Earlier this month, I was once again fortunate enough to shimmy on down to Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con. This year, however, was a little painty and a lot different. What follows is a comprehensive list for those intending to head to a comic-book convention while wearing nothing but body paint. Caution: it takes balls. (Not literally.)
You learn how to stand still for a long time.
I’ve been painted a few times at this point. My first time was with Robin Slonina of the hit TV show Skin Wars, at her Skin City Body Painting & Events studio. Lately, I’ve been collaborating with Brigitte Berlin and Scott See, a local artist who is just as nerdy as me and also happy to explore the many faces of Harley Quinn.
Painting can take a while, and I mean a whiiiile. We’re talking hours. You have to stand almost totally still, only moving to present different body parts to the painter. You have to learn to speak up when you need a break or a drink of water; as Skin Wars proved, if a model (or the painter) pushes too far and for too long, the model can pass out. My British “Keep calm and carry on” attitude crumbled with this, but I guess that’s a good thing.
Bashfulness is not an option.
Read the title. You’re not wearing much, and your, um, bikini area needs to be painted, too.
You’re going to need some shade between your car and the venue.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. We live in the desert. The desert is very hot. Direct sunlight can cause copious sweating (sorry, glowing) and that can ruin the paint job the artist just spent hours slaving away on. If this means using a towel to substitute for a movable tent, so be it. You’ll still be hot, just not as hot.
If your “outfit” has gloves, make them fingerless.
Lest you want red/brown smudges on your carefully-applied white face makeup every time you itch your nose.
You’re going to see little to none of the Con.
Let’s just say I’m glad I had seen a lot of the attending vendors before and that there weren’t any variant or special-edition comics I was itching to get my hands on this year. The group of ladies Scott and Brigitte had painted up as various Marvel and DC characters were mobbed from the minute we walked in the door. Unsurprisingly, crowds of people enjoy taking pictures with naked girls.
What I did see looked amazing: a mix of local and traveling artists showcasing and selling sketches from the comic books they illustrate (YAY!) and fan art of varying types, from paintings and Lego Minifigures to etchings on metal and stuffed toys to vintage and modified action figures.
There also were panels, presentations and signings from the stars of the comic-book industry. I would have loved to have met Julie Newmar, but again, I was mobbed. Also, Adam West was slated to attend this year, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say: Rest in peace, Batman. You’ll be loved by scores of fans for years to come.
There is a very real chance you’ll meet Stan Lee.
Yup. This happened. I managed to hold back tears long enough for a hug and a brief exchange.
Me: It’s a pleasure to meet you!
Stan: It’s a pleasure to be met.
Cue me melting into a puddle of paint on the floor. Stan was brilliant, witty and everything you’d expect him to be while surrounded by a bevy of beauties in—have I mentioned?—basically nothing.
So, yeah. Have we learned things? Good.