Saturday, September 21, 2013

Montreal ComicCon 2013 - the Diary

(Vu la longueur du texte, la version Française se trouve dans un article séparé, ici.)

The Montreal ComicCon whirlwind is over, and now that I have had time to rest up, I can tell you about it. Warning: this is a very long post. It is a diary of my day at the convention.

It was great, awesome, I had a lot of fun, my kids did too and they were wonderful, but mostly, now I can take a short break from rushing to finish costumes in time (for a few days, at least).

It was my first time going to Montreal ComicCon (my 4th Convention in total) and I only went Saturday (instead of the whole week-end), since the kids were with me. 2 years ago, when I didn’t get to go, I had heard many stories of people waiting in line for hours to get in. This may have been true for the ones who did not buy their tickets in advance, but as I had done so, I was simply and quite kindly showed where to go as soon as I got there, had no waiting time, and because I had the stroller, I got to use the elevator to move from one floor to the next.

We first stopped shortly in the dealer room. I kid you not, it was the size of 2 if not 3 high school gyms. I visited it 3 times and I still did not see everything. After a few minutes, I decided it was time to go put our costumes on. Since I wasn’t driving in all dressed and I didn’t have a hotel room to do that in, it meant going to a restroom.

 Quick glance at the Dealer Room

If you’ve never been to the Montreal Convention Centre, in the wing where both Otakuthon and Montreal ComicCon are being held there is on the 4th floor a couple of humongous restrooms at each end of the floor, and almost no one knows about them, so there is never any waiting time. Plus, there is a waiting section with carpeted floors and benches, walls of mirrors and light shelves with mirrors. It is the perfect place to go get dresses, put your make-up on, let the kids loose, breastfeed the baby, etc. There are even dome windows behind the sink’s mirrors and you could see into the dealer room on the 2nd floor (I should have taken a picture). It is a well kept secret, but I’ll share it with you anyways.

Once dressed, we were really ready to get back to the main floor. But first, we had to stop by the masquerade registration office to confirm our presence (I had registered on line weeks in advance), give in our music (and contrary to what the website says, they do accept MP3 files on USB drives – thankfully, because my CD didn’t work), and register my daughter’s Dalek “weapon” (the world’s cutest toilet plunger) at the weapon’s check.

As we turned around to go, we met Dalek Dreadnaught.

Princess Dalek with Dalek Dreadnaught 

His weapons shoot out steam with a loud hissing noise and my baby boy got really scared, poor thing, but a hug from Mommy and a lullaby from Big Sister calmed him down.

My daughter and I have been watching The Guild music videos and listening to the songs a lot in the last month, so she insisted we go to the Felicia Day conference (I will remind you she is 4 ½). I think she was secretly hoping, even though I told her it would not happen, that Felicia would show up in her Codex costume and perform Do you want to date my avatar (note: my kids don’t understand English – we speak only French at home). But they played the video just before the conference, we saw Felicia on stage and we met a cosplayer dressed as Codex at some other point (again, I should have taken a picture), so she was completely happy. While we were in the conference hall, the general stage manager for the convention who is a friend of mine came to silently compliment me on my costume. Happy moment. Since the hall wasn’t too full, I was able to let my baby boy cruise a little on the floor, not too far from me, and we also had a bite to eat (don’t tell anyone, I’m not sure it was allowed – but I promise I was careful not to make a mess and not to leave any garbage behind. It is like it never happened).

After the conference, hearing rumors the TARDIS’ presence, we went back to the dealer room where a fan gave us directions, after snapping a few pics of yours truly. We passed some friends cosplaying zombies (my least favourite thing after spiders) and someone almost got slapped for getting too close, though I don’t think he realized just how frightened I am of those gruesome looking walking dead creatures, and finally, we made it to the outer most corner where the Doctor Who Society of Canada had landed their TARDIS, stone angel, silence, and even a few Daleks. It was picture time!



I have to say, and I don’t say this often on the count of my many self image issues and just being a girl in general, but I look awesome in this picture. My kimono came out great and it is quite flattering, wouldn’t you say?

I chatted with some of the members of the Society who appreciated the originality of my costume (as many others did, which is always nice to hear), and one of them told me she owns a few kimono and wondered if I was wearing the many layers one should wear for a proper kitsuke: the answer is yes, mostly. (Post on the details of my costume to follow.)

Daleks in Montreal

The Daleks and their princess

We kept walking and found the Ghostbuster Central of Quebec with Ecto 1 parked there.

Who you gonna call?

Lots more walking and trying to squeeze in between people (with a 2-place stroller) we found the celebrity section, but there was no one there I wanted an autograph from badly enough to pay for it.

Then, turning around a corner, who did we happen to see?


Snow White with Princess Dalek

This cosplayer was kind enough to pose with my daughter after I told her just how much she loves Snow White.

At that point, I had had just about as much as I could take of the crowded dealer room, so we left for a less densely occupied floor space.

I think I should explain here that I suffer from mild ochlophobia, (the fear of crowds). I can deal with crowds for a certain time, but after awhile, being unable to move easily or to get from one point to the next at a decent pace because of all the people, I begin to panic and I can become snappy. I will attempt to control myself and not completely break down and hyperventilate, but all I can think of is getting out of the crowd RIGHT NOW,. Which is not an easy feet when you are pushing a stroller. So now you know.

By the time we had left the dealer room, it was almost time to check in at the Green Room, so we made our way back to the fifth floor, to a much quieter hallway where my daughter, who kept refusing to pose for pictures for strangers (and I didn’t not force her to – I asked if she wanted to every time the request was made and if she refused, that was that), suddenly wanted me to take pictures of her.

Strike the pose


Strike the pose

Vogue... Vogue

We were in that hallway a long time (I think they were running a little late, but no matter), so both kids got to stretch their legs. I got my baby boy in his costume (which I kept for the masquerade to avoid incidents) and I snapped a picture.

My Doctor

Isn’t he the cutest baby Doctor ever? One woman said she was sure this is what the Doctor looked like when he was a baby. He just smiled at everyone and was adorable.

I also snapped a shoe picture with my daughter. They seem to be mandatory for any costumed event.

Mother / Daughter shoe shot

Finally, the green room opened and we slowly filled in. When we met with the MC to discuss the presentation, she chocked on her sip of water before exclaiming “You guys are so CUTE!” (another happy moment). My Green Room experience was great. I got to feed my baby boy, they gave us cookies and iced water, there was a giant screen showing what was going on in the conference room, so I got to see the Jason Momoa conference, our Den Mom played with my daughter, held my son while I was rummaging through all our stuff, and she even kept an eye on my kids while I ran to the reparations table. Because, yes, that was another great thing: they had a table with glue, needle and threads, a hot glue gun, duck tape, anything you might need to quickly fix your costume before the masquerade. It came in handy because one of the rhinestones on my daughter’s Dalek weapon fell off, and so did the pin on the back of my brooch (keeping a perfect kitsuke while carrying a baby is impossible, just so you know).

Eventually, the judges joined us for pre-judging. We had 6 judges, including Kamui Cosplay, Jessica Nigri and Monika Lee. As I have been watching Heroes of Cosplay, I had a tiny geek-out moment when we were sent to be judged by the duo of judges including Monika, even if she is not my favourite “character” in the show. She let out an “Oh she’s so cute!” when she saw my daughter (which always wins you point with any mom), noted that all my seams were overlocked (of course! Raw, unfinished fabric edges are a sewing pet peeve of mine), and seemed impressed when I told her I had woven my obijime myself, and even more so that I had done most the work on the three costumes at night between 10PM and midnight because I needed to wait for my kids to be asleep before having any free time.

5 minutes before the show started, my son fell asleep in my arms, but he woke-up again before we went on stage. Both kids did a terrific job, and I was relieved that my son did not cry when people applauded. With the music of the opening credits for Doctor who playing, the MC read out this story which we acted out:

Once upon a time, there was a Doctor who travelled through time and space in his TARDIS (I walked to the center of the stage with my son in my arms and started to spin). One day, he met a Dalek. (my daughter walked towards us), but this Dalek was different from other Daleks because she didn’t want to exterminate anyone, she only wanted to give hugs. (I kneeled and we had a group hug). From that day forward, the doctor and the Dalek became friends. The end. (We bowed and walked of the stage).

How can anyone resist the cuteness?

We presented our skit as part of the Junior category of the masquerade, so after all entries were done, we all went back on stage were all the participants got a ribbon, even me. While that was going on, I could hear the MC commenting on my daughter’s costumes, that it had rhinestones and just how cute it was (yet another happy moment).

We then went for our official masquerade portrait (the only family picture I have of that day – I can’t wait for those photos to be published). The photographer mentioned something about those “Parenting: you’re doing it right” meme on the internet (and I told him I expect one to be made with our picture and that caption), so that was a proud moment.

While I changed out of my kimono and back into my jeans and t-shirt (my Threadless “Come away with me” by Khallion t-shirt – I’m a geek at a convention after all), my daughter went to talk to the girls whose costumes she loved best. She had me take pictures of her posing with them before we left.

Princess Dalek with Annie from League of Legends

I loved that costume, loved the pink hair matched with the blue and the snowman backpack.

Unknown character with Princess Dalek

This one my daughter had noticed in the hallway and I had to promise to take a picture with her before we left (promise kept), but I do not know who that character is. My daughter called her the Ice Fairy.
Then I had her change out of her dress and we left the Green Room.

(The award ceremony for the masquerade was held Sunday morning, but as I was only going Saturday, I have been told that I will be contacted by e-mail if I’ve won anything).

We swung by the dealer room one last time (it was a lot less crowded by then), went to say hi to my friends in the 501st and I took this picture of my kids with R2D2.

My kids with R2D2

This is my new wallpaper.

As we left, we stopped by a Wolverine posing with people on his motorcycle. At first, my daughter wanted to go see “Mr. Claws”, but when it was time to take a picture, she suddenly got intimidated. That man was so kind: he got down from his motorcycle, came to talk to her, took off his claws to show her they are just toys and even asked her if she wanted a picture with him not riding his bike. She never changed her mind (so I don’t have a picture), but I had to tell you what a great guy he was (Thank you!).

The last person we saw before leaving the convention was the Doctor himself…

It is a Doctor-Dalek!

… IN A DALEK WHEELCHAIR! How awesome is that? That to me is the proof that cosplay is for everyone.

It was a great day. It was a perfect day. As tired as I was in the days prior (I was at the point of wanting the day to be over already), now I can’t wait for the next convention. Congratulations to all the volunteers and employees of the convention centre: you did an amazing job.


  1. Awesome post! I'm glad you and your children had a fun time; all three of you looked SO great.

  2. Wow, a great post of a great time. Montreal comicon sounds amazing! Glad lots of people appreciated your hard work and amazing vision.

  3. Comic con this year was so much fun and it seems you had a great time too :)
    I was Snow White this year and I remember seeing your daughter; she's so cute. :) Her costume was adorable!!!