Mazes and Monsters Lives On

mazes-cover-22Looking up Mazes and Monsters, Rona Jaffe’s 1981 novel about Dungeons & Dragons, for a previous post introduced me to an astonishing phenomenon: the Mazes and Monsters fan community. Yes, it exists! Sort of!

There are two things worth noting about the Mazes and Monsters fan community.

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Comics Shoes: Stylin’ or Stupid?

Food for thought: Comics shoes.

FANBOYS: If your girlfriend showed up sporting these, what would you do? Multiple choice options after the jump!

comics-shoe

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Project Runway: Geekier Than You’d Imagine

As it clomps down to the wire, it’s becoming clear that there’s a diabolical link between Bravo’s Project Runway and fandom.

First there were the sleeves on designer Vincent’s pageant gown, which prompted guiding force Tim Gunn to say, “These ridiculous epaulette sleeves, talk about ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’! I mean, where were they going, to Judy Jetson’s birthday party?”

Then Phaolo of Project Yawnur compared the four designers remaining in the contest to the Fantastic Four.

fantastic-four-project-runway-yawnur

The Invisible Woman was Uli, who “went unnoticed for most of the season.” Jeffrey was The Thing because he “doesn’t care who he steamrolls over.” Laura was “Stretch” (I think he means Ms. Fantastic) because of her uniquely mobile facial expressions. Michael was the Human Torch because he’s … uh… hot and stuff. (3 out of 4 ain’t bad.)

Then the most recent episode prompted recapper Rich of fourfour to compare one designer to Gollum:

“Angela thinks fleurchons are preshhhhhhusssssss”

As well as comparing host Heidi Klum’s hair to the work of H.R. Giger.

Finally, a fourfour commenter posited a link between designer Jefferey’s neck tattoos and Trek:

“Don’t you think Jeffrey’s neck is channeling a member of the Cardassian empire? Gul-lejerk maybe? “

He even linked to that geekiest of sites, Star Trek Gaming Universe!

You know what this means? It’s only a matter of time before Peter Jackson and David Tennant start turning up on the cover of Vogue. In costume. (Jackson will simply choose a costume.)

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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