July 12

BOOK REVIEW: Geek Merit Badges

Geek Merit Badges by Meghan Murphy

Like many, during my grade school years, I was a Girl Scout. Over the years I learned to cook white bread-and-jelly pot pies over a campfire, how to tie a square knot (left over right and through, right over left and through), and sold hundreds of boxes of cookies. I also earned my share of merit badges, displaying them proudly on my sash. Years later, my kids also joined scouts, and my son went on to earn his Eagle. So I was intrigued when I saw mention of Meghan Murphy‘s new book, Geek Merit Badges, on Twitter, and promptly requested a review copy.

The book offers ten badges in each of four categories. Discovery badges, such as Time and Time Again, Origin Story, and Awkwardness Adept, address your geeky origins. Absorption badges, such as Constant Collector, Game Master, and Speak the Language showcase your passions. Transmission badges, such as Mighty Mentor, Disaster Preparedness, and Keeper of Traditions, offer ways to share your enthusiasm. And the Creation badges, such as Fan Fiction, Cosplay Commando, and Crafty Crafter, allow you to show off how your geekiness inspires you to make. This last section would perhaps be of most interest to GeekCrafts readers! Each badge starts with relevant quote that offers the opportunity for readers to test their pop culture recognition skills (“Never give up. Never surrender.”), and various examples of “have you ever…” kind of scenarios.

I really enjoyed Murphy’s writing style and conversational tone. I felt like she was one of my “tribe” (or I was one of hers). I appreciate how she has put something out there to gather the geek community and help them find relatable and shareable experiences.

That said, the book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. As a former Girl Scout, and mother of an Eagle Scout, I was expecting a series of geeky tasks that one could attempt, check off and earn a badge by completing a specific number of assignments. I envisioned, upon earning a badge, one could order a physical embroidered patch, similar to scout badges, to display on a jean jacket or messenger bag, and recognize geeky accomplishments in others with similar badges. The book does offer checklists and quizzes for the reader to identify with relatable scenarios, but I didn’t get the sense of having completed an educational track and “earning” a badge.

For the Creative Cookery badge, for example, it lists some “Famous Fictional Foods,” but doesn’t encourage you to make some and host a watch party with friends, as I would have expected. It lists “drinks we wish existed,” but doesn’t invite you to pair them with their geeky sources, or watch specific episodes of shows to understand their references. I also thought it was a bit odd that the checklists for each badge were in their own section starting at page 153, and not at the end of each badge overview.  Finally, the book offers cute little stickers for each badge, but I would prefer something more badge/patch-like.

Once I adjusted my expectations for the book, however, I did enjoy reading it. I instantly recognized myself in many of the scenarios Murphy described and related to many of her geek references. I appreciate her vision for the book: encouraging people to be a “good geek:” “Love what you love. Be what you love. Share what you love.” And that’s something we can all get behind.

If, after reading the book, you are interested in finding some more badge-like geek merit badges, I did track some down:

Have you read Geek Merit Badges? What did you think? What merit badge(s) would you like to earn? Let us know in the Comments below!

Other Links of Interest:

July 11

This Asgardian Iron Man Armor is Better Than Anything Tony Stark Has

I want to just say, that as a slightly gaudy chick, I want this armor to cosplay as Iron Man. Not “Iron Woman.” I want this design. I’d wear it every. Day.

asguardian iron man

Samuel Lee of Prince Armory is behind such mind-blowing costume and armor creations as the medieval versions of The Joker, Loki and Darth Vader. Now he’s back, this time with a gorgeously detailed, leather and brass-detailed Asgardian Iron Man.

The one-of-a-kind suit, made from leather, with brass hardware, isn’t for sale, but he’s always willing to discuss custom orders. However, you may need to have Tony Stark-sized bank account to afford it. However, the Prince Armory is not revealing the armor’s cost, because it will most likely never be made again.

July 11

Batman Cosplayers

Ah, the internet world is agog with Batman, his armor and cosplayers right now, thanks to San Diego Comic Con and the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Today, we’ve got two awesome Batman cosplayers to show off.


First up, Dhareza posted his bat-armor over at Imgur. This was inspired by Batman’s armor from the upcoming movie. It was amade entirely out of a combination of LED lights, Worbla and eva foam by Dhareza, over the course of 2 months. The base of the costume used to be Batman Thrasher, which Dhareza built to compete at Denver Comic Con and won first place.

This costume is actually for sale, and anyone interested can contact Dhareza through Facebook.

Batman cosplayer

Next up, we’ve got Julian Checkley, with an Arkham Origins Batman that he made himself. Made over the course of about a month, Kevin LeProp 3D printed the parts, then Checkley painted and pieced everything together in Galway, Ireland. He ALSO built a ridiculously dangerous, fireball-shooting gauntlet.

July 6

Make Your Own Comic Book Shoes With This Awesome Tutorial!


I’ve seen quite a few tutorials on decoupaging shoes, but this one is really good.  I found it on Anomaly Geek Girl Podcasts and Blog (a site well worth investigating!).  It’ll take you step-by-step through the process, complete with pictures.  And the results are pretty awesome.  Just imagine, you could have comic book shoes for every fandom!

Want another idea for up-cycling shoes into geek-tastic awesomeness? This tutorial is all about making your own glittery Police Box shoes! Look below for more fun links, and be sure to share your incredible comic book shoe creations.

Links of Interest