MomoCon 2017 Recap!
Last week I had the pleasure of attending MomoCon, an anime, gaming convention in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the 5th year I’ve attended this convention, but only my 4th year having a badge. MomoCon is also the first convention where I was able to host a panel, which really changed my perspective on conventions. I went from being an attendee to being a content creator and I really enjoy it. It’s stressful but I enjoy trying new things of my choosing and creating panels fits right into that. I also like presenting information and creating dialogues with people.
Thursday was just arrival day. I wandered around, hung out with some folks, including my friend Leigh of Dr. LAW's Photolab while he cursed out Double Dragon. I helped Tanya of Thrill Builds set up her table for the Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo - they already have the 2018 date - go team! I even did a few interviews in the courtyard with Kecia Stovall of KYSS Photography.
This MomoCon, I had three panels. I submitted four but my Anti-Blackness in Fandom panel wasn’t accepted. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be accepted but I’d hoped. Hell, I wanted all of them to be accepted but I also knew that four panels was a lot. As it was, the three I had were all scheduled on Friday, with the first at 11:30am and the last at 11:30pm. That was some rough shit. I sucked it up, though because I really enjoy doing these. And I was dressed as Storm with my magnificent afro so that made it a bit better.
Ask a Cosplay Photographer
I really wanted to do this panel. Ok, I really wanted to do all the panels, but this one was a great opportunity to give cosplayers access to photographers and such. I wanted to highlight the talent that is a huge part of this hobby and give them a platform to talk about some of the behind the scenes issues and fun that can be had. A lot of thought goes into this work and I was glad to be able to help share it with the geek and cosplay community.
There were some complications, though. The panel was Friday at 11:30am. That’s early in the convention. Also, the map showing the location of the panel was misleading. I’d heard from more than one person that they couldn’t find it. Also, it was listed in the program book twice…once on Friday and once on Sunday. That was a misprint. The panel itself turned out well. We got good questions from the audience. But it was smaller than I’d hoped. I also dropped the ball on contacting one of the cosplayers for a free photoshoot. I hope to rectify that soon.
So You Want to Start A…Cosplay Brand
I really didn’t expect MomoCon to accept the branding panel, especially cuz the name was “So You Want to Start A…” which was a terrible title for a panel. We had to add that “cosplay brand” part cuz the damn title made no sense.
That panel was a shot in the dark. I really wanted to do a panel on how to start a blog, because I get that question a lot, but then I realized that my blog isn’t that popular and I don’t have any real expertise in how to grow it. I only have what I do, and I needed some other perspectives. So I pulled in Barr Foxx Cosplay, as he’s had a plethora of experience in branding and marketing and Valencia Joseph who has worked in marketing and branding for years. And once Valerie Complex told me she was coming to MomoCon, I knew she needed to be on the panel. I’ve watched her build her brand for the past year and a half and I knew she’d have some stories to share.
Shitty name aside, this was the best panel I did this MomoCon…which sucks because I didn’t develop the content. That was all Barr Foxx. But it was the best attended, the most interactive, and I think, provided the most useful information. I hope we create an opportunity to do this one again.
Cosplay in Non-Canon Bodies
I love presenting this panel. I’ve changed it up a little since the first time…I think the first time, we only talked about some of the stigma and difficulties but now we discuss practical solutions to some issues. We also work to keep it an open space where everyone can have a voice, unless it’s hate speech. That shit gotta go. But overall, especially considering it was at 11:30, it was well attended and fun. Unfortunately Tanya of Thrill Builds was ill and could not participate so we completely dropped the ball on armor building, but fortunately, we’ll be presenting this at BlerDCon in Washington DC this month. So if you're attending that convention, you'll have a chance to see the panel as it was meant to be - chock full of useful information.
This year I tried something really new for me. I started working with Kecia Stovall of KYSS Photography on doing convention interviews. And while we interviewed some cosplayers, we also interviewed comic artist, Afua Richardson, and some convention attendees. It was a very different experience for me. I have to wait to see how they came out before I say if I liked it or not. But I did make my microphone flag, complete with personal branding because if I’m going to do a panel about branding, I should practice it, right?
Anyway, I’ll post the interviews to my YouTube channel where I post my crappy MMO gaming and to my webpage because why not, right?
So, Friday wore me the fuck out cuz that was my work for MomoCon day. It was a great day.
I took it super easy Saturday. Slept in, missed all the panels I wanted to attend, ate a weird first meal, and finally got dressed as Punk Storm just in time for the Blerd is the Word panel. That shit went pear-shaped fast. So fast. I wrote a whole essay about that nonsense so have a read if you want.
After that, it was just hanging out and meeting folks. Scored some jello shots and remembered why I hate jello shots. It is difficult to make alcohol and jello compatible. Attended the rave where I felt so old that I wanted to suck the joy from the room so everyone could feel old and hopeless like me. Ok, not hopeless but that joy was an affront to me and everything I stand for. Ok, not really but I was cranky. Unnecessarily cranky. I really just want a dance party with music I like. I’m getting to the point where I just need to make it happen cuz nobody else is going to do it. One more project for the list.
The Final Fantasy Butt Extravaganza
Sunday was the Final Fantasy concert. I’ve been waiting for Distant Worlds to come to Atlanta for years but it seems as though it isn’t meant to be. When I saw MomoCon was going to have a Final Fantasy concert, I immediately bought tickets for me and my SO. Mainly for him but I was open to the experience. Unfortunately, I was also hella sleep deprived so once we were in that cool, dark room and that soothing music started playing, I relaxed into oblivion.
And woke up to a butt in my face.
Yeah, I did. I woke up, disoriented and confused with a black clad butt in my face as some stranger straddled my legs. Upon being startled into consciousness, I immediately recoiled only to realize I was trapped. My sudden movement startled the butt. It wavered, then fell upon me, trapping me in my seat. I tried to stabilize it, only to remember I’d pulled my arms into my shirt for warmth and was restrained by my own desire for comfort. The butt, who I now identified as a woman, struggled upon me only to roll off and onto the floor, where she sat for ten minutes because at some point she’d injured her knee. For ten minutes, she recovered. On the floor. Next to my seat.
I asked if she needed help and she said no and sat there, rubbing her knee for ten minutes. Did I mention she was there for ten minutes because those were ten long minutes where I felt guilty for causing this woman harm. Later, I asked my SO why he didn’t wake me, looking for someone else to blame, but he said she moved too fast. She was in too much of a hurry and she seemed to think she could get past me without my cooperation. She was wrong. Ten minutes on the floor wrong.
I no longer feel guilty for the incident. Nope. I was unconscious and she was impatient. Not my problem.
I was able to pop into the end of the panel on Designing Functional Cosplay with Dean’s Lyst, Barr Foxx, CoretoonzCosplays, and Baroness Boom Boom Cosplay. They provided a ton of helpful information on building cosplay that allows you to eat, breathe, see, and sit – activities many cosplayers seem to think are optional. I’m not exception. Sometimes bathroom use takes a backseat to aesthetics. It’s silly, I know and I’m working on prioritizing my comfort over style. Cosplay is the only activity where I compromise on that.
So that was my MomoCon 2017. I’d say comment with your MomoCon stories but I don’t allow comments on my page. You can comment on my Facebook page.