A Perler version of a Koffing I made, by Akumei.
Cosplay of the Day: Wii Fit Trainer Joins the Hadokening Fad
Sydney fashion photographer Issac Leung took this cool “Hadokening" shot of his cosplayer friends re-enacting a scene from the preview trailer of Super Smash Bros (2014). For more pics from this set, check out Leung’s Facebook photo album!
So I’m late uploading these, but last weekend was GaymerX in Nihonmachi.
My boyfriend and I met up with a friend of his from Seattle and her friend she brought along. The convention was like any other and at the same time, totally unlike any other. I have to say it was the best con-going experience I’ve had. Everyone I met was super nice and easy-going. I could tell a lot of people were nervous, though. That’s understandable, given how this was a brand new convention. My first con was Anime Boston, and it had only been the second year that had been held, so it was a similar “don’t really know how things will play out in practice” feel. As the convention keeps getting held and the people who run it get more experienced/have a bigger, better venue, everything will run smoother.
I’m thinking of doing a follow-up video to the one I’ve already made about GaymerX. I’ll address convention-going in more detail, I think. Someone asked me for advice about going to a comic con, and they kind of laughed when I said “No touching people without their permission”. No. Seriously. That’s a big problem at conventions. Don’t do it.
I saw a modest amount of cosplayers, but all the ones I did see were pretty great. It takes guts to put on a costume and walk around all day in it. The panels were pretty interesting, though I think the arrangement of time slots could have been better. I found out later that some of it wasn’t their fault and they ran into some last-minute snags, meaning they had to put some of the better panels at the same time or move them around. But as I said, it will sort itself out as the years go by. As you can see, I met Sniper and the Administrator (John Patrick Lowrie and his wife, Ellen McLain, better known for GlaDOS)! The Artist’s Garden was meant to be elsewhere, but the space got messed up and so they had to hold it in a crowded foyer.
The staff was a good number of volunteers and I think they did a great job. The experience, I imagine, is something similar to having a bunch of kids you really, really, really want to surprise with a gift you made, watching them unwrap it, play with it, play with each other, and constantly check for signs they enjoy it. I was asked by so many people how my experience went/was going. As far as the con itself, I’ve gone over that. As far as people, the absolute best. It’s because the LGBTQA+ community is used to people who take them for granted, marginalize them, and make them just adjectives or fetish pieces. The staff worked hard to make a safe space for everyone, and from what I saw (and heard from people talking), it worked out pretty well. As a straight ally, it was a totally cool perspective (though not one I’m not already accustomed to).
Sunday last was actually my and JC’s anniversary, so we celebrated by going out to eat German food at Suppenküche after the con. We got to encounter some very disturbed peoples, but other than that, the dinner was amazing, as usual. ALMDUDLER~!
Photobombing each other like any other good friend would.
One of the most celebrated and defining aspects of the San Diego Comic-Con has been cosplay. As one of the most identifying characteristics of SDCC, cosplay has been celebrated, satirized, and embraced over the past 4 decades as the community has grown with the show…
The Attention Seeker I’m Not
Last year, I was waking down the street to my hotel from SDCC with two of my friends. It had already been a jam-packed day, and we wanted to relax before whatever the evening had in store. On the way back, there were two women in front of us with a penchant for gab.
Without trying too hard, we were able to hear their conversations. The topic that particularly stood out was one about dressing up. In it, one of the women looking around said, “You know, I would dress up if I had the time. I also don’t like the attention. People who dress up really like the attention.” Dressed up as Andy, from Advanced Wars at the time, I looked over at my friend, dressed up like Professor Oak, and gave him a quizzical look followed by a wry smile.
I didn’t have much more information to base why it was that I dressed up and enjoyed it beyond the idea that it seemed like the best way to immerse oneself in Comic-Con.
Thinking about this more now though, was it really this? Was it really that either of us enjoyed the attention? Perhaps it was something else?
Having gone to Anime Expo and my second year of Comic-Con, I’ve come to realize that cosplay is, at least for me, a few things:
One of the first things cosplay is, is a means of physical creative expression. Most of the work I do is digital—from creating websites to mobile applications. Cosplay is a physical manifestation of this process. In it, I’m able to get down and dirty, mess around with colors in real time and space, and occasionally burn myself with hot glue. More of my senses are able to concretely work together, however, to bring what would otherwise be digital, or even a mere thought, to life.
Secondly, it provides an excellent way of connecting with people. There’s nothing quite like being able to connect with a fan of something you’re a fan of, simply because they know you’re a specific character from the show they’re a fan of. More specifically, you’re dressed up like a character from, lets say, Pokemon. A fan of Pokemon, that otherwise might not know you’re a fan, would be able to see then possibly engage with you because he or she would recognize you as a character from Pokemon. Aside from identifiers like hats, stuffed animals, or shirts within your possession; the possibility of serendipity would be minimized. Dressing up has worked in the opposite fashion providing new friendships along the way.
Perhaps the biggest thing for me is that it is a way of enhancing the overall experience for others—to be able to bring people to a childhood memory or at least a world separate from the hustle and bustle, the 9-5, the daily grind. In this world, some of one’s favorite characters, both familiar and more obscure, roam together and are able to interact with one another. (This gif does a good job at showing this.) There aren’t that many places that I can think of beyond the digital and literary space where this can happen.
As someone who is very much about creating useful, immersive, and fun experiences for people; cosplay fits right in. It allows me to bring characters that would otherwise only exist digitally and in print to life for other people to interact and let their imagination run loose with.
Okay, so perhaps there’s also some artifact of truth to the idea that I like the attention. Really though, who wouldn’t like to be stopped and complimented on what they’re wearing. Especially when people treat you akin to a celebrity, the feeling of being loved and, in some cases, wanted is a pretty universal tenant behind who we are. For me, it’s still probably the smallest piece of the puzzle though.
Ever since that fateful Saturday in June, the fact that we must “really like the attention” has been a running joke amongst the two of us.
We know better.