PDA

View Full Version : Curious about Ad Astra


Saffi
02-01-2004, 10:46 PM
Hey guys.. i've heard mention of Ad astra quite a bit on here...

I origionally, from some posts, gathered that it was in Ottawa on the weekend that MTac is on.. and that was the reason people wouldn't be able to go.

I just found out that on April 2-4 Ad Astra will be in Toronto.. is this the Ad Astra you guys are talking about.. and if so, how big is it and do people go in costume?

Cuz i'm interested and would love to check it out.. But i've never been to a scifi/fantasy con before so i don't know how similar/different it is to an anime one.

*grin* hope i'm not posting in the wrong spot.. forgive my ignorance.

-saff

xiola
02-02-2004, 02:29 AM
ad astra is MUCH SMALLER than anime north, also much smaller than toronto trek.

it is primarily a literary/fantasy/sci-fi con, (held in conjunction with a gaming con)

cosplay IS encouraged, but their masquerade is generally very small compared to the other cons people here are used to. (last year's was their biggest yet and it has oh... 14 people?). this year's masq. will probably be slightly larger due to several costuming people/friends i know are going, but other than that...

i have not attended yet either, but as my boyfriend has been a department-head volunteer for several years and tells me certain things, and i have been to toronto trek which has illuminated some major differences between Anime North, i can make certain assumptions, which i will try to explain...

-the atmosphere is different than the anime cons and toronto trek, and events are likely based more around discussion panels and social events (there's some geek-comedy programming, a dance, and apparently lots of room parties)
- expect less young people running around flying at people, glomping unsuspected victims, and screaming. up till now, anyway... (i certainly hope it stays that way despite it's growing exposure. ^_^)
- expect more adults/older people. while it may sound biased or rude to say it, i have to be honest and mention that this DOES account for a large part of the shift in atmosphere between a sci-fi/fantasy con and an Anime Con. there *are* young people at sci-fi/fantasy cons enjoying themselves as much as anyone else but they are not the largest demographic, and in some subtle way, the programming and atmosphere reflects this shift, compared to anime cons (IMHO, from my observations between Anorth, CNA and Toronto Trek). This is not to say that a large part of convention enjoyment isn't adults getting to act more like kids, or anything. that's defenitely still there, as it should be. ^_~
- i'm not sure the exact score on picture taking but if it's anything like the progression from ANorth to TT, while you may expect random picture taking, expect ALOT less of it except for around masquerade-times.
- anime is perfectly acceptable if you want to cosplay it there, just don't expect ANYONE to recognize your costume - you'll be lucky if ONE person recognizes your character in a classic well-known anime outfit, let alone a recent trendy anime.
- additional note about anime cosplay: do not get offended at really bad guesses! they're probably just trying to be nice and encouraging and dont' realize that, say, calling you "someone from sailor moon?" when you're wearing a Utena school fuku might offend someone! it's not their fault! (remember: acting hostile and superior will not help the more traditional older people's opinion of "those anime kids" :PP)
- most of the guests are not media celebrities, so behavior and discussion may be slightly different than what you get with the tv/actor celebrities anime/media congoers may be used to... *shrugs*
- dealer's room, while they have interesting stuff, are more varied as to type of merchandise (usually not 100% media-series-collectible type stuff. usually there's some more artsy booths, and some books and stuff) and definitely much smaller than Anorth.
- website: http://ad-astra.org/

umm... i hope this helps. ^_^

Saffi
02-02-2004, 08:57 AM
Thankyou very much.. that was very informative!

I'm really looking forward to this now... i'm hoping to put together a costume of Polagara from David Eddings' books, but I doubt many people will know who I am *grin*

we'll see what happens.

-saff

Ninja Sensei
02-02-2004, 09:03 AM
I would like to take this opportunity to encourage ALL interested parties to give Ad Astra a shot. It has been around much longer than either Anime North or Toronto Trek (in fact, many of teh originators and early concom for these cons came from Ad Astra attendees and concom). :)

ad astra is MUCH SMALLER than anime north, also much smaller than toronto trek.

it is primarily a literary/fantasy/sci-fi con, (held in conjunction with a gaming con)

True on both counts. Ad Astra used to be the big game in town but lost its place due to the influx of media fandom years ago ... Much like Toronto Trek is seeing its role as the big game in town being taken over by Anime North. The cons follow the "next wave" of fandom.

cosplay IS encouraged, but their masquerade is generally very small compared to the other cons people here are used to. (last year's was their biggest yet and it has oh... 14 people?). this year's masq. will probably be slightly larger due to several costuming people/friends i know are going, but other than that...

Cosplay is encouraged DEFINITELY!!!!! And their masquerade, like the con, is growing once again. (BTW - Last year they had 16 entries I believe ... a far cry from the years they had 6!!! but far from "back in the day" when they had 30 or 40 ... more on that later;) )

i have not attended yet either, but as my boyfriend has been a department-head volunteer for several years and tells me certain things, and i have been to toronto trek which has illuminated some major differences between Anime North, i can make certain assumptions, which i will try to explain...

-the atmosphere is different than the anime cons and toronto trek, and events are likely based more around discussion panels and social events (there's some geek-comedy programming, a dance, and apparently lots of room parties)

TRUE. Due to the difference in target audience, Ad Astra is more of a traditional SF con. The guests (mostly authors) tend to be more approachable (I've had chatted with Jerry Pournelle, Ed Greenwood, Tanya Huff ... MANY times with Tanya and Fiona both!), the atmosphere is more social ... and definielty not as charged as an anime con. (Although I hear the dance is VERRRRY popular for burning off the excess energy you store up).

- expect less young people running around flying at people, glomping unsuspected victims, and screaming. up till now, anyway... (i certainly hope it stays that way despite it's growing exposure. ^_^)

TRUE. While Ad Astra does have an Anime Room (run by Kent Wong I believe) and occasional anime portions to the programming track, "glomping" is practically unheard of. Or at least more sedate than launching oneself at someone in costume.

- expect more adults/older people. while it may sound biased or rude to say it, i have to be honest and mention that this DOES account for a large part of the shift in atmosphere between a sci-fi/fantasy con and an Anime Con. there *are* young people at sci-fi/fantasy cons enjoying themselves as much as anyone else but they are not the largest demographic, and in some subtle way, the programming and atmosphere reflects this shift, compared to anime cons (IMHO, from my observations between Anorth, CNA and Toronto Trek). This is not to say that a large part of convention enjoyment isn't adults getting to act more like kids, or anything. that's defenitely still there, as it should be. ^_~

TRUE. (emphatically so) This is the difference between the styles of con. For instance let's look at costuming. Cosplay per se is not as common (in that "in character" is not as important as socialising to most of teh costumers). The basis of Ad Astra's costuming crowd tends to come from a more traditional ("classical"?) theme base, with some SCA-influences dropped in.

To be continued...

- i'm not sure the exact score on picture taking but if it's anything like the progression from ANorth to TT, while you may expect random picture taking, expect ALOT less of it except for around masquerade-times.

Part II:

Picture taking is encouraged and welcomed by the con and attendees. Yes, most of it occurs around the masquerade ... That's because the degree of hall costumes has dropped in recent years (as it has at MANY traditional cons). It seems that all of teh enthusiastic hall costumers are off at these darn anime thingies!!! *sigh* ;)

TBC...

- anime is perfectly acceptable if you want to cosplay it there, just don't expect ANYONE to recognize your costume - you'll be lucky if ONE person recognizes your character in a classic well-known anime outfit, let alone a recent trendy anime.

- additional note about anime cosplay: do not get offended at really bad guesses! they're probably just trying to be nice and encouraging and dont' realize that, say, calling you "someone from sailor moon?" when you're wearing a Utena school fuku might offend someone! it's not their fault! (remember: acting hostile and superior will not help the more traditional older people's opinion of "those anime kids" :PP)

Part III:

TRUE. Although you might be surprised when some grey-haired old fart comes up and actually knows what/who you are cosplaying as. After all, we old folks like watching anime too (or at least watch with our kids.)

- most of the guests are not media celebrities, so behavior and discussion may be slightly different than what you get with the tv/actor celebrities anime/media congoers may be used to... *shrugs*

TRUE. But the guests are usually much more approachable. If you read at all (you know, reading? That thing that's in the bubbles for all the manga and such out there ... or teh subtitles!) and enjoy thoughtful or crazy discussion about things, then give Ad Astra a try.

One of the best panels I'd attended in recent years was on "the Aspect of 'Hero' in Lord of the Rings" (I still think Sam is the TRUE hero of the story ... even though Eowyn has always been my favourite.)

Also, any budding writers out there may do well to attend some of the talks from the authors (there are also workshops sometimes).

- dealer's room, while they have interesting stuff, are more varied as to type of merchandise (usually not 100% media-series-collectible type stuff. usually there's some more artsy booths, and some books and stuff) and definitely much smaller than Anorth.

Sadly TRUE. Like participation in teh masquerade, the size of teh dealer's room is influenced by the life cycle of the con itself. While Ad Astra is growing, it will be awhile before it's back at the size it was in the "old days".

umm... i hope this helps. ^_^

I'm sure it did. It's always nice (and refreshing) to see the con through the eyes of a new person!

... And I hope to see both you and Kisa competing in the masquerade!!! :D

And to finsih up MY comments...

I would encourage any of you fine cosplayers to attend Ad Astra - even if it's just the Saturday - and to participate in the masquerade. The audience is very appreciative of any theme and accepting of good work. It is a non-stressful show that you could use to prep for Anime North (or Toronto Trek) a few months later. (Tweak your presentation so to speak.)

(I met the new masquerade directors a week ago and this will be their first time doing it ... so if you're inclined, you could offer to help in the running of it! Or better - compete!!! Oh ... and they're about your ages as well.)

Remember that if we don't support the other venues, they will disappear due to lack of interest and we will lose another outlet for our hobby. (...and so goes the "greying" of fandom.)

...Oh yeah, one last thing .... they have SOME costuming programming because they have a kick-a$$ Fan Guest of Honour!!!! ;)

... And I'm willing to chat about costuming as long as anyone wants to (preferably along with a bheer in the best con suite I know of!) I hope to see you there.

- Gord

Kia
02-02-2004, 09:40 AM
I would encourage any of you fine cosplayers to attend Ad Astra - even if it's just the Saturday - and to participate in the masquerade. The audience is very appreciative of any theme and accepting of good work. It is a non-stressful show that you could use to prep for Anime North (or Toronto Trek) a few months later. (Tweak your presentation so to speak.)


^_^ That was my plan exactly!

Gordie, are you really part of some sort of Dating Game at Ad Astra?
If so I'm bringing a camera. :D

Ninja Sensei
02-02-2004, 11:31 AM
Thankyou very much.. that was very informative!

I'm really looking forward to this now... i'm hoping to put together a costume of Polagara from David Eddings' books, but I doubt many people will know who I am *grin*

we'll see what happens.

-saff

Actually, I would think that this could be quite a striking costume ... and for this con, I'd expect at least a few of the attendees will know who you are supposed to be! :)

Ninja Sensei
02-02-2004, 11:31 AM
^_^ That was my plan exactly!

Gordie, are you really part of some sort of Dating Game at Ad Astra?
If so I'm bringing a camera. :D

Ummm ... No comment. ;)

Kisa
02-02-2004, 11:39 AM
^_^ is it the cheesecake thing?

neko rinchan
02-02-2004, 12:38 PM
on the first post, saffi mentioned that ad astra was in ottawa during MTac. so, IS it in ottawa, or is it just in toronto? any info, would be greatly appreciated!

Ninja Sensei
02-02-2004, 01:10 PM
on the first post, saffi mentioned that ad astra was in ottawa during MTac. so, IS it in ottawa, or is it just in toronto? any info, would be greatly appreciated!

It is in Toronto. Check the website: Ad Astra (http://ad-astra.org/)

Ninja Sensei
02-02-2004, 01:13 PM
^_^ is it the cheesecake thing?

:rolleyes:

That was last year!!!

*shakes head*

lainey
02-02-2004, 01:47 PM
i'm guessing that there is no day ticket for just saturday?

i'd love to check it out :D

Kaijugal
02-02-2004, 01:50 PM
- anime is perfectly acceptable if you want to cosplay it there, just don't expect ANYONE to recognize your costume - you'll be lucky if ONE person recognizes your character in a classic well-known anime outfit, let alone a recent trendy anime.
- additional note about anime cosplay: do not get offended at really bad guesses! they're probably just trying to be nice and encouraging and dont' realize that, say, calling you "someone from sailor moon?" when you're wearing a Utena school fuku might offend someone! it's not their fault! (remember: acting hostile and superior will not help the more traditional older people's opinion of "those anime kids" :PP)


umm... i hope this helps. ^_^


:jjacks: I was so excited when I saw you posted this! :bigtu: You ROCK!! I officially dub you "Xiola the Wise"!

:cheers:<~~A toast to you and you're awsomeness!

I'll be there, and I hope you all ENTER THE MASQUERADE!!!! (or else!) :devil: ?? hehehe...

Kia
02-02-2004, 02:24 PM
:jjacks: I was so excited when I saw you posted this! :bigtu: You ROCK!! I officially dub you "Xiola the Wise"!


:: bows to Xiola the Wise :: :bashful:


That was last year!!!

*shakes head*

You did Cheascake last year and I missed it?! :hafha:

Ninja Sensei
02-02-2004, 10:08 PM
^_^ is it the cheesecake thing?

You did Cheascake last year and I missed it?!

*sigh* Yes ... you missed it. But don't worry, the "Best Before Date" on that beefcake was a looooong time ago. ;)

(And Kisa, don't try that coy ^_^ face with me young lady! After you and Xiola getting me drunk at Worldcon ... I know the truth! ;) )

Kaijugal
02-02-2004, 11:04 PM
(And Kisa, don't try that coy ^_^ face with me young lady! After you and Xiola getting me drunk at Worldcon ... I know the truth! ;) )

You party animals you! :devil:

Ninja Sensei
02-03-2004, 08:46 AM
You party animals you! :devil:

As if you aren't!!!!! :razz:

Why do I think that the room parties at Ad Astra this year will be inundated with pretty young anime cosplayers? :bigtu:

(Not that the fanbois would mind, mind you ... We could start a new game: "Trolling for Fanbois!" ;) )

Saffi
02-03-2004, 08:59 AM
LOL.. trolling for fanbois... sounds like an... interesting game to me... and what shall we do with said fanbois after we've caught them?

Ninja Sensei
02-03-2004, 11:22 AM
LOL.. trolling for fanbois... sounds like an... interesting game to me... and what shall we do with said fanbois after we've caught them?

;)

Probably ANYTHING you wanted to.

Kia
02-03-2004, 01:18 PM
;)

Probably ANYTHING you wanted to.

:devil: Don't give me any ideas! :bigtu:

Kaijugal
02-05-2004, 04:03 PM
As if you aren't!!!!! :razz:

Why do I think that the room parties at Ad Astra this year will be inundated with pretty young anime cosplayers? :bigtu:

(Not that the fanbois would mind, mind you ... We could start a new game: "Trolling for Fanbois!" ;) )

It's all true. :dance: *laughs*

Tee hee! The Cosplay Party Crew is about to decend on Ad Astra en masse! They won't know what hit them. :bigtu: *chuckles*
Go US!

Kisa
02-05-2004, 04:16 PM
You all scare me. YOU scare ME!
That isn't how it's supposed to work! I'm the big mean scary one... >.<

Ninja Sensei
02-06-2004, 08:23 AM
You all scare me. YOU scare ME!
That isn't how it's supposed to work! I'm the big mean scary one... >.<

Does that mean you're NOT coming? :(

Kisa
02-06-2004, 09:34 AM
pft.
and miss an excuse to make pretty clothes? I don't think so :P
It's not the greatest time of the year, but ohwell ^_^ I have my priorities.

Kaijugal
02-06-2004, 02:05 PM
pft.
and miss an excuse to make pretty clothes? I don't think so :P
It's not the greatest time of the year, but ohwell ^_^ I have my priorities.

*puts hand over heart* Just another reason I deeply respect you. ;)
:cheers:

Ninja Sensei
02-08-2004, 12:39 PM
pft.
and miss an excuse to make pretty clothes? I don't think so :P
It's not the greatest time of the year, but ohwell ^_^ I have my priorities.

YAY! :bigtu:

Chanilye
02-20-2004, 11:41 AM
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to let anyone who might be interested know that the Ad Astra web site (http://www.ad-astra.org) has been updated with Masquerade information and reg forms, and a panel list. Just look under News.

dani
02-20-2004, 11:53 AM
Just wanted to let anyone who might be interested know that the Ad Astra web site (http://www.ad-astra.org) has been updated with Masquerade information and reg forms, and a panel list. Just look under News.
Good to know...

strangely... i responded by email a message about volunteering a while ago, and haven't heard back from them...

Dani

Kia
02-20-2004, 01:21 PM
Some of those pannels sound very very tempting. ^_^

Kisa
02-20-2004, 09:42 PM
And the same ol Anime panel... not that I don't think it's good. I was on the one at TT last year that did the same topic basically.
Man, I wish TV-Anime didn't SUCK so much so there could be real panels on anime.. >.<

Chanilye
02-22-2004, 01:56 PM
Eep.

There have been some big problems this year with Ad Astra's ISP and e-mail account and there were periods of time where the e-mail was down.

I know for a fact that your e-mail did not reach the Volunteers (Gophers) department since well, I'm the assistant for that department :)

If you have any questions feel free to ask me. I'm very sorry that you didn't get a reply to your e-mail *shakes her fist at the ISP*.

Good to know...

strangely... i responded by email a message about volunteering a while ago, and haven't heard back from them...

Dani

Ninja Sensei
02-23-2004, 12:57 AM
And the same ol Anime panel... not that I don't think it's good. I was on the one at TT last year that did the same topic basically.
Man, I wish TV-Anime didn't SUCK so much so there could be real panels on anime.. >.<

Like any other con, they'll know more about what panels to have when interest is expressed to them ...

... just in case you wanted to propose something for next year. ;)

Kisa
02-23-2004, 11:18 PM
no worries. I've already harassed them enough this year. I can wait.
and you know, ambush the panels a la CLAMP and Gackt panel last year.
kekekekeke...