2013 - A Cosplay Year in Review
This year seems to have flown by. I attended 12 conventions and events this year - a record for me. It was a taxing to say the least. I have also come to the realization that when you start attending more events, you reduce the number of weekends you can work on new projects. Although it doesn't feel like I slowed down this year, in terms of costume progress I have.
I only made 5 costumes - One was a big project but all the others were rather simple. Which makes me a little disappointed in myself. The funny thing is that I am juggling many projects so it doesn't feel like I only made five. Many of my old projects are getting close to completion. What also slowed me down is that I scaled down my commission business and upped my artist alley presence, and so my free time normally spend on costumes was spent on making products.
I was a bit unlucky this year. A persisting (even now) eye problem prevents me from wearing contacts, even regular contacts. Which means I spent most of the year putting on makeup within 2in of a mirror with my bad eyesight and wandering the convention halls with glasses. I can't wait till they get back to normal.
On the bright side I was invited to 4 events (G-anime, ConBravo, Quinte Mini Con, and Geek Market) as a guest this year, in addition to being invited as a judge for masquerades at another 3 events (Otakuthon, Ottawa Comic Con, and Pop Expo). I was very honoured to have been invited to the events and I'm glad I was able to spread some cosplay knowledge, help a few people out with their construction problems, and to be trusted with deciding the winners of the masquerades.
One of my highlight of the year was getting to meet a lot of new photographers, cosplayers and collaborators. Katsucon and ColossalCon were the best events for this. I look forward to seeing them again at upcoming events.
First of all, I would like to thank Pop Expo for inviting me as a judge to the event. I accepted the position before I found out Heroes of Cosplay was going to be at the event. I decided to stick with it since it would ensure the judging process and criteria would stay as close to the usual as possible. Attendees and participants in the masquerade got a heads up (about 2-3 weeks) that filming was going to occur at the event, because PopExpo posted details on their Facebook page. Since I did take part in the filming process my report will be a little less detailed than usual but you can most likely glean information from others who attended the event.
It was PopExpo's first year and I am happy that the event was sustainable with over 7,000 people attending. They have already confirmed there will be a PopExpo 2014.
Myself and Miss Calamity (aka Valkyrie Gear) shared a table over the weekend and it was a nice place to run into all the attendees. We also had a clear view of the wrestling ring for the entire weekend, so we got an earful.
I was very impressed with the costumes present at the event. I was worried the cold snowy whether would keep people away. The gallery below includes cosplayers who did not compete in the masquerade.
On Saturday, I wore Tia Dalma (Calypso). The first half of the day was spent manning my table and checking out the event. The other half was spent at the masquerade.
There were four judges for the event: Frenzy Wonder, Nailo Syanodel, Yaya Han, and myself. Three out of four of the judges were local. All of which have judged using the ICG rules at other events and we all agreed to do this before finding out the filming was happening. The judging was basically the same, the main difference being there were cameras in the greenroom and judging area. We ran into some delays because there was no lighting in the judging area when we arrived but we managed to get back on track before the show started.
The masquerade went well except for one hiccup. The only difference in the setup was the lighting directly on the judges. Normally we are hidden in the darkness along with the crowd, so I'm sorry if that threw anyone off. Immediately after the show we went straight to deliberations which were also filmed. We deliberated on the awards (some had a cash prize attached) that were presented that night: Best in Show, Master class awards, and our judges choice. After we made our decisions we returned to the stage and presented the awards immediately. All other awards and honourable mentions were decided afterwards with more deliberations and presented at the award ceremony on Sunday morning.
Side note #1: Judge's choice are relatively rare at Canadian events. Normally, we find some other award or Honourable mention to give the participant.
Side note #2: Cash prizes are even rarer. Normally ribbons and certificates are handed out.
The award ceremony was first thing in the morning at 10:15, so it was no surprise that so few people were able to make it. In the end it lasted maybe 15 minutes. We handed out the awards and congratulated those who were awarded the day before again. I also welcomed all the contestants to come chat with the local judges to get some feedback on their costumes and performance. It was a positive experience and the majority of the people said they enjoyed the masquerade. We spent an hour and half talking to the contestants and that was quite possibly the most productive thing I did all weekend. The rest of the day was spent quietly behind my table.
Now I get to play the waiting game along with everyone else to see what kind of edit I get in the final cut.
A special thanks goes out to all the staff and crew of the masquerade for making it through all this.
FYI: I will most likely have my glasses on with my Tia Dalma costume for the most of the show because I have an eye problem so I couldn't wear contacts and my eyesight is horrible without them. Looking good comes second to properly judging the costumes. So please no comments about costume inaccuracy.
Visiting New York City is like going on an adventure. There is much to see and experience. I spent half of my time at the con and the other half exploring Times Square.
I unveiled my new costume, Storm from X-men. One of my few comic cosplays. More comic cosplays and photos to come in the next few weeks.
Overall, I found I enjoyed myself more the previous year, but this year had it's high points.
Highlights: Fabric shopping! Marvel costume contest, and great food.
Low-points: Crowds, crowding, it's crowded, and pollution.
Myself and Riddle
I barely had time to actually enjoy the convention and the city of Montreal but Otakuthon is a staple in my convention lineup, and overall I enjoyed myself. I didn't have as much fun as previous years because I had many commitments.
I got to meet the special cosplay guests and my fellow masquerade judges Riddle and NadiaSK.
I also got to hand out some Crunchyroll swag to some special congoers.
I owe a special thanks to my friends, especially Cosplay Calamity and Tamar Wolfe (my table partner), who really helped me by looking after my artist alley table over the weekend.
DandelionsWish & myself
This was my forth year at Otakon. It has become a yearly tradition although I do not know if I will continue attending.
I had a good time but I find it is losing it luster. It may be because I flew down and with all the extra costs of travel it doesn't seem worth the trouble, but I hope that when it moves to DC in 2017 it will give the con the boost it needs.
As usual, it was hot as hell outside and it was miserable to get food since there were lineups everywhere. Luckily I stayed at the Hilton which is connected to the convention center, however there were often lineups to get in or out of the skywalk.
I had a great time at Conbravo as a cosplay guest and masquerade judge.
Here's a little taste of my adventures, Vine Style.
SailorBee and myself at the Crunchyroll booth
It was so much fun. So much so that I will probably forget to mention some things because it was a crazy weekend. I'll give you the short story then let the photos and the videos fill in the rest.
HIGHLIGHTS: Lion cub, baby albino kangaroo, hottubing, cookouts in the suite, photoshoots galore, water slides, bonding with friends, meeting new friends, and carpool shenanigans.
Photos are mostly from Saturday but I scattered them around for aesthetics reasons.
Anime North 2013
Borderlands 2 cosplayers
Anime North is a staple in my convention schedule and it seems I get busier every year. It didn't help that I had to avoid contact lenses and put in eyedrops once an hour. As a result I don't have that many photos to post but here's a rundown of my weekend.
I arrived in Toronto at 3 along with Cosplay Calamity after an all-nighter of working on Alicia. I went straight to the Crafter's corner to set up my table with Tamar Wolfe after getting dressed in book 2 Korra. I was a slow day. People were mostly settling.
After wrapping up I went straight to working on my costume again. I even brought my sewing machine. But once 1am hit I was exhausted and I gave up on finishing the costume.
I wore Korra again and went straight to the Crunchyroll booth to help int he morning. I had a blast and I was happy to help represent Crunchyroll at their first Canadian convention. Afterwards I had a quick photoshoot with Elevethphotograph, then back to my table for the rest of the day.
The good thing about having a table is that your friends will eventually drop by, no need to search through the crowds. The afternoon was lo key. I had dinner at Milestones and celebrate good sale with a belini, yum (It's an alcoholic slushie). The rest of the night was spent doing touch-ups to Ms Fortune.
It was a disaster to get ready. I forgot pieces of my costume in the hotel room, the body paint was smudging and stained my shirt, my nail glue dried out. So opted to wear a trench coat version of Ms.Fortune, thankfully I brought the jacket in case I got cold. I worked the Crunchyroll booth again in the morning, followed by another shoot.
The cosplay troubleshooting panel went pretty well. I'm grateful that many people showed up and the panel was full of ideas and ready to help the audiences with all their cosplay questions.
I spent the last of the day manning my table then passing out in the car ride home, exhausted from the weekend.
Special thanks to my awesome roomies Zacloudseth, Tamar Wolfe, Cosplay Calamity, and Thornrose, and to all my friends who dropped by and said hello.
See you next year!
With Marie-Clause Bourbonnais
Ottawa ComicCon was the first convention of the season. My weekend was marred with many mishaps but overall I had an okay weekend.
Let's start off by saying it took me close to an hour to bus to the event location everyday. Meaning I commuted for close to 2 hours everyday there and back, which was very draining.
I had to commute directly from work to the event. Luckily my coworkers are cool with my hobby, so I was able to get my makeup and put my Yoruichi wig on before leaving. After the long bus ride, I managed to get enough time to get dressed right before starting my Cosplay on a Budget panel with Kudrel. It was a packed room and I believe everyone left a little thriftier than before. I breifly caught up with some friends before calling it a night.
Sometimes, the cosplay gods do not favour you. It was a disaster for me to get ready in the morning in my Cheetah costume. I had to skip on coloured contact because the ones I used the day before seriously irritated my eyes. I couldn't find my body piant so I opted for eyeliner. All the primer in the world wouldn't make it stay put. I also couldn't keep my leg pieces on especially since I need to find a pair of scissor to cut the double sided tape, and it was a brand I never used, that ended up being sub-par.
Judgement day, as in I was judging the masquerade. There were almost 40 entries which Cats Luna, Suki Cosplay and myself all assessed in the greenroom. There were some tough decisions to make, but in the end the Avatar group reigned supreme with their skit including a choreographed fighting scene using ribbons for bending, in addition to having well made studded/embossed leather costumes at the novice level. (Since when do novice craft leather armour!).
A special thank you to Kim, the masquerade director, who did a wonderful job and invited me to be a judge.
I met with the contestants at the award ceremony and congratulated them on their hard work. Then I scarfed down some food with Cosplay Calamity, followed by a shoot with Belziir Photography in Yoruichi, in the cold windy field behind the con centre. I briefly ran into Marie-Claude Bourbonnais, we were both judges at last year's masquerade. The photo above was the only one I got all weekend.
Fountain in the hotel
It was my first time at Katsucon and it was a costume whirlwind. There were so many things to see.
I was stuck at my artist table for most of the weekend but I still had a great time. I wasn’t able to finish my Cruella in time but I am more than satisfied with my Hana cosplay.
Here are the details...
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.