With Super Con just a half hour south of me, I've requested off of work (I have to warn you now, that the tone of this site will turn slightly negative if that request is denied), and plan to be there introducing as many people as possible to Tart Acid and The Toxic Fruit Universe.
But people aren't just going to line up to try out a new title they've never heard of. We need something to draw them in. Some way to draw attention toward our character and what she represents.
So I thought back to my time walking around the Orlando Convention Center during MegaCon. Who was getting the most attention? Cosplayers dressed up as any number of comic book, fantasy or horror characters (For those outside of the loop, Cosplay stands for Costume Play, and it's basically a community of people who go to incredible lengths to dress like they're favorite characters. Sort of like semi-professional masquerade attendees) . Of those dressed up, who got 99.9% of the attention?
It's not surprising. In the least. So the solution is simple. Find ourselves a pretty girl. Dress her up as Tart and ask her to roam the convention, meeting, greeting and enticing interested readers to check us out.
I needed two things. A pretty girl. And a physical outfit.
I contacted one of my old friends Viktoria - who models and does promotional work - and asked her if she could help. No problem she said.
It is at this point in the story I got cocky. If finding a pretty, outgoing, funny, friendly, smart girl willing to dress up in a skimpy outfit and talk about my comic book took one Facebook message, then getting the outfit was going to be easy, peasy.
Nope. I have two very good friends who design clothing professionally. Both are very nice. And both are even busier than they are nice, so no dice there. One of the two contacted another friend who she said would "be perfect." This other girl is a punk rocker who splits her time doing music and creating cool, funky clothing. I had to agree. She did sound perfect. But within a few days I heard the bad news. This punk rock chick, was a real one. As in, she was on tour with her band, so any free time she might have had was out the window.
Never fear I told myself. I have a friend at work named Alisha who does Cosplay (Cosplays? Is a Cosplayer? Not sure what the correct term is?). She'll know somebody, I figured. She did. I contacted the first person and he answered my email immediately. That was a month and a half ago. He hasn't replied to an email, a Facebook message, or a voice mail since. I may be jumping the gun a bit, but I'm not sure he's reliable.
I asked Alisha if she had any other contacts and the second person was the height of professionalism. Though, his brand of professionalism was immediately telling me no. He's in the midst of opening his company, and wouldn't be up and running in time to help out in June (This was written just to present the facts, not to complain. I truly respected his honesty).
So that's when my wife Janet and I turned to another trustworthy friend: Google.
Unable to get anyone to build a costume based on Ludo's original design seen here:
we compromised. Instead of building an authentic battle outfit created straight from Ludovic's drawing, we did the next best thing. We decided to wing it. We searched the internets to find a costume that could reasonably replicate it. We eventually found a turquoise "Sexy Airline Attendant" outfit that was close. The next day I visited a costume shop and bought a slightly different one that will still work. It's a one piece, so something else had to be done to approximate Ludo's vision as closely as possible.
This is Viktoria in the original Halloween outfit. Those are her boots, by the way. I would never force a friend to wear boots like that. She assures me she can walk ten miles in them, no problem. I'm skeptical, but they're her feet.
The plan is, to have seamstress cut the dress at Viktoria's midsection. She'll then use the top portion to create Tart's jacket. She'll then take the remaining material to make a matching skirt.
I'd hoped to make shorts out of it to be more true to Ludo's design. I was looked at with pity, when I said this. I told them a skirt would do.
It's all in the seamstresses hands now. I hope to have photos of the finished outfit in the next week or so. In the meantime I'll leave you with this photo. I think it's right about the moment that Viktoria realizes exactly what she's agreed to do for me:
Have a great week, everybody!
Oh, and one other little thing. Since I haven't been able to find one, does anybody have a knife holster I can borrow that we can put around Viktoria's leg?