Sunday, May 01, 2011

Cosplayground...Or Robur the Conqueror in the Back Bay

If power in the classic democratic sense is being redistributed from the producers to the masses via games, cosplay and social media, then the age old question must needs be asked "What are the people gonna doooo-oo with The Power?"

Dress up as Batman apparently.

But then there is nothing more disheartening than to see a perfectly turned out Batman costume at a convention, the cowl, the cape, the utility belt all of it exactingly rendered and the whole rig is worn by a guy whose body type exemplifies a "Chinless medicine ball".
We've all seen this, in fact it's become a sturdy cliche at comicons and sci fi conventions all over the nation, a very very true cliche at that.
The problem with your perfect home made Batman or Wonder Woman costume is that unless you put double the amount of time into hitting the treadmill yer gonna undercut the costume's effect when you debut it at the BiMonthly Sci Fi Con (or wherever).
The problem with this type of cosplay is that it tends to favor a limited range of body types...Unless of course you are one of those feckless souls who are Out and Proud about your muffin top.
And then there are the Star Wars cosplayers and the inevitable Klingons, there I've seen some pretty amazing costumery and it's a little more figure flattering for the portly or the undersized owing to the heavy traffic in robes and platform boots.
The problem with the Jedis, Stormtroopers and Klingon warriors is that the best they can aspire to is perfect reproduction of the designs developed and designed by Industrial Light and Magic. These are the more inclusive cosplay groups and also the least imaginative.
For my money the most inclusive and imaginative of the rising cosplayers are the Steampunks. They aren't reproducing someone else's trademarked costume nor to they need Tarzan's physique to wear their own neo-Victorian Jules Vernian sci fi rigs.
The possibilites here are limitless, you can go with James Mason's "Royal Navy" style of uniform for your Captain Nemo costume, or you can get tarted up in a princely turban and scimitar for a Captain Nemo closer to the Indian exile favored by Jules Verne.
And the possibilities presented by H.G. Wells from the invisible man to Doctor Moreau are nigh infinite.
Sherlock Holmes meets the Time Traveller?
And that is only the beginning...yes its a "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" universe, but it lets everyone play to the absolute limits of their imagination.
Besides any fanbase that favors clockwork top hats, welders googles with Edwardian cricketer costumes is aces high in my books.

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