Creativity at Phoenix Comicon 2017 Part 3

Even More Cosplay Fun

by Durrilion

I have said it before, and will continue to say it: I love ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ (animated series, and comic books – we don’t discuss that other ‘thing’).  So when I saw Princess Azula at Phoenix Comicon I just had to speak with her.  Lucky for me, she was in a good mood and didn’t fire bend me out of existence.  *wink  This young lady, who goes by Kayster Creations on both facebook and instagram, is also part of the Royal Mischief cosplay group.  They have a page on facebook too! Since I started speaking with cosplayers, one question I have been asking is “Why this character?” Usually there is a connection of some sort with the character’s personality.  This time, it was because of R.B.F.  I too have this condition that when one’s face is not doing something specific, one looks angry, or at least as if one is in a bad mood, even if one is feeling happy.  Our friendly chat continued with how she put everything together in about two days (16-20 working hours total).  The wig was purchased and altered to resembled the character’s hair.  If she had been able to make the wig I probably would have bowed in deepest respect.  She made the hairpiece from worbla, then added it after putting the hair into a bun.  The rest of the ensemble is a mix of leather “flatlined on the top” of worbla for texture, worbla trim to help things keep their shape, and an inexpensive poly-blend fabric.  The belt piece she “carved” from worbla.  The boots…let’s talk about the boots! As difficult as it is to build the clothes, armor, or what have you for any cosplay, getting the right footwear is just as difficult.  To help bring Azula to life, she used a heat gun to warp, and elongate the toe of the boot, adding a stripe of worbla down the middle.  I do not suggest you try this at home kids, unless you have money to waste of boots if it goes wrong, or have enough experience with a heat gun to try it.  I have neither, so I tip my hat to this brave and talented cosplayer!

 

Kayster Creations as Princess Azula

Up next ‘Futurama’ stars Fry and Bender stroll through the con, possibly trying to deliver that package.  While I caught them on their own, they told me they had an entire group of ‘Futurama’ cosplayers at Phoenix Comicon that day.  Sadly I did not meet any of the others.  Some of the group were helping with the science panels held at Phoenix Comicon.  Taking a moment to chat, I learned how this version of Fry and Bender came to be.  The body of the robot with an attitude is primarily cardboard, including his head.  The gloves were made by the cosplayer’s sister.  Using sweats and a shirt, she finished off the Bender ensemble with plastic salad bowls for his feet! Inexpensive, and very impressive! Fry was luckier in that he only had to purchase clothes in the right style and color.  His wig was styled by an un-named wig shop, and the package was created by a friend.  They have no social media related to cosplay, but I have a feeling this group of ‘Futurama’ cosplayers will be out and about at the next con.  Keep an eye out for them!

 

Fry and Bender

‘Attack on Titan’ is one of the few animes I watch (bear in mind back in my youth, anime was called ‘Japanimation’ and ‘Starblazers’, ‘Speedracer’, and ‘Robotech’, among others, were the rage).  While season two of this mind blowing anime is up and running in the States, (in subtitled form, with a dubbed version in the works) this guy wanted to pull off a genderbend version of Mikasa.  He purchased everything, which led to a discussion of cost.  He said for a decent unofficial version of the omni-directional gear one can expect to spend between $400 and $500.  If someone wants an official, licensed replica of the gear it will cost upwards of $1,000! Just for the gear, because the uniform is separate.  In addition to having fun he also is trying to bring cosplayers together in that same spirit.  Though he admitted it sounds like he’s borrowing from Trump, he is using “Let’s make cosplay great again” as a hashtag.  While we spoke his girlfriend arrived, and I invited her to join the conversation.  She made her own omni-directional gear based on scaled up measurements from a figurine she had at home.  That is so much easier than trying to figure out screen shots, and hoping the right angles are clear.  Personally, that sounds like a lot of math and I would be so worried I would get something wrong.  All in all, she spent about two days of actual working hours on her gear, which she did not have with her when we met.  In the future they hope to either run a panel or youtube videos about the gear, how to make it, and a cost breakdown and comparison of DIY versus purchasing the gear.  Look for tcornialvl1.Cosplay on instagram.

Mikasa from Attack on Titan

 

Who does not love Disney Princesses? These three lovely ladies caused me to do three double takes.  Graciously stopping for an interview and a photo, they told me how it all happened.  From left to right: Belle, Aurora (probably better known as Sleeping Beauty), and Jasmine brought a refreshing twist to a classic.  Jasmine was originally in a group of friends who wanted to do a steam punk Disney cosplay.  For reasons left unsaid, that group never materialized.  So with her costume in hand, she sought a couple of other friends.  The result is magic.  All three of the ladies purchased the elements that became their Princess cosplays, and for each of them the Princess they represent is a personal favorite.  Whether it be a shared love of books for Belle, or pink being Aurora’s favorite color, or Jasmine being a favorite Princess, they caught my attention and I hope they caught yours as well.  To find out what other cosplay projects they have in store look for Knights of the Con Table on facebook.

Disney Princesses Steaming up the Con

This year at Phoenix Comicon there were several Scooby gang members.  I saw at least one Fred and Daphne, a Velma and Shaggy, and a couple of solo Velmas.  Of them all this Velma took the cake! The challenge for her was finding all the right pieces in the right colors, because like the other gang members, Velma has a specific look.  It took combing through thrift stores, and sales at the mall to find everything just a few days before the con! In the end she did have to dye the socks, and confessed they are not technically the right color.  From ten feet away I didn’t notice the difference, so I say she wins.  Her wig, which looked amazing up close, was purchased for $10 online thanks to a link shared by a friend.  Her skirt, which looked like corduroy, was in fact a light-weight, stretchy velour.  Having worked in a fabric store for a year I have a fairly decent eye.  It also helps that after asking politely, she allowed me to touch the hem.  I am sure it was a weird moment for her.  I am very thankful for her trust in that regard.  Gentleman take note: what I just said is not a free pass to touch anyone’s cosplay or their person!  I asked politely, she gave permission, retained total control of the situation, and I only touched the bottom half inch of the hem.  Respect goes a long way.  While she has no cosplay related social media I am sure her high energy and amazing Velma cosplay will be seen again at the next con.

Really Awesome Velma

Often at cons there are multiple versions of the same character running around.  It is a great way to meet fellow fans of the same work.  This version of Loki stood out, so I asked for a photo and an interview.  Her vision was a combination of practical and genderbending.  According to her, (I am not too familiar with the superhero genre) the female version of Loki has a floating piece above the forehead that somehow connects to the horns.  By using wire, she tried to make it look intentional rather than just wiring it to her head.  With horns towering above, I had to ask about balance.  She told me it was not difficult at all because she molded the piece to her head.  Her mom created the outfit, because of her skill.  There is nothing wrong with finding people with a better skill set to help with a project.  The whole cosplay took about three months to complete.  The clothing is lined, trimmed, and well detailed.  I wish we both had had more time.  I could have spent an hour going over the detailing in this outfit! She has no cosplay related social media, so I hope we get to see her again at the next con.

Loki

Relying on memories of my childhood watching superhero cartoons, I guessed, accurately, that this was Dr. Octopus from ‘Spiderman’.  With so much going on, this cosplay had to weigh a ton, right? Not at all.  This cosplayer from Bad Guise Cosplay on Facebook, said it only weighed about 25 or 30 pounds.  Not counting the clothes, he made everything.  Using a combination of EVA foam, car seat foam, and a steel conduit pole for the wires, the arm structure lit up via a battery pack hidden on his back.  He said this took him about two months of work.  Awesome, though doorways must be tough to navigate.

Doc Oc

One of the first people to cosplay the Ancient One from the ‘Dr. Strange’ movie, Angela from Cosplay Always had just finished applying for membership in the Avengers cosplay group.  This large assembly of superhero cosplayers does a lot for children related charities.  Angela made this entire outfit herself over the course of several months, from dupioni silk.  I wish her the best of luck joining the Avengers, and look forward to seeing her again.  (Side note – the Cosplay Always group is currently best known for ‘Lord of the Rings’ on Saturday and ‘Harry Potter’ on Sunday of Phoenix Comicon.  In 2016 and 2017 I was their Elrond).

The Ancient One

Speaking of Cosplay Always and their two best known cosplays, I met up with them as they boldly went where no one has gone…  Showing ‘Star Trek’ the original series a lot of love, here they are as T’Pau, Nurse Chapel, and Captain James T. Kirk.  When cosplaying any of the ‘Star Trek’ crews, getting the uniform colors right is tricky.  In the original series Kirk wore several different uniforms.  Some were a greenish color, some were golden yellow.  Even more frustrating, depending on the lighting, the garments’ colors would change on film.  Nurse Chapel here, got very lucky, and ordered a kit from a woman who bought the remaining yardage of the original fabric from the first series.  T’pau’s wig is eye catching in person, as are the details and shiny, shimmery fabrics of her ensemble.  The attention to detail these cosplayers have is worthy of applause.

T-Pau, Nurse Chapel, and Captain Kirk

Pick the dystopian setting of your choice, and odds are there is a character like this foreboding man in there.  With the weapons ban in full effect, ‘Evil Kevin’ as he is often called, sported a banana instead.  With that said, I still would not want to cross this character.  *suddenly wonders how shameful it would be to die by banana…what would Gru’s minions say?

Evil Kevin

Amy Pond is one of my top three companions from ‘Dr. Who’.  Sarah Jane is naturally number 1, may she rest in peace.  Widow Ives caught me off guard with her UK police uniform Amy Pond.  She purchased the outfit, added her own sonic screwdriver, and brought her friendly personality to the con!

Come along Pond

Mash-ups, cross-overs, what ever we call it, sometimes the most unusual meeting of worlds happens right before our very eyes at a convention.  Lo and behold Fire Nation Sokka and Katara with Arwen! These three friends are, to my mind, the epitome of having fun while cosplaying.  Sokka and Katara rocked simple t-shirts modified to resemble their Last Airbender characters’ look, while Arwen stunned everyone with a modified dress and an absolutely amazing, 90 – 95% screen accurate headpiece made by a co-worker.  The Fire Nation look was pulled off with some careful cuts in the shirts, adding belts, a skirt, some ribbon, and in perfect Sokka style – socks! He used them to create the wrist cuffs.  I think the ‘real’ Sokka would love the pun.  Arwen’s headpiece contains 25 feet of beading! 25 feet!!! No matter how simple or complex, no matter how small or large a budget, cosplay is as much fun as you make it!

Avatar meets Lord of the Rings

This is one reason I absolutely love costuming – the fun and creative spirit that goes into the work.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to look exactly like the character you are portraying, rock those thrift stores, yard sales, think outside the box – I mean plastic salad bowls for robot feet!?!?! I would have never thought of it, and yet… If you are having fun wearing a simple, ‘quick and dirty’ last minute cosplay good for you! As we can see in these photos expensive, or thrifty creativity and fun catch the eye! Thank once again to all of you amazing, talented, ‘crazy’ people in your costumes/cosplays for posing for photos, and having a quick chat with me! I hope to see you all at the next con!

 

 

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