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A First-Time Cosplayer Prepares for Wizard World in Louisville


This weekend, aliens, superheroes and cartoon characters of all sorts will descend on Louisville.

The Wizard World Comic Con is happening Friday through Sunday at the Kentucky International Convention Center, featuring actors, writers and artists from across the spectrum of pop culture. There are sessions for aspiring writers ("How To Be A Professional Geek"), panel discussions on the classics ("Stars Wars Psychology: Jedi Mind Tricks"), and even a Ghostbusters-themed Christian worship service on Sunday morning.

Attendees are encouraged to come in costume as their favorite character, and the convention even sponsors professional cosplayers (that's short for "costume players") who look like they just walked off a movie set.

But there are also plenty of amateur cosplayers, like Charity Murphy of Louisville, who will be making her first costumed appearance as He-Man.

"I have the power!" Murphy bellowed, practicing the line that many a kid remembers hearing on Saturday mornings. Her husband was a fan of the show as a child, although they both agree it doesn't quite stand up on further viewing as an adult.

Still, she thought it would be a fun costume — especially for a woman.

"I knew I didn't want to do anything that people had seen before, or that they had seen a lot of, so that's why I wanted to be He-Man," Murphy said.

She bought a one-piece romper that crosses in the front and used fabric paint to make it look metallic, like armor. She attached fur to the bottom half and to the top of a pair of boots, made an orange belt and matching cuffs, and a holster for the sword (which she also made — out of a giant bubble wand from a dollar store).

Then she took it one step further.

Murphy cut 6 inches off her hair, got bangs, and colored it so she could have He-Man's trademark pageboy. She felt a little funny going to the salon with He-Man's picture as her example.

"When I went and told them what I wanted, most people would show a picture of something from Pinterest or a celebrity or something, and I just showed them a cartoon, like, 'This is what I want for my hair,'" Murphy said, laughing.

Even with that level of commitment, she said her costume is nowhere near as intricate as those worn by some of the pros.

"Those people definitely take it up to 11. I think I went to nine, but those guys go to 11," Murphy said.

Two of He-Man's original animators, Phil Ortiz and Tom Cook, will be attending the convention. Murphy hopes she can stop by their booth and say hello.

She said she'll know her costume is a success if she gets stopped for photos by other visitors.

"What you want is for other people, other fans to appreciate what you've done and the work you've put in, and want to snap a photo," Murphy said.

For more information on the Wizard World Comic Con, go here.

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