Sunday, August 9, 2020

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Anime Fargo This Weekend! - Fargo, ND

We're guests at Anime Fargo!

Neither of us have ever been to Fargo before and we can't wait to see everyone!  We'll have a table in the vendor hall and I believe we're also doing some panels, which will be listed in the program book. We'll have our prints, costumes and books as always.  So come stop by and say hi!

As always, if you can't make it to Anime Fargo, you can always support us through our Etsy and on Patreon!  And if you want to see us at your local con, don't forget to mention us to your local convention!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Events This Weekend! - Minnesota

It's a busy weekend coming up and I'll be at two events! Something new on each day!

September 15th (Saturday) - 
The Wolf House
This is a reading specifically for The Subverted Fairy Project - an anthology series I'm working on with a group of local Minnesota authors combining our own art and stories inspired by slang terms across Britain. The book isn't out yet, but this is your change to get an idea of what's in store!

You can pick up tickets here and be sure to join us - but pick them up quick, as seating is limited!

A popup books store with several different authors selling their works and willing to talk over drinks. I'll have our normal books and prints, stickers and everything else, just a bit smaller of a display then usual as it's just me.  Still, I hope to see lots of faces!

I will be both of these without the wifey, as she's got other projects to work on, but I'll still have her stuff from magnifiqueNOIR just in case people are looking or it. 

Hope to see people there!

As always if you can't make it, you can always pick up any of our works and books from our Etsy and please consider supporting us on Patreon for sneak peaks to what we're working on next!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Castle Rock - A Twist on the Expanded Universe

Upfront I'll admit, I love expanded universes.  Comics, manga (Japanese comic books), movies, novels, fairy tales, all of it.  I love when you can pick up a story and realize there are these threads that spread out to other stories. I am completely caught by an expanding narrative that allows me to catch all the small threads, as if I were catching the tail end of a very long inside joke. It keeps my little geek heart happy.

Some do it better then others.  The early days of the MCU with little teasers at the end were cute, but nothing compared to the layered worlds of  CLAMP manga. The difference being that one was a set up from the beginning, while the latter was pieced together part by part, the connections added in with each new story. Now there are pluses and minuses for each, but my heart lies in the ones that aren't so obvious and don't use the intertwining as a crutch - looking at you MCU.

That paired with the fact that I am a Stephen King fan.  I grew up stealing his adult books from my mother's reading shelf in the spare bedroom, hanging on the retellings by my best friend when I wasn't brave enough to finish them myself.  I knew he always crafted his stories to connect and when I found CLAMP did the same thing in my college years, I'm reasonably sure it's part of the reason they were one of my favorite manga creators.

Flash forward to today, while working on other things I decided to press play on Castle Rock.  A new series by Hulu, Castle Rock bills itself as Stephen King told ala Once Upon a Time. In other words you may recognize the place, you may recognize the characters, but this is a new tale, and that really intrigued me. Because by now I've read even more of his books and seen quite a few of his movies.  Beyond that I admire him as a writer - though some of his tropes irk me - and dream of having a library of my own works as numerous as his one day.

So what exactly is Castle Rock?  Well, for those
familiar, Castle Rock is the fictional town that a
good number of Stephen King's stories take place in.  It's situated in Maine and is a small town, complete with all the downsides of such a place - ie small town secrets, old notions and strange but protected ways. The townsfolk aren't evil, of course, they're just set in their ways and when something new comes up or something tries to rustle their way of life well, there's no having that.

As a series, Castle Rock weaves together a unique story with countless points of entry. For those who aren't familiar with Stephen King, you'll find here an intriguing story about the source of evil buried in a small town.  For those familiar with the author you'll find the same... and so much more. Littered throughout the storytelling are nods and hints to all of his books. Some are obvious - like the infamous Shawshank Prison - while others are ever so slight - the mention of a rabid dog that one year.  Hints abound, you can barely blink while watching, because you'll miss one.

The nice thing is, even with these easter eggs scattered across the path, unless you're familiar you wouldn't know and it doesn't hurt the story if that's the case.  At the time of writing this, I've seen five episodes in the series and they all come together with a complete tale that doesn't leave the viewer out in the cold. At no point am I told 'oh, that's from Needful Things, read that for more' nor does a character subtly drop a list of the other movies you should add to your queue.  Nope, it's all an inside joke that isn't required to watch the show and enjoy it.

Honestly, I wish all expanded universes were like this and I do miss it. I realize that Marvel and DC have movies to sell and Once Upon a Time had fan favorites they wanted to show Disney fans front and center, but Castle Rock shows what can happen when those wishes aren't focused on.  And in the end this series is masterfully unfolding and I'm so ready to see where it goes.  Then, once it's done, I know I'll be revisiting other favorite movies and novels of Stephen Kings, to relive those worlds all over again and even try a few other new ones.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review: Sunstone (Comic)

Sunstone is the ongoing comic by Stjepan Sejic (and sometimes his wife) delving into the world of BDSM and the relationships that exist within.  This is not your "50 Shades of Gray" in comic form.  This is the actual portrayal of a healthy relationship between two women and the others they interact with in the BDSM scene. It's very pretty, it's very hot, but it's also really well written with three dimensional characters and a beautiful story. And it's adult, so be warned.

What's it about?

Lisa is a freelance writer, more then often dabbling in erotica when she can and mostly keeps her submissive side hidden.  Meanwhile Ally is a successful business woman with more then enough money to burn - and burn it she does on elaborate props and setups for the perfect submissive she's hoping to one day finds. The comic follows their meeting and relationship together as they explore their own preferred taboos and figure how to blend their worlds of 'love' and 'submissive and dominant' together. There's also spin off series concerning the others characters introduced, such as Sunstone: Mercy and Sunstone: Jasper.

Art by Luis Royo


As I mentioned, if you were looking for a healthy alternative to the more well known '50 Shades' relationship, here is a perfect example.  The series was recommended to me by a good friend and it does not disappoint in story, heat meter or art.  Basically, we have a healthy relationship here that is arguably better then the damaging fantasy of the previously mentioned Gray series.

Backing up a bit, ever since my teens I've had a love for art in this style.  It can hardly be called pornographic, because it's not just about the boobs and flesh shown off, though there is plenty of that. Growing up I found myself drawn to the art of Luis Royo which easily mixed sexuality and art, and now I have a deep love for doujinshi and fanart that do the same thing. Basically this is a story that doesn't shy away from showing skin when the plot requires it, but does so in a tasteful way that can easily still be called art.

If you're not familiar with the kinky world of the characters, that's not a problem.  The comic obviously understands that the world is full of a variety of people with a variety of experience and kinks so it gives enough information for a foundation without shaming the reader in anyway.  It's easy to get into and easy to love the characters - especially when they refer to themselves as sexual nerds, who just happen to like sex the way most others would describe their love of comics or movies. It's descriptions like this that make the world and story especially easy to step into and explore across the pages.

Added to this, the story is told from Lisa's POV and as a newbie on the BDSM scene, she's serves as a perfect bridge into the story and niche culture without dumping a load of exposition or terms on the reader. It also gives the comic an almost voyeuristic style, letting the reader peak into the naughty secrets of what the main characters do behind closed doors.

Having read a variety of books, novels and comics before, I would have to say the main thing that grabs me and keeps a hold of me about this series is how much history the characters seem to ooze with each action.  This isn't just the normal author goal of creating 3 dimensional characters, no I would venture to say the creators of this series have gone beyond that with their writing, illustration and even the perfect little details of how Lisa bites the side of her lower lip.  It feels like I've met these characters.  With each new volume and page it feels like I'm checking in with close friends and hearing about their lives. The storytelling is personal and vivid in a way that few stories manage to be.

Final Thoughts:

It's really common in our world to just pair men and women together if they share a certain amount of screen time. It's quite rare for media - especially certain movies - to show us the depths of a relationship and how it grows, twists, turns and flourishes over time. This is even more rare when talking about queer couples or couples with niche sexual interests.  First and foremost this series communicates that sexuality is a spectrum of desires and needs - with every person having needs they not only struggle to understand, but also have to find another who can meet them.

What I'm trying to say is that you do not have to be part of the BDSM scene to enjoy these stories.  Because these comics are about people, who are as real as a comic page can portray.

Where can I find it?

The collected volumes can be found at most local comic stores and are published by Image and Top Cow. Support your local comic book store!

You can also find them on Amazon.

You can also check out the creator's Deviantart page.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Where To Find Us This Weekend: 2DCon in Minnesota!

We have another convention coming up this weekend in Minnesota and we're guests!  Come join us at 2DCon!  We'll have a table as always and Briana will also be showing off the amazing Nintendo dress Jessica made for the DesignICON show.  Now's your time to see it in person and catch all the details!

Don't forget to pick up Little Creepers - our newest release - and any of our other books and prints you may have missed.  See you there!

Other events coming up soon:
San Japan in the end of August!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Where To Find Us This Weekend: Pride St Charles!

This weekend is going to be awesome!  For Saturday we'll have a table at Pride St Charles with our books, new costumes and an awesome new rainbow pixel quilt! If you're in the area, come say hi and check out our queer magical girls!

Also we have new stickers specifically for the event!

See you there!!