Tuesday, February 23, 2016

So, Batman, Cookie Monster and a Jawa walk into a bar....

Stop me if you've heard this one.  So, Batman, Cookie Monster and a Jawa walk into a bar because the Abbey Underground in Denton, Texas was hosting a Fandom Dinner and Cosplay Cocktail Party Saturday night from 5pm-2am.  A bar hosting a party for people in costume with drinks, food, a Lego Minifig vendor, a band, a costume contest and a DJ?  Hail yiss!

I decided to attend purely on a whim. Did I know anyone going to this party?  Well, no.  Did I have a costume ready to go within a day's notice?  Actually, I did!  I made a couple of cosplay costumes last winter after attending last year's Wizard World Comic Con in Tulsa, OK, where I came away ablaze with inspiration.  

Prior to that convention I rarely attended cons and truly believed that I would never cosplay simply because I am plus-sized.  However after witnessing so many young cosplayers at the Tulsa Comic Con, from little children to teenagers dressing up in costumes they had made themselves.  I changed my mind.  Drastically.  Cosplay is for everyone.  I get a huge thrill out of someone recognizing my fandom and a huge surge of happiness whenever I make decent looking props from a pile of garbage, or clay, or felt, or cardboard.  

So for the cosplay party at the Abbey Underground, I donned my Ramona Flowers costume from Scott Pilgrim comic/movie, complete with the "Power of Love" sword made from a plastic Halloween ninja sword and Ramona's iconic purse made from a spray painted cookie tin and went forth to meet a bunch of strangers, in costume.

I arrived a little early.  Most people arrived later in the night, but I didn't know what to expect so I got there a little after the doors opened at 5 pm, to be sure I would be allowed in.

I met the featured cosplayer, MisspmjCosplay, who was dressed as the upcoming Suicide Squad movie version of Harley Quinn.  She was there to raise proceeds for the non-profit agency Heroic Inner Kids.  I loved that she is a HUGE DC fangirl, like myself.  She had recently completed the Dagger Type, gold and black version of the new 52 Batgirl Comic costume, which she explained the plotline in precise detail to me, and my jaw practically dropped.  She is the real deal and a lovely person to boot.

As the costume contest was taking place, I met a super-cute, friendly cosplay couple.  She was dressed as Kagura of the Wind from Inuyasha, which I used to beg my younger sister to tape for me on VCR whenever it aired on Cartoon Network back in the day.  Her husband was dressed as Metal Gear Solid's Snake. 

My new friends in line for the cosplay contest, standing behind Elsa and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.

Kagura of the Wind by @t0xicassie

Lil' Link and Twilight Sparkle!

Sadly, my new friends didn't win.  Top Prize went to a cosplayer from Borderlands but as the night I geeked out with new people on superhero movies from the 90's such as The Phantom and Dark Man.  My metal cookie tin purse felt apart twice but both times cosplayers immediately came to my rescue, corralling my wallet, keys and phone, handing them back to me. Thank you, Princess Leia!

The band Luna Royale played dressed as Obi-Wan, Doctor Who, and Batman on the drums.  It's too bad I didn't take a full photo of Batman in costume as he was wearing the black underwear over grey leggings version.

Princess Leia and Jafar looking on.

After the band and some weird Dragon-Ball Z male fight/strip show?!? (it was weird. Two actors play-fought then stripped to the waist, grinding up on Harley Quinn.  I took pictures as first but even my camera was like, "wha??? Ah hell, no!") the DJ started spinning, mostly playing Michael Jackson and oldies.  No Drake or Bey.  I stayed until my purse exploded for the last time, all over the dance floor. Then left awash in a vague feeling that I just experienced a very odd but fun fever dream.

I don't know that I would go again to small events outside of the larger conventions, it makes for a memorable experiences but it is really difficult to remember different cosplayers you might have met before, because they look soooo different from costume to costume.  Also some of the cosplayers have pre-established groups or family members that they cosplay with, so it seemed to me that they weren't super open to outsiders.  I usually make friends quite easily but with costumes involved, it just seemed different, not quite as easy.  People do kind of look at your costume and what it represents, rather than seeing you as a person.  It's just what we do as humans.

I want to definitely keep cosplaying but sometimes I just got to remember that the friendliest face I have, is actually my own.

Until next time!

(All photos are my own.  Please let me know if you'd like to be credited as one of the above cosplayers.  Thanks)


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