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Hey you, out there in the cold…

Hi there.

You know, its been a while since we talked, and I see you coming along well with your costuming and what not, but, y’see there’s been a problem. Maybe it’s just me, and I would doubt it if it was, but I have to lay down the line and the truth sometimes.

Its really likely that your pursuit for cosplay fame, is going to end badly.

Now before you get all huffy and what not, let me explain this train of thought. I’m telling you this because I do not want to see you make an ass of yourself online, simply to achieve a per-determined number of likes, and give yourself a bad public image in that crazy “social” race. It takes more than a nice set T and A to get the attention you deserve with the caliber of work you do, so why would you risk lowering yourself to that baseless self defeating quick attention-getter?

You’re better than that.

Leave that idiocy to the “cosmodels”. That is their can of worms to swallow. Let them be the target for demeaning commentary, sexist remarks and gods know what else lurks on the internet. You, my friend have a real talent that should be expressed and explored and shown to the world one little step at a time, at your leisure. Show them your work, do write ups on each picture you take. Do video, showcase the skills you have that go towards your final output, and then, when it all comes together, you can have and show off something to be proud of.

In the end, that is what is going to get you noticed, and no amount of cleavage shots to stay relevant in the hobby that the media has infected us with is ever going to change that (no matter what people may say).

Keep the faith. Keep calm and costume on.

C4 to Patron: Fuck You

WINNIPEG — In recent weeks, pop culture conventions have been making the news, both positively and negatively, the most recent being the fiasco of the Sante Fe comic Con, to where an organizer had posted his musings and thoughts on cosplayers seeking work. While the entire affair could have been handled far better than it should and apology and explanation given, it seems that our own local convention ( Central Canada Comic Con in Winnipeg MB Canada) is also in a similar spotlight.

However, rather than issuing a blanket statement and opinion, this came in the form of a direct verbal attack in response to a patron who posted on the C4 Facebook page in relation to an upcoming event, the lack of advertising and the disappointment on being able to purchase a ticket.

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The comment above was quickly deleted, but not before screenshots made their way around local social media, resulting in more than a few opinions shared. Facebookers also took to the official  C4 page to register their opinions, as this type of outburst from that organization has happened on various occasions before.

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Some continue to defend the incident, citing “hackers” but for those who have been keeping tabs on the behavior shown by certain organizers or volunteers of C4 towards the ticket buyers/supporters, this is nothing new. Earlier in 2016, C4 had attempted to put on what they advertised as a Horror Convention, which had mixed reviews, most on the negative side, which were deleted and labeled as hostile.

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Since this writing, an official apology has been released from the organizers of Central Canada Comic Con.

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Sadly, it seems that this incident, in addition to many that have happened in the past few years, just might have been the final straw for more than a few supporters.

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The above sentiment is shared among others in the local pop culture scene, as the original posting and commentary has been shared over 80 times from the original source (not including subsequent shares). While some have been quoted at saying this type of slight is the beginning of the end, it would seem that Central Canada Comic Con can simply sweep it under the rug, as with similar incidents in the past.

Many within this community see this type of affront as an embarrassment, more so now that Tourism Winnipeg has given an award to C4 for Small Business of the Year, a distinction, that should be receded. Even Winnipeg’s Mayor Brian Bowman who presented C4 with the award pledged to come to C4 2016 in full cosplay, with supporters of C4 sending suggestions to what costume he should adorn.

I wonder whether or not he would continue with that kind of support, given a more complete and further understanding on how Central Canada Comic Con is organized and maintained.

I know I won’t. Will you?

 

 

The Gullability of Geekdom

This past week has dropped a bomb on the Marvel Universe, and as usual, the internet was in full uproar to the shadowy reasoning.

I am, of course, referring to the Steve Rogers incident. You know, the one where its supposed to reveal that Captain America has been an agent of Hydra (yet another infamous plot twist).

I can see why peoples panties would be in a twist. Since Cap was created (1941, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby) the character was a political superhero who stood against the Nazis. Even punched Hitler right in the face. Now, its seems that it is to be reveled that Captain America was actually part of a Nazi cult called Hydra, led by The Red Skull.

This is where geeks become vulnerable and in the most part gullible. Because we care too much about a character that has literally become an icon, we flip out at any possible change. Granted, this is a huge thing within the Marvel Universe, but what we fail to see and understand, is that no matter how outraged we are, we still go out to buy the books, because we are foolish enough to want to read and understand the conditions and the development that led and will continue to lead this particular direction in storytelling.

Thing, is, this is nothing new. Changes, MAJOR changes to beloved characters happen all the time. Despite all the controversy and the negative hype, we still support it, read it, watch it, all the while loudly proclaiming how it has now ruined childhood.

Seriously folks…it is time to get over it. Embrace change. Characters and stories of all sorts never stay the same. the evolve. Mythology and legends of yore as well as things of this nature will do so as well. It is inevitable. Hell, Stan Lee was quoted to saying that this is a “crazy BUT GOOD idea”. Sounds like a pretty good endorsement to me. Stunts like this is supposed to make you curious, make you want to read the books, hell even go out to see the (inevitable, possibly) movie.

And that, my friends, is where we are gullible. We fall for it every time, and not just with comics. Its movies, pop culture as a whole. Its a marketing machine that does its job so very well that we tend to fall right into its web, happily, and while complaining. secretly enjoy whats coming, changing our minds and stances to accommodate.

Its not a bad thing, being so gullible to fall for such tricks of the trade. In a way, we have been doing this for generations. It’s how we grow as a culture, for without change, without shake ups, without “destroying” what has been built before to make way for new things, and to even go so far as to have art reflect life (Cap being a Hydra Agent, I am sure, shows no reflection in the attitudes of certain political party candidate followers in the US right now..;) ), without these thing, we die. We do not grow, we do not expand our horizons and explore other possibilities in storytelling, missing out on those opportunities to really shine.

So the next time something comes up within the confines of pop culture that is so earth shattering and profound, don’t be so gullible to ride the event out on a rail. Stop and think, of the possibilities to come from it.

Is there room for less?

One of the biggest bones (no pun intended) when it comes to costuming/cosplay is the number of young women and men who utilize the body to populate the Facebook feeds and like buttons. Sexualized versions of costumes based on popular characters DO get noticed, and of course, some tend to feed off this kind of attention, and do tend to rise quickly in popularity and “fans”.

This in turn tends to turn off those who have some SERIOUS talent who deserve recognition, in some cases, more than the less clad counterparts. This debate has gone on for years and there are thousands of people in each camp both with pros and cons to costumes that show more skin than probably needed, and causes jut as many arguments and forum based (heated discussions) on the topic, ranging from serious slut shaming to outright accusations of prostitution. (The internet is full of opinion apparently)

First, we need to face facts. Sex sells and in the business of cosplay, there are some who do it very well. Others not so savvy within the circus of marketing, come off differently and are more than often the targets of those who feel that there is no need to sexualize a pre-existing design, and that the only reason it is done is to gain attention for oneself. This may very well be true in some cases, what better way to gain, than to target a very specific audience?

I came across this article the other day and decided to take a read through it.

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/05/sexpo-is-perfect-for-cosplays-that-dont-fit/

I did not know what to make of it at first. Was the writer saying that sexy costuming and cosplay is what the community needs overall? We already have that to a certain degree, and look at the negativity that surrounds it. No, the community doesn’t need it per say, but what it could USE is an OUTLET for those who DO like to that style and kind of costuming.

Events like SEXPO would do well to take a look at the geek side of things to include such activities like sexy costuming, role play and similar aspects. Not to say that such things pertaining to costuming should be kept behind closed doors, of course, but it just might draw a little more attention from those that do outstanding work, are body positive, and want to flaunt what they have/worked for/etc. It might not be for everybody, and of course, the events putting on this type of show would need to suit (I’m positive this wouldn’t fly at a family friendly style event) but if it makes an aspect of costuming more enjoyable, and allows for people to be more creative in the art of such (original design, anyone) then I would be but one to support it.

Last I heard, that was part of the current “mandate” of costumer/cosplayers. Be supportive.

 

 

 

Santa Fe

A couple of days ago, an internet outrage took place.

I know. I can’t really believe it either. Of all places to have an outrage, I would not ever have pegged the world wide web to be one of them.

In any case, the jist of it all was that the PR for Santa Fe Comic Con made a post that didn’t target anyone in particular, but DID point out a frustration that I am sure all promoters go through, or have gone through over the rise of costuming and cosplay, and those who self promote. Granted the situation and original posting could have been worded better, but in some fashion, it is understandable. Being in PR one DOES need to mind their P’s and Q’s. As stated, it was not a comment directly pointed at anyone in particular, but many took it pretty personally. (if this is rooted in truth at all). I re-post this from my Facebook as we had an interesting conversation regarding such there.

Cosplayers looking to market themselves in this fashion may very well have to get used to being turned down and/or away. Since the market exploded, “featured cosplayers” are a dime a dozen. If we take the post as an example, 20k followers world wide, is not going to make a difference whether or not your “offer” will get accepted. Likes do not equate to popularity or skill (despite so many thinking so). One can buy likes if they so choose to and artificially inflate those numbers, so no matter how many “likes” you have, it isn’t a guarantee you’re going to get the job. At that point, where do you cross the line between being a cosplayer or a cos-model when you pursue that kind of attention getting, and can you even guarantee that your presence is going to attract more ticket buyers? (at that point, unless youre one of the big three or five or whatever now, it isnt going to happen).

It does seem that more and more young women (and men) are getting the idea that talent, skill and looks become synonymous with the number of likes on their fan pages. More and more, I see a lack of actually showing the work and proving the talent, but sure enough, the final product is there, overly photo-shopped into digital scenery and background ( to the point of taking away from the subject matter; *this is personal preference. A little embellishment is just fine so put down the pitchforks and torches*) and people gobble this up, not for the quality of the talent, but more for the end result. It also does not help overall, when the costumes shown, whether bought or not, are focused mainly on the attributes of the body in half portrait based shots, leading to the conclusion that the ONLY real asset said artist has is what can be capitalized easily on. Sex sells. It always has, it always will, and like it or not, it has come to cosplay to grow.

There is no stopping this, nor is there any way to stop the monster that “fans” have created, and if there’s an outlet for someone to showcase the goods, and people who pay for prints or a gander to look see in person, there will always be those looking to pad the ego and send in requests like this to various conventions, thinking that their time and talent is valuable, when, in many cases, it really isn’t.

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Image from “Understanding Comics”-Scott McCloud 1993

Granted, I did go off on a bit of a tangent there, but it all does apply, and can apply to any sort of skill set named, but as it relates to the business of cosplay, I will keep it focused on such.

The Business of Cosplay. Remember when it was just about the build and having fun?

Those were good times.

Interested individuals may also want to give this a listen.

Comic Con’s Comments Angers Cosplay Community