Indiana Comic Con 2017 Photos, Part 2 of 4: Costume Contest Highlights

Stranger Things family!

One of several families that cosplayed together: Eleven, Sheriff Hopper, Nancy, Joyce with Christmas lights, and Barbara from Stranger Things.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I attended the fourth annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. Once again Anne and I found a few intriguing names on the guest list and decided to drop by…

We spent 11½ hours at the Convention Center on Saturday because we wanted to be there early to head up one particular actor’s line, and had to stay late for one particular actress’ near-sundown photo op. In between we had a lot of hours on our hands — some of it scheduled, some of it free time. By mid-afternoon we were beat, had exhausted nearly all our entertainment options, and weren’t finding much else to do on the panel list. On a whim and in need of seating, we decided to check out our first convention costume contest in two years.

Longtime MCC readers may recall the overlong essay explaining why I decided to stop attending costume contests. I stand by that essay and the problems I developed, but in this case: (a) I had planned to sit back during the contest and watch from afar rather than trying to go full-bore full-coverage amateur photojournalist again; and (b) instead of frustrating herself with fuzzy zoom-lens results, Anne decided to get up, head over toward the contestants’ milling space, and start capturing faces and souls up closer because she’s awesome like that. All but two photos in this entry are her handiwork, and represent the folks who caught our eyes most sharply and who held still. Enjoy!

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Confessions of a Former Costume Contest Fan

C2E2 2015 Finalists!

C2E2 semi-finalists, left to right: a Warhammer 40K Inquisitor; Takuto Tsunashi from Star Driver; an original Norse Valkyrie; the Khorne Marauder, also from Warhammer 40K; and I believe you’ve met Groot.

Each time my wife and I attend a convention, we love coming home with dozens upon dozens of photos to save for posterity once we’ve turned elderly and forgotten everything we ever did, to show to friends and family interested in what we do, and to share with followers and passing strangers here on Midlife Crisis Crossover. To us it’s all a part of the geek experience, a sort of community service for those who couldn’t be there, or for those who were there but are looking for more shots, different perspectives, or simply proof of their existence when they were unable to take or locate any pics of themselves.

On a related note, for better or for worse, MCC’s highest single-day traffic figures every year are nearly always from cosplay photo galleries. Longtime readers who have no use for cons may wonder why I devote multiple entries to each con, but for me the math is easy: cons provide plenty of new content, anecdotes, and visual wonders to share with the world; and we usually see a traffic spike with each miniseries, especially when it comes to reporting costume contest results. Everybody loves winners, and even runners-up in such showdowns are impressive in their own right.

The grandest of them all is Gen Con, which we’ve been attending since before the recent boom in the Indianapolis con scene. Anne and I aren’t even tabletop or TCG gamers, but their exhibit hall contains scintillating multitudes and their costume contest attracts some of the most imaginative, hard-working, dedicated fans around with a penchant for representing characters and concepts far from the mainstream norms. I come away from each Gen Con a little more wowed and schooled at the same time. I’ve made no secret that the costume contest is the primary reason I attend Gen Con.

After our recent con experiences and no small amount of self-examination on my part, I think I need to let the whole costume-contest thing go.

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C2E2 2015 Photos, Part 2: the Rest of the Costume Contest

The Hunter! Zadalamel! Liara!

The Hunter from Bloodborne is flanked by Liara from WildStar and Zasalamel from Soul Calibur IV.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I went to C2E2 and took photos! Part one was the twelve winners of the Costume Contest. Presented here are the other remarkable contestants whose efforts likewise deserved recognition for their skills, efforts, and imagination.

Right this way for Costume Contest goodness!

C2E2 2015 Photos, Part 1: Costume Contest Winners

Lady Sif!

Thor’s best friend Sif took third place in the Comics division and won the special Fan Award, as voted on by any audience members who had a smartphone, any battery power remaining after a day of conventioning, and a working 4G/Wi-Fi connection. I was very happy for them, and especially for her.

As I type this, the sixth annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2″) is wrapping up this year’s three-day run, April 24-26, 2015. Each year C2E2 keeps impressing us more and more, inching ever closer to its goal of becoming the Midwest’s answer to the legendary San Diego Comic Con and other famous cons in larger, more popular states. My wife and I missed the first year, but have attended every year since 2011 as a team.

Over the next several entries, I’ll be sharing memories and photos from our own C2E2 experience, in all its splendor and difficulties. Caveats for first-time visitors to Midlife Crisis Crossover:

1. My wife and I are not professional photographers, nor do we believe ourselves worthy of press passes. These were taken as best as possible with the intent to share with fellow fans out of a sincere appreciation for the works inspired by the heroes, hobbies, artistic expressions, and/or intellectual properties that brought us geeks together under one vaulted roof for the weekend. We all do what we can with the tools and circumstances at hand. We don’t use selfie sticks, tripods, or cameras that cost more than a month’s worth of groceries.

2. It’s impossible for any human or organization to capture every costume on hand. What’s presented in this series will be a fraction of the sum total costume experience. That being said, please note MCC refutes the popular notion that every fan attends in costume. We appreciate those who do, but the general public believes it’s a mandatory masquerade and that cute but inaccurate perception is passé and declassé.

3. We didn’t attend Sunday. Sincere apologies to anyone we missed as a result.

4. Corrections and comments are always welcome, especially when it comes to any anime and/or gaming characters we elders-in-the-making didn’t recognize. I like learning new things, especially when I’m trying to write about characters and series that our generation misse.

5. Enjoy!

Right this way for this year’s Costume Contest winners!

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 4 of 6: Costumes Around the Show Floor

Ms. Marvel!

The all-new Ms. Marvel!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended Gen Con 2014 and took pictures as usual.

Parts One through Three were folks in the Costume Contest. In Parts Four and Five: convention attendees who opted out of competition but availed themselves of the activities and walking space all over the bustling, crowded exhibit hall. More lighting, more time to concentrate, and no dozens of rows of chairs separating us from the cosplayers. Much better results in general.

Right this way for costumes. Yes, MORE of them.

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 3 of 6: Costume Contest, Last Call

Purple Bane!

Purple Bane, Purple Bane! I encountered him on the show floor before he popped up in the Contest. His stage appearance included his own version of the song, with backing track by, apropos of Bane, the Revolution.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended Gen Con 2014 and took pictures as usual.

Part One was the Costume Contest Winners; Part Two was more entrants to same, many of whom sported equally fine work and/or delivered entertaining performances in their own right. This time: our last remaining Costume Contest pics, some of which are beyond usability, but I like to be as inclusive as possible, often to a fault. If you were in the Contest and you’re not in any of those three entries, you have our sincerest apologies.

Right this way for still more competition!

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 2 of 6: More from the Costume Contest


Hawkwoman! Or possibly Hawkgirl. I’m going with Hawkwoman.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended Gen Con 2014 and took pictures as usual.

Last time was the Costume Contest Winners. This time: some of the other Costume Contest entrants, whose fine works will star in Parts Two and Three. I’m splitting them up because I like to keep my photodumps to a fairly consistent size. When I go too far overboard in a single entry, chances are I’ve been at the computer too long and I’m putting myself at risk of falling to pieces if I don’t step away for a while.

Right this way for more costumed contenders!

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 1 of 6: the Costume Contest Winners


Toothless! America’s new favorite reptile (sorry, Godzilla), the star of the How to Train Your Dragon series. Winner of this year’s Staff Favorite award.

This weekend our starstruck hometown of Indianapolis hosted the 47th edition of Gen Con, one of America’s oldest and largest gaming conventions. Whether your gaming mode is RPGs, tabletop games, TCGs, dice games, family board games, or video games, Gen Con has its sights aimed in your direction. Try a new game, pick up supplies for your current campaigns, network with gamers from faraway lands, or just wander the premises and gaze upon the wonders. Attendance in 2013 exceeded 49,000, an impressive 20% increase over 2012. Judging by how overcrowded the main exhibit hall became by mid-afternoon Saturday this year, I’d say they’re on target for another increase.

This was my fifth GenCon and my wife’s fourth, even though we’re not certified pro gamers. Some of our personal geek interests intersect with enough of the available exhibits, dealers, and special events that we’re rarely bored except in the occasional line, but those come with the territory. I have somewhat obsolete working knowledge of the early days of gaming. In my youth I used to spend dollar after dollar on the original Advanced Dungeons and Dragons hardcovers and modules, as well as various other TSR RPGs (Top Secret!, Star Frontiers, Marvel Super-Heroes, et al.) and a subscription to both Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Adventures (starting with issue #1!) until all my childhood friends moved away and took their Player Characters with them.

Anyway: we took too many photos because too many people did interesting things. Our photos will be paced out in a six-part series that I hope to post on a slightly-more-than-daily basis over the next few days, Lord willing and if non-internet responsibilities don’t interfere. We begin with the easiest place to start: the winners of the 29th annual Gen Con Costume Contest.

Caveat for newcomers to MCC: some of our photos aren’t the greatest ever. The 500 Ballroom is poorly lit at all times whether any conventions are using it or not. Flash photography was forbidden, which is just as well because using the flash from the non-Press-Pass, non-VIP seats produces even worse results. This is something my wife and I enjoy doing, to show our appreciation and awe for those with the flair for this particular aspect of the scene. We apologize in advance for the costumes we missed, and for the opportunities we blew because of our limitations and hindrances.

Comments and especially corrections are always welcome and appreciated. (That’s my standing policy for every MCC entry anyway, not just the Gen Con six-parter.) I’m not plugged directly into every single geek scene out there. Very few geeks are, even the famous ones with their own YouTube channels. If you notice any wanton acts of mislabeling, please don’t hesitate to call me out. I enjoy learning about new worlds and universes, giving credit where it’s due, and dispelling my old man’s ignorance.

Right this way for the winners!

Indy PopCon 2014 Photos #6: Last Call for Costumes

The marathon continues! As promised in our first installment, please enjoy more photos from the first annual Indy PopCon convention. Same guidelines apply: we’re fans, not pros; corrections and comments welcome; hope they’re enjoyable.

Part Six: our last remaining costume photos from other categories that didn’t receive separate entries — characters from movies, TV, American animation, the time-honored “potpourri” division, and ensemble setups. After disqualifying several photos that were either blurry or missing key portions of anatomy, what’s here is what’s left of our costume pics. That’s not to say the Indy PopCon marathon ends here. Two more entries should be following this week, and then MCC returns to its regularly random programming of whatever and stuff.

Japanese virtual pop star Hatsune Miku bids you welcome.

Hatsune Miku!

Right this way for your last chance at costumes, costumes, and more costumes!

Indy PopCon 2014 Photos #5: Gaming and Anime Costumes!

The marathon continues! As promised in our first installment, please enjoy more photos from the first annual Indy PopCon convention. Same guidelines apply: we’re fans, not pros; corrections and comments welcome; hope they’re enjoyable.

Part Five: at last, anime and gaming! This is always the section where I can use the most assistance from You, the Viewers at Home. If you recognize a character I didn’t, please feel free to speak up so that others might learn and possibly discover a new universe to explore. Better still, help this old man become fractionally less ignorant of stuff you like. If some of these are original characters, introductions are always welcome.

Longtime MCC readers are aware of my soft spot for Final Fantasy, so it’s a logical starting point. Behold: Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII plus follow-ups, and Genesis from Crisis Core.

Sephiroth and Genesis!

Right this way for more, more, more!

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