This past weekend Chelsey and I went to Con Bravo, our favourite three day celebration of everything geek and internet related.
Our day started when we met up at the Starbucks in the Sheraton Hotel. We needed to put a few final touches on our cosplays. Then we needed to head over to the Arda Wigs booth to pick up my wig. It was brilliant on their part to have a pick up location at the Con. It probably saved a lot of people money on shipping.
This year we had decided to go all out on our costumes. Last year both Chelsey and I fell in love with the DC Bombshells. We both wanted to cosplay from that series but we weren’t sure how we would do it. When we found out that Simplicity had Bombshell patterns we decided to just go for it.
Of course we waited till the last minute and of course nothing went according to plan. But all things considered I think the costumes turned out pretty well.
After a wander through the Dealers Room, we headed across the street to grab some lunch before heading to our first event of the day: a DC Photoshoot.
Neither of us have ever participated in a fandom shoot like this before. The shoot was moved from the Convention Courtyard to the Sheraton Courtyard and that minor confusion caused the cosplayers to start roving together in a pack. This change in location gave everything something to talk about and broke the ice amongst the group. By the time the photographers arrived, everyone was comfortable and friendly with one another.
The majority of the cosplayers were Lantern Corps. But there were a few Jokers and an Aqua Man and a Mera. Extra points to Aqua Man for staying in character the entire time.
If I had to choose my favourite costume it would be Sinestro. His makeup was perfect.
Everyone was loving the Lanterns. They led to a lot of fun photo opportunities:
What the hell is Shrimprov Anyway?
After we finished with the photos we headed over to the Main Stage to watch Shrimprov. The week leading up to Con Bravo, this event had everyone trying to figure out exactly what it was. Clearly it was an improv show… but shrimp?
Through a series of games Malcolm Ray and Doug Walker of Channel Awesome fame faced off against Anthony and Takahata from Team Fourstar. The highlight of the event was the double date game where Team Fourstar were given the character traits of lizard people. The two of them took the performance up to eleven. Seriously, they deserved to win the contest from that performance alone. Channel Awesome ended up taking the ultimate championship (and the better shirts), but everyone had fun.
This year for the first time Con Bravo hosted The Crux, an escape room company. Chelsey and I signed up. We had thirty minutes to get out of a room. We started off pretty strong, but in the end we failed. The last challenge screwed us over.
Then, we wandered into a panel about getting started on youtube and twitch. I love going to these kind of panels. Even though we’ve been producing videos for over five years now it’s always a good idea to go back to the basics. You can always pick up some new tips and tricks. I ‘ve been interested in starting a game channel for a while. So, any advice is welcome. From archiving with twitch to fighting with OBS. My ultimate take away: Everyone streams League of Legends. So… don’t do that.
After the panel ended we checked into our hotel room and ordered in some take out. Both of us were in desperate need of some quiet time. I made Chelsey watch Clueless, since she had never seen it before. When we were ready to head back to Con Bravo we hit up Tim Hortons than went an sat in on the first chunk of D20 Live.
Are You Not Entertained?
The game this year was Star Wars themed. Our brave adventurers had to infiltrate a Moon Base. The DM had the game set up well, letting the audience participate. Each audience member was given three cards, one green, one yellow and one red. These cards helped change the difficulty of the tasks the party was performing by modifying the DM’s rolls. The audience was pretty generous and didn’t bring out their red cards…. much.
But, we left D20 at 10pm because it was time for our favourite panel: The Best and Worst of the Internet hosted by Tyler Mann. Last year we walked into this panel as a fluke and then we nearly died laughing. The Best and Worst of the Internet was a healthy mix of memes, animal videos, confusing animation and snapchat stories. Mann offered commentary for some but let others speak for themselves.
After The Best and Worst of the Internet finished, we decided to return to D20. We were just in time to see our heroes explode the moon and kill Thrawn (a fluke). Then they managed to bluff their way out of the blame (a really impressive fluke).
Chelsey and I were exhausted by this point. We headed back to our hotel room and crashed. Our first day was great, but we needed our sleep. Sunday was going to be busy because for some reason all the panels wanted to see were back to back all afternoon.
Welcome to Sunday
The first event of the day was a book panel: Fans Hold the Power How Fandom Has Shaped the Book Industry. The panel consisted of four authors of varying genres (all of them YA related). They talked about genre fiction, their writing processes and you guessed it: how fandom shaped the book industry. It was great to see the Book Community represented at events like this. I will be looking out for these author’s books.
Also, check out that super awesome Batwoman cosplay in the photo. I wonder who that is… Heh.
After the panel, we returned to the Dealers Room. I bought a Team Valour shirt (#represent) and a few decals.
While we were wandering around we came across an artist who drew some of the best pokemon fan art that I have ever seen. Both of us fell in love with Rawry & Pohly‘s style. I will definately be hitting up their etsy shop in the future when I have some more wall space.
Next we hit up the Building a Better World panel hosted by Toronto’s self proclaimed greatest super villain Doctor Terawatt. In his panel he offered his plan on how if he conquered the world he would make it a better place. Terawatt explained why he took on the persona of a villain. Basically you can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs and people hate it when the eggs get cracked. He promised a future of no aging, no disease and no more countries… How he’s going to achieve all of that? Who knows.
Our last panel of the weekend was a Reviewer Q&A. This panel contained a few internet critics from a wide range of subjects which was nice. Normally I find that panels like this tend to be heavy on one specific thing.
The audience had a lot of really good questions for the panelists. They ranged from their opinions on certain works, to how their relationships with internet platforms (ie youtube) have changed in the past ten years. One audience member asked if there were specific things that the panelists would like to review outside of their norm. This question got all of them thinking. But the overall consensus was that they love what they do.
It turned out we weren’t the only DC Bombshells wandering around. During a Starbucks run earlier that morning I ran into another group of Bombshells cosplayers. I took a few pictures with their Batwoman but then had to run off to get to a panel.
When our day was almost over Chelsey and I ran into the group and we took a few more pictures together. This one was my favourite.
I always love running into other people cosplaying the same character as me. It’s fun to see how other people put their costumes together and the clever little tricks and fixes they came up with. Our two Wonder Woman’s bonded over their distain for the Simplicity pattern and I explained how my dress was a Frankenstein’s monster of two different patterns.
With all our panels finished it was time to bid Con Bravo 2017 goodbye. We changed into our street clothes and left the convention hall for another year.
I’m always exhausted after conventions, but I’m also always motivated and excited. I want to film and edit more videos; I want to record a podcast and I want to work on my writing projects. There’s just this constant buzz of creative energy that recharges me. This summer has been kind of productivity slump. Everything else is getting in the way of doing creative things. I’m hoping now that’s going to change.
I only had two regrets this year.
- We missed the Doug Walker Q&A Panel on Saturday morning. There was no way that we were going to make it to Hamilton in time for this one. But there is always next year.
- I missed the Jonathan Young performance. He’s been one of my favourite youtube musicians since his I’ll Make a Man Out of You cover.
Con Bravo felt smaller this year. The hallways didn’t seem as busy and the panels weren’t as full. I’m not sure if this is due to having more space (all the games being down the street) or a lower attendance. But I really loved the relaxed vibe.
Chelsey and I are already brainstorming cosplays for next year. Hopefully we learned our lesson and won’t leave anything to the last minute this year. But we’ll have to wait and see.
Who knows, we might resurrect our old Mad Libs panel from the grave. Only time will tell.