Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I don't know why anyone is surprised my child takes fandom seriously.  When she was just a cluster of cells the size of a pea she went on an X-files Fan weekend in Vancouver.  I was (and still am) a proud X-Phile having done the on-line newsgroup, written X-files fanfiction and generally been a geeky uberfan. 

Now I pass the torch to my child.  Unlike her mother, the object of her fandom is an on-line graphic cartoon series called "Homestuck".  Initially the Pumpkin went through a Japanese anime phase collecting and reading books with such titles as Ouran School Host Club, DeathNote, Peach Basket, Pet Shop of Horrors and Souleater. 

Last year I dusted off my sewing machine and made her an orange kimono as part of an anime character costume for the annual Otafest in Calgary.  Despite the fact I thought my kid's costume ROCKED, she was much harder on herself.  No one, it seems, recognized her as the character she was portraying.  Okay.  I get it.  I think.

The past 12 months she has been busily planning, revising, rejecting, re-planning, sketching, Googling, researching and basically focusing her attention on having not just one, but two costumes for this years' festivities.   The amount of time and energy she has joyfully invested in this project is amazing.  Once she settled on her choice of characters, she looked at what others had done for CosPlay (a term representing a joining of the terms "Costume" and "Play").

The 'main' characters in Homestuck are a group of 12 'trolls' who are each represented by a zodiac symbol.  I'm not all that clear on the origins of the trolls but gather it involved some type of apocolyptic event where the only survivors were a small group of teenagers.  The story/online comic has been evolving for just over two years. 

This past weekend she 'test drove' one of her costumes at the Calgary Comic Expo.  This particular character is named Bec Blanche and, as far as I can garner, is a winged dog/warrior who has the power of teleportation. 
The costume, as you can see, is not your 'throw a sheet over your head and call yourself a ghost' variety.  The head alone took my kid hours of work.  She carved the doggie snout from florist form, using our 4 year old terrier as a model -- which confused him since her normal reaction to him coming near her bedroom is to chase him out.  Not only did she not chase him out of her room, she came and scooped him up off the sofa and plopped him on her bed to pose!  I did sew the skirt and I covered an old t-shirt in ribbed fabric to give the character the look of bandages it sports, but the concept and idea were all hers.

Anyway, we took her costume out for a test run.  It is clear that the only thing more fun than riding the C-Train is riding the C-Train in costume.  Watching people do double and triple takes was pretty entertaining.

We arrived at the location of the Comic Expo and spent about an hour in line.  Next year, we buy tickets in advance.  Apparently, people who came even 1/2 an hour after we did, did not get in on Saturday.  Although the venue (even as large as it was) was pretty packed, we had an adventure.  At least 50 people stopped and asked to take the Pumpkin's photo.  She even posed with a couple of little kids -- who thought she was very cool. 

Part of the reason for going to the Expo was to meet up with other "Homestuck" fans -- and that we did.  I got many photos of the Pumpkin with other fans of her favourite on-line comic.  The trolls not only have grey skin, but they sport horns that look very much like mutated and overgrown candy corn.  There were several other non-troll characters, which the Pumpkin took pains to try to explain to me. 

Although we left after about 3 hours -- all that walking around was exhausting and there wasn't anywhere to sit and relax.  The day was a success.  Pumpkin has figured a few things to 'tweak' on her costume and I have decided that this month, when we go to Otafest, I am definitely going in costume.  You are never too old to have an adventure. . . . .

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