I had a brief stint at Ottawa Comiccon 2014, here are the highlights.
I made it in just in time to run my Troubleshooting panel at 4pm with Detailed-Illusions. It was a packed room and I’m glad people were able to get some aching cosplay questions answered.
I then attended the Improve your way to better cosplay panel at 5pm with a friend I made at last year’s ComicCon.
At 6pm we went to Calssara’s Cosplay on Stage panel. Afterwards we briefly chatted with her and Elffi afterwards. I got my first ever cosplay print. I love her Saber. One of my favourite costumes of hers.
Calamity and I spent the rest of the evening wandering around the event then called it a night.
The plan was to arrive at 11am for Calssara and Elffi’s “Cosplay around the World” panel, but in reality it didn’t happen. My bus got stuck in con traffic for over a half-hour on a stretch of road that normally takes 2 minutes to drive down. The driver was nice enough to let us off to walk. Ten minutes later we made it to the venue after slipping down a hill and crossing a ditch. The venue was on lock down when I reached the door because of missing children so I spent another 10-20 minutes outside. I’m not complaining about the process, I’m very glad the children were found, I’m venting about the poor timing of it all.
In the end, I totally missed the panel. I proceeded to spent the rest of the day hanging out with Calamity by snaking through the packed and slow moving dealer’s room and looking for the few available spaces to sit down.
We wrapped up the day by visiting Calssara and Elffi’s table. Then we called it in early (sfter I bought candied apples) to free ourselves from our costumes and to have some good food off site.
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.
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.
Myself and Kudrel
For a first year con I am astonished at the turnout that Ottawa Comic Con got in terms of attendance and cosplayers.
Over 20,000 weekend passes and thousands more daily passes were sold leading to quite a lineup to get inside. That's not bad for a government town.
Check out the gallery below for some cosplay photos.
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.