Saturday, June 17, 2017

Eternal Romance, OSFS and Canada all celebrate anniversaries in 2017

Eternal Romance #1
2017 marks a number of anniversaries, including the 20th anniversary of my supernatural comic book Eternal Romance, the 40th anniversary of the Ottawa Science Fiction Society (OSFS), and the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation.

My roots are in Canada, comics and fandom, so there are lots of reasons to celebrate.

Forty years along, OSFS is not the same organization as when I first became involved years ago, and there's a reason for that.

In the early days of OSFS, fen (plural for fan) came together because there really wasn't anywhere else to go. We were seeking like-minded people who loved to read science fiction, fantasy and comic books. We were delirious with joy when we found others who adored Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and even wanted to dress up like characters from those stories.

We didn't have a con to go to and show off our costumes or shop for geeky things, so we created one: Maplecon.

Janet as General Leia at Ottawa Comiccon 2017
We did those things before they were cool. Now there's a comic-con every weekend, and a new Star Wars movie every year. I can walk into a comic book shop and buy a Green Lantern ring or a Wonder Woman tiara or a Spider-Man hoodie that makes a pretty good makeshift costume if I want to -- something that I could only dream of in my youth.

I remember OSFS members calling people who didn't share our passions "mundanes." The mundanes didn't get us. J.K. Rowling called these types of people "muggles" -- the ones who didn't understand or who didn't embrace the magic.

The mainstream has embraced the magic.

OSFS has had an impact. We have been the trailblazers. OSFS is not the same organization it once was, but we should recognize and celebrate what it accomplished.

OSFS gave us a voice, an outlet for our passions, and for many, lifelong friendships.

Happy 20th anniversary Eternal Romance, happy 40th anniversary OSFS, and happy 150th anniversary of Confederation Canada!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

General Leia makes for great costuming

One of the greatest gifts that Carrie Fisher bequeathed to fans is a Leia for all ages -- from rebel princess to rebel slave to rebel general in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

When I first started attending conventions, one of the best and most fun activities was creating costumes of favourite science fiction and comic book characters. (We called it costuming, not cosplay, back in the day BTW.) I even won some awards. While I never created or wore a Princess Leia costume, I am now of an age and body type that a General Leia costume suits better.

I am more of a costume assembler than seamstress, so I found pieces at the Value Village thrift shops. I searched the Internet to look at photos of the movie costume and kept my eye out for items. I am pretty happy with the result.

The first piece I found was the plum/purple vest - $6.49. I was actually looking for pieces for a Jyn Erso costume (which I have also been assembling), but grabbed this vest when I saw it.

The next piece I found were the boots - $6.99. I love the fact they are tall with flat heels and super comfortable.

I looked for some time, but could not find a jumpsuit or flight suit in my size at a reasonable price. What I did find was an army green shirt that fit well - Tommy Hilfiger - $11.99.

On a separate trip, I found army green cargo pants that are a close match to the shirt - $14.99.

Then I located a belt to complete the look - $3.99. It's not exactly the same buckle that General Leia wears, but it works fine for my costume.

I do not have General Leia's double sapphire ring. The button on the vest says Join the Resistance. The cost to date is under $45.

I'll talk about my Jyn Erso.costume - I'm calling it Jan Erso - at another time!

You can chat with me about costuming and comics at the Ottawa Comiccon, EY Centre, May 12-14, 2017. See you there!

-- Janet Hetherington