**Originally posted May of 2016. I’m re-posting as ACEN is coming up in May and this didn’t make it over when we re-did the site!
Every year I’ve gone to ACEN, my favorite part is to watch all of the cool cosplays. If you have a cosplay you want to wear or if you like anime, I would recommend this convention. If you haven’t heard of cosplay, it means dressing up in costume as a character from your favorite show, movie, or anime.
There are many, many panels about anime, martial arts, cosplay, and etc. My favorite panel a couple of years ago was “how to make your cosplay on a budget,” which was very helpful in making future projects. There was also an event one year called “The Ember Island Players”. If anyone’s ever seen Avatar: The Last Airbender, this was a troupe of performers, based on the troupe in the show, who made hilarious jokes on the (at the time) current season of Legend of Korra. (If anyone hasn’t seen up until this episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, I really recommend it. It’s hilarious!)
While this convention is mostly geared towards cosplay and anime and you can find little pockets of everything else. There is usually a game room with everything from board games to role playing games. The game room is much smaller than other conventions, but still filled with awesome people and games. ACEN is actually the place where I learned how to play Go as well as mafia (which is basically the same as werewolf)!
Anyone doing some last minute projects? I’m going to leave the heavy duty makeup and costume advice to the professionals, but here are a couple of things I’ve picked up along the way:
Fashion tape: It is a two sided double stick tape you can use on fabric. It is awesome as fastening different kinds of fabric to each other without damaging the fabric. I used them once to make the white stripe on Wonder Woman’s boots.
Safety Pins: This one should be obvious, but I will put out a PSA (from experience) not to use it to hold up .. you know structural integrity. You don’t want to be holding up your costume the entire day… not that I would know about that. >.>
Paper mache: Paper mache is the best. I have made a staff out of paper towels and paper mache. A friend of mine also made a cyber punk gun for her costume. The possibilities are literally endless. You basically need Elmer’s glue, newspaper, and whatever you are covering paper mache.
I am not an expert on cosplay (yet) and I know some of this advice may seem beginner for more intermediate or advanced cosplayers. For more in depth cosplay advice, I’d recommend We are Cosplay. They do a whole bunch of cool things for the cosplay community. They were at C2E2 this year giving good advice on make up and costumes.
Chicago Costume is also open all year round for all of your last minute costume needs.
Happy cosplaying this weekend and have a great ACEN!!