Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Heroes of Cosplay ~ Part 3: Heroes of Drama

We weren't sure what week three's MegaCon had in store for us, but we knew one thing for sure: Chloe had better be in it! The Just Cos host had won our hearts, and we were sure any further experiences from her viewpoint would surely be time well spent.

Good news was she was definitely a reoccurring cast member — she was in the credit sequence, after all. Bad news was she was definitely not going to be a star of the show. Insert angrily dumping tea...

(If you missed the reviews of episode one or episode two, go ahead and fill yourself in before continuing.)

Heroes of Drama

So the beginning of episode three was kinda sloppy. There was a lot of needless bashing on the winners of last week's Emerald City Comic Con. The consensus that everyone (well, maybe just Victoria and Riki) seemed to come to was that bigger = better, so if you're going to compete, you've got to make it big, flashy, and over the top. Nevermind that the costumes were extremely detailed, complex, and probably took months to complete, instead of the "week" that the show's characters seem to have.

Elsewhere, Yaya stood even more scantily clad for a digital modeling session. Apparently, selling various cosplay accessories and prints of her photos is too common, so she's going to start selling cosplay dolls of herself. Obviously, they had to get the dimensions just right before Yaya headed off to Denmark, so she didn't have time to do much of anything for this episode. Thanks, but, like the first episode's Victoria debacle, if they aren't going to be involved then we don't need them taking up time in that could be spent more constructively.

However, the biggest twist was yet to come. Encouraged by Chloe (in her 5 minute cameo), the cosplay BFFs and co-founders of CrabCat Industries, Holly and Jessica decided to compete separately for the first time ever! Holly decided to go with the female alien from Galaxy Quest, while Jessica chose the post-apocalyptic comic book character Tank Girl. Okay, that's actually interesting. Now they can show how friends can have fun competing even if they're showcasing different fandoms, or even if they're 'against' each other.

Oh, wait. This is Heroes of Cosplay we're talking about.

In short, the entire episode was consumed by drama. That may be a redundant statement, but this episode oozed drama from every pore. First Riki had issues with seams on her hand-made jetpack for her Rocketeer cosplay. Then Becky's Styrofoam racecar prop for Taffyta (Wreck-It Ralph) was unpacked by airport security and an essential piece was not returned. While I wasn't thrilled at the screen time spent on complaining and moaning about these issues, I didn't mind them being included. Was it drama? Yes, but it was real drama that can and does happen to cosplayers in general. Especially those who are working with detailed or overly huge props.

The drama I took issue with was solely that of Holly and Jessica. The entire episode was filled with each of them complaining about how much of a strain this was, or how hard it was working on a costume alone, or how much fun had gone out of the entire process. "This goes against everything we believe in." Then don't work separately!!!

There's no law stating that competitors have to work alone. Cosplayers collaborate every single day, whether they're working as part of a group or not. Just last episode, the two of them helped Chloe build a prop for her debut competition entry. Just because they weren't attending themselves didn't mean they shouldn't have helped her as a friend. And nevermind the fact that they run a company together, so that any individual win would reflect well on the duo. That doesn't matter in the least...until it is said in passing over halfway through the episode.

But even more frustrating than having to listen to their unnecessary bitching about being separated was the fact that they chose to in the first place. Not only did they portray friendships as interfering with competitions (or visa versa), but they never considered stopping torturing themselves. They obviously weren't enjoying the process, but did they stop? Of course not! They even booked the hotel room together, and then complained about having to share space with an adversary, and how awkward it was, and how much of a pain it was to have to help the other person with their costume because of the guilt, and—


You two brought this upon yourselves, so either put up and shut up, or drop out and shut up.

Anywho, the drama let up long enough for the winners of the contest to be announced. Jessica's solo Tank Girl took 2nd Runner-Up, Riki's Bettie Page as the Rocketeer took 1st Runner-Up, and a bad-ass Isaac Clarke (Dead Space) took home the thousand dollar prize. So, yes, Becky's costume didn't place without the car prop (which admittedly didn't look that great anyway), and Holly didn't take home an award with her partner. But did it really matter? Holly and Jessica are still going to work and compete together, regardless of the outcome. And Becky didn't have a prop, but I doubt it would have made any difference against Jessica and Riki's detailed cosplays. It was probably for the best just to show her costume abilities instead of amateurish prop work.

Ultimately, this episode was annoying to watch from beginning to end. The non-stop whining and self-induced drama was painful to sit through. The small glimpses into problems general cosplayers might face were trumped by irrational decisions that made absolutely no sense for partners, let alone friends to make. More of our "Heroes" won than on any previous episode, but the wins didn't feel like victories after slogging through all that torture. The drama was in full swing now, but little did we know how much worse things could get...

Next week our 'Heroes' traveled over to Houston, Texas's Anime Matsuri convention. But in the meantime, what do you guys think? Would you work with friends, even when competing against them? Or do you prefer to work solo? Sound off in the comments!

All cosplay images were used with permission from those pictured. You can see more of "Xanadu"'s work at
http://smiling-moon.deviantart.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/smilingmooncosplay