Sunday, 6 November 2011

Cosplay Costume: Black Canary (Or my day having more fun as a blonde…)

Last week I made the trip to London to attend the MCMexpo. Advertised as London’s comic con and the largest cosplay event in the UK, I had decided that after a rather conservative effort as Victoria Hand last MCM that I was going to go for something a little more adventurous this time.

The event was held over Halloween weekend too so it seemed an even better time to flex those fancy dresscapade muscles.

For the Saturday I had decided to dress as Black Canary, the fishnet clad fighter with the sonic scream. She is featured prominently in several DC books, a member of the Justice League, ex-wife of Green Arrow and most famously known for her role in the Birds of Prey. Although I do particularly like the art of Ed Bene's in BoP but I decided to go for the more classic Canary look as seen in Green Arrow and Black Canary.

Canary Kick!
The main parts of her look are the blond hair, fishnets and boots combo with the black bodysuit and jacket.

This presented me with two challenges that I have never faced before:
1: Going Blonde
2:Getting to London in little more than a pair of fishnets and then walking around wearing only them...

The first was easy to address, I searched on eBay and found a Chinese shop selling cosplay wigs for around £12 with free postage. They had 1000s of positive feedback so I decided to risk it- personally I think the wig I received was excellent value for money, it completely covered all of my hair, was easy to de-tangle and surprisingly comfortable! Although it did take two weeks to arrive…

The second challenge was something that required simple nerves of steel. To get to London I wore a skirt over the ensemble but I found that once I arrived at the Excel centre seeing so many people in thousands of different types of cosplay that no matter what I would survive. 

(Interestingly glamorous people of a different inclination were also attending the Excel for UK’s Top Model I’m not entirely sure they appreciated the slightly strange attire of those of us at the Expo, although one lady did compliment me on my 'fabulous wig')

So here is the final look of the costume, I think it went fairly well :D

Most of the purchases for this outfit came from eBay, with the wig, biker jacket, gloves etc. The bodysuit is an altered swimming costume and the boots were my own. All-in-all it cost around £30 but it is mainly made up of items that I can wear again so I didn’t mind. Something I feel is important to add about this outfit is that I was actually wearing two pairs of tights. One pair of thick opaque beige tights from BHs to cover my legs and then the fishnets over the top- it made me much more comfortable and hides the sins much better than just wearing the fishnets!

Rather interestingly for me, one of my favourite comic authors Gail Simone was appearing as a guest at the MCMexpo on her first trip to London Comic-con. Simone is known for several runs on comics-including, most recently, Barbara Gordon's return as Batgirl in the DCnU52. But she was also the author for a long and famous run on Birds of Prey- the very comic my character was prominently featured in!

As a result of this I was reduced to utterly useless fangirl…

I met Simone at a signing table and asked her to sign my comics. I was incredibly nervous for no particular reason but I felt much better when she told me that I looked amazing and posed for a picture with me.

I noticed later that she had tweeted about a Black Canary cosplayer and replied to one of my tweets.

‘Also there was a fantastic, adorable Black Alice cosplayer and a tremendous Black Canary cosplayer...both incredibly lovely. So fun!’ and ‘@JennieWhitwood Aw, you looked phenomenal! But I didn't get a picture of you! :('

I think that given this reaction I can judge my costume to have been a success (I hope :S). It was a real honour to get such a comment from a comic superstar- couldn't have been any better :D
During the day I was even asked by a few people to pose for photos, hopefully I won't end up on any of those bad costume blogs...

During the second day I dressed as a 60s style Catwoman (very loosely based on Julie Newmar) and I’ll post on that soon, until then…

Happy Dresscapades!

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