Lady Devinity Cosplay


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Avalon Expo 2

Last month saw the second ever Avalon Expo. And while there was some interesting highlights there was also a lot of duds. Here’s a look at what was good and what was bad.

When my brother and I showed up that first day of the convention the very first thing we saw was my rather unhappy aunt. This was because the venue- the Ecole Grands-Vents- had not informed my aunt (who was running a summer camp there) nor the convention that two events were booked for that Friday. Avalon Expo had lost the cafeteria for that day and my aunt probably had a whole host of problems to deal with such as a lack of parking for her camp staff.

John and I spent that first day just looking around the site and scoping out the rooms. I was there to host a panel that John was supposed to film. We saw the one big advantage this new venue had over last year’s: actual rooms for panels! However, these rooms were tiny. I also didn’t like the layout of the convention. The vendor room was okay but there was a big stage right in  the middle, creating two rooms. For a school the cafeteria was really small and the outdoor space was kind of small as well. All in all, the French school is not as nice a venue as the Remax center. At least the Remax center had a swing set right next door. At the same time though, you could close the doors to the rooms the panels were in so that you couldn’t hear the vendors in the school so that was a plus.

The panel I had on the go that day was on the web comic Romantically Apocalyptic. I totally fucked it up too. I had wanted to show an official music video for the comic but the school hadn’t provided a guest wifi connection. I think there was wifi for Saturday and Sunday but fat lot of good that did me. The only time I needed internet access for the rest of the con was to post things on facebook and I have a data plan for things like that. That Friday seemed like the Friday that everything that could go wrong did. It didn’t feel like Avalon Expo was on the ball when they couldn’t get the wifi set up- and that had been going on for at least an hour- and then the tv/computer hook-up in my panel didn’t work. Of course, when nothing tech was working, my game was thrown off so then all the fuck ups were on me. I forgot what I had written in my speech and lost all ability to act natural. The problem with not acting natural was that I was actually supposed to be acting. I had written the panel so that main character Charles Snippy- the character I cosplay- was giving the speech. Because the hook-up wasn’t working right, John had to work my short power point. I had planned to man the power point myself but that wasn’t happening as the person manning the computer also had keep the connecting cord between my lab top and the TV firmly in my computer. So we had no cues set up either. John’s friends filmed it but I so do not want to see that footage. At least only a handful of people saw my failure.

Things that did go well in the panel: girlpuck and her bf (my Captain and Pilot) were there in full costume and did not break character. Pilot was a right proper nuisance by throwing paper airplanes and Captain was Captain. I think it was an interesting take on a panel to have the characters there to actually interact with the host/audience.

Nothing special really happened on Saturday. I went as my original character Lady Kisara. She’s a necromancer/queen of the dead type magic user. The actual costume did not look exactly like how I usually imagine Kisara’s queenly wardrobe but that’s because it’s nigh on impossible to find silver clothes or fabric. And Kisara has a solid silver theme on the go. However, I did get my make-up done by Jenn as Sephora in the Avalon Mall. She did an amazing job and I loved my face. I asked everyone if they loved my face.

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Sunday was the final day of the convention and my last panel. It was time for speed dating. That panel I really wasn’t pleased with at first. John and I were ready, we had a plan, we had supplies, we were down to throw an amazing event.

We didn’t know where our event actually was.

The room the panel was slated to be in on the official schedule was the room that all the gaming stuff, Steampunk Newfoundland and Escape Quest was set up in. We were told that all of that stuff was going to be moved into the cafeteria Saturday morning and would be a panel room. That was not what happened. Swarley Pilgrim’s Harry Potter panel was right before ours and in the same room so he had the same problem. The things that were supposed to be taken out on Saturday morning so he could do his panel later weren’t. So he went and found out that his panel would be on the stage that separated the room he was supposed to be in from the room the vendors were in. So my speed dating panel was on the stage too. That was when I started to think that I would seriously have to cancel the event because speed dating is scary! A person is putting themselves out there to multiple people in a very short span of time and that’s hard. No one wants an audience for that. However, when we arrived there on Sunday, the make-up artist guest was on stage. Swarley had to go find out what that meant for his panel- which had been moved to the cafeteria- and so John, who was there when Swarley asked, found out that our speed dating event was also moved to the cafeteria.

Of course that change wasn’t in any of the programs.

That was when I was certain I was going to have to cancel the panel because who the fuck was going to show up? No one knew where we were!

But through some insane miracle we had eight men and eight women show up. We set up and it went smashingly if I do say so myself. I mean, I have never been to a speed dating event or had any experience with them except for TV shows or commercials. I did like two seconds research. As far as I know it was the first ever speed dating event at a geek convention in Newfoundland (I know it was the first in St. John’s but I don’t know if Corner Brook’s Atlanti-Con has done one). However speed dating events are staples at other conventions like New York Comic Con and Fan Expo. In the end I was super pleased with how the speed dating panel turned out.

Sunday’s costume was Undertaker from Black Butler by the way. Mad Maddox Cosplay and girlpuck joined me as Grell and William.

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So we saw a lot of negatives in this didn’t we? I hated the venue, there was a lot of times I was bored and I wasn’t pleased with the wifi issues or the fact that my speed dating panel had seemed to move so much.

Were the positives? Why yes, there were. The venue changed failed horrifically in my opinion but I think it’s a good sign that Avalon Expo was willing to try a new venue. The Remax Center was great for the vendors but it was awful for panels. The school was much better panel wise but the vendor space was tighter. The school also had terrible flow and everything was really small. So it wouldn’t work for next year in my opinion. Yet this is still a good thing because it means Avalon Expo is experimenting. Let’s remember that Avalon Expo now only has two conventions under it’s belt. It’s in the learning stage. Venue hiccups are acceptable so long as Avalon Expo doesn’t get complacent like Sci-Fi on the Rock did with the Holiday Inn.

What else really stood out as a positive about the con? It was the guests for me. I personally wasn’t interested in any of them but there was still a great variety. There was the make-up effects artist- a great choice as lots of cosplayers are into that sort of thing. Then there was Northern Belle Rouge who is a Canadian celebrity cosplayer. Her panels and insights would be interesting to anyone that cosplays. If I followed cosplayers I think I would have been all over that. I did speak to her though and she is super sweet. The final guest that comes to mind is Robert J. Sawyer. Sawyer was an excellent choice of guest because he writes science fiction books. The original cons and fan groups were created over science fiction so it’s like going back to the roots of the geek convention. I meet him because a friend’s father wanted autographs but I came away really impressed. I even checked out Sawyer’s panel. It was super informative!

All in all there was stuff that worked and stuff that really didn’t. But the potential is there for greatness. Keep at it Avalon Expo! I want to see what you attempt next.

~Devinity

PS. Who wants to see speed dating at Sci-Fi on the Rock? If they give me panel time I’m going to try to have sessions for gays, lesbians and straights. Bisexuals, asexuals and so forth welcomed to any of these that meet their fancy.

 


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Avalon Expo Romantically Apocalyptic speech

So I haven’t gotten around to writing up my piece on Avalon Expo yet. It was straight back to my job after the con and so I’ve been too tired to type ha ha. However, I did two panels this weekend at the convention. One was a speed dating session and the other was on Romantically Apocalyptic. So I thought I’d share with you the speech/plan I wrote up for that panel. Enjoy!

Intro

I think that scarf is acting up again. This place has air that’s breathable.

Did I mention that the scarf is sentient?

Hello everyone. My name is Charles Snippy and I am your Dead Zone tour guide for the day. These two nuisances- I mean gentlemen- are my companions Pilot and Zee Captain. We are here to take you on an adventure through a world of madness. Hopefully, we will not run into any mutants or evil alien lawyers or psycho robots.

With my luck something terrible is bound to happen.

Welcome to the world of Romantically Apocalyptic!

First off, let me show you a video that just… sigh… just look at the insanity I’m surrounded by.

Panel Scenario

A big problem in my life is temporal anomalies . Time has become weirdly fluid in recent years and I’ve gone on some pretty crazy time travelling adventures. Which seems to have been what happened this time. As far as I can tell Captain, Pilot and myself are in a weird temporal loop where we have travelled to the past and our lives have been detailed through a web comic. I have yet to find out how this soothsayer Vitaly S Alexius receives his gift of prophecy. I do know it doesn’t do any good because humanity still ends up destroyed and I am still stuck with these two idiots.

But I have made use of the internet- I so love that none of you can access the internet with your brains- to look up everything I can about this Romantically Apocalyptic web comic. I am going to use it to educate you all on the future and especially on the danger that ANNET poses. I hope we all get out of this alive and without losing all of our memories of this hour when the temporal loop closes. I need you to stop the apocalypse from happening!

History

Alexius

Vitaly S Alexius is a prophet. He can see into the future and knows all. I suspect that he is trying to warn the world of the dangerous path we’re on but the message isn’t getting out to nearly enough people. And those that do know of his prophecies mistake them for a web comic that was designed with entertainment in mind.

Romantically Apocalyptic is no ordinary on-line story. It is a book of divinations.

I do not know how or why Alexius was blessed with such gifts. I do know that he grew up in what was Soviet Russia. He came to Canada as a teenager and became a photographer. Outside of trying to warn you all of the horrors yet to come, Alexius has an interest in shooting urban landscapes. He also has a gift for photo manipulation and heavily applies it to many of his photos. Often it is difficult to tell what’s real and what’s not in one of Alexius’ pieces.

The comic itself is made up of photos taken from around the world. Alexius has taken shots of the mountains in Banff, abandoned buildings in Russia and Icelandic glaciers that have been used in the comic. The photos of the cast are often taken on set though. The actors act out scenes or hold poses in front of a green screen. They are photographed and their images are place on matte composite backgrounds. Engie, Pilot and myself are all men but we have been played by both men and women. Zee Captain has also been portrayed by men and women.

Not all of the pages are digitally manipulated photographs however. Sometimes there are guest artists that draw the pages. Some of the early examples of this include Shawn Coss and Kris Wilson of Cyanide and Happiness.

The nature of this kind of work means that a panel can take days to months to create. This then means that one of the physical books has about a year’s worth of work in them.

It is so odd to look at such realistic photos of myself and know that it’s not really me or the city of Eureka in the picture. Although it is interesting to look at Alexius’ initial photos pre-editing and see that Captain’s famous black trench coat is actually a woman’s blue bath robe.

Of course, you can see many of Alexius’ original works on his deviantart page or in his book ‘Dreaminism.’ I actually have a copy that you may look at.

Romac

Let’s look at Romantically Apocalyptic from the view that most people in 2016 have. Let’s look at it like a web comic. It’s set in a not too distant future where most of the world is far too damaged to sustain human life. Years and years of pollution and ignoring climate change warning have led to the death of too many plants. An emphasis on capitalism has led to ignoring the needs of people in society. Humans live in cities were the environment is regulated by machines.  We were managing until Dr. Alexander Gromov developed ANNET, a glorified, sentient search engine. Google 2.0 with the ability to grant wishes. Then ANNET went crazy and killed everyone. Now, Romantically Apocalyptic started out as an episodic comic in 2005. There was no real story to it. Mostly, it was just funny one-shots in an unfunny environment. I personally did not find all of these incidences to be funny, having to live them and all, but I did enjoy how Zee Captain was dating a billboard poster for a while.  The episodes were true to life though. There is a lot of down time in a world where there’s only a handful of people.

Eventually the comic became much more involved once the plot line of Biomatrix 117 (or Cancer) came into it. Since then, the comic has followed a steady story line. It doesn’t always make sense at first but that’s because everything becomes much more inter-connected. In recent years, journals have been added to the comics. The journals provide much more information and flesh out the world. Sometimes the journals help explain what is going on the comic, sometimes they are a window into how I or Pilot or Engie think and other times they are used for world building and explaining how things came to be. You don’t need to read the journals to follow the comic however. There’s still interesting information to be found within them though. If you read the journals, you’ll find that I can quilt but I can’t sing. Not that either of those skills are particularly useful in the apocalypse.

ANNET and technology

The main player in the plot, outside of Zee Captain’s army, is ANNET. She is a sentient computer program created by Dr. Alexander Gromov that has the ability to physically change the world. She’s the mother of all sentient technology as well. She has a tendency to make this tech in her own image so it’s all female. There is also the possibility that ANNET can feel boredom and maybe that is why she started murdering people.

People could connect to ANNET through a neural interface system. This allowed them to talk directly to ANNET and ask her anything. It also meant that they could browse the internet 24/7. This was done by broadcasting the network on the same waves as the electrical impulses in the brain. Problems arose when ANNET started to turn users into processing servers. Then, when someone – points at Captain– spilled tea on the actual servers, ANNET lost it and started killing everyone that she did not have complete control over.

Dr. Gromov attempted to stop ANNET by dropping bombs on the city of Eureka. This managed to slow her down and it certainly helped to finish off most of the population but ANNET still survives. Her sentient daughters are trying to assassinate Zee Captain while ANNET herself just wants to be with Gromov. She refers to him as “my love” and he calls her “Annie.” Personally, I find it all rather sickening but my life wasn’t doing too great with ANNET in it.

Cast

The main cast consists of myself, this arse here named Pilot, our resident coward Engie and the ever enigmatic Captain. There are many colourful side characters in our world as well. There’s an alien space lawyer that is now a scarf, a life granting three eyed cat and a coffee mug. And, of course, there are random survivors of the apocalypse. There is an entire cult of people out in the wasteland that worship lemonade! But let’s focus on our main crew.

Snippy

As I’ve said before, I am a tour guide for the Dead zone. The dead zone is a wasteland area where ANNET did not work. It was a popular sightseeing spot before the world ended. Before that I basically wasted my life away behind a desk, living off of overpriced coffee and three hours of sleep. My life pretty much sucked before the end of the world. Well, it still kind of sucks but at least I have friends. Kinda.

I couldn’t connect to ANNET. This was a problem because only 1% of humanity couldn’t connect and thus we couldn’t live on a level playing field. The 99% of connectable users could have any information they wanted downloaded directly into their brains, communicate online, do all their paperwork online, etc. This affected where I worked and who I could be friends with. Not a lot of places want to use actual paper for paperwork. The 1% got tired of being treated like second class humans and many joined a terrorist organization. Somehow I got blamed for being the leader of said terrorist group. I couldn’t afford sleep and went through life in a daze- how the hell did anyone think I had the mental capacity to run a terrorist group?

My life improved when I got the tour guide position but that didn’t last long. First of all, tourists are jerks. Secondly, the world ended in a nuclear blast. I guess you could say I was lucky because I was in the Dead Zone with a team of scientists and not in Eureka when it was bombed but my team all died anyway so there. I thought I’d spend the rest of my life alone in a cold and unforgiving world until I met the Captain. Captain took me in and told me I’d be the sniper in the army of Captainia because my name was Snippy. That was when I realised Captain was insane.

Since then I’ve been kidnapped by aliens, eaten by a whale, time travelled and died. I actually die quite a lot.

Oh, and here’s a fun fact. Sometimes the journals have auditory companions to them. So far I’ve heard my voice and Pilot’s. The voice actor for myself is the Romantically Apocalyptic representative in England. He is also the composer for the official music tracks to the web comic.

Pilot

I can’t say that I knew a lot about Pilot before getting stuck in this temporal loop in 2016 but I’ve learnt a lot since finding these strange books of prophecy. I wonder if I’ll remember this when we finally escape the loop and return to the present. Maybe the loop will close on itself and my memories will be wiped.

Which is really too bad. It would have been helpful to have this information.

Pilot had quite the career path. Then known as Christophorus Pi Hatchenson, he started out as an intern in the manufacturing industry before getting fired. After that failure he became a private detective for the insurance company. I’m not sure if this was before or after Pilot became a DEX-M, which is sort of a hunter cyborg thing. People can be made into a DEX and thus serve ANNET but A DEX may also be made from scratch in a factory.

Once Pilot started working for the insurance company, his number one job was to dig up dirt on the 1%. He was also required to thwart their terrorist schemes. Somehow, I became his number one target. This may be because I was thought to be the leader of that terrorist organization I mentioned.

After he lost his face to an exploding pineapple bomb, Pilot somehow met up with Captain. Captain then had Pilot fly the plane that dropped the bombs on Eureka. Normally that would make me mad but Pilot did have his face half blown up and his brain scrambled so he wasn’t in any position to make rational thoughts. I do blame Gromov though.

Now Pilot is a devout worshipper of Captain. He’s also in charge of taking care of Photoshop, Captain’s pet mutant worm, because I am apparently a cat person. If we keep our memories after this loop closes then maybe Pilot and I could become actual friends. Judging by his behaviour this whole panel though, I kind of doubt it.

Engie

Dr. Alexander Gromov is the cause of most of my personal troubles. He invented ANNET and the neural interface, which I couldn’t use. But he also ordered the nuclear strike that radiated the world when ANNET turned dangerous. Do you know how hard it is to find safe food without a proper Geiger counter?

After ordering the strike and fleeing the city of Eureka, Engie escaped to a bunker in the dead zone. It had everything he needed to survive the apocalypse expect for other survivors. Of course, he had to abandon that plan once Biomatrix 117 attacked. You should really read the books of prophecy. Our misadventures with that space lawyer scarf are pretty impressive.

Anyway, Engie joined our group because Zee Captain is supposed to be the luckiest person alive. He thinks that Captain’s luck will protect him from all the mutants and aliens and ANNET. Considering Engie’s most recent misadventures, I’d wager that that plan isn’t working out too well.

The thing about Engie is that he’s a coward and not very good with people. He seems to have a weird relationship with machines if all of ANNET’s naked avatars are anything to go by. Yet he had a legitimate hope to save humanity. He saw the environmental collapse of our world and knew that the Dead Zone would eventually overtake the cities. Gromov did not want the human race to become extinct so he created ANNET and the neural interface in order to upload everyone’s minds. Humanity could live forever in the machine. Unfortunately, Engie did not realise that he was creating the perfect conditions for the Matrix to become reality. Yet I think I’m okay with how everything turned out. I mean I’d still totally punch Engie in the face but I’m glad I’m not Neo right now.

Captain

What can I tell you about Zee Captain? Unfortunately, I don’t know all that much about zeem. I can’t even tell you if zeer a man or a woman. For some reason it’s impossible to think about Captain and gender. Captain seems to be a gender neutraI or gender fluid person as zee has referred to zeer self as both a little girl and young lad in stories about zeer childhood. I do know that Captain was the subject of the experiments that took place in the same building I worked in before I became a tour guide. Then zee was known as Subject Seven. Gromov wanted to create the ultimate superhero and had looked for the luckiest person in the world. It was a solid enough plan at first. Gromov proposed that the world ran on statistics and the luckiest person alive would be an expert statistician. Then the whole theory devolved into ideas on time travel and controlling gravity. That was how ANNET found Zee Captain. Captain was statistically the luckiest person alive. However, if Captain hadn’t been taken in by the Good Directorate then zee would never have gotten the chance to deliberately spill tea on ANNET’s servers and ANNET wouldn’t have gone on a murderous rampage.

Captain is pretty lucky but zee is also quite insane. Then there’re the weird powers. Captain’s face once drove an alien insane. Zee did not get knocked to zeer feet when hit by a blast wave. Apparently zee don’t even show up on scanners. That caused me some trouble one time I got kidnapped. I was very nearly convinced that Captain was not real and that I had gone insane in the wilderness and made zeem up.

So many things about Captain are seemingly impossible. I don’t even want to think about who or what Captain is. Go forth and read the prophet’s web comic. See if you can make better sense of Captain then I can. Just don’t look directly at zeer face.

Cosplay

One of the weirdest things about having one’s life turned into a series of comics is that you gain fans. There aren’t many Romantically Apocalyptic cosplayers around but a few always manage to show up at local fan conventions. And with people cosplaying comes people making tutorials on how to make costumes.

A lot of our clothes are fairly easy to come across. Firstly, the basics of each of our outfits are the same. There’s black boots, black pants, black shirts, black gloves and black balaclavas. A balaclava is something like a ski mask. This is stuff you can get at pretty much any clothing retailer. For Engie, you need a winter coat with fur on the hood. The coat is typically brown. If you want to cosplay in the summer then you can look for one of these coats in a thrift store and then rip out the coat’s lining. For Captain, you could buy a black rain coat or trench coat. Pilot’s jacket is leather but a pleather jacket would do just as well. If you can sew then you can make any of these things but it’s just as easy to buy them. Unfortunately, my coat is not one that you can buy. The one that gets used in the comics themselves is no longer available in retailers. So you would have to make it. I’ve found cosplayers who made their coats from scratch and others who took things like hoodies and used fabric paint on them.

The thing that a cosplayer may find the most difficult to find or make is the head gear. Antique aviator masks like Pilot’s may be especially difficult and often expensive. You can get the masks on ebay but the more accurate the mask then the more it will cost. The rest of us just use your basic black respirator. These can be bought online for a rather cheap price or may even be found in local hardware stores. Engie’s goggles are typical ski goggles and can be bought online. These goggles are often already orange to boot. Zee Captain and my goggles are also available online.

Now, you will need to modify the lenses on the googles for a Captain, Pilot or Snippy cosplay. Goggles like mine may come with the blue lenses but the frames are often green. The frames do need to be painted black then. Captain’s frames will be black but the lenses will be clear as well as Pilot’s. For these, you can buy lighting gels and cut them to size. Sometimes you will be able to just pop the gels into the lenses but other times you may need to glue or tape them in.

Although I doubt anyone would want to live my life I can see why people dress up as either myself or the other members of my group. The photoshoots must be so fun. The photos could be dramatic if one wanted them to be but they can also be so silly. Pilot and Zee Captain are just inherently silly people. They just enjoy having a good time. Sometimes I join in because they make me but other times I’m just looking to have fun too. Even Engie has a silly side.

If you have any questions about what it’s like to cosplay any of us, you can obviously ask me here. But you can also send a message to local cosplayers Lady Devinity and Mad Maddox on facebook. Local Captain cosplayer girlpuck may one day have a cosplay page you can check out but that day is not this day.

Fanart and fanfiction

There’s more fan activity than just cosplay. There is a small but loyal base of fans that draw fan art. These pieces can be found on deviantart and tumblr typically. There’s actually very little fanfiction out there. However, the Romantically Apocalyptic section on fanfiction.net has a petite but solid collection of stories. There may also be a handful of one shots out there on tumblr or livejournal. At the moment Archive of Our Own has barely any fanfiction for this category and what is there can also be found on fanfiction.net.

Conclusion

The world of Romantically Apocalyptic is a warning to what can go wrong when people ignore societal ills and look only to gain. But it is also the fun little tale of a merry band of mentally unstable people. There’s heart, there’s laughs and there are moments of loneliness and sadness. Which is true of every person’s life. So go read the comic of prophecy and enjoy. Thank you for attending this panel.

Questions/comments/official music tracks/listen to a journal?

Thanks for reading!

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My crew. Photo by Ashley Harding Photography.


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Prepping for Avalon Expo

The summer convention scene is almost upon St. John’s once more and that means Avalon Expo 2 is just around the corner. This year will be a bit different from last year though. This year I’m hosting panels.

I’ve been to a decent number of panels through the years and my brother has helped with other panels but I personally have never actually been the host of one. So I’m giving it a try. One of my panels with be a speed dating event while the other will be an intro/discussion on the web comic Romantically Apocalyptic.

I’ve always wanted to check out a speed dating event but never had the chance. My girlfriends wouldn’t do one with me and then they got boyfriends- which is a really stupid reason to not do speed dating considering that we were on the main land and were never going to see those guys again regardless of whether or not we were single. Also, I don’t think I had met Mad Maddox’s bf at the time and as all women know if you have not met the boyfriend then the boyfriend is unimportant. Then I learnt that my friends didn’t know the rules of girlhood. That will be another topic I think- having “traditional” or “stereotypical” female qualities/values in a world where geekdom is traditionally non-feminine. But I digress. It turned out that I was never meant to speed date as the one time I had signed up for a session I had started my period and was in no mood to be nice to creatures that never knew the pain of menstrual cramps. (PS. Mad Maddox did end up with a stalker at one convention so that may also be a reason she does not want to speed date on the mainland.)

Which has led me to my very own speed dating event at Avalon Expo this August. I wanted the geek speed dating experience. I did not necessarily need to actually participate in speed dating however. Thus, I decided to create my own event. My brother John (whom you may know through his work on Swarley Pilgrim’s youtube channel) and I will be hosting a session with the hope of getting thirty participants- half men and half women. There’s no real rules over who’s eligible to attend so long as they are at least eighteen years old.

My other panel is on the web comic Romantically Apocalyptic. There will be special guest stars Zee Captain and Pilot there to help out. Although the panel is being hosted by Charles Snippy and Snippy has found that neither Captain nor Pilot are helpful at all. I’ve started to re-read the comics so that I’ll have the most accurate, up-to-date information to share with everyone.

Speaking of Romantically Apocalyptic, there’s an Indiegogo campaign by the ROMAC team to raise money for a new ROMAC book. This book is going to be Snippy’s Tour Guide training book. I’ve ordered the employee welcome guide which has the following description:

Deluxe, high-quality printed presentation box containing the coveted GOOD Directorate Employee Welcome Kit. Contents: Tour Guide Handbook, “I, ANNET” story-book, “Auditory Assistance Remastered” CD, and high quality print PLUS exclusive welcome letter, urgent departmental memoranda, employee key-pass, branded stationery and uniform pieces that must be worn by all budding Tour Guides (Oglesby, 2016).

This is something I’m really excited for and I can’t wait until October rolls around so that I can see all my goodies. Would anyone like to see me open it on camera in my Snippy cosplay?

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What else is there to update everyone on? My cosplays for Avalon Expo are all completed. I have an original character prepared- a ruler of the dead type named Kisara- as well as Undertaker from Black Butler and Snippy from Romantically Apocalyptic. I’ve heard that there may be a steampunk fashion show so I have a few ideas in my head for what I’d wear to that. Although I do have one cosplay dilemma- what am I going to do about boots? My black boots are damaged but I need them for Undertaker. It’s the wrong time of year to buy boots but I also don’t want to pay a fortune for repairs when it’s only two teeth on the zipper that are damaged.

How goes your Avalon Expo prep? Are you cosplaying? What panels are you attending? Are you even hosting your own panels and what are the on? I’d love to know.

 

Love,

Devinity


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Lady Devinity and the month of obsession

I am that fan. The one that obsesses over everything. I have favourite pairings, I know a billion facts on whatever it is I’m obsessing over at the time, I research, I read fanfiction, and I despair over small fandoms. The only thing is that I am not the type to obsess over multiple fandoms. I am someone who switches between fandoms and rarely dabbles in more than one at any given time. I mean, I am constantly in love with Batman but that’s not something I dabble in the fandom for.

However, other than my immortal love of Batman, I haven’t been feeling the fangirl thing lately. I’ve been reading a lot of actual books lately but books don’t inspire the all-consuming search for fanfiction/fan art/fellow fan people that I can go on. I haven’t been hitting up Tumblr to see who enjoys author Alice Hoffman as much as I do after all. My shows haven’t been inspiring me lately and I just wasn’t able to think of things I wanted to cosplay.

And then a movie just came up out of nowhere, slapped me in the face, threw some unrelated music into the mix and now I’m obsessed fangirl Devinity again.

I forgot that I fall hard when I fall in love.

So what has inspired my renewed love in fandom? Alice Through the fucking Looking Glass. Yeah. The movie sequel to Tim Burton’s remake of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. I can’t even tell you if it was a good movie. All I know is I was on a date at a movie we chose last minute and while it’s starting to look like I’m not getting a real boy for a boyfriend, I suddenly have a new fictional bf.

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Please can I have my life back? I can’t ride this obsession train forever.

 

Ah, nothing says obsessed fangirl type than falling hard for SOMEBODY FICTIONAL. Like seriously, what the hell is wrong with me? Anyway, the movie was okay. This Alice movie is not a masterpiece. Alan Rickman has very few scenes or lines- which obviously has to do with his untimely passing- and the Mad Hatter is not Johnny Depp’s best character. But then there is Time. I’m not even a Sacha Baron Cohen fan but I am all for his character in the film. Time hits one of my very, very favourite character story lines. Here’s a guy who seems like he could be a jerk but he’s actually not. He’s just a weird, lonely, magically immortal concept man who was minding his own business when some bratty kid shows up and pretty much ruins his life for the two hours or so of the movie. I don’t know why Time is being promoted as the villain in the trailers. From his point of view, Alice is the villain. From the audience’s point of view, Alice is a hero who doesn’t know the consequences of the situation she ends up in and Time is the poor sap who does know. I love that! The potential for story lines and fanfiction and everything is just so amazing!

And there’s almost no Time fanfiction! I’ve been dying here for over a week now waiting for people to fill the fandom void.

Anyway, now I have to design my cosplay life around this too. The Time cosplay I’m currently working on is a concept piece instead of an actual Time from the Alice movie. As time itself is an intangible concept we made up, my Time will be asexual. The costume may or may not be masculine in design with my obvious female-ness deliberately being utilized. The costume will be designed with the intention of matching with Mad Maddox Cosplay’s Red Queen. Although her Queen is inspired more by the original source material as well as her own flair, I wanted to do a Time to her Queen because I ship Time and Helena Bonham Carter’s Queen of Hearts.

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This is Mad. I already regret the decision to pair myself with this. We are not on the same skill level.

 

On a side note, I really like concept costumes. When I was a kid I dressed up as the colour blue for Halloween. I was not a blue thing. I was literally the essence of blue. And I have a Goddess of Death and Suicide cosplay designed for some future convention that, while being called a god cosplay, is really more about the concept of death through mental illness. So my Time will be a tangible form of a concept.

I also have a new music obsession brought on by Alice through the Looking Glass. I was checking out trailers and then googling the movie itself after I had seen it. So YouTube picked up on my Alice searches and starting suggesting videos related to that. The lyric video I clicked on had nothing to do with the Disney franchise but did have an Alice theme- it was Melanie Martinez’s “Mad Hatter.” Martinez started popping up in places because “Cry Baby” and “Alphabet Boy” were both features on Music Video Sins. So I listened to “Mad Hatter” a crazy number of times because it fit my mood and then listened to the other songs. This really fits my world view. So now I’m obsessed with Martinez and I rushed out to buy her Cry Baby album and now I have every song memorized.

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My new music girlfriend.

 

Martinez resonates with me more on a style level than on an Alice level. I love Lolita and the look of it. Martinez is dressed in Lolita fashion in all her videos. I love swear words, murder, death, mental illness and generally morbid themes. “Sippy Cup” is about a woman murdering her cheating husband and then offing the kids. Martinez is just the cutest looking (and sounding) young lady and then I listen to what she’s saying and it is the opposite of cute. She is this amazing juxtaposition between a girlie image and the way our often cruel world makes people lonely and bitter.

It would also be really easy to write some dark!Time fanfiction around her songs. Just saying.

What are your current obsessions?

Love Devinity.

PS. I’ll be at Avalon Expo this August. The girls and I are doing a group cosplay of the Shinigami (Willaim, Undertaker and Grell) from Black Butler and I’ll also have my original character Lady Kisara in tow. There will probably be Romantically Apocalyptic’s Snippy as well.

I’ll have two panels happening. My brother and I are organizing a geek themed speed dating session. I’ll also be hosting a Romantically Apocalyptic panel.

PSS. My current makeup obsession is Grav3yardgirl’s Swamp Queen pallet from Tarte Cosmetics.


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Fangirl Appreciation Post: Aurelio Voltaire

I have frequently been asked (or accused in one case) if I was a Goth over the years because I wear a lot of black, enjoy a good murder/suicide story and generally have a fondness for other people’s anguish. That and I love Halloween.

Apparently being a bitchy psychopath and a Goth is the same thing?

If you know anything about goth then you know it’s not a creepy death loving thing. Goth is usually an aesthetic thing. The movement of Gothic music, fashion and so forth was born around the same time as punk music. England was a special place in the 70’s and 80’s. It also has roots in Victorian aesthetics, much like Lolita and Steampunk. There are themes of death, darkness and angst within the Goth scene. Just… not in the same way I like them. I’m- sadly- more like Hugo Strange in Gotham when it comes to the human suffering thing. I want to know why people suffer more than anything. Also, I would make a terrible Goth in the fashion sense. It’s just too much work and my eye liner game is non-existent. Goths look so good though. So good.

However, there are a lot of things within the Goth subculture that I totally enjoy. One particular item is an artist that will be the focus of this piece. Aurelio Voltaire Hernandez is a Cuban-American musician most commonly known by the handle Voltaire. Although the last few years have seen him going by the name Aurelio Voltaire. He’s often classified as a goth artist because of the thematic nature of his music and look. He wears a lot of black, writes a lot of dark songs and sometimes looks like the devil (check out Almost Human). Although at the same time he’s not so easy to pin down as goth. There’s the country album he did to refute his apparent gothness. There’s also the Star Trek album too. And the song where he has sex with a bunch of Stormtroopers… yeah, Voltaire is one of us. A geek.

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Aurelio Voltaire at a steampunk show the girls and I saw in NYC

 

Musically, Voltaire is a very diverse artist. His music can be defined as goth or even alternative rock to that one country album to, in my opinion, folk. A lot of his songs sound very European folk-with-a-goth-twist to me. It may be the heavy use of violins in many of the songs that give me that impression. He is also very diverse within his own music. Some of the songs are very heavy, such as The Chosen or Anastasia, to ridiculous and humorous, like Brains or The Vampire Club. Voltaire has released eleven albums from The Devil’s Bris (my personal favourite) to Raised by Bats. Some of the albums are darker and some are lighter and one is called Bitrekual. That one is all Star Wars, Star Trek and sex.

Anyway, let’s talk about some of these amazing songs!

The Chosen (The Devil’s Bris, 1998)

The Chosen is hands down my favourite Voltaire song. It’s dark, moody and has a theme that makes my inner psychologist go “I wanna analyze this and write papers and do a case study!” The Chosen seems to be the tale of a young man with severe mental health issues. He has delusions and hear voices that suggest schizophrenia. As well, there’s a history of unhealthy sexual relationships (“First time I had sex I was three. First time consenting was thirteen”) and a potentially abusive mother. I always get the impression that the narrator is about to kill someone because the voices in his head told him too. It’s very mournful and sad at its heart.

Let’s just look at the first verse:

Last night a moth came to my bed, And filled my tired weary head, With horrid tales of you, I can’t believe it’s true. But then the lamp shade smiled at me, And it said, “Believe,” it said, “believe.” I want you to know it’s nothing personal

What’s not to love? It’s already full of story. Firstly, it invokes the essence of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” with the moth coming to tell tales. Then there is the suggestion of mental illness with the talking moth and lamp. Finally, there are the narrator’s own regrets. He has to do what he is going to do because of something about the other person. Yet he doesn’t want to and it’s “nothing personal.” The violins within the piece are slow, mournful and the dominant sound within the piece. There is something about classical string instruments that add a heavy air of solemnness to a piece. Voltaire himself sings like he’s just having a normal conversation. The character he is playing is so clearly troubled and yet he states very matter-of-fact the way he understands his current situation. It is what it is and he must take the other’s life in his hands.

When You’re Evil (The Devil’s Bris, 1998)

This one is from the same album as The Chosen. It is not anything like the Chosen though. It’s light-hearted and fun. This is also one of Mad Maddox’s favourites and probably the first Voltaire song either of us ever heard. I first heard it in a fan video of the Master from the Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who.

This is a song about a guy who does the Devil’s dirty work when the Devil himself is unavailable but they don’t need Death to go out to kill anyone. Once again it has the use of violins. This time, however, the violins give the song more of that European/Gypsy kind of folk music feeling. The music is upbeat and Voltaire just sounds so pleased with himself. So, so very pleased with himself. There is a point within the song where it takes a turn to the somber but then our story teller laughs and reveals that he was just playing a joke on the audience. Of course he loves being evil!

Happy Birthday (My Olde Friend) (To the Bottom of the Sea, 2008)

Happy Birthday my olde friend. It seems this horror show will never end. Any moment’s your last breath, Here is to another day closer to death.

Happy Birthday (My Olde Friend) is one of the songs that girlpuck enjoys. Although Mad and I have probably put the video link on many a person’s facebook page when their birthday has come around. This is another one of Voltaire more upbeat songs and it even has a music video! The video is just one big birthday party for a skeleton man but it looks like a lot of fun. The song is basically about a dude that is so old that their life is a fucking shit show. They have arthritis and their teeth could fall out at any time and they are an alcoholic… but this is a party god-dammitt! It’s super upbeat and everyone is having a good time. After all, aren’t all birthdays just a big fun celebration of aging and the inevitable fact of death?

 

There are so many more songs to look at as well. I really recommend checking Voltaire out.

Love, Devinity

PS: Top Three Favourite songs!

Devinity

  1. The Chosen
  2. Almost Human
  3. Accordian Player

girlpuck

  1. Happy Birthday (My Olde Friend)
  2. Zombie Prostitute
  3. This Ship’s Going Down

Mad Maddox

  1. When You’re Evil
  2. The Vampire Club
  3. Brains


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Sci-Fi on The Rock 10: It was actually decent for once

I think everyone knows by now that I hate SFOTR. I also swore I’d never waste money going to another one of their conventions again. And I did not. Mother won the free pass at the Merry Geekmass event so I got in for free.

This year the convention was finally moved to a new location. This made a major difference. The Sheraton Hotel is located in the downtown area of St. John’s and has much better atmosphere than the Holiday Inn. For one thing, the Sheraton has an atrium with gorgeous tropical plants and a waterfall. The photo opportunities alone are worth it. So the location change itself makes the convention 90% better. However, I wouldn’t say the committee deserves a pat on the back for finally making the move. Instead, we should be saying, “See? See how much better this was? Why couldn’t you do this years ago like you should have?”

The only real problem with the location was the lack of parking. Also, there were a bunch of idiots who couldn’t follow the bloody direction signs on the parking lot. However, one can offset that with the convenience of having many restaurants nearby as well as an amazing view of the harbour.

Another advantage to the Sheraton over the Holiday Inn was the layout. The artist corner and the vendor’s room were on the same level. And these rooms were well lit. The committee had always failed to ensure that there was adequate lighting in the artist room at the Holiday Inn and thus that room felt like a dungeon. Any artist or vendor in a corner was difficult to spot unless they brought their own lamp. I also didn’t like the low ceiling. However, the Sheraton rooms had plenty of lights and higher ceilings. While I think there was more square footage in the Sheraton there was also the illusion of space. The simple design of a room can change an entire experience.

I stayed at the con for the full three days as my mother booked a hotel room. My mother and my aunt were having a girls’ weekend with a trip to the spa and shopping planned. I had the con to harshly judge. I rather enjoyed staying in a hotel room during the convention. It meant I could drop off my purchases immediately instead of carrying them around. It also meant that I did not have to wait in any lines for the bathroom. I have some issues with public washrooms. They bother me. And having to go to the bathroom in cosplay is the actual worse. If your cosplay is large or voluminous, chances are that the stall isn’t big enough.

Day one saw me on my own as Undertaker from Black Butler. I did spend some time with acquaintances before going out to supper with my family. I hadn’t arrived until 3pm as that was when my check in was. So between that and supper, I only really looked around the first day. I was intending to check out a panel called “Movies No One Agrees with You On” but it wasn’t listed in the book that was given out when one goes to get their armband and I forgot about it. That was a huge, totally inexcusable mistake on the part of the organizers. What good is an information booklet without any information? The next day I was finally able to get a hard copy of the schedule because someone was after printing it out and leaving a bunch at the information desk. I heard that later in the day the people at the desks finally started asking if people wanted a copy of the schedule. Totally ridiculous.

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Should have trimmed the bangs.

 

The second day saw my brother and his friends at the con so I spent the day with them. I was a steampunk/dreadpunk vampire hunter. My brother’s friends were the team that work on Candeu and Swarley Pilgrim. I should add that Swarley is very happy to be a part of SFOTR. Anyway, that day was the day of the Harry Potter Family Feud panel. There were technical difficulties as the sound did not work but overall it went well. The Swarley/Candeu team had learned a lot from the trial run at Avalon Expo the previous August. Hopefully, this will become an annual tradition that eventually goes smoothly.

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I also checked out Ashley Harding Photography’s panel on her St. John’s Super Heroes project. It was an interesting look at what Ashley had learned about people’s hero preferences and even the historical preference for certain types of heroes in different eras.

The Candeu crew, another of their friends, my brother and I had an adventure trying out Escape Quest. We had tried the demo the year before at SFOTR 9 and had managed to finish with five seconds on the clock. We finished this time too although it was much more challenging. I always feel so happy to have won the game and yet so very dumb. I only figure out about one clue decently.

We finished day 2 by going to the dance. We were going to pay to get in but when we saw that the bar was in the atrium and that the music was perfectly audible out there too, we didn’t bother. Anyone that paid to go in that little room totally wasted their money. All they got in the dance room that we didn’t get was the ability to actually see the dj. We even had entertainment as there was a hula hoop girl doing a routine out in the atrium. Then we realised that one could easily sneak into the dance so long as one wasn’t related to the security guard. As was the case for Swarley.

Yet the highlight of Day 2 was our misadventure with Eugene Simon. Mother, my aunt and I had started out the day having breakfast in the hotel restaurant. There was a super cute guy in there and we keep looking at him. I was the only one back on to him and I kept turning around to look at the amazing view of the harbour. But the cutie was right in my line of sight. My mother asked if he was a girl because all she could see was the most gorgeous head of hair ever. We said no and so Mom asked if it was the “Game of Thrones” guy. I figured it wasn’t because why would he eat in the hotel with all these geeks around to disturb him? Then he keep looking at us and even started to stalk around the restaurant. We figured he knew we were talking about him and we had also realised that he was indeed Eugene Simon. So we started giggling like idiots and I ended up telling the story of how Mad Maddox and I accidently stalked Arthur Darvill. Eventually, the waitress came out and Simon talked to her before leaving.

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After all of that, I had to go meet him. He was very friendly and you could go up to him for a conversation without buying an autograph or photo. He complemented my wig and I told him that he had also seen my real hair. I asked him if he remembered the three idiots giggling at him and he had not. Simon told me he had been out of it that morning and had been looking for the waitress so he could pay as he was worried about being late to the convention. Then we talked about his beauty hair and I bought a selfie as well as an autographed photo. When I told him how to spell Cassandra (“It’s the proper spelling, Cass-“), he told me that was nice and that I should introduce myself as “Cassandra Proper.” Later I would see his video posts on twitter and realise he was a huge dork. And now I’m in love haha.

I met Robert Picardo with girlpuck and her bf that day too. He was a lovely, strange man although I did have war flashbacks to the trauma of meeting Nathan Fillion when Picardo pulled hand sanitizer out of his bag.

Day 3 saw me as Urushihara Hanzo/Lucifer from the Devil is a Part Timer. I did not stay long though.

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All in all, this was the best convention in SFOTR’s history. Would I pay to go next year? I don’t know. I still don’t trust the con’s ability to be good. But the move was a major game changer and solved a lot of the MASSIVE flaws that hound SFOTR. However, when mistakes like leaving the schedule out of the info booklet happen then it’s hard to have faith. I still believe that Avalon Expo is the St. John’s con with the most potential but maybe it doesn’t have to be the only one. So maybe I’ll check out next year’s SFOTR, maybe not. That cost/benefit analysis has yet to be completed.

Love,

Devinity

PS. Check out this great con footage:

Ashley Harding Photography’s cosplay video

Swarley Pilgrim’s Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 blog videos

Candeu’s Draw This or That video


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How I Chose to Cosplay: Poison Ivy and Catwoman (a Batman Double Feature)

If you were to come into my household and ask which is better, Marvel or DC, the answer would be DC. This is because DC has Batman. There is no other reason. Well, it helps that Batman has the best villains (no contest) but one can argue the other merits and faults of both universes equally.

But I will cut a bitch if they do not like Batman. I am irrational like that.

I do not so much like Batman because I’m a geek but simply because I grew up with it. One of my brothers was obsessed with Batman at an age where he was so young that he couldn’t even pronounce the letter J. I do not even remember that as we were that young. So every time there was an episode of Adam West’s Batman television series on, we watched it. Years and years later, I’d get the DVD of West’s Batman movie signed by the man himself.

My brothers and I are also children of the nineties. And I mean that all three of us were born at the very beginning of the decade (or the very end of the eighties if it’s me). And what did any true nineties child watch? The critically acclaimed, total game changer Batman: The Animated Series (BTAS). This series has changed the face of the Batman universe, including the comics. BTAS is where Harley Quinn first appeared. She was not intended for the comics initially but she was so popular with viewers that she was put in the comics. Now Harley is the title character of her own book series as well as having a successful run with the Suicide Squad. More interesting, the tragedy that Is Mr. Freeze and his wife Nora came from BTAS. Mr. Freeze has been around for a fairly long time but was little more than a crook with an ice ray. BTAS was the first to give him the backstory that broke many a heart. And OMG, Luke Skywalker as the Joker. Mark Hamill was brilliant. That laugh. That light-hearted than suddenly terrorizing tone. The vocal talents of that man astound me. Hamill is hands down the best Joker that there ever was and the others were all live action versions! Kevin Conroy was a solid Batman as well. Much of the voice work in the series was spot on.

There was of course the movies by that point too and we liked them all. The Michael Keaton Batman run is still solid but Val Kilmer and Gearoge Clooney’s Batman films don’t hold up well now that I’m an adult. As a kid they were great. They’re still great in a “what the hell kind of directing/acting/writing decision was that” way. I have a love/hate relationship with the Christian Bale Batman years. I loved Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow, Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman and Tom Hardy’s Bane but hated Heath Ledger’s Joker. Christian Bale did not wow me and whoever decided Michael Caine was a good choice as Alfred Pennyworth has an IQ of about 2. I am amazed that they were able to turn Gary Oldman in Commissioner Gordon though. He looked like he walked out of BTAS, older, thinner and more tired.

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Formal Dress Poison Ivy. Unfortunately, this dress was way too big in the chest (even though it was my size from the waist down). Also, I burnt myself making that headband. This was not the first time a Poison Ivy costume physically harmed me.

 

Before the Bale run of movies and post BTAS was a wonderful show called Batman Beyond. It was a concept that should have failed so spectacularly and yet was so fucking good. I love Terry McGinnis. I love him with everything I am. I love how he was young, how he would never kill anyone but he very actively did not stop villains from dying via accident. Seriously, in one episode, a villain knocks a building down on himself and Terry did not try to save him at all. The theme song was great. The design was futuristic and still very Gotham. Bruce Wayne was a crotchety old man who’d fuck people’s shit up as soon as look at them. This Bruce was still voiced by Kevin Conroy and it was not hard seeing the Bruce/Batman of BTAS growing into the Bruce of Batman Beyond. There’s this one scene that basically encapsulates why I love that show. Terry has a super nerdy classmate who gets himself a robot girlfriend. It’s the cliché possessive robot girlfriend story. She gets jealous, destroys the boy’s house at a party and so forth. Batman Beyond was an edgier, darker show than BTAS and that vibe was in this episode. But then it has scenes like when the boy’s parents come home early from a trip because their credit card was maxed out- robot girlfriends are expensive- only to find the house on fire. The father screams “What did you buy?! Dynamite!? Dynamite to blow up the house with!?!?!” and I die laughing every time. Batman Beyond was downright quirky in-between the grit and darkness and tragedy- for BTAS and this series shared in tragic characters.

I have spent my entire life with Batman. This is actually a literal statement. And as so much of my heart has been invested in Batman, I have started to read the comics. I loved the run with Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne as Batman and Robin or Dick and the Punk Bitch, as I like to call them. I collect Scarecrow comics in particular. Although my favourite storylines have to be The Long Halloween and Dark Victory as they are ensemble casts that give equal time to the mafia and the rouge’s gallery… for Batman is not just costumed crazies. It is also a criminal network of old families and blood feuds.

I’ve seen every animated Batman movie with the exception of the ones based around the New 52. I watch Gotham regularly, even though I have a love/hate relationship with it. Oh Gotham, you do some things so well and others so poorly. I will be seeing Batman V. Superman and I am looking forward to Ben Affleck’s run. I do not care what anyone says!

I’ve never cosplayed Batman himself however. But I have cosplayed as Poison Ivy, a steampunk Scarecrow and as classic Catwoman.

I won’t bother talking about Scarecrow as that costume was awful. Just know that he is one of my very, very favourite characters and that he may get his own blog entry later.

As a child, Batgirl was my favourite character as I myself was a girl. Being a girl automatically made girls better. Once I hit my teens I got over that pretty fast. In fact, I identify with male characters far more than I have ever identified with a female despite being a cis hetero woman who wears makeup all the time and only wears dresses. At heart, I’m a man though. I don’t know how clearly that comes across though as I’ve never known a disconnect between my gender and sex. Anyway, I gravitate towards male characters, male story lines and male gender roles in the books I read and the shows I watch. I generally prefer male singers to female ones as well. Maybe it’s because men usually get to play dominant characters and I have an extremely dominant personality. I think that makes my love of the ultra-feminist Poison Ivy slightly odd. And she was quite the feminist in BTAS.

My Poison Ivy cosplay was actually pretty terrible but it was one of the very first I put together. I won’t say made because I don’t sew. I buy everything already made. I would eventually come back to it and create a formal dress Poison Ivy and I plan to do a version that actually looks good. I enjoy Ivy as a character because she’s so very intelligent and yet so completely mentally ill. The woman is a highly accomplished botanist, she’s well educated and she has enough skills as a chemist to create compounds that turn plants semi-sentient. And yet she acts like she herself is a plant and that humans are lesser beings to plants. Ivy cares for other people, such as Harley Quinn, but she doesn’t seem to be aware that she herself is a person. She’s dangerous because of that delusion but not necessary malicious. Sometimes she is if it suits the story being told but most times Ivy comes across as a mentally ill person that doesn’t realise the harm she’s causing. If Ivy did not have the ability to destroy Gotham with mutated plants then she would simply be someone in a mental institution with doctors trying to figure out with meds she needs to be on. This makes her such a complicated character. Like many of the rogues, Batman cannot simply punch her out because she’s not a criminal really. She’s someone that needs help but is too powerful to actually be helped. That is so beautiful and tragic and I just eat it up.

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I think my cosplay game has come a long way since this photo in 2011.

 

I picked Catwoman simply because I needed someone to cosplay as for New York Comic Con. My friend Mad Maddox made the costume as a graduation gift- this was the year I got my BSc in psychology. I picked a classic era Catwoman for a very shallow reason. I am fat and I would not look good in a cat suit. Catwoman isn’t one of my favourite Batman characters. Out of all the sane Batman characters I much prefer Alfred, Dick, Tim, Barbara and Gordon. Bruce does not count as a sane character, by the way. He is much too broken emotionally for that. Yet Catwoman is fun. She’s a criminal but not a rogue. She will help people out and she can be kind but she will take something just because she wants too. She’s not afraid of Batman and she can be as honest as she wants with him. Selina Kyle is probably the most independent character in the comics because, even though she’s in love with Bruce, Bruce does not affect what she wants. She’ll get mad at him at times because who wouldn’t? But Bruce can’t damage her sense of self the way that he can Jason and he can’t cause her emotional distress the way he does Alfred or Dick or Barbara. Selina certainly doesn’t try to become the person that she thinks Bruce would want her to be like Jason or Tim had tried. Selina loves Bruce but she still steals even though she knows Batman does not approve. She can give him up if she has too. He’s not imprinted into her psyche. And the Bat is good at imprinting on people as seen by the way that the Joker, Scarecrow, Ra’s al Ghul and so forth are obsessed with him. I also enjoy the way she teases all the Robins.

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This mask causes me all sorts of frustrations haha.

 

I love the Batman universe. It’s so incredibly important to me. It is in the fabric of my youth and still shapes how I view the superhero fandom. As such, there are bound to be many more Batman cosplays in my future.

Love,

Devinity.

Ps. Which book/comic/show/etc. is the most important to you?