This year was the return of Irelands foremost Cosplay Convention to the Red Cow Hotel. The Convention was packed with con-goes, artist selling their wares and doing on the spot commissions and number of small businesses pimping their work, such as handmade jewellery, paintings & cupcakes (always a con favourite). The trader table was showing off all the comics & toys you’d expect to see at a convention with even Star Trek & Star Wars fan site tables, recruiting people to their cause.
The amount of attendees in all manner of cosplay was sight to behold. One that warms my heart. We had Star Wars Imperial Troops leading Darth Vader around. People braving the heat in full furry cosplay. As well as gaming cosplayers, from Assassin Creed to League of Legends. Marvel cosplayers, such as Agent Carter & Star Lord, & everything in between. The quality was to the standard that you see at the big American cons, such as SDCC & NYCC. Which just goes to show that even though we’re a small community we still have some very talented people in our midst. It is wonderful to see the the people dressed in normal clothing were the minority at this con and there was so much love for the outfits.
The highlight for most of the people in costume would have been the Cosplay Competition that was held in the afternoon. The judges were Without a Stich On, Tina Branigan from Cyanide Kisses and Stephen Lynch of Widdle Wade. They were judging on the accessory of the costume as well as how people played their character. Each person had a few minutes on stage, with music playing, to act out a little scene in character. All the competitors had some stellar outfits & some very large props on hand. The winner was Emma Murphy, who won a trip to the Cosplay Masters, which is happening in Portugal later in the year. This is a fantastic prize & shows how seriously organisers take cosplay. People where not shy about wanting to have their photo taken & had in-character poses ready for the camera. They also took full advantage of the beautiful day outside to do plenty of group shots.
There was also a games rooms set up, as part of the con. Pen & paper RPGs being run by members of the Irish Gaming Association. Old school consoles, such as the N64, set up as well as an Xbox 360 & a merriment of boardgames. There was even a Hearthstone tournament running throughout the day. This is always a nice addition to a non gaming convention. It gives people something to do in between panels. Somewhere they can sit down with their friends & enjoy a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity, keeping them entertained, during the lulls. It also introduces people to Pen & Paper RPGs & grows that Irish community and once they’ve rolled their first dice and found out there are more cons out there just for gaming they are hooked.
The whole con ended with a concert. A number of different groups playing all manor of loud, get up & dance music. This gave attendees two options, dance or go relax in the game room. Which, for people like myself who just want to sit down & relax after a hard day of con-going, is always pleasant. They played long into the evening meaning people could just socialise & leave at their own pace.
Over all the con was a huge success, success being judge here on the enjoyment had within the con. It was well laid out, for the space they had, which consisted of three large(ish) rooms & a hallway. There was a loads to see and a good bit to do, but most importantly everyone had a smile on their face. Happy con-goers make for a great con and it means people will come back for more, become more invested in the cosplay world and maybe even venture out into the other gaming & sci-fi cons that Ireland has to offer. Such as Octocon, 9-11th of October & Gaelcon 23-26th of October.
Matty is a prop maker, cosplayer and go toer of Cons. He is probably Girls Get Gaming’s primary pusher of obscure and unique board games and goes week at the knees for a pretty kick starter. You can see his latest work at https://www.facebook.com/MattyMakes and he sure as hell takes commissions.