So last year’s Comic-Con gave the new movie “Sucker Punch” a lot of great press. Now that the movie has been released though, nerds everywhere are having mixed feelings on the matter. What did you all think of the highly anticipated film?
Hello dear readers. I am once again about to talk about something that no one wants to talk about, so get ready to have the blood angered up a bit. Feel free to Hulk out even! If you do pull a Banner however, I will ask you to send photos because that sounds hilarious and would love to see a thousand green, angry gigantros in torn clothing in my inbox. Clearly this is why I write on the internet. It’s the little things that get me through the day.
So it was announced recently that the newest Twilight movie, “Breaking Dawn” is going to be showing footage from the new film at Comic Con this year. This is not the first time they have done such things and it will not be the last. And yes, it’s going to suck.
A lot of people blame the crowds and the difficultly to get tickets to SDCC on these newer fan base. As Comic-Con has grown and as more and more genred teen fiction has taken the forefront of modern literature it is absolutely no surprise that the two subjects would eventually collide in a sticky mess of acne and angst. The history of nerd and fan culture is a cavalcade of hatred and vehement anger towards groups, so I wanted to take a minute (or 20) to take a step back and talk about dealing with new fandoms in this here modern-day time.
NERDY HISTORY CHANNEL TIME!
Or as I like to call it, “The More You Knoooooow!” *cue shooting star*
This is not the first time nerd hate and convention status has clashed, so for the sake of perspective why don’t we take a look at the birth of convention culture. Hop in my proverbial interweb Tardis and let’s learn us a thing or two!
Fan culture is widely acknowledged by scholars to have begun with the emergence of one great American television show in 1966, the infamous series “Star Trek”. It was not the first science fiction show of its time, but it was the ship that launched a thousand fangirls. Women in collegiate academia caught on to the little space show that could and did not let it go. Captain Kirk and his courageous crew inspired some of the most influential parts of pop fan culture today, specific examples being fan fiction, fan vidding and most importantly fan conventions. The greatness of something as large as SDCC can be traced back to a few little collegiate profess-ettes sitting in a hotel convention room talking about starting fan magazines and the feminist implications of Science Officer Spock.
Flash forward to 1977. George Lucas come out with a little thing we the world likes to call “Star Wars: A New Hope”. Suddenly this film inspires fan culture of its own. Trekkies suddenly start to see the culture they have made for themselves over the years slip away as a younger fan base starts their own fan magazines, their own fan fiction and most terrifying of all, their own fan conventions. Ever wonder where the Trek/Wars feud started? BAM! Right there. Star Trek fans felt their culture being taken away by a younger audience who loved something that was ripped off from a japanese movie and sprinkled with some kind of outer space magic called the force.
Now, I’m not saying that Twilight should be compared to Star Wars. Lets get that straight RIGHT now folks. But the journey of one fandom’s plight to the next is very similar to what we see now.
People like to think that the Twilight “Saga”, a word I use in its most generous sense, is the first of these major teen dramas to ruin the face of literature and as a result our beloved Comic-Con, but this is not entirely true. Thusly enters my personal nerd rage subject, the Harry Potter series.
Obviously the incredibly popular Harry Potter books have done very well for themselves and yield very little hatred from most fan based groups. Heck, there’s a theme park now. That counts for something.
Its growth in fan phenomenon is very similar to the idea of the Japanese school girl in the anime/manga world. Fantastical stories involving magic bring forth fans of all ages, young and old (and older) to dress in sexy school boy/girl uniforms and parade around conventions as their favorite teenagers. While yes the boys and girls of the Harry Potter series grow up, a lot of the culture is based more around the idea of dressing up as the highschool incarnations. Quidditch uniforms, house ties and button down shirts are usually the norm when thinking of Harry Potter cosplay, though I do realize that there are exceptions to this. I have been (begrudgedly) dragged to a few Wizard Music Concerts, college Quidditch matches and costumed movie/book openings (for the record I have WAY to many friends who are diehard Potter fans) in an attempt to understand the culture in its relation to fandom. It actually shocks and amazes me how similar it is to Twilight fandom.
Twilight character costumes are now sold on common cosplay websites. “Cullen Covens”, groups of people who pretend to be vampires within the Twilight universe, are popping up from east to west coast. The book preorders and movie tickets are as coveted beyond belief.
If you think about it, what is so different between the mother who reads and loves the Twilight series and the father in the Snape outfit at the Wizard Ball (without his kids I might add)? What is the difference between the tween who dresses up like a Slytherin fan fic character they made up on the internet and the one who goes to con as Bella?
One of these things is widely accepted as rational fandom and the other is not, with the most common argument being that the literary range of one far outweighs the other. However if you ask most literary scholars, the only real “intellectual” difference between the two series is the theme. Harry Potter fandom is based in the love of the created world, whereas Twilight fandom is based in the love of the emotional story. People flock to Harry Potter for Hogwarts and Hogsmeade and the Quidditch fields. People flock to Twilight for the idea of torrid love affairs and personal vulnerability and the trials sharing yourself with an everlasting soul mate forever. Of course it can be argued that Harry Potter also holds a compelling emotional story and the vampiric world built in Twilight is why people enjoy it, but predominantly these are the things that the fan base evolves around. Both series are also written for teenagers, so the bulk of the intellectual verbage is on the same level as a result. Neither of them is academically considered brilliant and neither of them is winning any Newberry Awards or Pulitzers any time soon.
And in my personal opinion, they are both terrible. But that is not the point.
Regardless of your feelings about Harry Potter or Twilight, they are the most mainstream unique cultures that have evolved a cult fandom following in recent days, with James Cameron’s “Avatar” following close at their heels (again, another world based fandom frenzy).
MORAL OF THE STORY
So how do we deal with these people? Even if we hate these stories, we should still respect their fandom. SDCC is a place where adults dress up as men in tights and women in chain mail and for a few brief days, we celebrate the fact that nerds have come so far. We shouldn’t be pissed at the Twilight fans for bringing more people to Con. We should be happy that fandom has moved up to the big boy table in mainstream culture. Comic-Con has become a force to be reckoned with. It’s gone from going to your local High School theatre award ceremony to going to the Oscars. You’re always going to have the Paris Hiltons and the James Francos. But you’re on the goddamn red carpet, so don’t bitch about. I don’t like Harry Potter fans, but I tolerate them because what they do for the bigger picture means more to me than what they as fans prefer to associate with.
I read an article a while back where Kevin Smith was interviewed about “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” and while he has become a crazy person here in his later years, he said something very interesting. It is widely agreed by Star Wars fans across the board that Jar-Jar Binks was the worst thing to happen to the franchise. Ever. But Kevin Smith said that when he saw the film in a theatre filled with children, every child was entranced by him. And you know what that does? It opens up a whole new generation of Star Wars fans. It’s understandable to hate Jar-Jar Binks if you’re above the age of eight years old. He’s fucking terrible. But for these innocent, easily impressionable minds, it is exactly what they need. It makes them want more. And personally, if exposing the children to Star Wars isn’t important then this is a world I do not want to live in.
*Slight disclaimer, I could not for the life of me find that old article, so this is vastly paraphrased. I’m not super concerned, as I am sure Kevin Smith will never read our blog. However if you are Kevin Smith and reading this blog, good on you! “Dogma” was awesome.*
So this is all about tolerance people. Today’s Twilight fan may be the True Blood writer of tomorrow, giving us unique gothic tales of intrigue and the supernatural. Today’s Harry Potter fan may be the next Pixar graphic designer, developing and bringing fantastical new worlds to life in vivid Technicolor. Today’s tiny Binks fan may be the next George Lucas or Peter Jackson. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt, no matter how improbable it may sound. Theres no way of knowing what fandom may bloom into. So put your “Twilight Ruined Comic-Con” signs and your pitchforks away and just accept the fact that these people are going to be there. If you do not choose to acknowledge that these people, despite our personal chagrin, do deserve to be there, think on this…
When I see a jock who used to push me in a locker for holding a copy of “Lord of the Rings” in highschool at the opening of a Chris Nolan Batman movie, I don’t like it, but I tolerate it.
When I see some slutty hot girl dressed up as Super Girl for Halloween not because she actually reads comics and/or knows who super girl is, but because she knows it makes her the hottest girl in the room, I don’t like it, but I tolerate it.
And when I hear girls and boys talking about how sexy and sensitive vampires are or how they wish they were getting their letters to Hogwarts, I WANT TO FUCKING MURDER THEM! But I tolerate it.
We have been set apart as a community for a very long time. I certainly remember the dark days of swirlies and other such nonsense. And while it feels great to take out our rage on something, lets take it out on someone who deserves it more. Not on our own kind.
I personally vote for the religious folk who picketed Comic-Con last year because it was “based in idol worship”. Westboro Baptist Church (the same ass hats that picketed Matthew Shepard’s Funeral fyi). Not that I have anything against religion, mostly I just want to because it is HILARIOUS. 😀
So let us be more tolerant and leave our hate at the door. Or get all your anger out on the internet. Either way leave the Twilight kids alone. Just for a few days. They won’t ruin your experience, so theres no need to ruin theirs.
… as the title so states.
I am about to do something very dangerous on the internet.
I am going to express an opinion.
You have been warned.
So I’ve been trying to figure out more cosplay stuff and when in doing so, I have come across a conundrum that I wanted to share with the group. So here is a little insight into the mind and workings of Miss Melinda….
which will be swiftly followed by an explanation.
I am a huge Wonder Woman fan. Always have been. Which, for the record, is STUPID difficult considering the amount of crap that Wonder Woman fans have had to endure, from bad story telling, to MORE bad story telling, to invisible planes, the entire Golden Age, plot holes, origin changes and overall, a very VERY stupid costume.
For more information on why most people hate Wonder Woman, please refer to this…
So think of how happy I must have been in recent days! Wonder Woman comics are finally selling better than they ever have before! The “Blackest Night” 3 issue arc turning Diana into a Violet Lantern was the beginning of the awesome. This was quickly followed by the Issue #600 where we have seen the resurgence of a fabulously well written Wonder Woman story line as well as a very interesting new costume.
And herein lies my conundrum dear readers.
I absolutely positively adore the new Wonder Woman Costume.
I think its brilliant. I want to cosplay as her for Comic-Con. But I can’t because most people absolutely abhor it.
So I want to take a moment and talk about the new Wondy duds in hopes of possibly changing a few minds and making this a more acceptable cos option, if not for me for this summer, then for Wonder Woman fans of the future.
As we can see via this lovely, well, what I am going to call diagram, the Wonder Woman costume has already evolved over the years. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. No matter what though they very rarely deviate from the original design that creator William Moulton Marston came up with back in the 1940s. Amazonian Princess Diana, later referred to as Diana Prince or Wonder Woman, was based on the combination of Marston’s wife Elizabeth and Olive Byrne, the woman who lived with the Marstons is a poly amorous relationships. She was adorned with the colors of the United States of America as a symbol of her fighting for the American people against the Nazis. Now, I’m not going to encourage people to actually look up the background of William Marston but if one so chooses to, one will see what an… interesting individual he was when it came to sexual proclivities. You can also see a lot of this implied in the original design for the Wonder Woman costume.
Metal Belts and Cuffs, threaded heels, corset top and a golden lasso used to tie men up to make them tell the truth. While innocent looking enough, the original costume made Wonder Woman into an instant sex symbol through the sheer basis that it is based out of bondage.
So you would think that over the years, maybe with a character who is so intent on representing women, we night be able to give her a little more fabric to cover her ass. After all, Wonder Woman is running around doing a ton of shit for humanity. She shouldn’t be worried about having her boobs pop out or getting a bikini wax every week. But nay sir. We have in fact taken things OFF the costume over the years as a result. The iconic Wonder Woman that we knew until recent days was in what is essentially a one piece strapless bathing suit. Don’t let this smiley photo fool you. I bet if you could hear this cartoon talk she would be very displeased at the fact that she has to fight space monsters and meta-humans in heels and an outfit commonly used for nerdy comic fetishism. Do you want to fight Doomsday in that? I don’t. And thats one of the ultimate Wonder Woman problems that has developed over the years. She is the ultimate DC Universe sex symbol, but for all the wrong reasons. This confident Princess stands up for the rights all women everywhere and is the embodiment of Love in many cases in the DC Universe, “Blackest Night” again being one of the biggest and most recent examples. She is a shining example to young girls who want to grow up to be superheros. And she has been reduced to this…
The representation of the ultimate female superhero done in body paint for Playboy. Good job America. We should be super proud of ourselves. For more examples of the objectification of Wonder Woman, go rent the new Justice League porn just released by Hustler in which my childhood hero sexually services the entire Justice League. And while you do that I’m going to go vomit from anger.
Ever see the old Lynda Carter Wonder Woman television series? That poor woman, even with the utmost respect for the character she was portraying, had to try to fight Nazis, gorillas and other such nonsense in an outfit that barely stays on her. It’s like going to the grocery store in a prom dress. Completely impractical and most likely detrimental to the actions you are trying to accomplish.
Another thing worth mentioning in all this is that Diana, Princess of the Amazonians, has also evolved over the years into Diana Prince, Diplomat, Secret Agent and Defender of Earth. It made sense for the longest time for her to continue to don the colors and symbols of America. much like her counterpart and fellow Justice Leaguer, Superman. But with the more recent plot revelations within her current story (*SPOILERS*), the American government has attacked her home and forced her people to flee to the corners of the world in hiding. Upon killing Maxwell Lord (*CONTINUOUS SPOILERS*), Wonder Woman became a fugitive, making the government see her as a rogue super human. Her current story line actually has her running from the American government as they try to wipe out whats left of her people. Her priorities have shifted. She no longer defends the Americans. They are trying to kill her and her entire culture. So why should she be wearing their flag right now? That seems a little silly if you ask me.
Other superhero’s costumes have evolved with their stories. Green Arrow got rid of the stupid little hat and looks more like the guy from “Smallville” now. It’s more practical for his current story of hiding out in magical makeshift Sherwood in “Brightest Day”. That… did not sound as serious as I wanted it to, but if you read the series you know what I mean. Batman has gone from tights and spandex to frickin’ body armor. It makes more sense considering he’s taking on more than just painted Gotham thieves. Adam West fought villains with gas bombs and other clever gadgets. Now they all have guns. And meta human abilities. And they freaking KILL PEOPLE. The stories have just elevated over the years. These men’s costumes haven’t changed too dramatically because they had a solid base to begin with. Wonder Woman has kind of sort of always looked like a flying pinup girl. Unlike the guys, you’re going to have to change a whole heck of a lot more to make it practical.
And so here we are at the final costume in question.
If the badassery of this photo does not have you sold, maybe the fact that WONDER WOMAN FINALLY EARNED SOME FUCKING PANTS will persuade you. The metal pieces actually look like they were forged by the gods instead of by Barbie toy makers. The arm wraps have a fabulous “Spartan” element to them that keeps the femininity of the outfit. The colors and symbols are still there but they in no way represent America. Even the jacket seems in character, for in many of her issues pre “Blackest Night” she was doing things such as shopping with Black Canary, queen of the black leather jacket. She is a modern woman with modern and practical tastes. Maybe it gets freaking cold as shit when she’s flying around all over the world. I’m sure as well as pants that Wonder Woman has earned sleeves after decades of saving the world. And she doesn’t wear the jacket that often, again, because its not always practical. Also no more high heels. Because in no way did that make any fucking sense. Ever. For once, she looks like a goddamn BAMF instead of something you should see in a Teletubies bondage porno.
Overall, Wonder Woman is not a pretty pretty Princess anymore. She is a Queen among a race of women who have been blessed by the Gods. And she is PISSED. The costume is vastly different than anything else we have ever seen her wear, but every piece is justified in her character lore. The real problem is not that she has a shitty costume now, its that she had a shitty costume to begin with. I hope that a few people will read this and have a change of heart so that people like me don’t feel embarrassed to embrace this fabulous new look for a superhero who is long overdue for a little respect.
Wonder Woman has endured a lot of crap over the years. A lot of crap. And we the fans have had to endure it too. So come on.
Wonder Woman deserves pants.
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!
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.
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!