Summer is here! And while for some that might mean beach adventures and hours spent toasting in the sun, for others it's convention season.
While some folks attend conventions as mere mortals, it's always more fun to let your super hero - or super geek - alter-ego come out to play.
This year's Florida Supercon, which takes place through Sunday at the Miami Airport Convention Center, will have some pretty colorfully dressed guests. "It's like a surprise. You're never sure what you are going to see at these types of conventions," says Farrah McEwen, VP and Co-Owner of Mac's Comics & Collectibles Inc. But one of the best parts of dressing up, she adds, is being able to "mingle with other people in your own interest groups."
Even though there will be plenty of Han Solos, Iron Men, Black Widows and Jokers, part of costume playing involves adding your own spin to the staple character. "Use your creativity and let your imagination run wild," suggests McEwen.
Perhaps one theme con-goers will be sticking with this year will be: zombies. Various cast members of The Walking Dead will be making an appearance at Supercon, so what better way to show your admiration than making yourself look undead?
But zombies won't be the only ones invading Superon; Callie Cosplay (Leah Burroughs) thinks "with the resurgence of the Superman character with the recent release of Man of Steel, we'll be seeing a lot of Kryptonian cosplay this year." And Burroughs knows what she's talking about; as a Cosplay Ambassador at this year's convention, Callie Cosplay will be leaving her mark.
One tip she gives to cosplay newbies who want to be unique, is to be true: "Staying true to the character is what makes a costume stand out," she says. "Being passionate about the character is key because at the end of the day, cosplay is more than just faux leather and high heel boots," says Burroughs.
But that faux leather, and maybe even some spandex, will come in handy when putting together your own costume. If you're a little short on inspiration, let Callie Cosplay inspire you. For this year's convention, Burroughs will don four different personas: The Baroness, Black Cat, Mary Jane Watson, and a Starfleet officer.
Burroughs recommends for cosplay beginners to first "study the character and his/her costume." From there, the next step would be finding out how to put the costume together, and then getting the necessary pieces; "search local thrift stores, go online, find the separate parts, and so on." If it's your first time making your own costume and you weren't born holding a needle and thread, it's a good idea to take it easy and start with simple characters.
For a one-of-a-kind twist on fan favorite characters, Callie suggests looking at those characters' other identities. For example, here are Callie Cosplay's picks for unique costume choices:
Batman is a simple enough costume to make: a full body black spandex suit with the utility belt, cape, a giant yellow bat symbol, and a bat-like mask. But why not trade in the yellow for a bit of fiery red? As Batman Beyond, you need the same black body suit, but instead of a yellow emblem, cut it from red cloth to sew on the chest - and keep some of that red material for your cape. If you're crunched for time, a simple Amazon search will help you quickly order some gloves and a rubber bat mask.
Spiderman's Iron Spider Armor
Now this is a tough costume to make, but it might even be cooler than Storm Trooper armor. (Relax, Star Wars fans -- we said "might.") Burroughs' tip is to use a material called worbla - "it's awesome for making armor!"
Blackest Night's Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman has always been a fantastic choice - and with America's Independence Day a few days away, she is also the most patriotic choice. Blackest Night's Wonder Woman is an amped up, kick-ass version, and she looks fierce as hell in black. This is one costume where faux leather and high heel boots would be perfect.
Mac's Comics & Collectibles Inc.'s McEwen also recommended two costumes she'd love to see done right and which would certainly set you apart:
This big green guy is easy enough to put together. Option 1: Get a green body suit (spandex optional) and some purple cut off shorts. Option 2: Buy a padded suit online. Or Option 3 (our favorite): Turn into Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, paint your skin green, and throw on a pair of ripped jean shorts.
This guy is intense, and also in style. Blue is very in, and Thanos is covered in it! Though his blue muscular body will take time to create - daily gym visits, or see option 3 of the Hulk - you can always go with the classic body suit option, and then create some yellow armor using the recommended worbla material, or yellow painted cardboard, depending on your choice/skill level.
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When making your costume, remember that Google is your friend, and so are all those DIY blogs.
--Carolina del Busto