San Diego Comic-Con Moments 2014 Edition

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Jul• 29•14

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San Diego Comic-Con is becoming a legend unto itself. So many things happen over the 4.5 days that 140,000 people invade downtown San Diego.

Every person has a different experience depending on what they are there for. Some people want to see the stars of their favorite movies and television shows. Some people are there to show off their costuming abilities. A lot of people work the convention and staff fan tables or volunteer at vendor booths. Other people go to participate in the portfolio reviews that are offered by the comics companies and movie/television studios.

This year, I did a little of all of it.

Being the huge Star Wars fan that I am, I can count on seeing Star Wars actors and notable employees like Dave Filoni – executive producer of the new Star Wars: Rebels show. I also work the table for the Star Wars costuming group the Rebel Legion (good guy costumes). Usually I’m only dressed in Star Wars costumes for the run of the convention but this year I was able to try something new: Team Fortress 2 cosplay.

For those not familiar with the game, it’s a team “capture the flag” or “king of the hill” online multi-player game by Valve. There are 9 classes of characters and the art is a cartoony 2D rendering with lots of blood and lots of funny. Both my boys play it. The classes (Heavy, Soldier, Scout, Sniper, Spy, Engineer, Medic, DemoMan, and Pyro) were introduced in short videos entitled “Meet the [class]” which you can find on YouTube. The animation, writing, and voice acting are great and they even released a 15-minute episode to introduce new elements to the game. It’s kind of taken on a life of it’s own.

Anyways, even though I don’t play the game I like the videos and the backstory so I created a costume for myself based on the Sniper character. It started when my daytime workplace had a sale on leather Australian Outback hats (Sniper is Australian). I couldn’t resist and got one; the rest of the costume just followed. As a person who has made several difficult Star Wars costumes, I appreciate that this game has easy-to-create costumes that can consist of a red or blue t-shirt, dark gray or black baseball pants, black sneakers, and a black ball cap (Scout). My older son wanted to be the Engineer and I think I bought everything through eBay for around $60-$80.

This is my Sniper:

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Stop laughing at me Mr. Mundy.

The only thing I sewed was the shooting vest. I found a site that sold dummy rounds for rifles (the Sniper uses a 1968 Remington – thank you, Internet) then I had the idea of embroidering the bullets (.308 Winchester – thank you, Internet) directly on the vest. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

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Okay, so the Valve Meetup at Comic-Con was a lot of fun. There was a young teenager there who also dressed as a Sniper so I called myself “Sniper’s Mom” (there’s a reference in the “Meet the Sniper” video). All-in-all it was a lot of non-Star Wars costuming fun. I’ll be reusing this outfit for Halloween this year.

I did do my part as a Star Wars costumer/volunteer. I was the “booth babe” (costumed volunteer) for the author signing of the advanced copy of A New Dawn which is the first Star Wars book with the television show Star Wars: Rebels characters. Have I said Star Wars enough times? I always love helping out Lucasfilm because they don’t sue the costuming clubs for wearing copyrighted costumes and they let us do promotional work for them. I was dressed in my Rebel Fleet Trooper (guys in blue shirts/black vests who get decimated by Stormtroopers in the original movie) and my job was to hold the sign that said THE END OF THE LINE. I had my picture taken several times because…c’mon, that character with that sign was an internet meme just waiting to happen.

Let’s see, seeing famous people: check; volunteering for table duty: check; helping out in costume at the Lucasfilm Pavilion: check. What left?

Getting my portfolio reviewed of course. Except instead of a portfolio it was a pitch to publishing company Random House/Del Rey to see if they liked my book idea.

I know I meant this blog to follow my path through self-publishing – and for the most part is has – but without money to publish my other books everything has ground to a halt. So I took advantage of a 5-minute window to pitch the Paranormal Mystery series to a representative of the company. Since I have my “elevator pitch” (explaining your book/series to someone during an elevator ride) down pat, it was easy to do. I showed the lady my published book and talked about my goals for the series. It probably helped that I had invested in publishing the first book and that I have a second one in the wings. Publishing houses love multiple books.

Suffice to say I just sent off the first 50 pages of “Having a Whaley of a Time” to Random House today and I hope that I hear back from them. This has been a year of disappointments, first with the failed Kickstarter and then the failed grant application. Maybe, just maybe, I might get my break.

Here’s hoping.

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