A-Kon 26 Revs up for a Weekend Full of Anime, Gaming, and Cosplay

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A-Kon is the longest running anime convention in the U.S. With 25 years now under its belt, A-Kon consistently delivers an exciting weekend full of anime, guests, panels, and fun.

Join A-Kon and over 20,000 anticipated guests at the Hilton Anatole in Downtown Dallas. Parking can be a bit tricky as main parking at the Anatole fills up rather quickly. It is strongly encouraged to refer to this map and signing that allows overflow A-Kon parking. There are many spots close to the Anatole that may look tempting to park in, but beware towing is HEAVILY enforced during the weekend and you don’t want to come back to a booted/non-existent car after a

If you're looking to get a professional photo of your cosplay, visit SuperheroPhotos at A-kon!

If you’re looking to get a professional photo of your cosplay, visit SuperheroPhotos at A-Kon! This was my Mega Charizard from A-Kon last year!

weekend of fun.

Whether you have pre-registered for a badge or are buying on-site, it’s advised to get in line as early as you can. Lines have been hours long in the past and you don’t want to miss any of your convention time. If you’re cosplaying it’s advised to pick up your badge before you get in costume since you may be standing for an extended period of time.

A-Kon draws such a large crowd because the convention consistently delivers optimal entertainment to its guests. From J-Pop celebrities to a massive artist alley/dealers room collaboration, there is always something new to see.

This years celebrity guests include voice actress Amber Nash most currently known for her role as Pam from Archer. Other guests include Trina Nishimura, voice of Mikasa from Attack on Titan, and Caitlin Glass known for her role as Winry from Fullmetal Alchemist.

Although A-Kon is namely an anime convention, gaming is a large feature too. A Console Gaming Room full of nostalgic game titles is sure to feed any gamers appetite. Additionally, ScrewAttack will be there with game demos so be sure to stop by and test out some of their newest titles.

One of the highlights of A-Kon is a large dance party they host Saturday night. If you like rave-like atmospheres, this dance party is right up your alley. In the past they’ve had talented DJ’s who incorporate nerdy touches into their music like Pokemon themes, Zelda’s main theme and more.

While finding restaurants in walking distance of the Anatole isn’t that easy, A-Kon has accommodated to have multiple food trucks available around the clock to satisfy hungry guests. There are 20 food trucks on the list to be rotating throughout four areas of the convention. From pizza, BBQ, tacos, and boba, there’s something for everyone.

Come out to A-Kon 26 this weekend and have some fun with the nerdiest and most fun people around, it’s tradition!

Also, here is my A-Kon photo bingo chart! Save it on your phone and try to get a bingo! Send it to me after the weekend with the photos to dallasfangirl@gmail.com!

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Anime North Texas this weekend

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This weekend Anime North Texas will bring panels, celebrity guests, and plenty of opportunities to show your love for all thins anime!

When: Nov. 14-16

Where: Radisson Hotel Fort Worth North – Fossil Creek

How Much: $40 whole weekend, $25 Fri, $30 Sat, $20 Sun

There is so much going on at ANT that appeals to all aspects of the anime fandom community. Panels include Gundam, Attack on Titan, Propmaking Cosplay 101, and a dating game. There will be a dance and a masquerade ball as well.

Additionally, ANT will run a costume contest with awesome prizes including an amazing sewing machine!

So check out all the fun this weekend at one of the last convention of the year, Anime North Texas!

Additional information can be found on ANT’s website and their Facebook page.

Conventions this Weekend: Mini A-Kon, Furry Fiesta

Mini A-Kon: 

If you’re not familiar with A-Kon, it’s a huge anime convention in Dallas. Last year, it moved to the Hilton Anatole in Downtown Dallas. The attendance levels are consistently rising getting close to 30,000 attendees. Because it’s such ToriKat-Mini-A-Kon-2014-231x300an anticipated convention, a Micro A-Kon and Mini A-Kon sprouted.

Mini A-Kon is pretty much as it sounds. It’s a smaller version of A-Kon and until this year it was held at the Denton Public Library. But Mini A-Kon is growing, and may not be so mini for long. This year it is moving to the Denton Civic Center and the Emily Fowler Central Library. Having two locations allows Mini A-Kon to provide more panels, more guests, and more space for attendees.

Mini A-Kon is only one day, but the best part about the convention is that it’s totally free. That’s right – free!! So put on your favorite cosplay and head out to Denton on Saturday for an awesome time.

When: 

Saturday, Feburary 22nd

10 am – 5 pm

Where: 

Denton Civic Center
321 E McKinney St
Denton, TX 76201 ‎

Emily Fowler Central Library
502 Oakland St
Denton, TX ‎76201

How much: FREE!

Cosplay: Go for it! This is where a lot of people test out their cosplays in preparation for A-kon in June to see what changes and upgrades they need to make.

Do I need to bring money: Yes. Bring money for food and for purchases. There will be a dealers room with merchandise!

Furry Fiesta:

Furry Fiesta invites members of the Furry community and fans alike to celebrate the culture of anthropomorphism, which is the attribution of humans in anything other than the human body. In the furry culture that is most empty_registrationclosely associated with wolves, dogs, and other fluffy animals. Many people dress up in full furry costumes that they have either created themselves or had commissioned.

Events at Furry Fiesta include an Art Show, Charity Poker Tournament, Fursuit Parade (involving those dressed in furry attire), a Variety Show, and a Dance.

The theme for this year’s Furry Fiesta is Heroes and Villains.

When: 

February 21-23

Where: 

InterContinental Dallas:

15201 Dallas Pkwy

Dallas, TX 75001

How much: $45

Cosplay: Mainly furry suits and furry outfits will be present.

Do I need to bring money: Yes. Bring money for food and for purchases. There will be a Dealers Den with merchandise!

Adventures in Costuming – Recommendations to New Buyers

It’s always nerve-racking pulling the trigger when purchasing items for a costume. I feel like once I buy the first piece – I’m committed. There’s no going back. Maybe I have a large fear of buyer’s remorse, or maybe I’m still warming up to the fact that that to really get a good quality costume I need to be prepared to shell out some dollars.

Since there’s less than two months until Dallas Comic-Con and I’m preparing a new costume (exciting!) it’s crunch time for me to order
my materials. I’ve had quite a few friends ask me for some advice when it comes to putting together a costume. So, instead of telling you all separately at the risk of forgetting something, I’ve narrowed down what I think are the most valuable tips I’ve learned over the years into this nice little post.

Plan in advance

Get your costume planned out in full detail at least two months before the convention you are planning on attending. Not only does this give time to figure out the exact materials that you want but it also majorly lowers the risk of not getting your order on time. If you have a costume idea that you think is going to require more than two months worth of work (this is sounding pretty intense) and you have less than two months to do it, it might be worth trying to enlist some crafty friends to help. Cookies are always a nice incentive.

Order from a place you know is reliable

My favorite place to purchase materials is Amazon, especially when I’m in a time crunch. It’s easy to find competitive deals from brand name sellers who offer quick shipping dates and are reliable.

Ebay is risky, but can pay off if you’re willing to wait. The thing with Ebay is that you are able to purchase from international sellers which in most cases results in lower prices. For my Captain America outfit ordered the red under-bust and my red boots from a seller in China via Ebay.  My items arrived in the mail roughly 3 weeks after they were ordered. One of my friends wasn’t so fortunate and had ordered similar items only to have them get stuck at customs and she didn’t wind up receiving them until 3 months after the convention.

Always, always, always check reviews

Reviews are your best friend. I go through as many as I can before placing an order. Maybe it’s some sort of paranoia but I always want to make sure where I’m ordering from is reputable and the item is the quality I expect.

For most costumes I’ve put together, the items come from the same place, so I really want to make sure this place is reputable before I completely put my trust in them. For international stores and smaller businesses I usually just Google “store name review” and in my experience a forum on either a cosplay website or on another social media platform will pop up and several reviews will follow. In some other cases I’ve seen reviews posted on the items website but not correlate to the item. Spambots are out there and so are trolls! Be wary.

Fabric stores are awesome resources

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Eevee costume I put together for Ikkicon 2010. I did everything with fabric glue! No sewing required! Amazingly all the pieces are still sitting in my closet in-tact.

I’m not the craftiest person on the planet and I’m pretty challenged when it comes to sewing. That said, I usually try to find any other method of adhering fabrics. Although it’s pretty easy to search the interwebs for solutions on alternate ways to attach two fabrics, my best results have come from the people at my local craft store. There I’m able to show them the fabrics and they can tell me whether any sort of craft glue will do the trick or if I need to suck up to a friend to get them to sew it for me. Coincidentally  I found out most of the younger people who work at the craft stores in my area actually go to conventions. They have a lot of experience with the fabrics and understand just how much wear and tear they will go through. You may be surprised what new friends you can find!

Etsy is magical

I was really apprehensive the first time I ordered something from Etsy. I ordered a custom set of ears and a tail for a Rigby, from Regular Show, costume I did a couple years ago for AnimeFest. Before I ordered anything I contacted the seller to make sure I could get the items in time and got a really fast response. The seller had ears and tails ready-to-ship in her shop that would have worked for me, but when I messaged her I was surprised to get feedback saying that for the same price she could custom make me a set that was modeled right to Rigby’s. I got it way before I expected and the quality was fantastic!

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Me in my Rigby costume (circa 2011) with a very cute Fionna!

For my newest costume that I will premiere at Dallas Comic-Con I ordered from a new seller on Etsy. Her shop had no reviews and she had just recently opened her store, but she had the exact item that I wanted. I really lucked out on this one. The seller not only went out of her way to contact me but actually hand-delivered the item to my place and refunded me the shipping! Not only is the item exactly as it was described but the experience with the seller helped put my mind at ease for future transactions.

Party City – My last minute costume headquarters

I know a lot of people give criticism to those who wear Party City costumes to conventions. I don’t really understand this unless someone is trying to pass off a costume that is obviously purchased as hand-made. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, one of my favorite costumes came from Party City. For last minute accessories, Party City really is the best place to go. They carry costumes and accessories year-round and are usually well stocked with a good selection. Most of the accessories I’ve purchased from Party City I use as bases to build upon. For example, I got a pair of cat ears that were on a durable headband. I covered them in fabric and shaped it to be the headpiece that I was wanting. The price of the headband plus the price of the fabric was a large percentage less than buying an exact replica item from somewhere online.

What are your favorite places to get cosplay/costume materials? Have you ever had a bad experience?

Can’t wait to see all my friends at Dallas Comic-Con!