Indy PopCon 2016 Photos, Part 1 of 2: A Cosplay Sampler

Fairly OddParents!

Wanda and Cosmo, the Fairly OddParents! Stars of one of the last Nickelodeon shows my son ever watched before he aged out of it. Other than SpongeBob, I have no idea who their popular mascots are today.

This weekend Indy PopCon returned to the Indiana Convention Center for their the third annual gala of YouTube, gaming, podcasting, comics, voice actors, animation, and various other manifestations of pop and geek culture in general. My wife and I still regard 2014’s inaugural Indy PopCon as one of the best convention experiences we’ve ever had, but got a little lost when 2015’s event shifted focus toward luring in droves of younger fans. This time we were in the house Saturday for just a half-day with a short itinerary and muted expectations, but were happy to find ourselves another round of wacky fun.

As always we took photos for You, the Viewers at Home, over half of which were costumes. From the start Indy PopCon has attracted quite a creative crowd of cosplayers at every level, from the monetized pro circuit to the costume-contest hopefuls to the sincerest fans of varying means to literally a guy wearing an outfit made of Amazon boxes. At the crossroads of imagination, resourcefulness, determination, and fandom lies…Indy PopCon.

Right this way for a modest selection of costumes, not all of which are Deadpool variants!

C2E2 2016 Photos, Part 9 of 9: The Things They Carried

Reading Pile!

The total addition to my reading pile from our two days at C2E2. On a related note, I’ve been suffering back pain flare-ups all week long. I normally don’t buy sketches or prints, but I bet fans who buy only sketches or prints didn’t share my problem.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I spent two days at the seventh annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Exposition, where Midwest comics fans in particular and geeks in general gather together in the name of imaginary worlds from print and screen to revel in fiction and touch bases on what’s hot or cool at this moment in pop culture.

So it all comes down to this, as every convention ultimately does: stuff and things! Items for sales, displays around the show floor, the neat collectibles everyone wanted to get their paws on, and the big corporate advertisements that surrounded us and insisted we need more stuff. Thus we conclude with one last look at the inanimate objects that entertained, tantalized, or just plain baffled us.

Right this way for one last C2E2 2016 photo gallery!

C2E2 2016 Photos: Last Call for Costumes!

PuppyMonkeyBaby!

Puppymonkeybaby! Puppymonkeybaby! Puppymonkeybaby! Puppymonkeybaby! Puppymonkeybaby! Puppymonkeybaby!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I spent two days at the seventh annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Exposition, where Midwest comics fans in particular and geeks in general gather together in the name of imaginary worlds from print and screen to revel in fiction and touch bases on what’s hot or cool at this moment in pop culture.

This isn’t the final chapter in this very special week-long MCC miniseries, but it is all the costume photos we have left. Most of these would fit into a “Movie and TV Costumes!” chapter of their own, but that would leave a few stragglers out in the cold. As always, our goal here is to see No Cosplayer Left Behind if we have any say in their fates. So everyone unites in one last big potpourri hurrah for the sake of inclusion.

What we’ve presented in our five C2E2 2016 costume entries is a fraction of a fraction of all the hundreds of cosplayers we saw swirling around us all weekend. No two C2E2 attendees will have the same costume photo collections, so I’d strongly recommend seeking out others online if you want an even broader picture of the complete Chicago convention experience. C2E2 is large and it contains multitudes.

Right this way for costumes, costumes, COSTUMES!

C2E2 2016 Photos: Comics Costumes!

Silk + Luffy!

New Marvel meets modern manga: Silk and One Piece star Monkey D. Luffy.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I spent two days at the seventh annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Exposition, where Midwest comics fans in particular and geeks in general gather together in the name of imaginary worlds from print and screen to revel in fiction and touch bases on what’s hot or cool at this moment in pop culture.

In tonight’s photo gallery: costumes from your favorite comic books! Or someone else’s favorite comics, whichever. You’d think these would out number the other categories, but C2E2 attracts a diverse following of myriad tastes in reading material. Regrettably, it wasn’t till after we got home and I took inventory, when I realized Marvel and DC Comics were very nearly the only publishers represented in the “comics-based costumes” section. I have no idea how that happened, but it’s too late for retakes.

Regardless: onward!

Right this way for super-heroes, super-villains, and a few bonus movie characters!

C2E2 2016 Photos: Gaming and Animation Costumes!

Final Fantasy VII!

The family that cosplays together: straight out of Final Fantasy VII, it’s Barrett, Vincent Valentine, and li’l Cait Sith peering into your SOUL. My favorite photo of the weekend.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I spent two days at the seventh annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Exposition, where Midwest comics fans in particular and geeks in general gather together in the name of imaginary worlds from print and screen to revel in fiction and touch bases on what’s hot or cool at this moment in pop culture.

In tonight’s photo parade, we focus on artforms made of moving art, interactive or otherwise. I’m not the best guy to ask about anime or XBox games, but I’ve played my share of video games and seen more than a few animated features. The younger cosplayers are great at stumping me, but I love seeing other fans celebrate some familiar faces out there. And as longtime MCC readers may recall, Final Fantasy characters get preferential treatment here, but there’s more where they came from.

Right this way for more heroes and some Saturday morning flashbacks!

C2E2 2016 Photos: Star Wars: The New Cosplay Order

Rey + Kylo Ren!

Can this be? Rey and Kylo Ren working together? Say it ain’t so!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I spent two days at the seventh annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Exposition, where Midwest comics fans in particular and geeks in general gather together in the name of imaginary worlds from print and screen to revel in fiction and touch bases on what’s hot or cool at this moment in pop culture.

We expected new costume ideas to abound thanks to the interstellar success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the whole new cast of iconic characters for us to watch, study, follow, debate, and impersonate. We saw veritable armies of Rey and Kylo Ren parading around the show floor and claiming it as their own. We caught a mere fraction of a fraction of the Star Wars fans on site.

Right this way for more Rey, more Ren, and BB-8 in three sizes!

C2E2 2016 Photos: Dance of the Mad Deadpools

Dance of the Mad Deadpools!

Toting around a boom-box blaring mad beatz, roaming the show and rapping all Friday long, that’s Deadpool on the left with his funky pal Spidey, whose costume is red enough that he basically counts as an honorary Deadpool.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I spent two days at the seventh annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Exposition — or “C2E2” to Ichabod Crane and other acronym haters out there — where Midwest comics fans in particular and geeks in general gather together in the name of imaginary worlds from print and screen to revel in fiction and touch bases on what’s hot or cool at this moment in pop culture. Larger shows like San Diego have garnered the nickname “nerd prom”, which I don’t care for because I have issues with the word “nerd”, but I’ll agree the always fascinating cosplayers make every con quite the extraordinary masquerade ball.

Longtime MCC readers know Deadpool cosplayers have been a rapidly growing demographic in previous cons. C2E2 is the first con we’ve attended since the Merc with a Mouth got his own movie in theaters that’s raked in a ridiculous $340 million at the American box office with no signs of stopping anytime soon. So naturally his variants once again ruled the dance floor and were the belles of the ball.

Right this way for Deadpool! Deadpool! DEADPOOL!

Indy Pop Con 2015 Photos, Part 2 of 3: More Costumes!

Vincent + Tifa!

Vincent and Tifa from Final Fantasy VII. Longtime MCC readers know I brake for anyone from FF.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This weekend the second annual Indy PopCon once again overtook our Indiana Convention Center with a festive mix of comics, gaming, voice actors, established actors, animation, podcasting, and various other manifestations of pop and geek culture in general. This year’s guest list also encroached upon a new entertainment frontier: the rapidly expanding world of YouTube stars. My wife and I had never heard of any of those who were invited, but we were outnumbered several thousand to one in that regard.

We attended Saturday only for a limited time for a number of reasons with a short itinerary and modest expectations, but we took photos as usual for You, the Viewers at Home.

Part One had costumes; Part Two has more costumes. Part Three doesn’t have costumes except as Easter eggs.

Right this way for all the other costumes we caught!

Indy Pop Con 2015 Photos, Part 1 of 3: Costumes from the Marvel/Disney Empire

Miles Morales, Ultimate Spider-Man!

Miles Morales, Ultimate Spider-Man, prepares to spring into action.

This weekend the second annual Indy PopCon once again overtook our Indiana Convention Center with a festive mix of comics, gaming, voice actors, established actors, animation, podcasting, and various other manifestations of pop and geek culture in general. This year’s guest list also encroached upon a new entertainment frontier: the rapidly expanding world of YouTube stars. My wife and I had never heard of any of those who were invited, but we were outnumbered several thousand to one in that regard.

We attended Saturday only for a limited time for a number of reasons with a short itinerary and modest expectations, but we took photos as usual for You, the Viewers at Home. The first two entries will be costumes, because that’s one of those things we like to see and share. In our first lineup: characters from the synergistic worlds of Marvel Comics, Walt Disney Animation, and that faraway Star Wars galaxy. Oddly, exactly half the viable cosplay pics we took comprised personalities from their corporate domain.

Right this way for heroes and villains in the Mighty Marvel Manner! And their amazing business associates, too!

C2E2 2015 Photos, Part 7 of 9: Last Call for Costumes

Shining Twins!

The Grady twins from The Shining, roaming the McCormick Place halls forever and ever AND EVER.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I went to C2E2 and took photos! Other chapters in the series:

Part 1: Costume Contest Winners
Part 2: The Rest of the Costume Contest
Part 3: Edge of Deadpoolverse
Part 4: Mighty Marvel Costumes
Part 5: More Comics Costumes
Part 6: Mystery Science Costume Theater 3000
Part 8: Stars of Comics and Screens
Part 9: Random Acts of C2E2ing

Today’s feature: our last usable cosplay pics — characters from gaming, animation, and pop-culture potpourri.

Right this way for just a few more costumes, and then I promise I’ll move on!

C2E2 2015 Photos, Part 6 of 9: Mystery Science Costumes 3000

MST3K!

We fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 had great reasons to show up this weekend. More about that in later entries. For now, you should really just relax.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I went to C2E2 and took photos! Other chapters in the series:

Part 1: Costume Contest Winners
Part 2: The Rest of the Costume Contest
Part 3: Edge of Deadpoolverse
Part 4: Mighty Marvel Costumes
Part 5: More Comics Costumes
Part 7: Last Call for Costumes
Part 8: Stars of Comics and Screens
Part 9: Random Acts of C2E2ing

Today’s feature: costumes from sci-fi movies and TV! And a smidgen of fantasy for texture.

Right this way for Star Wars, Spaceballs, and more!

C2E2 2015 Photos, Part 5 of 9: More Comics Costumes

Guardian of the Universe!

A lot of folks think guarding a single galaxy is an impressive feat. Try being a Guardian of the Universe for a day.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I went to C2E2 and took photos! Other chapters in the series:

Part 1: Costume Contest Winners
Part 2: The Rest of the Costume Contest
Part 3: Edge of Deadpoolverse
Part 4: Mighty Marvel Costumes
Part 6: Mystery Science Costume Theater 3000
Part 7: Last Call for Costumes
Part 8: Stars of Comics and Screens
Part 9: Random Acts of C2E2ing

Today’s feature: costumes from comics besides Marvel — their Distinguished Competition as well as a few other popular print sources.

Right this way for comics folks!

C2E2 2015 Photos, Part 4 of 9: Mighty Marvel Costumes

Netflix Daredevil!

Netflix Daredevil makes his Midwest convention cosplay debut.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I went to C2E2 and took photos! Other chapters in the series:

Part 1: Costume Contest Winners
Part 2: The Rest of the Costume Contest
Part 3: Edge of Deadpoolverse
Part 5: More Comics Costumes
Part 6: Mystery Science Costume Theater 3000
Part 7: Last Call for Costumes
Part 8: Stars of Comics and Screens
Part 9: Random Acts of C2E2ing

Today’s feature: the publisher, the studio, the universe…it’s Marvel!

Right this way to Make Mine Marvel! Or Make Yours Marvel! Whatever.

C2E2 2015 Photos, Part 3: Edge of Deadpoolverse

Sheriff Deadpool!

If anyone can clean up your small town, it’s that valiant Sheriff Deadpool.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I went to C2E2 and took photos! Other chapters in the series:

Part 1: Costume Contest Winners
Part 2: The Rest of the Costume Contest
Part 4: Mighty Marvel Costumes
Part 5: More Comics Costumes
Part 6: Mystery Science Costume Theater 3000
Part 7: Last Call for Costumes
Part 8: Stars of Comics and Screens
Part 9: Random Acts of C2E2ing

Today’s feature: Deadpool! Lots of Deadpool! Some popular characters were cosplayed in droves, but no one had as many off-kilter variants as Deadpool. His fans don’t just want to be him: they want to be him being anyone else but himself. We found ten different Deadpools roaming the convention Friday and Saturday, and who knows how many dozens more we missed.

Right this way for Deadpool, Deadpool, Deadpool!

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!

Wizard World Indianapolis 2015 Photos, Part 1 of 2: Costumes!

Baroness!

The Baroness welcomes you to Wizard World Indianapolis 2015! Unless you’re with that accursed GI Joe. Then you can go attend the dental networking seminar across the hall for all she cares. (Fun MCC trivia: we’ve actually met before! You can visit her Facebook page for more pics and future cosplay plans.)

This weekend is the inaugural Wizard World Indianapolis, currently taking up residence in three exhibit halls, one ballroom, and a handful of meeting roomings at our ample Indiana Convention Center downtown. My wife and I have attended several Wizard World Chicago weekends, but this is the first time their company has seen fit to grace our hometown with their geek marketing presence. Not that we’re necessarily complaining, mind you. After the parade of conventions that each tried their luck here in 2014 with mixed results, it was refreshing to watch established pros come in and show the pretenders how the job’s done.

As of this writing WWIndy still has one late evening and all of Sunday to go. My wife and I attended today and stuck it out until we ran out of energy and hit a programming snag I hadn’t expected and didn’t have the patience to endure. Derailed plans notwithstanding, today was a vast improvement — in terms of attendance and organization — over the issues we encountered with last year’s events.

Right this way for costumes, costumes, costumes!

Awesome Con 2014 Photos, Part 2 of 3: More Costumes!

Vince Glortho!

Louis Tully, a.k.a. Vince Glortho. Hobbies include Twister, Parcheesi, locking himself out, and warning us how we’ll all perish in flames.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This weekend my wife and I attended the inaugural Awesome Con Indianapolis, the latest attempt to bring the geek convention life to our fair-sized city. [yadda yadda yadda] The important thing for now is, there were costumes! And photos of same!

Last time: half of our cosplayer photos. This time: the other half of our cosplayer photos. Regrettably, we didn’t attend the Saturday evening costume contest, but we like to think we saw our fair share. Otherwise, the same MCC disclaimers apply as last time.

Right this way for costumes, costumes, and costumes!

Awesome Con 2014 Photos, Part 1 of 3: Marvel and DC Costumes

Surf Joker!

Best Joker of the Year. Not just a fan creation, this getup was from a specific episode of the ’66 series that my wife remembers in detail. When the DVD boxed set comes out in November, her pain can be yours, too!

This weekend my wife and I attended the inaugural Awesome Con Indianapolis, the latest attempt to bring the geek convention life to our fair-sized city. The great and powerful Gen Con has had an established presence for years, but cons for other interests besides gaming have had mixed results. In March, the first Indiana Comic Con brought in actors from Game of Thrones and drew in a crowd of thousands that they were ill-equipped to handle, resulting in hundreds (at least) of angry citizens being locked out and turned away. At the end of May, the first Indy PopCon brought in a healthy mix of actors and comics creators, but attendance fell short of expectations. Awesome Con is our newest contestant, an expansion of a company whose previous efforts were in Washington, DC.

Like Indy PopCon, Awesome Con had no specific focus, mixing guests and dealers from the worlds of comics, gaming, TV, animation, and so on. We tried to keep our expectations modest after our previous experiences, but when the local news media kept boasting attendance expectations of 30,000+, particularly in light of the con’s numerous TV ads and interviews, we wondered if perhaps things would go differently this time.

More about that later. The important thing for now is, there were costumes! And photos of same!

Standard caveat for newcomers to MCC: 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 non-professional results. Comments and especially corrections are always welcome and appreciated. She and I aren’t plugged directly into every single geek scene out there, so 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 round one!

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 5 of 6: Last Call for Costumes

Khal Drogo!

Not taking Khal Drogo seriously would prove to be his last mistake. After the scene of carnage, his friends divided up the contents of his pockets between them.

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

Parts One through Three were the Costume Contest winners and contenders. Part Four was cosplay in the exhibit hall, the other halls, the other rooms, out and about, and wherever. Part Five: more of those, but the last usable ones in our collection. If you’re not shown here, either our destinies didn’t cross on that fateful Saturday, or we crossed at mistimed moments (really sorry I missed Pirate Harley Quinn), or we have a tragically blurry pic of you that’s not worth anyone’s upload time. Better luck next year, maybe?

For those who know every fictional character ever invented, this entry shall be your geek-culture playground, as it contains the largest number of “WHO DAT” cosplay moments. If you recognize any of the unnamed folks in these pics, now’s your chance to label them with pride.

Right this way for the last of the famous international cosplayers!

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