Pittsburgh Comic Con Review part 2

September 28, 2009

Saturday

The first half of Saturday was all about Stan ‘The Man’ Lee.

The set up was organized really well. The had the lines planned out and everything set up to run really smooth. We weren’t allowed to have our stuff personalized, we could take photos but no posing, and we weren’t allowed to chat with him for long. Now this wasn’t done in a rude manner very friendly with the rational that we had five hundred people to go through in only a few hours before lunch. Then he had another set of people for autographs in the afternoon. Plus Stan was very friendly himself, he even did some posing when he saw people were taking his photo.

Talked with the people behind us in line. Very cool people. They had been to Pittsburgh Comic Con before. We talked about cons, Stan Lee, comics, the line, and pretty much everything else that came to mind while we waited.

I had Stan Lee sign the Spider-Man page of my Marvel Essentials The official Handbook to the Marvel Universe. While my mother had a Spider-man card to get signed. Unfortunately after I got my autograph I walked off; I was suppose to get a picture of my mother with Stan. I’m still in trouble over forgetting about that.

 

 

I went to the Quick Sketch panel after the signing. The artists included Chris Moreno, Ebas, Adam Hughes, Tommy Castillo, Ed Beard Jr., Talent Caldwell, Josh Medors, Rob Reilly, Dan Fraga, Scott Wegener, Jay Fife, Ian Glaubinger, Koa Beam, Scott McDaniel, and Jeremiah Witkowski. In case you were wondering why I have such a full list is I ‘found’ a sign with the list of artists posted outside of the room and I took it as souvenir.

Some of the pics this time were zombies of Micky Mouse and Jasime; Stich as Punisher and Dondald Duck as Hulk; great drawings of Nightwing and a Wonder Woman/Princess Leia.

My mother won another one by Chris Moreno. This time it’s Deadpool and Spider-man trying to dig their way to Pesmo Beach like Bugs and Daffy.

 

Got a few more autographs today as well. Gary Freidrich, the creator of Ghost Rider, has so far been the only person I’ve seen charging for his autograph. Granted it was only two dollars and if you bought something it was free, so I bought Essentials of Ghost Rider which he signed along with the Ghost Rider page on the Essentials of Marvel Universe. Bob McCloud co-creator of the New Mutants.

I finally got around to buying some comics. I found a great dealer with some older manga magazines and single comics selling at four for a dollar, that’s twenty five cents if your math is a bit slow. I got a big stack.

There was also more costumes on Saturday.

 

 

While I was busy, my mother tried to go to a panel about getting published in comics. She went to the wrong room; she went to a panel by Terry Moore and his projects. My mother had never heard of him or his most famous work Stranger’s in Paradise. After hearing him talk she went out and bought an anthology of his first 14 issues. 

They had a small concert with an interesting performer, The Great Baladini, he really doesn’t deserve the great part. He does parodies like Weird Al, but focuses on rap, hip hop, and dance music. Some of his music was fun but the sound system was off, too much bass, and he mumbled to much. He also didn’t really have any stage presence; he just kind of stood on stage and sang. I was there for about 12 minutes and left in the middle of the fourth song. Went out for dinner.

 

I came back for their auction to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation. This was interesting. There some neat items they were selling. They had two banners for the con signed by Stan Lee, several original sketches of pages from comics, some statues and toys, and a lot of other comic and art related products; includeing those specially painted plates shown above. The most expensive item was an original art post of six different Donald Duck heads for $600. Everything else went relatively cheap; as one guy put it later “a buyer’s auction.” They were still able to raise over 12 thousand dollars for the foundation.

I won a copy of Neon Geniess Evangellion movie for $5 and a ink drawing of the Major from Ghost in the Shell on an aluminum plate. The maker of the plate came up to me after I bought to say how he was kind of surprised to find a GitS fan. My mother bought a Blood Elf from World of Warcraft. It was signed by both the artist, who was there, and the model.

Pittsburgh Comic Con Review

September 21, 2009

I went to Pittsburgh back on Sept.  11-13 for Pittsburgh Comic Con. I don’t go to many comic book conventions and the one’s I’ve been to have been real small ones, one day in a small room. This was three day and took place in a convention center.

This con is usually held in April, but there was construction going on at their usual location so they moved to September and moved across the street to a new location. In fact I heard the building was only eight days old it’s and it showed. The whole place had a look-shiny and new.

The main hall of the convention center housed the guests, artists, and vendors. There was plenty of room to move around between dealers in the room. They had smaller rooms in the building for panels and other events. They were good size with plenty of room and seating. Not much of sound system in any of them though. The food at the center’s concession stand while on the high end price-wise, like most con food, though you did get a good amount for your money so not the worst I’ve seen.

I kind of liked their badge system. They had badges for VIPs (like me) who pre-reged, but wrist bands were the main identifier for con goers. Though unlike Colossalcon they had different ones for each day so you could switch them out instead of having to have the same one on the whole time. The badges were really neat cause they took your picture with a webcam and put it on the badge with your name on both sides of it so it didn’t matter if it got turned around. The problem though was while they had lanyards to attach them to they didn’t have plastic holders for them. Luckily I had thought ahead and brought some holders from previous cons just in case.

They had quite a few vendors. Though most of them were all just different comic book shops who for the most part all looked like, white comic book boxes and their more rare stuff on a display board. The prices were also all the same between a lot of them. There were also bootleg dvd dealers (boo hiss), a few anime merchandize dealers, toy sellers, and a costume shop. Plus some guys selling roasted nuts. Overall a decent blend and very nice. I just wished more of the comic guys had boxes listed better on what was in them.

They didn’t have that many panels throughout the weekend which was kind of a disappointment since they had so many neat guys it would have been fun to more hear from them. Though what they had was fun. Of course I’m not sure if they ever got their anime viewing room up or not. Which didn’t upset me since the only thing I would have liked to watch would have been over long before I even showed up to the con.

The surroundings are was very nice. Several restaurants and next to mall. There was even a zombie museum in the mall that opened for the first time on Saturday.

 

Most of the guests were comic creators, artisans, and webcomic guys. They did have a few actors who had been in the Day of the Dead and Living Dead movies too. Plus Conrad Brooks, who had worked with Ed Wood in a number of films, including Plan 9 from Outer Space, the Citizen Kane of bad movies. The main star of the con was tStan ‘The Man’ Lee. A whole section of the lobby had been sectioned off for Stan Lee on Saturday, looked like they were expecting long lines. Good planning on their part.   

I went to the con with my mother. When she heard that Stan was going to be there, she wanted to go as much as I did. She’s kind of a nerd sometimes.* The first few years a I went down to Dragon*Con she came to and spent her time going to see her stuff there. She’s a big Firefly/Serenity fanatic.

Friday

I spent most of my time on Friday getting familiar with the place and hunting down some autographs. Which I spent most the weekend doing. Took in some events and got the lay of the land. We had gotten there late so we missed a few things.

Went to the Friday CBLDF Quick Sketch. My first one ever. A lot of fun. If you’ve never been to one, a Quick Sketch is a where a bunch of artist draw sketches for an hour. Then at the end they raffle off the sketches. The money they raised goes to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

All of the artists they had were real nice and some were very funny. They took several suggestions on what to draw which lead to some neat sketches. A few of the artist that were taking part in it were Billy Tucci, Darryl Banks, Terry Morre, Chris Moreno, Danielle Corsetto, and several more. Some of the pics they did were a Green Lantern Spongebob, pastel Dr. Doom, a tap dancing Flash, Death from Sandman, and a ‘Television Edit’ picture of Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen with pixelation over his groin.

I won a Spider-Girl by Terry Morre, but my mom really wanted this Micky Mouse as Iron Man by Chris Moreno. So after all of them had been given out I went up to the the guy that had won it and offered him a trade. Since he already had another Iron Man, the original one, he went for it.

There were a lot less costumes on Friday than I was used to from being at Dragon*Con and so many anime cons. There was a Tinker Bell, a Batman, and a Silk Spectra from Watchmen. This picked up later in the weekend with the costume contest on Sunday.

I spent most of my time that weekend getting autographs from writers and artists who worked on comics I owned. Unfortunately some of them weren’t there and I didn’t know that, so I wasted time searching for them. Some of them were: Silver Age female artist who created Aqualad and Metamorpho for DC. I had her sign my DC Who’s Who on the Aqualad page. Got to her just before she was about to leave for the day too. Alex Saviuk, mostly know for penciling and inking the Spider-man newspaper comic strip who I got to sign one of my Marvel Essentials The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe, these got several signatures over the weekend. Talked with him a little bit about his work with the handbooks and his movie story board work.

They held a casino night to raise money for Make-a-Wish Foundation on Friday night. It was a blast. Kind of slow at the start but once it got started it went really well. Had a lot of fun playing blackjack. Our dealer, Sally, was real kind to us. Always feeling bad when she took our money, giving suggestions, and even giving us a free pass a few times when she hit Blackjack. I played a few hands of poker (went poorly), roulette a few times (had fun with that), thought about playing craps but it looked more confusing than I wanted to bother with, a few wheel spinning games, a dice game of ‘beat the dealer’ (at one point the dealer rolled 11 three times in a row), and a game of higher or lower with dice.

The band that was suppose to play were a no show which was a disappointment since they sounded like a lot of fun. The whole thing was for the Make a Wish Foundation. With the whole thing being for charity no one had problems losing always saying, “it’s for the kids.”

At the end of the night they had a raffle of number of prizes. There were several art pieces, plushies of Dream from Sandman, a Captain Picard statue, World of Darkness figures, and D&D pewter miniatures. The whole room was friendly about it with cheers for each person when they won something. My mother won an art piece of Uhura from Star Trek signed by Nichelle Nichols (with certificate of authenticity) and one of the Comedian from Watchmen. I won a model of the Batboat from the Batman Returns movie. I’m pretty sure I was the only person who put in a ticket for it.

*Notes from mom–I did not know I was that big of a nerd until I got there. I am sure there are lots of people who would want to meet Stan Lee. He is after all the god of the Marvel Universe. I figured this was an opportunity for me to spend time with my son but during the day I would end up back at the hotel in the hot tub or watching tv. Then we got there and seeing all the artists and hearing their stories was great-I was hooked. Remember these are ARTISTS most of them do more than comics and they had much of their work on display. I think just about anyone would enjoy seeing the main room with the vendors and artists but a real nerd enjoys it for three days and comes back with a box of comics and a box of original art..

Colossalcon part 2: Friday

June 13, 2009

Well I’m a day late, but at least I’ve done it.

That’s all I really care about. The con got started early on Friday though I didn’t. Got to go to several panels and guest Q&As and sent my time in between them getting food, cruising the halls, checking out the vendors room, and getting some autographs.  The autographs moved pretty well on this day; not to long, they moved at a good speed, and people weren’t rushed through.

Expand Your Collection on a Budget: The first panel I made it to the day was ‘Expand Your Collection on a Budget’ about ways of finding anime cheaply. The guy running it some good pointers about sharing with friends, places online to order from, and certain stores where you could find some good deals with. I helped to share abut using Big Lots to find stuff at; as well as list a bunch of different websites where companies have been putting stuff up online for free. Gundam with Brad Swaile: First guest panel of the day I got to see was ‘Gundam with Brad Swaile’ who has done work in Gundam Wing, Mobile Suit Gundam, Gundam SEED, and Gundam 00. He answered a lot of Gundam related questions and others about voice acting. He’s a very interesting guy, bit of nerd which is cool. He’s collected models of all the different mobile suits his characters pilot, which is pretty cool. How to

Anime RPG: I was only able to stop for a little bit in this panel since I had to get some stuff for my own panel, but I wish I had gotten to see it all. The panelists discussed combining anime and table top role playing, two things I love very much. I got the feeling he knew quite a bit, I so wish I could have picked his brain some more.

American VAs; A Fan’s Perspective: This was one of my panels; it was bad, so bad I’m ashamed of myself. I apologize to wasting everyone’s time who was there. I hadn’t planned out the panel to much; mostly I was kind of hoping to play off the audience, but I didn’t get much from them. The only good part was playing ‘who would you cast in a new dub of Sailor Moon.’ The was kind of fun.

Shin-chan: Next event was Q&A seesions with Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, and Chuck Huber. Another great session with lot of questions about their work on Shin-chan and other projects. I got several of my questions about Shin-chan answered, like ‘have you every felt ashamed of the lines you had to do.’ Answer, yes. Got to learn Chuck loved doing drunk Hiro and saying ‘crustival,’ a festival of crust. Travis’ role on Shin-chan was the only time he had to stop while reading lines and ask what in the world he just said.

Comics vs. Manga: Kind of quircky take on the subject of American comics verse Japanese manga. Talked about the differences in art, story, the culture of comics in both countries, and how it is put out. Went over crossover of both, like Batman being done by the Japanese. The neatest part of it was where we would pick a person from manga and person from comics and then debate who would win in a fight. I did think the moderator was kind of condescending at a few parts during the panel, not so much when she told some of the annoying people to stop talking but take the moment that if you hadn’t seen Paradise Kiss “they sucked” this isn’t really the attitude one should have when leading a panel, even as a joke.

Death Note Q&A: Yes another panel with Brad. This one focused more on his role as Light in Death Note. He opened the panel by playing the first opening theme of the show on his guitar; well done. There were a lot of questions about what he would do with a Death Note if he had one (leave it where he found it), his thoughts on the end of the series (he had a hard time recording it he was so emotional about it), and about the live action movies. Besides having to do the ‘potato chip’ line again, he also gave one of Light’s mad laugh using a picture of Light’s face on a stick to hide how ridiculous he looked doing it. The best part of the laugh was where he turned around and spun the picture around which had Light’s face turned upward which he held over his shoulder. Hard to describe but really funny to see.

Crack Anime: My other panel of the day, about weird anime. I mean stuff fans of anime find weired. I spent a little bit talking about what qualifies as ‘crack anime’ and where I go the term from. Then we spent the rest of time naming some different series which we could call ‘crack.’. A lot of fun strangely. I even kept tracking of what we had named my computer and then projected onto a screen Learned some new titles I hadn’t heard before and got some new intereste in some I had heard but haven’t seen yet. We had to debate a few, but usually Of course I’m still upset by the little girl who said Prince of Tennis was crack anime and ordered me to add it to the list. I’ve provided the list to look over. I’m sure I’ve misspelled most of them by the way.
List of Crack Anime
1.Excell Saga
2.Boboobobobobobobobobobobobobobobobobobobob
3.FLCL
4.Blue Gender
5.Prince of Tennis
6.Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
7.Puni Puni
8.Mushroom Samba of Cowboy Beebop
9.Haruhi-chan Sumumiya
10.Akira
11.Cat’s Soup
12.Axis Powers Hetalia
13.Serial Experiment Lain
14.Eva
15.Milk-chan
16.Puni Papa Dash
17.Dorkoro-chan
18.Shin-chan
19.Magical Play
20.Ghost Stories (English Dub)
21.Hamtaro
22.Ninja Nonesense
23.Cromarti High School
24.Paranoia Agent
25.Dead Leaves
26.Daikan Brothers
27.Hare+Guu
28.Mermaid Melody
29.Fighting Foodons
30.Moetan
31.Dual Master
32.Samurai Pizza Cats
33.Pawua Island
34.R Juneah

Colossalcon part 1:Overview and Thursday

June 11, 2009

Last week I attended Colossalcon in Sandusky Ohio. This was my first year at a Colossalcon.

The hotel it took place in was very nice. The whole place had a safari jungle theme; the some of the people who worked there wore safari gear. It had a water park inside and if I hadn’t been busy with the con I might have made it over there. The room I had was a nice size, with a very good tv along with a microwave and refrigerator.

Hallways were annoyingly crowed, mainly with people just standing in the middle of the hallways being hazards to others. The hallways themselves were very big so it wasn’t the worse I’ve ever seen them, but still annoying.

The con used wrist bands as a way to identify attendees instead of badges like I’m used to. I disliked them. They weren’t as uncomfortable as I feared they would be and they did make it so you wouldn’t lose them since the only way to take them off was by cutting them. I just didn’t like the way they felt and I always liked being able to read information about people on their badges, with these you didn’t even get a name. Still they did offer badges with the year on them, I got one of those, and as a panelist I got one that said panelist as well.

Vendor room had a nice variety and was set up nicely. Though it did get easily crowded. I would have switched the entrance and the exit. I usually flow right when I enter one and with this one the exit was to the right of the entrance.

The video game room was standard fare of rhythm games, fighting games, first person shooters, and the like; not much to draw my eye. Same with Artist Alley. Nothing that really drew my especially, though there were some people selling their own comics which I wish I had checked out more.

Panels had some nice variety to them, even if I didn’t get to go to many. The set up for them weren’t to bad, but right outside the rooms was were people liked to gather in the lobby so the noise from outside was bothersome. Closing the doors helped some, but you would still occasionally hear a scream or loud yell from outside.

Food at the hotel was kind of high, what else is new. Places nearby weren’t to far off though. It took just a few minutes to drive to get some good food; just not close enough to walk.

The main attraction for me to the con was the guest list. They had Laura Bailey voice of many excellent characters including Tohru Honda in Fruits Basket and Shin-chan in Shin chan; Travis Willingham voice of Colonel Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist and Ginko in Mushishi; Michelle Ruff voice of Rukia in Bleach and Yuki in Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya; Melissa Fahn voice of Ed in Cowboy Bebop and Gaz in Invader Zim plus she’s an excellent singer; Aaron Dismuke voice of Alphonse Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, and Ion Fortuna in Trinity Blood; Chuck Huber voice of Hiro in Shin Chin and Shou Tucker in Fullmetal Alchemist; Brad Swaile whose voice several Gundam characters and Light from Death Note. All were very friendly and interesting to hear from. I think the most entertaining would have been Brad, but if I have to hear that ‘I’ll take a potato chip and eat it’ line again I will be forced to hurt someone.

Vic Mignogna was at the con as well. He was suppose to be there Friday through Saturday, but couldn’t get there till about noon on Saturday. With the big following of fans he has and the limited time available with him caused the line for his autograph to be massively long, which I skipped. Ah I’ve meet him before anyways.
Michael Sinterniklaas was scheduled to appear but wasn’t able to make it.

 

Cosplay at the Con
Most common series cosplayed: Fullmetal Alchemist, considering all the VAs from it no big surprise
Other common series cosplayed: Code Geass, Final Fantasy, Bleach, Naruto, Death Note, Lolita style, Gurran Laugen, Sailor Moon, and Soul Eater
Cool rare cosplays: Papillon from Buso Renkin, Melfina and Suzuka from Outlaw Star, the Gundam Wing cosplayers, and this from Azumanga Daioh

Thursday
The con stared Thursday night with a few events. I was only able to be there for a little while on Thursday, mostly just getting the lay of the land and checking things out. I did get to see Chuck Huber’s panel ‘Anime and Education.’ It was an interesting idea about trying to make education more interesting to and therefore easier to learn, mostly through the use of anime, manga, and video games. There was talk of different anime and game series out at the moment that have some sort of educational aspect you could use to them; different things a series could have that would make it more educational; people shared some stories of what they’ve earned from anime.

Should have more tomorrow about Friday.

Toonami’s Anniversary and A&G Ohio

March 17, 2009

Twelve years ago today Toonami was first broadcast. Today it is no longer on. So for this anniversary I’m bringing another Toonami panel review. This time from this past weekend at A & G Ohio. This panel was scheduled at 11pm on Saturday at the same time as the Radical Audio Visual Experience Dance Party (which it if you make into an acronym spells out ‘rave’, I wonder if the con realized that) so I wasn’t sure how attendance was going to be, but turned out well. Wasn’t a packed room, but there were plenty of people.

We had a small room that served our needs. I had a project and some sound system which is always great to have. I also set out some DVDs of different show that had been on Toonami, plus some other props of stuff I didn’t have DVDs of, at the front of the table. I also had remebered to bring some candy to throw to the audience members who asked questions. I didn’t hurt anyone or break anything while tossing them out, but there is always next time. One guy even said “I don’t have a question but can I just have some candy.” I said no.

I started this panel a bit different than past ones. Usually I open with the original Moltar opening, but this time I played the fifth episode of the TIE Intruder, which is the first appearance of TOM 2. This was actualy the first time I had seen this, having missed it when it first premiered and I hadn’t watched it after downloading it.

After playing it and doing a little introduction, Steve Blum made it to the panel. Steve Blum the voice of TOM 2 through TOM 4.

I must admit I was a little nervous about doing a panel with one of my favorite voice actors. Steve was really the first VA’s name I learned and was able to start identifying when I watched anime. I decided that of starting with my own opinions about Toonami or take any questions from the audience, I went with asking Steve some questions about his involvement with Toonami.

(the following is as close to the wording as I can remember)

THF: How did you get the job with Toonami.

Steve Blum: I was at a con….. San Diego Comic Con I think and the Toonami guys came up to me about doing the voice. At this time I didn’t even know what Toonami was. They were wanting to take TOM into a different direction. They had asked me to do the part cause they were big fans of Cowboy Beebop. After accepting the role starting study the part and what Sonny Straight had done.

They described the attitude of TOM to me like this. ‘Imagine that after every line you said… (he stops and turns to the audience) No one here’s under eighteen are they?

THF: (I looked around.) I don’t think so. I hope not, cause I’m not watching my language.

Steve: They said to act as if each line ended with the line ‘you f@*%.’ (laughter from the audience) That was the kind of attitude they wanted. And even as he changed we kept that little smart alec attitude. From a little one to a cute one.

THF: So did you have any input into what TOM got to say or did you have to read straight from a script?

Steve: Really I just read what they had. I few times I got to add a little to it.

THF: Did you ever get to play any of the video games that got reviewed?

Steve: No, the Toonami guys did all that. I always felt we did a lot of main stream stuff and stuff that got like 7’s or 8’s, but I think that’s because these guys really didn’t want to have to play through a game that they didn’t enjoy. And there was the fact that they had to create new animations for each one.

THF: Who was your favorite host of Toonami?

Steve: (Thinks about it for a second) I’d have to say the second TOM.

THF: I find that everyone finds him to be their favorite. (I ask the audience if anyone has a different favorite; no one does) But a lot of the reason I think TOM 2 was so great was we had TOM 1 before him. His big head and little gut.

Steve: I love his big gut. I just want to rub it.

THF: Personally I’d like a bobble head of him.

We started to take questions from the audience then. Most centered around Cartoon Network and their choices about Toonami and anime in general. We talked about how Adult Swim moved their anime so late in the evening. One of the audience members, a dealer from the vendors room who had joined us, brought up how he had heard that there were parents who saw Shin Chan at 11 and got upset about the vulgarity of it. They then just lumped all anime together, declared it inappropriate, and Cartoon Network moved the anime back in the night. Steve didn’t really have contact with any of the people who made these decisions so he couldn’t answer them directly, but he stated that he that what happened with Toonami and Cartoon Network in general was that people who didn’t really care as much about the product had taken over and they didn’t know what to really do with it.

While we talked I cycled through a few different pictures I had about Toonami and projected them onto the wall. When I came to the picture of the death of TOM we all took a moment to mourn him. Steve even went ‘I feel sad for him.’

Someone asked about why episodes were cut from Tenchi’s run. Now I didn’t know what episodes he was talking about cause I thought everything was shown. No one disagreed with me about that. While we talked I pulled up a slide for a power point presentation had worked on for my Toonami panels once on Tenchi. The line ‘original pimp of anime’ brought another burst of laughter from the audience. Skipping that for the moment I focused on the part about ‘digital bikinis and tea’; I talked about the editing they had done to the show and how was actually pretty well done for the most part. The stuff with the ‘tea’ was pretty easy to figure out they were really drinking sake, but that how if you didn’t really pay close attention to the bikinis you wouldn’t have noticed they weren’t digital. I admitted that I did pay close attention to them. I also listed a few of the other shows that they would use the digital bikinis in.

Finally we got the videos. Someone in the audience brought up about having seen one of Harvey Birdman’s enemies in an old bump. I knew just what he was talking about. I played Failed Experiment. People grooved to the nice beat in it, which I pointed out, and the old animation in it. I stopped the video when it got to the point about where to write in your letters. I pointed out how old this was; it had an actual physical address and not an e-mail address. While it played Steve kind of asked, ‘did they really do this?’

I was asked who did the voice for Moltar, having already covered the two voices of TOM. I told them C. Martin Croker who they would know best as Zorak. I had met him at this past Dragon*Con and got his autograph there. That only leaves Sonny Straight’s now to get.

I had a request from a young lady in the audience for some Zoids. She asked for one of the openings, but instead I played the long promo for Chaotic Century. I asked the question about which Zoids was peoples’ favorite and someone wanted to know why Fuzors wasn’t on Toonami. I told her I didn’t know, but I hadn’t heard goo thing about it.

I asked all in attendance if they would take part in an experiment . They said yes so I asked them to closer their eyes. And if they weren’t going to close their eyes at least stay quite. I began to play the long Hamtaro promo. I played for about a minute then stopped. I then asked ‘who wants to watch Hamtaro now’ nearly everyone raised their hands. This is the power of Toonami’s old promos. They were that cool. I had a question about the change in Hamtaro’s opening. I’m still not sure what he was talking about, but I did end up playing the Toonami opening for the show. Which I still feel expresses my feelings on having Hamtaro on Toonami. While it’s the least appropriate show I think they’ve had on their, not being an action show really, it’s still not my least favorite one on there. (cough yugiohpokemon cough)

Steve made a comment about Cullen’s great work announcing on the promos. I said ‘you did some too right?’ and he said yes, but Peter did most of them. I then turned to the audience and asked if they know who the usual announcer for Toonami was, they didn’t so I told them. Peter Cullen, the voice of the original Optimus Prime; the ‘True Prime’ as I put it.

I can’t remember how Megas XLR was brought up but it was the next topic. I played the only thing I had of it. It wasn’t a Toonami one, it was the one Cartoon Network did having Scooby-doo and the gang meet Coup and Jamie. Everyone, including Steve Blum who hadn’t seen it, thought it was great. Someone pointed out how this was the kind of stuff that made Cartoon Network great, stuff made by those who cared.

 

It was asked by the audience if Toonami UK was still around. Sadly it is not, nor is Toonami Japan, or most other Toonami spots around the world. The only I knew that wass still going is Toonami Spain and in the Philippines. It was mentioned that someelse had heard that Australia still had one, though no one in the room could confirm that.

We talked a little bit about IGPX and it’s place in Toonami. Not many people had seen it when it aired, myself including so I played the long promo for them. Talked about it being a coproduced project between Williams Street and Production I.G. I told the story of how when I first heard the idea of the show I thought it was stupid, but then I saw one of those commercials they would do for what’s coming up on Toonami that Saturday. The part about IGPX made me go ‘hey that actual sounds like a cool show, wish I didn’t have t work Saturday nights.’ Steve refereed to the show as “William’s Street’s baby.”

While the long promo ran, I mentioned how while it contained all the usual VAs (motioned to Steve) it also has several surprising VAs. Mark Hamill who did the Joker in Batman: TAS and a little sci-fi series of movies in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Michelle Rodriguez as one of the leads and does a surprisingly good job. The star of Kingdom Hearts, Haley Joel Osment as the lead. Also, the coach of the main team was voiced by Lance Henriksen who was the Bishop in the Alien Movies and the star of the tv show Millinum. I related my story of having met him at Dragon*Con this past year. Like most sci-fi guests at such cons who charges a small fee for an autograph; he was $20 which I find fair at these things, but when he saw that I wanted him to sign one of my IGPX DVD covers who stopped me and said to his assistant “we can’t charge this guy.”

I felt at this point that there had been a lot of talk about anime, so I decided to bring up the non-anime shows of Toonami. I played a Reboot promo and asked they audience what their favorites were. Someone said Pirates of the Dark Water, but I corrected him about how while it was on Cartoon Network it wasn’t on Toonami. I asked if anyone remember the Real Adventures of Johny Quest and there was actually a little cheer for it which kind of surprised me that so many of them remembered it. I told them all that it would be out of DVD later this year, which several of them were happy about.

The vendor in the room (who is a really fun guy to meet he owns a store in Toldeo Ohio called Anigames; check it out if you’re ever in the area) talked about how he still sells stuff like Outlaw Star and .hack/sign. He felt that getting the exposure on Toonami really helped these shows to create fan base they wouldn’t have gotten other wise.

I finally got to talking about the music of Toonami. I took them through the history of it. Talking about John Boyd Vigil, his work, and the album he put out. DJ Clarknova, his mixes, and Black Hole Megamix. I asked Steve if he remembered having to record anything for that but he didn’t. I made mention of Cullen’s going “fo’ shizle” one of the tracks. This both stunned and amazed the audience. Then a quick mention of Ninja Tunes. Even brought up how they had a lot of their stuff put into the American version of IGPX while the Japanese version didn’t have the time to have stuff like that added in. I even brought up DJ Calus’s Rare, Restored, and Recut and how it was a reaction to the Black Hole Megamix; wanting to hear the music without audio samples over it.

Earlier someone had seen that I had something Naruto in my videos and had asked about it. I finally played it as an example of the last really good promo of Toonami. It had a great music to it and gave you a good feel for the series. During the parts with Zabuza Steve would point to the screen. He does the voice of him.

At about 12:02 the head of the panels came in and told us we had to pack up for the next one. I gave him a hard time about cause we know each other. I think he had thought that I would have ended the panel earlier so the next one could get ready, but I would have talked till dawn if he had let me. So we ended and I put my stuff away. I was still getting people coming up to me as I put stuff up with questions and comments. Man I love these panels.

I’d like thank everyone who can to the panel, everyone who asked questions, the girl who turned down the lights when I played a video, Steve Blum, the con for letting me do the panel, and all who are reading this.

Ah why not…….. Bang!

Code Geass: Brought to you by Coke

February 18, 2009

I felt like at least making some kind of post on here, so here’s another pic. This one I found at the ASF. It’s an Adult Swim media archive. Mostly they just have videos, opening and closing credits, promos, and stuff like that; but since they don’t have any for Code Geass the webmaster has apparently decided to use the picture as place holder for now.  I thought it was so funny that I made it my wallpaper.

For those of you who are not familiar with Code Geass, allow me to explain it for you.

On the left we have a picture of a Coke Zero and Lelouch Lamperouge. Lelouch is the main character from Code Geass, I wouldn’t use the term hero or even protagonists for him, who gains the power to control others with his eye power Geass. With it he forms a revolutionary/terrorists group the Black Knights to fight the British Empire and free Japan, called Area 11. Oh yeah this series takes place in an alliterative future of the world. To lead this group and remain safe he takes on the masked identify of Zero. 

Next we have a Coke C2. The green haired girl under the bottle is the one who gave the power of Geass to Lelouch. She then becomes his accomplice, confidant, and nuance. He name is C.C. Pronounced C2. She’s also a huge pizza fan. 

Then it’s a Coke Orange above Jeremiah Gottwald. He’s a member of the British Army who is one of the first to face Zero. Unfortunately in their first face to helmet meeting Zero calls him ‘Orange-boy’ to make it seem they have had some prior dealings. Then he used his Geass to make Jeremiah let him escape leading to his total disgrace in the military. 

Finally a Diet Coke with Diethard Reid. He was a news producer working with the British Empire till Zero appears. Joining the Black Knights wishing to document Zero’s rise to power and the over throwing of Britian. 

Well that was fun little post.

Convention Game: Punch the Vash

January 31, 2009

Theres a little game I like to play when I go to conventions. I learned it from my older brother, who was told of it by his friend that invented it. It’s called ‘Punch the Vash.’

 

My brother’s friend was at a con and needed to kill some time, so while waiting in the lobby he decided to punch every Vash the Stampede cosplayer he saw. Not punch them hard enough to hurt them or anything just enough to make them stop and wonder what was going. When they stop he’d just say ‘nice costume.’ Since hearing about it I’ve taken to playing this game as well. Oh and by the way drinking was involved in the invention of the game.  Just thought I’d put that out there. 

 

It’s actually a lot of fun to do; it messes with people easily.  You just walk up to a Vash give him, or her sometimes, a little tap and say either ‘nice costume’ or just walk off without saying anything.  I’m not sure which causes more confusion, just walking off or complimenting their costume.  It’s a strange conversation started and the reactions you get, from total confusion to laughing with you about it are priceless.

 

Playing this game I’ve gotten to see a lot of different Vashs cosplayers out there. I’ve seen female Vash, dark Vash, Vashs’ with Kuroneko-sama, with and without his gun, with two guns, with glasses, solo Vash, Vash with other cosplayers from Trigun, Vash with cosplayers from other series, Vash with and with out blonde hair sticking up.

Now I don’t always get a photo of the Vash, but I do try and get one obligatory Vash pic per con at least. Also do you know what the most common Vash pose is?

 

The best reaction I’ve gotten from one of the Vashs was one who ran out of the hotel lobby when I walked towards him, fist raised slightly. He came back in and he ran back out two more times before he finally made it past me and I didn’t feel like giving chase. He was saying stuff like “the bounty’s not worth it” and “I’m not the real Vash.” I caught up to him later when he was sitting in a circle with some others drawing. Gave him a small tap and walked off.

For all those who feel like playing in this little game I’ve created a form to help keep track of Vashs you’ve punched. I’ve created this to help me remember which ones I’ve done cause there are times I see a Vash and can’t remember if I’ve punched him or not yet. I sometimes hold my fist in mid air while I try and remember if I’ve punched this one yet.   So usually I give them a punch just to be sure I got them.   

 

Convention: ____________________________ Time: _________

Date: __________Location: ______________________

Description: _____________________________________________ Reaction:__________________________________________________

Gaming Resolutions for the Coming Year

January 12, 2009

I’ve decided to join the RPG Blog Carnival this month. A blog carnival is where bloggers work on the same theme or topic for a month and share them with each other. This month’s topic is from UncleBear, and he’s selected New Year Gaming Goals and Resolutions. So here are my gaming goals for this coming year.

    Gaming Resolutions for the New Year

 

1. Work on creating my own system

I’ve had an idea for a dual class based system set in a medieval style land that encourages you to role play your character and develop him as a person not just some one to fight. My idea is the rules aren’t forcing you to flush out your character as a whole, just has some optional rules to help you do that and does stuff to makes it so isn’t a hindrance to you. I’m also trying to figure out the magic system where each of the magic classes are based on a different element.

I’ve got some work done on it, but still needs a lot more. I really hope this might be the one system I actual finish. All my previous attempts just kind of drop off.

2. Get to go to more conventions. I haven’t been to before

Of been to a number of conventions over the past few years. Though most of them have been anime. The only gaming ones I’ve been to have been Charcon and Origins. I want to get out and go to more. Meet new people, try new games, buy stuff I can’t find, and stuff like that. I already have a few in mind so I’ll have to see what I can make it to.

3. Write some game reviews for this blog.

One of my goals for this blog is to right reviews on stuff. I figure it will mostly be conventions, with some anime and manga through in, but I also want to review games. Mostly anime inspired or related ones. To kind of show them off to other people.

4. Game more

With my work schedule I don’t get to have much time to myself. It’s reason I haven’t gotten to post to much this blog just yet. Hopefully when work clears up I can do more gaming and post more on here. I need to get into a group that plays. I know a few around where I live, but I haven’t been able to join them for most of their gameing. I going to have to start looking for a group on my own I guess. If I get to more cons I can play more there, but I want a regular crew to game with.

5. Read the rules for the games I have on my computer

I have a somewhat large collection of free rpgs and modules on my computer. Most of them I haven’t read or just skimmed through, I really need to sit down and go through them.  See what’s worth keeping and what’s not. 

Well there are my goals. Come this December I’ll let you know how I faired.

If you want to join the carnival all you have to do is make a post about this month’s theme, then leave a comment of the started post for the month (here), with a link back to your own. At the end of the month the host will write a round up of all the post and then someone else will pick a topic for the next month. That’s all.

I wonder if it’s a Gundam….

January 5, 2009


I first saw this sign a few years ago while walking around town. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. It’s for a garage and is referring to the fact that they have a mechanic at the show, but to anime, gameing, and sci-fi fans it sounds like they have a mech walking around for security. It’s still there and I still smile when ever I see it.

Interveiw with the Prince

December 25, 2008

Author’s note: This piece and the the previous one were both originaly ment for a the Toonami Fan site but the site creator never put them up so I decided to post them here.

Derek Stephen Prince is an American voice actor from California. Some of the roles he is know for are Ken, Veemon, Impmon and DemiDevimon from Digimon, George Tatsunami in S-CRY-ed, Ichiro/Kikaider in Kikaider, Keitaro from Love Hina, Suguru from Mahoromatic, and Uryu in Bleach.

In the world of Toonami he has been in several of animes: Phantom in MAR, Dr. Root and Multi-Card Monty in Dual Masters 2.0, Yoichi Hiruma in Eyeshield 21, Shino in Naruto, Beshimi and Cho Sawegejou in Kenshin, and Dr. Gaia in Cyborg 009.

I was able to meet him at an anime con a few months back now. I was able to get a hold of him recently through his website to do a little interview about the Toonami shows he’s been on and anime in general.

Could you tell me about about the Eyeshield 21 dub and what happened with it?
DSP: Okay, here’s the lowdown on EyeShield. It was NOT a cost effective way to do a show. Normally when Viz does a show, they’ll collaborate with a productions company like Bang Zoom or Studiopolis and commit to X number of episodes. On this one, because NFL Entertainment wanted to start getting into the mix, they decided to commit to do only the first 8 episodes. 8, I say? Well, yeah, technically it was supposed to be 8, but NFL thought that parts of the show could be cut out due to violence and football expository that most Americans already know about. So they made 8 into 5. Well, that’s time consuming right there. But what’s even more so is now splitting up each episode into 5 minute webisodes. And when you have someone like Tony Oliver at the helm directing and organizing it, Tony is extremely good at what he does and does not come cheap.  So they wound up losing way to much money for it to continue. Viz tried something and it just didn’t work.

Can you tell us a little about working on Naruto as Shino and your thoughts on the show?
DSP: I’ve always been a little on edge with the times they chose to show it. I’m really not certain that it’s meant to be seen before 10 or 11 at night. Yet I’ve seen it air as early as 8 or earlier, like when they have a Naruto marathon. Well, I have two boys-10 and 5-and they saw one episode that was really violent. My youngest had some nightmares. I think it’s a great show for anime viewers, however, and they do well at combining a lot of themes-love, hate, finding yourself, trusting teammates, etc. It’s also different from some other animes I’ve seen . It can have one mood then swing 360 degrees around and have a completely different mood. Like when characters start on a mission and it’s really slow paced. Then they get into a fight and it’s action-action-action.

As for the Shino-man, I LOVE him. I love his mystery and body chemistry being made up with bugs. One director-Sam Reigel-once told me during a recording that if Shino were real, he’d never want to meet him in a dark alley. I agree. He’s cool, collected and slightly spooky. Next time he’s on an episode, try closing your eyes and picturing who I may have modeled the voice after. If you’re thinking a cop from the 70’s played by Clint Eastwood, you’re on the right track.

Many people feel that American dubs of anime do horrible hack jobs on them. From changing the plot, cutting stuff, bad dubbing, and all kind things. What are your feelings on this and how do you feel dubs match up to the original works?
DSP: Okay NOW you’ve hit a nerve! I’m gonna stand on my soapbox a second here. First and foremost, people have GOT to understand that the Americans are NOT entirely responsible for the product that is aired here! Guys, this is anime. This is coming from Japan. Do you honestly think that they relinquish all control of the project once it’s shipped here? If you answered yes, then you truly don’t know how this industry works. They are not only responsible for the episodes that they ship to us, they have final say on who gets cast and what gets cut! Shocked, well then it’s about time you wake up and smell the coffee if you thought otherwise.  Now, it’s true that in the translation of dialog, we may change the meaning of some words, but that’s only because sometimes you have to do that so that the audience as a whole understand what’s going on in the plot. Do we do horrible “hack jobs” on projects? Only if the Japanese LET us, because an idea a director had they thought might work. Not everything that is anime is awesome, but where we can, we try and help so it may gain a following out here.

Talk about bad dubbing- one thing I HATE are fan-subs. I’m sorry guys but if any of you out there are doing this and think you’re awesome then consider this: If you dub your own version of a show and it gets a lot of attention, then who the HELL is gonna watch it when the professionals do it? If you want to be in anime so bad, then come out to one of the established cities that specializes in it and get into it legitimately. Think of all the people out there that are NOT anime fans but just catch a glimpse of one of your pieces of “masterful work” on YouTube, or some other free download. Most of the time, the humor is fan humor that a lot of regular joes don’t get, your writing sucks because the words don’t match the mouth flaps which makes it look like a bad English-dubbed Chinese movie, and you do your OWN cutting so content is lost there as well. Yes, sometimes we professionals can screw up a project, when it’s shipped here, we’re given limited time to get the sound and voices recorded and dubbed and have to throw it back out there because we’re trying to meet a schedule. Does it suck then? Absolutely. Should they have taken more time? Of course. Do the Japanese always have a budget to hire the best actors out there? Well…they probably would if people would stop downloading the original Japanese, or recently dubbed English that hasn’t even aired yet (and how the THAT happens, I don’t know, but there have got to be moles in companies for that to happen). But because there are so many that are taking advantage of those downloads without paying for them, the Japanese are LOSING money so they have to hire non-union dubbers that often don’t know how to sync or make a character truly believable. Also in regards to the fan-subs, I don’t know if you guys realize this, but by watching a non-professional version of a show, it greatly decreases a production company’s chances of getting a project in the future. People only make money when you buy the DVDs legitimately, go to a site that has downloads but is full of commercial advertising, or you WAIT for it to come on TV, because it’s the advertisers that keep the show alive. Low viewer ship=shows canceled or not being picked up for another season, even though more episodes exist in Japanese. Okay, I know I’ve probably pissed a lot of people off, but hopefully you guys who think we do terrible renditions of shows will remember two things: The end project is ONLY as good as the fans who watch it, and how they watch it. I really hope you guys walk away with this knowing that as corny as it may sound, the fate of anime is in your hands. How you chose to be a fan of it, can change the fate of future anime being shipped here as well as keeping all of us (who work really hard to make it good for you) employed.

One of the articles on Toonami Fan concerns a show you worked on, Rurouni Kenshin and it’s place on the block and what kind of show it was. Do you have thoughts on why theory didn’t do well after the Tokyo arc and do you think with the rise in ratings allowed for programing do you think it could make a revival?
DSP: I think that Makenzie really covered why Kensihin failed-the switch in storylines cut out the main target audience that became the followers in the first 27 episode. By the way, same thing happened in Bleach for Season 2, when it switched from it’s slightly casual, laid back tone to one of much more serious quality. But the show has managed to survive BECAUSE of the huge following. So in hindsight, would Kenshin do well after the Tokyo arc, given the chance with the rise in ratings? Probably.

Here’s something interesting about that show too: In the original-Samurai X-the tone of the show was non stop humor, to get the younger audience interested in it. Some of the more violent scenes were trimmed down, but had it aired instead of Kenshin, the audience that it was intended for when Kenshin aired may still have continued watching it. Very few if any fans saw it, and if you have a copy I’m gonna have to kick your but cuz you shouldn’t have it, but I have a feeling, quite honestly (given the audiences that kept it alive) that the show would have done better with that version and last longer. But when the Japanese saw what we did to it (which honestly was NOT the feel of the original), they pulled it and re-recorded everything when it became Kenshin. I was involved in both productions, playing Sano originally, and even though it wasn’t the original feel, was a better show. You die-hard Kenshin fans will probably want to throw tomatoes at me,and that fine, but that’s my opinion. This is one case where one person’s view of quality and potential viewership is also viewed as butchering the original because it did not stay 100% true.

Can you say a few words on working on both Dual Masters and Cyborg 009?
DSP: Dual Masters was the most messed up production I think I’ve ever been on. I don’t even know what happened, but that show must have gone through 2 or 3 different companies. And different casts every time. I’m not even sure why it all happened. That must have been very confusing for the fans. As fro the recording of it, it was very scattered for me. I’m not quite sure I connected with Dr. Root, but both he and Monty were fun to voice.

As for Cyborg 009, that is one show where production really plays a role in solidifying the direction they want to go. It was also the ONLY time I played a sole lead in a show. I was originally cast as 009, but after 2 or 3 episodes in the can, the production company felt I wasn’t the right voice for the show. Hey, it sucks, but it happens. Whatcha gona do?

Anything you would like to add or say to the readers?
DSP: I hope the readers don’t view me as a mean person, or harsh person, from some of my previous comments on dubbing. I’m just really passionate about my work doing dubbing. I love what I do, and I hope I get to do it for many more years to come. I just hope that enough people realize that as far as anime goes and your favorite shows coming out (either in English or Japanese) that you have the patience to wait for it to come out legitimately, rather than illegally trying to obtain it because you just can’t wait and you feel like it’s your right to do so. I’ve heard that comment from a lot of fans on this subject. Well, peeps, it isn’t your right if you didn’t put your blood, sweat, tears and hours away from your families working on it to make it what it is. You all waited for Wall*E to come out didn’t you? You all waited for Iron Man to come out, right? If you don’t have the money to buy a box set of something cuz it’s expensive but you just have to see it, then split the cost with friends and watch it together! Let’s keep this industry going for as long as we can, by funneling that money back to the Japanese so we CAN continue to see our favorite shows brought to life by many of the companies that would like to do so. It’s up to the very people who made anime popular today, to determine it’s outcome of either flourishment or demise. The power, quite literally, is in your hands. Will you accept the responsibility that goes along with it?

If you’re intereted in Derek and his work join his fan club Knights of the Dubbing Prince.

Also you can catch him each week in Bleach on Adult Swim, Naruto on Jetstream, and Gurren Lagann on Sci-Fi Channel.