And here we are. My post about A-Kon 28.
Before I get started here’s a little history:
I’ve attended this convention once before. Way back when. Seriously. I went to A-kon 9. I was 23. I remember the year because it was the first time I dyed my hair purple. (That is a story by its self.) Here’s one of the only pictures I have from the convention. What I remember most about A-Kon 9? Tons of Neon Genesis Evangelion (I may have purchased every single OA music cd ever), and finding Ryo-Ohki (Tenchi Muyo!) to take home with me, as well as having a great time at the Hard Rock cafe in Dallas.
A few months ago I was approached by the Copsplay group DatCosplayYo to fill a gap that had formed in their cosplay plans. They wanted to know if I could step in as Slyveon, one of the 8 eeveelutions of Eevee, a Pokemon; they were planning on entering the cosplay contest at A-Kon 28. I agreed and then learned that the portion they were entering was in fact the Skit. A category which they won last year.
I scrambled to get things together. Because this cosplay was gijinka it was decided that Sylveon would be Lolita. I wanted it to be as authentic as possible which meant I needed to talk to someone that was familiar with Lolita. Enter Mandolin Cole. Aside from being an amazingly creative person that I consider a friend, I knew she was immersed in all things Lolita – especially clothing. With her assistance I managed to pull together an authentic Sylveon Lolita cosplay.
Here are some progression pictures:
For the record: the JSK and the blouse were purchased and then altered to fit. I restyled the wig to add more curls and painted the “tails” of the ribbon. The ears were made with craft foam, fabric and lace. I also added a sash.
A-Kon is now a 4 day convention, this year was the first year it was held at the Fort Worth Convention Center. It’s certainly not fair for me to compare A-Kon 28 to A-Kon 9 so I won’t.
We arrived on day 2. Just in time for the photo-shoot that DatCosplayYo had set up with ROXAS Studios for their Legends of the Hidden Temple cosplay. Shane, the photographer, was totally chill.
After walking around for a few hours in the Artist Alley and Dealers section we found a space to go over the skit before heading back to the hotel to finish last minute details. Because on day 3 we would have a full day.
Day 3 dawned hella early for several of us. We almost didn’t make it to pre-judging on time. Almost. Pre-judging is when the judges look at how the cosplays are made etc. By the time we talked to the Judges my ears were like this:
Not really what you want to happen, even if it does look “cute”. I’ll be re-engineering those ears before cosplaying Sylveon again.
After the pre-judging we wandered as a group. And were stopped a lot. And by a lot, I mean every 10 ft we moved. We managed to grab some food and roam the Dealers section, where I lost my wallet. No worries, a vendor found it and sent it to the Lost and Found. The back and forth to locate where it was in the end was amusing. I was lucky that I had only stopped at a select number of vendors and it was easy enough to back-track the possibilities of where I had lost it.
3 o’clock rolled around and we set off to get ready for the actual competition. Normally the stage folks have enough time to let everyone walk the stage before the show actually starts, but things were delayed and after putting everyone in chronological order we were told that there wasn’t going to be time and essentially were expected to do the show cold.
Skits are the last portion of the Cosplay Contest. This year there were a total of 5 skits. We went 3rd. And oh my word….
I have performed at the Medieval Fair in Norman for years. There is something so very very unnerving about performing on a stage. The skit lasted all of 3 minutes. Each of the eeveelutions had roughly 8 seconds of stage time. Everyone hit their marks (even if I did end earlier than practiced) and from what we could tell, every part we hoped that would get a response received a response. It was over quickly. I’m not sure there is video of of it, but I will share it if I ever come across it.
Then we waited for the results backstage. We discussed the other skits and what our chances were. It was hard to hear when things were announced as the audio was facing the audience and we were not in the audience. But we could watch on a projection screen. It was really inspiring to see all of the different cosplays that entered and those that won. And then we heard DatCosplayYo called to the stage. For Best Skit. For the second year in a row they had won first place.
It is an experience I will never forget. All of the members of the cosplay group are super nice and I am happy to have had the chance to work with them.
After winning we caught up with Shane, who was kind enough to take a quick shot of the group. (Not the above picture.) Then we walked about for half an hour before heading back to the hotel. I changed and packed my things as I was headed home that night. And thus ended my A-Kon 28 experience.