The Hello Kitty craze is global, from breathtaking fashion statements to almost any piece of merchandise you can think of. And it all started in March 1975 with a simple coin purse that cost less than a dollar.
At the new Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty now at the EMP Museum in Seattle, you can get a look at one of those rare coin purses, along with more than 500 unique pieces from Sanrio on display. The traveling exhibit is fascinating for anyone who has ever owned their own piece of Hello Kitty merchandise or been intrigued by her rise to pop culture stardom over the past 40 years.
Like most supermoms, I wear many capes. I’m a drama teacher by day, an actress by night, as well as a geeky mom, hot wife, and writer.
I was born with an extra dose of confidence and have never been one to worry about what other people think of me. I handle rejection like a seasoned pro and because of this, I have always felt free to dress the way I want to and express my various fandoms out loud for other people to see.
For example, when I drop my kids off at school, I might wear some Hello Kitty shoes with bright pink pants, a Doctor Who belt, and a Harry Potter jacket. Or I may wear my R2-D2 dress or Cinderella costume to promote my drama classes. I am no stranger to a raised eyebrow or sly smiles from onlookers. All of this was “normal” for my two kids until my daughter, the oldest, turned 11. Continue reading How I Became A Cool Geek Mom
There are no regional restrictions, and entering is pretty simple.
To enter our giveaway just login to the Rafflecopter widget below with your Facebook account or email address (use a valid email so we can let you know if you win). You can then like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for up to two entries! If you already like/follow us it will still enter you in the giveaway. Two winners will be chosen at random at the end of the contest and their name will be posted right in the Rafflecopter widget so you can check back to see who won.
You have until 12:00 AM EST on Monday, February 23, 2015 to enter.
On Monday, the winners will receive their gift card via e-mail, as well as coupon codes that can be used at checkout when purchasing multiple items.
“I just really want to give all you great people out there exactly what you want!” This is from Jules Sherred, author, web-designer, radio personality, and fellow GeekMom. After his wildly successful Indiegogo campaign, Jules has unveiled the LGBTQI and Everyone Under the Sun-friendly Geeky Pleasures online store—a one stop shop chock full of geeky awesome!
Geeky Pleasures offers oodles of fun and interesting must-have items for you or the favorite geek in your life. Using everything from licensed fabrics to his own imagination, Jules has created a rainbow of geeky things for all sexualities and genders: bow ties, wallets, dice bags, wristlets, phone covers, tablet covers, coin purses, and more that can be ordered through the shop.
There’s also a newsletter (with monthly prize drawings) and a Patreon program. This is the first I’ve heard of Patreon and it is a wonderful way to support artists. The dice bags are my personal favorite in the shop, fun and practical. Go check it out!
On Saturday, November 1st, I attended Hello Kitty Con 2014! I went in with high hopes and left with mixed feelings.
Had the con had about 50% less attendees, I would have raved about it. The way it worked out, at least for myself and my 4-year-old on a Saturday—usually the busiest day of a long weekend con—we basically left as soon as we got in the con. Here’s how our day rolled out.
I had heard from people attending on previous days that I should get there early. Like early. And while it could have been a good idea to show up two hours early to wait in line for the con to open at 10 am, it wasn’t an option considering we live a solid 2-hour drive away. Moreover, the con warned extensively about the lack of parking in the area so I had decided to park at the subway station in Universal City and ride to Little Tokyo via the Metro, which just added more time to our trip. In the end, despite leaving at 7:30 am, we didn’t arrive until 10 am. By then, the line to get into the con show floor wrapped around the city block.
Thankfully, I had done some smart planning. I had purchased tickets to a Hello Kitty bento box workshop for 11 am. The various workshops and panels were located in different buildings outside of the con, so I didn’t need to wait in line for those. I got my badge and waltzed right in to the Japanese American National Museum, where my workshop was held. We had some 40 minutes to kill before the class started, so I asked a museum employee what I could do while I waited. She pointed out that their new exhibit, Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, was free for con attendees. Not only that, it was also crowd-free! My daughter and I walked around looking at the plethora of Hello Kitty items on display, deciding which we’d like to own. They had Hello Kitty household items, Hello Kitty fashion apparel, Hello Kitty-inspired art, the list goes on.
Finally, it was time for our bento box workshop. In retrospect, this was the highlight of our day and I wish I had signed us up for more workshops. My 4-year-old was a little impatient while the instructor, Nikki Gilbert of Sushi Girl, gave a demonstration on how to make a sushi roll, nigiri, and Hello Kitty-shaped rice balls, but she came around when came our turn to get our hands dirty.
All materials were included in the price of the tickets for the workshop (only $10/person), and we each got a Hello Kitty bento box container and all the food needed to make the creations we were being taught. My daughter really got excited when she realized we’d actually get to take our boxes with us in the end, and, in our case, perfectly timed for lunch. We walked out of the class with our boxes and were stopped no less than five times by people asking if we had been to the class and could they please see inside our boxes. We settled down to eat outside, on the steps in front of the museum, and again people were stopping to point and gawk at our Hello Kitty rice balls. I was wishing I had a better product to show off… But sticky rice is super tricky! In any case, it was super tasty.
After our lunch, I wanted to tackle the con itself. Thankfully the line looked much more manageable than it had on our arrival, but it still took us a good 30 minutes to get in. Once we did, I almost regretted it immediately. It was so packed. I was hoping to get a con t-shirt and my daughter really wanted a Hello Kitty toy so we headed to the con shop, just to find out the line was—wait for it—4 hours long. No joke. FOUR HOURS. For an opportunity to spend my money! No thanks.
We walked about the “super supermarket” instead, where partners were selling their own Hello Kitty-themed items. Sephora, Megablocks, etc. It seemed like a good alternative to waiting in line for the official con shop, but again it was packed and meh, my daughter was getting the gimmies and I was thinking I could buy the same stuff (or similar) outside the con for much less money. I asked my daughter what she wanted to do and she wanted out; my own feelings weren’t too far off from hers at that point. So out we went, defeated.
At this point, had I been alone, I would have stuck around to attend some of the panels, but no chance of that happening with a tired 4-year-old who’s used up all of her patience while waiting in lines. I gave up on Hello Kitty Con and headed to Little Tokyo, where we shopped the Sanrio store (no lines!) and grabbed mochi balls before heading back home.
If Hello Kitty Con goes on to become an annual thing, I’d still be interested to attend again next year, but I’d plan my time differently. I’d attend more workshops and panels, and perhaps avoid the show floor all together—although I hope they’ll find a better way to manage the crowds and the merchandise by then.
I’d even say that the exhibit at the museum was better than the con’s own show floor, or at least from what I could see, so if you didn’t manage to grab tickets for the con then it’s not too late to check out the museum. The Hello Kitty exhibit is open until April 26th, 2015.
Just in time for Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, meet the first-ever Hello Kitty convention! Those of us in or near Los Angeles will rejoice to break the mundanity of endless sunshine and traffic jams with the Hello Kitty Con in October, while those away will shake their fists in jealousy as an overload of cuteness rains down over the great City of Angels.
So what happens at a Hello Kitty Con? Well no one could tell you from experience, but the website shows signs of a promising event. There will be speakers, panels, and lots of opportunities for HK shopping, of course. There will also be workshops teaching a variety of crafts, HK collections on display, an arcade, and, of all the things in the world, a HK tattoo shop. I’m not even kidding. There will be a whole team of honest-to-goodness tattoo artists ready to tag the real fans. I sense a regrettable decision in my future.
Hello Kitty Con 2014 will take place at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) from October 30 through November 2, 2014. While you’re in the area, you might want to also swing by Comikaze Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Whether it was happenstance, good planning, or poor planning, both of these cons will occur on the same weekend, just two and a half miles from each other—or as Google Maps puts it, “8 min without traffic.” Without traffic, ha! Good one, Google.
I have my tickets already purchased. Hope to see you there!
Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week I take a look at Superman/Batman‘s search for Kryptonite, Kelly takes us into the world of Hello Kitty, Corrina gives us a look at some DC Comics titles coming out today, Lisa dives into Disney’s Seekers of the Weird, and Sophie takes a ride on Serenity.
Dakster Sullivan — Superman/Batman: The Search for Kryponite, by Michael Green, Mike Johnson, and Shane Davis
Superman/Batman: The Search for Krypontite was my chosen read last night for #ComicBook365. I’m a big fan of this series, because, quite frankly, Batman gets some of the best lines. It’s an odd thing to find yourself laughing while reading the Dark Knight, but that’s what I found myself doing while reading this title.
The story looks at Superman as he realizes, to do his job safely, he needs to rid the world of Kryptonite. This sent up some red flags for me. Kryptonite is what makes him close to human. Despite his reservations, Batman agrees to help Superman rid the world of Kryptonite.
Along the way they battle Aquaman, Amanda Waller, and one villain I will leave a mystery. I will say that the mystery villain threw me through a major loop and I wonder how some of my fellow Superman fans would feel about this iconic character being turned into such a heartless disgrace for a human being.
My favorite part was how the story opened and the jokes between Batman and Superman that follow. I’d frame those pages if I had the wall space.
Hello Kitty is everywhere. And now, thanks to a team up between Viz Media and Sanrio, Hello Kitty and her friends even have their own series of graphic novels that will delight Hello Kitty fans of any age—even those who can’t read.
Hello Kitty: Delicious! reduced my preschooler to giggles by the time we got to the second page. Even with just a few words for sound effects, the stories are easy to follow and appeal to kids’ sense of humor. Hello Kitty’s adventures take her to another planet, a giant’s home, a night straight out of a spooky movie, and more—and of course, it’s all cute.
Artist Stephanie Buscema, who also worked on several My Little Pony comic book covers for IDW, contributes a few one-page shorts, which are just as adorable as the longer stories in the graphic novel.
All of the experienced artists in the book do a phenomenal job of giving expressions and emotions to the simple Sanrio characters—who have no mouths.
If you’re looking for the first graphic novel for a young girl or Sanrio fan, Hello Kitty: Delicious! is a fantastic place to start.
Lisa Tate — Seekers of the Wierd #1, by Brandon Seifert and Karl Moline
It would seem a Marvel Comic based on the nostalgic origins of a favorite Disneyland attraction complete with the creative guidance of Marvel bigwigs like Joe Quesada and a handful of Disney imagineers would leave no room for disappointment. Unfortunately, Disney’s Kingdoms Seekers of the Weird Issue One does, but only slightly.
Written by Brandon Seifert with the collective art team of pencils by Karl Moline, Rick Magyar as inker, and color by Jean-Francois Beaulieu, the all ages comic was inspired by Disney legend Rolly Crump’s concept designs of the Museum of the Weird, the original walk-through attraction that evolved into Disneyland Park’s Haunted Mansion.
I think where this idea falls a little short is that it strove to get so many tributes to the attraction in the story that it left little room for character building. The story takes place in New Orleans, a great tribute to the setting of the current Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square, and takes a high-school aged brother and sister Maxwell and Melody Keep on a journey to recover their oddity-loving parents from their would-be captors of reanimated weird taxidermy. Enter the elusive adventure-loving Uncle Roland (another shout-out to Rolly himself) and a mysterious door, which may lead to the answers they seek.
This is a first issue, so I expect to dig a little deeper into Maxwell and Melody’s story, but I would purchase this one based more on the fun game of finding the many references to Crump’s designs. For those who love the art of Disney, especially its treasure chest of concept art, this is a treat. The cover by Michael Del Mundo is fun and quirky, but I recommend the true Disney aficionado get a hold of the variant cover by Crump depicting his concept of the coffin Grandfather clock (although the Brian Crosby steampunk-like variant is also a good choice). Not really a bad first issue, but I expect to see bigger things from it in the follow-up.
Corrina — SPOILER WARNINGS FOR THIS WEEK’S DC COMICS
Earth-2 Annual #2, Tom Taylor, writer; Robson Rocha, pencils; Scott Hanna, inks.
Okay..psst…here’s the biggest spoiler of the week: The new Earth-2 Batman who is replacing the dead Earth-2 Bruce Wayne is..Thomas Wayne, his father. This is a good thing.
Of late, I find myself far more interested in this alternate universe maybe because it’s a consistent vision and seems to be far more imaginative in recreating the DC universe than the regular DC Universe. Lois Lane as the new Red Tornado, for instance.
In this flashback story, titled “Origin,” Thomas Wayne survives the infamous shooting in Crime Alley, knows it was his friendship with mobsters behind the tragedy, and sets out to gain revenge. It’s great to see the Earth-2 Bruce, and I like this version of Thomas Wayne as a very broken man who’s screwed up and trying to stay on the straight-and-narrow out of respect for the memory of his son. Special mention to the artists for giving Thomas a very distinctive look.
But I will still pout for a while that, once again, Martha Wayne is just..there. With no personality except to die.
Worlds’ Finest Annual #1, Paul Levitz, writers; Diogenes Neves, pencils; Marc Deerining, inks.
Meanwhile, this annual tackles the adventures of Thomas’ granddaughter, Helena Wayne, and her crimefighter partner, Power Girl. This flashback adventure takes place on their original home, Earth-2, and concerns an early case they investigated as Robin and Supergirl, their Earth-2 identities. The strength of this series is the relationship between the two leads and that’s true here as well, with each showcasing their strengths. At the end, they run into Wonder Woman and her daughter, Fury, who seems to be on the side of evil.
I hope Fury isn’t really Darkseid’s daughter and was just stolen from Wonder Woman as a child because otherwise, ick, ick.
After reading these two annuals back to back, I hope Huntress and Power Girl end up back on Earth-2 soon as I anticipate a fascinating relationship between Thomas and Helena.
Flash #27,Brian Buccellato, writer; Patrick Zircher, art.
This first issue by a new creative team is not nearly as fun as last week’s awesome fill-in but it does represent an excellent jumping on point for new readers. Barry Allen is in full police scientist mode, there’s a new mystery to solve concerning a mass grave that might also involve the real killer of Barry’s mother, and we get to see Flash play with some second-rate Rogues. Note: This Barry is very much in sync with Barry Allen on Arrow, though this one is blond and a little bit older.
Green Lantern Corps Annual #2, Script by Van Jensen, co-plot by Robert Venditti, art by Neil Edwards, villain origins art by Tom Derenick.
Um? What? What the heck is going on here? I’m very much lost. The issue contains lots of Lanterns, Khunds (hey, I know those guys from the Legion of Super-Heroes), Durlans (ditto!), lots of fighting, and numerous flashbacks designed to fill me in, I assume, on who everyone is, but they only stand to make the story more confusing. Also, John Stewart shows up in his boxers. That part isn’t quite so bad.
But overall, for this first time reader, this is a hot mess (perhaps due to the numerous creators?) but I suspect it’s far more readable for long-time fans of the series. And one personal pet peeve: Why do all the skeevy alien/lizard types want naked human women? Just once, I want to see a debauched alien who likes something completely weird and, well, ALIEN.
Batman & Robin Annual #2, Peter J. Tomasi, writer; Doug Mahnke with Pat Gleason, art.
Finally, an adventure between the original Batman and Robin, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. I was excited when I picked the issue up but oddly deflated when I finished. It’s because the Bruce/Dick relationship is so changed. Before, Bruce was clearly Dick’s father-figure/mentor, and now he’s more like his older brother. It doesn’t sit right with me. Plus, I’m starting to get confused by what happened before DC rebooted and what happened with Batman and his Robins after the reboot. It’s getting so the Bat-Family is just a reboot behind the Legion of Super-Heroes and Hawkman. That’s never good.
But I liked Dick Grayson’s characterization: his sense of fun, and his fearlessness. And more Dick and Damian scenes are always good. One thing confused me: Dick’s original idea for his first costume is very similar to his former Nightwing costume with the light blue on dark blue. But Batman rejects this one because it’s too flashy. So then Dick wears the Robin costume (alas, no pixie boots).
How is the Robin costume less flashy than blue on blue? The mind boggles.
Sophie Brown — Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1, by Joss Whedon
Firefly is back! It’s the sentence countless people have been waiting to hear and although we’d all rather it was returning to our screens, the new comic series Serenity: Leaves on the Wind will at least be continuing the story.
Issue one picks up after the events of the film Serenity and does not hesitate to leap straight into the ramifications from those events that have now spread across the system (NB, for those of us who have read the Serenity comic released on Free Comic Book Day 2012, that issue appears to fit between the film and this new series). We see the effect that the Miranda revelation had on both Alliance-controlled worlds and in the outlying regions, as well as how the Alliance themselves are dealing with the new threat poised by Mal and his crew.
On board Serenity herself there have been some significant changes.
Relationships have shifted and people have changed since we last saw these characters, but all the progressions feel natural. The new status quo aboard the ship feels like it is where we would have naturally found ourselves if the TV show had been allowed to continued, and with Zack Whedon on writer duties we can probably be assured that this is the case.
Every character feels accurate, if not in the artwork which feels a little off for certain individuals (Mal especially) but in their speech. The issue also strikes a nice balance between action and downtime, humor and heartbreaking emotion—the latter rearing its head as Zoe prepares for bed. We also get our first ever glimpse of Ma Cobb, and she appears to be knitting something rather spectacular!
Serenity: Leaves on The Wind is currently only a six-part miniseries but it has the potential to become another ongoing Whedonverse franchise ala Buffy and Angel. If issue one sets the quality level for the rest of this series, then I really hope the series gets picked up, because I for one need more of these wonderful people. It’s time for some more thrilling heroics!
Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:
Adventures Of Superman #9
All-Star Western #27 Aquaman #27
Batman And Robin Annual #2 Batman Batman And Son TP
Batman The Dark Knight #27 Beware The Batman #4 Kid Friendly
Catwoman #27 Damian Son Of Batman #4 (Of 4)
Dead Boy Detectives #2
Earth 2 Annual #2
Forever Evil A.R.G.U.S. #4 (Of 6)
Green Lantern Corps Annual #2
Green Lantern New Guardians Vol. 2 Beyond Hope TP
Green Lantern New Guardians Vol. 3 Love And Death HC
Green Team Teen Trillionaires #8 (Final Issue)
Justice League Dark #27
Justice League Dark Vol. 3 The Death Of Magic TP
Red Lanterns #27
Smallville Season 11 Special #4
Teen Titans #27
Unwritten Vol. 8 Orpheus In The Underworld TP Worlds’ Finest Annual #1 GM
Amazing Spider-Man The Movie Adaptation #1 (Of 2)
Avengers Assemble #23.INH
Cable And X-Force Vol. 3 This Won’t End Well TP
Cataclysm The Ultimates’ Last Stand #4 (Of 5) Guardians Of The Galaxy #11.NOW GM Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Angela HC GM
Marvel Masterworks The X-Men Vol. 6 TP
Marvel Previews #126 (February 2014 For Products On-Sale April 2014) Marvel Universe Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H. #4 (Of 4) Kid Friendly
Night Of The Living Deadpool #2 (Of 4)
Revolutionary War Knights Of Pendragon #1
Superior Carnage TP
Superior Spider-Man #26
Thor God Of Thunder #18
Thunderbolts Vol. 3 Infinity TP
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man By Brian Michael Bendis Vol. 5 HC
Uncanny Avengers #16
Uncanny X-Force #17
Warlock By Jim Starlin The Complete Collection TP
X-Men Legacy #23
G.I. JOE The Complete Collection Vol. 2 HC
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth #8
Half Past Danger HC
John Romita’s Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 Artist’s Edition HC
Library Of American Comics Essentials Vol. 4 Alley Oop 1939 HC Mr Peabody And Sherman #4 (Of 4) Kid Friendly Mr Peabody And Sherman TP Kid Friendly
Other Dead #5 (Of 6)
Star Trek #29
Superman Golden Age Sundays 1943-1946 HC Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #30 GM
Transformers Regeneration One #98
Transformers The IDW Collection Vol. 3 HC
Conan And The People Of The Black Circle #4 (Of 4)
Furious #1 (Of 5)
Gantz Vol. 30 TP
Never Ending #3 (Of 3) Serenity Leaves On The Wind #1 (Of 6) GM
Sledgehammer 44 Lightning War #3 (Of 3)
My first lunchbox was a Thermos brand Peanuts lunchbox, back in the late 1970s. It was all metal, with a plastic insulated drink/soup container inside, held in place by a little metal hinged protrusion. (For years, we called that kind of container a Thermos, but really, it’s just the name of the company…) I loved that lunchbox so much. I have no idea what happened to it. We moved in 1981, and I never saw it again. Sadness. But I was able to revisit my lunchbox in the vintage section on the Thermos website. They have a slew of vintage ones to peruse.
The Thermos company is still quite in business today, making much more modern products with modern materials. A couple of years ago I even bought a large container for hot drinks or soups. It’s a fantastic contraption. And now Thermos has some new products available to fit our geeky lifestyle.
Thermos isn’t limiting themselves to the usual rectangular shapes for lunchboxes anymore. Nor are the boxes made of metal or hard plastic. This 100% PVC-free snazzy R2-D2 lunchbox (or “insulated lunch kit” if you want to be precise) is shaped just like the droid himself, soft-sided, with a zip open top and plenty of room inside for a full lunch (probably for more than one person). He has a sturdy handle on his back, and you can even make R2 light up and make droid noises. Don’t do this while you’re in school, though.
Another of Thermos‘s offerings is a line of Hello Kitty products, which brings me back at least 30 years to when I obsessed over the Hello Kitty store at the mall. This soft-sided lunchbox, also 100% PVC-free, shaped like Hello Kitty’s head will easily hold your meal, and insulated stainless steel drink and soup/pasta/whatever containers will give you plenty of options. The box is a little hard to zip closed, though, since Hello Kitty’s face is a harder material than the rest of it to help protect your food, but it works well enough. The 12 ounce insulated drink container will keep your drink cold for 12 hours, and the 10 ounce food container will keep food cold for seven hours, or warm for five. Both are top rack dishwasher safe, but hand washing is recommended.
All of these products are very easy to clean (the soft-sided lunchboxes can be spot cleaned), and live up to the usual Thermos standards. They protect food while keeping it the right temperature, and just work.
Prices vary on all of these Thermos products, but they are all reasonably priced and made of quality materials. Geek up your kid’s lunch hour with some of these new products. (But let’s face it, we want them for ourselves. I know I do!)