JP Patches WIP dump

Since JP Patches was the subject of my post 2 years ago, I may as well follow up on that.  I did complete a JP Patches cosplay for Emerald City Comic Con.  I didn’t do the post apocalyptic version however.  I had waited and procrastinated long enough and wanted to go ahead and finish it to wear at ECCC.  Here is how it turned out;

Original on the left, me on the right.

Naturally there were several things that were easily done and others that took substantially more work.  The Patches Pals patch was purchased and ironed onto a basic fishing hat that I also purchased.  Other patches were purchased specifically or sent from interested parties.  Darigold was happy to send me several patches to include on the jacket.  The fire department patch was purchased from a reseller/collector website.  Many of the other patches were items from games and the like that I had received over the years.

The fabric remnants as “patches” are pretty self explanatory.  That is where the character got his name.  Instead of just random patterns, many of the patches that I made came from geek oriented fabrics.  My Little Pony, Spider-Man, Star Wars, etc.  While I wanted to remain true to the spirit of JP Patches, I also wanted to give a nod to the comic book culture I was going to be surrounded by.

The buttons on the hat included one for Emerald City Comic Con, as well as, one for my own cosplay page.  The others were generic motivation and “feel good” buttons.  The buttons on the jacket were a different story.  JP Patches didn’t wear a specific set of buttons or even keep any certain buttons for long.  He rotated them out as he received them from fans, friends, or picked them up through out the days.  Because of this I could have done the same, or even followed the same path as the fabric swatches.  Instead, I made buttons specifically with images and tributes tied directly to the show.  Many were black and white stills, pics of JP Patches with Gertrude, an pics of Chris following the show making appearances as JP Patches.

At this point the amount of work greatly increased.  The shoes were simple, just drawing lines on some Converse All-Stars.  The vest was just a basic geek vest that I had hanging in the closet.  The gloves were purchased, along with the pants and shirt.  The ears, makeup, and nose were all found on Unfortunately the nose wasn’t perfect, but it was the best that I could find online.  The ears were perfect.  The makeup was more difficult than I had expected.  The jacket required significant work.  I took a jacket pattern and changed some of the panels to give the more linear lapel.  Sadly, I’m not as great a sewer as I’d like to think and the sleeves an amazing amount of subterfuge to conceal.  Thankfully, he’s called JP Patches for a reason.

After a few youtube tutorials the makeup did come out much brighter and defined.  I do, however, wish I had done more than a single makeup test.  It is harder than it looks.  Also, make sure that all of your equipment works as expected.  The pencil sharpener that came with the black makeup pencil, not big enough.  Caused a medium size panic attack the day I wore the costume.

The wig is another item that caused more than a little trepidation.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it once I got it and even toyed with the idea of not wearing it at all.  Shortly before the con, I was saved by the graciousness of my best friends wife, who styled the wig for me.  The morning of the reveal I went through the motions of getting dressed and putting on the makeup and the further along I got, the less hopeful I got.  Until I put on the wig and hat.  I can honestly say that I was surprised at how much the wig pulled the entire look together.

The reactions that I received at the con were spectacular!  It was a fantastic day fun and, nearly, tears.  I purchased 50 small rubber chickens to pass out to people that took my pic and they were gone by noon.  Considering that I didn’t even make it to the con floor until about 10:30, that’s pretty impressive.  The only problems that I had was a popped seam when I put on the jacket.  And about 8 hrs into wearing the nose, it made a break for it.  Reattached it with more spirit gum and it was good for several more hours.

I’d like to thank Erynne for her help with the wig.  ClownAntics for their fantastic supply and support with the noses when I purchased ones that wouldn’t work and they gladly exchanged them.  A very sincere thanks to Archie McPhee for stocking those hard to find items and curiosities that you can’t find anywhere else.  My deepest thanks to for their help and advise on how to proceed.  Another to Darigold for sending me authentic patches to include on the jacket.

Most of all, Thank You Chris Wedes, for creating somebody so special.  You’ve touched lives beyond measure and we’ll never forget.

Color me chartreuse and pee on the back of my head. It’s an update!

It’s been a while.  To say the least.  I believe somewhere down the line I did mention that I’m lazy.  My lack of posts proves that.

I’m, hopefully, going to pick up a bit more on the writing here.  Probably not in the same vein that I was originally.  There will still be the cosplay posts.  But instead of tutorial type posts, more blogs about con life.  If you’ve read any of my posts it doesn’t come as a surprise that I tend to run at the mouth.  So why not put that to good use?

Blogging is something that I’m pretty good at.  Not in the I’m Going to Find Some Weird Story and Break it on the Internet.  More along the lines of, Here’s My Life, Take it or Leave it.

On of the things that I have always wanted to do, since I got started in cosplay, is to cozy up to famous cosplayers and get more intimate details out of them about their lives.  Not information like what their measurements are.  I mean real information that will help their fans connect to them, get a real idea of what the lifestyle is like, and show them as human beings.

I’ve spent years working my way past the obvious stereotypes.  I’m old enough to be most of their dads.  Automatically creepy.  I’m a guy.  Automatically creepy, possibly dangerous.  Stereotypes that, all too often, prove true.  These days I’ve built enough of a relationship with many of them that I can approach them and not make them feel cornered.  They can relax and be comfortable knowing that I’m not going to do anything to send them running.  In fact, I know them well enough now that I can start asking them for interviews.  BECAUSE they know I’m not going to ask about their measurements or home addresses.

While that is a huge part of the direction I want to go, there are other considerations.  HOW do I want to present the information?  Live feeds, podcasts, youtube, transcripts?  What format works best for me, for them, and for the fans?

I’m not looking to get this figured out tonight or this weekend.  Just something to start shaping and directing in the near future.  Emerald City Comic Con is in March and, fingers crossed, I’ll do my first set of interviews there.  With a possible panel at the show, 2 new costumes, and 2 reworked costumes, ECCC could be a big one for me.

Let’s see where this goes.

This is going to be an interesting project.

Brad and I have joined a group for next years Emerald City Comic Con.  The theme is, “When your favorite show ends…” The idea is both simple and grand.  Imagine all of your favorite childhood shows.  The ones you watched in the mornings before school, after getting home from school, and early Saturday morning.  Those times when it was only you and the TV and you got to be one of the heroes.

Now RE-imagine those characters.  After their shows ended.  And after the apocalypse.  What could possibly warp and change them after what they’ve seen on their shows?  How could the end of the world effect them?

My first inclination was a fusion of Mad Max and Speed Racer.  Unfortunately he was already chosen.  I toyed with the idea of joining with a rendition of Racer X.  In one of the posts Tina mentioned that they had found their Mr. Rogers.  Naturally this got me thinking of Captain Kangaroo.  Having grown up in Washington State, my stream of consciousness quickly latched onto JP Patches.

jp patches

For those that don’t know, JP Patches is a legitimate icon in Seattle.  Over two decades on the air, thousands of hours, and millions of fans.  He’s recognizable and memorable.  Even those in the Seattle area who had not been born by the time the show went off the air in 1981 know who he is.  Among those of us old enough to remember him, his reach extends globally.

The children that he taught to laugh and love.  To be compassionate and caring.  To be good neighbors and even greater people.  We crossed the planet and shared what he shared with us.

Now take a that character and reimagine him having survived the apocalypse.

Pause a moment to reflect on how changing such a beloved character can be taken by the general public.

In a society today that will jump on everything, whether the criticism is justified or not.  Where the anonymity of the internet has allowed the callous and venomous to spew their hate unchecked.  A society that has even allowed that venom to escape that virtual reality into actual reality.  People behaving in a manner that should shake us at our core, yet somehow, doesn’t.

Imagine the hate that changing this character, in this way, could foster.  I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that this makes me more than a little nervous.  JP Patches means a lot to me!  I want to honor him as much as I want to be creative.  This isn’t about making someone you love into somebody you could never recognize.

I don’t think that the idea is to take a character and show “what a monster they’ve become.”  I want the world to see “a shining light that has survived the darkest night.”  With Gertrude to help and lean on, it’s not that hard to imagine.  I still want JP Patches, even post apocalypse, to represent love, compassion, and friendship.

The rub is how to do it properly.  To remain recognizable as JP Patches.  To show the trails and tribulations survived.  And still radiate hope and joy.

These are some big shoes to fill (pun intended).