Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Otakon 2011: Back to Reality!

My first Otakon experience is now over, and I can honestly say it was one of the most interesting and fun things I've ever done! Being one of over 31,000 people swarming around the Baltimore Convention Center and Inner Harbor area was a real study in sensory overload. So many costumes!!!

My costume got some attention but not much; I had about two dozen picture requests. Compare that to some of the costumes where the wearer simply couldn't go anywhere because they were always surrounded by attendees asking to take their picture. Diana and I wore our costumes on Friday only; we went in street clothes on Saturday. Part of the reason was that the costumes weren't getting a lot of attention; the other part was that the makeup was time-consuming and inconvenient, especially when it came to eating or using the facilities! Lesson learned: no more body paint for me.

Anyway, I did take pictures of the other costumes, and will share some of them with you. I really have no idea who many of these characters are; I was just taking pictures of costumes I liked!

 Diana getting her picture taken by the professional photographer in the PhotoSuite.

 Not quite sure who this was supposed to be, but I loved the colors, and his makeup was great.

 We braved the 101-degree heat for some pictures at the fountain by the Inner Harbor.

 Spandex, corsets and skimpy costumes abounded.

 Men in Black observing the Green Arrow.

Recursive cosplay: Video game character costumes made out of video game cartridges.

I thought this gnome was cute!

 This Tron: Legacy costume was quite good, except he couldn't quite reach the disc on his back, and had to ask for help retrieving it!

 This woman couldn't get ten feet without hearing someone squeal, "Miss Frizzle!!!!"

A beautiful costume; she had someone with her to help her navigate the aisles because the headdress prevented her from seeing anything next to her.

Dr. Who was quite well represented this year, in many of his incarnations (I even saw a Tom Peters version). This Dalek wasn't motorized (I don't think), but appeared in various places throughout the convention center to pose with the many Doctors (as well as with the people dressed up as a Tardis).

I was impressed with the quality of this guy's body paint!

Here was one of the group shot sessions for the Doctors; you can see some of the Tardis costumes as well.

A collection of Sailor Moon costumes.

 Not sure who these two were supposed to be, but they couldn't see through their headdresses, so every time someone wanted a picture, they had to put the headdresses on.

I found Waldo! There were actually at least three of them wandering around; this one was the best.

 A full-body costume. I saw her later in the PhotoSuite without the shoes, tag and backpack; it was a much better look. But I guess having shoes was necessary for walking around!

 One of at least three "Tangled" princess costumes; this one had the best braid.

Again, not quite sure what this is a costume of, but it was incredibly detailed and frilly!

Commercial icons made for popular costumes!

 I'm not sure if the backpack is historically accurate, but this Samurai costume was very good!

 There were quite a few Disney Princesses, plus a prince or two.

 A Tetris game piece. Pretty much anything related to a video game was fair play for a costume. There was also a Rubiks Cube costume!

 The Fountain Atrium of the Convention Center was where many of the popular costumed attendees stayed to be photographed. Many of them were groups, or had awkward props that would be unmanageable in the crowded hallways.

 Another group in the Fountain Atrium. I can only imagine how sore the two front characters were after hours of dipping in and out of their poses.

 Another popular feature of Otakon is the Video Gaming Hall. This cavernous space was filled with oversize monitors and every video system imaginable, with every game imaginable being played. This was the one area with very few costumes in evidence; the people were here to play. This was a chance for them to indulge in hours of play, all included in the admission price. I loved the rules that were posted, especially about good personal hygiene.

 It was impossible to capture the room in just one shot. But you can see the size of the monitors... and there were dozens of them. The room was also kept quite chilly. I can't imagine what the electric bill was for just this one room!

 There weren't just video games in the hall, either. The area with the tables was devoted to a "Magic: The Gathering" card game tournament. There were people lined up for their turn to play; there were probably 30 tables with players, many with thick binders of cards and very serious expressions. These weren't casual gamers!

 Another group of costumed characters; I'm told they are from the webcomic "MS Paint Adventures".

Superman!! Again, there was more than one at the convention.

So how about Diana and me? Well, here are some of the pictures taken at the PhotoSuite.

 This picture really captures the flow of the dress! Too bad none of the pictures really captured the sparkle of the sequins scattered over the dress and the "wave" cape. Oh well.

 I love this one for its contrast!

We went back to the PhotoSuite at the end of the day at the invitation of the photographer. My makeup was really starting to wear off by this point, but I think it lends just the right amount of creepiness to the shot!

So there you have it... We had a great time, and I'm looking forward to going again next year. But I might not go in costume; instead, I'm tempted to volunteer to work at the PhotoSuite instead!


  1. FABULOUS PHOTOS!!! Looks like you had such a great time! And both the costumes were fantastic!

  2. You two look fantastic! It sounds like a fun time.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to take and post these pics; they are wonderful! Looks like all of you had a grand time.

  4. Thanks for sharing this photos. My son was there-in costume, but I've yet to get the pics his friends had taken. You and your daughter look great.

  5. Felicity from Down UnderAugust 4, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    your costumes are indeed fantastic. I think your plan to work in the photobooth is a good one: you get to see a lot of other costumes (besides, volunteering is always fun). Thanks for sharing all the pix.

  6. Oh my - I'm totally out of it - what on earth is the convention?? about, what is Otakon? Have to admit, I don't watch much TV so only a few of the names you mentioned meant anything. Photos are great and I loved yours and Diana's costumes even though I had no idea what they represented!

  7. My sons have talked about both Otakon and ComiCon for years. ComiCon, I have actually attended. Otakon looks like so much more fun! The attendees look more polite for one thing.

  8. Yes, I saw that Rubik's cube costume while I was in was falling apart haha.

  9. The two people that had to put on their headdresses for each shot are from the video game series Katamari :)

  10. how do you not know half of those things. wtf

    1. Because I'm not in the demographic targeted by all these shows. Middle-aged women aren't exactly their target market!


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