We brought a ghost back to our hotel.
That actually has nothing to do with cosplay or conventions. However, it gives you an idea just what kind of adventure New York City is. It’s a wonderful land of tall buildings, friendly people and haunted immigration centers.
The first time the girls and I headed down to New York City was in October of 2012. We were there for New York Comic Con (NYCC) and that meant we were right on top of Times Square. We happily spent the first day settling in, discovering M&M World and being subjected to the Naked Cowboy. We wouldn’t bring our ghost friend home to the hotel until after the convention.
Times Square isn’t far from the Javits Center, home of NYCC. That didn’t stop me from crippling myself wearing used boots from Value Village that I had bought for my classic Catwoman cosplay. I had never worn heeled shoes or boots before and, being used, the shoes were already broken in for another foot. Also, I have a rather difficult time coping with used items and thus I was probably mentally allergic to those shoes. Yet Catwoman showed up at NYCC on October 12th with a steampunk Lady Deadpool and Heine (a character from the manga Dogs) in tow.
Before we go into that first day, we need to discuss that Lady Deadpool cosplay. There are some things in my life that I have had to add “fucking” to because those things were just a source of insanity in my life. For example, I can’t just say rhododendrons. I have to say “the fucking rhododendrons.” Rhododendrons are very heavy by the way. Anyway, this particular Lady Deadpool cosplay is just the Deadpool cosplay but it has earned the title “that fucking Lady Deadpool cosplay” should I choose to use it. Mad Maddox had made the thing almost entirely by herself. She made the corset, the hat, the bustle, the gloves and the shrug as well as her necklace, mask and bracers. She painted toy water guns so that they looked like realistic steampunk props. About the only things she hadn’t made were her boots and the tank top she wore under the corset. The level of craftsmanship involved was astounding because she had never done anything of that level and it was perfect. I’m sure it has its faults but how would I know? I’m not a seamstress. Anyway, it’s hard to believe she made it. Her previous cosplays were Jango, Roronoa Zoro and Hollow Ichigo. She made parts of all the costumes but it was simple work. Roronoa Zoro actually looks atrocious now because Mad had such a sudden spike in sewing skill. And it was obvious that her steampunk Lady Deadpool was going to be a hit.
Perhaps too much of a hit.
That first day, girlpuck had a different set of panels she wanted to see so she left us. We were all hoping to be asked for our pictures but it was soon clear that the star of our group would be Mad. And I alone had to deal with it. (girlpuck would get her turn the next day.) We couldn’t go five minutes without someone stopping Mad on both days that she wore Lady Deadpool. There was a multitude of emotions involved in that. The first one was pride: my girl was getting some recognition. Maybe she could make herself famous. Then there was a bit of jealousy: why wasn’t I getting any attention? Mad Maddox made my cosplay too. Although she didn’t make the neckline as deep as I wanted it. I should always go with my slutty instinct. But 95% of the time the emotion was of “yeah, this is great but I really wanna go look at that thing.” Mad’s popularity meant that we had a difficult time getting to vendor tables and panels. No one in our cosplay group would turn down someone’s request for a photo. It’s not even a matter of vanity. We like taking pictures of awesome cosplays and so we’re always asking people if they’ll give us some of their time. How could we not do the same in return? Yet we had to break that rule a few times because Mad Maddox would get stopped when we were rushing to a panel. As panels are at fixed times and have limited space, you can’t dilly dally when it’s time to line up for one.
It was quite frustrating for girlpuck and I. We’d be looking at something and not paying attending to Mad, assuming she’d be following along behind us. Yet she’d be trying to call out to us over the loud buzz of a full showroom as she had been stopped and didn’t want to lose us. We didn’t have international plans on our phones so we didn’t want to deal with long distance charges if someone got separated. The risk of being left behind was probably the most annoying thing about being so popular on Mad’s part. She probably missed out on more in regards to the vendor tables as well. At least girlpuck and I could look around so long as we kept Mad in eye sight. She’d have to hold still for the pictures. And then Mad met her stalker. She was stopped by another Deadpool cosplayer. He’d eventually find her on facebook- I don’t know if she told him her name- and ask her if she was going to different geek related things in NYC. He didn’t clue into her being Canadian the first time she told him. He didn’t seem to understand a lot. The dude was weird.
However, in the end, being recognised for a good cosplay and being proud of your costume is worth the aggravation. It’s fun to be asked for your photo. But we wee islanders were probably not prepared for instant popularity at a con the size of NYCC.
That first day was quite fun though. Mad and I caught Adam West and Burt Ward’s panel. Ward can still talk in the high pitched voice that his much younger Robin used despite the fact that he has become a very heavy set man. West was a bit late as he was held up with autographs and couldn’t walk very fast- the elderly Batman had recently fallen off of a ladder and was still suffering because of it.
I met Adam West and Peter Davidson when I went for their autographs. I love Davidson. He’s my favourite doctor. One of my brothers has a birthday in October so I went up to Davidson and asked him to sign a space themed birthday card. He did it. My brother now has a birthday card that says something along the lines of “Happy Birthday from Peter Davidson, the fifth Doctor.”
Mad and I were able to get in to see the Robot Chicken panel. girlpuck had another panel to attend just before which meant that she wasn’t able to get there in time. The Robot Chicken panel was in an auditorium sized room and after every panel it was emptied out. So a person could not stay for multiple panels. But if you left the room after a panel there was no way you’d be able to get in to see the next panel as the line up to get in was massive. Anyway, none of us watch Robot Chicken. We just really like Seth Green. And then Macaulay Culkin was there and he’s a tad crazy.
I learned that I couldn’t really see depth that day. I was in a mask but Mad had put holes in the sides so I could still wear my glasses. Unfortunately, with the mask on, my glasses weren’t sitting on my nose. Thus I wasn’t actually able to look through my glasses when looking down. I’m also terrified of heights and escalators have always made me a little nervous. When you combine that with my sudden lack of vision every time I needed to look down to see where the escalator step was then you can guess how awkward I was. I nearly fell one time.
My photo album soon starts with a picture of Mad and Nicholas Brendon for the 13th of October. We all wore the same costumes so that girlpuck could share in the experience of trying to do things when Lady Deadpool was around. Although we had figured out communications by then. Mad would get my attention and I would get girlpuck’s (the large crowd forced us to walk in single file formation). We caught a panel for 7 Holes for Air (with Bill Paxton) as well as meeting Eric Milligan (Zack from ‘Bones’). We weren’t sure if Milligan was stoned or not. He acted quite strange. I believe this was the day we went to Peter Davidson’s panel as well. As I’ve stated before, I love Davidson. Even if he did say that Rose Taylor was the best/most important companion. I despise Rose.
The last day of the con saw girlpuck as a steampunk Rogue from X-Men and myself as a steampunk Scarecrow from Batman. Mad went as a normal person but she probably wanted the opportunity to be able to actually look at things. That, and it meant that she could wear sneakers. We had reached total crippled state. We did get stopped for a few pictures but not too many. I did not look very much like the traditional Batman Scarecrow and while girlpuck’s costume was quite impressive and handmade, she did not wear a wig. The costume had enough details that it was clearly X-Men and yet I think the lack of wig threw people off. It threw me off and I knew what she was.
We would not have spent the whole day at the con as we were heading out to a steampunk event that night. The event was The Anachronism Meets the Goblin Market. It was a concert event in a club with small vendor booths set up. This night is one of my favourite memories from NYC 2012. First off, when we arrived we had to get past the bouncers. As the bouncers were in suits they looked like mafia men. The bouncers were quite confused by our Canadian driver licenses. Once we were in, we settled into the club’s VIP booth. Over at the bar was a body hidden under a carpet with a sign that said to stand on it. It turned out to be a real person. There were many musical acts that night including Unwoman and Amour Obsur but the headliner was gothic rock-folk-a-little-bit-of-everything Aurelio Voltaire. I was so excited. Then, sometime before he was due to go on stage, I headed over to a vendor table that was selling Voltaire’s stuff. I had intended to buy two CDs that I did not have in my collection.
Voltaire was manning his own table.
I nearly died.
I’m not usually too excited when I meet celebrities because I know so far in advance who I’m buying autographs from. So I freak out and then calm down. Then the long lines for autographs at cons are stressful so I’m completely level headed when I met someone. Voltaire was not someone I was expecting to exchange words with. So he actually had that excitement thrown at him.
I said to him “This is going to sound so crazy but I love you.”
He told me that that wasn’t crazy at all and offered a hug. I accepted. That will tell you how much I love Voltaire. I cannot stand to be touched. Who turns down a gothic god though? And now I have two CDs that he has signed. I flounced back to the girls, sat down and went “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” And then, when it was Voltaire’s set, I stood up and danced throughout the whole thing, leaving the girls behind. After a long con weekend they were tired. I had been tired but that was before I had been injected with fangirl power.
We spent a few more days in NYC just being tourists. One of those times saw us visit Ellis Island. Ellis Island is very, very creepy. It’s an odd immigration center-turned museum that had been part horror movie style hospital. And when we got back to our hotel there were lots of little problems with the lights, the fire alarm and the elevator. We had brought a ghost back with us.
Looking back on our trip, I have no idea why people say New Yorkers are rude. We met many nice people and the normals were all interested in our costumes. Torontonian normals avoided looking at us while Newfie normals stare, rather rudely I might add.
We enjoyed NYCC enough that we returned again in 2013. October 10th was a Thursday and we were there because we made the decision to do all four con days. I insisted on wearing our Romantically Apocalyptic cosplays that day because I really wanted to meet Vitaly S. Alexius as soon as possible. We had met his wife the year before at NYCC and I had bought the two comic books from her. (I had paid for Book 1 with $20 CAD and $25 USD). Alexius is the creator of the Romantically Apocalyptic (RA) webcomic so it was important to me that he see our costumes.
Meeshka and Alexius were both manning the table when we arrived. There was also a girl there so was so excited to see us as she was a fan that she asked for hugs. I (as Snippy) gave her one. Then girlpuck, in character as Zee Captain threw herself at the girl and there was a bit of a twirl. Mad, as our Engie, may or may not have gotten in a hug. I didn’t see. We got quite the reception. Meeshka is very personable and loud. She’s clearly the one in charge of promoting and selling the product. Alexius is such a quiet thing in person. I had overheard someone say later on in the con that Alexius isn’t too confident in his English. I’m not sure if that’s true or not but it doesn’t matter. Meeshka is pro at sells. Alexius doesn’t need to be the assertive one if she’s there. But they are both amazing sweet.
I was going to try geeky speed dating but I started my period. That combined with the general grossness of being in the face gear for Snippy meant that I was one uncomfortable cookie. I may not be super attractive but I always have to look like I think I’m a babe. It’s hard to feel like a babe when you want to down half a thing of Advil, wash it down with tea and then stay in bed forever.
Friday was a panel day for us. We started off early with the Comic Book Men panel as I love Kevin Smith. I’ve never seen the show by the way. Yet it was funny as all things Kevin Smith are. At some point we lost Mad (who was going around as Thorin). girlpuck and I, free to move about as we were dressed as normals, went to see the Robot Chicken panel. That year, the con committee was letting people stay in the auditoriums as long as they wanted. Deciding to take advantage of this, girlpuck and I sat through most of the Venture Bros panel so we wouldn’t have to risk missing the Robot Chicken panel. I know almost nothing about the Venture Brothers. However, it gave me an idea of what they were like. Thus, I wasn’t completely surprised when one ran out during the Robot Chicken panel and threw himself at Seth Green. Seth Green licked the guy’s nipple although I think he hadn’t meant to actually make contact with said nipple.
Apparently NYCC 2013 was to be the year we abandoned Mad as last year we had separated from girlpuck. Saturday was another day that we lost Mad, this time to a Korra panel. On our own, girlpuck and I didn’t look like much. We were just generic steampunk girls. However, once we joined up with Mad then we were the yellow and white thought boxes to her steampunk Lady Deadpool.
If you read comics then you know that a lot of the plot or the character’s thoughts are printed inside coloured boxes. The boxes can be any colour. They’re basically non-verbal speech bubbles. Well, Mad is always going on about how Deadpool can talk to his thought boxes in the comic books. The boxes are usually white and yellow and the different colours have different personalities; Deadpool knows he’s in a comic and thus uses the boxes to break the fourth wall. I have never read a Deadpool comic, by the way. I only buy DC and Vertigo. So I don’t care for Marvel outside of the Thor, X-Men and Spiderman movie franchises. Guardians of the Galaxy was not even a thing at the time so it had yet to seduce me. So guess who came up with the thought box idea?
At a Tegan and Sara concert.
We were waiting for the concert to start and were talking about our cosplay plans for the convention. Mad had said she was going to bring Lady Deadpool again. I probably complained. I complain the way other people breathe. Yet somehow I decided I would go as Bea Arthur (the only thing I like about Deadpool is his love of Bea Arthur) for some future con and girlpuck could go as a thought box. Then I decided girlpuck’s boyfriend could be the other box. girlpuck was going to be yellow and the bf was to be white. I wasn’t thinking of NYCC. I don’t really know how it evolved but before the concert even started, I was officially going to NYCC as the yellow thought box and girlpuck as the white.
I was damn cute though. So cute that when girlpuck and I went back to Alexius’ booth we surprised Meeshka. We told her that we were the Captain and Snippy from the other day and that we had lost our Engie along the way. Her response? “You’re girls? But you’re so pretty!” I like to think that was her way of saying we looked too good to be hiding under masks, ha ha. But it also goes to show that you really can’t tell what’s hidden under full facial gear and a bulky costume. I was so pleased that she hadn’t realised we were female in the RA costumes because the cast are all male (or so it seems. Captain’s gender identity is a magical, mysterious thing).
We met up with Mad and once again were stopped for photos. Yet girlpuck and I got in those photos whether people wanted it or not as the cosplay wasn’t complete without us this time around. We even had caption boxes with us that said some of the things from the comics.
Later, girlpuck and I got Clare Kramer’s autograph. She was pregnant at the time, which we did not know until she stood up so I could get a picture with her. It was quite the surprise as her baby bump was basketball sized but Kramer was super small.
We ended Saturday with the John Barrowman panel. He showed us his Superman boxes. Then his Superman cosplaying husband joined him.
Sunday was the last day of the con. Mad was once again Lady Deadpool while girlpuck and I were normals. We caught the Doctor Who panel with Nicholas Briggs, some other dude and sixth doctor Colin Baker. I had no idea that Colin Baker was so hilarious. I actually regret not trying for his autograph.
I have to take back what I said about it being just me and girlpuck against the world. I spent a good portion of Sunday with Mad and not girlpuck. It was legit the worse day for photos. We were trapped in one area because Mad could not move an inch without getting stopped for her photo. So I played professional photographer, snapping pics whenever someone asked for a group photo with Mad while occasionally darting off to get someone else’s photo for my own enjoyment. Mad even took a few photos herself.
We spent the rest of our trip exploring graveyards and botantical gardens. Yet one night we went and saw a beautiful musical/opera called “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”. At one point, I saw this guy.
“Doesn’t that guy look like Arthur Darvill?” I asked.
“That’s Rory Williams right? Yeah, I think it’s him.” Mad said.
“It is. I recognise that ugly sweater from tumblr.” girlpuck said.
We were seeing the same show as Arthur Darvill!
When it was over, I darted though the crowd so that I could stop him before he left. I had thought he was the skittish kitten sort of celebrity but he actually talked to everyone there. I remember saying to him, “Excuse me but you look remarkably like Arthur Darvill” (that way, he could deny and run if need be) to which he replied “That’s because I am.” I then was talking to him about how we enjoyed the show and that one of my friends and I were big fans and that my friend (this being Mad as girlpuck has never seen Doctor Who) was still at our table. There had been a huge crowd trapping the girls at the table whereas I had had a clear path for the most part.
Then Mad said “I’m right here” and gave me a fright. I had no idea she had managed to come up behind me. Yet I think she was even more excited about Darvill than I was so when she saw that I was going for it, she found a way to ninja her way over. She even got to shake Darvill’s hand. He didn’t offer his hand to me but as I don’t like touching I probably gave no indication that I would accept the gesture.
In the end, we had a lot of fun at NYCC. I would recommend it to anyone.
Thanks for reading!
My team fortress 2 collection for 2013: Red Heavy, Red Scout, Red Engineer, Blue Engineer, Red Sniper, Red Medic.