Mark Wesley Pritchard
Award-winning cosplayer, cosplay model, influencer, retro gaming fanatic, die-hard Texas Rangers fan, and nostalgic freak. Need I say more?
My Thoughts About the Houston Astros
Houston Trashtros and Houston Asterisks are two of the names many baseball fans call the Houston Astros since their infamous cheating scandal transpired in 2017 that helped them win their first ever World Series. For those who aren't familiar with this scandal, suspicions about the Astros cheating have been spreading for years. It wasn't until 2019 that the Los Angeles Dodgers organization started to blow the whistle on a claim that the Astros were stealing signs during the World Series two years earlier. Other teams claimed that they used other cheating tactics, such as whistling to relay signs to batters. In January 2020, Commissioner Rob Manfred released the results of an investigation conducted by Major League Baseball and they concluded that the Astros illegally used a video camera system to steal signs during their World Series run three years prior. As a result to the other aforementioned schemes, the Houston Astros were fined $5 million, gave up two draft picks (first and second round), and suspended both Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and field manager A.J. Hinch for the entire 2020 season. They were later both relieved of their duties. Basically, all of this was a slap on the wrist for the players and for the owner to save his own behind.
Unapologetically Defending the Texas Rangers
Recently, I celebrated a birthday and very thankful to see another year. Witnessing the Texas Rangers winning their first ever World Series was the best birthday gift I ever asked for. I've noticed in the nearly three weeks since they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games was an act of disrespect towards the World Series champions. What do I mean by that? Stick around for a while and by the time you've finished reading this story, you'll have a full understanding of why I felt the need to strongly come to the Rangers' defense. I'll start off with the bad and then with the good, because I want my readers and everyone else to understand where I'm coming from.
Texas Rangers: From Heartbreak to Triumph
November 1, 2023: a night that faithful Rangers fans will remember forever If there's one word to describe the 2023 MLB Postseason, it would be exciting. Exciting might be an understatement to you, but to me, it was exactly that. In my personal opinion, this particular postseason was my overall favorite. When most people think of the word postseason, they most likely associate it with two teams: the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
Cosplay Is Not Consent
Next year, I'll be celebrating 10 years as a cosplayer. I've participated in many cosplay contests and have done over three dozen cosplays. On top of that, I've met and made friends: online and at cons. Let's also not forget the numerous celebrities I had the pleasure of meeting at conventions over the years. Oh and I'm an award-winning cosplayer, winning two cosplay contests at two different cons (2019 and 2020 respectively). As a gay, autistic black cosplayer, cosplay is part of my life and has been since the beginning. Also, going to conventions allow me to meet different people and cherish a lot of memories. To me, whenever I attend a con and post pictures and videos online, there's always stories behind them. Cosplayers like myself have built our own followings on social media. People love our cosplays and our posts. However, over the last several years, cosplayers have been sharing their horrifying experiences online about being sexually and/or verbally harassed at cons by creeps. Yes, I use the term creeps very loosely, because those people actually exist at cons. There might be a chance that a creep might stalk you online, so always be on alert. I've personally never been sexually, verbally, or physically harassed in cosplay at a con, but have been verbally harrassed on numerous dating sites, which I'll share in a bit.
Finding A Purpose in Life: In My Own Words
September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month and in this story, I open up about the struggles I've personally went through and still go through today. It's understandable that suicide is a very taboo topic to discuss, especially on social media sites like YouTube. On there, for most YouTubers, they can't even utter the word or any variation of it, because apparently, YouTube will flag videos of anyone mention such a uncomfortable topic. How are people supposed to honestly talk about their own struggles about this, but they get censored? I believe that spreading awareness about it and sharing our stories could be very helpful to those going through the trials and tribulations of life. It's an uncomfortable topic, but making people feel uncomfortable, especially when it comes to suicide awareness, is necessary. Having open and honest conversations is a start and it shouldn't be demonized or repressed in the media or social media in general. It's okay to not be okay, because as I've stated in my previous social media posts, there's no such thing as a perfect life. We all go through dark and/or depressing moments in our lives. Being open and honest about how we're feeling is one of the ways for us to start a conversation about suicide.
- Top Story - August 2023
Celebrating Five Years As A Creator for VocalTop Story - August 2023
Back in 2018, I was going through some difficult times: homelessness, joblessness, and severe bouts of depression. I was in the process of slowly trying to get my life back in order. One day, I went to my local library and was browsing the internet. Suddenly, I ran into a site called Vocal. It's where you can get paid for writing stories and if your stories are interesting enough, they might get featured and might be rewarded one-off tips. So I looked into it and thought this was something I wanted to do: becoming a creator for Vocal. At that moment, writing became my own version of therapy. It was a lot better than attending an actual therapy session. Since then, some of my stories on Vocal have been featured several times and given one-off tips. Fast forward to today, I'm still writing stories. I write about everything from cosplay to the issues that's going on right now. However, in this story, I'll be featuring my five favorite interviews I've written over the years.
Power Rangers 30th Anniversary
It's Morphin Time! I have a question for you. Where were you on the afternoon of August 28, 1993? I was in Pre-K for a little over a week and a half and also five years old at the time. If you grew up around this time, then your childhood was amazing. As of September 2022, 963 episodes of Power Rangers have been aired over 29 seasons, with the 30th season premiering on Netflix this fall. It'll be called Power Rangers: Cosmic Fury. As a kid, I remember watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers faithfully and had action figures and a White Ranger watch. I lost interest in Power Rangers for years, but around 2013, I got interested in it again by purchasing action figures, Funko Pops, and other items from Toys R Us and online. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers premiered on the now defunct Fox Kids August 28, 1993 and ran for three seasons. It was one of the longest-running kids' live action series in television history. Despite some criticism early on, fans loved it and three decades later, the fandom is still going strong, especially fans who weren't even born or grew up around that time. It wasn't just for kids. Us adults loved it, too and we would post anything Power Rangers related on social media and attend conventions, hoping to meet our favorite stars. I was fortunate to have met one Power Rangers star, but more on that in a bit.
Breaking Down My WWE Cosplays
As a cosplayer, I'm always looking for new cosplays to do if they catch my attention. Almost a decade ago, I was preparing to attend my first convention as a cosplayer. That's when an idea popped inside my head: What if I went as a WWE superstar? I did exactly that and in this story, I'll be going over the three WWE cosplays I've done in about the last 10 years. I've been a huge fan of old school wrestling since the late 90s, even though my now estranged parents and aunts, who are African, hated it when me, my youngest brother, and cousins watched it. However, we didn't care and loved every minute of it. I grew up watching The Rock, Kane, D-Generation X, and many others. Bet you didn't know that hidden gem about me, now did you? Anyway, without further ado, let's get ready to rumble!
The Greatest, Exciting Con in Arkansas
You must be wondering why I decided to do a review of a con almost a year after attending such event. A busy work schedule and I needed to take care of myself mentally and physically. The last time I wrote a review about a con was nearly four years ago. That con was Arkansas Comic Con, which is held in Little Rock every September. You can read my experiences from that event by going to my profile and then heading to my stories. Without further ado, let's get on with the review.
More Than Just a Cosplay Persona
Since 2014, I've done dozens of cosplays and created a following on multiple social media platforms. Plus, I'm an award-winning cosplayer (I don't make any apologies for calling myself that, because it's true), thanks to the two cosplay contest wins I've achieved in 2019 and 2020 (before the pandemic), cosplay model, retro gamer, activist, influencer, and last but not least, a writer for Vocal since 2018. For years, I've let people dictate what or who I should be, let alone, also telling me what I can or can't do. I'm the driver of my own life, path, and journey. I refuse for others to tell my own story. There's room for everyone to achieve their goals and aspirations.
Review: Supergeek Designs
For nearly a decade, I've cosplayed some of the best cosplays. From Superman to Spider-Man, you name it. I've done over three dozen characters and have no plans of stopping. In this story, I'll be showing my appreciation and props to a costume company that I've been supporting since 2021. That would be none other than Supergeek Designs. In case you're not familiar with who they are, they have a plethora of authentic and quality superhero costumes, according to their website, from DC to Marvel characters. As of this writing, I own three costumes from them: Symbiote Spider-Man, Spider-Man (Sam Raimi suit), and the Green Lantern. I have one costume on the way, which will be Daredevil. I'll be doing a review on that once it arrives. To find out more about them, head to their website:
The Exclusion and Disrespect of Black Cosplayers in Arkansas
February is the start of 28 Days of Cosplay. For those who aren't familiar with what it is, it's a month where black cosplayers share their cosplays, as well as their experiences, celebrating their excellence, and encouraging everyone to support them. The hashtag #28daysofblackcosplay was started by a woman named Chaka Cumberbatch, also known as Princess Mentality Cosplay a few years ago. Now that I've explained that to everyone, there was something that I've noticed since I've started doing cosplay in 2014: an ongoing pattern that I never disclosed to anyone, especially to my cosplay friends or followers. Why is that, you ask? It was because of the fear of being "cancelled" or shamed by them. I'm a realist, so me sugarcoating the truth is not an option.