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Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!

 

DAMNIT KORRA

Michael MacWolff

Photo courtesy of, and starring WOLF Cosplay

Photo courtesy of, and starring WOLF Cosplay

Welcome back to another edition of throwback thursday here at MDC. this one really isn't much of a throwback considering I just wore it a few weeks ago, and my hair still hasn't fully recovered. But hey, I'm running out of viable options and I'm trying not to just give you an endless string of Fire Emblem cosplays cause that can get out of control quickly with my history. So here he is, the airbending Avatar child, Tenzin.

Sorting ourselves into the four nations has been a thing for as long as ATLA has been around, and I feel like the air nomads and I are besties. While I'm an Aries and therefore cosmicly associated with fire, I've never been a particularly fiery person except in limited situations. I'm much more of an evade/flank type person when it comes to taclking problems, rather than facing them head on. So it should come as no surprise that I've wanted to cosplay an airbender forever. I also have the usual disposition that most of you are aware of that I prefer to cosplay characters that don't get done as often, so Tenzin was a perfect fit. Not to mention it gave me a good excuse to wear a sour look on my face all day... which is wierd because I'm generally a pretty cheerful person XD. Tenzin is pretty much the Edgeworth of the ATLA/LOK world so naturally I was drawn to him.

photo courtesy of Lydia Joy Palmer

photo courtesy of Lydia Joy Palmer

In my usual costume repertoire, Tenzin is pretty much my perfect cosplay all wrapped up into one. Here's the list of criteria:

  1. Its easy to wear: Tenzin, while not really what I'd be wearing day-to-day in the real world, is pretty normal clothing compared to a lot of anime and video game characters. He wears pants and a long shirt (albeit technically a robe), a belt, and some capes. Yes, capes aren't really 'normal' either bit they're easy and fun to wear, so they're a bonus rather than a hindrance.
  2. Comfy shoes: 'nuf said.
  3. Wigs: I DON'T NEED ONE, HUZZAH! Hair is such an important facet to cosplay but wigs are expensive, a pain in the ass to cut & style, and are not comfortable to be wearing for long periods of time. The ideal hair situation for me is something where I can use my own hair, like Rhys (or like I tried to do with Kariya and will never do again cause it looks janky as hell). In this case, I do get to use my own hair by lopping it all off. And the bonus: I don't have to take a razor to my head because I'm a ginger; I just go to Great Clips and have them buzz it with a zero and it's short & light enough that I look bald. Ok, if you look super close you can see the tiny hairs, but all of my most impressive Tenzin photos are like that, I only actually Bic'ed my head (with the help of my wonderful roomie) once: the first time I wore it.
  4. It's good for pretty much any season: This costume is light enough that I'm not going to die in the summer but the capes are made out of a thick enough material to keep me relatively warm in the fall/winter. No, I would not stay outside for extended periods of time in -3* weather, but it can keep me warm enough walking from a car to the con center. The shoes are also not something I'd ever want to wear when it's raining or super deep snow cause they're just cloth, but that's beside the point.
  5. Recognition without repetition: As I've said before, I love doing cosplays that no one's done before, or that you see very infrequently. Tenzin fits that bill, although I do know someone personally who also cosplays him. But that's fine; I really have no qualms about seeing another cosplayer with the same costume. It's an instant bonding experience. But I'd prefer not to run into one every 50 ft. I walk down the hall at a convention. That's one of the reasons I don't like wearing Stein as much, because there are always so many Steins. Granted, I'm very proud of that costume and will wear it again because I feel I did a very good job with it, but it's nice when you're a bit rarer of a find at the con. Also, it's great to get stopped for pictures, and Tenzin gets lots of attention because the series is so popular and he's so recognizable. It's really hard to get that perfect balance between being recognizable and not having too many people who cosplay the same character and he fits in there beautifully.
  6. MOAR COSPLAYERS: By that I mean, I love cosplaying in a group cause it's more fun that way, and you're more likely to get stopped for photos. I have friends who also do Korra cosplays and I will now almost always bring Tenzin with me if one of them is doing their Korra cosplays.
Photo courtesy of Sean Vichinsky; featuring Danielle as Kya and WOLF Cosplay as Korra

Photo courtesy of Sean Vichinsky; featuring Danielle as Kya and WOLF Cosplay as Korra

Here's the gang and we had an awesome time standing in one spot in the hallway and being asked for photos every 3 minutes. Let's be honest, most cosplayers have at least a small degree of vanity and love it when that happens, I know I do.

My debut with Tenzin was at Ohayocon a few years ago, and as often happens with my new cosplays, I'm having so much fun wandering around the con in the new costume that I forget to have anyone I actually know take pictures of me. Fortunately I did actually get a couple that time.

Clearly I like the meditation pose given the last two photos. I've decided that any time I'm just sitting around waiting for someone I'm just going to do this. Yes, I'll probably miss some cool cosplayers wandering by, but it's a lot of fun and I thin people enjoy seeing it. I did this while I was waiting for my friend to use the bathroom at this past Colossalcon and while my eyes were closed I'm pretty sure I got my picture taken at least 3-4 times as I kept seeing flashes.

Weird airbending poses are obligatory as well when I'm cosplaying Tenzin. I look like such a derp, but not quite as much as the one from my next foray as Tenzin at Youmacon. It was nice and windy outside so I made my friend Josh go out and take pictures of me airbending. Great in theory but not in practice because it was too windy to keep my eyes open and stand posed for more then a few seconds without nearly falling over. Evidenced by this...

Fortunately the cape billowing was on an epic level, but I had my eyes open for 0 of the pictures and this is the photo where my face is the least contorted into pain and frustration as I'm attempting to open my eyes. Thankfully Youmacon is also the con where I have all of my awesome photos of this costume because David and Kyoko of Cerulean Photography did a little private shoot with me playing with my airbending scarves (which would have blown away if I'd tried to use them in that wind. All of the rest of the photos were taken by them.

This was one of the most fun and rewarding cosplay experiences I've had because I literally just got to dance around and play with my scarves while they took pictures, and you can totally tell that's exactly what's happening here XD
And the end result is this beautiful photoset! The only downside was since I was spinning and moving around so much, my capes kept getting skewed all wonky-like, but there's enough motion in the photos that it doesn't really matter.

And as a bonus, without my knowledge, Lydia Joy Palmer (who took that first photo I posted) was also taking pictures of me while I was dancing. Here are a few of her other photos, including one of my favorite close-up photos of me ever.

After this wonderful experience, I've been a lot more motivated to try to get professional photos of more of my costumes because they're just so darn pretty, and with as much time and effort as I put into my costumes, I want some nice photos of them.

Well that's all folks, so from this air nomad to all you benders and nonbenders out there, peace.