Cosplay Main Event Programming

ABCU is home to a variety of different and exciting events and contests! Here’s a list of this year’s major cosplay event programming:

The Cosplay Contest

More information on our annual Cosplay Contest can be found on the event’s main page

The Cosplay Lip Sync Battle

Why battle with fists and swords when you can be certified lip sync assassin? Join us for the return of the Lip Sync Cosplay Contest!

Register for the Cosplay Lip Sync Battle here!

The Haus of Blues Drag Show

Glitz, glamour, and surprises await you at the Haus of Blues Drag Show. Come watch your fellow con goers crossplay and lip sync as their favorite characters. Gag on the eleganza! As always, tipping is appreciated! Due to the use of strong language and mature themes, this event is recommended for attendees ages 16 and older.

Interested in Performing in the Haus of Blues? Sign Ups are still available here!

Iron Cosplay

Team up with your most creative friends in this fast-paced competition to see who can construct the most impressive costume out of the materials provided, including this year’s “mystery material.” Who will come out on top? Allez faire! Sign up for this contest takes place on site! We have a limited number of supplies so arrive early to secure your team’s spot!

Featured Guests

Katie Bair

Petting Zoo Wigs

The ``Alton Brown of Wigs`` first began posting her tutorials and discoveries on cosplay forums in 2002. Chances are, if you have seen a video or tutorial on any wig styling technique, or if you've heard the terms ``wig dye``, ``stubbing``, or ``foamcore`` you can thank Katie Bair. From 2002-2012 Petting Zoo Wigs cranked out thousands of custom wig commissions, original designs, and new wig products for cosplayers all over the world. In 2010, Katie released The World of Wigcraft, a 300 page guide to everything that can be done with a wig. (At least everything she could fit in 300 pages.)

After a five year hiatus to raise her son, Katie returned to the wig crafting arena to participate in the Iron Wig 2017 international wig design competition, and emerged as champion with her innovative and eye catching designs. She continues to teach, donates her wig work to charity auctions, and offers free wig commissions to children and adults suffering hair loss due to medical procedures.



Kelldar has been costuming for nearly 20 years, and thanks to her geeky parents, got her start attending sci-fi conventions in the late 80s. Her costumes reflect a wide range of interests - from historical to Star Wars, from Disney to Doctor Who. She lives in Memphis, TN with her husband, cat, robots, sewing machines, Star Wars toys and not near enough room for her hundred-plus costumes.

Venus Ann Serena

Drag Queen Cosplayer

Based out of Nashville, this cosplay queen has been in the business for nine years. Combining gothic fantasy with all things nerd, Venus loves to go from seductress looks to high fashion to cosplay. She started performing in 2009 and since then has had some success. That includes winning two pageant titles, Miss Calendar 2013 and Miss Genesis 2014. She has been featured as a panelist for costume, make up, and Para Para since 2011 at various cons: Middle TN Anime Convention, Akaicon, Amaicon, Momocon, Anime Weekend Atlanta, and our very own, Anime Blues Con.

ABCU Course Catalogue

ABCU is dedicated to helping cosplayers of all skill levels improve their craft! Here’s a peak into this “semester’s” class offerings!

Featured Guest Programming

  • World of Wigcraft – Beginning and Advanced Techniques (Hosted by Petting Zoo Wigs) – Katie’s most popular workshops offer the unique opportunity to request any technique to be demonstrated and broken down in person. Audience participation is always encouraged, and a foam head will surely be brutalized. This is a two part workshop.
  • Formcore for Wigs (Hosted by Petting Zoo Wigs)  – Today’s character design styles are riddled with impossible thickness, unachievable heights, and shapes that just make you scratch your head and ask “why?”  To create these designs in real life, the answer is usually “foamcore”. However, using foamcore effectively, and creating seamless results takes a solid understanding of not only when to use it, but what type, and how.  Throw that glue bottle away, and come learn from the creator of the foamcore technique how you can turn that lumpy mess into perfection.
  • Anatomy of a Wig (Hosted by Petting Zoo Wigs) – Come play mad scientist as we dissect and reconstruct wigs to learn more about the different types and purposes, and how we can build our own super wigs as a result.  (No wigs will be harmed during the production of this workshop.)
  • Art for Profit (Hosted by Petting Zoo Wigs)Learn how to take your hobby and turn it into a successful small business with minimum cost. We discuss packaging, self-marketing, finding the perfect price point, and pitfalls to avoid when doing commissions.
  • Wigcraft and Chill (Hosted by Petting Zoo Wigs) – As with any aspect of costuming, wigcraft has it’s ups and downs, moments of awesome, and epic failures. Bring your own tales of disaster and discovery, and join Katie for this anything goes wig jam session.

Guest Programming

  • The Art of Transformation (Hosted by Venus Ann Serena) – Learn both makeup and costuming tips and techniques to elevate your crossplay to the next level in this two part workshop series, hosted by Nashville drag queen Venus Ann Serena
  • Own Your Inner Diva (Hosted by Venus Ann Serena)Everyone one has an inner Diva waiting to be unleashed and the cosplay Diva herself, Venus Ann Serena, is here to guide you on how to let it all out. Connect with your latent fabulousness in this panel on how to lip sync, pose, and walk with confidence.
  • A Hairy Situation: Convincing Facial Hair Installation (Hosted by A.G. Howard) – Want to cosplay a bearded character but don’t want to look like a bad department store Santa Claus? Then we “mustache” you to attend this facial hair installation panel hosted by noted SFX makeup artists, A.G. Howard. This workshop has kits available for purchase if you’d like to experience the class hands on.
  • Next Level Costuming: Advice from Professionals (Hosted by A.G. Howard & Mandy George) – Do you feel like you’ve plateaued in your costuming? Mandy George of Imagine Time Costuming and A.G. Howard are here to offer guidance on how tried and true techniques used by professionals can help elevate your craft to the next level.

ABCU Hosted Courses

  • Death by Spandex – Learn how to sew on Spandex without losing your mind and soul.  Everything you wanted and should know before spending a small fortune and delving into sewing with this unforgiving fabric.
  • Stitch, Zip, Clip, and Rip – Hands on basic sewing techniques for beginners. Learn when and how to clip seams, put in a zipper and use a seam ripper.  Free gift to attendees
  • What Ever Shall I Sew? – Silk, Satin, Spandex and more what fabric is right for your cosplay dream and your level of sewing.  Learn about fabrics, patterns and making a pattern your own.
  • Cosplay Hacks – Looking to better your cosplay but low on the cash? Here are some tips and tricks from experienced cosplayers with low budget just like you!
  • Be Our (Cosplay) Guest – Do you have aspirations to be a cosplay guest at a convention? Then this is a must attend panel. The Head of the Cosplay Department gets real about what we take into consideration when we’re searching for cosplay guest and red flags that immediately turn us off.
  • Cosplay Contest: Unmasked – Join us for a “behind the scenes” look at the pre-judging process and talk to the judges themselves about what they look for when examining your costume.

Community Hosted Panels

  • Kindergarten Kid: Create Your Own Gemsona – From the epic lore of Steven Universe, venture in the “prime” kindergarten of ABC and help homeworld create new gems! Pearls?! Jade?! Rubies? What will you create to appease you Diamonds?! Space and supplies are limited so COME EARLY!!!
  • Fursuits 101Ever wanted to learn the process of making a fursuit? Join us for tips and tricks on fursuit making and maintenance.