She has fought Nazis. She has saved the world countless times over. And she has … retired?
That’s right, Retired Wonder Woman has left the superhero world for the world of bingo and conventions. She took a few minutes out of her nap time to talk with us about the life of a retired superhero and how to survive in the convention circuit.
When did you realize that it was time to retire from saving the world?
“I never wanted to retire, but after I lost my superpowers in a tragic blimp accident, I didn’t have much of a choice. I filed a disability claim with the Justice League but they wouldn’t recognize it. They said I still had ‘feminine wiles.’ As if that’s still a superpower in 1982! Bummer, too, because I’d especially love one of those big, blue placards to hang on the rear-view mirror. That would be a HUGE help when I go shopping because I can never remember where I parked the invisible jet.”
What made you decide to join the convention circuit after retirement?
“Well I do enjoy meeting people, provided I can keep a lid on the PTSD. Sometimes folks start laughing, then they start screaming and pretty soon I’m back in World War II trying to pull Steve Trevor out of a burning building, only it’s not Steve Trevor, it’s some dude in a Boba Fett costume and it’s not a burning building, it’s a Tardis, and man, do I need a drink.”
How long have you been visiting conventions since your retirement?
“Less than two years. My first big appearance was at WonderCon 2014 down in Anaheim where I was so popular, the food trucks let me eat for free. True story! Then I went to Rose City Comic Con in Portland and won their costume contest, at which point I thought, ‘This is WAY more fun than sitting around, eating Jell-o and watching Wheel of Fortune.’ So it was off to the races.”
What are your favorite conventions to guest at?
“The ones that pay me, of course! There are so many now, and yet they’re all a little different. East coast or west coast, big or small, it makes no difference to me as long as they’ve got heart. For example, in Philadelphia, ‘the city that loves you back’ I practically got the key to the city, while in hyper-caffeinated Seattle, it was all about moving fast and getting ahead. Meantime in Oregon, Eugene bought me dinner AND paid me in cash.
“Wait, were we talking about MEN or were we talking about COMIC-CONS???”
Do you have any advice for other superheroes, active or retired, who may want to guest at conventions on the side?
“Yes, keep it ‘unreal.’ If you’re gonna suit up, BE that hero and stay in character while you’re in public. I mean, nobody wants to go to Disneyland and see the dude playing Mickey Mouse whip off his head and start playing on his cell phone, you know? Keep yourself together. Otherwise, babies start crying and shit.”
How do you find costume items on a retiree’s budget?
“Thrift shops. Lots and lots of thrift shops. If you’re patient enough, many of the things you need will eventually turn up for next to no money. And if it’s not the right color, you can dye it or paint it or whatever. Some things, however, I had to make for myself, like my tiara. I hocked my original tiara years ago to pay off a bingo debt (don’t mess with those church ladies, they will CUT A BITCH!), so the one I use now is actually made from a random piece of rolled-up plastic. I think it might have been a cheap snow sled or something. Anyway, I cut it down, covered it in gold fabric, punched holes to thread a shoelace through it and voila! RESPECT!”
What do you think are the three most essential items for a superhero’s costume closet?
“Hmmm…probably business cards, Spanx and authentic accessories. Pay attention to the details and make sure they’re true to your character. For instance, I tried to get an invisible cane, but the best I could do was ‘slimming black.’”