C2E2 was my first ever comic convention and it was a fantastic and literal assault on the senses. You could spend days drooling over the vendor hall and lose your entire bank balance and gain a massive migraine from the stimulation (which I did).
Minnesota's CONvergence is a very different game. It is also pretty large (7000 attendees) but much more spread out. The Con took over the entire Double Tree hotel in Bloomington - all 22 floors - as well as some meeting rooms in an other hotel across the road. While there was a vendor hall (25% leather work) and an Artist Alley (about 8 artists), that was only a small part of the con's appeal. CONvergence is actually a collection of dozens of parties, with a gazillion panels and just generally a fan festival. It was totally okay to find a corner (or an empty middle of a room) to sit down and play a game.
(Major thanks to Meg for her photography and camera assistance as demonstrated below)
I wanted to spend time actually enjoying the Con and not fuss about my costumes, so I only went in full get-up one day. Above, still at the mall, after finally tracking down the essential white gloves for my Rogue.
The walls of the hotel were completely plastered in signs. Some announced panels and parties, others were just there to bring laughter and the sense of "we all love the same things." Random sticky-notes joined the fray, as seen above.
Our friend Andy came from out of state to join the fun, and spent the first day in a heavy wool coat as Sherlock. This included the 4 hours of waiting in line to pick up badges...
(This was the single main complaint I have about this otherwise pretty awesome convention. By the time we got there, the official wait time was 5 hours. C2E2 has a much better system wherein people who preorder get their badges mailed to them.)
I've seen pictures of weeping angel cosplays, but this was my first time getting to see them in person. And how awesome was it that CONvergence's them was "The British Invasion" celebrating Doctor Who's 50th? Yes, that's why there is a TARDIS for people to pose by...
Meg, as Ms. Marvel, found a Captain Marvel to pose with!
No, this is not actually Peter Davidson, just a brilliant lookalike.
The boyfriend and I with Caitlin Blackwood, aka young Amy Pond. We also attended one of her panels, during which she answered questions from all four members of our group. Meg filmed the panel which you can watch here. It was great, I highly recommend watching the whole thing if you have the time!
I found a Nightcrawler! We were saying we wished there was a Mystique, an Azazel and an Irene to round out the family.
A fantastic Spiderman. Peter Parker is my sister's favorite Marvel character, so of course I had to get a picture with him for her.
The boyfriend as Gambit. (Photo edits by me.)
Full Rogue cosplay!
We took a whole bunch of photos, which I'm going to get up on the sewing blog eventually. This one was my favorite of the two of us. :)
Rogue and Carol meet again! (Photo edits by me)
Rogue has an unfortunately green encounter with Dr. Banner. (Photo Edits by Me)
Someday I want to do Madam Vastra, but I highly doubt I could top this...
I discovered that my boyfriend can take EPIC jumping pictures.
Andy (Dr. Banner) and I had a lot of fun playing around with the special effects in this picture.
More fun fan signs.
We called Deadpool over to pose with us. He had his mask on so I had NO IDEA what he was saying! Everyone else was laughing and I was like "WHAT?" and Meg told him "She's taken!" and he was like "I don't care!" (which I still didn't hear but I figured out it was about me at this point) and they told me "he wants a picture with you!"... it wasn't until afterwards that they told me he'd said "I want the sexy lady with the Rogue hair in the picture with me!" and I just about died laughing.
Meg just about died of happiness when she discovered a Merlin and an Arthur.
The vendor hall. Small compared to C2E2, but super cool nevertheless.
Meg discovered another Dresden Files cosplayer.
Another favorite picture of mine... I told the story on my tumblr.
(At C2E2 I learned that carrying around a backpack or purse was neither practical or comfortable. For CONvergence we took along my little suitcase on wheels and it was fantastic.)
RUFIO! I've never seen someone cosplay Rufio before, so this was pretty cool. And timely, considering that they just announced his possible inclusion in OUAT's third season. At one point he went through the hall in character chanting "RUFIO! RUFIO!" and everyone joined in and he was high-fiving people... it was epic.
Also epic was the appearance from the knights of Monty Python and the Holy Grail galloping through the halls banging coconuts together. There were at least a dozen of them and it was just amazing.
The single "do not miss" event was the Masquerade. I'd never been to one before (it's kind of a fashion/pagent/talent/skit show thing), but Andy said it was the best one he'd ever seen. There were costume awards in various catagories and some majorly fantastic entries. My favorite skit was the one performed in the junior catagory - "A Hogwart's Life", which was a song and dance performed by five youngsters representing the different houses to "A Hard Knock Life" from Annie.
Most unexpected delight was the art show. Normally I wouldn't be too enthused by an art show, but this was a geek art show, and there were actually things within my price range (and skill set, I want to bring some pieces next year). I bid on and won a particular item which relates to "The Mermaid and the Unicorn"... pictures of that coming later.
The very last event we attended was the "A Crack in Time" tea party, thrown by the Victorian Lady Doctors. It was a fantastic event in the Garden Court and chock full of Doctor Who cosplayers! The 5's were my overall favorite group.
...but the 11's were pretty nifty too. The lovely lady in the center was the mastermind of it all and I adored her costume. Andy, to the right of her, was also pretty awesome. ;)
11's Companions, including Meg as a fabulous Amy, and the amazing TARDIS dress.
ALL of the Doctor Who cosplayers!
This lovely lady and I chatted for quite awhile. She is cosplaying Nine, and wearing Victorian widow's weeds which is so appropriate for the Post-Time War Nine. We talked all about costuming, Victorian doctor designs, and their group in general.
I wish I'd gotten a picture of the tea itself, as they had all the proper fixings, including scones, cucumber sandwiches and Devon cream. They even had some gluten free cookies! (although I'll confess, I indulged in a few other treats as I so rarely get a proper tea!)
Meg and Andy, getting photo bombed by cardboard Ten.
Our group, last shot of the con... I was tired out and ready to go home by this point, but over all I'd had a lovely four days and I am very much looking forwards to next year!
(We took MANY more costume shots... you can see over 50 of them here!)