Fan Expo is over for another year and this was the first year that I actually attended the con for almost the full weekend since Fan Expo 2011. It was quite the experience returning to the convention again for a full length con. Back when I stepped away from the con it was always very crowded, there were concerns about con goers being locked out of the building due to it being over capacity, and there was a sense that the con brass didn't really care so much about the attendees and it was just about the bottom line. I'm not going to say that Fan Expo is no longer a corporate con because it certainly is. Guest autographs and photo ops are still extremely expensive and there are an ever growing number of extra expense events, but you definitely can feel that con staff are genuinely concerned about ensuring that fans have a good experience. The crowding never felt quite as bad as it has been in the past and new additions like the Cosplay lounge were excellent spots to allow Cosplayers a chance to rest and fix costumes if need be. Fan Expo really feels refreshed.
Having said that, it really felt like there was a decline in the number of Cosplay attendees from the days when I used to attend the con in full force several years ago. The ratio of Cosplayers to regular attendees was way down. I volunteered at the con as a stage ninja for the masquerade and there were only about 40 entries in the masq this year. I do remember watching the masq a decade ago and the masq had more than double that. I will say that being a stage ninja was a really cool experience. It was neat to see the show and help out backstage and it felt great to earn a badge for the con. I definitely would be up for doing it again next year!
I did Cosplay on Friday of the con. I wore my new casual Barbara Gordon costume from DC Super Hero Girls. Sadly it was a bit too obscure so no one recognized it. That also means that I don't have any photos of the outfit from hallway shots. I did do a shoot with my awesome friend Amanda, though, so I will have some photos to share of the costume in a month or two when she gets a chance to edit the photos. We shot photos in the Roundhouse park and by a gate near the aquarium. Looking forward to seeing how those turned out! People may not have understood the costume, but I still enjoyed the experience. I just wish the costume had been more comfortable. The outfit itself was nice. The boots did hurt a little bit because they were a bit wide on my feet, but my Jeannie wig was super painful. I kept having to take off the ponytail clip to ease the pressure on my head. Not sure if I'll wear the outfit again due to the pain of the wig, but it was still a really cute outfit to wear. I love Babs so I had a fun time with it!
I also wore my Halloween pumpkin kigurumi costume for a little bit on Sunday of the con. I mostly brought it to keep me warm in the overly air conditioned parts of the con. I was a little chilly during the masq and I thought it would be nice to wear while I watched the Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy panel. I wore it for an hour in the south building, but took it off before I got to the north building. I didn't want to disturb the Kevin and Mark panel by putting it on when I got cold so I suffered quietly. XD The panel for Mark and Kevin was nice! It was the only panel I saw besides catching the last few minutes of Kate Mulgrew's panel on Saturday afternoon. Kevin and Mark made my childhood and I'm so happy that they've continued working together in the Batman Arkham games. They are my Batman and Joker. <3 It was nice that Mark kept it an ensemble panel every time a speaker tried to aim it more towards him. Both guys were really great speakers and were really fabulous at handling the controversies that were brought up about their past work (like how terrible the Killing Joke is). Their panel was a great way to end the con on a high note.
I got a chance to see most of the north and south buildings and the majority of the Dealer's Room and Artist Alley. I got some beautiful prints. A really nice Batgirl print, a cute piece of fanart of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, a beautiful mermaid print and even a Sam from Trick 'r Treat print. I got a gorgeous Pokemon fire type acrylic charm that's already proudly on my purse and a cute purple gemstone wire ring. I also bought the new Bulma Pop Vinyl figure to go with the Vegeta pop that I bought last year and Pan and I bought sweaters for our Harry Potter costumes. Now that must seem like a blast from the past! Just when I gave up on that. XD We bought them with the thought of wearing them for the next Harry Potter shoot we try to do this year. We've been vaguely looking for grey sweaters for years for this so now we have ones meant specifically for Gryffindor. I can wear it with my Ron costume if we ever get around to doing that shoot. I've had the wig ready to go for that for a year now. I'm also considering getting a wig so I can Cosplay as Hermoine. I've always wanted to Cosplay as her so I guess I have some Harry Potter plans to look forward to eventually!
That about sums up Fan Expo. I saw quite a few people that I knew throughout the con. It was really cool getting to meet all the stage ninjas and being part of that group. I owe a big thank you to my friends Amanda and Rin for hanging out with me for a lot of Friday and an even bigger thank you to Pan for attending the con with me the whole weekend. She put up with me forcing her to get up early each day. I dragged her to the Mark and Kevin panel and she was super supportive of my Babs costume and helped me handle my troublesome wig. Pan is such an awesome friend and her wonderful attitude and humour really kept me going throughout the con! Good friends really can make or break a con experience so it's awesome that I have such wonderful friends. (^_^)
Next up for me should be a photoshoot or two. Pan and I are hoping to work with Amanda this month. Hopefully I can get some shots of Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Mercury. I'm still crossing my fingers for a second shoot to get pictures of Celia and Saki. Maybe Pan and I will try again to organize a trio shoot for Harry Potter next month. Of course, Halloween is coming up so hopefully I'll be able to participate in some Halloween events. Pan and I still want to do a fabric shopping trip downtown before winter. We'll see if we whip something up for Halloween. The con season might be over, but it looks like I'll be keeping quite busy!