After my second consecutive visit to Atlanta’s Dragon*Con, I decided it was time to give my hometown a chance. In Montreal, the closest we have to Dragon*Con is Montreal Comiccon, which was first held in 2006. Dragon*Con is a much older convention – it dates back in 1987, and comprises of multiple large hotels (lobbies, conference rooms, ball rooms), whereas Montreal Comiccon’s primary space is one large convention hall. As a result, the scale of Dragon*Con is far from being matched by Montreal – which means the celebrity guest list is also a bit disappointing, in comparison.
Despite the differences, I attended Montreal Comiccon this year – and in my opinion, it’s worth doing so at least for the costumes. After all, it is still a young event, and it will undoubtedly continue to grow as the years pass. This year, they apparently had more than 20,000 visitors, leading them to book a larger venue for 2012. That’s an impressive visitor count, considering that Dragon*Con itself gets roughly 40,000 visitors – and to do so, they have a lot more rented space, celebrities, and events.
So anyway, given that I enjoyed the costumes, I thought I’d list my favorites from the event. Before I begin, here’s an explanation of what I consider when evaluating a costume:
First, the more realistic the costume looks, the more I like it. If I get a feeling the character being portrayed might actually exist, then that’s a success. To give you an example, I never really liked the Batman movies until I saw Batman Begins. To me, that’s when the character really became respectable and interesting to watch.
Second, the more specific the reference, the less people will recognize it – but the more value it has to those that do. Sure, people might appreciate how cool a costume looks, but will they understand very subtle references? In my mind, I see subtle references as a gamble – those that understand it will have a greater payoff.
And now, the list:
10 Kara Thrace from Battlestar Galactica
As a devout fan of the re-imagined series of Battlestar Galactica, I was pleased to encounter a rendition of Kara Thrace (“Starbuck”) at Montreal Comiccon. Don’t get me wrong – Battlestar Galactica costumes are quite common, and because of that, I’m rarely impressed with them. However, this girl just seemed to be particularly accurate in capturing the essence of Kara Thrace. To get an idea of what I mean, see these photos of Kara. I really like that she used the cards and cigar approach, as I always felt this was the best way to introduce the character. In fact, that’s exactly how they did it in the mini-series.
Also, I should probably acknowledge the guy standing behind her in the picture. He’s dressed in the same uniform as Kara, but I can’t tell if he’s trying to be a specific character, or just a generic male Colonial solider. In any case, it’s nice that these two were walking around together – it helps their costumes.
While the dark knight is a common character at conventions, not all costumes are of the same quality. When I went to Dragon*Con 2011 this year, I found one particular Batman that really impressed me – to the point where he made it into my top 10 list. At Montreal Comiccon, I encountered another Batman that I felt ranked higher than most. In this case, however, the Batman had the advantage of having access to the old-style batmobile, which was present at the convention. I’m not certain if he was hired by those showing off the batmobile, but in any case, it made for some cool photos.
8 Poison Ivy
Next we have Poison Ivy, who is one step ahead of Batman (in this case, anyway).
Poison Ivy is depicted as one of the world’s most prominent eco-terrorists. She is obsessed with plants, botany, and environmentalism. She uses toxins from plants and mind controlling pheromones for her criminal activities, which are usually aimed at protecting the natural environment.
This costume doesn’t seem to be based on any image of Poison Ivy, according to the searches I’ve been running. It seems to me that there’s a high level of creativity at work here, and that’s definitely appreciated. I’m also amazed by the fact that she’s wearing such a tight corset… surely that isn’t an easy feat.
7 Lady Sif and Scarecrow
This duo is comprised of one character from the Marvel Comics universe, and another from DC Comics. Sif is from Marvel, and is described as a “warrior and lover of Thor, who spends much of her time worrying about and searching for him, and often accompanies [him] into battle.” Scarecrow, on the other hand, is DC Comics character who is “[a] psychologist [that] uses a variety of drugs and psychological tactics to exploit the fears and phobias of his adversaries.”
Though these two characters are seemingly unrelated to each other, I thought they were both nice costumes.
Next up is Elektra, a female ninja assassin from the Marvel universe. When I searched for images of Elektra, I found quite a few varieties – but never the exact costume that this girl was wearing. In any case, the costume is of a good quality, and the girl wearing it struck me as a natural fit for the character.
5 E’lara from Hunted: The Demon’s Forge
This next costume is referencing a game called Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, specifically, a playable character named E’lara. Despite the fact that I never played the game myself, I couldn’t deny the quality of the costume. To compare the costume with the character, see the following Google search.
4 Space Marine from Warhammer 40,000
Though I’ve never played the Warhammer 40k miniature wargame, I did play a PC game titled Dawn of War II. The costume appears to be that of a space marine, one of the featured races available in the Warhammer universe. Upon seeing it, I knew that it deserved a spot in my top costumes list, but at the same time, I felt it could have been better. I like when I can look at a costume, and feel that the depicted character might actually exist. In this case, the texture of the costume made it obvious that it was not a hard material like metal, and as such, I could not entertain the notion that the character might exist. However, even though it was clearly a costume, I had to recognize the effort that likely went into making it.
3 Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony
These next costumes are the result of some creativity, as they are trying to represent characters that are part of a whole other species: ponies. For starters, I must mention that I don’t know very much about ponies. Shocking, I know. From that, you can probably derive that I don’t know much about a show titled My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
The show follows a studious unicorn pony named Twilight Sparkle as she is tasked by her mentor Princess Celestia to learn about friendship in the town of Ponyville. Twilight becomes close friends with five other ponies: Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie. Each represents a different facet of friendship, and discovers themselves to be key parts in the “Elements of Harmony”. In the series, the ponies share adventures and help out other residents of Ponyville, while working out the troublesome moments in their own friendships.
2 Fionna and Cake from Adventure Time
Adventure Time is an animated series that was produced for the Cartoon Network:
The series focuses on the adventures undertaken by two best friends, Finn the human boy and Jake the dog with magical powers, who dwell in the Land of Ooo.
While the regular protagonist is Finn, this costume references a special episode where the female version of Finn is introduced: Fionna. Similarly, a female cat named Cake is introduced as the opposite of Jake, a male dog. This costume is therefore a very specific reference, which I always appreciate. Beyond that, I have to say that this girl was exceptionally accurate in portraying the character, right down to the sword.
1 AndrAIa from ReBoot
Okay, I’ll admit it… there’s a certain nostalgia behind this particular costume – consequently, I may be slightly biased. What we have here is a real-life representation of a computer-generated character: AndrAIa, from ReBoot. ReBoot was a Canadian CGI-animated tv-show, one which took place within the a mainframe computer. It was an action-adventure series, and back when it aired, I didn’t realize that it contained numerous Computer Science references, most of which were comical.
In addition to the unique world, I recall that the characters often would change age, depending on what was happening in the series. I’ve always been a fan of shows that have the guts to do that, rather than sticking to a certain formula. That said, if I’m not mistaken, AndraAIa was introduced as a child, and it was only later into the series that she was shown as an adult. The costume worn by the girl below is for the adult version of the character, and it is a very detailed one at that.
So in the end, what we have is a reference to an old TV show that originally aired from 1994 to 2001. Not just any reference, mind you, but a reference to a specific version of a particular character. I appreciated encountering this girl, as she really did a excellent job crafting her look to match the on-screen persona.
That concludes my Top 10 costumes for Montreal Comiccon 2011. If you’re mentioned in my post, and would like me to credit you by name, please feel free to e-mail me at mref…@gmail.com. You can also post a comment below, as I always enjoy hearing from Dragon*Con attendees and cosplayers.
If you’re interested in seeing my other top costume posts: