Thousands attend Victoria's first comic con (w/video,gallery)
Jan. 11, 2014 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 11, 2014 at 7:12 p.m.
She took a long, deep breath before taking the stage. Yes, she was awfully nervous about the hundreds of people staring at her from the crowd, but more than that, she worried the 40 pounds of clothing and red-and-yellow-jeweled headpiece she wore would cause her to trip and fall.
Krystle Prochaska said she didn't plan to participate Saturday in the costume contest at Victoria Comic Con, but after a little bit of persuasion from friends - and a whole lot of love from the crowd - the 24-year-old from Victoria put her name down. This was her first time cosplaying.
About 3,000 people filled the dome at the Victoria Community Center throughout the day to attend the first Victoria Comic Con. The comic convention, which was brought to Victoria by two 20-something locals who simply wanted a toy store to shop at, brought in talent from all across the state, which included artists Bonn Adame, Dan Price and Dale Carroll.
The biggest draw, however, was the costume contest. Attendees filled a large area by the stage, making it almost impossible to move or see the show.
Many of the entrants took a more traditional route when it came to the contest - there were a lot of "Doctor Who" costumes and other trendy favorites, such as the Harley Quinn from Batman.
Prochaska went classic.
And she won.
Princess Kaguya hails from what is said to be the oldest Japanese folktale, "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter."
The myth is that an old man comes across a mysterious stalk of bamboo, and when he cuts into it, he find an infant the size of his thumb inside.
Although the old man was poor, he and his wife did not have children, so the couple rejoiced at the blessing and raised Kaguya. He then became very rich because every time he would cut open a bamboo stalk, a nugget of gold would be inside.
"I fell in love with her after reading the book," Prochaska said, who has an affinity for all things Japanese. She even had hopes of one day moving to the East Asian island.
Maria Ramos, costume contest judge and avid cosplayer, said she and the other judges selected Prochaska because she not only made the entire costume by hand but also because "it was extremely detailed," Ramos said.
Prochaska said she used a pattern and a heavy baroque cloth to make her kimono and pieced together the jeweled headpiece, which has seven distinct components, to represent the many men wanting to marry the princess.
"This might be a real story - it's a legend," she said.
About 50 other adults and children joined Prochaska in the contest. Sterling Lynch, 30, of Victoria, took home first in the adult male character for a green arrow costume he made with his wife, including the bow and arrow, and 8-year-old Corbyn Delgado, of Victoria, placed first in children's costumes for her "Edward Scissorhands" costume.
Ramos said the overall costume and the makeup is what resulted in the wins. "It looked amazing - they nailed it."