The Rogue Valley’s Complimentary Comic Con

Let’s face it, these days there aren’t a whole lot of community recreational options that aren’t going to charge an entry fee. The Medford Comic Con has been put together and sponsored by the Jackson County Library Service for a grand total of five years now. Each year has seemingly grown tremendously and promotes literacy with a hand from pop culture’s finest entertainment pool. And perhaps a bit of Deadpool himself.  With no admission fee, this small-town comic con provides families and friends with a healthy space to get wildly weird. This year was a beautiful weekend that supplied this valley with a plethora of artists, vendors and food trucks set up to explore in and around the Medford library and Rogue Community College campus buildings. The streets quickly filled up with fans of all kinds and cosplayers alike. Of course, I was drawn to this event for the cosplay opportunity and to meet and interact with the local community that shares these same nerdy interests that I do.  And most importantly, to spend a day of quality time with some of the most genuine, down to earth friends of mine.

DC Bombshells: Wonder Woman by Zara, Raven by Rebecca and Mera by myself

The cosplay of the day was to bring back the DC Comics Bombshells that my home girl Zara and I debuted at the Emerald City Comic Con earlier this year. This time around we had the pleasure of having the very lovely Raven, cosplayed by Rebecca, accompanying us. It was great to have these two beauties at my side for the day. We even entered the cosplay contest that took place on the second floor of the library. This was my very first experience participating in a cosplay contest and it easily became one of my new favorite aspects of a convention. There was so much energy from the crowds and fellow cosplayers. To enter, contestants had to sign up early in the day to get a spot in the contest.  The contestants are then placed in categories divided by age and whether they are single or group cosplays. Once the chaos was organized, the groups were ushered down to meet with the judges to talk about the cosplay that they were presenting and to explain the efforts (not including the several mental breakdowns and pricked fingers) that went in to the costumes. They are then lined up one more time for the catwalk performance portion. As there were three of us entered, we hastily put together an impromptu walk/pose combination for the judges. It was a regular walk of the mannequins sort of ordeal. While we weren’t awarded, the memory will remain a cherished relic years from now. But I tend romanticize too much.

I do hope this inspires everyone to get in touch with their deep-rooted, bizarre selves and find time to attend a local convention nearest home. It truly is an enjoyable affair.

Becoming Ariel on a Budget

With the Medford Convention coming up next weekend and with my bombshell Mera costume complete and ready to cosplay, I was determined to quickly and cost effectively assume the form of Ariel from The Little Mermaid. This movie was one of my favorites, as it came out the year that I was born. (Now that you know my age I will be hiding in a sea cave plotting ways to make you forget). I would watch The Little Mermaid continuously most everyday. I was absolutely mesmerized by this cute world of Atlantica with the fun music and the unknown magical world under the sea. The quickest and simplest version of Ariel I could gather was from the scene when she just gets her legs.

It was the best mini project between projects. The materials I used were literally just items that were laying around the house, unloved, under appreciated and totally forgotten. I found the ivory flat sheet crumpled up in the back of our linen closet, poor thing. I got it out and gave it a run through the dryer and it livened right up. Next I re-purposed the hempen rope that I purchased at a local hardware store for my upcoming Arriety costume. I then made up my face with a glamorous amount of makeup, after compulsively watching several mermaid makeup tutorials, I wrapped myself in this “sensational” sail dress. It was pretty simple to achieve the right look, but the integrity of this dress requires a few clips on the back to keep the dress situated. Everything was okay as long as no sudden movements were made. And Voila!

Ariel of The Little Mermaid

The transformation from human who wants to be a mermaid who becomes a mute human was a huge success. If only the beautiful coast was a little closer for the sake of congruency in comparison photos. A big thanks to my partner for obliging to take photos and help a big girl with a little girl dreams.

Thank you for reading!

Emerald City Comic Con Part 2: A Glorious End of the Weekend

When the hysteria of the festivities settled down on Sunday, the convention center became a sort of cozy beehive of fandom followers. The mood was definitely less intense and there was a lingering hint of exhaustion about the air. I honestly think the convention could greatly benefit from nap pods. This is 2019! We are mostly adults, and we need naps in this self-care conscious society. The cosplay I chose for Sunday was Bombshell Mera from the DC Universe. There is a series of comics set during war time, where the men are off fighting and back at home, the women of the DC Universe are protecting home with their bad ass strength and super powers tailored to each beautiful lady. I was inspired by the chapter six cover with Wonder Woman and Mera teaming up to combat villains. It was clearly a comic cover with my friend Zara and myself on it. Also, where do I get a princess dolphin?

Being that it was March in Seattle I opted for a “warmer” version of the bombshell Mera. Thank god for an option B, am I right? It was still freezing and I violently shivered the entire walk to and from the convention. It’s a small price to pay for the pure amusement it brings.

As you can see, there are quite a few accessories that this bombshell requires. I do try to put as much attention to detail in to my costumes as possible, but this one I had to settle on a few things for lack of sanity, being a full time student and currently employed elsewhere full time. I found the pants, the sailor hat and mermaid print top on Ebay. I did have to buy fabric, green bias tape and green thread to make the sailor collar, which luckily was super simple for a meager seamstress such as myself. I bought all of the materials for the collar at Jo-Ann’s Fabric. I was lucky enough to borrow a pattern in which to do so from one of my fellow convention friends(Thank you Casey!<3). I used the McCalls Costume pattern M7141. It was super simple and straight forward, which was a huge relief. You can do it too, no problem. I believe in you! The trident would have been an awesome creation, but due to lack of time, tools and skill, I purchased it online for only $16.99 and you can find it here. It came mailed in two pieces and required the ability to twist the components together, but be cautious, it is only plastic and if tightened to much it will crack and break. I cracked mine a little, but noticed the damage before rendering it useless. But before you can do that, you will be undeniably distracted by the cleverly placed photo of Jason Momoa on the packaging. That’s right, men, women and children alike cannot resist the charming distraction of Jason Momoa. It’s best not to try opposing these deep rooted feelings and just take a moment to gander. Ahem! Moving right along… The trident was definitely a cheap plastic product, but I was very happy to have it in my possession. It wielded me a power of feminine prowess. I think if I am to use it again in the future, I will spray paint it with a coat of metallic gold to give it a more realistic look.

Photo Courtesy of Clumsy Bob

For all of the little accessories, the ‘M’ on the sailor hat, the sea shell belt buckle, the anchor bling and the arm bracers, I used Darice Craft Foam which I purchased on Amazon for about $10. Really fun stuff to work with, it was recommended by my friend and ultra amazing friend and cosplayer Zara (@CheesyHipster). It was super easy to roll out and cut out the shapes. I originally painted them a bright yellow to match the comic color, but found that a metallic gold spray paint worked better. I later added texture to each with gold acrylic paint. Embellish yo’self, am I right? I didn’t have the fancy mermaid print wedge heels, or the matching green stripe on the pants, but overall, I was pretty rapturous about how this costume came together. If you have any other questions about my process, feel free to email me! I’d be happy to answer questions. 🙂

At the convention, my friends and I spent most of the day in the Artist Alley, gathering as much nerdy loot that we could. Toward the end of the day, my group made their cute-little-cosplayed-selves out to the court yard to take photos. There were several hobby photographers around asking for photographs and how can you complain about that? I learned several different ways to pose with my trident from a photographer, which helped a lot, because I essentially had the one and only salute pose down for the entire day. It was interesting to get an unbiased, outside opinion on how to stand properly. I was shocked and thrilled to see that Clumsy Bob had posted his photos of the cosplay of the convention and I was in his album. Thank you Bob!

Bombshell Mera & Wonder Woman
Right: Zara @CheesyHipster
Kakashi Hatake Cosplay by Jo

Jester of Critical Role By Casey

I was honored to be a part of this cosplay experience. I fully intend to keep trying and creating. I hope you will follow me on my epic journey of fantastical weirdness. Through the failures, tears, successes and smiles. Thanks for reading and I wish you all a happy Game of Thrones night!

Emerald City Comic Con: Dreams Are Made Of This, Part 1

Emerald City Comic Con has historically been frequented by about 95,000 glorious nerds of all kinds. That is as far as I could find on Wikipedia . The jury is still out on the 2019 attendance. There were so many people who partook in this weekend of convention fun. This was the biggest convention that I have ever been able to appear at. The convention itself is held at the Washington State Convention Center located in down town Seattle. It was a chilly 12 block walk to the convention center from our hotel, which was a wildly windy adventure each way. As my group was in full cosplay the bitter winds were no match for our nerdy elation. With that being said, I am going to walk you through my cosplay for day one.

Day 1: Saturday- Dungeons, Dragons, & Ronald Weasley

Mix one-part excitement and two parts overwhelming confusion and you will end up with the intoxicating euphoria that was the first jam-packed convention day. On first arrival, we were quickly drawn to the endless magic of the artists alley. This room contained row upon row of artist booths from wall to wall and even more beyond that. I am eternally grateful to have arrived early enough to move freely from booth to booth before the artists became overwhelmed with the sea of people who quite literally appeared all at once. My cosplay for day one was Misty from Pokemon. My partner was jovial enough about accompanying me as the main star, Ash Ketchum. It was very amusing posing together on many occasions. The very best and most memorable encounter was with a small girl who recognized us immediately, especially Ash. As she stared up at Ash, she became utterly overwhelmed with shock and happiness at meeting him that she latched on to my wonderstruck partner, hugging at his leg. It was a tender reminder of what kind of impact a good cosplay can have on the joys of the younger convention goers. This tiny little human emotional reaction put fire to my motivation to continue to create and participate in future conventions.

Misty was a fairly simple cosplay to assemble.

It all started with a wig. I purchased the wig from Arda Wigs on a recommendation from my lovely friend and amazing cosplayer Zara. (Check her out on Instagram @Cheesyhipster ) You can look at the wide variety of wigs and accessories at Ardawigs.com. These wigs range from $35-45 and are worth every penny. They are well crafted and I’ve never had an issue with them not fitting on my head properly. Which can be a huge bummer if you shell out a bit of cash for a wig and later find that your forehead is just too large. The wig did require a bit of styling which terrified me. If too much wig is cut off in the process, then there’s no going back. There is no amount of Duct tape that will suffice. The only Duct tape I used in this cosplay was a bright yellow color to accent the pair of red low top shoes I purchased online. This was justified in my mind, because I had every intention of wearing those shoes, preferably without the Duct tape, on a regular basis. They have since become my personal lucky shoes. It is imperative to find luck in physical objects, right? This costume mostly consisted of thrifting around the internet for red suspenders and a yellow tank top. Both were very inexpensive. I was lucky enough to have a pair of shorts in my wardrobe already. I did make the pokeball myself. It was a simple project. I purchased a large Styrofoam ball from Jo-Anns, which I then painted with white, red and black acrylic paints and finished with a gloss coat of modge podge. I already had an arsenal of acrylic paint and the modge podge I found at a local Dollar Tree. Easy peasy. That’s how roll with my crafts. I did use craft foam for the round bits on the front of Pokeball which required more paint, the ability to cut out a circle (I may botched up this part) and a hot glue gun at the ready. If you have any questions please email me! I would love to chat about cosplay.

The highlights of this day seemed to be unlimited. The Critical Role Cast was at the floor show that afternoon which I was so elated to be present for a live reading of Vox Machina. They were all perfect and I have fallen deeper into fandom with Critical Role. I have to give a huge shout out to my friends who flawlessly pulled off the cast of the Critical Role characters! They nailed it. I still marvel at the attention to detail these lovely humans achieved. Such amazing work and it was a blast to see all of the different interpretations of the Critical Role characters walking about and interacting with the real world.

To end the day, I was lucky enough to meet Rupert Grint, very briefly for a Photo Op. It was a frightening interaction where I immediately shook his hand and introduced myself in a very professional manner. Apparently under the pressure of meeting a celebrity and the exhaustion of the day of festivities led me to act in a strictly orderly fashion. Sorry Rups, I’m not good with interacting with the average Joe and I had no business trying to meet a celebrity. That being said, it was exhilarating and I wouldn’t even change a thing about it. Unless I have any Dr. Who fans out there? Because, I may feel I could reconsider the incident that occurred later that evening. Walking back to the hotel we passed one of the Doctors crossing the street going the opposite direction. I looked up and saw his silhouette moving quickly up the street away and from us. It was then I began chasing Peter Capaldi all of a city block and then promptly giving up, convinced it was a silly endeavor for a woman on the brink of 30 years old. And that beautiful Scottish man can really move, let me tell ya. If anyone wants to make me a tee shirt that says, “Training to chase Peter Capaldi across time and space”, I would wear it everyday and be forever grateful. Nevertheless, the very first day at a big city convention was an absolute success and I truly cherish each memory created.

Referenced:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Emerald_City_Comic_Con&oldid=879397557

Launching A Cosplay Adventure

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” – George Bernard Shaw


Hello!

I am tremendously happy to have you joining me on my real-life side quest of Cosplay. I started cosplaying in 2015 and fell madly in love with this strange theatrical hobby. I had no idea what I was doing and I still don’t, but I was determined to use cosplay as an outlet for my creativity and flamboyant, melodramatic tendencies. Thus far, it has been successfully entertaining and fulfilling.  I hope to guide you every step of my journey which will include, tears, blood, sweat and all kinds of glitter. Not to mention wigs and crafting that require attention and a firm organizational schedule. In this initial post, I would like to introduce you to the characters I have previously cosplayed.

My first cosplay in 2016 was Poison ivy from The Batman original series. I took the overall integrity of the character from the Batman series and made it my own version of what I thought Pamela Isley would look like. I sewed each individual ivy leaf on to a green corset, which I wore over one of my green ballet leotards. Paired with green tights, and bobby pin that I glued another ivy leaf to. This was my very first Comic Con in the small farming town of Tillamook, Oregon. It was also the very first con in the region which was very humble and yet full of nerdy excitement. That is in fact my real head of hair, it took a ridiculous amount of upkeep, but I enjoyed so much, that I had to go back to this color presently. I used L’Oreal Hi-Color Red mixed with a level 30 developer. I wish the color had a more fantastical name, because I am constantly asked what the name of the red in my hair is called. If I had to name it myself, I would call it Cherry Bomb, or perhaps Francine’s Fire Truck Red. I was never a great giver of names.

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poison ivy cosplay

For Halloween 2017, I decided I wanted to cosplay more and try to create my own props for the first time. I had just watched all of the Adventure Time cartoon with my partner and his lovely little boy. I became enamored with Marceline the Vampire Queen. She’s a cute little vampire, she plays bass guitar and writes songs. I am 2 out of the 3 of these things. I’ll let you decide which. This was not only my first prop endeavor, but also my first experience in the wide world of wigs. I made the axe bass guitar with cardboard, super glue, acrylic paint, a generous amount of grey duct tape and black nylon for the strings. It took about week to complete with working a full-time schedule and waiting for paint and glue to dry. It turned out better than I thought it would, but it still had an element of cheesiness about it. It suited my personality perfectly. The wig I purchased at a local Goodwill store, it cost about $5 and required a bit of black hair spray, because it originally had streaks of grey in it. This was a great alternative to buying a brand-new wig which saved a good $15-20. This costume required a great deal of grey body paint, latex prosthetic ears and glue-on vampire fangs. All of which I purchased at a Halloween Superstore in the Mall. Some girls go to the mall for Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works sprays, but I? Oh no, I do an in-depth Mall Halloween Superstore shop. They have everything the modern girl would possibly long for. Fangs, eye lashes, tails, ears, scars, and all other glamour necessities. I had a lot of fun with this cosplay. I wore it to work and received many compliments and confused questions. I was asked, “Are you Spocks wife?” and “Are you from Avatar?”.  Just a glimpse of the fun things people say while you are exposing your cosplay heart to the world.

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Marceline Vampire Queen

bass

A previous Halloween I became quickly obsessed with Margot Robbie’s interpretation of Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad. I had to cosplay the part. What better way to funnel my plentiful energy? I didn’t make any of the parts of this costume, but if I am truly to share my entire journey, it would certainly include my Ebay purchases of the Harley Quinn cosplay collection of mine. Puddin necklace, face tattoos and all. It was a fun birthday project and present to myself. 

harleycosplay

Halloween 2018 was a mixed bag, but this truly horrible and most fun cosplay was a mashup of Pennywise and Harley Quinn, I mostly refer to this as my Lady Pennywise costume. I found the creepy little white gown at the Goodwill and hand sewed red poof balls on the front of it to look similar to Bill Skarsgard’s representation. And the make-up was a fun challenge. White and horrifying. The great thing about applying this make-up was, that it didn’t have to look perfect, because the clown is a dilapidated entity.  The more crumbly and washed out, the better.

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lady pennywise

That is the history of my cosplay up until this promising year of 2019. For what is to come, there will be an in-depth glimpse of Comic Con participation, trials and the comprehensive lamentations of my continued work of all things Cosplay. If ever you should have any questions, comments or concerns please email me. I enjoy hearing the good, the bad, and the not very nice. I can’t wait to catch you up on my Emerald City Comic Con experience. And thank you for reading and catching up with the Cosplay Conjuring.

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You inspire me!

Best,

Crystal B.