Good night, dear Generalissimo

I’m not going to pretend that I’ve been a comic superfan all my life. I didn’t grow up getting new comic books every week. I didn’t spend hours in comic book stores – there weren’t any near me in the suburb of Houston that I grew up in. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve been a lifelong fan of the Avengers or pretend that I knew who the hell the Guardians of the Galaxy were before the movies came out. But I did grow up watching the X-Men on Saturday mornings. I glanced through the Spider-Man strips in the newspaper every morning when I had my breakfast before catching the bus to school. Even though I’d never read a single Captain America comic in my life, I could recognize his iconic red white and blue uniform with the shield and ask “ok, so he has a goofy ‘yay America’ uniform, but what does he do??”. Before I knew Iron Man’s real name was Tony Stark, I was able to point out the classic red and gold flying suit. I grew up with the common knowledge of what it meant if someone “hulked out.” You didn’t need to be a superfan to see Stan Lee’s influence everywhere.

Stan Lee’s story isn’t about a man who achieved his dreams. When I saw his panel at Alamo City Comic Con I remember a teenage boy excitedly asking Stan for advice on how to get started in comics because he wanted to become a comic writer himself. Stan’s answer was a telling one in terms of a generational divide in choosing career paths. Stan didn’t write comics because he wanted to, he did it because he had to. He was an aspiring novelist, but because he needed to put food on the table for his family, he took on the job as a comic book writer as a teenager and the gig stuck. He never became that best-selling novelist that he wanted to be, but he became something so much more than that.

He made comics relatable. DC had their own successes with Batman and all the lore surrounding Gotham City, but at the end of the day Gotham City was a fictional setting. In 2003 I skipped out on studying for an organic chemistry exam in college to see Stan Lee speak at the University of Texas, and one of the things he mentioned in his talk was that he made it a point to make his stories take place in real life cities, so that readers could imagine all of these adventures happening in their own backyards. New York City had been his lifelong home, and he couldn’t imagine his characters being anywhere else. He wanted his characters to be flawed so that they could be more human. He wasn’t writing superheroes for the sake of creating a good guy and calling it a day. He wanted to make it seem like we could all be heroes, and that heroes could be all of us.

In 2014 I wasn’t able to see Stan Lee’s panel at Comicpalooza, but I got a photo with him because I knew it’d be one of the few opportunities for me to get a picture with a living legend without having to wait in line for hours at a larger convention. I also made a last minute decision to stay up late the night before and crochet a Spider-Man to give to Stan Lee. Here’s the excerpt from my previous blog post about giving Stan his little Spider-Man critter:

The next morning I sleepily waited in line for the photo op. Once the line started moving, the photo op went BLAZINGLY fast. Stand in, smile, and you’re gone. Not even a chance to say anything more than a quick hello. So when my turn came around, I kind of became that asshole who held up the photo op line, even if it was just for a few seconds. I told Stan I had something for him and handed him little Spidey, and after exchanging thank yous (no, thank YOU, sir, for influencing so many generations!) it was all shouts of “ma’am, look at the camera” before I had to scurry off. My tiny little victory was when I saw his handler try to take the little Spider-Man away from him and he snatched it away and put it in his pocket as if to say “NO, MINE.” Stan Lee now has one of my critters in his possession. VICTORY!

It was that split second of watching him tuck little Spidey into his pocket instead of handing it over to his handler that touched me the most in that brief interaction I had with him. He appreciated the work of his fans. He didn’t just say thanks and let his assistant toss it into a pile of other pieces that he would undoubtedly get throughout his time while sitting for photographs. He kept little Spidey with him, and that meant more to me than any thanks that he could’ve said to me.

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Thank you, Stan, for creating such a vast universe of heroes that were still human at heart. For reminding us that while we may just be people, we can be so much more. And that at the same time while you could be the strongest, fastest, and smartest person on earth, it’s still okay to have flaws. We can all be heroes, but heroes aren’t invincible. You may not have ever published that “great American novel” that you dreamed of writing, but you created a pathway of dreams for so many generations of kids and adults alike. Thank you for giving us so many heroes for us to look up to, learn from, and remember for years to come, including yourself. While you may no longer be here on this earth, you’ve given us all a gift that we could never repay. Good night, dear Generalissimo. May you take your place with the greatest names in history. You’ve earned it. Excelsior!

She’s a head-turner!

I was really hoping to finish this girl before Halloween, but I guess cutting it close is still better than being late! My book Literary Yarns features a pattern for a “transforming” Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde with a rotating head, and I’ve had several people suggest that I should use the same technique to make a little Regan from the Exorcist. I LOVED the idea (creepy-cute critters are my favorite kinds to make!), but I never got around to making it a reality until now.

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One of my favorite parts of making the creepy-cute characters is that I get to dirty them up! Regan wasn’t exactly wearing a robe fresh out of the laundry by the time her head was rotating around so I did her a favor and added a bit of grime.

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And OF COURSE her head turns! What kind of person would I be if her head was only going to stay in one direction? Pffft.

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She may have arrived on the scene at the last minute, but at least she showed up in time for Halloween! Have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone!

Seattle and Vancouver: the recap!

I took a trip to Seattle and Vancouver and I feel like the Pacific northwest always seems to treat me pretty well. Apparently I tend to show up right when the gloomy weather decides to take a break, so it’s been a fantastic time every time I’ve gone up to visit. While both of my critters that I dropped in Seattle were unaccounted for, I got check-ins on both of my drops in Vancouver, so I’ll take it! If I had to sum up my trip to Seattle in four pictures it’d be these:

And my four photos to sum up my trip to Vancouver:

Read on for more!

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The Hooker’s Going to Seattle and Vancouver!

I’m heading to Seattle and Vancouver next week for a vacation! And I’ve decided to take some critters with me! I’ll be in Seattle from 9/25-9/27 and Vancouver from 9/28-9/30 to eat my way around both cities, see some scenery, and just have a good time in general. Here’s who will be tagging along with me on my trip:

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A rich kid with abandonment issues.

Captain America (R)

A teeny patriot.

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A loud-mouthed Canadian.

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And a less loud-mouthed Canadian.

Batman and Captain America will be dropped in Seattle, and the two Canadians will be dropped in Vancouver! I mean, Deadpool HAS to be dropped somewhere in Vancouver. I’d be highly disappointed in myself if I didn’t do that. I’ll be doing drops in Seattle on 9/25-9/26 and in Vancouver on 9/28-9/29. No drops on 9/27, I’ll be spending most of my day hiking, so everyone can rest easy then! One drop per day!

If you’ve never followed my drops before, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Follow me either on facebook or twitter, but I highly suggest twitter for drop-tracking. Facebook does a weird thing where it doesn’t show my posts in real-time based on whatever magical algorithm they use to control people’s newsfeeds.

    The Geeky Hooker

  2. Follow the hashtag #CRITTERDROP to filter out my tweets if you want to see the ones pertaining to the drops only.
  3. Set up a twitter mobile alert on your phone! This isn’t required, but it’ll help! This way your phone will buzz every time I make a post on twitter, so you won’t miss a single drop! You might end up with your phone buzzing like crazy if I’m geeking out over something during my trip, but otherwise I’ll try to keep it tame. 😉 Instructions on how to set this up can be found here.
  4. If you find a critter, let me know that you found it! Please, please, PLEASE check in if you find a critter. Each one is tagged with a card with my contact info. I just ask for two things if you find one: 1) Send me a photo of your new friend, and 2) Let me know where the critter’s new home will be so I can add it to my map! I do this knowing that there’s a potential that anyone could swipe the critter and never get back to me on it, but it doesn’t make it any less disheartening when one goes missing.
  5. I’ll be dropping on critter per day on 9/25-9/26 (in Seattle) and 9/28-9/29 (in Vancouver). No pairs/groups of critters.

No specific hints on where my critters will be dropped, it’ll just be one per day, and I’ll drop them whenever the time and place feels right!

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If you want to join my hunt for crocheted critters in Seattle and Vancouver,  follow me on either twitter or facebook to track my drops! I just ask for two things if you find a critter: 1) Send me a photo of your new friend! 2) Let me know where the little buddy’s new home will be! Good luck, and happy hunting!

The Geeky Hooker

SDCC 2018: The recap!

This was my eighth year going to San Diego Comic-Con, and it was kind of a weird one, but not in a bad way. The heavy hitters Marvel and HBO were notably absent. Lines were still around, but they were remarkably shorter. I’m not feeling as much of the post-con withdrawal as usual, but maybe it’s because this year was a slower con and honestly I’m okay with that. Here’s my SDCC summed up in 4 photos:

Otherwise read on for more!

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Is something…bugging you?

Because I’m a glutton for punishment I made another two critters right before Comic-Con. It was bugging me that I still hadn’t seen Ant-Man and the Wasp yet, and with all the buzz I figured I should see it first before deciding if I could worm out a few more critters before flying to San Diego. I watched the movie, and thankfully there were no stings of disappointment here! I enjoyed it and I was crawling with excitemANT for Comic-Con coming up. So I brought out the hooks. And the bug puns. I’ll show myself out.

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Ant-Man and Wasp are smaller than my average critters! They’re literally a handful. (haaaa!)

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Stop clapping, Scott, she’s not Tinker Bell and she’s not dying.

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The first Ant-Man movie was one that I watched with VERY low expectations. Ant-Man?? Paul Rudd? Who the f- nevermind, I’ll just go see this for the sake of seeing it. I ended up walking out of the theater all smiles. Ant-Man and the Wasp was just as fun as the first Ant-Man movie, and Luis’s recaps always steal the show. Tip: If you like his recaps, you should REALLY look into Drunk History on Comedy Central. (and you learn legit history from it too!)

Ant-Man and Wasp are the final two critters for San Diego Comic-Con! I’ll be dropping these two as a pair. Find them and they’re yours to keep!

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That rounds out my final critter lineup to a total of 15 critters, plus 3 more guest critters by Gina! Don’t forget to read this year’s critterdrop guidelines, and most of all, have a great time!

If you want to join my hunt for crocheted critters at San Diego Comic-Con this year, follow me on either twitter or facebook to track my drops! I just ask for two things if you find a critter: 1) Send me a photo of your new friend! 2) Let me know where the little buddy’s new home will be! Good luck, and happy hunting!

The Geeky Hooker

 

The more the merrier!

I’m not the only one doing art drops! Over the years I’ve found other people who make cool stuff and leave them behind for the rest of us to enjoy! While I’m not collecting guest art like I did last year (it was fun, but it ended up being too much for me), I’ll gladly spread the word if anyone else is doing art drops of their own! Check out these awesome folks and stalk them like crazy on twitter at SDCC to get a chance to pick up some of their art! Read on to see who else will be dropping fun stuff at SDCC next week!

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