Friday, September 27, 2013

Heroes of Cosplay ~ Part 2: A True Hero Emerges

With the anticipation broken, the expectations dropped, and the excitement of seeing familiar faces depleted, we headed into week two with a whole new outlook on the show. It was now a test to see if it could A) redeem itself for its horrible premiere, or B) continue running itself into the ground with its key demographic (I.E. geeks, nerds, and cosplayers).

Honestly, though we were disheartened by the first episode—what with the lack of interviews and competition focus and excess of scripted drama, catty characters, and dishonest editing—we still had hope that there would be some sort of redemption in either characters or the general theme. Obviously the show was way past the point of changing, but perhaps there was still hope for the cosplay community being shown in a favorable light.

Would the second episode start the path toward redemption, or into a shallow grave? Well...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Heroes of Cosplay ~ Part 1: Heroes of Broken Dreams

Tuesday ended the first (and hopefully only) season of the SyFy Channel show, Heroes of Cosplay. After slogging through six weeks of disappointment after disappointment, I felt I had to share a little bit of the heartbreak, rage, and hope here where it could do some good, rather than fume on it over and over again until my brain starts to crisp.

But first, a little background for those who have no clue what I'm talking about. If you've never heard of cosplay at all, you might want to check out the Wiki article on it for a good rundown of the bigger points. Some of the information definitely varies by area, but it's a good starting place for those not in the know.

Cosplay, or costume-play is essentially people wearing costumes and accessories to represent a character from a work of fiction. Characters from manga, anime, comic books, video games, TV-shows, movies, literature — you name it, someone has dressed up as it. But don't think characters are all you'll see in a convention, even inanimate objects are sometimes anthropomorphized. Crossplays (girls dressing as males and visa versa) and genderbents (creating a female version of a male character, or visa versa) are also fairly common, expanding the waters and confusing passersby everywhere.

While larger cities may have random get-togethers or photoshoots throughout the year, you'll mainly find cosplayers at conventions. Many video game, comic book, and general fandom conventions these days include a costume contest of some sort. Even LeakyCon had one, albeit a fairly low-key one with no (or very small) prizes. But in the spirit of competition, some cosplay contests have become the battlefield where professionals, hobbyists and anyone in-between strut their stuff on stage for prizes and notoriety. Cosplay has become a bit of a business lately, with individuals now being commissioned for props, pictures, and even jobs on commercials and TV/movie sets for skilled craftsmen.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Comfortable In Her Own Invisible Skin

Book 1
By Natalie Whipple

Amazon ~ Powell's ~ Jan's Paperbacks

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

I picked this up on recommendation from the blog of Kiersten White, one of the author's writing buddies and critique partner, and decided to tackle it the last night before it had to go back to the library. So basically I had a book I knew next to nothing about with only a few hours to experience it. Frankly, I'm a still a little stumped about what to think about it.