DerpyCon 2016 took place at the Hyatt Regency Morristown in Morristown, New Jersey from November 17 to November 20. DerpyCon is a cool multi-fandom con that includes a variety of programming: sci-fi, fantasy, anime, comics, video games, cosplay, table-top gaming, and more! I was really excited to go since I love checking out cons that include many interests. I wasn't able to attend Friday since I had to work, but I traveled there on Saturday morning. It was my first time taking NJ Transit, and it was a surprisingly pleasant ride from NYC to Morristown. I am grateful to my friend Brian for being my travel buddy to the con that morning and giving me NYC and NJ transit advice.
Upon arriving at the con, I had to change into my lolita coordinate in the bathroom. Luckily, the bathrooms were fairly roomy at this hotel. It was awkward lugging my suitcase in there and trying to change both in the stall as well as do my makeup at the mirror, but both con-goers and non-con-goers alike were very understanding. Some people in the bathroom had no idea what DerpyCon was and asked me what was going on as I was doing my makeup, and I gladly explained con culture and such to them. I also had an interesting experience when hotel staff came in to clean the bathroom, but they were kind enough to let me stay to finish my makeup and put on my accessories. Thank you, nice staff!
After getting dolled up in my book-themed lolita coordinate, the first thing I did was go and pick up my press badge. It was really easy to retrieve my badge, and I also made note of the registration area too; it looked like the lines weren't too long and things were running smoothly. After putting my badge on my bag in a visible spot, I decided to explore the venue. I used the the map in the con guidebook, and went around the Derp Alley and Derp Central. I had no idea about the Derpference Center until later on when I was looking for Main Events. (Aren't these names cute?!)
I loved the area near the registration; there are these pretty walls with water running down them!
I meandered to the Exhibit Hall (Derp Alley), and both the Artist Alley and Dealers' Room were housed here. I was pleased to see a wide variety of merchandise represented: from alternative fashion to fanart to My Little Pony to anime merch to original art. And of course, other cons had booths there too! I only bought one item at DerpyCon, and it was a cute pastel hair charm that I purchased on Sunday from Miss Candyholic.
Once Saturday afternoon rolled around, I knew I needed lunch since all I had that morning was a granola bar and some chocolate. Brian and I went across the street from the con to a small Chinese restaurant. I unfortunately cannot recall the name, but it was literally right across the street from the con. Affordable, delicious, and convenient! The walk was brief but not so comfortable since it was super windy at the time.
After eating, I knew I wanted to check out the Kei Plus II: Fashion DIY for Plus Bodies panel at 3pm. It was a cool J-fashion panel, specifically talking about J-fashion for plus-sized bodies. The panelist was great! I especially loved the fabric games she played with the audience. One of the games was where you guess which fabric is from the fashion district and which fabric is from JoAnn's. The conclusion was fabric quality varies across the board; you can find great fabric from a variety of sources. She also had audience members guess the price of one particular fabric... and it was insanely expensive since it had Swarovski crystals stitched all over it!
The Cosplay Showcase started at 5pm, so around 4pm-ish, I went to look for Main Events. I also explored the area near there, and found the T-Mode Matsuri room. This room had a variety of different traditional Japanese festival games. It was cute, and even though I didn't play anything, it looked very fun! I spoke to some people from T-Mode there, and they explained the history of some of the games to me.
After that, I hopped into line for the Cosplay Showcase (basically the DerpyCon Masquerade!). A fun fact: I was the 100th person to be seated for the Cosplay Showcase. The Cosplay Showcase was a lot of fun! I loved the musical skit by genderbent Miraculous Ladybug cosplayers. There was also an adorable Love Live! Sunshine musical skit. My favorites were definitely the musical skits, but all the skits were great! There were also wonderful walk-ons too. The MC was very charismatic and funny, and there was also a Jojo reference! One of the prizes at the end was a free badge for DerpyCon 2017, which got a lot of ooh's and ahh's from the audience.
For dinner, I decided to eat at the hotel restaurant with some J-fashionistas. Unfortunately, I had a misunderstanding with the menu... I ordered from the special con menu, and I thought the sandwich would be a hot one but it ended up being just a cold sandwich in a to-go box with chips. On the brighter note, the cocktail I had was delicious! It was a strawberry mojito.
To end my Saturday at the con, I went to Voltaire's concert. I've been listening to Voltaire's music since middle school, so it was exciting to see Voltaire live! This was actually the second time I saw Voltaire perform; my first time was at RuffleCon. He performed a variety of his songs, including the crowd favorites BRAINS! and Raised by Bats. He also shared his own touching life story about being bullied and dealing with depression. I had to leave the concert early, since I was staying over at a friend's house and we didn't want to leave too late. It was raining hard, so I was glad I took off my headband before going outside.
Another fun fact: DerpyCon was my first time staying overnight in New Jersey.
Let's fast-forward to DerpyCon: Sunday! I wasn't at the con very long on Sunday since I had to commute back to NYC (and it snowed on Sunday so I was paranoid about delays). I spent most of Sunday wandering the con as casual Honoka and feeling very stress-free. I have to say, DerpyCon was one of the least stressful cons of 2016.
I checked out the Free! photoshoot, but it started out pretty disorganized. People weren't sure who the person running the shoot was, and at some point, someone stepped forward to take the leadership role. I took photos for one of the cosplayers, and it was really nice to be able to participate in a fandom like this even though I wasn't cosplaying from that fandom. Free! is the first sports anime I got into, so it has a special place in my heart.
I browsed a lot of items in the Exhibit Hall too, and there were so many cute clothes I wanted but couldn't afford. It was delightful to see them and touch them though! I was surprised that some people recognized me as Honoka since I was in such a casual outfit, but I suppose Honoka's hair is pretty iconic. I ate lunch with a Rei (Free!) cosplayer before leaving the con, and this time, I ordered a nice hot burger from the hotel restaurant. So delicious!
I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it to DerpyCon 2017, but this is definitely a con I'd love to return to. I love how friendly the vibe is at the con; everyone is really chill. The attendees, the con staff, the panelists/guests, and even the people at the hotel who aren't going to the con. I didn't have any negative interactions with other people. If I return to DerpyCon in the future, I want to try to attend all three days!
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