The latest Becoming Marvel features an L.A. based cosplayer Lauren Bregman from Castle Corsetry making herself up to be Mockingbird. She is more than just a cosplayer though, as she creates a line of amazing comic and pop culture themed corsets that have been worn by some pretty big names like Kim Kardashian, Snooki, Team Unicorn, Katie Perry, and more.
I was sitting at my kitchen table this morning with a two-gallon cup of coffee, two-finger tapping-away at the keys as I was trying to hammer-out an article on my first-time experience as a cosplayer when my girlfriend gave me the news: Steve Dillon had passed-away aged 54. It felt like someone had cattle-prodded the back of my brain. Steve Dillon was one of my favorite comics artists over the years…with a space reserved for him on my personal comics artists’ “Mt. Rushmore.” There’s nothing I can say here that hasn’t already been said about his Punisher work; the indelible influences he had on John Constantine through his time on Hellblazer; his contributions to 2000AD and Warrior Magazine; and so much more.
But first-and-foremost, I will always remember Steve Dillon as the co-creator and artist of Preacher…a work that means even more to me now as it did when it was first published. While I’m not exactly the first person one would go to for deep artistic interpretation, the one thing that always stuck-out in my mind when it came to Dillon’s work on Preacher was his ability to force the reader to really see the shocking and horrific things that were taking place…putting us “in the moment” and forcing us to watch. It’s one of the reasons why it’s only one of two graphic novels (Watchmen being the other) I make it a point of re-reading every year; and why I’m excited with the direction of the television show.
It’s also the reason why the news was so heart-breaking. The article I was writing was built around my first-time cosplaying at NYCC as Jesse Custer from Preacher, but at no point did I ever expect to meet the legend himself. But there he was: Steve Dillon sitting at the HERO Initiative table in Artist’s Alley…though I was in such shock that I’m pretty sure I did one of those cheesy sitcom double-takes between looking at him and his sign on the table just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. He was just finishing-up some table time, accepting donations for HERO in return for an autograph or a photo. He looked like he was enjoying some well-deserved quiet time so I decided not to bother him and to check out the lead table to see if he had autographed anything for charity that I could get my hands on. Once the gentlemen I started speaking with saw who I was dressed as, they immediately asked me if I had anything on me that Dillon could autograph (thank you, DC Comics, for those Preacher giveaways) and that “he would definitely want to see this.” And before I could even process what was about to happen, I find myself shaking hands with Steve Dillon. Over the next few minutes, he would ask me why I went with the television version (told him I couldn’t pull-off the curls); express his genuine surprise at how influential Preacher still remains to this day; tell me that he enjoyed the first season of the television show and is looking forward to the next season hitting-on more plot points from the books; and discuss his thoughts on conventions. Before wrapping-up, I was able to smile and shake his hand once again as we posed for a lasting memory I would have with one of my artistic heroes.
To be clear, this was not an hour-long luncheon between two old friends…but it was a few extra minutes that an artist took to speak with a fan. It’s those few extra minutes that I’ll never forget. So RIP, Steve Dillon…if God’s gone AWOL again, there’s a seat there waiting for you.
Ray Flook has been a contributing writer to Bleeding Cool since 2013. You can follow him on Twitter at @oldmangeek88; on Instagram at @oldmangeek; and soon through the Big Bad Geek podacast..
In the latest episode of Marvel Becoming, we get to see cosplayer Kearstin from Elmheart, IL. make a Spider-Gwen costume. I was surprised that the light blue webbing accents were painted on and not sewn in. Shows how much I know about making costumes. You can follow Kearstin on twitter.
By Joe Glass
This year, instead of my usual con reporting, I actually tabled at New York Comic Con. I was part of the LGBT HQ booth, a wonderful organisation who attend various comic cons on the east coast and try to become a hub for all things gay at comic cons. They would like to actually also bring their special brand of fun and interest to San Diego Comic Con, but need help to do so, so if you can, get in touch with them! They streamline the panels and event listings to those related to LGBTQ interest, cosplay, diversity and representation, and empowerment.
One of the first things I noticed sitting down at the booth and looking through the leaflet LGBT HQ made of diversity and LGBTQ inspired events was the sheer number of them. In fact, I would later find that there were even more panels on LGBTQ, diversity and empowerment than could all be listed in that leaflet alone.
I remember the first time I attended a NYCC and there only being one LGBTQ panel at the show. This time, there seemed to be two a day, at least!
Which is incredible! Given the leaps and bounds mainstream comics are making in boosting diversity, and especially LGBTQ representation (though that is mainly DC atm, Marvel still seriously needs to catch up).
Now, maybe it was the booth I was sat at, and the fact I was on one of those panels (Queer Culture: LGBT in Pop Culture), but it seemed that many of the fans who approached me and the rest of my booth mates were all extremely enthusiastic and excited by the amount of focus on diversity and representation at the show. Some even stated it was the most welcomed and comfortable they have been at a comic con in years.
It did seem to be something that spread around the show. Some of the busiest creators at the immensely busy Artists Alley section happened to be ones who worked on projects that included greater diversity and themes of empowerment.
And LGBT HQ was not the only LGBTQ presence in the main convention hall, as there was also Geeks OUT, the creators of LGBTQ comic con Flame Con, held in Brooklyn and running for its third year next year.
Perhaps this is an overall direction that the comics audience is going in, and the organizers of NYCC have realized this too. Maybe it’s something that other conventions all over the world could learn from.
Speaking with attendees and panelists at some of these panels, plus the handy updates from the NYCC app and my experiences on my panel organised by New York Times’ TimesOUT and Jamie Fay and featuring Jude Biersdorfer, David Yost, Dan Avery, Chun Rosenkranz, Graham Nolan and myself, these types of panels were almost all filled, containing enthusiastic and excited audiences, and even some elements of controversy.
Diversity, it seems, is going nowhere but up.
Joe Glass is a Bleeding Cool contributor and also a comics creator. He’s the creator and writer of LGBTQ comic series, The Pride, which can be purchased at The Pride Online Store, and also on ComiXology. He is also a co-writer on Welsh horror comedy series, Stiffs, which is on ComiXology and the Stiffs Store.
New York Comic Con has been done for over a day, but we still have a whole lot of cosplay coming through from our boots on the ground.
Here is a massive batch for you to take a look at too. There is some really, really, stellar work work here.
These come couresy of Dimitrios Haritos, Jemal Flores, with a boatload from Adam Wolfe and Endymion Mageto
And that is all she wrote. NYCC has closed its doors now, for this year, another year of a pop culture celebration is now over.
However, we still have some cosplay for you to take a look at here. Here are 104 photos from today at the show, and showing off some amazing work of the con goers.
These come courtesy of Richard Epstein, Paul Gullas, Amanda Gurall and Hugh Sheridan.
The last day of NYCC is in full swing now, but there is still a whole bunch of Cosplay going on.
We have 104 more images for you to take a look at, with some amazing costume work on display by attendees.
This images come courtesy of Octavio Karbank, Alejandra Bodden and a huge stack from Christine Stephan
As we roll into the last day of NYCC, it means there is only one more for cosplayers to show off their incredible creations.
Don’t fret though. We have you covered. Here is a huge seleaction of photos to get your eyes around.
These come courtesy of Danielle Mick, Ocatvio Karbank and a whole host from Jason Borelli.
We are certainly deep into NYCC now, with Saturday just beginning to wrap up.
We still have one more day though, and a whole bunch of excellent cosplay to bring you. We have a batch of 65 photos here for you to peruse from today. Some amazing work on display here.
This photos come courtesy of Dimitrios Haritos, Christine Stephan, Joe Glass and Hugh Sheridan.
From the foyer of NYCC… Come on feel the force!
We are spoiling you with all of this cosplay!
We have a whole host more photos from the considerable efforts of those amazing cosplayers at NYCC. There is some really impressive work here for you to gawk at, so have at them.
This photos come from Joe Glass, Amanda Gurall and Danielle Mick.
Come get you some of this cosplay!
Most of these photos come from Friday at New York Comic Con, and there is some amazing work done by those pictured here. Well done for all of your hard work everyone!
These come couresy of Christine Stephan, Amanda Gurall, Danielle Mick. Paul Gullas and Octavio Karbank
You need cosplay from NYCC? Well, we got it.
Here are 51 images from the showfloor at New York Comic Con 2016 from Friday. There is a bunch of brilliant costume work in here to wrap your head around. These photos come from Madeline Ricchiuto, Joe Glass, Hugh Sheridan, Jemal Flores, John Odum and Dimitrios Haritos
Take a look:
We’ve seen one batch of photos from yesterday’s opening day of New York Comic Con, and we are back with a whole bunch more.
There is lots to gawk at here, so get your peepers on these. These come courtesy of Ray Flook, Dimitrios Haritos, Danielle Mick, Jemal Flores, Christine Stephan and EiC Rich Johnston.
By Jemal Flores
Harry Potter fans gathered at New York Comic Con on October 6th to pay tribute to Alan Rickman. But that wasn’t the only reason for their gathering. My friend Leroy Rivera had planned in secret to propose to his girlfriend Loriana Aviles in front of thousands of con attendees. He disguised the proposal as a tribute to Alan Rickman, but unbeknownst to Loriana, it was really a way to get all of their friends together to witness his proposal of marriage.
Ziggo assembled all of his friends in the cosplay and photography world to record their joyous moment. Ziggo and a group of his closest friends pretended to enact a cosplay photo shoot of Harry Potter.
Leroy, AKA Ziggo Dent, and his fiancee Loriana, AKA Lori Lestrange, as their cosplay names, have been cosplaying together for a very long time. The tribute was pulled off without a hitch.
After the proposal, the newly engaged couple were congratulated by all of their friends and family.
Congratulations to Leroy and Loriana! I hope you have many more cosplay adventures together!
Jemal Flores is a contributor for Bleeding Cool as well as a Comic Book Collector, & Charity Cosplayer. He is a fan of all things nerdy.
You can follow him @chojinmahn on Twitter.
New York Comic Con is roaring out the gate now, and as ever, our feet on the ground have been out snapping shots of some excellent cosplay. There is a pretty diverse set here too, so make sure to take a browse.
These come from Hugh Sheridan, John Odum, Joe Glass, Christine Stephan and Amanda Gurall.
By John Odum
No, we’re not talking about Ferengi_Rules_of_Acquisition “Work is the best therapy – at least for your employees”… but the internet-originated “rule” stating that any fictional character has it’s gender-swapped alternate – a rule that expands as our social and biological concepts of gender do.
LGBT and disability activist Jay Justice, joined by cosplayers Tony Ray and Brayan Vasquez, emceed a panel as an open conversation with “crossplayers” to provide support, and share experiences in cross-gender cosplaying.
“Don’t let your haters stop you, let your haters motivate you” Ray advised, while recounting a cosplay experience as “Poison Oak” accompanied by “Charlie Quinn.” Vasquez, on the other hand, characterized demands that a gender-bending cosplayer justify their creative choices as a form of bullying.
“I don’t care if I’m the shortest, wimpiest, big-boobiest Colossus you’ll ever see… it’s about fun.” Justice explained.
Cosplay as personal creativity and playfulness was the initial message of the panel, with panelists and audience members recounting tales of passersby trying to impress a political message they could object to onto an individual creative cosplay. “I am whatever character I am dressed up as, I am not the ‘black (version)’,” Ray explained.
However, as the discussion quickly broadened into a general discussion of the interplay between race, queerness, and cosplay, the spectrum of the personal & political could not be overlooked – particularly in regards to race. Ray laid out in no uncertain terms that cosplay does not exist in a cultural vacuum
“Blackface is steeped in history,” he noted, acknowledging that some costuming decisions could inevitably evoke far more than an isolated character, and that those lines and mores transcend genre.
With culture on the table, the discussion of cosplay as an individual exercise gave way to a range of social influences, pressures, expectations… and controversies. Topics of discussion ranged from discussions of diversity in films to the ongoing national controversy on cisgengered bathrooms.
Ray closed what had begun as a discussion centered around the individual, with an appeal towards community empowerment.
“We must stand together united and tall, and show them that we will not take (haters) bullcrap.”
Fangirl fashion company Her Universe has created a new Marvel-based line around Marvel’s female TV and comic book character portrayals. And they will debut at the Her Universe/Hot Topic pop-up shop within the Official ReedPOP Supply Co. Store at New York Comic Con.
Available in sizes XS thru 3X and two styles available in plus, the collection celebrates some of the favorite female heroes from the Marvel universe with a stunning selection of dresses and jackets inspired by Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Scarlet Witch, Agent Peggy Carter and a Spider-Gwen jacket pulled straight out of the 2015 Her Universe Fashion Show designed by Lindsay Hamilton.
“We fell in love with Lindsay Hamilton’s Spider-Gwen design from the 2015 Her Universe Fashion Show at San Diego Comic-Con,” said Her Universe Founder Ashley Eckstein. “While she did not win the competition, Hot Topic loved her jacket so much that they asked if they could buy her design to sell in stores! It was truly a pleasure to work with Lindsay to bring her jacket to retail. It’s gorgeous!”
Marvel has released two more Marvel Becoming which features cosplayers getting ready to be their favorite heroes. First up is the aptly named Ryan Green as he is spray-painted into being the Incredible Hulk. This is far better than someone pulling on a green muscle suit. Then we moved to Mary Cahela as she prepares her purple suite and red wig to be the Inhuman Queen Medusa.
From RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, Michelle Visage talking with departing contestant Phi Phi O’Hara, about the appeal of cosplay, and why it’s a really big deal.
Michelle: To me being a cosplay mom, it’s all drag.
Phi Phi: Drag is cosplay…
Michelle: It’s the same thing.
NYCC in just a week…
Photos by Olly MacNamee
The sun was out as were the good folk of Chester revelling in this Indian Summer we are currently, but sporadically, having here in the UK. Chester Racecourse turned out be an ideal venue for this event and with a sell out on tickets, I have no doubt they will be returning next year.
For now, here are some of the marvellous cosplay on offer throughout the day.