Back in the spring there was a day when Dream Land Photography and I (and Piratica and Dan the Video Ninja) went down to Toronto's Graffiti Alley to test out my latest inventions - I mean, take some Ghostbusters photos. I've updated my Ghostbusters gallery page with the full set because they are all amazing and I'm so glad I got to shoot there. Next time I better have the whole team with me!
In addition to the photoshoot, Dan and I gave my studio a pseudo-science makeover and recorded a cosplay interview video! It feels like for ever since we last did one of these projects and it was fun to be able to do it for Holtzmann, even though it wasn't an especially labour-intensve costume. Check it out below to hear all about what I did and why ^_^
I have one last bonus video to squeeze in today: musician Brigit O'Regan (who I met last year) surprised cosplayers at Fan Expo Canada by playing their theme songs - and she ran into me at the Ontario Ghostbusters booth! Try and spot me hahaha...
Continuing the tradition of the last few years (I was there in 2015 and 2016), Cosplay For A Cure marched in the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival Grand Parade. I joined friends and Niagara-region local cosplayers to entertain kids and families on the parade route, with the added benefit of promoting cosplayers as community-minded and charitable creative people (as opposed to stereotypical weirdos or hardcore competitors). Unfortunately the weather wasn't cooperative this year - with temperatures above 30°C and most of the parade route in direct sun we suffered some losses to our numbers due to heat exhaustion. I'm glad I took photos before the parade started because only 7 of the 11 of us made it to the end!
And here are those photos: I got some "candids" of everyone this year as well as group photos (and a couple shots of our adorable Junk Band parade neighbours).
Despite spending most of my time at the Cosplay Recovery Lounge at Fan Expo this year, the weekend was somehow a whirlwind blur of old friends and new faces. I wish I had been able to go to some panels or celebrity Q&A's, but as usual, I was just too busy and/or distracted by the rest of the con.
As the last big con of the year, I had to bring out my favourite costumes of the year. Friday was Cersei, Saturday was Holtzmann, and Sunday was Alice for the Ain't No Pretty Princess group (I couldn't make it on Thursday because of my work schedule). Friday was a very early morning for me but somehow I managed to arrive at the MTCC in full costume in time for my opening shift at the Cosplay Recovery Lounge. I didn't take many photos during my shift (since the room is a "no photography" zone) but I did have a chance to talk with some awesome cosplayers who visited the room and had fun with Alex and Kat - my coworkers for the early shift ^_^ Once the afternoon shift arrived for the lounge I ran off for lunch and then sadly missed getting to hang out with The Marvelous Girls of KW. Boo: timing. However, I ran into Snowhawk and King of the Freaks instead and spent the rest of the con mostly checking out the North building with them, which was a nice chill way to wrap up Friday.
I started off Saturday with a photoshoot with Elemental, who is always a blast to work with. As always, I'm looking forward to seeing the photos from the set! Once we parted ways I decided to visit the Ontario Ghostbusters table (because of course) in the time before my shift at the lounge. It was nice chatting with them (and hopping in on some photo requests) and of course I took advantage of the opportunity to try out their equipment! After that I was off to work again, this time with Alex, Megan, and Kiga. Despite being busy, fortunately we had things covered and it was a chill afternoon/evening of helping people and making more new connections in the community, which are two of my favourite cosplay things. I didn't hit up any of the after-parties, but I did go out for dinner with Ragz and Jonathan afterwards which was certainly better XD
Sunday was my day of relative freedom to actually see the South building. We started the day off with an "Ain't No Pretty Princess" shoot with the fantastic Paul Hillier - I'm super psyched to see the shots he got! We had the largest gathering of the band yet - Merida, Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Kida, Ariel, Belle, and me in Alice! I had to change up the details of my costume a bit this time - my feet were rejecting the black boots I usually wear, so I swapped them out for my new red chucks...and of course my art-brain screamed that I couldn't just wear red shoes with a blue and white outfit so I added the red rose, lipstick, and Easter-egg-esque Queen of Hearts stuffed in my top. I think it works, and the forced creativity gave me some ideas for next time I wear her.
Then I finally got to see the South hall! I needed to visit my friends at their tables (unfortunately I only found Ice Phoenix Art and Chibik3r0, but hey, at least I found them!), and I wanted to check out the Vikings booth (last year I spent a lot of time in front of it but now I've actually watched a few seasons of the show so I HAVE CONTEXT), but the thing I was most psyched for was seeing the Thor Ragnarok costumes on display. I'm not planning to make any of them, but I just love seeing costumes in real life, and I took TONS OF PHOTOS. I think some friends might appreciate the reference material... >_>
Here are my selfies and other photos from the weekend for your entertainment:
Let's finish up with a few of my fave photos that other people took ^_^
Last year I had a good time at YetiCon despite being in a terrible mood because of bad cosplay juju, and this year I had a good time despite being constantly rained out so I think that says a lot about the awesome people that I went with (both years). I was much more ambitious than usual going in: I attempted to make 3 new costumes for the con (Kevin for Mr Stark, and Professor Burnet and Milotic for me), and while Kevin was the only one that got 100% finished, my other 2 were more than wearable, so that was a good start.
Since Mr Stark doesn't get to attend many cons with me, we picked our costumes to coordinate all weekend - we figured Wendy and Robbie from Gravity Falls would be location-appropriate for Friday (though I don't think we ended up getting any snaps with Ragz's Dipper or Logan's Gruncle Stan, who were both also around); Professors Kukui and Burnet (from Pokémon Sun/Moon) for Saturday's Pokémon Snap hike, followed by Milotic and Blastoise for our friends group of water-type Pokémon for the pool party; and Ghostbusters with Elemental on Sunday.
I did try to do more convention activities this year than last - but somehow that didn't really work out... I partially blame the rain, which I got caught in at least once... every day. We attempted cosplay bingo, rode the mountain coaster, played about half a round of mini golf before getting rained out, and went on the Pokémon hike (which not only ended in Mr Stark, the Video Ninja, and I soaked through and temporarily stranded at the top of the mountain, but also the Celebi supposedly at the top had already been stolen). Sadly, pretty much everything else that I had planned or attempted to do was rained out, or missed because I was spending quality time with friends XD
So big props to all my hotel roommates (and extended roommates) for the awesome company, great food, cosplay groups, game nights, and not-so-pool-party water Pokémon; to the other friends I saw and played games with and hung out with over the weekend; to Amaleigh for shooting with Mr Stark and I (not to mention the adorable and awesome addition of 50 Shades of Fandom); and extra props to Kiirokeishi and Dan for picking up the camera unasked ^_^
My photos are below, along with some of my faves that other people took... and as usual, full gallery updates with photos from private shoots will be coming later... as soon as I finish all the con reports!
It might be preemptive to call CC35 the convention highlight of my year, but it might well have been. Because, while I didn’t get to attend nearly as many panels as I would have liked, or eat and sleep well, or take almost any photos… I managed to finish all my projects on time, enter not one but TWO contests, and run an imperfect but apparently successful panel/demo. And, as always, spend 4 days with my cosplay fam.
We arrived Thursday evening to have time to chill and prep for an early start on Friday. I didn’t cosplay during the day on Friday to save my energy (and outfit reveal) for the evening. I did hit up a couple of panels though, including the always entertaining “Costume Horror Stories” and “Vinyl Cutting” (the latter of which wasn’t relevant to my budget but was interesting as a higher-tech version of my own Freezer Paper demo). Then it was time to prep for the Single Pattern Contest.
My entry for the contest was using the coat pattern option (#M7025), and even though the “costume” was just the coat, I had decided to do some character and runway appropriate(?) hair and makeup which was time-consuming (but worth it). Luckily I still got to the greenroom on time and judging/photos went smoothly. I was really impressed by how elaborate some of the Single Pattern entries were, and was feeling pretty intimidated considering that my own coat felt very simple or too close to the original design once I could check out everyone else’s projects. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was thrilled to see someone else had picked a Marvel character for their inspiration - check out this Loki Coat!
In the end the runway/stage section went smoothly, although I had a hard time hearing the MC and could definitely have timed the “reveal” of my coat’s lining better. Regardless, it was fun and a nice relatively chill warm-up event before the Sci-Fi masquerade. And…. [drumroll, please]..... I won best coat!!! I was really, really shocked considering what everyone else had brought to the contest. I got to bask in the crowd admiration (hahaha) with friends briefly at the social before it was time to pick up Mr Stark and Little Stark and get them checked in to the hotel. We went back to the party, but sadly it was pretty empty by that point in the night.
On Saturday I had a similar plan to Friday - casual wear during the day (this time my twitch-quality Link cosplay) to get me through masquerade tech rehearsal and any panels I wanted to go to before changing for the sci-fi masquerade in the evening. In the end I spent the afternoon socializing and instead of going to panels, but nothing wrong with that. I got into costume a little earlier than greenroom call time to shoot with Dream Land Photography so I have some great photos of the finally-complete Cersei!!!
The masquerade greenroom was chaotic but ultimately everything got sorted out, as it always does. One of the cool things about Costume Con is that very few masquerade entrants are first-timers, so just about everyone knows the greenroom drill. I have to admit that workmanship judging was nerve-wracking, not only because this is Costume-Con, but because the judges really really had their game-faces on and when they didn’t seem impressed by what I thought were the best parts of my costume I panicked just a little. At least the stage portion went smoothly - better than I had expected (especially since I was shocked to discover that I would be entry #5 which meant that I didn’t have as much time to practice as I had assumed). The audience reacted well, and I could hear laughing as soon as the second track kicked in, so that was a big relief that at least some of the crowd knew the song well enough to know where it was going. So without further ado, my masquerade entry “Set the World on Wildfire” (video courtesy of Dan The Video Ninja, as usual).
Luckily, since I was so early in the show, I was able to join the Starks in the audience to watch the rest of the show! That never happens! Once the show was over I joined the line to return to the stage for photo ops, though this time I was at the end of the line (probably because I was coming from the audience instead of the greenroom hahahaha. Once that was done, I ended up chatting with a bunch of people in the hallway about my costume while waiting for the awards announcement. And at the awards…. I WON TWO! “Honourable Mention for Fabric Painting” in workmanship, and “Future Arsonist” award for stage!!! I felt so validated in terms of the hundreds of hours I put into painting, especially since the judges hadn’t seemed to like it at the time. I also hadn’t realized until the awards that one of the workmanship judges is the head of the ICG >_> oops/yay?
On Sunday Little Stark and I both dressed up as Ghostbusters, though sadly we didn’t get to actually spend a lot of time together clearing the hotel of spooks and spectres. I stopped by the Future Fashion Folio to see what people had made, and then took my Cersei dress and belt to the masquerade show and tell panel (where I got to hear praise from the judges so that was nice), and after that the rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for my stencil demo in the last panel time slot of the day.
As for that demo… we started late because the panel ahead ran long, and I’ve never tried to do a stencil in an hour before (the fastest I have done *without* teaching/answering questions is 90 min) so I tried to have as much pre-traced and pre-cut as possible. And while only half the shirt actually got painted I think that I effectively demonstrated the technique, and with minimal derailment. Unfortunately, I hadn’t actually downloaded my photo references to my computer and poor Kurumasha was left with the futile task of trying to get my laptop to connect to the hotel wifi so I could show other examples… and it never did. I felt worse knowing that the wifi had been working right outside the room in the hallway as I did my prep work. In any case, big props to her for trying anyways and helping out where she could. The demo had a full room and everyone seemed to take something away from it.
After that the evening was chill - I watched the Historical Masquerade for the first time and was happy to cheer on my friends who went on stage! I’m also glad to have a much better idea of what is expected of a Historical Masquerade entry now, just in case I ever decide to finish my “in progress” period costume and want to compete at CC38, (which will be in Montreal, as was announced after the show Sunday night! Yes, I have already bought my membership). The night wrapped up with a late but delicious sushi dinner and discussions about fandom, con-running, life, the universe, and everything late into the night.
I didn't get up to any convention activities on Monday - just packing up and saying our goodbyes and being unsure as to how I accumulated so many ribbons over <72 hours.
Kitchener Comic Con was an unusual experience - I was going as handler and assistant to Stark Reality, who was a guest again this year. Instead, Because of course this is how things go, I ended up supervising the kids LEGO activity table for most of saturday and hanging out at the Cosplay dance party corner with Iron Girl on Sunday (which was great until my feet remembered that they hate my ghostbusting boots). But I did get to see some friends, both KW locals and others who drove in, and even got to see one of Mr Stark’s panels (because that never happens)!
As usual, here’s photos from the event ^_^
... and also as usual, I'll wrap things up with a few nice shots that friends nabbed at the con.
I spent the weekend at TCC this year similarly to how I spent many of the conventions in 2016 - working with the costume contest. This time, however, I was working with a different team of people on a different type of contest. Comicon doesn’t offer a masquerade-style contest, instead it’s a “Craftsmanship Contest” which gives entrants a few minutes each to talk to the judges and show off their costumes up-close. My job was the same as usual though, taking entrant info, answering questions, and generally herding cats. While the contest kept me quite busy all weekend, I was fortunate to have been visited at the table by many of my friends, and of course the rest of the contest team are all great people! Being busy meant that I only took a few photos but let’s face it, I’m always terrible at remembering to do that.
While I didn’t do any shoots, I did have fun with my weekend cosplay (especially coordinating with Rikkuriffic on Fri and Sat), and the reactions to Holtzmann were heart-warming ^_^. Sadly, almost nobody seemed to recognize our Rat Queens characters >_>
However, I got to meet and hang out with lots of cool new people and old friends, between cosplayers stopping by the contest table and chatting with the neighbouring tables/booths. And if you want to check out the results of the Craftsmanship Contest, all the photos are over on their facebook gallery. I had a surprisingly great time at the convention this year, and I'm hoping that I can do the same again next time!
Oh dear, poor Mai Sheri has fallen down a hole in the past month, only crawling out to Save Hyrule and cause mayhem. but I promised I would post my Frost Con photos eventually, and here we are.
I spent the weekend working the booth for Cosplay for a Cure which kept me fairly well occupied so I didn't take a lot of photos or do a lot of wandering around. I did, however, chat with most of the people manning the guest/club tables in the room during slower times though, and that was nice to see old friends and meet new people! I did manage to squeeze in a mini shoot for Holtzmann with Dream Land Photography and got some shots at the booth in my bassist Alice, but those pics will be posted a bit later.
So here are my photos:
... and of course some lovely hall shots that I've found:
Bonus! Maximum Khaos snuck me into his convention video!
While I'm still finishing up some of the accessories for my Holtzmann costume (making boot toppers, side shields for my glasses, and getting my hair done) and Mr Stark is still up to his elbows in proton pack assembly, I have managed to accumulate enough photos to open a new gallery page.
I wore Holtzmann out to DTAC this month with a special substitute "proton pack" made of a large (but probably not large enough) mass of tangled christmas lights and my old Crystal Entropy gun. Unfortunately, because I wasn't sure that the outfit would be ready until the last minute, I didn't book any photo shoots, but some lovely photographers nabbed great photos in the hall, and I should have more photos coming later thanks to an impromptu mini-shoot with Skyleaf Creations.
Looking forward to having this outfit at 100% (whatever that means for something with a ton of optional bits) in early 2017!
... and while we're talking about it, how about a collection of progress photos of the jumpsuit? I haven't done these progress posts on my blog lately (pics just go live to my instagram and FB pages) but I miss it a little.
Somehow I ended up taking fewer "selfiecon" photos this year, despite being at more events (I'm going to blame either being on staff or working with Cosplay for a Cure at most conventions for some of that) so I was determined to get as many as I could manage at DTAC; my last con of 2016. Photos below!
... and a bonus few non-selfie hall shots from other attendees...
My Holiday Holtzmann ended up in a couple of convention videos, too... this one on facebook, and the one below (I'm at 1:05)
Sam Sparks 55%