THE WICKED + THE DIVINE
AMBER LOVE 28-JULY-2015 As I said the day after I debuted my Amaterasu cosplay at the Garden State Comic Fest, I didn’t expect too many to know the character, but I’m surprised absolutely no one did. Maybe because of Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, I pay attention to certain things and back when THE WICKED + THE DIVINE was first published at Image Comics, I noticed the creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie using the hashtag #WicDiv. It was short for Twitter length and gathered the fans. It provided a place, like BITCH PLANET’S #noncompliant tag or Carol Danvers and Kamala Khan #carolcorps for CAPTAIN and MS. MARVEL. This is where everyone is part of something united.
The cool thing about comics like WicDiv is that the characters are in street clothes. They’re flamboyant as hell, but you can find a lot of inspiration in actual clothes worn in the 80s. Here’s where McKelvie’s art always feels strong. He reminds everyone of the 80s iconic artist Patrick Nagel. I have a large Nagel art book on my shelf. I had Nagel pieces on my walls, some of which were copies I made in high school art class. Though he wasn’t skin tone diverse, he loved showing personality in his subjects while combining regional club fashion from seasides or punk cities like NYC. You’ll find almost exclusively white women and men with black hair. It was Nagel’s tone. McKelvie builds this into a better, more diverse visual by including gender-bending gods, different skin colors and even a token elderly figure. Surprisingly, I didn’t get into McKelvie’s PHONOGRAM, but I enjoyed SUBURBAN GLAMOUR and it’s where I took notice of his art.
What I would’ve loved to do, was create a believable costume for one of The Morrigan aspects. I love all of them. You can see this fanbase has formed its own cult. Everyone loves the gods and goddesses. There’s cosplay of it seemingly everywhere! But I went to a show of roughly 5,000 and not one had even heard of the book. If you read my recap of the GSCF, you read that I encountered a Marvel cosplayer who hadn’t heard of Image Comics.
I don’t think there’s too much tutorial here, but I figured, I can at least explain what I put together to get the look of Amaterasu. As I type this, Pandora decided to play Cyndi Lauper. Exceptionally appropriate!
Clothes: I was fortunate that I was given a long white gauze skirt which came with a braided rope belt. The shirt was $20 from Jennifer Lopez’s collection at Kohl’s. That’s all the money I personally spent to put this together. It’s see-through so I wore an old white cotton cami underneath. Everything else was stuff I had. Shoes – originally I put on white Keds thinking they’d be good flats to wear out, but after five minutes my right foot was in excruciating pain – from sneakers. I was just about to leave the house and even had the car started. I ran back inside and put on my clunky but supportive slip-ons from Cabela’s. They’re ugly and tan, but whatever. My feet called for it. No more 16-hour cons in gogo boots for me.
Wig: I can’t even recall where I bought my red wig, but I used it for years for Firestar. I haven’t had much use of it since, but it’s pretty and this character would be a good reason to wear it. My problem with all long wigs is that, just like my long hair, the back becomes a massive tangled mess after an hour. One thing about my cosplay budgets, I hate to go over $40 for a wig. They are worth it when you spend more. But for something I may only use once or twice? I just can’t justify it. My hair is really long so I made two French braids along the sides then pinned them up.
Jewelry: I used to be rather addicted to jewelry, the good stuff from jewelry stores and less expensive but more expressive stuff from pagan shops and flea markets. Needless to say, there’s an entire dresser drawer of pieces I should wear once in a while. I wore one of my tiaras that’s actually a pagan priestess circlet; and then I had the “perfect” necklace, but it was silver instead of gold. Oh well. The shirt was covered in silver dots anyway so silver was going to be it. The circlet didn’t match then, but too bad. Budget! I complimented the bulky necklace with a long chain with several wired quartz pieces and tiny goddess silhouette charm.
Makeup: I went through basic steps. Sunscreen. Foundation. Primer on my eyes. My lips were cracked so I put Vitamin E with aloe on them too. I had previously tested out applying the eye mask makeup. It’s a rainbow of feathery colors and was easy but time-consuming. I added a layer of powder which was foundation powder combined with setting powder that I mixed together. Unfortunately, I can’t find my excellent barrier spray that keeps makeup in place all day. I used Ben Nye creme stacks for the colors. I used Avon black eyeliner on my water line. And plain old Avon black mascara. And then layered a bunch of lip colors trying to find one that would stay on more than five minutes. I had to wipe off the Vitamin E, but by then the cracks weren’t so bad. The top color was Avon “Twig” which is my every day color.
Props: I took my Behringer podcasting mic off the stand and brought it along for one final touch. I tied it on the belt. It was pretty heavy, but never fell off.
The end result was good. I was comfortable except for wanting to get the makeup and wig off. The outfit itself was fine except that I step on the skirt unless I pull it awkwardly too high. I’m short.
As I vented on my other report of the con, not many pictures exist of the full outfit because no one asked to take my photo except one of my friends and one photographer who thought I was Princess Leia.