Hello everyone! I was so excited to attend FlameCon this year and I had a blast! I have been to many conventions (NYCC, NY Anime Fest, Anime NYC, I-CON) and this was by far the most organized and well-run convention I’ve seen. As a bonus, I was actually able to be a part of the event. TheLaserGirls asked me to host their 3D Printing and Cosplay panel and workshop... which was a total success (I’ll get into it later)! I just had such a great time, I wanted to talk about it. So here’s my FlameCon Wrap Up!
FlameCon was a big deal for me because I was debuting my newest cosplay, Himari from Mawaru Penguindrum (I talk about Penguindrum here if you’re interested). This cosplay is kind of crazy, but I never did a crazy cosplay before and wanted to go for it! I conceptualized how I wanted it to be made and my mom (bless her heart) put it together for me. With no sewing experience and the coordination of a drunk squirrel, I was glad my mom was able to step in and help. I bought the corset, trim, and lining and we sewed it together. The skirt is my mom’s beautiful creation; with a PVC pipe in the bottom of the skirt and bustles on the sides to make them pop, I was strutting around as a penguin parade float before I knew it. The arm bands are athletic sleeves with white scrunchies (my concoction). With a beautiful wig from Arda Wigs and a preordered hat, I was ready to search for the ever-allusive penguindrum.
I have never felt so good in a cosplay before. I was hot, my feet hurt, and I couldn’t walk the con floor with a piped skirt, but I didn’t care. My confidence was through the roof! I felt beautiful and sexy; I paraded around the con like I owned it. No other cosplay has ever made me feel that way. I am so excited to wear it again (with some tweaks) at Anime NYC this year! But I loved my cosplay…and everyone else’s. There were a lot of great costumes and sights to be seen at FlameCon. The cosplay contest was marvel after marvel of beautiful work. FlameCon brought their cosplay A-game and I was happy to contribute to the high-quality showing. Welcome to Rock and Roll Night!
It would be selfish of me to start with TheLaserGirls’ panel first, so I’ll save that until the end.
The only other panel we had time to go to was "Steven Universe: Gay Space Rocks." And it really did rock! It was an intriguing analysis of the characters of the show and how they represent different LGBTQ+ people, the coming out process, and other poorly represented groups in media. For me, saying it was very interesting is high praise, not because I am a straight person but because I’ve never even seen the show! To have someone with no knowledge of the source material say that speaks worlds about the great panelists (they were very knowledgeable, engaging, and funny), the awesome crowd, and overall energy in the room. It was packed! Seeing that kind of support for a show or anything is really exhilarating. I’m happy to be a part of such a cool, accepting community, even if I’m just on the periphery.
So now to our panel! 3D Printing and Cosplay was a great success! Sarah and Dhemerae did an absolutely fantastic job as panelists; they were fun, enthusiastic, and comprehensible with all their technical knowledge and prowess. We had about 30 people present and many asked really inspired, important questions. Sarah and Dhemerae said that I did awesome and made the event great, but I really didn’t do anything at all. I just said hi to everyone and passed the microphone around. It was really TheLaserGirls and the audience that produced such a high-energy, creative discussion space. Even now, I still can’t believe how well it went!
Many people from the panel came to the workshop the next day. We brought a 3D printer from their apartment (the beautiful Helen of Troy, New York pictured) and got down into the nitty gritty. Where yesterday was about why to 3D print and the creative process, today was about how to 3D print. They scanned my face, uploaded it into a program and showcased the digital sculpting process, as well as presented different printing materials and resources. I actually surprised myself a bit at the end; people were asking me questions (falsely thinking I know how to 3D print) and I was answering them! Correctly! And well! My sister is rubbing off on me more than I thought.
They almost had to kick us out of the room because the audience was asking such great questions. Everyone at FlameCon was like that: genuinely interested, genuinely happy, and genuinely in love with nerdom, cosplay, creativity and inclusivity. I can’t wait to do it again next year.
There was a huge artist alley with a lot of cool merch to buy. On Saturday, when I was a penguin parade float, I didn’t really have the mobility to look around. Sunday was my day to spend some moolah. I was surprised to see how many independent comic publishers were there; the amount of high quality, professional grade manga, graphic novels and light novels made by lovers of the medium was a highlight for me. It awesome seeing people who love something so much that they aim to do it themselves. As a lover of the same thing, it’s gratifying in a way, and I’m not even the one making the stuff! And the art— wow the art— was amazing. Beautiful posters, fan art, comics, pins, stickers, jewelry, you name it! There are a lot of creative people in the world. The creators were all really nice too. I talked to a few while I was browsing their booths and they are just there for the love of the content, community, and craft. This con legit gave me the warm and fuzzies. It was such a feel-good con!
And I got a light novel and two posters. Bonus! But I took no photos...I'm such a loser.
The atmosphere at FlameCon is hard to put into words. The excitement and love of your niche that you feel at other cons was there but elevated. All the emotions were elevated, the wonder, the comradery, the community, and it made for an incredible weekend. The question isn't if I go to FlameCon next year, it's when I go. I can't thank the amazing volunteers and staff enough for such a great experience. So many people came together to celebrate what they love and who they love, can it really get any better than that? I don't think so. Go FlameCon! Can't wait till next year!
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