Monday, December 29, 2008

Some New Year Plans!

Once more traveling on our remarkable little planet we are about to complete another circuit around our G-class, life-giving helium factory, the Sun. As we do every year at this time, our thoughts in OSFES turn to activities we can or should pursue in its coming circuit. Let me throw out some ideas and see if there’s any interest in these group events:

If you are part of a group involved in creating or re-creating fannish costumes and would like to dust them off for some community goodwill, why not tour Omaha’s bookstores and libraries in character doing readings from genre literature? I know members of the Omaha Public Library are interested in scheduling such events. If we can find enough interesting characters, we should also be able to work our way into some of the major bookstores in the area.

What you would read would be determined by the costume you were wearing. If you were portraying a Star Wars character, you’d read from a Star Wars novel. If you were dressed as a character from Star Trek, you’d read a passage from a Star Trek novel, and maybe read the first few passages in Klingon if you were dressed as a Klingon. If you were dressed in a medieval costume for a Renaissance fair, you’d read something by Tolkien or from one of the Dragonlance books. If you were doing anime cosplay, you’d read from a particularly interesting manga. If you were dressed for a live-action version of Vampire: The Masquerade, you’d read something by Anne Rice or Laurell K. Hamilton. What you read should reflect both who you’re portraying and what’s on the shelves of the establishment where you’re doing it.

Yes, there’s a promotional motive to this: First, we’re promoting literacy. Second, we’re promoting books in the establishment we’re in. And third, we’re promoting ourselves. Members of the various groups doing the readings should be recruiting for new members for their groups while helping OSFES get the word out about its activities. If we do this right, we all win.

But this promotional cosplay doesn’t have to be limited to reading and books. Another possibility would be to have some of the anime fan groups show up in costume to attend the February 5th showing of the movie “The Sword of the Stranger.” This one-night event, happening at 7:30 PM and would be a great opportunity for those of us who love anime to let the theaters know we exists as a community and want to see more such films.

In this same vein, Starfleet marines and legions of Klingon warriors could turn out in force and in costume for the May 8th premiere of the new Star Trek movie. If we coordinated these events properly, the press coverage could go a long way to identifying our fannish presence in the community and presenting us in a positive light.

Okay, you’d like to take part in these activities, but you don’t have a costume. Would you be interested in taking part in a one-day costuming workshop that would help you and your fellow attendees create your own costume to dress up in, whether at a convention, a Renaissance fair, or just for the fun of it? I know there are cosplay groups and master-level costumers in the greater metro area who have the know-how to teach neo-costumers the basics and then direct their efforts into actual accomplishments. We in OSFES would be willing to find a location for such an event if we can find instructors willing to give of their time and talent.

So what do you think? I want your comments. Do you want to get together with other fans and make our next trip around the sun a more entertaining one? What would you like to do during our next roundabout of the Sun?

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