Does anybody know right now exactly where you are?

Manifest was a full on weekend this year and after working so hard on costumes everything ended up coming together with barely a hitch in the road… barely…

On Friday I headed over relatively early, arriving somewhere in the vicinity of 10am. More or less I was simply there to get my bearings, see where everything was, pick up a show bag (mostly for the timetable) and do some minor shopping (which resulted in some DVDs and a cute alpaca toy for my mother who recently spent some time in hospital).

It’s one of the small sized “AlPacasso” toys. So cute!

Being in costume that day also involved a couple of hugs and photos (but not too many, since Fridays at Manifest tend to be pretty quiet).

Unfortunately I did experience a costume disaster; one of Karkat‘s horns came off and I didn’t think to bring glue- despite being well aware that this was bound to happen (the other horn had broken some weeks prior but already been fixed then reinforced to ensure it wouldn’t happen again, so it was only a matter of time until the second did the same- why the heck didn’t I just reinforce both when the first one broke? Because I am full of silliness, that’s why).

On top of the broken horn was a make-up fail:

Do not seal Snazaroo paint with powder!

This was the first time I was wearing full face-paint all day, so in preparation I decided to read some tutorials with advice for getting Snazaroo facepaint (specifically) to last all day. A few tutorials recommended sealing it with setting powder (some even opting for straight up talc). Now, I have no idea what sort of witchery these people were utilising but it did not work for me at all and my make-up began to crack and flake off after only one or two hours!

Broken horn coupled with flaky face caused me to feel sad so I left earlier than intended and arrived back home around 4pm to wash and perform all necessary maintenance.

Saturday, on the other hand, featured no such sadness!

Yet again I got ready and left early, this time making a quick pit-stop to pick up the ever dashing Hallward and his Alucard/Vlad costume.

Initially we were planning to have an entire Hellsing group but everybody else pulled out due to other life commitments, so it ended up just being Schrödinger and Alucard/Vlad.

photo by Neil Creek
More photos by Neil Creek can be found here.

Now, as those familiar with Hellsing will be aware; Schrödinger’s costume design is based on that of a Hitler-Youth and features a swastika on the left sleeve. At first I’d planned to carry tape with me in order to cover said swastika in the event that offence was taken, however, upon arriving at the convention I decided to tape over it while Hallward was costuming up, concluding it was probably best to not risk offending anybody at all.

The facts are:

  • Not everybody is as culturally/religiously/politically insensitive/ignorant/naïve as I am.
  • Not everybody is familiar with Hellsing or the character of Schrödinger.
  • Tech Support may or may not have expressed concerns for my safety in the event that anybody took it personally. As if my ignorant ass wouldn’t deserve it though.
  • Manifest is a family friendly event and nobody deserves to feel uncomfortable due to my poor decision making.
  • Discussions on the historical and cultural significance of the swastika symbol outside of Nazi propaganda is irrelevant in this scenario as Schrödinger is deliberately, specifically and unquestionably an antagonistic Nazi character in Kouta Hirano’s Hellsing universe.

For a private photo shoot maybe, but being in public, despite my distaste for censorship, it is inappropriate.

The only people who commented on the taped sleeve knew exactly what was under there and either had a chuckle at my expense or expressed a mutual interest in cosplaying Schrödinger, but had been put off due to said swastika (presumably they, like me, had an interest in screen-accuracy for costumes).

That aside, it was a fine day and nobody got their ass-kicked (at least, not in a bad way).

Hallward’s Alucard/Vlad armour was a huge hit, even earning him a couple of “fangirl” moments! We both got a stack of photos with other con goers and met quite a few other Hellsing cosplayers.

My Necomimi headset was also popular, Miss Pixie even had a stall in the traders hall, so when people enquired about it there was somewhere to direct them! On the topic of Necomimi, I was suitably impressed with the battery life, as this was their first full day of use. When we arrived I put in fresh batteries, switched them on and left them until it was time to head home, which would have been a solid 6 hours. The battery life expectancy is stated at about 4 hours and while they’d slowed down a bit by the end of the day, they were still going pretty strong.

One negative for prolonged use: There is a clip which attaches to your left ear and it does get quite sore after a few hours of continuous wear. It was a relief to take that one off, let me tell you!

Toward the end of the day somebody let off a smoke-bomb in the traders hall, causing an evacuation. Very frustrating for the traders, and I can’t even imagine who would pay money to attend an event only to vandalise it like that? All was not lost though, as we had an impromptu tunnel photo shoot with another Alucard cosplayer!

Hellsing group Schrödinger about to get his head blown off.
More shots of which can be found in the Gallery on the Cosplay and Photoshoots page.
The other Alucard was named Nathan and can be found on dA here. A friendly girl named (if I recall correctly) Skye even stopped to grab some shots of the three of us together! Seriously, you meet the best people at conventions.

MaEmon and Clifty wore their Attack on Titan jackets, though didn’t end up finishing their full costumes.

photo by Neil Creek
But MaEmon did get that awesome Octodad finished for Matt who played the part exceptionally well, proving to be the highlight of many peoples’ day!

I’m hoping that they’ll finish their Attack on Titan costumes eventually (is it too soon to start planning for next Manifest?) so that maybe I can jump in on some of that with them as Armin Arlert because you know I’m about cosplaying the whiny kids.

Except for maybe on Sunday, which was another early morning for Maggot Boy cosplay- and as Owen I can safely say that (for once) I was nobodies whiny kid!

This time around I had a powder-free method for dealing with the face paints: Kryolan Fixier Spray.

Kryolan Fixier spray and Snazaroo face paint
It’s basically hairspray for your face. Only more expensive. A lot more expensive.

My face lasted all day (I’m talking somewhere in the vicinity of 10 hours) with no flaking and minimal rubbing! Unfortunately I had to forego the contact lenses that day as I was driving and can see sweet fuck all through the cataract-mesh, but with teeth plus face paints it came together even without them (I’ll still break out the big guns for the Zombie Shuffle in October though, don’t you worry).

MaEmon was cosplaying Maggot Boy with me as Davey. We met at her place in the morning to get ready with the make-up and such, also because one car is generally better than two. What I’m trying to say is… Carpooling is fun.

When we got there it was pretty quiet. Not as quiet as Friday, but noticeably quieter than Saturday. We just sort of derped around for a bit, did some shopping and got photos, but didn’t stay particularly long.

Davey and Owen Jeremiah David Jones and Owen Nathaniel Wright Our 3DS refused to Street Pass each other that day!
It seemed like a good idea to get a couple of photo prints, since we put a fair bit of effort into the make-up. The photo booth was run by Lilap Media and I paid about $7 for three 5″ by 7″ prints.

Nobody recognised our costumes, unfortunately, but we did get asked for a couple of photos just for our make-up so it wasn’t a total loss.

After tiring of what Manifest had to offer for the day we headed on back to MaEmon’s place for an impromptu photo shoot of our own.

Player two? Want a look? No charge!
The pictures I have chosen to upload do not accurately portray the strange fascination we seem to have with taking pictures of each other’s zombie-butts.

Soccer Hardware
Fun fact: Over the course of the weekend no fewer than 5 guns made their way into my mouth, and several other weapons into my trousers (including a very rusty full sized saw). While shoving a gun into my pants I was thinking about how they always do that on television and how I always expect them to accidentally pull the trigger and blow their own junk off. Right on cue I accidentally tapped the trigger and it just so happened that the prop-gun made realistic sound effects! No great loss, pre-pubescent zombies probably don’t have much use for genitalia anyway.

Maggot Boy Meow
More pictures on the Cosplay and Photoshoots page in the Gallery.

Upon returning home that evening I had a post costume shower to rival that of last year’s Melbourne Zombie Shuffle, but not quite as good because unlike that particular occasion 90% of my clothing wasn’t glued to my flesh via sticky fake blood and latex- but the next ‘Shuffle is coming up soon, so we can rectify that.

Speaking of which; it looks set to be held on the 12th of October this year, if I’m not mistaken, a little earlier than it has been in previous years, but certainly no less glorious.

MaEmon and I will likely be cosplaying much gorier versions of Davey and Owen and I’m currently in the process of organising a Chainey to join us (no lie though, I’d try to convince an entire cast to join us if I had that sort of organisational capacity. For now I’ll just focus on the zombies).

But gory zombie progress can be discussed another day. For now? I have a lot to catch up on.

Saturday also happened to be the 17th of August. Though I was busy, sleep deprived and emotionally drained this did not change the fact that on the 17th of August 6 years ago I spilled a can of pulse (highly caffeinated alcoholic beverage mostly used for getting teenagers hella crunk) up the sleeve of Tech Support’s good jacket because I’m a classy devil like that.

So, now you know.