Loren’s Cosplayers Guide to Comic Con

(Boston, MA, 01/17/16) Loren Beale of Harvard, dressed as Christmas Kairi , Jackson Mowry of Burrillville, RI dressed as Sora and Vanessa Bordoy of Boston dressed as Christmas Sora all from Kingdom Hearts video game series at Arisia, science fiction and fantasy convention at the Westin Hotel on January 17, 2016. Staff photo by Matt Stone

Boston Herald

(Boston, MA, 01/17/16) Loren Beale of Harvard, dressed as Christmas Kairi , Jackson Mowry of Burrillville, RI dressed as Sora and Vanessa Bordoy of Boston dressed as Christmas Sora all from Kingdom Hearts video game series at Arisia, science fiction and fantasy convention at the Westin Hotel on January 17, 2016. Staff photo by Matt Stone

Dear reader,
You are entering the time drawing near to a convention. Whether it be comic con or an anime expo, you need to prepare yourself for the greatest, most stressful, period of your life. Good luck young ward. Be amazing.

First things first, find a con. You can cosplay and attend meet ups, but the real deal happens at the conventions. You need to pick a convention with close proximity that isn’t too too pricy, but also needs to have positive feedback. Once a convention is chosen, research any events taking place and, if there is one, the con themes. This will help you determine a character or costume to bring to life.
Next, pick a character. Once you have that character, you stick with it. That character is you and you are them. Draw the character. Watch and read and study the character, anything you can to make it second nature. And once that is done, the creation process can begin.

The best way to begin making a costume, is to buy the fabric. Be sure to look for coupons, clearances, or any ways to save money. Patterns are recommended, but will vary from project to project. The best way to motivate yourself to start working is to count how many months, weeks, days… Hours… There are till it’s show time. Put in a movie or binge watch a series, just get the ball rolling and everything will fall into place.
Once your costume is complete, think of a pose. People will be asking for photos, and when they do, you need to be ready and in character. Think of a common stance the character has, and adjust it to make sure you look good from any angle. It’s important to be sure there are no slips in the costume during your pose, anything can be caught on camera.
The best time to practice makeup is right before you shower. That way, no one has to see the ridiculously animated face you put on exclusively for times of cosplay. YouTube has many many great tutorials; the hardest part will end up being waking up in time to put it on.

Prepackaged bag-
A bag that is on the larger size that is relatively in character with the cosplay
Money money money
Touch up makeup
A pen
Cell phone
Cell phone charger
Another bag (plastic)
A lot of safety pins
Energy bar
Hand sanitizer
Chap stick
Hairbrush and other wig/hair necessitates that can fit

The day of the con-
You’ve made it! Your cosplay is complete, your make and pose are picked out, now it’s judgment day. All your endless nights and hard work put out on display. It is nerve racking, but sooooo worth it. You will be loved, promise.
Be sure to look online for a schedule, which is usually finalized the week of the con, and plan what you will be doing and when. Talk to your friends about panels and times you can eat and people you want to see or meet up with. Keep in mind, all cons have lines. Be ready to stand and wait for long whiles.
Estimate the time it will take to get ready, then add it to the travel time (including traffic) to the convention. This will give you the time to wake up in the morning.
Wake up
Hair/wig (hairspray)
Deodorant… Please!
Train (optional)

At the event-
Parking’s a bitch, take the train. If it’s cold it’s best to have a light jacket that can fit in your bag during the convention. Baggage checks aren’t always safe and tend to cost money that you will want to save. It will be crowded, so the earlier you arrive, the easier the lines are to beat. Determine a meeting place at the convention in case a member of the group goes missing at any time. Given that everyone has a cell phone, it’s much more simple to say go to the place, and both parties become reunited. Navigating through a con full of colorful toys and people is a bit of a challenge. It’s important to not loose each other in the crowds.
When you see something you want to buy, always ask for the price. If it’s unreasonable, which it is, ask if it can go lower. If the vender refuses, claim you will come back later. Wait till the shift of said vender ends and return when a new salesman had returned. Ask for the price again, if it is still the same, ask for a lower one, if the price cannot be brought down, deal with the rip off or take your money someplace else. Sometimes at the end of the convention prices will be lowered in a last-minute attempt to sell merchandise. It’s a gamble, however, because what you want might be sold out.
Panels are tricky. Whether you are in one, or going to one, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. If one is participating in a panel or game, all info should be in an email from the supervisor of activities. Be early, be respectful, and have fun. It is a very special moment.
If one is going to a panel to watch, be very early. Lines build up fast, and the best seats are truly in the front. If you are on your way to a panel and people are stopping you for pictures which will end up making you late, politely say sorry and continue your way. Chances are they will have another chance for a picture later.
Con food is like airplane food, but even more expensive. The best thing you can do when you get hungry is go outside the convention and look for a place around there. Depending on the location of the convention center, there might be restaurants or food courts.
Sitting at a con is perfectly understandable, it’s hot, you’ve been walking all day, and down time happens. However, depending on who you are with, slowing down might not be in their dictionary. Be sure to talk to your group about what taking a break might happen.
Photos can be the highlight of cosplaying, if you are smart and pick a loved, not overly done, and well created character, you will be a superstar. You can always say no to photos and photo shoots, and you don’t have to hug someone if you don’t want to, but the life of a convention is based on the attendee’s ability to interact well with one another. Everyone loves to hear and tell compliments about their and each other’s cosplay. Cons have an atmosphere of positive, lovable attention which warms the heart. Panels, shows, and venders are fun, but nothing beats the people you meet and the friends you make.
At the end of the day, your feet will hurt, you might smell, you’ll be hungry and tired af. But you will also never want to leave. Be sure to double check you have everything and you have said your goodbyes to everyone. Selfies and number exchanges are allowed, and most people like to stay in contact.

After the con-
Coming home is difficult. People will be looking at you wondering why you have a strange costume on and why there are so many people with candy corn colored horns on their heads.
Make sure any photos go up on social media with proper hashtags to share your experiences with the rest of the fans.

Post con depression happens when you look back on the weekend and wish you could live in the moment for forever. But don’t worry, friend, anther con and cosplay is just around the corner. Best get started now.