Conventional Wisdom

Dallas Comic Con was a blast! I met a bunch of local Fancy Bastards and hopefully brought a few more into the fold. Josh, Eli and Alex stopped buy on Saturday to help man the booth and make fun of people in poorly constructed costumes.

When the average geek sees a really well crafted comic-con costume, like a Hawkgirl with a hand stitched leather mask and real feathers in her fully articulated wings, they will usually respond with reverence and appreciation for the fine craftsmanship. Perhaps in the same way normal people would regard a hand made credenza or a stupid boat or something. The person wearing the quality costume gets a free pass to play dress up in public and not only get away with it, but get respect for it.

However when the average geeks sees a shitty costume (I’m talking duct tape, kitchen gloves, rough cut, poorly stitched fabric, off the shelf plastic Darth Vader helmets with built in voice changers, etc), the admiration plummets to complete revulsion. All of a sudden you aren’t just critiquing the poor handy work, but you’re making snap judgments as to whether or not the offending cosplayer really deserves to be sucking down as much oxygen as he is. I mean that’s perfectly good air that us decent, functional people could be enjoying.

I think it’s a bit of a double standard but the geek world is laden with hypocrisy. I say of the gentle cosplayer, never ever pity them. For they are the bravest geeks of us all.

[I feel like we covered this subject in depth a while back on an HE Podcast but I can’t remember which one]

Share you best or worst cosplay story. This could be a costume you made or just one that you saw at a party or a con.

There’s a new HE wiki article and it’s in danger of being deleted if it doesn’t get some citations and notoriety added. If you would like to help, please check out the HE FORUM post on the subject.

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  1. well done Joel. i love panel 3, the cosplayer in it is hilarious.

    I have seen some amazing costumes over the years, as the Con i am a part of has a Masquerade as it's centerpiece event.Some people work all year on their costumes.

    I think the best one i ever saw was someone who did The Predator, complete w/latexPredator face underneath the helmet, wristband that lit up in the correct order, and tri-dot laser on the shoulder.

  2. Living in central third-world Norway, I don't get to attend many cons, but I did go to Wizard World Chicago a few years back with my ex, and there were some good ones – There was a very well-done Beetlejuice interacting beautifully with Darth Vader and his stormtrooper retinue, but my favorite of the event just might be Morbidly Obese African-American Batman.

  3. that sarlacc is awesome!

    Having only been to one convention (Baltimore Comic-Con this past year), I don't have any cosplaying stories yet. I plan to this year, though. Nothing too extravagant – just a simple, dip-your-toe-in-the-water type of costume for my first go-round.

  4. Not cosplay, but for Halloween at least my family always goes all out, especially when I was younger.

    There was always one part of my costume, or the whole thing that was custom made.

    Darth Vader, my dad and grand dad custom built the light panel for the chest plate.

    Darth Maul, masks you say? Fuck that noise. Dad cut the dome part of the mask and used a putty to make it seamless with my face and painted it to look perfect.

    The Mask (Jim Carrey). Dad helped to custom make that yellow suit he had and painted me all up.

    Jango Fett, Dad used a vacuum thing to custom make the armor out of a lite plastic. Made holsters and every thing.

    Indiana Jones, Only bought things were hat, whip, and pouch of sand (all bought at Disney when I was 5). He gave me the stubble, jacket, everything. That was also the year we wore costumes to school I was…8?). Every one was jealous. They took my whip though.

    And…yeah. I thought maybe doing Indy for next comic con up in Baltimore, I already bought a new hat recently.

  5. Sometimes context can turn a simple costume into a brilliant idea. The best example of this that I've seen was from, if you can believe it, a furry con. Someone was going around as a very convincing Sarah Palin, complete with a fake gun for "wolf" hunting. Heh.

    Of course, I'm a sucker for out-of-the-ordinary ideas like that. I love the Halloween costumes the Homestar Runner characters have every year just because they're so obscure. If I saw someone cosplaying as someone obscure like that and I actually got who they were, I'd be geeking out.

  6. I was at Baltimore this last year and I happend to see several White Queens roaming but only one that had forgotten to groom herself. She had nice big tufts of curlies coming out around her white undies. I saw her again later, she must have found a pair of scissors because things seemed better down there.

  7. Last year at WizardWorld Chicago, a dude ran around in Speedos, a duct tape/cardboard helmet, some circuit boards, and plastic Wolverine claws. It was horrible, but since he was ripped he got away with it.

  8. Is that a Boba Fett action figure in there? Awesome! I also love the desert skiff "floating" around near the edge. XD Looks like he had some great ideas, but just didn't have the money/time/effort required to make it better. For instance, instead of just having an action figure, he could have gone for the gold, and made a Boba Fett costume to wear under the Sarlacc stomach costume, though it wouldn't have been to scale, it would have been more awesome.

  9. Dyed my hair permanently green to attend an anime convention (didn't end up going)

    Then I got to see what being bald is like.

  10. My favorite of all con stories involving costuming is from a friend of mine who makes a point of walking into Vampire: The Gathering LARPers who are doing the "crossed arms means I'm using an invisibility spell or some shit" thing and saying "I'm so sorry, I didn't see you there…"

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