To Masque or Not to Masque: Comic-Con says Yea!

masqueradeComic-Con’s Saturday night Masquerade Ball/Costume Contest is a staggering affair. Some 4,000 people attend, and another couple thousand who can’t fit into the main ballroom hang out in two secondary ballrooms watching a simulcast of the judging. If you want to take pictures, you have to apply for a pass to the “photo stage” outside the ballroom. I think that’s like the area backstage at the Oscars where the celebs speak to the clamoring press.

Pretty spiffy, yeah? Well, it hasn’t kept the web site’s description of the event from taking a rather … defensive tone:

Costumes are a vital ingredient of nearly all of the popular arts. [bold type in original] Movies, plays, comic books, fantasy art, musical performances, and even toy collectibles owe at least part their popularity to the skill in which the human form is attired. Costumes take us to characters, places, and experiences in ways words and setting cannot do on their own. Whether it’s a knight in shining armor, a colorful super-hero, a regal elf, a villain from a galaxy far away, an exotic enchantress, a robot warrior, an Egyptian goddess, or a completely original design, costumes always inspire, awe, and entertain us.

A few things:

-That first sentence has a nice imposing ring. I especially like the phrase “the popular arts.” You know, I’ve been writing about pop culture for years, and I have never, ever heard that phrase. I guess it took a comic geek to come up with something so fancible.

-“Even toy collectibles” owe their popularity to cosplay? “Even”? I don’t think the connection surprises anyone but the author.

-How did “a regal elf” make it into the mix? I smell under-the-table pro-elf lobbying. Still, as special interests go, the elves don’t have half the influence of the Exotic Enchantress PAC.

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