Comic Time!

nessa_blog_portraitI love my local hobby shop.  I go there at least once a week.  The people that work there know me and I often get into long conversations with them.  I see regulars there and always say hi and they treat me with respect and politeness.

So it really took me off guard when two random guys I’d never seen before started testing me on my Warhammer knowledge.  I stood there with my newly purchased miniature in my hand answering questions about lore and gameplay.  I was so confused on what was happening I simply stared, blinked, and answered while they grilled me.  Once they had finished their questions about Warhammer (and begrudgingly decided that I knew enough about it) they switched to comic books.  I’ve never been a big comic reader, but I knew enough from TRU talking about it at the kitchen table.  I answered what I could until they stumped me on “which issue did red kryptonite first appear?”  I told them I didn’t know and they smirked at each other and walked out of the store murmuring “I just hate those Fake Geek Girls.”


Character Creation

nessa_blog_portraitMMOs are a tricky thing.  These are games that not only ask for our money for either an initial purchase, a monthly fee, or the newer trend of micro-transactions, but they ask for our time.  And a lot of it.  We spend hours, days, weeks, sometimes months of accumulated hours on these games.  When investing so much of our lives to a game we need to love our characters.

Neverwinter is one of many MMOs that give us an extensive character creator.  Cryptic has always been good at giving us control over our “other-selves” from City of Heroes, to Champions Online, Star Trek, and now Neverwinter.  Other great character creation games are Spore, APB, Conan, Tiger Woods games, and the Saints Row series.  The developers of these games understand how much time they’re asking for us to invest and give us the option of creating the perfect character.

Why does it matter you ask?  Because we as gamers need to identify with our character.  We need to make a character that represents us in some way.  Sometimes it’s through making one that looks like us, or looks like our ideal us.  Sometimes it’s making a character that looks like how we want to play such as the skulking rogue or the valiant paladin.  Other times it’s just making something pretty that we enjoy looking at on the screen.  No matter the reason, it’s a very important part of WHY we play.  If we don’t like our characters, then why spend the time playing them?


FashioNessa: Slutty vs Sexy

FashioNessa here!  What makes female game characters sexy, kick-ass, and approachable and what makes them annoying, over-sexualized, blow-up dolls?  Despite popular opinion, it is NOT the amount of skin or the size of the chest.  It isn’t that easy.  We all like our characters to be alluring and attractive but when does it go too far?  I put together a few examples of slutty versus sexy.

We’ll start with two women with very similar outfits.  Both of them are covered nearly  head to toe with little skin showing.

(Bayonetta from Bayonetta and Miranda Lawson from the Mass Effect Series.)

In Sega’s Bayonetta, this gun-toting witch takes every chance to spread her legs, crawl on the ground, and make orgasmic sounds during attacks.  Her stiletto boots are actually guns and her “magic hair outfit” strips away occasionally to leave her twirling naked in a barrage of over-the-top combat effects.  These things weren’t sexy, they were annoying.  Not one person I saw play this game got through it without eye-rolls, groans, and head-shaking laughter at the stupidity.  Which was too bad, because it took away from the strength and wit this character had.

Miranda Lawson is a similar character.  Skin-tight clothes, incredibly smart, and a little bit of a bitch.  But Bioware made her alluring without having her spread–eagle every time she shot her gun.  Her movements within the game are subtle and well-animated with the occasional perfectly placed camera shot.  This is a game where you can choose to have sex with this character and it is still classier than Bayonetta.

(Sonya Blade from Mortal Kombat vs Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy 7)

Can you spot the difference between these outfits?  I’ll give you two guesses….

Both of these characters are wearing tight, white tops, black pants, and fighting gloves. They both have thin waists and large breasts.   But it’s the little details that put Sonya into the less-than-desirable category.  Outside of the gratuitous nipples, her shirt is suctioned to her body and her pants are lowered to show off a tan line and a bellybutton ring.  (Which I can only image would get ripped out in a fight.)  Tifa’s clothes are actually her size and look damn good on her.

These differences really impact the reactions of players, just like in real life.  Imagine seeing someone walk down the street in Sonya’s clothes next to someone in Tifa’s.  Which one would you find attractive and which one would you feel like you should dig out some dollar bills for?  A little goes a long way in these cases.

(Ivy from Soul Caliber vs Cammy from Street Fighter)

Here’s a couple famous fighting-game characters.  This particular comparison comes down to believability and symbolism.  Ivy is, quite literally, strapped into her clothes.  Her top is hanging on for dear life and the bottom is little more than a tissue. At least her neck and left arm is well protected….And after adding in the whip, the imagery of bondage and domination is loud and proud in this particular outfit.

Cammy, on the other hand, looks sexy in her painted-on outfit. She’s still showing skin and jutting out her chest, but even her face has more personality than Ivy.  I trust that her clothes are going to stay on while I do flips around the screen and kick some Ryu face with her long, tattooed legs.  Her tie and hat are symbols of authority, leadership, and professionalism.  I’ll take Cammy’s nicely placed scar over Ivy’s outfit-matching lipstick any day.

(Shadee from Prince of Persia vs Nariko from Heavenly Sword)

There’s always a big controversy over how much skin a female character shows.  I believe the real issue is HOW the skin is shown.  There’s nothing wrong with being bare if you do it right. Bodies are beautiful and we are programmed to like looking at them.  Lets just use a little bit of class.

Shadee is a typical example of ‘naked for no reason’.  Her outfit is ridiculous, uncreative, and not even that aesthetically pleasing.  Which is too bad, because her character could have been pretty fantastic.  Nariko, another scantily-clad, duel-bladed vixen, does it right.  Her clothes make sense in the world and work beautifully with her hair and movements.  The outfit was designed to show off her body, and they did it elegantly.  Now if only the game had been a little better….

(Harley Quinn from Arkham Asylum and Juliet from Lollipop Chainsaw vs The Mechromancer from Borderlands 2)

Our final comparison of the day is pigtails.  Pigtails are a common symbol of youth and innocence and show up a little too often on sexualized characters. This trend either needs to die here and now or it needs to be done right.

Two examples of pigtails done poorly are above on the left.  Harley Quinn (whose trashy look in the newest Batman title was a sad disappointment) dons the pigtails with her ‘childlike’ voice and mannerisms, obsession to play with toys, and does everything to please her strong, older man.  Juliet starts the game off just turning the legal age of 18 while she giggles in her pigtails and plays with a sucker in her mouth….hmmm….can we say pedophilia anyone?  These are examples of pigtails done wrong.  Creepily wrong.

The Mechromancer from Gearbox’s Borderlands 2 may be young but she is a crazy, robot-controlling, trash-talking, punk.  These aren’t Sailor Moon pigtails, they most likely have a trip-wire.  Pigtails done right.

So there it is.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting and playing sexy, female characters.  They don’t need to be genderless to be strong and they don’t need to be naked to be attractive.  Like anything else, making memorable characters takes a little moderation and a lot of thought.

FashioNessa out!

FashioNessa: New York Comic Con 2012 Best Costumes

Hello Pinup lovers!  Nessa here.  New York Comic Con 2012 is over and done with.  There were many fantastic costumes this year, as well as some atrocious ones.  The most common costumes walking the floors were Catwoman, Batman, and Captain America.  This was definitely a year for super-heroes.  Here are FashioNessa’s winners for the following categories.


Why not start with the most obvious?  There are always a ton of sexy women on the comic con floors.  Picking the top four was very tough.

First Place: Rule 63 Comedian from Watchmen.  Her attitude was the icing on the cake for this sassy shooter.

Second Place: Aveline de Grandpre from Assassin’s Creed III Liberation.  Readily proving that her costume didn’t need to be skimpy to be one of the hottest in the room.

Third Place: Mad Moxxi from Borderlands 2.  I’ve seen a lot of Moxxi costumes but this one was the best.  She rocked it.

Honorable Mention: Psylocke.  Once again, there can be a lot of Psylockes roaming the cons, but this particular one was simply stunning.


Creating a costume is hard work.  And even harder if it comes from your imagination.  Here are some fantastically creative ones from this year.

First Place: Magic: The Gathering Dress.  This woman made an entire dress from new and old Magic cards.  I wonder if there were any mythics in there….

Second Place: Duck Hunt Woman.  She turned herself into NES Duck Hunt, complete with background.  Fun idea and very unique.

Third Place:  Unknown costume.  If anyone knows what this costume is from please tell me.  It was beautiful and a TON of work.

Third Place: Original Costume. Thank you to Scott for finding out about this costume.  It is an original creation of her own, a steampunk angel.  She took first place in the contest in New York.  Here is the link on Kotaku.

Thank you again Scott! Nice digging!

Honorable Mention:  Bumblebee from Transformers.  So this may not have been an unique idea, but the costume was so well put together I felt I had to mention.


There can be just as much eye-candy for the ladies as there is for the guys at Comic Con.  I’ve happily gathered four to choose as the winners.

First Place: Captain America.  Through a sea of red, white, and blue shields this year, this particular debonair Captain put all of the rest to shame.

Second Place: The Engineer from Prometheus.  Big, blue, and burly.  This guy gives Dr. Manhattan a run for his money.

Third Place: Human Torch from Fantastic Four.  How to look like your shirt is on fire without setting it on fire?  Paint the shirt right on your muscled torso.  No complaints here.

Honorable Mention:  Spartans.  Because I can.


I couldn’t ignore some of the more fun and entertaining costumes from this year.

First Place:  King Hippo from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.  This giant man found the perfect geek reference for his body.  Bravo to you Sir.

Second Place:  Wonder WoMAN.  A classic with a twist.  Where else but a comic con can a man dress like this have people want to pose with him for pictures?

Third Place:  Wonder Woman Deadpool.  Deadpool is a hot costume right now with the upcoming game.  To stand out in the crowd this Deadpool donned a Wonder Woman outfit while still keeping the quirky attitude.

Honorable Mention:  Hello Kitty Proton Pack.  Fabulous.

These are just a few of the thousands of impressive and unique costumes that New York had to show this year.  Good show everyone!  Can’t wait to see you in San Diego!

FashioNessa out.