Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gorilla Superman at Comic-Con International 2014


Let me start out by saying that I have sold my gorilla costume.  A gorilla costume has quite a number of uses, and one could make the claim that every gentleman should own a gorilla suit for various reasons.  I don't intend to dispute that claim (which is real and totally not just made up by me), but after wearing my own costume to the point that I thought people might start to believe that I had some kind of monkey fetish, I felt that it was time to move on.  Since buying my gorilla costume, I've worn it to a Pirates playoff game (who would have thought?), to a Halloween party, given it to Larry to wear in a Franks and Beans episode, lent it to my dad so he could wear it...and finally, I wore it to Comic-Con.  So I had gotten my use out of it, is what I'm saying.

For some reason, when I decide on a costume theme, I'm interested in dressing up as a character who is in turn dressed up as something else.  And since we were talking about Comic-Con, having an ape dress up as a superhero seemed a natural fit.  And so Gorilla Superman was born.


In 2013, I took my Frankenberry costume to Comic-Con, only to leave it in its bag to go unworn for the show.  This is because...there's a lot to do at Comic-Con.  When Sunday rolled around in 2014 and I hadn't yet unveiled Gorilla Superman, I knew it was do or die time.  If nothing else, I had to justify the inordinate amount of space this costume took up in my suitcase, so I took it out, put it on, and did a lap around the hall.


For whatever reason, kids seemed to be drawn to Gorilla Superman.  I got more reactions out of kids than anyone else.  Most of the reactions were very good, though not all...


...as was the case with this little girl with the Ninja Turtles backpack.  She was TERRIFIED of the suit, and her mom pulled her out of line when I got near.  Is inadvertently scaring children funny?  You can decide.


For the most part, I was happy to just get a chance to wear the damn costume before I got rid of it once and for all.  The Superman costume was a patchwork job, though not as intensive as the Jet Boy/Jet Girl costumes from 2012.  The Superman costume originally came as one piece, which was then cut to show off the gorilla midriff.  I bought the two embroidered emblems as the cape did not originally have one, and the chest logo was pretty terrible, and so it was replaced by this more authentic version.  The cape was attached with clasps on the neck of the suit.  Overall, I was really happy with the way the Superman part of the costume turned out.  It was a shame to have to cut it in half.


This year at Comic-Con was much hotter than usual.  Instead of the normal 72 degrees all day every day, temperatures reached up toward 90 on most days.  This led to some uncomfortable moments in line, and even inside, it was almost intolerable inside of a gorilla suit, with a spandex Superman costume over top.  This was the main reason that I didn't venture outside while wearing the costume...as it was, I was sweating profusely and more than a little delirious (seriously) when I made the loop back to the small press table.  Breathing heavily inside of a gorilla mask is not recommended on the best of days.


I ran into a really nice Superman/Lois Lane combo somewhere in the 3000 rows.  Superman had a really nice, high quality costume, and to top it all off, he was about 6'3" and barrel chested, so he fit the part pretty well.


Lois here told me that she would write about this in the Daily Planet.  Apparently the damn foot flap on this thing kept flipping up as I walked.  Also, the pants of my suit kept shifting down, but I was able to manage with it for the hour or so that I had the costume on.


There probably couldn't have been a better juxtaposition of images at the DC booth than the giant backdrop seen above.  Gorilla Superman in front of a billboard-sized image of Superman punching a gorilla.  What are the odds?


A few feet away from the Superman signage, there was a MAD Magazine display that also seemed apropos.  I hadn't planned on getting a picture in front of it (because I was about to die of heat exhaustion), but I was asked by a guy with an expensive camera to take one.  It was a weird experience.  I mean, part of the reason I wore the costume was to pose for pictures, and I took a good number of them with and for other people along the way.  But this guy kept positioning me and re-positioning me.  He must have taken two dozen pictures.  All this as there were hundreds of other, better costumes in the surrounding area.  I had no idea what to do!  Obviously, I've got no clue as to what it's like to be ogled like many women in costumes are, but perhaps this gave me a little bit of insight into that ordeal...and it was super creepy.  And I was a guy with an ape mask on.

This last experience notwithstanding, I'm glad that I was able to get one more session out of ye ole' gorilla suit, before shipping it off to who knows where, where it'll begin a new life.  We'll see what further conventions bring, but I'll be happy to take a break from costuming for a while.

Oh, and I didn't get as many Beppo comments as you might think.

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