I’ve always wanted to attend BlizzCon, but it never seemed to work out before now. Due to my recent move to Southern California, I now happen to live about 5 minutes away from the Anaheim Convention Center which (I quickly found out) is home to many big name conventions including Comic Con.
Since my husband, Brian, and I had to work on Friday and also hadn’t bothered to register for tickets months ahead of time, our game plan was to crash the con on Saturday and simply walk the grounds to look at all the incredible costumes and experience the hype that this type of an event creates. (And pretend like we were attending.)
All of our plans changed, however, when I arrived home from work at 8:00 pm on Friday night. Brian was super excited because Blizzard had just released a trailer for their newly announced game, Overwatch. He immediately made me sit down and watch the trailer and once it was finished, he offhandedly commented, “Wouldn’t it be fun to cosplay this at BlizzCon?”
I almost immediately disregarded the idea; there were huge implications to what he had just said. He had uttered the challenge that meant we would have to throw together a costume before BlizzCon ended at 8:00 pm the next day. Apparently, I was in the mood to humor him, so we scanned through the various characters and identified Tracer to be the most plausible character to costume in such a short time.
I quickly realized that the wig could be pulled from an old Suikoden cosplay, but the spikes were pointing the wrong direction so I would have to brush out the clear caulk I had used for styling. Oddly enough, I had never been happy with the way the wig turned out originally and I had recently thought about throwing it into the trash. A re-purposing was just what it needed.
The orange snow goggles looked just like something my husband had owned since high school. The only question was whether or not we had brought it with us when we moved. Even though we hadn’t used them in years, he had them in-hand within five minutes.
I also quickly pulled a knit legging pattern I used in class last semester. It was a simple pattern that I was familiar with, so as long as we found the right fabric I could theoretically cut out and sew pants in thirty minutes.
Our game plan quickly fell into place as we knew exactly where to buy the parts of the costume that were missing. We had until 11:00 pm to shop at the Walmart around the corner and buy everything we would need to keep busy during the night. This shopping trip would serve as an indicator as to whether or not we should pursue this crazy idea. If we were fortunate enough to find everything we needed we would commit fully; if not, we could let it go without any regret.
I called my brother as we were walking out the door. “Did you see Blizzard’s video? (Of course he had.) We’re gonna try to make a Tracer cosplay… I mean, no promises, but we’ll see what happens.”
So we shopped for white clogs, craft foam, glue, toy guns, gloves, paint, and something to make the iron-man energy case – all of which were successfully found. We knew the leather aviator jacket would have to be purchased in the morning from a local thrift store (Don’t ask me why, but this tends to be a breeding ground for leather jackets) and we would have to buy stretchy orange fabric, belting, fur, cord, and iron-on embroidery patches at the fabric store.
Preparing the wig, guns, bracers, and the energy case took all night. (The process of which I will go into in another blog post.) Brian got two and a half hours sleep, but I knew if I stopped it would completely kill my momentum. Plus, there was just still so much left to do, and with every hour that passed, the more compromises that would have to be made.
Another pressing matter was the fact that I still had to go to a four-hour shift at 10:00 am, so Brian swung me by the thrift store before he dropped me off at work. A few anxiety-filled hours later, I got a progress report which included the completion of the guns and the bracers. All of this during our drive to the fabric store. (This actually took the most time as we waited in line at the cutting table for almost an hour.)
When we got home, it became a mad rush to the finish line. I built the leggings and worked on the jacket while Brian made the chest armor. We worked all the way up until Blizzard’s closing ceremony before I finally started putting on makeup and getting strapped into everything. There were so many more details that I had hoped to work into the costume, but we just didn’t have the time to get everything precise. From conception to completed product took us exactly twenty-four hours; a major accomplishment which drew upon a well stocked costume collection and years of cosplay experience.