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.
No blog posts since Bravo? Whoops! How the time flies by!
I was going to post about Fan Expo, but it turns out that I don't have much to say this time. I spent most of my weekend working at the Cosplay Recovery Lounge, which was fun but didn't leave me with any stories to share. I also wasn't able to take photos - definitely not a selfie-con this time around. I spent a little time on Thursday doing some shopping, but other than that, when I wasn't at the Lounge, I was at home being exhausted (real-life job has been keeping me on my toes). However, I was extremely fortunate that I was able to meet up again with Asgard Barbie (and Mr Asgard Barbie) on Sunday for some fun #TeamPepper photos and then being a terrible tour-guide as we explored some of downtown Toronto's sights ^_^
Some other things happened this summer which I haven't commented on yet, like getting to co-host a Game of Thrones themed trivia night with the fab Bear Sailor Moon. While admittedly I was dying of heat in my dress that day, I still had fun and it was great to hang out with "Jon Ho" and meet BrigitFiddle among others!
August also included Mr Stark's birthday, which was a cosplay-filled affair. I pulled together a more complete version of Ammy from The Wicked + The Divine, and had fun spending foreverrrrr doing my makeup LOL
As for off-camera stuff, I've been working away on finishing Cersei for the last couple months, as well as upgrades or additions to the other costumes in my current rotation. That percentage counter over to the right is climbing, but it is so painfully slow T_T. Right now I'm trying to stop myself from working on anything else until Cersei is actually complete, but a couple new projects for other people have popped up unexpectedly and I might have to break for them :/ In any case, my instagram (@maishericostumes) is the place to look for current progress updates until I have more time to post collections here.
I've gotten back several sets of photos from photographers recently which I will be posting soon (I hope!!!) because they're gorgeous, so that'll be the next few blogs.
As for events: I thought that I was going to be finished for the year after Fan Expo, but I just can't turn down working with Cosplay for a Cure, so I will be with them at the Niagara Wine Festival parade again this year (Sept 24), as well as Hamilton Comic Con (Oct 1-2) and probably Forest City Comicon (Nov 5-6) as well! And can't forget about Halloween either. It's going to be a very busy fall!
Welcome to a new feature from Mai Sheri Costumes: Tutorial Tuesdays! I don't know how often these will be posted, but I'm looking at once a month for now - it depends on what people ask me about and how much writing time I have available. I post lots of progress photos of my work, but occasionally I get asked for a more detailed description of how I made something, and I decided to turn the answers to those questions into proper write-ups!
Take Note: this tutorial is not necessarily the "right way" to do things, nor the "best way", but is simply how I went about it when I made my own. Anyways, on to the project!
Photos of "Extremis Pepper Potts" are on my Iron Man gallery page: Click Here!
Another A-Pop has come and gone, and I have mixed feelings about the convention this year. It was my 4th time attending, and while on paper it looked just as exciting as it has the previous years, after actually attending I think that the shine has effectively rubbed off the event for me.
On Friday I wore a Kate Bishop Hawkeye outfit (a bit of a mix of my other costumes since it was too cold and rainy for the summery one I had planned) and after arriving at the Ontario Science Centre around 6, we spent the next few hours in line to get wristbands, greeting friends, and having dinner. By the time I actually got inside it was after 9pm, and what ended up happening was mostly Mr Stark, Yavarice, and I checking out the open exhibits and getting a feel for the con until I wanted to go home and crash hard at midnight. most of my photos are from Friday since I wasn't "working" and had full use of both my hands LOL
Saturday was the "debut" of my Extremis Pepper Potts, with an almost-complete arm from KW Stark Resilient.... a certain boyfriend didn't double-check that the finger joints were packed LOL. The arm will be ready for next time, and I should have a better wig too since the one I wore was the "close enough" one from my stockpile. I spent the afternoon volunteering at the Cosplay for a Cure booth raising money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. When I wasn't doing that, I was chilling with Mr Stark in his full armour, Dan The Video Ninja in a rare cosplaying appearance as Bruce Banner, and Ragz Cosplay as Spidey. I even ran into one of my friends from university (yes, I have a science degree) who works at the Science Centre and we had fun torturing Dan and Kat. In the evening, we managed to catch the circus show, and some of Elijah Wood's DJ set, but missed out on seeing Prozzäk perform when the fire marshal shut down entry to the area just after we left. We waited in line to try to get downstairs for a little while before being told what was going on by OSC staff and then we just gave up, headed home to take off the armour and makeup, and just listen to Prozzäk on CD. Still took me right back to being a teenager.
On Sunday I had been thinking about wearing Izabel, but I just couldn't get up early enough and I also didn't have all the costume pieces prepped and ready to wear. I decided to just go with my Iron Man dress instead, and in a twist, Mr Stark and I put "Deadpool" in one of my other costumes - Erika from Welcome to Night Vale. That was fun and he confused a lot of people at the con LOL! I spent the whole of the day on Sunday at the booth which was relatively chill compared to Saturday. More friends stopped by and I tried to talk them into shooting with us ~_^ My pals and I stuck around for the booth tear-down and we all had a lovely post-con dinner.
Still... A-Pop just didn't "do it" for me this year. Or last year either, really (though I kept the con report very positive). I could list off all the little negative things, but I think it really comes down to the size of the convention and the venue; all the programming is really spread out throughout the (huge) building, and the con has gotten too big for me to enjoy the events and activities that I loved the first couple of years that I went - either because of crowding or because they're not offered anymore. Although it was great seeing so many of my friends there and I enjoyed spending time with the Cosplay for a Cure booth, I don't think I'm going to be back again next year.
This summer is turning out to be incredibly busy as I'm being much more ambitious than usual with my event plans. Also much, much more ambitious than usual with cosplay plans! Here's how things are shaping up at the moment:
Game of Thrones
One of the costumes on my (long) list that I want to make is Cersei from Game of Thrones. Although I didn't put it on my list of "next 10" back in January, I ended up bumping it up on the schedule since Shelle-Chii invited me to her Thrones-themed birthday party and Elemental convinced me that I could put it together quickly. In the end, Elemental was mostly right. I got the dress completely sewn in time (although I did miss the beginning of the party because I insisted on hemming it hahaha), but I didn't get the belt done at all. Luckily Elemental had something almost perfect for me to borrow to wear to the party. I have since finished the belt and I'm going to try to do a little bit of the embroidery detail before the cosplay picnic this weekend. Below you'll find photos from the party, and the dress with my newly finished belt. I've also decided to toss in the closet/modern/whatever version of Ygritte (my other planned GoT costume) from my trip to see the costume exhibit, since Mage posted the photos she took recently ^_^
The actual Ygritte costume currently consists of a large bag of faux fur in my storage room, a small swatch of experimental home made imitation leather, and a wig.
Phase 2 things
I managed to squeeze in a couple of "fun" projects around my costumes recently, because taking breaks from big things is good and my creation-motivation has been unusually high for a while now! I made a baby-luma on order for the new child of a friend of the Video Ninja. Apparently the baby liked it, just like his big sister's ^_^
I also threw together a new shirt for summer, which was a frustrating exercise in creative pattern placement. I bought the fabric last year not really paying attention to how big the piece was and not realizing it wouldn't be enough for the dress I wanted, but it was so pretty I had to do something with it. And I think it looks nice with my Majora's Mask leggings from Lunaria.
So much (and yet also so little) to say about the inaugural Kitchener Conic Con.
Part 1: The Con Itself
I had a good time. I hung out with friends, got to know the KW geek community a little better, and saw a lot of people (especially families) being excited about comics.
I went with KW Iron Man, doing our Pepperony thing. Since he was a guest of honour and was doing most (or all?) of the cosplay programming, I spent almost all of the con sitting behind his table in the market place (an experience that all partners of "professional cosplayers" know all too well LOL). We weren't selling anything, but it was a convenient place to have all the extra armour pieces that we brought for the "props and armour" panel out on display promoting his work (especially since he was doing so many events that he was barely at the table). I was thrilled that Ragz Cosplay showed up since he kept me company at the table all day while Mr Stark was off doing his thing. I did have the opportunity to leave a couple of times for lunch and a little walk around the building, and was fortunate to be able to squeeze in some photos/video with Trillance, Everage, and Yo Napper while doing that. And when the con wrapped up, Mr Stark and I had a fun dinner out with a bunch of our cosplay friends ^_^
Part 2: The Con's Online Presence
Unfortunately, as much fun as I had at the convention, I feel I should at least acknowledge the issues surrounding KCC's disastrous PR. If you're part of the Southern Ontario con-goer community, especially if you know staffers from any of the other cons in the area, you probably saw at least a little of the drama being played out in the days immediately following the event.
I watch the event's Facebook page, and in the lead-up to KCC I was a little surprised at some of the comments that were being posted by the Con Com*. While the posts weren't outright rude, they were often written in a way which was casual, joking, or not actually answering the question which could easily be read as being rude, condescending, or elitist due to the loss of meaning in text communication. But I gave them the benefit of the doubt. That is until, the day after KCC, I saw the abusive post by the Con Chair directed towards an attendee who was unhappy about the con's parking situation... and the next couple of days of fallout and escalation and bullying and other people's experiences with the Chair which came through my facebook feed. The behavior went so far beyond unprofessional that they no longer have my benefit of the doubt.
The bottom line being that even though I had a great time at KCC itself and I would like to support the awesome artists, craftspeople, vendors, and friends I have made in the region, the aftermath left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. Since the con chair seems to be unable to treat all their attendees and prospective future attendees with respect, I would have a difficult time choosing to attend another one of their events.
If you read my blog regularly, you'll know I rarely get into the gossipy stuff that goes on at conventions. Most of the time it's not worth mentioning, especially since it rarely or never affects me directly, nor does it affect the experience of the average attendee. But the KCC statements have created a LOT of ill-will in the community, and when put together with the very poor treatment that Mr Stark and a few other friends received earlier this year from KW Tri-Con organizers, I'm pretty disappointed in Kitchener-Waterloo's ability to host events which are welcoming places for everyone to feel comfortable sharing our geeky interests.
*for those not involved in convention staffing "con com" refers to the convention committee, and the " con chair" is the convention chairperson aka the boss.
While I wait to get photos to go with my KCC report, I want to do a small progress post. I had really really wanted to finish one of the 3 costumes that I'm actively working on by the end of February. I tried hard to push at least one of them to a point where I could consider it complete. Unfortunately, I failed in that goal. (Though I take solace in that it's due to the fact that I've been splitting my time between >5 costumes this month instead of due to me slacking off)
I ran into different problems with each of my main projects (what I've decided to call 2015's Phase One)
Although I'm disappointed that I didn't get any of those three done, I am far enough along to still consider myself on schedule for my goals this year. Izabel was completed in January, and Mai and Princess Hawkguy are both far enough along that I can easily get both done in March. Then I can get down to serious cosplay business through April and May working on Midna and my Anime North back-up costume. Extremis Pepper's completion goal is for SouSho in June. Then I'm going to spend the summer working on the rest of Phase One (namely Nightingale and finishing Midna), collaboration costumes with/for KW Iron Man and Iron Girl (Phase Two!), and a couple brand new projects which I'm really excited to get started on (Phase Three!!)
Finally, I've been posting fewer individual progress photos lately, mostly because I've been working on so many different things a little at a time, saving image posts for when whole sections of a single costume are done. Sometimes I randomly put single progress images on Facebook or Twitter, but it really is random; I'm god about taking photos, but it disrupts my workflow at lot to try to post while I'm working on things. If you realllly want to keep tabs on whether I'm on track though, I've put a running progress meter for each costume on the right side of my blog (assuming you're reading this on my blog page). This way it's easy for me to keep myself accountable without having to constantly post images and boring descriptions!
Anyways, time to get back to work!
I'm going to be there with KW Iron Man as Pepper Potts - keeping an eye on that always troublesome Tony ~_^ He is going to be doing a "Props and Armour" panel with Shelle-Chii and London Batman, but I'm just going to be hanging around the con all day ^_^
If you're in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and want to check out KCC, come to Kitchener City Hall from 11 to 6-ish (Feb 28). Admission is free, but paid VIP passes are available which give priority entrance to events and discounts from some vendors.
Hope to see some of you there!
Kitchener Comic Con on Facebook
Photo: Elemental Photography at Tri-Con 2014.
I was tagged by Ragz to post my 2015 cosplay plans... I posted something similar already in December, but this is a more... complete... list.
Top row is actual goals for 2015: "Modern Mai" from Avatar fan art for whenever (with KW Iron Man as Zuko), Extremis Pepper (have to get off my butt and finish the glove), cover-art Kate Bishop from Hawkguy with Chris & Carrie and friends' Hawkguy group and/or Brian's Wiccan aiming for C2E2, Twili Midna from Twilight Princess/Hyrule Warriors for Anime North (dream costume; WHY WON'T YOU MAKE YOURSELF???), and Nightingale from Atomic Robo to wear with Featherweight as Robo (pants and boots done, need to finish the jacket, wig, and hat).
Second row is stuff I don't even have hopes of finishing this year, but since I have stocked fabric/wigs/etc for all of them if I find myself with free time will be putting work into them. L-R: Lolita Thor, Journey protagonist, Ygritte, Espeon, Miz Mishtal. Realistic completion on second row is 2016-2017 - just in time for Costume Con to return to Toronto! lol
I think everyone I would have tagged already has been, but if you haven't: feel free to pile on (and leave a link in the comments ^_^ )
Sam Sparks 55%