MegaCon Tampa Bay: Sunday Vlog

I just realized that I never shared my vlog from Sunday of MegaCon Tampa Bay on my blog! If you all like Voltron, this is definitely very Voltron heavy!! I went as Lance and it was a blast. The fandom for Voltron is just so sweet and overall such a fun community. Really looking forward to going back to MegaCon Tampa Bay again next year! The convention was super well laid out and organized. Props to the team who set this up and made it great! Especially for its very first year in Tampa!

Megacon Tampa Bay Saturday Vlog

MegaCon Tampa Bay was a surprisingly amazing convention. Packed with panels, a very expansive vendor room and cosplayers, it’s definitely a good contribution to the cosplay scene in the Tampa Bay area! I’m looking forward to next year and definitely making sure to go again. This was the footage that my friend NekoUsagiTV and I captured during the convention on Saturday!

MetroCon 2016 Review

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This year I once again attended MetroCon 2016 for two out of the four days. While the convention has grown to include four days of events, the actual foot traffic did seem to be significantly reduced. This makes sense when you realize that this year was the very first year since its start of operations that this anime convention had restrictions to keep those without purchasing a ticket out of the halls. This was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, sales picked up for the convention and numbers were larger than ever before (at least in terms of ticket sales) but on the other hand, there were less cosplayers, less happening in the halls and Sunday was almost a ghost town even into mid-afternoon (though the ticket price was not significantly reduced enough to entice people).

The convention could also learn a lot from Tampa Bay Comic Con on how to organize lines. There is something to be said about the fast paced lines Sunday of TBCC versus the super slow lines during MetroCon on Saturday, despite both days having significant attendance for both conventions. Having the lines wrap around the outside and everyone stream inside upstairs through quick cashiers versus having a long winding carrel with slow cashiers definitely… Would make everyone a lot happier. Not only that, but the bag check and weapons check at Tampa Bay Comic Con was so quick and something you had to go through on the way inside that it literally took five seconds! I believe we waited for tickets for almost an hour at Metro.

Most of the time, I attend MetroCon for the main events and the cosplayers. This year I did not manage to see any of the main events but heard fantastic things about their production. Not surprisingly the actual side panels run by attendees were not that impressive. We attended a panel on “Who’s That Pokemon” but it was really just a rapid fire guessing game that left those without intimidate knowledge of all of the generations of Pokemon to just sit and listen to the crowd shouting out random names. Though the pictures were interesting, for sure. I only attended the one panel, however, so I can’t jump to many conclusions. Mostly I’m saying that I’ve never actually been to an impressive panel at MetroCon in any of the years I’ve attended that wasn’t a Main Event such as the Human Chess Match.

The saving grace for the convention for me were the amazing cosplayers that were in attendance. There were many amazing costumes to look at and a lot of people went all out on their cosplays!

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In addition, the artisan alley seemed larger than in years past and more spaced out, allowing for more opportunity to walk back and forth between their booths without being trampled (although many vendors did poorly in sales compared to years past, I’ve been told). That being said, I purchased a significant amount more of merchandise myself than ever before.

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Poster Via Lisaveee on Instagram

Then we get to my meetup for Miraculous LadyBug and, of course, this was the absolute highlight of the convention for me. I was so excited to see so many great cosplayers from Miraculous LadyBug come and join us for a photoshoot. Everyone was so sweet and so amazing! It makes me utterly proud to be part of this fantastic fandom.

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Overall, MetroCon is definitely the largest Anime Convention in Florida. It could still learn from its mistakes and the changes that were made this year and move forward. I’m sure that the ticket restriction was a necessary evil, but it could have been executed better. The cosplayers and amazing people in attendance made this convention fantastic and the main events are always impressive. Looking forward to next year~

No Sew Cosplay: Jack Frost from ROTG

 

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I’ve been around for a long time. My name is Jack Frost. I love being on my own. No rules. No responsibility. It’s as good as it sounds.

Just in time for Easter, I decided to do an article for Jack Frost, which is a cosplay you are bound to see at least once at a convention. This cosplay is fairly easy as well, so super great for a casual cosplay or a first time cosplay.

Wig: I always love Epic Cosplay Wigs. That’s why, the first place I looked for  Jack Frost wig was their website. It obviously requires styling, as you will need to spike up the hair which can be done by teasing it and spraying the wig with hair spray.

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Hoodie: Jack Frost is wearing a trademark royal blue pull-over hoodie. There are two ways of going about this, in my opinion. If you are going to a convention in the winter time, a normal hoodie like this one  (top pic) is fantastic. However, if you are attending a convention in the summer time, you might want to go with a hoodie with thinner material such as a beach hoodie (bottom picture)! Either way, you want to take white fabric paint and paint in the details on the jacket by studying pictures of Jack Frost’s hoodie and applying random lines to mimick frost. Make not to overdo the lines, and also make them opaque with one very thin layer rather than painting them in a solid white.

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Pants: You will need some dark brown pants for this that have a slim fit. Cut off some of the bottom, leaving jagged edges, then take some white and brown fabric paint and mix it together, then use it to make the pants look stressed and frosted. Make sure not to go to heavy, and use a brush that will add a lot of texture. Take some white and blue fabric paint to add a frost affect to the edges the same way you did the hoodie and use fabric glue to add brown ribbon around the bottoms.

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Staff: Hikari Shio on Youtube has made a tutorial on how to do Jack Frost’s staff using mostly household products such as a mop handle, cardboard tubes from wrapping paper, etc. She has also done tutorials on painting Jack Frost’s hoodie and pants, if you need a reference.

Invisible Shoes: Running around on a dirty convention floor bare foot or having to walk from your car to the convention center itself is not a good idea. You never know what you could step on. That’s why this video is fantastic! It shows you have to make invisible cosplay shoes, which will allow you to seemingly be barefoot. This is also better than wearing shoes you will have to take off for photo opportunities.

My name is Jack Frost, and I’m a guardian. How do I know that? Because the moon told me so. So If the moon tells you something…Believe it.

 

 

Conventions: OmniExpo

Oh boy. Where do I begin when talking about OmniExpo as a convention. Well, first of all it is important to note that OmniExpo is a relatively new convention, having just began 3 years ago. That being said, my last convention, Holiday Matsuri is in it’s 5th year and was much larger and much more well organized.

OmniExpo is “your spring destination in Orlando, Florida for Scifi, Comics, Anime, Fantasy, Gaming and Pop Culture!” that took place in the convention hall portion of the DoubleTree by Hilton near Universal Studios. It featured many different panels such as the Super Hero Cafe where How It Should Have Ended. Other panels included May May’s Maid Cafe, Total Drama Expo LARP, a Formal Ball and Dinner and others.

What sold me going to this convention was HISHE. If you’ve followed my blog, you would know that they are one of my favorite Youtube Movie Critic channels. My friend and I cosplayed as Marinette and Alya from the cartoon, Miraculous LadyBug. The Super Hero Cafe panel was absolutely amazing. Tina Alexander, writer and Daniel Baxter, Director, spoke about the origins of HISHE, showed clips from their channel, answered questions and interacted closely with the audience. Guests included Marty McFly and BATMAN. Because… He’s BATMAN! HISHE also showed an exclusive premiere of their Deadpool video before it hits Youtube on Tuesday 3/8/16. It’s phenomenal and had the audience in stitches.

I also attended AbraCadabraCosplay’s panel on Wig Styling. It was a very informative panel all about the very extensive art of wig styling, but comprehensive so that anyone from any level could follow along and learn quite a bit of information. They also do assist people via their FaceBook page, so feel free to check them out! Her panel was very educational and nicely put together despite the fact that OmniExpo… Provided NO overhead projectors. Or anything really to the smaller panels. And this is where I get into the problems that OmniExpo has.

While I only attended on Saturday 3/5/16 for most of the morning and early afternoon, it was still noticeable that there wasn’t a lot going on. The attendance itself was low which isn’t always a bad thing, but there was little to nothing exciting going on in the halls. The ticket for the day I attended was $35 which is already a tad high for a newer convention. To compare it, MetroCon’s Saturday is the same price with a much larger crowd, more panels and more activities taking place as well as more staff. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, as I was willing to pay the price… If there weren’t panels that charged admission. The Maid Cafe was $10 just to get into the door, with food costing an extra $5. The Makeup XFS which was poorly advertised on their calendar (it failed to mention it was an extra charge), also cost $20. HISHE was a bit more understandable, as the ticket was $5 plus $11 if you wanted coffee and dessert.

Signs for registration were handwritten and confusing. The way to the registration desk was supposed to be accessible from the main convention area through the vending room… Which did not open until 11am. This forced attendees to go around the pool area in a long, winding walk past the rest of the hotel to purchase their tickets. Not to mention, signage in general was pretty much not provided. Nor were there staff members readily available to ask. The ticket staff were phenomenal and quick (we had a fantastic person at our window that was a total joy), but the staff checking wristbands at the door were sitting down, barely interacting with convention goers and we walked right past a booth handing out important FLYERS for the convention TWICE and were not offered one.

Sure, some of the conventions I have been to have practically held my hand. But Metro literally has tables set up straight after the tickets are purchased with information and friendly staff the entire way to get you started, not just at the ticket booths. Not to mention, the security do talk to people and do interact and communicate information to large groups. There weren’t even a lot of people there and they couldn’t manage that!

Then there were the overly in your face staff… The ones running some of the panels like Total Drama and the Maid Cafe. The Maid Cafe was worse, as we were browbeat to come check it out only to be told once we were brought there that it was an extra charge and made to feel uncomfortable when we paid and were told we didn’t pay enough (as apparently, we only purchased enough for one ticket despite them knowing we were a duo). Total Drama wasn’t as bad… But still, they got in our face and told us to sign up… But in a way that will instantly remind you of a Jehovah’s Witness (ie Not good). There is a reason that major conventions like MetroCon (Tampa) and MegaCon (Orlando) don’t allow panels to charge extra often… And this is the reason why.

Okay, so that’s staffing and organization and well… Giving your panels actual tools, supplies and staff to get them running and to help them along. Alright, yeah, so organization isn’t their strong suit. At least the other portions were enjoyable, right?

Nottt really. The vendor room itself was rather well set up but honestly, felt fairly empty. The artist alley did have a lot of talented folks, but… Very few.

I might be nitpicking here or being too harsh, but I got literally LOST a few times in the vendors room and artist alley at Holiday Matsuri. Not to mention, if they had put the two together it would have looked more full and inviting and probably helped booster their sales. Maybe lower the fee for the vendors if you are already charging attendees so much to invite more inside for the first few years?

But of course, what really makes any convention great, are the cosplayers and the people. Despite the slow feel of the convention, I met some phenomenal individuals and have made new friends on Instagram because of this convention. My friend and I also managed to have FigmentsMedia take a photoshoot of us. They are fantastic photographers and provide a great service, so go check them out as well!

I don’t regret going for this very reason. However, I feel this needs to be brought to people’s attention and perhaps OmniExpo can learn from this and do differently in the future. Who knows, maybe there will be a time where I will want to attend again. As is, I will not be planning for next year.

 

 

Conventions: Holiday Matsuri

This year, I managed to make time to attend Holiday Matsuri for the first time. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend on the Saturday during the midday but I had a blast in the short amount of time I was able to spend there.

Holiday Matsuri is a festively themed anime, video game and cosplay convention that takes place in Orlando, Florida at the Caribe Royale Hotel which has a large convention center. It takes place for three days; Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Guests this year included Grey Delisle (voice of Vicky from Fairly Odd Parents, Ice Queen from Adventure Time and more),  and Alyson Tabbitha (Professional Cosplayer) and many more. They had a large variety of panels as well, including Holiday Runway, a Youtube Q & A and a late night Undertale Let’s Play panel.

In the past I’ve attended Metrocon (Tampa), Megacon and Mega Fan Days (Orlando). This was my first year branching out to new conventions besides the ones my friends had told me about. I was nervous at first, as I had heard nothing about the actual Convention from word of mouth.

But I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Down to the friendliness of the staff that I encountered to the ease of the lines to get tickets or line up for large panels, it was probably the best convention in terms of organization that I’ve seen. Of course, I was having a hard time seeing in general through a body suit and mask in my Papyrus cosplay so my view could have been distorted slightly. Not to mention the volume of attendees seemed lower, so it might have been easier to organize.

I attended three panels and an Undertale Photoshoot taking place at 3pm. The panels I went to were the Youtube Q & A, which featured Dookieshed, NateWantsToBattle, Morgan Want and Brett Ultimus. The Youtubers were really great and spent the entire time allowing people to come to the mic and ask them questions, which was great. I liked that they opened up the floor for their fans or just people in general that had questions. The second panel that I attended was supposed to be a Mettaton Q & A. Only, the host did not show up. This was the first time that I’ve seen a host not show up, but a cool awesome dude that was doing an Undertale Panel later that evening stepped up to the plate and started an Undertale Let’s Play on Genocide route with the whole audience participating in it. The third panel that I attended was the Holiday Runway Contest. It was nicely organized and the pacing was great. The staff helped people onto the stage if they needed assistance and they kept the contestants moving. The hosts were a little quiet but overall, it was much smoother than I’ve seen some contests do (shots fired at Metrocon).

Thanks to some awesome attendees giving me a heads up that an Undertale Photoshoot was taking place, I was also able to attend that in the afternoon. It was beautifully executed. The fans that put together the photo shoot took everyone over to a good location. Undyne shouting “OVER HERE PUNKS. FOLLOW ASGORE’S GIANT *ING TRIDENT” as she waved a cosplayer’s trident around still makes me chuckle. They did so many rounds of photos, from a group one to character shots (all the Sans, all the Frisks) to coupled shots (Undyne and Papyrus; Mettaton and Papyrus; Asgore and Toriel). They even had Frisk and Napstablook lie on the ground. You can tell I can’t wait till the photos are all uploaded in the next week or so.

But what really made my day? Despite me going alone and being totally confused, nervous and utterly worried my cosplay would bomb… I was touched by so many people that I had a big grin the entire two hour drive back home. I had so many people approach me as Undertale fans, waving at me or just shouting “Nyeh Heh Heh!” in my general direction. Or “spaghetti!” even. It was fantastic! One girl (I’m not sure who she was cosplayed as but it looked great) immediately rushed after me and asked for a hug even after I had just gotten dressed a minute prior and was freaking out that I might have looked horrible.

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Images thanks to Huyuk on Tumblr & Instagram

Some awesome things that happened from the Undertale fandom:

-Napstablook lying on the ground while we waited for the photo shoot to start. A ton of Undertale cosplayers joining in a giant line on the sidewalk.

-A Papyrus cosplayer who was handing out freaking REAL SPAGHETTI in a gift box.

-Frisk who gave out cards that said that seeing your awesome cosplay filled them with determination.

-Temmie with actual… Temmie Flakes, giving those to people!

-The awesome person who gave me a blue bone and told me that Doggo said to return it.

-Mettaton slipping on dust that got spilled at the photoshoot from a balloon that was popped and sticking the landing in a split.

-The Box Mettaton that came out and started pointing their legs out. Oooo yes!

-The person with the boombox playing Bonetrousle that made me think I was losing my mind at first and then became my jam.

-The Monster Kid who literally slipped and fell on their face. I hope they didn’t need a lot of band-aids after all that falling.

-Sans with a trumpet cosplay that I got a selfie with. I hope they upload that!

-The sweet heart of a girl that helped me when my zipper got stuck at the Mettaton Q & A.

-The Markiplier cosplayer that I kept shouting “Markimoo” at.

-The Undyne that did the split. Omgod.

-The awesome Alphys that helped me button up my stupid armor because I fail at life at cosplay armor straps.

-The Sans and Papyrus (same one with spaghetti) that were roleplaying it up hard. Sans kept telling puns and Papyrus kept shouting.

-A cosplay of Nice Cream guy!?

-A Mettaton that wasn’t even the host of the Mettaton Q & A walking in, everyone getting excited, and them breaking the news only to sit at the panel desk and be all awesome and like “oh yes, darling, this is my panel now”.

-The Frisk and Napstablook that started lying on the ground when Napstablook appeared in the Let’s Play.

I could keep going and going. Long story short… I loved it. And yes, it might have been because of the insane amount of Undertale love going on at the convention, but overall I think that the convention is definitely a must see. I’m planning on attending next year in 2016 and making a weekend of it. =)