Monthly Archives: March 2008

Midna Cosplay To Yawn For?

Kotaku boasts the fanboyism and the audience enough to post a great article that may just be eons too late for the rest of us. That’s why, today they put up this Midna cosplay from last year. What does that mean for a blog like ours that blatantly shares the very same cosplay on the very same day, despite the lateness thereof? It means that it’s just that good. And besides, our blog is all about costumes so we have the RIGHT to do it! Right?

In true cosplay spirit, Midna is a character from Nintendo’s recent installment of the Zelda series, The Twilight Princess. This is a true blue, fan loved, authentic costume based on the character. From the head piece to the pattern design, it doesn’t get much better. Can anyone top this?

Midna Cosplay

Posted in conventions, cosplay, gaming | 47 Comments

MyDisguises Theater – Costumes From The Future Of The Past

It’s a bounteous season of great videos on MyDisguises, and people need to check this out.

I’m not a Trekkie by any means. I think I may have seen an episode or two. I think the thing that turned me off was seeing one of the old episodes from the 60’s. I was a bit turned off by the cheesiness, but the did what they could and with what they had to work with. Rewind a bit to the 30’s and here’s what they saw our fashion to be. Oh, and women apparently don’t wear anything but dresses still…

Capes, spiral bra dresses, huge hairdos, and apparently a microphone for a hair accessory? I can’t say I’m sad that these fashions never made it. I can’t say I’m totally happy either. There would have been a bit of humor in it all, right?

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The Royal Ontario Museum Opens an Ambitious Display of Historical Costumes

On the more sophisticated side of costuming, a new gallery is opening honoring traditional costumes throughout history.

The Royal Ontario Museum will be opening the Patricia Harris gallery of Textiles and Costumes. The gallery will be opening on April 16thth, and will host a massive collection of textiles and costume pieces going back throughout time. Huliq.com reports:

The Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume presents highlights from the Royal Ontario Museum’s renowned collection of over 50,000 textile and costume artifacts, in a display of approximately 200 pieces dating from the 1st millennium BC to the 21st century AD. Outstanding examples include Chinese imperial costume, late Antique and early Islamic textiles from Egypt, western fashion from the Baroque period to the present day and early Canadian coverlets. These illustrate the extensive transformations in textile design and technology throughout the past three millennia. Due to conservation considerations, the artifacts are to be changed on a regular basis.

The ROM is a museum rich with tradition, and this new addition to the institution will further deepen its cultural influence by highlighting the history of dress. We’ve seen similar ambitions with the Costume Institute, and it will be a great opportunity to get a glimpse of this new collection.

We’ll be standing by for more information on some of the highlighted exhibits. Here’s an example of what is to be expected, according to the ROM main website:

 The Lynda Hamilton Printing Exhibit displays highlights of the ROM’s printed textile and costume collection through an exploration of the use of paint, ink and dye. Examples include Chinese painted silk, Indian chintz, a Japanese stenciled kimono, Javanese batik wrapper and a Turkmen ikat robe, as well as examples of the important collection of 18th and 19th century French and English woodblock, copperplate and roller printed textiles and costumes. Recent silk screened acquisitions include the c. 1954 furnishing fabric of Danish-born Canadian designer Thor Hansen and an early Vivienne Westwood toga dress (c. 1982-1983).

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Embarrasing Costumes You Love to Hate, or Hate to Love… A Costume Without a Name

Mankind has been grasping at the future for as long as I’ve been on this Earth, and surely longer. Some of those concepts make it into our realities. Others, well they become a blemish on the face of our self pride and dignity. Still, it doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate and laugh.

Awesome!

Obviously this photo has met Photoshop in a one on one battle, and it looks like Photoshop won. Even the old Star Trek cast wouldn’t have asked this costumed space age weirdo to the Prom. It’s like Mork and Mindy mated with an expiremental Euro Fashion Show from the 80’s and bore a child.

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Costumes Making the Wired Geekipedia

Geekipedia

Otaku? Who, us?

Stumbling across a blog post about the socially ostracized life of a typical “otaku”, I couldn’t help but read. The obsessively otaku fanboy spends so much time in their own interests (and bedrooms), that they manage to cook up some pretty crazy fan-fueled goods for the equally maniacal.

But before the mother ship calls us home to reality (and we convince ourselves we’re not that bad) we have to recognize two important things about this kind of geek obsession.

1. Geek culture is not so wrong these days. Sure, it’s not the way, but it sure has its share of respect and honor in the modern pop culture setting.

2. Costume lovers are no more than a few degrees of separation away from being totally otaku, and only one away from geek sheik. We turn to Wired Magazine for more validation.

The Wired Magazine Geekipedia Tells All…

It turns out that costume fanboyism shows its face more than a couple of times in the Wired Geekipedia. This lovingly crafted tribute to the education of blatant nerdery really pins down the culture, and some of these words just may be familiar to a costume lover.

Cosplay – Wired says “Donning a costume offers shy geeks an anonymous mode of self-expression and fun.” It’s not all that inaccurate nor is it shameful in any way. Cosplayers have seen a huge boost in numbers since big events and imported anime films make their way westward.

Machinima – Some people are costume lovers of a different sort. They like to mount their alternative image in a virtual setting. Machinima is the practice of making films out of characters and animations extracted from video games and virtual worlds. Any Second Lifers know exactly what it is. Ultimately, it’s the practice of the virtual costume.

 

(weird, no?)

Manga – Manga is basically printed anime, and it’s also gaining attention in the western world. As a huge fuel for cosplayers, Manga is easy to recognize these days.

Otaku – If you have a tendency to be otaku, you already know it. Although, the connotation of the word in the English language denotes more of an obsessive love for something, it’s actually quite derogatory in Japanese. Watch who you call otaku, especially if the finger should be pointed at you. We all saw your sketches for your next costume…

Otaku

True Otaku…

Social Networking – Yeah, this is a bit more geek sheik since, well.. you know… EVERYONE is doing it. Significance to a costumer? Well, have you ever signed up at a costume forum, joined a costume chat or group, or been on a social network specifically for costumes? Yeah, you know who you are.

Tokyo – It turns out a lot of the costume related entries in the Geekipedia surround the cosplay culture. That doesn’t mean other forms of costume love don’t belong. However, it would be silly to not mention Tokyo as a huge influence in the culture.

Viral – A great term that has become easy to grasp in the last few years. Denoting the spreading of a trend in a viral manner, this type of attention is nearly all costume lovers get. If you heard of a great DIY project, a fun costume event, or a clever party that you want to throw… it’s likely you didn’t find the information advertised in the newspaper. Word of mouth love sustains the community of costume lovers.

The best part about the list is that it’s just not done. They’re adding more every day. Should we submit DIY? Anyone??

Posted in cosplay, ideas, lists, virtual worlds | 1 Comment

Original Costume from “Batman Returns” Going Up For Auction Amongst Other Famous Movie Memorabilia

Michael Keaton Batman Returns

Costume collectors are poised to bid on the famous Batman suit worn by Michael Keaton in Batman Returns at a Southern California auction this Thursday. The full Batman suit, described as being in good condition, is part of a large auction of Hollywood memorabilia being sold in the 31st Profiles In History auction. According to Artdaily.org, there are more than just costumes available that will make up more than $1 million in movie merchandise. The site reports:

A King Kong Six-Sheet movie poster, one of only three known to exist, measuring a colossal 81 x 81 inches! ($200,000-$250,000); a huge collection of Special Effects Creatures and Puppets including a Hydraulic screen-used Velociraptor from The Lost World: Jurassic Park II ($80,000-$100,000), The T-Rex Killer!—Hero screen-used Spinosaur head and neck from Jurassic Park III ($60,000-$80,000) and a Pteranodon display featuring a full set of screen-used Pteranodons “babies” from Jurassic Park III ($60,000-$80,000); The first-ever Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award (one of only 37 EVER GIVEN OUT), presented to Darryl F. Zanuck in 1938 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences($150,000+); Michael Keaton’s complete “Batman” costume from Batman Returns ($60,000-$80,000) and Charles Middleton “Ming the Merciless” cape from Flash Gordon (Universal, 1936–$40,000-$60,000) are just some of the 1100+ iconic pieces of Hollywood history that Profiles in History, the number one company in the world for authentic Hollywood memorabilia will offer in their upcoming two-day auction, March 27 and 28.

Costume memorabilia collectors have long made up a siginificant portion of the alternative costume enthusiast crowd. Last year’s Marylin Monroe “Lost Dresses” show brought in a slew of donations to the Alzheimer’s society as fans and collectors gathered.

The costume from the 1992 Tim Burton Batman sequel represents the early days of an evolving on-screen franchise that continues today. With the release of 5 major blockbusters, and another on the way, the “Dark Knight” seems to keep his popularity alive amongst movie goers. Lucky collectors will have a chance to see the costume as it was used in its original form.

Stop by the Profiles in History website to find out more about the auctions and many of their most remarkable auctions to date.

Posted in collections, movies, superheroes | Leave a comment

Scott Johnson Pontificates With Us On Marvel Comics Seizing Control of its IPs As Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios Logo

A Maker or Breaker Deal?

Donning a costume can be a hard task for a superhero, but it may not be as hard as making a Marvel film studio fly.

Well, hard or not, it’s happening. Marvel is working on releasing both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk this year, and prospectively working on 2 more titles for ’09. Purpose? Marvel wants to have a good deal of control over how their various IPs get thrown on screen. Heavy undertaking, if you ask us. In fact, Screen Rant reports that limiting factors may be putting this fancy goal on hold.

As the first film to be birthed by the studio, Iron Man appears to be setting them up all pretty. The movie has boasted so much buzz, that one hardly wonders about success. But amongst the rumors and scuttlebutt orbiting this new venture is the fear that the formula has already been overworked. From an article found in Newsday today:

Launching a major movie production company right now seems like a dicey venture. But the Marvel formula has been a spectacular success for other studios the past eight years. The self-doubting Spider-Man, the bickering Fantastic Four, the misunderstood X-Men and all the other Marvel misfits have racked up a stunning $5 billion in worldwide box office, most of that for Sony and Fox.

So the question is, has the genre already made its chunk of money? Investors may chomp at the bit to get a piece of this pie, but are there enough capes with compelling enough stories to make this juggernaut of an idea turn into marketable goods?

Scott Johnson's MyExtraLife Comic

[Image via MyExtraLife.com]

We interview Scott Johnson for his take on the new Marvel Studios

We sent a few questions over to Scott Johnson, cartoonist and comic artist. Scott pristinely runs a couple of popular podcasts about World of Warcraft as well as comics and all things of the sort. Scott’s work is mostly shown either on his website, MyExtraLife, or on his Flickr page. In short, he knows his stuff. Here’s what Scott had to say:

MyDisguises: What do you think of Marvel starting their own film company? Do you think it will serve a need that hasn’t been served with other studios?

Scott: I think its actually a little weird. They should just leave it to the people in the know, and press more for creative control over their own property. Heck, maybe that’s why they are doing it in the first place. The film business is such a jungle sometimes.

MD: Is the whole comic-book-into-film thing hitting a dead end anytime soon? Most of the big names in comics have made it to film… is there much else out there to explore?

Scott: I think there is room to grow, but I think Marvel and others need to start working on building new character possibilities like folks at DarkHorse, Image and others have been doing.

MD: How vital do you think it is for Marvel to get this first film right? Will fans lose faith fast or will they trust the Marvel name?

Scott: I think the first movie that comes from this will make or break the deal. if they deliver the goods, then people are on board. If the first effort sucks rocks, then they are screwed.

MD: Now that Marvel has their own studio, do you think we’ll be seeing
some more obscure characters get some time on screen?

Scott: I hope so. Cable anyone? Oh yeah, baby.

MD: How do you think fans would respond to animated features by Marvel?

Scott: I think they will give it the one big shot, but they will be picky.

MD: Why do you think there are so many comic book characters that flop in film?

Scott: Because people don’t really think through the characters and such. Take movies like 300, Road to Perdition, the first Men in Black, Spiderman II, X-Men one and two…these movies were taken seriously by both the creators and the film makers and as a result, we got really great stuff. I think if you put really talented people on it that love the work, great things can and will happen.

With a couple of the big blockbusters set to hit this summer, we’ll find out soon enough.

Posted in comics, interview, news, superheroes | 2 Comments

All the Links Fit For Browsing – Steampunk Blog Carnival Makes Punkers Cry In Relief

Steampunk Computer

Since our last Steampunk article, we noticed some focus and attention. The Steampunk lovers are true to the spirit of DIY and costumes.
Now bloggers are uniting to bring them up to status with a recent Steampunk blog carnival. In essence, a blog carnival is when a chosen topic focuses on bringing all the blog posts on the subject into one place for a time. It also inspires people to get writing, creating, sharing, and motivating. This is perfect for the Steampunk community.

Walking the Berkshires hosts a great blog carnival every month or so called “Cabinet of Curiosities”. In this fifth edition, they are highlighting Steampunk in all of its clever details. In fact, it’s better than anything we’ve ever done on the topic, and we can admit it. It’s worth a look.

While there are some great links, we’re mostly interested in the Steampunk costumes and where to go to find out more about them. Here’s what we gathered from the carnival…

  • Aether Emporium has an excellent page on Steampunk fashion, where to find it, how to do it, and all the in betweens.
  • They also share The Heliograph, a blog with some great Steampunk fashion inspiration.
  • The carnival features these gloves mapping London, suggesting a fine point of fashion for Steampunk ladies.

And a few links of our own…

  • Social shopping site Kaboodle has some suggestions for Steampunk fashion, always necessary for the costume basis.
  • Here’s a great link with some full Steampunk costumes, showing the ensemble look.
  • If you’re having a hard time finding a place to get some Steampunk gear that you don’t have to make from scratch, Buysteampunk.com is a good start. Eventually, you’ll want to make it your own though.

Now I know what blog carnivals are good for. It’s nice to know that there’s enough people out there interested in Steampunk to participate in a gathering of good info like this. We’ll dive in more as time goes on, but hopefully that’s enough linking to keep you at your computer for awhile.

Posted in DIY, steampunk, websites | 1 Comment