This past weekend, I kicked off the 2017 convention season with a first time trip to Anime Los Angeles (ALA), which, ironically, is not located in Los Angeles, but in Ontario, California. Though the convention is smaller than other Southern Californian conventions such as WonderCon or Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con, it nonetheless drew a large cosplaying crowd to the weekend event. I must admit that after a bad experience at San Diego Comic Con last summer, I now dread attending a convention for the first time in cosplay. If you’re like me, you probably read up on the experiences of other cosplayers at a particular convention before you sign up to wear a catsuit for fourteen hours.
1. Bust a seam? No problem!
ALA D.Va Cosplay
The Collected Mutineer and I have long griped that most cons don’t have cosplay repair areas, meaning that you take up space in the restroom (much to the annoyance of other attendees) while you haphazardly and hurriedly safety pin your costume together. This wasn’t a worry at Anime Los Angeles, however. ALA had a large room in the convention center dedicated to cosplay repairs, complete with supplies for the stressed out attendee in costume. It was brought to our attention by @simbakun and @rockyrants_cosplay during their “Cosplay On A Budget” panel.
Speaking of which…
2. Let’s Talk About Cosplay (Officially)
ALA Zootopia Cosplay
At ALA, there were several panels devoted to cosplay on each of the three days. Cosplay repair, cosplay culture, cosplay on a budget–if cosplay is your thing, ALA won’t disappoint you. Over the three and a half days of the convention, there were nineteen panels devoted to cosplay. And that doesn’t count all the people in the hallways and exhibition areas standing around in cosplay, talking about cosplay.
And this brings me to my final point:
3. ALA is very cosplay friendly.
I know that interest in cosplay has exploded in the last few years and that cosplaying attendees are the majority rather than the minority at some of the smaller conventions. However at Anime Los Angeles, it seemed that everyone was in cosplay. And because of that, the overall ‘vibe’ of the con was very positive for cosplayers.
I’ve got a long, complicated history with conventions and the unspoken “cosplay is not consent” rule. Upon first arriving at the convention, it was very reassuring to see 6-ft displays bearing those exact words. Especially when I noticed that other cons *(cough* SDCC *cough*) don’t have such signage in the convention areas. The signs were very much a good indication for the weekend, which passed by without a single issue for me while I was in costume.
In fact, the convention ejected and banned a man for taking photos of another attendee without permission. It’s a strong stance, and one that all cosplayers (particularly ones under the age of 18) can appreciate. I know I did. No one took my photo without permission. No one had “grabby hands.” Everyone was polite and respectful, making my first experience a great one.
I highly recommend Anime Los Angeles if you’re a Southern Californian cosplayer, or want to attend an anime-oriented convention with your family.
Have you been to ALA? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Last weekend, Universal Orlando outdid themselves yet again by bringing pure magic to their fourth annual Celebration of Harry Potter. Between the expo with real movie props, a chance to look behind the scenes in exhibits such as the WB Studio Tour, and seeing the Harry Potter cast members in real life, what more could you expect to come out of this revolutionary event?
One of the best parts about A Celebration of Harry Potter is the opportunity to see the plethora of talented cosplayers from all around the world. There were so many outstanding cosplays at the event that it would be impossible to show you them all. Instead, here are a few of our favorite cosplays from the annual Harry Potter event:
Diego a.k.a @Dialpi is the cosplayer to look out for at A Celebration of Harry Potter. Last year, I was blown away by his menacing likeness of Lucious Malfoy. This year he came back with a cosplay from the other side of the fence. This Dumbledore cosplay was certainly a highlight of the Harry Potter expo, having even caught the attention of representatives from Pottermore! Give him a follow on Instagram to see more of his hilarious and accurate Harry Potter cosplays!
@theprincessnightmare did a fantastic job constructing this Slytherin princess ensemble. It’s just the perfect balance between the typical princess ballgown and a dark, slightly ominous dress that a Slytherin might wear. Her Bellatrix Lestrange cosplay is also spot on!
Some cosplayers even took to bringing the newest addition to the Harry Potter universe to the celebration. These Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them cosplayers not only look startlingly similar to the characters, but they used the Universal scenery to help bring their photos to life.
The Hogwarts Express
Photo courtesy Universal Orlando Blog
Could this be any more precious? This little guy was envied by everyone at the event as he made his way through Hogsmead and Diagon Alley in his own personal Hogwarts Express. His parents reconstructed his wheelchair into the mini train, complete with billowing smoke coming from the top. This very well might have been the best cosplay of the weekend.
This was the first time I had seen someone cosplay as second year Hermione after her unfortunate mix-up with the Polyjuice Potion (who remembers who she was trying to turn into?). This cosplay was incredibly unique and definitely brought a laugh to anyone who recognized her.
Young Harry & Ron
This cosplay trio brings back a lot of nostalgia for Harry Potter fans who have been there since the first films came out. This young Harry and Ron look incredibly similar to preteen Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. And obviously the loving Molly Weasley is by their side in her wizard mom drab.
Ilvermorny Quidditch Team
If you’ve ever wondered what the USA Quidditch team might look like, look no further! This group — known as Cosserole — put together the American Nationals team (we can only assume that they attended Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry). The cosplays are, of course, homemade. From left to right, meet the American National coach, Chaser, Seeker, and Keeper!
In reality, every single cosplay at the annual Celebration of Harry Potter was incredibly well-crafted and helped bring this extraordinary event to life. From Hagrids to Rita Skeeters, nearly every Harry Potter character could be found last weekend with Universal’s walls. To see more, follow @cosplay_and_coffee on Instagram or search #hpcelebration2017 !
Her look was so convincing that DC Live Feed (a fan account for DC Comics fans) unknowingly tweeted the photo as a leaked picture from the new film. Mykie and her Joker partner-in-crime (her friend, Kaleb), perfected the look after Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn guise was first released in 2015. The debate over whether the picture was real or not shows just how talented her makeup work is.
But don’t let Mykie’s stunning beauty deceive you. Since Mykie stirred the debate last year she hasn’t stopped, and nowadays her Instagram is crawling with brilliantly horrific works of art. As a self-taught makeup artist, she has gained national attention for her impressive (which is an understatement) makeup work. She has 1.2 million Instagram followers and 1.7 million YouTube subscribers.
Check out one of her makeup tutorials here:
Mykie has continued to work on her stellar makeup skills, along with the L.A. special effects team known as Glam & Gore. Her Youtube channel describes her work as:
“The swiss army knife of makeup tutorials. Beauty. Special Effects. Avant garde. Industry advice. Products. Foundational teaching. There is something here for everyone, and if you hate makeup, I invite you to at least laugh at my strange face.”
With Indy PopCon ending and Comic-Con in Tampa just around the corner (according to every bus bench that I drive past), my eagerness to join the cosplay committee has become extreme. Of course, I wouldn’t be a true fan if I didn’t dress the part. So for me and all you future cosplayers, I’ve dug up the best places to find your costume for when Comic-Con, Wizard World, or any other comic convention comes to your town!
With 141 different costumes to choose from, Angel Secret offers the best, specializing in Disney Princess attire. The store is based in Hong Kong, but cosplayers from all around the world find their perfect attire here!
These costumes are tailor made, inspired by the most popular movies and television shows out there. You can deck out in wardrobe anywhere from Les Miserable all the way to Breaking Bad. Or with all the buzz on the new Suicide Squad film, try on this Harley Quinn for size!
It’s not surprising that Etsy offers a lot in the way for cosplayers, especially if you’re into making your own costumes Frankenstein-style (in other words adding bits and pieces to create your very own, authentic cosplay element). But if you’re not the crafty kind, many