy.. maybe too happy? Haha!

Bunny:
I loved the fact that so many people thought I was male when I was dressed as Hikaru!

Crissy:
Oh, wow, let’s see.  Being picked as American Cosplay Paradise’s pick of the month this past year was a wonderful surprise, as was making a “Top Ten” list of best cosplayers a few months ago.  I got an “Honorable Mention” in Cosplay Lab’s look-a-like contest for Sailor Mars, and a skit I was in at BAAF 2003 received “Best Journeyman”.  All of those were absolutely wonderful moments.

Hezachan::
I’d say my most proud moment was when I won an award for the first time at SugoiCon. I had been trying to win something at that con for since 2001. Their judges are tough! I have won 5 awards total:
2003 – IkasuCon – Best Performance, 2005 – SugoiCon – Best Craftsmanship, 2006 – AnimePunch – Best Interpretive Character Skit, 2006 – IkasuCon – Best Performance – Journeyman Catagory, and
2006 – SugoiCon – Best Overall Cosplay. Hopefully, I will win more in the future!

=^.^=

Elizabeth:
What are some of your least favorite cosplay experiences?

Hezachan:
Don’t really have any.

Bunny:
When a costume isn’t what you planned, such as my Yuna.

Crissy:
Honestly, I haven’t had many.  This past year at Otakon, I had a guy try to walk off with my stuff, but he was really, REALLY bad at it, so maybe he was just horribly socially awkward and I completely misinterpreted what he was trying to do?  But really, I think that was the worst, and if that was the worst, then I have nothing to complain about.

Bix:
Sometimes people who are not aware what the 10,000 weird costumed people are doing wandering around can be rude and obnoxious, but luckily I haven’t had too many negative experiences of that kind. There have been some uncomfortable situations with people asking to take pictures with me and being a little too touchy feely, like placing their arms LOW around my waist, but again they’ve been few and far between.

=^.^=

Elizabeth:
Do you cosplay for fun, to compete or as a profession?

Crissy:

Purely for fun.  One of these days I would like to get back into at least performing in the Masquerade, but even that isn’t a top priority.

Bix:

For fun, definitely. I’m not skilled enough to compete I think, haha.

Hezachan:
I cosplay for fun and to compete. I wish I could cosplay as a profession!

Bunny:
Just for fun!

=^.^=

Elizabeth:
What skill level do you consider yourself- novice, journeyman, master?

Bix:
Well me and my friends’ cosplay motto is “Lay down and I’ll trace you!” if that gives you an idea, hahaha. But even with my limited knowledge, I think my costumes look nice at least.

Bunny:
Novice all the way, haha. One day I hope to be a decent sewer!

Crissy:
I consider myself a novice, as I barely sew at all.  But I have been doing it for a number of years now!

Hezachan:
Most people, I think, would put me at master level for the fact I’ve been cosplaying for 7 years. I still, however, think I’m at a journeyman level. I can’t construct ridiculously difficult costumes yet. I dread the day I have to make armor!

=^.^=

Elizabeth:
Do you have any words of advice for the novice cosplayer… or parents whose children would dress up?

Bunny:
Convert them early!!!!!! For everyone else, try to pick a character that you either love and/or can pull off well!

Crissy:
They’re 2 separate categories for me, so I’ll answer each separately. Novice cosplayer: First, determine what your main goal in cosplaying is. Are you in it to have fun? Learn a new skill? Meet people?  Or become famous on the internet?  (If it’s that last, I advise you not to waste your time…but my warning will probably fall on deaf ears. Some things you have to experience to truly understand.)  What you want out of cosplay will affect what you do thereafter.  But some good general rules are: Pick a costume you’re going to feel comfortable in. Try it on before you wear it out.  Make sure it’s weather appropriate, or at the very least can become so when you’re outside.

At conventions, don’t skip on meals, showers, or sleep. There are a lot of people packed in to a relatively small space, and your immune system is going to need all the help it can get to fight off the dreaded “Con Plague”. And lastly, I know that cons are like a vacation for all of us, where we can connect with people who truly “get” us, but that doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all and anything goes. Try to be polite or at least civil, getting bullied for being an otaku at school is no excuse to come to a con to bully even bigger otaku.

Parents: Honestly, a big part of me feels like this doesn’t need to be said, because the rules for allowing a child to go to a convention should be the same as the rules for allowing a child to go to a party, but when I think of some of the behavior I’ve seen at these conventions, it obviously DOES need to be said, so here goes: be involved in what your kids are up to. Do you know what they’re going to be wearing? Are they going to be wearing the same thing when they get there as what they were wearing in the house?  There are bathrooms at these places, their friends can smuggle outfits for them, they can change. Do you know who they’ll be staying with? How will you know they are where they say they are? Also, understand this is not a birthday party where all the kids are pretty much the same age, there is a wide variety that spans generations amongst the attendees.

Even in the most innocent of scenarios, this can be a problem; I’m 27, and I like to have a few drinks with my friends as the night begins to wind down. If I’m at a room party, I’m not going to be keeping an eagle eye on the cooler to ID every guy who grabs a beer, you know? And some of the people there are not so innocent, will your teenage daughter know WHY the 57 year old guy knelt down to take her picture? Will she care? There aren’t a lot of these types at the cons, I’d say even less than 1%, but they definitely do target the underage girls. Now, some kids are trustworthy.  I know, because I was friends with pretty much all of them when I was a teen.  But way more parents think their precious little snowflakes are innocent, and I wonder how much is them refusing to open their eyes.

Hezachan:
For novice cosplayers, never, NEVER give up. I would have quit cosplaying a looooong time ago if I gave up. I never would have thought back then I could make the cosplays I can make now. Cosplay takes a lot of time and a lot of practice. Unless you’re one of those freaks who is amazingly good starting out — then that makes you a VERY lucky person. For parents who’s children dress up, if they are underage supervise them and guide them through their projects. If they want to make a cosplay that you feel is inappropriate,  tell them how you feel, and give them a valid reason as to WHY you don’t want them to cosplay it. Most children will understand. NEVER say “because I said so” — That’s never a good excuse to anyone, let alone a child.

Bix:
ALWAYS have fun with what you’re doing! Oh, and remember to bring an emergency sewing repair kit with you, you never know what can rip!

=^.^=

Elizabeth:
Aside from the cosplay, are you model, hair / make-up stylist, photographer, fashion designer, costumer, artist, dancer, etc?

Bix:
Like I mentioned before I draw, but it’s more for my enjoyment than anything.

Hezachan:
I am a photographer, but I am in no way a professional. I also am a freelance artist. I enjoy making plushies, and doing both traditional and digital artwork. I am VERY interested in becoming a model, but I have no idea how to get into the industry.

Bunny:
I draw and take some photos. I also like to design clothes -in my head, haha!

Crissy:
Oh lord, no. ::laughs:: I’m a secretary, like I said.  I used to do theater in high school and college, and from there I learned some neat makeup tricks. I draw on the side, but purely for fun. And the only dancing I do is at the goth clubs, I SUCK at choreography. But I’m dedicated and I keep practicing until I get it right!

=^.^=

Elizabeth:
Who are your favorite artists, designers, cosplayers, etc?

Hezachan:
My favorite artist is Akio Wantanabe (Poyoyon Rock). He is the creator of Popotan and Nurse Witch Komugi. His art style is just so cute and moe! I have a lot of favorite cosplayers: Limebarb, Jia Crens
Stripper Vash, Heidi, BunnyChan, Rynn, AnimeAngel, S0nified, Yaya Han … and many more. You all know who you are anyways! ^_~

Bix:
I have several artists on deviantart that I admire greatly and mangaka wise my favorites are Yuki Kaori (Earl Cain series, Angel Sanctuary), Kakinouchi Narumi (Vampire Princess Miyu), Takanashi Mitsuba (The Devil Does Exist, Crimson Hero), Shurei Kouyu (Alichino), Koge Donbo (Digi Charat, Pita Ten ) and many more. My favorite cosplayers are my friends!

Crissy:
Mmm.  Far too many to list, although my personal favorite artist is my friend Elisse, I love her work. :)  I don’t have a favorite designer at all, although I really like the EGL creations Oshidori and Jezeroth have come up with. And I just bought a bridesmaid’s dress from Jim Hjelm, so I guess I like him!  And I know WAAAY too many cosplayers to pick a favorite, let’s just say I know a lot of incredibly talented people.

Bunny:
Character design wise, Kotobuki Tsukasa. Art and story wise, Kishiro Yukito. Cosplayer wise, I’m a vivid fan of Hezachan and Sukunai Kistune http://sukunai-kitsune.livejournal.com/

=^.^=

Elizabeth:
Are there any particular photographers or other cosplayers you often collaborate with?

Bunny:
My friends back at home. We have a bunch of future group cosplays planned!

Hezachan:

No, I’m a one man band unfortunately. I hope to work with others in the future though!


Bix:
I always cosplay with my best friend Zara and my niece who goes by Chibi Kyo. But I have many friends who I love to take photos with even if we aren’t cosplaying from the same thing, some of the funniest/best pictures EVAR come out from those photos.

Crissy:
Photographers, yes. I’ve been shooting with David Ng almost every year I’ve been cosplaying, except for the first, and I don’t think there’s been a year that’s gone by that we haven’t done at least one shoot.  I met Tony K in 2004 and we’ve had a lot of fun working together, even branching out of cosplay shoots and trying out fashion photography. I’m dying to work with my friend Laura out in Colorado, she’s fabulous. My friend Jessica Pepper has just gotten into the cosplay scene, but has been working in photography for many years now, and specializes in “ghost” shots. And I haven’t worked with Eurobeat King from Cosplay.com much one on one, but we’ve managed to find each other at every con we’re both attending at least once.

As for other cosplayers, I’m part of a smallish (but growing!) cosplay group called Outer Power, Inner Beauty for three years now. We try to do a Sailor Moon costume together every year, and then decide on another series to tackle besides. I also love to cosplay with Usagi Kou and her friends, Usa and I met at the very first con I ever went to and we’ve been friends ever since. But honestly, I’ve met so many very dear people through cosplay that it would be impossible to list them all. Oh, and I’ve also dressed as Meryl to compliment my boyfriend as Vash.  But he ALWAYS wears Vash, so it’s impossible to match him every time!

=^.^=

Jeannie:
Are there typical materials, fabrics, and tools you are partial to?

Crissy:

No. Again, generally speaking, I leave fabric choice up to the seamstress, but even if I were to pick it out myself, each costume would have a different fabric that it suggests, like a knit for Rinoa’s duster, something heavier for Meryl’s cape, something lighter and more flowy for the senshi’s princess dresses.

Bix:

To be honest, when it comes to fabrics and sewing materials I’m not that knowledgeable, I just try to find and use what I think is best for the costume I’m working on.

Bunny:
Not partically… I use what I think is best at the time.

Hezachan:
Plain ol’ cotton quilting material I tend to use often. For props I use a lot of wood, electrical tape, paper clay, super sculpey and lots and lots of time. I do miss my mother’s Singer School Model sewing machine… That thing is a beast! Now that I have moved, I only have a crappy little Brother brand sewing machine.

=^.^=

Jeannie:
Where do you prefer to get your supplies and materials?

Bix:
There are a couple of fabric stores I frequent to find the materials I need, and if at all possible I’ll also go hunting in thrift stores for any garments I can use or alter into a piece I need.

Crissy:
I’ve actually been trying to branch out to different seamstresses, so that when other people ask me for seamstress recomendations, I have a variety of quality and pricing to suggest to them.  I’ve done repeated business with Setsuna Kou, Avian Firefly, Athena-chan, and Beverly Faerie.

Hezachan:
I prefer buying my material and supplies offline. Hancock Fabrics, Joann’s Fabrics, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and sometimes Wal*Mart. If I can’t find what I need at those shops, I head to eBay or whatever stores online that will supply me with what I need.

Bunny:
Mary Jo’s, Micheal’s, Hobby Lobby, or online.

=^.^=

Jeannie:
What are some good tips for transporting, cleaning, and repairing costumes?

Hezachan:
Trust me, I am NOT the person to ask about such matters. I run my costumes into the ground.

Bunny:
Keep your stuff in a smoke-free home. Hang clothes if possible, it nor, iron before use. Fold neatly for travel, clean stuff gently. If broken, try to fix O.<

Bix:
Febreeze can be a cosplayer’s best friend to refresh a costume that’s been stuck in a suitcase or storage. I also make sure to take a bag full of sewing supplies in case I need to make some emergency repairs to costumes while at a con. I think most costumes require dry cleaning, but as that can be expensive the at home versions like Dryall (spelling?) can be handy. While not quite as thorough, for one of my costumes that’s furry I’ve taken a damp towel with a small amount of detergent and rubbed it down to clean it a bit.

Crissy:
Transporting: you’ve got me! As someone who doesn’t drive, I generally choose costumes that don’t have humungous parts that can’t be folded, and trust that the hotel will have an iron for me when I get there. As for cleaning, some costumes are machine washable (and any seamstress who makes their costumes sew has my eternal appreciation) but most get hand-washed in the bathtub and then hung outside to dry. Some costumes just need a few spritzes of Febreeze and then they’re okay. Actually, the biggest help I’ve found is a steamer: it’s so much easier to steam the wrinkles out of a long gown or a costume with a lot of weirdly-shaped drapings than it is to lay them on an ironing board! I can’t recommend it enough!

=^.^=

Jeannie:
Where are the best places (lighting, safety, scenery) to take costume pics at home, in public or at a con?

Crissy:
Safety should be your number one concern when choosing a shoot locale: don’t do like I did and climb out on a ledge 11 feet in the air in 2 inch heels just for a photo!  I could’ve killed myself!  (And anyone standing underneath me could have seen right up my skirt. Thankfully, that’s why boyfriends are for.) Also, try to obey all local rules and regulations: don’t take pictures in the middle of the hallway and block traffic, don’t take pictures in ACTUAL traffic, don’t trespass onto private property, etc. etc.  As for lighting, your photographer should actually know all about what’s necessary for every location you choose, if he’s worth the price of his camera. :) Lastly, many conventions are held at either convention centers or hotels, both of which have beautifully landscaped exteriors and wonderfully decorated lobbies which make ideal surroundings for photo shoots. Most of them don’t mind you shooting there, but if they do ask you to move, don’t argue, just knock off and find somewhere else.

Hezachan:

I often think that outside is the best place to have photos taken. If its dark or rainy outside, I suggest finding an open area with florescent lighting. I find that white florescent lighting is best for cameras (at least mine does well with them). Make sure to keep the camera still as possible when shooting indoors. Bring a tripod if you have one.

Bix:

I’ve been told the times from 10 am – 2 pm yields the best lighting for photos. As for locations, not everyone has the liberty of getting the perfect scenery or locations for their costume, but if you scout your city you can surely find lots of neat places to take photos at. If you’re going to take photos at night, make sure to have plenty of people with you and that you’re in a safe area of town at the very least.

Bunny:
The con is always a good place, so long as you don’t block areas in the hallway. Home and public greatly depend on where you’re at, lighting, scenery, etc.

=^.^=

Jeannie:
What should otaku / fans know about behaving around cosplayers, or fellow fans in general?

Bix:
Asking is always the best policy! ASK before randomly snapping a photo of someone, that is unless you’re trying to get a candid shot. ASK to hug someone before glomping them randomly- I’ve nearly been tackled into the street, with oncoming traffic coming my way!, stuff like that. Just be courteous, you know? ^_^

Hezachan:
1) NEVER EVER GLOMP WITHOUT PERMISSION!! (2) If a cosplayer lets you see his / her prop, be gentle. (3) No giddy schoogirl worship. We don’t like that sort of thing. We are people just like you. (4) If you wanna know how something was made, simply ask. Most cosplayers will tell you how it was made, and what it was made from. (5) Understand that cosplayers are busy too. If it seems like they are ignoring you, most likely they didn’t hear you. (6) Please ask to take photos, and (7) Don’t pull or yank on someone’s costume. You don’t wanna break / rip something!

Bunny:
Be polite. Even if you don’t like the cosplayer/character, don’t be a bitch and scream out things like “I HATE SO-AND-SO”; you just make an ass of yourself. Many cosplayers have no problem poking fun at themselves but some are sensitive. Basically, just use common sense. Oh, and do NOT run up randomly and hug a cosplayer because their your OMGFFAVCHAREVE4, ASK FIRST -some of us may have paint on or perfer our personal space!

Crissy:
I touched on this earlier, but I don’t mind expanding on the subject here. First and foremost, remember they are REAL PEOPLE, and not the character they are representing, so they will not respond to you in a fantasy-like way, even if you’re dressed as Squall and she’s dressed as Rinoa. Secondly, be mindful of the fact that these people might be tired, they might be in pain (wearing heels for many hours straight would kill anyone’s feet), they might be hungry, and they might be hurrying to get somewhere, so don’t take it personally if they don’t feel up to talking right then. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your family/coworkers to see on YouTube. And finally, if you do try to talk to a cosplayer and s/he brushes you off rudely, don’t even bother getting angry. Just walk away; s/he obviously isn’t worth your time.

=^.^=

Jeannie:
Any misconceptions about fans & cosplayers you’d care to address?

Bunny:
Attention-whoring isn’t always the reason for cosplay; some of us just do it for fun. Also, do not let the random smelly, overweight geek who takes photos up girls’ skirts ruin your vision of all fans!

Crissy:
Despite everything I just said, not every fan and/or cosplayer is a socially awkward geek; some of us are very charming geeks. It’s just the small and unfortunately unpleasant minority that give us a bad name.  I’ve met some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, beautiful, and well-rounded people through this hobby, for which I am eternally thankful.

Bix:
None I can think of at the moment, but I guess just keep in mind there’s partial truth to everything, but everyone is different. End Bix’s wisdom of the day. XD

Hezachan:
If a cosplayer doesn’t acknowledge you, it doesn’t mean that they are being an “asshole” or a “bitch”, its most likely they are busy and didn’t hear you. Please don’t start drama over nothing… conventions aren’t highschool — they are a place to relax!

=^.^=

Jeannie:
To those who would staff cons & cosplay, any advice on how to make the event go smoothly, quickly and happily?

Bix:
I’ve never staffed so I couldn’t say.

Hezachan:
I have no idea, I never got involved with staffing. You can’t compete when on staff!

Crissy:
No; I wouldn’t dare presume! I don’t think most people know just how much work goes into planning and running a convention; let me just say it’s at LEAST as difficult and time-consuming as any full-time job. So my advice is to the convention goers: don’t be a jerk to con staff! They’re working incredibly hard without pay, and without them, there would be no convention at all.  Now, to be fair, I have met a few staffers who have let the “power” (what there is of it) go to their heads, so I’d say to the convention planners, try to know who your staff is, and listen to the attendees complaints, even if you take them with a grain of salt. And volunteers, and I understand and sympathize that you’re doing this work without pay, but remember, it is not complusory, so there’s no need for a bad attitude on your part, either.

Bunny:
Plan ahead of time. Do not place events back-to-back in rooms; believe it or not, that usually doesn’t run well!

=^.^=

Jeannie:
What are your favorite cons and other events to wear a costume to, and which ones do you hope to attend in 2008?

Bunny:
I’ve only ever been to two, Animazement and Anime Mid-Atlantic. I will definitly be attending AZ this year, possibly AMA, and maybe one more!

Bix:
Well because of where I live and my limited funds, I can only afford to attend two cons a year at this point. And my favorite two cons to attend would be Anime Expo and Pacific Media Expo. I hope to attend both of those once more in 2008, and maybe some Arizona based conventions if I can manage it.

Hezachan:
I really enjoy OhayoCon lots, but I have missed it this year because of my move. All of my favorite cons are in Ohio, so now that I’m in Wisconsin, I’ll be going to less cons. I hope to attend Anime Central this year. I will get to meet a lot of people I’ve talked to online but never met in real life.

Crissy:
My favorite conventions, and indeed the only ones I’ve attended with any regularlity, are AnimeNEXT and Otakon. I will be attending Katsucon for the first time this year, and I have more cons I’d *like* to go to, like the New York Comic Con, and MangaNEXT, but I have to see if those will work with my schedule.

=^.^=

Mary Nyan:
How does cosplay in the US compare / contrast to Japan’s  or other countries?

Bix:
I haven’t had the pleasure to visit any other countries to really be able to give an accurate comparison, so I’ll pass on this question.

Hezachan:

A lot of people tend to think that the Japanese cosplay the best. I could see where they get that idea seeing as most Japanese have stores they can buy their costumes from. I think alot of Americans tend to make their own costume other than buying one / having one commissioned; which can lead to people thinking American cosplays stink, because they are not of tip-top quality. Not saying that I think either country is better than the other. I think all countries represent their love for the hobby well.

Bunny:
There’s a ton of differences, too many to name here. I guess the biggest difference are the Cosplay Idols in Japan- professional cosplayers, who can be models and/or semstresses.

Crissy:
I haven’t studied cosplay in Japan as extensively as some other cosplayers have, but from what I’ve seen, there are a lot more professional costumes that are purchased over there as opposed to the homemade costumes we wear here. That’s not to say there aren’t high quality homemade costumes; there are, and I’ve bought many. ::laughs:: But there definitely is a difference between the personal hobby approach and the “store bought” approach. I’ve actually been getting a lot of submissions for my Sailor Moon website from foreign cosplayers recently; apparently, Sailor Moon cosplay is on the upswing in Brazil and Germany and even Russia. Everyone who’s contacted me from overseas has been incredibly friendly and polite, and they always apologize for their “poor English”, when of course I couldn’t speak one word of their native language! They’re really wonderful people. :)

=^.^=

Mary Nyan:
What are the most common / popular costumes & trends you tend to see these days? Where’s it headed?

Hezachan:
Well, to be honest I see way too many Full Metal Alchemist, Naruto, and just anime-on-adult-swim cosplays. Which is ok, but it really gets tiring to see the same costumes over and over again at every convention you go to. Cosplay is about representing a character / anime you love and getting peoples’ interest in what you are representing. Almost everyone who goes to a convention knows what Naruto and FMA are. That’s why I like cosplaying something that not everyone knows about. If someone likes my costume and asks where its from, then I can enlighten them about the character / series.

Bunny:
Sometimes a series can be overdone (lately its been “NARUTO”, “Bleach”, and “Death Note”) But personally, if a costume is well-done then it shouldn’t matter if its been done a hundred times before. Also, a pair of catears does NOT make a costume- sorry, but its true.

Bix:

I think popular shows like Naruto and Bleach are still making a strong impact cosplay wise, but I’m also seeing more and more people wearing lolita or other Japanese fashion inspired outfits. I’m not sure I can say where it’s heading, but I would really love to see more of a mixing of various cosplay and fashions, a blurring of the lines so to speak.


Crissy:
Bleach, Naruto, and Inuyasha refuse to die out! ::laughs:: Although I suppose the same could be said for Sailor Moon, and I’m just biased. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of Death Note cosplays, which isn’t surprising because they’re relatively easy costumes- even “closet cosplay”. I couldn’t tell you what the “next big thing” is going to be (I’ll let you know after I’ve seen what’s in the halls of Katsucon!) but I can tell you one trend I’ve noticed is that the upper end of cosplay is going WAY up, with the quality of costumes getting better and better until they look positively professional, but that on the other hand, far more people, especially among the younger crowd, are dressing up in corsets, miniskirts, and cat ears and calling it “cosplay”.

=^.^=

Mary Nyan:
What was your most ambitious / difficult costume?

Crissy:
Again, as I don’t make my costumes, I really couldn’t say for sure, but Umi definitely had the most pieces and the widest variety of materials involved. The most work I personally ever did for a costume was for Tifa Lockheart, but really, even that was pretty easy. Oh, the convertible Utena costume was technically my idea, but Melissa Quinn was the one who figured out how to make it possible, so all credit goes to her.

Hezachan:
My Hyper Witch Mugi-Mugi Deluxe costume from Nurse Witch Komugi-Chan Majikarte. It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to finish. There is everything from shoe moding, to wig styling — hat making to armor molding… I was so glad to get that one done in time for the convention!

Bix:
My most ambitious costume I think so far has been my FRONTIERS / With../ “white monster” seek (Psycho le Cemu) cosplay. I think I literally put blood, sweat and tears into it, haha.

Bunny:
Ambitious-wise, I loved doing Hikaru was so deadicated to it that I even went so far as to cut and dye my own hair. Difficultly-wise, its the Ninjette I’m trying to make by myself right now, my first hand-made cosplay!

=^.^=

Mary Nyan:
What are some of your currently in progress or planned costumes?

Bix:
I plan to make at least one Alexiel (Angel Sanctuary) costume this year, as well as a new Hisashi (GLAY) outfit and possibly Sweeney Todd. I have a long list of maybes though, haha.

Bunny:
I’m working on a Ninjette (“Empowered”) and am starting work on a kigurumi mask (Alita from “Battle Angel Alita”). Planned-wise, I want to do a Nami (“ONE PIECE”), Misty / Kasumi (“Pokemon”), Seras (“Hellsing”), and Selphie (“FFVII”)!

Crissy:
I’m definitely doing the “Otherworlds” outfit for Umi from Magic Knight Rayearth this year, and the “dreaming dresses” artbook outfit for Rei from Sailor Moon, and one of Urd’s costumes from Ah! My Goddess, but I’m not sure which yet.  I’d *like* to do another Utena costume this year, but we’ll see if I have the time and money.

Hezachan:

I have so many costumes I want to do and so little money. Planned costumes are: Lum – Urusei Yatsur, Ayu – Kanon, Teen Chibi Usa – Sailor Moon Super S (episode 158).


=^.^=

Mary Nyan:
Were money and difficulty not a factor, what are some costumes you’d most aspire to have?

Crissy:
It’s a personal (and admittedly just-for-fun) goal of mine to do all of Rei’s costumes over the course of my life.  :)

Hezachan:

Ivy from Soul Calibur. Her armor is wicked awesome.

Bunny:
Lime and Cherry from “Saber Marionette”, my ninja OC Meabure, and my Ragnarok Online char Jam!

Bix:
You know I can never think of a specific character when I’m asked this question, haha. But, if I had the knowledge / money I would love to do a costume that required armor, or amazing props, or super crazy special effects make up!

=^.^=

Mary Nyan:
What are some good books, web sites and organizations for cosplayers?

Hezachan:
Cosplay.com http://www.cosplay.com/ and American Cosplay Paradise http://www.acparadise.com/ for female cosplayers. For awesome con coverage, go to A Fan’s View http://www.fansview.com/ and Usagichan http://www.usagichan2.com/

Crissy:
Cosplay.com http://www.cosplay.com, Cosplay Lab http://www.cosplaylab.com/, American Cosplay Paradise http://www.acparadise.com/, and Cosspace http://www.cosspace.com/ are all great places to meet other cosplayers, which is really the best way to find other cosplay resources such as wig suppliers and prop makers and all that sort of thing.

Bunny:

Bix:
I think ones I have to recommend are ones everyone already knows, haha. But for my favorites, there’s Cosplay.com http://www.cosplay.com of course which has probably almost everything one could need for resources. For wigs my favorite site is http://www.amphigory.com

=^.^=

Mary Nyan:
Speaking of web sites, what are your sites?

Bunny:
Daisuki wa Bunny! dot com http://www.daisukiwabunny.com/

Hezachan:
http://www.HezaChan.com — in the links section you can find many other sites I’m on, like devART!

Bix:
You can see my art and some of my cosplay at my devart site: http://tonomurabix.deviantart.com and you can find me on cosplay.com at http://images.cosplay.com/gallery.php?member=20045&cat=500

Crissy:
Crimson Sky Creations is a website for my art and the guest art I’ve received, as well as a few other fun little personal sections, http://www.crimsonskycreations.com/
Blood, Sweat, and Glitter is my personal cosplay site, http://www.crimsonskycreations.com/bloodsweatandglitter/
Ohtori Avatars is a collective of Revolutionary Girl Utena character cosplayers, http://www.crimsonskycreations.com/ohtoriavatars/index.htm
and Sailor Moon Avatars- a collective of Sailor Moon character cosplayers, http://sailormoonavatars.com/

=^.^=

Mary Nyan:
Finally, any shout outs to your peeps?

Bix:
I love my Zara, Chibi, enna, YopiQ, RANDOM NINJAS and all of my other insane pals!! <3

Crissy:
::laughs:: I’d be here all day! But really, the biggest thanks at this point should go to my boyfriend Louis, who is so incredibly understanding and supportive to immerse himself- although admittedly not to the level of involvement I take it to in this bizarre but wonderfully rewarding hobby. And to all the beautiful girls, inside and out, that I’ve met through this hobby: you know who you are, and I love you dearly.

Hezachan:
I would just like to give thanks to everyone and anyone who has ever supported my hobby in any way. Even by saying “nice costume” at a con, or even asking me for cosplay advice, it really makes me happy and makes me work harder at what I love to do!

Bunny:
We’re geeks, we know it and love it!

=^.^=

(All four catgirls in unison, tails swishing happily)
ARIGATOO GOZAIMASU!

Mike:
Bix, Bunny, Crissy, Hezachan, thank you so very much!

Elizabeth:
In addition to their own web sites, you can see a bit of our guests’ illustrations or costume photos in the Catgirl Island Guest Gallery http://www.catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/guest.html

Jeannie:
After they enjoy a day on the island we should purr-form a show for them tonight.

Yvonne:
With dancing and decorations and drinks and delicacies, nya!

Mary Nyan:
There should be some fresh crab meat.

Elizabeth:
That would be good.

Yvonne:
What else do we have got to do here before we purr-pare for the festivity, nya?

Jeannie:
It’s now time for this month’s lightning round!  In the lightning round question segment, the purr-ticipants just give a short one word or brief sentence response.

Yvonne:
lightning round lightning round What is the topic, nya?

Jeannie:
The Lightning Round: Inspired by our great guests, what costume(s) would you most purr-fur to have?

Elizabeth:
ohhh me first ahhh um…. Marvel Comics’ Tigra, DC Comics’ The Cheetah, or Clan of the Cats’ Mel! (tags Mary Nyan)

Mary Nyan:
It would be neat if we could do a group cosplay such as The Knight Sabers, Birds of Prey, or Belldandy and her sisters! (tags Yvonne)

Yvonne:
I was gonna say Belldandy too, nya! Or maybe a Hogwarts uniform, or what they’re wearing at Galifrey or Lothlorien- OK, Jennyturn, nya! (tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:
I would purr-obably costume as Red Sonja, Witchblade, Aayla Secura, or Xena in her final episode Japan outfit.

Elizabeth:
Which Witch Blade? There are several versions!

Jeannie:
Thassa good question… I was thinking the anime or manga- of course some of those other characters y’all mentioned have different versions too!

Mary Nyan:
True, but if we ponder this topic much longer then it will cease to be the quick lightning round!

Yvonne:
Purr-haps we could consult our special guests if we try to make those outfits- they are so kind, smart, and talented, nya!

Elizabeth:
So shall we purr-ceed to the next topic?

Jeannie:
We do have a few reviews… we should quickly tender those before heading out for the entertainment.

Yvonne:
And the crab meat, nya!

Jeannie:
OK, our cordial critics quartet quickly commences concise comments on cool costumes, cute catgirl cards, quality compass compact disk, Kubert & Kanigher’s classic comics, Kozue’s captivating chronicles and a Quaker-founded college’s clever convention… before casual carousing ‘n consuming coastal caught Carolina crabmeat!

Mike:
How did you muster that lead-in?

Jeannie:
Oh, it wasn’t easy… (holds up a note pad with much scribbling on it)- hee! I finally pur-chased the lovely The Golden Compass original motion picture soundtrack CD. This will be good to listen to as I read the books. Realeased by New Line Records, it includes almost 74 minutes of Alexandre Desplat’s wonderful mewsic on 25 tracks, plus the 26th track is the film’s lovely end credits song “Lyra” by Kate Bush. The art on the disk itself is an image of the comapss symbols, and the insert is a trifold with pics of Eva green Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig on one side, and a panoramic picv of all the children plus smaller stills of the composer on the reverse side. My favorite tracks on the disk are the Lyra song and track #2 ‘Sky Ferry”! Ok, it’s Lizzy’s turn!

Elizabeth:
My review for this month is of Aqua manga vol.2! One of the most beautiful manga I’ve ever seen, Aqua is the 2 volume prequel manga to Aria, also published by Tokyo Pop, both written & drawn by Kozue Amano! The story is set 150 years in the future, when Mars has beenemnamed Aqua, terraformed, and 90% covered in water. The cities & islands are based on old earth locations; one such is Neo Venusia, modeled after Venice, Italy, where the main character Akari Mizunashi trains for her career as a gondolier for the Aria Company. The stories are lavishly illustrated, charming, relaxed slice-of-life tales. The only difference between Aqua and Aria as far as I can tell is the title was merely changed from Aqua to Aria after vol. 2, but otherwise it all seems like the same series. Aqua vol. 2 includes 178 pages of black and white manga translated into English with a pretty lettering font, followed by a 3 page preview of Aria vol. 1, 2 pages of gag cmic strips, 2 pages of cat notes, and 7 pages of advertisements. all sandwiched between lovely color cover art by Amano.

The chapter numbering begins with 6, picking up where vol. 1 let off, so the book starts with Navigation 6: “My First Customer”, in which Akari has been on Aqua for 6 months and is now ready to solo
as a gondolier, although her very first paying customer would try a less delightful girl’s patience! Navigation 7: “It’s Hard Being the President” focuses on Aria the cat who decides to run away, for the better part of a day, anyway. In Navigation 8: “Night Light Bells”, the girls gleefully shop for special wind chimes made of endemic luminous stones. Navigation 9’s “Enter The Hero” is another spotlight on Aria, who this time dons a mask to fight crime as the heroic Nyan Nyan Puu. Navigation 10’s “Fireworks” has the girls visiting Ukijimi, one of the planet’s weather control stations in the sky, and in the bonus chapter “Colds and Pudding”, Aika chan tells a visiting Akari and Alicia how she caught a cold, and gets her just dessert. Aqua and Aria comprise a wonderful manga series that brightens my day and I most heartily recommend it! Your turn, Myayr!

Mary Nyan:
This is a wonderful age of comic book collecting we live in, with so many recent hot titles or vintage classic comics from decades ago being reprinted in affordable collections. For example, Marvel Comics has their Essential line of black and white trade paperbacks, and DC offers their Showcase Presents books. Hot off the press is Showcase Presents Enemy Ace Volume One, containing 42 stories chronicling the wartime exploits of fighter ace Hans von Hammer. At over 550 pages, this book includes stories from 1965’s Our Army At War # 151 to 1970’s Detective Comics #404, written by Robert Kanigher, Joe Kubert and Denny O’Neil, with art by Joe Kubert, Neal Adams, Russ Heath, Howard Chayken, Frank Thorn, John Severin, Ed Davis and Larry Hama, and inkers such as Frank Giacoia, Joe Giella, Sid Greene, Juan Oritz, Bob Smith and Dick Giordano. All that for an SRP of $16.99 is a tremendous amount of exceptional entertainment at such a low price!

Another neat little book I would like to suggest is Harvey & Etsuko’s Manga Guide to Japan, written by Charles Danziger, illustrated by Mimei Sakamoto & Charles Danziger. Published in November 2007 by Manga Guide Press, this black & white 192 page trade paperback book is part manga and part travel guide for $9.99. The purremise is that a cartoon mouse from NY, Harvey (drawn by Danziger) is in need of a new comic strip gig, and so travels to japan in hopes of finding employment in the manga industry; while there he meets a Catgirl in Tokyo named Etsuko (drawn by Sakamoto),
who dreams of Hollywood stardom, helps guide him through the Japanese culture. Etsuko has several sexy & elegant outfits and lots of numcious food too! The first part of the book is 129 pages of manga in which they travel japan and she introduces him to some of the travel, lodging, dining, language, shopping, arts, entertainment,  and customs. The second part of the book is  68 pages of purrose text, with 40 tips & notes about martial arts, locations, food, traditions, transportation, accommodations, business and other cultural & historical aspects of Japan. This nifty little book is both entertaining and informative while combining two very different artistic styles into one graphic narrative! OK Vonny, your turn!

Yvonne:
Nya–? That was quick for you, Myayr, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Would you purr-fur I kept going in more detail and further delay the festivities and food?

Yvonne:
Nya! I recently got my paws on a deck of Whack a Catgirl cards, nya! The purr-emise of this card game is that catgirls at an anime convention are having a fun pillow fight of sorts, only they are throwing things at each other besides pillows, nya! Published by Asmadi Games, this game was designed by Chris Cieslik and is intended for 2-5 players of ages 14 and above, and the box with a cute Neko chan on it suggests a game would last 10 to 20 minutes, nya. The 8 page pocket sized rules sheet is very brief so it should be easy and quick for you to learn how to play this game, nya. There are 62 cards delightfully illustrated by Valerie Fise, plus 2 bonus pirate cards from Asmadi’s other game, Gold Thief, nya!

There are 20 different cards worth various points in various quantities, which represent various characters, objects, actions, and conditions that Neko chan would encounter at the con, nya.  “Camera”, “Ball of Yarn”, “Cell Phone” cards will distract the catgirl so you can steal one of her cards or cause her to lose a turn, nya. “Plushies”, “Shinies” and “Scavenger” allow you to trade, discard or draw more cards;  “Pocky”, “Fan Service” and “Fangirl Stampede cards can score you points. There are also “Giant Mallet”, “Tentacle”, “Yaoi Manga” and “Glomp Me Sign”  and several other wacky fun cards, nya! This is something I would definitely recommend this to a fan of catgirls, amewsing card games, or anime conventions, nya! Mike you got anything, nya?

Mike:
Speaking of conventions, I’d like to report on What The Hell Con, a free, marvelous little convention that was held for the ?th year at the very splendid Guilford College in Greensboro NC, on February 8th-10th, sponsored by the friendly folks of the Guilford College Yachting Club. Like most conventions, this one had a splendid array of guests including authors, artists, comix creators, game designers, and performing artists. Several rooms offered fun activities- the con suite, artists alley, and a few video rooms screening anime and classic sci fi films, as well as some not-so classic ones! There were dealers there selling fine books, shirts, games, and comix and videos. Fun events included various game, art, cinema, costume and writing workshops, demonstrations, dancing, auctions, and delightful discussion panels with my fellow numerous guests.

There were some nice costumes and many folks looking quite stylish in their festive con apparel! Gaming opportunities were bountiful with plenty of card, miniatures, board, video and role play gaming. The North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch debuted our first anthology book. The weather was lovely and Spring-like, which added to the overall pleasant vibe of the con, and great weather for the outdoor demonstrations by the European Medieval Arts of Arms group by day, and a at night group called the Fire faeries put on a fabulous fire dance show after the Silent Auction and the Geek Auction. There was also a late night DJ’d dance. I cannot find lofty enough words to adequately praise the awesome con staff for their outstanding work and kindness! I definitely hope to return there next year. To see the complete roster of guests, dealers, games and the the fun activities they had, please visit their pleasant & easily navigable web site at  http://www.guilford.edu/yachting/wthcon Ah, I could probably say more good things about What The Hell Con. Guilford College, and the Yachting Club, but I don’t wish to get too long-winded!

Jeannie:
Which means it is once again time for-

The Monthly 13 Lucky Kitty Web Comic Picks of the Litter!

Elizabeth:
My three picks are
Jason Janicki & Leigh Kellogg’s Wayfarer’s Moon http://www.wayfarersmoon.com/
Chris & Joe Brudlos’ Alpha Shade http://www.alpha-shade.com/
and Ida Kirkegaard’s Mechagical Girl Lisa A.N.T http://ant.comicgenesis.com/
Go, Jen!

Jeannie:
Thanks Lizzy! I’ve selected
Bobby Crosby & Remy Mokhta’sr Marry Me http://www.marrymemovie.com/
Caroline Curtis’ 9th Elsewhere http://www.9thelsewhere.com/
and Remy Mokhtar’s No Pink Ponies http://nopinkponies.com/
(tags Vonny)

Yvonne:
Yay my turn, nya!
Elanor Cooper & JJ Nääs The Broken Mirror http://www.the-broken-mirror.net/
S. Durriyyah’s Academy of Demon Slayers http://www.theacademy-demonslayers.com/
and Faith Erin Hicks’ Demonology 101 http://faith.rydia.net/
nya!

Mary Nyan:
For this month I’ve chosen
Meredith Gran’s Skirting Danger http://www.skirtingdanger.com/
David A. Rodriguez & Dave Reynold’s Shadowgirls http://www.shadowgirlscomic.com/
and John Morris’ Pinky TA http://www.drunkduck.com/Pinky_TA/
– and now Mike gets the final pick of the month!

Mike:
Last but not least,
Joseph England’s Zebra Girl http://zebragirl.keenspot.com/
– and I reckon that’ll do it for this month!

The Cat Lady Sings…

Elizabeth:
Next month, we’ll be back to our mewsual format, with our latest reviews of stuff…and maybe some special jokes!

Jeannie:
If you have polite & sincere responses to our discussion- feel free to post them, purr-vided that your brief remarks are spam-free, not argumentative, and stay on-topic!

Yvonne:
Everybody out there remember to turn off your cell phone and not to talk, text message, or light it up during a movie in a theater, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Thanks for visiting- aloha and happy holidays everybody!

(all four catgirls in unison):
BAI BAI!

2 Responses to “The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for March, 2008!”

  1. Dan Hager Says:

    What a great dea for a review session! Thanks for introducing these lovely and talented cosplayers.

  2. Jen Jen Says:

    Hi Dan, thanks again for dropping by!

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