New York Comic-Con is one of the biggest conventions in the east coast, and THE biggest comic book convention in the east coast. Overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe what I was feeling when I went in 2012. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go this year, but with some persuasion from friends (and a sweet professional badge due to my job), I was there and boy am I glad I went. I was going back and forth with myself over whether I wanted to do a “Top 10” list or a day-by-day breakdown. As the weekend went on it was quite apparent that the latter would be the only way. This is the four day breakdown of how Maki Roll ascended from mere cosplayer to….teh kitteh.
We ended up leaving from Maryland at around 11 AM (we being my boyfriend Shawn and Sistercacao Cosplay). The drive wasn’t too bad (especially since I wasn’t driving) so we got there in about four hours. Laziness sunk in and we didn’t end up getting to the convention center until about two hours before the convention hall was due to shut down. We floated around the dealer’s room for a bit until various people wearing colorful cat ears caught my eye. The root of it all was the Nintendo booth, where you could play newly released or exclusive games in exchange for tickets that would get you the beloved cat ears. After forcing Shawn to play, I ended up getting a green pair of my own. Afterwards, we found ourselves at the Timeless Trends booth where I was fitted for a steel boned corset. Let me say; after ONLY wearing dinky plastic or metal boned corsets from China, it was literally breathtaking to be strapped into one of those babies. I didn’t want to part with it, but my wallet didn’t want to part with $100 so we moved on. Even with about an hour left to go, the convention was still swarming with cosplayers which made me increasingly eager to don my cosplay swag on Friday. On our way out, I ended up purchasing (see; batted my eyes like a puppy at my boyfriend until he bought them) tiny Boba Fett and Darth Vader plushies known as “Feetzies”. They had a different name once upon a time, but had to change it due to the connotative meaning of said name being “seamen”. Not even joking.
We woke up relatively early to get in costumes. I cosplayed Storm’s “Worlds Apart” costume while Sistercacao cosplayed 80s Rogue with the fiercest Rogue wig I have ever seen. We were immediately stormed (all puns intended) for photos as we tried to make our way to our friends. We posed for a picture at the Arizona drinks booth, got some sweet swag bags, and rallied on. As we were about to climb the stairs to meet our friensd (who by this time had been waiting at least 20 minutes – yeah it was THAT bad), someone approached us to be interviewed by Yaya Han. Yes, you read right. Mother of Cosplay herself. Not only that, we were being interviewed on behalf of Marvel.com! Although I fumbled and derped through the interview, all went well and we got an awesome photo op with Yaya that landed on Marvel’s official Facebook and Tumblr (check out their gallery here)! The rest of the day was a blur of trying to move through sea of photographers, attendees and booths. We decided to catch a breather at the charge station where Seth Green was having a meet & greet. We sat there and watched Seth let his fans pick him up, take selfies, and do all kind of crazy poses. Sometime during the madness, a beautiful blonde woman in the most amazing plush Star Wars sweater I’ve ever seen came up and asked for a picture of Sistercacao and I “just hanging out” aka sitting on the floor being bums. She also informed us that she got her sweater as a sample sale from WeLoveFine, one of the top nerdy brands. This sparked a bit of curiosity. Once the signing was over, we decided to investigate further and found out that we had just gotten our picture taken by Clare Grant aka Mrs. Seth Green. AWESOME. The cosplayers of the day featured various awesome depictions of Storm and Rogue, and an adorable little Joker cosplayer who saw me and said to his mom “that Storm was at Baltimore Comic-Con” which absolutely melted my heart. Without a doubt though, the funniest and perhaps CRAZIEST cosplay had to be the genderbent Rogue and Storm cosplayers who happened to bein the exact same area we were (pictures of them will be featured in my”favorite cosplayers” category).
Fast forward to later in the night, when we all attended the Sonic Boombox NYCC After Party hosted by Vampy Bit Me! Vampy is one of my favorite cosplayers, and having an opportunity to meet her was wonderful. Also present was Stella Chuu, another awesome cosplayer and one of the people who inspired me to pursue burlesque. Go go gadget networking! Although we only briefly chatted, talking with both of them really made me want to up my game in both cosplay and burlesque. Friday was by all counts a success, but Saturday when when shit got real. .
I put on my best sultry, sly face and zipped my double D’s (body by Victoria…shhh) into my catsuit for my Adam Hughes inspired Catwoman. Not really expecting to be stopped much, I had one goal in mind: meet the senpai himself Adam Hughes. Boy, was I wrong. The moment we got out of our cab, we were once again mobbed by lots of awesome attendees. When we finally made our way to Adam Hughes’ booth, we were greeted by an adorable woman who probably could pass for Rogue’s mother who told us he would be back later. We made our way around, until someone stopped us for a picture. Now I have this habit of flexing my buttcheeks individually (I promise this is going somewhere). I guess the person at the booth we were at saw it because he called out to me to do it again. I turn around and holy shit embarrassment because it was none other than Marvel Zombies cover artist himself, Arthur Sudyam. So here I am flexing my buttcheeks NOT EVEN KNOWING IT and next thing I know I’m face to face with one of the kings of zombie art. After it was clear that there wasn’t going to be anymore butt-flexing (mostly because I do it without knowing I do it), we chatted for a bit and he asked us if we were interested in artwork. Sadly, I had no cash on me but I was eyeballing this sweet ass Daryl Dixon portrait he did. Apparently he picked up on this and he let me have it for free. Not even joking. I got amazing original artwork from one of my favorite artists…for butt flexing. Thank you Deanna Danger and your awesome booty tips!
We made our way to “The Block”, the part of the dealer’s room dedicated to rare and one-of-a-kind vinyl collectibles. Not that we were going to buy anything; so we just settled for gawking and longing. By then we had acquired more travelers for our adventure to the tune one more Rogue and a Marvel Girl! Among all of the non-cannon shots of us and “what happens if two Rogues are in the same room” jokes, we barely glanced up when yet another person asked for our picture. It was only until Shawn said “hey isn’t that Seth Green” that we realized that not only were we standing face to face with Mr. Robot Chicken himself, but HE was asking US for a photo. Guys I don’t think you read it; SETH GREEN ASKED FOR OUR PHOTO!! There was screaming, shush-ing and falling out in the floor (really), but I manged to ask Seth if we could get a picture with him. After that, it was pretty difficult for us to gain our composure. I apologize to the few people who took pictures of us right after that incident. We had the cheesiest grins plastered on our faces for a good while.
We went back to artist’s alley, hoping our string of good luck would land us a meeting with Adam Hughes. Once we got to his booth, there was a swarm of people, as always. We hovered around the table, noticing that the adorable Rogue mommy was still there and she was sharing the table with Adam Hughes. We figured out pretty quickly that she was the amazing artist Allison Sohn. Seriously folks, her Game of Thrones art is gorgeous. Flipping through the her art book, Sistercacao says “Maki look at this”. NOW THIS IS WHERE SHIT GETS PRETTY COOL. Allison looks up and goes “are you Maki Roll?” and OMG THIS AMAZING, ADORABLE ARTIST FOLLOWS ME ON FACEBOOK. Yup. So I ask to get a picture with her, while yelling “I LOVE YOU ADAMMMM”. Adam looked up from his drawing he was working on for a fan, and winked. He ALSO agreed with Allison and I that Shawn should cosplay Jon Snow. So we didn’t end up getting a picture with Adam, but we got pretty damn close considering Allison is his wife. SECOND TIME THAT HAPPENED. I told you shit got real on Saturday.
After that we attended the “Geeks of Color Assemble! Minorities in Fandom”panel where my good friends Ger Tysk (author of Breaking All The Rules: Cosplay and The Art of Self Expression) and Jay Justice (cosplayer extraordinaire) were panelist. As a topic at is near and dear to my heart, it was great to see a collection of intelligent, prosperous geeks of color speaking out for empowerment and against stereotyping/bullying. The topics included
thoughts on how PoC are represented in media today, what PoC in the fandom can do to raise awareness, and personal feelings and thoughts from each panelist. It was truly uplifting to see such a broad rang e of people in the audience as well. I really wished there was time for a Q&A session but alas; maybe in the future. I was also able to catch up with Ger and grab a quick picture with her holding up my specific segment for her book! It was such an honor to be included in it, and I encourage everyone to pre-order a copy! From there we hung out at a charge station for 30 minutes (where I was forced into taking a picture with one of the many Deadpools) before heading to the Midtown Comics after party.
We spent very little time at the convention, and the time we did spend was spent gathering last minute free swag and goodies from the dealer’s room. Shawn and I dressed up as Harley (DC Bombshell) and Joker (Heath Ledger inspired) and just roamed around looking for Batman. We ended up heading out around 3:00 PM and managing to scare a few toll operators on the way
This was probably my best convention experience to date. I’m really happy that I didn’t let my iffy experience last year spoil me going this year. It was nothing but a stream of positive energy, great people and amazing chance encounters. I’ll definitely be back there next year. I’ll be vending for Collector’s Con: Winter Edition on November 23, but my next big convention is MAGFest in 2014 where I’ll be busting out some new costumes. Until then; stay nerdy!