Salt Lake FanX 2016 – A cosplayers perspective

Greetings faithful readers! My name is Ekalb the Elf and this is my tale regarding FanX 2016…73259709-8525-4e4f-b2d6-4abe73d469a5

As a cosplayer, my adventure does not begin the day the convention opens, it starts days before and under some perspectives, months before. Since Salt Lake is my home, I always try to unveil one new cosplay for my hometown conventions. The cosplay chosen for this adventure, was Boromir from Lord of the Rings. As far as the days leading into the con, I make sure everything is in working order. Batteries are charged, lights are working, nothing is soiled or coming apart. I also open my home to several friends from out of State, so there is preparation for the destruction that is about to come.

This week began on Tuesday where myself and a few others spent the evening with last minute finishing touches for our costumes and drinking whiskey (whiskey helps). Wednesday arrived and everyone who was coming from out of town was delayed for about 8-21 hours due the nice Spring weather we have here in Utah, that shut down the I-80 in Wyoming. Once everyone was in town, settled in and unpacked we ventured to Frankie and Johnnie’s AKA The Penalty Box in Murray for the Pre-Con Bash. After several hours of socializing we went home for much needed rest for the days to follow…

Thursday Day 1 of FanX: The morning begins like every other con morning. We wake up, consume pots of coffee and start getting ready. It’s like a behind the scenes staging area of a play. Everyone is in various stages of undress, helping each other with makeup, armor, straps and various other costume pieces. Once ready, my fellow nerds and I venture over to the Salt Palace where we went our separate ways to our various booths and panels. My costume for this day was my own Corellian Jedi. This was my “Easy” costume day. After wearing elaborate costumes the past few conventions, I wanted to play it safe and walk the con floor with out getting stopped too much and to be able to enjoy all the various artists¬†and vendors who help make the Fan Xperience great. I was still stopped for several photos and spent a good part of my day explaining to people what a Corellian Jedi is. After the con closed, a large group of us nerds went out to the local venues downtown and celebrated the day and our friendships. Cosplay is a community.

Friday Day 2 of FanX: This was the day I unveiled my Boromir costume. A fellow cosplayer went as Smeagol/Gollum for his first time and another cosplayer went as Bilbo Baggins. This costume required help putting on due to the chain mail armor I am wearing as well as all the other armor pieces. I was nervous with this costume because I never know how the crowd will react to a new costume. Once we crossed the street, we were stopped immediately for pictures. All day, people loved Boromir! It was a success for sure. As a cosplayer, one of the best feelings is when someone tell you that your costume is great. I was stopped for pictures all day with this one (another sign you have done really well). I spent the day walking the floor and interacting with the crowd. At the end of the day, my body was broken. Wearing 45+ lbs of armor, combined with the several miles I walked all day in it…my entire body was sore, I even had chain mail dents on my skin which would last all night. The day was not over yet however! After changing several cosplayers and guests went out to dinner and than went to the official after party. The official after party was held st the Sky Lounge and featured The Spazmatics. After partying the night away here, we eventually ended up back at my home for much needed sleep and prep for day 3.

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Saturday Day 3 of FanX: This was the day I really felt the pain of wearing armor all day, so what did I do for this day? I wore MORE armor. This day, I dressed up as Mr. Freeze based off the Arkham City game. This is by far my most popular costume. I shaved my beloved facial hair, and had make-up applied. Once armored up, I entered the convention and that’s where “the party” began. For the next several hours, I could not move more than 15 feet without being stopped for pictures. This is how I spent the rest of the day. Some people complain when this happens, but ultimately I love it. It means the costume is well done and you’re making everyone at the con happy. People come to the convention to see this costume. This day was a blur of camera flashes. Once the con was over, I assembled the rest of my nerds. The official day of the con was concluded with dinner and an amazing time at the Sky Lounge official after party.

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For most cosplayers, the convention does not end when the convention officially ends. This is true for me as well. Sunday was spent cleaning up the tornado that struck inside my home, dealing with 1000 social media notifications, reminiscing about the good times and preparing to get back to “real life.”

Overall FanX was an amazing time and I love the community that cosplayers form. Almost everyone treats each other with kindness, respect and love. Dan Farr, Bryan Brandendburg and his staff put on an amazing show and the people of Utah and beyond love this show.

Ekalb the Elf

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5 thoughts on “Salt Lake FanX 2016 – A cosplayers perspective

  1. I’ve still not taken my cosplays out of the back of my van from the con.

    My youngest kiddo still remembers your Freeze from SLCC15 and talks about it.

  2. Not knowing much really about cosplay, only have recently gotten into checking out the pictures. I can only guess on the time spent on these amazing costumes. Everyday I look for your pictures share with others to view. Love knowing you are happy in the world of cosplay. People refer to it being ” nerds “. Personally I’m proud of the man you grew up to be. Looking forward to seeing more photos of you.
    I’ve been blessed with you as my son. Keep up the great work.

  3. So, how do you eat, drink, and go to the bathroom when you have a costume that ornate?
    I’ve had thoughts about doing more complex costumes, but I always opt for something simple enough that I can easily take it off and sit down for lunch.
    The costume I wore this year was a little bulkier than normal, and I was really worried about where I could put it if I had to go to the bathroom. It thankfully didn’t become an issue this year, but I can’t guarantee that won’t be the case.
    Plus it becomes difficult to find a place to sit in panels or for lunch, because I usually need two seats.
    One year I wore a mask with my costume, and I didn’t even keep it on after the first day because I was missing too much; I couldn’t see the con clearly, and I felt like I was missing part of the event.

    So how do you balance cosplay with being able to enjoy the convention?

    • First rule of a costume: Make sure you include a zipper. I do not have any problems going to the restroom. As far as food, etc… it just depends on the costume. Those factors are all taken into consideration with costuming. It is not for everyone, that is for sure. I enjoy it and I also enjoy the con. When I am on a panel, I make sure I wear something that is comfortable and I can speak in.

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