I brought the sea goddess to Mechacon, and I was happy with how well received Tia Dalma was.
Friday was busy since I was doing craftsmanship judging for the masquerade for the most of the day. I was amazed at the amount of talent I saw in the cosplay competition. After a few hours of that I went to the opening ceremony with my fellow cosplay guests Chinasaur and Starbuxx. I was really impressed with how well produced the opening videos were for the event in addition to the talent on stage since many of the musical guests preformed throughout the ceremony.
Afterward we had a meet and greet with the guests (ambassadors) and VIP con guests. It made for a great time to meet new people and socialize. It set a great tone for the weekend.
I wrapped up the evening by grabbing dinner at a great Colombian restaurant and calling it an early night.
On Saturday, I wore Kida. Earlier in the day I was judging more entries from the cosplay contest then I got to spend some time at my booth. I met so many interesting and nice people. Thanks again to anyone who stopped by to say hi and buy a print.
Later in the day I got to watch the cosplay competition and boy was it intense. There was a crazy amount of craftsmanship on display and it was hard narrowing down the winners. I'm also used to having lengthy deliberations to determine the awards but we had to pick the winners within 15 minutes! In the end, we came to a consensus and the contestants really put on a good show.
After the con I got to catch up with Hane Cosplay over dinner and frozen rosé. Yum.
Weekend Cosplay Gallery
Sunday & Monday
Sunday was the most relaxed of the weekend. I was mostly at my table in my Ducklett costume. The AC is not a joke at this con so I was sporting a jacket most of the day.
I had a great time socializing with the attendees and the other guests in the guest table area. I've got to say that Queen D is a great cosplayer and a joy to be around. I would love to see her MC a Canadian masquerade.
Chinasaur and Starbuxx were lovely and I had a great time hanging out with them over the weekend. Also thanks to Most Flogged for swapping X-men stories and taking me to the aquarium on Monday.
Stay awesome New Orleans!
Costume Con (CC) is a truly unique event that I highly recommend for people that are dedicated to the craft of costume making. There is so much to learn and it has a great relaxed atmosphere thanks to it have a mature crowd. The main pillars of Costume Con are the panels, the competitions, and socializing. So I'll break down my blog about the weekend in these categories.
My costumes for the weekend.
Click to go to their page with construction notes and galleries.
This was my 9th year at Otakuthon. Wow! It has always been a favourite of mine thanks to the venue, location, and friends. I had a great time this year even though it's getting harder and harder to spend time with friends since the event is so photoshoot friendly that everyone tends to wandering around shooting all day.
This was a much more relaxed year since I skipped competing in the WCS Canada preliminaries/finals and judged the masquerade instead of competing. Although after a year of judging events I feel due for a good stage performance.
I like to give conventions nicknames and this one probably deserves the name "stressfest" due to my poor planning for the weekend. I managed to make the best of it by the end but boy was it a whirlwind of emotions.
It was my first time attending this convention and I had a great time. It's held in the same venue as Otakuthon but there are significantly less crowds which is nice. I set out with the goal of pumping out a new costume to go to the masquerade. Ravenna was an easy choice since I knew exactly the skit I wanted to do. I bought a prop mirror month ahead in anticipation for the skit.
Calamity, Kudrel, and I took a bus to Montreal in the afternoon. I spent the day hanging out with friends and finishing up my costume. I actually went to bed at a decent time! No crazy late night crafting this time around.
Friday was a jam packed day. I had three shoots earlier in the day. I was my first time working with both Lexa One Photographie and Pit Fire Photography. They were both great. Very nice people and I recommend shooting with both of them if you have a chance. I also shot with an old friend, Belziir Photography, where we trekked up a small slope in a park in my ridiculous 6in heeless shoes. It was a sweaty mess of a day - 28-30C weather - and my cape was a heated blanket plus my dress was made with synthetic taffeta so it didn't breathe. After I wrapped the shoots I did some final checks on my costume then went to the masquerade.
I had a great time in the greenroom. It brought me back to the early days when I would compete to climb the rankings and meet so many new people. I made friends with two lovely first time masquerade participants as we waited to get into the greenroom. Cosplay Sempai mode activated! I gave them some tips and told them what they could expect out of the whole process. I was so proud to see them on stage. They were well prepared with audio and everything.
I also got to chat with many of my fellow den mates: Arc-Frost, Jessica Rousseau, and many more (Zelda group and friends you better send me your info if you read this).
You can watch my entry below starting at 1:19:10. Video by MrJechgo.
It was the first time in a long time I was nervous for a performance. I had quite a few lines to remember, my costume was cumbersome to move in, plus as we were lining up to go backstage I dropped my crown and even through I dropped it multiple times throughout the day on concrete, this time a piece broke off when it hit the carpet. Luckily my den mom hot glued it back together just in time and it looked good as new.
Evil queen guide for photoshoots and skits by Charlize
Casual day! I was sore all over from carrying my costume and its pieces so instead of dressing up I spent my time taking photos of other cosplayers and exploring the event. Kudrel and I also went location scouting in Old Montreal. Later that day I attended the award ceremony from the hallway. They had it in a small room and it was packed. Luckily I was able to hear my name being called. The awards I received were Best Recreation (craftsmanship) and Best Characterization (stage). I'm very glad my skit was well received.
Here's a few photos I took on Sunday of some talented cosplayers. Montreal is always filled with cool costumers.
Conventions can be a place of fun, discovery, and learning. I've been going to conventions for over 10 years and I find there are many things a conventions can offer to enrich a visitor's experience. Conventions have brought me so much joy with great experiences with friends and that's why I find it great to give back to the events that have given so much to me.
Participating in an event, be it as a panelist, volunteer, or staff, can be a great way to learn about how the event is run and to create more connections with the community. It can be especially important if the convention is run by fans or volunteers, but it can still be an enriching experience when it comes to profit-based events.
I'm going to focus on cosplay-oriented activities one can do to contribute to conventions and the local cosplay community.
I was only at G-anime for Saturday but I had a great time.
I spent the morning hanging out in Vickybunnyangel's room getting my costume ready. After doing some running around and errands I got changed. I ran in Elemental shooting my friend Amurita in her Mask salesman costume. We also snapped a few quick photos before I was settled in the greenroom.
I got to hang out Jayuna Cosplay and Kudrel while we waited our turn on stage. It went smoothly except for a little trip on my way off stage. I wrapped up the day by having dinner with friends. All in all a good day.
See you next year.
Greenroom photo by Katya Perin
Stage photos by Pretty & Deadly Photography
Thursday & Friday
Before I make my yearly trip to New York for this convention I always try to plan out as many costumes as I can for the following year because the selection of fabric in the city is ridiculous. Nothing can beat fabric shopping in the Garment district. Although I have yet to hit L.A. - maybe someday.
The first two days of the trip was devoted to getting a fabric and trims fix. Calamity and I each ended up with about 20 pounds of fabric. We both packed light to make sure we were within our luggage limits.
Must visit stores:
I only got a pass for one day and I was also taking part in the cosplay contest so I was strapped for time. In the end I didn't get to spend much time on the con floor or meet up with friends. It was go-go-go until 10pm.
I had to get up early to get dressed in Hana for pre-judging at 9:30am. It was quite a pain getting there with face paint on a rainy day with all my stuff to haul. On the plus side, I got to meet a lot of the participants including a German cosplayer. There was such a nice variety of costumes as well.
After judging I went for lunch with Calamity, then back to my hotel to get changed and remove my face paint. Then I went back to the convention to check out the con floor. I picked up some free fake nails and bought an omnibus version of Legal Drug (gotta love Clamp). I also did a quick run of the artist alley before heading back to my hotel to get dressed again for the cosplay competition at 8pm.
This time I got to bond with a local cosplayer in a stellar Vampire Hunter D costume while hanging out backstage. In the end I didn't place but I greatly enjoyed meeting everyone, but I don't think I would be doing anymore comic con competitions. It's too much of a drain of time, especially since I only had a Saturday pass.
Sunday was easy going. Calamity and I went to Times Square for some regular shopping. Most of the fabric stores are closed anyway. I managed to pick up a few pieces of clothing a tree ornament from the Disney store.
We made it to the airport much earlier than planned, and nicely enough our airline, Porter, bumped up our flights so we got home a few hours early. My fastest run through the airport ever.
This was my first Costume Con, my first costuming conference, and I made my first original costume.
Costume con was a feast for the eyes and mind especially if you are looking see and learn about new techniques. Next time I attend this event I plan on attending many more panels. I was so busy.
It was an exhausting weekend but I had a great time and I look forward to attending it again. I may have to wait 3 years till it returns to Toronto but my friends and I are already brainstorming ideas.
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.
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.