Category Archives: Cosplay

GeekSideShowing's SDCC 2016

SDCC 2016 Recap: A Lead Up

When I got badges for SDCC 2016, after missing out on 2015, I was thrilled. I was able to get Thursday, Friday, & Sunday badges. Immediately, I got to the business of planning the ins & outs of SDCC 2016: secure lodging & flights, (slightly) obsess over waiting for the panel schedules to be released, wait for Nerd HQ info (any info, really), etc. As we neared the weeks before, it got serious with news everyday.

Where to stay:

I started with finding a place to stay that was a better distance from the Convention Center than 2014, while also enabling me the possibility to cook my own food due to my dietary restrictions. I was lucky to find the perfect place, a room with access to a kitchen, in Little Italy. This, would allow me to get back & forth from all of the SDCC happenings with much more ease. Check!

What to do:

This is the obvious biggie. The biggest factor is how can you fit all you want to do into the time you have. SDCC is when you really wish Hermione would lend you the Time-Turner. The struggle is real, & here is a glimpse at my overly ambitious schedule for SDCC 2016:

GeekSideShowing SDCC 2016 panel off-site tentative schedule

So, yeah. Not realistic, but definitely an important thing to think through because during SDCC throws you a couple curveballs. One thing that you early seriously think a whole lot about is the distance between rooms & locations. SDCC has grown to so many locations outside of the convention center that you can log in a LOT of steps & minutes just getting from place to place. It helps to have a Plan A, B, & C!

What to pack:

When preparing for SDCC, you need to consider the amount of walking & standing involved, as well as carrying merchandise & food. The first time I went, I was not as prepared as I should have been. Even though I read copious blog posts on the topic, some things can only be learned through personal experience. This time around, I wanted to make sure that I had a comfortable & supportive backpack, along with super good footwear. I bought a new backpack at NYCC 2015 & have been using every time I travel. (No, I haven’t been paid by EQ USG) It is from Equilibrium Urban Survival Gear:

SDCC 2016 backpack setup

 If you follow me on Instagram, you saw a bit of what I packed as far as clothing, including what I planned to cosplay:

SDCC 2016 packing

As you can see, I wanted to represent my love Star WarsGhostbustersStar Trek, Doctor Who, & Destiny. Not pictured was my Captain America t-shirt.


That is all for now, stay tuned for more SDCC 2016 recaps!

Back in the saddle again!

So, I pretty much fell off the face of the blogsphere for a couple of months, due to life.  But one of my goals this year is to be more consistent on here & share what I’m geeking out over, not just on Pinterest (which I love!), Twitter (which I am getting better at), & Instagram.  I’m not hugely active on FB yet in regards to my blog, but it is also in the works.

Anyway, this is a quick recap of what has been keeping me for posting over the last months:

I went to FanExpo Canada & lucked out by getting a last minute resale ticket to the Doctor Who panel with Matt Smith & Arthru Darvill!

Doctor Who Matt Smith Arthur Darvilll FanExpo Canada

Doctor Who panel at FanExpo Canada August 30, 2014

Got to attend my first Masquerade at a Con while at FanExpo (check out more images on my Instagram feed!):

Masquerade cosplay lego anime 300 Edge of tomorrow

Just a few of the sights I was privy to during & after the FanExpo Canada 2014 Masquerade.

I bought myself a PS4 as a birthday present! Yay! But I didn’t really get a chance to start playing until a couple months later.  Started playing Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag & Destiny, while I have Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes waiting in the wings for a bit down the line when I have more time.  I’ll post on my gaming adventures in a future post.

I also lucked out & was able to go to Hawaii with a really great friend to celebrate both of our birthdays!  A first-time to Hawaii for both of us & it was spectacular!

Hawaii Oahu Big Island sunset beaches volcanoes nature

Sights from my amazing experiences while visiting Oahu & the Big Island of Hawaii.

My brother & I went zip-lining while in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for our half-brother’s wedding (picture forthcoming)

Then, high season began at work & that has been a bit all-consuming of my time & mental energy.  But now that things have settled into a more constant groove, I have decided to get beck into blogging, since it was very fulfilling last year.

What I will focus on this year will range from travel, to gaming, to learning … I guess to being adventurous in all the wonderfully complex & unexpected ways life presents itself to me.  All the while, not letting my sneakily perfectionist tendencies get the better of me & prevent me from publishing my posts because I don’t have ALL of the pictures or images I want to include (see how I was able to post this without including the zip-lining picture, even though I really wanted to do it!).  Sometimes, enough is good enough.  Maybe a mantra I should repeat in order to progress & keep from allowing myself to stagnate.

San Diego International Comic-Con 2014 Recap

Lessons learned from SDCC 2014

In the aftermath of my first ever San Diego International Comic-Con (SDCC), I was reflecting on my experience & trying to see how to make next year even better.  I’m definitely going to come back next year! I’m still working on my daily recaps, with special focus on Hall H on Thursday & Ballroom 20 on Friday, but both posts should be up shortly.

So, I’ve broken down my experience into a few categories & listed the Pros & Cons of each.  I hope this is helpful to anyone else who is looking to go to SDCC, too.

Hotel

I thankfully selected the little box stating that I would rather be placed in a hotel along the shuttle route if my 5 choices were unavailable during the Early Bird Hotel Sale.  Staying so far from the convention center, 2nd to last stop on the red shuttle line, has its pros & cons.

SDCC 2014 Red Shuttle RoutePros:

  1. It is much cheaper than staying downtown.
  2. Once you get on the shuttle, it is a short ride.

Cons:

  1. Long waits for the shuttle, especially in the morning & after 10 PM can be at least 45 minutes.
  2. The shuttle is sometimes almost to capacity when it finally does arrive to the hotel to pick you up; you may have to wait a couple of shuttles before actually getting on a shuttle towards the convention center.

Take away from experience:

This year, I came solo to SDCC, so I bore the full cost of my hotel room.  Hopefully next year, I will be able to come with some buddies to help lessen the cost of the hotel room.  While I was thrilled to have secured a room, I will definitely try to get a hotel closer to the convention center next time.  The ability to stop by my hotel room during the day/afternoon to drop off merchandise, shower, power nap, &/or change is even more appealing to me after my 1st SDCC.   I had to take a change of clothes with me for evening plans/activities & change in the bathroom of the convention center before heading out to dinner because I didn’t have the time to wait in the line for the shuttle, get to the hotel, shower & change, wait for the shuttle again before heading out to dinner in the Gaslamp Quarter.  Due to my fibromyalgia, I get fatigued a bit sooner than most, so the idea of accessing my room without much of a wait is definitely moving my hotel situation to a higher priority for my budget next year.  I would rather buy less things & spend that money on my overall comfort while at SDCC.  Also, being able to carry less weight throughout the duration of the day will be a huge improvement & help reduce my overall fatigue level.

Cosplaying

I decided to cosplay as part of my first SDCC in order to try to get the most out of the experience.  This was also my first time cosplaying, so I was a bit nervous.  I described my process trying to decide on who to cosplay as in a previous post <click here to check it out!> & I’ll be posting about the details of each cosplay I wore while at SDCC in an upcoming post.

Pros:

  1. You definitely fit in.
  2. You can interact with fellow SDCC-goers on a different level.
  3. It is fun running into or meeting others who are cosplaying.

Cons:

  1. It can get intensely hot while outdoors & then a bit chilly once inside in the air conditioning or in the evening.  I met a woman who was cosplaying as the Black Widow in a full black pleather body suit.  She almost melted in the sun waiting for the Indigo panels.
  2. Depending on what components your cosplay entails, you may be carrying accessories all day long while navigating the masses on the exhibition floor & in lines. I met a woman who had an almost life–sized TARDIS on wheels.  Initially I thought that was a great idea, until the impracticality of it was brought to my attention: she needed to check it into the coat-check because it was near impossible for her to go anywhere with it.  Come to think of it, how did she get to the convention center with it?!
  3. Footwear: choose wisely!

Take away from experience:

I had a blast cosplaying.  I was by myself, so I had to take my trusty backpack each time I was cosplaying, which contributed to what I decided to cosplay as due to practicality.  If you are going to have an elaborate cosplay, you’ll need an assistant of some sort to help hold your things & navigate the exhibition floor.  You need to be aware of your surroundings.  I came across a lot of people who had parts of their cosplay that extended out in some direction & would end up hitting someone in the face or body because of not taking in account the new dimensions of his/her cosplay.  I purposefully choose to cosplay with sensible footwear & my body definitely thanked me for it!  It’s easy to not notice the actual amount of distance you end up walking during a day, plus a lot of standing in lines.  Both take their toll on your feet & rest of your body.  I will definitely be cosplaying again next year!

Food & Staying Hydrated

This was something I did a decent job of preparing for, but I will definitely be making adjustments for next SDCC.

Pros:

  1. If you plan correctly, you can camp out in line or in a panel all day & not worry about missing meals.
  2. Bringing your own food means saving lots of money.  Convention food is costly & very limited in selection.  If you have food or dietary restrictions like me, you won’t find anything at the convention center you could eat even if you wanted to shell out the money for it.
  3. There are various restaurants near the convention center & the events guide has a list & map to help you choose for the wide selection available.

Cons:

  1. Gaslamp Quarter restaurants close at 10:00-ish, even on Friday & Saturday evenings.  I grew up in Miami & this fact was a huge surprise.  I’m used to restaurants, not just bars with appetizers, staying open on South Beach until midnight or 2 AM.  I missed dinner on Thursday night due to what ended up begin the perfect storm of events: I was in Hall H all day & so I ate all of my pre-determined packed food, I didn’t have time before the Video Game San Diego Symphony Concert that started at 7:30 PM because I underestimated the amount of time it would take to walk up/down 5th Ave in the early evening with everyone else, & I had no idea restaurants would be closed once the concert concluded. I walked to the Gaslamp Quarter everything was pretty much closed.  Thank goodness I had leftovers in my hotel room’s mini fridge from the night before to hold me over until breakfast!
  2. Forgetting to hydrate was a problem on a couple of days.  I was in Ballroom 20 all day on Friday & didn’t realize there were water coolers available for me to refill my water bottle inside the ballroom until towards the end of the day.  Also, standing in line outside means limited or no access to water fountains & you can quickly dehydrate standing in the sun & sweating for hours.
  3. Not packing enough food.  I ran out of my non-perishable snacks on Day 2 & didn’t have time to go to the store & buy replenishments, so I was stuck with having to take time & extra money to eat lunch at a restaurant next to the convention center on Sunday.

Take away from experience:

I will definitely make sure to bring more of my nonperishable snacks & flavor packs for my water bottle with me.  The water fountain water tastes very different from what I am used to, so I think a little bit of single-serve instant tea would help make my hydration more palatable.  Plan dinner with anticipation & make reservations for anything in Gaslamp Quarter to avoid waiting even longer at the end of what is already bound to be a long day of waiting.  Bring more relatively lightweight non-perishables to the convention center in order to save money, time, & energy.

Panels

I had originally thought that seeing anything in Hall H & Ballroom 20 was not in the cards for me.  I was not willing to camp out the night before nor was I going to be able to withstand waiting in a line for over 1 hour.  However, due to the marvel of technology & Twitter, I was able to get into both Hall H & Ballroom 20 with relatively little waiting time on Thursday & Friday, respectively.  By following @Ballroom20Line & @HallHLine on Twitter, I was able to get real-time updates on the line status, capacity, length, etc.

Inside Hall H during SDCC 2014On Thursday, I was able to walk into Hall H right after Benedict Cumberbatch & the other panelist exited the Hall & the 2 minute preview of the new Penguins movie were showing.  This enabled me to get a great seat & stay through the following panels: The Giver, Paramount Pictures, & Entertainment Weekly‘s Visionaries.

Ballroom 20 during Sand Diego International Comic-Con 2014

On Friday, I was able to walk into Ballroom 20 right after the Legend of Korra panel finished.  I maybe waited a total of 20-25 minutes before being let in & finding a seat.  I was able to see the following panels: Bones, Marvel TV, Entertainment Weekly: Brand New WarriorsThe OriginalsThe Arrow (TV), & the world premier of the animated movie, Batman: Escape from Arkham, followed by its panel.

Pros:

  1. If you plan it correctly, stay up to date with the status of each line with anticipation, & have a fair amount of luck, you can check out panels in the big venues.
  2. Seeing footage & the panel guests along with a venue full of equally excited fans is an experience definitely worth experiencing live at least once.  The energy can be exhilarating in the panels.
  3. Free swag.

Cons:

  1. You might need to try to get into the venue 1-2 panels before the one you really want to see.
  2. Being in the venue means you can’t really be in the exhibition floor.
  3. Once you are in Hall H, you must stay inside or you will need to stand in line again.  There are restrooms & food vendors inside of the Hall.
  4. Ballroom 20 provides you with bathroom passes, which allow you to exit & return but only during a panel.  If you don’t make it back before the end of that same panel, you must go through the line again.
  5. Sitting all day can be tiring in its own right.

Take away from experience:

I am glad that I was able to experience both Hall H & Ballroom 20 during my 1st SDCC.  I wish I had been able to check out a bunch of the smaller panels, but time is finite & alas it was not possible.  Seeing the panels was fun, but it did eat up entire days.  This left just a short amount of time to walk the exhibition floor & shop.  Also, because I waited until late Saturday to drop off my sketchbook, I ended up missing on various Sunday panels waiting for the artists to return my sketchbook.

Shopping

The intensity of Point Of Sale purchasing is staggering at SDCC.  I got up-sold on a storage tube because it was less than $1 for the 37″ one instead of the 26″.  Well, now I have an artwork tube that is 3/4 my height & is cumbersome to carry, especially amongst the hoards within the exhibition floor & pretty much anywhere surrounding SDCC activities & venues.

Pros:

  1. SDCC exclusive merchandise is pretty sweet.
  2. There is a lot of variety to choose from & selections from all kinds of genres & fandoms.
  3. Special deals on getting commissioned work from artist.

Cons:

  1. Where did all my money go?
  2. What am I going to do with all this stuff I just (semi-impulse) bought?  I had to buy another suitcase just to transport all my new stuff back with me on my international flights.  If you live in the U.S., you can ship it home, but if you are coming from abroad this is not as practical.
  3. Falling victim to the up-sell.  Case in point, me and the tube!  My thought at the time was, “I can’t lose money on this deal!”  Silly, silly, silly of me.  Everything I bought that could be rolled up & stored in my tube is maybe 12″ tall.  So … think three times about a purchase, if you can.  I ended up needing to buy hard protectors for the comic art boards & original sketches I bought anyway.
  4. If you wait until the last day to buy anything, the selection can be limited.  I wanted to try & buy the Nerdist Convention Hoodie but couldn’t get to until Sunday; there were none left.  I wanted a particular shirt from Her Universe & there were only XL & XXL left.  At the BBC America booth, they had sold out of a lot of Sherlock & Orphan Black merchandise by Sunday, as well.

As I look forward to SDCC 2015, I have a lot of planning to get started on & am really looking forward to returning.  I’ll be recruiting my friends to join me, because I’d like to experience SDCC with a friend or two next time.  I enjoyed the flexibility going solos allowed me, but I’d like to change it up a bit for 2015.  I hope this post has been helpful & I’d love to hear any lessons learned you have to share in the comments below.  See you in San Diego in 2015!

SDCC Countdown series

Cosplaying at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

The first con I attended was MegaCon in Orlando, FL close to 10 years ago.  It was a very last minute, disorganized affair.  I definitely didn’t get the most out of my experience because we only bought an one-day pass, had to drive to Orlando, & got there close to 2 PM.  Needless to say, I wore regular casual wear, as it was my first con experience.  Had I known what I would have in store, I would have definitely have brought more cash & insisted we got there early. We didn’t get to see any panels, but I insisted we stay to watch the Masquerade.  There was a lot of Fullmetal Alchemist cosplaying, as well as Cowboy Bebop. I bought a couple of t-shirts, but nothing else due to limited cash on hand.

In order to get the most out of my upcoming SDCC experience, I have decided I am going to cosplay.  So, with SDCC less than 80 days away, I am seriously starting to finish up my cosplaying plan of attack!  I will ambitiously be attempting to cosplay all 5 days on SDCC.  As a first time cosplayer, this may prove to be a tall order, but I’m planning big so that I can always adjust as conditions change.  Obviously after deciding I would be cosplaying, I had to figure out who I would be cosplaying as.


The brainstorming began by acknowledging my limitations:

  • I’m currently not able to get too crafty to make intricate components for my outfits.
  • I am not wig-savvy, so long dark brown hair was what I had to work with.
  • I have trouble maintaining my core body temperature regulated, so I’d need to be able to use layers that I could adjust as needed, but not lose the identity of my chosen cosplay character.
  • Comfortable foot attire is a must.

With this list, I began trying to see who I would cosplay as.  My first instinct was Carmen San Diego because I loved her, the video games, & the TV show!

Carmen San Diego

Requirements:

  1. Red trench coat (could buy)
  2. Red hat (could buy)
  3. Black gloves (check)
  4. Yellow scarf (could buy)
  5. Loose, long dark hair (check)
  6. Maybe tiny versions of the Eiffel Tower or other monuments I would have stolen (could buy online).

The problem was that if I got hot & took off my coat, then what?  So, the brainstorming continued.

Next, I was talking with my best friend, with whom I geek out about video games & football (see Time Crisis II discussion in my arcade post), & we came up with Lara Croft.

Requirements:

  1. Long brown hair in pony tail/braid (check)
  2. Shorts/Pants (check)
  3. Black fingerless gloves (check)
  4. Turquoise tank top (check)
  5. Thigh holsters (could buy online)
  6. 2 play hand guns (could buy online)
  7. Small leather backpack (could buy online & I don’t need much convincing to buy a bag)
  8. Hiking boots (check)
  9. Various options for jacket or hoodie (could buy)

We had a winner!  I checked out possible items on Amazon & scored big.  The guns are originally orange, but that isn’t anything a little spray paint can’t fix & they come with the thigh holsters.  I can have the holsters altered/reinforced a bit if needed, but other than some hair gel, I should be good.

One down!


I’ve seen various Assassin’s Creed cosplay pictures on Pinterest, which had me dying to try it.  I was giddy about gender-bending Ezio, but my mom brought up a good point: the hood makes it hard for anyone to see my face & for me to see everything around me. I was going to SDCC for the very first time; I wanted to meet people & see as much as possible, so this idea would hinder both those objectives.  Also, I’d have to really have intricate accessories, so that if I needed to take off the coat, I’d still look like an Assassin.  And so, my dream of being an Assassin would have to wait for a future SDCC or other Con.  Once, I know how I’m likely to react to walking around all day at SDCC & whether I’d probably overheat or not.

I am freakishly pale right now, because I have had a couple of health issues this year and thus have seen little sun. So my genius mother said, “Could you go as Morticia Addams?”  YES, yes I can! I geek out over the Addam’s Family movie all the time & have made my mother watch it a couple times, so it was actually quite shocking that I hadn’t thought of this earlier.  Anjelica Huston & Raul Julia were perfectly cast as Morticia & Gomez Addams.

Requirements:

  1. Pale skin, enhance with makeup (check)
  2. Tight, black mermaid shape dress (could buy)
  3. Black lace to add to black dress (could buy & add to dress without too much work)
  4. Makeup for intense smokey eyes & red lips (check)
  5. Loose, long dark hair (check)
  6. Blood red nail polish (could buy)
  7. A silk red rose (could buy)
  8. Gothic rings (could buy)

So I had another one down, three more to go!


I decided I wanted to be a classic super hero & started looking for options. Wonder Woman was a possibility, but I thought I would get too cold & I wasn’t sure wearing a corset an entire day was gonna be the best idea.  I didn’t want to wear a wig, so I was looking at the brunettes out there in the super ‘verse.  I came up with Kitty Pryde, but I couldn’t find a way to make it work for me right now.  Did I really want to have to carry a dragon the entire day?  I thought of Catwoman, especially since Anne Hathaway’s version had been a brunette, but all the Catwoman costumes I found were either very slutty or full body, but near transparent, so no to that idea.

Then I saw that Amazon had a Female Green Lantern costume that had rave reviews.  It came with a green mask & a ring.  A huge plus, it was not transparent!  I figured I could always spruce it up & that it would be a good foundation.  If anything, I could be Jade if I wanted to get specific.

Requirements:

  1. Green body suit (could buy)
  2. Green eye mask (could buy, included)
  3. Green Lantern ring (could buy, included, or upgrade if needed)
  4. White opera gloves (could buy)
  5. Smokey eye makeup (check)
  6. Black boots (check)

We had another winner!  Now, I could participate in the DC Cosplayer Photo Shoot on Saturday of SDCC!  Just two left!


I have a full length dress in leopard print from a previous Halloween costume, which I am repurposing into an interpretation of Pebbles Flintstone all grown up.  I will just need to make a bone barrette for my top bun & do an exaggerated cat eye.

Requirements:

  1. Leopard print dress (check)
  2. Cat eye makeup (check)
  3. Bone barrette (could fashion)
  4. Hair in a top bun (check)

For my last cosplay idea, I wanted to do something sci-fi.  Since I had had such success on Amazon, I gave it another try.  I lucked out & found more non-slutty Star Trek options.  I chose a Classic Star Trek Science Officer mini dress.  I’m 5’4″, so this is probably not going to be as short as pictured on the model.  I could even wear black tights under so I don’t get too cold & take them off if I get too hot.

Requirements:

  1. Classic Star Trek dress (could buy)
  2. Starfleet Science Officer Badge (could buy)
  3. Classic Communicator (could buy)
  4. Black boots (check)
  5. Optional black leggings (check)

So there you have it, my SDCC cosplayer plan of attack.  I”ll be posting updates with pictures as soon as I have my components & we get closer to SDCC.  I will be doing a practice trail run in the upcoming weeks, so be on the look out for my pictures!