Superheroes

Big Hero 6 Review: A Big Hit with the Whole Family

November 10, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

To cap off a truly epic 5th birthday weekend for our little (sorry, BIG) guy, we put down the LEGO sets and headed out to see Big Hero 6 as a family. This had been in place for several months — long before we’d planned the birthday party or bought presents or spent way too much time stuffing the hero-themed goody bags.

On a previous family movie outing, we’d seen the trailer for a new film we knew nothing about called Big Hero 6. Yet by the end of the preview we were all hooked. Disney + Marvel + superheroes + martial arts + huggable robots = DUH. And then it said it was coming out November 7 — OUR SON’S BIRTHDAY. We made plans then and there to be back opening day.

Since the characters and story were new to us, I had fun doing some “research” and then “educating” Jon in preparation for the birthday viewing. We had a blast on the film’s web site, which included character profiles, video clips and a couple of cool games. I even bought a picture book to read at bedtime. Disney — ever the marketing masters — already had quite a few books (for all ages) available prior to the movie’s release.

And it probably comes as no surprise that I made lunch notes of all the characters. But okay, enough set up — what did we think of the movie?

Big Hero 6 - Hiro

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Movie-Inspired Halloween Costumes

October 28, 2014 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

If you’re frantically looking for easy, last-minute Halloween costume ideas, this is probably not the post for you. But if you love Halloween, creativity and the movies, you’ve come to the right place!

I recently started writing family-related content for Fandango, and my first assignment was an article about creative family Halloween costumes. Our family has always had a blast dressing up together, and I knew I had more than a few friends out there who did the same. So I pooled my massive sea of Internet resources, and they delivered… TOO MUCH! I ended up with more content than Fandango could use, so I wanted to give these other cinematically-creative families the spotlight on my own site. Go grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy these picturesque, movie-inspired Halloween costumes!
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Halloween costumes - Rocket Raccoon - Guardians of the Galaxy

Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy
An avid comic book fan, James decided to make his young son into Rocket Raccoon for an upcoming comic-con, who had seen (and been enamored by) the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer he’d seen on TV. The costume was a simpler version than shown here, but James made it all himself. At the convention it caught the eye of an experienced costumer who ended up making the custom mask, feet and tail shown in the photo. Way to work a room, Rocket! James’ son will, of course, be trick-or-treating in his full Rocket gear this Halloween.

Get the look: The jacket was made by cutting up and sewing pieces from a red t-shirt onto a navy turtleneck, accented with gold buttons. The raccoon tail (found at a frontier shop) was sewn into the seat of blue sweatpants. Read more here.

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Nobody’s Hero

October 15, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF

I was coming off a four-day stint of flying solo while Papa was away at a conference, and not feeling too confident about my parenting skills. In fact, I was feeling downright shitty about them. Wallowing in self-doubt, self-pity, and other self-related things that suck, I walked by a drawing Jon had done earlier in the day.

The forecast for Saturday had been for a day full of rain, so we had a couple of preschool classmates and their dad over for the afternoon. Sometime in-between watching videos and the MMA match that signaled the end of the play date, the kids had pulled out the crayons and a Star Wars notepad I’d gotten Jon from the dollar bin at Target, and were cranking out quite a few masterpieces.

As I noticed the drawing again that evening, I added to the mental list of my shortcomings, “kid can’t draw.” I wasn’t upset with him or the quality of his artwork. Instead, I took it as evidence of an inability to transfer my skill set to my son. And I was jealous that the other boy that was here was a better artist, and that this was something Jon and I didn’t have that in common. All this landed atop the pile of misery I’d already put on my tired, beaten-down shoulders.

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SuperLunchNotes: Back to School, or Why I Stopped Telling My Son I Loved Him

September 25, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Holy Time-loss, Batman! Has it really been a year already?! For the first week of school, I wanted to come out strong on the lunch notes, as this was the start of my son’s second year of preschool. So I went back to where it all started…Batman. His image is the most iconic, most adaptable, and rife with puns to be played upon. I threw in some other favorites (Cyborg, GL), Daddy’s favorite (Aquaman, duh) and a first appearance from Booster Gold, who we’d watched on an episode of Batman: The Brave & the Bold recently.

And finally, for good measure I added “♥ Daddy” as a signature. This was to be a short-lived addition…

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BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK-ish: August 28 – September 5, 2014

Batman  |  Green Lantern  |  Mr. Fantastic  |  Aquaman  |  Cyborg  |  Booster Gold

Designer Daddy Batman

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Power Lunch Back-to-School Giveaway

September 8, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

That title’s a mouthful, ain’t it? Yet it’s certainly befitting my epic team-up with fellow Dad Blogger and Lunchtime Super Power, Lunchbox Dad! We’re serving up some fun and creative ways to prepare school lunches — plus a ginormous giveaway to help you make lunchtime awesome!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Back-to-school Giveaway

One of the unexpected perks of blogging has been all of the interesting, talented and just downright nice people I’ve met. Whether online or hanging out in real life, I’ve found support and inspiration from so many of my dad blogging bros. One whose creativity I’ve admired for a while is Beau Coffron, AKA Lunchbox Dad. Check out his web site or Instagram to see what I mean — he puts so much fun and imagination into the meals he makes for his kids. It’s a scrumptious sight to behold!

I had the pleasure of meeting Beau in person at a conference in July. While we were there, we did some brainstorming over beer and Happy Meals for ways to combine our lunch-related passions into a cool giveaway for our readers.

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SuperLunchNotes: I Know What You Doodled Last Summer

August 28, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Before we’re all completely consumed with back-to-school madness, let’s take a moment to bask in the fading glow of summer…

My son’s preschool has a super-duper summer program. It’s similar to the regular school year, but loaded with extra helpings of sunshine, water and dirt. I continued the lunch note habit tradition all summer, and with each week of the program having its own theme, I had plenty of inspiration. Here are some highlights from SuperLunchNotes: Summer Edition.
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MARTIAL ARTS WEEK: June 9 – 12, 2014

Michelangelo  |  Pink Ranger  |  Iron Fist  |  Nightwing

SuperLunchNotes TNMT & MMPR - Designer DaddySuperLunchNotes Iron Fist & Nightwing - Designer Daddy

Jon attended a friend’s birthday party at a taekwondo studio, which helped kick off the start to an exciting summer.

The Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon has been a great way to introduce Jon to a few more Marvel characters. Some purists don’t like the teenaged versions of heroes like Iron Fist, but I kinda dig the 21 Jump Street angle of the show. Fun Fact: the actor who does the voice of Iron Fist also does Michelangelo’s voice on the current TNMT cartoon.

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SuperLunchNotes: The Powerpuff Girls

July 25, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

I’m taking a quick break between all my conference goings-on at Blog-Her’14 to post the final Girl Power Week SuperLunchNotes — THE POWERPUFF GIRLS! They’ve getting a makeover soon, but nothing can top the originals to truly capture their cuteness, energy and ass-kicking ability!

superlunchnotes - powerpuff girls

Speaking of cuteness, energy and ass-kicking, I’ve already had a chance to reconnect with many of the wonderful women I met at both Dad 2.0 Summit and SalonLGBTQ, and have much more connecting, reconnecting, learning and a bit of drinking (and perhaps karaoke) to do before Saturday night rolls around. More to come…

Have a great weekend, and be sure to tell the powerful women and girls in your life how much you appreciate them. They are NOT to be messed with.

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Sugar, spice and everything nice — that’s what you get when you like Designer Daddy on Facebook and follow SuperLunchNotes on Instagram!

SuperLunchNotes: Zatanna

July 24, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

The penultimate Girl Power Week SuperLunchNotes is the Mistress of Magic, the Princess of Prestidigitation, the Babe of Backwards Black Arts*, Zatanna!

superlunchnotes - Zatanna

Yup, she’s physically (or magically, rather) powerful, but what you’re not seeing on the note is her Playboy Bunny-esque outfit, particularly her bottomless tuxedo top and fishnet stockings. Very few female superheroes embody the true feminist spirit, but Zatanna’s getup speaks to a bygone era of across-the-board acceptable objectification. For what it’s worth, she does make all the Hottest Women in Comics lists (yes, that’s a thing).

They tried a couple of other costumes for Zee in the 70s and 80s. And while they covered more skin, they were pretty horrendous looking, and she eventually reverted to her original outfit from her first appearance in 1964. Can’t beat the classic, I guess.

So for now I’m just teaching my son there’s more ways to be powerful than throwing a punch or shooting a crossbow. And if he ever asks about the fishnets, I’ll tell him they have magical powers of distraction.

*I made that last one up.

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Need more magic in your life? Go Like Designer Daddy on Facebook and follow SuperLunchNotes on Instagram …and Abracadabra! You’ll be awesome!

SuperLunchNotes: She-Hulk

July 23, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Day 3 of Girl Power Week features a one-two punch of green goodness.

First up is SHE-HULK! Not only is she built like a brick greenhouse, but she’s also a powerful attorney. In other words, leaps and bounds smarter than her crime-fighting cousin. She was also in the news recently when her brains and brawn were overshadowed by her bra size. A well-known comics writer dismissed her as a “big, green porn star” and referred to her as “chunky,” something many fans of her strength and smarts took offense to. The Internet hath no fury like a feminist comic book fan scorned.

SuperLunchNotes - She-Hulk

Check out She-Hulk’s current series from Marvel Comics. Gorgeous covers (and interiors), and a great example of an intelligent, powerful, statuesque, green woman. Quite smashing!

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SuperLunchNotes: Elsa

July 22, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Day 2 of Girl Power Week is everyone’s favorite super cool Disney Princess/Queen/chart-topper/box-office smasher/Oscar- and probably Grammy-winner… ELSA!

SuperLunchNotes Elsa Frozen

I apologize if I’ve once again given you the icy mother of all earworms, but how could I do an Elsa note without using those three magical words? Words that also happen to give a not-so-subtle lesson in sharing and moving on with your life. Or at least onto another toy.

Stay tuned every day this week for more Girl Power notes as I gear up for (and attend) BlogHer’14!

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Be one of the cool kids! Like Designer Daddy on Facebook, and follow SuperLunchNotes on Instagram!

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