Inspiration: Entrepreneurs

For the last couple of months I’ve been casting a show all about people following their dreams. It’s been really fun to get to talk to people who have such a passion for different things that I thought I could never imagine having. My boss and I were talking in a coffee shop in Atlanta about what would be our dream business that had nothing to do with working in TV. I knew mine right away. It was the idea of having classy women’s nerd clothing. I think there’s such a hole in the market right now. Don’t get me wrong, I own more graphic tees and nerdy skirts than one person really should. And I’ve seen plenty of Black Milk leggings, I own Her Universe clothes, but they’re still not sophisticated. I know that would be my concept, but I have no idea what that even means. A man can add a cool belt buckle or an awesome tie, but what do we woman have? I think an awesome nerdy pair of heels is a great start for that nerdy touch to an office. I do work in an office where I can (but technically am not allowed to) wear shorts to work when it’s hot, but I’m not really sure I could handle working anywhere that doesn’t let me let my geek flag fly. However, even in my non-traditional office there are so many things that are not ok.  My office is about 65% women, and it’s not a place where women wear teeshirts on a regular basis, but my boss doesn’t go more than 3 days without a Star Wars tee or sporting his favorite sports team.  I guess that says something more about attitudes than what specifically is going on in my office.  About 3 out of 5 day a week I wear my TeeShirt of the day hoodies to work, so I may just be saying crazy things.  Either way, I would like there to be more classic and classy nerd clothing that I could wear out.  Internet, please get on that.  Thanks.

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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Heroes of Cosplay

I’ve been watching Heroes of Cosplay and I so desperately want to fall in love with it.  It seems like a great premiss.  But I just can’t get into it.  I think for me the reason for me is that some of the characters take cosplay a little too seriously for me.  My cosplay philosophy is to have a really great time, just getting to play dress up is enough for me.  I get that for some people it isn’t, but no one should be told that they can’t do anything.  I get that I don’t look like my characters, maybe it’s that I fall into the category of some days I may just be kidding myself l don’t have the body for some of the characters that I do.  But I’m ok with that.  For me it’s more important to be a character that I am really into and getting to pretend to be that person for the day. Now that being said, I can’t stop watching it.  I really enjoy watching the cast fabricate their costumes and I have been inspired with some of what they did.  Also by the last episode I do admit that there was a redeeming scene.  When the two teams were sitting around and they had “group talk” it made me even more sure that I want to be Holly’s friend.  The cast talked about how cosplay is about supporting each other and not judging.  (over the course of the show they did show Yaya and Victoria flip-flopping on the issue of is it more important to look like the character or is it important to be having fun.)

However the scene’s integrity is a bit undermined by Monika putting on sunglasses, but I don’t know if that was something she did on her own or a producer asked her to. I did connect with the 5 women from LA more than the 3 from Atlanta.  I am acutely aware of how much a producer and editing team can influence what we all see on television (I am a reality television producer by day) and I have no reason to believe that they are not the nicest women in the world on the show, but they were not shown to be that way because reality tv loves to have a villain, and Monika made a great villain. To be able to get the scene where she is yelling at her mom is wonderful.

Overall one of the nice parts of the show was that the cast was genuine.  They all loved the things they dressed as and loved dressing up.  I found it to be educational, I figured out how to do some of the things I was having trouble with on my costumes.  Just for that fact alone I would watch the next season.  I would like a couple more guys added to the main cast, specifically ones that did armor pieces more often.  I really loved Jesse’s Assassin’s Creed outfit, but it would have been super awesome to see armor being made by people who know way more than me about what they are doing when it comes to fabrication.

 

 

 

Gotham

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Arrow is now in its second season, with a Flash show in the works on The CW, SHEILD started this week on ABC, a Commissioner Gordon show was just sold Tuesday to Fox.  The superhero show seems to be the newest hot genera show on broadcast TV right now.  Networks are scrambling for them asfast as writers can think them up.  And you know what that means?  More Cosplay options and more people interested in nerd subculture.

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There has been such a boom in Black Canary and Green Arrow Cosplayers since Arrow came on the air.  And that is great.  They aren’t even on the show that way but it’s getting people into reading the comic books, and nothing could be better than that.

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Part of me wants to reject this flood of nerdiness in mainstream popculture.  I want it all to be special and mine, but if other people like it then it does get to stay around,  and I need to remember that that is better.  I really want to be an inclusive nerd and not an exclusive snob.

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So I am going to do my best to take the attitude of “YAY, more fun” and not “aw man, somebody else is playing with my toy”.

 

 

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.

 

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.

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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