PAX 2017 Recap

Went to my first PAX last weekend at PAX West.  I’ve always wanted to go, but those dang ticket sales are so sneaky. It always happens in the middle of the work day and sells out in (max) an hour. But, luckily, I manage to secure some tickets and got to go before I moved to Montreal (this should probably be explained in a separate blog post…)!

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ECCC 2014: Another year of slacking off right before finals

Hey all,

It’s the end of March and you know what that means (just kidding, pretty sure if you do know, you’re definitely in the minority)… EMERALD CITY COMICON!

Hurray for 5AMbussing.

Hurray for 5AMbussing.

A group of my friends and I managed to take some time off and bus to Seattle again for the con. We were very tactical with the whole thing. We stayed over at one person’s house so we could taxi off to the Greyhound station early Saturday morning. We had to wake up at 4:30AM in order to get dressed, and get to Pacific Central at 5:30. I think that was possibly the earliest I’ve woken up for something before. Anyway, the plan was for M, Mal, and I to bus down to Seattle first and be at the convention for both Saturday and Sunday, while our other friends with the car would drive down on Sunday and take us home with them.

My friend M was actually sick during the trip, so it was a little worrying for me and Mal. But overall, it was so much fun! It was quite different from last year because although there wasn’t a main celebrity that was on my bucket list of people I wanted to meet (unlike Misha Collins last year), I did meet a few celebrities that I respected  a lot!

Day 1

The first day was a hectic rush to get to the actual convention centre. We got off the bus, ran to the hotel, then took a taxi to the centre. A wave of nostalgia rushed through me when I walked through the front doors and saw the three sets of escalators that took all the guests to the main event floor. A banner read “Welcome to Emerald City Comicon” and I almost wanted to cry. I had such a great experience last year (albeit some issues with the line ups and such) that I didn’t realize how much I missed it.

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I dressed up as Castiel from Supernatural again on the first day, except a different version of the trench coat. I am actually so happy that my mom likes making these things.

The day was spent buying arts, tshirts, and geeked out assorted goodies. We watched Mark Sheppard’s panel (from Supernatural), and Osric Chau (also from the show) showed up to ask Mark a question. We later caught up with him to have a chat and take photos with him. Osric is honestly such a nice guy, and despite being tired, he was very accommodating to the fans! The convention had told him he would have to keep moving or else he’d cause a traffic jam, and he kept his word, but allowed fans to take selfies with him while walking. We spent some time helping him located a vendor who would sell a machete so that he could complete his cosplay (Glenn from The Walking Dead), but upon not being able to find one, he ripped one out of cardboard.

Osric Chau cosplaying as Glenn!

Osric Chau cosplaying as Glenn!

I ran into some old friends that I met from Emerald City last year. I cannot believe the lasting friendships I’ve managed to make just from conventions. (Shoutout to Delaney because we managed to run into each other on both days!!! And her cosplays are awesome.)

Unlike last year, it felt like I had a lot less time to shop around in the artist alleys and vendors. I suppose having more friends with you will slow everyone down a bit, but at the same time, having more people was so much fun! It was a different experience.

At night, we wanted to eat at the Cheesecake Factory across the street from the convention centre. Upon entering the crowded restaurant, we asked how long we’d have to wait for a table for three. The wait was 1 1/2 hours. We left. Instead, we opted for subs at Jimmy John’s. We tried sleeping earlier that night, and Mal did a great job of that. But M and I were not used to sleeping till around 4AM, so it was hard. I ended up sleeping at one, which was pretty good in my books. And that was day one.

Day 2

Our friends, T, F and B, came down on day 2 and we walked with them from our hotel to the convention centre. First order of business was getting photo op tickets for Karen Gillan. Although only F and I were getting tickets, we all lined up together. These guys 🙂

I wore my Tardis cosplay today, mostly because I wanted to wear it for a picture with Karen Gillan! Amy Pond was probably my favourite companion since I had started with her.

A picture of me with a weeping angel I found wandering around

A picture of me with a weeping angel I found wandering around

 

As a group, we did wander the convention floor, but since the day was only till 5PM and we got to the convention at around 11:30AM, the day was short. We had two panels we had to see (Mark Sheppard and Jim Beaver + Karen Gillan) and we had to go to the hall early to get seats. I still had a lot of things I wanted to buy, but didn’t manage to make it because of how tight schedule was. That was one of the biggest things that struck me this year. With six people travelling together for day 2, time evaporated.

However, I still got to take a picture with Karen. Actually, basically right before our turn, she had to take a quick break  so her smile could relax and she could take a sip of water. F and I stared at her for a good five minutes since we had entered an area that we could actually see her, unlike most of the people still in line. Fangirl.

Karen squared!

Karen squared!

The drive home was…interesting. We stopped by a Jack in the Box for dinner (we felt so american with our burgers that had a ridiculous amount of cheese and meat) and proceeded across the border. That’s when things started to get a little messy due to us getting a little lost. But in the end, we made it out okay! In the car, we were already making plans for next year! I can’t wait!

I’ll follow up this personal post with a shorter, snappier review of the convention (maybe to convince everyone to go?)!

– Karen

Emerald City Comic Convention 2013 – The Clash of Fandoms

At the beginning of this month, I went to the Emerald City Comic Convention! It was my first time at an American Comicon, as the other ones I have been to have all been in Hong Kong. Here is a recount of my trip!

Day 1

I woke up bright and early on the 1st of March (after only four hours of sleep), and took the bus down to Seattle (via Quick Shuttle). A 4-hour long bus ride was not the worst thing in the world, but I do wish that the bus would not make so many stops so that we could speed up the process. I ended up getting to Seattle half an hour late, which meant I was even later to the con than I had originally intended to be.

At 2:00pm, I arrived at my hotel in downtown Seattle– SpringHill Suites by Marriott. My friend and I chose this hotel because it was an 11 minute walk to to the Washington State Convention Centre– where the ECCC was to be held. I left my luggage at the front desk (I must say, the staff at the hotel were amazing. They were super nice and helpful throughout the whole trip!), and tried to make my way to the convention centre. Despite having printed out a million maps to guide me around the small area that is Downtown Seattle, you will not believe how many times I got lost. But soon enough, I got to the convention. What I was not prepared for was the line. I was in line for my badge for 2 hours. What happens is that you take your ticket to this counter to exchange it for a badge. Sound easy enough…except the line to the counter wrapped around the convention centre like a million times. I was forced to miss Felicia Day’s panel (but I guess it was okay, because she was to have another one on the third day with Wil Wheaton).

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After getting into the convention centre, I realized that it was very warm in there. It was my first day at the con, and my friend was skipping today, so I did not cosplay (we were cosplaying together). Instead, I spent my day taking pictures of other people’s amazing costumes. I am very impressed with the amount of work people put into their costumes, and for putting up with how hot it was. I was in short sleeves and I was hot– I can only imagine people walking around in full body armour and how gross it must feel.

DSCN1488 DSCN1489I left the con at around 7PM that day, choosing to take some time to explore Downtown Seattle. It was my second time there and I quickly got bored after entering random shops. I went back to my hotel, and realizing I had gone the whole day without food, I hastily picked up a lunchbox at a Japanese restaurant so I could eat back in my hotel room. My friend Michelle came later on in the night and we ended up watching the latest episode of Supernatural together! We had troubles falling asleep, but soon enough, it was morning.

Day 2

We woke up at 7:30 in the morning, as I warned Michelle about the line ups. We had our breakfast, and learned that there was actually a free shuttle to the convention centre leaving on the hour, every hour, from our hotel. I already had my badge, but she still had to get hers. Luckily, because we woke up early, the line for the badge was very quick (took her about 10 minutes), but we had to wait in line before they could let us into the centre.

Today, both Michelle and I were in costume. We dressed up as the same character from Supernatural, except she went for the more traditional look of the character, and I genderbended mine. I cosplayed as fem!Cas. It was very hot as our costumes required that we wore a trench coat for the whole day.

Castiel’s original outfit

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My spin on Castiel’s outfit

There was not too much on our agenda today. We mainly aimed to get our picture taken with Misha Collins (who plays the character we dressed up as), and to go to the Supernatural Fan Panel later on in the night. Misha Collins was amazing, and although you do not get a much of a window of time to tell him how you want to pose for your picture, he was very quick to understand. I liked how my picture turned out.

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We went to the Fan Panel an hour early, but somehow, they only allocated the fans a room with a seating capacity of 220 people. They grossly underestimated our numbers. So we were turned away. However, after the panel started, I convinced Michelle that we should go back up and check if they had extra space. It turns out they did!

The fan panel consisted of a room full of fans discussing plot lines and raising hilarious questions. It also allowed for a bunch of people cosplaying from the same show to congregate together! I met a lot of wonderful people, quite a few of whom I still keep in touch in on Tumblr.

AND THEN MISHA COLLINS CRASHED THE FAN PANEL. It was against his contract, or something of the sort, but he still broke the rules and nonchalantly and quietly snuck into the room. It took about 3 whole seconds before the room started screaming. I love this man.

Misha Collins crashed the fan panel!

Misha Collins crashed the fan panel!

And that was day 2.

Day 3

Michelle and I had to wake up very early again, because Misha Collins’ panel was the first panel of the day. It starts at 11, but we got to the Convention Centre at 8. This again meant we had to wait in line before they let us into the convention centre, so it was this mad race towards the line for the main hall where the panel was to be held when they finally let us in.

We ended up getting pretty good seats– 3rd row behind the VIP area. Misha came into the hall and seemed surprised at the fact that it was so full. I skipped a lot of details in this post, but I was at quite a few other panels during the course of my visit– and none of them were as full as this one. The whole hall filled up, so there were thousands of people there. The panel moderator asked Misha questions for around 20 minutes, and then opened the floor up for questions. I obviously booked it to the mic, and was one of the first people to ask a question. Unfortunately, the girl in front of me asked the question that I wanted to ask, so here I was, freaking out because I did not have a question. So I improvised. The whole thing was ridiculous, but I guess it made people laugh. Someone recorded a video of my question that I found on Youtube…so here it is if you want to hear me sputter and stuttering.

Emerald City Comic Con: Misha Collins Panel Part 6 (Hunter Salon …

The rest of our last day was spent walking around and doing more shopping. I spent bucketloads of money on graphic T-shirts. No regrets there. Okay, maybe a little because I am extraordinarily broke now. I also took a picture with Felicia Day! Her panel was amazing, and I actually teared up when she addressed how female gamers/’geeks’ (I do not exactly agree with the use of the labels of being ‘geeky’ and ‘nerdy…) should do as they would like without being judged by others. Wil Wheaton also added a line on how he was seriously pissed at people who made Felicia have to clarify this to the females in the audience. I never applauded louder.

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Sadly, it was eventually time to go again, and Michelle and I made our way back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and headed to the bus stop back to Vancouver. Lots of amazing memories were made, and amazing people met. I hope that one day, I will actually be able to get tickets to the San Diego Comic-Con. But for now, the Emerald City Comic Con was an amazing experience!

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-Karen