August 29, 2011

Cosplay: Interrupted

So every once in a while real life likes to get in the way of the things I do outside of work. Namely this is why you haven't heard from me much lately!

I moved! I finished moving! I then was gone in Indy for 5 days (see: Gencon), and then I had a week, then Anime World Chicago (report coming soon)! Then we came home, trying to unearth the house from boxes and then our PLUMBING DIES ON US.

...Thankfully it's been fixed. So now I need to get to the last few things on my "Things I Have to Sew", before I begin my commissions and stuff for Youmacon. Which yes, I would like to chronicle here, so STAY TUNED.

Things to Sew:
  1. Model Garments - a sweater thing and some pants
  2. 2 knit shirts (I have the fabric. I really just need to sit down and do these)
Things I SHOULD also be doing:
  1. Drawing comics (my own, and outside projects)
  2. Finishing up any left over drawing commissions (maybe i'll attack that this week!)
  3. Starting to buy the fabric for upcoming Costumes (Halloween is on it's way and I'm EXCITED)
  5. Editing those pictures from AWC
  6. Posting said pictures
  7. Posting my Write Up
....and people wonder why I desire 36 hour days. Maybe I should experiment with getting up earlier...

August 13, 2011

True Dungeon Hijinks

Here were some of the interesting things that happened while I was working at True Dungeon:

  • In the first shift, I had a run where the magic ring was left IN the box, instead of getting returned to me. I had thought all was lost.

    During the run, the players found the ring really fast, and in haste tried to pass it through the box to another player. Inadvertently handing it back to me. Twice.

  • One set of players figured out I was an extra hand, and I guess that I was possibly hostile. They put all the large metal rings on my arm, pinned my hand to the sidewall, and yanked that ring off. Props for creativity!

  • One group gave the ring to the Sea Lich (instead of trying to solve the puzzle with it). And then had to pledge their minionship to her before getting it back.

  • I was used as a metal ring hook quite a few times. They'd just hang all the metal rings on my arm. Cause it was there.

  • Getting groups of big guys in there with my tiny hand was hilarious. They'd be all like "Um, Bob, why are your hands so tiny? OMG IT'S ANOTHER PERSON!!"

  • I had a few players apologize afterwards going "Sorry for manhandling you person in the box!", sometimes they let me stick my head out to meet the players if they got done early. They seemed to really enjoy meeting the "ghost in the box"

August 12, 2011

Gencon Cosplay Roundup

Because my review post was so long, here are the lovely costumes I saw at Gencon. It's always a nice refreshing con because people dress up as ANYTHING here. Be it popular media, books, videogames, anime, or even their own RPG characters.

Let's just say I have a few new ideas in mind for next year's Gencon. :)

Rincewind from Discworld

Flemeth, Dragon Age II

A very very very VERY tall Lincoln.
Did I mention he was tall?

I apologize, I do not know what it's from.

Mass Effect people!

A Bridge Troll. She was amazing.
She also likes bacon.
And children. Wrapped in bacon.

Note to self: Take more costume pictures next year.

August 11, 2011

Gencon 2011 Report

 First off, moving was a great success!

We managed to get everything into boxes, and then hauled it all over to the new place. Thank you to all who ended up showing up and helping. My feeble arms are no good with lifting.

I rarely see this number.

For those not in the know...not only am I a cosplayer and artist, I'm also a HUGE gaming nerd. Yep. That's right - D&D, RPGs, and the like. So naturally, I have finally started to attend the convention called GENCON. It's a huge 4-day event in Indianapolis focused on gaming. It's also another excuse for me to make costumes and derp it up with other gamers!  (C'mon, like you think I'd think about anything other than art or costumes, REALLY??)


This year, I was going to be volunteering in a thing called "True Dungeon" (more on that in a bit), and I needed to be in Indy around noonish. This means we got up at 5 in the friggin' morning. Thank goodness for Dave's ability to completely disregard the time of day, because I was a total zombie that morning. First off, I had spent the past couple of days unearthing things in the new place, AND finishing a costume I had been longing to. (And really, this was the only time I'd probably get around to doing it anyway)

Naturally, I missed about the first 3 hours of our trip. I did wake up in time to see Indiana, and let me tell you I found some interesting sights along the way. If you've been paying attention, you'll know I love to take pictures of weird stuff I see when traveling: funny signs, trucks, cars, etc. And let me tell you, Indiana was a BOON to this. Also, near the borders it seems like everything is HUGE. And requires 3 or more billboards to advertise. Or maybe they're just really cheap to get. Who knows.

That's not a tiny house.

This place also advertised "AWESOME BATHROOMS".
I did not stop to verify their claims.

My favorite sign I saw this year, I did not get a picture of. Namely because it dumbfounded both Dave and I and I was too shocked to take a picture. It was a billboard of a guy, dressed like a priest?, jumping out of a coffin with the title "PRE PLANNING IS FUN!!". Yes. A billboard for funeral arrangements.

A quick second was this one:

Good to know. Thanks.

So we made our way to the hotel (amidst all the construction - I swear it felt like Michigan again). We stayed at the Crowne Plaza since it was connected to the ICC, and I'm lazy. I like having a room I can go change in/dump stuff off/fall unconscious in.

Neatest part of the hotel? It was build around and/or like the old Union train station so that means every time I walked outside my door, I was greeted to this in the morning.

This makes me want to do Baccano! cosplay So. Very. Bad.

It was pretty cool. It made it definitely feel more like a vacation than anything.

We got all unpacked and whatnot and I headed over to the True Dungeon area. For those not in the know, True Dungeon is like a live-action D&D labyrinth where you go through 7 rooms solving puzzles, fighting baddies, and generally trying not to die. It's pretty neat. If you're a fan of D&D, Tabletop, or heck, Legend of Zelda, getting the chance to actually do life-sized puzzles is pretty much like living a dream.

So I decided to volunteer to work in it this year. Fun, but very tough, and I injured myself and was generally sore. I went to check in with the volunteers...

Me: "Hey, I'm here to check in for True Dungeon Set Up."

Guy: "Oh, we're all done. Just go to your training seminar later today."

Me: "So..." *looks at schedule* "I don't have to show up until 8 pm?"

Guy: "That's right."

Me: "Oh, uh okay."


So we spent the afternoon walking, and pretty much just relaxing in the room, while I finished up some costume pieces and a wig. I then went to training and found out that I'd be working as a "backstage hand". Okay. Sounds cool.

...then I found out I'd be sitting in a tiny barely lit box for 6 hours at a crack touching tons of other people's hands.  (It was part of a puzzle, where all the players had their hands "trapped" in a box, and had to search for a magic ring, which was on my hand. I spent the time annoying the players and hoping they'd notice I was wearing the ring)

Dave and I quickly decided hand sanitizer would be a MUST, and fixed that problem before my first shift.

Thursday started it all off. It was dang crowded and in a new part of the convention center. Lots of people! I was dressed as Ben Tennison for part of the day (and after some wig malfunctions I decided to change).

Dealer hall is HUGE. My pictures just can't really describe it. But here they are:

By Saturday these aisles were filled with people.

They always have a statue in the Convention Center.
This year's choice was....Drizzt?
....don't even get me started on that codpiece ....thing.

Apparently Abney Park is getting an "expansion adventure"
in the Victoriana World. AND NOBODY TOLD ME.
Mostly did a lot of browsing and making lists and the like.

Around mid afternoon, I went and got ready for my first shift, changed into my TD (True Dungeon) T-shirt. They gave me one for each day. Yay!

To anybody who was there - I'm sorry if I annoyed you at all. You guys were rather hilarious to annoy in that box. And really, it was one of the few things keeping me sane through all the shifts. And yes. I did use the Hand Sanitizer after EVERY. SINGLE. GROUP. I was not going to be responsible for sending around a con plague, thank you very much.

Friday was my first "Real Costume" day - the one I had finished: F'lhammin, the "Songstress of Ul'dah" from FF XIV. (Don't judge me! I liked the character)

See. I do cosplay as girls too.

I had been super nervous wearing it, because a.) it was super girly, and b.) It was kind of uh...."revealing" in ways. Anime cons are known for their creepers, and I didn't know what Gencon would be like.

Turns out most of the people I dealt with were really nice. They'd come up say "Can I have a picture, your costume's nice," snap their picture, and then leave. If you were taking creeper pictures, I couldn't really tell, so I'm going on the thought that you were all pretty nice people.

...the only creeper I had was some old guy at the top of the escalator in the Westin. The "anime area". Thank you for perpetuating a degrading stereotype. I hope your camera breaks, you weirdo.

I had a couple of people notice who I actually was, and they didn't throw stuff at me. I was greatly surprised.

Hung out for a little while with another artist friend of mine (who I officially met/talked with at Glass City Con!). It was fun roving the hall with some other artists, generally making mischief and looking for games.

Did my next shift, and went to the room and fell asleep.

Saturday I had a morning shift at TD (my last one, YAY), and thankfully the person relieving me at the end showed up early, and wanted to start, so whoever you are I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Thanks to them, I went back to the room, changed into Songstress again, and ventured out to go try to catch the Masquerade ("And Sewing is Half the Battle" and another friend of mine was entering, and I had wanted to see what this was all about).

This Costume Contest was a lot different than the ones I'm used to seeing. It was more about presentation and "ooh" factor, than say, craftsmanship. Not that there weren't some amazing costumes, but it was a different format than I was used to.

I liked that there were different categories. Superhero, Children, Fantasy/Historical, Professional, etc. I didn't like that you could win if you pretty much just made people go "ooh" or were something popular.

Each contestant had to come up with a small intro that the Emcee would read aloud, and then you could strut around, perform something, or whatever. This is a great idea. Until you realize there's like 70 entrants with 2 minutes a piece.

I ended up leaving early, and came back in time to see the awards given out. I'd have some pictures of the stage, however, the lights worked against me and everybody in my images was FRIGGIN WASHED OUT. I really need to figure out my camera manual settings sometime soon.

Afterwards, Dave and I went and did a Songstress photoshoot (so I could have nice pics of my new costume), and on our way back was stopped by "And Sewing is Half the Battle". We chatted it up (and got lots of pictures taken as we were trying to find chairs), and ended up all going out to dinner together. We've been meaning to hang out at cons for a while, we're all just so busy and crazed we always miss each other. It was nice to be able to sit down with a bunch of cosplayers and talk about cons, and costumes, and funny stuff.

Late that evening, went back to the room, and fell unconscious again. Woke up early, packed up, headed to tear down for TD, and found most of it was done (not that I'll complain about that this time. I was SORE.)

Roved the dealer hall one last time, picked up a FABULOUS commission (I totally fangirled) I had purchased from a really nice artist in the Artist's Alley area (turns out she's in Michigan too, so I'll probably see her at lot of other cons I go to now!).

Found my way back to the Pathfinder booth, and was able to shake the hand of the lead editor and tell him that the system was awesome and that they need to keep up the fabulous work.

Did a demo for Leviathans, and got a mini ship! It's pretty neat. I can't wait for the entire set later this year.

Did I mention I love airships?

Got in the car, drove home, through a torrential rain, and made it safely back home.

Next up, Anime World Chicago! Crash Bang Will be hosting 3 panels on Friday about COSPLAY!