This, kids, is how we writers come up with our inspiration. Fuck a bunch of muses, or drug-induced bursts of spirituality, or even imagination. It’s pretty much friends mailing friends, saying, “Hey. Fucker. Write about this, or I’ll poke you in the eye with a really big sharp pencil.”
I stopped going to conventions a while back, around the same time that I got out of comics. Unfortunately, I started reading comics again (heroin, you ain’t shit next to four-color collectibles). Also, CL is a comic- and various-other-forms-of-geekery nerd; while this is endearing, and one of the biggest reasons that we got together in the first place (thanks, Warren and Joss), it also means that I might be going to Dragon*Con this year, to do a little reporting for my old friends at RevolutionSF.com and to see the sights. And said sights tend to include people in costumes.
I’ve got nothing against people in costumes, for the most part. These cons are one of the rare havens for people like me* to really relax and be comfortable in their utter and sort of sad detachment from reality. If they want to dress up like Darth Maul or a hobbit or Harry Potter, more power to them. Even more power to the girls who emulate Dark Phoenix or Witchblade or Leia’s bikini moment.
If your costume is a little shoddy, a little on the cheap side — who cares? Not everyone has money to spend on a weekend’s outfit, or access to special effects wizards or makeup artists. All that matters, really, is that they’re having fun. God knows the cons are so overpriced and often underwhelming that whatever you want to do to have fun should slide. Especially if you’re a hot girl who wants to dress like an anime schoolgirl.
Sjöberg makes some salient points — the lightsaber comment, for instance. And the mask guys — why bother? The only thing that I can think of here is that you’re stalking someone, and that’s not fun. That’s barely funny, for that matter.
Oh, and — well, there’s really no nice way of saying that fat people and spandex just don’t mix. Seriously. There’s no humor here. Just — look, there are plenty of characters that wear loose clothing. Hagrid. Jabba the Hut. Hell, show up as the Kingpin. Or… just don’t wear spandex, okay? It’s just wrong. And maybe I’m wrong for being so blunt about it, but if my girlfriend can look like she does at 36, then you can break away from your eight hundredth rereading of Lord of the Rings or your Klingon lessons and get outside for a little exercise, yeah?
Sorry. Rant off.
One last thing, though — this Sjöberg, as noted in his byline, is a Foley artist. Cool. He’s also a performance artist, which is another way of saying, “I have no room to talk about people that wear shoddy costumes to conventions, because performance art is synonymous with pretentious time wasting.” So all you kids with tin foil Wolverine claws — keep on raiding mom’s kitchen for those supplies. You’re no worse off than a performance artist in the long run.
* Oh, who am I kidding? I’m a nerd, sure, but I look like James Dean and Elvis and Frank Sinatra in his heyday, all rolled together and then multiplied by ten, in a roomful of comic conventioneers. My week at San Diego was one of the most hellish times of my life, when I learned the importance of daily showers and appreciation for every woman in my life, past and future.