Friday, 8 November 2013

Ottawa Comiccon Convention Report!

Hey peeps, welcome and thanks again for reading! I know it's still less than peanuts in internet land, but I'm OVER 2000 PAGEVIEWS! It's just nice to know that there are people out there reading my work. I had extra traffic over the last month, but I'm pretty sure it was just Halloween costume advice hunters - hey, if you pulled one off, let me know and send some pics, I wanna see them!

After the race - we did it!
So the Rattle Me Bones race went well! I managed to scrape together the hubby's Batman costume, the cowl was far from perfect, but he was totally recognizable, which is the best I could do with two days notice (working 12h of each of those days, no less). I had a blast running in costume, though the cold took its toll (especially when the wind picked up and rain got started), and having people actually cheer me on by name was a bonus (you know, because my name IS Robin). I surpassed my fundraising goal by a generous amount - $334.50 total! And in the end, I finished in 1:14, which was a little disappointing, first because my goal was 1:10, and second because a few minutes after crossing the finish line I saw the clock was at 1:13, so I thought I had made it! My only consolation was that when I mapped the run after the fact, I discovered that the race route was actually 10.43km.  Oh well, at the end of the day, all I can do is train to do better next time! Speaking of next time, we signed up for another half marathon for next May - yes, I'm crazy, but it's that much more motivation to keep up my running and get into better shape!

So this is where I was going to post all about my progress, but I have a LOT to talk about, so I'm going to keep that for my next post, otherwise I'll end up being over 5000 words! I'm definitely not even close to being finished, but I have been working hard!

How easily distracted am I? Back on track with my Ottawa Comiccon Con Report - disclaimer: this WILL be photo heavy, and almost none of them are mine, but I will be linking directly to the source where possible. If I posted one of your photos and you would like it taken down, please let me know by email.

So it was a drizzly May day when at 6:00am I rolled out of bed to whip myself into shape to hit my first ever convention. This was OCC's second year, though I had missed last year's convention as I was out of town for a wedding. We decided to go on the Saturday in case we were able to get in on the masquerade, and because I wasn't available for the whole weekend, and Saturday is usually the most action packed.  I had been up to at least 2:00am finishing up last minute this and thats for my Moxxi costume, so I was thankful that I had full face makeup to cover my icky eye bags from not sleeping enough.  By the time I finished putting the finishing touches on my face, the hubby had rolled out of bed and was slowly pulling his costume together. We headed out nice and early (around 8:00am), doors opened at 10:00am, but last year the hubby had arrived only one hour early, and the lineup had been WAAAAAY around the side of the building in the sweltering sun and heat, so we wanted to beat the worst of it. Thankfully, this year the organizers had the forethought to set out a large tent with snaking line to keep everyone out of the drizzle and protected from any sun which may have decided to shine on us.

First photo of the day - Courtesy of Shadoswipe
The wait wasn't too bad, we were able to get a look at several awesome costumes along the way, and chatted with a nice brony and his cousin who were in line behind us while I did my nails. Being out of the drizzle was nice (even though my hair was already ruined) and by the time we made it inside the precipitation had cleared and it was just cloudy.

Ambushed in line by the photog for Audrey's
Inside the convention it was CROWDED, there were so many people, and apparently a lot of Borderlands fans, as the hubby and I were stopped just about every five steps by people wanting to take our picture. Our first stop was the Masquerade table, I had been considering pre-registering, but wasn't sure the costumes would be finished in time. I wasn't too hopeful as we came up to the table (the website had made it sound like space was very limited and VIP pass holders had been in for an extra hour already) but there were plenty of spaces open, and the masquerade staff were super helpful in getting our background music ("Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" by Cage the Elephant of course) off my phone and on to their computer in spite of the strict "bring your own CD" rules on the website (remember, I wasn't sure there would be space left, so I hadn't bothered making a CD). Once we were all signed up, we wandered!

Like this!
The exhibitor area was well set up with decent sized aisles and a LOT of businesses and artists to check out. We wandered slowly through the tables looking at this and that. The hubby collects various action figures and memorabilia from his favourite video games, so we had plenty to peruse for all the toy/comic shop booths, and we had a solid look through all the t-shirt vendors stuff as well looking for shirts that met our criteria - we both love showing off our video game love, but hate shirts that literally have the name of the video game plastered all over it. On our second walk through, he ended up picking up a fab Bioshock Infinite Songbird shirt we'd seen on the first pass but wanted to check out the competition before committing. They also had a pretty sweet skyhook shirt he had wanted, but they were all out of his size.

I was overwhelmed by the awesome stuff available in Artist's Alley, the level of craftsmanship from many of

Badass TF2 Group - Awesome Photo by Jason Walton
the artists, awesome steampunk stuff, neat prints, and all kinds of different jewelry and accessories! Some of the best things along the way were the legitimate armour display, the steampunk society's booth (and the awesomely costumed people within), the 501st display with all their amazing replicas, seeing the original Batmobile, the badass group of TF2 cosplayers we kept running into, an enormous collection of Daleks (I'm not even a Whovian, they're just super neat!), and just all the amazing costumes and people along the way. In the end I didn't actually end up buying anything, I just soaked it all in while random people stopped us to take pictures - it happened all the time, like every five steps, all over the place, way more than I anticipated. Heck, there were even points where we ended up stopping traffic because one person would ask for a shot, and suddenly five more jumped in to get their own. Considering the fact that the hubby hates having his pic taken, he was a great sport about all of it, and only snapped twice, once while the party requesting the photo was being super impatient while he was in the process of paying for something, and once when we had just gotten lunch and were clearly out of character and carrying food. We picked up lunch at one of the little café things built into the venue, chicken sandwiches (with real chicken breast), cactus chips, and an iced tea which came to about $15 if I recall correctly, which is really not bad for event food.

Sad blurry/off angle pics!
Dr. Zed stole a buzzaxe
After lunch we were wandering again when we ran into a few members of one of the Borderlands groups that had been floating about (we'd locked eyes, waved, winked etc. each time we passed eachother before that point), and they latched on to us saying they had a few MORE Borderlands cosplayers gathered, and were trying to do a group shot. So we followed along and got a massive picture of the group of us (Hubby and I, Lilith, Gaige, Maya (Zeveelia), Salvador, Axton, Roland, Jack, Daisy (Demelaa), another Dr. Zed, Tannis (Ailyse), and a psycho). Sadly, despite the fact that I SAW a few people with decent SLRs in the HUGE CROWD of people who gathered to get a shot of our awesome looking group, I only found blurry pics and crappy angle pics (sad face). If you happened to be at Ottawa Comiccon and caught a picture of our Borderlands group, PLEASE let me know. That said, I made my first few cosplay "contacts" through the group (Maya and Daisy are now Lilith and Tiny Tina), and we're looking at doing a Borderlands group photoshoot with a proper photographer at the next OCC if I don't have to work the whole weekend.
Better look at some of the awesome peeps! Not sure where I found the first, others at!
Shortly after that, it was time to head to the green room for Masquerade prep, photos, and pre-judging! Being my first con, first cosplay, and first masquerade, I was totally unprepared for a few things. Firstly, we were told to report to the green room for 3:30pm, but weren't aware that once there, we were unable to leave. If we had known this in advance, we would have brought some snacks and diversions along - oh well, the things you learn! The Den Parents were really nice and great sources of information and inspiration, and the photographer (Jocelyn/Belziir Photography) was really nice and professional, and did a fantastic job considering he wasn't permitted to use flash due to the green room being backstage from the main panels. While we waited we were able to listen in on the stuff going on onstage (the Burt Ward/Julie Newmar panel was going on when we first arrived, followed by Michael Shanks, who is awesome). The sound wasn't great, but it was still nice. We also chatted with a bunch of the cosplayers who were waiting, some who we'd met in line, others who were stuck sitting by us, and one who I discovered afterward I'd seen posting on Coscom!
Amazing shots from Belziir! Get a closer look over on my dA -
I also borrowed a hot glue gun from a Jackie Estacado cosplayer during this time to fix my belt buckle, which had come loose, and before that even, I owe a big thankyou to the ladies at the Audrey's Costume Castle booth for gifting me with the duct tape necessary to save my beautiful big blue and yellow button, which kept trying to fall off.

Pre-judging was a little nerve wracking, as I was not sure what to expect, so when I was asked the question "what did you make" I verbally vomited the contents of my last 21 days and explained almost every detail in about 25 seconds. I'm sure I missed important things, but the judges (Melting Mirror, Suzie of Suki Cosplay, and Lucy of Cats_Luna Cosplay) seemed impressed enough, and we found out the next day that our costumes were selected for a Craftsmanship Award for "Best Use of Paint!" Because by now you should know my philosophy - if it isn't perfect, PAINT THE CRAP OUT OF IT!

We were given a brief explanation of the process (waiting points, time limits, introductions/music) before a quick stage walkthrough (not practice, just walk across the stage, observe the best lighting points, see the clock that will be counting down) and then left to our own devices again as the crowd filed into the room. Since I had previously had no idea what a "walk on" really was, or that there was a 30 second time limit involved, the hubby and I took this time to establish a general strategy and discussed possible poses, actions, etc. In the end, 30 seconds feels like FOREVER when you're up there, but passes in no time at all while watching, and after I found a video posted months later (thank you Robert Christian!), I was pretty satisfied with the outcome!

Feel free to watch the whole thing, but we're on from 11:07 to 11:49

The masquerade itself ran pretty smoothly, we were able to watch on the monitors
From Just Push Play - Makes me giggle every time!
backstage until our den was on deck, then moved through the waiting stages until it was our turn.  I really enjoyed watching everyone else, seeing what they came up with for their walk ons and skits, and checking out the different stage techniques, and had an AWESOME time on stage strutting around and exuding as much Moxxi attitude as I could manage! As soon as we finished, that was it - we were hungry and tired, and as much as I wanted to stick around to watch the rest of the show, people said the video would be posted online (so I could see it anyway), the hubby was done, and we were out!

Some things I didn't take advantage of were any of the panels we weren't backstage for (I didn't take the time to plan in advance as Julian said they were never able to get in last year). I managed to catch the Jewel Staite panel with Nathan Fillion and Summer Glau (via Skype) on Youtube courtesy of Con Junkies (before all the panel videos were pulled down for legal reasons), which was awesome.  Next year I plan on having a pre-orchestrated list of panels I mean to attend, and boo to the hubby if he doesn't want to come with. We also didn't do ANY of the photo ops or signature things as I didn't feel like spending money just to meet a celebrity (even though there were some pretty awesome people available). I might consider it next year if there's anyone I just can't resist, but I can't think of anyone specicfic off the top of my head.

Our pair shot from the photo booth - love it!

Overall, Ottawa Comiccon was an awesome experience, and I'm definitely looking forward to OCC 2014, especially if the costumes I have planned come to reality. The convention felt well organized, the masquerade ran smoothly, and the exhibitors were awesome.  My ONLY complaint (aside from the crowding, but that's just the way a large event with a big draw works) was that we never got the certificate from our masquerade award, even though we were told it would be mailed if we couldn't make the awards ceremony (which we couldn't, as I was working on the Sunday). I've sent emails, but never heard anything back. For my first time in cosplay I had a fantastic time, and was really overwhelmed with all the positive feedback from the people we met along the way, and ALL THE PICTURES - SO many people asked us, and it was a lot of fun scouring the internets looking for decent snaps of us. I think my final total found was about 40 (not all awesome, but all pictures of us) though I'm certain there are more floating out there somewhere (if not in some dusty corner of someone's hard drive or SD card).

Voila, that ends the saga of Moxxi, Dr. Zed, and Ottawa Comiccon 2013! Sooner or later I'll be updating Moxxi for a proper photoshoot, but Gaige is kinda drawing all my attention at the moment (ERMAHGERD ERNLEH 30 DERHS TER GER!!!) Next time - a bunch of progress on my Gaige stuff, and I will be posting my first ever NOT (directly) COSPLAY RELATED TUTORIAL! It's goona be a "gooder" so stick around and you shan't be dissappointed (disclaimer: if you're disappointed, there is no legal action to be taken, and I might laugh just a little). Oh, and if you're looking for my Moxxi and Dr. Zed tutorials, there's a full list of tutorials in a wee box over --> on the right hand side of the page!

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