Despite doing "couple cosplay" together since we met, it's actually pretty uncommon for Mr Stark and I to do photo shoots together, mostly because it's been difficult to get our schedules to match up to actually go to cons together! So I'm extra happy that we got to shoot with Amaleigh Photography at YetiCon this year in our brand new Pokemon Professor costumes. And as a happy coincidence, we ran into 50 Shades of Fandom in her adorable Lillie costume, so we totally adopted her for the shoot! It was a lot of fun, despite occasional rain and my wig falling apart! Previews are below and lots more from the set are up on my Pokemon gallery page.
If you've read my various con reports, you will have already heard the story of my "Marvelous Coat", AKA my entry for Costume-Con 35's Single Pattern Contest. but I've finally posted the awesome photos that I took with Very Frank Pictures back at Niagara Falls Comic Con in the spring! I love them all, and the full set is up on my Captain Marvel gallery page now ^_^
Did I plan a far-too-busy Halloween seaon once again this year? You bet! So without delay, let's get to the opener:
EPIC HALLOWEEN BATTLES OF 'SEVENTEEN!
I've been going to Toronto's main geek Halloween party - Snailoween - since 2012, and have been hearing about the closest equivalent in Ottawa via Kurumasha for almost as long. This year I owed Kurumasha a visit, and the parties didn't overlap, so we decided to hit up both. Because I'm such a party monster >_> *ahem* Thus, I figured that I would write about Halloween by pitting the two parties against each other!
Who are you wearing?
First off, Heroes & Villains had a theme this year; it was actually "Heroes & Villains That Came From Space", which I thought was brilliant. It gave people an optional costume theme, and they carried the space theme through all the decor, drinks, music, and even some of the prizes! I decided to be on-brand with my only "alien" costume, Izabel, which also happens to be one of my faves (but I don't get to wear her often). Kurumasha was AMAZING and pulled off a last-minute and also totally legit Alana to go with my costume ^_^
Originally, Kurumasha and I were thinking about taking some new Marvel costumes to Snailoween this year, but in the end neither of us had enough time to finish anything, so we picked something party-friendly from our closets: Chihio and Lin from Spirited Away. As a bonus, it was going to be easy to make a No Face mask for Dan to join in!
But what did you think of the actual parties?
I'll start with the down-sides of Heroes and Villains: the venue was very hot, and the music was very loud. So between music volume and wearing the big fake ears I have for Izabel, I couldn't hear anyone unless they were yelling into my ear (and then: ouch). And while my makeup (somehow) survived dancing in the heat, the uncomfortable air plus use of smoke machine did force us to leave early - which means that we missed our photobooth time. But still, they had a pro photobooth to take everyone's photo; that's awesome! There was a large variety of prizes, everything was on point with the theme, music was awesome, and the venue was cool, even though it wasn't cold ;) Bonus: a lot of people recognized and liked my costume!!
The following weekend, I left the Snail party feeling satisfied, but I saw a lot of complaints about it in the week that followed, and while at first glance I was dismissive (things like "the music/DJ sucked" are completely subjective) the more I considered it, the more I realized that this year was pretty disappointing. The new venue was too dark to see everyone's costumes, lacked seating, and was generally a boring big box. My experience with the washrooms was worse than the previous venue - and they weren't even signed! I hesitate to describe the drinks as "expensive", but they weren't cheap and with only one bar, the lines were long.
While I wasn't directly affected by them, the policy of absolutely no re-entry, no ticket sales at the door, and controlled entry to the patio area? That sucks. I won't comment on the catering since I ate right before the party so I didn't bother with their food. I don't know who was awarding the merch prizes this year but the table was still weirdly full by the time we left. And while music taste is subjective, I enjoyed it up until the contest a announcements, after which the DJ switched to painfully slow R&B type songs which I could not dance to.
Ultimately though, not many of my friends went to Snailoween this year. And despite H&V being both too hot and too loud for my taste (and the prizes mostly unappealing since they were all specifically local) I had more fun there and saw just as many friends. Weirdly... Snailoween couldn't compete. So while I don't know if I will be able to make it back to Ottawa for Halloween next year, I will probably be looking at Snailoween alternatives closer to home.
I didn't take many photos, but here are some from both parties:
Wait, there's more?
Well, less "more" than I planned... I had wanted to go to the Kitchener Zombie Walk in my R costume, but unfortunately I came down with a cold that weekend and had to duck out. I had also been planning a Halloween-y photoshoot but it needed to be rescheduled until November for a variety of reasons. But that brings us to Halloween proper.
SHAKES AT POP'S
As in previous years I wanted a subtle/stealth costume to wear to work for Halloween since I don't like being the only one dressed up. So of course I went with my latest trashy addiction and put together Betty from Netflix's Riverdale. Nobody at the office recognized it, but I went to Fran's Diner downtown for dinner with a few friends and had fun ordering shakes with Iamwintermute who wore her Jughead stuff, and TrickyLove also arrived in time to get the hat I made for him and also be Juggy! (though I forgot to get a photo with him T_T) Yay for friends indulging me ^_^
And finally, the big post-Halloween "party" - Dan the Video Ninja's Extra Life stream, AKA:
This totally counts as part of my Halloween-a-thon because it was Nov 4, and because I dressed up. So there. As I'm sure you already know if you're reading this, Extra Life is a 24-hour gamaing marathon fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network hospitals. Dan's done it 4 times now and I've dropped in to help out every year! I'm not sure it really needs more description than that, so my photos are below, and Below that is Dan's highlight reel from the day. Enjoy!
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...
Yikes! I've been so busy since Fan Expo that I neglected to post my photos from the Thor: Ragnarok costume exhibit! Thankfully going to see the movie last night reminded me hahaha. I'm not planning to make any of these costumes myself, but maybe you will find these references helpful? The whole collection is on this page here, just a couple of highlights below, and feel free to message me if you want larger versions of any particular shots!
I haven't had much motivation to work on cosplay projects lately (there's been a noticeable drop off in progress photos posted to my social media feeds) but I have been slowly working my way though my backlog of cosplay photos. As a result I'll be doing more feature photo posts as I work on updating my gallery pages.
First up: Cersei photos by Dream Land Photography from Costume Con 35. It took almost 2 years to finish this costumes and I am so pleased to have these beautiful photos from Nathan to show for it. Full gallery with lots of info and tons of information is here: Game of Thrones
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 ^_^
It seems appropriate that in the wake of the Season 7 finale, and prepping Cersei to wear again this weekend at Fan Expo, I should make a post about her. And so I present to you the evolution of this costume from "cheap and quick for a party" to the almost 2 year project it became.
If you follow me on instagram, or twitter, or facebook.... you'll know that almost every Thursday night since last November I've been joining Dan the Video Ninja on his twitch.tv channel to stream video games. And you will also know that I wear a (casual) costume every time. I don't always match the game (sometimes I just don't have what I need on hand or I don't have the time to put something together for a single-sitting game), but I always dress up. I've been posting photos to social media every week, and as a baby-step on the way to getting this site up to date, I've started adding them to my side-gallery for casual cosplay, if you want to take a look at everything. I hope you enjoy, check out the photos, and maybe even join us for the next stream!
Amaterasu (Imperial) 99%