Culture

Fri
09
Mar

Weekend Blast - March 9, 2018

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?


Critical Blast Bombshell, March 2018 - Cosplay Kitti

Tue
06
Mar

Why Frances McDormand is Wrong on Inclusion Riders

Frances McDormand Accepting 2018 Oscar

Of the many things that are still visible in the rear view mirror of last weekend's Oscars, one of the items still being discussed is Frances McDormand's acceptance speech, where she closed with the following:

"I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: Inclusion Rider."

Is it the name of her next film? Is it the name of the next Kardashian baby?

Actually, an inclusion rider is a term applied to an actor's contract, as applied by the actor. When signing on to a movie and finalizing their contract for same, an inclusion contract is something added by the actor that forces the production company to hire cast and crew that reflects the demographics of the world. It stipulates there will be x percentage of men, y percentage of women, z percentage of this race and that race, and lgtbq percentage of LGBTQ.

We used to call this practice a "quota system."

Fri
02
Mar

Weekend Blast - March 2, 2018

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?


Critical Blast Bombshell, March 2018 - Cosplay Kitti

Thu
01
Mar

The Cat's Meow: Introducing March 2018 Bombshell, Cosplay Kitti!

Critical Blast Bombshell March 2018, Cosplay Kitti

Having attended my share of conventions, I can attest to the fact that cosplay is an intergenerational thing. From toddler Captain Americas to nonagenarian Harley Quinns, cosplay is something that everyone can get into.

I've also seen it become a family activity, with one of my favorite cosplays evern being a mom and dad with two kids play out a simple-yet-magnificent group of LEGO Batman characters.

This month's Critical Blast Bombshell is still barely getting started in the field, and is already gaining a skill level that will have her competing with some of the top talent in the hobby. With an assist from her mother, this high school student is bringing to life characters from manga and anime with her elaborate costumes and wigs. 

We could tell you more about her--but why, when she has already so eloqently done so? Continue on, gentle readers, as we are pleased and privileged to present to you the...

Tue
27
Feb

How Has Poker Appeared in Popular Culture in the Last 50 Years?

Poker Friends

photo by Flickr, Peter Pham

From music to film to TV to literature, poker is not just defined by the table, it resonates throughout popular culture. As fans of poker, we are always pleased to see our favorite strategic game referenced so often. Here we explore the many defining moments in pop culture where poker has been showcased.

Tue
27
Feb

Critical Blast's Bombshell of the Year 2017: Jennifer of Themyscira!

It feels a little odd in these last few days of February to say that a long year has come to a close. But that's how it feels, now that all the votes, all the announcements, and all the awards are finally out of the way. And, of course, we like to top off our Best Of awards with a very special one to all of us here at Critical Blast, the Bombshell of the Year.

Each month, Critical Blast focuses on a cosplayer and highlights what makes him or her special, a focus that goes beyond how great he or she looks in a costume. Then, at the end of the year, you the readers determine which of that year's cosplayers are to be the esteemed Bombshell of the Year. And with your help, we can now announce the latest to hold that title.

It is with great pride that Critical Blast introduces to you our 2017 Bombshell of the Year...Jennifer of Themyscira!

Take it away, Jennifer!

Fri
23
Feb

Weekend Blast - February 23, 2018

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?


Bombshell of the Month Sofy Frezer

Fri
16
Feb

Weekend Blast - February 16, 2018

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?


Bombshell of the Month Sofy Frezer


 

Fri
09
Feb

Weekend Blast - February 9, 2018

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?


Bombshell of the Month Sofy Frezer

Fri
02
Feb

Weekend Blast - February 2, 2018

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?


Bombshell of the Month Sofy Frezer

Thu
01
Feb

From Russia, With Cosplay: Critical Blast Bombshell Sofy Frezer!

Bombshell February 2018 Sofy Frezer

February is the shortest month of the year. So to balance that out, we've made the farthest reach we can to find this month's Critical Blast Bombshell -- halfway around the world to Russia!

This month's Bombshell has been making a name for herself in the cosplay community through her Instagram photos of recognizable characters in natural, casual poses. She's also an object lesson in time management, as she has to juggle her considerable cosplay skills with the busy life of a full-time college student.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Дамы и господа, we are pleased and proud to present at this time...

 

Fri
19
Jan

Weekend Blast - January 19, 2018

Weekend

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?

 


VOTE FOR THE BEST OF 2017!!!

Click the link above to vote on your choices for the best of film, television and comics for 2017!

Fri
12
Jan

Weekend Blast - January 12, 2018

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?

Disclaimer: We don't actually have any articles about Norm MacDonald this week, but I am a fan so he got the cover image this week.

Fri
05
Jan

Weekend Blast - January 5, 2018

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?


VOTE FOR THE BEST OF 2017!!!

Thu
04
Jan

Because Nothing Says Inclusivity Like Banning an Hispanic Author, Worldcon 76 Locks Out Jon Del Arroz

Jon Del Arroz

Jon Del Arroz is a serious science fiction author. And by serious, I mean he's taken the time and trouble to join the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America guild, something I've bothered to do, and now probably never will.

Del Arroz, an Hispanic, was planning to attend Worldcon 76, when he received notice that they were disallowing his attendance, stating he had intended to break their code of conduct. "Worldcon 76 strives to be an inclusive place in fandom, as difficult as that can be, and racist and bullying behavior is not acceptable at our Worldcon."

Because nothing says inclusivity and anti-racism like banning an Hispanic author from your event.

What triggered this reaction? What was it that Del Arroz had done to merit sucha response? Had he published a political manifesto? Posted with a frillion AK-47s on Facebook? Publicly burned a picture of Ray Bradbury?

Mon
01
Jan

Our New Year's 2018 Bombshell is an Inspirational Cosplayer in More Ways Than One

Critical Blast Bombshell 2018 01

January. The first. First day of the first month, and a whole new year laid out ahead of all of us. Many of you may be thinking about what you'll do differently this year, what you'll change from last year. And many of you may have already resigned yourself to the notion that you'll probably fail at it, but what the heck, it's a tradition, right? Think about the gym, the work, the sacrifice, and figure that'll last until February and your first box of chocolates, if you're lucky.

Lucky for you, our January 2018 Critical Blast Bombshell has inspiration to spare! Sure, we love to check out cosplayers and get inspired by their costume designing, their prop-making skills, their ability to pull a character off of a page our out of a game and drop them right into our convention center or special event. But this month, we give you a cosplayer who's a little bit more than that.

Mon
01
Jan

Voting for Best of 2017

Best of 2017 Graphic

Another year has come and gone. The sanitation workers have hauled away the last vestiges of torn Christmas wrapping and boxes, our heads are still buzzing a little from staying up way too late and drinking way to much. And on top of that, the shirt that fit us just fine last October seems to have shrunk in the dryer or something!

But with all that, we've not forgotten that the new year brings with it the voting for the best of last year! So please take a look through the categories below, where the team at Critical Blast has suggested what we think are the Best of the Best of 2017. And because we're not infallible (rumors of selecting new staff members through white or black smoke signals to the contrary), we've got an "other" option in almost every category so you can correct us with what we should have suggested!

Sat
23
Dec

Weekend Blast - December 23, 2017

What did we talk about on Critical Blast this week?


Interview

Wed
20
Dec

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Couch Potato’s Mind

Disclaimer: I want to make it very clear, I am not endorsing this product or any claims made by Unspoil.me.  I am covering this story because it amused me, not because I think it has any credibility.


I stumble across the weirdest things in my journeys across the internet.  Today, that happened to come from a website I've never heard of called IFL Science.  They did a story about something called Unspoil.me, and I just had to talk about it.

There's nothing quite like watching an amazing TV show for the first time. The second time you watch it, however, you're going in with no surprises and the experience is never as good.

Mon
18
Dec

Thanks, Taylor Swift! We Thought 2017 Was Pretty Great, Too!

Taylor Swift 2017

In case I've never mentioned it before, I'm old. So my playlist doesn't often reach out to include Taylor Swift in its lineup.

That doesn't mean I'm insulated, though. I know who she is, I remember when she was on my country stations...and I'm aware that, for whatever reason, her opinion on politics is highly sought after, and her silence on it seems to be infuriating to the pop culture media HMFICs. Yes, why is a twenty-something pop-star not weighing in on where she stands on matters of international diplomacy or perceived social inequities? How can we move on without knowing this information?

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