Another year, another Ad-Astra. My ninth time attending; their thirty-fourth year running! Which I really only mention because it makes me a little sad that so few of my convention-friends have even heard of Ad-Astra, and many have asked me if it's a new convention. Despite its small size and relatively low attendance, I like Ad-Astra. I got to know most of my good friends because of this con, I entered my first masquerade (and won my first award!) at Ad-Astra, and I've learned more in the cumulative cosplay panels I've attended there than anywhere else*. I really hope that more costumers start attending (or go back) in the coming years.
So here's my quick con report, with a photo gallery below ^_^
Friday I dressed as Gabriel, for what is probably the final time. (I would like to keep cosplaying Gabe, especially with the renewed interested generated by the Constantine show, but the costume is old, doesn't fit anymore, and Gabe's wing stumps need to be entirely replaced after what I put them through) Most of the evening was spent hanging around the hotel lobby, waiting for Calamity and Kurumasha to arrive so we could check-in, and then waiting for Elemental to finish her Thermoplastics panel, then foraging for dinner. But then, then... it was time. Time to put Gabriel in a pool. Time for the photoshoot that I've been waiting to do since 2007 (no, seriously, look at this: me complaining that I missed my chance eight years ago), and which Elemental has wanted to shoot with me for almost as long. We were fortunate with our timing in that the kids cleared out just as the lighting was set up, and nobody kicked me out XD. Looks like Elemental got some great shots, Toast was assisting with lighting and grabbed my BTS pics, and I can't wait to post the new images when they're ready!!!
Sunday was a little rough around the edges - not enough sleep plus check-out plus masquerade awards at 10am (are you getting that I'm not a morning person?) but I was eventually vertical and presentable by 11:00 and we even checked out around noon XD But the day still went well - I wore Kate Bishop again, and this time with the "right" makeup XD, won an Honourable Mention for Izabel ( the "You got guts, gurl" award XD) from the masquerade, got rid of some ribbon and buttons at the cosplay swap meet, had a nice lunch with friends, and attended the Cheats, Tricks, and Illusions for Costumes and Props and Mascots and Big Costumes panels, both of which had some very interesting little tidbits for me to take home for my own projects.THe whole day wrapped up with a long chat with Jen and Dawn about conventions, masquerades, and costuming in general.
Saturday was unusual for me in that I actually wore two costumes in one day! Since I was planning to enter Izabel in the masquerade, but didn't want to deal with the makeup all day, I decided to just wear Kate Bishop for the first half of the day instead of just dressing "civilian". Kate"s "costume" is mostly street-clothes as it is so the plan worked out well... except that I couldn't put on my usual fashion makeup because it would mess with my facepaint for Izabel. So I feel like my face was very under-dressed for cosplay, especially when next to Kurumasha who was in full Hawkeye and looking awesome, Bro. Team Katie-Kate play-tested Exploding Kittens in the game room as part of International TableTop Day and I had a lot of fun with that. I didn't back the Kickstarter, but I'll very likely be picking up the game once it gets a major release. Big ups to our other players Jon, Jon, and Mike :)
As green-room time approached I ran off to pink-ify myself for the masquerade, and this time I timed myself. Two hours to fully get into makeup and costume on Izabel. I might be able to shave that down a little with having my supplies better organized, but there are so many little fiddly things to take care of, that it won't make a big difference. Which means I'm going to be dealing with a hell of an early morning for the Cosplay Championships at C2E2. UUUGGHHHH. Anyways, the Ad-Astra masquerade ran well. Very small (only 11 entries including 2 "young fans") but with Dart, Jayuna, Kurumasha, Sarcasm-Hime, and I all at Master level I think we put on a good show for the audience at least. Even though there weren't many entries, the audience was still full! I ended up with footage of myself, Jayuna and Kurumasha, so I'll share them with they make it to YouTube. I was really hoping to hit up the dance or at least one room party after the masquerade, but instead er ended up hosting most of our friends in our hotel room just hanging out and chatting until finally a decision was made to get dinner around 11. No energy left for partying when you don't get back to the hotel until 1:30 and still have to remove all that pink makeup!
* Costume Con might have beaten it, but I managed to attend almost no panels there so... oops. >_>
Sam Sparks 55%