WARNING! CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE! IMAGES AND TEXT MAY CONTAIN EXTREME AND BRILLIANT GEEKINESS!
On the weekend of 11/12 June 2016, I travelled by train to attend the Yorkshire Cosplay Con held at the Sheffield Arena. The last Con I wrote about was the MCM Liverpool Event at the Waterfront Exhibition Centre, and that time around I used a kind of “Top Ten” of the weekend. This event was bigger, MUCH bigger, and I’d struggle to distil it to a mere ten highlights.
But here we are, and hopefully I can give a flavour of what turned out to be a fantastic weekend spent in the company of joyous, like-minded people, bonded by our appreciation of the imaginative. In uncertain times, when things change and there are days when you can almost feel the stitches of your hopes beginning to unravel, Cons are a wonderful way of refreshing your faith in tolerance and friendliness. Geek and Proud!
I was SO excited to be going to the Con, and make no apologies for taking snapshots of EVERYTHING, including my train journey. Whatever, the scenery was lovely, and the water feature directly outside Sheffield Station is pretty spectacular, too!
The Arena was only a short walk from the hotel, and once I’d collected my tickets (I waited in line behind Poison Bloody Ivy!) I was greeted with the wonderful trademark randomness that’s part and parcel of a Con. Big Hero 6 and Deadpool shooting the breeze on the upper level! Ghostbusters in the foyer! Kylo Ren advising Chewie which doors he should duck through!
Every single cosplay I saw was fantastic, and every single cosplayer I chatted with was incredibly gracious and friendly, even the ones that wanted to bite me! Special mention as well to the Time Lady I met, who charmed me in a double heartbeat by knowing the difference between the Prydonians and the Patrexes. #HowGeeksFlirt haha!
I took a break for some lunch, and I can assure that the packaging on my Rollover Hotdog DID NOT LIE! They really are the best hotdogs in the world! After that, I was planning to visit some of the stalls, but found myself distracted by the FREE video games, eventually punching the air after an unbroken hour on the Konami X-Men machine and yelling, “Yes! Still got it!” at an admirably unimpressed Dalek. And rather wonderfully, the TARDIS in my snapshot is actually a photo-booth (and no, those pictures are never seeing the light of day – what happens in the Type 40 STAYS in the Type 40).
There were some amazing displays in the Arena, many of which visitors could interact with. I loved the Marvel and DC displays, taking a moment to show my admiration for Stark Industries, though I think I MIGHT have given away my secret identity to a couple of Harley Quinn’s …
There were too many moments from the first day to choose a definite favourite, but certainly I enjoyed meeting a certain Princess (who I hope didn’t consider me too scruffy a Nerf-Herder) and one of her pursuers, and … well … I mentioned at the time on Twitter that I’d maybe just been in the best photo of my life and here it is. I SIMPLY COULD NOT resist emulating one of Leia’s finest moments. Jabba meets Jabe, though thankfully without a steel bikini in sight.
The last event of Day One was the mini-concert by J-Pop and K-Pop star Kelsey Ellison, a colourful and energised end to the first day that REALLY made me want to buy a bubble gun!
A handful of cosplayers were staying at the same hotel, so my planned early night didn’t really happen, but eventually I made it into my pyjamas, ready to rest and be fresh for Day Two …
Day Two was all about the booty 😉
I’d already spotted LOADS of stuff that I wanted to buy (and another Rollover Hotdog was definitely on my list), and as I had “EarlyBird” tickets for the weekend, I had an hour before the bulk of the Con goers arrived to raid the stalls. My favourite purchases are probably my Punisher cufflinks, the engraved Zippo lighters, and my Peruvian style TARDIS hat. Yes, I wear a Peruvian style TARDIS hat, now. Peruvian style TARDIS hats are cool.
And they’re not purchases exactly, but … I DID win a pair of goggles in a wager with a exotically named Steampunk assassin (it’s a long story) and also I’m now the proud sponsor of a lovely little cat called Maxwell. As a “Thank You”, the Cats Protection charity was very generous with a little goodie bag and also allowed me to choose a cuddly toy to take home. Her name’s Leia now, by the way!
So, in spite of my jacket being adorned with the insignia of the Galactic Empire, I found myself unable to avoid some … Imperial entanglements. Those stormtroopers were everywhere, though somehow I don’t think that the Dalek (called Dave!) was the droid they were looking for. It was actually Dave who introduced me to Clara, for which I’m eternally grateful.
As always, randomness and creativity abounded, whether it be balloon Astro-Droids and Skarosians, or Lego Star Wars vehicles, or a singing werewolf taking to the stage (I later learned that the wolf was actually called Francine, and her delightful personality and singing voice belied her fearsome cosplay). A wizard joined the Avengers and Hulk high-fived Wally!
Meanwhile, Roger was …
Note to cosplayers: NEVER let me hold the “Free Hugs” sign. I WILL be cheeky with it.
So that was my weekend. If you made it this far, thanks for reading! And P.S … I think I know what I’m doing in January …