Interview with Arlette Resendiz!

Posted: April 6, 2011 by Mike in Interviews

Its Wednesday again! And that means its time for interviews! So here you are! Arlette Resendiz from The Female Gamers Alliance Network!


Q: When did you start cosplaying and why did you start?

A: I started Cosplaying in 2003. A friend of mine organized a Halloween party, and I actually wanted to wear a video game costume. I began constructing Edea from Final Fantasy VII. At the time, I was unaware of the term “Cosplay”

Q: What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve done and why?

A: Oh boy… I would have to say Miss Tron Bonne with the Giga Servbot and the Green Gustaff from Megaman Legends and Marvel VC Capcom 2 and 3. I am a huge, HUGE! (Believe me when I say it), Megaman fan.

I began playing Megaman Games since I was 6 and from there on, I’ve collected all the games as well as action figures, propaganda or and anything that can be collectible and rare. I always wanted to Cosplay as a Megaman Character, but there are not that many girls in the Megaman Series (the ones that exist are very effortless). I could Cosplay as Roll by wearing a wing, but I find her insufferable.
The first time I played Megaman Legends, I immediately connected with Tron. She and I are so alike in so many ways. When Marvel VS Capcom 2 came out, I immediately said “Holy CRAP!” There she is again!! I’ve entered many Marvel VS Capcom 2 tournaments and won with her assistance. Tron is so awesome, Capcom made a spin off game just for her.
These and many other reasons would point Tron as is my ultimate favorite Cosplay. I love Tron very much. I am her. She is me.

Q: What do you do to come up with a cosplay to make?

A: First, I look at 3 things:

Do I love the character? Can I get the materials? How am I going to transport this to the Convention?.
When it comes down to Cosplaying, I never ever consider the following: Weight, How comfortable the Cosplay will be, and if people would recognize my character?
All I care about is that I love the character, I have fun making it, and to always make sure it looks just the way it should. I like to make good Cosplays so I know I did the best I could.

Q: What was your hardest cosplay you made?

A: Bahamut from Final Fantasy X… that Cosplay made me cry… about 6 times in a row. I’m not kidding.

Q: What made it hard?

A: The wings. I didn’t know how I was going to make the wings work. The Cosplay ended up weighting 40 pounds! Considering I am 5’1 feet tall, I wore and carried those wings on my back for 8 agonizing hours. The funny part was that even after all the frustration; I had the time of my life. Oh yeah!, I burned myself 4 times with the hot glue gun. I have the burn marks to prove it. Not fun at all.

Q: What was the easiest thing about it?

A: O__O

I really cannot think of an easy part about Bahamut. That Cosplay was literary… a BEAST!! *Shivers at the thought making another Bahamut cosplay* X__X

Q: Have you ever competed in a masquerade or other kind of Cosplay contest?

A: I have actually. The first time I participated was at Anime Central in Chicago 2008. I Cosplayed as Samus Aran from Metroid Prime and won the Novice Category. The second time was at Anime Central 2009 with the Miss Tron Bonne Cosplay with the Green Gustaff and Giga Servbot from Megaman Legends and Marvel VS Capcom 2 and won under the Journeyman’s category. The Third time was at Anime Central 2010 with Bahamut from Final Fantasy X and won under the Master’s Category.
Super Special Awesome Ultra Special Feeling.

Q: If so, what was the most memorable part of it?

A: To know that my hard work was rewarded in the most fantastic and possible way. My family means a lot to me an although they do not understand the concept of Cosplaying and what it means to fans like us, I was very happy to know they were proud of me.

Q: What would you tell to some of our readers who are new to cosplay and what you did when you first started.

A: HAVE FUN!! Make a Cosplay for yourself and not for others. Make it because you love the character. I found out that if you relate to your Cosplay character, you end up putting more effort, time and energy. This pushes you to go the extra mile just to make sure it looks great! Make sure you start making Cosplays with plenty of time. Don’t rush! Also, dollar Stores are your BEST FRIENDS. Always use coupons to buy your material, even if it means you have to visit the store 300 times to exchange a coupon at the time. This process saved me a lot of money.

Ultimately, Cosplaying is almost as if you were paying a tribute to the characters you love so make your Cosplay a good one!


Thank you, Arlette, and you guys can find her work on her web page The Female Gamers Alliance Network as well as her Cosplay.Com!

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Convention Money Survival Guide!

Posted: April 5, 2011 by Mike in Con Review


Conventions are fun! Don’t break that bank!

Sad Otaku sad? Not enough money for the stuff you want at con because the Hotel Monster ate your money? Pesky friends asking for gas money? We’ve all been there. Anyone who has ever attended a convention knows how hard it is when you try to stick to a budget. When you run into the dealer’s hall and look at all the wonderful things on sale there, you loose your wit and your bank account loses its funds.

Ah,  I know that problem well. But fear not, trusted friends of ConGear. Let Uncle Mike impart some sweet knowledge in your mind tunnel!

So you want to plan a budget, but don’t know how or what to budget for? Here’s  a great guide that’ll help you plan for your next convention.

Whats that you say? You’re con isn’t too far away? That’s great! Good for you! I’ll show you what you should save for if you’re going to a con that’s super duper close! You’re planning on going to a super far away convention? I’ll help you plan for that budget too! So sit back, relax and let your self be taken in by my sweet, sweet knowledge.

Let’s start with the conventions closer to you that you love so much. A lot of newcomers to the anime convention circuit start off in these cons.

Now, if you’re smart, you’ve contacted your employer/parent and already have your time off needed for this three to four day adventure. Next, start looking at prices for the con. You notice a registration button. Awesome! Time to sign up! If you’re lucky, you’ll notice that there is still time to pre-register for the event, which is ideal.

What’s that you say? You’ve missed pre-reg? I’m sorry, that really sucks! I’ve goofed like that before, too. The benefit for planning in advance is the receiving a cheaper ticket. But worry not, all is not lost! You’ll still go; however the price will usually jump up a few bucks. It’s not the end of the world.

For example, for Akicon (a local northwest con), pre-registration runs about $35, but “at the  door” cost goes for about $45. See? Only a $10 difference!

Okay, great! You’ve got your badge. Now where do you sleep?  You’ll want to live it up in a BIG OLD HOTEL ROOM! You should ask your friends if they need crash space. The running rate for a hotel room in the city runs for about $125 a night according to the rough average on! However, hotels charge a 12% tax just to rent from them! So, for example if you look at a hotel for around $125 a night you’re looking at about $280 for the whole weekend! That’s a lot of money! What are you going to do?

Don’t worry, because you’re friends are awesome! They are such bros that they’d help you split that room because you were great enough to offer them to crash in your comfortable hotel room! That’ll cut that cost down by A LOT, lemme tell you. If you split that bill three to four ways, you’ll be sitting high and dry for that limited edition action figure you’ve had your eye on for the past year!

Fast forward a little bit, and you’re ready for con to happen. Your packed and ready to go! Your cosplays are finished and you’ve packed your footy pajamas! Great! Now, there are several ways to get to your con, but what do you care? This con is practically in your backyard! You’re driving! WOOHOO!

Oh, yeah. What does that contraption run on? Oh, that’s right! Gas! Worry not, as bad as gas prices are, you’ll probably shell out the least amount of money here! Let’s say your con is actually in the next town over, about an hours drive away to be exact. That’s about 100 miles away. If your car gets 25 miles per gallon, you’ll need 4 gallons each way. Multiplying that by about $4 a gallon (according to MSN Gas Pricer) is $16 total for gas.

Between all the fun times you’re having at the convention, your stomach will still serve as a reminder that you’re hungry. Thankfully, you’ve already budgeted for meals.

I suggest putting aside approximately $10 per meal, even if you don’t eat at a nice sit-down restaurant. The fast food shops in the area are well aware that a convention is occurring, and those closest to the convention will often jack up the prices to make more money. Depending on how many meals you’re thinking of eating in a day, you might budget anywhere from $20-90. However, a good tip to remember is that you don’t have to eat out for every meal. Bringing snacks and extra water bottles from home and keeping them in your room will help you survive the weekend without going bankrupt.

So you’ve set aside cash for transportation, your hotel room, and food. If we go by previous examples, you’ve already set aside:

Hotel/4 ways $70.63+Badge (pre-reg) $35+Gas $16+ $50 for food = $171.63

Next, you’re going to want to have some surplus for those things you’re going to want from the dealer’s hall. How much you want to spend here is completely up to you. However, keep in mind that anime items aren’t cheap, depending on the item you want to purchase. You may want to save over anywhere from $20-$50 at the very least, in the event you find something you simply have to have.

Congratulations! You were able to budget an entire weekend without breaking the bank!

So, you’ve braved your hometown convention and you’re ready for a convention farther away. In other words, you’re ready for the big leagues.

Again, you have your hotel room to plan for. This usually doesn’t differ too much from the hotel room(s) you’ve previously budgeted for, but check with the hotel to make sure, but keep in mind: the deadly sales tax will probably apply here, too!

Next up: your badge. Depending on the size of the convention, the price for your badge may rise or fall, or even stay the same. Remember: “at-the-door” tickets for the entire weekend are more expensive than pre-reg tickets, so try to pre-register! If it’s impossible to pre-register, it’s okay. Breathe, calm down, and be ready to shell out the extra cash.

Food costs will also probably stay relatively the same. Don’t forget those snacks and drinks from home, though, to help lower the price on this item!

These Guys Ain’t Messin’ Around! Anime Expo is SRS BSNS!

Next up, it’s time to think about transportation. Are you flying this time? Maybe taking a train? There are loads of options available to you, but you’re going to want to check out the price for each mode of transportation. Let’s say you’re trying to get to a convention about 200 to 300 miles away. You’ve found that it’ll cost you $157.00 round trip by train, $153.92 for gas if you’re driving with four people splitting the price up evenly, and $219.40 if you’re a diva and you go flying (Alaska Airlines). Those are your options. You may decide to go by car because it’s the cheapest. You might decide to go by train because no one wants to drive, or you’re going it alone. Maybe you’re simply willing to shell out the extra cash for the plane ride because it’s faster and more convenient for you. Take all those factors into account and be ready to spend on them!

It might sound like a lot of money to be shelling out just to get to a convention, but for many convention-goers, it’s worth it! You can spend time with old friends, make new ones, take photos, have photos taken of you, learn about new anime/manga/games, impart your knowledge of those things, meet the people that make the stuff you enjoy so much, etc.

So good luck to you my fellow Otaku! Take the knowledge that I’ve imparted unto you and I’ll see you at con!

– Mike


Bonbori and Hauzuki Interviews!

Posted: March 30, 2011 by Mike in Interviews

Okay sports fans! We have a bit of a treat for you guys! I’ve got here a DOUBLE INTERVIEW! This one is the Bonbori and Houzuki sisters! They agreed to let me have a crack at them for this weeks Cosplay Interview!

Introducing Koi-ishly and Sangochan!

Q: When did you start cosplaying and why did you start?

Koi-ishly: The first time I cosplayed was when I was 16 in 1999 due to some urging from a friend. To be honest, it was the last time I cosplayed until summer of 2010. I’ve been going to conventions all through out that span of time. It wasn’t until summer 2009 that I showed an interest in cosplaying and it always helps when you have friends who are into it.
As for why I started, I can’t really pin point what made me say, “I have to do this next year!”. There was the influence of the con itself, it’s intimidating when there’s a ton of people in costume and standing there in t-shirt and jeans in awe of it all. It just felt right and things fell into place.

Sangochan: I started cosplaying in 2004 when I first realized it existed along with the idea of anime themed conventions. I just fell in love with the idea of being able to make a costume after your favorite character and then getting to put it on and run around AS that character with a whole bunch of other people who love doing the same thing. Theres just so much energy that it’s a bit overwhelming and never before in my life have I had more fun doing something with a bunch of my friends.

Q: What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve done and why?

Koi-ishly:I have two, sorry I’m cheating, you can’t make me choose between them! My 1st is the first cosplay that I made in 2010 that is Gwendolyn from Odin Sphere. I’ll leave it at that because I will be rambling a mess of words of how much I adore this character.

My 2nd, Hozuki from Otome Youkai Zakuro. My partner Sangochan241 and I fell in love with these characters while watching the anime. It was a crazy spur of the moment decision. I had no experience with wig making, we were crazy to do this but we were motivated by the cuteness of the characters. It was the hair design of the twins that drew me to this cosplay and I had to do it with my “twin” Sango.

Sangochan: My favorite cosplay has to be pre-time skip/time skip Yoko Ritona from Gurren Lagann. Gurren Lagann is my all-time favorite series, and Yoko has got to be one of my favorite anime characters, so I jumped at the chance to cosplay her. Aside from getting to cosplay one of my favorite characters, this was also the first costume I was able to complete without the aid of another person (aside from the riffle which I had commissioned). I was able to plan out the costume, find the materials, and then assemble everything entirely on my own. It was a major accomplishment for me since I was still very new to cosplaying at the time.

Q: What do you do to come up with a cosplay to make?

Koi-ishly:There’s a lot of factors when coming up with a decision of what character to do. At the moment, it’s all inspired from anime/video games that I have known about. There are some cosplays that I plan for the future that have interested me purely on design.
Something that draws me to characters are interesting props. I’m a sucker for armored girls and weapon yielding characters…
One thing I always do when a character has interested me, I do a ton of research. I can’t stress that enough. I research original and fan art. I research patterns and tutorials. I save all of this in a folder according to that character.

Sangochan: Usually I’ll get an idea in my head of what character I want to do or what costume a certain character wears. I’ll just see it and say “Hey, I really like the way that looks.” I know for certain I want to make the costume when I start picking out fabrics in my head and when I start to make plans for the costume (“Wouldn’t it be funny if I did this?!”) Once I know I’m doing the costume I start gathering reference images from the internet (fan art, screenshots, scans, etc.) and I keep them in a folder on my computer. Once I have enough reference material, I start to draw and sketch out designs for the actual mechanics of the costume (how to sew certain parts, measurements of certain props or accessories, as well as my own drawings of frontal, back and side views of the characters as I need them). Then I head out with my shopping list, gathering my materials and after a couple of all nighters with my sewing machine and my ipod, I have my self a cosplay costume.

Q: What was your hardest cosplay you made?

Koi-ishly: Hozuki by far. While a kimono is simple in theory but when put into practice… I just don’t know where I went wrong. While I have limited sewing skills, I felt all my abilities left me. Thankfully Sangochan241 was there to save the costume from my ineptitude with a sewing machine. I think the wigs were playing into my inability to sew. Those wigs were… I don’t think I can go into it due to the blankness that envelopes my brain when thinking about it.

Sangochan: It had to have been the Bonbori and Houzuki costume my friend and I made for Katsucon 2011.

Q: What made it hard?

Koi-ishly: Using a new material is always hard. I’ve dabbled in a lot of artistic mediums through out my life, but wig making was something I’ve only admired from afar. With the twins hair, I knew it would be very costly to have them commissioned and to add the time it takes to make. I feared it wouldn’t have been done in time. I decided I’d take on the challenge. By some miracle everything feel into place, but there was a lot of frustrated nights and tears a long the way. This by no means was a piece of cake.

Sangochan: What made it so difficult was how simple the entire costume looked. We initially choose it because the hardest part appeared to be the wigs, and even then it would just be covering shapes with wefts and adding the fox ears. So we thought it would be a good “funsies” cosplay for us to throw together and enter into the hall contest. Because of this, we really underestimated how much work the whole costume would take. We also underestimated how much time we needed to actually get the entire costume done (I was actually working right up until I got to my hotel room at the convention, I had to hand sew a few final details on that I just didn’t have time for earlier). In addition to that, this costume was leaps and bounds above the heads of our costume making ability. It pushed me to my limits since I was trying to figure out new techniques and different ways of doing things so that I could finish the costume not just to be worn, but to be judged. When I look back on it, the actually construction of the costume wasn’t all that difficult, but when you’re racing against the clock even the little things seem to be complex. So we wound up having to re-make certain parts of it because we rushed through it the first time trying to get it done. Once we were able to take a deep breath and slow down the whole thing came together rather nicely.

Q: What was the easiest thing about it?

Koi-ishly: Making the sakura blossoms. I have been working with polymer/sculpty clay since I was little. I love working with it and it is a forgiving material.

Sangochan: Getting the materials. We found all the fabric for it the first day we went out shopping, and we were even able to find the trim with a little bit of hunting on the internet. Our wigs were even easy to find. My friend and I were both hunting the internet for various wigs and colors we liked for the twins and she finally found Arda wigs and that’s where we wound up getting all of out wig materials from. (2 long base wigs, 4 curl extensions, and even 2 regular extensions, this wig took A LOT of hair)

Q: Have you ever competed in a masquerade or other kind of cosplay contest?

Koi-ishly: I’ve only competed in two hall contests. I have considered entering a masquerade, but I enjoy the hall contests. I’m not much for singing/acting (I love to dance). It’s something I would like to try one day.

Sangochan: Yes, I’ve only participated in one, the Hall Costume Contest for Katsucon 2011 with my friend Emilie who I cosplayed as Bonbori and Houzuki with her. We took first place for the novice level.

Q: If so, what was the most memorable part of it?

Koi-ishly: Katsucon 2011 Hall Contest. Walking into judging and the judges were sitting at a table. As we walked up one immediately says something along the lines,”First, you have to explain how you made those wigs.” I don’t have a lot of experience in the Hall Contests, but hearing that made me so happy and proud of all my hard work. It was a huge compliment.

Sangochan: The amount of attention we got from our wigs. I didn’t think that they would cause this much of a stir or even get us that much attention. Outside of the contest, people would stop us to take our picture just for the craftsmanship of the wigs! And the fact that we won and got a plaque if pretty memorable too.

Q: What would you tell to some of our readers who are new to cosplay and what you did when you first started.

Koi-ishly: My first time cosplaying I went along with my high school friends. My friend’s mom made my Rei school uniform from Neon Genesis Evangelion. I was very lucky to have someone make me a costume for free. This is not the norm in cosplaying. It’s take a lot of time and money to make a costume. When I think of my cosplays, I’m realistic. I try to think of what I know I can make and what will be a challenge. I did not listen to my own advice when making my Hozuki cosplay… but sometimes it will work itself out.
The number one thing to remember is to enjoy it. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t be doing it.

Sangochan: Since I knew nothing about cosplay or even how to sew when I started to cosplay, the best tool in my arsenal was knowledge. You want to not only make the best costume you can, but to make it well, and the best way to make a great costume is to master the skills you’ll need to make that great costume. Make sure you do your research before starting any costume if you don’t have experience with certain materials, fabrics or even techniques needed to construct the costume. Along that same line, I would have to say always keep learning and don’t be afraid to learn a new skill. If you stumble upon a tutorial or a video demonstrating something you may not need to use for a costume you’re working on currently, learn it any way. You never know when you might need to know how to sew a pleated skirt or how to become a ninja using only an old tee-shirt. That way, when the time comes for you to finally put your new skills to use you’ll already be familiar with the process and materials needed. With each new costume is a new opportunity to learn something new and to be able to practice what you already know.

You can find them on their respective sites:

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Who you gonna call?

Posted: March 28, 2011 by ConGear in Con Review

Tanis here!

I’d like to slide in a few words about a major no-no in conventions across the globe. In fact, it’s the biggest no-no of them all!  This particular no-no is what’s called “ghosting”. Ghosting is where somebody sneaks into the con without paying, and gets into panels, the dealer’s hall, everything, for free. It’s akin to convention piracy.

And it’s gotta stop.

Granted, some conventions are very hard to ghost into. There’s indestructable old ladies guarding every single door of Sakuracon, and they will rip your throat out with their teeth if you even think about trying anything other than flashing your legitimate badge their way. Though as you can guess, Sakuracon never really had a major problem with ghosting.

And yet, on the other end of the spectrum we’ve got MEW Con, where the convention presence folk never actually checked anyone for a badge. I’m sure some of them probably noticed there were badgeless non-attendees walking about, but they never had the courage to throw them out on their asses.

Ghosting can break a con incredibly easily. Sure, a fifty dollar entry fee foregone may not seem like much, but often times a fee like that is enough to get a panel going. Twenty registration fees can get a mid-tier guest. And let’s not forget the hotel or convention center costs.

Ghosting kills cons, no joke about it. I wouldn’t even wish it on Akicon, our resident bottom-of-the-barrel convention. Attendees, pay the man some money. Security, yojimbo, SAS, whoever you are, you need to be more vigilant in doing your job.

Otherwise we’re not gonna get cons very much longer.

Something I want to chime in on…

Posted: March 28, 2011 by ConGear in Con Review

Last week, A typical gamer in a Bioware’s forum went off on his obvious homophobia and it being in his Dragon Age II. The great response that follows from the lead writer of the series, and essentially told him to get with the times and stop gaming in 1965. A glorious response indeed.

My problem with this, however, is the fact that this is still a problem. Homosexuality, in any media, has been around for a while. The show Will & Grace was the first show to bring homosexuality to the American forefront, and it’s been in media since. It only got introduced to gaming in 2004, when it was possible to have a homosexual relationship in Fable. I don’t remember people complaining about it then.


As a gamer, I’ve had to hear the word “gay” used as a demeaning slur since I played Counter-Strike and Quake in the late 90s. Most of those gamers have grown up, but we still hear it. With the inclusion of mute in games, this isn’t a problem, and usually rarely you can ask someone to use a different word, and they will comply.

I guess my point here is that gamers need to grow up, and more importantly, realize that the world is evolving and becoming tolerant of homosexuality. I understand it’s hard to compromise to that fact, since you have to finish your 10-man raid, or try to get your 25-kill streak in before dinner, but  some guys like guys, some girls like girls, and some people change gender. It’s a fact. Deal with it, or shut up.


When did you start cosplaying and why did you start?

I started cosplaying at Kumoricon 2007 when one of my best friends took me along. I felt so out of place walking around in normal clothes even though there are so many other people not dressed up so the last day of con I threw together a closet cosplay.

What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve done and why?

To be honest all my cosplays are my favorite when they are new. Though my current favorite is Date Masamune from Sengoku Basara (mainly because that is my current obsession)

What do you do to come up with a cosplay to make?

I cosplay the characters I like from a series. Most of the time that turns out to be males or bad guys and half the time both. On rare occasions I will cosplay with a group from a series I am not too familiar with. I do always make sure that before I go to a con that I know about the character and at least the basics from the series.

What was your hardest cosplay you made?

  1. What made it hard?
  2. What was the easiest thing about it?

As I continue cosplaying my costumes have been getting harder. I am not going to lie I have bought a few of my costumes like Kuja, the Organization coat, and most of the Naruto characters I did at the beginning, but I have started to move away from that and make my own. As of now my hardest one has been Date. I made about 90% of it on my own. I had a little guidance on sewing the jacket from Kayla but she mainly let me stumble through it. The pants, sweater and the shoes are the only thing I did not make, though all three were altered by me to obtain the desired results.

1: What made it so hard was the fact that I haven’t really made any detailed costume on my own like that before. I have done a little bit of armor making in the past but I really wanted this one to look as good as I could make it. I don’t think I have quite gotten there yet either. I am still thinking of ways I can improve it. I am also still a beginner sewer but I am teaching myself how to sew better. That jacket was the hardest thing I have sewn to date.

2: The easiest thing surprisingly was the armor. It wasn’t hard at all just time consuming, a lot of sitting around and waiting for glue or paint to dry. To make the armor I simply followed the craft foam armor tutorial for the most part. I may have skipped a few steps or substituted some things like the armor coloring method.

Have you ever competed in a masquerade or other kind of cosplay contest?

  1. if so, what was the most memorable part of it?

Yes, I have. Sakuracon 2008 was my first cosplay contest. I was an extra in a skit. The only other time I was on stage wasn’t for the actual contest but for the entertainment during judging at Kumoricon 2010 with the anime hunters.

1: I would have to say the most memorable part of it was the friends I made. At Sakuracon 2008 I only got asked to be part of the skit because someone was wearing the same costume as me. Because of that I met Bangbang Neko and became great friends with her. And through her I meet Yatta Cloud and became friends with the Anime Hunters. 🙂

What would you tell to some of our readers who are new to cosplay and what you did when you first started.

One thing you should always know is that this is for fun. Don’t take it too seriously and don’t take anything personally. Everything is a learning experience. Go into things with an open mind and you will have a good time. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. There are many costumes I thought I would never be able to do and I have found myself wearing them at a convention within a year. Use the internet and peers to get ideas on how to make things. One other thing that I strongly suggest is if you are going to a convention join the forum for that convention, and if at all possible arrange or go to meet-ups to find other cosplayers in the area. When I first started going to cons I had no friends that were in to cosplay. The girl I went with the first time was her first time too so she didn’t know anyone either. All of my cosplay friends I have now I have met either through meet-ups or through cons. Cosplay is something that is very quickly growing. A lot of people are beginning more familiar with it but there are those that are not. When you are outside of con space you should make sure you are on your best behavior. This may be the first time someone see and hears of it so you want to make sure you set a good example and not be one of those cosplayers that is running around screaming and generally annoying people. Yes conventions are fun and they can be very exciting but please be on your best behavior.

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HI everyone it’s me Bronte Aka BangBangNeko

Posted: March 24, 2011 by bangbangneko in Introduction

Hello everyone my name is Bronte Mckinney and i’m very excited to be a part of CONgear!

Now time to give a little background info about me;

I’ve been cosplaying for 7 years now, starting the crazy hobby called Cosplay in 2005. Where I wore my first cosplay Edward from Cowboy bebop; and from there I’ve been addicted. I’ve competed for 6 years winning awards from best in show, best novice, best journeyman in the skits plus various judges choice awards and won best adult novice and best journeyman in the costume portion. But now I like to be on the convention floor and enjoy the cons wearing the craziest and most elaborate costumes humanly possible.  I do hope this year though to compete at the World Cosplay Summit; which if I do I will be doing a full report. Anyways I hope to bring this blog tons content including some special effect make-up tutorials since that’s what I love to do. So once thank you for this chance and I hope to bring the best to you the READERS!!! ^-^ *love*

-BangBangNeko/ Bronte Mckinney

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Hey ConGear fans!

Looks like Mike has been making sure we’re still relevant. Fate help us all…

All that aside, we’ve got a huge amount of stuff  to bring you, including introducing two new people you’ll be seeing on our Sakura-Con episode!

First, we must introduce our tame otaku.

Some say, he is BitTorrent. Others say, he has USB slots where his eyes should be. All we know is, he’s called the Twig!

The Twig will be seen in a lot of our films, plus it’s his job to assist stars in our Anime-Like car. He recently beat Bressler’s 1:20.9 around our track, and posted a 1:18.7.

We also have a second person to introduce.

Our producers insisted that we needed a fourth presenter. Someone who was more attractive and younger. This made us all very angry. Mike’s vanity was sullied (he was so sad, he cried himself out of our last video), Tanis no longer felt like a cute gay, and, well, I’m the most attractive person on the Internet.

We did eventually acquiesce and let the producers select a fourth presenter:

(Photo Courtesy Tom Good)

Welcome Bronte McKinney to the ConGear team! She’s an incredibly talented cosplayer who will be doing some additional con review work for us, as well as appearing in our next ConGear challenge film, which you will see at Sakura-Con! Welcome her aboard and make her feel as welcome as you have Mike!

Keep an eye out for exciting news here as well as our YouTube channel – where we try to update it at least once a week!


Meltingmirror Interview!

Posted: March 23, 2011 by Mike in Interviews

Well, its that time again! We, at ConGear, have done it again! We scored an interview with the illustrious Meltingmirror! This cosplayer may be best known for her Styria Shiva cosplay! So, without much more from me, here is your content!

Q: When did you start cosplaying and why did you start?

A: I started cosplaying in 2004. It was the first convention in my city. My friends were really excited about it and they wanted to dress up. I was opposed to it but I gave in.

Q: What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve done and why?

A: My favourite costume has to be my Scout from Grando Espada. I just love all the small details in it. The colour scheme is great. It is a costume to suits me. It was also a challenge to sew so it gave me a great sense of accomplishment to finish it. Another perk is that it is also comfy to wear.

Q: What do you do to come up with a cosplay to make?

A: I keep a folder on my computer where any costume or character that interests me gets saved. Some come from series I follow, others from looking up what other cosplayers make researching the series. I often go through the folder and whichever ones I keep staring at are usually the ones I make. For the most part the costumes must have some design that attracts me. I can see a figurine at a convention that I like and that all I need to decide to make it.

Q: What was your hardest cosplay you made?

A: By far, the toughest one I made was my Styria cosplay of the Shiva Sisters from Final Fantasy 13.

Q: What made it hard?

A: It required all my skills and learning some new ones to make it work. I find it was more a engineering project than a costume project. Figuring out the measurements to scale, finding a way to balance the headdress on my head, how is it put on and removed, how do all the armour pieces interact, how do I move around… It was a lot of planning, sketching, crafting which took a lot of time. It was all learning on the fly and I was lucky enough not to have to remake any parts.

Q: What was the easiest thing about it?

A: The spandex body suit underneath all the armour was the easiest part. It was the only sewing required for the entire project.

Q: Have you ever competed in a masquerade or other kind of cosplay contest?

A: I take part in quite a few masquerades. Now that I compete at the highest level, master or craftsman, I am being more selective of which to compete in. I am trying to go to new conventions to test my skills there.

Q: If so, what was the most memorable part of it?

A: I really like hanging out in the green room and meeting new people. You can learn a lot of great tips from other cosplayers. The time you spend on stage is a blip compared to the hours you spend backstage. I made a lot of friends there.

Q: What would you tell to some of our readers who are new to cosplay and what you did when you first started?

A: If you are just starting out, I suggest picking a project within your skill level and sticking to it. Do your research and look for any tutorials that can help you out. Cosplayers are usually very open so ask around for some tips and tricks. I started by getting a brief sewing lessons from my grandmother and woodworking / workshop advice from my father. Family is usually willing to help after they get over the strangeness of the hobby.

Thank you so much! Well, if you guys want to check more of her work out, you can find her on her Web pageDeviantArt, Cosplay Lab, American Cosplay Paradise, Cure, and her!

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Hey there loyal watchers!

Posted: February 6, 2011 by Mike in Plugs

Hey there friends! Mike here!
Our friends over at 1up Island have asked up to take some time to talk about their little project going on over there!
Some of you might be asking, well, what IS 1up Island? Well, they are all about videogame related projects, animations, videos, voice acting, livestreaming, and reviews. They cover a bunch of different platforms, anything from PC to the new 3DS coming out near the end of next month.
Not interested in gaming news? Don’t sweat it! They have plenty of other things to talk about! Interested in 16bit animation? They have that too! 1up Island has a lot to offer in the way of animations, and some of their music is self made!
So, for those of you – our loyal watchers – want to pass some time in between our rantings, run your selfs over to 1up Island!

– Mike