24 Sept 2015

Crossover Chapter 5 - Commentary

Nasty's back in the Peregrine costume, Vicki is confounded by overpriced chocolate, and the counterparts start violating the space-time continuum.  Welcome to the commentary for the third chapter.  Please read the chapter before continuing.

It's still Friday.  The story takes place over the weekend of the convention.  It's going to be a busy time.

If Nasty and Eric were older and more comfortable with being sexually active, they would jump on the idea of a bit of roleplaying in the bedroom using Peregrine's costume.  That's a big if, and Eric isn't likely to suggest it, fearing that Nasty would not just reject him but run away screaming, or worse.

Vicki's biggest foe this time around is the crowd at the luggage carousel in the airport.  She could zip through the crowd as her tiny self, but that would mean revealing who she is to strangers and her father.  The crowd wouldn't really know who she was, other than a really tiny girl, but someone would take a photo with a phone.  Secret IDs are both a staple in the comics and difficult to maintain.  Masks hide facial features, but that's not the only way to find out who someone is under the costume.  Other details, like body language, accents, and hair styles, can help reveal the person.  There are ways around these problems.  The 1966 Batman series had one possibility; Batgirl, played by the late Yvonne Craig, had a red wig sewn into the costume; Barbara Gordon was a brunette, like Craig herself.  It's a simple method, but effective.  DC's Black Canary has also used a wig to go from black hair to blonde in the past.

The exec of the CHC is loosely based on the SOAP exec* who put on AC Cubed in Ottawa.  And, by loosely, I mean, composition of the exec, with personalities being from elsewhere and not reflective of the real people involved.  Any similarity is unintentional.  The hotel, however, is real, and is close to the real Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Does the real manager know how to sneak people in and out of the hotel?  No idea, but given what the hotel is near, I imagine so.  The comments the exec have are based on personal experience.  Running a convention is like a duck swimming; on the surface, everything looks calm and peaceful while, underneath, the duck is paddling away furiously to keep going.  The goal of the exec is to keep the con running despite minor emergencies.  If the attendees notice something wrong, then either they know far more about how cons work or something at the con has broken down horribly.  Murphy's Law is in effect, and something will break down.  It's how staff handles the problem that makes or breaks a convention.

The con office, usually a meeting room away from the main floor of the convention, is where exec and staff can coordinate.  AC Cubed had a number of printers** for last minute printing, which always happened.  As it grew larger, some printing was outsourced to print shops, as it was more economical.  The problem in the dealer room is a typical issue, one that always gets discovered early.  It's an easy fix, but it needs to be dealt with when it comes up.  The dealers need to be kept happy, too, and they bring their own electronics, including cash registers and Interac debit machines.

Vicki has a nice issue to poke at, her desire to be recognized as Pixie.  She lives in New York City, a place that has more than its fair share of heroes, so even having the Youth Brigade recognized and known by name is a big deal to her.  Vicki is the one who wants the team to have proper costumes, yet her father name checks the other girls - Flashbulb and Kid Inscrutible - first.  Her idea of going in costume as herself isn't as bad as it sounds.  In 2013, Hugh Jackman and Bryan Cranston both cosplayed as characters they played, Wolverine and Heisenberg, without being recognized.  As long as Vicki doesn't shrink, no problem.

The arrival of Micki's counterpart shouldn't be a huge surprise, given the explanation in previous chapters of how close the two universes are.  Micheline works for Prototype Omega, though, and doesn't get along with her Natasha at all.  More details of their history will be coming up later in the story.  Meanwhile, the light show as the dimensional barrier is broken should be enough of a distraction.  If Crossover was done in a more visual medium, such as a graphic novel or film, this would be a major effect, with all sorts of lights and flashes happening.  Movie trailers would show the scene ad nauseum.

Tomorrow, Crossover Chapter 6.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, Watership Down.
Saturday, over at Seventh Sanctum, comments on NBC's Hart to Hart remake.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

* I suppose I should point out here that I was part of the exec of SOAP (Society for Ottawa Anime Promotion) and thus AC Cubed.
** Office printers, typically seen networked, not the desktop stand-alone printers.  The investment paid off in the early years, going back to even the All-Night Anime showings.

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