Inaugural Cincinnati Comic Expo

September 21, 2010

Well I’ve spent some time trying to clear my own head and get back in the mood to start posting on here. Well I’m back now to writing meaningless post on here again.

Well this past Saturday went to the inaugural Cincinnati Comic Expo in Cin……….. well you can figure it out. I drove all the way out in the morning and drove back that night and I feel it was worth it. I’ve also need to compliment their PR rep, cause they were able to get a lot of attention on the show in local magazines and radio shows. Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so I didn’t get any pictures this time.

The show was designed to focus on comics; mainstream, small press, and independent. They wanted to veer away from “pop culture shows” some cons have become in the past few years. They had 70 comic creators and 50 vendor tables. Besides just comic and games stores showing up, they had a local Leggo store, the local 501st legion, Underground Video Network, Blue Line Pro art, and a few other such things.

Their featured guests included comic creators from the Golden Age Murphy Anderson, Russ heath, and Allen Bellman; Comic Book Historian and Executive Producer of the 1989 Batman movie Michael Uslan and his son David who also works in the business now too; Archie Comics writer and artist Craig Boldman; plus comic creators and artiests Tony Moore, Steve Scott, Lora Innes, Thom Zahler, Dave Aikins, Dave Michael Beck, Sean Forney, Joe Gentile, and Josh Medors who is suffering from cancer so the con ran a charity auction to help raise money for his treatment.

The whole thing took place in the lobby around the basketball area (the Cintas Center) of Xavier University. I forgot to see if they offered degrees in human/mutant relations. It worked out very well. It made the whole convention floor an U shape. They had guests and vendors aligned on both sides of the wall around. One of the center’s snack bars was open selling food, at the usual prices. The center had plenty of free parking for everyone.  Though the location didn’t really have that many places to get food from near by that I could tell. I didn’t have a long or hard drive to find food, but just not walking distance.

For most of the day it was nearly impossible to get close to any of the comic dealers boxes.  There was people going through them almost the whole time.  Some of the ones in the further back didn’t have as many people and were easier to get to though and by the end of the day it started to thin out.  The artists on the other hand were a little easier to get to.  One would have a swarm at their table at certain times, but for the most part they were easy to get to and talk with.  In particular I got to meet Ricky Henry, Chad Schoettie, Rodney Fyke, Scott Zambelli, and Dustin Carson

Besides the main floor they had use of small room in the back that was split between functioning as a panel room and a gaming room. The gaming portion was run by Yotta Quest and they demoed several board and card games throughout the day. There was also another vendor Art of War in the main hall doing demos of some games. Mostly superhero based miniature ones.

There were a few costumes at the show. Besides all the Star Wars ones from the 501st. The was a Joker and a Harley Quinn of course. I do recall seeing Red Robin, Stephanie Brown Batgirl, a Hulk made to look like one of those toys with a block head and hands, Jubilee, Sora from Kingdom Hearts, and more.

They had a few panels during the day that I unfortunately missed all over. They also held their costume contest and charity auction there. I attended the auction, that start half an hour later than the program guide said it would. It was the last thing of the day and most of the other attendees were heading home, meaning there was not a lot of people there. This meant several nice pieces of art got sold really cheap and some didn’t get any bids. The staff members running also didn’t really know what they were suppose to be doing or to much about every piece up for sell. They were able to make do and it did end up running very well for the small crowd. I personally got an original Archie Comics’ Jughead as Superman by Craig Boldman, Batman and Harley Quinn print by Scott Zambelli, a great pencil of Thor, and a Star War piece of General Grieves. Which brings me to the question, does anyone out there want to buy some art?

They’ve already got a date and location for next year too. The Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati on September 17, 2011. This will give them more room and closer proximity to hotels. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do and who they get next year.

I say this is a good show for any comic fans out there in the area to check out.

Kyuuka Picnic Review

June 30, 2010

 

 

Kyuuka was a picnic held by Tsubasacon. The point was promote as a sort “reunion” for attendees of Tsubasacon.

Location/Weather

The park is a very nice place with several nice places to set up and things to look at, but I felt they got a bad part of it. The location was very out of the way and several of attendees wondered the park for a bit before we discovered it. The logic for choosing this spot was that cosplayers might be embarrased to be out in public in costume, so instead they decided to hide who they are in the back of the park. That’s a negative view of things, but I’m just a negative person.

The event used a gazebo in up on a hill. The first problem with this was the up on a hill part. You had to walk up and down the hill to get around to the parking lot and any flat area for the activities. Add in the heat from the day and it really took it out of you. The gazebo itself wasn’t very good for the event either. It was not big enough to allow to many people in and it had only one small table to put food on.

Food

Everyone had been asked to bring some food to event. In retrospect this was overkill as most of the food wasn’t eaten and was taken home.  There was several nice dishes though.  Several different desserts were provided and drinks were provided.

I brought cocktail sausages cut to look like octopuses, squids, and crabs then cook a little; Naruto rolls, lunch meat, cheese slices, and seaweed wrap in little whirls (it was very gross actually); Usagi Ringo, apples cut to look like rabbits; and some pickled vegetables. I took almost all of it home, except for what I and a friend ate.

Activities

There was a series of games were played to win a pass to the con. The games were, to me, jueivinile games. Stuff like ‘Red Light, Green Light’ and ‘Kick the Can.’  I didn’t bother paying any attention any of these, but I’m sure everyone involved had a fun time. 

There was also a cosplay phootshoot for anyone who was in cosplay.  Basically the cosplayers posed and had their picture taken nearby.  There were a few people with their own cameras and one person with the picnic with a camera.  I don’t really understand the point of this scheduled photoshoot.  There wasn’t any special set up for the shoot and I don’t think prints were going to made for any of the cosplayers, so why bother scheduleing the photoshoot.  I beileve they were hoping people would be cosplaying from the same series, but that didn’t happen.  To me it’s just another example of people acting like cospla, and cosplayers, are the most amazing thing in the world.

There was also a raffle to support Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Tri-State Area.  There was several nice items: an autographed Ouran High School Host Club wall scrool, a Haruhi Suziyma statue and pins, Kingdom Hearts bag, a signed FFXIII posters, and a few more items.  There was also a large selection of manga to win.  Three winners were pulled and told they could keep as much manga as they could carry.  I was one of these people.  I was follwed to my car by a group waiting for me to drop something so they could claim it.  I carried 37 volumes to my car without dropping any of them. 

To think I went to this instead of my local gaming store for Free RPG Day.

Gallery Walk with Beau Smith

May 18, 2010

 

April 10-17 was the Ohio River Festival of Books which featured several authors at different libraries, schools, and other locations for a week to promote reading, libraries, and other such stuff. I don’t, like a book fair but more so. I attended two different events they held during the week. The first one was a Gallery Walk at the Huntington Museum of Art by comic book writer and collector Beau Smith (pronounced ‘Bo’).

Beau is a native of Huntingon, West Virginia, he know lives in Ceredo, West Virginia. He was a comic book fan from an early age and has never lost his love for them. He got into the comic book industry first by sending in letters to comic book companies that got published in the back of the books and meeting industry people at conventions. From there he got a chance to do some writing in some magazines and then got more jobs and more jobs till he’s been writing freelance for over fifteen years. He’s also worked as marketing and publishing exec for such companies as: Eclipse Comics, Image Comics, McFarlane Toys, and IDW Publishing.

The museum is running an exhibit on comic art which is running through May 30th. Beau is a big collector of comic book art and has a collection of over 90 pieces at home. The museum asked him about exhibiting some of it and he agreed. They selected 36 pieces to use and on April 11 he gave a guided tour of it.

The group who showed up was divested. Small children, old people, Beaus’s family and friends, reporters, comic book fans, people trying to get into the industry, myself, and others. Beau went down each piece and explained the significance of the piece; where it was from, what’s in it, how he got it, and more.

Some of the pieces included:

A Spider-man from his black costume days in which Beau and a friend of his, who was there, were used as models by an artist friend of theirs.

A Superman story featureing Aquaman from 1977 that he bought in 1980 for five dollars. The piece now would be worth over $500.

Some pieces form his work on Guy Gardner Warrior.

Pieces from his early work writing as one page stories for a magazine. In each of them he was able to work in saying something about the local area of Huntington or Ceredo;one of them mentioned ‘Thundering Herd.”

A piece from Judge Parker (I think I can’t remember now) that was drawn by a friend who drew Beau into it with a hat that said “Ceredo” on it.

A piece from his work on the comic book adaption of “24.” This piece was uninked as it was inked and colored on a computer.

A piece from his comic “Wynonna Earp” about Wyatt Earp’s daughter who investigated paranormal activities in the old west. He went into a long discussion about the different threats she faced and the hierarchy that existed with them. It was really interesting to see him just ramble on about this as it was so natural for him, like I feel a true writer should be. 

A piece from Sgt. Rock by Billy Tuci, which he pointed out the detail Tuci goes into getting everything just right. 

Through out the tour he gave information into the workings of the comic industry and how it’s changed over time. He repeatly encourage people to follow through on what they want to do in life and find something they loved and find a way to make it into a career.

At the end he hung around and talked with people.  There were several people who wanted to show him their art and get his opinion on it.  Including a seven year old.  He answered a few questions about different pieces that he hadn’t mentioned before as well.  I waited around and ended up being the last guy to get a picture of him, but it did give me a chance to check out some of the other art they had int he exhibit as well.  All and all very fun and I recommend anyone likes comics and/or art to go check out the collections they before they’re gone.

Anime Punch: Armageddicon Review

April 30, 2010

 

Another weekend, another convention. This time Anime Punch: Armageddicon on April 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. I’ve been to this con a number of times before, staff all of them, but missed last year’s. Once I again I helped out with staff and ran some panels for them.

I like Anime Punch cause of how they try to be different in both what events they run, how they run them, how they run the con and how they interact with attendees. They have a mission statement and style all. They strive to be anime only, in fact not allowing any non anime cosplay into the cosplay contest. They also are the “college age” con, meaning they like to be academic and to throw parties.

Unfortently between working the con and my legs which hurt like all get out I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted. 

Vendors Room/Artist Alley

I spent most of my time working in the vendor room helping out the vendors. I wandered in on Thursday night during set up to see what was going on and who was going to be there and just ended up staying most of the weekend. The staff they had there to run things had never worked the dealers room, or any part of a con before, so I moved in to show how to do right. Humble aren’t I.

The room was pretty nice. Nice wide alleys that had plenty of room for people to maneuver through. Good selection of different vendors. though three vendors didn’t show up to the con so it had some noticeably empty ares. Kind of nice, but there were some glaring problems with how things were run that I told the con chair after the con that I couldn’t stand it and I was going to help him run a more efficient vendor room next year.

They quite a few artist around the lobby area. Selling various things from fan art, original art, comics, jewelry, hand made plushies, dice bags, key chains, buttons, hats, wood work, and more. Pretty nice lay out too.

I got two skectch cards from two of the artists. A C.C. from Code Geass and Kanami from Full Metal Panic.

Panels

Panels at AP are always full of plenty of educational and intellectual discussions. That’s one of the bases for the con.

I ran two panels for the con: Anime on Television and Recurring Themes and Symbolism in Anime. The Anime on Television panel was very interesting in the fact that I think I was the youngest one in the room. Really hadn’t had to many moments like that at anime cons since they are mostly a younger crowd. It went pretty well, mostly just sharing stories about what we all had seen on television and where you can find it TV now a days.

The themes and symbolism one I wasn’t happy with. I wanted to do a whole presentation of them, but I never really got around to doing as much research I wanted. I was able to define themes and symbolism at the start and then was able to go over the few of them that I do know and let the audience bring up different ones they could think of. Personally I felt the panel was under par for me, but when I went to end the panel a few minutes early since people were showing up for the next panel and were being a bit distracting I had few people who were disappointed since they were really liking the discussion. That felt nice.

I got to see the other panels, one on the mangaka Shirow (creator of Ghost in the Shell), Japanese Mythos, and Anime Online. The Shirow panel was small with just the host, myself, and a vendor and his wife there. Still very nice got to learn about the man and his projects. Made me want to go get some of his works, which is really the best result you could get.

The Japanese Mythos panel was kind of train wreck in some ways. I’m not sure what happen but the staff members who ended up running it really didn’t know what they were going to talk about or even that much of the topic. At first they pulled up an audience member who was familiar with the topic and talk for a little bit about it. This was good. Then there ended up being three staffers to help her with the panel. That wasn’t so good. You had different panelist calling on different people for questions. One of them was really bad about rambling on about something not quite on topic and not really having a clear point for his rant. When a few people left the room they actual stopped them to ask why they were leaving. While the unprepared part I could leave with cause they had found a solution to it; it quickly delved into a case of too many cooks ruining the soup.

The Anime Online panel I had thought was one I was suppose to do but wasn’t, long story which isn’t too bad. What did happen is this panel and the Anime Industry panel which was suppose to be going on in the other panel room merged. It became a nice talk about the place of fan subs, history of such things, the effect the internet is having on the anime industry, and how people felt about that. All in all very good.

There were plenty of others I wish I got to go to but wasn’t able to.

Guests

Brad Swaile was the main voice acting guest, since the other one Patrick Seitz got sick right before the con and couldn’t come. Got to see Brad back at Colossalcon so I wasn’t as interested in going to his panels as I had been then. Of course working the con does cut back on your time to do such things too. I went to an interview panel they had with Brad where an internet show host interviewed him. Only got to see part of it since I had to leave part way through for business related to another con I’m part of. But the guy was to me kind of asking the same old kind of questions you hear at guest panels so it kind wasn’t that big of a deal for me anyways.

After the panel I escorted Brad to the con suite they had for autograph signings. Ended up pulling along most of the audience from the panel too. Helped keep the line orderly, took pictures of people with Brad, and generally stayed out of the way of things. Got to hear all the questions people asked him and see the different things they had him in sign. Pretty fun too.  Got to hear the potato chip line from Death Note again.  After everyone else had left I got my autographs then. I also got him to do a sketch card for me of his character Moose from Ranma ½. Moose turns into a duck by the way and that’s what he drew.

As always they brought in a number of college professors who have done research on anime and anime fandom. It’s part of their attempts to make cons more intellectual. I only got to hear one of them, Lawerence Eng, talk about anything. They do the kind of panels that really make you think and you learn something from them, so I’m usually kind of annoyed when I miss them.

Jimmy Raggs and The Projectile Style of Funk Nasty Freshness was a local band that was written a number of sons on anime and anime fandom along with knowing a couple of anime classics. I only really got to hear about two songs from them between things I had to do. I got to hear “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson and “Mushroom Samba” from Cowboy Beebop. I really enjoyed both and wish I had gotten to hear more.

There was also a DJ from Japan, but I’m not a raver and didn’t care other than thinking it was someone neat to have.

Gaming

They had a pretty nice video game. Lot’s of stations. Though they had no Dynasty Warriors Gundam, so I played nothing. It was very standard kind of faire, but done very nicely and lot’s of it though. They do have what they call collective gaming where they take a simple game with few choices and have an audience decide what chooses to make. Didn’t make it to that either.

They had a table top gaming room next to the video game room. It didn’t fair was well. There was a Magic tournament, two LARPS, a Gundam model game, and Maid the RPG. I played nothing and the room looked vacant every time I was there, even when there was several people in the room due to the amount of empty space. It’s a good start for the room, having tried to do something similar at the con two years ago, I want to see this become more though.

Con Suite

One of the coolest things that the con takes pride in is their con suite. Free food is always loved at cons. When the food is good and includes some nice sushi, doubly so. It was run by a local family who took pride in their work. They always made sure there was food and drinks in the room, played music, had a photo shoot set up, and had an art wall where con goers could draw on provided paper and then place on the wall. The room was very big too.

Most commomn series cosplay: didn’t really see any one series that really stood out

Comomon cosplay: again just the usual several Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Soul Eater, Final Fantasy

Favorite cosplays: Char’s custom Zaku, Spice and Wolf group, Ester and Able from Trinity Blood, Yoite from Nabari No Ou

All and all a nicely run con. The only reason I might not come back next year is to save money to go to another con the same time. Why does April have such awesome cons all month long?

This is a great con for anyone looking for an anime focused con, a con with lot’s of academia and deep thought, great parties, and a relax atmosphere.

A&G Ohio 2010

March 31, 2010

 

For the thrid year in a row I’ve gone to A&G Ohio.  Spent the weekend with a sore back and leg though which cut down on my fun and willingness to do things though. 

A&G had done some really great things for their attendees this year.  Like arrange for free breakfast for whoever stayed at the hotel and cheap lunch and dinner food at the hotel’s restaurant.  Once again they were also very good about getting their schedule out early. 

Panels and Atrium

The con had a panel room and a raised area in the lobby where they did panels.  Putting panels in the atrium had some merit but mostly didn’t work out for the most part.  On one hand it allowed a lot of people to be there and let people check out what was going on easier than in a regular one.  On the other hand there were a lot of distractions of doing it there in the open with everyone going around and the fountain behind you.  There was another room that was barely used too which they could have done a few more things in it. 

There was also lounge room.  Which was several round tables set out for people to relax in.  They had a couple of games in there to play.  I think Apples to Apples was played almost constantly in the room.  They also had popcorn and cotton for sale in there.  The panel room got moved into here on Saturday night cause the panel room AC was out which worked for a few things.  This was a good idea and I’d like to see it back, but it didn’t get used as well as it could have since they had only decided to do it at the last second. 

Vendors Room/Artist Alley

Vendors room was smaller than last year, but had a nice feel to it without for the most part being to cramp. Though there was only one small path into the back and it was blocked most of the weekend which meant when I saw it I’d turned around and headed back out. I got to do all the looking around I wanted and got the things I wanted, it just could have been done a little better maybe.

They also, and I’m shocked to find myself saying this when compared to most other vendor rooms in most other cons, too many anime and manga dealers. Now I really buy most of my anime and manga at cons and it’s what I’m most interested in getting at cons so I like to see a few, but I also like to see other dealers too. I couldn’t really name you what else I’d like to have seen, except maybe more gaming both video and table top, but I’m sure others could suggest things.

Artist Alley had a several cool artists.  Including someone who worked in metal.  Though there were a few artists who didn’t show it was all very nice.  They had a few of the artists up on the atrium which helped to prevent the walkways from being to crowded.  I do have to say it wasn’t to bad to walk by the artist, not much of a jam. 

Guests

They had a great guests list, but it was not utilized very well.  By this I mean there were guests who didn’t, as far as I know, didn’t do any panels or in fact anything. 

There VA guests were Chris Patton, Troy Baker, and D.C. Douglas.  Patton and Baker had both been in anime series that I’ve really like, but Douglas has really just done video games none of which I’ve played.  They were all really great though. 

I attended both Patton and Baker’s  personal panels.  Patton did one called “Chris Patton Shares too Much” where you could ask him any question and he would answer them.  He really did share too much and I am now scared for life.  Though I was already scared so it’s not a big deal.  Baker’s panel was about video games and though I’m not as big a video game player as most of other people it was really cool to see him and other people talk about stuff they were passionate about.  I’ll always remember that panel as the one where the firm alarm went off and we had to exit the building, where we kept talking till we could go back in and continued the panel. 

They had the head of a small game company at the con, this is the one who I don’t know if he did anything.  They had the creator of rebuilt semi to look like the Decepticon Motormaster there to look at.  It was cool to go look at and take pics of and I got to talk to him a little, though at least one Q&A of how he did it would have been nice.  Also of note was that they washed it Friday before the con which cause it to rain the next two days. 

I think the con needs to work on figuring out things to have guests to do and not just expect them or attendees to come up with ideas. 

Music Acts

The big music act I really loved was the nerdcore show with Dualcore,  Shammers, and Lefthand on Saturday.  I had meet Dualcore before at LANville and really like his stuff.  When I saw him at the con he remember me from before and he was happy to see me.  I think he just liked seeing a familiar face.  I hung out with him on and off during the weekend and help with his table of goods to sell.  This was my first time see Shammers and Lefthand, but I’m a fan now too.  They’re a lot of fun to watch and listen too. 

This was the third time being at a con with the Protomen, but only the first time I’ve bothered to go to one of their shows.  They do a Mega Man rock opera that has many die-hard fans.  I sat in the back and listen for a while before Troy Baker’s panel.  I liked what I heard, but since this was Act II on Saturday I don’t think I completely got it.  I need to hear them all the way through at once to really make up my mind, but they are of interest now. 

Gavin Goszka felt sorry for.  He’s talented and does some great music, but all his performances were in the atrium.  Now he played more slow and calming songs so it was nice background music to have in the lobby, but he didn’t really get to show himself off and have a captive audience.  He had a performance on each day and personally I think they should have at least on one day moved him into the lounge for better atmosphere. 

Video Game Rooms

They had three video game rooms and lot’s of systems. The rooms had the usually fare of fighting, FPS, racing, and music games kind of games you have. They do bring in several old school systems and had a game called Mugen projected onto a wall to play. My one really problem was having Rock Band in the one room I played in. So much noisier than that other two.

I actual played in the video game room. I got to try out Dynasty Warriors Gundam. I’m a big Koei games fan and had been wanting to check out this series.

I though there was suppose to be a Golden Eye for the N64 tournament, but never saw any signs for it. Of course I didn’t ask either so it’s really my fault.

Cosplay

Most Common Series Cosplay: Axis Power Hetalia (I think anyways, I don’t really know a lot about that series)

Common Cosplay (thought there was not very many of anyone series like other cons): Bleach, FMA, Kingdom Hearts, Mega Man, Final Fantasy

Personal Faves: Roya and Elemda from Kiba, Cowboy Beebop group, Quailman from Doug, Piccolo from DBZ, and two Eikos from Final Fantasy IX

With my sore back and seeing the same characters over and over again I found myself not takeing as many pictures as usually.  I just couldn’t bring myself to raise my camera up to get yet another picture of Naruto or Cloud.  Also chasing down the good ones just seemed like to much work, so I missed a few I had wanted pictures of.

Final Thoughts

A&G Ohio has an idea of what it wants to be.  It has a feel to it and a style that they try to capture and for the most part do.  They try to be different and do their own thing which is something I respect and like about them.  It’s just that it’s not the kind of thing I really want out of a con.

They’re very big on parties and party like atmosphere.  They’re very open with what all they’ll cover and like silly events.  Not my kind of thing, but I know a lot of people who like that kind of thing, so if you like cons for the big get together and fun things to do kind of feel this might be the con for you.

Concert in Newark

February 27, 2010

 

Last week a attended a concert at the Midland Theater in Newark, Ohio. It’s a classic theater built in 1928 and ran till it was closed in 1978. It had been refurbished and opened again in and since has been providing entertainment and culture to the town of Newark. The show I went to see was part of their Stage Door Cabaret Series sponsored by Huntington Bank. The series features artists performing in an intimate night club atmosphere, with both the performer and the audience on the stage. They set up tables of four for the audience and the performer is off on one of the wings. It was kind of tight with all the seats and tables right next to each other, but still it worked out. There was also a small buffet of cheeses, crackers, and brownies along with a cash bar too; all very fancy. This night’s performer was Emilie Claire Barlow. She’s an award winning jazz singer who has traveled the world performing.

I had heard some of her music online and was really looking forward to the concert. In fact I drove a few hours to see her. She preformed a number of songs, some I had heard and others I hadn’t. The two songs I had really wanted to hear she did. One was “Dream a Little Dream of Me” done in French. I have to agree with her saying that everything sounds more romantic when sung in French. The other song I really wanted to hear was “O Pato (the Duck)” a song about a duck. There’s quacking in it, also done in French. She came back after a break carrying a and a table in front guessing what song she was going to do started quacking. She almost couldn’t start the song she was laughing so much herself.

For her encore she came out and did a skat piece of Ellie Fitzgerald’s. The perfect ending to the show, really helped to wake you up after a couple of slower numbers she had just done. 

Accompanying her that evening was her band. They were a three piece band and were really just as much fun as she was. On guitar was Reg Schwager, who won Canada’s National Jazz Award Guitarist of the Year for four straight years. On sax was Kelly Jefferson, who also co-leads the Jefferson-Grant Quintet. And finally was Ross MacIntyre on bass, who “makes funny faces and dances when he plays and doesn’t always sound like a heard of elephants tripping over themselves” as Emilie. That was a joke that involves the bio he wrote for himself.

Now you may be wondering why on this blog of convention reports, strange pictures, and other nerd/weird stuff I’m talking about a jazz singer. Well I had discovered her because she has done a bunch of voice acting. She’s voiced in Bakugan as Alice, John in Wayside, and her favorite role Courteny in the Total Drama Series. She’s done some other lesser roles as well too. But the big reason I had traveled all that way and was really excited to met was she had been on Sailor Moon. She had played Sailor Mars for episodes 66-82, the last half of Sailor Moon R cause, as she explained, Katie Griffin who had been doing Mars was doing a movie at the time and since they were friends and have the same agent she was able to get the part. Emilie was then Sailor Venus for Sailor Moon S and SuperS, episodes 83-159.

After the concert she was selling CDs and doing signings, I waited in line and was second to last, which was fine by. I bought her CD, the one with “O Pato” and “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on it, then I walked up to her and told her I was a fan of her voice acting espically something she did years ago. That’s when I pulled out my Sailor Mars and Venus cards from the Sailor Moon TCG. I think I floored her and the two twenty-something girls in line behind who were shocked to learn she had worked on Sailor Moon. We talked a little about the show and her work on it along with some things about her other rolls. It was a really cool experience meeting her and those two cards are now the prize of my collection of autographed anime card games.

Strange Creature

January 31, 2010

So anyways outside of this old fashion pharmacy/soda fountation in Charleston there’s these two statues of strange creatures.  They look kind of like small zebra’s with antlers, but not quite right.  I felt like shareing these little cryptos for fun.  They’re just the kind of things you want to write some kind of magic story about.  Then again I’m insane. 

Never mind the time stamp.  I need to figure out how to turn it off on my camera.  It resets everytime the batteries come out.  Which happens when you get the memory card out.  Which I need to do to get any pictures off the camera.

Charcon Review

November 30, 2009

I went to the local gaming con, CharCon, back on the of October, but with how slow I am to write, then getting sick for two weeks, and then trying to catch up on things since then I haven’t gotten to my write up.

This was CharCon’s fourth year and it just gets bigger and better every year. This was the first year they went for three days. This was really cool to see it take on another day, though it spread the games out a little bit than in the past and made it seem like there was less games.

 The theme for the year was ‘Pirates vs. Ninjas’ and was used in several games. 

Guests

Guests this year included artists Larry Elmore and Billy Tachet.   Along with horror writer Ed Holsclaw, returning for a second year.

Both Larry and Billy had amazing art to look at and sell. A bought this card set Larry did for a European company that had made too many cards, so they gave him a bunch and he was able to sell them cheap and with a nice binder with art from one of the cards on the cover. I got a sketch card from Billy. He’s mainly know for his zombies and other dark art, but I had noticed some of his non zombie art and how good that was so I asked for something without zombies. He gave me a really good dragon. I got Ed’s latest work, I got some of it last year and enjoyed it.  He also gave me a piece of the road that the climatic scene from “Texas Chainsaw Massacare” was shot on.  For what ever reason I liked it.

Games I Ran

Anima card game

Serenity RPG

Maid RPG 

Fuzzy Heroes

Games I Played

 Dominion

Say Anything

Metal, Magic, and Lore

Wits and Wagers game show

Red Dragon Inn

Other Events

Costume Contest

Flea Marktet  

Raffle Drawing

Tsubasacon Review

October 31, 2009

I went to Tsubasacon back on the 9-11th of October in Huntington, West Virginia. It’s sort of my ‘home convention’ seeing it’s just down the road from where I live and I’ve been to all of them.  Also, the fact that I’ve work as a volunteer or staff every of it too. Anyone going do a write-up about it. Won’t do the usually sort of write-up seeing as being staff kind of skews my view and since I worked most of the con I missed most of it. I’ll just talk about what I did get to go see and do.

Vendor Room

Spent most of my time here being the Vendor Head and all. I really feel proud of the work I did here. Instead of just posting the vendor contract online and doing things ‘fist come first served,’ we decided what type of products we wanted to be sold, figured out what vendors we knew who had those things, and then just asked those people and sent them the contract. The result was a nicely varied room. It was also spaced out so there wasn’t a real crowd control issue. And as with all cons I go to, I learned a little bit more about doing things better for next.

Guests

This year’s guests included comic creator Jen Lee Quick. This is her third year coming to the con and each year I’ve seen more of her stuff. This past year I had found at a comic show some old ‘Amerimanga’ magazines that she had a story of her’s in it. I waited the whole year to get her to sign in it and then forgot it at home. One of the vendors had a copy of one of the magazine’s, so I just picked up an extra copy.

This year also saw the return of Lisa Furukawa; singer, songwriter, musician. She performs a number songs, in English and Japanese, both her own original works as well a few songs from anime, like Bleach, Cowboy Beebop, and Ghost in the Shell.

Voice Actors Leah Clark and Darrel Guilbeau. I’m a big fan of Leah’s work, considering she does the voice one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite animes; Eri Sawachika in School Rumble. Darrel I didn’t really know his works till like a week before the con did I really bother to look at what he had done and see what his projects had been.

Finally webcomic creator Gina Biggs. I started reading her webcomic Red String a few months ago when she was announced as guest and quickly got hook on it. It’s a sweet and funny little love story. It really feels like some mangas I’ve enjoyed in the past.

Friday’s Voice Actor Q&A

Not a lot of people at this one, not surprising since it was so early in the con. I got to ask a few question to the two VAs and got some responses.

Cosplay Cafe

The con did a little cafe set up at the hotel next door. They served a few simple to make foods and dressed up maids and waitress for it. The attempt was to kind of be like a maid cafe in Japan. I’ve read a bunch about these places, blame it on my interest in the Maid RPG, so when I walked up to it and no one said “welcome home master” my hopes and dreams were dashed a little. Also, maybe cause there wasn’t a lot of people there, but I didn’t really know which one was my waitress. I kind of got served by all of them at some point. The food was nice, though the tea was way to hot and I ended up taking it with me waiting for it to cool down.

All and all to me it was just a quick bite to eat with a few cosplayers around. Easily able to become something more though.

The Toonami Generation

My 7th Toonami panel to date and my longest to boot. Finally was given more than an hour to do my thing. I’ve constantly ended my past panels talking about how I could go for hours or days talking about Toonami. During this panel I kept looking at the clock and trying to figure out what next to talk to. I was tired I guess. It started as standing room only, but as things went on people left and it thinned out a bit.

Strangely I didn’t show as many of the videos as I have in the past; we talked a bit more than usual. I liked that, just felt like I had wasted time downloading everything though. Oh well. Had a lot of good moments during the panel. Opened the panel by showing the classic 2 minute long  pre=”long “>Gundam Wing promo.  Then went into discussion on the hosts, the crowd favored Moltar more than past panels, neat.  Yelled at a guy for selling his Ronin Warriors action figures to make room for a Megas XLR figure. Told him he should have just stacked them on top of each other.  Talked about shows we thought should have been on.  Talked about Hamtaro and it’s place in Toonami.  Kind of upset the crowd that I didn’t know which track of Black Hole Mega Mix has Peter ‘The True Prime’ Cullen going “fizziel.” 

Personally I was happy with it and will continue to do Toonami panels for as long as I can. 

Red String

A panel by guest artist Gina Biggs about her webcomic Red String. She talked about the development of the story and her plans for it. Unfortunately I hadn’t read all the way through what she’s posted on-line so I was lost on a few of the characters and storylines she went over. It just made me want to read more though. Told us about some of her extreme fans on her forums, personal things that she’s gone through while working on it, and asked us what we thought about it. All and all she put on a good panel.

Leah Clark Q&A

I went to half of Leah Clark’s solo panel, cause I had to get back to the vendor room to close it down for the day, but I had fun while I was there. Not to many people who just created that close-knit feeling that I like.

She talked about how she go into the business of voice acting, some of her roles, and thoughts on the subject.  She mentioned that she the voice she used for Nodaka in Negima was based on the voice she used for a sheep in play.  She told how she was originally cast as Mitsuki in Rumble Hearts, but was switched over to Akane since they didn’t have anyone else for that role.  She had really like that role too, personally from what I’ve seen I don’t like the character myself. 

My one complaint about her was she didn’t know who Wendee Lee was, and if you don’t you probably don’t care about anything else in this post. 

Manga Story Development

A panel by Jen Lee Quick talking about tips for writing stories. She asked people who were trying to work on their own stories what problems they were having and giving them advice and encouragement. Kind of a nice panel, but for whatever reason didn’t get the creative juices flowing in myself as much as I had hoped.

Lisa Furukawa Saturday Concert

Lisa has been to three Tsubsasacons. At each one she does a concert on Friday and Saturday. I always miss the Friday working for the con or doing something else, but I do make the Saturday ones. I’ve been a big fan of her’s since I first got to hear her. She does beautiful songs in both Japanese and in English. I had one person tell me she wasn’t going to the Saturday concert cause her songs made her cry they were so good.

Once again I got to hear her sing. She did some stuff from her new album along with old favorites. The neatest thing was when she sang the opening to Aqua Teen Hunger Force in Japanese. Apparently she had a concert after a panel they were doing at a con in Florida, so she sang the song as they left. They really liked it. We also got to do a little sing along with her as she did ‘Country Roads’ in Japanese.  Always a crowd favorite at Tsubasacon.

 

10 Cons Per Year

I checked this panel out for a little bit. It was by a group out of Kentucky who organizes con trips. They gave a lot of good tips on picking, planning, packing, and enjoying cons with groups. Most of the stuff was either stuff I know and/or do already. They did have a few tips to offer. The main thing I needed that they didn’t really go over was how to form a group to go to cons like they do.

Off*Beat

A panel about Jen’s manga Off*Beat that was put out by Tokyopop. Besides myself there was only one other guy there, so it was pretty relax. She didn’t even sit behind a table, just joined us in the audience. We talked about the story and the characters of the story, plus some of her other works. Very nice to hear more about what she likes to write; she’s more of a fantasy writer than high school drama, which is what Off*Beat was.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Fan Panel

Another of my panels. I’m a big fan of Code Geass, so I decided to do a panel on it. I had a couple of people show up who fans of the show, one who had only seen a few episodes, and some people who just seemed to be hanging out in the room.

Wasn’t as planned for this one as I’d like. I was able to keep things moving by brining up different topics;least and most favorite moments, what kind of geass would they want, shipping opinions. Got some debate on things from the show and discussion went on nicely through out for the full hour.

Anime Tropes

My last panel and the last panel of the con. This was done right up against the closing of the vendor room on Sunday, not real good planning but it worked out. I almost hoped people wouldn’t show up so I could go back to helping all of them pack up and leave but people showed up. It worked out well. I was given more time than I really needed, so I took a few quick breaks to check on things.

For those who don’t know what a trope is, the best explanation I can give is tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.

I got the idea for this panel while wasting time looking around TVTropes.org. I just thought this was a great break down about anime, film, literature, games, and more that I just wanted to share. I went over different genres, settings, character types, ensemble types, and general anime tropes. I think a taught a few them a couple of things, so that the next time they’re watching a show they’ll go ‘hey that’s a (fill in blank).’

Sketch Cards

I got a few new sketch cards as well. 

Reika of Red String by Gina Biggs

 of Soul Union, an old comic by Jen Quick

Bought a pre made one from the daughter of the creator of Akashik.  A comic I’ve come to like really like and hope to see at more artist alleys in the future.

John, the owner of Fast Food Anime, who has written a manga called Otaku Antics, was doing ‘Bad Drawings’ on Saturday before the rave for a quarter.  I got one of a mech.  It was indeed a bad drawing.   

Cosplay at the Con
Most common series cosplayed I saw: Soul Eater
Common series cosplayed:  Final Fantasy, Bleach, Naruto, Death Note,  and Kingdom Hearts
Cool rare cosplays: Desert Punk, Cheese-kun from Code Geass/Japanese Pizza Hut, Yuko of XXXholic

Punch the Vash Report

Convention: _Tsubasacon_ Time: _about 10:30 am_ Date: _10/10/09_

Location: _Outside vendors room along artist alley in front of  Description: _really he was just kind of wearing the Vash coat , but still had to give him a punch    Reaction: _Just kind of game me a look over his shoulder as he went by

Convention: _Tsubasacon_ Time: _about 10:35am_ Date: _10/10/09

Location: _right inside the vendor room door_ Description: _average cosplay not much to really say    Reaction: _again just a quick look before he moved on

Pittsburgh Comic Con Review 3

October 1, 2009

Sunday

Spent the morning tracking down a few last autographs. My Handbook of the Marvel Universe got a few more names in it with a few of the pencilers from sign their work in it; Michael Golden, Mike Grell, Rob Frenz, I got a Neil Vokes to sign my copy of The Wicked West and bought a copy of the second volume of it. Then I had to spend more time hunting more autographs cause several of the people at the con had also worked on that one.

 

Spent some time going through comic boxes. I got a whole lot more single issue manga comics, Batgirls, Excailbur, Marvel Comics Atlas, and a bunch more eclectic comics. Also picked up a copy of the board game Flat Acting from Eye Level Entertainment about competing movies.

 

I also went and got sketch cards from some artist. This is my first time getting these and I really like them. I got some interesting ones.

Green Lantern Kyle Rayner from Darrly Banks, his creator

Hawkman from Alex Saviuk; I had asked for a Spider-man since he’s done a lot of work with him, but he kind of asked for something else, test him a bit

Nightwing from Wayne Faucher

Spider-man drinking a soda by Chris Moreno

a short little doddle by Beau Smith

female samurai by Mike Okamoto

One Donald Duck’s nephews by Patrick Block

A weird west cowboy by Neil Vokes

Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist by the same art who did the Major on aluminum

Solty from Solty Rei by Adam Stoak; real fun story here, I had seen some prints he had done of the characters from Solty Rei and asked a sketch card of Solty; he was so amazed that I knew who she was that he went all out for the card, even coloring it

 

Got my tickets for the final quick sketch, but instead of hanging around a I went to the Anime 101 panel. It was presented by the Star Wars Club, which is really a multi-fandom club and not just Star Wars. The two presenters did a really good job. They presented a good basics of anime; talking about different genres and common elements that you usually see when watching anime. Their actual presentation was short, but the rest of the panel was filled with them, some of the other attendees, and myself just talking about different anime related topics.

 

I got back to catch the tail end of the Quick Sketch. They had fifteen artist for this one. During this one Chris Moreno and Rob Reily went back and forth drawing the other one in embarrassing pictures. Chris did Rob cleaning Superman’s gutters (called Rob Reily Superman’s pal) and one of Dr. Doom making him dance in a tutu (which my mom one). Rob did Chris is puppet declaring Rob the greatest.

My mom won four pieces in this quick sketch. One was of Rouge giving a massage to Gambit, well actually it was the after piece where he had turned into a skeleton. She tried to trade with the guy who had won one where she was just giving a massage before he’s a skeleton, but he didn’t really want to. So she traded another one of her’s for two of his’. She ended up with getting a sketches of Captain Platypus (which she had suggested to the artists) and one of Dr. Horrible.

 

Caught the tail end of the costume contest just to hear a few of the winners, which I forget all that I heard now. There were a number of really cool costumes.

 


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