Monday, March 15, 2010

Kawa Kon Wrap Up

Another month, another con. This past weekend I hit up Kawa Kon here in St. Louis.

Kawa's a fairly new con and only has about 1,000 attendees. But this was actually one of the better cons I've been to. As usual, I volunteered myself in any way I was needed. This meant I helped run the game room which, for the most part, was just donating a fistfull of equipment, assisting in the setting and running of a Smash Brothers tournament, and just hanging around to keep an eye on stuff.

This generally works well for me since there's rarely panels at cons I find worth attending. I can't stand panels that are too much attendee generated discussion. It inevitably becomes about 1 or 2 people grand standing while everyone else sits around. I much prefer lecture style panels which are generally far more organized with less grand standing (assuming the host actually knows what they're talking about). But such panels are uncommon at cons around here and typically on topics I'm not interested in. So panels don't usually interest me.

There were a few other events I did want to attend. The first was the Vampire Ball. This was a formal type ball with a vampire theme. That theme wasn't apparent anywhere except the name though. Naka did a similar event which was fun, but ultimately proved to be awkward since no one (myself included) knew much about formal dancing (despite me taking lessons at KU for a semester; it's all gone now). So it ended up being the stand and sway dance while people without dates sat around the edges. At Kawa's ball, they had a few designated people teaching the basic waltz steps and going around to help people and pull them off the walls. This greatly helped the atmosphere although I was disappointed that the dress code wasn't enforced. Guys in jeans and a tee just didn't cut it. Meanwhile there was an amazing Jareth from Labyrinth hosting it who I chatted with for a good long time the next evening (after she did the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride).

The main event I was wanting to attend, however, was the cosplay competition. This is always the highlight of cons to me. Halloween is my favorite holiday simply because I love costuming. So getting to see the costumes of others and show off my own is great. For this competition, I took my Sesshomaru costume from Inuyasha. I started this costume in late 2008 and finished it for Ohayocon in Jan 2009. Rabid fan girls destroyed some parts of it there and I made a few quick fixes for Naka 2009 where I wore it as the host of the cosplay competition there. But it's been in need of some serious overhauls for a long time. Namely, the armor hadn't turned out as well as I wanted and didn't work. It was made from cardboard and pleather so it sagged and had unsightly creases. The spikes around the shoulder had all been broken off (thanks to the fan girls) and needed to be made from stronger stuff and more securely fastened. Additionally, the bow was falling apart and needed to be hand stitched to really keep it together.

I fixed these things by completely redoing the armor using thick, heat-formed styrene and putting it all together with bolts and rivets instead of glue and duct tape. Additionally, I asked a friend of mine to come do my makeup since she was a costume design major for a time and does fantastic work. The new work I did on the costume added another 20+ hours to the already 100+ that had gone into the costume and the makeup took another 1.5 hours just before the contest. But it paid off. The applause was easily the largest of the entire show and I walked away with the top prize: Best in Show.

That night I went to the dance party for awhile and danced with a friend I made while standing in line for the costume competition and then went and chilled at Karaoke. After that closed up, I hung in the game room with some people and played a nice game of drunken Apples to Apples.

Sunday I ended up sleeping to noon thanks to staying up playing + the time change and didn't have much time to hang around since the con was ending. So I grabbed my equipment from the game room and walked around a bit more. I chatted with a few people and won a prize at closing ceremonies (by being the first person to pull a $2 bill. I always carry one around in my messenger bag for some reason).

Overall, it was a wonderful time and I can't wait to start a new costume and hit up another con.


Furue-chan said...

Hi there, would you be this Sesshoumaru:

I took your picture and forgot to ask your name. I got too excited! *fangirl syndrome broke my brain*

Jon Voisey said...

Yes. That is me.

Furue-chan said...

Hi there, would you be this Sesshoumaru:

I took your picture and forgot to ask your name. I got too excited! *fangirl syndrome broke my brain*