‘Heroes of Cosplay’ is a horrible TV show

Heroes of Cosplay is a reality show on Syfy that focuses on people who compete in cosplay, the art of dressing up as characters from comic books, movies, anime, or pop culture. The show follows the same small group of cosplayers as they travel to various comic book and anime conventions to compete for prizes.

So far every episode has followed the same predictable pattern: the heroes battle the clock, getting their costumes ready for a competition. The tensions run high as they struggle to get their creations completed in time.

Some “heroes” are better at this than others.

It’s hard to know exactly how much of what’s shown on Heroes of Cosplay is staged by the producers and how much organically just happens. Since it’s a reality show and it’s on Syfy, if I had to guess, I’d say it’s completely staged. The whole we-are-out-of-time-and-must-hurry formula is reminiscent of just about every bad home improvement show I’ve ever seen.

One of the things about Heroes of Cosplay I don’t understand is why the heroes need a different costume for each show. Instead of half-assing a costume at the last minute for each event, why not work on a single costume and spend all your free-time time perfecting it? If the heroes actually did this, spoiler alert, they might actually win some of these competitions.

It’s mentioned that cosplay is every expensive, but it’s never specified how the heroes pay for everything. I realize this is a reality show and not a documentary, but not explaining how the heroes can afford to travel the country, stay in upscale hotels, and attend events, leaves a massive hole in the story. Is Syfy footing the bill?

Too many of the heroes are using cosplay as a stepping stone to do bigger and better things. If cosplay is so awesome, why do so many of the heroes wish to be doing something else?  Jesse Lagers, the lone male contestant, is using cosplay as a vehicle to get a fulltime gig as a costume or prop maker. Wouldn’t working in community theater be a better means for this?  Of all the heroes, Yaya Han is about the only one who seems to be where she wants to be. She evidently is well known in the cosplay community and is a self-described ambassador of cosplay. She has quite a few revenue streams based solely on her cosplay. Because she’s so scary good at cosplay, she doesn’t even compete in the competitions. She normally only judges.

Heroes of Cosplay can be seen on Syfy, Tuesdays at 10:00 pm. It’s not very good, but it’s watchable and somewhat entertaining, though probably not in a way intended.

If you have a problem with 'How I Met Your Mother' being at San Diego Comic-Con, blame the IRS

The San Diego Comic-Con is going on this weekend. It’s the country’s largest, annual comic book convention. At least it’s supposed to be. Contrary to what the name implies, every year the event is a little less about comic books and a little more about stuff that doesn’t have to do with comic books, mainly TV shows and movies.

Sometimes the TV shows and movies promoted at San Diego Comic-Con make sense. They’re either related to the medium of comic books in some discernible way, such as the newest X-Men movie, or they feature a genre popular with the same type of nerds that dig comic books, for example, the upcoming Godzilla movie. Other times, the TV shows and movies promoted at San Diego Comic-Con don’t have anything at all to do with comic books or geek culture, such as the TV show How I Met Your Mother.

I’ve watched one or two episodes of How I Met Your Mother, and I can confidently say that the show has nothing to do with comics or comics culture. So what’s it doing at San Diego Comic-Con?

Remember when the story about the IRS and the Tea Party started making the rounds online and on Fox News? Basically, various Tea Party groups were applying to the IRS for tax-exempt status based on the criteria that they were social welfare organizations. Who knew having members protest with signage showing Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache made your group a social welfare organization?

Agents at the IRS began giving extra scrutiny to these applications because the Tea Party is a political group, not a social welfare organization. They did this either on their own prerogative or under the personal direction of Barack Obama, it depends one who you believe. I only bring this issue up because San Diego Comic-Con is a non-profit organization exempt from all taxes. They claim to be a non-profit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and the related popular art forms.

If a TV show like How I Met Your Mother is related to comic books, the San Diego Comic-Con desperately needs to do some more educating, because I’m not seeing it.

The real controversy involving the IRS and the Tea Party isn’t that Tea Party groups were given extra scrutiny by IRS agents. No, it’s that most groups requestion tax exempt status aren’t given enough scrutiny. Extra scrutiny should be the default level of scrutiny when asking to be exempt from paying taxes, whether it’s a political group claiming to be a social welfare organization or an entertainment convention claiming to be an educational corporation.

When you get out of paying your fair share of taxes by lying about what you are and what you do, it’s cheating. If you cheat on your taxes, you can go to jail. Just ask Wesley Snipes.

If Hollywood ever gets around to answering the pubic’s demand and makes a sequel to White Men Can’t Jump, I guess Snipes can go to the San Diego Comic-Con to promote it.

Free Comic Book Day 2013

Over the years, Free Comic Book Day has turned into a sort of combination of Black Friday and Halloween for nerds.

Tomorrow, May 4, is Free Comic Book Day, the annual event where people can go to participating comic book stores and get free stuff. Not only are there special comic books to be had, other comic book related items are usually there for the taking as well. Most participating comic book retailers also use the annual event to promote their business by having sales on back issues and other merchandise.

Over the years, Free Comic Book Day has turned into a sort of combination of Black Friday and Halloween for nerds.

Hagerstown is of course without a comic book shop since the city condemned the building in which it resides. That means anyone in Hagerstown who wants to enjoy Free Comic Book Day must travel to Comics World in Chambersburg or Brainstorm Comics & Gaming and Beyond Comics, both in Frederick. Yes, that’s right. The city of Hagerstown doesn’t have a comic book shop while the neighboring city of Frederick has two. They also have a Costco while we don’t, but we do have a nicer Sam’s Club. Yes, that’s right, Frederick has both a Costco and a Sam’s Club. No wonder people in Frederick think they’re better than everyone else in Western Maryland.

I probably wont be attending any Free Comic Book Day events tomorrow as my schedule for tomorrow already looks as though it’s already full.