The Domain of Steven Pinnacle of Paperless Perfection


Gears of War – Palace Guard





You might go the whole convention without realizing that the booths on the show floor are actually inset from the perimeter of the convention hall. Outside, there is a wide channel where exhibitors can push carts of equipment, where attendees use the restroom, and where the expeditious or agoraphobic retreat to when they don't want to deal with the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds.

When you dive out from the sea of people, like a dolphin gasping for air, your whole perspective on PAX changes. It feels small, having taken a step back, watching the throng from afar. It's not the same endless expanse of encompassing geekiness. You see the wires and cables holding everything together, the curtains closing you into the world they're creating for you. You see the man behind the screen.

And occasionally that man is a Palace Guard from Gears of War, waiting to demolish you with his Cleaver and Boomshield.


Steampunk Sailor Moon



This steampunk take on Sailor Moon worked really well. Padded clockwork goggles, leather bracers that extend through the palm, matching bag (convenient place to keep your badge on display), right down to the caramel lace trim on the skirt and bow. Fabulous execution all-around, it was a really high quality custom outfit. The boots were the only part of the ensemble that threw me off - high boots fit the style, but they've got cracks that look like they came from a steamroller.


Mass Effect – Samara



Usually cosplayers get excited when I ask for a picture other than "stand by me while I smile." What makes the picture hilarious is her utterly bored and repulsed expression at the idea of having to shoot a worm like me.

Also, the Asian guy photobombing me. His expression is pretty good too.


Splinter Cell: Blacklist



Help me, Michael Ironside, you're my only -- wait, you're not Michael Ironside 🙁 .


League of Legends – Panda Teemo



A well-made backpack bumps you so far up the cosplay ladder. The backpack is a prop that doesn't get a lot of attention (since it's not visible head-on) but can be loaded to the brim with details. This panda Teemo has a wonderful bamboo backpack, made of common ingredients, yet full of small touches: the slats, the side boxes, the color scheme - and I like the shoulder pads for comfort.

All in all, it probably didn't cost more than fifty dollars, but it made for one hell of an outfit.


League of Legends – Fiddlesticks

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Wearing a costume is always taxing. You need to worry about your presentation at all times, and take care of any fiddly bits that people bumping into you might bump off of you. But wearing Fiddlesticks stilts? That takes "pain in the ass" to a whole new level. This guy couldn't even stand still (whether to wait in line, or for my picture) without wobbling around to keep his balance.


League of Legends – Ahri



There's always at least one cosplayer at a convention whose costume makes you ponder exactly how they were able to transport it. Did Ahri stuff that tail in the trunk of her car?


Cassie Jo Dull from Zombie Studios



As Megan and I were speaking with Collin from Blacklight Retribution (previous pic), I catch a woman out of the corner of my eye, looking pointedly in our direction. I figure she's a reporter or employee trying to get Collin's attention. As we're already talking with him, I decidedly ignore her. O:-)

It isn't until she interjects, that I realize she wasn't looking at Collin - she was looking at me.

"Hey, were you at the last PAX Prime? I remember you!"

We spend a few moments chatting, and then it hits me - I had wandered up to the Blacklight Retribution booth last PAX Prime to pick up a swag code (much as I was doing now), and talked with her as I got one. I recall an intelligent conversation about their upcoming game, and was pleasantly surprised that this was enough to make me stand out in her mind.

When I would later come back to pick up a code and have Collin sign it, I make sure to ask for her signature as well. Cassie Jo Dull, office manager for Zombie Studios, I look forward to seeing you at PAX Prime!


Collin Moore from Zombie Studios


Megan and I met Collin Moore at the ASTRO Gaming booth, where he was demoing Daylight, his new game from Zombie Studios. I knew him from Blacklight Retribution, but I gave Daylight a spin nonetheless. (And set down the controller in fear no more than five minutes later.) Megan jumped in as soon as she heard that he worked on Condemned 1 and 2.