[Update: 2/12] I’ve added a second gallery with recent photos from Katsucon 2012! I polished up the costume a bit, and am estatic with the lovely snaps by Anna Fischer and LJinto. Check them out!
I put on Patience’s black boots and chaps yesterday for Minnesota’s FallCon convention, and it motivated me to get my butt in gear and officially post my costume write-up and photos. Read on for more details about how this costume came to be.
Yes, another Top Cow girl. I think my new goal has become to plow through them all eventually. Wouldn’t a composite poster be cool?
It’s probably easy to see why Maggie made my most-wanted list as far as costumes are concerned. She’s a brunette, kicks ass and has a supremely cool outfit. The costume, which I debuted at SDCC 2009, is by far one of the most difficult that I’ve taken on to date.
The cape came first and was easy enough to find on eBay. The hardest part was deciding on the fabric. I eventually settled on black velvet for the outside and red satin opposite. The thing is super heavy and warm – not so great for SDCC, but fantastic for Minnesota in the fall.
The chaps and leotard came next. It was difficult to decide on a specific version of Maggie’s costume to use as inspiration. Michael Turner, Eric Basaldua and Joe Benitez all illustrate her differently. I decided on a hybrid costume, drawing slightly heavier on E.Bas’s design than the others. I don’t do cropped shirts – I simply don’t have the abs for it – so I opted for a black leotard that I found at American Apparel. I am still not extremely happy with it, but it was the best I could find when the one I ordered from overseas was “lost” while shipping a week before the convention. I would still like to switch it out with something that has a back so that my bra doesn’t hang out for the world to see. I found the chaps on eBay. The things were ridiculously tight at first – to a point that I had to wear them around the house for a few weeks while watching TV or cleaning…kind of an odd sight. But eventually they stretched out enough to fit like a glove. Much better.
Once I had the three main items taken care of, it was time to start on the details. All the little ornate touches are what ate up most of my time. The belt buckles came first. With most of this costume I really didn’t have a plan. I simply started walking down isle after isle at JoAnn Fabrics looking for items that would work. The buckles – one at the waist and one holding the cloak on – are medallions for holding back curtains. On the same trip I also found fabric for my belt ($29.99 a yard…ugh!). I decided on velvet so not to introduce too many different textures to the costume, figuring it would tie in nicely with the cloak. I also found some gold cording for the edges of the belt – another accent that carried over to the rest of the costume. Next came the crosses, which are used repeatedly on different items.
When home I painted the inner circle of the buckles red, then lined the outside rim with the gold cording. After that, I glued two of the crosses in the middle. The problem with the crosses was that the buckle is convex, so they wouldn’t lie properly. I ended up cracking the crosses in half and gluing them down separately, filling in the gap with plaster and paint once dry. It was a quick fix that I have already done away with; instead finding crosses malleable enough to shape to the dome. Once finished, I attached the buckles to the cape and belt with washers and a nut.
For the belt I created a pattern out of paper and then went to work, sewing it inside out to insure nice seems. I attached the parts together with clips and eyelets, then adorned them with a nice rose appliqué that I found. I scavenged for a small black purse similar to the one in the illustrations, and used the same treatment for the strap across my chest. I also attached a medallion and cross to the front to tie it in with the rest of the ensemble.
The knee pads were by far the hardest part of the outfit. I tried lots of different techniques before settling on using the red velvet once again for a base. I glued two foam knee pads together to get the nice dome shape, accented it with the cording and made the gold crosses out of foam. I actually made two sets of the pads, smaller ones for my shoulders and larger ones for my knees. After working my butt of on two sets, I realized that I had to choose between the cape and the shoulder pads. Ultimately, the two don’t play well together despite what the costume design leads you to believe. I plan on using them when I finally shoot my costume, bouncing between a cape and cape-less look.
The boots I found are intended for a pirate costume, but they work perfectly for me. After finding them the final touches were the leg band with small pouches, black gloves and a golden crucifix. The spear came last. We get lots of odd stuff around the office, including our fair share of weapons. The spear I used was actually a replica from the movie 300 and had been sitting around in the office for years. I asked if it would be alright to take it home and use it. My husband helped me grind down the tip so it was safe to take to conventions. From there I painted the spear head silver, added the ornamental medallions and crosses and some red velvet. I think having such an epic spear helps to make the costume.
The costume went over really well at SDCC. I ran into plenty of fans who knew my character. I expect many more will come out of the woodwork after the Magdalena movie debuts. I had a chance to stop by the Top Cow booth and show off my work. Marc Silvestri took some time to pose with me…it was pretty awesome. I also ran into E.Bas and got his approval several times over. I randomly ran into Joe Benitez yesterday, an artist responsible for helping to create Maggie, at our small Minnesota convention. I felt like a bit of an ass though, as I was browsing through his portfolio and didn’t even realize who he was till I spied his nametag after chatting him up for some time. Ugh. Smooth Meagan.
The costume isn’t quite done yet. I’ve made some changes since these photos were taken. First, I fixed the belt so that it doesn’t fall and obscure the cross. I added velvet cuffs with crosses to my wrists to add more detail to the costume. I also remade the leg band with larger pouches made out of the same fabric as the chaps – more in line with the original art. Like I mentioned before, I also added new crosses to the buckles and purse so to do away with the cracked ones. A few more tweaks to make sure that everything stays in place and I will be done. I plan on scouting out locations to shoot this costume soon. Spring sounds good to me!
Hope you enjoy the photos!
Katsucon 2012 Gallery
SDCC 2009 Gallery