One of the great things about attending San Diego Comic-Con is being introduced to hundreds–if not thousands–of new characters you have never seen. They come by way of cosplayers who have spent countless hours matching their wardrobe, armor, weapons, and other props to conjure well-known characters. Many are mash-ups of multiple characters. Some aren’t specific characters but evoke a time or place. Rarer yet are costumes cosplayers just decide to make of their own creations. It appears that it is this last group that will be featured on a new Syfy Channel series called Cosplay Meleé.
After the break, check out a preview of the new series. This is Syfy’s second foray into a cosplay-themed series. The first was Heroes of Cosplay, a short-lived show that filmed professional and semi-professional cosplayers preparing to compete at various comic book and pop culture conventions across the U.S. That show had the benefit of not being a Top Chef-variant series–viewers actually watched as the cosplayers built their costumes, usually based on characters from movies, TV, or anime, and they had the same time they would have in real life to build their cosplay. Certain contestants showed the positive side of cosplay, like the amiable contest winner Chloe Dykstra, and certain contestants… didn’t. A recent similar show began in 2015 on British Channel 4 called WTF is Cosplay?
The hook for Cosplay Meleé for many genre fans will be host Yvette Nicole Brown, co-star of the TV series Community. A make-up and special effects crewman from various movies (Christian Beckman) and a model (LeeAnna Vamp) will serve as co-judges with Brown. Four new contestants will be featured on each show, with a $10,000 prize at stake.
Now that you’ve watched it at a 45 degree angle through the lens of a fuzzy cell phone camera in the dark, it’s time to see what you missed. It’s the motley band of DC Comics’ own Dirty Dozen (give or take), the Suicide Squad. The trailer premiered at the DC Entertainment/Warner panel this past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, and millions watched it before Warner Bros. & Co. decided to go ahead and release the real thing Monday.
If a little make-up throws you off a bit, here’s the line-up: Jai Courtney (Terminator Genisys) is Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne (Anna Karenina) is Enchantress, Will Smith (Men in Black, Independence Day) is Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop) is Flagg, Margot Robbie (Pan Am) is Harley Quinn, Jay Hernandez (Grindhouse) is El Diablo, Adam Beach (Cowboys & Aliens) is Slipknot, Karen Fukuhara is Katana, and our favorite, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, G.I. Joe, Thor: The Dark World), is Killer Croc. Oh, right, and Jared Leto (Urban Legend, My So-Called Life) is The Joker.
A pretty diverse group for a superhero universe hive of scum and villainy.
Here’s the trailer for Suicide Squad:
As part of its programming for San Diego Comic-Con International 2014, Marvel Entertainment is offering a new online video series about cosplay. Providing a beginner’s guide for one way to put together a superhero costume, the episodic series of approximately 6 minute segments launched yesterday at Marvel.com and on Marvel’s YouTube channel.
Similar in concept to the Syfy Channel’s Heroes of Cosplay, the Marvel series is slowing things down a bit and going step-by-step, beginning with selection of character by a cosplayer heading to SDCC later this month. That character is the Scarlet Witch, and cosplayer Lorraine Cink, host of Marvel’s online series The Watcher is the cosplayer who will wear the final costume. The show is put together by Judy Stephens, associate producer of The Watcher.
Episode 1 sets up the series and has Cink and Stephens enlisting the work of a professional Broadway production costumer, Carly Bradt, to design the costume. Her method may be more or less elaborate than those used by some cosplayers, beginning with a design sketch and translating that to a dress form and creating the costume from a pattern. A lot of cosplayers may get the same effect by using a commercial pattern as a starting point and adjusting for the character requirements from there. Still, with two episodes per week leading up to SDCC 2014, the show is bound to contain some tips cosplayers may find useful.
Future episodes will feature wig expert, Katie Hondrogen and professional cosplayer, Yaya Han, one of the stars of Heroes of Cosplay.
After the break we have the first episode of the new series, titled Marvel Method: Cosplay:
Happy New Year!!!
So what do we do now? How about a look at the start dates for our favorite TV shows? Many are already in progress, like Almost Human, Arrow, Dracula, Grimm, Major Crimes, The Michael J. Fox Show, New Girl, and Sleepy Hollow. Some don’t have new season premiere dates yet, like Bates Motel, Continuum, Doctor Who, Heroes of Cosplay, Mr. Selfridge, and Warehouse 13.
The most anticipated series is very likely the three-episode third season of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, finally coming back to PBS this month.
The biggest question is whether Haven will get renewed for a fifth season on Syfy. The end of Season 4 was really getting better and Syfy just can’t leave us with that cliffhanger finale.
Update yours DVRs! Here’s what we’re going to be watching in 2014 at borg.com:
Almost Human – Season 1 continues January 6 on Fox
Arrow – Season 2 continues January 15 on CW
Bates Motel – Season 2 begins in March to A&E
By Elizabeth C. Bunce
Last week Syfy premiered its new reality series, Heroes of Cosplay, which follows a group of hardcore hobbyists on the convention and competition circuit. borg.com readers will know that cosplay (costume play) is a branch of the costuming hobby that’s all about dressing up as your favorite genre characters, from fantasy, sci-fi, gaming and especially anime. Frankly, we were a little skeptical—another reality competition series? And, will they make the costuming community look like buffoons? But we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed it.
As is the norm with reality series these days, the pilot featured a fair amount of drama, melodrama, psychodrama, and a little bit of cosplay. Filmed at Wizard World in Portland, Oregon, this February, the episode offered tantalizing glimpses at a number of recognizable and wish-we-knew-what-that-was awesome hand-crafted character recreations. The culmination of the episode was Wizard World’s first cosplay competition, featuring our intrepid stars and some unidentified cosplayers from the con, and their amazing and prize-worthy work. The wonderful, giant My Neighbor Totoro costume (which made third in the competition) was not by one of the cast members but may just have to be added to the borg.com list of best ever cosplay costumes at a Con.
The main cast is made up of a number of hobbyists and aspiring professionals, and helmed by famed professional cosplayer (yes, evidently there is such a thing!) Yaya Han. The inclusion of Han, now a judge instead of a competitor, offers a much-needed stability and authority, and she seems to fill the role of unofficial series host.