Archive for July, 2011

Hyper Japan

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

One of the nice things about my recent move to the Earls Court area is its immediate access to the Earls Court area.  This may seem redundant, and likely is, but it’s just nice to have some fairly large, well used event centers within walking distance to my home.  After the ComicCon a couple of weeks ago, Robert and I as well as Danni and I went to this years Hyper Japan (on Saturday and Sunday respectively).

One of the vendors and her Japanesey goods.

It was an interesting mix of Japanese cutesy-culture products, food, calligraphy & origami instructional classes, cultural education, video games and of course cosplay.  Part of the proceeds went to the Japanese relief fund as well, which was nice to see.

There were tables for calligraphy, origami and a few other Japan-centric activities.

The day that Danni and I went (Sunday) was the Square Enix cosplay competition so there were plenty of Final Fantasy characters roaming the event center.  I’m always amazed at the amount of work these kids put into the costumes and we stayed to watch the contest which was interesting.  I’d always assumed it was just a matter of walking out on stage to display your efforts, but most put on mini performances in line with the characters they were depicting which was really impressive (even if I didn’t get the inside jokes of a lot of them).

The cosplay theme was Square Enix games, so lots of Final Fantasy characters were on display.

I’m told there was also a Lolita fashion show which we missed, but it makes sense as there were an awful lot of girls dressed up that way.  The aptly named Tofu Cute girls were there again, but at the risk of developing a stalker like status I didn’t take another photo.  Instead, there were a couple of over-the-top cutesy girls at the exit when we were leaving that kindly posed for photos.

Some cuties at the event exit posing for photos.

It was a very cool day out and difficult to resist making a lot of impulse buys (which I managed to do).  If it’s in the neighbourhood again next year I’ll definitely be returning.  A word of advice if you plan to attend as well: Go Early.  The queue on Saturday was around the block ridiculous, and that was for ticket holders.

Couple more shots in the gallery.

Robert’s Surprise party

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

This was long overdue.

Having been the driving force behind last years Kevtoberfest, my good friend Robert deserved repayment in kind.  A Facebook group was set up in mid-May which kicked off the planning for Roberts underwater themed, 2 months premature surprise birthday party of 2011!

With the guile of a half crazed fox, I managed to lure him from the comforts of his Covent Garden flat to attend Hyper Japan with me while Elaine, Elizabeth, Victoria, Brian and Tim transformed  the flat into a living aquarium.

Not everything went smoothly on the day of distraction however.  The queue for the event seemed so impossibly long that I was quickly wracking my brain for ways to carry on my ruse for another 4 hours until it was safe to return to central London.  We killed an hour at a nearby Pizza Express by which point the line for entry seemed more manageable and we were inside after another hour.

I had already formulated a plan which would have me returning on the Tube with him to Covent Garden at the end of the day.  Danni and I were meeting some friends for dinner at one of the near by restaurants and I would just accompany him to he station at which point we’d head our separate ways.  I needed one final distraction so I could beat him back to his place which was only a few minutes walk from the station.

I’d asked Victoria to text him requesting something from the shop on his way home which would buy me the time I needed to get ahead of him.  She sent the message as we left the event and I watched him like a hawk to make sure that he’d gotten the text, but he didn’t bother to check his phone once on the 15 minute walk to Earls Court.  Sitting on the train, deep underground with no reception I had to think fast.  I began to complain about how my phone is bad at organizing apps and asked if his was any better.  Never one to pass up the opportunity to show off the powers of one of his many apple products, he demonstrated the features of his phone and I noticed as he was about to put the phone away he got the day-saving message.  As he stopped into the shop to pick up the desperately required bananas for Vic, I sprinted ahead and beat him home with plenty of time to spare.

So much effort went into planning and executing this party, so thanks everyone who helped out.  Elaine for the brilliant fish decorations and our inflatable shark friend, Alex for somehow managing to get 50 fully inflated helium balloons into a taxi and across London, Elizabeth for the hours of underwater themed music, Tim for our fishy themed snacks (who knew fish fingers were so well loved?) and of course Brian for making sure the bar was appropriately stocked.  And thanks to everyone who showed up early to help decorate, the place couldn’t have looked any better!

There are a few more images from the evening in the gallery, and here’s a link to the image I created for the shirts & magazine cover created for the night.

London ComicCon 2011

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Convention season is upon us once again and Robert and I were off to the London Film & Comic Convention once again.  No William Shatner this year however, and really nobody I was willing to pay and queue to see, so it was just a lot of browsing, shopping and generally geeking out.

There were quite a lot of CosPlay costumes in addition to all of the neat stuff on offer.  This was definitely one of the cooler costumes I saw during the day, I give you a warhammer warrior priest!

I can’t imagine the amount of time something like this could take to construct, but it was very cool.  There were of course the cutie costumes as well, like these two girls working one of the counters selling sweets.

I managed to walk out of there with only a small purchase this year, which showed incredible restraint on my behalf.  My new Totoro joined Robert and I for a post-con viewing of The Green Lantern in 3D and I think he enjoyed it.

Once again, there are some more images in the gallery.