Friday, October 03, 2014

Comic Fiesta Mini 2014

For pre-event and Korra costume-making notes, visit the previous post!

We wanted to make a vlog for CF Mini, but in the end, we didn't even take a lot of pictures. So here you are, stuck with lots and lots of our selfies. 8D

Day 1: 27 September 2014

Anthea and I were really excited for the event! Our first event in the North together, away from home! :D We woke up at the break of dawn and started cooking macaroni for lunch later. After that, I started dressing up and Anthea was arranging her macaroons and doujin stuff. Then it was make up time! I was lucky to have Anthea helping me with my make up, since I'm kinda amateurish at that. :'D

Pretty! :3

I prefer getting fully dressed in my costume before going to the event, so that's what I did. I had my friend fetch us to the jetty (I think I gave him quite a shock approaching his car like that xD). Walking to the ferry, getting off the ferry and having people stare at me and I'm like Avatar plz. When we got to the island, we had Raz picking us up! By then, I was sweating pretty badly and had probably melted half my make up, ahaha... |D For the whole day, Raz was fanboying over my Korra, it was kinda cute, haha! I didn't know what to say except to feel flattered and thankful. ;w;

We got to the event hall and immediately started setting up. It was 9am+ and already there was a line forming outside the hall. I'm thankful I never had to brave through Comic Fiesta's lines because I always had Cosplayer/Artist Booth tags, ehehe.

Skylar and Tigger booth!

Look at all the kawaii pin badges! Kinda proud since they're our brainchild... Although I don't make any money out of it... :'D BUT THEY ARE CUTE SO YOU HAVE TO BUY THEM.

We were booth neighbours with Dreaming Dreams! Which also happens to be owned by Xsaye! Of course, she was dressed in her Mi (CF Mini's mascot) costume. Which she sewed herself. So jelly of her handwork. ;___;

I actually spent almost half my time at the booth, helping Anthea sell her stuff. Since my boots are killing me, I'd always go back to the chair. Selling stuff is fun though, since it reminded me of our Koperasi days. And I'd always try to hit up a conversation or a fandom nod to the person who bought our stuff. But most of the time they don't hear me or they don't give me a reaction, then I feel stupid... 8D"

Customer: I want the Objection badge.
Customer: Huhh? Gym badges are sold out?
Me: Yeah, and now you will never be able to challenge the Elite Four.
Customer: ...
Me: But you can still "Catch'em All! *points to Pokeball badges*
Customer: Can I have a waterbending badge?
Me: Why buy 1 when you can have 4 and become the Avatar? Like me?

There's more where that came from. Yes, I'm shameless. |D

Also, honorable mention to the guy who bought all the gym badges (and pinned it on his bag immediately) and his friends, he kept coming back to the booth just to see how our sales was doing. It was kinda entertaining.

Guy: See! I told you the firebending badge will sell out first!

Sorry, I'll stop. |D

When noon approached, there was a bigger crowd flocking the halls, and more people that I recognized. Because apparently I'm lucky that I could make it to CF Mini, and since my friends jelly me, so I had to help them buy merchandises... |D I ended up getting Angie's SAO Photobook, Misa's Popstar Ahri poster and Aza Miyuko's Kuroneko photobook. They asked me to get signatures for them, but I was kinda lazy, honestly... |D I went doujin shopping too! Unfortunately, I didn't find anything that caught my eye. I was more attached to game characters, after all. And not all anime merchandises were relevant to me. :X

At one point, Ash came by my booth and told me that the committee kinda just gave him a tag and made him join the Pose-Off competition. He kinda tried to drag me in, too. I had thought of joining the cosplay competition before, but I wasn't too sure of myself... I haven't joined a competition for awhile, not to mention, a solo one. But hey, why not? So, carrying my waterbending prop, I went to the registration table... but registration was closed. .___. Now I'm regretting not signing up for the competition earlier. It's just 3 poses on stage after all. Oh well! I'll get back into my cosplay zone soon enough.

I managed to meet a lot of my cosplay friends! There were actually a lot of KL people who were attending CF Mini! Celine, Quist, Kiku, Valkyrie, Fritz, Cappy, Sky, Yuan, Abby, Joe Yee, Kroduz, Rei, Tony, Hani, Zend... among some of the people I know. I even met Anthony, the Singaporean photographer to shot our Final Fantasy XIII photoshoot in 2011! On top of that, I also finally got to meet and chat a little with cosplayers whom I kinda only knew by name. Namely, Jon and Dai. But still, I never really introduced myself properly... :'D I always tell myself that I'd be thick face at the next event and run up to people I know (regardless if they remember me or not) and say hi. I don't. ;w; I'm really bad at these sort of stuff, ughhh... *shrinks away* Anthea and I met Sizer and Masako too! Who were cosplaying Mako and Ryuko. We chatted quite a lot and spazzed about Avatar at our booth on both days, they were really funny, haha.

While camping around with my friends, I managed to get some of my pictures taken, and also messed around with my waterbending prop! It malfunctioned once and my yoyo whacked some innocent bystanders. (I'M SO SORRY)

Photo by 45ACPhotography

Photo by Jin!

I'm the Avatar! You gotta deal with it!

The fun part about being Korra is that I can be myself, do silly faces and say silly things, and I'm in character. 8D And the best part of cosplaying is seeing fans of the same series! When they come up to me and call out my name ("Korra!"), it feels great. ^^ And I loved abusing the "Eye am watching you" pose.

On several occasions, I would do this to people taking selfies with me. Like the trio who took a picture with me! When the girl took a second selfie, I did the eye thing and gosh, they were so excited! xD A guy requested it and I did it in a jiffy. They were so entertained, too!

judgingyou.jpg (that's what I named it, srsly)

At one point while watching the booth, we saw a huge crowd around the artists booth. I think I was busy on my Nintendo 3DS... but there was a girl looking over our booth, and suddenly Anthea gave her one of our loom bands and asked for a photo, and she had someone next to her and I was like

"Who's she?"
"Omg are you sure...? Can I ask her for an autograph?"

I quickly whipped out the poster I bought, and was still quite hesitant because I'm not familiar with Misa at all  (she was one of the cosplay guests) and hence, couldn't recognize her! Luckily it was her and I got my signature for my friend anyway, yay!

Next, Ying Tze came by! (but I didn't have her merchandise |D) When Angie came by, Anthea gave her some macaroons and again, I asked for an autograph. Wheee! How nice! I didn't even have to line up! xD But Miyuko wai u no comeee.

Awkward moment: When I realized I showed Angie my friend's name on Whatsapp, and his profile picture was of him and Ying Tze. |D

Angie's Photobook!

Misa's Poster! She typo'd Wei Xian's name though... :'D

After packing up our booth, we had a short detour to Full House, then Raz fetched us all the way back to Butterworth. (such kind soul ;w;)

Reaching back, we had a simple dinner, then Anthea was drawing her commissions while I started sewing Korra's Book 4 butt cape! The trailer was just released while we were at CF Mini, so I spent the whole night sewing. In fact, I've only slept for an hour or so... |D

Day 2: 28 September 2014

We packed burgers and sandwiches for lunch today. We took a cab straight to Penang Times Square as Raz was busy with a photoshoot in the morning. Besides, taking a cab means our make up won't melt during our journey to CF Mini! :D It's pricey but... what can you do. :X

Day 2! (that's not a peace sign, it signifies 2! :D I'm BS-ing )

My short brown wig was lent to me by Jane! She's a lifesaver. ;w;

The day started off slow - there weren't much people buying from our booth (then again, a lot of stuff were sold out) and the cosplayers I know have yet to start appearing. We entertained ourselves with the occasional chatty customers. My favourite memory was of this young boy and his mum! The boy wanted the Avatar badges but we only had Earthbending badges left. He ended up buying 4 badges anyway. While I was packing his stuff, his eyes wandered to the random overhead sign that Anthea posted at the booth.

Err'body wants a piece of the Avatar

Excitedly, the boy raised his fist at me, and I returned his enthusiastic fist bump. I then spread my hands and ended with a Sokka-inspired "water tribe" exclamation. The moment the boy and his mum laughed, I feel like I won. :')

Sadly, I only had 4 fist bumps, haha. |D Not many people could tell I was Korra from the short hair, probably...

For those who did recognize me, they told me I was awesome! :'D You, Korra fans, are awesome.

Some of the people who visited our booth! New friend Rachel, along with Quist, Kiku and Jon!

Booth neighbours! Elaina, Stella, Xsaye and KC!

I wandered off again to meet up some other people. I managed to catch bits of the cosplay competition too. Gosh, I miss cosplaying with a group and joining competitions... To my surprise, I saw Gems, and Gems waved at me.

Gems: I think you don't recognize me.
Me: Actually, I do recognize you. I'm surprised that you recognized me!

I was really happy to know that Gems remembered me, haha. I could remember clearly - I first met Gems at ACGC 2008 in Times Square, while Gems was cosplaying Kakashi and I was Yuffie. It's always nice to reminisce about the past. Me, Gems, Zymz and Raz went out of the event hall to get some shots taken with better lighting.

And what resulted from the photoshoot made me so so happy.

The pictures were amazing! ;w; I was so so glad I made my waterbending prop at the last minute. It was drizzling slightly, and the wind was blowing really nicely, and stuff just turned out nicely. I think I'll need to kick it up a notch by making a firebending prop next.

After that, I was back at the booth and tending to my sore legs. |D

Some of us took a break at Marrybrown's in the evening

After purchasing a Kimi ni Todoke folder for myself and an Ouran High School one for Anthea, we started clearing up the booth. It's unfortunate that I always can't join for the closing of the event or after parties due to transport, but I heard the stage people singing Digimon's first opening "Butterfly" in unison and that was pretty awesome!

And that was the end of CF Mini! Anthea and I headed home by cab again and then she left for Sungai Petani again. ;w;

It's my first time at CF Mini, but I think that the reception is pretty good! There were so many people coming to the event from KL too! There are peak times when the corridors are packed and crowded with people. Despite being a "mini" version of CF, the size of the event probably matches up to CF 2008 in Sunway Pyramid. (don't take my word for it though, my estimation skills fail) I'm always disappointed by the variety of doujin stuff though, because my beloved series' are always not featured. :P But oh well, can't satisfy everyone! And the guests... I think the only cosplay guests that'll steal my attention away is Tuxedo Team and Jin. Like, really, CF, you need to invite them here! Not this year though, since I'll be in Japan. 8D

All in all, I had a lot of fun at CF Mini! I met a lot of new/old friends and it really feels like a comeback to the cosplay/ACG community for me. And to finally complete an old cosplan feels good! (as the main character too, for once!) The general feedback I got from everyone about my Korra cosplay was really motivating and uplifting. ;w; I'm really looking forward to working on a new cosplay soon! Maybe even cosplay more versions of Korra! I can't wait to be attending another event with Anthea too, and hopefully I'll be able to come up with a money making strategy for myself as well, haha.



Quote of the Day: "How can the dead truly be dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?" - Carson McCullers, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Pre-CF Mini 2014 + Korra Costume W.I.P!

I thought I'd start being more active at blogging, but as usual I got lazy... :P But I'll still try my best!

Since I'm in Penang, it's only natural for me to start attending cosplay conventions here up north. Finally, last weekend, I made my Penang cosplay debut at Comic Fiesta Mini! And I was joined by Anthea, who's just 1.5 hours away from me in Sungai Petani! :D

Together, we shall conquer North Malaysia! :3

Anthea was staying at my place for a few days for the event. I was gonna debut a new costume and Anthea's opening her booth, which I finally got a chance to help out at.

First of all, we've gotta talk about my cosplan. It's been almost 5 months since my last cosplay, and about 10 months since I last made a new costume. Since starting university, my cosplay has gone into a hiatus. Here's a cosplan that suffered tremendously due to my leave.

Korra (Northern Water Tribe/Book 2 Version)

Ever since the next Avatar was announced to be a girl, and her front profile was shown, I knew that I had to cosplay Korra. (same reason why I'm automatically casted as Katara, haha) But Korra is the Avatar, and she was such a tough, spunky girl with an attitude, it was like she was made for me! I had this cosplan in 2012 before going off to India (I wanted to be a hipster), but clearly I didn't make it. :P When the next book was announced with her new outfit, I wanted to make the new outfit instead (and be a hipster again)! I had the top tailored but in the end, did not cosplay Korra in 2013.

Finally it's 2014 and I'm back from India! No more excuses, I've gotta make this costume happen! What better motivation than to set my debut for Comic Fiesta Mini. During my Raya holidays back home, I procrastinated the construction of my costume, again (but that was because I had insufficient materials! ;w;). One day, I was musing with a friend that the costume I was making is one  that Korra doesn't wear often anyway. Guess what the Avatar Gods gave the fandom the next day.

Mulan inspired Haircut of awesome

THANK YOU, AVATAR GODS. I knew I had to cosplay this, too! I mean, she has the same costume as the one I'm working on! Except for the slightly different butt cape and that belt. But I knew that I will definitely make a new butt cape.

Fast forward to Day 1 of Comic Fiesta Mini, Cappy tells me that they released a trailer. WHAT. But I checked Youtube and Tumblr before I went to sleep at 2.30am impossibruuuu! D:

"I can't believe it... Toph?"

I immediately started stealing screenshots of Korra in her dark blue outfit from every angle to make sure I was gonna get her Book 4 costume right. You can't imagine the motivation and excitement I had to complete the "new costume" within that night!

Cut back to last Wednesday, when Anthea arrived in Butterworth! I had a really busy week last week, with lots of work and exams. So in between all that, it was hard to find time to work on my costume.

The usual suspects

We went to Tesco and shopped for groceries for the week. I also bought more materials for my cosplay! We took the Rapid Penang bus and it was the first time for both of us. It was quite an experience. xD It was nice having Anthea around! She cooked breakfast and dinner for me, uhuhu. ;w; (even made breakfast for my housemates!) Although it's mostly just pasta and sandwiches, but it's good! Then while I'm off at school, she's slacking at home watching Gekkan Shoujo, hmph.

I didn't really take much pictures of my work in progress. But I'll still be sharing here how I constructed my costume. (since, like my Fang costume, I'm pretty happy about my handiwork! :D)

Korra Costume W.I.P

Blue Top + Pants
I always wanted to sew my own costume, but I can't draft patterns, so I opted for a tailor. |D My pants on the other hand was a slim cut elastic pants from Giordano that was given to me. I wear it to class, haha. It was just a temporary replacement for my costume. I'll get proper baggy-ish pants for Korra later. Other than these two items and my boots, I hand-made everything else!

Blue Lens

I'm using EOS Fay Blue! (will post a review for it soon) You'll see more of it in my other pictures. It's rather pretty! My previous pair of blue lens for Korra expired, and Luxury Babe's lens design had some changes, so I got these.

Hair Loopies (whatever you call them)
I referred to this video tutorial, where the owner claims that her technique makes the best hair loopies, and I agree! They are light, so they won't fall, and they hold the hair pretty well! Even with my notorious thick hair, my loopies never fell off through the day and I never had to retie them.

Made with the leftovers of one of my favourite things in the world :D
(note the Pokemon in the background, ohoho!)

Cut the plastic straw to length, then glue the fabric on!
(I used UHU glue cuz ain't nobody got time for fabric glue
[actually, I'm just poor, that's why] )

Ta-dah! I'm using my real hair for Korra. :D
(the white strips were made using the rounded elastic bands for dimension, like the real thing!)

I used a pair of dark blue pantyhose, bought from Daiso. I cut off the panty part of it, measured the lengths, then sewed one end of it so my thumb fits through so it resembles Korra's half gloves. The grey parts were made with regular grey cloth (uniform-ish material for body), and fastened with metal clip buttons.

Butt Cape (whatever you call that fur thing that wraps Korra's... butt)
I used brown felt bought from Daiso so that I didn't have to serger/overlock or sew the edges, hah! Plus, it had a fur-like consistency, but was thin and easy to use. But I feel that working with some sort of cloth would be better, so that the cape will resemble more like a skirt and would move better when you twirl around with it (if you know what I mean), especially for the book 4 cape which looks like a circle skirt of some sort.

Had to join two pieces of felt together because they were too small for my butt

White fur also bought from Daiso! It's a type of shawl that's kinda stretchy. Blue waistband sewn from my waterbending cloth, and it runs through a hole in my butt cape.

Butt Cape ver.Book 4
As mentioned earlier, Korra's butt cape in Book 4 differs from her usual one.

Look at that odd shape!

Note how the cape flares up so nicely. And all that white fur underneath! (not seen in the previous butt cape)

I ended up sewing a new butt cape out of the same materials: brown felt and fur shawl thing. As mentioned earlier, I think this butt cape appreciates the fluidity more than the previous one, hence my circle skirt comment. It also comes with a belt thingy that has some sort of emblem in the center.

The new cape! The emblem was cut out from strong cardboard, with blue fabric and white felt glued on it to follow the pattern. The blue belt was sewn onto the felt.

Blue Apron
That thing that comes in between the fur cape? It's just blue fabric, cut into shape, then tucked into my pants or safety pinned in place. Mwahaha. :P (was planning to give it a shoelace waistband, but I was lazy) I was lazy to sew the edges, so I just burnt it, MWAHAHA.

Protip: Use a candle with a burning flame to burn those edges so the cloth wouldn't fray! :D

I actually found a rather awesome tutorial on how to make Korra's boots. But I couldn't find the right materials to do it, so I ended up getting a second hand knee-high boots, which I folded down and added the white fur trimming (using white felt). And for the book 4 version, I just removed the white trimmings and pulled the boots up high. :P

Using Rianka's picture as I forgot to take close up shots of the boots. :X

I really loved the boots because they made me look so slim and tall! (platforms ftw!) Especially from the front, because you can't even see the heel. But I'll probably sell this off again and find a new one on Taobao, as these boots are slightly small and squeezes my feet badly and really hurts it from all the concentrated pressure at the front half of my feet. I spend 50% of my time complaining about how pain my legs were, probably, haha. A shame, really. =(

Waterbending Prop
I had a few ideas on how to represent waterbending. Initially, I wanted to attach cloth to chinese fans and use them either with the fans closed or open (ala WCS China 2011). There's the gymnastic ribbon idea too. THEN, I came across THIS a month ago. It looks bloody amazing! I learn that they were called "poi", and I've actually seen a lot of cosplayers use it for different sort of sketches. One of the deviantart artist I follow used it for her Azula cosplay too! There's even a tutorial on how to make it! I knew that I just had to make these! One of water and one of fire, no less!

Of course, by the time I found the tutorial video, it was too late for me to start hunting for materials. During our trip to Tesco, Anthea and I managed to pick up a yoyo and a nice flowly fabric to use for the mean time. Which worked pretty well! I just had a 2 meter-ish cloth and tied it to the yoyo. I shortened the yoyo's length to my arm length, and started twirling the cloth around with it. It helps that the yoyo's string was white, so it usually blends into the background and makes it look like I'm bending. :D The yoyo wasn't heavy enough to carry the fabric's weight though, so I couldn't do much stunts with it. But it's good enough for pictures!

LOOK AT THAT FLOW *crying for the awesome*

And that, is how you become the Avatar!

Since I didn't want to clutter everything into the same post (I hear the crowd yelling tl;dr! Well, DEAL WITH IT. B) ) I'll be writing about the actual event in the next post!

Quote of the Day: "When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change." - Avatar Aang, Avatar: The Legend of Korra.
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