Echos of #RCCC2014 #Mothra #Kaijucast & Gareth Edwards #Monsters

Mosura-ya

Mosura-ya

Mosura-ya

The wonderful people at Kaijucast posted a picture of the Mothra cosplay on their web site. If you love Kaiju you should really check them out. Their panel discussion at the Rose City Comic Con was so much fun.

I haven’t had a chance to catch up on all of their podcasts yet but they are the fine folks who suggested Daimajin to me and I really enjoyed those movies.

Kyle of Kaijucast with Mothra

Kyle of Kaijucast with Mothra

As a huge Godzilla fan (you might have noticed) I checked out Gareth Edwards short independent film Monsters while waiting for Godzilla to get released on DVD. While the film showed clear indications of potential greatness, it never quite delivered on its promise. As a first film it was brilliant. As a movie, not so much. Gareeth Edwards ideas about women were questionable at best but there were scenes and suggestions of what might be that were just breathtaking.

When I heard that, due to the success of Godzilla, Gareth Edwards was going to turn Monsters into a trilogy I was less than enthusiastic. And yet, I am willing to give thin and the movies a chance. Godzilla was very good. Sure the human characters weren’t the best and the story wasn’t anything that will change your life, but it was a solid, entertaining and well done movie. There were scenes on Godzilla that were spectacular. One of my favorite was the one where you see the huge traffic jam with the plain down in the middle of it. Another is at the airport in Hawaii and the leading edge of the Tsunami heralds Godzilla’s approach. It’s brilliant touches like that that I saw the potential for in Monsters. You can just tell that Gareth Edwards knows how to put together a scene that will have impact and make an impression. The shot of the male MUTO diving into San Francisco bay after that boat is just spectacular, brilliant and the way the movie almost goes black and white in spots gives it that war-time feel that the original Godzilla was after.

I think as Gareth Edwards grows as a director the flaws will get ironed out and he won’t make rookie mistakes like in Monsters having a woman who is unaccountably unhappy to be going home to her wealthy fiancee but the man who is interested in her not having the depth of character or human decency to ask her about it before displaying clear interest in her. Then again if a guy who had professed interest in me, in any way, had lost my passport to a one night stand he just couldn’t do without, I wouldn’t be quite so forgiving. Just sayin’.

Those are the kinds of things that get in the way of a good movie. Just ask Kevin Costner. If people don’t like any of the characters, or have no reason to care about them (Water World) they won’t enjoy the movie.

With all that being said, I love giant monster movies. I love Kaiju. So despite the fact that I didn’t much care for Monsters, I could see moments of brilliance and the promise of a great director in it and I am kind of starting to look forward to Monsters: The Dark Continent. K

#RCCC2014 Day 2 #Mothra meets #Godzilla & #DirkBenedict

Mothra at Rose City Comic Con

Comic Cons restore my faith in humanity. A bold statement? Perhaps. It’s true though. When I see hundreds of creative cosplayers in their fantastic costumes, most of which they made themselves, it makes me happy. I love the cosplayers who buy their costumes too. Not everyone is crafty, not everyone has time to make something but everyone can cosplay. This is who people really are when they are set free from the worries and demands of everyday life. People are creative and gracious, they are happy to talk about their cosplay and the subject of their cosplay. When you see two fans of the same game, say a Link and a Midna meet at a con it’s just magical. I saw Ronin glad to see Star-Lord just because they so obviously share the same interest. When you see a group of cosplayers you are seeing people set free from the mundane to express one facet of who they really are.

Another thing I love about comic cons are the celebrity guests. I have yet to meet a celebrity guest who isn’t just as gracious, kind and charming. They share so much with their fans and they are happy to do so. I know Stan Lee was disappointed at the Portland Comic Con that he couldn’t say more than a few words to each of the fans who wanted to see him. He always wanted to share, to sit and chat but, alas, so many people wanted to see him that the con volunteers had to keep the line moving. It was the same way with William Shatner. These are people who just love people, or perhaps more accurately an audience but they are storytellers, that’s what they are.

With all that being said, I have a confession to make: I got Dirk Benedict’s autograph again. I know, I know–why? I already have his autograph from ECCC2013 and he was quite charming. But it was so reasonably priced and his line was so short I didn’t have to wait hardly at all and this time I wanted a picture that spoke more to who he is than my fandom. So I chose this picture:

Dirk Benedict

Dirk Benedict

I chose it because, after hearing his discussion panel this picture made me think of who he really is while still tying in to one of the shows I loved as a kid. Well I think I’m not going too far to say that I made his day by choosing that photograph. He immediately got excited and started talking about how this is his favorite picture. Turns out he had this picture taken in England for his mother but he liked it so well he had copies made to bring to conventions. He loves the shirt and wears it all the time, and the shoes are his favorite. In fact he wore them to the con and showed me. I think he was really touched when I told him why I chose that photo. He also liked my Mothra hat. We chatted for 5 or 10 minutes and his excitement about this photo had other people in line leaning in to listen and just smiling too. It’s something special when you can bring so much joy into someone’s life by something so small. He also said that this was only the second one of those particular photos he’d sold, which to be fair is probably because people want pictures of him in the roles they know him in. So, if you ask me, totally worth the very modest sum I shelled out to get a second autograph. Oh! And he let his aide take a photo with him and I was wearing my Mothra costume, natch.

Nice hat

Nice hat

I love coming away from cons with stories like the one above. It really adds to the specialness of each con. Look for these moments when you go to a con and don’t be afraid to note them down as soon as you are out of line.

We ran into the fantastic cosplayers who were Yzma and Kronk yesterday. Yzma had transformed into one of the best, if not the best Loki of the con.

Loki looking good

Loki looking good

Oh here was the cutest Star-Lord of the con. There were several good Star-Lords, really good ones but this guy was creative and low budget. Proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to cosplay, just get creative!

Star-Lord with Rocket Raccoon and Groot--Sort of.

Star-Lord with Rocket Raccoon and Groot–Sort of.

Having fun and making people smile is a fantastic way to spend a Sunday. So Rose City Comic Con was a rousing success both days and we had a lot of fun. Thank you to everyone involved, especially all of the cosplayers. And be sure to check out Kaijucast for photos of my Mothra cosplay with Kyle.

Also one last shameless plug, check out S. Shadow’s Natural Photography where pics from the Rose City Comic Con will be up Monday and Tuesday. His photographer got a couple of good ones of my Mothra cosplay.

Here’s one that one of us took where I’m not backlit!

Mothra at Rose City Comic Con

Mothra at Rose City Comic Con

Rose City Comic Con #Mothra #Cosplay Debut #RCCC #Godzilla

Cosplay Newt meets Cosplay Mothra--Squeeing happens

Today is the first day of the Rose City Comic Con. As was my goal and plan I debuted the Mothra cosplay today. The hat is sturdy and the band nearly invisible once it was under my hair. The wings were a bit warm but very wearable.

We started off the day with the Kaijucast Godzilla VS. Everything panel. It was the best panel discussion I’ve ever been in. They showed clips from Godzilla movies for a whole hour. They also related trivia and lore about the filming of the movies and the actors. It was delightful. If you love all things Kaiju you should really wander on over to

the fine people who host Kaijucast, a monthly podcast about Godzilla and other Kaiju, were the one’s to turn me on to Daimajin which is a fantastic old trilogy about a kaiju that is based in myth. This year they were talking up the 1990’s Gamera, or as I like to call them, the good Gamera movies. Look for a picture of Mothra on their website at the end of the day today. I visited their booth (B5) at the con and had a lovely chat with them after the panel discussion. Also check out this fabulous Newt cosplay from Pacific Rim, totally squeeing over Mothra (totes in character if you ask me).

Cosplay Newt meets Cosplay Mothra

Cosplay Newt meets Cosplay Mothra

The cosplay today was amazing. I saw my first Yzma and Kronk from Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. That’s a completely underrated movie if you ask me. This cosplay is fantastic too.

Yzma and Kronk

Yzma and Kronk

With Guardians of the Galaxy being so popular and the most recent Marvel offering I was expecting to see a plethora of Star-Lords and other characters. I only counted 2 Star-Lords, 2 Ronins and the cutest Groot you could want to see.

Dancing Groot

Dancing Groot

Star-Lord and Ronin set aside their differences fora photo shoot.

Star-Lord and Ronin set aside their differences fora photo shoot.

If you follow this blog you will, of course, already know that I consider the cosplayers to be easily half of the attraction of a con. I love to see how creative people are and I love to see the cosplay and the cosplayers enjoying displaying their efforts and talent. So without further adieu here are a bunch of pictures of cosplay from today at the RCCC:

The family that cosplays together stays together.

The family that cosplays together stays together.

Midna gets a glimpse of her future with cursed Midna

Midna gets a glimpse of her future with cursed Midna

Sasha of Cherno Alpha along with Newt and Gottlieb.

Sasha of Cherno Alpha along with Newt and Gottlieb.

The Joker

The Joker

Last but not least, you may be wondering how people reacted to the Mothra cosplay I wore. Well it’s a fairly obscure character so not a lot of people realized who I was. One guy even thought I was some kind of Pokemon (really?). The people who got it though were really excited about it. Their eyes would get wide and their faces would light up and then they would tell me how much they love Godzilla and Mothra. It was fantastic. I loved hearing their stories and I really am happy that my cosplay could make some other people so happy too. It was delightful. And yes I bought the soundtrack for the Godzilla movies and played the Mothra song periodically. (Totally stuck in my head right now too, thank you very much). With the theme song people seemed better able to recognize the character.

I will say that the folks of the Godzilla vs. Everything panel did have me stand up and show their audience before the discussion started and they sang the theme song for me. One gentleman stopped me as I walked across the lobby, “Mothra! Can I take your picture?” Of course and I was delighted to show the wings too. All in all, despite the relatively low number of people recognizing the character, I would say it was quite a success. I’ll be back tomorrow for the second day of the con and I’ll be Mothra again. K.

Mosura

Mosura

#Mothra #Cosplay Actual Day 17: Completed in time for #RCCC

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

That’s right, gentle reader, I got it done and not a moment too soon. Today we are less than 7 days out from the Rose City Comic Con. I also helped stitch the skirt and cape for our Midna (of Zelda fame) that will be one of our cosplayers and then helped with the Godzilla cosplay (although that one may not make RCCC).

As an aside our Godzilla cosplayer has a conflict with the RCCC on Saturday so our plan to enter the team cosplay contest has been thwarted. Maybe we can do something like that when we get to the Emerald City Comic Con. Wish us luck!

I know last week I said it was day 14 but I went back and counted them up and it’s actually day 17 today. My total hours invested in the project are right at about 70. I splurged on two things this week for the costume, pushing the cost for materials up to $110.00 but several of the things I got are not absolutely necessary for the cosplay.

Yeah I got the bluetooth speaker.

Yeah I got the bluetooth speaker.

Perfect example: I picked up a bluetooth speaker (toy of the night when I brought it home) and bought the theme song for Mothra to put somewhere (possibly in the front vest pocket) and play while I’m at the Con. That was $30.00 I hadn’t planned on spending when I calculated the cost of the materials. In fact that little splurge is responsible for me going over my second budget estimate. Totally worth it though.

I finished up painting the vest, which is making up the main body of Mothra, and touching up the wings. Check it out:

Finishing the vest

Finishing the vest

Painting the feet on the vest.

Painting the feet on the vest.

It’s a good thing I tried it on and wore it a bit today. I broke one of the dowels in two places just wearing it. I’ll never get one piece of the dowel out of the sleeve I stitched for it so it’ll have to stay. Thankfully the 12 gauge wire was in place and that’s helping a lot. I have to decide if I want to use the dowels and replace one (for a grand total of $0.39) or go with softer wings. I really like the visual I get with the extra support along the leading edge the dowel gives me so I’ll probably replace it before the con.

I really did not want to go with a big elastic strap to hold the hat on. I was hoping that a few elastic loops and some bobby pins would do the trick. Once again, in the trial the hat wasn’t as secure as I had hoped it would be, and not secure enough for me to be confident of it in a large crowd. Because of that I went ahead and stitched an elastic strap on it and I’m very pleased with the result. It doesn’t go under my chin but rather around the back of my head and I like it much better. This will be secure in a large crowd.

Some bonus pictures from the construction and modeling of the cosplay:

Stitching the wings on the vest.

Stitching the wings on the vest.

Set up for painting, with the Mothra model.

Set up for painting, with the Mothra model.

Folded wings

Folded wings

Mothra will debut at the Rose City Comic Con. I am very excited and pleased. Looking at the pictures it looks even better than I imagined it would when I started it lo these many weeks ago. K.

#Mothra #Cosplay Day 14, Nearing Completion

layout

layout

layout

That’s right gentle reader, it’s almost completed. I almost missed a big part of the hind wing on the left wing when I was trying to finish up the painting today. I had to keep holding up the wing and turn it around in my hands so that I could really look at it. I have most of the touch ups done, although I think I could touch them up forever.

I did use the leather needles to affix the wings to the vest. I spent about an hour futzing with the tension, breaking the thread and damaging the leather before I got it figured out. Fortunately I was able to run my seam right over the same spot where I’d repeatedly broken the thread trying to figure out the proper tension on the machine. Since I bought my machine used it didn’t come with a manual so I have to guess at some things.

Sewing  wings to Leather

Sewing wings to Leather

With leather, it’s not like fabric, once the needle punches through there is a hole there that will not be hidden by fibers like with fabric. So that was a concern. Also it was very awkward trying to fit the vest and wing into the sewing foot. The wings are huge and the vest leather. I spent almost as much time just trying to get everything lined up to stitch as I did trying to get the machine to stitch it.

Tension Issues break the thread

Tension Issues break the thread

I have to confess that when I reached the point where the wings were assembled and the painting all but complete I had a moment of disbelief. It’s really going to be done for the Rose City Comic con. All that’s left is to stitch elastic loops on the underside of the hat so I can attach the hat securely with bobby pins and I think there are a couple of spots to touch up on the wings, small ones. Then I have to finish painting the vest and it’s complete. There’s probably not more than an hour or two left and it’s done.

I can hardly believe that it’s so close to done. I will post a picture of it complete and with the proper under dress and boots when I am finished. Also, I must confess, I splurged and bought the Mothra theme song so that I can play it on occasion when I’m in costume. It’s silly, I know, but why not?

So my total for the budget is right around $85.00 for materials, extra paint, brushes and the song. Not too bad. I’m over my original estimate by $35.00 and under my second estimate by $15.00. Not too bad. I’ve spent around 56 hours of my time designing, constructing, painting and sewing the costume. I can’t quite believe that I made this.

#Mothra #Cosplay Minimalist, Adjusted Budget Holding

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

With the holiday weekend affording an extra day to work on the Mothra cosplay I was hoping to get the paining finished on the wings. Since I have to mix the colors myself from the available fabric paints I have it takes a lot longer than one might expect. They are turning out beautifully but it is taking such a long time to paint them.

I ran out of blue and orange paint so I had to pick up more. This pushed my budget ever closer to the hard limit of $100.00 for materials. True when I started I was hoping to keep it around $50.00 but that starting budget was quite unrealistic and only goes to show how little experience I have with making cosplays. I should have just started with the more reasonable budget of $100.00, and a more seasoned cosplayer probably would have.

Even with a budget of $100.00 I’m still looking for bargains and using coupons to buy my materials. Goodwill, and store coupons are great resources for getting materials and keeping to a reasonable budget. This weekend there were some particularly good coupons for some of the local craft stores due to the holiday. That’s something to keep in mind when considering starting a new cosplay. If you plan it right you can get your materials during a big sale.

Better planning in general would have helped keep the cost down. I didn’t know how much paint the fabric I chose would soak up so that is costing me in additional paint. I’m sure someone who has been doing cosplay for a long time would have chosen different fabric, treated it differently and planned things out better than I have.

We did get a cheap table cloth, a plastic picnic table cloth to put on the table while we paint. It protects the table and makes it less nerve wracking when we paint on the only good sized surface in the house for crafting.

Outside of the Left Wing

Outside of the Left Wing

All that being said, I still love what I’m doing and I love my costume. I’m learning a lot and having fun. My goal now is to get it finished up within the next two weeks. That includes touching up the paint where necessary, affixing the wings to the vest and stitching loops on the hat so that I can use bobby pins to keep it on my head in a crowded convention hall.

There are some flaws to the costume. I pretty much won’t be able to carry anything, so any tchotchkes or memorabilia I may want to pick up will have to be handled by one of my companions. The cosplay is designed to be portable though. I can roll the wings and vest up into a compact bundle to transport. The most difficult piece to transport will be the hat, due to the feathers.

Both Wings

Both Wings

We got our tickets to ECCC (Emerald City Comic Con) today and I’ll be wearing it there for certain. I’m still looking to debut it at the RCCC (Rose City Comic Con) in three weeks. We will see how well it travels then. K.