Tag: cosplay

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.

0016
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?

Embarking on a new cosplay project!

Or, as I’ve been titling this project in my head, “How To Turn Yourself Into A Dragon”.

Toothless is best dragon.
Toothless is best dragon.

Yes, I’m going to try to put together a Toothless costume for the 2014 convention season.  I may even start as early as tomorrow.  And it’ll be my first time assembling a costume this complicated, especially without any sort of pattern!  I’m excited.  And kinda nervous.

I’m no stranger to the world of do-it-yourself cosplay.  While I don’t exactly have the skills for super frilly over-the-top costumes, I know where my strengths lie, and I work with that to make costumes that will look good, even being simple.  Like my Pinkie Pie costume, or my Fourth Doctor costume.  And I have done work without patterns before – Pinkie Pie’s skirt was done completely freehand.  I’ve also done three sailor fukus with no pattern (yes, not only did I dress as Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter, but I also dressed as my own fan character, embarrassing as it is to admit), and an entire Princess Peach costume as well – with varying levels of success.  I know what I’m about to enter into – this isn’t unfamiliar territory.

cute_black_dragon_hoodie_by_calgarycosplay-d31u6dkAnd I do have some visuals to work off of.  I’ve seen this around the internet in a number of places – this is one of them, as well as on DeviantArt – and while I’d love to buy one, I can’t really justify spending $300+ on a sweatshirt.  (And having made a Toothless plush myself, I know that a fair bit of work went into it, I’m quite sure, but is it really $300 worth of work?)  I’d much rather make one myself, too.  I had a blast making Toothless, and I’d love to do something similar, something on a slightly bigger scale, something fun.  And not to mention pretty darn recognizable, especially for the summer conventions, with How To Train Your Dragon 2 coming out in June.

So, how the heck am I going to approach this?  How am I going to start?

Determined dragon is determined.
Determined dragon is determined.

With determination, that’s how!  Heh. I figure I’ll start with stuff I’ve already got – I’ll be using the pattern from the Toothless plush for inspiration on how to construct the head and tail.  I’ll also take advantage of ready-made stuff – such as a pre-made sweatshirt and pair of sweatpants.  And the pictures posted of the sweatshirt give me quite a few ideas of how to construct things.  From there, I can construct Toothless’s little… head tentacles?  Not-quite-horns?  You guys know what I mean.  Anyhow.  I can construct a way to add those to a sweatshirt hood, and then add hand covers and wings and a tail.  (And maybe foot covers, for the sweatpants, if I can swing it.)  The most laborious part will likely be the scales – I have no idea how I’m doing those yet, but those aren’t my main concern anyway.  Those’ll likely be the last things I put on.

But yes.  I am going to make a Toothless costume.  And it will either be epic, or be an epic failure.  I’m leaning more towards epic, myself.  And of course, as I build the costume, I’ll keep everyone updated.  I know I have a lot of fellow Toothless fans who read the blog, and I want to share the process with you guys!

So, stay tuned – Project How To Make Yourself Into A Dragon will start soon.

 

 

My Little Pony: Conventions are Magic! (and so are games!)

There is one thing I can definitely say about the My Little Pony community – they are INCREDIBLY friendly people.

1185785_10152169926188378_44284679_n
Like Rainbow Factory Dash, who started to laugh every time we ran into each other.

I’ve never noticed this so much as I did at GenCon this year.  Now, as I’m sure most of you who know me know, or those of you who’ve been reading the blog for any length of time know, I deal with anxiety and a heck of a lot of social awkwardness.  And because of that, it’s hard for me to just strike up a conversation with people, especially random people I’ve never met that I’m chasing down to take their picture.  (More often than not, by the time I worked up the nerve to ask someone for their picture, they’d wandered too far away – thank goodness for Mister Crafty Nerd hunting them down for me and snagging them for pictures!)  Or random people I meet in panels.  I mean, if there’s a My Little Pony community here in Bloomington, I sure haven’t found it – and even if I did, I’d be a little nervous to just jump right in, hollering “OMG PONIES!”  But the My Little Pony fans (or bronies, as I’ll call them for short – I know not everyone identifies as a brony, but it’s just quicker than saying My Little Pony fans every time I want to refer to the group as a whole, heh) at GenCon were just so welcoming and friendly and easy to talk to.  I found this out in both of the Enterplay My Little Pony: Collectible Card Game panels I went to, as well as in my wanderings around the con.  (One of those Enterplay panels was supposed to be My Little Pony: This Panel is MAGIC, but it got rescheduled…)  People commented on how awesome my costume was, and there were a few people who I recognized from when they took my picture earlier in the day.  And a magical thing happened – I actually started to talk to people.  People I didn’t know.  It was amazing.

Immediately surrounding me at the first MLP:CCG panel I went to were a bunch of older guys, and a couple of younger girls and their moms who seemed to enjoy the show as much as their kids did.  And we all talked.  We discussed our favorite episodes, I showed off pictures of my ridiculous collection of My Little Pony plush, we talked about who our favorite ponies were, and wondered what the collectible card game would be like.  It was like we were all old friends – and the fact that it was My Little Pony that brought us all together made it even more awesome.

Read More

GenCon 2013 Photos: Days 3 and 4

This is the other post you’ve all been waiting for – the second chunk of photos from GenCon 2013!  Again, a few of these shots were taken by Mr. Crafty Nerd, and many of the Doctor Who photoshoot images were taken by my wonderful friend Michael. Due to the fact that there are so many pictures, shots from Day 1 and 2 are in a separate post so that way things don’t run as slow as molasses!  Enjoy! 😀

2013-08-17 12.03.42

Read More

GenCon 2013 Photos: Day 1 and 2

This is the post you’ve all been waiting for (or one of them, anyway) – part one of my massive photo dump of shots from GenCon 2013!  There are plenty of pictures that I took, with a little assistance from Mr. Crafty Nerd – hope everyone enjoys them! Due to the fact that there are so many pictures, shots from Day 3 and 4 are in a separate post so that way things don’t slow to a crawl here!  Enjoy! 😀

2013-08-15 14.47.54

Read More