Wow, I’m getting too old for this shit. That’s really how it feels after long, long day after long, long day at a convention. It just never stops! As I said yesterday, this was the big day, the only day out of the three that was sold out in pre-registration, so I was really worried that it would be awful. And… it was, but not as bad as I thought it might be. There were moments where, like at Comicon, you were wedged in tight by a mass of human bodies and literally could not take a step in any direction until the gridlock loosened, but it wasn’t like that every step of the convention floor like it is at Comicon. That’s the primary reason I don’t go to Comicon anymore. We met a friend there and we were thinking that the Wondercon crowd from last year was sort of like Comicon circa ’92-93. This year, it was closer to Comicon circa ’96-97, right after Hollywood started showing up.
Yesterday, I spoke primarily about panels we attended, but today, there weren’t that many we were going to go to and the first one, we couldn’t get into anyhow. It wasn’t really our fault though, the convention was so crowded that it expanded into overflow parking and the streets were all stuffed. It literally took 45 minutes to move 2 blocks and the convention, smart people that they are, instead of having a sign saying “Turn here for overflow parking!” put the sign a block down the road that said “Do a U-turn here and go back a block!” Keep in mind this is directly in front of Disneyland right as it’s opening and you can imagine the zoo. Therefore, when we got to the convention and headed straight up to the largest ballroom in the place, the line to get in was absurd. There were at least 4-5x as many people in line as could fit in the ballroom so most people couldn’t get in. Ah well. It gave us time to get downstairs and try to attack the dealer’s room.
I said try. However, due to the crowds, I couldn’t take the pictures I wanted to and getting to most booths was difficult if not impossible so I’m going to put that off until tomorrow when it should be much quieter. Today though, I want to talk about the cosplaying. For those not in the know, or for fuddyduddys like me who grew up before the anime revolution, cosplaying, or just costuming, is dressing up like your favorite TV/movie/comic/anime/whatever character. While I’ve never really been into it, I guess you could say I did it a couple of times in the past at various places, but some people really get into it. Here’s a guy dressed as Deadpool wearing a dress. If you don’t know about Deadpool, that’s probably a good thing, save your sanity. Yes, he actually did that in the comics too.
Cosplay has become a really, really, really serious thing and if you’ve ever been to a comics or sci-fi/fantasy convention, it’s everywhere. If I had to estimate, I’d say that between 30-35% of convention attendees have some level of costuming accessory going on, but some go all out and wear full body, often professional-quality costumes and when these people get together at conventions, it can be really amazing to see.
This is a small part of a Marvel Superhero lineup that must have had 60-70 cosplayers dressed in Marvel outfits, getting ready to pose in front of the convention center all at once. Some of the costumes were really amazing and clearly cost thousands of dollars to build, many complete with elaborate electronic setups. Some, unfortunately, were not. That’s a pet peeve of mine.
See, maybe it’s just me, but I guess I’m somewhat of a perfectionist in some ways. Well, maybe that’s not the right word for it, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you’re going to build a costume and take it out in public to be seen by thousands of people and you’re not 12, at least take some pride in your craftsmanship and do your absolute best in making the costume that you can. It doesn’t have to be absurdly expensive, but if you’re going to make a costume, at least pretend you care what it looks like at the end! There’s a case in point but I had just put my camera away when he walked by so I didn’t get a picture so I’ll try my best to describe it. The guy was trying to be Beast from the X-Men, he had done a really, really, really bad blue bodypaint job, you could clearly see lots of places that were just not painted at all, he was wearing a filthy labcoat, those cheesy plastic vampire teeth and had hung a piece of blue carpet around his neck that covered his chest, I suppose for a “furry” effect. It looked like something he had thrown together in about 20 minutes. Pal, you knew the convention was coming up, why wait until the last minute? That kind of thing drives me crazy.
And speaking of making costumes, my youngest daughter decided she wanted to go today as Jade from the online comic Homestuck. We had put together the costume for a Halloween party last year so it wasn’t hard to recreate and we already knew that there were a lot of Homestuck characters walking around the con. We just didn’t realize how many. In fact, we started to see a ton of people in Homestuck costumes heading a certain way so we followed them and found a massive photoshoot and meet for Homestuck cosplayers. How many? Hundreds. And they’re all stupid. Seriously, they were putting together photoshoots for all of the different character types in the comic and the rules for the cosplayers were simple. Come in from the left. Center yourselves around the pole you see above. Pose for 10 seconds so people can take pictures. Exit to the right. Now keep in mind there are tons of different groups doing this, at least 40 different groups, yet *NONE* of them could come in from the left, none of them could find the damn pole and absolutely none of them could figure out how to exit to the right. Every single group, without exception, went right back to the left where they interfered with the next group trying to line up. Thank you to the American educational system.
Finally, it wasn’t just people who were dressing up, we found this one example of someone who dressed up their poodle as Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony (don’t ask me how or why I would know such a thing, it’s a long, painful story). Immediately, I’m telling my wife we need to shave our cats and dye them different colors.
Hey, it sounded like a good idea to me!
The last thing we did for the day was to attend the 35th Anniversary panel for Elfquest, something my wife has read since it started, but I’m really not into, it’s far too much high-fantasy for me. Still, it was nice to see Wendy Pini, I haven’t run into her for a couple of years, although it was sad that Richard couldn’t make it to the convention this year.
All in all, it was a fun day, although I’m absolutely exhausted and we still have another day to go!