Man, have I missed Chicago. The first conventions I’ve ever been to were here, one of them being Con Alt Delete. Let me tell you, this con has grown immensely since my first time there. From vendors to attendees to cosplays, everything about this convention has developed incredibly. It’s definitely not the biggest Anime convention here in Chicago, but it’s not the smallest convention I’ve ever been too. It’s the perfect size for anyone who wants a full convention experience but isn’t exactly into humongous crowds.
If there is one thing I took away from this past weekend, it is that cosplayers are crazy. Of course I mean that in the best of ways, being a cosplayer myself, but I believe every cosplayer I know can agree to that statement. We are all a bunch a crazy people who just get along so perfectly because of our craziness! It isn’t very often that you become instant friends with someone purely because you dress up as characters from the same show; psh, “normal” people.
Cosplay around the holidays in itself is kinda crazy, in the most fun of ways. Cosplayers were putting holiday spins on some of their favorite characters, putting them in Santa hats or completely Christmasifying their cosplays. Jack Frost and Frozen cosplays also seemed to come out with the ever-snowy weather. I guess we know where that big snow storm came from! Amongst the Winter costumes, I also noticed an abundance of Voltron, Yuri on Ice, Mystic Messenger, Overwatch, and of course, Homestuck cosplayers. Hamilton appears to be quite popular right now as well. There was even a little Hamilton “sing-along,” if you will, on Sunday.
Of course, when it comes to cosplay, we have to talk about the Masquerade. It was a short, but masterful show on Saturday. These cosplayers do not mess around! The amount of effort people put into their costumes always astounds me. The hours and hours of hard work and manual labor that people put into these outfits are what make them cosplayers.
My friend Sam and I competed in this year's masquerade in both craftsmanship and performance. We did a little “Battle of the Avatars” skit dressed as Avatar Aang and Avatar Korra. We used handmade veil poi, or voi, to give the illusion that we were bending the four elements: air, earth, water, and fire. I mean our rock poi weren’t veils, they were just regular poi, but the rest were. Performing was so much fun, as well as incredibly nerve wracking, and we are very honored to say we won best overall performance.
What I personally love most about doing the cosplay contest is you get to meet so many new people or see old friends again. There were a few people I competed with at Anime Midwest that I got to hang out with again at the Con Alt Delete Masquerade; pre-set group for the win! I’m sort of belaboring a point here, but these cosplayers are each so incredibly talented in how they create their costumes and portray their characters. Cosplay has continued to become more and more intense, and I believe it is just going to continue on that trend! I’m excited to see how the cosplay community grows and just how crazy we all get! :)