Been a while since my last post. But, I just got from San Diego Comic-Con 2014 and had a bunch of pictures, so I figure I might as well put them out here, starting with a gallery of cosplayers.
For those of you unfamiliar with cosplay, it’s the creation and wearing of costumes that represent popular culture figures primarily out of Japanese anime and American superhero genres. But it doesn’t have to stop there. A lot of costumes reflect characters from around the world in comics, TV, movies, and other. In fact, there’s no limiting the type of costumes cosplayers create other than one’s imagination.
The San Diego Comic-Con has hundreds of attendees that show up in a wide variety of costumes. These cosplayers range from showcasing common popular costumes (such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-man, Superman, Harley Quinn, and Star Wars stormtroopers) to self-created costumes. My favorites are the humorous ones, particularly the “mash-ups” (i.e., the combination of characters to create a unique and funny new character, such as Zombie Slave Leia).
Most cosplayers make their own costumes. Some are exceptionally talented both artistically and technically. Comic-Con holds a masquerade every year where cosplayers are able to showcase their creations for prizes. The Masquerade itself is pretty awkward since the cosplayers often act out skits related to their characters. The skits are usually clunky and unnecessary, unfortunately. But the better costumes are incredible and it’s nice to see the creators get a chance to show them off.
Anyway, if you get a chance to go to a comic convention or similar pop culture event, watch for the cosplayers. Some of the best cosplayers are walking down the aisles posing periodically for admiring fans.
Sometimes small is better. Guimp touts itself as the smallest website in the world. Try playing pong by clicking on the gif below.
Back in the 1960s, Hasbro, the toy maker giant experimented with the idea that boys would play with dolls if dolls weren’t called dolls. So, the term “action figure” was coined. G.I. Joe is the original action figure. G.I. Joe was different in several ways from the dolls girls played with during that period:
- He was exceptionally posable. Every joint was movable as opposed to the dolls in the Barbie line which could only move their heads, their arms at the shoulders, and their legs at the hips.
- He sported realistic (close enough) hair (not in the original version, however), whereas Ken in the Barbie line had plastic hair.
- He had a tough-guy scar on his right cheek.
- He had bad-ass accessories.
- He had a “Kung-Fu Grip!” which meant he could securely hold his gun while he pistol-whipped Ken.
Funny side note: G.I. Joe figures were originally issued for each of the armed services. They all had names that sound would sound totally gay today: Rocky, Ace, and Skip. Add in the muscles and facial hair and all he was lacking were leather chaps. Well, hellooooo sailor! I have to think that homophobes have something to say about boys playing with G.I. Joes. Where’s the damn study proving whatever their nonsense is this time?!
I had a couple of G.I. Joes growing up. My parents bought me the two best accessories that a kid could hope for: the Sea Wolf and the Sky Hawk. Since we had a pool in our apartment complex, I was in it constantly with the Sea Wolf submerging and surfacing it with the accompanying pump. The Sky Hawk was kind of a kite-glider and I loved it … for about the first 10 minutes. Like a kite, you attached a string and pulled the glider into the air. After it was fully extended, you stopped, letting the string detach and the Sky Hawk glide down. It worked, except that it ended up in a tree and my Dad had a really hard time getting it down. After that, I only got to fly it a few times since we didn’t live near big open fields.
In the 1980s, G.I. Joe was re-imagined as an ensemble of specialists combating a megalomaniacal horde called Cobra. The figures were scaled back from the original 12″ models down to under 4″ figures that were far less posable. They were merchandised alongside a very popular run of comic books and TV cartoons series. I didn’t much care for them.
Like a lot of older toys, older G.I. Joes are now very collectible. I wish I still had mine.
In the DC booth at Comic-Con 2013, six DC Collectibles statuettes were featured showing iconic women from comic books. They aren’t very big — maybe 8″ to 10″ tall — and are beautifully painted. The statuettes are cleverly rendered in the sexy “Good Girl” art popular during and after World War II.
The release schedule is:
- Supergirl (August 2013)
- Wonder Woman (September 2013)
- Poison Ivy (September 2013)
- Harley Quinn (November 2013)
- Batgirl (January 2014)
- Black Canary (May 2014)
They retail over $100 each.