Beard: Cosplayers create conundrums at Comic-ConWritten by Jim Beard | | email@example.com
Though it’s always fun and fascinating to watch the cosplayers – “costume players” for the uninitiated – at comic book conventions, this year’s parade of dress-ups at Motor City Comic-Con in Novi, Michigan brought with them just as many questions for observers as vicarious pleasures.
Amazingly Anime-ted – The usual super heroes and villains dominated the aisles at the show, but there were just as many, if not more, costumes based on, presumably, Japanese animated films and TV shows that even diehard geeks may have been hard-pressed to identify. Couldn’t they carry signs proclaiming who they’re honoring?
Generically Yours – One strange thread running through the costume choices was generic outfits one might buy at a party shop and didn’t seem to be connected to any film or TV series, like Indian maids and stereotypical pirates. Is the urge to dress up so strong that any costume will do now?
Who’s On First? – Dr. Who also still dominates the playing field, but it’s primarily the last two incarnations of the famous British character one sees. Whatever happened to that old stand-by, Tom Baker?
Star Wars, Nuthin’ But… – You can’t go wrong with Stormtroopers, though these days it’s all about variations on the them that George Lucas never dreamed of, like the traveling Stormtrooper synth band in neat white suits, or the Muppet Troopers. But does that leave any room at all for the absolutely perfect Princess Leia costume ruined by knee-high black stiletto-heel boots or the plethora of female Han Solos?
Some Days You Just Can’t Get Rid of a Bomb – Dear Joker Cosplayers: we are so over your thousand-and-one Heath Ledger tributes. Have you ever even heard of Cesar Romero?
Holy Hard-to-Kick Habit! – Likewise, for a character almost universally loathed, a heckuva lot of people like to dress up as The Dark Knight Rises Bane. We give you permission to knock it off.
All in the Family – One growing tradition that’s really nice to see at comic shows is the Cosplayer Family. That’s when the entire brood – Mom, Dad, and kids – all dress up and usually with a common theme, like the family of four at Motor City that appeared as three Ghostbusters and a toddler Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Unfortunately, couples aren’t as consistent: when your boyfriend or girlfriend goes as Jack Sparrow, where’s your Davy Jones, man?