SDCC 2016: Are You Hip Enough?

Maybe my focus was on all the supa kawai’i Sanrio merchandise. (Have you met Hello Kitty’s friend, Gudetama the Lazy Egg?! Please, leave me alone.)
Hello Kitty's friend, Gutedama the Lazy Egg. He coud turn me from vegetarian to vegan. Copyright: Sanrio
Sanrio’s Gutedama the Lazy Egg. He could turn me from vegetarian to vegan. Copyright: Sanrio

Maybe my focus was on a potential brush with greatness, a possible gallery-soirée with Stan Lee. Yet, to my eyes, cosplay this year at San Diego Comic-Con (S.D.ConvCtr 21-24 July 2016) appeared less prevalent than in years past. It seemed a hipper, more mellow element pervaded the Con. A cool, lackadaisical mood lingered on the floor, like an après-surf, red Solo cup party in Long Beach rather than a meticulously planned, high-energy, kitschy cocktail party in West Hollywood. If I had to associate a drink with the vibe, it would be a craft IPA, served by a chap uninterested in eye contact and sporting a well-worn Overlook Hotel tee, a Turnberry tweed cap and mutton chops.

Note: This blasé attitude does not include anything associated with Hall H, Rotten Tomatoes’ Your Opinion Sucks! panel or SyFy’s Will Arnett broadcast. This is strictly a floor observation.

This year’s populace felt so casual it bordered on loitering outside Apu’s Kwik-E-Mart. It felt like going to a Hallowe’en party, over which you’ve been salivating for weeks and a friendly surfer and his buds show up with six-packs of Sculpin, Stone and Sierra Nevada, and no costumes, except the one guy ironically wearing a rubber unicorn mask. Somehow, even though it’s a Hallowe’en party, they’re so damn cool, you end up feeling like the dork because you were high-strung enough to play dress-up. Being the designated dork doesn’t change your good-timin’ frame o’ mind, but you still feel slightly stoopid and a little awkward. At times, Comic-Con felt like that: like you’re Forrest Ackerman and Myrtle Jones at the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. (Right? Am I right? Ha! Cosplay humour.)

Natch, the only one of the group whom dressed last year. I don’t feel awkward at all. Photo: JSDevore, Halloween 2015
She seems nice; The Flash seems tolerant; Stormtrooper dude seems like we’re keeping him from some tasty hops. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography, SDCC 2016
Always part of the "IT Crowd" Author J.S.Devore as Maurice Moss. Photo: SDCC 2016 Twisted Pair
Always in the “IT Crowd”.  JSDevore as Maurice Moss. Photo: SDCC2016 JSDevore

Without a doubt, at least from the perspective of Yours Truly, the scales tipped from intense cosplay to graphic tees and jeans. Even so, there was still enough cosplay to fill The Drunken Clam; yet, with a noticeable dip in mass participation. If you swung Jar Jar Binks by the ears, you’d hit less cosplay than not. As SDCC has reached such a phenomenally coveted stature, it has become a top-shelf entertainment score. A badge of honour, as it were, attracting A-listers, H-townies and their more desperately-casual following. As much as we love the “It” crowd, sometimes, unknowingly, they mow over the IT Crowd.

*True story, kittens. Straight out of a scene from the hi-larious novel, The Darlings of Orange County, Moi, minding my own business, observing this and that outside the Con doors, was literally knocked over by four veritable jocks in A&F and Hurley tees on their way to snap a pic of one of our quintessential Babes of Comic-Con. Whilst I do not blame them, for she was quite a treat, a little Pardon Me, or help picking up my bags might have been gentlemanly. Other than that, admittedly, it had to have been a comical sight.

Fair enough. I probably would have knocked me over to get her pic, too. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography, SDCC 2016

Of course, safety, not just feeeeelings, are of prime concern for the organizers at Comic-Con Int’l (CCI). Like the joined forces of JLA and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., CCI and the SDPD – not to mention Captain America and Agent Carter – did a superhero job of keeping all of us geeks,  hipsters and jocks super-duper safe. Cheers, all you superstars of law enforcement! We so appreciate you!

Agent Peggy Carter (aka author Jennifer Susannah Devore) has the honour of meeting San Diego Chief of Police, Shelley Zimmerman. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography, SDCC 2016
Perceptively astute or not, I did still see enough cosplay to keep our Dr. Lucy and her Canon EOS occupied for five days. Many of the better quality costumes were less popularly known characters than inventive creations of individualistic style. Whatever your taste, be it stylish Goth chicks or classic Marvel superheroes, please, enjoy Dr. Lucy’s Famous SDCC Slideshow! For even more SDCC 2016 pix (and past years’), visit her Twisted Pair Flickr feed!
Comic-Con’s wedgie-free zone might be narrowing. Photo: SDCC 2016 Twisted Pair Photography

Aside: As I do every year, I choose a fave vendor as Miss Hannah’s Pick of the Con. With so much fabulosity from which to choose, I had to pick two this time! Cheers!

  • Loungefly Star Wars collection and my fab, new, giant Ewok wallet.
  • Akumuink and my last-of-a-kind Miss Black Widow tee, complete with parasol, bustle and red lace trim. Love it? So sorry. Huzzah! I got the last one!
Loungefly’s Star Wars collection, Ewok wallet. Dork alert! So big, furry and fun, you’ll find any excuse to dig into it, in public, just for a response! Photo: JSDevore’s Spider girl with red lace trim. Perfect with my Addams Family lunchbox! Photo: JSDevore

BTW, kids! Didn’t attend Comic-Con, or did, but didn’t save your official 2016 Souvenir Book, fret not! Miss Hannah (aka author Jennifer Susannah Devore) had her sixth SouvBk article published! This year: 75 Years of Archie Comics: Betty & Veronica, American Girls. Read it here! 

Abyssinia, kids!


Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?



JennyPop’s SDCC pages