Sunday, March 17, 2019

On female characters and women at comic conventions (no sewing content)

I love the 'this is my real family' vibe of Emerald City Comic Con.
(though I'd venture all conventions have this appeal).

Lots of people into the same stuff cram into a building for four days.
They wear lots and lots of very different costumes
Gonna lasso up some costumed characters!
I go to mingle with my costume making family.  It's one time where you can meet with hundreds of people who made the thing they wore, or paid someone to make the thing they wore. There's RTW in costuming, certainly, but this is a different level of engagement.
As usual, I took few photos but talked to many people about their creations.
There was an ongoing series of princess group shots with a single nonprincess. It's a thing, I know. Princesses hang in packs. If you haven't seen that scene in Ralph Breaks The Internet, go check it out. 

There were a lot of elves this year.  They both had home made wings. She's not my child, so even though I had permission, I took our her face. Note: there is a green shirt volunteer in the background.
Local news station footage: (plus 2018 vid of Thranduart's win):

Also, metal detectors at the doors for the first time.
No more annoying than entering a stadium event.

Generally, cons are full of things from your childhood that were loved and have returned to claim your attention and your pocketbook. 

There was a Bakugan cage fight.
A ....whu? What did I just type? And why is Bakugan a thing again?
Yes, I talked to several of the employees in that booth, and it was a big booth (more like a large two bedroom apartment) and there were a lot of employees in it. Discussion results:
eventually, everything will come back again. And there are worse places to work than the Bakugan booth.

There are lots of artists who make comics. 
Made myself a cheater map cause that's a forest of tables and people
You are aware that not all comics are for kids anymore, right?

I gave these people a small fortune, well spent, for some of her art. That's David, that's Erica Henderson, who drew Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and the revival of Jughead, and has an Eisner award or two. She'll have more awards before she's done. She has a new book, Assassin Nation, for Image.

ECCC is a great opportunity to meet with my heroes in the illustration world. I have gushed at people, I have wept and shaken hands. Sometimes I get photos.
A few years ago, I got to talk at some length with Mike Mignola, who wrote and illustrated Hellboy for many years.
What did we discuss?  Our teenagers. I couldn't take his picture after that. That would have been weird. 

There are panels to discuss issues in comics and pop culture.
I didn't go to any on Friday, as the ones I wanted to attend were on Sunday. They don't schedule these until long after you get your date specific tickets, so this can get awkward. Fabrical Chemist has led a few, and I have missed them all, because dates.

Adding insult to injury for me after the cancellation of Anglicon 2018, there was no meetup for Doctor Who on on the Friday schedule (I found out it was Thursday, on Friday), so it was just me and the art and the merch floor.
This is a photo from San Diego CC 2018, but it could be any big con any year. The floor is dominated by the big publishers and their large booths. Marvel has it's own con now, so their booths are no more
For a bigger world view on this topic,
go to 

By volume, a con is mostly merchandise. It used to be just comic books (they started out as trading conventions for publishers and buyers. Let me buy you a stiff one to tell you about how I didn't go to San Diego in 1987)(another time, I understand). Now it's plushies and pins and shirts and posters and fake props and clothes and games and games and did I mention plushies? 
Pickle Rick (lower bin) was everywhere. Yes, I love Rick and Morty, too, but it's just one gag, kids..and no, it is not a children's show.

Hundreds of booths of stuff.
Some of it is good, funny, original.
I love J's stuff (he's on the left); Go look him up, it's not just the memes. He's a sweetie.
But a lot of it is the same stuff over and over and over again.

Towering towers of merch. 25 feet tall. This is a photo from a booth in 2018, and it's still the same stuff in the same booth for 2019.

"There's something for every fandom"

Well, that's what they say.
 I'm going to use this year's tower of t's to reflect on this ideal. I may wander into the weeds for a moment or two, but I promise we're going to end with an action packed, uplifting 'kaPOW' ending.
Lots of stuff here for Doctor Who and mostly Doctors 4,10, and 11. It must have been a little disheartening for Peter Capaldi (who walked the floor on Saturday) to not see much for  his turn as number 12.
Look up. There's Clara, one of the companion characters and a rare one to get her image on merchandise. 
There's her shirt
Short Clara character history: They just won't let her die and stay dead. So she dies over and over again so the Doctor can try to save her. And fail. Did I just ruin her story for you? Good. Clara Oswald: The Ultimate Fridge Girl.

The only female Doctor Who (lucky #13) material in the building was worn into the convention, on the cosplayers.
Karen Hallion's artwork on the artist's floor,
one of several items by Hallion featuring Jodie Whittaker as the 13th doctor, photo is linked to her Etsy shop

 I saw no other merch for Jodie Whittaker's Doctor. None of her props or costumes or t shirts or nothing.
I saw none last year either. And believe me, that stuff is out there on the web. Howdy BBC! Hello Hot Topic!
It's just not in here for sale.

So not all the fandoms are here. Let's continue.

There's a recent article on Breitbart (that I am not linking here), headlined that heterosexual men were being excluded from official pre-events at this convention. Actual content was complaining there were some events aimed at the queer community.
 I did not see these signs this year.

But if the white cisgendered men were feeling the pain
I saw no lack of them. 
They were out in force.
I heard a lot of them as they passed me. 
The first time someone saw me and hissed, I blew it off. 
There are assholes everywhere. I ride public transportation.

But there are rules at the con. 
This display was on the floor in  2017

This  red and black image used to be posted repeatedly on the show floor and on the back of your show badge, for pointing out purposes.

This was on the website this year:
Yes, it was hard to read on the website too.

You can still be removed for making derogatory comments about someone.

But as the con has grown and the new owners (Reed Pop) dilute the message and remove the signs and get fewer volunteers to roam the floor and keep the peace, the sniggers and the yukyuks have returned.
Remember that guy behind the elves? I do not know this person. Don't harass him. This photo proves there was at least one volunteer. I'm sure he did his duty well.
Emerald City used to be the shiny example.

But let's circle back to that huge tower of t shirts (it's hard to miss and there are several of these towers).
I was surprised to see Brave Clara; it's such a creepy image.
It's a bigger surprise that they sell anything with Clara on it at all. She's a plot victim, but she's a school teacher and does not do sexy. Cute yes, sexy not really.

We've had an empowered Wonder Woman movie for a couple years, and you would be hard pressed to find a costume for her for sale at this con (unlike hundreds of male super costumes, Peter Porker the Spider Ham was abundant this year). No costumes for Harley Quinn either (the sexy murderous girlfriend/victim of the Joker in the DC comics). Both WW and Quinn have boatloads of posters and statues and t shirts, all busty and sexy and grinning. 

You cannot buy the Wonder Woman lasso of truth at the con.
Why is this?
Let me be blunt:
Truth isn't sexy.
Woman Woman is an demigod who goes to work in a short skirt and a corset.
Harley Quinn is a homicidal victimized baby doll, in short shorts and a corset.

Lots of women dress up as WW and HQ. Now that I am really old, I'd like to tell them: You can tell yourself that you are upending the paradigm by being a sexy warrior, but the sexy part is the only part they see.

Women can attend, but they aren't welcome.

So when I get repeatedly hissed at for wearing Captain Marvel
(the Air Force pilot superhero who can punch spaceships whose eponymous movie is making bank at the box office)

I am not going to let it go.
You mad about a girl breathing your air? Playing in your territory? It's about to get worse: I'm going to TALK to you. 
And I did
A sharp "Excuse me?" plus my baby blues staring up got quite a few "I'm sorry"s
(Nobody admits to hissing their granny, btw).
I only had to ask: "So, who are you dressed as?" once.

On the other hand, I got a lot of "Attagirl!s" and "Is that the Elhoffer Corps dress - OMG!!!!"  I'm glad I wore it. It's an amazing dress, it's well made, felt good, wore well, I felt like a million bucks in it. That Elhoffer knows her stuff. I was pleased to spread the word.

When we are positive, and acknowledge each other and call out the good stuff (a wordless 'love it!' gesture goes a long way), we really truly are all better together.

I had a good day, because I brought my positivity game.

And speaking of fans and heros...
the woman who designed this dress and the one who played the character that inspired it:

from Twitter, Catherine Elhoffer and Brie Larsen on the carpet at the premiere
and IG: Peter Capaldi and Karen Hallion, at her ECCC booth. She's in a Elhoffer 13 sweater.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Conventions for old people. the road to ECCC 2019

All you young whippersnappers listen up.
This is how Grandma goes to the Comic Con
The key is comfortable shoes.
Wearability is key. It's still chilly in March, and I'm taking a bus and walking about six blocks to the convention center. And also the return, at the end of the day, where I'll be very very tired. Coat check is a long line, but I will need to wear and check the big green coat. The floor is carpet over concrete. I have an artificial hip so sensible shoes. I pretty much build it all around those issues first.

The flip side of this is that the floor is always too warm. Anything of size needs fans (luckily repurposing the ones from computers and those inflatable yard art works is simple). The Dalek onesie was too warm for ECCC, not big enough for a fan, but I was looking forward to wearing it to the 2018 Anglicon, as the hotel is freakin cold in December.
The Anglicon that was cancelled.

And I'm only going one day to ECCC. You have to pick your day based on absolutely no previous information about who will be there, and which day would be more useful. The four day passes are all gone by a minute into online sales.
So, random choice: I'm going Friday.
A day none of my friends are going to be there, except those I give money to.

Which is sad. But personal life intervenes.

The next issue is: hero or villain? It was a nice change to be Eliza from Shape of Water. For one, it's a cute uniform. Second, it's got a grandma vibe so more small children talked to me. More adults as well.

But I'm.....I'm a Dalek, dammit. Even if no one ever can identify what I am, I know what I am and how to play it.
I made a new one just for Anglicon. I still have it.
The previously mentioned Full Metal Alchemist Alphonse isn't out of my wheelhouse, I've watched all the anime and even the live action ......thing... on Netflix. And it will have endless wearablity afterwards.

But then this sh#t happened. 
Don't bother looking this stuff up if you haven't heard it about it. The world doesn't need to promote hate.

I'm sparing you the pile of troll waste on my email feed from haters after I made ONE COMMENT on a YouTube video.
God dammit, can't we have anything nice anymore?
I am very happy with my Hamilton sweater and my Wakandan cardigan, so this preorder was a no brainer.
And while not a thrifty purchase, I don't buy anything but underwear and shoes brand new, so I'm happy to give a good brand my hem money.
I've made some accessories.

Damn my hands are puffy. Supplies came from the stash
And some tights cause cold.
And I bought a 3D printed star and put it on a magnet for the front.
Glue magnets onto star and crossbar 
If you have a nametag at work, this is probably how it works.

Because I have to rep the women.
I am one, after all.

I am sure you all know by now how much I love Clark Gregg in "Agents of Shield". He sums the Captain Marvel situation up very nicely.