Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Breaking Down: Cosplay

So I was sent a link to a guy doing a documentary series called Breaking Down. He basically explores subcultures and breaks them down...so to speak. It's the basic set up, guy from the outside going into something he doesn't understand and tries to understand it.

Right now he's doing episodes on Cosplay, and it's pretty interesting so far, even going so far as to dress up and explore AX. I've watched the first two episodes and I like what's going on so far. He seems respectful of the people and has some actual conversations with people rather then antagonize or made silly comments. You see some things that probably many of you have experienced at cons before (like being randomly hugged, by this point I'm rather used to it so you don't realize how odd it might be for someone else on the outside).

You guys should really check him out, for the later episodes I really hope to see more conversations he has with other cosplayers.

Breaking Down

Monday, February 21, 2011

Katsucon 2011

Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, National Harbor, MD
February 18th-20th

Alright so now it's time for the con report! Katsucon was actually my first convention ever, so it's always sort of special for me. First off the hotel is AMAZING. If you've never been to the Gaylord it's a beautiful resort hotel. It's probably one of the nicest places that I've been to for a con. For cosplayers it's a photo dream. There's so many different types of settings someone could take for photos.

Which brings me to the food there. The food within the hotel is amaaaaazing. Really rather pricey, so if you don't spending a bit of extra money then I'd say go for it, because I enjoyed it. But if you want to save a bit of money there's a ton of different cheaper restaurants outside the hotel and they're within walking distance. Which was actually doable this year because the weather was much nicer! Friday was so warm and nice I didn't mind walking around the area, though Saturday had really crazy wind, for the most part the congoers were actually able to spread out and weren't as confined to the hotel as they were last year. Thanks to the odd weather there wasn't some freak snow storm, making it so much easier to drive up.

This year was a bigger focus on cosplay, so I really didn't make any panels. That's sadly sort of the norm for me, I've heard some good things. I have noticed the bigger focus on cosplay in the panels, most of them how to's or beginners guides to cosplay. Probably shows the growing interest with cosplay in the con circuit, maybe it's starting to become bigger then the original focus (stuff like anime and Japanese culture). I can't say I'm too bothered by it, because of my own love for cosplay, but it does tend to change the focus of the con. Two special guests were cosplayers, so it seems the con is aware of how significant cosplay is at a con.

Now I get into the issues. Katsucon has always seemed a bit disorganized at times. Last year the badges didn't come on time for pre-reg so people were there on Thurs had to get some kind of voucher and pick up their badges later. This year there was an hour wait beyond the badge pickup time, due to...something, I never really got a reason why. But what really annoyed me was the fact that the people on Thursday never got a program or full schedule, just a Friday one. Maybe they rectified this later on, you could pick it up somewhere, but wherever it was, I never got one. Thankfully we had a computer to check the schedule for stuff.

Other then this issue I can't say I have much to complain about. The hotel staff was nice, and I really didn't have much interaction with staffers. I can't really comment much on the panels. What I can say was how it was a a semi mess to try and get photos by the gazebo. Everyone wants photos there because of how nice it is.

Probably the best example of it I have here.

But it came down to a first come first serve type thing, and if there wasn't a gathering there you can bet someone was rushing to get a photo there.

I have little to really complain, other then those reasons. Overall I was pretty happy with the con. I hope the Gaylord continues to have Katsucon. Despite the expense it was really well worth it.

Katsucon 2011: Photos

Normally I like to start with a con review but this time I'm going to start with the photos first, because I know more people would want to see that a bit more. I tried to take as many as I could, there are much more from a few of the gatherings I managed to stalk. Feel free to take any image you see if yourself, friends or whatever. I'd appreciate a link back if you do. So I hope you enjoy!


More cosplayers here.


More Umineko photos here.

Other Gatherings

And the rest here and here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Almost time for Katsu!

So Katsucon is almost here, which means I have about everything done. I'm still waiting on a few little things I need to finish up my costumes. But for the most part I'm about ready.

A friend of mine wanted us to cosplay together and we decided to do Godchild, I chose Merryweather. There was a ton of outfits I could have chosen from, but a lot of them had the same sort of big ruffled look. I needed something a bit easier to make and wear, because of the time factor. So after hunting through I ended up picking an outfit from the Cain Saga.

I got to play around and be a bit more interpretive with some of the details, since with each frame the outfit looked slightly different. This was probably the cheapest of all the costumes thus far. I really only needed to get a wig, lining an a few small details. I had the majority of everything else.

The shoes were something I already owned, which was incredible luck. It in the end came down to wig hunting...which was an adventure. The one in the photo up there is my second and successful wig. I still need to trim the bangs a bit. Also since that photo I've completed a few more details that I've been too lazy to put the thing on and take a photo of.

This is where being careful on the internet comes into play. IT can be something a lot of cosplayers can suffer from, people trying to look for a deal on their limited budgets only to get ripped off or find their item isn't exactly as pictured. And it can really happen to ANYONE who buys something online. I've had a lot of luck with finding deals on the internet and my biggest source is ebay. If you pay attention and really read the reviews it makes it easier. I did what I normally did and found a wig I really liked. The price was amazing. Probably too amazing. Because this is what I got.

As you can see I'm rather displeased. It's crazy thin. I've never seen a wig this thin before. I'm sadly stuck with this wig. But at least I was able to get my replacement. But it's a lesson well learned.

Also! I made a Bearbee for a friend for her birthday. It's sort of fun to make plushes again. I still have two more I need to make.

AND LASTLY. I got my watch for 999. Probably...the best thing I've ever received. Thank you Aksys!