Aug 10, 2009

Burn baby, burn!

With blood and rage of crimson red,
Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead,
Together with our hellish hate,
We'll burn you all--That is your fate!

Some like it hot. Others, like the Red Lantern Corps, like it RAGING hot. When deciding what costume I should put together for the San Diego Comic Con this year, the Lantern Corps were the frontrunners. But which one? There are now eight different emotions and colors to choose from. I took a poll on my Twitter and the top three suggestions were Blue Lantern (Hope), Star Sapphire (Love) (no surprise there really) and Red Lantern (Rage). I originally was going to try and do two Lantern costumes, Red and Blue, on two different days but when putting together just one proved difficult, I decided to take it easy. Plus, it allowed me to go all-out on the Red Lantern. And let's face it, this was SDCC, I was either going to go big, or go home!

The first thing I knew I wanted was to get red contact lenses. As you can see from the first picture, they worked out nicely. My issue there was, I'd never worn contacts before. On advice from friends, I ordered them in advance and tried them on a few times before the convention to get used to them. It took me close to an hour to get them in the first time and I never got used to them but it was worth it. The only downside was, from far away, you couldn't tell they were red. I liked these contacts because they looked more like real eyes but I might invest in an all-red pair for next time.

In my opinion, the costume would be incomplete without blood because as you may or may not be aware, the Red Lanterns spew napalm-like blood from their mouths as one of their weapons. The fake blood capsules I opened in my mouth almost made me vomit immediately but once it started dribbling down my chin I toughed it out because it looked AWESOME. I screwed it up the first time so I had to use some more which resulted in the blood covering more of my chin than I wanted but it still looking good. Instead of doing a traditional Lantern mask, I opted for black makeup around my eyes. I tried a few different designs pre-con but went with one of the first I tried. I simply put the paint on my fingertips and dragged them down my face like I was clawing at myself in a fit of RAGE! :)










Of course a Lantern Corps member's most valuable asset is their power ring. DC hasn't ever given away Red Lantern rings, nor do they sell them so this was the biggest headache of the costume. I searched high and low on the internet and was coming up empty. Someone had a set but they were giant man-sized rings, not even close to my petite lady fingers and they never replied back when I asked about them anyway. I went to a craft store and bought a few items I figured I could use to create a make-shift ring but was pretty bummed as I knew it wouldn't come out all that great.

As luck would have it, my friend Beth pointed me in the direction of a fellow costumer named Shane who could help me out. He runs a forum called The League of Lanterns, which is a great resource for anyone putting together a Lantern costume or for those who already have (check it out because there's some AMAZING costumes on there). See these pretty light-up rings? He made them and was nice enough to make one in a dainty size 7 just for me. I can't thank you enough Shane!

And now we come to the little fella who stole the spotlight from me. I'm talking about everyone's favorite Rage Kitty, Dex-Starr (Dex-Star)! As soon as I saw that adorable purring face vomiting blood in Rage of the Red Lanterns I knew we were kindred spirits and that if I did a Red Lantern costume, he'd have to be part of it. Dex wasn't so tricky, just time consuming. Actually, I take that back. Finding a striped stuff cat was pretty hard. I found black cats, white cats, tan cats but no striped cats. I finally caught one online and had it shipped directly to my friend Beth, who documents her own amazing costuming over at Amber's Fashion Tips for Superheroes. She is the one who created Dex's little Red Lantern costume.

When I picked Dex up from Beth I practically died from cuteness overload but he wasn't complete yet. See, Dex-Starr is supposed to be blue. How do you turn a black and white striped stuffed cat black and blue? No, you don't kick him, you paint him. I found a permanent marker that was just the right shade I wanted and sat for a few hours painting all of the white fur. Luckily I didn't have to do his entire body since most of it was covered by the costume but it still took a long time. Afterwards he looked perfect, I on the other hand, had blue fingers. A little fake blood on his mouth a viola! He was the star of Comic Con International!

During the DC Nation panel I attended in costume, Dan DiDio spotted me and took Dex up to the podium to lord over the proceedings. That Darn Cat even took a few swipes at the panel. A few people that got up to ask questions asked where they could get one but Dan informed them he was one of a kind. What was extra cool was getting to meet creators of the Rage of the Red Lantern arc, Shane Davis and Geoff Johns afterward. They both loved the costume and I got really nice pictures with them.

As for the costume itself, the red leotard and black bodysuit I wore underneath were both Ebay finds. The first leotard I bought looked great online but was absolutely horrible in person and wound up not fitting anyway. I wasn't thrilled about the material of the leotard I wound up with but I really couldn't find anything else I even remotely liked. Getting the Red Lantern symbol on the chest was an issue until my friends mom, who does that sort of thing for a living, ironed it on for me.

The gloves were found at a party shop but the red boots gave me some trouble yet again. Not many stores carry red boots, least of all in the middle of summer, so I was stuck with shopping online. I purchased two different pairs, just to play it safe. One, found on Ebay, were an entirely different shade of red than what they appeared in the listing, the other were too tight. The winning pair came out of left field from my mother. She looked in only two stores and found these in the back of a fitting room at Joyce Leslie for $5! That's a mom for you.

So there you have it folks, my Red Lantern Corps costume. I can't wait to wear it again! Actually I am going to be doing a photoshoot, soon hopefully, with my brother who is a professional. If anyone has any recommendations for a cool setting/backdrop I could use that would accentuate the costume I'd love to hear it. I'm coming up blank.

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And finally, that wraps up my SDCC coverage. Here are the links to all my other articles if you haven't already read them. For my daily reports I made it out like I was writing diary entries and that I was having a love affair with SDCC. I can't wait for next year!!!

She’s jealously listened to all her friends gush over this thing called Comic-Con International for years. Now that The Nerdy Bird is finally here, what does she think? More importantly, what did she see?

What has red eyes, a blue cat and vomits blood? Red Lantern Nerdy Bird at her second day of Comic-Con International! But has Dex-Star stolen her thunder?

Saturdays at comics conventions are notoriously busy. There’s almost no use walking the show floor, so The Nerdy Bird decided to take in some of the best panels all week: “Lost,” IDW and “Blackest Night!”

The Nerdy Bird partied too hard her last night in San Diego and spent her last day at Comic-Con with the BBC. Miraculously, she’s made it out alive. Check out her final thoughts on her first ever CCI in her convention wrap-up!

BBC America hosted an extended panel at Comic-Con International, bringing one of its newest shows, “Being Human,” and it’s biggest hit, “Torchwood” to the stage for a panel of news and laughs.

"Astro Boy" and "Sorority Row" were just some of the offerings from Summit Entertainment but it was the cast of Twilight that fans camped outside for over a day to see.

And at the Girls Entertainment Network, a fan-cut if you will, of the Summit Panel focusing only on the Twilight cast, SDCC09 - Twilight: New Moon.

9 comments:

Amber Love said...

Such a great breakdown! I'll repost it for you. Thanks for sharing my link!

Randy said...

Thanks for posting this, Jill. I admit to much curiosity about how you cobbled that all together.

I think the fact that Dex stole the show from you is the most fascinating part of your story; right down to the part where Dan DiDio had him up at the podium for that DC panel.

As far as your professional shoot in the Red Lantern costume, I think something with a rather rocky backdrop could be cool. I don't know if you have anything like that where you are.

Aaron said...

Okay, that is a fantastic article and I covet your rings are awesome Red Rage!

mandyannemurray said...

Just fantastic, Jill. Awesome costume. I am sad I missed it. :D

Nick said...

Those rings are awesome!

http://nickleshi.blogspot.com

Denny said...

I'm amazed by all the work you put into your costume, as well as the cat. You truly have a passion for this! Nice job. Those glowing ring pics are very cool, as well.

The Nerdy Bird said...

Thanks Beth! No problem! You really helped me a lot.

You're welcome Randy. It was so cool with Dex though, he even got in the slideshow on DC's website!

Thanks Aaron! I actually only own the Red ring but those are others Shane has made.

I know Mandy!

Thanks Nick and Denny! It was a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

Love the rings! :)

Apparently someone on the net made awesome actual precious metal & stone ones a while ago, but DC hit them with a threat and they had to stop making them. :(

Those look like a cool second.

Gary said...

Hi, I met you at Big Apple Con in October. Nice costume and Dex!

Take care, cutie!