I’m paraphrasing but there’s a quote that says if you want to make the universe laugh then you tell it your plans. So I’m probably tempting fate here…
After the last 24 months I feel as though I’m playing catch up on ideas and plans I’ve had since 2014. A lot has happened in that time and I don’t blame anyone for that but I really need to pull up the socks and try to tick more items of the list.
As is traditional, here are my specific cosplay plans for the year 2018 as well as other ideas and projects I hope to get off the ground over the next 12 months.
I posted these earlier in the week, but since Wednesday this got a little addition that I almost forgot about.
As has become customary these really are just ideas I simply want to get a start on this year rather than have a deadline for them (not too much of an issue now that Oz Comic-Con buggered off out of Adelaide and Perth). And if any of them look familiar to those of you playing along, yes… many of these are holdovers from previous years. That seems to be the way for me lately…
I finally began actual work on this build last year but it fell off the priority list rather soon after but it’s still something I want to get finish soon. There is a sentiment of just wanting to get it done for the sake of getting it done and I really have to get past that before I do tackle it again but one of the hurdles of this costume is trying to make Briareos convincingly tall than just platform boots (because that hasn’t been too successful with Chiefy).
This is another holdover from previous years and was originally intended to coincide with Star Trek’s 50th anniversary but of course I kept pushing it back for other projects and repairs. It was also going to mark my first full unassisted sewing project. I still have all the fabrics for it too that I bought a couple of years ago and intend to finally use but out of all of my costumes I hope this can become one of those regular “casual wear” costumes, which is rare for me.‘Captain America: Civil War’ was a fantastic film and the Mark 46 design was the first iteration I truly liked since the Mark 6. The Mark 47 in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is pretty much this with a slightly different paint scheme but it’s the red and gold that I prefer.
The only deadline I want to impose on myself is to attempt to get this finished in time for Infinity War, which will be released in Australia on April 25. At worst maybe I’ll have it for Free Comic Book Day a week later but we’ll see.
Even before building the ‘War for Cybertron’ version of Optimus Prime, I’ve wanted to make a classic G1-style for many years. Previously when this moved up the list I was still up in the air about what specific design I wanted to follow (makes it easier to be cohesive if I follow one main inspiration and maybe add ideas from other favourites).
Most recently I finally landed on a design that I haven’t just fallen in love with but really want as part of my collection… it’s the 18” Prime figure by Toy Alliance and it has floored me in it’s style, echoes of Generation 1, as well as the incredible detail that would suit a giant cosplay outfit so well.
The figure is slightly out of my price range right now but if I can’t buy it I’ll build it (I’d rather do both to be honest ).
First seen in ‘Star Trek: First Contact’, this one fell down the list slightly only because I want to focus on the captain’s uniform first before I tackle a second Trek costume. But it will happen eventually.
Ever since I began cosplaying I’ve always had an urge to cosplay something for Star Wars… but it was just an urge. I never really had a distinct character I wanted to make and I flowed from one vague idea to another, mainly from the prequel trilogy because there was more variety there regardless of the quality of those films. I didn’t want to just be a Stormtrooper like so many others, I didn’t just want to be any Jedi, etc. That didn’t interest me. So the already iffy urge laid dormant for years.
And then ‘The Last Jedi’ happened and that all change. I came out the theatre on the first viewing loving it, and even more so when I read the numerous takes on it. But what struck me were the designs of the Elite Praetorian Guard (not just because red is my favourite colour). Not only did they already look cool on their own (which made me hesitant because I had been burnt before) but to see them in action in that one glorious scene just sealed the deal for me.
It’s more of a “maybe” at the moment pretty much because I have so many other ideas before this but I still haven’t decided on which particular Guard I want to make (I think there are two different helmets and 6 different weapons?).
The one I forgot about until I began writing this (or re-writing this, which is why I’m late with it) is old man Marcus Fenix from ‘Gears of War 4’. Funnily enough I had wanted to remake one of my earlier GoW suits with the skills I have now and the updated detail seen in the remastered Ultimate Edition but once I eventually got around to playing GoW4 and saw Fenix’s older design I knew that was the direction I wanted to take. Again it’s a”maybe” and down the list purely because of other projects but I’d also love it if voice actor John DiMaggio returned to Adelaide again.
I’ve failed twice now to make this and was never pleased, almost embarrassed, at how poor my progress was on this. The first time around I fell off my stilts and had to abandon it for safety issues. The second attempt was from scratch and I had to scrap all that too because real life issues just prevented me from focussing on this.
Either way I don’t want to abandon this altogether but my original idea of having this as my big foray back into competitive cosplay is now unclear.
Unfortunately, this is one of those “weight loss” goals for me so will only happen when that happens and considering I was able to lose 10kg just being more active on my bargain hunting adventures I think it’s slowly possible.
Costumes aren’t the only things I want to create this year, I want to continue my long-form essays about a variety of cosplay and gee-related topics… or as I like to call some of them: rants.
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been a tad iffy about continuing these sermons for 2018 mainly because I was finding it harder to sit down and write them as well as concentrate on cosplay, other projects, and real life. I’ve still got a backlog of topics from last year I never got around to.
Once again I lost interest mainly because it seemed everyone else lost interest in reading what I had to say. I even got offended when numerous time I was trying to make a point and then a much bigger cosplayer made the same point, but without the honesty and nuance, and my friends would jump on board and share the shit out of their post because it was easily digestible. Unfortunately, most of these topics aren’t as clean cut as we’d like it to be.
But I get it though. I tend to go on and on and whatever I’m trying to say gets lost in the word spew whereas a easily shared meme is easier to take in.
For the record, these sermons are not religious by any stretch. They were born from the sanctimonious attitudes of big-name cosplayers who only spoke up about important stuff when it affected them if at all (so I was taking the piss at one point). I decided to not only write as a cathartic exercise, as a way to make others at least consider certain concepts (too much photoshop, diversity and representation, the attitudes about Patreon being a few future topics) but also as a way to inform and warn people about certain harmful shenanigans that were going on behind the scenes.
Because I love this community that has embraced and lifted me up, encouraged and provided me an outlet for my fandom. I don’t want to see it descend and implode like it has to potential to do. It’s why I write. But whether or not I continue calling them “sermons” from this point is still up in the air. Anyway, I’ve decided to continue but not as regularly as I previously attempted to. I also don’t know if I want to keep it in written form.
I think I only did one video in 2017, which was odd because this time last year I went into January with the full intention of making it a proper monthly thing.
Once again I’m feeling that usual if laughable energy that many of us experience at the beginning of a new year and I want to give these a regular go again. Despite how long it takes me to write and produce one 8-minute video I do actually enjoy them and the process.
And it won’t just be my “word spews” either. Last year I also failed to try my hand at a convention video but of course being in a full bulky costume was not conducive to videoing anything of substance. I’d like to try that again and see how I go but with one less event in Adelaide my opportunities are looking slim.
Although the other type of long-form video essays are ideas I’ve dabbled with. There still one about my Russell cosplay on the way soon.
Patreon and Ko-Fi
For the last few years I was freelancing as a designer but for a while now that work had dried up and so it made certain plans a little harder to accomplish.
I had previously wanted to start up a Patreon last year but wasn’t sure how to apply it to what I do. I personally didn’t want to restrict my content from anyone, I’d prefer to offer it openly regardless of pay and I had seen a few of my favourite content makers rely on Patreon and make it work but I did bide my time.
Recently, I’ve decided to set up both a Patreon and Ko-Fi account both as “tip jars” rather than subscription services. I have no illusions about being able to make a living off of this but the hope is to at least offer a bit of a leg up until I can find something much more permanent and sustainable.
Things are still a work-in-progress but if you’d like to throw a few coins my way and make any or every one of my plans a reality that would be really cool. Eventually, I’ll figure out if one is better than the other or if they’ll continue at all.
Now these are the big plans, broad stroke ideas for the next 12 months, at the very least stuff I want to get a start on. There are still smaller, minor projects I have in between as well as secret projects I hope to reveal in due time.
As always is the case, these plans are ever evolving and are always dependant on a number of factors but a large part of the fun in planning these things is offering up a bit of hope I guess and maybe a bit of a direction to what to do with myself this year. I like having a plan even if it’s a loose one I can adjust when needed. It gives a nice sense of purpose sometimes.
I love doing all this but of course the older I get the more difficult it becomes to maintain but I am still hopeful to have as much fun as I can and I hope you all can join me on that adventure.
Here’s to a fantastic 2018.
Here endeth the sermon.