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[CONS] Wizard World Philadelphia 2009 [Jun. 20th, 2009|09:31 pm]
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Wizard World Philadelphia 2009 was held, as usual, in the Pennsylvania Convention Center. It seemed visibly smaller than 2008, although I only have the 2007 program book handy for an objective comparison. There were fewer hall costumes, and many fewer anime costumes, but many characters I hadn't seen previously depicted. The DelVaLUG LEGO club did not exhibit, as most of the potential contributors were in Chicago for BrickWorld.



* Program book: B&W cover vs. glossy, 12 (no ads) vs. 40 pages (many ads)
* Attendee identification: wristbands vs. namebadges
* Exhibitors: ~105 vs. ~110
* Artists: 160 tables vs. 173

There were seven concurrent program tracks in breakout rooms: Comics, Kids, Media, Showcase, Toys, VGXPO, and Wiz School. Media had the actor-guests, and I checked out Kids from professional interest (since I've run the program at Philcon for six years). As at Philcon, "Kids" meant "all ages welcome, but we modulate the presentation, and have hands-on samples."

None of the majors were present as exhibitors -- Wizards of the Coast, PlayStation, DC, Marvel, TopCow. Nobody was hawking summer movies except for Regal Cinemas, which was promoting its loyalty card. They had a huge cardboard dimensional backdrop for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (opening next week) and were soliciting charity donations -- drop your cash in any of eight tubes, each labeled with a different character, and they'd announce the favorite at the end of the day. Alas, I didn't catch the verdict.

There was no on-floor CCG gaming area -- that was in a separate room. Instead, Wizard World sublet a corner to VGXPO, "America's Video Game Expo." Its main 2009 show is October 9-11 (also at PCC), but had some kind of exhibition-play arena with tiered seats.

Everybody's favorite talking car was present -- but not the original KITT from the 1980s Knight Rider. No, apparently the black TransAm has been cloned; there's a company making replica customization parts (hubcaps, scanner, nose, dashboard). KITT kits, if you will [1]. Also, PCC regs prohibited (so a placard explained) illumination of its scanner bar.

Costumes:

* An entire crowd of Star Wars costumers, many of them from the 501st Legion. Stormtroopers, Clonetroopers, Mandalorians, a scarlet Royal Guard, TIE pilot, Imperial officers, two Jawas, a Tusken female, and a meganeko[2] slave-bikini Leia. Also Chewbacca.

* From Marvel Comics: Red/blue and black versions of Spider-man; Electra, in red; X-Men members Jean Gray in green dress and yellow mask, Rogue in jumpsuit, and Jubilee in yellow slicker. Also, Duct Tape Thor, demonstrating how not to fabricate authentic-looking metal bits.

* From DC Comics: Batman, Batman Beyond, the Joker, at least two Harlequinns, Harvey Dent,
Superman (guy looked a lot like Brandon Routh).

* Several Trek TOS uniforms, but no ENT, TNG or DS9.

* At least one copy of Doctor Ten (with the sneakers), from Doctor Who TNS.

* Caprica Six (in slinky red dress) from Battlestar Galactica TNS, and at least one Colonial Marine.

* Two copies of the Baronness and one Cobra Commander (hooded), from G.I.Joe.

* A group of four characters from the movie 300 -- a woman and three Spartans. Yes, with the leather trunks and the red cloaks and the shields and plumed helmets. Yes, the chaps had the right physiques to be exposing that much skin.

* Meganeko Gabriel, from Xena.

* From video games: The armored character from the cover of Fallout, two copies of Master Chief from Halo, two copies of Link from the Zelda series (one of them six years old).

* From Transformers G1, Soundwave. This was, I believe, a foam-and-cardboard costume built locally several years ago, and of some reknown. It was classically boxy, and it squeaked. Its wearer was female -- so I infer only from pronouns used in its vicinity, there being absolutely no details visible of the biological substrate.




[1] "KITT kits." I would name the friend who voiced that pun, but he should be grateful I leave him anonymous.

[2] "Meganeko" -- Girl in glasses. A fan-coined portmanteau word from the Japanese terms "megane" (eyeglasses) and "-ko" (common feminine name suffix).
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: austin_dern
2009-06-24 03:25 am (UTC)

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You know, the placard explaining that convention center rules prohibit the flashing KITT lights actually just makes the non-flashing all the more curious. I could understand them not being street-legal, since streets seem to be fussy about flashing things which aren't directional signals, but parked inside a building?

I want to say that I'd probably find the costumed attendees the most interesting part, but I'm also aware that there can be some unfortunate mismatches among costume design, fabric choice, and body mass indices. But from the lack of wailing I suppose there weren't any too severe impedence mismatches there.

[User Picture]From: underbase
2009-09-05 02:28 pm (UTC)

Cosplay motivations

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::: I'm also aware that there can be some unfortunate mismatches among costume design, fabric choice, and body mass indices.

Expanding on that point: the most immediate/common/juvenile reaction is, "Argh! My eyes! My personal satisfaction demands that only appealing people wear costumes!" But there are subtleties beyond this.

Mismatch is in motive. Is the cosplayer trying to be the character (which requires physique and personality, not just costume), or expressing their support for the character or fiction? Do they just like the cut of the outfit? Are they dressed up to please themselves or the audience?

Consider: standards (of pulchritide and tailoring) aren't as high during Halloween.

Similarly, one might consider swimwear, and the unfortunate juxtaposition exemplified by Homer Simpson and Speedo. The most obvious perceived-motivation for revealing swimwear is "showing off," followed by, "if you don't got it, please don't flaunt it." But other reasons may be: exposing skin for tanning, reducing drag when swimming, reducing water-retaining fabric upon de-immersion. ("Exmersion"?)
[User Picture]From: dork_knight
2009-07-05 03:43 am (UTC)

ha

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Found this while googling the convention. I was one of the two Links you saw! haha, though clearly I was not the 6 year old one. Was just wondering if you had pictures or anything? I really didnt get too many.
[User Picture]From: underbase
2009-09-05 02:14 pm (UTC)

Re: ha

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Sorry, can't help you. I didn't bother to take any photos this time -- well, aside from a few shaky cam-phone pics meant only to jog the memory ("How many Stormtroopers were in the line-up?") when writing this article.

After ten years of attending conventions (anime, comic book, SF, LEGO), I've outgrown the "ooh! lookithat! gotta prove it to the folks at home!" reflex. Shutterbugging just slows traffic to molasses ("There's an unknown momentum drain on both fluid components, captain!"), and the low-light blurs are always frustrating afterward.