Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Let's start with talking about them Giants. Sports people have a tendency to say things are one of the GOATs, the Greatest Of All Time, a little too often. As a result, there's a bit of a "boy who cried 'wolf'" problem when something truly cool actually happens. So, let me, as not-sportsy as they come, assure you that Odell Beckham's one-handed, backwards-diving, gecko-fingered touchdown catch last night in the New York Giants' game against the Dallas Cowboys (the Giants lost 31-28, but Beckham still won the evening) was, indeed, one of the most impressive feats of pure athleticism to come out of pro sports in a while. There's loving pro sports, and then there's saying "hey, look what this cool human did." This is the latter.
Said Beckham after the game in a display of almost-as-impressive modesty, "I hope it's not the greatest catch of all time. I hope I can make more." What is most impressive about the catch, you may have noticed, is that split-second where the ball shudders in his fingers like it's about to pop back out, before being secured by some sort of friction magic heretofore undiscovered by science. You can see the full play over at NFL.com. Beckham explained that he was just using what his momma gave him. "I guess I have to thank my mom for the long fingers. Her hands are maybe half an inch shorter than mine. I know I felt it on those three fingers and tried my best to pull it in." Meanwhile I knocked over a table breaking a pepper shaker at the restaurant I went to for my birthday. Sales for the fourth and newest version of Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas"... featuring such celebrity musicians as Bono, Chris Martin, Seal and One Direction have been very high, with treacle pop fans going nuts for the charity song's vaguely patronizing lyrics and middling production quality. All proceeds from the single go toward fighting the current Ebola epidemic in Africa. The family of Bob Marley are working with a Seattle-based equity firm to create Marley Natural, "a premium cannabis brand rooted in the life and legacy" of the reggae legend, featuring his likeness on the product. As we all know, if there's one thing Bob Marley loved more than smoking the ganja, it was the corporatization of authenticity. By the way, did you ever see the movie Marley and Me? I think Bob dies at the end of it. A group called the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign is currently trying to make Christianity the official state religion of Mississippi. A spokesperson for the group explained: "We have taken a little bit of time to prepare an initiative that covers promoting Christianity, which is recognized as the principal religion of Mississippi from the founding of the state in 1817 to the present, and affirmed in the state constitution prayer acknowledging the Holy Bible.” If the measure receives enough signatures... which, let's face it, it will... state citizens may get to vote on adding it to the state constitution in an upcoming election. With Ebola not really in the news anymore, but the Kardashians are... and are cashing in with a new TV show.
That should be a good show. Well, Christmas is pretty much a month away and you might be thinking what cool toys are out there this year to get your kids. How about this one?
Yes, they are so bloody funny. Did you see what Captain America is gonna look like in the new Avengers movie?
I'm not sure I like it or not. Did you see the new Hunger Games movie? I will review it in a minute, but depending on how you look at it, Jennifer Lawrence had either a great weekend at the box office or a disappointing one. Mockingjay: Part 1, the first part of what I understand is a sixteen-film finale to the dystopian trilogy, had $123 million in ticket sales, setting a box office record for the year. BUT it still didn't do as well as movies one and two in the series. So now every time someone tells Jennifer "congrats" today, she'll know they're secretly thinking her new movie's achievement will always have an asterisk by it. Maybe for Mockingjay: Part 2 they should have more dead kids? People love that. Anyway, here's the review...
Gears shift in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. The games, and their commentary on totalitarian regimes, have ended. The first two installments (don’t dive head first into this one if you haven’t seen them; Peter Craig and Danny Strong's script refuses to bring you up to speed) addressed the inevitability of a coming fight. Now a civilization-saving showdown begins, one waged by the oppressed people of the Districts against the members of the Capitol, a rich and powerful minority who exploit District resources for lives of luxury, all the while forcing citizens to compete in fatal bloodsport for entertainment’s sake. Class war has turned into actual war. But first, the good guys need some really kick-ass, pro-revolution commercials. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), rescued from the games-winning consequence of a life spent in the service of pro-Capitol propaganda, is now the face of the revolution. Her handlers, rebellion president Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and her right hand man, Plutarch Heavensbee (the late Philip Seymour-Hoffman, to whom the film is dedicated), recognize Katniss's star quality and populist appeal, and cast her as the leader who’ll rally the troops. After a few false starts with some laughably scripted promotional spots, Katniss is sent into battle so the cameras can capture her authentic rage. And when she learns that Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is still alive and being used as the Capitol’s anti-revolution puppet, she accepts the task at hand. Uneasily. Katniss isn't so sure about these bunker-living revolutionaries, and neither is the film. Mockingjay is more compact than the first two installments, and its focus is, wisely, on the immediate challenges to its protagonist’s sanity, the moral dilemmas of building a consensus for war in the media, and the burden of being cast as that war's MVP before the heavy killing even starts. Lawrence’s performance roils with stress and fear, as it did in the first two films, and director Francis Lawrence stays with her, up close, from start to finish, visually mirroring the script's examination of Katniss's cult of personality. She powers everything around her. Admirably, Mockingjay isn’t shy about suggesting that even the people on the side of righteousness can just as easily exploit their volunteers. When an impromptu song sung by Katniss becomes a Les Miserables-style gang-anthem for underclass warriors marching toward sacrifice, the complicated moral narrative addresses the inherent discomfort of cheering on death. We watch a movement streamline its message via the power of celebrity, and we learn who is disposable in a revolution and who isn't. Katniss, the former pro-Capitol reality TV star turned different sort of reality TV star, one who was once forced into gaming battle and who now volunteers to kill, becomes the human embodiment of Why We Fight, the symbol who must live on to inspire another day. Thanks to this ethical fuzziness... and having not read one word of the books... it's a little thrilling to wonder just where this might be headed. Suddenly, it seems like a perfectly happy, all-good-versus-all-bad ending in Part 2 might be up for grabs, and the resulting potential for darker surprises makes a year-long wait for resolution seem like a very long time. In a related turn of events, a story that seems as though it could have been instigated and scripted by a powerful Hollywood studio is taking place in Thailand, as a cinema chain in Bangkok has already cancelled this film’s engagements. And why? Because the story’s three-finger gesture of defiance has now been adopted by pro-democracy protestors there. In the words of Hoffman's Plutarch: “A little on the nose, but so is war.” From 1 to 10, I give this movie a 10.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know, kids.
The 30th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery is a cosplayer and talented artist who goes by the name Winged Warrior, and you'll find out why in a minute. Please welcome to the Phile... Chrissy Albertson.
Me: Hello, Chrissy. Welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Chrissy: Thank you so much for having me!! I'm doing well, thank you! Hope you are staying warm!
Me: Yes, I am. So, your nickname is The Winged Warrior. I didn't know if I should title this entry Chrissy Albertson The Winged Warrior or The Winged Warrior Chrissy Alberston. So, I chose the latter. Where did that nickname come from?
Chrissy: Haha, I quite like both titles but will agree with the latter. My nickname came from when I was 15 and trying to come up with a new email when we converted from AOL to MSN. Everything seemed to be already taken, and my previous email was DreamWarrior (taken from the title of a story I was writing at the time). So I ended up with WingedWarrior and it just fit from then on. Eleven years later I still have that email and the name has just fit with everything I do :)
Me: That's your cosplayer name, right?
Chrissy: It is! It's also my name I use with any online handle, be it art or gaming!
Me: You are an artist that is pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery and also a cosplayer. I interviewed a few cosplayers here before... Katybear and Tabitha Lyons who is from England. Do you know any of them, Chrissy?
Chrissy: I am so, so honored that you chose to feature little ol' me. Especially with such amazing cosplayers that you mentioned! I follow each one of them actually, their work is awe inspiring!
Me: So, what came first, being an artist or cosplaying?
Chrissy: I have been doing art since I could pick up a pencil, but only really started doing cosplay in 2008 when I started going to conventions for the first time. Before that it was just a love for dressing up at any occasion :)
Me: What do you like better?
Chrissy: A: Oh goodness... that is certainly a very tough question! I like both for many different reasons. Cosplay is just a different medium of art for me, though I love being able to wear what I make and being able to show that off and talk to other people about it. But art I can pick up anytime and doodle what I please, or bring other's original characters to life. Though art is definitely cheaper than cosplaying, that is for sure... haha!
Me: Let's talk about your cosplaying first... how many characters do you dress up as?
Chrissy: Not nearly as many as I would like, haha. I have done about 7 different characters ranging from the Amazon from "DII", to an Original Steampunk, and even a Female Venom complete with liquid latex. Though I have many more planned for next year!
Me: How long have you been cosplaying?
Chrissy: I have been actively cosplaying since 2008, before that I just dressed up at dances and Halloween. But I also admired my friends that went to these amazing and awesome conventions like SDCC. Like my friend Becky Young, who always went and dressed up like Emma Frost. I wanted to be like her so much!
Me: I am sure you go to a lot of conventions, Chrissy, when did you start to go to conventions?
Chrissy: I do! Both to attend and sell in Artist Alley! My very first convention was also my first cosplay, I attended BlizzCon in 2008 as the Amazon from "Diablo II. " I have never missed a BlizzCon since! But I usually attend anywhere between 2-5 cons a year, hopefully more in the future!
Me: Ever been to MegaCon here in Orlando? I go almost every year.
Chrissy: I have!! It is one of my very favorite cons! I have gone the last 2 years and will be in Artist Alley again this year with my friend "Art by Sabina" table!
Me: Okay, so, where are you from?
Chrissy: I am actually from Salt Lake City, Utah! Despite living so far away, I attend a lot of cons in California and of course MegaCon in Florida! I am very lucky to have friends in a lot of states to stay with. But I love Utah, so much outdoor things to do and it is quite beautiful in all seasons :)
Me: Are you married? If so, does your husband cosplay as well?
Chrissy: I am! To a very loveable viking. We have been together for almost 12 years, 6 married. High School sweethearts, actually. But I still can't get him to cosplay with me, outside going to the Scottish festival wearing his kilt. Not for lack of trying though, one day! Mwhaha... cough.
Me: You belong to something called Superhero Disney Princesses Group.
Chrissy: I do!
Me: I have worked for Disney World for 26 years and I have never heard of this group, Chrissy. I have a picture of the group here...
Chrissy: I was so lucky to be invited to be apart of such a wonderful group of ladies in 2011. You do? That is amazing! I have an annual pass to Disneyland, but have only been to Disney World once sadly. The group is mainly based in California, but the cosplayers are from all across the states. We cosplay every year at San Diego Comic Con, last year they even included villains! I cosplay the part of Superhero Nala, but haven't been able to attend the last year due to SDCC ticketing.
Me: Nala? That's a lion. Why did you pick a lion over a human character?
Chrissy: She is indeed! The Lion King is my all time favorite movie, so to be able to bring Nala to life as a badass superhero it was a dream come true! Though I wasn't able to do everything I wanted at the time (made the costume in about a week) I have definitely wanted to revamp her and add more superhero elements.
Me: Okay, I saw this picture with you an an owl.
Me: That's not a real owl, is it?
Chrissy: It is!! She was indeed very real, and it was amazing!! Owls are one of my favorite animals, and I actually based my original steampunk costume around owls. I have a fake one on my shoulder and one tiny one that hangs from my birdcage purse. So when I attended Salt City Steamfest last year, they had invited a local bird rescue group and you could take pictures with their birds for a small donation. They had owls and even falcons! It was a dream come true! :)
Me: You're crazy! LOL. That owl could of scratched your eyes out. Were you scared?
Chrissy: Haha! No not at all, though now that I think about it some of the poses I was doing had her right up to my face. Probably wasn't the smartest thing... hehe, but I would do it again and again in a heart beat!
Me: Did you walk around with it all day?
Chrissy: No sadly, I wish I could have! I only posed with her for about 10 mins. I would really like to do it again with a proper photo shoot instead of just a camera phone... hehe.
Me: Okay, I saw this photo of you as a cute cowgirl character... posing with a TARDIS. First, are you a "Doctor Who" fan? I am a huge "Doctor Who" fan since 1974. I might as well show that picture as well...
Chrissy: Haha, yeah they had a TARDIS at Salt Lake Comic Con this past year. So of course I had to pose with it! I have a ton of friends that are big fans. Though, and I am going to get a lot of flack for this, I haven't really watched any "Doctor Who." I know, I know!! I used to watch a few episodes with the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, when I was small. But haven't sat down to watch the series yet!
Me: What is that cowgirl character?
Chrissy: She is Applejack from "My Little Pony"! I have always loved "MLP" since a young girl, Firefly and Applejack were my favorite from "G1." And Applejack is still my favorite from the newest "My Little Pony." She is also super fun and super comfy to cosplay :)
Me: There's one character as well with really long eyebrows and armour. I have no idea who that is but you look like you can kick my arse, Chrissy. Who is that?
Chrissy: Aw, thanks! I always love being able to look like I can kick some ass... haha! That costume is from 2011 BlizzCon, when I did a female version of Nozdormu. Who is from World of Warcraft, leader of the Bronze Dragonflight. When he takes on his human form he does so in the form of a Blood Elf, thus the really long eyebrows!
Me: Do you make your own costumes and props?
Chrissy: I do!! I love being able to wear what you make! Especially being able to take common household items and turning them into works of art! And I love to push my self with new materials and learning new crafts! One day though I will learn how to sew... haha!
Me: How long does it take you to put a costume together?
Chrissy: Depends on the complexity of the costume. Armored costumes tend to take more time, also depends on materials, etc. For example Nozdormu took around 3-4 months on and off to make, Steampunk took about a month, Nala took about a week, and Applejack took a few hours. :)
Me: By the way, your Venom is very original. Are you a comic book fan?
Chrissy: Oh ,why thank you!! I first did that back in 2009 and again in 2010 for Halloween. Liquid latex can be fun, but also hurts like a banshee taking it off! And I am a big comic book fan, though I don't read as much anymore I am still a big collector :)
Me: Okay, so, I have to ask, DC or Marvel?
Chrissy: I enjoy both in their own way, but I have always been more of a DC fan to be honest. Our house is very much split on that topic, many a nights have we gotten into heated discussions about both universes... LOL.
Me: I'm a big Marvel fan myself. Do you have a favorite character?
Chrissy: Marvel does do better movies, that is for sure... haha! I would say my favorite characters are Black Canary and Wonder Woman for DC. And a toss between Venom/Carnage and Elektra/Psylocke for Marvel.
Me: Do you play video games as well?
Chrissy: I play quite a bit! Mostly PC games now, but I grew up on consoles. My husband and I used to own a LAN Gaming Center for 5 years, called Toxic Gaming. Lot's of good gaming memories there. I also used to game competitively, "Halo" actually... LOL, I used to be apart of an all ladies gaming clan called PMS! And I also was part of a World ranked guild in World of Warcraft for many years, we were Top 30 and even 12th at one time. Now I just play casually, mostly "League of Legends" with friends while waiting on Wildstar to come out :)
Me: Okay, we need to talk about your artwork. What's your favorite medium?
Chrissy: Ohh, tough question. I love to draw traditionally, can never take my pencil and sketchbook away from me! I like to do a lot of small cards called Artist Trading Cards, which are small 2.5"x3.5" cards. And I mainly use either Copic markers or acrylic paints to color them.
Me: It looks like you use paints a lot, am I right?
Chrissy: Recently, yes. I have been really into painting galaxy silhouettes as of late, it is just so much fun to fling white paint everywhere... haha!
Me: And you like drawing females more than males, is that true?
Chrissy: Also very true... hehe. Females just tend to be more fun and easy for me to draw. Gotta love them curves! Though I have been on a Batman kick lately.
Me: Your mermaid one looks good, Chrissy. Is that colored by computer?
Chrissy: Thank you! I just recently finished her. And yes, it is inked and colored digitally. I usually color all my prints digitally, unless it is a painting.
Me: It has an anime style? Are you into anime?
Chrissy: I can see that, though I tend to lean away from that style anymore since that is all I ever drew in high school. So many drawings of random eyes and Sailor Moon... hehe. I used to be into anime quite a bit, but now I am so out of the loop it is quite sad! The last anime I watched was High School of the Dead and FMA: Brotherhood. Though I have been told I really need to watch Attack on Titan!
Me: There's one of Harley Quinn that looks cool, and she's really popular, but it says "Jinx" on it.
Me: Is it not Harley?
Chrissy: Thank you! That particular one is not miss Harley but actually a recent character from "League of Legends." She is a pretty crazy girl, so when she first came out I did a quick speed painting of a skin idea for her that mimicked Harley Quinn's outfit. But I always love drawing Harley, I think I need to do an updated picture of her soon :)
Me: There's this very colorful Wonder Woman one you did which would look great on a t-shirt. Have you ever done art work for t-shirts? This should be your first.
Chrissy: Aw, goodness, thank you!! I have not actually, but that would fit very well on a shirt! Especially with t-shirts only being able to be 5-6 colors, I think I could convert that pretty easily. Thank you, no one has ever mentioned that before! :)
Me: So, what are you planning on doing next, Chrissy?
Chrissy: I need to get a whole new line up of prints going! So for the next month I am going to be doing a lot of new works! MegaCon is the first next year, and I also hope to have a new cosplay to wear by then! Hope to have Forecast Janna done in time, and also going to update my Gladiator Wonder Woman with a new skirt.
Me: I like to ask artists I pheature on the Phile what they think of the Phile's logo... what do you think?
Chrissy: I like it!! Bold lines, bright colors, awesome flying filing cabinet, what's not to like! Though it would be cool to see some different colors for the text, might really make it pop.
Me: Okay, I like to ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Here we go... Would you rather be a great musician, artist or athlete? I'd say musician.
Chrissy: Oo, you know I have always wanted to be able to sing and play an instrument. I think you can train hard enough to be an athlete and work/learn hard enough to be an artist. But singing, that takes something you were born with. And I for one was not born with the gift of musical capabilities... haha!
Me: Go ahead and plug your websites, Chrissy, and I'm sure I'll see you at MegaCon. Take care.
Chrissy: Thank you so much for such an awesome interview!! It was such a pleasure!! You'll definitely have to stop by my table at MegaCon so I can give you a hug! Websites- Facebook: facebook.com/WingedWarriorCosplay, DeviantArt: winged-warrior.deviantart.com/, Tumblr: winged-warrior.tumblr.com. Twitter: twitter.com/Wingedwarrior16. Print Store: wingedwarrior.storenvy.com/
That does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to the beautiful Chrissy Alberston for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Wednesday with Phile Alum Kirk Waldrop from Nine Times Blue and then on Sunday with singer Barbara Lusch. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker