Thoughts Post ACMI Superheroes Beyond Conference
You may not realise it (I know I didn’t), but comics are actually are really powerful and influential form of media. I learnt so many things at the recent ACMI Superheroes Beyond Conference. Here are just a few of the things that the conference made me think about:
Appropriation vs. Appreciation vs. Mockery
This is a very relevant idea to me as a cosplayer as my aim in cosplay is to show appreciation to my favourite characters. Other people interpret this appreciation for appropriation and/or mockery. For example my favourite female Marvel character is Shuri from Black Panther and I would therefore love to cosplay her. Some people, however say that white people can only cosplay white characters and black people can only cosplay black characters. I personally think that no matter your race, gender, religion or anything it shouldn’t stop you from showing appreciation for your favourite character/s. This includes attempting to become them using cosplay.
When I cosplay I like to be as accurate as possible, while still feeling comfortable in the costume. I also want to respect the character/s, so I won’t ever be doing black face even for Shuri. Just because I have white skin shouldn’t mean I’m not allowed to like Shuri. Anyway I’ll post more on this later and hopefully progress pictures of my cosplay.
Death is Not Forever
Okay so the new Avengers trailer just dropped and there’s still no sign of Spider-Man, but we know that he’ll appear in Spider-Man Far From Home. We know the future within comics and movies without out even seeing or reading the current movie or comic. We know that whenever we see comic title announcing the death of a character (e.g. The Death of Superman) most people aren’t overly sad.
I loved Adam Daniel’s story of a eight year old girl who came out of seeing Infinity War sobbing only to be told her favourite characters aren’t really dead because the actors still have more contracts.
Characters never change
Thor will always be Thor and Loki will always be Loki. This goes for every comic book character. Their origin stories may even be altered, but never completely changed (permanently). I’m not referring to spin off stories or alternate universes like in Spider-Gwen, but in every main version or adaption the characters generally stay pretty much the same.
I’m a big Loki fan, so the facts in the above video aren’t that surprising. They do however demonstrate that through the many years and various adaptions he’s pretty much stayed the same.
Characters Must Change
Okay this might seem like I’m contradicting my last point, however although characters never change they need to change to an extent to fit with the times.
Captain America was originally created to fight the Nazis and the Japanese. If he continued fighting the Germans and Japanese in today’s society just imagine what people would think. Many Marvel fans are German or Japanese, so it could be very offensive.
For cosplayers it means you don’t have to be of a certain gender, religion or race to be able to look like or relate to Marvel characters.
Comics Saving the Planet
It was fascinating to hear from Octavia Cade and Henry Kamerling on how comics can make us think about how we as humans affect the environment. There are many characters who embody nature that we fall in love with, probably the most famous being Groot.
Some people might think it’s crazy to love and care about a tree, but essentially that’s what Groot fans do. If we cared as much about trees in real life as much as we loved Groot then the world would be a better much more beautiful place.
These days comics have become more than just comics they’re now: movies, video games, toys, card games, T-shirts etc. Some comic to movie adaptions are really hated even by fans. I personally think they could have done a better job in adapting Hela in Thor Ragnarok.
The panel on Superheroes on TV focused on how comics are adapted for TV. This was really fascinating for me since the main comic adapted TV series I have watched are Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. and the Flash. My family and I have only recently gotten Netflix, so I have a lot of catching up to do.
If I did a Panel…
I really wish I could have gone for the whole conference. There was so much yesterday and today I would have really enjoyed seeing.
I really love being able to watch the rest of the conference online.
If I did a panel myself it would have been about cosplay. So basically how cosplayers become their heroes and sometimes even meet their heroes. Just like Fahrlight:
I especially love it when at the same event Tom Hiddleston surprises his fans:
Here in Australia Thor of Oz is especially famous for looking like Thor:
Anyway who knows maybe one day I could do my own panel at a conference like this or even at a convention….