It’s that time of year again, friends, when we start to scrape together funds to attend fan conventions in the new year. In 2014, I gave you 5 California conventions I was dying to attend, and even got the chance to go to a few. In 2015, I am expanding my horizons and sharing with you 5 fan conventions across the United States that are well worth the travel. When it comes to attending fan conventions, the sooner you know what you’re looking for, the better. It’s best to think of fees such as hotel, transportation, cosplay and food as well as entrance cost and spending cash before the actual date, so as to get a head start on purchasing items in advance and not shock your wallet too badly.
If you’re interested in attending one of the cons on the list below, click on the links, visit the pages and book your time NOW, before tickets are gone. Enjoy!
I started out as a reluctant cosplayer. The truth is, I always felt embarrassed by my size and worried that I wouldn’t find anything that looked good or fit me properly. The nerd community can be cruel to female cosplayers and even worse to fat chicks who cosplay. Finding a character I love enough to cosplay, creating a costume that resembles her/him enough so that strangers recognize the outfit EVEN THOUGH I am not the same size/color as the character, well it always seemed like an overwhelming task that I wasn’t ready to commit to. I am all too familiar with instances of public body shaming, and the idea of placing myself in the spotlight at a con terrified more than thrilled me.
Then I met the Collectress. My cosplaying, co-blogging, blogmate who promised to FOREVER help make my cosplay dreams come true, if I would only give the medium a chance.
The 2014 Burbank Supernatural Convention has come and gone, but the memories will live forever on Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube. If you attended BurCon this weekend, you might have seen us on Saturday, Team Free Will–with one foxy mama in a trench coat, a prancing moose, a blonde bombshell version of femme!Bobby and me, a femme!Dean not afraid to let the world know that “I Wuv Cas”. We wandered the Burbank Marriott convention center and lobby from 9am-midnight, enjoying the sights, meeting new friends and generally fangirling over all the amazing stars in attendance that day. Wanna know my top 5 moments? Here they are, in no particular order.
1) Meeting the Collective fans
This year, the Collective Bloggers decided we wanted to meet you. We put out the call on Twitter, posted a reminder last week and brought a pie and plastic forks and 3 rounds (yes, I said 3) of Supernatural trivia to keep us entertained and then got to hang out! It was so great to meet some of our readers and share our mutual love of Supernatural, cold beer and apple pie IRL, I think we should probably plan to do it again. Kudos to the Collectress, who kicked ass as Cas and won the trivia game, beating out @castielsarmy by a mere 2 points.
There’s a moment, I think all of us self-identified geeks know it, when you walk into your first con and think: I have finally found my people. Where once you existed in isolation, able to share your passions with a few anonymous faces on line, suddenly you’re among other, actual, living, breathing, nerds. The thing about you that had to be hidden – your nerdiness – is something that is shared with this mass of people and celebrated. The only thing comparable I can think of was my first time stepping into a gay pride festival, fresh off of coming out. It was so welcoming and so much fun, and I was indeed suddenly so proud to be myself. Cons are like that. The moment when you’re walking down the street and see the first person dressed as Poison Ivy adjusting their bodice or Darth Vader in the coffee shop, and you know it: you’re home.
I felt that moment profoundly the first time I attended Geek Girl Con in Seattle in August of 2012. GGC was in its second year, just getting its feet wet, and it was still an amazing experience. As I roamed the aisles full of crocheted Avengers, independent game developers, geek community organizations, writers, and artists; I was amazed at the passion and creativity of fans like me, which I had never seen in person. I attended panels about misogyny in gaming and depictions of disability in geek media. I geeked out with dozens of others who were just as nerdy and passionate about these things as me. It was awesome.
I left that first con in awe of female geek culture, and its boundless capacity for critique, transformation, and creation. I didn’t know then how lucky I was that this was my first con experience, and I think it has profoundly shaped the way I view fandom as a positive space for dialog, community, creativity, and especially for women.
A few months ago, the overlords and I embarked on a fantastic adventure into the world of Avengers cosplay. We debuted our outfits at Wondercon, with much success. We thought of it as a trial run, however, for an upcoming photoshoot with a dear friend. There were a few things we had to tweak and adapt for each costume prior to the photoshoot (such as fixing the widow’s bites for the Collectress’s Black Widow cosplay, and adjusting my Loki helm), but the Collectiva Diva only had one request: a Captain America purse to go with her geek chic cosplay.
Purchasing a purse was out of the question, due to high prices. So I took the project on myself, and had a great time crafting this for Diva. You can follow this short tutorial to make your own superhero bag.
If you follow The Collective (@nerdwrldprblms) or my own acct (@dearcollectress) on Twitter, you’ve probably seen my increasing number of tweets about the Diva’s and my Avengers cosplay, which we first did for WonderCon.
The Collectiva Diva and I have fallen in love with cosplay (OK so maybe I was already in love and I gripped Diva tight and pulled her into the rabbit hole with me), but as struggling bloggers and writers with full-time jobs in the academic world, it’s hard to find the time (and money) to make a costume. Most of you can probably relate. So I decided that I would make my costume as inexpensive and DIY as possible, so I could share my knowledge with the cosplayers on a budget.
When I went to WonderCon, I had my Widow’s Bites made as per Kit Quinn’s tutorial on YouTube, but I quickly discovered a flaw in that design–when the bandolier bullets aren’t securely fastened to something, they come undone and fall off your wrist! So before I put the catsuit on again, I made some adjustments to the bracelets, and they are now perfectly secure and more comfortable!
Here’s a short tutorial on how I made my Widow’s Bites (pictured below.)