A quick Anoat! Get it? a Quick…Note! It’s a play on the planet Anoat in the Anoat Sector. It’s the same sector Hoth is in! And we are Hoth Topics! NEXT LEVEL WORD PLAY.
Wondercon Anaheim was held over three days at the end of March, do to a misunderstanding with my cousin (who lives about a mile and half from the convention center/Disneyland), I ended up only going to 2/3rds of the weekend. Cons have always been fun for me since I first went to San Diego Comic Con (San Diego native here) using a friend of my cousins badge in 2002. I’ve been going to SDCC nearly every year since then, not to brag at all…
The first few Cons everything was new and exciting. I wanted to go to every panel AND spend every moment on the Exhibit Hall floor browsing the all the custom artwork, back issues of comics, and of course the incredibly intricate hand made costumes. Over the years though the panels have seems to get repetitive or have such long lines that it would be impossible to get into things. Oh and before you ask, YES, I have slept outside the Hall H in line just to see the Force Awakens panel which was at the end of the following day. We did get a free Star Wars concert performed by the San Diego Symphony though, so that was pretty cool.
On to Costumes…
It was around 2009/2010 that I started dressing up myself. I got super hooked on the whole Steampunk Aesthetic with some friends and we created our own personas and fictional history to accompany our airship crew. We started with modifying clothing we got at thrift stores and slowly moved towards hand making all our costumes from scratch, leather work, brass/copper metal work, and faux aging EVERYTHING to look 100 years old. Our first costumes, which very basic, drew ‘disgusted’ looks from the older Steampunks.
For my second outfit I made a literal steamPUNK; a suit jacket turned into a vest covered in custom made band patches and period correct political phrases, and to draw further ire from the older members of the scene I sewed random gears all over the place (this is a huge steampunk no-no). Few years and many (well tuned) costumes later, the genre got mainstream enough that plastic goggles on on felt hats with random gears glued on became widely available and it seemed to my small group of steampunks that everyone and their mom had infiltrated our special club with half-assed Halloween costumes that made the whole scene look bad (at least that’s what it felt like).
The irony of not liking the new generation of steampunks is not lost on me, though it was at the time (there’s a Time Travel joke in there somewhere, steampunks love time travel). Now taking the Punk stance, we took the non-conformist route and bailed on the scene. The aesthetic still holds a huge place in my heart and the popularity has died off again so I may be dusting off my Bowler Hat and Holster again. One of the benefits of being part of a costume scene with a strong push for DIY’ing your costumes gave me a great appreciation for prop building. From neo-victorian steam rifles to a clockwork Alice in Wonderland costume, I fell in love with prop building and since I left the steampunk scene, I needed a new place to direct that energy.
How Does This Tie into the next episode Hoth Topics?
All those years at various cons it was a given that you would see a Stormtrooper or…dozen. I learned of the 501st Legion and all the online resources they had for Star Wars props and costumes. I started modifying old Hasbro toy E-11s with resin kits, Cutting up the Rubies ‘Star Wars:Rebels’ E-11s, and getting an airsoft Sterling submachine gun to make a even more screen accurate blaster. At the moment I am writing this, I have a dress form, previously used to make Victorian Era dresses for my steampunk friends, next to my desk wearing my AT-AT Commander (General Veers) costume. My desk has a shelf with buckets for an AT-ST driver/AT-AT commander, a Death Star Commando, and a Black Series Stormtrooper bucket “accurate” to Rogue One. To my right is a pile of blasters under a Scarif Rebel Commando bucket.
In the Star Wars costuming community, I’ve never once felt unwelcome because my costume was slightly inaccurate like I have in other communities. The worst thing someone can say is “Hey, if you want to make *blank* screen accurate, check this resource and they can help you out”.
Our next episode Ian, myself, and a special guest will discuss cosplaying and Star Wars. When we discovered it, what we’ve made, and how it has affected us and our relationship with the fandom. At WonderCon, Ian was able to interview a handful of members of the 3 big Star Wars Costuming groups; The 501st Legion, The Rebel Legion and The Mandolorian Mercs (and an R2-Builder, those guys/gals are pretty rad too).
We will be recording that episode this coming weekend and it should be available a week or so later depending on just how much I have to edit myself starting sentences with “ughhhhhh…sooo” and how many minutes of Star Wars fan shaming rants Ian will inevitably go on.
BTW I (barely) maintain a Project Blog, going over the aforementioned Clockwork Alice, Sith Rey (w/ a really cool collapsing staff/double bladed saber), Scarif Rebel Commando, and more! Go check it out!
>>>>>Mad M(o)d Contraptions<<<<<
Also Wrestlemania 34 is this Sunday, that’s going to take a significant amount of time.
Happy Rusev Day,