Yes, cosplay. That thing those weird people that spend too much time and money on costumes to look like their favorite characters from movies, anime, video games, TV shows, etc. and wander around conventions with people gawking at them and occasionally taking photos.
It’s a lot of fun.
When we lived in Dallas, it was something we thought about doing when we went to the conventions there. Grayson was really into Watchmen for a while (still sort of is), and we worked on gathering a Rorschach costume for Halloween. We traveled to various stores for different pieces, and he ended up buying a lot of it online. It turned into a great costume that we realized he could wear to some of the conventions we went to. However, it’s really hot in Dallas, and the conventions tended to be in the summer. Not the kind of weather to wear a multi-layer costume. So, he wore it for several Halloweens even after we moved to San Francisco.
About a year and a half ago, we decided to get tickets to Emerald City Comic Con since we missed going to conventions. We checked out some pictures of past shows and noticed that a lot of people were cosplaying. This was finally our chance! Grayson had his costume, but what was I going to be? Rorschach doesn’t have a girlfriend, and I’m not really comfortable dressing like the girls in Watchmen (no offense to those who are). We really enjoyed playing Papers, Please, a fantastic steam game by Lucas Pope. If you haven’t played it, you are missing out. Seriously. It’s about being a border inspector during the Cold War era with lots of drama deciding who can and cannot enter the country while trying to feed your family. That’s probably not the best description, so you should check it out for yourself.
I decided it would be fairly easy to dress as a semi-communist border inspector. I wouldn’t be the main character, but a character in the world. Grayson could go as one of the terrorists trying to bring down the government. The best part was that it played to my strengths, which is pivotal for a first time cosplay. I just needed a dress coat, boots, leggings, and an ushanka with the Arstotzka logo. I didn’t have to do anything with my hair but tuck it into my hat. The costume was simple and allowed full mobility. The items were easy to find and assemble with a few easy stitches here and there. It wasn’t very expensive either. We showed up in our costumes, and the people who recognized us were super excited. Here is a picture of us: https://twitter.com/chimbraca/status/450396052827295745
After the show, we went back to the drawing board. What could we be this year? Grayson gave a suggestion after playing the game, and I jumped on board. We had more time, so the costumes could be more elaborate. We still played to our strengths and took our time searching through stores for deals and discounts over about six months. Note: Burlington Coat Factory is indeed more than great coats. If you need a men’s red bathrobe for under $30, you can find one there. Another note: it’s really hard to find a red bathrobe. I spent a considerable more time sewing. I plotted costume parts out in my head, and I still cannot believe that it all came together. Granted, part of my costume looks like a bad attempt at a shepherd in a children’s Christmas play, but hey, I can’t believe that I created something from nothing.
This year’s creation: https://twitter.com/empress_emily/status/582006653509189632