Archive - June 2010

There Are Black Ones?


     I recently had the opportunity to attend a little function called “Animazement.”  It’s essentially ”Comic-Con Light.”  “Comic-Con” is of course the giant annual comic book expo where tens of thousands of people show up to celebrate comic books and most of them dress up in costume as odes to their favorite characters.  “Animazement,” as I told my 8-year-old son, is like that, but for the Japanese drawing style of Anime, but also other aspects of Japanese culture.  With this little tidbit in mind, he asked upon entering the door, “If this is about Japan, why are there so many people dresses up as storm troopers?”  I suppose I could have explained how when you own something as elaborate and no doubt as expensive as a fairly legitimate storm trooper outfit, you’re going to wear it whenever you get a chance, and even though the storm trooper is entirely not Japanese, this is a function where it is deemed not only acceptable but is in fact encouraged for adults to wear costumes and remain in character for an entire weekend, so they’re certainly not going to let this pass by.  What I did say was, “I don’t know.”

     The fun began before I even arrived at the “Con.”  While waiting for my ticket, I had opportunity to thumb through the “Animazement” handbook.  Lots of bits in there about what was to be found, demonstrations and talks being given.  A full page on “Weapons Policy” telling you not to bring real guns, or anything that looks like a real gun, and no swinging of your fake sword.  Another full page for the dress code that really boiled down to “cover your junk.”  And another page of general rules and policies, which included this little gem:

     “Use your ‘inside’ voice.  Do not be loud and obnoxious unless instructed to do so by convention staff.”

     “Unless instructed to do so by convention staff.”  I would have loved to have seen the event that would cause the staff to tell people to be loud and obnoxious.  But the best part of the whole handbook was the following single line:

     “BATHE.  The hotel provides soap for a reason.”

     I did not put “BATHE” in all caps.  They did.  In their official handbook.  That’s how big a problem body odor is.  I laughed out loud.  I wasn’t worried, as I have practically no sense of smell.

     I spent a little over four hours at “Animazement,” and in that time I learned a few things.  Some about me, some about cosplayers, some I guess about the world in general.

  •  It’s not as awesome when you’re surrounded by them.

In preparation of the event, I downloaded all the pictures I had on my phone so I’d have plenty of space.  I knew there’d be tons of impressive costumes, and I just assumed that I’d come home with hundreds of pictures of my son in the lower left hand corner of the frame, the real subject in the distance behind him.  But alas, I took not a single picture.  If I had seen someone walking down the street in one of these costumes, you’re damn right I’d have taken a picture.  But they were everywhere, and it just wasn’t as awesome that way.

  •  Cosplayers come in all shapes and sizes.

Well, not all shapes and sizes.  Mainly, they come in “doughy.”

  •  Cosplayers are allergic to stairs.

Apparently.  There were occasionally lines for the escalator to go up or down a floor.  Given the above bullet, this was damn shame.  And not the least bit surprising.

  •  Did you know there are black cosplayers?

I know, right?

  •  You can’t take a crying girl seriously when she is dressed like a cross between the game “Tron” and small woodland creature.

I giggled.  I’m sorry.  I don’t know what she was upset about.  Hell, maybe she was embarrassed because someone else showed up looking like a virtual reality squirrel.  Whatever the reason, the effect of her tears was significantly diminished by her costume.  And the fact that she was being comforted by supporting characters from Sonic the Hedgehog.

  •  A cosplayer throwing a temper tantrum is hysterical.

This young man was upset because the coffee girl wouldn’t take credit cards.  Okay.  No big.  He was upset enough that he was loudly (I don’t know if had been instructed to do by convention staff or not) complaining to his friend.  This was a full on temper tantrum.  The timber of his voice rising a the end of every sentence.  Arms gesticulating wildly.  Eyes moist with injustice.  His friend listened patiently, offering the palms down hand motion imploring him to calm down.  In the end, his friend offered some suggestion I was unable to hear (his friend was using his “inside” voice).  This was not met well.  Our upset little friend screamed “No! I’m not gonna do it!” and threw his hands down before storming off through the crowd.  It was awesome.

  •  97% of cosplayer guys fall into one of two categories.

They are either decidedly gay or awkwardly hetero.

  •  There are cosplayer girls.

Not a lot, but still surprisingly many.  As my neighbor put it, when you go expecting 0% and get there and see 15%, it seems like a lot.  Cosplayer girls’ sexual proclivity is much harder to determine as compared to the guys.  Hell, in some cases, it took several looks just to determine gender.  I can safely say that I was in fact able to confirm a cosplayer was female nearly 80% of the time.  All in all, that’s pretty impressive.

  •  There’s something about a hot cosplayer.

This one I learned about me.  I’m not into the cosplay thing, but there is just something about a hot girl dressed like a fairy warrior princess.  Is it because she just really stands out above this particular crowd?  I’m sure that has something to do with it.  But I’m not sure that is enough to explain my fascination with them.  I’m not like the rest of the guys there.  I’ve had sex before. (Editor’s note – zing!)  Is it the fact that they are hot and they’re wearing skin tight mini-skirts, high heeled boots, fish net stockings, and half-shirts?  Okay, that’s probably why.  Perhaps their real awesomeness is that they have gone to a lot of trouble to give me great reasons to look.  I mean, they’re dressed in costume.  I’m supposed to look, right?  Whatever the reason, there is, in fact, something about a hot a cosplayer.

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