Tag Archives: Archer

“Nobody Likes a Fat Huntress”, and Other Costume Conundrums. (Caitlin)

Here’s the thing. I’m a superhero fangirl. I spend hours upon hours of my life reading comic books (Batman is my drug of choice, right after a good red wine), playing video/computer games that feature superheroes, and beating my computer with a stick until it yields the newest Captain America trailer. There’s just something about the idea of a superhero that is so… well, damn heroic.

He really does love fish. Look, he's going to find some now.

There’s that sense of order in the chaos to which real life never quite measures up: Superman is a boy scout, Aquaman loves the shit out of fish, and Batman is THE GODDAMNED BATMAN. The Joker is forever evil and will cause nothing but suffering to those around him, but Batman will always hold back that final, neck-snapping punch (I may have gotten teary at the end of Batman: Under the Red Hood, guys… don’t judge me). It’s not reality, but I’ll be damned if shit doesn’t get real.

Helena Bertinelli, the Huntress, Queen of Badassery

Helena Bertinelli, the Huntress, Queen of Badassery

This year, for SDCC, I would love nothing more than to throw on some purple spandex and be the most bitchin’ Huntress this ‘verse has ever known. Kickin’ ass and takin’ names FOR JUSTICE… or, at least for play.

Well, no. Not so much. And the title post says it all: nobody likes a fat Huntress. I, being both a grad student and lover of fine pizzas (I assure you that these are, in fact, mutually exclusive–Denver is a mecca of beautiful bodies, and  many of those bodies belong to grad students… other grad students) find myself at a disadvantage for looking even remotely hot in spandex. It’ll probably take me a solid year of gym time to look respectable in a costume with what is lovingly referred to as a “belly window”, so in the meantime I’ve started working on my options for this year’s costumes.

First up: (Lady) Dr. Henry Killinger, Venture Brothers

Ah, Killinger. The silly bastard with the accent and the Mary Poppins-style murder bag. The advantage to Killinger is that he already looks kind of dumpy, what with being an old guy and all. In lieu of finding a real (read: expensive and not quite what I wanted, anyway) Howie coat/dental coat, I purchased a black chef coat on Amazon.com (there are some in women’s cuts, which was neat, so I bought a size down from what I normally get as chef’s coats run gigantic). Some iron-on decal paper from Michael’s will help to get the Killinger logo in place. I found an amazing base for the mask at a costume shop in Lakewood called Disguises, and will be building up on it with clay and paint, possibly with a layer of mod podge on top for shine.

Since I’m doing a Lady Killinger, I decided to take a few liberties with my interpretation. Instead of plain black leather gloves, I bought super cute black lace gauntlets. I plan to wear a skirt with the outfit, which I’ll make myself–my current plan is to make a blood-red skirt (to match the logo on the coat) and build a black lace overlay to give it volume and keep the balance in the outfit.

What I still need to buy: a stethoscope, black fuzzy slippers, and an old black bowling bag that I won’t feel terrible painting. I already have the Adult Swim officially licensed magic murder bag, but it’s really more of a magic murder duffle and would look silly being carried around SDCC.

Mallory Archer, Archer

This costume will be my contribution to our big group costume, the cast of Archer. I’m having a crazy difficult time finding a suit that looks like Mrs. Archer’s, but I’m hoping that thrift stores and Goodwill can provide in the next few weeks; otherwise, I’m making the damn thing from scratch. I did, however, find a damn good broach at NY & Company that looks like a real-life version of the one she wears in the cartoon, so go team! I plan to use spray-on hair dye for the gray/silver hair (I’m a brunette, and whilst still in my 20s I plan to stay that way). I’ll find a nice sensible pair of pumps to match the suit and hopefully call it a day.

(Lady) Castiel, Supernatural

Watching football and costume-building are similar in that I drink during both activities.

Castiel is the socially awkward angel friend of Sam and Dean on Supernatural, and yes. I know. Two guy costumes. I’ma make ’em sexy. We’ve been over this. Cas is all about his big khaki trench coat, blue tie, white shirt, and dark pants. Oh, and black angel wings. This is where the costume gets tricky. How the hell do you A) transport angel wings through airport security and B) not destroy a perfectly good trench coat and still make it look like the wings are coming out the back of it? This costume is a work in progress, for sure.

So, there. That’s what I have so far, guys. In the weeks to come, I’ll hopefully be posting pictures with the spoils of retail war.

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Playing Dress Up: the Start of my Cosplay Work (Melinda)

So, while most little girls liked to dress up as Disney princesses as a kid, I wanted to be Batman. Well, Batgirl, but you get the idea. I started cosing when I went to a few VERY small local cons when I was in highschool, but nothing too intense. That’s kind of my only con experience, going to these small venues with  one main celebrity that the whole event was really based around. I went with friends and it was fun but it was never anything incredibly intense.

Now I just do stuff like this in my spare time. Dress up like Clark Kent and get my picture taken.

So naturally one of the things I am SUPER excited about is the idea of cosplay for SDCC. Its like prom, but for people like meeee(nerds)eeeeee! 😀 I get to wear a kick ass outfit that I am super proud of, that I have built/put together myself representing some of my favorite things in the nerd community.  So I’ve been putting a lot of work into research these past few months, before we even had tickets. That’s just how excited I was. I really REALLY wanted to dress up!! Bare with me on my girlish moments…

I have made some very interesting discoveries as a result. Back when I was a kid cosing as Wonder Girl in jeans and a tee-shirt, it was about people throwing in representation for their favorite things. Of course there were folks who got super into it, but they were fewer and farther between, thought that may have just been because of the venues I was at. Often times when I went to con, it seemed like there was a big college costume party and the theme was “Awesome”.

This is no longer the case. It would seem that cosing has taken on a sense of professionally that border lines on ridiculous. And by ridiculous I mean SUPER AWESOME. People building full on body armor, spending years and (literally) thousands of dollars on the costumes that they build out of sheer love. It is so cool. But with SDCC being the red carpet event of the geeky year, it also means that we have to raise the bar for ourselves. As cool as it would be to get featured on a website as some of the coolest costumes there, my greater fear is to be ridiculed on the internet for doing it half assed.

I will not be a half asser! And with that declaration, here’s some of the work I’ve been putting in the past few months, leading into Comic-Con!

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So, the friends and I have been planning some group costumes and some separates, but I’ve got a breakdown of both group and non group stuff that I’ve been researching that I am super excited about. The biggest thing for me has been picking characters that I can balance quality and cost with. How can I make stuff look awesome/at a pro level on a small budget? I’m also not much of a seamstress, though I want to learn more. So since I can’t build something from the ground up, the past few months have been scouring the internet for base pieces that I can add little things to. I feel like I don’t need to spend thousands of dollars in order to put together something awesome. I have given myself a meek budget, which honestly I think creates more of a fun challenge.

As a result of cost though, I’ve been working with the idea of doing three mild to medium priced costumes and only one on the pricier side. For now they’re all conceptual, but as I start to gather everything I plan to post production photos and the like for all to see! 🙂 So lets dive right in!

Group Costume: ARCHER

So one of the best new animated shows of the past year, in my humble opinion, has been FX’s smash hit “Archer”. Created by Adam Reed (Frisky Dingo) it is the thrilling and epic tale of Sterling Archer, Codename Duchess, the most inept super spy you will ever meet. Accompanied by his “crack” team of office drones and his partner Lana, Archer works for one of the top spy agencies of the world, which also happens to be run by his overbearing mother, ex black ops agent Mallory Archer. If you’ve never checked out the show, I highly recommend it. Running on FX, it has recently just started its second season.

Its new, its hip, it’s all the rage! So that’s what we shall be cosing as this year. We’re thinking we would probably do this on the day of the Archer panel. I should clarify that one has not been announced yet, BUT there was one last year, so presumably with its great success there will be one again. Adam will be going as our “hero” Sterling Archer and Caitlin will be the lovely Malory Archer. I will be going as the auto-erotic asphyxiation enthusiast/secretary, Carol. Or Cheryl. Or Crystal. She changes her name to fit her mood. Also because no one ever remembers it.

The episode I’m choosing to model the cos after is “Diversity Hire”. Carol normally wears a skirt and shirt kind of ensemble, but in episodes where she becomes obsessed with people sleeping with her, she usually is wearing something that she can rip open pretty quickly.

These are the reference photos I have so far.

I will be the first to admit that these photos are not very good. lol. Please bear with me. Or watch the episode. Either/or shall suit you well dear readers.

Unlike the lovely but slutty lady in the photos, I do not plan on ripping off my top every five minutes, so in order to keep it slightly more simple, I have decided to go with a dress instead of the skirt and matching button down top. The hair should be easy enough, a simple but big bun. I’m hoping to find one of those old 90’s “Snap a Bun” things to add heightened volume and shape. Also I feel like one of those would be hilarious to own.

This is the base dress that I am planning to acquire.

It still has the buttons, so if I want to alter the outfit into a two piece then I am more than able to, but the crispness of the outfit and the boldness of the colors I think will be iconic enough, though fans of the show if you disagree, I would love to hear your opinions!

The other thing about a show like Archer is the iconic nature of the characters isn’t what they wear. It is the jokes they are associated with. Adding props or makeup additions seem to be a neat, cheap way to really accentuate a character. To make this outfit more recognizable, I want to add two major adjustments. For starters, I want to wear a series of “Hello my Name is” nametags with all of the names she comes up with on the show. Another one of my favorite aspects/jokes is Carol’s intense need to have people choke her all the time. Another little aspect that I thought would make the cos “pop” so to speak would be to have red hand marks around my neck to indicate a recent choking. I felt that would be something easy that would make the character shine through, not just the costume. But again, I don’t know. Fans of the show, what do you think? Too much?

Anyways, I will do another post later this week with the other three costume ideas. I would love to hear feedback on this one though for people who are familiar with the show! So far I think the concept is off to a pretty great start. Can’t wait to start putting it in action!