Okay, I lied.
As you may recall from my last Comic-Con report, I promised that my next post (this one) would be all about celebrities, but having surveyed my gallery of yet-to-be-posted photos I tallied 57 images of various celebrities (though not, actually, 57 different celebrities) and only 10 photos of costumed Con attendees. So, in the spirit of posting sooner-than-later, I’ve opted to put Hollywood’s finest off for a few more days and instead share images of people dressed as bats, cats, and… splat (to be explained in a moment).
To begin… what the hell?!?! 57 photos of celebrities and only ten measly photos of costumes? Shouldn’t those numbers be reversed? In past years, yes, definitely, but after the many years I’ve been attending the Con with camera in tow, the costumes have sort of become a blur, so I’m seldom motivated to haul out my camera and snap yet another picture of Wonder Woman, Batman, Princess Leia, miscellaneous Storm Troopers, and assorted gentlemanly Steam Punks. Does this mean that the costumes I captured this year are phenomenal beyond belief? No! This means that my threshold for costume photos have concentrated on the weird and different. So don’t expect shots worthy of the grand prize at the Comic-Con Masquerade Ball.
Instead… you get this guy:
Each year I take at least one or two photos of people queued up on the concrete floor of the Sails Pavilion awaiting early entry to the exhibition hall. What’s not to like about a Cat In The Hat checking his Facebook status on a smart phone wearing big white radiation goggles? Most interesting to me about Mousier Cat are the three rubber bracelets he has around his left wrist. What sort of statement might the Cat In The Hat be making, and is the presence of Rubber Statement Bracelets part of the costume… or an expression of the guy wearing what had to be an incredibly toasty costume?
Next up is a strange group of costumed revelers in line to see Tim Burton’s appearance in Hall H. Ignoring, for the moment, the fact that Burton’s rather dull Alice In Wonderland came out in theaters at least two Comic Cons back, did this quartet really think Alice’s entourage would be more effective with three of Johnny Depp’s cartoonish Mad Hatters? Then again, they did attract a lot of photo attention (and went straight to the front of the line when it came time to ask questions of Tim Burton, who looked both amused and troubled by the trio).
I’m not sure what they were looking at here. Though, given the slightly cheeky expression of Mad Hatter #2, it was probably another photo request.
No matter how well you think you’ve planned your day, zipping from hall to hall, or snaking your way through the crowds on the floor of the exhibition hall, even the most organized of attendees will find the need to sneak off into a private corner to catch a breath or check the massive conference program for panel times or other important information. Here, a woman walking through the hall was suddenly struck down by an Alien chest-burster and apparently was in dire need of medical attention.
Back down on the exhibition floor it was sometimes difficult to differentiate between those wearing costumes because that’s how they chose to dress to attend the Con, and those who were paid to promote products or otherwise lure you into a booth—the latter case generally noted by someone young, attractive, scantily clad, and usually trying to hand you something. The ego-stroking novelty of a leggy Laura Croft smiling in my direction for a photo has long worn off this Comic-Con vet, so I seldom stop for posed photos on the floor of the exhibit hall. Besides, all she really wants is for me to help her meet her postcard distribution quota.
I make exceptions, though, when an inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man—paid or not!—is dancing to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” in the Sony booth.
I also stopped for this photo; unsure, though, whether or not the duo in wintry fluorescent orgy-wear (yes, their faux-fur glowed and changed colors!) were authentic Con attendees or merely pitching a project. They were wearing “professional” badges, so I would normally suspect the latter…. Though they were walking the hall accompanied by the carnivalesque creature wearing stilts you see in the middle. In any case, I’d never seen illuminated parkas before, so why take chances?
As you might guess, Batman was big at Comic-Con 2012, with Caped Crusaders emerging from the shadows in every aisle. There were tall Batmen, short Batmen, fat Batmen and skinny Batmen (by the way, is the correct plural of Batman, Batmen, or Batmans?). To the right is one of the younger Bat fanatics, here dressed as Batgirl at the controls of an X-Men pinball machine.
Outside the convention center was a sprawling display of Batmobiles from each of the Batman films. The coolest Batmobile of all-time is, of course, the original Batmobile from the 1960’s TV series, pictured below beside a leather-clad, whip-wielding Batgirl. Hard to tell if Ms. Buckles’n’Boots was a sanctioned, licensed, or otherwise official Batgirl working the event… or simply a fan who wanted to squeeze into some polished leather for a day in the San Diego sun. In any case, kudos for being in the right place at the right time (even though she closed her eyes for this shot).
The next photo was taken in line for Hall H and nicely captures what it is like to wait for hours, and hours, and hours, for a chance to get inside the nice air conditioned hall for a panel of your favorite Hollywood stars and directors.
Is this guy technically wearing a costume? No, not at all. But I admire his use of a giveaway paper Hobbit hat to shield himself from the blazing sun. You may be thinking to yourself, Gee! That looks like a really swell paper hat! However did he get such a cool giveaway? And it goes so nicely with his cargo shorts and sneakers…. How did he get the hat? Why—of course!—he waited in a veeeeery long line inside the exhibition hall. Genius! Wait in a long line inside, so you can be comfortable in an even longer line outside. Makes sense to me, and I’m sure his prized cardboard hat (so convincingly designed to resemble a soot-dusted wizards cap) is either now on display in his dorm room, or…crushed and dented beneath a bed of Coors Light empties in a recycling bin.
Last, but not least, my absolute favorite costume photo of Comic Con 2012! As frequent readers will certainly note, I have a finely tuned sense of Vinyl Radar that beep! beep beeps! whenever vinyl LPs are close at hand. Thrift store bins call my name. Garage sales beckon like a GPS beacon on weekend drives through my neighborhood. Vintage vinyl abounds!
Much to my surprise, as I walked the far reaches of the exhibition hall I suddenly found my vinyl sixth sense honing in on a very faint signal. I followed, blindly navigating the crowded aisle as the signal pulsed stronger. And there before me—voila!—stood a lone crate of sci fi and cartoon themed vintage LP’s. Make that, “very expensive and overpriced” sci fi and cartoon themed vintage LP’s. I flipped through the bin, stopping here and there to gaze at an interesting cover or two, but there wasn’t anything I couldn’t live without. I walked away.
No sooner had I left the bin, up stepped Snow White to peruse the records at the exact spot where I had left off—a 1967 copy of The Music of Walt Disney, on Buena Vista Records. She lifted the precious record from the plastic bin, gazing at the picture on the cover with loving wonder. How could I possibly miss this opportunity?!?!
And with that, is there really anything more to say about costumes at this year’s Comic-Con? Surely, no!
Next time… celebrities! (Maybe)