A long overdue Anthrocon recap. Overall, this year was great. There were many friends I would have loved to see this year but couldn't attend for various reasons. But, I did get to see most that did attend, which was great. I also had a third roommate again, and that worked out really well.
This year I only cosplayed as Newsprint. I painted my upper body and lower legs with Temptu Dura and it kept well for the whole weekend, as usual. I want to switch over to a bodysuit for Newsprint, and I already have it, but because I've been displaced from my home, I haven't been able to work on it at all. Hence the bodypaint. Anyhow, at this con I feel like I had Newsprint the most "developed" out of any of the other times I've been her. There's still much more I can do, of course, but I'm happy with the additions and evolution of her so far. Unfortunately, after the first day of wearing her yellow contacts, I couldn't wear them the rest of the weekend because they bothered my eyes. It probably has to do with a little makeup residue getting into my eyes and triggering my allergies. Thankfully, my eyes did not get anywhere near as irritated as what happened at ANE. I did figure out what caused that, and had since eliminated the product from my makeup kit.
A new thing I did this time was I actually shaved my eyebrows off completely. For at least a couple of cons now I had been buzzing them down to stubble with clippers, but I decided to try shaving to see how it would go. My eyebrows grow like weeds, so I knew I they would be grown back before I returned to work (and they were), though I would only shave them off again if I'm going to be away for a while, like at Anthrocon. Still, the effect they lent was very nice. If you look at my photos from the con, you can see I took off Newsprint's painted eyebrows and instead put whiskers in their place. I thought it gave me a much more feline look, which is never a bad thing! :3
Oh also, as an anecdote, again a few people thought I was wearing a prosthetic. I actually have not worn a prosthetic at a con so far, but it's nice to hear that my makeup apparently gives a pretty convincing effect of one.
I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the highlight of the con for me, and that was the fursuit parade. This was the first year I had been able to get ready in time for the parade. I made it a goal this year because I've always wanted to be in it, and I was really interested to see what was going to happen with the outdoor portion of the parade. Waiting around for the group photo was a drag, especially since I didn't see anyone I knew...but then I ran into Flea and Silverspots, so the three of us kitties hung together. Yes, I'm in the group photo, and you can play "Where's Newsprint?" if you want. Good luck.
I've been in fursuit parades before, and at first this one was pretty much like any other, but with many more suiters and a much larger audience. It was fun, but nothing really out of the ordinary...that is, until we went outside and everything changed completely. I have no idea how many of the public decided to show up to observe the parade, but the two streets that pass under the convention center were blocked off and lit by studio lights, and it was packed on every side by cheering people; adults and children, and many of them holding signs saying "I <3 Anthrocon" or similar. Again, I don't know what the number of people was, but it looked like 1000 people. All there to see us. There were professional videographers and photographers and lots of people taking pictures on their phones or cameras. And then there were the kids. I got to high five so many kids that I lost count. Seeing how happy they were really made my day. Totally made my mood skyrocket. It was wonderful. That portion of the parade (and the general attitude of much of the public in Pittsburgh) really made me feel like I'm not such a freak for what I do. And that's great. After the outdoor section, we went back in and were routed to Hall A to cool off. After I was sufficiently cooled off and rehydrated, I went out to lunch with my friends (Mercitron and DBM), and since a lot of the people were still out there, I was frequently stopped so people could have their picture taken with me. Having my picture taken with kids is one of those things that also really makes my day, and I'm always happy to do it. I always stop for a photograph when people ask for one. I know I would have loved it if I had encountered someone like me as little kid, so any chance to bring a smile to their faces, I do it.
As usual, it was great to see and hang out with so many friends I often only see once a year (if that). You all know who you are and I don't want to type out a list for fear of forgetting anyone. You all make the con worth going to!
This year I got to try out a couple of new places to eat too. The first night we went to Franktuary (not the downtown location, that doesn't exist anymore), which is a place I've been meaning to check out since I've been coming to AC. I wasn't disappointed. The atmosphere and crowd were definitely up my alley and the food was great. Their vegan hot dog is very good.
The other new place we tried out was Kaya, a Caribbean restaurant in the Strip District. Though it's geared towards omnivores, they have plenty of vegetarian items on the menu as well, and nearly all of them can be made vegan (and a couple are vegan as-is). The food and drinks were excellent and their portions are generous. Mercitron and I ordered the same thing, and we actually could have split it because we each only ate half before we were stuffed.
And now for the gripes about the con!
Once again, the zoo was placed in the first floor hall, which I dubbed "The Bunker of Sadness" because that's basically what it looks like inside: all concrete, a huge, open space with zero character and horrible acoustics. I *hate* this location for the zoo. There has to be another location the zoo can be placed in other than this hall. On Sunday night they moved the zoo to its former location in the Westin.
I'm not sure of the reasoning behind this, but use of the skybridge was prohibited after dark. The problem this created was that it funneled everyone to the one stairway (or pair of elevators) in order to exit the con. Not only was it confusing to many since it was not clear where to exit, but it has the potential to be very dangerous in the event of an emergency.
And the biggest gripe of all continues to be the registration process. Whether you preregister or not, unless you are a sponsor or a supersponsor, be prepared to spend hours in line if you want your badge on the first day, as most people do. Those who preregister should not have to wait in a huge line like those who are registering the day of the con. This can be easily solved by simply mailing out the preregistered badges. Why the staff at Anthrocon refuses to do this is beyond me. Again, the huge crowd in one area also creates the potential for serious injury or even death in an emergency situation. Anthrocon, please rectify this. RI Comic Con has awful registration logistics and a much larger crowd yet they somehow manage to make the process far less painful (with nowhere near as long of a wait) than Anthrocon's. It's time to look at what other cons do and make changes.
I think that's about it!
Listening to: A Virus to be Loved- Kode9
Reading: The End Has Come