cosplay 101

This is my first year really getting into the cosplay thing; all of my previous costumes for conventions have been half-assed closet cosplays using things commonly found in closets and dressers everywhere, like flak jackets and neon pink spandex crop tops. Sci-Fi on the Rock is two days away and I’m nowhere near ready. I’ve made the same mistakes over and over. I have not learned from them. I’m posting them here so that maybe you will.

  • If you think you need one of something, buy four hundred, because you will need at least that many. Probably more, but it’s a good start.
  • No matter how many of something you have, you’ll run out. At this point, you will discover that it’s been discontinued, even if you only bought it yesterday. (Note: this is only true if you have already used that thing and your cosplay is half-finished. If there’s still time to substitute a replacement with minimal emotional/financial distress, the thing you need will be in stock at every store.)
  • The fabric store cannot be trusted. Go to thrift stores instead. They too cannot be trusted, but their wares are varied and far less confusing.
  • If you are using a tutorial and skip a step for any reason, that step will turn out to be crucial to the structural integrity/overall appearance of the piece, no matter how insignificant or unsuited to your needs it appears to be.
  • The sewing machine is filled with evil spirits. Do not let them taste your blood, however sweetly they lie to you. Their thirst cannot be quenched.
  • Even the fussiest cat will happily eat wigs, taffeta, and tulle. Guard these things accordingly.
  • If you have big feet, you will never find the footwear you need for your cosplay. Ever. Don’t even try. Put paper bags over your giant yeti feet and stomp anyone who questions it.
  • Always do the entire costume in one sitting. The whole damn thing. If you pause for any reason, you’ll return to discover that every choice you made was bewildering and nonsensical, and you will not be able to reverse-engineer your own work to figure out exactly what you were trying to do. If you’ve done this, don’t worry — just light your work on fire, scatter the ashes, and start over from scratch.
  • Is your costume made of weapons-grade steel, soldered together by the best metalsmith in the business? Too bad! It’s still going to fall apart unless you keep a roll of tape on your person at all times to ward off the cosplay demons.
  • Whatever your budget is, you will spend at least twice that much, and still end up scouring your house for leftover paint and bits of old curtains to finish your costume.
  • Redesign an item to make it more comfortable? Yeahhhhh, it’s still gonna be a pain in the ass, so don’t bother.
  • In a pinch, you can use a beloved childhood toy in place of a wig head, but the results will be terrifying to behold. Do not try to hide it in the closet; it just makes it creepier. And angrier. And hungrier.

Expert cosplayer? Know a risk-free incantation to ward off vengeful fabric spirits? Share your tips and tricks! (No, seriously, share them. It may be too late for me, but there are still novices out there who could be saved.)


episodes of pokemon i hope they never make

  • Upon becoming a baron at the Battle Chateau, Ash quickly learns that no matter how successful he becomes, being “new money” means he’ll never win the respect of his peers.
  • Everyone finds out that Professor Oak faked his zoology degree, and he’s consequently forced to resign. He signs up at Greendale Community College in an attempt to fast-track his way back into his old career. (Just kidding, I would 100% watch this one.)
  • Not knowing what she’s agreeing to, Dawn takes up a Nuzlocke challenge. Piplup pays the price for her ignorance.
  • Ash gets a Master Ball and accidentally uses it on a Goldeen.
  • Team Rocket actually, impossibly, and totally accidentally manages to pull off one of their villainous schemes. The guilt destroys them. Jessie’s hair deflates. Meowth stops speaking. Koffing hasn’t left its Pokeball in weeks.
  • Ash catches a Yamask. The mask it carries is eerily familiar, but he can’t place it. Trying to figure out its identity becomes an obsession that begins to consume him. His friends have different ideas about its identity, but say nothing. Brock doesn’t have the heart to ask him how long it’s been since he’s seen his father. Misty doesn’t have the nerve to ask him how long it’s been since he looked in a mirror.
  • Our hero, Tracey Sketchit, is on his latest adventure! What are you talking about? Tracey is the hero. There has never been another main character. There is only Tracey. There has only ever been Tracey.

things on the internet that delighted me: free comics edition!

Did you miss Free Comic Book Day? I didn’t, but it’s the first time in a few years I’ve made it down, so I feel your pain. I made out like a bandit this year, and it’s not too late for you to do the same!

  • Nimona is heading towards its conclusion, so you should read it and be sad with me that even the best things must come to an end.
  • Help Us Great Warrior is probably the most fun thing on the internet.
  • Camodad is good in general; specifically, I am never going to stop crying with laughter over this one.
  • Comixology recently put up a bunch of free comics (limited time only!) — I haven’t had a chance to look through these ones yet, but I will never not rec Becky Cloonan.¬†And if you miss out on these particular ones, there’s always the other freebies up there. Saga and Chew are a good place to start.
  • Marvel and DC both have disappointingly few decent offerings on their own sites, but Ms Marvel, Swamp Thing, and Doom Patrol are worth your time.
  • Dark Horse has a more satisfying digital selection than the Big Two — check out BPRD, Hellboy, Umbrella Academy, and Witchfinder for starters, as well as Mass Effect if that’s your kind of thing (it’s definitely mine!) And of course, given today’s date, check out their Star Wars offerings, including their Legacy bundle, KotR bundle, and Empire bundle.

Happy reading, and May the 4th be with you! (I couldn’t not, I’m sorry.)

it’s gonna be may

I was going to make the requisite NSYNC joke, but then the president beat me to it. Thanks, Obama.

thanks obama

[via {x}]

Anyway, spring is here, and St. John’s is still much a dead, brown, barren wasteland. Which is way better than a barren wasteland covered in salty, dirty mountains of snow, so I’ll take it!

Very Important Statistics for April:

  • Emails sent/received about Captain America: 3711
  • Episodes of Scooby Doo watched: 34
  • Money left in my pocket after a cutthroat rummoli game: $0.35
  • Cryptic messages left to myself in my phone when waking up in the middle of the night: 3
  • Bioware characters successfully romanced: 2
  • Library fines accidentally racked up from an Old Norse textbook I’ve had out for over a year and never once opened: $8.002
  • Weird contraptions MacGyvered in attempt to retrieve wayward koosh ball from shed roof: 4
  • Fights gotten into because someone was painfully, stubbornly wrong on the internet: ZERO, because I am a true hero and all should admire my restraint

…I swear this all seemed way less pathetic when I was living it. I’ve been crossing things off my to-do list left and right, so it feels like it’s been a fantastic, successful month, but I’m pretty sure one does not win the Internet Olympics by posting about how they cleaned out their makeup drawer or decoded the weirdly incoherent instruction booklet for the sewing machine. Anyway, May’s got lots of fun things to do and shiny things to take pictures of, so here’s to a way less painfully dull stats post.

1 Did you know gmail automatically starts a new email conversation after 100 emails? I do now!

2 LUCKILY, I’m pretty sure the librarian who scanned my returned books took pity on me and made it all go away. Thanks, librarian! You are a true pal. May your joys be many, your sorrows few, and your fingers immune to papercuts.