Why is Japan awesome? This is why.
Con is over! Come join us next year, August 8-10, 2014 in Baltimore!
To the 34000+ members —
From all of us on Otakon Staff, thank you for choosing to be a part the experience this year. We could not have become what we are without each and every one of you.
To the old friends who returned, to the new friends we have discovered, to those who have gone before us and to the family that we have become - thank you all for an amazing 20th Otakon.
WE MADE IT
AUGUST 9-10-11, 2013
Cosplay Tips - Please Share!
A word about Cosplay Safety: For a better Convention Experience!
Cosplaying is fun, exciting, and a hobby that brings unique challenges in construction and execution. But what comes with creating and donning that unique design is a responsibility to yourself and your fellow con-goers. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to ensure a successful convention experience:
You owe it to yourself to make sure that your costume is manageable for your own safety. This entails that not only is your vision, mobility, and range of motion is adequate to get around but also your ability to show your badge upon request, and communicate well with your surroundings. If you are wearing a costume that jeopardizes any of the things above, consider having a handler – that is a friend who will make sure that you are not going to pieces, (figuratively or literally), and that you have an extra set of hands and eyes.
Your ability to move in a flowing gown, cloak, cape, or anything with fabric that trails is very important. To get a feel for it, try vacuuming a room with it on. You’ll learn not only to avoid stepping on the excess fabric, but how to avoid having a tripping hazard for anyone else around you. If you have a particularly long train, consider putting handles or hidden loops on the inside of the hem so you can easily carry it on the go. Remember that conventions are pure excitement and not everyone is going to be paying attention when they are walking close to you – you may have the occasional treading so keep an eye on your surroundings.
Cosplaying from something like Jet Set Radio with rollerblades may seem great in photos and at home, but at a convention center with large crowds, multiple floor surfaces, and escalators, this is not the place for anything that does not allow you to be 100% securely stationary on two feet.
The escalator is not the place for wings, mechas, costumes with stilts, or large costumes. If you have a bulky costume think about your surroundings. Do not block and cause areas to “bottleneck.” Stay away from the dealer’s room, confined areas, or areas with a lot of people. If you need to, bring part of the costume to the convention center and get dressed there.
If you have a headpiece that is pressing down on your head or a wig that is a little tight, keep in mind that this pressure may not be too bad for half an hour at home, but when you are at the convention center for several hours, sweating, and posing your head may start to really hurt, resulting in a headache for the rest of the day. Fit your headpiece and wigs loose enough to be comfortable but tight enough to be secure.
If you are doing a skit in the Masquerade with choreography or falls, or see yourself doing crazy photoshoots, consider taking an extra step to secure pieces so they stay – this means chin straps, elastic, extra straps or buttons.
Take the extra couple of hours and put hooks and eyes, snaps, and the proper closures into the costume. Safety pin are a quick fix but they can easily pop with movement and stab you. You also owe it to everyone else to makes sure that your costume is not a threat to the attendees, staff, or convention itself! There should be no sharp edges on your costume that are potentially dangerous – this goes with plastic, metal, or fiberglass. Splinters or sharp edges are prohibited and are dangerous to everyone – including yourself! Sanding equipment is very important to finish those sharp edges to dull. Blunt edges that stick out, such as blunt/prop swords, weapons, bokken, or projectiles that stick out from your costume must be considered as walking into someone may injure them and you will be at fault. Remember that at no time is live steel or sharp metal allowed into the convention center.
Costumes with heavy makeup (such as Homestuck), are allowed but must be sprayed down with a make-up fixative. This prevents the make-up from rubbing off and staining others and their costumes, but damaging the convention center. Also, making the proper choice of make-up (proper make-up that is non-toxic, is designed to bend and flex with your skin, and blends well) applied is very important. Remember that facial makeup is oftentimes different from body makeup and remember to leave proper spaces on your skin open as you are essentially “sealing” off your body and this may lead to deleterious effects. Your skin needs to breathe and sweat – you do not want to have paramedics wiping the make-up off your skin so they can re-hydrate you.
Makeup and contacts ordered from the website in China or picked up at the roadstop for 12 dollars on the way up interstate 95 is not recommended. Find trustworthy contact dealers who have a strong reputation for cleanliness and health. You may scratch or infect your eyes by trying to take your cosplay to the next step and it’s never worth damaging your eyes. Safely store them with fresh contact solution and in clean cases. Water is damaging to contacts and are not an option for storage.
Fursuits or other heavy costumes at summer conventions come with particular recommendations – get dressed at the convention, keep movement to a minimum, and have a handler. Keep water or juice on hand and make sure you have someone who’s helping look after you.
When you stop for photos consider the traffic around you. Is this a good place to stop everything in a ten foot radius? Maybe would be moving to a side are for a quick shot only only result in a better photo but keep traffic from building up or creating a safety hazard?
Know where and when to cosplay. During the day and early evening at the convention is great. Thursday night around 11pm wandering the streets of Baltimore alone is not recommended. Standing in the hot line to get your badge on Friday morning is not recommended.
The number one word of costuming safety at Otakon is HYDRATION. Drink water and stay away from sugary drinks or drinks that give you a quick buzz and dehydrate you in the process. You are going to be wearing costumes that will require more energy and having to deal with the heat on top of that is very tolling on your body. Eat two square meals, snacks that are high-protein, and drink 100% juices. By taking a break and eating a snack or having a bottle of water, you can really help yourself have a better experience overall. Pocky does not a dinner make. There are many affordable food options around the convention center. Cosplay responsibly and the convention will be that much more of a better experience for you!
(Credit goes to Jez, our Hall Costume Contest Coordinator for this great write up!)
Gotta download the Guidebook!
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the schedule, schedule
Gotta download the guidebook
Because it’s got the Otakon schedule in it!
Download it, download it (Yeah!)
Download it, download it (Yeah!)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the schedule!
Special NEW Event for #Otakon20
Special NEW Event for #Otakon20
For those about to dance we salute you!
This year Otakon is pleased to offer you Lounge 21.
Lounge 21 is 21 and over swing dance lounge with a cash bar for those who like to dance but don’t necessarily want to rave. This Friday we are taking over the lovely Pisces Lounge located on the top floor of the Hyatt Regency from 8pm to 12am for an evening of swing dancing!
Can’t dance but have always wanted to learn? Well now is your chance! Lounge 21 will hold a beginner swing dance lesson from 8:30pm to 9:30pm and no partner is required. Even if you are not interested in dancing, Lounge 21 is also a great place relax with your friends after a long day of walking around the convention.
Since we do have a cash bar, IDs will be checked at the door and along with your badge, so please bring those with you. If you do not have them, you will not be allowed to enter this event.
Now why it is swing based, I am sure if you ask the DJ nicely he may be willing to play some blues, soul or anything else you can come up if he has the music with him.
Baltimore is rolling out the Red Carpet for Otakon this Friday! Check out the event here! http://on.fb.me/14wAFDt
Just to give you a preview of what the Otakon staff has been up to for the past few days. These guys deserve some R&R. Too bad it will have to wait until after con!
Team Otakon is SURPRISED!
- Evil Weather Wizard used STREET SEWER BACKUP against OTAKON OFFICE. It’s somewhat effective!
- Team Otakon uses SHOP VAC SWARM to reduce water damage!
- Team Otakon uses REMOVE DAMAGES to prevent disease!
- Team Otakon uses SUMMON LANDLORD!
- LANDLORD Heals OTAKON OFFICE for 1000 HP!
- LANDLORD casts REPLACE CARPET!…. (waiting)
- Team Otakon has completed research and may now cast SUMMON SCHEDULE!
- Team Otakon uses REPLENISH SUPPLIES!
- Team Otakon uses SUMMON SCHEDULE!
- SCHEDULE accidentally casts SERVER SPIKE on OTAKON WEBSERVER!
- Team Otakon uses SERVER BACKUP! (whew!)
- Evil Technomage used SERVER CORRUPTION on OTAKON WEBSERVER! It’s super effective!
- OTAKON WEBSERVER takes 50000 damage and dies!
- OTAKON WEB NINJAS use HEAL SERVER! It fails!
- OTAKON WEB NINJAS use REBUILD SERVER! It fails!
- OTAKON WEB NINJAS use CREATE TEMP SITE! It is partly successful!
- OTAKON WEB NINJAS use SUMMON REPLACEMENT SERVER! ….
- OTAKON WEB NINJAS use RESTORE BACKUP! ….
(special thanks to Jim for letting me use this awesome message!)