Anime North was back to business as usual this year, if not even bigger than before the pandemic. And as usual, I took very few photos... it seems like the bigger the event and the more people are there, the less I want to take out my camera. I need to work on that LOL.
With the long drive in to Toronto from my hometown I arrived later than usual, but did manage to (barely) make it to the "Hot Moms" cosplay meet-up wearing Grace from The Umbrella Academy. Afterwards I ended up spending most of the evening in the Greenroom for the fashion show with Kurumasha and Sarcasm Hime (along with running into a handful of other friends between that and the drag show). After dinner, we wrapped up the night having a dessert party with the ninja crew.
Saturday was very by-the-books as AN goes: get in cosplay in the morning (season 1 Amity Blight), browse the artist alley/dealers room, visit friends where I find them, then change into the bathhouse uniform to work the masquerade. This year I ended up running for the Master division, which was a nice - it's cool to see friends competing again! Overall I think the masq ran as smoothly as usual, but there was a notable difference - there is always a sense of camaraderie, fellowship, and friendship in the greenroom, but this year the contestants had cranked the positivity and support up to 11 and the vibe was just amazing. So very glad I get to play a small part of the event every year.
I decided to double-up on Amity this weekend, so Sunday was my (relatively) new season 3.1 version. I hadn't planned to go back into the vendors hall but somehow ended up there anyways, mostly chatting with friends. Dan the Video Ninja and I found ourselves watching the idol showcase - I've never gone before and I'll admit it was a much more polished show than I was expecting. The showcase was followed by the Masquerade Awards presentation, and then I wrapped up the con by attending Zee and Stillvisions' Caramelldansen throwback panel. Good weekend, good con, good friends.
And now here's my photos from the weekend:
This year was my first time attending CKExpo, and it was a good time! I went to see some friends, hang with new ones, and enter the costume contest. The contest was an experience... not quote what I was expecting but then new events often have surprises. I suspect it would benefit from having audio available to the contestants like most masquerade-type contests, given the performance focus. Most of the photos I took were of the contest, and most of them turned out quite badly, but here's a selection of the best shots
April 16 2023 marked the return of the Sarnia Pop Culture Show a.k.a SPCS, which I had previously attended in 2019. Now that I have moved back to my hometown, I've been happy to see the local shows return since I've really been missing meeting new nerd people. There wasn't much programming to comment on (aside from a MtG pre-release tournament), but it's designed as a vendor-type show, and that's certainly better than nothing. There was a really good turn-out, and I got hall-photos of as many of the cosplayers as I reasonably could... so here's the gallery! Enjoy!
Shortly before Kitchener Comic Con this winter, the munchkin got really into Undertale. Since making her a Frisk costume was as easy as sewing some stripes onto a shirt, it was an easy decision to put that together for her (and toss on my Temmie Twitch costume again too). I also added a face to one of the flowers from my Warm Bodies costumes and Mr Stark miraculously found a perfect-colour striped shirt for me. I'm not super happy with my makeup but since I drove in from Toronto in the early morning before the con, it could have been a lot worse hahaha
Very Frank Pictures was awesome and grabbed a few cute photos, which I have added to my Casual Cosplay gallery.
I'm also adding in the very few photos I took at Kitchener Comic Con here... every year KCC presents a different sent of challenges and this year was no different between schedule conflicts and having a table to hold down. Regardless I got to spend some time with Olivia's Atelier and a few other locals, which was nice.
The end of 2017 is approaching and there's just a couple of cons that I haven't blogged about yet: GTA Comic Con in November, and Toronto Fan Days last week. So let's get them all tied up with a pretty bow!
GTA was an interesting experience - Mr Stark and I were invited as cosplay guests, but instead of doing panels like we usually would, we were asked to do something interesting/creative/interactive with our table space. Since I don't normally have a table to begin with, and Stark gets one occasionally, we pretty much had a blank slate to work with and it took us a little while to finally decide on a theme. So what did we go with? Pokémon. Specifically the Alola region from the most recent Sun and Moon games. We already had our Professor costumes, so the concept was to wear them, and battle/trade pokémon with attendees, as well as having some colouring pages available. We even did a (probably) one-time-only set of pokémon theme cosplay prints. I wish I could say that our table was bustling with Pokemon fans all day... but it wasn't. Sadly the colouring pages got missed while packing for the con and we needed a flashier sign for the table, but we did meet one very enthusiastic young pokémon fan who we were very happy to chat with about the franchise. I hope that we have the opportunity to use what we learned to improve and attempt a "Taste of Alola" table again at another event in the future.
Table business aside, it was nice to see a handful or friends there and have prime seats for the costume contest (since we were right next to the stage) and our table-neighbours Joshua of the North and ReyGrey Cosplay were both awesome and fun to be sitting with. We even all traded photos at the end of the day. And speaking of photos... here are mine from the event!
And now the last con of the year (unless New Year's Eve counts... does it count?).... the event that used to be called D-TAC and is now Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. Or DTAC for short. I didn't go to do any shopping, but just as one last time* to see a lot of my local cosplay friends, all in one place. I was hoping to get a little Riverdale cosplay group together but in the end half the people couldn't make it but I chose to wear Betty anyways since it was easy and available.* I wasn't as festive as the last couple of years, just adding some antlers, but that was partially because Betty is such a simple costume that I didn't want to cover up any details, and also because I was short on prep time.* Anyways, the mission of seeing friends and cute holiday costumes was successful and I took lots of photos: see below!
And to wrap-up, Betty ended up in this cute Fan Days cosplay montage ^_^
*what's with all these notations? Something I haven't really posted about yet - at the end of December I'm moving from Toronto to Kitchener! So a lot of my costumes and cosplay supplies are packed or just inaccessible right now, and I won't be able to make it out to as many Toronto events next year. Related.... I'm selling a handful of my costumes and other assorted supplies, check here for all the details.
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!
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 ^_^
I was at ConBravo! for all 3 days again this year, but I guess I was too successful at being a stealthy ninja because I feel like I somehow missed most of it. Go figure. Friday is understandable - I spent the day at work, then took the bus to Hamilton, and by the time I had arrived. picked up my badge, checked in to the hotel, and gotten into cosplay... there was time to take a real quick look at the dealers hall and then go for dinner with Kurumasha. I'm not even sure why I bothered to put on my Kate Bishop costume - I didn't even take a selfie. But it was good to see Sha again and dinner was perfection.
Saturday was the big day - convention time during the day, then being a Stage Ninja for the masquerade in the afternoon/evening, followed by a group Wicked + Divine shoot to wrap up the day. So Kurumasha and I spent the morning doing our goddess makeup for Badb and Amaterasu respectively, went to Cosplay for a Cure to get photos and hang out with friends in the afternoon, until it was time to do the masquerade thing. I couldn't ninja my makeup off so I just did what I could to hide in the shadows anyways LOL
While it otherwise ran relatively smoothly, the masquerade did finish later than expected which meant that we were rushed to meet with Jen of Verberg and Dan the Video Ninja for our shoot with Dream Land Photography... but we made it work in the end. Jen and I had been trying to find a time to cosplay Luci and Ammy together for months, so I'm glad that it finally happened, and even better that we had Badb and Baphomet along too.
Sunday was a lot more chill. I was "on call" at Cosplay for a Cure but the other volunteers for the day mostly had everything covered so it was nice to get to wander away regularly as well as chill with the ever-growing Ain't No Pretty Princess cosplay group. I've got shots from Cosplay for a Cure and Dream Land Photography to share from that group too... coming soon. As usual my own photos (plus a couple others) are below... mostly Saturday. Between carrying around my bass and fighting off con-plague sniffles on Sunday I didn't have my camera out.
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!
I was at NFCC a couple of years ago, and while I skipped 2016, I was back this year to work for my friend Ice Phoenix Art at her AA table. So that means I don't have a ton to write about - I mostly spent the 2 days behind the table, making some sales but mostly keeping Ice Phoenix company. Aside from that I did a little bit of shopping, visited my friends at Cosplay for a Cure (and their neighbours the Ontario Ghostbusters) and finally did a proper shoot of my "Marvelous Coat" with Very Frank Pictures. So I'll share some selfies (the pro shots are coming soon) and leave it at that... for now ^_^