Creativity at Phoenix Comicon 2017 Part 1

Cosplayers Everywhere!

by Durrilion

Every con I attend is full of amazing people in amazing creations.  Whether you call it ‘cosplay’ or ‘costuming’, these fan creations caught my eye!

Covered in fur, this young man and his father put this ‘Game of Thrones’ giant together in about 2 to 3 weeks.  Even though he is 6′ 2″, Sage Grey wore platforms to boost his height to 7′.  It definitely made him more impressive! I myself am about 6′ 5″, and had to look up while we chatted.  When asked ‘Why this character?’ he told me all of his outfits are based on what he and his dad have readily available at the time.  In addition to this giant cosplay, he also does steampunk.  He does not have any social media accounts, so keep an eye out for him at future cons.

Sage Grey as ‘Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun’

The Sailor Scouts were out in force at Phoenix Comicon this year.  I had the good fortune to find, and chat with, these friendly ladies.  ‘Sailor Moon’ was recently engaged, so she and her friends chose to dress up and go to Comicon for part of her bachelorette party.  Their original plan was for everyone to be dressed differently, but as the saying goes, ‘the best laid plans…’. They ended up with two Sailor Jupiters.  No worries, they went ahead and had a great time! During our chat they were continuously asked for photos.  They could not believe how popular they were, but were delighted to pose for photos with kids.  This was their first time in costume, but for at least a couple of them, not the last.

The Sailor Scouts

Speaking of Sailor Scouts…this young man, Chazmix on instagram, was only one of several guys dressed as female characters.  While volunteering at the Tucson Comicon booth, he took a moment to speak with me.  Four years ago his best friends jokingly bet he couldn’t pull off a Sailor Scout costume.  He accepted, and they all chipped in to buy the outfit.  He wore it for the rest of the con.  There were “funny reactions”, and while he’s still the only one dressing up, he keeps trying to convince his friends.  His current costume was mostly made for him by a friend (the gloves and bow are the exception).  The headband was purchased from a metal worker who said he really needed it.  As we spoke the subject of Lady Beard came up, and I mentioned I saw a young woman cosplaying as Lady Beard! Sadly, I did not have my camera at the time.

Lady Beard as Sailor Moon, from Boredpanda.com

We also talked about the male sailor uniforms being worn in Japan for male cosplayers who want to be Sailor Scouts but not dress as a female.  I must admit, my google-fu is weak. I could not find the photos I saw a few years ago.  I someone out there has one let me know!

Over the last four years Chazmix has had to learn how to sit, bend down to pick something up, and be much more conscious of what people can see when he uses a flight of stairs.  Check out  Critical Failure Cosplay on both Facebook and Instagram, as well as Chazmix on instagram.  Tucson Comicon is on November 3rd through the 5th. Mark your calendars!

Chazmix at the Tucson Comicon booth

 

Jedi.  Like the Force, they are everywhere.  However, what is not so common are Jedi in colorful robes.  These wielders of the Force were easily noticed.  Fortunately they had time for a photo and an interview.  I am not a comedian, but every now and then I get lucky.  I started the interview with “Big Star Wars fans? Never heard of it before?” With a laugh they confirmed they were big fans.  Chris, in green, told me his outfit started as a Green Lantern crossover, and has gradually gone full Jedi.  Amanda, in purple, loves the color, so it was an easy choice.  They told me that while Jedi are most often seen in neutrals/browns, there are no color limits to a Jedi’s wardrobe.  We did acknowledge that black and red are commonly reserved for the Sith.  When it came to putting everything together, Amanda made the soft parts of the outfit, and they purchased the belts, and other hardware.  In addition to the overall visual impression, one detail on Amanda’s robes caught my eye.  I had my suspicions, but surely I was wrong.  When she mentioned the embroidery, she admitted 1, it was because it looked cool, and 2 (it turned out I was totally right!) it is actually Vulcan.  The top portion says “I love you” and the bottom (not seen in the photos) “I know.”

embroidery closeup

The pair are part of the Mandalorian Mercs Costuming Club ( http://mandalorianmercs.org/ ), and while they need to make a few adjustments to the costumes, they hope to  use them for the Rebel Legion ( rebellegion.com ).  Based in L.A., Amanda and Chris primarily participate in their group’s charity events focused on children.  For them it is a fun way to socialize, help in their communities, and have a creative outlet, but ultimately it is more to bring fun to the children.

Additionally, we discussed the difference between ‘cosplay’ and ‘costuming’.  Interesting timing since The Geekian Report recently did a podcast on that very subject! In their own words they “don’t cosplay”, they are costumers.  To them the difference is that costuming means just wearing the outfit, and cosplaying means becoming the character.  In a nutshell, dressing up versus acting.  Further they both agreed that, to them, it’s not a matter of skill level.  Highly skilled people may not have the ability to act like the character they portray.  Equally, lesser skilled people, may have the ability to pull off the personality of their character.  Having said that, let us be very clear, they don’t mean that labels are important.  This is about FUN!  If the best one can do is a t-shirt versus a screen accurate ensemble, have a great time with it! We all agreed though, that one’s fun should not come at the ‘cost’ of ignoring real life responsibilities.

Amanda Smith and Christopher Pulansky as Jedi

The last cosplayer, for this portion, was the only one I saw of this particular character.  With his Ph.D. in Horribleness, Dr. Horrible casually wandered through the con, carrying a case of Wonderflonium.  When asked, he told me he felt Neil Patrick Harris did an amazing job tying all the characters together, as well as portraying the Dr.’s conflict and snarkiness.  His coat was made from canvas.  The goggles, purchased from Harbor Freight were modified to look closer to the ones on screen.  His gloves, were welding gloves, but with some paint they were brought closer to the Dr’s.  His boots, well, he said they were just white rubber boots.  The Wonderflonium container, just a basic brief case, with custom printed signage, serves as an excellent, cosplay friendly alternative to a backpack or messenger bag.  After cosplaying for the past 5 years, Dr. Horrible is his favorite.  This con was the third or fourth time he wore the outfit.  Hopefully his application to the Evil League of Evil will be approved.  Though he has no cosplay related social media, he did share his twitter name @callstat.

Dr. Horrible

That is it for now.  Stay tuned, because there were a lot of cosplayers this year that caught my eye! While you wait, check out the other awesomely geeky stuff on thegeekianreport.com!

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