After Katsucon ended in February, my love of convention going was back in full gear. While I’m still not as into anime as I once was, these cons are just amazing. There’s just such an amazing energy. So, when Manya and Emma asked if I would be going with them again this year, I couldn’t say no.
Otakon this year began for me a week early. I knew what I was dressing as for both Friday and Saturday early…mainly because I resurrected my Irene Adler costume from Katsucon. The only difference here was that I decided to actually find a ring that I had neglected from Katsucon and then I bought a pair of heels and painted the bottom them (they actually didn’t turn out that badly).
I began packing early…which is a first for me. (I mean when I left to live in Egypt for five months, I threw things in my suitcase the night before/morning of catching my plane). I was all packed and set by Thursday as the original plan was for me to leave directly from work and catch the train to Baltimore where Manya and Emma would pick me up as Geoff had to work on Friday. Geoff would then drive up to meet Manya, Emma and myself later on Friday evening. This plan changed pretty quickly though when Geoff managed to escape work and come to Baltimore Thursday night.
We arrived at my parent’s house around 8:45pm to pick up a few of Geoff’s stray costume pieces and to meet Manya and Emma there before heading down to pick up our badges.
This seemed to be going pretty well for all of us. We just about beat the rain into the city on Thursday, but found that when we arrived at the doors to get our badges…we were told we’d have to come back in the morning. Lucky for us that Emma makes a fuss. We talked to someone and eventually found ourselves able to get our badges and get back to Emma and Manya’s house before too late (11:30pm…ish) for Emma, Manya and Geoff to finish up their costumes. I spent my time picking out the panels that we were going to attend and painting my fingernails.
Friday morning rolled around pretty early and after an hour delay of getting out of the house, we finally made it to the convention. I missed the first panel I wanted to see, however.
Complaint #1: Missing the really awesome video game panel I wanted to see.
When we got to the hotel, we found that we couldn’t check in right away. This was a problem only because none of us had bothered to change into our costumes before we headed to the con. After much negotiating with the hotel, we were allowed to change in their locker room so as to not mess up their bathroom.
While Manya and Emma continued to paint themselves for their Homestuck costumes, Geoff and I wandered over to the con around 2:00pm and literally one of the first people I saw entering the con was Sherlock. I, of course, had to be a typical Irene and beat the Sherlock. She was quite a lovely Sherlock and was very kind about me being as awkward as I was when introducing myself.
After this lovely encounter, Geoff and I made our way to the Dealer’s Room and then the Artist’s Alley before we went to try and find Manya and Emma at the Homestuck photoshoot. That photoshoot looked like it was going to go on forever, so Geoff and I wandered to get lunch and then eventually to the SuperWhoLock photoshoot that was happening.
That photoshoot was a lot of fun. I met quite a lot of people such as a lovely Molly Hooper who goes to AU and several more. It was a good time. I think it left Geoff, Manya and Emma a tad bit confused, but then again it worked out fine.
Good Thing #1: SuperWhoLock photoshoot! (See photos)
We walked around for a little after this before returning to the hotel to check in and change to become normal people again. (I’m not going to mention the check in process…it was a nightmare.)
Complaint #2: The hotel. Enough said.
I did get to see the Olympic Opening ceremonies while were back at the hotel, which was fun…even though there were some questionable choices going on there.
Around 10ish, we grabbed dinner at the California Tortilla and then wandered back to the con, where we decided to see an anime called Pany and Stocking with Garter Belt. I saw the first episode, which was a lot of fun and the last episode. But as per usual with me, I wasn’t moving and it was late, so I fell asleep leaning against Geoff. We went back to the hotel where I passed out shortly after that.
Saturday morning saw us getting up and ready for Geoff’s Megaman photoshoot around 11:00am. This meant that I had to be ready as well so I could take photos. We got there just in time only to find them not as organized as my photoshoots. Oh well. I took some photos of the shoot, plus of some of the awesome people who were walking by in costume. I did manage to miss I really awesome Sherlock because I was too busy trying to take photos.
After his shoot, Geoff and I made another round to the Dealer’s Room and Artist’s Alley, where I proceeded to buy a lot of fanart…and I mean much more than I did at Katsucon. Then again, Geoff and I also decided we were going to frame these prints and put them around the apartment.
We made a brief return to the hotel to drop off the prints and retrieve Manya and Emma who were still getting ready. (Dear god! Grey paint takes forever to cover yourself with!)
Once they were finally ready, we headed back over and I took some photos of them at the Homestuck meet-up before rushing off to the Sherlock photoshoot where I managed to make friends with more of the Irene Adler’s and another very lovely Sherlock.
This shoot was a lot of fun. We joked a bit and took photos and I can’t even begin to describe the energy that I felt in this fandom. After the shoot, I talked with the lovely Sherlock mentioned earlier about emailing the pictures Geoff has taken and he asked if I wanted to get dinner. The answer was most definitely a yes…so we tentatively set plans and then Geoff and I wandered off to find Manya and Emma again.
We made another brief trip to the Artist’s Alley once Manya and Emma had finished their shoot and then I met Sherlock for dinner. I also brought Geoff, and later Manya and Emma showed up after they were out of their make-up. I had some wonderful conversations though.
Good Thing #2: AWESOME NIGHT AT DINNER!
After dinner, we returned to the Artist’s Alley as Geoff and I searched for Theresa (a friend from grad school…we used to sit in the back of class on tumblr…yep, I’m an adult…), Sherlock searched for Richard Brook and Manya and Emma went off doing something else. Geoff and I eventually found Theresa with her friends, who were fun. We ended up heading to the harbor for ice cream before Theresa had to return to staffing panels.
Good Thing #3: Ice Cream with grad school friends.
When we returned we found Manya and Emma and they told us that they were heading off to the Homestuck draw meet at midnight, so Geoff and I went to a panel titled, “The ‘Art’ of Fanservice“. It was an 18+ panel and it was a really great history of fanservice for both male and female audiences. After the panel, we met with Manya and Emma and headed back to the hotel.
Sunday came faster than I had hoped. I did not dress up this day as I had to be back in DC for 4:15pm call to close a show I’ve been working on for the Capital Fringe Festival. (A post about that coming later.)
After packing and cleaning up the room, we found ourselves in a bit of hotel hell trying to get downstairs from the elevators. It was just a mess and at the same time a little amusing. The most amusing was Manya, Emma and my attempt to get Geoff into an elevator by taking it to the 15th floor…but when we got there, he had already found an elevator. Our plan was worthless, but led to us wandering down 15 flights of stairs rather confused.
Complaint #3 and Good Thing #4: The elevator debacle.
When we had made it over the con, we made last rounds in the Dealer’s Room. Geoff purchased a sonic screwdriver for himself (as he’s being the Doctor for Halloween and I’m being Donna) as well as a tiny wind-up Dalek. We then made last rounds at the Artist’s Alley before I received a text from Sherlock asking if we wanted to meet for lunch, which we did.
This was another rather pleasant time and I really couldn’t have asked for a better end to the weekend. We left for DC not long after lunch and I arrived back in just enough time to swing in and stage manage the last run of my show for the festival.
Overall, my weekend was a lot of shopping, meeting people and taking photos, which recalls memories of what Otakon was like when I first started going. While I didn’t get to see really any of my panels, I still had a fabulous time and I met some great people. I wish the con was a little smaller, but beyond that this was exactly what I needed out of this weekend.
Also, more of my photos will be posted later…once I got through them more thoroughly.