I was invited to judge the cosplay competition at StorCon this weekend. Since they didn’t have sleeping halls, and I didn’t want to pay for hotel or sleep in a tent, I decided to only visit the con on the day of the competition. And since I spent most of my time in the cosplay workshop for prejudging, I didn’t experience the con enough for a full ConReport, but here comes a “MiniReport”.
StorCon felt like a truly classical convention, one of those that I imagine when I think back on how conventions used to be. A lot of small rooms in a school-like area, tight (some might say cozy) corridors, and a big outside area. Most of the visitors were very young, I’d say around 12-15, so it felt a bit like a kindergarten for kids in the lower teens. I don’t know how many visitor were there, and being spread out in several buildings didn’t make my estimations easier, but I’d say there were around 200-300 people there during the Saturday. StorCon offered all the standard convention stuff I don’t care about, like an activity room, karaoke, artist alley, merch, board games, video games, movie room, cafeteria, etc.
My personal experience of the con mostly consisted of the cosplay workshop where I spent most of my time before the contest. I brought my Garnet head and worked a bit on it before the prejudging. They had drop-in prejudging, it went fairly well, but it also meant it took almost three hours to prejudge 25 cosplayers (at least we had a lot of time with each cosplayers).
After the prejudging I had time to eat before the contest. The contest itself went well, the MC did a little coup and changed the questions we had agreed he would ask the judges, but it went well despite my inability to improvise. After the contest, my co-judge and I stayed at our table on the stage until we had decided on the winners. We had some discussions and argued back and forth a bit, and eventually came to a mutual conclusion, just as it should be. Nathalie (“Nathy”) who was my co-judge, and also stepped in to organize the contest when the original organizer had to stay in bed due to a fever, was amazing at her job. She is a really good judge, asking a lot of relevant questions, always being nice to the cosplayers, and being able to discuss and listen to others suggestions. It was a pleasure to work with her.
When the winners were decided we took a break, and then about an hour later we started to make calls to the winners, telling them that they had won “something” and that they should be at the prize ceremony the next day. I haven’t actually been present when the winners were called before, so it was a fun first experience for me to hear the happiness in their voices.
And then I was done with what I had come there to do. I found my friends and we played various card games until midnight, starting with Cards against humanity, with Loke Nyberg performing on the stage, and with the sunset in the background. It was almost a bit magical.
So… my final judgement for StorCon:
It’s a classical convention, and probably a very good first convention for someone young who’s just starting out with cosplay (just like KultCon is). But for someone like me that is a bit older and isn’t exactly new to cosplay it hadn’t that much to offer; some interesting lectures and Loke, but that’s about it. However, I might still go back next year, because it is a great warmup and test run before NärCon, but it will greatly depend on if my friends are also going.