Costuming

I make or purchase a lot of costumes. Here is where I'll talk about costumes I've made, am making, am in the process of upgrading, or talk to some of my friends in the costuming community.

Dragon Con 2013: One Geek’s Perspective, Part Two (Friday)

by Aaron Einhorn

Friday

This was my biggest, busiest day of the convention. We got up nice and early, had breakfast in the room, and then began the process of showering, shaving, costume fitting and putting on make-up to transform myself in to this:

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That’s right, kids, I was off to the fabulous JLA vs. Avengers shoot, with special Guest of Honor, George Perez! I was really nervous about this shoot. Not only is Perez a living legend in comics, but I was going to be standing side-by-side with many costumers who I consider to be idols. Margie and Ned Cox, Danny and Heather Kelly and Brian Parsley are among the people I look to as inspiration and who I routinely ask when I’m stuck on how to do something with my costumes. And I was going to be a part of a themed shoot with them.

On top of that, I was dressed as a seriously obscure character, and I was scared as hell. Jack of Hearts’ costume is, shall we say, complex. Would anyone recognize me? Would I do it right? Also, this was the first time I had done a costume with serious make-up, and I was scared that it would melt off my face in the Atlanta sun.

Fortunately, my fears were unfounded. As soon as I got off the elevator (while Christina slept in), I heard “Jack of Hearts? Oh my god, I have never seen someone do that costume before!” and my picture was taken. Then, as I traveled to the photo site, I ran in to George Perez himself, who took my picture while in costume. Suddenly, I felt like I had arrived.

The shoot was awesome and epic, and I cannot wait until the video and photos arrive online. Everyone was super nice, especially my fight partner, Sean, whose Martian Manhunter is epic, and Allen Hansard, the director of the shoot. It took us over two hours, and many of us were sore by the time it was done, but man, it was worth it.

Photo credit: Pat Loika

Photo credit: Pat Loika

From there, it was back to my room to scrub my face, hang out with Christina, and to hit the Walk of Fame. While there, we met with John “Q” de Lancie, who was an absolute gentleman and who gave us a signed picture of Discord for our daughters while Christina bought a signed photo of Q for herself.

And he did all this, even while fighting a cold.

And he did all this, even while fighting a cold.

Later on, Christina would go to meet Peter “Doctor Number 5” Davidson, while I pulled on a pair of tights to become Miles Morales, the current Ultimate Spider-Man. It was time for the Spider-Man and Friends (and Foes) shoot, and it would be the last time I ever wore the incredible costume made for me by Brad West of Outrageous Outfits. She would also hit the dealer’s room and look at some items which we would ultimately end up purchasing.

This shoot was a lot less big, but no less fun than the one earlier in the day. Sadly, I had to bail early on the shoot because I was committed to another shoot, back in the Jack of Hearts get-up. It was fun hanging with the other Spideys, however, and I will be back into some version of the Webslinger’s get-up before too long.

While I dashed back and forth from my room to the Hilton stairs, Christina met up with another costumer and sold my Spidey suit. This would come in extremely handy later on in the weekend. But I didn’t have time to think about that – I had to get my cosmic groove on.

What a shoot that turned out to be. First off, it was fun to get even more “Oh my god!” comments about Jack of Hearts. But the absolute highlight of the experience was to see Ryan Ricks’ incredible Ultron costume, alongside so many other incredible, weird cosmic characters.

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Photo Credit: Almost Nerdy
Ultron wasn’t here yet, but check out all the crazy 70’s costume designs!

From there, I went back to my room, got out of costume once again, and Christina and I had dinner at Aviva by Kameel. If you end up near the Peachtree Center mall, you have to eat here. The best mix of Mediterranean and Italian food you could imagine.

After dinner, we decided we would try to hit the Avengers Ball, which had me changing in to U.S. Agent for a time. The ball was a little quiet and tame, although we did see some really cool Formal-Dress-Female-Avengers, and I did run into several friends. Still, it was quiet enough that we headed off to attempt to hit the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Ball, which was held at our hotel.

That was the first time I really began to think that Dragon Con may have outgrown its space. The line to get into the ball went out of the ballroom, snaked down the lobby, in to a board room where it snaked around several times, and then down and around a corner where it vanished to who knows where.

Needless to say, we didn’t get to the ball. So, we called it another relatively early night, and returned to our room, but not before encountering a Dalek by the elevators.

Yeah, there’s someone in there.

Yeah, there’s someone in there.

The first full day of Dragon Con was down, but the convention was barely getting started. And the next day, I would manage something I’ve been trying to do for years…

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Dragon Con 2013: One Geek’s Perspective, Part One (Thursday)

by Aaron Einhorn
For many years now, I have wanted to go to Dragon*Con (or Dragon Con, if you prefer. They lost the asterisk when they disbanded and reformed.) Ever since I began doing superhero costuming, I had heard about the crazy and amazing times at Dragon Con from my friends on The Superhero Costuming Forum, and wanted to figure out a way to get there.

This past October, a friend of mine intended to get a booth, and so I entered into the insanity that is trying to get a hotel room at one of the “host” hotels of the convention, and wonder of wonders, ended up with a room at the Marriott Marquis – the central hub of most of the convention.

Between October and this past weekend, Christina decided to come to the convention with me, we arranged for the girls to spend the weekend at Camp Grandma, and another set of friends replaced my original friend for sharing the room.

I had major costuming plans for the convention, as you can see below.

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The plan was to wear Shining Armor on Thursday night for an informal My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic group, wear Jack of Hearts on Friday for two photoshoots, with Ultimate Spider-Man being worn midway through the day for another, to wear Superman Red on Saturday for the big DC photoshoot, and to wear US Agent on Sunday for the big Marvel shoot. I marked the Dragon Con app on my iPhone with a dozen or so panels I wanted to attend, and then off we went to sunny (and HOT!) Atlanta.

Thursday

This was our fairly low-key day. We flew in early in the morning, took the Marta train from the airport to the convention center (which was surprisingly easy), and learned what Dragon Con registration is like. For the uninitiated, trying to get over 50,000 people through a registration line is, shall we say, time consuming. When I arrived in line for registration at 9:30 a.m. (with registration opening at 10:00 a.m.), the line wrapped completely around the Sheraton Hotel. The police who were managing the line had no clue what the organization was, so the line was self-policing. Finally, at 10:00, the line began moving – and for those of us in line then, it moved pretty consistently into the center, through an immense snake, and up to the counter.

After registration, Christina and I went to the Hard Rock Café for lunch. I love the Hard Rock, and make it a point to eat at it anytime I’m in a city that has one. It still saddens me to realize I have yet to make it to the Hard Rock in my own state. But soon.

Following that, after we went back to the room to relax, we hung with some friends when I discovered that my pony costume just was not coming together. I bailed on wearing the suit, although my friend Wiccy still ran around as Queen Chrysalis.

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From there, I went to the meet and greet for the SCF. This was an odd experience for me. I was surrounded by people who I sort-of-kind-of knew from the internet, but mostly when they were in costume, which they weren’t. I had a few friends there I had met at other conventions, and a few folks I had stopped and had dinner with when we drove back through Atlanta from Disney World, but mostly it was a sea of strangers. Everyone was very nice, but I had a lot of trouble forcing myself to actually talk to people. I’m kind of kicking myself for this, because I probably could have got a lot more from the night if I’d made more of an effort to be more social, but it was still a good time.

One of the cool moments from the meet-up however would lead to a costume trade in my future. You see, my Superman Red was originally worn by Jonathan Carroll. I purchased it from him after Danny Kelly was selling his Superman Blue costume, and I was just a few minutes too late to purchase it, leading to Danny putting me in touch with Jonathan. But it turns out that the guy who bought Blue would have actually preferred to have Red, and I wanted Blue. So, we agreed that we would trade after the convention.

On the way back to our room, Christina and I ran into one of my friends from Columbus, and managed to snap a picture of her very impressive Tia Dalma costume.

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Then it was off to the room to watch some Dragon Con TV and get rest before the next morning when things would be kicking off with a bang. The day would start with me changing in to a half-alien, then becoming a teen bit by a radioactive spider, back into my half-alien guise, and then into a super soldier. Along the way, I would also sell off one costume in my line-up, meet an immortal trickster, have some of the best shwarma I’ve ever had, and ditch out on attending a ball held in honor of one of my favorite TV shows.

Here’s a teaser of what Friday held for me…

JLA

Can we say “Epic”?
Photocredit: Pat Loika

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My Date With Lois Lane

kidderby Aaron Einhorn
Well, perhaps “date” is a bit strong of a word, but I got to meet Lois Lane today, or more precisely, I got to meet Margot Kidder, who while she wasn’t the first actress to be Lois Lane, she will forever be the Lois Lane in my heart.

There have been numerous Lois Lanes through the years, from Noelle Neill and Phyllis Coates to Kate Bosworth and Amy Adams in the films, and from Phyllis Coates to Terri Hatcher to Erica Durance on television, with countless others providing voices to the intrepid reporter/love interest to the Man of Steel.

But in 1978, Margot Kidder appeared as Lois Lane in Superman: The Movie and from that point on, she has been my image of Lois.

Today, Packrat Comics hosted their second Annual “Not at Comic Con” Comic Con, and Ms. Kidder was a guest. I brought my girls out, and we stood in the rain to get inside, only to finally meet Ms. Kidder. Cordy and Mira wore their costumes from Disney, appearing as Tinkerbell and Snow White, and I wore the Superman costume that is responsible for getting me into costuming and for introducing me to the Heroes Alliance.

220px-Superman_ver1I joke that ever since my Superman suit ended up in the pool at one of the Heroes Alliance events, it attracts water, and today was no exception. We had a nice little thunderstorm while I was in line.

The store was crowded, although the atmosphere was fun, and as has become all too common with celebrity appearances, the rules about what you get with each purchase were a bit less clear than they should have been. But none of that changes the fact that meeting “my” Lois Lane was totally worth it.

I still mourn the fact that I never met Christophe Reeve. There are few celebrities who I actually cry over when they pass, and the two I can immediately think of are Jim Henson and Chris Reeve. Jim Henson taught me to believe in magic, and Chris Reeve made me believe a man could fly.

I’ll never get to shake his hand and tell him what his Superman meant to me, but today I at least got to do the same with Margot Kidder. I am extremely grateful for that.

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