Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Steamworks: Planning Your Comic Con Cosplay

Hey Gang,

So with San Diego Comic Con playing out and New York Comic Con approaching, I wanted to talk to you guys about planning out your cosplay or costume. So...

Forgive me for the hard-to-see colors; it was the best I could get it (look at me, trying so hard for you guys). Usually Gabby's the one that does the photo editing ...

Anyway, let's get started!

1. Find a character: This step's pretty simple and self explanatory; find a character that you like. They can be a from a video game, manga, comic book, movie, TV show; the possibilities are endless. However, just a protip: if you're going to a COMIC CON, you might want to dress as someone ... relevant? That means no going as Snooki from Jersey Shore or something dumb like that. Once you find a character, stick with it. If you noticed, in the past year, I've bounced from Jedi to Ellis to now Drake. Now the easiest way to do this is to find a character that looks somewhat similar to you. While finding such a character might be a challenge for some, preparing the costume will be a lot less stress. For example, it would be a lot easier for me to dress up as Nate Drake from Uncharted than Romona from Scott Pilgrim:

Me cosplaying as Drake: Not bad, definitely do-able

Me cosplaying as Romona: Nothing good can come from this...

2. MAKE A LIST AND RESEARCH: This would probably be Leslie Knope's favorite step. Make a list of all the costume pieces you need. Now if you want a convincing costume, make sure to take note of every piece of clothing your character normally wears. The length of your list will help determine the quality of your costume. The more you can replicate the character, the more convincing your costume will be; in other words, if your list contains only a shirt, hat, and pants, it's not going to be very good. You're also going to want to research prices on how much all these items are going to cost and where you can purchase them. A protip for your list would be to write the prices next to their respective items and include links to where you will be buying it. This is my list for my Drake costume:

It's still a bit incomplete, but it's getting there. But that's a good example of a decent list.

3. Finance: Now obviously all these props are going to cost money. That means you're going to need to know exactly how much you're going to spend on this costume. Now usually a rule of thumb is: the more expensive your costume is, it will likely have a better quality (if I need to explain why, you've never went shopping for anything before). However, if you're spending more than $200, you might want to look for either a cheaper character or cheaper props. if you look back to my list, my total is a little less than $150.00, which isn't too bad. You might be able to see now why it might be a good idea to get your list made early; this way, you have enough time to decide what you want to dress up as, make the list of props, and save up money. Otherwise, you might be rushing to make those last few dollars and getting those prop items.

4. Make Sure You're Ready: Now this step comes in about a week or two away from when you're leaving for the con. Try on your costume, make sure everything fits. Make sure nothing's broken. If something is itchy or uncomfortable, fix it. Take some pictures and see what your friends think. Ask them if there's anything they think you should add or remove. This is basically your last step in prepping for the con.

5. Go Show Off Your Awesome Cosplaying Skills: Lastly, go to the con and have a good time. A good rule of thumb for telling if your costume was pretty good is if people ask to take a picture with you, or even the subtle "Nice costume man!" The more time, money, and effort you put into your costume, the better it'll turn out. And, let's face it, it'll be a cool story to tell your kids.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this guide. To those of you at San Diego, I envy you. To those of you planning for NYCC, good luck; this would be a great time to start planning! See ya there!

Peter, The SteamWorks

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