I’m not a cosplayer. That may sound familiar, I’ve said it before. But even though I don’t consider myself a cosplayer, I have worn the occasional costume.
Attempt 1: Connor Temple, Primeval.
Wizard World Philadelphia, 2011.
I was proud of my Connor costume. It wasn’t perfect, but it was recognisable. It was also 90°F. Maybe long sleeves, long pants, gloves, a scarf, and a fedora wasn’t such a good idea in May. Only one person recognised who I was dressed as; not terrible for a character from a British television show that isn’t Doctor Who.
Lesson: Take weather into account. If it’s too warm, don’t wear winter clothing.
Attempt 2: Connor Temple, Primeval.
New York Comic Con, 2011.
After a few updates and adjustments to the costume, I decided to try out Connor again. Except for the wind, the weather (and temperature) was more appropriate. The crowds weren’t. Aftera few hours, keeping my fedora on my head was impossible, my gloves were making it hard to use my hands, and my waistcoat felt claustrophobic. The volume of people combined with not being entirely comfortable with my clothing made my costume attempt unsuccessful.
Lesson: Make sure you’re comfortable with not only the weather, but the crowds.
Attempt 3: Impulse, DC Comics
Baltimore Comic Con, 2012.
New year, new ideas, new concept for a costume. I started calling it a “not-a-costume” costume. Not-a-costumes were hints of a costume. A piece of clothing worni n addition to my regular clothing, rather than instead of. The goal was recognisability and comfort. My Impulse visor was half a success. Recognisable, absolutely. Comfort, not as much. The pressure on the side of my head limited how long I could wear it. But Mark Waid, the creator of the character, recognised what it was and even signed it for me.
Lesson: Not-a-costume costumes are better for me than full costumes. Comfort continues to be an issue.
Attempt 4: Nightwing, DC Comics.
New York Comic Con, 2012.
Another convention, another not-a-costume idea. Nightwing gloves, complete with blue finger stripes this time. Comfortable, though possibily a little too subtle. After two days, no one had recognised my not-a-costume. On the third day though, everything changed. I stopped at Kyle Higgin’s table (the current writer of Nightwing) and as I handed him my comic to sign, he said, “You have finger stripes!” That led to a twenty minute conversation about Nightwing, his costumes, favourite stories, what I’d like to see in the future, etc. It was unexpected and utterly amazing.
Lesson: Sometimes it’s the simple things that get the best response.
The future: It’s a surprise.
I have ideas. Some not-a-costumes, some full costumes, and some in between. And one that is dependent on me having the courage to pull it off.
But you’ll have to wait and see…