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In-Class Cosplay

WWpgh-48So the students in my Comics class asked if they could dress as their favorite characters for Halloween. I said sure, I certainly won’t make it mandatory, but whoever wants to can go for it and maybe we’d even structure a lesson around the cosplay phenomenon for that week.

I have 34 students. 24 girls and 10 boys. What’s the over/under on Harley Quinns?


56 comments for “In-Class Cosplay

  1. August 31, 2016 at 2:20 pm


    1. August 31, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Would be higher but after a few classes with you some will buck the trend

  2. August 31, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Who’s Harley Quinn? I’ll look for my “F” in the mail.

    1. August 31, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      She’s Joker’s ex-girlfriend. Originally from the Batman cartoon of the 90s… so you’d likely have been in college, but right about when these kids were… well… actual kids.

      Anyway, she’s the star of the Suicide Squad movie that just came out and likely the most popular female character in comics overall right now.

      She’s a big favorite for being cosplayed… I wrote a paper about her last year where I argued it’s because of a mixture of her childlike playfulness and her blatant hypersexuality with the former making the latter more acceptable even to children.

    2. August 31, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      also, in the picture… she’s the one on the right….

    3. August 31, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Of all the Harley Quinn pictures you could have chosen, that might be the least iconic I’ve ever seen (though I still like it).

    4. August 31, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      it’s actually a pretty good representation of her costume in the current “DC Bombshells” title.

      I chose it because 1) I wanted to use a non-standard costume to sort of subtly illustrate that I meant ANY harley. 2) I like it. 3) I also like that the other girl happen to have a more traditional Harley on her tights (though at the angle she happens to be standing you can’t see her well. The Joker is more obvious.

    5. August 31, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      If anyone does Yo-Yo from Flashpoint Paradox, please take a picture. That would be awesome with a capital A.

  3. August 31, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I think if somebody is taking this course they are probably reasonably familiar with the variety of possible characters. And if they aren’t, they will be by late October.

    1. August 31, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Oddly enough, there’s a fairly high deviation on the amount of comic book knowledge they have going in. Some are huge comic geeks and some have never read any at all. Some are taking it because they’re Women and Gender Studies majors (my class counts as an elective for that) and some just thought it sounded interesting and wanted to learn something new.

    2. August 31, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      Hmmm… Harley is the comic book savvy iconic female. But Black Widow is the mainstream iconic female these days. What do you think the over under is for her?

    3. August 31, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Harley is way more popular than Black Widow… like it’s not even close. Not only does her book far outsell Black Widow’s but the movie was also very popular, even if it was a critical letdown. And it’s actually BOOKS. Harley is starring in 5 right now (Harley Quinn, The Gang or Harleys, Harley Quinn’s Little Black Book, Suicide Squad and DC Bombshells). Seriously. It just won’t even be close.

      Like, I let them write about random characters in their daily journal entries and not one person has mentioned Black Widow yet.

  4. August 31, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    8-10 Harley’s.

  5. August 31, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    And ten Deadpools.

  6. August 31, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    What are the bets on Mav dressing as Harley?

  7. August 31, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    15 girls and one of the guys.

  8. August 31, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I’d say the Spider-Gwens could give them a run for their money…. and I’ve got my fingers crossed for a token Squirrel Girl.

    1. August 31, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      Not gonna happen. Neither of them. Those are both books targeted at young girls but read by 30 year old me.

      unless you’re thinking of joining the class, i guess….

    2. August 31, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      I’d say Squirrel Girl is targeted more for all-ages/genders, but I could easily believe Spider-Gwen misses its demographic (or the demographic is overshadowed by men.)

    3. August 31, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      squirrel girl does not sell well at all. SpiderGwen does better.

      neither of them are anywhere near Harley numbers.

    4. August 31, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Oh man, I’m not even contesting the sales numbers, I’d think (without looking at numbers) that the only thing that outsells Harley is Event books.

    5. August 31, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      lots of stuff outsells Harley. But she’s consistently up there.

      most recent numbers (July):

      Harley: 45,443 (59th place – would be higher but the Rebirth #1s bumped her)
      Spider-Gwen: 35,136 (70th)
      Squirrel Girl: 14,590 (157th)

      That’s actually a lower month for Harley. She bounces around around 45-55K. Also, none of her spin-off books happened to come out that month. For comparison, lets look at just her numbers for June:

      Harley: 55,774 (44th – and still a lot of Rebirths bumping her down)
      Gang of Harleys: 34,009 (74th)

      and May:

      Harley: 43,858 (34th)
      Gang of Harleys: 37,846 (46th)

      Squirrel Girl is on the cusp of cancellation and has been since it premiered. It doesn’t matter who it thinks it’s targeted at. No one is actually reading it.

    6. August 31, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      Considering it’s on the cusp of cancellation I’m surprised they’re pushing Squirrel Girl TPBs out the wazoo then like the “original graphic novel” thing they’re doing “Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe” or whatever it’s called.

      Seems weird that they’d put that much effort into a failing book. Maybe they’ve got something up their sleeve or they’re just trying to make it work despite poor sales?

      Does that include digital sales numbers or is it just comic shops or?

    7. August 31, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      She’s got a lot of geek cache…. They WANT Squirrel Girl to happen. She’ll even be featured in the next upcoming Avengers title… she just isn’t happening yet

    8. August 31, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      I believe it’s sales numbers from Diamond. So shops and newsstands, not digital. But digital comic sales don’t compare to paper ones yet, and my understanding is that they’re roughly equivalent percentage wise.

  9. August 31, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Please please please let one of those girls come as Tank Girl instead. Restore my faith in their generation just a little…

    1. August 31, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      You get that Tank Girl is from 1988, right? And the movie was like 1995. These kids didn’t exist yet. You’re OLD!!!!

      (Though, at least one girl does know who it is, because she mentioned her in a homework… but that girl is a massive anime and manga fan, so if she’s going to dress up, I expect it’s going to be as something from there)

    2. August 31, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Chris Maverick but they are taking a class on comics so maybe they have some incentive to look beyond the most recent Hollywood crap? This is why it would restore my faith, man.

    3. August 31, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      Some of them will, maybe. But I doubt they’ll find Tank Girl.

      She just doesn’t have the long standing appeal. She was just kind of the alternapop fad when we were their age. Like if we had a Hot Topic, Tank Girl would have been all over it! (actually they existed back then…. but they weren’t as big, and I don’t think there was one near us)

      In 2016, the more alternative girls are much more likely to pick someone from Lumberjanes, Rat Queens, Papergirls or Bitch Planet or something.

      But I kinda doubt I’ll even get that. Maybe 1. It’d be more likely at CMU or Chatham than it’s going to be at Duquesne.

    4. August 31, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      (and they know about Bitch Planet because they have to read it for this class)

    5. August 31, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      The fascination with Harley Quinn is energy single thing that is wrong with male-female relationships and relations in this country.

    6. August 31, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      I actually disagree. It’s way more complicated than that. There’s a lot of good to it. I actually wrote an article about it that I’m trying to get published.

    7. September 1, 2016 at 12:45 am

      I’d be interested to read that article, to hear what you think on the subject.

    8. September 1, 2016 at 6:00 am

      I could probably send you a pdf if you want

    9. September 1, 2016 at 6:00 am

      Yes, please.

    10. September 1, 2016 at 9:49 am

      Remember when I dressed as Tank Girl for your Halloween party?

    11. September 1, 2016 at 9:56 am

      You’re old too! 😛

  10. September 1, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Please let someone come as Kamala Khan.

    1. September 1, 2016 at 12:48 am

      Also, check out this picture, which is made of so much win:

    2. September 1, 2016 at 5:58 am

      I’ve seen that one. And they do know kamala, yes. At least some do.

    3. September 1, 2016 at 5:59 am

      She is, hands down, the best thing in US superhero comics at the moment.

  11. September 1, 2016 at 6:04 am

    I just realized something odd with the original post. The people in your class are presumably adults going to college. Why do they need to ask permission to dress up? They can dress up any day they want to. And, even if that might be socially awkward, dressing up on Halloween (or near it) is pretty much considered commonplace. Was there some other aspect or was that really the entire request?

    1. September 1, 2016 at 6:05 am

      I would consider it polite to ask the teacher before engaging in group activities that might be considered disruptive to the teaching environment.

    2. September 1, 2016 at 6:06 am

      Both of your are right. They do not need my permission. But I assume that is why they asked.

  12. September 1, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Perhaps they asked in order to encourage others to do it.

    1. September 1, 2016 at 6:08 am

      I imagine that was a big part of it too.

    2. September 1, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Perhaps they asked hoping the instructor (you) would too.

  13. September 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

    If someone comes dressed up as the classic Harley from the 90s cartoon, I highly suggest giving them an A forever in school and in life.

    1. September 1, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I know at least a couple are fans.

  14. September 1, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    It occurs to me to ask, Mav: if you were to dress up in cosplay as your favourite supercharacter…. who would it be?

    1. September 1, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      I am horrible at answering the question “favorite” anything. I love Halloween and dress up a lot. But as to who my favorite is, it changes from second to second.

    2. September 1, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Well, you’re not alone in that. Perhaps a better question is, who could you see yourself dressing up as?

    3. September 1, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      I mean, in the past (as far as comic book characters) I have been Iron Man, a gender bent Wonder Woman, one of the Cosmic Hellcats.

    4. September 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Oh, and back when I was doing daily self portraits, I made this:

    5. September 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      I could totally see you as Iron Man.

      have to be honest, I’ve never cosplayed as a supercharacter. The closest I get is being dressed up as Brad Majors (from RHPS).

    6. September 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Oh man, that’s amazing! (y)

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