Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Well, a lot of shapes anyway. They also fall all over the moral spectrum, from the earnest and righteous paladins, to the dark and brooding strangers. The bleaker end of the scale tends to bring us more compelling and dynamic characters, filled with conflict, unpredictable renegades with nothing to lose.
Come join us once again dear readers, as we plumb the depths of dark and brooding in this week’s Top 10 Anti-Heroes!
All of these conventions are sneaking up on us as of late, however it’s come to my attention that next week, on Saturday 26th, it’s BristolCon! This marks the third year I’ve attended this event, which is a really fun local Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention. There’s some interesting talks, a lot of nice merchandise and an art room to go with it. Couple this with the fact we’re right next to a bar at all times as well (… I’m saying nothing about hanging about at the bar, it’s not like last year we had a huge game or two of Zombie Fluxx there or anything, ) I like to make use of my time as a cosplayer.
Why? I dunno. I just enjoy this stuff. So with that said, what am I going to BristolCon as?
I can’t remember for the life of me if I’ve mentioned it, but it’s time to retire Oskar. He’s been great and I’m sure in the not too distant future he’d be fantastic to return to the world, but his old bones are weak and weary now. It’s time to look towards the future and decide what will become my latest casual cosplay? I’ve got one… And it’s another Original Character. Whereas Oskar was developed from an existing character (Oscar Kass), this one I wanted to make completely unique, a definitely unique costume.
For all of the Facebook and some of the Twitter fans of GeekOut, you may have noticed I’ve been tweeting and posting about a wizard hat. After all, to debut a new costume at BristolCon, a fantasy convention, it’d make sense to make it relevant to Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Last years BristolCon, I went dressed as Twoflower. It’s only fitting then that this year, I go as a Wizard. For those unfamiliar with Discworld and The Colour of Magic, Twoflower is a tourist and he travels with Rincewind the wizard. Instead of going as Rincewind himself, I decided to make a character somewhat inspired by his antics.
So to be a wizard, I need a wizards hat. There it is above. Want to know how I made it? It’s pretty simple… But pay attention to the equation part!
- Material; I used Pleather. Felt is the traditional material of choice for this type of hat. The pleather gave this a really extra floppy feel which was kind of my goal.
- Thread & Needle; I used a matching thread, but later I went over it again with a black thread so it stood out.
- Pattern Paper; I just used normal paper and taped them together. It worked wonders!
- Scissors, craft knife, a pen (or chalk, depending on your preference.)
- Measuring tape, Ruler
Material cost: I bought several metres worth of pleather for £10. I didn’t even use 1 metre for this. This hat cost approximately £4 to make.
First, get your measuring tape and let’s figure out how we’ll make the pattern:
- Measure around your forehead for your heads circumference. Add some extra on for how low on the head you want it to sit. You do not want it to be the exact size of your head, as it will barely fit. Write down your heads circumference and any give. anything between half an inch to one and a half works wonders. I put up half an inch extra.
- Figure out how wide you want the brim. I decided to add 4 inches for the brim.
- You can suss out the brim circumference if you want, I found it didn’t matter too much.
- Find your heads radius: That’s half of your heads circumference (with the extra give you gave in step 1.)
- Figure out how tall you want your ‘peak’, that’s the long pointy bit!
For a better explanation of how this works, I’d highly recommend this page, which has some amazing information about the maths behind making the hat. Once you’ve finished writing all this down, you’ll be making two patterns: One for the peak and one for the brim.
The peak is interesting to make the pattern for. You need to think that you’re making a whole cone. You need to make what is close to three quarters of a full circle, which seems like a bizarre thing to do… But the reason is simply that you’ll be folding the peak on itself to sew it up. You’ll notice my brim (the big circle) didn’t have a hole in it: This comes afterwards. I used my craft knife to score out the part and it popped out quite easily. I used scissors when I was unsure of how well the knife scored it. I also used the scissors to cut out the main shapes.
When you go to sew the peak, remember to sew the “wrong way”, as when you’re finished, the untidy bits of your sewing should be on the inside. If you’re going to use pleather, I might advice that you use a lining of some kind. I didn’t mind so much, I personally prefer it without lining, but I’d probably recommend a simple lining for the brim. It would make it look a lot tidier. But heck, my guy is an accidental wizard.
With two pieces now, you need to sew them together. The way I did it is probably not the recommended way, but: I used some extra room I left on the bottom of the peak (the hem) and pinned it to the brim. Then I sewed the peak to the brim by sewing along the hem and whallah. I had a pointy wizards hat! Well then, that’s that.
Couple this with my blue robes, commonly used with Oskar and armed with a brand new book (That I made), I’ve just got one thing remaining: I need a wizardly weapon. Y’know I already have one..? Cast your mind back to this image:
You might notice what appears to be a large stave of kinds and you’d be correct. I already had a staff made up, which was the basis for the scythe. The staff needs a tiny bit of love (some duct tape sounds good) and we’re good to go. Therefore, by reusing things I already have, this costume has cost me no more than £4 to make. Bargain cosplaying if there ever has been some!
Well, that’s it folks. There’ll be pictures of Timlah, the Accidental Wizard no doubt some time after BristolCon is over. For now though, we roll onto Saturday. I’m looking forward to the event and hopefully people will get a bit of a chuckle out of my attire. If you’d like to make your own for Dummies book, please check out this website, a generator. As a warning, there’s a small watermark on the printed page, but it’s not so bad. I’d recommend doing what I did which is copying the embed code into a text file and adding <html><body></body></html> tags around it. Change the size to something more appropriate (I chose 1024 x 768) and then display that on screen and print it. That was, for some reason, the only way it would get larger for me.
That’s all, the Accidental Wizard is about ready to go. Let me know what you thought in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. The costume has taken no more than 4 hours to make and at just £4 to make the hat..? This was one of the easiest decisions and simplest costumes I’ve ever worked on. This will become my future casual cosplay pieces. Keep your eyes out over the coming weeks whilst I work on my horror Original Character, Ashe.
The works of the late Sir Terry Pratchett were a major influence on me as a young nerd. I went into it as a heartfelt rundown of my favourites in the Top 10 Discworld books, from which you may recall I could barely begin to describe my love for Interesting Times. It is the seventeenth novel in the series, and the fifth to chronicle Rincewind’s unwitting ambles through space, time, life, death, and a series of holes in the ground. (more…)
Ah yes, it’s time for another look at one of the classic novels written by Terry Pratchett, the father of Discworld and all around awesome sci-fi/fantasy legend. In case you missed the last one, we had a look through the first in the Discworld series, The Colour of Magic, go check it out! We’ll wait right here whilst you go look… Are they gone? Good, let’s get on with this look at The Light Fantastic!
So this is the second book in the Discworld series and is a continuation from The Colour of Magic. As you may recall, that book finished on a cliffhanger. The Light Fantastic is the continuation and conclusion of this adventure featuring Rincewind the Wizzard and Twoflower the Tourist, along with their faithful companion, Luggage… the Luggage. Written in 1986, this was the only Discworld book to be a continuation of another Discworld book. No, seriously – I want you to go and find any other Discworld book that ends on a cliffhanger and is continued in another book. You won’t find one.
The plot of The Light Fantastic is about the journey of Rincewind and Twoflower coming to an end, but along the way, there’s still some unresolved business. Rincewind manages to fall over the edge of the Discworld and is brought back by the Octavo, thus saving him. Without their knowledge, Death goes and tells the leading wizards of the impending fate of the world… Unless all of the spells are read from the Octavo. Typical, isn’t it that it’d have to be with the inept wizard Rincewind?
Of course, this means that Rincewind is now a wanted man… So a damn lot of wizards go out to capture Rincewind and the Octavo. After a while, Rincewind meets back up with lovable tourist Twoflower, before they are accompanied by the aging Cohen the Barbarian.
Through the rest of this story, we see luggage become a hero that saves Rincewind (Which is amusing to think a little box with legs could be a hero)! We also see more of the Great A’Tuin, who has decided to change the path the Discworld is on. We also see Twoflower go toe to toe with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse… In a game of Contract Bridge. There are people who are heading to mountains after hearing about the impending apocalypse, because they want a better view.
The whole premise of The Light Fantastic is there to close off the events of The Colour of Magic and to bring resolution to this journey. It’s an amazing fantasy story filled with a lot of light hearted humour and wacky characters. Much like The Colour of Magic, there was a television show for this, which happened along side The Colour of Magic. Once more, David Jason retains his role as Rincewind.
Overall, The Light Fantastic is definitely worth the read. It’s got great pacing and it’s really satisfying seeing the end of the journey that Twoflower and Rincewind set out on. I won’t spoil the ending for you all, as I reckon you’d enjoy experiencing the story for yourselves. But that’s all for now, so what do you think? Have you read The Light Fantastic? What Discworld book should we have a look at next? As always, comments below, over on Facebook or Twitter. Keep the fantasy spirit strong!
Have you ever been so enthralled by a book that you went on to read the whole series? I’m sure you have. In the modern world, some of the most captivating books are amongst the most magical and surreal. It’s with this in mind that I wanted to look through one of my favourite book series, Discworld.
Many nerds I know are introduced to Tolkien from an early age. My father instead encouraged me to read the works of Terry Pratchett, and while I couldn’t get to grips with the Bromeliads or the Johnny series, the Discworld had me enraptured from the age of about seven or eight. I lost my father when I was fifteen, now at Grinshill in Shropshire there stands a memorial bench with the inscription “These hills are in my bones” Dad being an avid climber and Discworld fan, it felt right. (more…)
As I prepare for another year of conventions, and look forward to attending more than the last two years, I find myself confronted with a quandary. I swore last year that I’d cosplay, but ended up struggling for ideas, then had enough ideas but not enough time, but now I could manage to accomplish some of my simpler ideas without much hassle, so why haven’t I started? (more…)