Did a Vaike (Fire Emblem: Awakening) cosplay for Japan Expo at Santa Clara, CA last Saturday and met Yusuke Kozaki (http://kymg.deviantart.com/). He’s super cool! I mean, look at that super detailed autograph!!! I wanted to chat with him but my Japanese is super horrible ><
So many firsts on this cosplay — chest-binding, working with styrene, having a weapon prop XD Overall, I’m happy with the result even if people didn’t care to even look at it :P I think I’ll wear this again at PMX in November.
I am deeply saddened to report the passing of Marty Gear, a pioneer, long time hero, supporter, and fan of costuming and cosplay. Marty was one of the first costumers in the U.S., a founder and president of the International Costumers’ Guild (ICG), a chair of Costume-Con, and a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ICG.
I had the honor and privilege of interviewing Marty for my upcoming book, Breaking All The Rules: Cosplay and the Art of Self-Expression. Tonight, his interview becomes more important than ever as it gives a glimpse into the world of costuming as it once was, and reflects on its future. Marty talks about his childhood, growing up in the world of costuming, and opening new doors. It kind of floors me a little that costuming as an artform is old enough now that its founders have started to pass away. I hope that we as cosplayers and costumers can be worthy of continuing the legacy that people like Marty started.
These four pages attached here are the entirety of Marty’s interview for my book. I have no second thoughts about releasing them here, 3 months before the rest of the book is published. I hope people will read them and get a sense of the giant that Marty was, and how important he was to all of us. Cosplay might not be here if not for him. Please remember that.
Marty, you only met me this past November, but you welcomed me into your life, gladly joined me in long chats about the history and future of cosplay, gave me a free badge to Arisia and invited me to the masquerade because you thought it was something I should experience. You let me take your photo after a long night of MC-ing and typed up 7 pages on my interview questions, telling me the most important things you ever learned from costuming for over 50 years. I am in your debt; this interview will be one of the most important thing I ever publish. You will be missed.
Here’s a compilation of characters my friends and I dressed up as this past Anime Expo 2013. We had sooo much fun despite the crowd and California heat. Please stop by our Facebook page and give us a like ;)
Anime Expo 2013 was a blast! Instead of writing 10 paragraphs on here, I’m just gonna say it was fun hanging out with friends during con season, and I’m gonna miss AX and everything good that comes with it. We’ll have to wait for another year, but there will be tinier cons to fill in for the meantime :) Ok, back to unpacking~
Nine Inch Nails: “Came Back Haunted.” The new single from the forthcoming album “Hesitation Marks,” out September 3rd. Download “Came Back Haunted” on nin.com and iTunes starting June 6th.
The next major convention (Anime Expo) in Los Angeles is upon us, and alas I go the Team Rainbow Might (TRM) way — working on cosplay weeks before the convention. I have 2 costumes to finish, but I’m quite skeptical on finishing both. It’s no one’s fault but mine, though I’m not blessed enough to have the resources and space that other cosplayers have. Yet, my will shall prevail! This is one of the things that my beloved friends and I share in common — we live in cramped spaces and are on a budget, but cosplay we shall!
Before I end up rambling more nonsense, I’ll share the main purpose of this post. One of my costumes require a substantial amount of pyramids (or diamonds, rhombus… all these terms). Luckily, these don’t require transparency or extreme sturdiness so I can use cheapy materials. The good and bad thing about cosplaying is that it’s a trial and error thing. Good because there’s no one way of making a costume, you expose yourself to different materials and pick whatever you’re comfortable with; Bad because it requires more time, and you can rarely buy things at small/trial packages and end up paying more than you have to.
Anyway, I don’t have pepakura or any similar software so I had to dig deep for High School geometry knowledge and do some cosplay math. First, I got a general idea on how large I want the studs (or pyramids) to be by drawing a base (as seen at the top part of the image). After that, I estimated the stud’s height based on how high I want it to be. In this case, 5.5cm. I calculated everything by inches at first and then realized that they go by quarters, and the metric system is the way to go if you want to be more precise. Once I got the height and measurements for the base, I was able to grab the other sides using a Pythagorean calculator. I also needed an angle calculator to draw the individual panels (top right) and make sure all the sides connected.
I finished cutting all the sides, so the next step will be to tape them together and makes sure the whole top layer has tape on it so I can put paper mache. I’ve gone the Elmer’s glue + water route in the past, and found that it’s pretty sturdy.
The paper route is faster and more cost-effective for me because I have a bunch of cardstock and glue laying around. Before that though, I tried to make the studs using Crayola Air Dry Clay. I like working with Air Dry Clay because it’s very forgiving… you just need water (and in most cases, more clay). I already had 3 clay studs, but decided to stop because I needed them to be identical, and it’s quite hard to do with big pieces of clay especially if you’re not using a mold. Now, if you’re working on tinier pieces like the spikes on the 2nd image, then clay would definitely work. The clay studs ended up being a bit heavy, which would’ve been fine with me because I may need the extra weight for the prop which would be made out of foam board for the most part. The problem was that Crayola Air Dry Clay is pretty prone to cracking. After the first stud dried, the edge cracked after I placed a bit of pressure on it (there are glue marks on the stud in the middle of the image). I wish I knew this before I got it >_< No wonder it was on sale!
Don’t let this deter you from using clay though! If you really must use some sort of air dry clay, use paper clay. I got one from Michael’s a while back for my Spawn costume and it’s pretty sturdy. I made a mistake of using hot glue to adhere the paper clay spikes to an EVA foam base and the spikes ended up falling out the entire convention (that’s another lesson for another time). The funny thing is that the spikes weren’t damaged at all! I made them back in September for Comikaze Expo, and guess what? The spikes are still in great condition. Good enough that one of the armor pieces made it to a Todd McFarlane signing several months after :)
Have I rambled enough to lose your attention yet? Fret not, it’s almost over. I guess the whole point of this is to say that you don’t need really expensive materials to make good costumes/props, and that there’s a lot of materials that you can use, but you’re definitely welcome to use whatever you’re comfortable with. Lyeric Cosplay has proven that paper mache works well through one of her awesome costumes (I think it was for a Diablo 3 barbarian costume). Alrighty, time to get back to work!