Friday, May 30, 2014

Con Report: Comicpalooza 2014

No Friday Finds this week because somehow it's already Friday and I'm still recovering from the 4-day Endurance Test known as Comicpalooza.

My Booth
I've been procrastinating on writing a post about this event because it's really difficult to know what to say.  Much of my experience of the con was as a vendor except for the brief periods when I was a cosplayer, and honestly I didn't really get to experience the con much from the POV of the average steampunk.

Me on Friday
I was really stressed prepping for this con because I was trying to finish the Steampunk Darkwing Duck.  Which means I was still stitching on it the morning I wore it.  And there are not-perfect things about it.  I think I'll do a separate post all about the details of my costume construction woes.

At any rate, Comicpalooza is one of those weird con hybrids where it's ostensibly comic book oriented, but the guests tend to be TV stars, and the fans are all over the place.  In general it is more of a con for the general public than for the dedicated geeks, I feel.  The cosplay isn't as prevalent or as skilled as at an anime specific con, for example.

Last year Comicpalooza reached out to the steampunk community and devoted a lot of money and effort into attracting and entertaining steampunks.  Abney Park, Professor Elemental, Frenchy and the Punk, and Marquis of Vaudeville all performed at a steampunk ball Saturday evening.

This year, not so much.  I believe the attitude was that the steampunks had their event and this year it was going to be sort of fend for yourself for the steampunk community.  So there still were a lot of steampunk panels, presenters, vendors, and attendees, but there was no uniting event or location.  Marquis of Vaudeville and Frenchy and the Punk returned as performers, but they were placed in a horrible location and at awkward times.

Teddy Roosevelt and some buddies
I unfortunately didn't get to attend either band's performances, though I saw them both during the day.  Frenchy and the Punk were scheduled during peak vending hours and I was unable to get away from my booth.  And I TRIED to go see Marquis of Vaudeville but literally could not get to the performance space.  The "main stage" was set at the very far end of the convention center, in essentially another building.  No one knew there was anything over there.  I never made it to the space because when I tried to enter the building next to it I was accosted by a very aggressive security guard who denied us entry because "this area is closing."  He said we had to walk around the outside of the building to get to the concert.  Well when we did that (a long trek) all the doors into the building were locked.  People were literally being pushed out of the building and heading to their cars, unaware that there was evening programming.  After walking all the way back to the other end of the center and finally finding an open door I wasn't physically able to walk back to the concert.

Airship Nikolai
I'm not going to go into my other negative experiences of the weekend, but suffice to say this is a very poorly organized con for the size, and the prevailing environment is one of chaos and confusion.   While the programming and panels seem to be very good, the rest of the environment contributes to a less than pleasant con experience.

I also have to admit I didn't attend a single steampunk panel.  Between being overheated and physically exhausted I didn't have much energy to trek to the third floor and the other end of the convention center very often.  I was invited to sit in on a Corset Safety panel and that was great.  On Monday I also made it to a James Marsters Q&A that was wildly entertaining.

Wearing the Steampunk Darkwing Duck was fun on Saturday, although I had problems overheating in its layers and could only really wear it for 20 minutes at a time.  The vast majority of people had no idea what I was dressed as and I got a lot of confused/pondering looks.  But the people who did get it REALLY appreciated it.  My favorite comments included "I see what you did there," "omg, that's never been done," and being chased by two different people yelling "DARKWING!".

Unfortunately, since I was honestly having a rough time that day, I totally failed at getting pictures.  So I am aware now of three different photos of the outfit.  One camera phone pic by my husband, one taken at the Weird West Fest Booth and one that showed up on Tumblr.  I'm going to have to iron the damn thing and put it back on soon to take semi-decent shots for y'all.

The best part of the convention for me was talking to lots of people about corsets and getting 4 custom corset commissions.  So I have a huge amount to do now and don't really get a break.  Although CORSETS!

So I apologize for such a complaining and poorly put together review, but I'm still brain dead.  And frankly I'm missing friendlier, smaller, steampunk cons.  And anime cons.  I'm really looking forward to some of my upcoming events.

1 comment:

  1. Your Darkwing Duck cosplay is flawless and fantastic and makes me smile!