Thursday, May 23, 2013


          So I really should be in bed, but I wanted to post this.  As a lot of you who follow me on twitter already know I was at Port City Pop Con a couple weekends back, ordinarily I would give a rundown of what happened at the convention, but perhaps another time.  Let me simply say that was a very enlightening trip for me and since I've returned I've had some time to think.  And I've decided that I'm gonna throw myself deeper in the costume community and see if I can't really go pro doing this.  Sure I've made costumes for other people, so I guess in way I already am, but I mean get paid to go to cons and sign autographs.  Actually be doing something I love and getting paid for it.  I gave my first autograph while I was there, and that was kinda the tip of the iceberg.  The guy was in a phenomenal Jack Sparrow costume and he wanted my autograph?  I was like huh?  What?  I'm still kinda weirded out by it in some ways.  I'm no celebrity, I mean yes I just got through saying I wanted to get paid to do this, but I never want to come across as anyone that you can't come up to and start a conversation with.  And I feel so many people have that stigma with celebrities.
          Alright, some other stuff did happen, and once I get some down time (if ever!)  I want to sit down and give a proper update, until then though, twitter is the best way to keep up with me.  So if you don't have me friended do so!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Marvel Girl and Other Costumes

         It dawned on me after my nice harsh rant in my last post that I completely forgot to post anything on my Marvel Girl costume!  Unfortunately I haven’t been able to snag a new camera (I will have one before DragonCon, hopefully before Metropolis *crosses fingers*) so that said the only couple of pictures I have are either off my phone, or that someone else took.  (To the Deadpool I was clowning around with, I want those photos!  They have to be hilarious!)  

         And yes, that’s a Paizo Goblin you see with me.  He is now an official part of every costume I wear, and assuming I have time, I’ll dress him up to match me.  Oh hush up I’m a girl, if I want to play dress up with my goblin I will.  

         Now I did say other costumes in this post.  I’m currently working on a Nightwing for Metropolis.  That said I’m afraid Zatanna will probably go on hiatus till next year.  Originally I was going to have her for a DC shoot at Anime Iowa but a friend pointed out FandomFest, and their line up is absolutely stellar!!  So I cancelled my room for Anime Iowa and grabbed one for FandomFest.  I wish they hadn’t have fallen on the same weekend, maybe next year I can do both.  For those of you who are curious I’m not doing the Dick Grayson Nightwing, I’m doing the Cheyenne Freemont version.  Here’s a shot of her costume and how far I am on drafting it.  I really like the look of it but I don’t know how many people will recognize me.  Okay, they will probably recognize me as Nightwing, dunno how many will be able to say its Cheyenne.  


         Ok so I said I’m making Cheyenne.  I have an Ash from Army of Darkness in progress for a local Renaissance Faire in progress, plus I have every intention to have Hawkeye done this year for DragonCon.  I am so terrified of using latex, I’m not gonna lie that’s half the reason I haven’t finished her, but I just think it will be so awesome.  :/    I’m also trying to pull together a Rarity for a friends birthday party where she wants everyone as a pony.... yea go ahead and judge me.  That said Rarity is kinda bottom of the list.  I have a costume for G2 Comics I am currently working on.  I can’t really divulge details other then you will probably see it later this year :)   And to top it all off, I’m also working on a wedding dress for a friend.  That I have some time to get done since its a winter wedding, but I think we all know how I am about wanting everything done so I can get going on other projects.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cosplay and Consent

I initially wasn’t going to make a comment on the “Cosplay is not consent” movement, but this picture was retweeted by someone and it just sent me over the edge.  Upfront, let me get a few things out of the way: I am female.  I am a cosplayer.  I have been cosplaying for around seven years now, and I have been to a wide range of conventions both anime and comic book and from small hometown cons to 10k+ people in attendance.  I’m not going to say I am an expert, but I think I have a fair amount of experience, enough experience to have an opinion.

This is the image that I initially saw about the “cosplay is not consent” movement.  I was harmless, actually I found it was cute and somewhat relatable.  The only time I have ever had even the smallest issue with another congoer was while I was in my Black Cat costume, but I’ll get to that story later.  

Then I started seeing pictures like this, which I can sorta get behind, more as a reminder to the people who are at a convention for a first time or for the ones that simply need the reminder.  

Then ones like this came.  Which okay, I get why someone may possibly have an issue but by then I was starting to feel both a bit beat over the head with the movement and also I began to really think about it.  

But this one is the one that just pissed me off and I totally disagree.  It’s not that I have an issue with the fact that men should be offended that so often they are portrayed as these carnal animals that can’t control themselves.  I know that isn’t the fact, I’ve swapped clothes in front of and been helped into costumes by men before.  All of them were gentleman about it.  My issue comes with the idea that women think that no matter how they dress or act that they should be treated with respect when they, many times, clearly are not deserving of it.  

In a nutshell here is my argument.  If you willingly decide to dress up as a character that wears something that would be deemed provocative or that you decide to be a cocktease while in some costume you have no right to complain if you are treated as an object and not as a person.  You brought it on yourself, and you have no grounds to not think someone would not make suggestive comments toward you, or try to make good on those comments.  Now I will agree there's a certain line that should not be crossed and everyone shouldn’t have to worry about being treated that way; however, so often I’ve seen people not saying no and therefore making the situation worse.  Basically, we are all dressing up for attention in the end, you got what you wanted, just not in the way you wanted it.   
When someone is dressed in a costume, it is the responsibility of the cosplayer, and not the other people, to decide when something is appropriate or if something makes them feel uncomfortable.  They need to speak up and clearly state that whatever behavior someone is exhibiting is not something they allow and if it continues they will leave/tell the nearest security person.  The other attendees of the convention are only responding to what you put on, and its not their fault for doing so.  They don’t know you, they don’t know that in real life you don’t dress or don’t act that way.  You can’t fault them for coming to the wrong conclusions.  Also the cosplayer needs to understand what they are getting themselves into.  They should be ready for comments and such; it makes dealing with issues, if the time comes, easier.  A large majority of people at a convention know, people dressing up are not how the characters are in real life.  However, I have noticed that the ‘nerd’ population is incredibly harsh to its own kindred at a convention.  I always say it’s the pecking order trying to reestablish itself, suddenly people who are used to being picked on and the “outcast” are in the spotlight and every possible way they could be a douche comes to light.  But that doesn’t mean that the cosplayer who is being picked on has to suffer, telling someone ‘no’ is always an option.  
If someone can’t speak up for themselves, be it they are too shy or that non confrontational, be the good friend or the Good Samaritan and tell whoever it is to go fuck off.  I’ve had people creep on me at a convention, many times without even me realizing it till a friend pointed it out.  I have been blessed with friends that are protective of one another and have no issues coming to anothers defense if its needed; however their are still times where they aren’t around and if something happened I wouldn’t have minded if a Captain America decided to step in.  
I said earlier that in my years of cosplay I’ve only had one incident that I would have even labeled harassment, and,  honestly,  I think it was just a pervert being perverted.  I cosplay as Black Cat, for those unfamiliar with the character she is a sometimes nemesis, sometimes lover of Spiderman.  She’s Catwoman to his Batman if you will, and, like Catwoman, she has no issues using feminine-wiles to get what she is after.  Her costume is a relatively simple black catsuit adorned with some fur.  I knew the moment that I crawled into that costume that people would treat me differently while I wore it.  The costume is tight, the character is always considered sexy, and thus I would be treated like an object not a person.  I understood that, and fully accepted it.  So when I was trying to cross a street at DragonCon and some guy asked. “Can I do a like of cocaine off your ass?” I took it in stride, told him a simple “No thanks.”  I ignored him till the light changed and we were able to cross the street.  I didn’t freak out, I didn’t go running to the nearest cop or hotel security, hell I didn’t even feel violated.  I simply gave him the brush off and went on about my day.  Looking back at it I was completely in character, Cat wouldn’t have given him the time of day and neither did I.   Now I’m not saying that harassment of a greater sort doesn’t go on at a convention.  Certainly if the gentleman (I use the term lightly) had decided to pursue me across the street and continue making comments I would have told him a more colorful no, and if he had still continued I would have made an attempt to find some form of security.  But I’m not blaming him, nor am I saying I was wrong for dressing up as Black Cat.  I simply understood that dressing that way would be inviting that sort of behavior and that I should be ready for it to happen.  Knowing that, I would never wear a Goblin Queen or Vampirella costume around a convention.  Wearing it for a photoshoot it's one thing, but being that scantily clad in public would be intolerable because of the attention I would receive.     
(Now [slightly off the main topic but I feel that it applies], are the girls who decide to do ‘sexy’ versions of their favorite character.  I’ve seen a lot of Robin’s running around this way.  Robin’s costume does not show cleavage yet on multiple occasions I’ve seen inches of cleavage on some of these girls, and with their asses hanging out.  Personally, I don’t see how they can be comfortable walking around in public like that.  I would feel exposed, and would be paranoid that something would slip or I would move wrong and their would be a horrible wardrobe malfunction.  Apparently I’m in the minority though.  But, I’m sorry ladies, if you decide to walk around with your tits hanging out and think that men are not going to treat you like some sort dog then you need to really step back and think.  In our society a woman who walks around like that on a daily basis would be labeled a slut or easy or whatever you want to call it, and comments and touching are welcomed by that sort of dress.  And while yes one could argue that it is ‘sexy’ it ruins your credibility to be anything more than boobs with legs, and it screams “treat me with less respect than a real person.”  Now if you decide to wear your Star Sapphire costume to a convention it is a slightly different animal, however its still just as revealing and you should be mentally ready for whatever the convention would throw at you.  Detour over, back to my point.)  
I feel like I’ve simply been bashing on the women who decide to throw themselves out there, but I’m not trying to single them out.  Its just the easiest example I can provide.  I’ve already given you both how I view verbal harassment and how I deal with it, but I know part of the movement is talking about the physical harassment some people have had to deal with.  Honestly this is something I’ve never had to deal with personally.  There have been a few times that someone came up wanting a picture and he grabbed my waist more then I would have liked or, I know, tried to sneak a peek down the top of my shirt.  But that is trivial stuff, at least in my mind.  If a stranger walks by and tries to grab my ass or something else of that nature you can better believe I’m going to call them on it.  And I’m going to do it loudly.  I’m going to draw attention to that person and make people stop and stare.  Nothing like public humiliation to make them leave you alone.  
The easiest way to avoid having to deal with that behavior though, is to stay in a group.  The pervert at DragonCon probably wouldn’t have said anything if I had been with a couple other people or just with a guy.  Ladies, I can’t stress this one enough.  Make friends with the boys, I don’t mean be a slut, I mean actual friends with them.  You want them to have that “she’s like a sister to me” mentality, because when you're walking around oblivious to that’s going on, they see things you don’t.  All guys have their weird ability where they can look at another guy and without saying or doing anything tell him to back off.  I’ve seen it happen multiple times, and trust me I know its probably part of the reason I’ve never had anyone come up and try something.  If you’re uncomfortable with that, stay with a group of girls, which ask any guy is quite intimidating.  But remember over everything that people will assume something is okay unless they are told otherwise.  You may run the risk of coming off like a bit of an ass, but you won’t be bothered.  
In the end it comes down to respect.  One person's respect for another, and a persons respect for themselves.  Logically everyone should know not to come up and glomp another person or bump into them without saying ‘pardon me’.  But people lose their mind at cons, and manners go flying out the window.  People forget to respect other people as real human beings rather than the idols they love, they forget to respect the hours of work the cosplayers have spend in creating their costume and the amount of money involved in the costume itself.  So don’t feel bad if you have some creeper which needs a refresher course in his manners, but don’t expect to be treated like a Queen when you’re dressed like a whore.    

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Costume update!

So been working on a couple of new costumes, as always.  Currently I'm trying to get my Marvel Girl finished up in time for a convention next weekend.  I have a couple days off work between then and now so lets cross our fingers.  I think all that's left is some detail work on the belt, a last bit of paint on the soles of the shoes, boot covers, a few seams on the leotard (plus redoing the entire neckline to match hers), and gloves.  And I've never made gloves in my life.  Yea looks like I'm gonna be doing a few late nights.  I have quite a few progress pics of it on my Flickr, I'll hopefully post some finished shots after the con next week.

Now I've also been working on some upcoming costumes, I have a Zatanna in progress for a con midsummer which I'm thrilled for though by the looks of things I'm gonna burn up wearing.  Hard to believe that you'll be hot wearing so little am I right?  Thing is she is in quite a few layers, though at first it doesn't seem it.  Well okay I'll take that back, it depends on what version of her you decide to make as to how many layers you'll be suffering in.  And I keep playing around with a White Phoenix costume.  I can't get the emblem on her chest to look right.  I want it a mix of the two that you always see, I don't like one because it just looks like a triangle, and the other is somehow off.  That and I don't like the version with the black underneath.  We'll see if I can ever get anything sketched out that satisfies me.

The one I'm currently researching like crazy is Sarah Kerrigan from Starcraft.  I have an idea of the material I want to make it out of, though I'm not sure how I can get all the colors right, I don't know if it will take paint very well.  But the thing I'm more excited about is using EL tape to make it glow, though I'm running into a few issues with it.  Her suit is skin tight, which I don't have any issue with, but I can't figure out where to hide the battery pack.  My first thought was to do something a bit awkward and just have it in my top between my boobs.  Then I thought about it and well, how could I turn it off?  The suit will go up my neck, not like I can just toggle it off and on at will.  I mean yes I can run to the bathroom to do it, but lines are long at any con for the bathroom, and I have no idea where the seams will actually be yet, so I may very well need a hand to get into it.  My next thought was to hide it in my shoe, if she wore a wedge heel then I could use a regular heel and hide it there and cover it with material.  Then I talked to the bf who told me for a better reference picture of the Ghost uniform to go hunt down some Nova art.  So I did.  Nova is heels (yay!) but there goes that idea.  So now I'm back to square one, which means back to my fit that even with the release of Heart of the Swarm I still can't get any reference pictures.  Really Blizz?  I'd love a model of her, life is so much easier when making a costume if I have a figure to get down and inspect.  If anyone has an idea or suggestions, OR knows a damn thing about EL tape I'll take some pointers.  All I've learned so far is I'm gonna need it to be a parallel and not a split.