One of the things I am taking encouragement from is that large numbers of my fellow geeks and cosplayers aren’t letting the lockdown get in the way of community, support, or even common sense. There are increasing numbers of videos doing the rounds of showing people’s makeup, or cosplays, and even stuntwork – and so we decided to pick up on it and combine all three. Its by no means a unique challenge – as of the time of writing I know of at least one other group who have released on – but with 46 different cosplayers presenting 51 different costumes, we think this is the biggest one so far. The original facebook post by TJC Cosplays can be found here, but I’ve uploaded a high definition copy here too:
Hope you enjoy, if only for the sight of me getting punched in the face to start it all off.
The full list of cosplayers and their instagram pages is at the end of the video – and here’s a copy to save you scrolling through – go have fun looking these people up as they’re an amazing bunch of people and I’m very proud to have been able to join in on all this together with them:
I’ve been quite productive today but I’ve noticed a growing sense of anxiety and exhaustion around the work I’ve been doing – so I’ve opted to take some leave. This may seem odd given there’s a worldwide lockdown in place, but for my own wellbeing I feel I need to commit to not dialling in to work remotely for a few days next week.
Lady M has also booked some time off from her work for similar reasons. We would have been going to Portsmouth Comiccon and possibly looking at next week off to recover anyway, so in the grand scheme of things its not too different from what we would have been planning.
Its thoughts like that which remind me just how the convention and cosplay circuit has been hit, and by extension our little hobby and our connections with the friends we’ve made there.
Its why I’m continuing to get involved with daft cosplay collaborations – yes its fun to dress up and be silly, but the conversations and planning behind the scenes have been wonderful for keeping in touch and celebrating the creativity and oddness of us all.
If it raises smiles and lightens people’s days during lockdown then all the better, and I can take heart from that.
I had a very long day on Sunday, but I’m glad I stuck to my guns and guested with Squad UK at St Alban’s Arena. We had a table to display props, so I grabbed as many as I could and loaded up the car. Lady M has unfortunately got the summer cold thing that flattened me last week, so I left her sleeping and pootled around the M25, not entirely sure what I was going to do for parking – but determined to wing it.
Once I’d parked in the Maltings and ferried boxes and cases to the venue I eventually managed to find the others in the pre-opening set up confusions and we set about sorting out the table.
Now, I enjoyed the event immensely, but there were issues with the venue. It’s a theatre, not exactly designed for bustling stalls and tables. There was no air conditioning, though we were lucky enough to grab a window location so could get a breeze or two. Far worse though was that the venue was totally unsuited for people with mobility issues. Access routes were narrow, we were on the first floor with no lift access, and I only saw one disabled toilet in the building.
The staff were friendly, even if some of the organisation was a bit…vague… but most importantly we had a good turnout, and I rarely stopped talking all day with families about our props – and how simple techniques and tools could make outstanding items.
We had masks and headdresses, bodices and pieces of Halo-style armour. Cigars and cigarettes, wands and guns, hearts and sunglasses – and people were amazed at how light but sturdy most of these items are. All day long we talked about layering fabrics or working with foam and card – and encouraged people to take photos of friends (or selfies) with the props.
By the time we packed up and hit the pub afterwards my voice was croaky, but it has resparked my enjoyment of cosplay and events far more than I thought it would.
And I have a new challenge. I’ve agreed to make a new gender-bent cosplay: Poison Ivy. Watch this space…
One of the things of which I am most proud this weekend has been how well Lady M has done with all the crowds at MCM. Its been a long hard struggle for her, and being able to engage and flourish in the heat and confusion of such a big and busy Con has been joyous to watch. It has also been a little bit scary as she dived in and organised photographers with verve, charm and a little cheek to maximise the day.
Its been a huge leap forward, even as she’s found it exhausting. What has been even more of a blessing has been how the people who have been along on this journey with us through posts here, on social media, and in keeping in touch let her know how pleased they were to see her there – without overloading her with excessive schmaltz. Thank you all, especially our friends in UKCC and Squad UK, for being amazing and supportive.
I’m not saying that Lady M is passionate about everything she turns her hand to, but we seem to have been booked up for photo shoots most weekends for the next few months, as well as booked in to a number of conventions.
This weekend saw Lady M, Lady S, and Lady P join forces at a photoshoot in the Leake Street Arches below Waterloo Station. They were there with Squad UK to do a Suicide Squad themed series of shoots.
I was working, so couldn’t join them until afterwards, but photos have been doing the rounds already. Quite coincidentally after the fun and shenanigans, Lady M was named as the Squad UK featured cosplay ER of the week.
There may have been more than a little bit of squeeing, jumping up and down, and clapping of hands in our household as a result. As Lady S says: Jo’s passionate nature is a little bit scary sometimes.
The thing is, Lady M is one of the cheeriest cosplayers most people have ever met, with a bubbly laugh and giggly enthusiasm that matches her work ethic and draws people to her.
She’s even got us featured in Comics And Cosplay as one of this month’s couples cosplays. I’m not sure whether to be excited or a bit terrified. For our next extravaganza, we’re working on representing the whole triad.