Playing catch-up some more… late in 2015 I got involved in a couple of events which were new to me - the Parkinson Superwalk and Niagara Wine Festival!
Etherbloom invited Mr Stark and I to join her hero-themed group for the Parkinson Superwalk in Burlington. I had hoped to get my Captain Marvel costume finished in time for the walk, but nothing ever works out so I threw on the next-most “superheroic” (looking) costume I have - Sally Impossible from Venture Bros. For all intents and purposes, I was an alt-colour Mrs Incredible for the day and although I wasn’t as awesome as Batman, Supes, Wonder Woman, or Iron Man, some of the kids were thrilled to see me. I wasn’t just there for entertainment though; I did the fundraiser walk in costume! Unfortunately I never got to see the official photographer’s photos, but below are a bunch that my friends and team-mates took. Featuring Stark Reality, The Real Toronto Superman, Amazon Princess Wonder Woman, London Batman, Etherbloom, and the rest of the Harvey's Heroes team!
A week after the Parkinson walk was a very different (still walking-heavy) event: I joined Cosplay For A Cure at the Niagara Wine Festival parade! I wore Cersei because it’s one of my few readily-wearable and non-casual costumes, is recognizable for anyone familiar with the show, and I thought a wine festival was just too appropriate for her. The group ended up being fairly small (there were a few conflicting events that weekend) but so many of the kids on the parade route loved seeing us (especially the princesses and Spidey) that we were one of the most popular groups! Even Cersei got a lot of hugs from little girls ...and laughs from the parents who knew the character. Featuring Skyleaf Creations, The Symbol of Hope, Last Minute Cosplays, and more friends who I don't have links for XD
I hope that I can attend both events again in 2016 and that we have even more cosplayers joining in!
I did my first shoot with Sean's Photography at Niagara Falls Comic Con and so today's update is of a relatively recent shoot! Sean got some really nice photos of Mrs Impossible so, of course, my Venture Bros gallery has been updated!
Venture Bros Cosplay Gallery
A couple of weeks ago, I went to my first NFCC! Since I couldn't go to ColossalCon this year, and SouSho was delayed to 2016, I figured I should add something new to my calendar, and apparently a lot of my friends were going to be at Niagara Falls. I commuted in with Ragz Cosplay on Saturday and Sunday to save some money on a hotel. I had wanted to finish my Iron Man mk. IX gauntlet to cosplay "Extremis!Pepper" from Iron Man 3, but unfortunately I had considerable trouble with the paint on Thursday night and had to leave it at home. Instead I brought out Mrs Impossible for Saturday (most likely the last wear for that costume because it is way too small), and Kate Bishop on Sunday.
I didn't end up going to any panels or signings, or other programming at all over the weekend, with the exception of the costume contest awards announcement to support my friends who entered. What I did do for 2 days was walk the hall and exhibitor's room, did a little shopping (Hawkeye vs Deadpool and Sex Criminals vol 2 from Big B Comics, and a shirt from TeeTurtle because I hadn't packed one and needed to change), but mostly just talked to people and took photos, with the Cosplay For A Cure booth being the main loitering point XD It ended up being a remarkably enjoyable convention since I had excellent company all weekend, I was amazingly anxiety-free, and I was able to get in a private shoot each day (with Sean's Photography and Elemental) as well as a few mini-shoots on the grounds with other photographers I have met over the last year or so like Very Frank Pictures, Peter Wang, and Cosplayers Canada. I even made it into Cosplayers Canada's magazine! (page 21)
This was one of those cons which was made great by the people who were there. I'm not a big-spender (especially at conventions) so vendors and AA aren't a big deal to me, and while there was a nice variety of programming, none of it specifically spoke to me. Same with the celebrity guests. Organizationally, the con was a little lacking. Doors were signed but with things like "re-entry not guaranteed" instead of useful information like "entrance" and "exit". Different days the entrances and exits were in different locations, and even throughout the day the doors we were allowed to use constantly changed. I was very surprised that an event which boasts "more than 23,000 fans" attending didn't have a badge system for attendees - some got wristbands (to be honest I'm not sure if they were for weekend or VIP passes) but single-day people like myself and Ragz only got a hand-stamp on entry (or a somewhere-stamp, because: costumes LOL).
I made this the first "selfie-con" of 2015 and I'm pretty sure I managed to get a picture with almost everyone there who I knew, and some I didn't XD Gallery posts from my private shoots coming soon!
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
Although I wasn't there last year, I've been attending Ad-Astra since 2006, and returned this year because I was asked to be a judge for the masquerade. As experienced as I am and as much as I love working backstage at masquerades if I'm not entering, judging is not something I feel I'm suited for, but the masq director cornered me on this one LOL. I have to admit, it was nice to be back. Being a literary sci-fi con, there's an atmosphere of chill maturity and friendliness that I don't see often at other media conventions, and I really like it. It was nice to see many aquaintances again who either don't attend the other local anime cons, or whom I simply tend to miss at bigger events. Unfortunately, Ad-Astra's membership has been declining slowly but steadily (since before I even started attending), which was evidenced in the quiet hallways, decreased variety of programming, and only a small handful of my cosplay friends attending. The vendor's room felt like the only area of the convention where people were actively mingling. So Saturday, when there were more people in attendance and I had my masquerade duties to keep me occupied, was good fun, but Sunday when I was there on my own with no plans between handing out the masquerade awards in the morning and a photo shoot in the afternoon... I got pretty bored :(
Anyways, the masquerade was great; small but we had some strong presentations and lots of pretty costumes. KW Iron Man couldn't bring his suit to enter, so he had a go in the "Lightning Round" and made what was later dubbed the mk. "Downey". Kheru, one of my fellow judges, brought out her gorgeous layer cake dress (Firefly), and I did myself up in my Crystal Entropy costume, and was asked if I was riffing on Elsa for most of the day LOL. Sunday I brought out Mrs Impossible, simply because I wanted to get photos of her at a bar and Ad-Astra was a good opportunity to do so. Below you can find a small collection of photos taken by myself, Iron Man, and Rob Olsen. I shot with Rob, who I met at Tri-Con, both days; the Mrs Impossible photos have been added to my Venture Bros gallery, and Crystal photos will be updated a little bit later.
My goodness, it's been a long time since I made a blog post, hasn't it? Even though I had thought I would have a lot of free time in the Autumn to work on cosplay and to update the site, I ended up spending pretty much all of September and most of October working non-stop on costumes for New York Comic Con, and then Unplugged and Halloween happened. I thought I was free and clear for November - February, but then this weird "social life" thing crept up on me, and there was the last-minute decision to check out Frost Con, and an invitation to KW Tri-Con, which has all added up to doing lots of stuff and cosplaying and making things... but little to no updates to my poor site. Even my other social media/gallery type places (Facebook, DeviantArt, and Coscom) haven't been properly updated in ages.
So how about starting with the most recent? This past Saturday was Frost Con in downtown Toronto. I hadn't been planning to go, but Iron Man talked me into checking it out by bribing me with a Gravity Falls costume.
We made it to the con later than planned, and I was fairly overwhelmed by the crowding when we did get there. They definitely got more people attending than there was room for. So Elemental, Iron Man and I found a quiet room in the lower level of the hotel and had a really silly, fun private shoot; we said hi to the friends we had there, and got a couple really mushy shots with my friends over at Cosplay for a Cure. Photos from all those shoots (as well as the big set from Centre Island in the summer) will get posted when I get them. In the mean-time, here's a typical teenage selfie teaser XD. There are some minor changes/additions we want to make to Robbie's costume, so next time we do the group he'll be perfect LOL.
We didn't end up going to the comic con which Hobbystar was running on Sunday, because I was doing a thing for Dr Holocaust and Captain Awesome. Watch the Doctor's YouTube channel, Facebook page or Twitter feed for it to come out within the next week or so. We all suffered out in the cold for this video, so everyone better watch it! ^_^
Back to the subject of new photos being posted though, I have started on posting the backlog I have sitting around. I pulled together a brand new costume for NYCC at the last minute: Sally Impossible from Venture Bros. The whole story and photo gallery are in my VB gallery.
And in non-cosplay-related news, I've been playing LEGO Marvel Heroes. I'm absolutely addicted to the LEGO video games and the MCU has done a very good job of getting me more and more interested in Marvel, so I leaped at the chance when The Video Ninja invited me to do a "let's play" series with him. So if you're interested in hearing me geek out (mostly over Iron Man - PEW! PEW! PEW!) and basically just make it harder for Dan to play the game, here's all the episodes which have come out to date, and the first one is embedded below.
Sam Sparks 55%