Freak Out Moments











{April 7, 2015}   YCC7 Review

Hey!

So it was the weekend for Yorkshire Cosplay Convention 7, due to the success from previous years Kitty and Jon expanded into the Magna Science Museum, accommodating a larger audience than the Dome. It must be truly frightening to manage these things even if you are experienced because you end up having to manage so many things that can be out of your control by a long country mile!

The convention set up had a much better space than the Dome, there were side rooms, activities galore and so many stalls! I think if you were prepared to wait for the initial rush to go you were in for a treat.

As you may know from following my blog I was given the honour of being voted in as Miss Yorkshire Cosplay Con 2015. Apparently people think my humble £5 Death Knight sewing is worth a vote! Pretty awesome, it shows you we can all have a go at these things and I hope you do! The cosplay competition was a fun watch too, there were two parades for the adults with made and brought costumes and there was also one for the children (one of the judges being the lovely Sketch McDraw).

One of the problems that became apparent within minutes of opening was that the ticket system, the organisers paid for the box office and this would mean they should be arranging the original entry and filter through for everyone but this was not the case. The doors opened and it was chaotic, it was certainly not the fault of the people behind the desk or those inside the halls. I know people are angry about the messy entry system and it’s being addressed ready for August.

The second thing that came up was the lighting in the main hall, the hall had several lights out, which I am reliably informed were supposed to have been repaired before the thing opened. The organisers had no control over this but it caused traders problems as it meant their stalls were not presented it the ‘best light’… however to be fair, I still had a good luck and the light was not going to put me off buying something if I really liked it, but it’s a shame that the venue didn’t sort it as promised.

In regards to the rest of it, lovely day! For the most part everyone was kind and friendly. My lovely Retro Lancer was more in demand than I was, this is nothing new, it’s an awesome gun after all! I saw some regular faces and friends, and made more friends as well. It’s always lovely to see the amount of effort that goes into costumes from the starting cosplayers to the more professional.

We watched the cosplay entrants; I am simply not brave enough or confident enough in my skills to do something like that. I commend anyone that has a go! And then we watched the performances, listening to some songs I hadn’t heard before and soaking in the atmosphere. Theslowsniper was funny too, he jumped on stage for a little silly dance, Jack is a youtube gamer and a really nice guy, I have succumbed and subscribed… see these events do work!

I hope that if you had a good day like me you’re coming back for August and maybe I’ll get to say hi, and if you didn’t have the best of times please keep an eye on the events and pages because you will see how the feedback is used to improve things.

And that’s all from me for now.

Adios Cowboys…

That Gears Girl.

Image courtesy of : https://www.facebook.com/gonzography?fref=ts go take a look amazing!!!



{December 29, 2014}   Happy New Year

Time for an end of year round up?

As I write this I’m thinking about a lot of good things that have happened and I am however drawn inevitably to some of those lower moments too. A hit and run on my car, thanks mate I needed the insurance claim! and bad mental health that has put my plans for dieting back so I need to get back to that. But on to the good!

* Another year with my wonderful partner.

* Cosplay, meeting new and old friends thanks to the hobby.

* Mental health is back on track… for now 😉

* Changed job and moved house.

Cosplay wise I got to meet so many people and share a passion with them, it’s just been fantastic. I have even been nominated for Miss Yorkshire Cosplay, if you get time do click on the link HERE and vote for me. I would really appreciate it, and to be honest I am utterly flattered people have voted at all. It’s so much fun to be part of something like that, I never dreamed it would happen to me anyway.

Gaming wise – more Gears of War, a tantalising news event of the possibility that there will be more for X Box one from the Gears world; this means my year of co-operative gaming and hilarious deaths in multi-player were worth it!  Well to be honest any time with friends is worth it.

I got to revel in the new Wolfenstein, also to play new games from Gold that I might not have before. One of those which still amuses me now is Battle Block Theatre, the chaos platform gaming just seems so much fun. I also like my Steam account as it means that I can go wild playing on that too.

World of Warcraft and running a guild is also a blessing, sometimes it feels a little curse like when I am having a rough day and cannot get everything properly organised but the guild I run has amazingly tolerant and mature players for the most part. I like it when I can get time with them as a group for raiding etc… now I really should sort that poor guild bank out!

I really do wish everyone a great 2015, and I hope that you get the most out of a new year.

That Gears Gal

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Hey tis me!

So how are you all? It’s been a convention packed year again, more of them coming up and I think it’s time to be realistic about the number I attend. Darn you real world eh?

So recently we went to a couple, one was Sheffield Comicon and it was fun. We went along without tickets, took the queue hit but fortunately it was pretty good and we got in within about an hour or so. The large layout was a good thing, the stalls were varied and it was great to see so many people out and happy about their favourite films, anime, cartoons, comics etc.

We also went over to J-Con at Derby, it was so nice to see a panel with cosplayers talking about how they make things (Iron-Manda and Darkiekun) and I came home feeling more inspired. I do however find one thing a little frustrating about this convention and that is the ticket price if you are not going to be at all the evening events…

I went to Nottingham Comicon too with my friend Buster Boy, and met up with some of my other friends there (Check out this page). It was a lovely day out, not many cosplayers but those that did were met with staff that gave real encouragement. It was quite a highlight to walk in and get a cheer from the staff over our costumes. As an amateur trying to learn yet more skills it’s nice when someone compliments what you have done. Incidentally I was also featured in the Nottingham Post.

Conventions are fun, but the expectations on what to deliver is high and I also feel bad for the independent artists who go and people aren’t buying things off them. The art is good, they are passionate and even buying a few of them often doesn’t cover the stall money, yet a My Little Pony toy that you can get from a local store drags people over in droves. I brought a couple where I could afford it and I thoroughly loved the interaction with those artists. At Nottingham Comicon I brought from Dark Pond Creations, signed, picture drawn in the cover and only a few pounds. Come on!

Conventions are getting bigger, they are getting more popular and with it comes media attention. Good or bad you are at risk of getting it as a cosplayer. Don’t be afraid of one comment about your cosplay that’s negative, remember it’s for you, it’s for fun and if others love it it is a big bonus. Don’t shy from what you love, if you get up and plan a new costume instead of panicking about a random internet troll get your glad rags out and get creating!

Confidence is your best ally, and I didn’t have it when I started. In fact I went into this in order to build it up. What I have got out of cosplay and conventions? Friends, new ideas, new ways to get creating… people who cannot understand what you do aren’t always going to agree with it but I don’t spend my time taking drugs or causing people trouble so I consider it a win!

With lots of cheer for all,

Rea

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{July 14, 2014}   London Film and Comicon 2014

Hi all!

Wow what a weekend, mostly good thanks to friends but this was a story of all that could go wrong probably did!

LFCC was on 12th July 2014, we set off that morning and turned back twice due to things being missed or hiccups but off we set! Queue the usual comedy of the damned lorries on the motorway hogging lanes trying to overtake each other doing the same speed and off we went into London. The underground had some closures and so the area around Earls Court was terrible for traffic, buses all over for replacement services and then a 45 minute trek around that mess to get a car park we could use. Of course the one I picked happened to be closed that day, I am sure you can see where this is all going right!

We finally got parked up and walked down, and then my gosh the queues!  If I hadn’t got a ticket for the day there is no way I would have waited around in line. We walked around and finally found one poor harried assistant outside who managed to get us directed to where we could get in without facing the lines…

We walked along and the queues were not moving as we did, inside it was stifling hot and I was later informed that the air-con wasn’t put on as no one fancied paying the extra costs. If the posts on social media are to be believed then the police had to go in and order it turned on because of the implications of health and safety and that some people did in fact need emergency treatment, I can believe this as we saw paramedics with an ambulance arriving around midday. This is pretty shameful given that it was at Earl’s Court 2 and people are expecting the basics in the middle of London… not a good deal guys really!

Inside the lights are tungsten yellow things, they make everyone look a bit pallid and ill if you ask me and other than butt loads of signings areas there wasn’t really what I would call a great deal to do. Most conventions I go to you can listen into panel talks etc but you had to pay extra for that on top of your ticket, yeah you heard me PAY for panel talks. Hell no! I gave up my money for a ticket, paid £13.70 to park in a hobo-riddled car park, was overheating and had to pay for anything to do? Screw you Showmaster’s, one step too greedy.

Stan Lee – Poor man he’s 91 and it’s his last showing in England. Be reasonable, but no Showmaster’s allowed a virtual signing queue for 2000. Work that out, he has to sign two a minute at a solid 16 hours to get through that. Plus the photography… what an insult to one of the greatest comic legends… no wonder his team had to step in and stop the madness for him and then people are complaining because he cannot do that much. Expectations are ridiculously set and people are absolutely unreasonable to have complained about him, not all English people are this damned rude I say!

Right, the good bits – friends, cosplayers and the crowds who refused to let the actual convention organisers ruin it. I saw some fantastic people and caught up with friends. I was happy because I made some new friends and saw people I had only spoken too via my facebook. THAT is the bit that made the convention, everyone smiling and getting involved with helping one another, cheering each other up and chatting about costumes and planning their evening in the pub as a reward.

Cosplayuk made the costume for me for Anya Stroud and I was super happy to finally be able to show it off in person to them. I met a fellow gearhead that hopefully will be cosplaying in future with us and I saw people that I really do miss throughout the year, so all in all that aspect of it made it worth the trip.

Heading home? Oh my you think it stopped there? Hell no! We pulled up at Northampton Services for a quick break and to get something to eat. We set off again back towards Nottingham and experienced “that guy”. The driver was in the middle of the three lanes and kept roaming between the other two narrowly missing cars. We opted to attempt to drive past him as he was also slower than he should have been in that lane and as we did we spotted the idiot was asleep at the wheel! So we called the police, we had passed services a few miles back which also meant he had, which meant he was either already asleep on the road or had been so arrogant that he cared little for the safety of himself or others. I hope they found him and I hope they sort that behaviour out, it’s not impressive or clever.

When we got home and dropped off our Cyclops, me and my friend got out the car to collect our well earned bottle of wine and some beers. Sadly the Cyclops additional parts that had been painted appeared to have melted all down my car and into the seats. Sunday was then spent cleaning up what could be removed. Phewie!

So Sunday afternoon we went over to Games Workshop HQ and had dinner before I said goodbye to a good friend for a short while. Conclusion? Love the people, didn’t love the convention sadly. I doubt I will be going back to an LFCC any-time soon as I think they have been utterly greedy and not even played safe for people who were doing some seriously lengthy travelling to celebrate their fandoms.

I hope if you had a better experience than me this blog isn’t just a pool of whine. I really did love to see everyone and I swear I know not every volunteer, person involved or attendee had a rotten time, so please please don’t take this as me hating on you or your efforts.

Peace Out.

 

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{June 18, 2014}   MCM, YCC6 and other things…

So.. it’s been a while and that’s mostly been to fighting a bout of depression that I really didn’t fancy boring folks with. Depression is to me a personal thing, when it comes to causes, but the upshot is when you come out of it the other side fighting it’s a good thing to apologise if you mucked up. Sincerely, I can admit I make mistakes and I think people should be able to do that. It’s not weak at all in my book to say, hey I f*cked up I am so sorry.

So after that I was in talks with my doctor and he suggested instead of giving up and moping around I should go to MCM London, get my costumes out and generally stop putting myself into the gloom and self-doubt.

On the Friday me and my friend Kyle headed off with the car loaded up, the traffic was surprisingly easy going and we hit London before the event opened. Checking into the hotel we were surprised by how nice the Travelodge was, (I haven’t used them before) and then proceeded to unpack and get our costumes on. I took Ezio from Assassins Creed 2 for my first day, I got to wander around and look at the stalls. The ticket system was fairly fluid on the first day and we had a nice time. A few drinks the night before, something to eat and a late-ish night we were all happy to get ready for the big day on Saturday.

Saturday I chose my crossplay of Chris Redfield, lost in Nightmares from Resident Evil. I love meeting up with REUK and I always feel so happy to see everyone. Leon Chiro and Philipe Lauby were there looking awesome, along with Neil Gorton of Capcom who took some pics and videos. It was a lovely day, packed however and I am told that the ticketing system in the morning was pretty much a hellish run, when I went in a bit later it seemed that they had ironed that out significantly to be fair. It rained terribly, and heavily, and a lot of folk outside got a nasty drenching, me included. It sparked a mass rush for the cover but the security at the exit spotted the problem and opened the doors to prevent further troubles.

Saturday night we went for a nice Chinese meal, had a few glasses of wine and then went into the Fox. I walked home after a few drinks and wandered back with another friend in a nearby hotel. We had a nice chat and then it was great for me to relax and settle down before my friend got back. It was a great night and it really did serve the purpose of relaxing my already anxious self. Well served friends, cosplayers and bar staff!

Sunday – Well I decided that after loosing over 9 stone in the last couple of years, of paying the awesome CosplayUK to make the base of my dream dress I would get my guts sucked in a bit and cosplay Anya Stroud’s CIC outfit from the first and second Gears of War.

I was so lucky! Me and my friend, who borrowed the Stranded coat and a lancer, were picked by MCM to be in a video! And then we got some wonderful pics by the gent below. I was so very proud of the dress and all the bits I added to it. I felt like the dieting, the work and the effort to get out all paid off in that regards. I have achieved one of my Dream cosplays and it’s all down to support and friends who help me out.

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Work in Pixls Facebook 

YCC6 – Yorkshire Comicon.

So after the big weekend at London, we had a break and went to YCC6 in Doncaster, at The Dome. It’s my first time making a costume utterly without purchase off commissioners and friends so I was nervous I admit.

I picked a Death Knight from World of Warcraft, and I went for their starting kit. I know there’s plenty more I can do with it but I made a point of buying scrap materials from work and then from trying to reuse things as much as possible. The whole thing cost me about £10 in total and about a month on and off of sewing.

Suffice to say I felt quiet nervous about this one but the new medication has kicked in, my panic attacks are down and I am generally thinking that it’s perfectly okay to try these things because hey, everyone has to learn somewhere!

I met new friends, saw older ones, I loved the venue but it was a bit warm being next to a swimming pool! The day went really fast in fact, but we did have a giggle surprising local Asda (Walmart) people by wandering around, the Ghostbusters even got picture’d by staff. Overall when we left, a little tired and possibly bedraggled it was in a high spirit.

Our next outing is to LFCC (London Film and Comicon) and I am taking Anya again. I simply love the costume and am hoping that CosplayUK will see me, my costume and the bloody big grin all wrapped up in one. I know Stan Lee will be there but I didn’t get a ticket and photoshoot organised in time, so my loss but I hope if you did you get to have an amazing time.

So what are your next plans? And if you ever spot me around a convention here in England PLEASE stop me, say hi and if you are in costume and I have my camera tell me to get a pic for you because I am probably so happy to meet you I might forget that part.

Frag out!

Rea

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{April 30, 2014}   Buying vs Making your cosplay

Oh no it’s me again! Well you read it, I write it 😉 so I figured I would go with the whole do I buy it or do I make it thing? If you BUY your costume it’s perfectly fine in my view, I think if you want to commission someone or you ask someone with more talent than you think you have, why not? There is no need to be elitist about it and assume that someone who brought it is somehow sub-par to you. Here’s a few things to consider before running your mouth off about it:

1. Is it personally ruining your life if 40 people brought an Attack on Titan costume and got a group, took some pictures and had a laugh? I mean genuinely, has it cause you physical pain to see that shelf picked Kingdom Hearts coat? I am going to bet NO… NO it really isn’t.

2. Have you got a clue about that person? Their situation or their means of buying/creating?

3. We don’t all have that kind of time. Yes you can probably squeeze in the odd hour here and there for an adjustment, make a little bow for your hair, perhaps spray a gun black from plastic blue. But some of these costumes take a practically full time job to make. I am 34, I work, I have a household to manage, I have a limited time scale in which to do it and I do it with the tools and time I have. There are some people working 40+ hours, going home to a family to care for and feed not to mention other real life scenarios. That £20 costume is what makes them happy, why are you so down on it?

4. Talent – I personally feel I have zero talent in some thing, I have a go, I sometimes succeed and other times I completely balls it up. I mean seriously I’ve thrown metres of fabric away or I’ve ditched half-cut swords as I realise I simply don’t have the tools, space or even the real know-how. I’ve watched vids, tried reading tutorials and sometimes it just won’t happen. So then I turn to the trusty commissioners I know.

5. Cost versus  outcome. Honestly in some cases what a commissioner can make me is so much more worthy of the money. It would cost me double in materials, time and blatant lack of talent to produce something HALF the quality. So I’d rather give my money to a local commissioner, someone who can make it. Who probably has a jigsaw in his garage (I’d like a garage or even a garden, this flat’s a little small hehe). If I see it as value I will buy it.

Now what you get when you can make it, or try is an invaluable sense of self-accomplishment. I won’t deny even the ones I have made that aren’t amazing still make me feel good, I achieved something, yet it can still be utterly disheartening when you do all that and no one even looks at it. I go back to many comments about this, unless you’re looking for a career in it I think you should treat it as a compliment if a picture is taken, not a right but yeah, when someone in a Pikachu onesie is stopped over your halo armour, you’re home made Jedi etc you can feel a bit annoyed. I get it, but that’s no reason to be angry or have a go at someone over their costume, if you are doing it just for recognition I don’t think that’s the essence of why I love cosplay and I don’t think we’d agree on my points above ever. I respect that, if you don’t respect me that’s your loss too really isn’t it?

I have home made, to store brought. I have crap costumes but I also feel I have good ones. I don’t think it matters, you’re celebrating your fandom and you’re doing it with a smile (if you are doing it right). So I’d say before you get so aggravated over someone else having a good time, think about you’re attitude towards them. They probably love what you did, they probably love you made that shield/dress etc… but if you are going to be a tool about it, you’ve already lost “the game.”

 

Terrible hand made Sanzo from Saiyuki – used for? Well actually a dressing gown. That’s how good I think it is bleh!

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{November 3, 2013}   MCM Review Oct 2013

So it’s been a bit manic but finally I have time to get some writing about the event up and running, other than the previous comedy post about the situation with the weird man on the Sunday.

So here goes –

Friday: we had a few blips to get there, we were stuck in a two hour tail-back around the Birmingham area, I really needed to pee! But it’s okay once we got on the road it was a fun trip down and despite the cheesy music in the car my friend fared well and came in alive haha!

Getting our wristbands for the weekend on early entry wasn’t at all painful compared to the May queue. It was simple in and out, bands on *which by the way are a better quality so thanks MCM!* and then into the event.

Friday’s is for me the better day to try and shop, Saturday I barely ever go into the complex and hall. It is just toooo busy! So we had a wander and I brought some rather sexy Gears of War additions for my collection.

Saturday – Oh lords just TOO busy to be inside. And it’s not even just the staff that can be rude, most of them were okay this time. I’ve had the door staff and people being quite rude before but for the most part I escaped that. I will however say some members of the public should probably be glad there are not real weapons they are that damned rude! Pushing people, moaning about the fact there’s too many folks. It’s a convention expect people to be there, but if you can’t be polite or at least move out of the damned flow to have a twenty minute food break I’d rather you let your oxygen go to another person with a brain…

I went to the Fox the Saturday night, a little bold for me as I am terrible at these social things. Cosplay is the way I have picked to battle this social issue, so I went and I had a lovely time. I came back, passed out for about three hours and then woke up with an anxiety attack, however could have been worse because I at least got a little sleep. Did also have a lot of bacon for breakfast – mmmm bacon!

Sunday was a lot calmer indoors, it meant we got a little chance to do some last minute shopping. My friend James had found me a Robbie Rabbit from Silent Hill, I never did find the Konami Store! I was dressed in BSAA outfit, whilst I wasn’t stopped as much as others I really did have a wonderful time in that costume. REUK are just wonderful as a group, I feel like part of a family there.

So the organisation? I would say considering the volume not bad. Again I would say some of the staff/volunteers sincerely need to work on their damned attitude. It’s a nerdfest/geekfest of people that probably aren’t all as brave as they think and sometimes we need a little human touch even if we don’t look one. However when it came to a problem on the Sunday the security on site were on hand and dealt with the issue quickly.

Props/Con Goers treatment – whilst I had no problems myself I was really angry to hear that sensible con-goers with props were turned away whilst others in there I could see were more dangerous with their behaviour than any guy with a fake gun could ever have been! It’s not the Props it’s the bloody people that need chucking out. I would say there should be a check point where you can get your weaponry/props checked out by ONE central point. If the weapon is deemed safe and the cosplayer sensible then give that prop a tag to tie on or something that makes it clear it’s been deemed con-safe. It takes the personal issues away from the door security and means less trouble for those of us that can go in and out ten times a day, then suddenly stopped by the one guy/gal that suddenly takes a dislike. It’s far too based on someone’s personal opinion which means too much error with bias.

Stalls/stands – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHAT COMICS! Seriously it’s called Comiccon and there was like one, maybe two stalls of comics? Very disappointed that the gaming side is lacking, the comics were hit and miss on about two stalls. If I wanted to buy a lucky cat or a bazillion takes on Japanese sweets that we already could buy on the ENTIRE area of Japan food then wow great day. Didn’t see a damned thing outside of the Gears tucked away in some boxes and the Robbie that someone else found for me. I wasn’t impressed with the range this time, a shame as people go with all that money to spend on an event and can end up coming back with very little.

The Steam Punk stands seemed non-existent and even if you are not a major fan it’s part of the conventions generally. The Table Tennis area was a terrible idea, whilst standing by my friends waiting for his cosplay judging we were constantly bombarded by the damned things and watching some kid destroy a table and having to keep repairing it. Not a good idea MCM really, really not!

So overall? Negatives =Biggest lets downs? Not a single guest of interest for me as a gamer, I don’t give a shit about Young Dracula and I don’t care for half of the crap put on inside. Sadly it was just not exciting for the line up and I was sad to hear so many negative bits about it.  Gaming was not really that varied, a shame but the ones on there looked popular enough for the mainstream.

Highlights – I did chat to a developer for a bit who was making his own xbox game and that was pretty cool. Costumes – plenty of good ones and I got to see a lot of my friends finished products from their blogs and facebook make it into real life. New friends I made along the way, absolutely the highlight! A couple of people stopping me for my pictures, I’m not bothered by popularity but it’s a massive compliment when someone does stop me.

Go again? Yes I will be, I will be going to May to see if some of the points addressed by people are picked up on and resolved.  I don’t want people to think I don’t ever have a good time there, I really do or I wouldn’t go back but I’d hope for more variety on the menu by May. Please MCM PLEASE go back to the pre-mainstream crap, I’m a geek and I don’t want it to feel like a trip into the city centre over a weekend of celebrating that fact.

And LOVE to everyone I met there!

So some shoutouts and links for anyone that got to the bottom of this haha!

AJL Armours and Cosplay

Big Red Ape Cosplay

Capcom UK

Buster Boy Cosplay

Cosmic Workshop

Cosplay Without Bias

Cosplayuk

Jon Fisher Photography

Zed Events 

 



et cetera