Friday, July 27, 2018

MetroCon 2018: My Favorite Cosplay Finds!

Thank you so much, guys, for all the cheerleading and positive vibes after my SuperCon post. I hit a real low point there, but I'm happy to report that MetroCon (plus some better self-care) cured me of my photography and convention blues.


I still struggled a little with my camera settings, but the atmosphere at Metro instantly put me at ease. It's a smaller con, so less crowds, plus there's a dance floor right out in the main atrium when you walk in, with people jumping in to dance or just hanging out and mingling - super chill.

 (From my IG Story that day)

When John and I first walked in Friday afternoon the dance floor was in full swing, with maybe two dozen cosplayers all dancing to Cotton-Eyed Joe - then Gangnam Style. We stood and watched for a few minutes, laughing and cheering from the sidelines, and darned if I didn't get a little teary-eyed, because it was just so happy, you guys. In all the stress and bustle of chasing after convention photos I'd lost sight of the best part: geeks hanging out, being silly, being proud, being themselves. Not chasing down another autograph, not rushing to be somewhere; just having fun with friends, celebrating fandoms they love.

I don't know if it's because Metro is smaller, or younger, or more anime-centered, but for whatever reason it's one of the most joyful cons I've ever attended. It's why John and I had to come back after last year: the Hamilton sing-along in the atrium sold me, ha. I love the feeling of community and inclusiveness, and thanks to the Tampa Convention Center's open floor plan, that community feels more front-and-center, not tucked away in panel rooms.

Another thing I love about Metro: the vendor room. Ohhh, the vendor room. It's an explosion of glittery anime loveliness, pastel rainbows and chibi plushes and colorful art everywhere. I had to stop and shop several times, distracted by shimmery jewelry and novelty purses and fuzzy dinosaurs. I clearly need to watch more anime, because I saw so many fandom things I loved but didn't understand!

Now, ready to see some cosplay?

I'd say Chuck E. Cheese here in a Lolita dress perfectly encapsulates the spirit of MetroCon:

THE GIANT SHOES. Omigosh. So cute.

Kuzko from Emperor's New Groove struck the perfect pose:

And here comes a stunning Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip:

[Aurora: Taylor On Tour, dress by DavidforDisney Phillip: Duy Truong Cosplay]

John insisted we ask for this guy's photo, and I'm so glad he did. Look how dramatic:

Now... anyone know the character? :D

(Update: He's Dhalsim from Street Fighter. Thx, Tiassa!)

Have I mentioned Metro has one of the highest percentages of cosplay I've seen? Because it does. SO MUCH COSPLAY. Lots of simple outfits, but even if it was just a colorful wig and cool makeup, I'd say 75% of the crowd was in costume.

There was also more gender fluidity than other cons: Boys dressed as girls, girls dressed as boys, and plenty more "beyond the binary." However you choose to phrase it, it was awesome to see people playing - or being themselves - without judgement.

Oh! And the convention security team were all dressed like this:

Yep, kilts and t-shirts. And their tags all said "Brute Squad." Bahaha!

A sweet Anna from Frozen:

Caleb & Nott from Critical Role (a D&D style podcast):

[Caleb: FoolofBeauty, Nott: MadEmDesigns]

Emma has made 6 different dresses from the Alice video games. Here's her latest, Hysteria Alice:

The back of the dress is actually my favorite - you can see it here on her IG account.

One of my favorite character couples:
[Steven: UglyClownCosplay]

Connie & Steven from Steven Universe! Oh my heart, they're so perfect. 
(Connie's sword-training ep with Pearl makes me cry every. time. Love her.)

There was a masquerade ball Friday night, so we saw some gorgeously geeky formal wear:

And capes! Yassssss capes. (Sorry, Edna.)

Finn and Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time. Check out all the details!

I may have squealed a little too loudly when I spotted this Elphaba from Wicked:

Her dress is by DavidForDisney, and I'd been watching its construction on IG! So amazing seeing it in person; talk about a work of art.

Here comes a completely disturbing - but incredibly made - Angel of Death from Hellboy 2:

We had to turn her sideways to capture the wing detail - the front-facing shot is even creepier, if you can believe it. :D (That'll be on Flickr with the rest of my photos.)

Here she is in action:

A post shared by Jen Yates (@epbot) on

Frisk and Mettaton from Undertale, that funny 8-bit game I played and reviewed ages ago:

Mettaton's makeup is GORGEOUS. When I'm editing I have to zoom in so far I can see every pore, and lemme tell you, this is flawless.

More perfection: Kida from Atlantis!

I just realized Metro probably has the highest percentage of colorful body paint of any con. The colors, you guys. THE COLORS:

That's a little World of Warcraft and more Critcal Role.

Taako from The Adventure Zone:

Cosplay like this keeps me coming back to TAZ, but it's a big time commitment and I haven't gotten hooked yet. So for now I'll remain painfully out of the loop, ha.

Morrigan from Dragon Age:

I actually asked Delaney here how she got her skin so pale and velvety (we know each other, so I'm allowed to be a little awkwardly creepy) and it turns out that's just her natural skin. ::turns to stare sourly into camera:: She's so sweet, though, I can't hold her perfection against her. ;)

Lovely ladies in blue:

I especially love the Hogwarts Professor!


I've seen a lot of Little Sister cosplay from BioShock, but never one like this. I even made John leap backwards off an escalator to go chase her down, ha:

Her teal body paint is INCREDIBLE, especially with the purple dress! Love it love it love it.

It pains me to condense Metro down to a single blog post, gang, but we have sooo many cons this time of year. Tampa Comic Con is coming up this weekend, in fact, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, please head over to my Flickr to see the rest of my Metro photos - there are lots more gorgeous costumes! So far I've edited just over 100, and will be adding more to the album as I can. Cosplayers, feel free to download & share my photos of you (with credit, please!) - and if you don't see your pic here or on Flickr, just DM me on IG; odds are I haven't gotten to editing it yet.

I'll leave you with some quick clips of the Metro dance floor - you can hear John and I laughing like loons during Gangnam Style:

I hope these made you smile! Thanks again for encouraging me to get back out there, friends; conventions are my happy place, and it scared me to think of losing them to my anxiety. I'm glad I get to do this, glad I get to share so many with you.

'Til next time!


  1. I'm so glad the con went better for you this time!! The pictures are all amazing. I LOVE all the body paint!

    (Psst, it's Kuzko from Emperor's New Groove, not Zuko.)

    1. Ah, bless you - New Groove is one of my favorite movies, too! SO EMBARRASSING. :D

  2. The "dramatic" one is Dhalsim from Street Fighter.

    Also, the purple guy with the colorful coat next to the WoW character is also from Critical Role, not TAZ.

    1. (I submitted the comment before realizing people might want the names. Purple guy is Mollymauk from Critical Role! And that TAZ character is Taako.)

    2. Oops, thank you - Both Crit & TAZ are so popular I keep getting the characters mixed up!

    3. They're both really really good, too, for different reasons. You can people really love something when they produce such spectacular cosplay for it!

  3. Awesome pictures, thank you for posting these!

    Don't know who the cosplayers are, but the design of Finn and Princess Bubblegum is by Hannah Alexander

  4. I just caught up with TAZ and the time investment is definitely worth it. I experienced more emotions than I thought I had in me.

    1. an excellent summary. I don't cry easily at movies or books or the like but I was outright sobbing at a few places (especially the ending).

    2. Totally 100% agreed! I'm re-listening to the Balance arc right now as I work on some TAZ cosplay and it's been so much fun to experience again!

  5. Ooh I like those pink, blue, and yellow striped dresses near the start of the post!

  6. Love these pictures. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  7. Did you stop by the Hilton at Dragon Con last year at all? They had a DJ going in the lobby and a constant dance party. I watched half a dozen adult cosplayers get schooled by a 10yo kid in a Power Rangers getup. It was amazing.

  8. The Finn and Bubblegum costumes look like the redesigns by Hannah Alexander Artwork!!

  9. Ok, I know the first picture is Steven Universe's Blue Diamond, and the second is Deadpool (on vacation?) but can someone tell me what the third is? The three girls in different colors?

    1. I think those are supposed to be stylized versions of the Nintendo princesses. Peach, Rosalina and Daisy from left to right. And thanks for identifying Blue Diamond! I could not figure that one out! I guess because she is not crying and 50 ft tall ;P

    2. Oh thank you, I think you might be right- for some reason I got fixated on the red kerchiefs as being Extremely Important to unlocking the mystery!

  10. I saw your photo of Caleb and Nott and totally thought that was a gender-swapped Shrek and Fiona!

  11. Have you considered going to a con without the camera? Just hanging out and having fun yourself instead of documenting everyone else's fun?

    It might lessen your camera anxiety when the camera becomes a choice rather than an essential.

  12. Jen, a TAZ tip! I also found it really hard to get into, so I skipped to the second arc, The Rockport Limited. That's where the story really takes off. And then I finished the whole 80 hours in like three weeks and cried out of joy at the end. You can even pick up the first arc as a graphic novel now and bang it out in half an hour.

  13. One of favorite things about C2E2 (okay there are a lot of things, but this is definitely up there) in Chicago is that they have a DJ all weekend with a dance area out in the lobby. I wish that I could take advantage of it more, but it's always guaranteed fun if you have some time to kill or just want to watch a bit. Wizard World Chicago had one two years ago and it was great, but now they have an entertainment stage out in the lobby. That can be fun as well, but the host they had last year was pretty cringey.


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