Tales From The Bayou City -
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Fair warning, this story does not actually have an appearance of Rowdy Roddy Piper. It does however feature a man who apparently shops at the same store. Houston was long known as the place where geek conventions went to die. Most would last a year or two then peter out and go away. Either through bad management, bad luck or even just a lack of interest to keep them going large scale conventions like Comic-Con or Gencon just were out of the scope of Houston's grasp.
Comicpalooza changed that. Here was a convention that went large scale almost from the start. Headquartered at the George R. Brown and featuring just a large scale mix of movie celebrities, writers, wrestlers and local celebrities, this quickly because the largest convention for geeks, nerds and pop culture aficionados everywhere. The celebrities brought in the fans by the thousands, and the convention responded.
Megastars in their respective fields were paid to be guest hosts. Patrick Stewart, Stan Lee, Boris Vallejo, several leads actors from the Doctor Who franchise to list just a few all headlined the convention. With them the fans came, and many of them in costume. Cosplay has become a major hobby in the last few years, and what once was considering people just playing dress up now has tv shows and talent contests devoted to it. The popularity has soared so much that many people make a living creating costumes for the cosplayers or even modeling as various movie or video game characters.
The cosplayers are a mainstay now at Comicpalooza, you can't put your arms out and not touch one it seems. The high concentration of cosplayers draws the media out as well. Cosplayers make good fluff pieces, many of the costumes are highly elaborate and their models get into their role. Its not uncommon to see a cosplayer with a particularly well made costume to be followed by photographers and cameramen, both amateur and professional.
So what does any of this have to do with Rowdy Roddy Piper? Sometimes the media gets so wrapped up in the costumes on parade they lose they can ask a question without thinking. Last year one gentleman attended the convention sporting attire identical to the wrestling superstar of the Wrestlemania days of the WWF. With a Hot Rod t-shirt, kilt, WWF championship belt and wrestling boots his costume wasn't a mystery. A reporter was running from cosplayer to cosplayer asking each one if they were indeed the person they were dressed up as. Asking a man dressed up like Batman if he was indeed Batman can be construed as a pointless question. The reporter however kept up her line of questioning from guest to guest until she encountered our wrestling inspired cosplayer. She asked him live on the air if he was supposed to be Rowdy Roddy Piper, to which he gave the best interview of her segment.
“What? No, it's laundry day.”