(This title is funny because two years ago I didn’t even know what cosplay was. In case you’re also in that boat, it’s a contraction of costume play, and it means, as far as I can tell, dressing up as favourite characters, usually from comic books or science fiction.)
Neko had been counting down the days to this weekend for over a month. Each day she would ask us, “How many more days till the comic book thingy?” She and Justan had attended “Comicon” together before, but had to miss it last year. He told her that on the Sunday of the convention, there would be a family costume contest, and that she could wear her Totoro Halloween costume for it. He also looked at the class options for the Sunday and she decided she’d like to take one called “Drawing With Katie Cook,” led by an illustrator who also works on the Clone Wars series.
It was a good thing all the excitement was on Sunday (well, for them – for the rest of Calgary, a lot of the excitement was on Saturday, when the entire cast of Star Trek – The Next Generation was in attendance). They headed down to the exhibition grounds right after lunch on Saturday, to find huge line-ups. After waiting in line for a substantial amount of time, they learned that the fire marshall had shown up and declared the venue too full. No one was to be let in for the remainder of the day. The people who were already inside could stay; however if they came out, they wouldn’t be readmitted. Neko was pretty heartbroken but Justan promised her they would try again the next day.
So, on Sunday, Neko got into her Totoro costume and they headed out early.
Wait. I just realized some of you might be saying, “Hey hold on, who is this Totoro you speak of?” Well, he’s a fuzzy, adorable monster type character from our favourite animated kids’ movie, My Neighbour Totoro, from our favourite studio, Studio Ghibli in Japan (Disney owns the North American rights).
Justan tells me that lots of people were asking to take Neko’s picture, and that she did great on stage when she presented her costume to the audience. She had to go up on the stage for about 20 seconds to show everyone her costume, and I think she did a great job (I saw the video footage) – she even made sure to throw in a big high jump just like Totoro.
She received a participation prize, but it was a Baby Alive type doll, with which she was thoroughly unimpressed (grateful to receive it, but not interested in opening it); she’s decided that she’ll give it as a gift or we’ll donate it at Christmas time, so another child who likes baby dolls can enjoy it.
Neko and Justan thoroughly enjoyed their weekend together, and got to see all sorts of interesting characters and booths.