Posts Tagged ‘cosplay’

MileHiCon Aftermath (and More Pictures)

Woo, sorry about missing the second update last week, Squiders. It turns out that the combination of the spouse’s surgery and Fall Break was a bit of a mess.

But the con went really well! I had a great time.

Friday was my FTL travel panel, which went okay. Myself and the rest of the panelists had all come to the same conclusion with our research, in that it will probably be achieved via manipulating spacetime (warp bubbles, wormholes, etc.) yet the audience kept asking questions about accelerating matter past the speed of light, no matter how much we emphasized that that continued to be impossible. So! That was a thing.

Otherwise Friday was pretty chill, just getting the lay of the land, chatting with friends, checking out the dealers’ room and the art show. (If I had unlimited money to spend, the art show would be a dream.) I also wrote a thousand words on a scifi horror novella I’ve been working on and drew a picture for a story/art exchange I signed up for.

Saturday was pretty fun. Based on the costume dry-run, I bought re-wetting eye drops to go with the contacts, which made a world of difference. I wore the contacts for an hour and a half last Tuesday, and my eyes hurt for, like, 12 hours afterwards. But I wore them for eight hours on Saturday and was fine.

The costume turned out well, but was apparently not obviously a costume (though I got a lot of double-takes after people made eye contact with me, which was kind of fun). I was chatting with a friend when someone came up, stated they were taking pictures of all the cosplayers, asked for and took a picture of my friend, and then meandered off.

(My husband says that it looks like I’m dressed up for a presentation. Ha! Matches Book!Crowley, I suppose.)

Saturday morning I had a fandom panel, which are honestly my favorite, because we can all happily geek out together. Same friend from above was on the panel with me, and we discovered that we went to the same university, at the same time, and hung out with the same people, and yet had somehow never met at that point in time. (We met at a writing group about five-ish years ago.) Life is weird.

Mid-day Saturday I had a spot at the selling/signing table, and sold a decent amount of books and had good interest in general, which is always very lovely. Also, the other authors I was there with were great, and we talked marketing techniques and what was working and not. That’s really part of why I come back to this con year after year–the people who run it are lovely, and the other authors are just so great, and everyone’s willing to chat and network and share.

My friend Christy (the Aziraphale to my Crowley) showed up near the end of that. She couldn’t stay very long, unfortunately, but we had fun while she was there. And it turns out if you have both an Aziraphale and a Crowley, it becomes obvious you are cosplaying and people say nice things.

Near the end of Christy being there was the mass author signing, during which we discovered another Aziraphale and Crowley, played by Carrie Vaughn and her friend Wendy (whom I didn’t get to talk to for very long, but I liked immensely). So that was also fun.

Pictures, as promised (though the lighting is a little off, on which I blame the con):

Doppelgangers! Oh noes!

After the signing I had a panel on identity vs. memory, which was pretty interesting when I was doing research on it, and the panel itself was interesting (someone complimented me on in the bathroom afterwards), but I felt kind of useless, because half the panel was a psychologist and someone experienced in traumatic head injuries. Ah well. Can’t win them all.

Sunday I decided to bring the bigger, mobile one along because I realized he would totally be into the Critter Crunch, which is a robotic fighting competition ala Battle Bots. (Although, I learned this weekend, it turns out that the MileHiCon Critter Crunch is actually the FIRST combat robot competition, starting in 1987.)

So we spent Sunday morning watching the 2 lb. competition (BMO’s favorite was Sister Christian, one of those punching nun puppets that had been modified to shoot fire out of her mouth) and then the later afternoon watching the 20 lb. competition. The three hours in between we made rockets with the other kids and had some quiet time, where BMO designed cities on his tablet, and I wrote another 1000 words and drew some more pictures.

I wanted to show you guys the all-robot melee at the end of the competition, but it wouldn’t upload, so instead you get Toast vs. SOL. (Toast was advertised as being fully autonomous, and SOL stands for exactly what you think):

Of course, now the BMO wants to build a robot for next year, so that’s a thing. Mechanically I’m sound, but me and electronics have never gotten along so well (and I have the soldering scars to prove it). But hey! It’s a possibility.

So that was the con this year! It was lovely, I only got a little sick afterwards, and I have next year to look forward to.

How was your weekend, squiders?

MileHiCon (and Costume Pics!)

MileHiCon this weekend! Yaaaaaay. I’m mostly ready–just need to get marketing materials (mail list sign up, business cards) together, do some research for my panels, and put everything together some place where I can find it.

(To remember: book stand, credit card reader, water bottle.)

My costume is now ready to go. I test drove everything today with the exception of the nail polish, because I know if I do it now it will look bad by the weekend, and also I know how to do nail polish and it shouldn’t be a surprise.

Have a couple of pics:

Everything feels and looks pretty good! The contacts do tend to rotate, which I expected because of the reviews, but alas, they are what they are. (If you recall, this was the single pair on the entirety of the Internet that were generally the right color/design and also came in powered prescription.) Otherwise they’re great–the colored part doesn’t block my vision and they’re the right power, so I can see just fine.

And then later I realized I forgot to do the tattoo as practice and then had to do that separate.

Kind of hard to see, also alas.

That actually went really well too. Way easier to draw on my face than expected.

I’m on three panels for this weekend. I suspect I’m pretty low on the totem pole when it comes to panel assignments, because sometimes I end up with the weirdest topics. I’ve two this year that are a bit bizarre. The first is a panel on faster-than-light (FTL) travel, but from a real-life, scientific point of view. The panel coordinator emailed me specifically about this one, since she knows I used to be an aerospace engineer. I’ve tried to explain to people in the past that being an aerospace engineer is not actually that beneficial when looking at theoretical spaceflight, especially in a fictional context, but that never seems to stick.

(The book says it’s a panel of “scientists and experts” of which I am neither, so I definitely need to make sure I’m up to date on stuff so I don’t come off as an idiot.)

The second is about identity and memory, which is an interesting topic but, again, not one I really know about. Research!

I was originally on four panels, but two of them ended up being at the same time after the schedule was re-arranged, so I had to drop the one on Steampunk costuming. A little sad, as this is a topic I know about–I’ve done two different Steampunk costumes–but the other one is about fandom, and I love fandom, so it won out. Plus I know someone else doing that panel, so hooray, friends!

Plus I’m at the author’s table for two hours, and I’ll need to decide whether to do the big signing or not. It normally depends on if someone I know and like is also doing the signing. (What I find is that the guests of honor tend to get 85% of the attendance, and the other 15% spread out among everyone else, so having someone worth socializing with is a must.)

But yay! I love conventions!

(There is a slight damper on this weekend since the spouse is having foot surgery tomorrow and may or may not be functional. I will need to play that by ear and deal as necessary.)

Plus my friend will be there as Aziraphale on Saturday too, which will be nice, because it’s always nice having a friend about.

I’ll probably flail through on Thursday, so you’ll hear from me one more time before the Con happens.

Happy Tuesday, squiders!

Cosplay Update

Hooray! It’s October! 😀 😀 😀

(I’m always amused when arbitrary divisions of time line up with actual things. Yesterday it was 80 degrees. Today, October 1, we’re expected to maybe get to 60 degrees, and the rest of the week is likewise supposed to be appropriate for Fall.)

We’re now less than three weeks from the con I’m wearing my Crowley costume for which, wow, time got away from me there. (I suspect I just have a bad grasp on the passage of time.)

Things are coming along. My contacts should get here from Asia today, and my mother found this really awesome snake necklace that I need to go pick up from her.

I still haven’t bought boots. Whoops.

(I have a Stitch Fix coming today that is in theory sending me boots, so I’m waiting to see what I get. Tomorrow…probably buying boots.)

The biggest thing to do is to shorten the weird scarf thing. I looked into making it myself, but it ended up being way cheaper to buy a weird scarf thing off of the Interwebs. But it’s too long, so I’ve got to take like eight inches out of the middle and then sew it back together.

I do have pics for you guys.

First off, I have the glasses. I bought glasses off of Amazon that were perfect, except they had an extra bar across the top. I tried to take it off with metal snips which was a fail, so I had to get the spouse to dremel it off in the end. (There were sparks.)

I was a little worried about structural integrity, but it seems like that bar wasn’t doing anything anyway.

I’ve also been experimenting with the tattoo pen. I did a Starfleet insignia on my ankle a few weeks ago, which stayed pretty well. Didn’t rub off or smear, and yet came off with soap and water when I wanted it to, which is pretty awesome.

My biggest complaint is that it looks like you just drew with a sharpie on your skin. I did a basic snitch on my wrist today (so I can hide it under my watch band) and tried a couple of different types of make-up on it to see if it looks less marker-y, which didn’t particularly work. So it is what it is, I guess.

I also practiced drawing Crowley’s tattoo, both to make sure I knew how and so I’d have a guide to look at when I invariably try to draw it on my face.

Still having a good time working on the costume, and looking forward to wearing it in a few weeks, so that’s always good.

Anyway, happy October, squiders! I hope you’re having a great day!

Cosplay Update

Ahahaha, so I realized I briefly mentioned working on a cosplay a few weeks ago without actually talking about the costume at all. Good job, me.

Anyway, I’m doing Crowley from Good Omens, and have even roped a friend into being Aziraphale for me. (I didn’t have to rope very hard.) Hopefully it goes better than the last time I cosplayed with a friend.

(I’m not making any more costumes last minute, I tell you what. Sewing the trim on in between people when working registration at the con. Bah!)

(Also not doing much sewing at all on this one, honestly, so.)

(Also also if you have not seen the miniseries and have access to it, I recommend it. Otherwise, there is also the book, which I am re-reading, which is very similar except they’ve expanded some of the character/emotional arcs for the miniseries.)

(I am also reading Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett. It is a lot of Pratchett all at once.)

I am doing a female version of Crowley for a number of reasons, which include:

  • Aziraphale and Crowley are canonically genderless beings
  • Crowley at least twice in the miniseries presents as female
  • I haven’t cosplayed a male character (or “crossplayed” as it’s called when you cosplay a character of the opposite gender) in a decade and who even knows where all the supplies for that went
  • Also I have procreated since then so they probably don’t fit anyway (and they are uncomfortable)
  • Trying to stuff long hair into a short wig sucks
  • I want to

I made myself a plan. (I sketched this in about five minutes, so, you know.)

(And it scanned crooked. Sorry.)

All in all, it goes well! Except for the boots. We’ll get there. I’ve ordered the contacts (there’s literally one place on the entire Internet where you can buy prescription FX contacts that look at all right, so we’ll see how that goes). I have the glasses, but I need to modify them. My mom found me some snake earrings (though I also have star earrings and I realized those would work too) though I haven’t gotten them from her yet.

I’ve been looking at tutorials for tattoos, so this morning I went to get supplies at my local drug store. (I’m not a big make-up person–I’m just not good at it. There are cosplayers out there who can do amazing things to their faces with make-up, but I am not one of them. And even in every day life, I rarely go beyond mascara and lip gloss, so… Anyway I don’t own any make-up brushes or sealing powder or whatever else was on the list of supplies.) I found a tattoo marker while there, and the reviews on the Internet for it were promising (a couple even compared it to the methods I’d been looking at), so now I have just that. Have to test it out too.

(Not on my face, though.)

The boots continue to be problematic. In the miniseries, David Tennant wears black ankle boots with a snakeskin pattern on them. Now, I am taking some liberties with the general costume, so I don’t feel like I need to get anything exact. That being said, black boots in snakeskin prints are a bit rare, and I don’t necessarily want to spend a ton of money on costume shoes.

An alternate is to just get black ankle boots. I need a pair anyway. Decisions, decisions. Too many shoes in the world.

Anyway! Costume goes. I’ve got about a month and a half to get it ready, so I’m not too concerned. Slow and steady and what have you.

What are you up to, squiders?

The Internet Marches Ever Onward

I’m putting together a cosplay, squiders.

It’s been a while. The last time I cosplayed was when I dressed up as Amy Pond from Doctor Who for Denver Comic-con back in 2014. That was just a closet cosplay (meaning I just wore clothes I already owned) so it didn’t take a lot of work.

(It also didn’t work particularly well on its own. One person recognized me the entire day, and she was dressed as River Song. One friend I ran into thought I was Mary Jane from Spider-Man which, fair. What’s one redhead in normal-ish clothes from another?)

The last cosplay where I actually made costume pieces and whatnot was when I did Agatha Heterodyne from Girl Genius for WonderCon back in 2010.

But before that, I was a big cosplayer. I’ve been that person who’s spent a couple hundred dollars and six months of their lives on a single costume. I’ve made props, armor, shoes. I’ve styled wigs (though not well, ahahahaha). I’ve made my own patterns. I’ve embroidered and appliqued.

That was before, though, when I was still employed and childless. And, to be honest, I haven’t really had the inclination to recently either.

But anyway, I was kind of remotely thinking about cosplaying, and then a friend said, “Hey, that sounds fun, I’ll do this other character,” so now I am definitely cosplaying and have the main part of the costume put together.

But it has been a while, and this costume makes use of something I’ve not done before, and that’s FX contact lens. These are contacts designed to make your eyes look inhuman in some way, either by changing the shape of the pupil, or being a weird color, etc.

(These are otherwise normal in size/shape. The whole eyeball kind are called “scleral contacts” and are apparently very uncomfortable.)

I am extremely nearsighted, so I will need prescription lens, of which there is a very limited supply, boo. But I thought I’d go to my old cosplay hangout and check out the forums to see if people knew other alternatives I might have missed.

The hangout in question is cosplay.com, which is a lovely website that not only has a forum, but allows you to keep track of and display your costumes.

Or, it did.

Admittedly, it’s been a while, and I haven’t been on the site much except to show pictures of costumes to various people every now and then. So I was very surprised to find they’re in the middle of revamping the entire thing, and half my costumes and most of the forums are MIA.

(It doesn’t help that it seems like it’s been revamping for several months.)

Have you ever had that happen? You go back to some place you used to hang out at all the time to find everything has changed?

Anyway, I’m out of the loop and looking for a good cosplay community to hang in, if you know one. Otherwise, I suppose I’ll flounder about and do the best I can.

(Alternately if you know stuff about prescription FX contacts, hit me up.)

How’s your Tuesday, squiders?

Denver Comic Con, Cosplay, and Miscellany

So! It’s Denver Comic Con (or, as I shall refer to it from now on, DCC) this weekend and I’m of two minds.

1) I am really excited because it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to really do a con.
2) I am a little annoyed because I applied for a vendor table for Turtleduck Press the instant the applications went live, and they fed me some line about not fitting the mission of the convention when what they really meant was “We got too many authors and small/indie presses and just kind of picked the ones we liked the best and/or who had already paid because they had a table last year, and we can’t have too many authors/publishers because we are a comic convention.”

Rargh.

Anyway, obvious not annoyed enough to not go, so here we are.

AND I am going to cosplay! I am excited because I haven’t cosplayed in four years. (Oh, geez.) I haven’t even made a costume since then except for a generic steampunk outfit for AnomalyCon 2011 and a uniform shirt I use when we play Artemis. Admittedly, I didn’t make anything for this costume because I am going as Amy Pond, but it’s still something.

(Let us take bets on how long it takes me to get annoyed with and abandon the wig. I have successfully worn this particular wig an entire con day before, but it was cooler then. Summer has come early this year.)

In other news, we did a test for putting Shards out as an audiobook, which actually went quite well. So that might be a thing that happens in the near future. We might do Hidden Worlds first, however, since it’s shorter, to try out the audio format and test out marketability and other things.

That’s it from me, for now! Hope you have a lovely weekend, Squiders!

Fandom Aspects: Cosplay

Cosplay is perhaps the most visible of the ways people show their love for something. And I don’t mean that in the way that means “the most people are aware of it,” but in the way where, while most fandom activities allow you to hide behind your anonymity on the Internet, you can’t really hide your cosplay. Oh, sure, you don’t have to tell your friends, family, or coworkers about it, and you can wear things that cover your face, but there is a whole other level of commitment that comes with creating a costume and then wearing it out in public where other people will see it.

Hirako Shinji from Bleach

Hirako Shinji from Bleach

Cosplay is short for costume play, and the term has been around since the 80s. Cosplay consists of selecting a character from a movie, TV show, comic, book, etc. and dressing up as them, usually for conventions or Halloween.

Cosplay also is interesting in that despite the time and money that goes into creating a character, the person making/wearing the costume may not be as interested in that character as, say, fanfiction writers would be. Some people cosplay because they like the costumes, or because they look like a character, whereas other people may go as a character they are less or not familiar with to match their friends.

A lot of cosplayers will belong to a cosplaying community, where they can find other people cosplaying from the same series, get advice on new techniques, and share their results. If you’re interested in looking at people’s costumes, several websites allow their users to upload in progress and finished photos of their costumes. Cosplay.com is probably the largest.

Cosplay can run the gambit from “found clothes” costumes, where people take clothes from their closet that best match their characters, to complex costumes made completely from scratch that may include wig styling, armor and weapon creation, embroidery, and even making shoes. Many conventions give people an opportunity to show off their handiwork at costume contests. Some contests may also allow skits, which allow cosplayers a chance to act out a scene as their character. (Or just be silly. This is one of my favorites. Also this one.)

Have any favorite cosplays, Squiders? Have you cosplayed yourself? Have anyone you’ve ever thought about dressing as?