Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to make an Aquaman

At last... I am finding the time to write up the making of my Aquaman costume!

I fricking adore this outfit. I decided last year that I wanted to have a proper, comic accurate costume for LSCC 2014, and I that the thing I wanted was this version of Aquaman:
The only I was undecided on was whether to keep the hook or go with the waterbearer version of the character (essentially a watery blue hand).

I thought long and hard about how I could make the costume myself.  I could buy black leggings and sew green fishscale material onto the sides. I could buy a silver crop top and modify it to make the armour.  I could make the hook out of something.  I thought about how to modify the armour so it covered my left breast.  I bought a knitted yellow beard just for the costume.
After spending a few months dithering and talking to other, better, costumers, I decided it would be far easier to commission someone to make it for me.  So I had a look around facebook's cosplay groups and found a company called Too Many Heroes who were taking commissions: ( and  I emailed them and got a quote, and decided it was a really good price and that they would make a good, comic accurate outfit that I would never be able to replicate myself.

We arranged the commission and I felt really happy about it, and then I fell pregnant and realised that I'd be about 6 months gone at time of the con and would therefore be a completely different shape when it rolled round.  A quick email later and Too Many heroes were more than happy to continue with the commission and to make the leggings maternity wear.  Woo hoo!

I sent my measurements in January (the con was mid March), we discussed the specific design I wanted and the types of material to be used and in February (about 3 weeks before the con) I went and picked up the suit.  It fit pretty well, a few minor adjustments had to be made, which were done there and then, and I went away very happy with a new costume.

I had no idea how Too Many Heroes were going to make the costume - if I knew how to do it I'd make it myself!  - so when I saw it I was pleasantly surprised.  First, the armour part.
It's padded and attaches at the front with velcro.  I hadn't even thought about how it would do up.  Naively, I assumed I'd be able to pull it over my head, but as it's padded and needed to be tight that wouldn't work.  When I tried it on it was rather tight across my chest - the hazards of enlarging breasts when you're pregnant - but otherwise fit very well.  I was a bit concerned it might ping open during the day of the con.

We had a chat about how to deal with this and I decided that a new (flattening) bra combined with a modified crop top would probably solve the problem.  So I bought a grey crop top from ebay and set about hacking it up to fit under the armour and cover my bra.  I ended up with this, which worked perfectly:
I tried it on under the armour, drew around the bits I wanted to cut out and went to work with the scissors.  The advantage of this is I got to keep my cleavage on show (hoorah!).

If you look at the reference pic at the top of this post you'll see that the arm part of the armour is in pieces.  This was also replicated for my costume:
You can sort of see it.  Photography - not my strong point.

Now for the leggings.  The fish scale pattern was drawn on with a pen:
Again, I would never have thought to do this, but it worked really well.

The fins are padded (and probably my favourite part of the whole thing, fins!)

The A for Aquaman was hand stitched on when I was there for the fitting:

This left me with working out whether to wear a wig, how to do the hand and to have a think about any accessories I might want.

I had bought a yellow wig in prep for the con but felt ridiculous in it.  It's OK, it's probably pretty good for a wig, but I just felt awful in it.  As I mentioned in previous posts I was already feeling self conscious about not being slim/toned/tanned/make-up'd/pretty enough to be in costume and I just didn't want to wear anything that might make me feel more awkward.  Here's the wig:
It's more gold than that picture shows.  My boyfriend tried it on and looked a bit like a dodgy Rod Stewart, which didn't endear me to it (the wig, not the boyfriend).  As you can see in the picture I also bought a hook hand off Amazon to use.  Specifically, this one:
It didn't look so mottled when it arrived. I had some primer left over from when I made my Jay Garrick costume a couple of years ago so just needed to buy some gold spray paint.  It didn't go well. It went like this:
AWFUL.  So I didn't take it with me.  And yes, I am aware that Aquaman has a harpoon, not a hook, but I couldn't find a harpoon anywhere and didn't have time to make one.  So instead I went with some a blue glove I found on ebay:
It's not perfect, but it did the job well enough.  Incidentally, both the glove and the beard were really hot to wear.  I wasn't prepared for that.

For accessories, I considered making a headband with a shell on it, but wasn't convinced that would sit well on my hair.  So I made earrings:
I bought 10 scallop shells from ebay, a friend gave me the earring wires and showed me how to bend them round the shells.  They are gorgeous and I will wear them again and again.  I do need to varnish them thought so they don't deteriorate.

For footwear, when I first started planning this costume I thought I'd just wear socks.  Around about February time I realised that socks don't provide much grip and I really, really didn't want to risk falling over.  So I went for sandals instead.  They are comfortable, they support my feet and it strikes me that Aquaman would not be averse to wearing sandals.

The end result was this:
Ah, the pasty skin of a British woman in Spring time!  It's also interesting to me how my belly curves out at the bottom - pregnancy is bizarre.

For comparison, this is how it fitted the day after I bought it (about 3 weeks before the con):
You can see the difference in my bump.  To my mind, the fact that it still fitted and was comfortable when I was much bigger is a testament to Too Many Heroes costuming skills.

I will definitely wear this costume again, but next time I shall try to be more tanned, and I won't be pregnant so I'll have to have the maternity panel taken in.  I'll probably aim to have a six pack too, but I have my doubts as to whether that will happen or not.  If you are looking for a commission I can definitely recommend Too Many Heroes.  They did a fabulous job, were really flexible and really creative.

Costs for everything were:
Commissioned costume- £55
Knitted yellow beard - £4.99 plus postage (If you want your own, I suspect it was this one)
Grey crop top - £4.49 and free postage
Blue gloves -£5.95 plus postage
Shells for earrings - £1.99 plus postage
Hook (not used) - £1.88 plus postage
Gold spray paint (used on hook) - £4.99 ish, I think
Wig (not used) - £7.49 plus postage
Wig cap and hair grips (not used) - about a fiver for both items.

Sandals: Already owned

See my other posts on the con here (the other costumes) and here (the day's activities with just a couple of costumes).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Supercut of all of Game of Thrones sex scenes

Watch it here:

Now, I'm re-reading the books at the moment (I'm a third of the way through Storm of Swords) and haven't seen any of the tellybox series, so I have a couple of questions.
  • Why is there significantly more boobs and naked lady bum on show than male chests, bums and stiff bits?
  • It appeared that one scene had Dany fucking her handmaid, with the handmaid on top.  As far as I can recall, this doesn't happen in the book. The handmaid goes down on Dany, but that's not rubbing muff bits together or using a strap on.
  • Am I seeing man-on-man sex in there?  Again, there is no explicit man-on-man sex in the books.  Male homosexuality is referred to, but we don't see (read) any men fucking other men.
Methinks they have tried to make the tellybox series more salacious than the books. Sacre bleu.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Radio Bamf shows!

Apologies for being slack with the posting lately.  I've just been dead busy.  I've got a few ideas for posts but just haven't had the time to write them up!

I do want to link to the last few Radio Bamf podcasts though.

Episode 47:
Teeny tiny bite size Bamf, talking about Spider-man, Avengers Arena and Daredevil.

Covering DC's bombshell variants, the TV Flash costume (so ugly), LSCC, Peter David's Aquaman, Hawkeye and some other stuff I can't remember because I have a terrible memory.

Bert and Fee vs ninjas! 

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Aquaman goes myffic

Regular readers will know that I'm partial to mythic stuff, and when I read this panel it struck me how lovely it was.  I really like the mix of elements in the, well, I guess we should call her an elemental.

From Aquaman volume 3, issue 7.  Here are the credits:

Monday, March 17, 2014

LSCC 2014: Cosplay

As promised, here are all the cosplay photos I got:



And then there was me.

No wonder no one wanted to take my picture. Sigh.  I'll never be one of the cool kids.

Here are links to other people's photo albums:

401 Photography - on facebook.
Holloh - on flickr.
Poisoned Pirate - on
A Mystique - on twitter.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

LSCC 2014 report

I went to London Super Comic Con yesterday and had a fine old time.  LSCC is great to attend - it's really well organised and it's got a really nice feel to it.  Unlike MCM, it's completely focused on comics - no games, no anime, no films, just comics.  Both cons are held at the Excel Centre in London yet MCM felt like a massive, soulless warehouse and LSCC feels friendly.

This likely to be my last con for a quite a long while, as a fresh baby is going to put a dampener on our social life for a while.  So I wanted to make this count.  So I dressed up as this Aquaman:

On me, this translates into this:
(I didn't get any full length shots at the con so I took these photos Sunday morning at home).
With this glove:
Why Aquaman? Because I adore the character.
Why this costume?  Because I genuinely love it.  I think it's a really cool version and I thought I could get it comic-accurate.
Why the blue glove? Because the hook I spray painted gold turned out bloody awful so I decided the glove would do for the waterbearer version.
Why no appropriate wig?  Because the wig made me feel stupid....

Hmm, I'm not quite the same as the comic version am I!  Sod it, I love the costume and I'm really pleased I wore it.  I wish I could be less self deprecating but I feel the need to get in jibes at myself before anyone else does.  It's taking me quite a lot of courage to post these photos.

I didn't make the leggings or top - I commissioned it from Too Many Heroes (facebook link) and I think they did a fine job.  Anyway, I'll do a post on the costume and the process for putting it together (including costs) soon.

I arrived at the con venue, changed into the outfit and felt terrified.  It's really quite revealing you know?  Also, I was convinced I looked fat rather than months pregnant.  Looking at photos, I can tell I'm quite clearly pregnant but I didn't have that at the time. I felt so self-conscious.  But perhaps I'll write more about that in another post.  Once I put on the knitted beard I started feeling less stupid, probably because I felt it was more obvious that I was having fun with it and not taking myself too seriously.

The queue went down really quickly (LSCC is super well organised) and I headed to Peter David's table, where I saw another Aquaman, who looked far more in character and faer better turned out than I was.  So we gave each other a smile and later on a friend took this photo of us:
I had earlier seen a Mera who was graceful and elegant and dressed in a lovely flowing green gown.  Clearly I felt far too ungainly, short and inelegant to ask for a photo with her, which I am not regretting. Arrgghhh.

Anyway, at Peter David's table.  He recognised me from when I told him on twitter I would be the 6 months pregnant Aquaman, and his wife took a couple of photos of me. :D  I did apologise for looking a bit foolish, but he brushed that off and seemed to liked the costume.  He said he'd seen lots of Aquamen over the years, but never a pregnant one, so I've got that going for me.  He signed my comics.

These are all the books I got signed that day.  The Green Arrow book is signed by Mike Grell, not Peter David!

I got to tell David these books all mean a lot to me and I was especially pleased with the Supergirl and Young Justice sign language issues he did.  He was really friendly and I'm glad I saw him in-costume.  He had his daughter with him as they were selling copies of a book they'd co written, I really should have bought it.

After this I met some friends, one of whom was dressed as incognito Black Widow, and we saw this really cool pair:

Then I queued to see Gary Frank and he also signed my Supergirl trade.  He liked my beard.  I expressed my disappointment that I couldn't grow a real beard.  Most people seemed to think my fake beard was the best thing I was wearing.  It was pretty cool, but also damn hot.  I hadn't quite realised that all wool is hot.

Then I went to the science of superheros panel but despite being in the third row, had trouble hearing the presentation.  It can get really damn echoey in these places!  So I tweeted this photo of myself and then left.

I'm really not helping my concerns over looking fat as opposed to pregnant am I?!

Then I met my friends again and we went for lunch.  I got a green thai veg curry from the noodle bar in the Excel centre - it looked ranked but tasted fine.

Once back into the hall we went and met Andy Clift, the guy behind Bertie Bear (whom we interviewed on Radio Bamf here).  I got into a discussion with him and another guy about DC's movies - specifically, Man of Steel and Green Lantern and whether they were any good or not.  Opinions varied!  I bought this print from him which will go in the nursery:

The more I looked at it the more I liked it so I bought it.  I'm really pleased with it.

We also visited the Art Heroes table and I caught up with Daniel Clifford again.  I last saw him at Thought Bubble, he's a lovely guy, doing really really good comics work.  I've written reviews of two of his creations over at New readers...start here!.  Halcyon and Tenderfoot is an all ages comic and Sugar Glider is for teens and adults.  Both are excellent and far, far better than most of the crap that comes out of the big 2.

I went into the Jonathan Ross/Ian Churchill panel and it was great fun.  Ross is really hyper - he talked nine to the dozen and barely stopped for breath.  They had good things to say though - talking about their new comic The revenge, comics they like now, comics they've loved in the past and superhero films.  I left halfway through because I experiences a sudden urge to use the toilet (thank you baby).

Last person I visited was Mike Grell.  I asked him to sign my Longbow Hunters trade and we had a little chat, mostly about my beard.  Told you everyone liked the beard.  I told him how much I valued his GA work, as well as saying (again) how sad I am I can't grow  real beard.  He said I carried the beard well.  t was fun, with the beard, I feel like I've made quite a few people smile.

After I left Grell I went to a massage are and paid £10 for a 10 minute back, neck, head massage.  It was well worth it and really loosened me up.  My right side has been a mess lately - it's rock solid. Ugh.  Anyway, the masseuse was great.

Throughout the day I also bought some comics:
The top left one and the Avengers one were in the goody bag you got as you arrived.  I'm certain I own one of the Resurrection Man comics already, but I couldn't remember which, so I bought both.  They were only 50p each.

I nearly bought this Billy Tucci print:
The reason I didn't buy it was partly due to the price (it was only £20 but I was down to my last 20 quid by this point) but also to concern over whether the boyfriend would like it or not.  As I guessed, he doesn't like it (he finds the Japanese wave theme overplayed) so it's a good thing I didn't get it.

I drooled over these Canvas Warriors shoes:

These are all hand painted and the lady on the stall assured me that the paint won't rub off, crack, or otherwise be ruined.  The paint if guarenteed for the lifetime of the shoe.  When they start at £130 for an adult pair and £70 for a baby's pair, you want the design to last.

I bought this Pocky-alike snack:

I met @FacetiousBeard, a twitter friend.  He was fun!

It was a really good day.  I took quite a lot of costume photos and I'll post those shortly.