Earlier this year I wrote about the UK’s largest residential, non-profit anime and geek culture convention: Kitacon. Tim from GeekOut South-West first introduced me to it back in March 2014 when he was in Birmingham for the event and I was in town for a different show. After a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity with his friends, he snuck me into the Hilton Metropole so I could see what it was all about; and I was so amazed by the costumes that I swore I’d be back one day.
This year it’s taking place in its new home at the University of Warwickshire from 18 to 20 August 2017. It’s thanks to Tim and his lovely partner Jake that my other-half and I have tickets: 1,400 standard passes sold out in just over eight minutes so we’re extremely grateful to them for being ready to click the order button.
I’ve got a steep learning curve in front of me during the lead-up to the convention. Members of the Kitacon Official Social Group on Facebook have been discussing their cosplay plans over the past few months and most seem to have ideas for not one, but several awesome costumes. I, on the other hand, have absolutely no clue when it comes to dress-making or cosplay creation and so there’s a chance I could be a little out of my depth.
That’s not going to stop me from trying though, although house renovations and recent family illness have meant I’ve made hardly any progress lately. But I’ve now at least narrowed down the ideas I came up with previously to two. I’ve chosen to make a start with Eleven from Stranger Things (pictured opposite) for a couple of reasons: the outfit itself is pretty ‘normal’ in comparison to others so it’s not too ambitious for a cosplay first-timer, plus the character herself is simply badass.
Tim recently set up a Trello board for us so we can keep track of progress on our costumes. This collaboration tool organises your projects into boards so you can easily see what’s being worked on and by whom, giving a lovely visual representation of all you’ve achieved so far. If you’ve never heard about it before, head over to the GeekOut South-West site on Wednesday for a handy guide that explains how to get started.
Our Cosplay Progress Board is open to everyone if you’d like to see how we’re getting on. As mentioned above, my creativity skills aren’t that great so I’m going to have to source a lot of the items needed for the Eleven outfit rather than make them. Fortunately I’ve managed to find a great dress by VioletHouseClothing on the Etsy website and will be placing an order next week; I’m still struggling to track down the right socks though so if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know.
My second costume is going to be April O’Neil (pictured opposite) from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I’ve already found a yellow jumpsuit on eBay which might do the trick, although the quality could be a little hit-and-miss. I’ve therefore dug out an outfit I wore to a fancy-dress party a few years ago so I’ve got Velma from Scooby Doo ready as back-up in case needed. I just need to buy a good wig.
I doubt I’ll ever become a cosplay master but hopefully these costumes go well enough so I feel as though I fit in while at Kitacon. Three months and counting: I’ll take some photographs as soon as an outfit is complete for a further update. Wish me luck!