This was my first year attending the Calgary Expo and it was a total blast. It is honestly a struggle to remember everything that happened in order. Luckily I'm not typing on an old school type writer, and I can re-organize where things go.
I originally had plans to go with Danielle, we were going to do a Mojo Jojo and Him cosplay from Powerpuff Girls, and I was going to make a Madame Vandersexxx cosplay too, because, Lucy Lawless.
... And then everything changed...
Dramatic, I know. But first Danielle bailed, because #MomLife, and then Lucy Lawless bailed for scheduling conflicts. I have a love/hate relationship with Ash Vs. Evil Dead right now because of it.
But it's fine. We move on and adapt. So I asked Danyella to come with me and she happily agreed. We quickly came up with some cosplay ideas to do together and we came up with our Pidgeot and Psyduck Gijinkas! No pictures yet, but soon. We did a few photo shoots. =)
As I had tons of time to spare, I got ambitious a month before the con and decided to build Vera for a prop to go with my closet cosplay Jayne Cobb.
And then one week before the con, I went crazy and started a last minute cosplay, Moon Knight. I finished it easily in time and it turned out awesome.
Finally after an agonizingly long Wednesday night, I finished my packing and prep and Danyella and I jumped in my truck and headed down to Calgary!
We spontaneously stopped in Red Deer for a milkshake from Pete's Drive In. Apparently an entire bus load of people heading to the con also did.
Okay NOW we're on our way to the con. We arrived a bit early, but I figured badge pick up lines would be ridiculous. I changed awkwardly in the truck because I was too lazy to go inside, change and then walk back out to my truck. I wasn't even parked that far away. So I changed into Moon Knight, because of the reduced visibility and the smaller Thursday crowds I wanted to give him a test run.
We were in and out of badge pick up really quickly and then sat down to check out some of the panels and programming in the book. I was recognized pretty quickly by some friends in an instagram meet up I was in and we went and chatted with them before the con officially opened.
at 4pm the con officially started and the Moon Knight hood was making it hard for me not to hyperventilate. We went upstairs of the first building and walked around. I think I got stopped 20 times in the first hour for my photo. Danyella had to be my eyes, I just shuffled around following her. Every time I got asked for a picture I still smiled, because it's habit. I thought that was funny.
We went to a panel on cosplay photography at 5pm and then we went to explore the rest of the exhibit area. This section was massive. It was crazy huge! I could barely see from one side to the other! I got stopped a lot again, and I was texting David, a photographer who had come up from LA that I wanted to meet up with and shoot with. We basically were playing Marco, Polo. At one point I was just standing awkwardly while a bunch of people took my photo. I don't know how the really amazing cosplayers do it. Attention is not my favorite thing.
I saw Hendo at the Filthy Casual table so I went and hovered, but a few seconds later she came over to ME to tell me how much she loves Moon Knight and my cosplay. I was at a loss for word. Internally fan girling, so I got a photo with her to remember forever. Easily a highlight of my weekend!
I finally found David and we went and shot a bunch of Moon Knight photos. I was extremely excited to get some Moon Knight photos! We wrapped up around 8pm and then decided to call it quits and head to Danyella's aunt's house for the night.
We were up early (not really) and got half ready for the day. We decided to go casual to the parade since we weren't in it and then we would change later. We parked at the expo at 10am and walked about 20 minutes to the parade location. We got to the opening ceremony location and walked backwards until we found the bleachers. The parade was almost there anyways! It was a really fun parade and I got a ton of photos. See spam below.
Then we walked back to the opening ceremonies and hung out with a bunch of people. Took more pictures and then walked back to the con. The con didn't start until 1pm that day and we were back around noon. We changed into our cosplay - Gijinka Psyduck and Pidgeot from Pokemon! - and then we went and stood in line to get into the con, our teeth chattering. They let us in a bit early, thankfully, and soon we were warming our fingers and roaming the halls for a brief moment.
I had a meet up at 1:30pm, so we made our way that way and hung out for a bit. We did a print and art trade and I got some AMAZING stuff from the girls! It was such a good idea to meet new cosplayers and network a bit.
We had to leave early to meet David again for another photo shoot, this time together! My fingers and toes were freezing, and I ripped my bloomers somehow on the butt! After that shoot, with no time to warm up, we went straight to another shoot with Angela. By this point I was getting too cold and frustrated and my wig was upsetting me. So we finished up and went back inside. I warmed up enough that I could feel again and started shivering.
Danyella went to a panel at 4pm and I went out to my truck to change into human clothes. I took off my rude wig and broken pants in exchange for some leggings and a SWEATER!
I met up with Danyella again after her panel and we went and watched some steampunk ladies parasoul duel. It started out pretty neat, but it was basically just rock, paper, scissors with varying sizes of umbrellas so we got bored quickly.
Danyella had to leave to meet Steph right after that, and I went to hang out with Kyle, Ray and Tye for the rest of the night! We wandered for a while and then Ray wasn't feeling well so we wen't back to their hotel room and then for dinner at The Keg. I drove home around 11pm.
It was going to be a long day so I planned for my comfiest cosplay; Jayne Cobb featuring Vera! It was also going to be the busiest day, and with our drive across town I wanted to leave no later than 9:30am so we could ensure parking. Of course, we were late, had to park a zillion miles away, and I hadn't even had a coffee yet.
We head downstairs of the Big 4 building, Danyella hits up the Tim's line and I hit up prop check. We get everything in order and then head to the main building for Danyella to line up to get Tom Felton's autograph for a friend. I dropped her off and wandered around. Met up with Shelley and friends for a bit, realized I was missing an Alan Tudyk panel, booked it that way.
He's really funny. Glad I got to watch a bit of it. Danyella was still in line for Tom Felton so I wandered the exhibit floor for a bit. Danyella finally got her autograph from Tom and was texting me, but I was just heading out to meet up with David again. A group of cosplayers were hanging out by the ruins getting some photos done. So I went and hung out for a bit, David shot a few snaps of Jayne and then I had to head back for my Alan Tudyk photo op.
The lines went crazy quick, like I barely had time to breathe before the whole thing was over. I usually look terrible in photos, so I was hoping for the best - and I got it!! It turned out so perfect, I didn't look like a twat, and Alan was being a goof. For my first photo op at an expo, I was very happy with it!
After that, I finally got to meet up with Danyella again. We wandered the exhibits and artist alley, Danyella networked and I just soaked it all in. After being busy for 2.5 days straight, it was nice to actually be able to look at stuff.
After 2.5 days of being on my feet constantly, I also started feeling not so well. I grabbed some water and an advil from Danyella and went out to the truck. I ended up missing another panel that Danyella had gone to, I was so burned out, I wandered back slowly to get in line for the cosplay contest.
I went inside and found spots on the main floor for Danyella and me. Tye had been assigned camera duty for Ray's contest debut so he sat down next to me. We chatted for a bit and Danyella showed up with some noms. She told me later that she was getting mad at me for my lack of eating all weekend. I wasn't hungry, I drank water and ate goldfish periodically...
The cosplay contest was pretty fantastic overall, some really great participants. When it came time to do the judging, there was best in show and best craftsmanship in each category. I'm not sure if it's just my own experience with costume contests, or my own biased opinion, I wasn't really impressed with the judging decisions. In every category, if a cosplayer won one award, they also ended up winning the second award too. It didn't seem fair, it should have been split up a bit better except in the rare circumstance.
Either way, it was fun to watch, and it was really weird to see the Cineplex Pre-Show host as the costume contest host. =P
After that Danyella and I headed back to her Aunt's and I explained to her that my feet and knee were getting so sore and I wouldn't be able to come back the next day and I wanted to make the drive back to Edmonton that night. I knew she wanted to come back and make all her purchases on Sunday, but she said she didn't need to spend anymore money and she was fine with it.
So we packed up and headed home and we duet-ed to as many Disney songs as I had on my playlist. It was awesome. I texted everyone I was supposed to meet on Sunday an apology and then I slept all night and all day. It was a good thing we came home Saturday night too, because my knee was a complete disaster on Sunday and I wouldn't have been able to drive!
Overall, the weekend was a blast. I met so many new people and even had a few people recognize me from my instagram. It was extremely flattering. I'm so excited for my next cons this year. I want to enter a few more cosplay contests myself, plus I already have plans for a group cosplay for Edmonton Expo! I'm really excited everything Calgary Expo has brought me and taught me and for everything to come this year.
Photos with the Red Logo courtesy of Calgary Expo Flickr
If you were at the expo, tell me about your experience in the comments!