Long Overdue, Unnecessarily Long PAX South Recap!

PAX South in San Antonio was the last weekend of January and I’m finally getting around to a recap. It was my first ever PAX and it was a lot of fun! The only cons I have been to in the past couple years have been RTX, so going to PAX South was a little overwhelming. It’s a lot larger than RTX and there are way more people who attended.

Jason and I stayed at a bed and breakfast we had found on Airbnb, called Inn on the Riverwalk. It was a super adorable inn painted blue and walking distance from the convention. And, it being a bed and breakfast and all, included some very delicious breakfasts. I would highly recommend it if you ever want to visit San Antonio!

Friday

We got in around lunch time. I wore my Wanda Maximoff /Scarlet Witch cosplay that day and was happy to find that people were recognizing and complimenting my costume! Hurray! I was worried that her clothes would be too ordinary but I think the fact that I was at a con surrounded by fellow nerds definitely helped. Having my telekinetic props also probably helped jog people’s memories.

We wandered around the expo hall, just checking out everything and not really buying anything. We also went to the Goat Simulator Tourney only to find out it’s not really much of a spectator event; the computers were all set up in long rows and there wasn’t really anyone hosting the event or doing commentary. So we just kinda stood in the back and watched the back row play a bit before getting bored and moving on.

There was a small cosplay meetup that afternoon and I got to meet some really talented and wonderful cosplayers. There was an awesome group that did The Wolf Among Us, complete with cell-shading makeup. They did Borderlands on Saturday.

Photo Jan 29, 4 20 03 PM

And of course no convention day is complete without a photoshoot with Lindsey Tonak!

We called it a night very early, pretty much immediately after dinner. To me, it felt like it was 10 o’clock, but it turned out to only be 8 o’clock. I may be an extrovert, but I’ve become quite the homebody so I just wanted to get cozy and hang out with Jason before going to bed. We ended up falling asleep so early that I woke up at 3pm, with eight hours of sleep and all the energy I needed. It was so difficult falling back to sleep, but I like to think having all that extra sleep helped fuel my Saturday.


Saturday

Started off with a nice quiche breakfast from the inn, and after being asked for a picture in my Blake Belladonna cosplay at the bed and breakfast, we walked over to hit up our first panel “Penny Arcade Make-A-Strip” at 10:30. Featured Mike and Jerry doing what they do best: making the comic. They answered some questions while Mike drew and it was so cool to not only kinda just hang out with them but also watch Mike work.

After a quick lunch, Jason realized he had forgotten his credit card at the barbecue restaurant we were just at. He rushed off to go back and grab it while I waited back at the expo hall. My boots were doing a number on my feet so I thought I’d just hang back and rest; I would’ve slowed him down anyway. It was during this momentary break that I got to meet a cool fellow cosplayer from the Austin area named Bliss! We’ve since friended each other online and I hope I can do some cosplays with her in the future! (She was wearing a really awesome pin-up Fallout 4 cosplay she made. It’s very pretty!)

Jason got back just in time for us to get lined up for our second panel of the day “PA and Friends play Quiplash.” This was an extremely fun panel to attend because – if you’re unfamiliar with the game Quiplash – there was audience participation. (Here’s the trailer for it if you’re curious.) Getting to play along with 400 other people in the auditorium was such a fun experience, even though my phone’s internet would cut in and out. Typical con signal.

I was really happy to do a shoot with Lindsey in my Blake cosplay again. This was one of the things I was most looking forward to for PAX because I wanted to see what a difference losing weight made on my cosplay.

Photo Feb 05, 8 21 11 AM

RTX in Aug 2015 (left). PAX South in Jan 2016 (right). Overall weight difference is about 12lbs. Both pictures taken by Lindsey.

Here are the rest of the photos!

We called it a night after the shoot and went back to our inn so I could change into casual clothes for dinner with a couple of our friends! It was nice getting to see them and I was much happier just having a super long dinner with them than hitting up any of the many (apparently disappointing) parties at PAX. It was a nice break from con madness.


Sunday

Final day of the con and I decided last minute to go in normal clothes. I had told a couple cosplayers that I’d be wearing Blake (sorry!) but I just wanted to wear comfy shoes, jeans, and a t-shirt. Jason also expressed wanting to experience the con without having to stop abruptly every time someone wanted a picture of me. (This makes it sound like I was stopped constantly but let me tell you, that was not the case.)

We went to one panel “Penny Arcade Q&A #2” which was a lot like the Make-A-Strip panel, but without the strip-making part. Afterwards, we hit up the expo floor so I could buy Lindsey something to repay her for the photo shoots we did together. (This is a policy I have with her cause I believe in paying people for doing good work! I buy her anything she wants at the con – within reason of course – in exchange for awesome cosplay pictures. We did this at RTX last year too.) I also bought my self an adorable Goat Simulator plushie. I love him to bits.

As we hung out on the expo floor, with the help of our friends who had already done most of it, Jason and I gathered the QR codes for the PAX XP part of the PAX mobile app. I’m actually pretty glad that we did that because it showed me parts of the con that I didn’t see at all on Friday and Saturday. (I thought the con was already big before, but good god it was massive!) After getting our prize from getting all the QR codes, we decided it was time to start heading back to Austin.


Final thoughts

Overall, it was a great con! I had a wonderful time and I was really happy with all the things we got to see and do. Favorite parts of course included all things cosplay-related, but I also enjoyed the three panels we were able to attend. The con itself ran like a well-oiled machine and they really have their system down. I thought given the size of it, it would be hectic and a bit crazy but it actually wasn’t. The con itself – with their clearly marked areas for lines and helpful enforcers – was very organized and the congoers themselves were very compliant with all the rules, which made for a very pleasant experience. I hope to go to many more PAX South’s in the future!

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