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Feminism because why not make a thread for it?
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weaving together the convention issue and the superheroine costume issue, I've been thinking that it would a great idea for comic artists and character designers to actively seek out female cosplayers' feedback and input on designing costumes that women could actually fight crime in. Gravity-defying and nigh-invulnerable flying bricks like Supergirl and Wonder Woman can get away with heels and bare skin everywhere, but it always stretched the bounds of suspension of disbelief for me that almost all other super/non-super women in the business dressed the same way. Then there's the issue of who actually sews and patches up those same costumes.
I always said that if I ran into someone like Yaya at a convention, I'd ask her what she thinks a superheroine would wear since she has experience not only wearing but also making and maintaining all those crazy designs.
The whole "people in full-body tights" superhero costume partly came about because drawing generic nude forms is easy and fast for commercial artists and illustrators (it's what you do in figure drawing class all day), but some features (high heels and bare midriffs) take effort to put in. Batman gained a utility belt because his costume didn't have pockets, so obviously there's some level of costume design that acknowledges practical consideration; especially for those characters that don't fly through the air or heave skyscrapers over their heads.
It's not like every supergal needs trousers, combat boots, and a leather jacket. It's just that they don't need to look like they're half-covered in body paint (and half un-covered) while strutting around on stilettos. I think that's where people with at least a little practical experience in costume design and wearing would be in the best position to say "no heels, but trenchcoats get in the way too much," or something. They can tell you what works and when, plus how difficult it would be to maintain it while pursuing your crimefighting career.
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Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
"no heels, but trenchcoats get in the way too much," or something. They can tell you what works and when, plus how difficult it would be to maintain it while pursuing your crimefighting career.



[img] http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m74azdJlqD1r2a9es.gif [/img]
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Samsally



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf: It's actually proper con etiquette to ask permission before taking a picture of a cosplayer (or anyone for that matter). I've only been to one con, but it was in the manual and everything. I'm pretty sure other con's have similar "please don't be weird" rules, but of course how closely attendees are required to follow the rules is very con dependent.

Wheels: I'm totally with you on all of that. I don't understand why this super lazy convention is being latched onto so tightly. Like yes, it really is easier to draw a nude form and then just draw lines on it... but visually it's boring and, especially in the case of breasts, SUPER unrealistic. Like, you gotta vacuum pack that shit to get clothing to hug breasts tightly enough to fill in the gap between them (and even doing that would probably mash the boobs into a weird position without some seriously industrial strength underwear going on).

As far as I understand, the comics industry is pretty freakin' hard to get into and there is a not insignificant amount of talented artists trying to get into it. Why don't we take advantage of that and maybe up the quality a little? In fact, a huge chunk of professional artists are totally capable of drawing clothing properly. They just don't, because nobody is requiring it.
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Yrvani



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have never cosplayed.. But used to be active in the alternative scene a lot. Would dress up elaborately and go to events where others did so too, to a greater or lesser extent. Photographers were common. I would have felt very uneasy if pictures of me had surfaced online which I wasn't aware of. Usually the photographers would at least make eye contact and show the camera with an inquisitive nod, in case they were worried about disrupting conversations.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wheels, wouldn't it be better to ask athletes, cops and soldiers instead? Although cosplayers could give insight into what is generally comfortable to go around in.

Some older women sailors told my bootcamp group about the fight to get pants as an option for uniforms. It didn't occur to the peole deciding what everyone wears that skirts were impractical for doing things like repairing ships, or climbing quickly and repeatedly up and down ladders.

I believe the conversation came about because, when everyone got 72 hours of leave near the end of training, women recruits were required to spend some of that time buying a purse and heels. The most ugly purse and heels, too. (No, the men didn't have to do that. They were free to spend time with family and save the money.). The only plus about the purse was that someone smuggled in a cell phone and a hair dryer. But then we all nearly got sent back to the beginning of training because pf that, so it was actually really stupid.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Wheels, wouldn't it be better to ask athletes, cops and soldiers instead? Although cosplayers could give insight into what is generally comfortable to go around in.

The thing is that few enough of those people dress up like superheroes, so they don't have much to offer in the way of a comparison. There's differences between what they do and what they wear, for different reasons.
Some athletes, especially track and field or gymnasts, would have no problem with full-body spandex. They need the absolute freedom of movement that comes from not wearing baggy clothes (part of the reason Greeks competed in the nude, prior to the invention of spandex!). Police officers have to look decent in public (except bike cops, who have to look convincingly like cyclists so it doesn't seem that they just confiscated someone's bike while on patrol), so they wear slacks and button shirts. Military combat uniforms can't really be custom fitted much because they need to be produced en masse and fit soldiers of widely varying body types, so if for no other reason than that fatigues would still tend to be baggy. Cops and soldiers would also need provisions for body armor and weapons, something that athletes don't.

Superheroes tend to combine almost all of these considerations except the part about looking decent in public. They need great freedom of movement like gynmasts, especially the parkour heroes like Nightwing or Spiderman. But many also need to carry gear like soldiers or cops; usually not the same amount or vareity though, and of course their gear is often of the super-science type that's impossibly small and portable. That's why I think it would be very instructive to ask the people that actually make a habit of fighting their way through Con crowds in comic book costumes. They have experience with the typical superhero designs in addition to practical considerations like being able to walk without falling over, carry cash and cameras, or avoid creepers in a hurry. They can tell you what isn't working, or what they had to change in order to make the costume wearable by a human being without resorting to some kind of body glue.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
Wheels, wouldn't it be better to ask athletes, cops and soldiers instead? Although cosplayers could give insight into what is generally comfortable to go around in.

The thing is that few enough of those people dress up like superheroes, so they don't have much to offer in the way of a comparison. There's differences between what they do and what they wear, for different reasons.
Some athletes, especially track and field or gymnasts, would have no problem with full-body spandex. They need the absolute freedom of movement that comes from not wearing baggy clothes (part of the reason Greeks competed in the nude, prior to the invention of spandex!). Police officers have to look decent in public (except bike cops, who have to look convincingly like cyclists so it doesn't seem that they just confiscated someone's bike while on patrol), so they wear slacks and button shirts. Military combat uniforms can't really be custom fitted much because they need to be produced en masse and fit soldiers of widely varying body types, so if for no other reason than that fatigues would still tend to be baggy. Cops and soldiers would also need provisions for body armor and weapons, something that athletes don't.

Superheroes tend to combine almost all of these considerations except the part about looking decent in public. They need great freedom of movement like gynmasts, especially the parkour heroes like Nightwing or Spiderman. But many also need to carry gear like soldiers or cops; usually not the same amount or vareity though, and of course their gear is often of the super-science type that's impossibly small and portable. That's why I think it would be very instructive to ask the people that actually make a habit of fighting their way through Con crowds in comic book costumes. They have experience with the typical superhero designs in addition to practical considerations like being able to walk without falling over, carry cash and cameras, or avoid creepers in a hurry. They can tell you what isn't working, or what they had to change in order to make the costume wearable by a human being without resorting to some kind of body glue.


That all makes sense. I guess my real concern is that people should know what someone who is actually doing some fighting would need before doing something more artistic and fashionable - just so it all stays out of the realm of the completely ridiculous.

Sad I will also admit that some costumes I have made were uncomfortable because I went for realism, and also I have only been to one con in costume. Most of the stuff I've dressed up for has been medieval reenactment, so authenticity and keeping myself dry were the big concerns.
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Felgraf



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samsally wrote:
Felgraf: It's actually proper con etiquette to ask permission before taking a picture of a cosplayer (or anyone for that matter). I've only been to one con, but it was in the manual and everything. I'm pretty sure other con's have similar "please don't be weird" rules, but of course how closely attendees are required to follow the rules is very con dependent.

Wheels: I'm totally with you on all of that. I don't understand why this super lazy convention is being latched onto so tightly. Like yes, it really is easier to draw a nude form and then just draw lines on it... but visually it's boring and, especially in the case of breasts, SUPER unrealistic. Like, you gotta vacuum pack that shit to get clothing to hug breasts tightly enough to fill in the gap between them (and even doing that would probably mash the boobs into a weird position without some seriously industrial strength underwear going on).

As far as I understand, the comics industry is pretty freakin' hard to get into and there is a not insignificant amount of talented artists trying to get into it. Why don't we take advantage of that and maybe up the quality a little? In fact, a huge chunk of professional artists are totally capable of drawing clothing properly. They just don't, because nobody is requiring it.


Fair enough. It *HAS* been over a decade since I last attended a con, so my memory of everything and the norms is honestly kind of fuzzy. Though social etiquette was never my strong point. =/.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
That all makes sense. I guess my real concern is that people should know what someone who is actually doing some fighting would need before doing something more artistic and fashionable - just so it all stays out of the realm of the completely ridiculous.


I've just been thinking about this for a while. Believe it or not these things aren't totally unknown to comic creators, either. The first glimpse I got was in the concept sketches and notes for Danger Girl, posted in an old issue of Wizard magazine back in the 90s. Some of the early design evolution focused on why she would wear what she does as a spy. It wasn't total bullshit! (Ironically, I strongly dislike the way J. Scott Campbell draws women). Alan Moore also gave costume design a pretty decent treatment in some of the side material for Watchmen. His original Nite Owl character described the process of arriving at his final design in an "excerpt" from his autobiography, explaining the need to balance mobility and protection, as well as why you don't tie a mask around your face if you want to fight crime.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:
Also, tangentially related. Something that was recently pointed out to me, and that I would LOVE to start seeing in comic books:

(Though I am admittedly not a huge comic book person)

[url] http://www.geeknative.com/38733/drawing-the-impossible-fully-dressed-superheroines/ [/url]

I think these just look.. better and more interesting than the standard "Bare midrifffff low cut shiiirt!"

Supergirl's outfit, for instance, is just *incredible*.

(I also noticed: NO HIGH HEELS. Yay. That always bugged the crap out of me. "You are a crime fighter who very likely highly values high mobility. WHY ARE YOU BEING DRAWN IN HIGH HEELS.")


these are great! except wonder woman. the khakis just don't work for me with the rest of that outfit.

and yeah, heels. that really used to bother me with cop shows, all the women running after crooks in heels. i never understood how they managed not to break their ankles.
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Felgraf



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Felgraf wrote:
Also, tangentially related. Something that was recently pointed out to me, and that I would LOVE to start seeing in comic books:

(Though I am admittedly not a huge comic book person)

[url] http://www.geeknative.com/38733/drawing-the-impossible-fully-dressed-superheroines/ [/url]

I think these just look.. better and more interesting than the standard "Bare midrifffff low cut shiiirt!"

Supergirl's outfit, for instance, is just *incredible*.

(I also noticed: NO HIGH HEELS. Yay. That always bugged the crap out of me. "You are a crime fighter who very likely highly values high mobility. WHY ARE YOU BEING DRAWN IN HIGH HEELS.")


these are great! except wonder woman. the khakis just don't work for me with the rest of that outfit.

and yeah, heels. that really used to bother me with cop shows, all the women running after crooks in heels. i never understood how they managed not to break their ankles.


Yeah the khakis were a poor choice. Something armored-looking would probably fit better for that outfit.
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it's just me, but I've always been under the impression that if you take a picture of someone, you ask them if they can. After all, it's their face on your photo and you're going to show that to others and who knows what might happen.

Also most cosplayers I've met would love to pose for you, so it's not like things would become really weird if you'd ask them for a photo.
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Samsally



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly, Yinello. So it's not hard to ask people, they are most likely to say yes.... why are these guys creeping on them and taking unasked for photos?

I suspect it's a bit harder to ask for the kind of photo they want to take, but hey, that probably means they shouldn't be taking them.

Incidentally this reminds me of when Sailor Bubba came to the rescue. I can't find the article I want, unfortunately, but there was a con that had a really unfortunate staircase setup that you could, essentially, creep under the stairs and take pictures up skirts. When Sailor Bubba caught on to what happened, he made a point of walking up and down the stairs commando on a regular basis, successfully scaring off the creeps for the duration of the con.
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What kind of asshole cosplayer dresses up specifically to go to a conference, and then refuses to have their picture taken?

There is almost always a multitude of reporters and a live video feed at such places.

Creeps don't even bother asking.
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thy Brilliance wrote:
What kind of asshole cosplayer dresses up specifically to go to a conference, and then refuses to have their picture taken?

There is almost always a multitude of reporters and a live video feed at such places.

Creeps don't even bother asking.


What kind of asshole takes pictures of others without asking permission first.

A costume is not consent fuckface.
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