This weekend just past, Kelly Kanayama and I were both in Leeds, at Thought Bubble: the UK’s premier comics convention? I can’t promise that’s a fact, but hot damn, it’s a great con. Much content coming on that subject! But that’s for later.
Thought Bubble does not have a very heavy cosplay focus; it’s the sparsest UK con I’ve been to on the costume front and the majority of the attendants, I would guess, regard the living characters roaming around as a bonus rather than a feature. For me, this is perfect. Not overwhelming, and you don’t find yourself constantly, by accident, photobombing Jean Grey as she shows Darth Vader exactly why a force choke isn’t a nice thing to do. And the quality of costuming is high! Perhaps best of all, there’s no hint of that internet-y question: “is the focus really on the comics any more?” Yes, at TB, it totally is.
I took a few pictures with cosplayers that I’d like to share with you. I only took photos for which I had “a concept.” You can find here is Captain America, here is Batman on any news site. Or Tumblr. On WWAC, you get the added bonus of me. Lucky! I didn’t take pictures with the child and baby cosplayers, because I don’t want to put other people’s kids online. This KILLED ME, because they were absolute darlings. Tiny barbarian girl! Little Thor! The ten year old Hilda whose eye I caught as she put her jacket on over the costume and took off the beret! A kinship moment. Girl, you looked great.
I also didn’t manage to get many pictures with the women of Thought Bubble cosplay. There are a couple of reasons for this, and I’d like to share them (ethics!):
- I had a harder time thinking of concepts for several of the characters being represented. For example, I cannot believe it took me until 10 am on Tuesday, post-con, to realise I should have gathered all the Bees (I saw no Puppycats, he must have been resting) into a hive. Dolt! I had ideas ready for Kitty Pryde (classic armpit phase/stab), the two Lara Crofts (archery advice), and Judge Anderson (arm wrasslin’), but saw the first three only once outdoors and couldn’t catch Anderson alone (I’m shy, especially with the law).
- I’m a bit terrible. I’m irritated and regretful, but it was a sexist thing. Seven years in an all-girls school set a sort of psychological trap, which I continue to increase my awareness of. One day, I shall be free. Male peers… don’t exist in the same way that girls do. “Girls are my local community, at the school where I spend nine hours a day; they can destroy me.” I mean, they can’t — I’m just experiencing a political hangover, and my perception’s all dirtied. It makes it harder to approach strangers (already a stressful idea). I can only apologise. Y’all looked fantastic. Next year, right?