Rogue Element #116: C2E2 2014
By Avril Brown
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With the cosplayers posing and every nerd telling you ‘Han shot first!’ It’s the hap-happiest weekend of all!
Seriously, C2E2 rules.
I swear I felt my blood pressure drop as soon as I hit the convention floor Friday morning. Between the stress of getting my costume finished, hitting the gym like a mad woman and no beer for four weeks, I was more than looking forward to the fruits of my labors come April 24th, and it was all worth it in glorious spades.
There’s something about a comic convention, particularly a young one, that burrows its way into your geeky soul and brings forth a bevy of light, happiness and a love of all things fantasy. Gamers, comic book nerds, cosplayers and newbies all gather under one ginormous roof to celebrate what makes us different and identical at the same time. We are unique and we are one.
And we got our nerd on, hardcore.
As per my usual comic con schedule, Friday was spent in plain clothes as I walked the floor, greeted my out-of-towner fellow con groupies and just soaked up the awesome with a huge grin on my face. One of the many great things about a fledgling con is how it continues to improve with each evolution. The entirety of the vast convention hall was utilized, and smartly so. The booths were well spaced with sizable aisles, Artist’s Alley also boasted plenty of walking room (though the signage could have used an upgrade) and the autograph/celebrity sections were placed against the wall, keeping the long lines out of the way of general foot traffic.
Naturally the cosplay is far and away one of the most entertaining aspects of a comic con. Variety is the spice of life and the beating heart of every great con. Though I made note of every cool costume I was lucky enough to witness I focused my attention on characters, mash-ups and cross-genders I’d never seen before, and seethed with jealousy when I saw pictures of people I missed. I have to say, the guy dressed as the Doctor with a TARDIS present parked on his junk stole the show (for those not in on the joke go watch Justin Timberlake’s ‘Dick in a Box’ SNL skit on YouTube). Bumblebee went all out, and he reportedly spent over twenty grand on his costume (my opinion on blowing that much green on a costume notwithstanding, this dude and I need to hang out). There was a kid dressed as Stan Lee who undoubtedly got more smooches on the cheek that weekend than the real deal. Classic Mach I sentinel, huge Wampa with his sexy female counterpart, Bebop and Rocksteady, the McDonald’s chick from ‘Fifth Element,’ the list goes on and it is epic.
Then there was Savage Land Rogue. After months of working out and hours spent over spandex, the time had come to cosplay as my favorite character in comics: Rogue. Due to the nature of her mutant powers (ability to absorb the powers and life force of anyone she touched; uncontrolled, until recently) Rogue’s uniform typical has her completely covered from neck to toe. However, in the early nineties there was a story arc in which Rogue had temporarily lost her powers and found herself in the Savage Land, a tropical, dinosaur-laden oasis in the middle of Antarctica (‘cause comics), so naturally her clothes fell to pieces. Given my penchant for showing some skin at cons, this shredded, belly-baring, leg-showcasing ensemble was the clear choice for my Rogue cosplay. Jesse and his mother worked diligently on getting the right balance between tight, revealing and accurate, painting a red and black X on the chest and artfully ripping up the edges. I tied some feathers onto a headband, spoke softly and carried a really cool stick. Fabric was draped over the comfiest cosplay shoes ever (thanks for the Toms, Mom!), strategically placed scraps of cloth donned my arms and legs and white hair paint was shellacked to the top of my red-dyed dome, completing the outfit. All in all, I looked kinda awesome.
Though it felt like I popped fewer poses this year (what a difference two less inches of bare ass makes), I definitely received oodles of compliments, not only on the costume’s construction but on my particular choice as well. I dig inside jokes/references, the ones you have to really know in order to appreciate the full scope, so while the yellow and green spandex coupled with a trademark white streak clearly marked me as Rogue to anyone who has peeked at the X-Men show or comics, the folks who nodded appreciatively while they said, “Savage Land Rogue, excellent!” truly warmed my heart. Jim Lee, the illustrator of this story and several years of early nineties X-Men, remains one of my favorite artists, and his version of Rogue and Gambit are forever etched into my brain. ‘Crossroads,’ the compilation of issues with Rogue in the Savage Land and Gambit’s first interstellar adventure with the X-Men, was my first trade paperback purchase. I had little idea of what exactly was going on (I was snatching up everything that had Rogue and Gambit in it at the time trying to collect the entirety of their relationship) but I still enjoyed the story and adored the art.
Though there were not as many panels this year I was interested in attending, the few I did really hit the spot (see my C2E2 2014: The Panels column!). I took pictures, had my picture taken, did a spot of shopping, trolled the Alley and hung out with friends. Essentially, I enjoyed the hell out of my con. C2E2 is swelling with each year, the roster continues to expand and the marketing is evolving. I considered throwing down the cash for the C2E2 exclusive Winter Soldier hoodie, but when I inquired at the store on Sunday I was informed they sold out on Friday before the end of the show. They’re now being hocked on eBay for roughly two hundred dollars.
Over the weekend my head was filled with the sounds of nerdom: people squealing as they point out their favorite cosplayers, admirations of art and more Doctor Who references than you can shake a sonic screwdriver at. Kids posed with Wonder Woman and Captain America and jumped into action stance when they were the ones in front of the camera. I overheard a girl who must’ve been around thirteen or so tell her father she was ready to sit down again. “I’m not!” he cheerily replied. Right on, my nerdy brother. Because that is what we are: one big happy nerdy family, and damn it felt good to be home.