Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Ottawa Comiccon 2014 Con Report!

Hello peeps! Ottawa Comiccon 2014 has come and gone, and I'm happy to say I survived another year! Although I was working right up until the last minute, I successfully completed enough of my Moria to wear (though not as much as I had hoped) and had a blast strutting my stuff both in the halls and in the masquerade, in spite of the fact that Moria didn't get nearly as much recognition as Moxxi (obscure character, obscure series, and no cleavage = little love). That said, those who did know who I was were suitably impressed!

So attractive! Before the day crumbled
Saturday morning was one of those "comedy of errors" situations - it seemed no matter what I did, the world was determined not to cooperate. First I grabbed my model magic horns and found that one had cracked - not much I could do about it, but it was frustrating. For this make-up, I picked up better quality facepaint and a sea sponge applicator in hopes of having a better finish for my white makeup (as the girl at Audrey's had convinced me to do), but in spite of better than twenty minutes spent in front of the mirror, I couldn't get an even coating of white to save my life. Next, I grabbed my carefully crafted latex stitches (which I had made by paiting layer on layer of mould building latex on to plastic sheeting in the desired stitch pattern) and promptly dropped the 8 stitch chain on the floor, causing it to twist into a sticky, useless mess. I managed to salvage 5 or so of the X sitches, but it was a painful and frustrating process. Then I grabbed my belt off the table (after having laid it there to allow the e6000 I had used to glue on the buckle to dry) and discovered that the spray paint I had used to paint it hadn't cured properly, and therefore had adhered itself hopelessly to the plastic table cloth causing several chunks to rip off while trying to peel the buckle back. After painter's taping and throwing quick coat of silver on that, I went to burn the CD for my masquerade entry, only to discover that the track I had downloaded only had 26 sec of the song - luckily walk ons are only 30 sec (I filled the last four with a nice Moria laugh when I was on stage), but it was just another thing to add to the pile of stupid that my day was becoming.

Although I had planned to be out the door at 8:30 am in order to get there early enough to get decent parking, all the fun and games had delayed me to a 9:40 am departure, following which I hit heavy construction related traffic, and didn't even arrive at my con buddy Renee's place until just after 10:00. The only small stroke of luck that we came on was that the direction we chose to get in to the venue (only picked because of the proximity of a Tim Hortons to it) placed us in a spot to avoid the giant lineup for the overflow parking, which was a ten mile march away from the door, but at least we weren't waiting 30+ min just to park! Anyway, from there we headed to the door, waitied 20 min (seemingly for nothing), were finally let up to the door, and discovered that that line was only for people who pre-ordered tickets (which I hadn't as my phone wasn't cooperating when I had tried) and we had to walk to the other side of the building just to walk back to wait in line again, and the MOMENT we hit the door? The con got locked down due to a child having been lost.  AAAAAAARRRRGHHHH!  I'm a super laid back person normally, but after all of that I was just about ready to cry (I'll blame sleep deprivation and hormones).  I managed to keep my composure, and after another 10 min or so we were finally allowed in.

With my friend Christa, as Azula

The first thing I noticed about this year was that there were even MORE people than last year - it was practically impossible to move at times due to the sheer crushing number of people in the way. The set up had changed quite a bit, which was mildly confusing to me at first (having not thought to check the map beforehand) but I managed to find my way to the Masquerade registration anyway. The lovely masq staff were super accomodating in that even though I wasn't there early (as I had intended to be) they agreed to place me early in the lineup as I had a wedding reception to be at by 8:30 pm.  With the signing up accounted for, we checked the schedule for desirable programming. The two panels I was interested in - "Costumes on a Budget" (I can always use tips) and "Silicone Armour - It's a Piece of Cake" had both come and gone before we got through the door, but "Finding Serenity : A Firefly in the Night" was coming up, and Renee loves Firefly (as do I) so we figured we'd check it out! The panel was presented by the Ottawa Browncoats, and while it was a great introduction to the series and gave a few interesting behind the scenes tidbits and some interesting discussion on the strengths of some of the episodes, there was a little too much focus on the basics, and thanks to the late nights leading up to con, I found myself falling asleep (quite literally), so we ducked out a little early.  From there, we lined up in the nice long line for lunch at one of the little cafeterias, and picked up a slice of pizza each (reasonably priced at $5). We would have checked out the Food Court, but neither of us were smart enough to bring real money.

Following lunch, we walked the floor, and by walk, I mean shuffled along fighting
our way through the crowd or being pushed along, depending on the moment. It was a little too much for my level of patience by this point in the day, and it was hard to get a close look at ANYTHING.  I saw a few other One Piece costumes along the way, but for the most part it was at a distance, and when I
I found a Nami! Picture courtesy of Renee
complimented one Trafalgar Law in passing, he showed absolutely no indication of knowing who/what I was.  I DID run in to a lovely Nami outside the tower of T-Shirts!  We had a nice chat on the awesomeness that is One Piece. The merch I did see looked good, but it took us so long to do our first lap that I didn't have time to go for a second (when I usually make purchases) before I had to report to the green room.  That said, it was nice to get somewhere quiet where I could sit for a while! Just like last year, the green room was backstage for the main stage, so I was able to catch some of

the Edward James Olmos Q&A from the other side of the curtain, and some of the Leonard Nemoy Skype visit as well (which was plagued by technical difficulties, but worked itself out) which was fun, entertaining, and was crashed by Karl Urban - priceless!

As always, the wait was long, but Renee was there to keep me company and I got to chat with various cosplayers, and took the time to get caught up with Demelaa and Zeveelia of LITAS Cosplay, fellow Borderlands fans who I met last year at our impromptu Borderlands meetup! This year Demelaa was rocking Tiny Tina and Zeveelia switched sirens from Maya to Firehawk Lilith. Belziir was once again the official masq photographer, and I had a great little shoot with him. Luckily for me, he was one of the few people who recognized Moria, and he suggested a full on maniacal laugh pose, which worked out nicely - can't wait to see how the rest turned out!  Judging went well, the judges seemed suitably impressed with my work, the prosthetics, the embroidery and all.  I'm still not sure what the result was (seeing as I had to work the next day and missed the award presentation) but having seen the calibre of work I was up against, I'd be surprised if I was recognized this year.  That said, Demelaa and Zeveelia were selected for best paint detailing - awesome and well deserved!
LITAS on stage, photo by Pose4Effect

Since my original walk on plan had centered around my scissors (which weren't finished in time), I kinda had to come up with something new on the fly.  It was pretty simple, just striking poses, trying to look maniacal and the like, with a nice loud "kishishishishi"  as I went off stage - easy, right? Well first of all, I'm pretty sure I didn't get close to the full 30 seconds (I could be wrong, it just felt too fast) and then, just as I was heading off stage, my belt fell off (which elicited giggles from the audience).  Full on, dropped around the ankles, fell off, after it had behaved and stayed in place ALL DAMN DAY.  I played it cool, flicked the
On stage shot from insta_reviews - belt drooping ominously
belt off stage with my boot and carried on my way, but once I was off stage, I started laughing (quietly, as I didn't want to interrupt whoever was on after me) and couldn't stop for an extended period of time.

And that was that! As much as I hated having to take off and miss the rest of the masq (again) I really needed to get moving if I was going to make it to my cousin's wedding reception.  I retreated to one of the ladies rooms and made a quick change from full on cosplay mode to regular old pregnant lady heading to a wedding mode.  The most challenging part of this was trying to get the darn lipstick off - I've owned Graftobian before, my blue lipstick for Gaige is Graftobian, and I had no issue when testing it... Well for whatever reason, my purple was like dry tar, a heck of a pain to apply (let alone evenly), and impossible to get off.  Around the point when ALL of the rest of the makeup had been removed, the lipstick was still firmly in place and now tinged white by the makeup that had been rubbed off/around it. With some serious effort, I managed to scrape it off, shook out my hair, threw on a dress and some jewelry, and scampered off for some fun at my cousin's wedding reception! Yeah, I was pretty much dead by the time I got home at 12:45.

While I did enjoy my time at Comiccon this year, my overall experience wasn't as positive as last year, partly due to my own muck-ups (not fully finishing my costume, not sleeping enough, all the fun the morning of, arriving much later than intended, forgetting my insoles) and the rest was due to the ridiculous crowds.  I understand the draw and why Saturday was a popular day (it's the biggest day for stars, and most people who only get the one day pass pick Saturday), but it was much harder to get a good look at everything when you could barely move, and I was disappointed that I made it out of there with NO swag. My aim for next year (assuming I have my costume finished in time... assuming life with baby allows time for costuming) is to get the weekend pass (I won't have to worry about working, as I'll still be on parental) and do all my shopping/browsing on the Friday, then I won't be as stressed by the crows on Saturday, and can take my time and focus more on checking out panels and the like.  I still felt no desire to do the autograph or photo session thing, as much as I love some of the celebs on the bill (Christopher Lloyd, Edward James Olmos and Karl Urban come to mind immediately) waiting in a line to shell out money to have a moment in time, an autograph, a picture with them. I'm not sure who it would take to convince me to jump in there, but I'll see who's on the bill next year!

Moria held up pretty well to the rigors of the day, with the exception of the belt incident. As much as I had worried about my prosthetics, the spirit gum held fairly well, though by green room time I needed to apply a wee bit more spirit gum to one of the horns and a few stitches that were juuuuuust starting to come loose. All in all, costume success!

I'll leave it at that for this entry, next time I'll talk about the rest of the construction for Moria, and cover what I'm working on to finish up the costume before the big photoshoot with Capt Crankypants, which will likely be taking place at the beginning of June, or at very least before Baby Crankypants graces us with her presence! Hope those of you who hit Ottawa Comiccon had an awesome time!

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