Your Last-Minute Costuming Guide For Comicpalooza

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Phaedra Cook
It's not too late to get your Who on. Bedrock City has plenty of pop culture gear, even for the ladies.

Comicpalooza, Houston's biggest comic and pop culture convention, starts at 10 am on Friday. The six-year old convention keeps growing in size and popularity. This year, it spans four days instead of three. (Hopefully, you already have Memorial Day off and don't have to call in "sick.")

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Chuck Cook Photography
It's OK to be normal. Dark Phoenix still loves you.
So, what if you want to go to Comicpalooza but didn't plan on wearing a costume?

Option 1: Don't Sweat It

First off, it's absolutely fine to not wear a costume or cosplay. Speaking from experience, costumes can be hot, uncomfortable and--if you make your own--require hours, days or even months of work to achieve a high level of quality and authenticity. Based on my own observations at cons, a third or fewer attendees actually cosplay (although it is growing in popularity every year and more and more people are picking it up as a serious hobby). In fact, I strongly recommend to first-time con attendees to NOT cosplay. Just come see what it's all about first and then decide if you want to cosplay for the next one.

Option 2: Nerd Couture

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Phaedra Cook
Bedrock City and other local comic book stores have a wide variety of apparel.

The easiest way to dress in the spirit of the event is to visit your local comic book store and check out the assortment of branded T-shirts. You can probably find one that sports a character that you love. At larger comic book shops, like the Bedrock City Comics on Washington Avenue, there's a lot more than just T-shirts to choose from. These days, the fashionable geek can choose from hoodies, jackets hats and wallets. Gussy up your jeans and jackets with iron-on patches. There are even some extremely cute Doctor Who dresses for the ladies.

If your heart is absolutely set on wearing a costume (or you have a child who is going to be heartbroken to not have one) you still have some options--if you hurry.

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Buyer's Guide to Steampunk Christmas Ornaments

Categories: Steampunk

If you're like me you've waited till the last minute to put up the tree, but in case you were thinking about having a very steampunk yule then there are plenty of ornaments to help take your tree in a more gentlemanly direction.

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Let's start off with the headman himself. Lynn Reno over at Desert Rubble does some amazing polymer ornaments, including this one of St. Nick decked out in goggles to keep his sight free when flying through the air on Christmas Eve. Her biomechanical fish and orchid pendants are also first-rate.

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Halloween Costumes, Take the Sexy or Vintage Route

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Joe Sam's Fun Shop
The worst thing about Halloween, besides that it doesn't last all year, is deciding what to dress up as. Some choices are redundant (ooh, a witch, yawn), but new options can get you compliments for your creativity.

Looks such as superheroes, pirates and scary masks for men and boys remain preferred choices. Staples for girls are still princesses and anything girly. Guises inspired by popular movies are favorites for all ages.

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Death to Digital: Learn Steampunk Techniques in Art Asylum's Earring Class

Categories: Fashion, Steampunk

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Courtesy of Art Asylum
It's been ten years since Wear It Again Sam, the popular Montrose vintage clothing store, shuttered its Westheimer location and moved to the Heights. That location also closed its doors a few years ago, but that hasn't kept Sam VanBibber, the shop's proprietor, from doing what she loves: Making something new out of something old.

"I had boxes and boxes of broken jewelry, and the steampunk movement became more popular, and I thought, 'I can do this,'" VanBibber tells Art Attack.

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Richard Clarkson Makes Cellphones Steampunk

Categories: Geek, Steampunk

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Art Attack is dedicated to bringing you all the latest crafts in the world of steampunk, whether you are looking for something as small as a computer mouse or as large as an entire home, we hope that we can be your guide on who to turn to live out your sci-fi Victorian fantasies. The latest genius of the trend is Richard Clarkson, who has finally brought steampunk to mobile technology.

What you're seeing is a Samsung Envy, the same phone we currently have, retrofitted to incorporate a brass rotary dial. Clarkson is still working the bugs out in the electronics as rotary sends a single pulse while modern button systems use multiple pulses in a matrix to communicate, and the merging the systems is a bit tricky.

Nonetheless, Clarkson is well up to the task. He is currently an industrial design student at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and is set to begin pursuing a Masters of Industrial Design specializing in integrating mechanical and analog systems. In other words, he's on his way to being a professional steampunk designer and also making American education look really, really boring.

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