my favorite thing out of SDCC this year was the cosplay

So all of the news I’ve seen so far from San Diego Comic Con seems to be about things I’ve already decided not to care about: Wonder Woman’s costume in that movie I have no interest in seeing, sneak peeks of that Flash TV show I have no intention of watching, new characters announced for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which I tapped out on early. I realize this intro makes me sound like a curmudgeon—I’m not, really, I just know what I like and I ignore what I don’t. The comics-verse is easier to stomach that way.

Anyway, I’ve mostly spent the last couple of days admiring everyone’s cosplay and ignoring the “news” entirely. I love cosplayers. I love that there are people who love these characters so much that they take the time to do this. Below are some of my faves from the last few days. (You can click each image for the source, unless I’ve messed something up horribly.)

First though, as a side note, it was extremely difficult to find pictures of black cosplayers. I know they were there, I’ve heard about some cool ones and I’ve seen some in the background of other pictures. I know they will start appearing on the internet as everyone gets home from the con (cosplayingwhileblack has started to post some), but the fact that I trawled through a dozen mainstream media “Best 5 billion cosplays of SDCC 2014” lists and found nothing is really disheartening. Come on, SDCC photogs. You’re better than this. Edit: Found some! Scroll to the end of the post for a few more POC cosplay images and links.

On to the pictures.

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Thor is all about the attitude. Is she worthy? You better believe it.

The smallest Rocket Raccoon.

The smallest Rocket Raccoon.

Adrianne Curry always brings it.

Adrianne Curry always brings it, this time as the original Silk Spectre.

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Love the story behind this Uhura, click on the image to go to the tumblr post.

Crow T. Robot.

You’ve never looked better, Crow T. Robot.

The Captains will have none of your nonsense, please.

The Captains will have none of your nonsense, please.

Russell and the house from Up. It takes some dedication to cosplay as a HOUSE.

Russell and the house from Up. It takes some dedication to cosplay as a HOUSE.

Either an awesome dress or some serious groping. #infinitygauntlet

Either an awesome dress or some serious groping. #infinitygauntlet

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Devourer of Worlds + Herald. One of them wears a lot of clothes and one of them does not.

Possibly the most perfect Catwoman cosplay ever. (Adrianne Curry again.)

Possibly the most perfect Catwoman cosplay ever. (Adrianne Curry again.)

If you want more, Comics Alliance did a good round-up of some cosplayers, here’s Parts One, Two, and Three. I also recommend cosplayingwhileblack (which I mentioned above) and Adorable BBs in Cosplay.

EDITED TO ADD (mid-afternoon July 28th)

The woman who runs the kids cosplay tumblr above directed me towards a few more of her images, so here are a few more awesome people of color cosplaying at SDCC.

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The new Ms. Marvel! This girl is rockin’ it OUT.

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Loving this Static Shock.

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This Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph took more dedication than I have ever had about ANYTHING. Majorly impressive.

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5 Comics to Read on a Beach

I spent much of last week beachside, getting some sun and drinking some drinks and reading some books. I packed too many books, as usual (I always overestimate how much reading I’m going to do when I travel) but it made me think about what comics would be nice, easy beach reads. A lot of comics today are angsty, angry things and sometimes you just need something with an easy vibe that doesn’t weigh you down.

So ta-da! Here’s the beginnings of a list. Please add your own in the comments!

Catwoman 1: Trail of the Catwoman
Darwyn Cooke and Ed Brubaker

One thing that will become clear as this blog continues is that I am a sucker for Darwyn Cooke’s art. You could be all, “Grace, we’ve created a book that eats your fingers as you turn the pages. We’ve put Darwyn Cooke sketches on every page.” and I would be all, “Gimme.” So that’s the main reason I originally picked this comic up. It’s kind of a crime/heist thriller with a noir aesthetic, starring everyone’s favorite cat burglar Selina Kyle. It even has a Florida beach scene! Obviously this book was written expressly for this list.

810YhrDk40LHawkeye 1: My Life as a Weapon
Matt Fraction and David Aja

If you’ve followed me anywhere on the internet in the past year or two, you’ll know this is one of my favorite ongoing comics right now. I love Clint (Hawkeye), I love Kate (also Hawkeye), I love how Clint and Kate interact, I just love the attitude of this story. The book has wit, adventure, and a healthy dose of humor as Clint focuses on his life outside of the Avengers.

(Aside: I would like to also point out that in the penultimate episode of season one of Tim Gunn’s show Under the Gunn, when they had to design outfits based on one of four Marvel characters, this is the book that one of the designers was unable to put down when his future on the show was at stake. (There is probably a pretty slim Project Runway/Marvel comics crossover group, but man I am smack in the middle of that Venn diagram.) It’s a gripping read, folks. If you don’t believe me, believe the designers of Under the Gunn.)

Drama
Raina Telgemeier

Telgemeier almost needs no introduction at this point. Either of her young adult graphic novels would make a good-natured beach read; I picked Drama because I love the main character, Callie, a quirky theater kid working on a play at her middle school. She has to juggle problems on- and off-stage, from cute-but-difficult boys to a cannon that won’t fire to a theater budget with no wiggle room. Definitely a light and easy read for a blistering beach day.

Also, aside from being a cute story, this book has another benefit for a traveler: it’s nice and compact. Hey, this is an important consideration given what baggage fees are these days.

All-Star Superman (two volumes or one supervolume, depending which edition you buy)
Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

A Superman classic, timeless in its beauty, an excellent all-American read for an all-American beachy vacation. I honestly didn’t really understand Superman before I read this book, didn’t understand what was so interesting about a simplistic hero from the 30s. This book showed me the light; this book is all the Superman you’ll ever need. Ignore what’s happening in comics and movies right now, this is Superman, the optimistic, strangely human (but definitely alien) Superman that reflects the best of our humanity. Read this.

9781596438651Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas
Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks

Let’s throw a little non-fiction into this list, shall we, with last year’s Primates. This book drops a lot of information on you but it’s presented in a fun, engaging way. It tells the stories of three of the last century’s most significant primatologists (who all happen to be women) and really shows their love for their work. Jim Ottaviani keeps a sprawling topic very tight in his storytelling, and Maris Wicks has a really cute artistic style and a knack for nature art that really shines here.

That’s it for me. Do you have any favorite summer comics reads? Click the link, leave a comment, add to the list!