Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Costumed Adventures, Issue #1: New York Comic-Con

This weekend I took a rather ridiculous adventure to Manhattan with Antonia and Julia for New York Comic-Con.  I've always wanted to go to comic-con (and maybe someday I will make it to San Diego!), because CC is known for its large media presence--this year, that meant getting to see a pretty hilarious and charming 10th anniversary Firefly panel, among many other things.  Some of my favorites were the Smell Like an Avenger cologne booth (spoilers: Thor smells like sweat), game demos for Tomb Raider Archery and a Kinect dance game, the cars from the live-action Scooby Doo movies and the 1960s Batman series, and cat ears that move based on electrical signals from your brain.  Those were super cool, and we got to try them on!

Of course, there were also comics.  I will admit that before the idea of attending comic-con arose, it had been years since I picked up a comic book.  When I was younger I read X-Men and a few collections (like Women of Marvel) that my brother had in the house, but that was about it.  When Julia and Antonia invited me to accompany them to NYCC, I started looking into some of my favorite mutants to decide who I might want to dress up as--and rediscovered Jean Gray.

Jean Gray is introduced in X-Men #1, 1963
I've always really liked Jean, but now that I study the brain I like her even more, because she is an adorable 1960s scientist who uses her brain (literally-she's telekinetic) to fight crime.  So I started reading some of the original 1960s X-Men comics and researching Jean's costume.

For that period I had two choices: her black and yellow uniform, or the green dress and yellow mask she gets a bit later on.  I decided I wasn't brave enough for spandex, and decided on the green dress.

A collage of Marvel Girl, aka Jean Gray
Marvel Girl is super '60s, from her flipped hair, a-line dress, and hip belt, to her yellow boots.  However, in some images her skirt appears to have a bit more swish--it looks better when she's fighting crime.  Her sleeves also appear in both full-length and short versions.

on the cover of X-Men #48 with long sleeves

in an early comic with short sleeves
I wanted to capture the fuller crime-fighting swish of Jean's skirt, so I ended up basing my pattern on athletic dresses for girls from the 1960s.

image from a sportswear pattern, 1960s
Source: via L.R. on Pinterest

This worked out pretty well.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get everything the way I wanted it--there is a serious lack of accessories, and I think if I want my hair to flip I'm better off with a wig--but in general it was fun to feel like a crime-fighting super scientist girl, and people recognized me.  I took that as a sign of success.

goofing off at Comic-Con--my badge blocks the X symbol I whipped up last minute in place of the belt

trying to use brain power for good...I think...
I plan to keep working on this costume, because it was actually really fun, and comic-con was EPIC.  It also got me interested in reading more comics, and so far I am loving the new reboot of Birds of Prey as well as Avengers 1959 and Secret Avengers.  Hopefully we'll be heading back next year!

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