Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DragonCon 2014 Cosplay Part 1: Decisions

DragonCon is exactly 86 days away as I type this. 86 more days until fangirling, geekery, panels, photos, souvenirs, and cosplay beyond your wildest dreams or expectations. To say I am counting down the days is an understatement. One of the ways I have been passing the time is by thinking about my cosplay this year. For me, the hardest part is narrowing it down. With so many things that I fangirl over, how can I possibly decide which costumes to choose? Don't believe there could be that many options for me to choose from? Check out the list I've come up with of some of the cosplay ideas I'd love to follow through with, and then tell me what you think of the ones I've chosen.

DragonCon 2013
1.) A TARDIS. I mean, I'm a Whovian. So it seems pretty obvious as to why I would choose this. It's the easiest cosplay of Doctor Who to spot, in my opinion. And after seeing so many kick-ass Doctor and Companion cosplayers last year, I don't think my husband and I will ever be brave enough to attempt that again.

THE PROS: It's. A. Frelling. TARDIS. And the dress just looks amazing. There are many different versions of it, including a short one that would probably be much more bearable in the Atlanta heat. Mad props to the woman here, who was out during the day (read: hot sun) in hers. Also, the shorter ones are more affordable than something like this one.

THE CONS: Dresses exactly like this one can be expensive and hot to wear. Also, being a TARDIS isn't the most unique cosplay there is. It's kinda like all the Waldos running around. And though the shorter ones are less expensive, they still range from $30-60. Also, tennis shoes probably wouldn't go well with the dresses. Maybe. But flats would work better, though they might not be as comfortable to walk around in.

CONCLUSION: Probably not. If I want to sport my Whovian pride, I have a few T-shirts and pieces of jewelry I can wear around during the day.

DragonCon 2013
2.) Kahlan Amnell from the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind and the Legend of the Seeker television series (very loosely) based on the books.

THE PROS: Kahlan is one of my favorite characters in literature, so depicting her would be beyond awesome. Also, the dress design looks airy enough that the heat might not be an issues. Kahlan wore boots, which given the right inserts could be comfortable to walk around in.

THE CONS: Getting the dress made. I have yet to find anywhere that sells the costumes already made, so it would be custom ordered. There is a corset also, which can be helluva uncomfortable. Boots are also not ideal for walking around in the heat. And also: It's white, which means dirt will show up really well.

CONCLUSION: Maybe another year. While it would be completely worth it to rock the Mother Confessor look like this woman, it is more money than I am looking to spend on cosplay right now. But I am holding the idea in reserve for another year because I am too much of a fan to pass it up.

DragonCon 2013
3.) Stargate cosplay. Jaffa? Unnamed Stargate personnel? Nox? Vala Mal Doran? Ori? I'm not even sure yet. But if you know me, you know that this one is a really big possibility. Especially since this is the 20th anniversary of the movie that started it all, and with the (somewhat disappointing) announcement that Roland Emmerich is planning on rebooting Stargate with a new movie trilogy (that has nothing to do with the series--he wasn't a fan so don't get too excited).

THE PROS: If you are dressing as Stargate personnel of any kind, you are bound to be comfortable walking around. The jackets and vests might get a little hot, but you don't have to go that far. You can just dress in BDUs. If you are going as a Goa'uld, you are bound to be very cool since they didn't wear much in the way of clothes. Even the Nox outfits look pretty comfy. And the good thing is that you can get BDUs for fairly cheap (as I understand it) from army surplus stores. The Nox outfit looks like it might not be that expensive to find the pieces for, and definitely something a crafty person can do at home. Goa'uld outfits can be simply enough if you just go to a local costume shop and look for Egyptian costumes since the Goa'uld posed as Egyptian gods.

DragonCon 2013
THE CONS: Well, like I said, if you wear the jacket and the vest, it can get hot. The biggest cons really have to do with getting specific beyond SG personnel. Vala's pre-SG1 outfits were made of leather, which has got to be uncomfortable to walk around in. I saw a few women in Vala cosplay though, so it is doable. The Nox outfit needs a lot of attention to detail in order to not look ridiculous, and has makeup. This woman pulled it off beautifully, but I'm not sure I'm patient enough for it. As for the Goa'uld outfits, whereas the Egyptian costumes are probably pretty easy to find, they might also look hokey. The footwear isn't the most practical to walk around in, and it is best paired with the Goa'uld hand device, which would need to be purchased or made. As for the Jaffa, while I am excited to see them in their armor and with their helmets, it is also something that would need to be custom made or that you would make yourself, and probably not the most comfortable costume to sit through panels in.

CONCLUSION: Going as a Stargate personnel, even Vala during her SG-1 days, is definitely doable, and it is something my husband and I can team up with. As for the rest, I am probably not crafty enough to pull off a Nox or making anything to do with a Goa'uld or Jaffa. I'd love to go as a Goa'uld one year, though. That would definitely be fun. What with this being the 20th anniversary, Stargate cosplay is definitely high up on my list.

4.) Farscape cosplay of Aeryn Sun, Chiana. Jool, or Sikozu. I'd add Zhaan to the list of possibilities, but it's hard being so blue. And bald.

Image from Johnny Havoc
THE PROS: This year seems like it would be the absolute perfect time to cosplay as Farscape characters with the announcement of the new movie. And my husband has expressed interested in going as Crichton. Jool and Sikozu's outfits (and even some of Aeryn's) would be comfortable and cool enough to walk around in, and the footwear wouldn't be terrible. And Farscape cosplay isn't near as prevalent as Doctor Who.

THE CONS: Leather pants and lack of abs. Okay, those aren't the only cons. We're again talking about getting things tailor made if we are talking Sikozu, Jool, or Chiana. Aeryn is a little easier, unless you go the leather vest route. Also, with Chiana and Jool, a lot of makeup is involved. With Jool, Sikozu, and Chiana, wigs are also involved. In fact, lets just go ahead and rule out Jool unless you double as a makeup artist and can pull off her hairline. But mostly, we're talking expense and how much of your body you want to show off (Sikozu). I'm not sure I'm brave enough to pull off any of it--even the leather pants.

CONCLUSION: On the fence with Aeryn. My husband might be able to talk me into it, but probably not for this year.

5.) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cosplay. This show turned out to be one of my favorites this season, and it is a more generic way to celebrate the Marvel universe if you aren't yet bold enough to go as your favorite Marvel hero (Rogue).

Image from Lady Skywalker
THE PROS: Like I said, this is a fun and generic way to celebrate the Marvel universe. It looks like it would be comfortable to move around in, and the shoes wouldn't be too bad since it is supposed to be designed to be good for combat. The patches would be easy to find and not that expensive, and the black outfit would probably be pretty easy to put together. You could even get the Black Widow costume if you wanted to go that route. In keeping it generic, the black jumpsuit look would be fairly easy to create, and you can always add the rest of the little pieces like the holsters and patches.

THE CONS: Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I don't actually recall seeing anyone else in the black outfit besides Black Widow. And possibly Agent May, but sometimes her outfit looks like a mix of navy blue and black. May's outfit would be easy enough to pull off but I am way too OCD and not enough Asian to dress as May. Same reason I'm hesitant to dress as Clara--I'm way too pale. I know, I know. It's supposed to be the spirit of the character. But I digress. As for the blue outfit or going as Agent Hill...I'm just not a fan of the blue, and that would probably involve getting the outfit custom made for it to look as spot on as the woman's in the picture above. Also, the long sleeves might get kinda hot.

CONCLUSION: I'm going to rule this one out just because I am not confident enough to try Black Widow, and don't want to put in the money for the blue suit.

6.) Dragon Age cosplay. Morrigan, Hawke, Merrill, Isabela, Lilliana--they all sound appealing. And my girl crush on Claudia Black definitely approves of going as Morrigan. I'm a huge fan of the games.

Image from the Kirana
THE PROS: Um, just look at them. The characters are in some of the most amazing outfits. And some of the outfits look like you wouldn't sweat to death. In fact, the Morrigans out there might want to grab a blanket for the panels since they are bound to get cold. Also, this is something my husband and I can do together since we've talked about going as characters from the game for Halloween.

THE CONS: There are probably too many to list. First of all would be the obvious: The expense or time to create it all. I say expense because I am not crafty. At all. So I would end up paying someone to make it for me rather than waste the materials trying (and failing) myself. There's a lot of attention to detail that needs to be paid for you to pull this one off. You can't just drape a magenta scarf around your neck and call yourself Morrigan. You need the hair, the makeup--everything. Same goes for any of the other characters. And then there is also the ab issue. While I am working on getting into shape (see my upcoming blog post about my own personal fitness challenge Sunday), I don't think I'd want to show off that much skin even if I had the abs for it. That wouldn't be as much of a problem with Lilliana or Hawke. Not even Isabela, really, but her outfit is a bit more showy than I would want.

CONCLUSION: I'm not ruling out a future cosplay as Hawke or Lilliana, but for now I am going to say no. The cons outweigh the pros in this case, even if I am a big fan.

DragonCon 2013
7.) Game of Thrones cosplay of Daenerys or Sansa Stark, because those are the two characters I'm the most familiar with of all the females. Well, and Arya, but I would feel a bit old to dress as her.

THE PROS: Daenerys has outfits that are comfy to travel in, and you can find a lot of the pieces at Halloween shops now. Sansa's dresses are long enough to hide comfy shoes.

THE CONS: I would look terrible as a blonde, wigs are hot, and Sansa's dresses would need to be custom made. Really, all of it would need to be made custom in order to look good and not cheap. Sorry, Halloween costume shops, but you've got nothing on the Daenerys pictured here. Sansa's hairdos are also pretty elaborate.

CONCLUSION: I'm still on book one in this series and have yet to catch up on the latest season, so I wouldn't claim to be a big enough fan to make it worth the effort and money.

8.) Arrow cosplay of Black Canary, the Huntress, or (I wish) Felicity. I add Felicity in there even though it would be hard to recognize and I wouldn't do it since I'm not blonde, but because she is my favorite character on the show.

Image from Pinterest
THE PROS: My husband and I watch this show together, so it is something we could dress as together. Black Canary wouldn't be too terribly hard to piece together with a cropped jacked (which I already own and could have taken up a few inches to look closer), a black corset (I think), and leather pants (or black leggings with a criss cross pattern added on). I already have black boots that would work and wouldn't be too uncomfortable to walk around in. The mask makes it okay to be blonde since that should hide the fact that I would look terrible as a blonde.

THE CONS: The wig and the leather pants, and the uncertainty of walking around in an outfit that clings so very much. Also, did you see the part where I said I think there is a corset involved? The jacket would be hot, but at least it can come off (if I was brave enough to walk around in a corset, which I'm not sure I am). The Huntress outfit would be even worse, heat wise.

CONCLUSION: Believe it or not, I'm not ruling this one out. And not just because all I can think about is how hot my husband would look as the Arrow. Okay, maybe that's a big part of it. But still. It's a doable outfit with the pieces I have already, and putting together the Arrow outfit shouldn't be too bad either. Getting a believable bow, maybe. But since we are such big fans, I'm putting this in the maybe category.

Image from Rigetzu
9.) Full Metal Panic cosplay of Sousuke and Kaname

THE PROS: FUMAFU! Again, something my husband and I both love. We watched this anime together when we first started dating and it is something we still quote and still rewatch together every couple of years. It also helps that my husband sometimes rolls out of bed with his hair already looking like Sousuke's, so he wouldn't need a wig or possibly even to use any product.

THE CONS: The costumes are custom made and not cheap. Also, the wig for Kaname. I've yet to find one online that even comes close to looking like her color or style

CONCLUSION: This year, we don't have the budget for it. But I am definitely not ruling it out for another year. Especially since we would totally rock these costumes at Halloween parties.

10.) Firefly cosplay of Inara, Kaylee, Zoe, or River

Image from Capes and Cartridges
THE PROS: WHEDON. I'm not just a Browncoat, I worship at the altar of all things Whedon, so getting to dress as someone from his universe (S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't count because Jed and Maurissa run it mainly and it was Marvel's first) is this fangirl's dream. And it is another thing my husband and I enjoy, so we could dress up together. Kaylee's mechanic jumpsuit and River's outfits might not be very hard to replicate, or expensive.

THE CONS: While Mal's outfit might not be that hard, anything Inara wore would need to be custom made. Also, River's outfits aren't very recognizable. The outfit in Serenity, maybe. But Inara would be my first choice. I don't think I could pull of Zoe at all, and would need a wig for her hair (mine doesn't hold curl at all).

CONCLUSION: You can't take the skies from me. But you can tell me that I don't have enough money in my pocket to invest in Inara's outfit. Sigh. Maybe another year when we are willing to put more money into it. Browncoat for life.

11.) Katniss from The Hunger Games because...well, Katniss.

Image from Geeks of Doom
THE PROS: This costume, along with the one from Catching Fire, is actually available from Halloween stores. Easy to move around in, comfortable to sit through panels in, and footwear meant for traveling and action. So good things. Also, the hair is doable for me, and having an excuse to keep it off my neck is always welcome.

THE CONS: This costume is everywhere. I love the movies and the books, but there is such thing as over-saturation, and I'm dangerously close. Also, neither outfit looks particularly cool to walk around in the heat. Granted, with this outfit pictured, you can take the jacket off and still look like the character. But that means you are now carrying your bow and your jacket everywhere. Meh.

CONCLUSION: Probably not. I'd be more likely to try one of her outfits from the parade or the tours, and those would be a bitch and a half million to create and move around in. So this is probably going to fall under the category of least likely cosplay, unless something happens to reignite my passion for the books/movies.

Image from Cosplay Champions
12.) Belle from Beauty and the Beast...or another fairy tale princess. Like Anastasia. Oh, or Merida! Oh, or Ariel! Oh, or Rapunzel!
...You get my point. Call it a childhood dream of growing up to be that magical princess (even if the dream is different and my magical princesses in Heirs of War tend to kick a lot more ass than the typical Disney heroine.)

THE PROS: Pretty princess! And also, most of those costumes are available online and don't have to be custom made. Halloween shops, Amazon...these costumes are everywhere. And people do dress up as Disney characters at cons. I saw Cinderella crossing the street last year. I was gonna laugh if she lost one of her flip-flops, but she didn't.

THE CONS: Big dresses + wigs + Atlanta heat and humidity = Heat Stroke. Seriously, these dresses don't look the least bit comfortable or cool. If I wanted to go to a panel dresses as Belle like the woman pictured here, I'd end up taking up like three seats, which I'm sure would make people happy. There's the option of only wearing the costume at night, but I'm not looking to make a lot of costume changes.

13.) Harry Potter cosplay of Ginny or Hermione. Or pretty much anyone else, because all of the characters rock.

Image from Michael Bradley
THE PROS: If you paint a lightning bolt on my husband's forehead and give him round glasses, he already looks the part. Plus these costumes are really easy and available everywhere. Just buy a robe or some Gryffindor (or whatever house you want) accessories like a scarf, and bam! Insta-Harry potter. With some effort I could get my hair to be as ginger as Ginny's.

THE CONS: Again, a bit over-saturated. That's really the only con since the costumes are cheap. The robes might get a little hot, too. But you could just go with a House T-shirt. If you go as other characters, like Bellatrix or Tonks, then things could get a little detailed, expensive, and warm.

CONCLUSION: Possible. There is a Harry Potter ball, so it might be fun to get some dress robes and go. Not high up on my list though, even if my husband already does look the part.

14.) Anything Lord of the Rings. Hobbit, elf, Arwen, Eowyn. Anything.

Image from geridevil
THE PROS: Since The Hobbit is out, these costumes are everywhere. Well, they were already. I even went as Arwen for Halloween a few years ago, so I already have one of the costumes and would just need some elf ears. And it is something my husband and I could do together because we love LOTR so much we even have a little display of pictures and memorabilia. Depending on what or who you go as, travel-ready outfits might be available. And the dresses are long enough to hide comfy shoes anyway.

THE CONS: So. Much. LOTR. Everywhere. The costumes from Halloween stores look okay, but not high enough quality for cosplay, in my opinion. I hold cosplayers in very high regard. They are some of the most talented people you might meet, and definitely passionate. So to dress in a Halloween costume seems almost insulting. Also, Arwen's dresses get hot, and I remember having a hard time keeping my elf ears on.

CONCLUSION: While we love LOTR, I'm going to go with probably not for the above mentioned reasons of feeling like a complete tool dressed in a Halloween costume around these awesome cosplayers.

15.) Kenzi from Lost Girl because I adore her and she has really fun outfits.

Image from Drinks at the Dal
THE PROS: Like I said, I adore her. And I've always wanted to do the trendy goth thing, but was never brave enough to stand out so dramatically. (Plus, getting all that eyeliner off has to be a bitch.) And the great thing about Kenzi is that you can shop for her style in actual stores instead of having to get things custom made or depending on Halloween costume shops to sell what you need. Heck, if you were thrift store savy (I'm not), you would probably be able to find what you need for under 20 bucks. Not counting the wig, of course. But speaking of the wig to pull off the Kenz-hair, it's pretty standard and easy to find.

THE CONS: Last season. Lost Girl kind of, well, lost me. I loved seeing Kyle Schmid on there, but that was about the only good thing about the season. I mean, did you see it? Heartbroken doesn't even begin to cover it. Also, the wig might be kinda hot and her shoes are probably not something you'd want to walk around the convention in.

CONCLUSION: Still a possibility since the panels last year were fun and the show hasn't lost me completely yet. It's pretty cheap to do, I can substitute flat boots for her heeled ones, and it also fulfills my lifelong dream of playing goth dress up.

16.) The Guild cosplay. Because...um, Felicia Day. Geek Goddess Supreme. Whedonite. Fun on social media and helped me to feel comfortable in my own geek skin over the years instead of hiding it or feeling like an idiot. Hell, I'd cosplay as her.

Image from Deep Dive Cosplay
THE PROS: This costume is available from Halloween shops, and it doesn't look that bad. Well, the pictures online don't look that bad. Also, it would be comfortable to sit in panels (possibly) and cool. The costume from stores isn't very expensive either--I found one for $30 online.

THE CONS: The wig. Ugh. HEAT. I know from experience last year that having hair is enough to be a sweaty mess within an hour walking around or standing outside in line, and wigs have to make that worse. Also, the footwear. I look at those sandals and get blisters. I can't wear normal sandals without blistering up, so I would probably not last an hour in those. Also, the costumes available from stores for Zaboo and Vork look pretty terrible, which rules out cosplaying this with my husband unless we create his.

CONCLUSION: Maybe Halloween one year, but not for DragonCon. Codex's shoes are the deal breaker for me.

17.) A Nerd Herder from Chuck because that would be awesome. And very fitting since my husband and I just rewatched the show.

THE PROS: These outfits are so easy. White button up shirt, black skirt or slacks, converse or whatever shoes, grey tie, and badges, which you can find online for cheap. And if you have long hair like me, you can pull it into a ponytail, wear it in pigtails--whatever.

THE CONS: Maybe that you don't get recognized? I don't know, really. I haven't been able to think of any cons. Comfort, cool, cheap...what's not to like?

CONCLUSION: My husband and I have already agreed on this one, and I'm trying to get the friends coming with us on board too. So this is a definite DragonCon cosplay this year.

There are other obvious cosplay choices too, but I just don't feel like I'm a big enough fan (here's looking at you, True Blood) or even a fan at all (Star Trek, Star Wars, etc) to dress up as those characters. And some shows I might be a huge fan of, but the outfits aren't distinct enough for my tastes. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Teen Wolf come to mind. Though it would be fun to go as Illyria if I ever got really good at makeup...

So I'm sure you can see why I am trying to decide on cosplay in June, when DragonCon is still a little less than three months away. There are so many options, and so many things that I am such a huge fan of that I would love to pay tribute to by dressing up as someone from those worlds. And I didn't even really get into the book series that I've fallen in love with lately. Right now, it looks like Kenzi from Lost Girl, Nerd Herder from Chuck, and random personnel from Stargate are the most definite, while I am still holding out hope to get my husband into the Arrow outfit (he says unlikely) and he is toying with the idea of dressing as an adult Harry Potter. Which I have to say is a pretty cool idea. Auror Harry? I'm sure the fanfiction is already rolling about those adventures.

I'll be sure to post more once I actually start preparing the outfits (most likely to be well after I have completed my fitness challenge). What are your thoughts? If you could choose any character to cosplay as, who would it be?


  1. Wow, that is a lot of options. As long as you post pictures of yourself in your costume, I think it's all good. :)

    1. Oh there will be plenty of that beforehand with the test runs. I wonder if it would go over well for me to wear my Nerd Herder uniform to the signing...