"Heroes of Cosplay": Final Thoughts

Jinyo was my favorite cast member,
and he wasn't even officially a cast member.
It was really difficult for me to not post about every single episode, because every episode brought up new topics and points of interest. I stand by the points that I made in my first post about the show, it's still a pretty accurate portrayal of the cosplay community, or at least the darker side of it. I do wish that the show highlighted the more enjoyable aspects of it, of course namely the actual craftsmanship and the comradery. I imagine it would be near impossible to show how easy it can be to talk to new people at conventions with the cameras everywhere and the legal side of things (having to have everyone on-camera sign a waiver), but that would have been cool to see too.

As for the people on the show, I'm going to try not to go on too long about them. They did not come across as good people, except during their backpedaling at the end. Of course a lot of that could be the editing, but editing can't put words directly in people's mouths, they definitely said some unkind things. That said, we all occasionally say mean things, especially when we're upset, but a majority of people make up for it either directly by apologizing or indirectly by being good people otherwise. It's very possible that a majority of the cast's good moments and good qualities were edited out. Ultimately, because I don't know the people on the show and have never interacted with a single one of them in my life, I'm completely indifferent to them.

All of that said, "Heroes of Cosplay" taught me some things, both about cosplay and about life in general:

  • If these knuckleheads can crank out those amazing things in a week, I can do something better in several months.
  • Procrastination never pays off.
  • Communication is key, they showed us how easily things can be taken out of context.
  • Cosplay competitions are not as scary as they seem. Again, if these knuckleheads can do it...
  • Don't let yourself take advantage of people who care about you.
I'm sure there's more, but that's just off the top of my head. For any non-cosplayers that bothered enough to watch to the end, it did wrap-up with a good message, "Cosplaying is for fun, and it's for everybody." It's pretty obvious that this was some backpedaling damage-control, but it's true nonetheless. In a perfect world, that's what people would take away from the show, but of course it's not. The takeaway is that the (competitive) cosplay world is a ruthless, cutthroat community that's ready to tear apart anyone that doesn't fit into the ideal of a "good cosplayer". In some cases that's true, but it's not the norm, and hopefully the show won't scare away too many new cosplayers.

Again though, I do stand by what I said in my first post, if anything, this show has brought the existing cosplay community closer together under the premise of, "Well at least we're not like that."

Ho-Oh Progress

So I've been working on some details for my Ho-Oh gijinka, with the eventual goal being to enter this cosplay into some competitions. I've been beading a Rainbow Feather/Wing onto the bottom of the back, inspired by the Rainbow Wing item from Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal. It's my first beading/embroidery project like this, the closest thing I've done before is the beading on the bra piece, which wasn't nearly as complicated. I was also sure to (fairly accurately) keep track of how many hours everything took.

About half an hour of work; I'm slow
 I started by drawing the feather on a piece of paper and pinning the paper to the fabric. I've seen progress photos from other cosplayers that basically do this, but they use patterning paper or tissue paper, which makes sense, it's thinner, but I didn't have any, so I went with binder paper. I sewed the beads on top of the paper just on all of the lines.

After tearing away the paper
 After finishing the outline, I tore the paper away. It was a little nerve-wracking because I kept worrying that the strings were going to break. It worked out though, just like I thought it would, the holes in the paper from the needle and thread made sort of perforated edges and made the paper pretty easy to tear. I had to pull some small pieces of paper out from under the beads with tweezers. Then I cleaned up the lines, basically by running a string through all of them. I made a little diagram thing that maybe explains a little better. I hope it makes sense.
Add caption
With cleaned-up lines

 Then the hard part began, filling it in. I didn't have an embroidery hoop (yet), so it's kind of messy, and because the fabric kept bending, I made too many rows of beads, so it curves a little bit. All things considered though, I think I did pretty good!
10.5 hours of beading

And I'm nearly done now! Eventually I borrowed an embroidery hoop, which helped me speed up so much! I'd still like to clean up the edges some, there are parts sticking out that I'd rather not, but other than that, yippie!

Twenty-two hours later...
Also, I re-did the chain on my headpiece. I don't have any close-up pictures of what it looked like before, but basically I changed the chain to a more detailed one and added a chain across the top to help keep it centered. I was worried that the extra detailing would be too overwhelming, but after messing around with it, I decided it looked much better than before.

Of course it sits funny on the wig head.

Cosplay Plans

I realize I've been posting less and less, so here's what I've been up to!

Kin-Yoobi 2013
Photo courtesy of Sturdy Pine
First, my WiiFit Trainer cosplay is more or less finished. I would like to re-dye the pants, they should be darker, but I have plenty of time to do that. I think the next time I'll wear it will be Fanime 2014, so... Yeah, plenty of time.

My Animal Crossing Villager cosplay is still where it was last time I posted a photo of it. I'm avoiding doing sleeves. I did get a ton of little bug props for it though, so that's cool.

Emmy's super cute!
Also, my "secret" cosplay is on hold, so I'm not keeping it a secret anymore, it's Emmy from the "Professor Layton" series. I'm at a similar standstill with her, I don't want to do sleeves. I did a mock-up of her skirt-thing, and am in the process of doing a mock-up for the top but yeah, sleeves.

Also, I started another cosplay, so I technically have three and a half things I'm working on right now (the half being eventually re-dying WiiFit Trainer pants). Everyone's all into "The Last of Us" right now, and I'm no exception, except the gameplay is not my style. At all. Can't shoot. Can't be stealthy. No thank you. But the story is so good that I'm all wrapped up in a Let's Play of it on YouTube. Cosplays of it are already running rampant, I've seen quite a few Joels and Sarahs (still dying to see Clickers though), but I was drawn to a different character, sweet little Sarah.


The cosplay that I want to do of her is slightly spoiler-iffic (to anyone who hasn't watched the opening cutscene), so I'm not going to really explain, but there will be progress pictures. Currently, I'm trying to gather up everything I need for her, starting with that shirt. It's a band shirt of a band that doesn't exist (Halican Drops), so I've got to make it. I already bought a gray t-shirt (that's the easy part) and ordered some iron-on vinyl to make the print on it myself. I considered doing some at-home screen-printing methods, but they looked like they'd actually end up being more expensive than iron-on vinyl, because I don't have most of the stuff I'd need and it's over such a large area, and vinyl will get me almost the exact same effect. Plus, I already have experience working with iron-on vinyl, and I would have to learn an entirely new thing with at-home screen-printing. It's just simpler this way (for me at least).

Forgot to round the corners before
taking a picture.
Also have to fix the lettering more.
I also have plans for the rest of her outfit, she wears purple pajama pants nearly identical to a blue pair that I already own, so I'm just going to dye mine purple. (Purple is my favorite color anyway, so now I'll just have purple PJs instead of blue ones, it's a win-win, basically.) Originally for a prop I was going to have Joel's watch, but it turns out I'll actually have a Joel with me who can wear the watch, so I instead I'm making the birthday card that Sarah got for Joel. (For those who played who might have missed it, it's an optional find in Sarah's room in the beginning, not in any cutscene.)

So yeah, the only thing I don't have plans for yet is the wig, which is frustrating because my hair is the same color but I don't feel like getting a haircut that will make me look like a 12-year-old. Also my hair is curly. And my bangs are pretty much permanently pink. Yeah. Wig time. I'm sure I'll find something that I can work with. I don't have much (any) experience cutting wigs, but I've paid attention when my friend has done it for me, and it's worth a shot. I'd really like to be able to do it on my own.

In any case I'm looking to debut Sarah (with Joel) at Sac Anime Winter 2014, along with potentially the "Magikarp: A History" panel. We keep saying we're done with that panel, but we just can't stop, so we're gonna try to take it to more conventions until it completely runs out of steam and we feel done.

On top of everything else, I'm trying to design and make more fleece hats to sell. I've actually been selling a few online recently just randomly here and there, and it's very motivating. Hopefully I can keep it up. I'm aiming to do a couple of craft fairs in November (maybe a few Artist Alleys at conventions too, depending on a bunch of stuff), so if you're interested, keep an eye on my hats Facebook page.

And finally, not sure if I ever included this in an actual post, but I made a Facebook page for my cosplay too. Like it for updates and stuff, or whatever people like cosplay pages for (I like them for updates and progress pictures)!
Gold Rose Cosplay