Lord Ace of the Fictional Lands (ensuing) wrote,
Lord Ace of the Fictional Lands

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Olmec Awesomeness and WonderCon

The weekend before last was WonderCon. If you've never been, it's like the little brother of San Diego Comic Con. Similar programming spanning comics, video games, movies, and television, but on a smaller scale. I went on Saturday and Sunday and had lots of fun.

Saturday I went with Nur and we didn't really have any plans. We wandered around the exhibition hall for a while, but I was rather weak, so I could only do that for 30-45 minutes before I needed a break. I was wearing my full monstrous Sever costume, the same furry monster costume I wore for Comic Con last year, and visibility is not the greatest in it (and I get dizzy in it easily) and it's 3-inch pile fur, so it's quite thick and VERY warm. I got all sorts of very kind comments while tromping around in it, including a lady who found me at the end of the day and told me she had been trying to track me down to get a picture! That made me feel AMAZING. I love dressing as monsters and anthro characters. I've been interested in "suit acting" since I was little… I think it's really fun to try to get emotions and messages across using just body language. (I wanted to play the monsters in Power Rangers and stuff, even though they DO talk!) But, if I post a picture of my fursuit costumes online I'm laughed at, called names, and told I'm a pervert. When I wear them in public, I get the kinder comments than any of my "regular" costumes. Hmmm. Well… take that, internet! TAKE THAT.

Since we really didn't have any plans, we ended up going to some random panels that were really interesting… we listened to an author talk, a couple artists talk about how they work, their tools they use, etc. We saw a special effects make-up session, had the opportunity to talk to Photoshop developers… it was fun.

Sever in the Yerba Buena Gardens. Saaaaame costume as Comic Con. His tail fell off halfway through the day (booo), so it's just sorta… stuffed down my pants, hahahaha. That's why it's so short. The mouth moves with my own and you can easily see my face inside… I wish I could make my face less visible, but then I wouldn't be able to breathe or see as well, so until I figure out a better solution, my face will continue to be visible. =\

Hahahah, I love that he looks sort of derpy from the front. =D I need to trim the fur on one leg, because it covers his little feet-claws. =\

The costume itself is pretty basic… The head was by far the most difficult part to make… It's a balaclava with sculpted foam on top, covered in the front with a plaster fabric strips and in the back with the long-pile fur. The teeth are a air-dry clay hot glued in places. The plaster was painted white, then lightly painted with a yellow-black that was wiped off to give the "skull" a weather look that shows up in NO photos, alas. The "skull" was clear coated to give it a shiny look and the eye holes were filled in with a doubled-up thin black fabric. I was planning on looking out the eyes, but there were too many blind spots and now I look out the mouth.

The pants are the same pants Nur wore for En-Oh (the big Entei costume I made for last year's Fanime). Just sweatpants with sculpted foam duct taped on (Seriously, they're taped on, it's so ghetto) and loose fur pants over those. The fur pants were made with the remnants of the red-brown long pile fur, so they're really a patchwork of mistakes, but long pile fur hides A LOT of sins.

The tail is super easy, just like anyone would make a tail. It has a wire in the end so you can pose it a little bit. The sleeves are cut from fabric left over from my Raptor!Dio tail, they're just two poorly cut pieces each that work like gloves. The "shirt" is some light snake skin patterned heavy fabric cut into thick strips and sewn back together, then sewn into a bunch of red-brown fur scraps. It's really just like a big furry t-shirt. I made the tail, gloves, and shirt all in one day. Together, they took MAYBE 3 hours MAXIMUM. Probably more like 2. Super super easy, super basic stuff.

She shoes are some cheap loafers I found in a bargain area with a bit of furniture foam over to give a slightly different shape, then more of those fur scraps glued on it. The claws are the yellow vinyl I used for En-Oh's teeth, turned inside out (just like the teeth) and then painted. Easy easy easy.

On Sunday, my brother Noah joined us. We went fairly early to make it into the Doctor Who panel, which was lots of fun. I think my brother might be a little interested in Doctor Who now, which makes me VERY happy. After, he and I tried to find the Human Target signing session, but no dice. We got all sorts of conflicting information and finally gave up. We made it back for the Thundercats panel (AWWWW YEAH) and then the Human Target panel. Nur and I were fairly snarky during Human Target… the last episode we had seen was the incredibly HORRID Christmas one, so we were in a state of disapproval most of the time. Still, it was fun and inspired me to watch the rest of the season which was not AMAZING, but soooooo much better than the Christmas episode. Nur and I left Noah and caught the end of an editing panel and attended an armor panel put on by some members of the 501st Legion. Mad props to those guys, they do some awesome work. We met up with Noah again and headed home. The ride back was fun because we talked a lot about Human Target and Doctor Who. I don't get to have good discussions with my brother enough!

This entry is getting long, so the rest will be under a cut.

Last Friday, I headed into San Francisco with my mom and brother. The weather was fantastic, likely the clearest I've ever seen it on a drive into the city. I could see for miles and miles. We dropped Noah off at his internship/volunteer job/something they should totally pay him for and went to the de Young museum to see the Olmec exhibit they have there right now. The exhibit was very nice. The last exhibits I went to were the two Impressionist ones and those were both crowded. Unfortunately, it seems that these ancient marvels aren't as appreciated, so the exhibit was quite empty in comparison. Towards the end of our time there a couple student and docent groups were coming through, so that's good. Olmecs are largely known for their giant stone sculptures of heads and they had two in the museum. Not the largest ones by any means, but they were both between six and eight feet tall and very imposing. They had numerous axe blades from ritual burials, small figures, and a jewelry-like items. They had a couple stela (one was like ~10ft tall!) and a good number of statues. I don't know much about the Olmec, but the exhibit provided a lot of information and I felt quite educated by the end. I especially liked a set of stone twins, one set behind the other, seeming to bow to two feline sculptures (although they only had one of the felines). I think the twins were nearly life size! I had two favorite pieces… one was a jaguar figure, maybe 3ft tall, wearing ceremonial items. It was on it's hind legs with it's tongue lolling out and a smile on it's open mouth. They said it might be someone performing a ceremony wearing a jaguar mask, but people don't have paws. I think it was a jaguar. =T My other favorite was the second displayed giant stone head. I don't know about you, but when I think about the Olmec stone heads, I think of very serious faces. This head had a big grin and looked so… kind. It warmed my heart a bit to see it.

I loved the exhibit, but there were two things that bothered me. At times, the descriptions would describe sections of carvings which I could soooort of make out. I wish the lighting on those would have been a bit better… The lighting was generally pretty good and I don't know how they would change the lighting to a way I would prefer, but I wish I could've had a flashlight or something to see the light hitting the carvings at different angles. The thing that REALLY bothered me was that the exhibit made it clear that knowledge of the Olmec culture and items that have been found is very limited, but some of the item descriptions made it sound like they had THE ULTIMATE ANSWER to the purpose of the items. I don't like it when people do that. I much prefer people saying, "we think this is what it is" or something like that.

After Awesome Olmec Awesomeness, we checked out the other temporary exhibit, Balenciaga and Spain. Balenciaga was a fashion designer I guess? He designed some AMAZING dresses. Very sleek and sexy. And then he designed things that looked like the cauliflower costume for his kid's third grade play. It was a very strange collection. Lots of variety.

Before heading out, I stopped by the permanent Art of the Americas section to take picture of my favorite piece in the museum, the Feathered Feline from the Wagner Murals (murals stolen from Teotihuacán then left in a will to the de Young. I think the museum gave most of them back to Mexico, but don't quote me on that.)

I love you forever, Feathered Feline! My Comic Con for this year will be based off of this piece. I'm super excited to make it. =D (Thankfully, the museum allows flash-less photos almost everywhere in the museum except the special exhibits, so I FINALLY have a good reference to work from!)

This was my favorite piece at the de Young before I discovered the Feathered Feline. This is Queen Ix Mutal Ahaw, a Maya queen from the southern Maya lowlands. At one time, I could have told you a hundred million things about this piece thanks to a strange impromptu lecture given to me by a docent who noticed me admiring it when I was like 10. But now I remember nothing except that the serpent throwing a guy in it is very important.

Left the museum and my mom went to a lecture at the place my brother works. I got lunch, walked around, and doodled. Met up with my mom, went to Ikea, discovered they no longer have the super cheap bookcases I was going to get, cried many tears inside, got a headache, picked up my brother, went home, writhed in pain for a few hours, then ended up in a wikipedia spiral about the Antikythera Mechanism. AND THEN EVERYTHING WAS OKAAAAY~

Also have some other pictures.


Man, I ramble too much.
Tags: con, cosplay, doctor who, history, minna, sentai, tv
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