A Crash-Course in Cosplay

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Baby Wasp Onsie

She Says -FanExpo, a great place to see nerds from every corner of the universe unite. I’m married to a nerd and proud of it. Today I am disguised as one of them. In this couple adventure, we have decided to attend FanExpo. We have decided to create costumes for the whole family. We built an Ant-Man and Wasp family. I used to want to be a costume designer so this is pretty exciting. I live for this creative stuff. Sorry to say, I have not seen the Ant-Man movies so I am basing this on a couple pictures we found online. We used YouTube tutorials and a lot of trial and error to form the armour. As we built the armour I am starting to dread this event. I want it to look perfect but I know it

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Painting the ‘armour’.

won’t be. The only thing helping me to push through this is the fact that we already bought the tickets and that I enjoy collaborating with my hubby.

Saturday morning, we head to FanExpo. As we step outside I feel everyone’s eyes and judgement on our looks. Can I please be a turtle and hide in my shell now? I’m disappointed that not many people recognize my outfit.

I have this thing I relate to claustrophobia. When crowded by people I start to panic, and my first reaction is to dart/trample people for a clearing. Big problem is I can’t dart and there is no clearing in sight. It’s a giant human traffic jam. One thing I have found that helps me with this is if I can hold onto my hubby, it kind of grounds me. Today I have the stroller (giant tool to block or annoy the crowd) to help focus my negative energy.

I constantly hear people saying how cute our daughter’s costume is. I don’t even know how to react when people say this to me. Of course, I think she’s cute you don’t have to tell me. I was uncomfortable with the number of people who dared ask to hold her. Ummm… NO…

Now there was one exception to this rule. Part of our FanExpo experience was to take a photo with a celebrity. We chose to take a photo with Evangeline Lilly (the Wasp). Waiting in line was annoying since you pay for a time slot. The photo experience was my favourite part of the day. I must say my chest puffed up with pride when we walked in for our picture session and she saw my daughter’s Wasp costume and swooned over it, immediately asking to hold her. Hehe yes, she’s a stranger asking to hold my baby, but I couldn’t help be excited…proud…giddy that a celebrity was liking my baby. Made me feel special. She also said she didn’t want to give her back, but she had to. My first thought was ‘hey I am okay with hanging out with you all day’ She was super nice, and hey I have some questions about Lost I would love answered. Well, we ended up with an amazing picture and a fun memory.

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“I’m down here!”

Walking through this overcrowded room I love seeing all the costumes. I am reminded I know nothing about comic books or video games.

With all the work we put into our costumes and how average the result was, I know how many months some people probably invested into their costumes. I’m definitely

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Mario meets his Destiny

impressed.

 

I must say if I do this again I would not make our costumes so hot and uncomfortable. Armour is not very flexible or breathable. Maybe even something with shorts. Unfortunately, I saw more butt cheeks than I have in the years of changing my kids’ diapers. Also, It took hours of searching to find the Lego booth we promised my son. No worries we found it… the last booth. Now exhausted… sweat on every inch of my body (I know sorry it’s gross) I am able to say I found out who my costume is… yes, I heard people saying I was Wasp’s mom… oh, guess I should have watched the movies.

One moment which was interesting was when a lady approached me to say thanks for dressing up, her grandkids loved seeing all the costumes. She also said she thought it was nice I was supportive of this event. At the end that’s how it felt for me. Yes, there were parts that I enjoyed but it isn’t something I would choose for myself. Will I go again? Yes, if my husband and kids want me to go. I think next time I should research my costume a little better though.

Crossing my fingers our next adventure is less sweaty.

He Says – I’m totally a superhero, at least, that’s what my kid thinks.

Let’s rewind…18 months ago I bet my wife that I could keep the sex of our baby a secret from her. My prize: a writing retreat that happened to coincide with a mini comic-con. I won. That’s where this idea began…

Fast forward to today:

I came up with a great idea for a family experience… FanEXPO! You see, my wife hasn’t seen 75% of the Marvel movies and I have never seen her crack the spine of a comic book. Total mesh (If you don’t understand this reference, read the about us page). Anyways, we’re both quasi-artistic so we thought it would be a great idea to make our own costumes. AAAAANNNNNNNDDDD nerd/genius that I am, I totally came up with the best idea: Ant-Man and crew! #FamilyGoals

My wife was up for it so we got to work. That’s a lie. I was pumped about the project until

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Phase 1

we bought the EVA foam ($3 at Dollarama, just saying), the spray paint, the plasti-dip and made a list of what we had to do. I totally pictured myself walking around in a cardboard box and it freaked me out that we’d look like complete goofs. I couldn’t start. Literally, it took weeks to work up the nerve to begin.

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I’m going to look like I’m wearing a box!

Once we began it was challenging, we’d never done anything like this before and really had no idea how to start but YouTubers Andrew DFT and DaedalusProps were a great help and before long we had our armour moulded and glued together in all their bright blue and pink and yellow glory. A coat of plastic and some paint later and I kind of did look like I was wearing a cardboard box. But my son didn’t care, and it was an awesome box!

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Saturday came and we headed to FanEXPO. Having been to something similar before, I was pumped but pretty insecure about my costume. My wife looked great in her Janet VanDynne cosplay and the kids looked good too but mine was beginning to fall apart a bit and I wasn’t sure people would know I was supposed to be Hank Pymm. There was no line up for tickets so entry was easy. Once we were through the ticket area, I was overwhelmed! The place was packed! I began to second guess this – my wife isn’t a huge fan of crowded places and I began imagining how tense this would make her. Then people started asking to take pictures with us because they loved our Ant crew costumes. It was pretty cool. Obviously, the baby stole the show (told you it was brilliant!) but as a group, everyone loved that we had done the family costume and I think we looked pretty good.

For me, FanEXPO was like being in a bookstore (I like candy stores as much as that proverbial kid, but my kryptonite has always been bookstores)! Everywhere I looked

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And the winner is…

there were cosplayers decked out in brilliant interpretations of characters with LED lighting and extending wings, smoking steampunk pipes, etc. Mentally I was keeping score of how many costumes I recognized compared to my wife (56 – 15 (mostly Spiderpeople lol)) as I pointed them out to both my son and my wife. It’s the teacher in me. The game demos were a major highlight for me as well but the icing on the cake was meeting Evangeline Lilly. When she saw the baby Wasp costume we’d made, she exclaimed: “Oh my gosh that’s amazing! She’s so cute! I don’t want to give her back.” Totally made our day special to get that kind of recognition. I was just disappointed I couldn’t find any of the Squickerwonker books while I was there.

 

Overall, I had a blast and loved seeing how my kids’ eyes lit up at the sight of all the costumes and meeting The Wasp but I would say that if you go – prepare yourself for the crowds and the cost of the food. And even though it feels weird.. go in costume. It’s so much better in costume.

What’s next for us? Who knows? Know something cool to do, leave us a comment!

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