Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's Avengers Day, fellow cosplayers, and I'm taking a break from preparations to bring you some links. Do you know what happens when you neglect to post linkspams? What happens is the links pile up and you wind up with a mess of awesome stuff to sift through.

1. First, let’s start with a few galleries:

via io9 (who I am currently pissed at because there were Avengers spoilers in the news section): The Absolute Best Cosplay from WonderCon 2012 and A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s, both of which are just as awesome as they sound, though the second link is NSFW.

via Flavorwire: Futuristic Film Fashions, great for reference photos and inspiration. Obviously, my beloved Rachel is included.

On Etsy: Adorable concept art of girls in “Fancy Dress”, which apparently means “dressed as space ships and such”. Is there anything more amazing than that Darth Vader dress? I ask you.

2. Second, how about some resources:

Fashionista has a run-down of “How to Achieve all the Beauty Look in The Hunger Games”, which is not as detailed as I’d like but gives some good tips.

If you’ve got some money to burn, Magnoli Clothiers is a custom suit-making company that caters specifically to cosplayers. I know someone who bought their Tenth Doctor suit and was quite pleased.

Speaking of the Tenth Doctor, this person did a truly rocking cosplay of the clockwork robots from “The Girl in the Fire Place” and shared the in-process photos.

If you’ve got serious skills and want to impress folks at that Avengers party tonight, give these Avengers-inspired make-up looks a try.

3. Third, we have the WTF Category

A lot of folks have probably seen the Joker cosplayer going through security, but I feel it’s worth revisiting.

And then there’s this, which goes beyond Weird Store-bought Costume into the realm of actual surrealism.

Darth Vader playing the bagpipes and riding a unicycle. No. Really.

4. And here are some pictures of awesome things:

Kick-ass Road to El Dorado cosplay, with an excellent comment by our lovely Sabine.

You’re never too old for cosplay.

The world’s best dad.

They work for S.H.I.E.L.D. You’ve probably never heard of it.

Winter is Coming, and this family is prepared.

"The Doctor is a dog now. Dogs are cool." 

5. And some just plain awesome:

You remember what I said about Steampunk? Well this dude’s doing it right. As is everyone else on that website.

And now you should go read this and cry because Batman is the best.

And now, fellow cosplayers, I'm gonna don my best eye-patch and prepare to rock out as chick!Fury. Anybody else dressing up for tonight?


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Three Reasons Steampunk Sucks and Three Reasons it Doesn't Have To

Fellow cosplayers, we need to have a talk. Well, not you and I, specifically, but cosplayers, congoers, and geeks in general. The talk we need to have is about Steampunk and why it kind of sucks.

Let me say, straight off, that I’m talking about Steampunk, abstractly, as a style and a genre, not as a subculture. I make exactly zero judgments about Steampunkers as people, except to admire their dedication and skill, ‘cause gods know that shit is beyond me.

Second, I want to define what I mean when I talk about “Steampunk”. Unfortunately, Steampunk is a lot like porn: You just know it when you see it. For costuming purposes, though, I’ll say that Steampunk is anything that takes its inspiration from distinctly 19th or early 20th century styles, often incorporating references to anachronistic or fictional technology. Obviously, this is a very broad definition; there are a million sub-genres and offshoots that aren’t covered by this, and we could spend days talking about the differences between Victoriana and alt-Modern. You have to admit, though, it’s a better definition than “what happens when Goths discover brown”, however accurate that might be.

As a final caveat and clarification, I will add that I fucking love Steampunk, in all its permutations. To be fair, I love pretty much anything with “punk” appended to it, but Steampunk at its best is the very height of elegance, whimsy, and extreme badassery. On the surface, what’s not to love?

Three things, as it turns out.

Go Big or Go Home

The first and most obvious problem with Steampunk is that it’s really goddamn hard. I realize the same could be said of good cosplay in general, but I think we can all recognize that 19th century style requires a different level of skill. If, in fact, you disagree and are thinking “Pshaw, shadowen! Doing Steampunk is not that hard!” Then you, my friend, are doing it wrong, and you are part of the problem.

See, there’s nothing inherently wrong with difficult styles; they’re fun, challenging, and the work tends to pay off. The real problem is that, as we can all attest, there are a whole lot of lazy-ass cosplayers out there. Of course, half-assing it is part of the game sometimes, but part of good cosplay is knowing when you can cut corners and when you have to put in the blood, sweat, and tears. Like the man said, you cannot just glue some gears on it and call it Steampunk, but that is all too often what happens.

In costuming, the difficulty of a project is directly proportional to both the probability that something will go wrong and how very very wrong it can go. If I had any kind of math skills whatsoever, I’d give you a formula, but basically the fact that Steampunk tends to be really complicated means you’re that much more likely to fail unbelievably hard. This is apparently not a deterrent to many cosplayers, and, as a result, there is an awful lot of bad Steampunk.

Been There, Seen That

A few years ago, if you rolled up to a con in full Victorian dress, you wouldn’t have gotten 10 feet across the con floor before a swarm of geeks with cameras descended on you. Now? You’d best have working gears, pipes that shoot steam, and a three-foot TARDIS hat if you want that kind of attention.

I hate to say it, fellow cosplayers, but Steampunk as we know it is played out and on the verge of becoming passe. It is even - dare I say it? - boring. Not that “I want people to take pictures of me!” is necessarily the guiding star of cosplay, but, for me at least, it’s a consideration. If you’re going to put a lot of work into a costume - as Steampunk requires - it’s nice to have some recognition of your efforts. With Steampunk, unless you’re going really above and beyond, you’re not as likely to get that recognition as you once were.

At this point, we’ve seen it, and we’ve probably seen it done better.

White People Fuckery

Oh, I can hear the protests now. “But, shadowen! Can’t we keep politics out of our cosplay? We just want to put on fancy clothes!” I hear you, fellow cosplayers, and I have some bad news. There’s already politics in your cosplay, the same politics that are in your media and your fandoms. All art is political, and Steampunk in particular has some bad baggage.

The ugly truth of the matter is that the 19th and early 20th centuries were really shitty periods for anyone who wasn’t rich and White. Okay, so that actually describes a large chunk of human history, but the Victorian and early Modern eras were especially bad. British colonialism was at its height. The American westward expansion pressed thousands of workers of Color into extremely dangerous jobs with meager pay. The American Civil War decimated the southern states and left poor workers of all colors even more destitute than usual. The Industrial Revolution provided new and exciting environments in which wealthy factory owners could torment, overwork, and otherwise endanger working-class women and children.

Steampunk romanticizes and glorifies this period, drawing almost exclusively on styles worn by by the upper and upper-middle classes. Even the “industrial” elements so popular in Steampunk costumes - the gears and cranks and whatnot - are typically polished and stylized beyond recognition, presenting an image of the Industrial Revolution that is literally gilded. Standard Steampunk reinforces the myths constructed by rich White people about the Power of American Industry and the Glory of the British Empire, myths which alternately glamorize and ignore both the contributions and exploitation of people of color and working-class people, as well is dismissing the damaging effects of European colonialism.

To reiterate my earlier caveat, I am talking about a problematic trend in Steampunk as a style; I’m not saying that all Steampunkers are bad people and they should feel bad or that nobody with a conscience should ever do Steampunk ever. I’m saying this is a thing about Steampunk that sucks, and we need to acknowledge it.


All of this suck is definitely discouraging, but take heart, fellow cosplayers, because Steampunk isn’t quite dead yet. Don’t believe me? Here’s three reasons Steampunk doesn’t have to suck.

Endless Possibilities

Like I said before, what we tend to think of as “standard” Steampunk focuses on a very narrow slice of of Victorian and Modern society. By expanding your view to include other cultures, classes, and countries, you introduce a whole new realm of possibility for Steampunking.

Take Asia, for instance. There was all kinds of cool shit going on in East Asia in the late 19th century, including a massive increase in trade with Europe (due in part to the aforementioned colonial fuckery) which created some amazing fashion fusions. Want some inspiration on this end? Check out the series premiere of Nickelodeon’s “The Legend of Korra”, which is set in A Place That is Not Asia has a cool 1920s-with-airships-and-magic vibe.

And what about the American West? This has gotten a little bit of attention, to different effects, in Steampunk media like Wild, Wild West (the series and the movie), Cherie Priest’s alt-history books starting with Boneshaker, and Warren Ellis’s alt-future graphic novel Ignition City. Cosplay is behind the curve on this one, though, and there’s a lot of unexplored territory (appropriate metaphor is appropriate), especially if you take into account styles from the Civil War and the major influence of Latin culture in the south west.

If you’re looking for a specific Steampunk text to pull from and want a more global perspective, check out Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy, in which The Great War involves genetically engineered creatures and steam-powered everything. Seriously, folks, where are my Midshipman Sharpe cosplayers? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, do yourself a favor and look it up. You’ll thank me.

For more resources and inspiration on how to expand your Steampunking, have a look at the Multiculturalism for Steampunk page on Facebook, which has pretty pretty pictures. The best source of ideas, though, is history. A little research beyond the limits of Sherlock Holmes and your high school history book will open up a wealth of possibilities for cosplay.

Big Shiny Playground

Y’know what I saw at Dragon*Con last year? Nerf Steampunkers. True story. It was a group of folks all decked out in Victorian style, but everything was in those amazing neon Nerf colors, and they had Steampunk-ified Nerf and foam weapons. Fellow cosplayers, it was beautiful, and it underscores the fact that there’s a lot of room to play around with Steampunk.

As fans, we know that genre boundaries are a lot like rules for pirates and traffic lanes in China: mostly just guidelines. Steampunk versions of characters are a matter of course in the cosplay world, and we love it! This is a great way to really give your creative muscles a stretch and turn out a truly unique costume. We’ve all seen the Steampunk X-Men, and Doctor Who get’s Steampunked like nobody’s business. Steampunk Star Wars and Star Trek, though, seem to be confined mostly to concept art and prop making. And what about mecha anime? Or cartoons, in general? Basically, if you can think of it, you can Steampunk it.

As evidenced by the the Nerf Steampunkers, the boundary transversal goes both ways. Not only can you Steampunk anything, you can also take Steampunk in whatever direction you want. How about Rave Steampunk? Or Post-Apocalyptic Steampunk? Or Surrealist Steampunk? Okay, maybe surrealism is a bad idea (or is it? What would that even look like?), but you get my point.

Like any other costume, you have to hit those high points, and the rest is just play.

I Reject Your History and Substitute One With Robots

On the one hand, Steampunk glamorizes and whitewashes an era of the (relatively) recent past that is already romanticized and misrepresented in popular media. On the other hand, Steampunk affords us an opportunity to take a look at that past, decide it’s not what we want, and change it.

If speculative fiction lets us imagine a better future, Steampunk gives us room to write a better history, one with clockwork automatons and air pirates and steam-powered everything. It lets us dig into the unexplored perspectives of our culture and tell stories that didn’t happen but could have and should have, stories you’ll never see in a stuffy period drama. Steampunk reminds us that historical “fact” is just another cannon to be re-written, just another sandbox to play in.

So you’re thinking, “But, shadowen, what does this have to do with pretty clothes?” The answer, fellow cosplayers, is everything.

When we put together an outfit or a costume, we’re choosing a story to tell, be it one somebody else invented, something we made up, or a chapter in our own personal narrative. Clothes tell stories as personal and complex as any book, and Steampunk gives us another language to write in.

Like any genre - or any language, for that matter - Steampunk has its own set of problems and limitations, some of which make cosplay especially difficult, but it also has unique potential and possibilities. A costume that tells an interesting story will be interesting. Period. A costume that tells a half-assed, derivative, ignorant story... well, it’s not going to make anyone happy. I can’t tell you how to create costumes that are stunning and complicated and original or how to avoid the trappings of Racist Fuckery, but I can offer you this small piece of advice for Steampunking and for cosplay in general.

Choose your stories wisely, fellow cosplayers, and try not to suck.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Cosplay Linkspam, 5 March 2012

My goodness, fellow cosplayers. I have been a busy shadowen. One day soon, there will be an actual content post, but, for now, here’s a handful of links to please your soul.

Let’s just be honest, here. One of the best things about the Captain America film was Chris Evans’s chest the costumes. Now, you can hop on your hog and pretend you’re Cpt. Rogers himself with this Captain America motorcycle suit from UD Replicas. I’m sure somebody out there could pull this off, even if the poor guy in the promo photo can’t.
Have I told y’all about the Cap costume my friend put together? Remind me to tell you about the Cap costume my friend put together.

In the realm of less-mainstream - but considerably more interesting - cosplay, here’s a young woman as Good God from Chandra Free’s The God Machine, which arymabeth and I will be plundering for costumes at this year’s Dragon*Con.
And because everyone loves Disney cosplay, have a look at these pretty mermaids.
Someday, before I die, I will make it to Gallifrey One, the world’s longest-running Doctor Who convention. Until then, I will survive on pictures and things like io9’s interview with a fellow acafan cosplayer about gender-bending in Doctor Who cosplay. The interview is great and the pics are wonderful. I’m especially loving the adorably Mod TARDIS dress with the scarf.
Speaking of gender and cosplay, here’s a short video from the ‘Sociology of Cosplay’ panel at Katsucon talking about harassment from non-cosplayers and how it sucks.
Finally, even though it’s now March, it’s not too late to get your Cosplay for a Cause 2012 calendar, the proceeds from which go tot he Japanese Red Cross to help victims of last year’s earthquakes. I would have linked to that sooner, but... I just found out about it this morning. Because I am lame.
I’ve got a small break between shows, now, so I’ll be doing some serious costuming in the next few days. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Stay strong, fellow cosplayers! And remember: There are only 178 more days until Dragon*Con.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cosply Linkspam, 8 February 2012

The internet’s been a little light on the cosplay linkage lately (say that 10 times fast). But never fear, fellow cosplayers. I’ve scrounged up a few gems for you, starting with four recent stories via io9:

Mainstream news stories about fan conventions tend to be pretty lolarious, anyway. Make it a Quantum Leap convention in 1993, featuring an adorably teenage Neil Patrick Harris and an inexplicably popular Jason Priestly, and you’ve got a recipe for retro geekery.

Even more retro (and more fabulous) are these vintage pics of Angie Bowie (The Sovereign’s first wife) as a glam-tastic Wonder Woman and Black Widow.

For the casual cosplayer (and anyone who was a kid in the ‘90s), there are these lovely custom Power Ranger hoodies, which I covet (because I was a kid in the ‘90s).

And then there’s this. Y’all know I never hesitate to rag on store-bought costumes, but I honestly cant do any better than the io9 commenter already has.

Finally, in the much dreaded category of Cosplay Gone Wrong, some LA buskers dressed as film characters got into a brawl outside the Kodak Theatre. It’s worth clicking through just for the top image of the abandoned Spongebob costume lying flattened in the street.

That’s all for now, fellow cosplayers. This weekend, I’m hosting a Pasty Making Party for the members of Bicycle Cabaret, so it’s entirely possible you’ll be getting a tutorial on making the perfect pasty.

I’m assuming, of course, that this is relevant to your interests.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Counterpoint: The Never, Ever List

Hello, my darlings, it is I, Sabine. Did you miss me? I certainly missed you.

Shadowen has already showed you her Bucket List, but I'd like to take a moment to display why I am the pessimistic one. Ergo, here is my Never, Ever List.

While the Bucket List is devoted to attaining your dreams, the Never, Ever List is devoted to keeping yourself in check. It's a list of costumes that, for whatever reason, you adore but won't ever make.

Despite its apparent pessimism, I find this list to be a freeing exercise. It's a way to keep your feet on the ground while paying homage to what you'd do in a perfect world; it makes me feel okay to put things on this list, because it takes the pressure off. I don't have to do these things, and once I've acknowledged that, it stops me from frantically trying to figure out how to do them.

So let's see the list, shall we?

Elizabeth's wedding dress, Frankenstein (1931)

About the costume: Oh, the doomed love of Elizabeth and Henry Frankenstein. This, like The Mummy, is one of those movies where the heroine is supposed to go for the milquetoast friend character instead of the devoted, tortured, creeper-hot madman/reanimated corpse (Henry/Ardath Bay). Elizabeth's unfortunate end is inevitable, and she meets it in this glorious, innocent yet elegant wedding gown. It's a piece that not only looks good, but really impacts the scene that it's in; the way she gets tangled up in her veil as the monster attacks is just so spooky, precisely because it is a wedding veil. Really gorgeous sequence where the costuming and the cinematography mesh in a great way.

Why I haven't made it: This dress epitomizes the problems and benefits of making a showpiece costume. This is in no way con-appropriate. The dress is not particularly complicated, as wedding dresses go (which is to say that it is quite complicated), but the veil is. The veil is, near as I can tell, at least cathedral length, maybe a little more, which has a beautiful effect but is insanely unwieldy, from a construction, budget, storage, and transportation standpoint. This is some shit you build a case around.

Isn't it insanely gorgeous, though? God. I just want to touch it.

Rally Vincent, Gunsmith Cats

About the costume: Rally Vincent, still and yet, is my favorite manga/anime character of all time. Her look is simple and badass, suitable for fighting and generally tear-assing around, featuring a distinctive red double shoulder holster (which doubles as a boob enhancer, natch).

Why I haven't made it: I'm selfish and lazy. I actually have pieces of this costume and know where to potentially get other pieces of it, but, well, I really like to be recognized when I'm in costume. It's one of my things, y'know? And these damn kids today with their Naruto and their Bleach, I remember when we used to have to watch the first three episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Gunsmith Cats OVA over and over because that was all the video store would stock.

::shakes cane::

So even though it's a simple costume, I don't think anybody would get much joy out of it but me, and it's not complicated enough for me to get enough joy out of fabricating it on its own.

Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg's office attire, The Fifth Element

About the costume: Oh my god, Zorg, you guys, Zorg. There is no one better than Zorg, and his costumes, each and every one of them, are OUTSTANDING. The iridescent suit he wears in his office is my favorite. So representative of the movie's whole aesthetic, and so unique.

Why I haven't made it: Uh, talk about WILDLY impractical. Let's start with the fabric, shall we? You know how you can't actually make a proper BSG jock smock because the fabric is no longer made and the costume department owned all of it? Or how you can't make a proper Tok'ra costume without using tripe and latex? Same principle. Secondly, there's that damn collar. I managed to BS a stand-up collar for the Orpheus costume, but this is in a whole different league- probably one of my least concerns, but still.

Biggest problem though? No model.

I don't know any dudes who are committed to the cause enough to wear, help fund, and rock this costume. And let's face it, dress forms are not made to mimic Gary Oldman, and if they were, I wouldn't own one, because, y'know, other than this I don't really need a dress form shaped like a dude, because I don't make clothes for dudes.

So, stopped before we start. :/

Servalan's lizard dress, Blake's 7: "Pressure Point"

About this costume: Servalan is a baaaaad bitch, and all of her costumes are pure gold. This is one of my favorites and the one I would come closest to fabricating. I love how slinky it is.

Why I haven't made it: Biggest problem is, again, no model. Everyone I costume with is either too curvy or not curvy enough.

Second problem: that goddamned lizard. Where in the hell am I going to get a huge rhinestone encrusted lizard?

Cally's Volvo dress, Blake's 7: "Horizon"

About this costume: God, I love how completely ridiculous and how completely Blake's 7 this costume is. In my head it has always been the Volvo dress, because it looks like what you could make if somebody stripped out the interiors of a higher-end Volvo and told you to make a costume out of it.

Why I haven't made it: Okay, secret confession time: I cheated. I have made this costume before.

This costume was a real labor of love. It was made in seven or eight straight hours, with my mother's help, plus scouring the internet for pieces I couldn't fabricate. Much of it was made without use of patterns, especially the overskirt. It's actually really close to screen accurate, aside from the "wings," which I never made, as they were to be the last part.

I put the rest of it on, took one picture, looked at it, and swore to never wear it in public.

I knew I was taking a risk, because Jan Chappell and I are roughly the same height, but I have at least a hundred and fifty pounds on her. Even that aside, it was a Hot. Mess. All the pieces are there, everything is exactly where it should be and how it should look, and somehow it just doesn't come together at all.

I have seen unconvincing Servalan crossplayers who looked better.

Maybe one day I will try it again, but let's face it, I will never be the right shape to wear this costume- and if I did, it might be cursed.

Prop Making Bonus Round:

Liberator transport bracelet, Blake's 7

About this prop: You should have figured out by now that I love all things Blake's 7, most especially the Liberator, and this is one of the most distinctive things about it. Nobody could get through an episode without breaking one, or losing one, or leaving theirs at the TSA checkpoint, or whatever.

Why I haven't made this prop: The directions making the rounds on the internet all suck, and I am not very good at prop fabrication.

It is as simple and as complicated as that. The most popular set of directions going around starts with a Pringles can or postal tube, and we CANNOT BE HAVING WITH THAT. If my hand was even small enough to fit through it, which it's really not, that is tacky. Look, okay, I know the show used cardboard bracelets for a while, because 1) plastic ones were slow to fabricate 2) the crew kept jacking them, but really? I want something I can be proud of and keep for a long time

Unlike everything else on this list, however, this is a "never say die" endeavor. I will make me a transport bracelet somehow.

So that's the list, my darlings. Thoughts?

The Cosplay Bucket List

Greetings, fellow cosplayers! Today we’re going to talk about the most intimidating costumes of all: the ones we haven’t done yet.

Everybody has them. Those cosplay ideas you keep coming back to. That outfit in that one episode that makes you all atingle just watching reruns. That showpiece concept that makes your hands itch just thinking about it. The costumes you tell your friends about and say, “One day when I have time/money/skills/lose weight/find a group/make it to SDCC/build a time machine/whatever, I will do this costume, and it will be GLORIOUS!”

You know the ones. The ones that tantalize and terrify us. The ones on the Cosplay Bucket List.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of a bucket list, it’s meant to include all the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”, i.e. go to the great sewing table in the sky. It doesn’t have to be reasonable, realistic, or practical. It’s not necessarily things you’re going to do; it’s the things you want to do. You can take things off and tack them on at will, and the bucket list you make now might be totally different from the one you make 10 years down the line. It’s all up to you.

Making a cosplay bucket list is a good idea for two reasons. One, it puts all these ideas on paper (figuratively speaking, in this case) and gives you a record to go to when you’re stuck and looking for ideas. Two, it helps organize the ideas and maybe makes them not so scary after all, turning those wild pipe dreams into a list of doable goals.

I put together my bucket list specifically for this post, but I found it to be a really great exercise. It even helped me make some decisions about my costumes for this year. So, without further ado, here they are: the costume ideas that set shadowen’s heart aflutter.

Death’s gown, Sandman: Endless Nights: “The Heart of a Star”

About the costume: Death cosplay is done to, well, death. It’s generally just your best goth outfit, an ankh, and some fancy eye make-up. Hell, I’ve done it. No shame. This dress, though, is the antithesis of the perky Death we all know and love. It’s a floor length Victorian ball gown with serious detailing, and it’s gorgeous. It only appears in those four panels in Endless Nights, and I’ve never heard of anyone taking on this particular costume.

Why I haven’t done it: Time and money, the adversaries that kill so many costumes in their infancy. This is full on Victorian formal wear and, not being a dedicated steampunker, I don’t have the skills to turn out one of those in a week. Plus, if you’re going to make something that fancy, you don’t use cheap fabric, and I, fellow cosplayers, am permanently broke.

Dr. Girlfriend’s dress, The Venture Bros.: “Hate Floats”

About the costume: Honestly, I just want to own this dress. Forget cosplay, I’d wear this to the store. You can’t see in the picture (There are no good reference pics. For serious.) but it’s a mini dress with an open back. Yes, it’s only in this one episode. Yes, I’m aware that Doc Hammer hates it. No, I do not give any number of fucks. I love it, and I want it.

Why I haven’t done it: The print on that dress? Does not exist. I mean really. Who, other than me, would even want purple fabric with giant pastel polka dots? The fact that it’s so unbelievably 60s-tastic is what makes it so great, but it also makes it nearly impossible to recreate. But don’t loose faith, Venturoos. The search continues.

Dalek evening gown, Doctor Who

About the costume: So you’ve seen the adorable Dalek dresses, right? Well, I want to take that idea and translate it into an all-out showpiece gown. It will exterminate with extravagant elegance.

Why I haven’t done it: Honestly, as much as I like the design that I have, it needs work. The concept is so high-fashion, it needs a truly epic execution, and I don’t think my skills as a designer and costumer are quite there yet.

Marvin the Martian, Looney Toons

About the costume: I can’t possibly be the only one who remembers “Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 th Century”, can I? It truly blows my mind how many people give me blank looks when I mention Marvin the Martian. This pains my little Martian soul, fellow cosplayers, and I want to spread the message of Marvin love. Like the Dalek evening gown, this one is more of an interpretive costume, hitting those iconic high points I love so much while creating something new and different.

Why I haven’t done it: Engineering. How do you make a skirt that sticks out that you can (a) transport in a small space and (b) sit down in? I have ideas, but this is another one that isn’t quite there. Some day.

Alice, Superjail!

About the costume: I’m not even sure how to quantify the gender politics of a cis woman dressing as an MtF trans woman (who is also a cartoon), so I’m just not going to go there. All you really need to know is that Alice is the best, and that I am dedicated to the cause of Superjail!

Why I haven’t done it: It really only recently occurred to me that I could do this, and it would be awesome. My only hesitations are entirely the result of vanity. Alice is not a traditionally attractive character, and, frankly, I like being pretty. Doing this costume right would mean sacrificing a lot of pride for cosplay that would be an absolute hit with a very small group of people. And that, my friends, is a really stupid reason not to do it. I’ve resolved to strike one costume off the list this year, and this might be the one.

(I could also make the police dress do double-duty as a Victoria Seras costume, plus one big ass gun. So there’s that.)

Lust, Fullmetal Alchemist

About the costume: I have this dream of one day doing Homunculi group cosplay. Or any FMA cosplay, really, because it is the love of my anime life. Let’s face it, my cleavage was made to have an ouroboros stamped in the middle of it.

Why I haven’t done it: Right now, I’ve got the wrong hair, but I’m tentatively putting it on the docket for the 2013 con season.

Rachel, Blade Runner

About the costume: It’s everything you love about 1940s style with an extra helping of robot. A lot of people talk about Rachel’s super fabulous fur coat, but I’m eyeing that black suit, shoulder pads and all. This is another one where there aren’t any good reference pictures, partly because Blade Runner is such a visually dark film.

Why I haven’t done it: Same as Lust. It’s on the list for 2013.

And there you have it, fellow cosplayers. My cosplay bucket list, as of January 2012. Now, hands up! What are some of your dream costumes? Share with the class!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Cosplay Linkspam, 16 January 2012

Greetings, fellow cosplayers! How about we start this Monday afternoon with another blast from the past?

Retronaught has a gallery of geek-tastic pics from a 1980 Los Angeles con, showing us the only things that have really changed are picture quality and hotel carpeting.

Next, Almost Nerdy’s cosplayer of the week is our favorite cosplaying couple, John and Kate.

Finally, here’s two low-tech costumes that prove you don’t have to be fancy to be awesome: Carboard Iron Man and the Crochet Cyclops.

That’s all for this week, fellow cosplayers. I’m about to enter a serious costuming frenzy for the next few months. I’m doing costumes for two stage shows opening this Spring, working on a commission piece, and trying to get my own little ducks in a row for the summer con season. I’ll do my best to document all these processes and pass the benefit of my experiences along to you.

Now excuse while I go cut a vest for this Assassin’s Creed costume....