How Do You Feel?

I went shopping with a friend from work this weekend, we were working on updating her wardrobe, just getting a couple of staples that she could mix into what she already has and elevate her style as a whole. Every time she would try on a new piece of clothing I would ask her how she felt, after the second or third outfit I realized we were speaking about two different kinds of feelings, she was telling me how the clothes felt in a physical sense, were they soft, tight, lose, anything like that. I was confused, that wasn’t telling me anything. I realized I was talking about emotions, was it making her feel confidents, happy, excited, did she feel sexy in what she was wearing. We recalibrated and met somewhere in the middle. She started telling me about how she was feeling, did it make her feel good about herself, and I listened to when she thought something wasn’t fitting the right way. We discussed what to look for in proper fit of a garnment, and we talked about how sometimes she was wearing the wrong size trying to hide her body. I am also not a tiny lady, and I know the allure of wearing an outfit too big to hid the parts of my body that I don’t like to look at in the mirror when I go to the bathroom or catch my reflection in a window. It can feel nice to pretend that things are different, but I am who I am, and there are some really nice parts of my body, just like my friend’s body.  Sure there are things I could make “better” but that would also mean giving up cheese, and craft service at work, and I don’t want to do that, if I did, I already would have.

 

However, I have ended up on a tangent about how wonderful cheese is, and even if that is true, it is not my point.  My point is that when I am wearing clothes, and even more, when I am cosplaying, I am looking to FEEL a certain way,  I want to embody the character that I’m playing, that’s why I spend a solid hour or more coming up with the right pose.  I want to know I have the whole package and that I love what it is that I’m wearing.

 

I hope when everyone gets dressed in the morning they don’t ask how this looks, but how do I feel, because that is the key, for me, to being happy all day and not bored by lunch.

New Projects, New Skills

Every time I start a new project I have to learn something brand new to get it done, pretty much without fail.  Somethings have been pretty easy like learning how to work with 4 way stretch material, the real secret there for me was learning about the zigzag stitch and using correct tension, which took me a lot longer to figure out than it should have, or putting in a zipper the right way.  I think, for me, one of the reasons I have to learn something new every time I make something new, is I don’t every want to wear the same costume again.  I love my Powergirl costume, and it wasn’t even that hard to make, but the idea of wearing it again doesn’t bring me any joy.  I love making the look more than wearing it.  My brother has worn his Death Stroke costume now to 3 different cons, that’s just not for me.  I maybe should put some more time and effort into each look, but that’s less fun.  It has also helped me learn a lot more skills in a shorter amount of time than if I perfected one look for multiple cons. I think one of the most important things I’ve learned so far, is the importance of seam allowance.  I have wasted so much or had to add strips to things because I cut right along my patterns.  Bad decisions.  But I’ve learned.  And that’s really all that matters.  So, I’ll keep trying and getting bored with one costume and adding to my collection.

 

That new Batgirl is calling my name, and I’ve never made a pair of leggings before.

Teen Teams

I just watched all of Young Justice for the first time a few weeks ago, and it was so awesome.  I know I’m late to the party, but everyone who had told me how great the show was, was almost underselling it.  It was incredible, it felt like home.  Usually I don’t go for shows that feature characters younger than me.  But I think that is about some deep insecurity I have.  What Young Justice brought for me, was the same feelings that I got as a kid watching Batman, Superman, The Justice League, Batman Beyond and so many more cartoons.  It’s smart enough for grown ups to love it and fun enough for kids, no that these things are mutually exclusive to what either group is looking for.  I have a list of kids shows that I watch all the time that weren’t around when I was a kid because they are so well done.

These shows also provide teenagers and kids a chance to cosplay as a group in pretty reasonable outfits.  The show changed Zatanna’s classic fishnet stockings to be grey leggings, which is perfect for kids and still maintains the integrity of her classic look.  That’s the kind of change that makes Young Justice such an accessible cosplay for kids and keeps it ok, even more, for their parents.

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As it has been proven time and time again, cosplay is more fun with friends.

I have a question

So I’ve been thinking about this for a while, since Baltimore Comic Con to be exact.  I saw a young woman cosplaying as Storm from the X-Men.  But she was white.  It tool a second for me to go, oh she’s Storm.  I think most people are used to cosplayers playing characters that are white and the cosplayer is not white, but is it acceptable for it to go the other way?  My brother really likes Cyborg and would love to take on that costume as a challenge.  cyborg-teen-titans  But my brother is a ginger(pale white skin and bright red hair) and isn’t sure if that would be ok for him to make and then dress up as.  We were talking about this for a while and neither one of us could answer the question.  All we could come up with was we don’t know.  So, I’m posing the question to the universe, since it’s totally cool for a  character say to go from white to black (Nick Fury, Perry White) or for a cosplayer of color to cosplay a white character, such as Jay Justice, or Yaya Han, but is it ok for a white cosplayer to cosplay a black character such as Storm or Cyborg?

My Little Pony Cosplayers

Lauren Faust is a genius.  Super Best Friends Forever was my absolute favorite DC Nation short.  I also love The Power Puff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.  But her biggest project right now is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.   The crazy things about it is that the people who are the most obvious fans of the show are adult men, the Bronies.  But hey, I’m in my twenties and if I ever come across an episode of Arthur that is it for the next half hour I will be watching it.  I was also in college when I got one of my books by Marc Brown Signed.  Everyone else in line was maybe 8.  So, good for Bronies.  I can’t say that My Little Pony is really my thing(I like the more biting attitude of her other shows more), but I really like all the ways people dress up as the Ponies.

The 6 Main Characters.  Pinky Pie, Rainbow Dash, Apple Jack, Shutter Fly, Rarity, and Twilight Sparkel.

The 6 Main Characters. Pinky Pie, Rainbow Dash, Apple Jack, Shutter Fly, Rarity, and Twilight Sparkel.

I think we could all do with some kids shows in our life.  So my understanding is that the basic things that make it a My Little Pony Cosplay is the right colored wig and ears.  It’s also best to wear the colors of the pony’s coat and if possible put the cutie mark somewhere on your body.  It’s also a Cosplay that you just can’t smile while wearing or be happy when you see it.

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Baltimore Comic Con Pictures

At BCC I went as Powergirl and my brother went as Death Stroke.  Here are some of the awesome cosplayers we saw there.  All of the people we met there were super friendly and the floor was one of my favorites.  My only real criticism was that there weren’t enough panels and even more importantly they weren’t strategically placed panels.  It may not have been the best plan to put artist panels against artist panels, and comic book industry panels against other comic book industry panels.  But the atmosphere was awesome, and for me that can be even more important.  Nice people attending and running these shows is the number 1 thing for me.  Making friends and having a great time can make up for the lack of somethings that I want.

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TeenTitans vs. Death Stroke.
These kids came out of no where to attack my brother. That was so perfect. Everyone was in character. You can see the smiles on the titans’ faces.

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Even The Avengers eventually start to age

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I did my best to take as many pictures with as many Supergirls as I could. It just made me happy.

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Someone lost their Blossom, I hope she found her Trainer.

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These are some great XMen but to be honest I’m not sure which XMen they are.

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Darth’s costume lit up and flashed. So much joy.

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Wonder Woman and Black Canary. I like that they took their costumes from the Bombshell Toy Line.

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There are so many costumes where I stop for a second and think people are doing Xena and Gabby that I get so excited when it really is Xena and Gabby

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Link, a staple at every Con

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This Kid is the GREATEST cosplayer alive. He was so excited to be the Doctor and couldn’t be more into everything he saw. Awesome job Doctor.

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His mustache was drawn on pretty well, it took a few seconds to realize it was just marker.

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T I found some more Supergirls, and Lobo.

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I have to find Static Shock at every Convention, it isn’t really a convention without him.

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Since this was the convention where everyone was talking about Batwoman it’s good to know she was already there taking care of herself.

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Tron! I think it’s super awesome when people’s costumes light up.

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There were a whole bunch of different Wonder Women at BCC, and they all came with a different cool way to play her

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Raven started yelling at Death Stroke across the lobby. It was a magical moment.

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I love her utility belt.

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My favorite of all the Supergirls I found that weekend

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Now this last picture is my personal favorite.  See I did something dumb, I forgot to take a picture of me and my brother together.  He just started college too, so I can’t just bug him at home to take a picture with me.  I searched far and wide, and I found this.

 

tumblr_msv6w8aish1s8qyumo8_1280  So, thanks Tumblr.

First Times

I can still remember my first convention when I was 4 years old.  It was a Star Trek Convention in Harrisburg, PA.  But it was about 20 years old when I really started getting into the convention scene.  My first cosplay that I made from scratch was a DALEK dress.  It’s silver with black for all of the details.

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Kind of like that guy.  I made it for less than 15 bucks, which I thought was quite the bargain.  Even now I still do, I would just like to fix the mistakes that were made out of ignorance.

 

However, when I was in 6th grade all of my friends wanted to be cheerleaders for Halloween.  I was pretty bored with that, except Buffy Summers was a cheerleader and that’s what I was going to do.  I went for Buffy from the movie, rarely done but it was pretty awesome.  My dad put stakes inside of the pompoms that came with the costume and that’s really all I needed.  It really should have been a sign of things to come.

For the first few cons I went to I did just go for the nerdy T-shirt because that’s really just my wardrobe.  I also have dolls that I made of different scifi characters that I would carry around.  It was pretty cool so I decided I just had to get in on cosplaying.  Then once I was in it I just had to keep going.  I find making the costumes up until the minute before I leave, or even on the car ride there to be so exciting.  Will I get it done in time?  Will it be recognizable?  It’s all so much pressure, but in the best way.

 

Hot Topic

Hot Topic’s main game right now is pop culture.  Particularly nerdy pop culture.  There are sections of their stores devoted to super heroes and Doctor Who and anything else that gets nerds excited.  But walking into this store there is no love of the subject.  It leads to the fake nerd.  Nerds and geeks are trendy.  There is no two ways about it.  But loving the new Star Treks does not make you a nerd.  The JJ Abrams movies aren’t even make fore Star Trek fans, he’s wasn’t a Star Trek fan when he started making them.  They were awesome space story movies but after seeing them they left me missing Captains Cisco or Janeway.  I feel like having the clothes so easily accessible is awesome for nerds but when I see someone wearing something that says Police Box or is wearing a Star Wars shirt and I start nerding out to them and they give me a blank look I know it’s all over.  I do believe that everyone is a nerd, whether you are a nerd about fashion or football you are a nerd.  Fantasy sports are just Dungeon and Dragons for jocks.  But it’s like wearing a band’s teeshirt and not listening to the music.  There is something a little wrong about wearing, say a Dark Side of the Moon cover art shirt, without knowing or listening to Led Zeppelin.  I know here I am contradicting myself from a earlier post saying that one of the best parts about SteamPunk is that you don’t have to know everything about it to dress up as it.  However, I do feel as if this is different.  When I go SteamPunk I know what it is, when I wear a superhero costume I at least have a working knowledge of who they are.  But when you walk about to someone wearing a TARDIS shirt and ask if it’s bigger in the inside and they don’t know what that means, it might not be the right shirt for them.  There is nothing wrong with pop culture being nerd culture, but maybe before someone wears a Superboy shirt, they should know who Superboy is.

 

Hot-Topic-600x247603031_10151706414981979_754161574_n hottopic2new-business-hottopicThese are actually kind of cute

These are actually kind of cute

 

Awesome nerdiness from around the net

Well there have been some really cool things on the internet lately.  I have to say that for me the ones that have really stuck as of late have been Doctor Who themed.  But there is just so much cool stuff going on and now that  we are in the early days of convention season there should be even more coming soon.

 

It's always good to make the best out of bad situation.

It’s always good to make the best out of bad situation.

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No matter the age Tony Stark will taunt you.

No matter the age Tony Stark will taunt you.

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She has become my new stretching inspiration.

She has become my new stretching inspiration.

Picard in front of Picard, simple and wonderful.

Picard in front of Picard, simple and wonderful.

I'm so excited for Despicable Me 2.

I’m so excited for Despicable Me 2.

I drive a car that is the right color blue and this is now my next project- TARIDS-ify my car.

I drive a car that is the right color blue and this is now my next project- TARIDS-ify my car.

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I'm going to be trying this out over the weekend.  I'll put up pictures of how it turns out for me.

I’m going to be trying this out over the weekend. I’ll put up pictures of how it turns out for me.

 

Days 3 and 4

So here are the last couple of days of Comic Con.  I have to say for me the best part of all cons are the panels.  I can sit and listen to these talks for hours.  Even though they’re pretty much the same questions and answers over and over again.  I love hearing about the process that actors have taken to discover their characters.  Or listening to other cosplayers talk about how they make their costumes.  One great tip I heard was when you’re looking to making something with fun foam or any sort of thin foam one way to get a raised texture is to use puffy paint.

puffy-paint

This is fun foam.  It comes in a sheet about the size of  a piece of paper.  Great for making gauntlets and other semi-sterdy light weight costume details.

This is fun foam. It comes in a sheet about the size of a piece of paper. Great for making gauntlets and other semi-sterdy light weight costume details.

Once it’s hard and you paint over it it’ll look all the same.  The New York Cosplay Network had a great panel where they shared a lot of tips and tricks they use to make their amazing costumes.

The New York Cosplay Network outside their booth

The New York Cosplay Network outside their booth.

I have not started to really go to enough panels at cons where I’ve started to take a preference in moderators.  They can really make or break a panel.  I find this is especially true when you don’t have a panelist that really knows how to handle the crowd, whether they are new to panels or there is a really really large crowd and it’s just hard to be a big enough personality to stop the truly annoying and rambling fans that are inevitably  going to ask a question.  There is one particularly awesome modirator that has been in Philly the last couple of years, Jarrett Crippen.

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He won the second season of Who Wants to be a Super Hero?  He will cut a fan off (which I think is just wonderful), tell a funny story while you’re all sitting around waiting for the panelist to arrive, lets the panel go straight to the fans and their questions, and makes sure things end on time, which is good because other people need the room in about 10 minutes and I don’t want my next panel to start late so it’s good that we are all considerate of each other and their interests.

This year the convention’s focus was a little different than last years.  Last year is was celebrity packed.  They had all five Star Trek captains, and what a disaster that panel was.  People were so star struck they asked the worst questions that had nothing to do with Star Trek.  It has been a year and I’m still mad.  What an excellent opportunity that was squandered.  Thor was there and most of the questions were teenage and 20-something women asking him for a hug, which is pretty creepy when you think about it.  This year there were panels by scholars of the kind of pop culture I love.  Not all of them are great, some are ok, and some when I see them coming I want to pull my hair out and run.  But it is nice to have a different view point each year.  It keeps things fresh.

Here are some of the pictures I took from the second two days of comic con.

John Barrowman I love his super hero pajama pants.

John Barrowman I love his super hero pajama pants.

They had my favorite pose of the convention.

They had my favorite pose of the convention.

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Raven

Raven

Emma Frost and Kitty Pride- the early years

Emma Frost and Kitty Pride- the early years

Charisma Carpenter

Charisma Carpenter

Jewel Staite

Jewel Staite

Gina Torres

Gina Torres

Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin

Summer Glau

Summer Glau