May 2017

All articles posted in May 2017.

Cosplay props and convention safety

This is not a topic I’d thought I would ever have to think about, much less write about, but the recent incident in Phoenix, Arizona has changed that. On Thursday, May 25thpolice arrested a man who had entered the Phoenix Comicon intending to kill actor Jason David Frank.

Frank was the target of Matthew Sterling who had entered the convention centre with a gun and other weapons. Sterling had also intended to kill any police officers who attempted to stop him. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Frank posted a statement on Facebook thanking his fans for support.

Following this unsettling event, Phoenix Comicon went ahead and banned all props, including those that didn’t look like weapons, from the convention centre. This isn’t the first time props have been banned from a convention; New York Comic Con has an incredibly strict policy on props and fake weapons.

Props, for those who aren’t familiar with term, are replicas of items used by a character in a game, comic, cartoon or television show, as part of a person’s costume. For example, someone dressed up as Link from The Legend of Zelda video game series would carry a copy of the Master Sword and Hylian Shield, both props, as part of their costume. Props can be made of any material — from cardboard, right up to plastic, fibreglass and metal. At certain conventions, attendees can bring in fake guns provided they have no trigger, no internal firing mechanism and marked with an orange tip. Many conventions ban props made of certain materials, including wood and metal, for obvious reasons.

Many conventions have prop checks/peace bonding at the main entrances. This is usually a set of tables where staff and/or law enforcement review any accessories brought into the venue to ensure it is not a safety hazard. Items that pass this inspection are marked with fluorescent ribbon as a visual indicator that the prop is approved for event. If staff find that the prop is being improperly brandished, the attendee in possession of that prop may be asked to take it back to their hotel room or vehicle or it could be confiscated by staff or police.

We live in a reactive society now, where one incident causes an immediate reaction to fix potential holes or to placate the public. Look at air travel — following several plots to destroy to aircraft with explosives hidden in shoes or liquid bombs, we’re subjugated to removing our footwear and pouring out our drinks before going through airport security. And that type of reaction now is spreading out to functions previously untouched by such stringent rules.

There’s two views on this topic: first in terms of safety and security, the banning of props is necessary to make sure staff and local law enforcement identify potential offenders easily and quickly, to minimize a dangerous scenario that could result in someone getting hurt. The second is that blanket banning all props is a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated event and unfair to all other participants because it covers everyone in costume and treats them as a likely threat.

You can argue that you can still cosplay without props. Sure, you can still dress up and look like the character, but it takes away from the experience. Continuing with using Link as the example, without the sword and shield, it’s just not the same. Sure, you can use one of other Link’s accessories, such as an ocarina, but it’s all up to the person based on their style and the look they want to achieve with their costume. But at the same time, there needs to be common sense — is it smart to bring a solid steel sword to a crowded venue? Or can that look be attained with a softer, plastic clone?

So now we’ve reached this point where we have to balance safety and fun. What are we allowed to bring in with our cosplay? Or do we just acquiesce because of the world we live in and accept it as the new norm that one idiot can ruin a space people can showcase their talent and love for a medium.

Hotel Vancouver ghost nothing more than red tarp

Earlier today, the Vancouver Sun ran a story about a ghost sighting in one of the city’s storied landmarks: the Hotel Vancouver’s Lady in Red. An elevator mechanic, Graham Scott, working on another building a block away, supposedly captured an image of the spirit using his cellphone. The image was also posted to Twitter.

According to legend, an ethereal woman clothed in a red dress haunts the upper floors of the Hotel Vancouver, which was built in 1939 and is the third structure to bear the name.

However, I happened to be on Burrard Street this morning, with my camera (of course) and looked up at the north side of the Hotel Vancouver. Lo and behold, there was a red square on one of the windows on the top floor. Using my 55-300 mm zoom, I snapped a clear shot of what looks to be a red tarp covering a shattered window.

Hotel Vancouver's Lady in Red

So, the mystery of the Lady in Red lives on.

Source: Vancouver Sun

Fairy Tail manga to end with volume 63

Fairy Tail volume 61

Fairy Tail volume 61

With volume 61 being released in Japan on May 17th, 2017, Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima revealed that there are just two more books coming to wrap up his manga series.

Once Fairy Tail finishes, Mashima said he is ready to work on a new story in a new world with different characters.

In North America, Fairy Tail volume 60 hits store shelves on May 30th, 2017.

Source: Natalie

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