October 30, 2016

Kitacon 2016 – Morning poop almost got me

Hello puppies ~

Ah, Kitacon. That one comfy but small local convention that I've been attending for years. This year it was held on 29th October in a building called Sauvotalo in Kemi, Finland. As per usual I went there with my friends; a con with free entrance that is not far away is always a good way to brighten up an otherwise ordinary weekend.

Kitacon 2016 poster.
But before I get to the actual con summary I want to tell you a bit about the pre-con Friday!
Sacchan was sleeping over at my place and on the day before the con we were at a small Halloween party that Frozen Angel held at his apartment. Fun part is that during said small party I got really tired early but, of course, once I got home, took a shower and prepared to go sleep I... yeah, guess what? My tiredness just disappeared into some deep dark void and suddenly I couldn't fall asleep before I had tried 400 different sleeping positions and done a sacrifice to Satan. I don't remember exact times but I'm pretty dang sure I got less than 5 hours of sleep that night and, once our alarm clocks rung on the morning, I was so fucking tired I kept pressing the snooze button long after I should have gotten up. ._. I swear it was impossible – for a moment I even considered just staying home because of tiredness but, most of all, because my stomach was rampaging and shit was flying, literally. Yay, poop stories. In other words I was feeling really nauseous when I woke up; I had bad pains in my lower stomach and needed to run to the bathroom at least three times within 15 minutes – it was horrible. I constantly had the whole "I might puke" sort of feeling going on too. The con morning curse.
Once I actually managed to drag my ass out of bed it dawned on me that I had less than 1,5 hours to get ready (aka put on cosplay) before we had to sit in the car and be on our way to Kemi, at the latest. I realized that no way in hell would I have enough time and so I just became a filthy casual and jumped into the car. I also was too afraid to put on my cosplay only to realize that my nausea might get worse at the con and then I'd spend a too big chunk of my time frequenting bathrooms... No thanks.

But yeah, we got to the con a bit past 11:00 local time, safe and sound. I was being really wary and observative of what my body was doing and, because of this, I felt too unsafe to go attend the one and only panel that interested me. Oh well, it would have been too awkward to just suddenly leave because of an urgent need to run for the toilet...

Our company chilled around for a while, checked what the con had to offer and so on. Some sellers I recognized from earlier years but I think there was some new stuff for sale too. I didn't buy anything but a few items caught my interest, especially those kind of surprise bags. I mean, there were Pokémon themed ones! I also saw that someone was selling an used copy of Mario Party 6 for 44 € and I was really tempted because it's one of the Gamecube games that I'm still missing in my collection...
At times it was quite crammed, especially in the Dealer's Hall, but it was manageable.

Random main hall (incl. Dealer's Hall) photo.
After about an hour or so, maybe less, Sacchan told me that she'd go pick up her little brother because he also wanted to attend the con. I decided to come with her for company; she didn't live so far away anyway so I wouldn't be gone from the con for too long. Besides, I realized that my berserk stomach had calmed down a bit and I thought that it would be easier to change into my Hatori cosplay at Sacchan's home than at a small bathroom in the con, which were almost always occupied anyway. I wasn't patient enough to play the toilet waiting game.
Once we arrived at Sacchan's home I threw my cosplay bag into the caravan on the yard and went to say hello to their 13-year-old dachshund mix Piki. ;A; He's such a cute black sausage dog, I just can't.   Sacchan put on the heat in the caravan because it was cold as fuck in that shit. I froze my butt off doing my makeup in there but I'm a true Finn and endured it like a man, lol. I was literally doing my makeup in my underwear and a leather jacket.
Oh and yeah, of course when I cosplay a character who only has one eye visible you can be sure that I'm gonna mess up the eye makeup and yeah, guess which one eye got covered by the wig? :-DD The one with the more succesful makeup of course – the other, visible eye, looked like a case of "end my miseryyyyy".

I didn't check the time when we got back to the con but our fetch-Joni-and-put-on-my-cosplay trip maybe took an hour or so. I remember Firith calling me and asking where we were; I of course told him that I had started to feel better and were putting on my Hatori cosplay so that we could have a quick photoshoot together later on.
At the con we quickly reunited with the group and just chilled around for a while.

Dealer's Hall items. Surprise bags always tempt me...
Pokémon merchandise.
We all wanted to go check the Artist's Alley upstairs since that has turned into one of my "must visit" priorities at cons lately. I don't know but I've kinda started to take a bigger interest in Artist's Alley merch and now I find myself buying more from there than from the actual merch sellers, if that makes sense. I just love seeing all the items that every person creates (it's always a surprise what's up for sale at each con!) by hand and, as an artist myself, it makes me happy to support the work of artists that I like by buying their products. Fan-made merch have a different feeling to them since each piece is unique, you know.

One half of the Artist's Alley.
I remember when I was at Artist's Alley in my Hatori cosplay a random person came up to me, excitedly, and asked if I was cosplaying Sebastian. I assumed they meant the one from Kuroshitsuji and I answered that I was Hatori. They just left without a word and I felt really awkward...
I can sorta understand the mixup though because both wear a suit and have black hair but yeah, neither their suits nor their hair style is the same so... *shrugs* It's not the first time someone mistakes my cosplay for Sebastian Michaelis – the same thing happened several years ago too when I cosplayed Toshizo Hijikata's Sweet School Life version (also wearing a black suit) from Hakuouki but, then again, this one makes a lot more sense because they're basically hair twins, almost. Fun fact is that both times I got mistaken for Sebastian I cosplayed different characters but had the same wig, except that my current Hatori wig is actually my former Hijikata wig that I cut shorter and styled.

Those dolphin plushies were so cute. I always had a thing
for marine animals ~
At Artist's Alley I found one of my favorite sellers in the north – it's the lovely tammukkasart's and hirnuperna's table! It's funny because I've been pretty much a regular at their table, almost always buying something at each con. I hope I don't sound like a stalker now, lol. I just love that they create merch from several different fandoms (as well as animals etc) and they are super fun and nice to talk to! I actually spent some time just babbling away and it was fun when they remembered me from previous cons, omg! It always feels so surreal somehow, ahaha. ;u; If I'm completely honest their table is one of the ones that I'm always hoping to find when I go to all these smaller local cons – it's the same people I bought my dragon form Haku (Spirited Away) and Magikarp scarves from and yeah, every time I wonder if there's any new ones up! Can't wait for the Gyarados one I heard was in the making.

tammukkasart's and hirnuperna's table.
The Touken Ranbu items are soooo cute!
Actually I got one of those Yamato no Kami Yasusada (Tourabu) keychains as a freebie and I was about to drop my jaw on the floor! ;O; I almost didn't believe it and I had to ask again to be sure if I had heard wrong. I can't really even start to describe that mix of sudden surprise and happiness – they're so kind that I just... just... asghfdsjghfds. ♥ Do check them out (the names link to their tumblr accounts) and shower them with love! >//<
I'm sorry by the way that the photo above is a bit grainy, it was taken not long before the con closed and the sun had already started to set, hence poor light conditions because yeah, this is northern Finland in the beginning of winter. Kaamos is approaching.

Of course there was the ogligatory sweets shop selling pocky, ramune etc.
Kitacon in itself doesn't have a huge lot of entertainment value but that's all the more reason for why I always go there with friends. It's one of those slow-paced comfy cons you go to and chill with your pals at. I didn't really care for watching the cosplay date nor the cosplay competition so most of my time I actually just spent walking around and then having a quick photoshoot outside with Firith as Ayame Sohma and me as Hatori. Those photos will be posted in a separate post so stay tuned for that, if you're interested.

This was one of the most interesting things up for sale for
a long-time Pokémon fan like me. The amount of nostalgy.
I'm actually surprised that seemingly no one recognized my cosplay. Or well, if someone did then they didn't tell me about it. Fruits Basket is a rather well-known series but, then again, Hatori looks extremely generic (black-haired guy in a suit) and not very interesting in a costume sort of way so yeah, I can understand very well. Oh well, not like I mind at all because I wanted a cosplay I could move around in freely and without any discomfort or annoying swords to carry, lol. Sometimes it's such a freedom to not constantly have to worry about bumping any props I might have into walls etc or potentially ruining my costume by sitting on the floor. Hatori was a good choice for this kind of slow-paced con because of its ease of wear. I sometimes feel like donning a more impressive cosplay is a bit of a waste at small cons anyway, because of the additional worries that comes with it.

Obligatory cosplay selfie. Bathroom edition.
It was nice to meet some friends I hadn't seen in a while as well, like Ronja. We didn't end up talking all that much but it was really nice to see her again and have a quick chat. I'm sorry though if I seemed a bit distant or something because yeah, at some point I was really freaking hungry and it was the only thing I could think of. xD
Oh yeah, some hours into the con everyone in my company were indeed hungry so we decided on where to go eat; most wanted to go to Subway but there were some votes for Hesburger too. I belonged to the Subway group together with Sacchan and her lil' bro Joni and because we're lazy fucks we took the car there. Real reason is that it was cold, mind you. We all took the cheapest (daily) option and I decided to try it with two sauces instead of just one – it was good to mix barbeque and ranch dressing, hehe.

The con's cafeteria sold some cute bakeries.
Sometime after eating I went into that one crafting room at the con. I don't know what its proper name would be in English but you know, that kind of room where you can draw and do creative stuff – it's really common in most cons I've been to. I ended up doing one of those doodle puzzle piece thingies to kill some time, it was fun. Sacchan drew her signature Buttman and then she drew... Hijikakka. Don't ask. xD

Yes, it's a Hijikata poop pun.
Made by Sacchan.
I also paid a visit to the gaming room a couple times. As soon as I entered I felt hyper nostalgic because there were only 8-bit and 16-bit games in there! I saw someone playing my childhood drug Super Mario World on Super Nintendo and all the memories just came flooding back! All the games were even played on those old fat televisions – all the better because it gave the right feeling.
The first time around I tried playing some Megaman 2 but that... didn't go so well. Damn those frogs and those falling chocolate bridges!

Megaman 2 gaming. Yes, that's the chocolate bridges I meant.
I'm not sure if Kitacon always had a video game room or not but, if they did, then I feel really fucking dumb right now. :)) I just can't help but wonder because if the gaming room was in earlier Kitacons too then I could have spent a lot more of my time in there enjoying myself while playing classics instead of being bored because hey, I love old-school games and playing them make me a happy geek. I don't own a SNES currently big sister wanted it back ffuu ffuu so any chance to play childhood games at a con is already a pretty sure way to tempt me to go there.

The last 30 minutes or something I spent at the gaming room as well. This time the Super Mario World was free and so I of course picked up the controller and played. It was fun to notice that even after years and years of not playing the game I still remembered secrets and where enemies appear etc. :D Of course I was far from as good as I used to be at the game but still definitely not bad. I really should buy myself a SNES one day, I need this shit in my life.

My loots. Everything's from Artist's Alley!
Articuno acrylic phone strap, Yasusada keychain and a magnet.
We stayed at Kitacon until it closed and even after it closed we had to stay there and wait because we got some problems with the car *coughnogasolinecough* and didn't want to wait outside in the cold. We got home safe and sound and, all in all, I really enjoyed this year's Kitacon surprisingly much. The video game room definitely did a lot in terms of giving me something to do. ^^ Sure that the con has free entrance and probably not a big budget or anything but considering how small it is it's a good one, I'd definitely keep on attending Kitacon.

I'm probably forgetting to tell a lot of stuff but I feel like this post is already getting a bit long so yeah, thanks for reading and yada yada.
Shiro Samurai out.


Frozen Angel said...

Thanks for the company as per usual and I can't believe now when I take a closer look at the photos you took from Artist's Alley, that I completely missed those Hetalia bookmarks or whatever they are, argh! I would have liked to take a look at them.... hopefully next time. I should slow down when checking Artist's Alley as I know that I tend to walk fast and mostly just gaze quickly through stuff.

Shiro Samurai said...

How could you miss them? xD But yeah, there were only those 3 characters that are visible on the photo. I asked the artist if they planned to make more chars for the next con and, if I remember right, they said something about making Germany and two other (popular ones, possibly Japan) for their next con. If I recall they said they'd be at Matsucon next time.

Dragonborn said...

Miksi kaikkien mahtavien conien täytyy olla pohjoisessa... :D Näitä sun päivityksiä on aina niin kiva lukea, vaikka tuleekin kauhea hinku conittamaan :D heh