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!
Toronto ComiCon 2016
Before I talk about this year's Toronto ComiCon, it's been a while, so I want to catch up on a few things real quick:
I'm going to lots of cons this spring! Every other weekend, in fact, starting last week with MTCC. Here's what it looks like:
I'm making lots of things! On top of costumes for myself and collabs with friends, I'm pushing my boundaries with props, which includes having entered Worbla's TranspART contest. I really hope I manage to succeed at actually making something which isn't a disaster!
... That's probably enough of a brief catch-up for now! Moving right along....
Toronto Comicon a.k.a MTCC a.k.a MTAC!
I went in to Comicon this year with a plan: buy some makeup, buy a wand, cosplay with friends, and take selfies. I had even avoided scheduling any shoots ahead of time, because I just didn't feel like it. Anyways, neither of the makeup or wand vendors which I had hoped to shop at were at the show this year, which was disappointing. I didn't get my new costume done on time so I wasn't part of the group that i had wanted to join. And I kept forgetting my camera at home, so I only grabbed a few selfies with friends and cool people on Saturday.
BUT, I did get to hang out with friends for most of the weekend, saw lots of great costumes, and was kidnapped for mini shoots by Dream Land Photography, Santiago Ortega, and a huge group of Game of Thrones cosplayers. Stopped by the body-painting panel by Evie E and Shelle-Chii and picked up one new thing to try with my makeup in future. Oh, and I got lots and lots of street-passes ^_^
As usual, here's a little gallery of my selfie-con pics as well as some of my favorite shots which have popped up so far Additional photographers: OOC Photography, Tim Bermingham, Michelle Flannigan, Very Frank Pictures. And bonus content: I got the opening shot in Neffy A's video!
Izabel - everyone's favourite pink alien ghost girl XD. I love making all the faces in this makeup - wish it was easier to apply so that I could wear her more often!! I've added lots of photos from C2E2 to the gallery - stuff from the hall and from the Crown Championships of Cosplay! I've also been slacking about posting the fun edits that KW Iron Man has made with Elemental's photo - both a "comic cover" manip, and adding me into scenes from Guardians of the Galaxy... because I like to troll myself.
Izabel Cosplay Gallery
My C2E2 recap is being split up, because it's just too much for one post. Part 1 is the usual con-report, and Part 2 focuses on just the Crown Championships of Cosplay. Big wall of text here... scroll to the bottom for photos and video!
What is the "Crown Championships of Cosplay"?
It is a relatively new competition which is aiming to be a very prestigious contest featuring winners from other competitions across America and the rest of the world. Since it's only the second year running, it's not quite there yet (this year there was only one "Eastern Champion" present - the winner from NYCC), but they seem to be quickly gaining traction and attention - even the Chicago Tribune featured photos from the contest! Entrants applied for the contest ahead of time online so all the costumes were pre-judged based on photos and descriptions before being accepted for the contest. Judging for the awards was based on backstage craftsmanship judging and posing on stage - no skits, solo entries only, no music. All the contestants were divided by source material* and awarded a 1st-2nd-3rd winner from each category, with an overall 1st (crown)-2nd-3rd awarded from among each of the first place winners (and large cash prizes on the line). In theory, the first place winners from the other contests are also in the running for the "Crown Champion" grand prize, but this year there was just the one returning winner from NYCC.
Here are the 2015 entrants, a really talented group of people!
So how did that go?
My day started very early (considering I was on vacation) - I had to get up at 7:30 am to start getting ready. I've streamlined my Izabel makeup process each time I have done it, but even then, it took a little over an hour and a half to put on the whole costume. I was ready on time though, since we were supposed to be at the convention and ready for judging by 10:00 am. As an aside, terror is going to judging wearing water-based makeup in the rain O_O Ragz and I were assigned judging times shortly after 11:00, so we just waited around the holding room instead of trying to do anything in the meantime. We met and chatted with Star Eater for a while since she's a fan of Saga, asked Josephiroth about the size of his sword (heh heh), and spent a little time in the hallway talking to Lady Thor, Goddess of Thunder and Rattle and Burn and of Oneiromantic Designs, but I was too distracted and brain-dead for proper socializing.
The judging itself went well, I think. There's not a whole lot of advanced techniques or labour-intensive work on Izabel, but they did say "oh, that's a good idea" a couple of times while explaining what I did and why I made some decisions. So I left feeling pretty good that even if they weren't impressed, the industry professionals seemed to at least approve of my work. Squee ~_^
After judging I did the round of photos for C2E2 and some for Cosplay Culture Magazine, and was free to leave for the afternoon. There was an optional live-stream interview session arranged with twitch at 2:00 which both Ragz and I decided against attending... I'm not super comfortable being interviewed on camera, let alone it being a live broadcast, and since I'm not aspiring to be a "professional cosplayer" and I'm not a commissioner, I don't need the self-promotion. I still haven't watched the recording of the interviews, but Stark saw them as part of the Championships pre-show, and said we made the right choice when we declined to participate. According to his review, the interviewers had no idea what they were talking about (making themselves look like idiots), and as a result of trying to answer their questions, the cosplayers didn't look any better. Very unfortunate.
The stage show wasn't scheduled until 7 pm, but we were asked to return to the holding room at 5 so that everyone could go to the other holding room (which I'm just going to call the greenroom) all together so people didn't get lost. On one hand, arriving 2 hours early was not at all necessary given that all the pre-judging and photos had already been finished in the morning, but given how long it took to get all the contestants and costumes up to the greenroom, I guess it was a good idea after all. We had to go from the first floor at one end of the (huge) convention center all the way to the fifth floor on the opposite side of the building, and had to do it in groups of 10 or so people because we were taking elevators. That took a long time to happen.
The next bit is where things started to get rough. At 6:30, we were ushered down to the fourth floor (which is where the main stage was) and lined up in a concrete hallway. We proceeded to stand around in the hallway, posed for some backstage photos and video, and continued to wait. I don't even know how long we were there, since I left my phone, and the other belongings I had with me, in the greenroom so I wouldn't have to worry about them on stage. After what felt like an eternity of waiting for the pre-show to end and for the MC to stop talking (almost nothing in terms of actual words was audible from backstage, or even on stage), we got to take our brief walk across the stage. But once that was done, instead of returning to the greenroom (where the tables and chairs and our stuff was) to wait for the remainder of the show and for the judges' deliberations, we had to line up again in that back hallway, ready to parade back out for the awards. So we were stuck there, in the hall, with no chairs, no water, and no washrooms until sometime after 9:00 when awards were finally given and we could leave. So that's over 2.5 hours stuck in the hallway. I was unlucky in that I hadn't thought to bring my phone with me, so I couldn't get in touch with anyone, or see the fan's choice polls, or take photos with the other contestants; but I was lucky in that I was definitely in one of the most comfortable costumes in the contest. I don't even know how Groot survived.
So we all went back on stage, the awards were handed out, and then back to the hallway again, where we then had to try to find a staffer who could show us the way back to the greenroom where many people had left their stuff! Unfortunately, we were totally on our own for getting back to the holding room on the first floor for the swag bags everyone was getting for participating. The halls were crowded with the audience also trying to leave the building for the night, so we ended up having to back-track quite a bit when routes we took to avoid crowds ended up not going where we thought they did.... I was so sick of being in costume that I was removing all my accessories as I was walking down the hall. By the time Mr Stark met back up with us in the holding room, I'd taken off my wristbands, gloves, guts, hat, wig, and ears.... basically everything I could. Didn't care how weird I looked going back to the hotel. At least the swag bag was useful for holding all the pieces of my costume!
My Final Review:
I knew when I applied that I wasn't going to win anything (especially with the "top-three" award system instead of the "excellence deserves recognition" system I'm used to) but I wanted to have the experience of entering a contest in the US, and one where the emphasis was on workmanship instead of on performance seemed like a good fit for me. Even though I'm often cripplingly shy, my favourite thing about masquerades is getting to talk to the other contestants and learn from them or just admire their work, and make new friends. Talking-shop about costumes and conventions is the best icebreaker I have LOL Since my end goal was not to win the crown, but to have fun and meet some amazing cosplayers, I consider the contest a huge success.
... All that having been said, given the hassles of this style of contest, it really seems designed only for people who are serious about winning. I don't think I would enter again... it's hard to justify having to be so uncomfortable for so much of the day instead of getting to enjoy the rest of the convention. And that's coming from someone for whom "cosplay" is the main draw of almost every con.
Links for awesome people that I missed above:
Groot: Jim Schmid
Lady Sif: Phire & Brimstone
Captain America: Cap Santiago
Peggy Carter: AsgardBarbie
Loki: Son of Asgard Cosplay
photo: Video Game Tidbits
photo: KW Iron Man
photo: Gregory Romany
And a full list of winners (with photos!) is available over at Midlife Crisis Crossover.
*not all entries ended up in the same category that they applied for - several of the other "comic book" cosplayers had applied for "movies and TV" but the contest directors made the final decisions on which category each costume would compete in.
My C2E2 recap is being split up, because it's just too much for one post. Part 1 is the usual con-report, and Part 2 focuses on just the Crown Championships of Cosplay.
Thursday (Day 0)
It was a long, long drive from Burlington to Kitchener to Chicago, but at least I had good company with my awesome friend (and driver) Ragz and equally awesome boyfriend Mr Stark. Highlights of the drive included watching the first episode of Daredevil, dropping in on my parents for a short visit, billboards for Lion's Den because we're mature grown-ups, and marveling at Michigan's roadkill (too many raccoons and deer to count plus TWO wild turkeys!). Lowlights included a traffic jam for an invisible flipped truck before we even picked up Stark, a long detour before realizing that the GPS was sending us to Ottawa to avoid toll roads, the interstate we needed to be on literally not existing due to construction, and creating a time paradox (I mean, getting confused) when the GPS knew that Chicago is in a different time zone but we didn't.
In the end we arrived exactly 12 hours after leaving (objective time) and were very relieved to discover that the Chicago South Loop Hotel was precisely as advertised: free parking, free wifi, clean and pretty, and the staff were all very very nice ^_^ We took a quick walk around the area after settling in and ate at the only place we found: White Castle. Started to realize why the hotel was so affordable.
Friday (Day 1)
We started off our convention bright and (relatively) early with a photoshoot! The AnarCHris (of Chris and Carrie Creative) arranged for a Hawkeye-based cosplay group to get together for some fun photo times. CHris was Hawkguy, Allycat Alisha was Mockingbird, Pepperbots was Black Widow, I contributed Kate Bishop, and of course, that's Ragz as Wiccan and Stark as Deadpool/Iron Pool. Big thanks go to Eddie B Photos for taking the pictures!
After the shoot wrapped up we picked up our badges and headed to the show floor! Unfortunately the Canadian contingent managed to get separated from CHris within about 10 minutes of being in the exhibitors' area (which could only be the result of how busy and chaotic the place was, because it's actually difficult to lose someone as tall as CHris - see photos above XD). So we just wandered on our own, resisting the temptation to buy everything everywhere. We got stopped for lots of photos (Iron Pool especially was a big hit!) and I even saw someone with a super cute Katie-Kate shirt! (I regret not getting a photo with him) In the afternoon Mr Stark and I caught the Thrilling Adventure Hour Concert Film screening, which was pretty sweet. The brief Q&A with a lot of the main Workjuice Players was icing on the cake.
We had wanted to catch Adam WarRock in concert not to far from the hotel on Friday night, but exhaustion and a few other things conspired against us. Things like having an extremely difficult time getting a hold of some dinner, and having to evacuate the hotel for a possible fire somewhere on the second floor. In the rain. That was... fun? Not really. So that was lame - I had really wanted to see him live.
Saturday (Day 2)
This was the Crown Championships of Cosplay day, and a lot of my day was taken up with craftsmanship judging and photos and greenroom time and the actual show... but not quite the whole day. We stopped by the Marvel photo shoot in the cosplay lounge for a little bit and the guys hopped into some photos. I made sure to stop by the Image booth with Izabel, found a The Will cosplayer for a photo (unfortunately I didn't see any of the other Saga cosplayers who were around that day), and said hi to CHris and Carrie over at the Athena's Wink booth. And then costume touch-ups and back to the contest stuff.
Sunday (Day 3)
As the only day when none of us had any obligations in the morning, we all slept in. Very snooze, much yes, etc. When we did get moving, Stark and I went with our Viria13-Avatar costumes. I regret not getting a chance to do a test run of Zuko's scar before hand, but after just a couple of attempts I think I got something acceptable. It was barely visible under his wig and hood anyways, and at least now we know how to prepare for wearing them again at Anime North. Like, three people recognized us as our characters (though two of the three thought I was Azula, not Mai) so that's good I guess? In our relatively "comfortable" costumes, Sunday became designated shopping day while we picked up some things for ourselves, a couple of gifts for people at home, and too many (ha!) copies of Yaya Han's bodysuit pattern from the McCall's booth as requested by friends at home. The rest of the night was spent decompressing back at the hotel with some drinks, card games, Daredevil, and Game of Thrones.
Monday (Day 4?)
I had hoped that we could do some sightseeing before heading back home on Monday, but we were all pretty worn out from the weekend, and considering how long the drive to Chicago took, ultimately the decision was made just to drive back home. It was another long trip, though significantly shorter this time since we never got caught in traffic, construction, or headed the wrong way. Tried to turn roadkill-spotting into an actual game (especially in that apparent Michigan Kill-Zone), but nobody wanted to keep score. "No Stark, for the last time, we're not stopping at Lion's Den". And the last bit of geekery for the trip: getting Ragz hooked on Thrilling Adventure Hour on the ride home. It was pretty good driving entertainment ^_^
But tell us Mai Sheri, how did C2E2 measure up?
I had fun at the con. It was nice to see my AmeriCon friends and meet some new ones. There were a lot of cool guests and panels and meet-ups going on. Lots of fun, positive cosplayers, and if the exchange rate wasn't so bad, I would have come home with a LOT of books and merch. Unfortunately, a lot of other factors decreased my enjoyment a bit, mainly our issue with the hotel's location. It was the same distance from the convention as our hotel was from NYCC when Ragz and I were last there, so I thought it would be fine, but the big difference was that the NYC hotel was close to countless restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores, etc, while South Loop had nothing. So concerns about food and travel meant that I didn't do as much socializing as I would have liked, and that also contributed to missing some meets and panels I would have liked to have seen. As did the cosplay contest.... I'm used to giving up a lot of my Saturday if I'm competing in (or staffing) the masquerade, but this one was definitely the biggest time-sink so far.
I would like to return to C2E2 again... but I probably won't be back next year. Even though I had a great time at the con, I have a limited travel budget, and I think in 2016, I'd like to try somewhere new, once again ^_^
Another year, another Ad-Astra. My ninth time attending; their thirty-fourth year running! Which I really only mention because it makes me a little sad that so few of my convention-friends have even heard of Ad-Astra, and many have asked me if it's a new convention. Despite its small size and relatively low attendance, I like Ad-Astra. I got to know most of my good friends because of this con, I entered my first masquerade (and won my first award!) at Ad-Astra, and I've learned more in the cumulative cosplay panels I've attended there than anywhere else*. I really hope that more costumers start attending (or go back) in the coming years.
So here's my quick con report, with a photo gallery below ^_^
Friday I dressed as Gabriel, for what is probably the final time. (I would like to keep cosplaying Gabe, especially with the renewed interested generated by the Constantine show, but the costume is old, doesn't fit anymore, and Gabe's wing stumps need to be entirely replaced after what I put them through) Most of the evening was spent hanging around the hotel lobby, waiting for Calamity and Kurumasha to arrive so we could check-in, and then waiting for Elemental to finish her Thermoplastics panel, then foraging for dinner. But then, then... it was time. Time to put Gabriel in a pool. Time for the photoshoot that I've been waiting to do since 2007 (no, seriously, look at this: me complaining that I missed my chance eight years ago), and which Elemental has wanted to shoot with me for almost as long. We were fortunate with our timing in that the kids cleared out just as the lighting was set up, and nobody kicked me out XD. Looks like Elemental got some great shots, Toast was assisting with lighting and grabbed my BTS pics, and I can't wait to post the new images when they're ready!!!
Sunday was a little rough around the edges - not enough sleep plus check-out plus masquerade awards at 10am (are you getting that I'm not a morning person?) but I was eventually vertical and presentable by 11:00 and we even checked out around noon XD But the day still went well - I wore Kate Bishop again, and this time with the "right" makeup XD, won an Honourable Mention for Izabel ( the "You got guts, gurl" award XD) from the masquerade, got rid of some ribbon and buttons at the cosplay swap meet, had a nice lunch with friends, and attended the Cheats, Tricks, and Illusions for Costumes and Props and Mascots and Big Costumes panels, both of which had some very interesting little tidbits for me to take home for my own projects.THe whole day wrapped up with a long chat with Jen and Dawn about conventions, masquerades, and costuming in general.
Saturday was unusual for me in that I actually wore two costumes in one day! Since I was planning to enter Izabel in the masquerade, but didn't want to deal with the makeup all day, I decided to just wear Kate Bishop for the first half of the day instead of just dressing "civilian". Kate"s "costume" is mostly street-clothes as it is so the plan worked out well... except that I couldn't put on my usual fashion makeup because it would mess with my facepaint for Izabel. So I feel like my face was very under-dressed for cosplay, especially when next to Kurumasha who was in full Hawkeye and looking awesome, Bro. Team Katie-Kate play-tested Exploding Kittens in the game room as part of International TableTop Day and I had a lot of fun with that. I didn't back the Kickstarter, but I'll very likely be picking up the game once it gets a major release. Big ups to our other players Jon, Jon, and Mike :)
As green-room time approached I ran off to pink-ify myself for the masquerade, and this time I timed myself. Two hours to fully get into makeup and costume on Izabel. I might be able to shave that down a little with having my supplies better organized, but there are so many little fiddly things to take care of, that it won't make a big difference. Which means I'm going to be dealing with a hell of an early morning for the Cosplay Championships at C2E2. UUUGGHHHH. Anyways, the Ad-Astra masquerade ran well. Very small (only 11 entries including 2 "young fans") but with Dart, Jayuna, Kurumasha, Sarcasm-Hime, and I all at Master level I think we put on a good show for the audience at least. Even though there weren't many entries, the audience was still full! I ended up with footage of myself, Jayuna and Kurumasha, so I'll share them with they make it to YouTube. I was really hoping to hit up the dance or at least one room party after the masquerade, but instead er ended up hosting most of our friends in our hotel room just hanging out and chatting until finally a decision was made to get dinner around 11. No energy left for partying when you don't get back to the hotel until 1:30 and still have to remove all that pink makeup!
* Costume Con might have beaten it, but I managed to attend almost no panels there so... oops. >_>
Bonus Photo Post
Since I have a small back-log of things to upload, it's time for a second February photo post!
First I'm excited to have nice photos of my Iron Man dress (made this past summer) instead of the selfies I had up until now. I've wanted to make an Iron Man dress for a while, but I was holding out until I could find a print which wasn't the retro character design. I had several problems putting the dress together (Burda's pattern really frustrated me for something relatively simple) but in the end I like how it turned out. Looking forward to wearing it lots once the weather warms up again!
If you have followed my blog since last winter, or have received one of my lumas [she wrote, knowing full well that while there might be a few readers in the latter group, there's almost no one exclusively in the former] you'll be aware that I make customized character-based luma plush toys, using clearkid's luma pattern. For Christmas 2014 I added a single new luma to the family, a Hulkling to go with the Wiccan that I made for Ragz last year. Although I made Wiccan knowing almost nothing about the Young Avengers, in December Ragz was kind enough to loan me a few of the books after I expressed an interest in cosplaying Kate Bishop, who I'm familiar with from the Hawkeye books. And I surprised myself by actually really liking the first two YA books ("Sidekicks" and "Family Matters") and realizing that Wiccan-Luma really really should have a Hulkling-Luma to keep him company!!!
Tangentially, I'm not sure about cosplaying the YA version of Kate, because dat fabric and dat outfit and I'm not as young as I once was.... but it's a maybe. we'll see how I feel about being Princess Hawkguy first.
And to wrap up, the blooper reel from my "Being Izabel" video has been posted! Yikes. Never put me on camera, people >_>
Luckily, it's not all embarrassment regarding that costume - I had a total "Sempai noticed me!" moment when Fiona Staples (the artist behind Saga) retweeted and reblogged my photo; and SO MANY positive responses followed!!! I know that the numbers aren't very impressive as internet-fame goes, but those are a TON of faves and notes for someone with my usual level of recognition *_*
General thank you to the Saga fans and the universe for helping me feel really good about this costume! ^_^
First things first: sending mad props to all my friends in the last stretch of the Katsu Krunch (and there are an awful lot of you...) even though they are all too busy finishing their amazing new costumes to be spending time reading my blog. I've been watching my friends' (and my roommate's) costumes come together through progress photos, blog posts, and almost daily Google Hangout sessions over the last couple of months, and they are all going to look amazing. On one hand, watching everyone work so hard makes me feel like a bit of a bum since I'm just la-dee-dah-ing through casual costumes with no deadline at the moment, but seeing everyone else working so hard is also doing wonders for my motivation! ... adding more vitamin D to my diet is probably helping with that though too ^_^
Anyways, it's time for a photo-post!!!! Izabel has finally been upgraded with a new wig and other "invisible" upgrades - basically fixing some of the bits that were not up to Mai Sheri quality standards; a.k.a. parts that were rushed for the Snailoween party. I was hoping to do two shoots at FrostCon but unfortunately one had to be cancelled. Luckily for me, Elemental's set from the Cosplay for a Cure booth turned out really awesome! I love getting to shoot with Amanda (which might be obvious looking through my gallery - she has literally photographed two thirds of the costumes I've worn since we met). My Saga gallery page has been updated with the full set.
I took the opportunity of being dressed in Izabel to also squeeze in a costume spotlight video with Dan the Video Ninja. I've missed doing all this stuff, and I'm really looking forward to making, wearing, and having fun in more new costumes in the coming year!
ICE AND fROST
It's been snowing pretty much non-stop for the last 24 hours or so here in Toronto, so what better time to talk about cosplay skating and FrostCon?
I'll be honest - I didn't really feel like dressing up and ice skating outdoors on the day of the X-Men of Toronto's cosplay skate. Not only was the weather an awful mix of mist and snow and chill wind, but I was just having one of those days when I don't want to go out into the world. I procrastinated as long as I could, then tossed on my Dragonite hoodie anyways and headed downtown since I had a bag of hats and scarves to deliver to the clothing drive portion of the event. I Pretty much said "hi" to the XMOT group, dropped off my donation and left, but I'm glad I at least made the attempt. Here's to trying again next year! (and if you're interested in more info about the event, here's a clip from Space Channel:
As for FrostCon... well, it was much better than last time, which is to say it was held in a space large enough to accommodate the number of attendees that they had, which for the most part means that there was a lot of available space in the lobby and food courts attached to the hotel via the underground PATH system. The convention space itself (exhibitor and panel rooms) was still quite compact, but because there was room for cosplayers and photographers to expand out beyond the con area for just socializing or mini shoots, I thought it served well. Can't comment on the programming as I didn't participate or go to anything, and I'm glad I didn't have to worry about travel or hotel space (a lot of my friends had significant issues there). Also, didn't bother with the coat check because *shudder*... what a disaster.
So what did I do? Mostly socialized: chatting with friends and meeting other Saga fans. Did a tiny bit of shopping (Pokemon for myself and KW Iron man *heavy hint at new cosplay plans*) and of course I had to take photos with my favourite photo booth/fundraiser Cosplay For A Cure. Izabel turned out to be a great hit; not only was I happy with how my makeup turned out for the day, and happy with all the "invisible" (and visible) upgrades since Halloween, but I got a lot more recognition from Saga readers than I had expected I would! So much love for the wonderful fans of the series <3
My next convention is Kitchener Comic Con on Feb 28 at Kitchener City Hall. It's a free event, so I suggest checking it out! After that, I'm sneaking in one more local con in April before heading to C2E2 - Ad-Astra has made it back onto my convention calender!
Photo posts will be coming up in the mean-time since I recently got some straggler photos from last year, and I'm also really excited to share Elemental's shots from FrostCon! (And there may be a new Video Ninja collab video coming soon too...)
I'm going to hold off on progress updates for now - most of what I'm doing is too small to be interesting, or worth posting about. But a couple of new outfits should be finished this month, if things keep going smoothly! (mostly depending on when supplies I've ordered arrive XD)
Izabel: 100% (unless I decide to add a nose prosthetic after all)
AN back-up: 20%
The first half of the month seemed to be running pretty smooth - I was putting in work on Pepper and Mai and Hawkeye and Izabel and my AN back-up costume, and I even finished up 2 lingering handmade Christmas gifts... but I seem to have hit a wall this week. BOO.
A lot of my friends are going to be in Gatineau this weekend for G-Anime, but I'm stuck at home, so I decided that I will to go to a cosplay skate. Despite being into cosplay for over a decade, I have never managed to actually make it out to cosplay skating. There has been at least one every winter at various Toronto-and-area ice rinks, run by various groups, and this weekend it's the X-Men of Toronto who are organizing the meet-up. The "XMOT" is a X-Men cosplay group (wow, really, Mai??) that often does charity and outreach work, and so it makes sense that it's not just a cosplay skate event, but they are also collecting items of warm clothing for local homeless people. Check it out (and keep a chilly sloth company for a bit) if you have time on Saturday ^_^
Here's the Facebook event page.
I'm also going to be putting the finishing touches (I hope) on my Izabel costume this weekend, since I'm going to be wearing her for FrostCon on Jan 31. I've replaced the wig with a more accurate one, and now I need to make other small adjustments to the rest of the costume, like better makeup, minor repairs to the guts, alterations on the wrist bands, etc. Probably nothing that people will actually notice, of course XD. But since I'm shooting with Ailes Noir Photography (for the first time ever) and possibly doing a little project with The Video Ninja, I want to look my best. (Not that I don't always want to look my best when in costume, but... you know what I mean :P)
And because so many of my posts lately have been walls of text, have some photos of the styling progression on my replacement Izabel wig, until I get around to posting some new cosplay shots!