Sailor Moon Mosaic

 

This is a step by step of how I created a Sailor Moon Mosaic for my wife as a Christmas gift.

Step 1: Assemble the mosaic tiles
Sailor Moon MosaicI went with some gold tiles I found at the arts and crafts store for the bulk of the tile work.  They have an almost mirror finish and look fantastic.

Step 2: Do a layout to get a rough idea of what you’re doing.

Sailor Moon MosaicThe most pivotal piece of this project was getting the star of the locket done right.  At the end I’ll have a picture of the locket from the anime’ and the mosaic I created so you can see them compared.  This is a very good time to keep in mind that you’re creating a mosaic not an exact duplication in stone.  It should be a little disconnected and freeform, but keep to and embody the idea of what you’re doing.

Sailor Moon MosaicThis is with the addition of the color accent tiles (which are VERY glittery. LOL) and glass beads.  Because this was a super secret project, it had to be completed in my poorly lit basement.

Sailor Moon MosaicThe flash would make all the glass tiles go crazy!  So I didn’t take a lot of pictures with the flash on.

Step 2b: A special step particular to this project.

I’m including this special step, because it was crucial to my project.  I couldn’t find a glass bead large enough to be the centerpiece jewel of the locket, so I made one.  I used oven bake clay that I found in super sparkly dark pink.  So I’ll walk you through that.

Sailor Moon MosaicThis stuff was pretty easy to use actually.  Based on my experience with this project I would definitely recommend staying with this brand if it meets your needs.

Sailor Moon MosaicIt’s lined so you can easily cut it into smaller chunks to sculpt with.  For my purposes, however, I needed the whole thing!

Sailor Moon MosaicI roughed the whole thing into a ball shape by rolling into my hands and on a sheet of wax paper.

Sailor Moon MosaicFor a two-dimensional effect you could whip out the rolling pin (using wax paper to cover it), but I wanted a very three-dimensional piece so I used my hands to smash it down and make a soft mound.

Next I baked it as directed. (Note: at the middle thickness you will need to bake longer than recommended and may burn or darken the thinner edges)

Step 3: The final arrangement

Sailor Moon Mosaic

This is everything going in for a final fit into a mould.  This specific mold is very a 14 inch stepping stone.  If you notice, the star is smaller than I had roughed out, but worked out much better for the mould and looks better overall.

Sailor Moon MosaicTo make a stepping stone you would turn all the tiles and beads upside down (stuck to contact paper) and pour your concrete mix over it.  You would flip it over after a couple days, brush it off, and there would be a very two-dimensional (very standard) mosaic piece.  BUT!  I wanted a three-dimensional look.

Step 4(/5): Pour your mix into your mould (/add your tiles and stones)

So, I mixed my cement (white) and then poured it into the mould.

Sailor Moon Mosaic

I let it set (After adding way too much water to the mix. LOL) most of the way, then rough mixed some very spreadable cement (almost like cake icing) and smeared it on the top of the previous layer but much thinner.  Then I pressed in all my tiles and stones and let it set for three days.

Final step: Take out your stone for final curing.

Sailor Moon MosaicThis was a constantly frustrating project to learn, but cannot wait to try something like this again.  Luckily I know my wife will appreciate all the hard work that went into creating an icon from her favorite anime’ and Manga.

sailor-moon-locket

Sailor Moon Locket from the Anime’.

Sailor Moon MosaicSailor Moon Mosaic.

 

 

 

YI SOON SHIN: Warrior and Defender

YI SOON SHIN: Warrior and Defender is the first arc of a three arc run about a 16th Century Korean Admiral. I discovered this indie book at Wizard World Nashville 2013. I purchased the book (in collected Hard Cover) and read it back at my hotel room the same night. This is the greatest historical comic I’ve ever read. The events and characters could be read about in a dry college text book, but through the magic of sequential art, you discover living, breathing characters and become an eye witness to some of the most interesting battles in Korea’s history.

Yi Soon Shin Banner Poster

Saavedra’s lettering with Timpano’s art and De Los Santos’ coloring bring Kompan’s amazing story telling to life. Onrie Kompan certainly understands what words to use to describe a scene. Instead of just flatly saying that the Koreans blew the Japanese out of the water with canons, he says “A ballad of destruction deafens the invaders. The orchestra of cannon fire lets the oppressors know that their occupation is finally being met with fierce resistance.” The perfect words to accompany explosive illustrations. The opening battle is certainly not where the actions ends either; the entire first arc is riddled with conflict, both physical and psychological. The vile Baron Seo is quickly revealed to be the villain of Shin’s story thus far. And what a terribly evil villain he is.

Like many independent books, Yi Soon Shin was a labor of love.  It took Onrie Kompan a long time to assemble his team and get them moving in the right direction.  The direction was ultimately given by David Anthony Kraft, the famed Marvel and DC writer.  The influence of Len Strazewski cannot be understated.  Mr. Strazewski is Kompan’s mentor from Columbia College Chicago and an accomplished comic author.  His works include Starman, The Flash, Justice Society of America, and, one of my all-time favorites, Prime (for Malibu Comics).  The collected Hard Cover
edition features over 30 pages of behind the story, interviews, and concept art.  The single, Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender #1 as well as the start to the next arc, Yi Soon Shin: Fallen Avenger #1, can be purchased from Amazon right now.

Stay up to date with this book at: YiSoonShin.com

Wizard World Nashville 2013

This past weekend, I made the small journey to Nashville, TN for their very first Wizard World Nashville.  Looking back, it was a great time had with my wife and several friends.

Wizard World Nashville is the newest addition to the popular Wizard World convention tour.  For those curious, the next stop will be Austin, TX.  With a tag line of “Where Pop Culture Comes to Life” a Geek can almost know what to expect from the show.  Celebrities of popular (and long past) television shows and movies were a large feature with several popular artists and writers of a little medium known as Comic Books.  There were tons of talented cosplayers and quite a few amateurs strutting their stuff.

Elizabeth Wither Wizard World Nashville

If you’re a local to Nashville or it’s surrounding cities, then you know this isn’t the only con in town.  Other than Wizard World Nashville this year, there has already been MTAC (the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention) and the Nashville Comic Expo.  The next convention on the radar for locals is the Geek Media Expo.  The largest draws for Wizard World Nashville were Norman Reedus and Stan Lee.  The VIP passes for these two were almost redundant as it seemed everyone either purchased a pass for Reedus or Lee, which is what my wife and I did.  Fans of The Walking Dead did flock to the Nashville Comic Expo for Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan, but Norman Reedus’ newfound sex appeal with the ladies made him a huge target for the crowd.  The cohesiveness of a convention staff that are seasoned pros at this scene made all of the hiccups and growing pains of a newly birthed convention mostly invisible.  I have no doubt that it will be an even stronger convention next year.  The paid and volunteer staff members worked together to deliver an excellent fan experience.

Star Wars Dewback Wizard World Nashville

My five favorite things from Wizard World Nashville 2013 were:

  1. Mike Grell.  I felt Mr. Grell was very under appreciated at this convention.  This guy singlehandedly recreated the image of Green Arrow and turned him into a serious character worthy of his own story.  Besides his importance to the DC Universe, Mr. Grell is an amazingly nice guy who has a lot of love for the characters and some great stories to share about illustrating them.  Mike Grell Wizard World Nashville Green Arrow
  2. Sean Patrick Flanery.  He may not be starring in much right now, but give him some time.  Apparently a third Boondock Saints movie is in the works!  Growing up I thoroughly enjoyed The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones.  The stories told through Mr. Flanery are some of the best in the Indiana Jones mythos.  Also, this guy is full of energy and RockStar charm.  Sean Patrick Flanery Wizard World Nashville
  3. Eric Powell.  Creator of The Goon and advocate for Creators rights in general.  Despite having recently completing a KickStarter to make a Goon movie, Mr. Powell was manning his booth signing, doodling, and doing some amazing commissions.  Eric Powell Wizard World Nashville Franky
  4. James Marsters.  This guy is on the same level of cool as Sean Patrick Flanery.  He will talk to anyone about anything and is just so endearing.  He was generally another big fan favorite, due to his spectacular performance as Spike on Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  It’s worth noting that Mr. Marsters was able to give a lot of insight to the creative processes of Joss Whedon.  James Marsters Wizard World Nashville
  5. All of the amazing Cosplayers.  Professional, amateur, and everything between.  The costumed heroes came to life at this convention in a big way.  They take the convention experience to that next level.  Below I am pictured with Kristen Hughey and Ridd1e.  Kristen Hughey and Ridd1e Wizard World Nashville

I would have liked to have seen more artists in Artists’ Alley and more big name creators.  Some odd book artists for the big two, Marvel and DC, were there with booths, but were not really sketching.  A few were taking commissions, but not many.  Truth be told, I’d have really liked to see more of the amazing talent being published by Image, Darkhorse, IDW, Archaia, etc.  People publishing original content in a fantastic way.  Being a pretty big convention for what it is, I only have WonderCon to compare it to.  WonderCon featured some fairly large booths by the independent publishers.  It’s my sincere hope that next year there will be more involvement from publishers other than Marvel and DC.  Considering it’s close proximity to my home and the variety that was presented, I cannot wait until Wizard World Nashville 2014!

Be looking for my review of Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender, the best historical comic I’ve ever read.  I got to meet and talk with Onrie Kompan, the series’ writer, at Wizard World Nashville.  Hands down, best independent book at the convention.