Tag Archives: cosplay

Dragon Con 2016 Ends And Dragon Con 2017 Begins

This year’s 30th installment of Dragon Con ended about a month ago. Yesterday I reserved a room for Dragon Con 2017, and this morning the room block for the Marriott opened and, of course, quickly filled up. In some sense, it’s like Dragon Con never even ended!

Thursday Night Velma Selfie

This year was great! I was going alone to my 5th Dragon Con and this year I was going to do some things that I either didn’t do very often, or had not really done at all. For one thing, I was going to do my best to be more intentionally social. I got things off to a good start with a Velma cosplay after the long drive from Chicago on Thursday night! (Click here for Dragon Con 2016 cosplay pics)

It feels like I was wildly successful all around! I marched in the parade again, having a great time with my Trek Track friends and this year we exchanged contact info, yay! I went to the Black Geeks of Dragon Con photo shoot, meeting a ton of awesome Black cosplayers before hopping over to the Star Trek photo shoot. That was followed by what can only be described as an away mission to get chili dogs lead, for the second year, by my friend Rashida. Imagine, a small group of Star Trek cosplayers boarding a subway train to get chili dogs at Varsity in Atlanta. After that, I rushed to the Dragon Con Loner Group meetup, consisting of people who came to the con solo.

Mixed in with all of this was a lot of dancing, at a ton of parties, including the Spectrum Party, my first LGBT party! There was also Klingon Karaoke and lots of cosplay picture taking. The picture taking included a fair number of selfies both with and without other people. The only real let down was when the Miss Star Trek Universe Pageant was cut short due to room scheduling issues.

It turned out that staying at a non-host hotel (my first time doing that) was not only great, but I just booked a room for next year at the same hotel. The location near Peach Tree Street turned out to be perfect, so I didn’t even bother to try for a Marriott room in today’s “lottery”!

So Dragon Con continues!

A funny thing on the way away from the con…

A funny thing happened on my way to not going to Dragon Con. I actually got to go! Not only did I go, I got a room in the Sheraton just 3 days before the con. I had a great time and met some awesome people!

Weeks later I still haven’t unpacked all of my stuff yet. Too much going on here, but once things calm down some more I’ll unpack and write some more. In the meantime, here’s a link to my pics!

Dragon Con 2013 Pictures

 

DragonCon-2013025

C2E2 Way Aftershocks

C2E2 2013 will be for me perhaps best remembered for passing a certain personal milestone in my cosplay experiences. But first about the con itself!

This is my 4th C2E2 and all I can say is that it just gets better and better, bigger and bigger. Chicago’s McCormick Place is a great place to have a convention, and C2E2 is doing it quite well despite the ever growing number of people attending the 3 day event.

For me the main focus was getting to the J. Michael Straczynski panels which were great. And I got the bonus of a Joe’s Comics t-shirt and an autographed copy of the premiere Ten Grand comic! Further bonus points were racked up getting to see Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan. So my C2E2 nerdgasm was in full effect.

The Mach 5, GO! GO! GO!

Friday got off to a good start, finally meeting in the flesh @ButterflySamurai and gushing a bit about how the Black Cosplayers discussion thread on Cosplay.com was an early inspiration for my forays into cosplay. A bit later I ran into Hentai Girl who I met a while back at Otakon. I pretty much ran into most of the people I know from attending cons over the years, so I felt pretty lucky!

Saturday started busy. I knew I was going to get to McCormick late because I was attending my son’s Project Syncere presentation earlier in the day. This also meant that there was a good chance that the close lot would fill up, which would mean quite a hike in Uhura’s go-go boots. To avoid this, I got a ride to the con from my wife. Stepping out of the van at the center, I felt like a kid being dropped off by his mom. LOL

On the way in, it turned out that I was right behind a representative from the Anovos booth who asked me to stop by. Anovos makes some beautiful, high quality, Star Trek uniforms, including the classic mini-dress like the one I was wearing. So I stopped by the booth to talk a while and ogle some of their work close up. A bit pricey, but oh so beautiful!

Saturday was a lot more crowded than Friday. And more crowded than I remembered for the same day last year. So I was sure that the huge line I was in to get an autographed copy of Ten Grand would outlast the number of copies. While this was going on, the streams between work and cosplay finally crossed.

I knew a group of my coworkers were coming to C2E2 and I was planning to meet up with them. Of course I did not tell them ahead of time that I was cosplaying Uhura, only that I’d be in Starfleet uniform. LOL So when they finally found me in that line after a few minutes of phone tag, they were suitably surprised and impressed by my handiwork! (“Oh hell no!” He exclaimed.)

This proved to be a major milestone for me, as I’d never revealed anything about my crossplays to anyone I worked with in the past. It’s not the sort of thing you can just tell people about because, and here’s my vanity, whatever image they make up in their minds will not be anywhere near as good as the real thing. I feel like this is something I have to show people in person. Now I think I know a little bit how it feels for LGBTQ people to come out. In any case, there’s no going back now!

I spent the rest of Saturday hanging out with them taking pictures of cosplayers and watching the cosplay contest on the main stage. A little boy cosplaying Optimus Prime brought the house down when he transformed into a semi right on stage. Other notable cosplays included a Bane with kids in a stroller, a woman as the Up house, and a huge Mechazord from Power Rangers. BTW, one of the panels I stumbled into of Friday featured Jason David Frank, the Green Ranger. He was totally awesome!

Sunday, Kids Day at C2E2, brought some more surprises. I had planned to bring my two youngest children who I thought would enjoy the cosplays, and artists panels. My youngest daughter wasn’t interested, but to my surprise and joy, my wife accepted an invite in her place. I had really wanted to show her how a well run professional media con looked, but she’s not really a fan of anything at C2E2, so I never thought she’d come. It would turn out to be a great day.

First, I’d never seen Sunday at C2E2 so crowded. I’d expected lots of kids, but not a crowd rivaling the opening Friday. But there it was, the next generation of fans crowded all around us!

And once more, providence was smiling upon us. While we couldn’t get into the Geek Girl panel, we did get into a comics writing panel which just happened to be in the same room as the R. L. Stine panel that followed it. R.L. Stine is the coolest old dude you’d ever imagine. I’m no kid, but I will be reading Goose Bumps now!

Our day ended with the Lion Forge panel. On Friday I had met a friend of a friend who was working at Lion Forge, so I thought it would be fun to learn some more about this new publisher. The titles and creative talent were all very interesting and I’m planning to follow them and see what develops. But the day could not have ended any better than when my son won the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet they were giving away in the raffle!

So it was a great C2E2. I took tons of cosplay pics and had the pleasure of showing off one of my favorite costumes to my coworkers (and my friend next door, lol). Will I be going next year? Oh hell yes!

C2E2 Begins!

Marshall_Lee_Day_TimeC2E2 begins today and I’m really excited! It’s been a way too long winter here in Chicago and much much too long since my last major con, Youmacon in Detroit last November. So I’m pretty excited about the guests (JMS! JMS! JMS!), panels, and, of course, cosplay! And I’m hoping to meet a cosplay friend or two in person for the first time. Yay @ButterflySamurai!

I don’t have any new costumes for the con this year. I’m just going be rocking the uniforms of my home fandom, Star Trek. Friday starts out casual with my “faux” Sisko from DS9. Then on Saturday my Uhura from Star Trek, the original series. I might do my Marshall Lee, Adventure Time, styled outfit on Sunday or bring on the Applejack if I’m really feeling inspired.

Generally, I try not to cross the streams of real life and cosplay, but I’ve got a growing number of friends and coworkers who I may just run into at C2E2. So things could get more interesting than usual. No worries, what will be, will be.

C2E2 just gets better and better, bigger and bigger, every year. No pressure though, no pressure. We’re all friends here, LOL.

Cleared for Anime Midwest

Last year I went a bit overboard with cons, so this year I was planning to cycle back a bit. But this month, I’ve put in a lot of overtime work hours and it reminded me of how important it is to have fun events to unwind. So I’ve added Anime Midwest to the 2013 convention schedule.

I had a great time at Anime Midwest last year, and with the con making the move to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, the same hotel Anime Central uses, things promise to be even better! It should also be a nice warm up for Otakon a month later.

Now I better werk baby! Those cosplays and videos won’t make themselves!

YOU BETTER WERK!
YOU BETTER WERK!

rock the off season

The end of Youmacon marks the beginning of my convention off season which means lots of development projects to turn my attention back to! I’m looking forward to it, especially since some of these are well overdue. Of course I’ll still be tweaking cosplays here and there, but right now no new costumes are planned until Spring at the earliest. Looking back, it was quite a ride. But now it’s time to rock some iOS and Android apps!

It’s A Youmacon World Afterall

I think I really need to become more flexible in my thinking sometimes. After all hope of going to Youmacon seemed lost in the gusts of a hurricane, work, and money, it turns out that I will be able to attend! In my despair, I had already canceled my room reservation, but once it became apparent that I could go on Saturday and Sunday, I was lucky enough to get a room in the hotel across the street from the Renaissance Center.

Going two days also saved me a great deal of money and untangled some issues at work. Yay! I’ve gotten so used to going 3 or 4 days, that the compromise of 2 days just wasn’t even on the radar screen. And it gives me some more time with my awesome wife who made it back safely from Philadelphia! Of course that meant that I had to finish my Sailor Mars cosplay, which I have just done by completing the tiara! It’s not perfect, but I’m happy enough with it that I may enter the Hall Cosplay competition if everything times out right. Otherwise I’m just going to enjoy the heck out of showing it off and being thankful that God even cares about this part of my life.

Youmacon and the Perfect Storm

As Hurricane Sandy pounds the East Coast, I finding it difficult to finish up the Sailor Mars project for Youmacon. Probably has something to do with the fact that the storm has trapped my wife in Philadelphia while visiting my daughter. So I’m a bit worried and distracted. Much like years ago when my youngest son was in the hospital a few days before Halloween, once I got to sewing, I could find some solace in the work. At this point I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to Youmacon this year, but I will try to finish up my costumes. I miss Youmacon, but I’m missing my wife a lot more right now.

Returning To Youmacon

One sign of a good weekend are depressing thoughts of returning to work on Monday. By that measure, the weekend went pretty well! Youmacon is less than 2 weeks away now and I made great progress on my latest cosplay. A cosplay project that has already missed a couple of con date deadlines this year. It’s funny given that the Sailor Mars project is the really the only cosplay I actually planned to do this year. The two other new ones, Mamimi and Applejack, came about as larks. Of course, getting into cosplay was a bit of a lark to begin with, so no surprises there.

I missed Youmacon last year, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to one of my favorite conventions of the year. I still haven’t planned everything out, but that’s not unusual. Right now, I just want to see the guest events, do karaoke, and maybe, just maybe enter the hall cosplay competition. Youmacon was the first con I ever entered a costume into competition at. And I think the Sailor Mars cosplay is shaping up nicely enough to consider an entry. If you do crossplay, doing a Sailor Senshi cosplay is almost obligatory. And life is just too short to be holding anything back.

Dragon Con 2012 AAAftermath

They say what happens at Dragon*Con, stays at Dragon*Con which is a neat way of summing up  a good chunk of the spirit of the convention. And my OH MY, did it have a lot of spirit! So the quick summary is that I had a great time during my first visit to the largest fandom convention I’ve ever been to.

Looking back though, my Dragon Con got off to a pretty bad start, I just didn’t know it at the time. It wasn’t being tired from a road trip back from Philadelphia a couple of days before, filled with emotion and sadness. Or even taking the wrong ramp near Nashville and adding 80 miles to my trip to Atlanta. It was the discovery, after checking into a hotel a 700 mile drive from home, that my driver’s license had expired a week ago! I was devastated to have had such a lapse, especially after vowing to do a better job of planning after the messiness of Otakon.

A call home to my wife, the best wife ever BTW, calmed me down and I put the problem of driving home out of my mind. I think the real problem may have been that now I was in the middle of Mardi Gras for Nerds without a valid form of ID. I think I must have been the oldest underaged person at the con! Well, I’m not a big drinker anyway, and I had brought 4 bottles of beer from home anyway. So not all of my planning was fail.

Thursday night I was too tired to do much more than wander about to get a feel for things. Already I could see that this con was quite a different animal than Otakon and most anime oriented conventions I’d been to. For one thing, most people were a lot older and that fact alone gave Dragon*Con a vibe that was on a whole different level. I mean after all, a young girl running around in a skimpy costume may not know what she’s getting into or even who she’s portraying. But a mature woman in same knows exactly what she’s doing and what she wants. And that is truly sexy!

Bible Black Cosplay

Friday I donned my Deep Space 9 uniform and headed out to the Trek Track at the Sheraton. It’d been ages since I’d been able to hang out with so many fellow Star Trek fans, including more than a few married couples. So the Trek Track became my hub for the convention. I did duck out a bit for the Babyon 5 panel with Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan (swoooon). And I stumbled into the Erin Gray panel too, before returning to the Trek Track for Klingon Karaoke. I didn’t sing any Klingon songs, but I did sing a country one which is close right? Just kidding. I like country music. So I did one of my favorites, Beer for My Horses with a few references to Saurion Brandy and Romulan Ale thrown in for good measure. After that, I changed into my Miho cosplay, aka “party clothes”, and rocked the Apocalypto dance until the early morning. Some of that rocking included a stint dancing on stage and getting some samba lessons up there as well. Oh my!

The late night Friday gave way to an early wake up for the Dragon Con Parade on Saturday morning. I’d heard about the parade and was looking forward to marching in my Uhura cosplay with the Star Trek contingent. It turned out to be more fun than I had imagined. The Star Trek group was friendly and cool. We may not have been the largest group, but we were pretty awesome with a range of costumes from serious to silly. We had a Kirk in a bath robe, some party Klingons, a Starfleet officer Steampunk style, and some awesome Andorians, just to name a few. I loved it! There were thousands of enthusiastic fans along the parade route and marching and waving felt great. That is definitely something I want to do again! (Sadly, I lost the contact card I got from the lady in Starfleet Steampunk. If you happen to see this post, please DM me on Twitter @bluezhift!)

After the parade, my next mission was to get Nichelle Nichols’ autograph and show her my costume. The crowds were incredible! At some points it felt like being in some dense, slow moving, human fluid. Nevertheless, I achieved my goal and got  my copy of Beyond Uhura signed plus a smile for my cosplay. I gotta say, my Uhura cosplay is definitely one of my all time favorite costumes. ^_^

Sunday I had planned to watch the Miss Star Trek Universe Pageant. Instead, I ended up being a part of it! Before the show, I was selected with a number of other cosplayers to play Kahless Says. Yes, the Klingon version of Simon Says. Uhura made it to the final round before being killed by hired Andorians. Hopefully my death flop in front of none other than Nichelle Nichols herself didn’t show too much panty! The pageant was fun to watch with most of the contestants being totally and hilariously in character. The winner was a Vulcan whose humor and talent were priceless.

2 Aux of Borg
Like some wild night in Vegas, a lot of what happened is a bit of a blur by this time so I’ve included the tweets I made during the convention at the end of this report. Getting home was an adventure in luck and discipline. It is literally impossible to maintain the posted speed limit on the highway without serious risk of being run over. But aggressive use of cruise control,  some patience, and divine providence got me home safely. Atlanta has not seen the last of me!

Dragon Con 2012 Cosplay Pictures

Tales from the Tweet for 2012-09-01

  • Just woke up and the crowds here at #DragonCon are still going strong! Should I join them or go back to sleep? #
  • Got totally depressed because I forgot to do something really important before I left for #DragonCon Just gotta forget it for now… #
  • Can’t hurt to tour about a little at 1:11am…right? #DragonCon #
  • Oops! More like 2am actually! #DragonCon #
  • I’m usually a nervous my first time to a con, but #DragonCon is so overwhelming that I may need some extra undies! #
  • Started out #DragonCon right, with the Trek Track of course! And Garret Wang does a great George Takei! #
  • Got some pics with this cool Trek fan couple. Lots of cosplay up in here! #DragonCon #
  • Tried to see Geek Parent panel, but it was full. So now at Erin Gray panel. ^_^ #DragonCon#
  • Now at the B5 panel. Mira Furlan, SWOOOON!!! #DragonCon #
  • Deep in the bowels of the Hyatt at Know Your Anime. Much younger crowd here, LOL. May bail for Filk soon. #DragonCon #
  • At Filk now. My ears are happy! Eyes too actually! ^_^ #DragonCon #
  • Lined up for Opening Ceremonies yay!! #dragoncon #

Tales from the Tweet for 2012-09-02

  • Lots of country at Klingon Karaoke. I’m alright with it, had fun singing Beer for My Horses. #DragonCon #
  • Of course, my horses prefer Romulan Ale, but that stuff’s illegal. #DragonCon #
  • Danced my arse off at Apocalyto Disco, and OMG, I danced on stage! I kinda sucked on stage, but it was awesome! #DragonCon #
  • In the parade in, gulp, a few hours. Might be a good idea to sleep now. Goodnight #DragonCon #
  • Being in the parade was a hoot! So many people in awesome costumes! And the huge cheering crowd was awesome too! #DragonCon #
  • After the parade, I changed my load out and headed for the Walk of Fame where I got to show my Uhura to the original Uhura. ^_^ #DragonCon #
  • Got my copy of Beyond Uhura signed by Nichelle Nichols and told her I finished my physics degrees we talked about years ago. #DragonCon #
  • In con dim sum mode now. Any panel I can get into is a good panel! Did SWOTOR, mystical book anime, now Project Cosplay. #DragonCon #
  • Project Cosplay off and running with a nude Dead Pool. Oh Dead Pool! XD #DragonCon #
  • I love being at #DragonCon with my nerdy brothers and sisters! Time to eat cause I’m dyin!#

Tales from the Tweet for 2012-09-03

  • Another exhaustingly fun #DragonCon day comes to an end with 2 dance parties and a creepy guy touching me. LOL, my cue to leave. #
  • @ButerflySamurai that’s too bad! I hope you’re otherwise having a great con. These crowds are crazy insane! in reply to ButerflySamurai #
  • The cutest thing I saw today was a Mass Effect cosplayer dad with a baby in a stroller dubbed the Normandy. D’AAAAW! #DragonCon #
  • Plan to spend a lot of time in the Sheraton today on Trek and Dr Who stuff. I <3 you both! Don’t make me choose! #DragonCon #
  • I like that #DragonCon attendees are closer to my age! Yes, this is the grown up con I’ve been looking for! #
  • Woo hoo! I made it to the Sylvester McCoy panel only a little late. ^_^ #DragonCon #
  • @geekitry indeed it is! in reply to geekitry #
  • @ButerflySamurai lol, cosplay is a fun way to express many facets of our personalities (or none at all). A diamond with 1 face = boring in reply to ButerflySamurai #
  • One of the things I like best about #DragonCon are the Southern accents. I could listen to that all day. <3 #
  • Time to feed my Trek nature again! Dorm and Frakes! #DragonCon #
  • My plan was to watch Ms. Star Trek Universe. I ended up IN it playing Kahless Says! In front of Nichelle Nichols no less! <3 #DragonCon #
  • With all the fun I’ve had cosplaying Uhura, I really want to thank William Ware Theiss for his beautiful costumes! #DragonCon #
  • #DragonCon masquerade overflow in the Marriott still has plenty of room! #
  • WTF?! Overflow masquerade has tech issues plus a band is practicing here in the same room. Why the disrespect #DragonCon Seriously… #

Tales from the Tweet for 2012-09-04

  • Looks like my #DragonCon is over for 2012. Gotta say it, it was a lot more than I expected and I hope to return again! ^_^ #
  • Checkpoint! 212 miles out. On course for Chicago. Bye #DragonCon #
  • Checkpoint! 283 miles out, rain. All is well. #
  • Checkpoint! 495 miles out. More rain. All is well. Final fuel stop. #
  • Goal! Defiant returns home under cloak. #DragonCon #outrun #

Otakon, Oblivion Island, And Stuff I Didn’t Know

It’s been weeks since the 2012 edition of Otakon ended and connections are still being made. One of the first things you do at pre-reg badge pickup, is choose a design for your badge. These designs are images from a popular anime that may or may not have guests or panels at the con. This year I chose the Oblivion Island design. I hadn’t seen or heard of it, but I liked the design and wanted something different than the other choices which were from shows I’d chosen in previous years.

Today, thanks to the cool folks at Funimation, I got to see Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, for the first time, free on YouTube! When I saw the link in my subscriptions view I thought it was just a trailer to promote the August 14 release of the Blu-ray/DVD. Instead it was the full 99 minute movie in Japanese with English subtitles. I hadn’t planned to watch a whole film at my PC, but I was hooked by gorgeous visuals and a heart warming story of retrieving lost memories and relationships that today was especially resonant with me. So I guess I chose the right badge afterall.

The days leading up to Otakon were busy as always as I feverishly worked to complete my Sailor Mars cosplay. But in the end I just ran out of time and shelved the project for a later con (Dragon*Con hopefully) rather than wreck myself before making a 700 mile drive. That hurt a bit and should have been a warning that I needed to plan things better, but I had my new Mamimi along with a new wig for my Uhura, so I really didn’t take it as such.

No problems on the drive, only some anxiety about not changing the oil before setting out. Again, more planning needed. But somehow I managed to cheat failure and make it into the city as I had 7 times before. I had a lot of trouble getting through traffic to the parking garage, but nothing fatal. No problems with badge pickup either.

I had dinner with friends from the Megatokyo forums, but skipped out on the bar afterwards to get in before the rain resumed and to get some rest for the next day.

As usual, I was several hours later than I would have liked getting ready. But I finally finished up and hit the street in my Uhura cosplay. This costume had gotten a great reception on Sunday last year, so I was anxious to see how it would fare over a full convention day. Well it went over very well with nice compliments, including a “beam me up” from the crossing guard at the convention center. After that, all of my plans started going off the rails fairly quickly.

Anime Midwest 2012 Aftermath II: Another Late One!

Saturday of Anime Midwest would see the debut of my newest cosplay, Mamimi Samejima from Furi Kuri, aka FLCL. It would turn out to be a fun cosplay to wear even though she isn’t a character likely to get a lot of notice. That was quite alright with me since Mamimi herself doesn’t get a lot of notice which is actually not so bad if you’re planning to take pictures of other cosplayers. Oh, and Mamimi is into photography too, so it all fit.

Over the day I spent most of my time tasting panels here and there. One that I made an extended visit to was the Fanservice Renji QA which also featured the most beautiful Pocahontas cosplayer I’ve ever seen. Renji was pretty cool, a nice likeable guy who I first saw at Youmacon a number of years ago. Since that time he’s become a convention staple with some cool original music videos about the anime fandom. I enjoyed his masquerade performance too!

The Perfect Pocahontas

In the afternoon I was treated to The Pillowcases, a fabulous Pillows tribute band! I saw the Pillows years ago at Anime Central and they were awesome. The Pillowcases did not disappoint, they were equally awesome with bonus points! Mamimi had a great time rocking to her favorite FLCL songs. ^_^ The Pillowcases also did some other nerdy tunes including a cool remix of the Dr. Who theme song. Saturday night would bring up the the masquerade and later, the way too popular for the room, Midwest Karaoke Madness. The cosplays for the masquerade were quite good on the whole, but the night was stolen by a Chobits group with the cutest little girl ever as Sumomo who lead the audience in morning calisthenics! I also had the pleasure of helping a lady use her Flip camera to shoot some video of her daughter’s most impressive fur suited cosplay.

AnimeMidwest-2012102

After the masquerade, it was off to karaoke. One of my Midwest Karaoke Madness friends was disappointed that I hadn’t brought my Uhura to the con. Maybe I’ll bring her next year. Since this was my first Anime Midwest, I figured I’d stick with anime cosplays. The small room was packed and overflowing. Nevertheless, I got a song in and had some fun seeing old friends and new perform too! I bounced out briefly to go to the dance which I found was running late. Instead I found a dude rapping about video games and nerdy stuff. I learned later that it was MegaRan. It was freakin awesome! And now I know what nerdcore is! After that I went back to karaoke and did what is seemingly becoming a signature song for me, It’s Raining Men. This is coming way too naturally for me, but the ladies in the audience loved it and sang along!

I eventually got to the dance but did not stay too long before ending the day. I’d had a lot of fun already, and didn’t want to be greedy. And my Mamimi cosplay had gotten a really good shakedown.

Sunday it was back to street clothes. I made a few more photo runs and then a dealer’s room pass. If there was anything I was a tad bit disappointed in with Anime Midwest, it was the very small dealer’s room. There just wasn’t enough variety to spark my interest. I was hoping to find some DVDs and some suitable gifts to take home, but came up empty on that note. Still, I’d had my fun and was happy to head for home knowing that Otakon was just a few short weeks away.

Anime Midwest 2012 Pics

Kollision Con 2011 Aftermath Super Late Summer Edition

It’s funny writing about a con that took place so many months ago now. But I’m really compelled to do so because I think that Kollision was a turning point for me and my con going adventures. At a small con, there isn’t much between you and everything else. There’s no place to hide, everything’s exposed.

This exposure can be a good thing because you can really get close to the guests and take part in the activities of the con in a more personal fashion. But it can also be kinda scary if you’re not a very social person. It’s difficult to be a shy cosplayer in such an environment!

My Saturday ended up being a dim sum of panels and running into old con friends. And I finally got to see Eyeshine perform! The concert was a lot of fun, in no small part because we were are right up close to the stage. Afterwards I bought some CDs and then wandered about some before the masquerade which I had entered as a craftmanship walk-on.

My Uhura cosplay is a fun one to walk around it because the red minidress really stands out and because everyone knows what it is. I’m always getting photo request from older people whether they’re at the con or not. And while I didn’t really know it at the time, I was passing really well.

This would be only my 3rd cosplay masquerade walk-on, and I was excited to be doing it because I really like this costume and had fun making it. Though it looked like there might actually be more cosplayers in the hall than spectators. So many great costumes around me! I wish I’d had my camera. In particular, there was an eye-popping Starfire cosplayer whose skin was completely orange. She was gorgeous!

Kollision Con 2011 Pics

We ended up with a nice crowd and I hit all of my marks. I guess at heart, I love the attention you get walking the stage so it was with great joy, and surprise, when I had to go onstage again to claim my Honorable Mention certificate! Looking back, I think that the enthusiasm I had detailing how I made the costume probably helped. And I think Jamie Marchi was one of the judges too!

Most of the night was spent doing karaoke. It was awesome! The song I had the most fun singing though was, It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls. It’s a fun song that I first heard sung by a group of women at Reactor in the old Purple Hotel. I thought the absurdity of a guy dressed as Uhura singing that song would be a fun spectacle and it was! LOL I visited the dance briefly, but the music just didn’t do anything for me, so I returned to karaoke until it ended.

Midwest Karaoke Madness Blues Brothers

Sunday it was back to street clothes and cosplaying myself. Ran into Ed, another crossplayer I see regularly at the cons I go to. It was fun talking with him a bit as at the larger cons, there usually isn’t a lot of time between one event or another I’ll be trying to get to. I feel like I got a little more comfortable with myself at Kollision Con whether in costume or not. And I’ve carried this forward with me since then. It never ceases to amaze me the situations and venues that God uses to speak to me.

So I had fun at a little con named Kollision Con. I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to return for 2012, but I certainly won’t forget 2011.

Otakon Pre-pre-flight

The good news is that the Sailor Mars project was coming along rather nicely. The bad news is that it won’t be finished in time for Otakon. T_T I thought about trying to push it through, but it would have meant working like crazy right up until a 700 mile drive. A cautionary tale of unexpected demise delivered by my lovely lady today convinced me that a more relaxed Otakon pre-flight would be more fun.

So I’m saving Sailor Mars for Dragon*Con next month. I don’t like missing my targets, but I’ve got one new cosplay plus a popular one from last year and an old favorite. Now I can rest up and be 100% for the drive to one of the most awesome weekends of the year for me! That is, me and 30000 others!

Anime Midwest 2012 Aftermath I

What can I say? Anime Midwest proved to be a small con with some big fun. While I love the sensory overload of the big cons, Anime Midwest was well worth the time and effort. Naturally I was feverishly finishing up a new cosplay before the con. Yeah, I can never just relax and get ready. LOL

Taking place over the July 4th holiday period, I was lucky enough to be able to take both the 5th and 6th off. So getting out to the con in Chicago suburban Lisle, was pretty low pressure. When I parked the car, it was over 100 degrees F outside. So I was less than happy when I learned that the hallways outside my hotel room were not air conditioned. Hot halls do not make for happy cosplay makeup and wigs!

Friday, I wore my Stocking cosplay which has proven to be one of my favorites. The wig is hard to manage, but I love this costume and the gothy makeup style I can use with it! Since it was a small con, I activated small con picture taking mode. Even at a large convention, the chances of most cosplayers finding pictures of their cosplays online is fairly small. So at smaller conventions I make an extra effort to take pictures whenever I can. Then afterwards I place them on my Flickr account and squawk about them on Twitter, Facebook, and this blog so that they are easy to find.

One of the first things I noticed was all of the Homestuck cosplay. This had to be the largest single contingent of fans at Anime Midwest. And my oh my were they having a great time. They were literally singing and dancing all weekend long. They were closely followed by the Hetalia fans. Oh my! ^_^

AnimeMidwest-2012009

After opening ceremonies I went to the first guest panel featuring voice actors Jamie Marchi, Ian Sinclair, and Joel McDonald. Greg Ayres popped in briefly as well. This was one of the biggest reasons I decided to attend Anime Midwest. I first saw Jamie at Kollision Con last fall and really liked her. At most of the cons I’ve been to, the actors have proven to be really fun, smart, and entertaining.

I wanted to asked Jamie a question about the English dub of Panty and Stocking. She’s the voice of Panty and the English script writer. But the *ahem* language I’d need to use just to ask the question forced me to wait until the after hours panel. That panel was totally off the hook! At the beginning, each person who wanted to ask a question was required to use at least one swear word in asking it. Over the course of the evening, that number increased to five! The Panty and Stocking dub is awesome! My question was who came up with the exclamation of “Repent Motherfuckers!” during the angel transformation sequence. Jamie said that was her idea. And it fit the lip flaps perfectly. It definitely fit the flavor of the series, that’s for sure.

By the end of the panel, the white board was covered with numerous depictions of genitalia, and I’m sure we had all earned ourselves a thoroughly soapy mouth washing! I rarely swear, so I think I must have used up at least two weeks worth that night.

My first day finished up with a costume change to my Miho cosplay before the Friday rave. Miho has become my go to rave cosplay. She looks like a goth rave girl anyway. Though I’m not completely sure what she looked like to the people I encountered in the elevator on the way to the dance. Apparently, the hotel was also host to a wedding party that night. So my purple hair caused a bit of a stir and one young woman was unsure whether I was a woman or a man. As we left the elevator, she apologized profusely for possibly using the wrong pronouns in reference to me. I assured her it was quite okay, quite happy, as any crossplayer might be, to have done a good enough job to engender such confusion (pardon the pun).

I had fun dancing, but wasn’t too hot on the music. So I only stayed a couple of hours before drawing my first day to a close. The next day would be Mamimi’s big debut. But more on that later.