Northeast Comic Con is coming up this weekend and I have to admit, I am more excited than nervous. The last few times I went, I had a blast. I went as a cosplayer and then one year, I decided to go as an exhibitor. It's a great con with a lot of things happening.
Trying to sell stuff with my designs proved to be challenging, given that it was my first con and while I didn't sell anything then, I'm optimistic that it could be different this time around. It was the Spring last time and this time, with the holidays coming up, I might manage to actually make some sales.
And the weekend continued on...
This time, Rhode Island Comic Con was on the docket. My buddy Colin and I reprised our Thorio and Luiki cosplays, a mash up cosplay of the Mario Brothers Mario and Luigi and Thor and Loki . I had made a few modifications including shortening and painting my hammer, as well as introducing the Tesseract/Question Box mash up, the "Quesseract". As always, I am super grateful that all of it happened in the first place.
We were primed and ready for another fun day. We also met up with some friends from out of town as well, which was an added bonus. However, despite the fun and company, the experience at RICC was a bit different than the last few I've been to.
What a weekend!
The last several days have been nuts and I am sad it's all over, exhausted from the craziness and above all drained from the festivities that I was a part of.
First things first, a while back I was contacted by someone at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut to be a part of a Star Wars themed event, a Disco and Dessert after party after they had seen my Disco Fett. Needless to say, it was kind of surreal and kind of awesome that someone wanted me to be a part of it!
So, we headed to the museum to an author event beforehand, where a couple of the Extended Universe Star Wars authors giving a talk. Granted, I don't know much about the EU but it was one of those events as someone who loves Star Wars and writing, it was a great chance to hear from these writers about their experiences. It was overwhelming positive and inspiring in many ways, given that I struggle as a writer myself and seeing these men given encouraging words about it all was extremely uplifting. I had to say, I was very pleased with the talk, the questions and overall vibe of the event.
The panel was of course, a nice bonus, but I was definitely more concerned about the party after, given that I didn't know what to expect. I mean...I didn't expect much as far what I needed to do, other than to shmooze and hang out with everyone and possibly take pictures. I didn't realize I would be getting into something SO much bigger. As someone who usually goes to cons in costumes, this was something else entirely...But...It ended up being pretty great.
Yup. I got a throne. My contact, Joey, got me a throne and I got to sit and chill as people started showing up. With lights and pounding disco music, this was a very different animal. I mean, it wasn't necessarily a HUGE event or anything, but you could tell that the people at the Mark Twain House put in a really in a fantastic effort to make this something special. There were desserts, music and an open bar, but as the people filtered in, no one was really coming to dance. I mean, getting the party started is always a challenge and to make the first move was key. So...I was in costume. With my helmet. I couldn't let this stand.
Several years ago, probably when I was roughly about 11, I started learning Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere, mostly from a suggestion via my dad. Back then, we were looking at maybe Adobe 4.0 and now, we're at least past the double digits as far as versions. It was then that he predicted that these tools would be vital in the coming years but at the time, being the young and the "WHATEVER, DAD" person I was, I complied, but only out of making him happy. However, that rebellious attitude was cut short when I realized that he was right. I think it might have been a whole five minutes I realized after jumping right into the programs, that this stuff was cool AND fun. A winning combination. Adobe Photoshop and the accompanying programs would continue to evolve. I was right in it, learning it all from an early age. I took to it pretty well and loved every minute of it. It was a class full of people of all ages and it was one of those things that I remember fondly.
However, it was maybe about a year or two later that I stopped using the programs. Ironic, considering how much I loved them and loved using them. Why? I honestly, can't remember. It was probably because life and college or whatever probably got in the way. However, Photoshop was still on my mind and I wanted to come back to it. It was a skill that was becoming more and more vital in a variety of fields and I wanted in. However, nothing happened for many years and I was never able to get back into it.
Fast forward about 20 years, I found myself doing cosplay and for some reason, I felt that I had to do something more with it. I decided to get a copy of Adobe Elements version 11. While it was a much pared down version of the big beast that was Adobe Photoshop, I ended up tinkering, finding a variety of different online tutorials, and did what I could with the limits of the program. I found myself getting back into something that I had loved so many years ago. I created a variety of edits and manipulations that while I was learning step by step, I came up with some real winners.
The last couple of weeks have been kind of nuts for my most recent cosplay.
I have to admit, when I decided to cosplay as Disco Fett, I was going to wear the costume a few more times at a handful of cons and maybe do a photo shoot or two. However, that notion changed when I shared the look with a few groups I was in, including the Replica Prop Forum. The results for the latter were overwhelming and it was a huge hit.
Not just a few days after that, I was contacted by someone from the Mark Twain House in CT for one of their upcoming events: A Star Wars-themed Disco After Party. Needless to say, it was a surreal moment and I was completely floored. I never expected such a positive reaction.
That wasn't the end of it either.
The Dented Helmet, a Boba Fett costume construction resource group, shared a video of me goofing off and dancing before heading off to Terrificon in CT. I mean, I wasn't trying to do anything serious, and if I had known that it was going to be shared to such a large audience, I would've made something a bit better. However, as simple as it was, it was apparently good enough to share with people and that was kind of mind-blowing. I guess it's an excuse to maybe to a video later on? Star Wars themed Disco Music Video? MAYBE.
In any case, those two random occurrences caught me off guard in such a good way. I was proud of the work we (my fiance' and I) put into this whole thing. It was a strong effort and the results were awesome, however it was crazy that so many people loved it. I went into this cosplay thing partly to challenge myself as an artist with something new, as well as maybe getting SOME recognition. To be honest, I don't see myself doing this as a full-time kind of thing, but lately, I wonder if I should explore the possibilities, IE going to places as a Disco Fett, perhaps to Downtown Boston as a tourist (an idea suggested by multiple people) or perhaps link up with other Star Wars groups for events and projects. Who knows? It's still too early to tell, but maybe it's worth looking into. Not holding my breath, but maybe I should try? As I said, the notion of doing something more with this cosplay is at the forefront...
Who knows what will happen? I await for the next few possibilities and potential appearances I could make at random events. Someone famous could see me and tell their friends...Or not...I mean, it's not like JJ Abrams is going to invite me to the Star Wars premiere this December. Or could he?
IT COULD HAPPEN.
OK. Here's to the next chapter with this costume...
In the past few months, I have found myself leaning more towards mash-up cosplays (ie taking two things from different areas of pop culture and putting them together) mostly because while there are probably a dozen characters I would want to cosplay as, I personally find more of a creative satisfaction in bringing in two ideas that wouldn't normally go together, but would be kind of interesting to see nonetheless. Case in point:
Thorio and Luiki (Thor/Mario and Luigi/Loki)
Rockabilly Green Lantern
After the success of Thorio and Luiki, I decided I wanted to continue on this mash-up cosplay road. I've done straight up interpretations of characters, but lately I've felt that doing a combination of two things provided a chance to be really creative, along with providing a set of fun challenges.
A while back, I bought a Boba Fett helmet and while I wanted to maybe dress up as the iconic bounty hunter, I decided to try something different. After brainstorming and bit of inspiration, I decided to go with Disco Fett. I had seen other interpretations before, but I wanted to make something different.
After some spray painting and the placing of several hundred plastic mirror tiles (eventually trying to place them on a round surface became a challenge on its own), plus the building of a moving disco ball for the antenna, which was built using a spinning lollipop, the idea became a reality. It was a lot of work and I owe a great deal to my fiance' for her work on said antenna, and after a lot of trial and error, it soon came together.
Funny enough, I had a suit and other pieces ready to go, so the helmet was actually the last thing to become part of the final look. Yes, I even had the platform shoes beforehand.
It's been a really long time since I've cosplayed, mostly because I found a new passion in my art. I have designed over several dozen minimalist posters, did a variety of Photoshop edits, and even designed a few book covers for my friend's book series about superheroes. I was keeping my love of geek alive in different forms and I was having a blast. A lot had been happening as of late, so the very thought of trying to get back into it designing and dressing up again was scary to say the least. I had cosplayed before, even going as far as doing photo shoots as the characters. However, it was a long while before I thought I would be doing it again.
If I was to get back into, it had to be a mash-up cosplay, IE taking one concept from one thing and putting it with something else. It needed to be something different. The very idea of putting two unlikely things together was crazy and challenging.
But what to do?
I was planning on doing Mario cosplay at some point, but maybe doing an edgy/tough version of him or something. I started finding pieces, ie things to build a hammer, but as I slowly realized, my mind was drifting into a mash-up of some sort. Mario meets Marvel...Something...Then it hit me: Mario had wings on his hat like Thor. They both had hammers. Both had red in their costume. Thor and Mario: THORIO.
Sterling arts & Design
Creating, getting inspired and reflections.