Blame Nanowrimo for the lack of posting this week. After clocking in 2,000 words of fiction everyday, it is difficult to get inspired for a blog entry, I will admit. So I’m bout to be super lazy and just throw some pics at you. Get ready!
Here are the awesomely epic Game of Thrones inspired costumes we happened across this weekend.
The spouse and I dressed as Brienne of Tarth and Samwell Tarly. If you look closely you might even spot that I added freckles to my face to really flesh out the Brienne look. No one was willing to admit I have a horse face. Bless their hearts. 😉
Our buddy Addie came dressed as Melisandre, complete with sexy red contacts and a hand sewn cape. Also, the coolest Jon Snow necklace of all times. She promised to make me one. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t totally stoked.
We hit up our friends party the next night and just happened to bump into another Game of Thrones nerd couple with themed costumes. The dude was dressed as an Other and she was Melisandre. Quite a popular choice! I only wish we could have found a Daenerys or Jaime Lannister to complete the group. Hats off to everyone on their costumes though. The lady of the couple really went all out – she even created the banner of Stannis Baratheon. Happy Day!
You can check out the making of the Brienne costume on these posts:
Really enjoyed putting these costumes together and nerding out with people who actually knew what they represented! Being surrounded by fellow nerds this weekend inspired me to start reading Book 3 again, and I’m like 25% of the way through. No spoilers here – but so far I’m glad I stuck with it so far. George R. R. Martin is one sick bastard, that’s all I have to say.
Do you know how difficult it’s been to find an attractive, properly fitting ladies shirt with one of the X-Womenz emblazoned across the chest? Well, it’s been damn difficult. This may shock some of you but Storm, Phoenix and Rogue just aren’t the most popular Marvel faces affixed to an item of clothing.
This also goes hand in hand with another rant/beef I have: even though Rogue is much-beloved by fangirls (this fangirl at least) there is not a single mass-produced costume inspired by her character. Any Rogue costumes and wigs have to be custom made. Which SUCKS if you want to dress up but can’t sew your own.
It’s only been recently that the Storm and Phoenix pre-fabricated costumes have appeared for purchase through major retailers (in varying degrees of skankitude).
I love the Storm version, but wonder about cosplay race-bending.
Is it appropriate for a white person to cosplay as a comic book character of color? According to this blog post, no. And for all intents and purposes, I tend to agree.
So then, would it be weird for me to wear a shirt with Storm on it? Unfortunately there is no guide post on the internet for that particular question (THE NET HAS FAILED ME!)…so I’m gonna also go with “no.” And use a similar set of logic: there are enough white female X-Characters with whom I can identify. If anyone wants to argue I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
Anywho – the whole point of this post was to highlight the trend of using the X-Ladies (the BEST ones, sans White Queen) on more clothing attire. And jazzing them up a bit, so it’s not the old Jim Lee 90s version or the throwbacks to the original crew either.
Yep – that’s my big surprise. I’m working on a kick-ass cosplay costume for a female version of Captain America. But not just any old costume, a World War II/Steampunk-esque version of Cap. It’s coming together bit by bit at the moment.
Here’s a REALLY TERRIBLE pencil sketch of the outfit. I am obviously not an artist, but am highly visual and in order for my brain to approve any purchases for this outfit, I needed to see it in one picture, rather than all the separate pieces. Here’s what the final costume should resemble when everything comes together:
The inspiration comes from production stills of the currently filming Captain America movie and the Bryan Hitch Ultimate Avengers comic book version:
There were at least three different pre-made versions of Captain America costumes for women and two of them were sleeveless. Since I don’t sew clothing well enough to make my own, the base of the costume is going to be pre-purchased and I’ll have to craft together all the accessories.
Anyways – a lady with a 3/4 sleeve tattoo doesn’t fit with the classic 1950s theme, so the one I ended up selecting is not as conventionally sexy. But it fits the look better. Already purchased this from buycostumes.com – this website is awesome because they allow users to post reviews and photos of themselves wearing the items. You can always judge a costume better when an average sized person is wearing it in crappy lighting and using a cellphone camera to take a picture. That’s REAL advertising.
Already know I’m going to do away with that shitty silver winged mask. Yegh.
Originally had planned to write a recap of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena but that will have to be put on hold. Instead, I bring you something that immediately inspired me as soon as I saw it.The Nerd Bucket List.
It was actually brought to my attention by another female comic book enthusiast who goes by the name of Jill The Nerdy Bird and guest writes for Newsarama.com. She penned up an article there with her own very specialized Nerd Bucket List as opposed to one that must be adhered to by all nerds.
So, you probably guessed by now that the remainder of this entry is going to be about my own personal Nerd Bucket List. The very exciting thing is that I’ve managed to cross off quite a few things on the list already! These are in no particular order or sequence, as all things are equally important to a nerd like me. 😉
MINDY’S NERD BUCKET LIST
Meet Katee Sackhoff and Edward James Olmos. Obviously – she is my female heroine idol and it would be the shining moment of my days to shake her hand and tell her that she totally changed my perception of what a female heroine could be with her performance. I would also HAVE to ask her, “What do you hear Starbuck?” Because no one
has ever asked her that before. 😉 And Edward James Olmos is like the Grandpa I never had. His gravelly voice and reading glasses and general demeanor are as comforting as a glass of warm milk. I’m especially excited to learn that he might return to the BSG Exhibit in Seattle this year for another script reading. I’m so there.
Visit NYC and lurk outside the Marvel Office. They don’t do regular tours, but I can still be a creeper and maybe snap a few pictures with an editor or something out on the street. Or maybe contact them ahead of time and see if a tour is possible. Or rewind time back to 1998 and be this kid.
Cosplay as a sexy superhero. This is probably something that should be done before I turn 30 (so like, next year) because after 30 I’ve decided is the cut-off for any kind of sexy cosplay. Please time, do not make a liar of me. I don’t know though – Steampunk has made dressing up in costume at any age a work of art, so that might be the loophole in the future. Not sure what superheroine I would like to attempt. I’ve done Rogue before for a superhero party and all that hair dyeing was such a hassle. Any suggestions?
Participate in Thrill The World in full zombie regalia. At least once. Complete with zombie eye contacts and a clever costume.
Obtain a comic book artist portrait. That sounds so ridiculous, but I’ve always fantasized about becoming a comic book character. Not sure what the process would entail either – probably scouting out a decent picture and passing it off to the artist at a convention. Thinking Pablo Raimondi, Pia Guerra or Joelle Jones. Unless someone has an alternate suggestion?
Join or lead a geeky volunteer group. Like the PDX Browncoats. As mentioned before, this would unite my passion for contributing to the community AND displaying geekery in all it’s glory. Plus meeting and hanging out with a group of like-minded folks. Hopefully that can be checked off in the near future!
Sketch from Alex Maleev. Dude, he lives here in Portland but I haven’t seen him attending one convention in the last year. He was even noticeably absent at SDCC. What gives? He is elusive as fuck, which makes a sketch from him about as prized as a Unicorn horn.
Sit inside the cockpit of a Colonial Viper. It wasn’t just enough to SEE them. Seriously. It’s the equivalent to some fans of LOOKING at the Millenium Falcon. Want to touch! Want to see what it would look like if I was flying through space, blasting some frakin’ toasters. So say we all!
Create a comic book. I’m no artist, but I’ve dabbled in all forms of writing save one (or two) and it seems especially strange given my passion for comics. How hard would it be to work up a script? Probably not that difficult. The scary part would be in finding an artist who would be willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears to see those words brought to life.
Meet Joss Whedon AND Brian K. Vaughn. The last of the comic book scribes whose work has inspired and thrilled me over the years. They are both hugely talented and the opportunity to shake their hands or stare at them obsessively while my mind goes helplessly blank and my knees give way would be truly special.
Complete all Assassin’s Creed games with 100% achievements. Just cause.
Finish up the Phoenix Tattoo in the next two years. Provided both the DH and I can find stable employment situations. Have had to reschedule twice now, so London no doubt thinks I’m a flake. But I don’t intend to have a half-finished tattoo on my body forever.
BUCKET LIST ITEMS ALREADY COMPLETED
Attend San Diego Comic Con At Least Once. This was listed as one of the top items on the collaborative nerd bucket list, so I believe I can safely assume the mantle of nerd for the rest of my days – having traveled to the geek mecca and survived the eye-gouging dangers of Hall H and witnessed the glory that was the Avengers Panel (even if we were in the back row and it was on the jumbo-tron). Check out the recap of SDCC 2010 starting here.
Everyone knows the best part of a fan convention is the opportunity to cosplay your favorite franchise in the safe company of fellow nerds who will love you for it. Even a crappy costume gets love at a comic con. And for those not crazy enough to dress up, there is always the opportunity to snap a photo with those who are.
As promised, here are some of the best costumes from March 4th-March 6th. Included a few of the costumes from the Masquerade which have already been seen, but these pics are better. My apologies for so much…me…in this slideshow. 😛
SADLY, this is the last ECCC related blog entry until 2012. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be anymore content on this here blog!
NEXT WEEK: Battle: Los Angeles Review, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Recap and The Hunger Games Link-Bombs + My Attempt at Casting.
LATER THIS MONTH: Sucker Punch Review, Book Club Recap, Bridge City Comics Signing Recap
AND MORE: I’ll also be meeting with a friend here in the PDX area who is interested in collaboration. Excited about mixing things up a bit and seeing what kind of response we get. I’ll post more details soon!
DAY TWO RECAP: L4D COSPLAY, THE GUILD PANEL, MASQUERADE
The morning got off to a rocky start with a late breakfast at the hotel restaurant and getting my parents settled in to the room. We’d all (except for Erin) decided to do a little Cosplay for Saturday – my parents dressed in Star Trek uniforms for their picture with William Shatner, my dad once again sporting some stylized facial hair.
Dan and I were sporting our Left 4 Dead costumes – Dan dressed as Bill and I went as Zoey. It took us about two months to put the costumes together. Most of the pieces were purchased outright or items we already owned, but some were customized.
Clothing items we already owned: Dan’s pants, white undershirt. My jeans and white undershirt.
Clothing items we purchased: Green beret, pink track jacket, black hi-top cons, black army boots
Bill’s green beret was customized with a yellow patch which Dan ACTUALLY sewed on. Very proud of him for that. Zoey’s jacket we purchased online at Wal-Mart. It was the closest match I could find and also the cheapest. They’re on clearance right now, if you want to pick one up before they’re gone. I had to do a bit of alteration – cutting, gluing and sewing white fabric on – Thank God this jacket comes equipped with black fabric as an outline for all the places you need to add material. Also had to cut the black fabric off the collar, as well as remove the tacky glued on bits underneath. THAT took awhile. Way too damn long but aided with the help of one of those de-fuzz-baller-things.
Dan spray-painted two guns black to cover the orange tips – one a machine and another a shot-gun – both appear in the video game series. We printed up some hilarious “Pain Reliever” labels for generic aspirin bottles here, attached it to the side of our pants with velcro and safety pins.
We also purchased two red expandable duffle bags from Wal-Mart which we customized with white fabric. We attached them to our backs with safety pins so they would seem to inexplicably hang there.
Finally – we made up “Boomer Bile” bottles which took searching at three or four different stores to find the right container. We went with water bottles purchased at our local Target (not finding them online), augmented with flat toothpicks and spray painted to match the white color of the lids. We added a bit of red tape to the lid, and then printed up a label found here on sticker paper. The boomer bile we modified based on a recipe we found on this Cosplay forum. Highly suggest the forum – it has a ton of great ideas for manufacturing props and putting together accurate costumes.
Boomer Bile Recipe Used: Lime Green Gatorade, Green Food Coloring and a dab of Cornstarch. Just gotta shake it up every once in awhile if the starch settles. It gives off a delicious green glowing color…and you can drink it for full effect.
The results of all this time and effort looked something like this:
Here are the costume pics we snapped from Comic Con 2010. Bummed that we missed a chance to photograph the lady who turned her swag bag into a dress, and the man who covered himself in all the garbage and fliers handed out at Comic Con.
After much debate with my fellow nerd friend – Smalls – we determined that Cosplay (or costume play or “dress up in costume”) for the 2010 San Diego Comic Convention International was out of the question for us. We didn’t want to bother with packing the costuming in our luggage, wrangling with it at the convention and suffering the heat/utter exhaustion of having pictures taken all day or whatever other hell is endured by cosplayers at conventions. I’ve never dressed up before, and feel like at the ripe old age of 27 – it might be far too late.
Smalls agreed to the majority of these things and we made a verbal pact not to dress up.
All that changed over drinks (and a second viewing of Kick-Ass) this last Saturday night, and it looks like we will now both be donning some manner of costume at least one day of our Comic Con experience. Erin decided on a Merlotte’s Bar and Grill T-Shirt, black shorts and shoes – the essential Sookie Stackhouse waitress outfit.
Of course she only divulged this to me after I announced that I intend to put together a Hit Girl costume – most likely the movie version. I know, it’s 1/10 shame mixed with 9/10’s glee. I’ve declared quite openly that Hit Girl/Mindy McCready is my comic book doppelganger. We share the same name! It is fate! Now, how to go about adapting a costume designed for an 11-year-old, into something that can be easily pulled off by a 27-year-old who weighs twice as much and is at least 8 inches taller. Hmph.
I figure the two most important ingredients to getting this costume right is the Purple Bob Wig which you can find on EBay if you search “purple cosplay bob wig” or check out this shop owners merchandise:
And the Black Bandit Mask:
Otherwise – who is going to recognize Hit Girl in the throng of thousands of other costumes?
Another looming and quite costly element is the leather…there is so much purple leather. I’m not adept at sewing, or interested in paying anyone $$$ to sew an entire leather costume NOR am I compelled to spend a July day in Southern California tramping around in a full suit. The best option is to piece meal it together. I love the look of the upper body – and *wish* I was willing to fork out $80 for a bullet-proof vest.
Just finished watching the documentary about costumed folks making a living posing at the Chinese Mann Theatre in LA – “Confessions of a Superhero.” The film focuses on four particular characters – Superman, Batman, The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman, but the actual meat of the story is delving into the pasts of these folks and what drives them to this particular career choice.
As a comic book nerd, I felt a missing ingredient of the film was in WHY these people gravitated towards their characters. I would have been interested in a little more psycho-analyzing of the personas they put on every day and how they decided to become these people. Especially more details about how and why they chose their costumes. That kinda stuff is interesting – there is an entire cosplay community out there built around the shared experience of putting together a really fantastic costume. None of that was explored or even mentioned here. It’s a shame.
There was probably some wonderful insight to be had by exploring each persons connection to their costumed character, but it seemed squandered by a documentary film-making team more interested in the cheese factor of comic book characters and the desperation of “performance pan-handling” on the streets.
Sure, don’t get me wrong, there were some amusing sequences, and a few even aimed for uplifting. Mostly – I feel humbled by peering in on these insanely different lives. And not really in the mood to laugh at people who are TRYING to make their dreams a reality. Who are getting by the best they can.
There was also an implied message that these folks should feel ashamed about what they do. Maybe not overtly stated, but it seemed a covert message of the piece. As if dressing up like fictional characters on the street for the entertainment of tourists is a humiliating human low. People do worse things for money.
Which is funny, because on good days the performers make more money than the poor costumed suckers at Disneyland…and these independent contractors can swear, take a break or leave for the day when the spirit moves them. Hardly anyone talks about the humiliation of dressing up like Cinderella when it’s condoned by a theme park. No, it’s glamorous and adventurous then. Hmph.
As someone who attends comic cons – half the fun is in scouting out the few souls brave enough to put on a costume. It barely matters if the costume itself is crappy or amazing.
The documentary is worth viewing, if only to come to your own conclusions about it’s intentions. If you don’t believe me, check out the trailer:
Here are a few ladies, the “Sidewalk Superheroes” willing to document their experience on their own terms, which might give a different perspective.
Much Love, Mindy C