Geek Chic


Ars Gratia Cosplay: July Bombshell Kayley Marie Finds Artistic Niche

Hayley Marie as Angela; photogray by Rick Currier

All imagery is by Rick Currier Photography (FB: Rick Currier Photography IG: @rickcurrier32)

Cosplay has come a long way -- but it still has a long way to go. If you don't believe me, witness the debut of this season's BIG BROTHER on CBS, where the admission of one of the houseguests, Ramses Soto, that he was a professional cosplayer was met with blank stares and crickets. (The silent message of derision from CBS did not go unnoticed.)


June's Bombshell, Victoria Avalor, Embraces Her Inner Princess

photo credit: Victoria Avalor cosplay with Green House Photography
This month we bring to you a highly talented cosplayer whose charity work exemplify the love promoted by her favorite character, Wonder Woman. While we are fortunate to spotlight such a wonderful cosplayer during the release of Warner Bros WONDER WOMAN movie, it's important that we don't lose sight of the other princess she portrays.
Victoria Avalor's Princess Leia cosplay is a wonderful tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, who hopefully is smiling down on us from a galaxy far, far away.

It's a Photo Finish for May Bombshell Florencia Sofen

Captain Marvel Salutes - Florencia Sophen

photo credit: Clint & Jillian Cosplay and Photography with Fali Ruiz-Davila

A moment of honesty is called for here. I could not just dive in and give a simple, glib introduction with something clever about our monthly Bombshell's representation or about whatever holiday might be coinciding with the timing of our publication.

Florencia Sofen's story, just as much as her skills, put me in a position of awed admiration. Her courage to leave her country for one halfway across the world, and her passions that drive her cosplay journey are inspirational.


Talking Cosplay with SuperKayce

Super Kayce Wizard World St Louis

Look! Up near the sky boxes! It's a Raven! It's a Viking!

No, it's all those things and more -- because at Wizard World Saint Louis, fans got to meet professional cosplayer, Super Kayce!

During the mayhem that constitutes a media convention like Wizard World, I was able to meet up with Kayce for a few moments to ask her about her art. The exchange has been recorded for posterity and presented for the readers (in this case, viewers) of Critical Blast.


Talking Cosplay with Ashe Lynne Cosplay

Ashe Lynne Cosplay as Captain Marvel

One of the real pleasures of attending a convention is to take in all the cosplay -- the good and, yes, the bad. And among the most impressive cosplayers this year at Wizard World St. Louis had to have been Ashe Lynne, who spent Friday saluting the fans as a stunning Captain Marvel.

We caught up with Ashe on Saturday, when she had transformed herself into X-Man Jean Grey in her White Phoenix of the Crown aspect.

Offline, we spoke more about her Disney experiences, so if I'm ever in a parade, I know exactly how to get the wave correct. ("Wipe the window. Get the spot.")


Subtle as a Spring Shower: April Bombshell Momma Kawaii

April 2017 Bombshell Momma Kawaii as Yui from Diabolik Lovers

When participating in the fandom of cosplay -- particularly when you're participating in it from the vantage of a spectator -- it's easy to get caught up in the intricate props, the ostentatious costuming, the unreal weaponry and accoutrements.

But cosplay can include far more subtle aspects. Not every worthwhile character out there requires all the baggage that serves as their calling card; not every anime girl is defined by her accessories and not every superhero boy is defined by the size of his sword.

As subtle as a spring rain comes our April Bombshell, Momma Kawaii, a cosplayer who can do as much with just her eyes as many do with a whole garage full of flexible foam and reams of fabric. Whether portraying Yui from DIABOLIK LOVERS (left) or Noodle from GORILLAZ (below), Momma Kawaii is the definition of "less is more."


In Like a Lion: March Bombshell Michael Bruener is Ready to Blow You Away

March 2017 Bombshell

It seems no matter what convention you attend, there's always a joker running around. No, literally, a Joker! Sometimes more than one.

But few can carry it off with the panache of our March Bombshell, Michael Bruener! Not only does he have the perfect bone structure for the lanky clown prince of crime, his tailoring skills deliver a tuxedo that you just can't pick up off the rack or a costume shop.

We were also impressed with Michael's John Constantine, someone who doesn't get a lot of cosplay attention. So as the winds of March bring in a blustery Spring, we hope you'll take a moment to enjoy Michael's unique cosplay and follow him on Instragram.

Critical Blast Bombshell, March 2017

Michael Bruener


The First Ever Critical Blast Bombshell of the Year is...




Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! Yes, we're unveiling here and now the winner of our first ever Critical Blast Bombshell of the Year!

The Critical Blast Bombshell of the Month was an idea we had in an editorial brainstorming session that involved no alcohol. Starting back in July, we said we wanted to devote attention to some of the great cosplayers out there -- but we were going to be a little different about it. We weren't going for cheesecake (although we understand that you can't dress up like a fantasy character without running up against that), but for <i>people</i>, regardless of gender or body type. If you want that, there are too many other places on the Internet you can go to get it.


Valentine's Bombshell Lady Zero Will Stop Hearts

Lady Zero as Zero from Drakengard 3

February is a month that may be short on days, but it's big on heart (it does have Valentine's Day in it, after all!) And in addition to the holiday of love, we at Critical Blast want to make the month big on cosplay as well, and we can't think of a better way to do that than with the extremely talented and dedicated Lady Zero.

Drawing inspiration from video games like FINAL FANTASY, Lady Zero brings us her versions of Zero from DRAKENGARD 3 (seen left, photograph by Lexa One Photagraphie) and Kaine from NieR (below, photograph by Narcisse), this Canadian-based Poliish cosplayer puts her whole heart into her work, and it definitely shows in the results!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Critical Blast Bombshell, February 2017

Lady Zero


Ring in the New Year with Our First 2017 Bombshell, Dallas Bryant!

Dallas Bryant as Ram from Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

New York may have dropped thet ball, but not us here at Critical Blast. It's a national holiday, but we're still set to continue bringing out cosplayers who deserve to have a light shined on their creativity and hard work.


Gallifrey Gift Guide 2016

Doctor Who Jacket

Who is coming for Christmas!

That is not a question I am asking you, but a statement I am telling you.

As traditional as a Doctor Who Christmas special and as equally looked forward to, a Doctor Who Christmas gift under the tree says you care about that person throughout time.

One gift in the DW gift catalog this year is a very trendy and smart looking, all material Women’s Navy Varsity Jacket.


Ho Ho...Whoa! Our December Bombshell Aidan Jay is Truly Explosive!

December 2016 Bombshell Aidan Jay: Rapunzel

Tis the season for cosplay! Don't believe us? Visit any of your local department stores and take a look. There'll be elves all over the place, not to mention a saint! And just because they're not carrying bows, arrows and swords doesn't mean they're engaging in any less respected version of cosplay. Heck, they're even getting paid for it, so that's something to aspire to!

To round out the year, we wanted to set up a bombshell who would truly blow you away -- someone who would explode off your screen. And we believe we've found just the one to make the end of the year pop!

Our December Critical Blast Bombshell, Aidan Jay, demonstrated a range of cosplay capability, from the demure princes Rapunzel (inset left) to the wise-cracking explosives nut from OVERWATCH, Junkrat (below). Check her out below, then follow her social media connections.


We Give Thanks For Cosplay: Meet November Bombshell, Jamie Krakover

Jamie Krakover as ARROW's Speedy -- an archer at the Arch!

Halloween 2016 is officially in our rearview mirror, but that doesn't mean that dressing up is out of vogue -- not for us, anyway! And that's something we can all be thankful for -- apropos, as November is the month we officially give thanks!

Our November Bombshell, Jamie Krakover, hails from the Midwest, and draws upon film and television for her cosplay inspirations. Whether she's battling the forces of a galactic empire or fighting crime in the streets (that's her Speedy to the left -- an archer at the Gateway Arch!), Jamie combines imagination and intellect to call forth positive female role models in her cosplay.

Critical Blast Bombshell, November 2016

Jamie Krakover


See What's Next for DC Super Hero Girls!

The mega-marketing campaign for DC Super Hero Girls continues to explode with exciting new products! 

They've already lined the shelves with clothing and toys to compliment the popular web-series. More recently they released an original movie and a music video! Now, this weekend at the New York Comic-Con, DC will be announcing some additional products that are sure to find their way into your home!


Trick-or-Treat: For October Bombshell Desi-Rae Pense, Cosplay is All in the Game

Desi-Rae Pense October 2016 Critical Blast Bombshell

It's October, and as much as the summer months bring us conventions all over the world for cosplayers to strut their stuff in front of fans and foes alike, this is the month that it's really all about. Because with October comes the original cosplay event, Halloween!

So while you're preparing all the final tricks for this year's costumes, Critical Blast is happy to be bringing you a treat with the cosplay art of Desi-Rae Pense, an Arkansan transplant to California, who draws upon anime and online role-playing games as a source of inspiration for her outfits and props.

Critical Blast Bombshell, October 2016

Desi-Rae Pense


DC's Super Hero Girls Rock with Fifth Harmony

While it's more or less playing the song "That's My Girl" by Fifth Harmony while showing clips of DC's Super Hero Girls, it's still a nice partnership to attract attention to the successful property.

The lyrics to the song aren't nearly as empowering as Jordyn Kane's original theme "Get Your Cape On", which was written for the show, but it's got a very catchy beat. Hopefully it will have young girls singing, dancing and associating the girl powered heroes with it. This is just the latest marketing campaign being used to promote DC's Super Hero Girls. A partnership with McDonald's is currently in full swing, as they offer headbands and action figures in their Happy Meals alongside toys for the upcoming cartoon Justice League: Action!


Project Repat Giving New Life to Old Tees

Project Repat Tee Shirt Quilt

Is there anything so personal and so conveying of one's personal story than the t-shirt? We use to them to support our favorite sports teams and musicians. We project our politics to the world on them. We let them say what we're thinking and because it's on a t-shirt it's okay. We basically allow ourselves to be billboards for brands and ideas, and we pay for the opportunity to be used as such.

So since we're paying for that, we obviously feel pretty strongly about the message, whether that message is "Save the Whales" or "I was at this concert when it happened" or "I like superheroes." So why should we part with these favored items just because they've gotten too small (a misnomer, to be sure -- it's always because we've gotten too large), or because you have to make some drawer space for the newer t-shirts expressing more newly acquired ideas?


Hastings is Going Out of Business!

Hastings going out of business

Video rental stores are nothing new, and as we have seen over the years they have all been dying out one by one due to the market and the sudden boom in video streaming apps we use today such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and more. But there was always that small store that stood around longer than the others and wasn't afraid to try something new and exciting.

Now, it's now it's no shock knowing this was eventually bound to happen, and I believe those of us who were fortunate enough to have had a local Hastings near us knew it was coming but hoped the day never did because we'd grown to love this store and all the entertaining content it provided for us. Hastings started off as a video and game rental company. As I child I spent many of my days in Hastings looking over the latest games that had arrived on the shelf, or to check back and see if anyone had returned a game I had been waiting to rent.


Our September 2016 Critical Blast Bombshell, Kirk Disla, Doesn't Joke About Cosplay

Kirk Disla as The Flash

At Critical Blast, we get it. We get that people are going to see the term "Bombshell" and expect busty babes in barely-there costumes. If you really want that, there's this thing called The Internet where you can find more than you can handle of that sort of thing.

But we're looking for a different kind of bombshell. We're looking for cosplayers who make an impact, who are bursting onto the scene, breaking down barriers of stereotype and expectations in new, explosive ways.

(Think we made enough "Blast" and "Bombshell" allusions there?)

That's why we're glad to introduce our September Critical Blast Bombshell, Kirk Disla. That's right, this month's a dude!

Kirk comes to us from the Philadelphia Avengers, and personifies the pure joy of costuming and roleplaying, with a development that is taking him from conventions to other applications for his passion.


Sky's the Limit for Our August 2016 Bombshell!

Sky Song as Merida (Rick Currier Photography)

Our August 2016 Critical Blast Bombshell is relatively new to the art of Cosplay -- but it's apparently a natural talent for her. Sky Song is the second cosplayer to be featured as our Critical Blast Bombshell, and we're sure you'll be seeing more of her at conventions and across the Internet!

Sky exhibits all the qualities we look for in a Bombshell -- talent, commitment to the role, and the application of cosplay to community work, putting cosplay in a positive light to the rest of the world. If you're looking for a positive role model in cosplay -- look to the Sky.

Critical Blast Bombshell, August 2016

Sky Song


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