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.