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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Recreating What You Read and Watch

Kristina Kelly
Administrative Services Administrative Assistant

For everyone who is feeling down because the Con circuit has been shut down this summer, this post is for you to plan for next year.

You may not realize it, but all of us have probably dressed as a someone from pop culture at some point in our lives, specifically on Halloween. We dressed up as our favorite cartoon character or our favorite horror movie monster or even our favorite rock star. I remember dressing as the Pink Panther, Boy George from Culture Club, and Lestat, from Interview with a Vampire. I guess a lot of us outgrow "playing dress up." Alas, I have not.

Cosplay, which is short for costume roleplaying, is a brilliant way to show how much you love a topic and an outlet for creative talent. Cosplay has become so popular that people are now making a living at it.

Cosplaying has many levels to it. You can take it as far you want or keep it simple. One of my favorite types of Cosplay was created so adults could "dress up" without breaking Disney’s rule of no costumes for guests over the age of 14. Adults dressed as characters could cause confusion for children. These rules are relaxed only during select special events, like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but even these select events have specific costume guidelines. So, one creative person created DisneyBounding. “Bounding” is creating a set of regular, everyday clothes inspired by your favorite character. It is not wearing a costume and can be done on a very limited budget.

I participated in a Quarantine-Oween celebrating Halloween, and we had to post different costumes. This was my subtle Bounding outfit for Wonder Woman.

I thoroughly enjoy taking a book I love and creating a costume to wear based on it. There are times when a young person (or young at heart) sees you and instantly makes a connection with you because they too love the same thing.

Cosplay is also something that can be done at your local library. There are several topics on integrating it into your programming! Here are some links:

Many of our own Mississippi libraries host events where people can cosplay. The one in my area is the Central Con, hosted by the Central Mississippi Regional Library System.

My Top Cosplays from Books and Movies

Dr. Jones and Jr. – The first time I was able to get my husband into a cosplay event, he and my son were mobbed in the parking lot. My son wore his scout uniform and, if you look closely, carried the Cross of Coronado. My husband carried his briefcase, the journal of the grail, and an umbrella.

Sanderson Sisters – cult classic/fan favorite. I had the best time putting this look together. With Disney+ hiring a director for a sequel, this costume set may make a comeback.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novels – Some of the best parts of these is looking at the paintings in the background for easter eggs of previous LXG members. My family did this as a cosplay at a Con not too long ago.

Aquaman and Mera – For my daughter and her friend, I made feudal Japanese clothing based on these characters.

My Top Book Cosplay Ideas

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – Elf or hobbit? Ranger or Rider of Rohan? The costume possibilities are wide and there is much to love. If I were to make something from this book, it would be Aragorn & Arwen (or Beren & Luthien).

The Old Guard – Recently made into a movie pilot by Netflix, I foresee many a female cosplayer with a Scythian Axe. The clothing would also be very easy to upcycle from finds at thrift stores and flea markets.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman – I am dying to make a Medusa headdress out of data cords.

The Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan (and finished by Brandon Sanderson) – These are currently being turned into a series by Amazon. I admit to having a bit of excitement to see how this plays out on screen. I am also looking forward to seeing the Aiel on screen. Who is your favorite character?

Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind – Wizards galore, and who doesn’t want a Mord-Sith costume?

Any book on Greek mythology – by 5th grade I had read all the books in my school's library on mythology, with my favorite being the Greek/Roman myths. This borders on another hobby of mine – historical reenactment. Thinking about all the mythos of the world, I went downstairs to look at MLCs collection and this is one of the shelves I discovered.

Dune by Frank Herbert – “Soon to be made into another motion picture”. I love Dune, I love the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood (the litany against fear is a go to for hand washing chant for me), and I love the possibility of making a still suit.

Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman – yeah, yeah. Gaiman is on here twice, but this is awesome! I attended a medieval superhero ball a couple years ago. Participants combined their love of medieval history and their love for superheroes. It was an inspiring night of creativity!

Now you know that your love for a book can be expressed through cosplay, we want to hear from you about what fandom you are recreating, whether movie, book, or comic!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Meet MLC Monday: Nikki Jones

Meet Nikki Jones, Talking Book Services (TBS) Reader’s Advisor at the Mississippi Library Commission (MLC)! Nikki began working at MLC at the beginning of July and her main job duty is  assisting patrons with the selection of braille and talking books. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Temple University and a master's degree in Education from Eastern University. She comes to MLC with public library experience with the Jackson Hinds Library System. She received their Leadership Award in 2011.

Nikki has enjoyed learning about the unique services that TBS offers its patrons. She says, "I like working at MLC because it is an efficient agency that offers library services for all Mississippians."She adds, "I like libraries because you can travel the world, learn a trade, vicariously feed a lion, explore history, dive into the future, and discover the life and experiences of others all under one roof. It truly is an amazing place to learn about the world in which we live!"

She likes to read about people and their life experiences because so many lessons can be learned from them. Her favorite book is the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. She also loves animals and cares for several cats.
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