Still playing catch-up with con reports, and I'm also going to attempt regular updates once a week to help keep me on track - so here's hoping that I'll have new blog posts every Monday night as we go forward.
After completely failing at taking photos at Costume Con, I was determined to come away from my next convention with a camera full of photos. It always makes me a little sad that I have so many friends at conventions, but no photos of us having fun to enjoy between events. So AN this year became "#SelfieCon" which is to say that I tried to get a selfie with every person I know that I ran into (and any new friends too). And while it was still sometimes hard for me to ask people for photos, and I missed a handful of people because I or they were too busy to stop and pose (as happens a lot when so many friends are on staff) and there were even more people who I managed to completely miss seeing at the con... it was a resounding success. Clickity for the whole #SelfieCon gallery. (image heavy!)
Thursday: Ever since Anime North started doing Thursday night pre-reg pick up, I have taken advantage of being a local and picked up my badge early to avoid having to wait on Friday, and this year was no different. Even though being on staff in recent years means that the lines aren't a concern, it's still much more convenient for me to take Friday off of work and spend Thursday night at the con hotel since it gives me a chance to actually relax a little instead of dealing with travelling across the city on the bus, with all my luggage, during rush hour, and then immediately needing to go into con-mode on arrival on Friday. That shit is hella stressful (and is why I always have my bitch-face on if you meet me on a Friday I had to work before going to a con in the evening). This year, Thurs was all about chilling and having an excellent pre-convention dinner at Montana's with Kia, Ice Phoenix, Elle, and Cloudbreak after Elle had wrapped up her shoot with Trillance (who I finally got to meet this year, woo!).
Friday: Friday was mostly social for me, including getting to have lunch with Kildread and Lt.Finn, both of whom are long-distance cosplay friends who I don't get to see very often, so that was really nice! I also decided to try entering the "Costume Workmanship Contest" which was run for the first time this year. It was run similarly to how many American "hall cosplay" contests are run - an up close examination of the costume by a panel of judges with no stage or audience component. As someone who is highly craftsmanship-oriented, it was really nice to get to enter this contest and not have to worry about what I'm going to do on stage (and spend half of Saturday in the green room) or hope for a traditional AN hall award (which is if a wandering judge happens to see your costume and likes it). I decided to enter Mrs Impossible, since while it's a relatively simple costume, I am really proud of how cleanly I constructed it and how true to the source it is, especially considering that spandex tends to be a challenging material. And without a Venture Bros group and a comic convention audience I have no idea how I could present that costume on stage well in a masquerade setting XD
Saturday: my "serious" cosplay day, with a very not-serious costume. I wore my "T-shirt Chell" costume (check out this blog for an explanation) and was up and dressed early for my only scheduled shoot of the con with Everage. I was also really thankful for the new Starbucks at the hotel, cuz I needed that green tea frapp. In the afternoon, once Yavarice had returned from meeting Chris Hadfield at the photography expo a couple blocks away, he and Calamity and I did a quick shoot with Jenn Marvel and Rebel Shotz Photography at the Cosplay for a Cure booth since we had coordinated our outfits for masquerade staffing. (he even made each of us a custom Portal-themed badge!)
...And then came the masquerade! The last couple of years I have been a "runner" for the green room, which is mostly getting all the entrants to where they need to be and is similar to herding cats and just as frustrating. Fortunately, I really like the job I get once the show actually starts, which is taking each den of entries from the green room to the stage. There's a lot of waiting involved in the process, and also a lot of last minute nerves for the entrants, so I try to take time to talk to everyone, and getting to see all the costumes up close is a sweet bonus XD. It makes for a LONG night on my feet though, and I didn't get to see a single entry on stage *sigh*
Sunday: After the late night of masquerade, and late-late dinner afterwards, getting dressed and packed and checked out of the hotel in the morning was rough.
And Strabucks ran out of matcha which was the worst. thing. ever.
And the costume I had decided to wear, Goth Kim Pine, turned out to be a very poor choice for the day due to temperature-related reasons.
And the ATM's in the area had run out of cash - I had to go to four before being able to get some money.
And I couldn't find Kurumasha after the kimono fashion show, so I didn't see my drift partner all day, or get to say goodbye (did I mention that my cell reception was crap all weekend? yeah, that too.)
But the day wasn't actually all that bad. I got some gifts for friends and myself from vendors in the Crafters Corner (including Alex Boake Illustration), hangouts with other friends I hadn't yet seen at the con, and there was also the masquerade awards ceremony! This year, all the main costume contest results (Workmanship-only contest, Skit contest, and Masquerade) were announced at a single event on Sunday afternoon, which as an entrant/audience member I thought worked out pretty well. Also HUGE props to whoever had the idea to have photos of the winners on the screens since very few people wore the same costumes on Sunday as they did at the masq. To top off my weekend, I was awarded "Best Drafting and Fit" (master division) for Mrs. Impossible! I'm really proud of that ^_^
After heading home, Dan the Video Ninja and Kia and I discussed our AN experiences over sushi and I joined Dan for his post-con vlog. Then sleep - ALL THE SLEEP
As I'm now officially "on hiatus" from conventions, it's probably high time to catch up on a few con reports, huh? Let's start with Costume Con 32. Words at the top; all the photos at the bottom.
This was my first ever Costume Con, because even though what I love most about all the cons that I go to is the costuming, when they're not remotely local to me it's difficult to attend. When Kaijugal and Sarcasm-Hime announced that Toronto had won the bid to host CC32 three years ago, I had grand plans for a really impressive costume... and as things are wont to do, those plans totally collapsed in on themselves. When it came down to it, I had nothing to enter in any of the competitions and not even anything new and cool to bring out for photos. But I pulled some of my favourite costumes from my closet to wear in the halls and headed out anyways.
Elemental and I arrived Thursday night thanks to a ride from Kurumasha. I was too late to pick up my badge, but luckily there was time to make a trip to the hotel pool with Kurumasha and Calamity before totally crashing for the night.
After getting my badge on Friday morning, I spent most of the day wandering the con out of costume. Ok, not completely out of costume, but close. I needed to assist with costume assembly and also do a fitting myself during the day so there didn't seem to be a point to cosplaying until after those were taken care of. The costume construction portion was prepping Kurumasha's "Single Pattern Contest" entry, which was a very literal interpretation of "using the pattern creatively". There were supposed to be several of us assisting but unfortunately the others got stuck in traffic so it was down to just 'Sha and I taping tissue paper to her XD. In the end, I wore my Alice in Wonderland costume to the Friday Night Social, and she won an award for her "Best Literal Interpretation" LOL. The social itself was fantastic, and every detail was monster/horror themed! Our local maid and butler cafe groups did an amazing job with everything. After leaving the social to get some pizza for a late, late dinner, my friends and I spent the evening hanging out and finishing last-minute details on our costumes... or in my case experimenting with Worbla (more on that in a future blog).
Saturday started with a hilarious (and informative) workshop about drafting bunny suit patterns ("bunny suits" like playboy bunnies, not like Easter bunnies XD) run by Gillykins and Gina G. (and friends). I wouldn't count on seeing me in a bunny suit anytime soon since the corsetry parts are way beyond my experience level, but it was a good learning experience and I came home with the beginnings of another pattern for my stash. Once that was done, it was costume time: Pepper Potts so I could hang out in character with KW Iron Man and Iron Girl XD.
I attempted one more event in the afternoon, a swap meet, for which I brought 5 bags of fabric and notions and only managed to get rid of 3 small pieces. That was disappointing. It seemed that everyone who stopped by the room was looking to get rid of things and nobody wanted to take anything home. Unfortunately, that's been consistently my experience at convention cosplay swap meets, so maybe they need to be marketed differently. *shrug*
After that was watching the masquerade, and I just want to say WOW. I've never seen such a consistently strong show, both in costume quality and staging. I did not envy the judges' job. It made me both glad that I didn't have the pressure of entering, but also disappointed that I wasn't even trying. Big props to all my friends who entered and even bigger to winners Calamity, Kudrel, Melting Mirror, Vickybunnyangel, Elemental, Melanie, and Iron Girl! (other thanks go to Kia and Gord for grabbing us awesome seats)
I had hoped to go to some of the room parties Saturday night, but since my friends and I decided to stay in the main room to wait for the judges' deliberations and because the awards ran so late, I missed out (or was too tired).
On Sunday my one and only real obligation at the con had me up bright and early. OK, maybe just early. I had volunteered to model for Andrea Schewe, who is a pattern designer for Simplicity, which meant i had to have my makeup and hair done and be at the greenroom far too early, in order to get into costume for the fashion show of some of Andrea's recent designs (which was the half-time show during judges deliberations for the Future Fashio Folio). Andrea is a really lovely woman and the costumes were so exciting to get to wear - I doubled up and got to wear both Galadriel's dress from The Hobbit and one of Cersei Lannister's gowns. As a Game of Thrones fan, I was particularly happy about that second one ~_^ I wish I could have kept Cersei... to the point of going out of my way to pick up the pattern recently even though I don't know when I would have the time to make it. Sadly, I had to return the dresses right away so I only have the photos of the Game of Thrones dress on stage, and the hall shot of Andrea and I.
After the fashion show, I had planned to wear my Goth Kim Pine costume but plans changed when I heard that Empress of Squee was going to be wearing her Cheshire Cat, because I wanted to try to get some photos with her. When I found her, to my delight, she was hanging out with Ani-BEE's Red Queen! how perfect??? No professional photos of the group, sadly, but I did get some awesome creepy 'out of character' pics with Eleventh Photograph. I went to the photography panels run by Elemental and Solar Tempest before getting ready for Sunday night's plans - Kurumasha's birthday party! (unfortunately this meant skipping watching the Historical Masquerade in favour of dinner and cleaning up our hotel room) The party was awesome, however, and a great way to wrap up the bulk of the weekend playing games and talking cons & costumes with new and old friends.
Monday was really chill after checking out of the hotel I wore my sloth kigu around the con, stopped in at the Game of Thrones costuming panel, registered for Costume Con 35 (which will be back in Toronto!), and generally socializing. When my friends and I did leave, we decided to continue taking advantage of having the day off by plaing board games at my place followed by a visit to the Video Ninja for our weekly Monday-night routine of watching Game of Thrones. Was a pretty good extended convention weekend overall and I loved getting to see so many of my friends again.
.... You may have caught that I mentioned Costume Con will be heald in Toronto again - we (well, more accurately the ConBravo team) won the bid for the next available location with write-in votes! So if you are at all interested in checking out a Costume Con but can't make CC33 in Charleston SC or CC34 in Madison WI (because the majority of my readers are also in Ontario), it'll be back in the GTA in 2017. Pre-registration is available now if you're ready to snag a badge really really early ^_^
And now, ont to the photos... almost entirely taken by other people. Credits labelled on each pic :)
Amaterasu (Imperial) 70%