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The Collective gals got into the blogging game because of our burning desire to attend San Diego Comic-Con and coexist IRL with other nerds. If you’ve read the 2-part “Great Comic-Con Disappointment”, you’ll know that we haven’t gotten tickets, well, ever. Still, our adversity created this amazing blog and, as we grumbled much of the summer 2013 (and well into 2014), the fire continued to burn. Over the years, the Collective bloggers spent most of our time at literary conventions (we’re nerds, yes), but the need to connect with fandom is a very real and burning desire. We know finding the perfect, attainable event can become a challenge. Fan conventions are usually sold out a year in advance, which means scoping out the scene well in advance. We attended our first official fan con as a blog team in November 2013, mulling over the $85 single day ticket price for the Burbank Supernatural Convention, for about 15 seconds, before fully committing to cosplay, photo-ops and autograph sessions that turned out to be AMAZING.

My advice? As soon as you hear about a con, Google it. Look it up. Do your research. Find out how much the tickets are, when they usually go on sale and what kind of crowd your particular fan con draws. Then, start buying stuff. A entry ticket here, a photo-op there. Spread out the cost of the items you want to enjoy at the fan con over time, and it won’t hurt as much. Next, check out the list below. It contains my top 5 picks for California fan conventions in 2014. Tell me your favorites in the comments below.

xoxo The Collective Diva

While we are a cosplaying Collective here, I’ll admit I haven’t participated in much crossplay. Um, what’s crossplay, you ask? Well…

It’s basically crossdressing cosplay. Duh. But, more than that, crossplaying gives men and women the opportunity to dress up as their favorite characters without gender-enforced stereotypes, and we love that. While there are some crossplaying dudes, many of them (that I have run into) perform Japanimation crossplay, which I know nothing about. What I do know is that in British and American television, my forte, there are more strong male characters than female characters. Case and point; I am a Doctor Who fan but if I’m dressing up, why do I have to be a companion? Why can’t I be the Doctor? Well, with crossplay, I can and I shall be brilliant. And, let me just add, if you are a purist who thinks that ONLY a man can dress like the Doctor or Sherlock or any other male character, well, bugger off and don’t read this post because you will not be happy.

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What the f*&$ is “cosplay”?? WATCH THIS and find out.

Cosplay takes a lot of preparation, heart and investment–both time and sometimes financial. At cons, cosplayers come in all shapes, sizes, ages and genres; it’s like Halloween for geeks but with more moving parts. But don’t get us wrong, cosplay isn’t simply about dressing up, it’s about showing attention to detail and honoring the idea of a character you (or your parents) friggen adore. If you’re headed to SDCC2013 this weekend, you will probably see some pretty cool costumes, but don’t stop to take too many pictures of small children or you will look suspicious. Instead, let The Collective do all the leg work. We have scoured the interwebs for the best child-centric cosplay outfits and here are our top 10. We will shy away from the typical, generic dress up costumes and get right into the committed-nerd-parents-have-designed-an-epic-costume cosplay ideas.