This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 4-year-old daughter Viva, who will ask you to hold her lightsaber most of the day, so bring a bag.
This weekend I unabashedly went over to the Geek Side of the Force, attending C2E2 (the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) at McCormick Place in full “cosplay” – that’s short for “costume play,” and it basically means “dressing up as a character from a geeky property.” Some people take it VERY seriously, even raising it to a form of performance art. Some people do it professionally; television shows are dedicated to it and the cosplay competitions at some cons can yield the winners thousands of dollars. And then again, some people just like dressing up.
No matter how seriously you take it, cosplay is a very fun way to parents and children to bond, and if you attend a con, you’ll see entire families in themed costumes, from Star Wars to the Avengers to the casts of Inside Out or Bob’s Burgers.
Of course, cosplay is not for the shy (unless being in costume allows you to break free of your shyness), and if you dress your adorable little one in costume, you’re bound to have dozens and dozens of people asking to take a picture of you, so be ready. Last year, Viva went as Princess Leia (my favorite Disney Princess) and I punked out with just a Darth Vader shirt. This year, though, we speculated that Luke Skywalker is Rey’s father in “The Force Awakens,” so we went as grizzled old Luke and Rey. (Though I’m not quite that grizzled yet, and pretty much looked like prequel Obi-Wan.)
If you’re thinking of doing a daddy-daughter cosplay, I’ve provided you with some helpful suggestions from a variety of entertainment sources, presented here in no particular order:
The Fifth Doctor/The Tenth Doctor and Jenny (Doctor Who)
Jenny was a clone of Doctor Ten, but is the real life daughter of the actor who played Doctor Five (and is now married to Ten. Is your head spinning yet?). Determine who “your Doctor” is and rock the Con Gallifreyan-style.
Man at Arms and Teela (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe)
It’s everyone’s favorite Eternian mustachioed weapons forge and his warrior daughter!
Gargamel/Papa Smurf and Smurfette
Gargamel made her (for evil), but Papa turned her good (and blonde) and raised her. Your choice.
Vader/Anakin/Bail Organa and Leia, Luke & Rey, Anakin and Ahsoka (Star Wars)
There are so many father/daughter pairs in Star Wars now. Be Luke’s birth father or Leia’s adoptive Alderaanian father, or perhaps young Vader and his apprentice, Ahsoka, if you enjoy the cartoons. Smart money is on Luke as Rey’s dad come Episode VIII.
Stannis and Shireen Baratheon (Game of Thrones)
As with all things GOT, this relationship ends badly, and you can’t show your kid this show, but it’s a nice set of costumes.
The Disney Princess Dads and Princesses (Disney)
Many opportunities in Princess land. Check out my rankings here.
Zartan and Zanya (G.I.Joe, A Real American Hero)
The Master of Disguise met his daughter in the early 2000’s Devil’s Due Press run of the Joe comic, and she even got an action figure from Hasbro. Two words: green dreadlocks.
Ming the Merciless and Princess Aura (Flash Gordon)
Great costumes, but these have a little bit of “yellowface” baggage with them, so proceed with caution if you aren’t of Asian descent. (Don’t tell Max von Sydow.)
Big Daddy and Hit Girl (Kick-Ass)
Here’s another one you can’t show your kid, but she’ll get a great costume.
Commissioner Gordon and Barbara (Batman)
Your daughter can be Batgirl, or, if she’s a wheelchair user, the equally cool “Oracle.”
Felonius Gru and Agnes (Despicable Me)
Great one for bald dads, and an easy look for your kid.
Data and Lal (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Data built himself a daughter once. Too bad he didn’t take out a warranty on the positronic brain.
King Alfor and Princess Allura (Voltron: Defender of the Universe)
Sure, he’s a ghost, but she’s a robot-lion-spaceship pilot. And she gets to carry pet white mice.
Wolverine and X23 (Marvel Comics)
Okay, she’s a clone, not his kid, but these characters are the best at what they do, even if what they do isn’t etc. etc. etc., Bub.
Hunsen Abadeer/Simon Petrikov and Marceline the Vampire Queen (Adventure Time)
Be the King of the Nightosphere and his emo rock vampire daughter, or her tragic crown-wielding protector from after the Mushroom War. Many, many photo requests guaranteed.
Okay, folks, there are my recommendations. What good ones have I forgotten? Let me know in the comments below or on Chicago Parent’s Facebook page. Happy cosplaying. Viva and I will see you at Wizard World in Rosemont in August!
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