• Conventions

    Ad Astra Cosplay Results

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    Since it almost seems like the steampunk weapons were more work (at least they took longer), we’ll start with those.

    We turned these:

    IMGA0630 IMGA0634 Nerf Shotgun 01

    Into these:

    IMGA0635(That’s a post-con picture. You can see a little evidence of use and, in my case, the loss of a small scorpion on top.)

    Mine (the shotgun) was pretty much done with layers of spray paint and made use of painter’s tape. The girls’ were much more intricate, involving a lot of handpainting and far more artistic ability than I’ve got.

    As for costumes, there was much shopping of thrift stores and craft stores. We’ve got a lot of stuff we didn’t use (hey, FanExpo is coming) to play with still. The girls were awesome:

    IMGA0652 IMGA0653

    I actually had two costumes, the traditional mad scientist and 2/3 of a three-piece suit I accessorized. Worked out fairly well, I think.

    IMGA0645 IMGA0655-closer in

    Bit of a difference in demeanor, no?

    We didn’t manage to take a lot of pictures since we were in costume most of the time (all of the time in the case of my oldest daughter}, and I need to raid two iPods to see everything we took, but I’ll get some photos up of other cosplayers shortly.

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  • Conventions,  Life

    Cosplay Prep

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    Totally forgot to post this, so it seems a little off now that the Con is over. I’ve added a couple of notes here and there. Pictures in a post I’ll be uploading in a few minutes.


    Many months back, my oldest daughter and I decided to go to Ad Astra, a (mostly) literary Science Fiction and Fantasy convention held in Toronto, a planned awesome father-daughter weekend. More recently, she decided that maybe, since we’re going to cosplay for Anime North in May, we should consider putting together something for Ad Astra as well. This sparked the interest of my youngest daughter (I only have two), who began to wonder if she’d like to come along. After going through the programming list with her, and after she sucked up to her sister a bit, it’s now a father-daughters weekend. (And was completely awesome. See my last post.)

    And after trips to a variety of thrift stores and other places, we’ve now got a pile of stuff we’re supposed to be turning into steampunk outfits. And the con starts Friday (this was written on the Monday before). And I’m out of days off. I am, however, on nights so I have some afternoon time. We’ll finish up what we need to in the nick of time, I think, as long as the bronze paint dries on my gloves.

    I’m using the word steampunk fairly loosely, too because I’m not all that interested in labels, really. The point of the cosplay is not to strictly adhere to an imagined aesthetic, however cool, it’s about bonding with my daughters and doing something fun. We went shopping. We mixed things together. We’ve sewn, hot glued, spray painted, and made jewelry modifications (fiddly damned stuff and those miniature pliers don’t really make things easier).

    Net result: we each have a nerfpunk gun (pictures forthcoming) and we each have a costume (actually, I sort of have 2, pictures of all of us also forthcoming).

    Are we done? Probably not.

    Are we ready for the con? Who knows?

    But it doesn’t matter if we are or not. We’ve had fun, and we’re going to have a great time next weekend. We are still trying to hammer out a schedule for the convention. There are three of us, after all, and I’m not giving my girls completely free run of the hotel.

    {And now we just need to worry about our Soul Eater cosplay for Anime North.}

    Be well, everyone.


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  • Conventions,  Life,  News

    Top 10 Ad Astra 2013 Moments

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    My daughters and I went to the Ad Astra SF convention in Toronto (technically Markham, but it’s attached) last weekend and we had an awesome time. A busy weekend filled with geeky goodness. We spent most of the weekend in costume (all of it in the case of my oldest daughter while the younger daughter and I took half of Sunday off), so I didn’t get a lot of pictures. Hoping that someone is going to post some, but frequent Google searches haven’t come up with much yet. Hint, hint. (A handful of pics in a slideshow here, including one of us with my head cut off, and a video recap here, which we do appear in briefly.)

    But with any experience, there are bits that stand out and I thought I’d share a few of those in brief.

    1. Stepping onto the stage with my daughters at the Masquerade so they (okay, we, but I stood in the back even though they made me go first) could show off their costumes to the waiting crowd.
    2. Heather Dale holding us in the room after the Masquerade to start the concert with a beautiful, vocal only version of “Mordred’s Lullaby”, standing up out of the audience to root us all to the spot and letting me know I’m maybe not quite as done with the Arthurian mythos as I’d thought I was.
    3. Talking my daughters into a posing session for a group of artists in our Steampunk cosplay, letting ourselves (and not fooling myself at all, mostly them because they’re far cuter than I am) be drawn in a variety of poses.
    4. After the posing session, having the artist GOH, Scott Caber who has far more major credits than they could list in the program, pull us aside to finish his sketches of my girls, sign them, and give them to us.
    5. Discovering two new anime series with my youngest then sharing them with her older sister. For reference, Ore Shura and Kotoura-san, and I recommend them both to any anime fan. The latter, in fact, is going to “appear” in the first episode of the Cyborg Bunnies Review.
    6. Meeting up again with two friends I made at World Fantasy last year, and being so absolutely and completely happy to do so and that I’d met them in the first place.
    7. Being privileged that both of those friends (who are both authors) allowed us to interview them for the podcast that we haven’t quite launched yet (but it’s close!).
    8. The poke in the brain Tanya gave me (not that she knew it at the time) to get back to my Japanese lessons. I’ve misplaced the bulk of what I have learned and need to fix that.
    9. My oldest daughter winning what she had to compete for at the Art Auction.

    10. Realizing that both of my girls actually wanted to hang out with me for the entire weekend.

    Okay yes, that’s really more than ten moments, but feel free to make your own list. There were a lot more besides, in panels, at the Pacific Mall, in the dealer’s room and just hanging out in the halls. Ad Astra 2013 was a great time, and I think we’ve decided we’re going back next year. It was a lot of fun and everyone who can should come join us.

    Be well, everyone.

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