Friday, August 23, 2013
HOOKED ON HEROES
about cosplayers who compete at conventions like Emerald City and
Wizard World Portland. I’ve watched the first two episodes of the
series’ six-episode run and find myself utterly captivated by the
world of professional cosplaying.
Previously, I thought of cosplaying strictly as a fun addition to
comics and genre conventions. It never occurred to dullard me that
some cosplayers saw these competitions as stepping stones to their
dream careers. At least I did realize how much sweat, tears and hard
work go into their costumes. So I’m not a complete idiot.
I reviewed the first episode of Heroes of Cosplay back on Tuesday.
I may or not write about each and every episode, but I do have some
comments on the second episode.
Led by “Queen of Cosplay” YaYa Han, the judges have very exacting
standards which must be met by the contestants and their costumes.
Accuracy, creativity, workmanship and performance are essential to
the process. Showing the judges something they haven’t seen before
wins points. Exhibiting craftsmanship in the making of a costume is
a major plus. Performing the character well wins over the judges
and the audience.
Digression. At the Emerald City competition, the judges awarded a
third-place to a Batman costume. It was well-made, but I thought
they overlooked that the cape was the wrong color. Unless it was
some incarnation of the Batman unfamiliar to me.
When I watched the first episode, I thought the reality show drama
was overdone. There was still a lot of drama in the second show,
but I thought it was more on topic. For example...
Monika, the youngest of the cosplayers, is being torn between the
craftsmanship championed by YaYa and the sexiness-sans-substance of
another cosplayer. Her mother is alarmed by the skimpiness of the
Steampunk Poison Ivy costume Monika will wear for the Emerald City
competition. That’s a good call on Mom’s part. The costume looked
sleazy and Monika completely failed to sell the personality of the
character she portrayed. She should have listened to YaYa.
Chloe, who hosts a show about cosplaying, had a terrific attitude.
She was competing so that she could get a feel from the rigors of
competition and for the sheer fun of it. That “fun” element seems
to be lacking for some of the other cosplayers.
Chloe also found herself at odds with the others on the question of
whether cosplayers should have the same basic physique as whatever
character they are portraying. Chloe appeared to believe that fun
trumps accuracy and I’m with her there.
Not every cosplayer looks like the characters who appear in comic
books, anime, video games and movies. In the case of those first
three, you would probably run away in stark raving horror if those
cosplayers did look like the exaggerated images of those mediums.
Think about it.
I’m all for cosplayers dressing as whatever characters they want to
portray. Sure, keep it safely within what’s allowed by the local
indecency laws, but no one has even been scarred for life by seeing
someone dressed as Thor or Wonder Woman who perhaps lacked
the idealized builds of those characters. The odds are good you’re
no Adonis or Venus yourself. Get over it.
Hooked on Heroes of Cosplay as I am, I find myself rooting for the
regulars. I want Jesse to win because he would clearly be so much
happier if he could build props professionally. I want Victoria to
impress the judges with the Tron dress she and Jinyo made, even if
I wince when she failed to give him any of the credit while on
stage. I’m betting that cost her points.
Next Tuesday’s episode takes the cosplayers to Megacon in Orlando.
SyFy reruns Heroes of Cosplay several times each week. It’s worth
I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2013 Tony Isabella