Titled : The Douchey Side of the Force
Since Friday was going to be a heavy day of movie related interviews and Mika was planning an epic costume for her return to SDCC 2012, I thought Thursday might be the ideal day for a comic convention experience I had yet to partake in. COSTUMING!! My first foray into building serious costumes 2 years back for Halloween produced mixed results. My Vampire Batman costume seemed to be universally loved, but it was a torturous beast from which one had to take a week to recover. The boots destroyed my feet and knees, and the bat wing styled cape and poly-urithane cowl (from Reeves FX) combo caused sheets of sweat to wash down my face...in October... at night...in the middle of New York City. Surely, this outfit was awesome...but also awesomely unwearable.
This was my 10th yr or so attending SDCC and I was well aware of the physical demands on a human just trying to shoot toys on the show floor, so while my curiosity to see what a cosplayer's day is like was in overdrive, I was still thinking a smaller show would be a better starting point for an epic costume. For SDCC, I still had jobs to do daily, so my costume had to be fairly easy to wear while complementing Mika Tan's HoBacca! With the help of LA costuming friends, I tweaked an Ed Hardy logo and had it blinged out (I wanted to say bedazzled but I'm told that is a dirty, dirty word) and emblazoned upon a close facsimile to Han Solo's classic vest. With the addition of the right looking shirt, a passable blaster and my motorcycle boots, Ed Hardy Edition Han Solo was born.
After some morning toy shooting and a meet up with the Think Geek folks to check out the mind blowing Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control (that makes every damn sound your little WHO loving heart can handle and remains a fully functional universal remote with movement and lights), I met up with Mika for a Starbucks fuel up. I'm a coffee wuss so mine was some chocolate, whip-creamed monstrosity hiding it's caffeinated power pack beneath layers of cookie crunchies. I am emasculated but very happy. We hit the floor and began Mika's 5 step-then-stop-for-a-picture march. We quickly discovered that when Mika is in a furry outfit just barely covering her boobs, there are two speeds...stop and fast forward with heads down. I also discovered I could achieve a ninja-like stealth mode when standing next to said boobs. When a gaggle of photograhers began snapping away at my furry lady friend, any scrums lasting more than 5 minutes usually included a moment where someone would yell "Hey Look!! She has a Han Solo too!!" and then it was my time to jump in, gun held sideways like the whitest gangster in the verse with sun glasses glistening under the mid-day florescents. When I'd conceived my companion costume to Mika's, my one goal was to run into the pimped out Boba Fett we had met 2 years prior. As we were posing for a couple of shots, I spotted my smartly lapelled brother mere feet away just as he spotted us. I spun Mika around and said "LOOK!" and pointed at our friends as we heard them say something to the effect of "Holy Shit! Get Over Here!" with muffled voices through Star Wars Boba and Vader masks. We had only seconds to admire the awesome Hasbro action figure 4 pack we had just created before those around us discovered the epic photo op. To credit properly, our bros were Pimp Daddy Darth and Boba Phat. Amazing.
This routine went on all day with us taking pics of costumers with the crazy fast booting little red camera SONY suited me up with after an Amazing Spider-Man junket (THANKS AGAIN!!) and more often than not, having them jump in with us for a shot or two. Occasionally a die hard Mika fan would stumble across the scene and pronounce their undying love, asking in the nicest, most respectful tones if they could get a picture with her. This usually caused giggles among the other photogs and costumers who thought Mika was just the hottest Wookie at the con and would never be the wiser.
The highpoint of the day, for me, was running across a gaggle of Disney Princesses that seemed to grow as we gathered them for a picture. After shooting, I asked Mika if she wanted to jump in with them and she looked shocked. "I'd never ruin all that pretty right there with all this slutty here!" and did her best HoBacca ghetto pose. The princesses laughed and one remarked "Well WE want pictures with you, if you don't mind!" They all agreed it was the best idea ever. One by one, each princess took a position next to HoBacca, either looking terrorized by her fearsome bowcaster or shocked to the core by her outfit. Despite any assinine thing you may see on TMZ about these cosplayers, I will say the ones who master the Disney Princess look tend to be the sweetest and most fun folks at every show. They also send the nicest emails afterward if you catch a particularly good picture of them. So..as not to mince words or be misunderstood...TMZ can eat a dick.
As our time at the show was growing short, we came upon the ultimate opportunity for a hot, Star Wars loving girl dressed as a hot, slutty Wookie....a meeting with Peter Mayhew..the original Chewbacca. Mika's excitement to show off her costume was akin to a 5 year old that just finished the most amazing cardboard box robot outfit you would ever see and would now march upon the world so that they may drink it in. Peter was understandably happy to see her.
Though my costume was not as detailed or intense as Mika's, I was still able to see why someone might want to work for weeks on such a project, suit up and then drop in on the convention of their choosing. Comic Book Conventions may be the only place you can hand your camera to a stranger and have them take a picture for you...and then get the camera BACK straight away after. That good feeling is amplified 10 fold when you are the one in costume making those around you smile, laugh and sometimes come away with a unique experience. To go from covering a convention to being a part of it was definitely worth a bit of sweat and creative swapping to assemble my costume. I might be looking for the deluxe experience in the near future...say...October....
Additional pics by Mika Tan, Teddy Scares & Boba Phat. Thanks!!
We are working over time to add hundreds of images to our little corner of the Flickr universe, so HIT THIS LINK and check out the goods as they are tossed in! We've got 56 sets up now!