Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When Cosplayers Represent-an appreciation

It's no secret that with every year and each convention, dedicated cosplayers have continued to step up to the plate with ever more impressive living depictions of the characters they enjoy reading in the comics (and movies and TV and video games and whatnot, but the focus here is on the four-color creations). I've been hitting NY area cons since I was ten — about (hand covers mouth as the exact year is mumbled) years ago — and I never cease to be amazed by what the costumed bring to the shows. It's a vivid and heart-warming panoply of dazzling the civilians and showing love to the characters and their creators, so I can only imagine what Jimmy and Amanda must feel whenever they attend a show and see various women representing as characters that they have made their own with their interpretation, specifically Power Girl, or characters they crafted new from whole cloth, such as Terra.

At the past weekend's NY Comic Con, there were a number of women dressed up as both of the aforementioned heroines, but the ones featured here get my vote as being by far the most visually outstanding, both in terms of being visually accurate to the characters' looks on the printed page, but also for the women who made the effort being physically capable of pulling off bringing these fantasy creations to life. For example, this case in point:

(L-R) Batwoman, Power Girl, and Terra, as seen next to the paperfilms tables at the NY Comic Con.

While this incredibly accurate and utterly stunning Batwoman looks like she literally walked right off the page, that character did not ascend to recent prominence in the annals of fandom as a result of the efforts of Jimmy and Amanda. The other two, however, absolutely did. Our Paperfilms couple's take on Power Girl, a character created in the mid-1970's and used to mostly iffy effect, unarguably rewrote the book on P.G. and made her beloved by a sizable cult fanbase featuring a surprisingly large number of women readers who got what Jimmy and A.C. were doing and realized that Power Girl could be a lot more than just a cute, super-powered blonde with enormous boobs. There's a richly-realized personality to her and a charm that resonates deeply with the fans, so perhaps the increasing number of cosplayers rocking the character over the past six years or so is not as surprising as one might think.

More fanly excellence. Ladies, we salute you.

There's also a growing presence of cosplayers who are into showing up at cons decked out as Terra — the second character to bear that name, only this time the brainchild of Jimmy and Amanda — and that's due in no small part to them enjoying the sidekick role she played in the Power Girl monthly series (which, BTW, is available in collected form via Amazon, as well as the mini-series that introduced the new Terra)). That relationship was rare in the DC Universe thanks to its big sister/little sister dynamic and the fact that it remained compelling to readers when the characters were doing things other than fighting villains and suchlike.

So here's to you, o noble cosplaying ladies! Your ongoing support and costumed tributes make it all worthwhile, and never think that what you do doesn't touch the hearts and minds of those who slave over keyboards and drawing tables to get these characters and their adventures out there.

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