Category: Conventions

Gen Con 50: The Cosplay

Oh, cosplay.  It’s my favorite part of every convention – and Gen Con had loads of fantastic cosplayers this year.   I love the wide variety of costumes from all corners of geekdom that end up on display during Gen Con, from movies and books to video games and comics.  Seeing all the creativity on display made me one happy crafty nerd, and gave me lots of ideas for future costumes!

Speaking of costuming, I only came up with mine a few months before Gen Con, to be completely honest – I know I’d mentioned dressing as Rose Quartz for Gen Con, but I realized that maybe I should hold off until next year so I can do the costume justice. Instead, I put together a couple of fun costumes from my costume closet – I only needed to snag a few items from Amazon to complete them!

Thursday: Hogwarts Students

A pair of Hogwarts students!

Thursday, Ross and I put our Hogwarts robes to good use and dressed up as a pair of Hogwarts students – we had a couple of people chide us for skipping classes, hahah.

Friday: Ëlinyr Andaleh

She had to be pried from her books in the Royal Academy…

On Friday, I pulled out some costume pieces I haven’t used in a while, as well as my elf ears, and Ëlinyr made her first non-Kishar outing!  I actually had quite a few people stop me for my picture, which was surprising, given that I was pretty much one of many random elves running around Gen Con.  I didn’t mind it, though – and I really enjoyed wearing this costume.   Almost as much as I enjoyed my Saturday costume…

Saturday: Denna from the Kingkiller Chronicles

Denna, with all her names. 🙂

While only maybe four people recognized who I was, I had the most fun with this costume.  (Plus, two of the people who recognized me were Brandon Sanderson and Pat Rothfuss, so I think this one was a win.) The folks at The Tinker’s Packs booth really liked my costume, too!

Now, onto all the other fantastic costumes I saw at Gen Con!

(If I took a picture of you and you want a higher resolution copy of the picture, I’m happy to share it with you!  Just comment with what costume you were wearing, and I’ll make sure to get you the high quality version of your picture!)

Gen Con 50: The Events

Gen Con is usually packed full of all sorts of awesome events, and Gen Con 50 was no different.  I only ended up going to a couple of events this year – I might have done more if we had a hotel, but I didn’t want to end up overwhelming myself, so I went event-lite.  (And even then, I ended up skipping two events because I was exhausted, bleh.)  The ones I did get to go to were fantastic, though – I did some crafting, some book signings, and got to introduce Ross and J to my favorite Gen Con event ever…

An Evening with Patrick Rothfuss

Yes, I started out my Gen Con with some Pat Rothfuss. Did you expect anything different?

Of course the first event of Gen Con 50 that I went to was An Evening with Patrick Rothfuss.  It was a great way to start out the con – two hours with one of my favorite authors!  I brought Ross and J along – Ross has heard me ramble on about Pat and how awesome he is, both as an author and in general, and while J’s a fan of Pat’s (in fact, that’s how we met – J saw my talent pipes while we were at an academic conference together, and said “hey, are those talent pipes?” and I got all flaily and excited), he’d never actually been to An Evening With Patrick Rothfuss before.  So we all went, and oh, it was even better than when I went in 2013.  We all filled up a ballroom this time – the 2013 event only had 200 people, but this year there were 1200 seats with a line of people waiting outside!  It was super exciting, and Ross and J and I couldn’t wait for Pat to get on stage.

Even Ross was excited, and he’d only read The Princess and Mr. Whiffle and the Thing Beneath The Bed, hahaha.

It was run similarly to the 2013 session, with him giving us the option of having a session we could record, where he’d be less candid about things and a little more censored, or we could put our phones and cameras away and we’d all get to pretty much hang out with Pat.  I don’t think anyone raised their hands when he asked if we wanted to record the session, hah.  Pat broke the session up into a couple of different chunks – he’d answer questions from the audience, with mix of notecards with people’s questions and people asking out loud, and he also read us both of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle books.  (If you haven’t read them, you definitely should – but don’t let your kids read them until you’ve seen what’s in them, haha.)  While answering questions, Pat rambled on about great things – mental health, raising kids, silly random things, and life in general.  I especially appreciated his discussion on mental health – as someone who deals with anxiety, depression, and ADHD, it’s good to hear one of my favorite authors publicly encouraging people to go to therapy – even if they don’t really think they need it.  Having someone to talk to about life and all that goes on in it, someone who’s not currently connected to everything you’re experiencing and can provide an outside perspective, is pretty much essential to keeping yourself emotionally in good shape.  I love that Pat cares about us all enough to tell us “go to therapy!”

Things weren’t all seriousness, though.  He told us some adorable stories about his kids, and even sang to us in the process!  He sang a couple of songs, very briefly, from the Rankin Bass version of The Hobbit, which was great. (And reminded me that I really need to see that version of The Hobbit.  I’ve got it on DVD somewhere…)  The questions from the audience were great, and the more amusing ones that stuck out in my mind included “Can I go to dinner with you?”, “Could you have Lin-Manuel Miranda call my wife?”, and “If you had to choose between breaking both your legs and eating 10,000 Go-Gurts, which would you choose?” J asked a question that made me giggle – “If you were to cast a live action version of Slow Regard of Silent Things, who would you cast for the inanimate objects?”  Pat initially responded with Nathan Fillion, which got us all cheering, then he thought about it, realized we were cheering because we all love Nathan Fillion, and changed his mind to Keanu Reeves, which was actually way funnier, hah.  (Oh, Keanu Reeves and your uninspired acting…)  Much like the 2013 event, the evening ended with all of us singing together – which was delightful.  I’m really glad I managed to get tickets to this event.

Featherweight Armor for Costuming

I got to learn about making costume armor from Agent Peggy Carter and her friend, haha.

This was a great workshop, put on by the fine folks at …And Sewing is Half The Battle!  I learned so much about new materials for making cosplay props and armor, and new ways to use materials I’ve worked with before, like craft foam.  And I picked up some techniques to make things look their best, and also learned how to be safe while working with some slightly more hazardous materials.  I even got the chance to work with some Worbla, which I’d never used before!  I also found out I probably need to add a heat gun to my crafting arsenal.

Bracers in progress!

The folks at …And Sewing is Half the Battle did a fantastic job with the workshop, and were really thorough – they showed all sorts of materials to work with, talked about the pros and cons of each, and detailed any safety measures you might need to take when working with certain materials.  I hope Gen Con gives them a bigger room next year – this one definitely needs more space for everyone to work in, especially when we’re trying to use heat guns, haha. It was overall an awesome session – and it’s given me lots of ideas for next year’s costumes!

Brandon Sanderson book signing

I did not actually get to take a photo of Brandon Sanderson, so here’s one from the internet.

I only recently got into Sanderson’s books, and have been reading them pretty much since May – I tore through all six books of Mistborn, and then the two books of The Stormlight Archives.  (I’m now very eagerly awaiting the third Stormlight Archives book!)  His books are pretty darn awesome, and his writing style pulls you into the story and just won’t let go.  When I found out he was going to be at Gen Con, I knew I’d have to get a book of his signed – so I grabbed a hardcover copy of Mistborn: The Final Empire and on Saturday, I made my way over to his book signing.  I had lots of fun geeking out with other fans in line, especially over the end of Words of Radiance (don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil anything!).  It’s always fun to talk to people who share common interests with you!  When it was my turn to get my book signed, Sanderson was incredibly friendly, and he even commented on my Denna costume, from Pat Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, with all of her names on a name tag, haha.  He told me to tell Pat Rothfuss that he doesn’t have to worry about releasing the third book in the Kingkiller Chronicles anytime soon, as he’s got a 3rd book in a fantasy series coming out this year so Pat can take his time, which made me giggle.  I really like how friendly Sanderson is – he was very approachable, and really warm and welcoming!  I’ll definitely get more of his books signed if he comes back to Gen Con next year.  (Which I’m pretty sure he will.)

Harry Potter Ornament Painting

This was a nice, relaxing event.  I’m really glad I signed up to do this.  I got to sit and paint for a little while, and chat with other Harry Potter fans, which was lots of fun!

Ornaments before painting.

These are some really nice ornaments – they’re made out of clay, and were fun to paint, albeit a little fiddly in some spots.  My painting job was… less than stellar in some spots, hah.

Here they are, freshly covered in Mod Podge!

Pat Rothfuss Book Signing

This turned out to be such an epic event for me that I’m going to make it into its own post. So stay tuned.

In short, I had loads of fun at all the events I went to this year – and I’m seriously pondering hosting some sort of crafting event next year…

Gen Con 50: the best Gen Con ever

This is going to be the first of a bunch of posts about Gen Con 50, which has turned out to be the BEST Gen Con I’ve ever been to. I’ve done so much and seen so many cool things over the past few days – and it’s not all going to fit into one post, so I’m going to do a handful of them – one on the overall experience, one on events, one on awesome experiences in the Dealers Hall, and one entirely devoted to cosplay!

The first thing I noticed about Gen Con, mostly because it was the first place I went, was the fact that Will Call was EMPTY.

I think this was honestly the busiest I saw Will Call during the entire convention.

I’m guessing it was probably due to no on-site ticket sales because Gen Con was sold out for the first time in Gen Con history, but still, it was eerie to see Will Call so quiet! As always, though, everything went smoothly – I got my press badge quickly, got event tickets even more quickly, and enjoyed all my time at the convention. It was fantastic, I swear.

The ever-fantastic Cardhalla.

And what was really awesome was the fact that Gen Con took over Lucas Oil Stadium – the home of the Indianapolis Colts!

I swear, seeing Gen Con stuff on the Jumbotron got me all super excited!

I think spreading things out over three or four hotels, the Indy Convention Center, and Lucas Oil Stadium really helped spread out the crowds.  My introvert self really appreciated it. The game lending library was right there on the field at Lucas Oil, as well as a mini museum documenting the history of Gen Con – which was fascinating.

I went to awesome events, had lots of compliments on my costumes, saw SO MANY other awesome costumes, and got to spend lots of time with friends.

Ross and I, and our friends J and Kasi! 😀

I also got to help set up a LARP, got to listen to one of my favorite authors ramble about things and read his two “children’s” books, and ate tasty food from all sorts of places – food trucks, restaurants, and more.

I always love seeing Granite City’s Gen Con menu.

I used to say Gen Con 2013 was the best Gen Con, but I think this one trumps it. By a lot.  So many fantastic things happened – again, I can’t just cover it all in one post, so tomorrow I’ll share my experiences in the events I went to!  After that, it’ll be fun from the Dealers Hall, and then the final Gen Con post will be on the epic cosplay!  (And there may be an entire post dedicated to Pat Rothfuss, too.)

New cosplay brainstorming: Rose Quartz

Maybe I just like to dress up as pink haired characters.  Maybe I really am obsessed with Steven Universe.  Either way, it’s led me to my cosplay idea for this year’s conventions (yes, I’m actually going to make it to at least ONE convention this year, if it kills me or not) – Rose Quartz, from Steven Universe.  Finally, someone I can cosplay as who has a similar body shape to mine!  (Although I don’t think I’ll ever be 8 feet tall…)  Someone I can cosplay as and not feel so self conscious about!

… specifically, this version of Rose Quartz.

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Crafty New Year Resolutions

ponyparty

Happy New Year, everyone!  I’ve got a good feeling about 2016 – I think it’s gonna be a great year. And I want to make sure it’s great, too.  I’m not normally the type to make resolutions, but I think it feels right for this year – so here’s The Crafty Nerd’s Resolutions for 2016!

The Resolutions…

  • Post at least one new blog post a week.  Even if it means spending a bunch of time wracking my brain to put together new ideas for blog posts.  I’m creative.  I’ll figure out something to write about!
  • Actually talk about my craft projects regularly.  Did you guys know I crocheted three blankets between August and Christmas?  Three blankets. I think I’m about ready to swear off crocheting for a while.  But you guys haven’t heard about that because I haven’t really been talking about my craft projects!  Which is sad, considering the blog I write.
  • Make at least one new costume for convention-wearing.  I’m pretty sure the regular Indiana convention-going crowd recognizes my tutu-and-little-blue-jacket Pinkie Pie costume (and is probably bored with it by now) – so for this year’s conventions, I’m going to make at least one new costume.  Will it be Grand Galloping Gala Pinkie Pie?  Will it be Captain Janeway?  Who knows!
  • Keep up with my tasks and to-dos with Habitica. For those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember HabitRPG, the website that turns keeping up with your habits into a game.  Well, the crew over there changed the site’s name to Habitica, and things are looking pretty awesome!  A new mobile app was just released, and it looks really slick – and of course the same old “complete tasks, fight monsters, and level up” gameplay is there.  (If you’re on Habitica and want to join a guild for crafty challenges and friendly chatter, check out the Crafty Nerds guild!)
  • Experiment with a new type of craft project. There’s gotta be something out there I haven’t tried yet.  I’ve just barely dipped my toes into the Tunisian crochet pool, and could try making a blanket or a scarf with a fancy design… And there’s way more out there to experiment with, and even more crafts that I haven’t done since I was a kid, like making a latch-hook rug!  (Although given the massive amount of little yarn pieces that ended up exploding all over my room when I was a kid, maybe latch-hooking isn’t the best craft idea…)
  • Organize my craft room! You don’t even want to see my craft room right now.  It looks like Jo-Ann Fabrics and KnitPicks exploded in there.  There might be a bed in there somewhere, too, and a ton of ponies.  So, massive organization is in order.

That’s my crafty plan for next year!  I hope all of you have a wonderful and crafty 2016! 🙂

I’ve been a very bad blogger lately.

Yes, I know. I fell off the face of the internet again. For a long time, too. A lot of things conspired to tear me away from my beloved blog, leaving The Crafty Nerd looking like a ghost town…

  • I got a full time job. And it’s the one I’d been hoping for, too. I am now a Senior IT Education Specialist at IT Training! And for the two months that have passed since I started, I’ve been incredibly busy, and loving every minute of it.
  • Ross and I moved to a new townhouse. In the middle of Gen Con. Which made Gen Con 2015 a bit of a bust, sadly. However, I did get a few good pictures, and plan on hosting my own mini Gen Con at some point soon, now that my games are all unpacked and I’m not tripping all over boxes.
  • I started my last year of graduate school ever a few weeks ago. It’s been a little rough, socially, because 90% of my graduate school friends graduated this spring, but I can deal with it. I’ve got yarn and motivation. I will power through the next two semesters and emerge victorious.
  • Crafting itself has kept me away from my blog! Strange, right? Well, I discovered the glory of Knit Picks’ yarn sampler packs earlier this year, and since they came out with Mighty Stitch  (a fabulous yarn that deserves a review!)  I’ve been cranking out blankets with some of their samplers. Which, of course, leaves less time for blogging.
  • I’ve also gotten into amateur (ham) radio. It’s an exciting hobby, full of interesting people, and it’s been filling my head with all sorts of project ideas. Like how to mount a radio antenna onto Mia and turn her into a little ham-mobile.

I promise to post more regularly, though, now that things have calmed down somewhat and I’ve adjusted to all the changes to life that July and August threw at me. Expect a post every week from now on!

And I did promise some Gen Con photos, so here they are!

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This year’s badge and program book! I think I’ve had smaller textbooks than this year’s program…
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My wonderful mom-in-law, Connie, dressed up as Derpy Hooves! I swear, she’s the best mom ever.
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My favorite item from this year’s Gen Con haul – a Star Trek TNG science officer sweatshirt! Just need to get a comm badge and it’ll be perfect.
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OMG OMG OMG PATRICK ROTHFUSS HUGGED ME AGAIN and tried to eat my brains

And that’s the little slice of Gen Con I got to enjoy! I’ll talk more about games I saw that I want to play in another post. Right now, though, it’s time for me to start crafting some more post ideas!

PopCon 2015: A Very Late Report

I have been so ridiculously busy lately that it’s not even funny.  With two conventions within a month, and moving during one of those conventions, plus finally getting a full time position at IT Training (wooo!), I haven’t had much time to actually post about my fun experiences at Indy PopCon last month!  So, here are my thoughts, in no particular order, along with some photos!

The biggest thing about PopCon this year was getting the chance to meet one of my favorite actors.  He’s been in Star Trek, Breaking Bad, Invader Zim, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, to name a few of the many things he’s been a part of.

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Yes.  Ross and I got to meet John deLancie.  And I completely forgot how to form words, haha.

I ended up having him sign one of my favorite Discord-centric issues of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic, and I think pretty much everyone I know who’s a Star Trek/MLP fan hates me a little bit for getting to meet him, haha.  (Although if you guys want to hate me more for meeting famous people, remind me to tell you my Ian McKellan story…)

Anyhow, we also got to see plenty of lovely cosplayers, including Yamino of Yamino Cosplay/GeekGasm Boutique!  She was dressed as Faye Valentine on Friday, and Morticia Addams on Saturday – both very well done costumes.  You should check out her Facebook page and Etsy store – she’s done some amazing costumes!

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I also had the pleasure of running into one of my awesome IT Training co-workers, Rachel of the Five-ish Fangirls Podcast!

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And yes, we were both dressed as Pinkie Pie on Friday at the convention.  I also attended part of her My Little Pony panel, and she did a great job with it!  I’m hoping that The Crafty Nerd and The Five-ish Fangirls can get together to do some nerdy awesomeness later on. 😀

Overall, PopCon was even more awesome than last year.  They were still incredibly organized – even when the line to meet/get photos with Markiplier ended up being a mile long.  Photos and autographs with media guests were just as organized as ever, there were all sorts of interesting panels, and they upgraded the badges for this year too to nice plastic ones!

All in all, I was incredibly pleased with PopCon this year – and I can’t wait for next year!

And, of course, here are a number of awesome cosplayers and other nifty things I saw during both days of the convention!

And now… to get ready for GenCon.  Which is today.  Ross and I are leaving in ten minutes, in fact.  AND PATRICK ROTHFUSS WILL BE THERE.  *flail*  So, expect the annual Gen Con Report over the next few days!  It’s going to be… interesting this year.

Convention season is upon us!

Ohhh, it’s the most wonderful time of the year… no, not Christmas!  It’s the very beginning of convention season! My favorite conventions are announcing their dates, opening up pre-registration, and in the case of Indiana Comic Con, the convention itself is rapidly approaching!

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Oh my gosh this is SO EXCITING

 

This year, I’m planning on attending the same three conventions I did last year:  Indiana Comic Con, Indy PopCon, and GenCon (of course!)  And aside from knowing that I’ll be Pinkie Pie, I have no idea what I’ll be cosplaying!

I mean, I’ve got some ideas.  Some of them are more feasible than others…

  • Ross and I were thinking of going as Rainbow Dash and Pinkie in full Grand Galloping Gala gear – however, this could get expensive.  And I want to be able to do it right, and look absolutely fabulous, you know?
  • I could just buy a Star Trek: The Next Generation era scientist outfit, dye my hair red, and go as Beverly Crusher.  Because she’s awesome.  Maybe Ross could be Data… maybe… his hair might be a little too long by then, though.
  • There’s always LazyPie and LazyDash – wigs, sweatshirts and jeans.  I feel like I’m cheating whenever I wear that combination of clothes, though…
  • … I have wanted to do “Good Morning Pinkie Pie” – with a tousled wig, my Rainbow Dash bathrobe and slippers, some ridiculous pink pajamas, and a coffee mug.  I’m envisioning Ross doing something similar as Rainbow Dash but with his Star Trek TNG bathrobe.  Which could be amusing.  This could be a thing.  I’ll have to think about it.
  • My steampunk costume could always use some love… I keep adding things to it, too.  It’s going to look pretty epic, whenever I get the chance to wear it again!

And aside from costumes, there’s a wealth of panels to go to at every convention.  I’m going to try to find all the My Little Pony themed ones I can, and enjoy the heck out of them!  Last year, there weren’t many pony-related things at PopCon and Indiana Comic Con (although I did get to buy a page from the Twilight Sparkle issue of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic book micro series at Comic Con!), but there were some things at GenCon that I wanted to go do. Sadly, the lack of a hotel room (rooms sold out crazily quick last year for GenCon!) made it hard for Ross and I to make it to later events – we ended up driving from Bloomington each day, an hour and a half-ish trip, and by late afternoon we were wiped out and ended up dragging our tired selves home around 5 pm.  While I’m not sure if we’ll be getting a hotel for Comic Con or PopCon, I’m gonna try my hardest to get a room for GenCon so I can provide much better convention coverage than last year!

I’m definitely excited to get the chance to see some of the guests at ComicCon.  There’s a ridiculous amount of stars coming, including….

  • Carrie Fisher (known better as Princess Leia! OMG)
  • Jenna Coleman (Clara from Doctor Who)
  • Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo!  *swoon*)
  • Billy West (who hasn’t he voiced?)
  • Paige O’Hara (the voice of Belle from Beauty and the Beast)

Needless to say, Indiana Comic Con is looking to be pretty exciting.  I hope it’ll be a better run convention than last year!  Meanwhile, I’m eagerly awaiting the guest lists for PopCon and GenCon.  PopCon is currently asking for suggestions for guests on their Facebook page, and I suggested Lil’ Bub – I love Bub, and she’s from Bloomington!  And she’s way better than Grumpy Cat.  For GenCon, I’m really, really, really hoping Patrick Rothfuss comes back.  I have more things I need him to sign.  Like a card game I’m working on a review for, and my Kindle.  And more books of his. Plus, he’s just an awesome guy!  I’m wondering if other authors I might know will show up – I’ll have to wait and see who gets announced!

So, in short, I’m really, really excited for this year’s convention season.  It looks as if it’s going to end up being exciting and fun-filled!  I’ll share updates on my convention preparations as things happen – especially if I figure out what I’m wearing and build new costumes!

Gen Con 2014: The Cosplayers!

As with any awesome convention, there are tons of awesome cosplayers – and here’s a post showcasing all the ones I found!  (Please excuse my facial expressions in some of them, haha – I’ve got a couple of derpy faces going on in pictures I’m in.)

And as a bonus – here’s a link to one of the many recordings of the Costume Parade from yesterday!  I like this one especially, since at about 9 and a half minutes in, you get a good minute and a half of Cupcakes Pinkie and Rainbow Factory Dash action, haha.

GenCon 2014: Day One

Sporting my shiny press badge!
Sporting my shiny press badge!

Today was the first day of the biggest convention of the season – Gen Con!  This is my third Gen Con – and my first one as press.  I was super excited to pick up my press pass, and Ross and I cheerily wandered through the convention after I got my badge, looking for fun costumes and things to do.

The one thing about Gen Con is that there’s almost… too much to do, to be honest.  So many games, so many panels, so many exhibitors to visit.   I never know where to go first!  And every year, it seems I take a different approach to the first (or, in the case of 2012, the only) day of Gen Con.  In 2012, Bryan and I pretty much wandered through the exhibition hall for five hours, stopping frequently for pictures, spending oodles of money, and walking until we were exhausted.  2013 was a whole different ball game – it was my first year spending all four days at the convention, and not only that, but a friend had a hotel room that needed filling, so the three of us literally lived at Gen Con for those four days.  The first day was pretty much entirely spent flailing around the exhibition hall, making new brony friends (like Ross!), attending panels, playing games, and spending absolutely stupid amounts of money.

This year was a bit different.   Bryan decided to sit this year’s Gen Con out, so Ross and I decided to go together, and commute all the way from Bloomington (as getting a hotel this year wasn’t an option, thanks to housing selling out within TWO HOURS of housing registration opening!) to Indianapolis each day.  And today was pretty low key.  We wandered around the exhibition hall, and found some very awesome goodies to take home – Ross picked up a very epic looking skull mug and an awesome Nightmare Before Christmas/Alice in Wonderland crossover print, and I picked up a few more minis from Impact! Miniatures‘ Chibi Adventurers line.  Ross dressed up in the most ruffly clothes I own and confused a number of people who thought he was a girl, haha.  And I got to meet up with a friend of mine from college, who I haven’t seen in forever and is enjoying his first Gen Con as we speak.  But other than that?  We did a lot of walking, a lot of looking, and I learned that even the most comfortable looking heels will not be good for your feet at a convention.  At all.

I noticed there weren’t too many people dressed up in costumes today.  Typically, the big thing I take photos of are people in costumes, but I think I only saw a handful of people dressed in out-of-the-ordinary clothes.  Here’s hoping tomorrow will bring more costumed con-goers!

But yes, all in all, today was a laid back day.  I’m not anticipating the same for tomorrow – Ross and I are dusting off our Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash costumes, and are going to parade around as My Little Ponies for the day!  And hopefully find some games to explore and panels to enjoy, too.  Keep an eye out here tomorrow for day two of the Gen Con Report!

Indy Pop Con: Cosplay Photos!

I meant to post this sooner – however, back spasms and blogging sadly do not go together well.  (I may have spent the past three days in bed, becoming best friends with Netflix…)  But!  Here are the cosplay photos from Indy Pop Con last weekend!  There were many, many amazing cosplayers there, and I didn’t get nearly enough pictures of everyone, but here’s what I do have!

Indy Pop Con 2014: The Report!

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I spent this weekend at the first ever Indy Pop Con – and boy, was it a blast!  Even with only going for two days, I still found lots to explore and had tons of fun!

Now, you might recall my experience with Indiana Comic Con – disorganization, crammed halls, long lines, and way too many people showing up on Saturday for the convention to handle.  Well, Pop Con was the opposite (except for the amount of people on Saturday – but I’ll elaborate on that later)!  First off, picking up badges was a breeze – Ross and I had preregistered for the con, and went in with our “tickets” (a QR code printed onto a sheet of paper), which we exchanged for an actual, proper badge.  There were different badges for the different types of guests: 3-day badge holders got sturdy cardstock badges, while guests of honor, vendors, VIP guests, and Kickstarter backers got nice plastic badges, all with different images on them.  I loved how quickly we got in and out of line, and out to explore the convention!

There’s a lot to cover about Pop Con, so take a look after the break and see the highlights of the convention!

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Prepping for PopCon

Technically, PopCon starts today!  Woo!  Due to transportation issues and work constraints, though, I won’t be able to go until tomorrow.  BUT.  That gives me all of today to prepare!  And there’s a lot of work that goes into preparing for a convention.  Costumes need to be dug out of closets…

Yes, cute fluffy Pinkie Pie and evil genius Rainbow Factory Dash share a closet sometimes.
Yes, cute fluffy Pinkie Pie and evil genius Rainbow Factory Dash share a closet sometimes.

…wigs need to be detangled and styled…

I admit it.  I suck at taking good care of my wigs, as you can tell from the deflated lump of pink hair.
I admit it. I suck at taking good care of my wigs, as you can tell from the deflated lump of pink hair.

and sometimes a brand new costume idea hits you and there’s only a day or so to finish it.

I'm not kidding.  The idea to make a Rainbow Dash cutie mark shirt hit me yesterday afternoon.
I’m not kidding. The idea to make a Rainbow Dash cutie mark shirt hit me yesterday afternoon.

And doing all this stuff is part of the fun of getting ready for a convention!  And, admittedly, part of the stress, too.  Inevitably I end up forgetting something, or there’s a costume malfunction, or something else out of the blue that makes things a little crazy.  But stress aside, I’m super excited about PopCon tomorrow.  It looks like it’s shaping up to be much better organized than Indiana ComicCon was earlier this year, and there are SO MANY big names.  I won’t list everyone – but you can take a look at the guest list and see all the stars that’ll be there.  John DiMaggio (voice of Bender, Jake, and Wakka, among other characters), Nicholas Brendon (Xander from Buffy! *flail*), Ron Glass (Shepherd Book from Firefly and Serenity), and Kristian Nairn (HODOR OMG) are just a handful of the awesome people who’re gonna be there.  You have no idea how excited I am!  Not only will so many stars be there, but there’ll also be a comic book museum featuring Action Comics #1!  And, of course, a ton of exhibitors to spend money at, and a costume contest… so much fun packed into three days.  I wish I’d been able to get a press pass for PopCon – but maybe next year.  I plan on cramming as much fun as I can into the next two days, and taking as many pictures as humanly possible.

So!  Keep an eye out here for my PopCon report in the next couple of days!  I can’t wait to see what the convention’s got in store for me.

Indiana Comic Con 2014: The Review

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Last weekend, I went to Indiana’s first ever Comic Con!  Held at the Indianapolis Convention Center (where Gen Con is held), Indy Comic Con promised to be a fun little convention.  As it was in its first year, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I planned on having a fun time anyway – after all, how can you not have fun dressed up as Pinkie Pie? 😀

Come on everypony, smile smile smile!
Come on everypony, smile smile smile!

A friend of mine (Ross, whom I met at Gen Con and became friends with thanks to the magic of the internet) and I planned on going all three days, and Mr. Crafty Nerd and another friend made plans to join us on Saturday and possibly Sunday.  And come Friday afternoon, Ross and I ventured to the Convention Center to see what Comic Con would be like.

Rainbow Dash dislikes waiting in line...
Rainbow Dash dislikes waiting in line…

The first thing we ended up doing was waiting in line – despite having bought our tickets online.  Comic Con used Ticketmaster to handle the registration process (which made paying for our tickets painful, what with all the fees), and sent us a strip of tickets like we were going to a concert.  (Tickets don’t fit terribly well into badge holders.)  Once we got to the convention, there were a number of lines you could enter to get into the convention, all snaking around together – we ended up going through the will-call line, despite having our tickets already, and then got funneled out when getting to the part where we’d need to pay for tickets.  It wasn’t a long process, as we got there maybe an hour after the convention started, but it was still somewhat confusing and tedious.  We had our tickets checked, and then received three wristbands – one for each day of the convention.

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The section of the convention center that Comic Con was being held in was one of the exhibition halls (D and E, for those familiar with the convention center), and that was all.  One part of the hall was sectioned off for the theater (where panels and the costume contest were held), another was sectioned off for the entry lines and ticket purchasing, and the rest was exhibitor booths and artist tables.  All in all, it was… small.  I made one circuit around the exhibitor area, bought a handful of things, and decided I was done with the booths.  After a few hours at Comic Con on Friday, Ross and I decided we’d save our energy for Saturday and went home.

Ready for action on Saturday!
Ready for action on Saturday!

 

We got to the convention center around 10 or 11 am, and as we ambled our way over to where Comic Con was being held, we noticed there were way more people there than on Friday.  I mean, the con was practically a ghost town, compared to what I’m used to with Gen Con and I-CON and such, and then Saturday? BOOM.  Everyone wanted to be there Saturday.  Ross and I made one circuit through the main room where the convention was being held, pushed along by the insane stream of people surging through the aisles, made a quick stop at the costume contest registration booth, and then didn’t spend much time inside the main area for the rest of the con.  We weren’t at the convention for more than an hour when we heard that they were turning people away at the doors, and the convention was at capacity.  Apparently the organizers didn’t realize that 10,000 people wanted to attend Indiana’s first Comic Con.  (They also picked a pretty poor weekend to host it, as the majority of the convention center was host to a public librarian conference that weekend.)  Bryan, Ross, Gina, and I ended up spending the majority of our time roaming the halls and taking pictures and talking with people about how crazy things were, how the convention could have been planned better, and so on.  After lunch, and more wandering around the convention center, Ross and I figured we should go wait in line for costume contest pre-judging.

The line was INSANE.  I think over half the people in line hadn’t actually registered for the contest, and about 15 minutes into when pre-judging was supposed to start, rumors floated down the line that pre-judging was canceled, they were just going to send a judge down the line to check everyone out, and that anyone who didn’t have a number wasn’t getting in.  After the abbreviated pre-judging process (where a judge came by and asked us about our costumes, what our inspiration was, did we make them ourselves), we all filed into the theater (which was packed!  apparently everyone wanted to see the costume contest), all nearly one hundred and thirty of us.  They didn’t realize so many people were interested in participating!  Everyone in the contest had amazing costumes (I was in line next to a girl dressed as Toothless who made her costume in A WEEK holy crap), and it was fun getting to prance across the stage with Ross as Rainbow Factory Dash.  However, the costume contest could also have been handled a little better…  By the end of Saturday, the four of us were exhausted, and decided it’d probably be better not to go on Sunday.

All in all?  For the inaugural year of Indiana Comic Con, while it had its issues – mostly organization related – I had a lot of fun.  I got to see lots of cool costumes, and being part of the first year of what promises to be a big convention was pretty exciting as well.  I got to meet one of the writers/artists for the My Little Pony comic, I got to see lots of fun art and cool toys, and I had loads of fun (as always) dressing as Pinkie Pie.  I think I will go back next year – here’s hoping they take up more of the convention center, though.  The rough start for Indiana Comic Con makes me a little leery of going to Indy Pop Con at the end of May, even though there’ll be many big names there (like Sylvester McCoy and Nicholas Brendon!  XANDER OMG) – instead of three days, I’m going to stick to Saturday – and definitely register ahead of time, in hopes it holds my spot.  I do believe they’re taking up more of the convention center, which will be a good thing – I anticipate Pop Con being very popular.

Alright, enough rambling about the convention – on to the pictures!

 

Convention season, and remembering my first con

Well, GenCon opened up preregistration today.  And Bryan and I have been talking about the upcoming Indiana Comic Con, and how many days we’re going/what costumes we’re wearing/who should go with us.  With all this talk about conventions, and planning for them, it’s got me thinking about the first convention I ever went to…

Most of SUNY Potsdam's Gaming Club, from early 2005.  Ahh, those were the days...
Most of SUNY Potsdam’s Gaming Club, from Spirit Night back in early 2005. Ahh, those were the days…

Way back in 2004, the SUNY Potsdam Gaming club learned about this most amazing convention that happened down on the other side of the state.  It was called I-CON (short for International Convention of Nerds), and one of our members had gone quite a few times and said it was epic.  And we’d heard that the Student Government Association would possibly fund trips for clubs, as long as they had a legitimate purpose for going on a specific trip.  So, we gamers formulated a plan.  We decided that we would go to I-CON, and we would call it “research”.  (And, well, we did do some game-related research, so our reason for going was valid!)  We put together the proposal. submitted it to the Student Government Association, and waited not so patiently to hear back about whether we’d get the funding or not.

Well, we just about died when SGA said they’d fund our entire trip – hotel, badges, and even gas there and back.  Not only were most of us going to our first convention, but we were going for free.  We were so so excited it was ridiculous.  My only knowledge of conventions involved knowing people wore costumes to them, and there were lots of other people interested in all sorts of nerdy things.  So, I dusted off my renfaire garb, as I didn’t have any idea of what else to wear, and in April packed my bags and got ready for the incredibly long trip to I-CON 24.

The ride was long and somewhat eventful – people kept getting lost, one person’s car couldn’t go faster than 40 miles an hour, and we got there so late on Friday that we almost weren’t able to pick up our badges, and we wandered around for a half hour before returning to our hotel and passing out, saving our energy for Saturday.

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The Cheat!

Saturday was… amazing.  Overwhelming.  Insane.  I was positively surrounded by delightful geekery.  So many costumes.  So much excitement.  So many things to watch and see and do and buy.  It was geeky heaven.  Especially… the dealer’s room.

BUY ALL THE THINGS
BUY ALL THE THINGS

Oh, the things we could buy.  I don’t even know how much money I spent at that first I-CON – probably an entirely irresponsible amount.  I think we all did.  (I distinctly remember one of my friends coming home with a giant staff – trying to wedge that into a tiny car was interesting, to say the least)  I remember buying a gigantic plushie of Shippo from Inuyasha, and a ridiculous amount of Sailor Moon gashapon figurines…  I got a few pictures of people in costume, mostly because I was too shy to ask people for their picture and because I didn’t actually have a digital camera of my own back then.  In fact, aside from a picture of me and my friend with The Cheat, the only picture I got of myself with anyone was with someone dressed as Edward Elric.

The Fullmetal Alchemist and The Crafty Nerd!
The Fullmetal Alchemist and The Crafty Nerd!

I don’t remember much else about Saturday except for wandering into a couple of viewing rooms and watching random episodes of animes I’d never heard of, wandering aimlessly about the Dealer’s Room spending stupid amounts of money, and beginning my tradition of inadvertantly con-stalking Michael “Mookie” Terraciano of Dominic Deegan fame.    Sunday was more of the same, but with a few more pictures!

At the end of the weekend, we all loaded our goodies into various cars and settled in for what was actually a rather uneventful 8 and a half hour trip back up to Potsdam.  I may have spent that trip with part of a giant wizard’s staff across my lap, using my ridiculously large Shippo plushie as a pillow, wearing my Death from Above t-shirt, trying to sleep through a bumpy car ride.   Ahh, car trips to and from conventions…

This is the convention that sparked my desire to go to more and more conventions.  Later that year I went to Otakon for the first time ever, which was absolutely amazing, and then I continued going to I-CON until I graduated from Potsdam.  I also went to the first ever Bear Con in 2011, which was so much fun!  Now I’m hoping to make it to three conventions this year – which is more than I’ve ever been to in a convention season!  I’ve got Indy Comic Con coming up in March, then PopCon in late May/early June, and then, of course, GenCon in August.  I’m so ridiculously excited.

Is it convention season yet?