With Deadpool at Event Cinemas George St earlier this month.
I'm not going to review Deadpool. It was a much better movie than I had been expecting and gave the character some of the depth he so often lacks. I enjoyed it.
But as I left the cinema I realised that the biggest problem with this movie's release is likely to be the resurgence in Deadpool cosplayers at conventions. Let me put a disclaimer here, because I know someone out there will accuse me of saying the opposite without actually reading this:
Everyone should always be able to cosplay as whomever and whatever they want.
And that includes Deadpool. The reason I'm so concerned about a resurgence of Deadpool cosplayers is that my experiences with many of them in the past have been less than positive. Most cosplayers understand that being in costume does not give you free rein to act like an asshole - even if the character they're cosplaying is an asshole themselves. People cosplaying as the Wicked Witch don't go around trying to take people's shoes or throwing fireballs at scarecrows. Why is it that so many Deadpool cosplayers seem to think that rubbing their junk on people is not only acceptable but amusing? It's not. You're not in a movie. The world does not revolve around you. The audience is not giggling at you pretending to teabag someone. You're just being a dick.
This is where the danger of seeing "cosplay" as including acting like a character comes in. It's all well and good to genuinely pretend to be a Disney princess the whole time you're in the costume. A Batman cosplayer who runs around "saving" people and chucking foam batarangs around may be a bit of a laugh. Until one of the batarangs clips someone in the eye. But while one character's personality may be totally acceptable in polite society, many more are not. Which brings me to my next big, bold, underlinged and italicised point:
Being in costume does not give you a free pass to be an asshole. Ever.
Part of the awesome power of cosplay is being able to spend a few hours as someone else. A character you love or admire. One you connect with. But it's important to remember that you are still responsible for your actions, good and bad, when you're in costume.
Deadpool seems to be one of those characters some people cosplay as just because they want the opportunity to act like a dick. People like that have given so many wonderful, considerate cosplayers a bad name. Not all Deadpool cosplayers are assholes, but the ones that are have been so predominant in the Sydney convention scene that I can't help feeling a little bit of resentment whenever a red and black suit passes by. I'm certain that in time I will get over that. But I'm not sure that the general public, being assualted by a hoarde of assholes dressed as Deadpool and calling themselves cosplayers, will care to.
Don't give us all a bad name. If your behaviour wouldn't be acceptable in normal clothing, it's not acceptable in cosplay either.