San Japan (totally not Cyborg) 009 happened last weekend. Amidst the new venue and new date, I noticed some things. If I took your picture (I was the dude with bear ears, see below) you can find it here!
THURSDAY NIGHT – Went in the old entrance of the Gonzalez Convention Center out of habit…oops
New space is YUUUGE
My fursuiter friends are already complaining about all the walking they’re going to be doing over the weekend.
Artist alley is HUMONGOUS
Dealer’s room is INSANE
They ARE going to turn on the escalators in the Dealer’s room, right?
Autograph area setup looks like what I see set up at comic-cons, hmm
Located in the back corner, milk and eggs and all that
If Labor Day does take a bite out of attendance, we’ll really see it on Friday, IMO
Me gusta bigger panel room for Furry 101! About fuzzing time!
The halls remind me of PAX South Year 1 but with the lights on
Seriously, the HBG felt like a cavern back then with all the lights turned down
Spiffy new booths for registration, ooh
Badges are less nice this year, a little more papery. Hope they hold up. Compared them to last year’s badges after the fact and they’re the same.
Press badges get the same art as volunteer ones? BOO!
The YUUUGE maps were just a bit confusing.
Didn’t help that they put teensy ‘You Are Here’ stickers that were near-impossible to find. Maybe some gold stars or Pokeball stickers next time, guys?
FRIDAY-This is my free day: No panels and my freaks aren’t showing up until late in the afternoon
Arrived at 11 and easily found parking at the Houston street lot, wonder if that’s a sign
Random person also walking to San Japan asked if the tin of Altoids rattling in my pocket were dice. OH HELL NO
Walked into the Henry B. via the main entrance this time. Is niiice!
Finally found someone pickier than Alvin Von Devious to try and help with their fursuit. Came close to (metaphorically) flipping the table.
Customer service tip: Just answer my question without the lame jokes, please.
So who gets to be the under/sideboob/cheek checker?
Escalators in the dealer’s room are shut off, no bueno.
One dealer’s display had ALL THE BOOBS.
But that’s okay because they’re just cartoons…right?
“History of Anime in the US” got the biggest panel room and about 50 people showed up. Yes, I counted.
Good panel, but come on, I had that many the first time I did Furry 101 three years ago at RealmsCon.
Do they even check to see how many people actually show up at panels? Seriously.
I kept waiting to hear one word at History of Anime but it never turned up: “Japanimation” That’s what we called it in the 80’s, kids!
Friend and I did our good deed for the day getting a friend out of a jam.
It took me a half hour but I had to claim the top spot on the Time Pilot game in the game room. EDS is on top where it belongs. *flex*
Somehow I got pegged as the guy ‘running’ the furry meetup and some folks freaked when I showed up late. THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS, GUYS
SATURDAY-Easy parking on Houston St again, which has me slightly worried
Saw displays made out of free Priority Mail boxes in the dealer’s room. Classy.
Only the first 100 people get an autograph? Interesting.
“It is up to the artist whether 101+ get an autograph” There has to be a better way to say that without making the artist look like a complete tool.
The Taito Groove Coaster video game calls the Space Invaders alien a ‘crab’ IT’S AN ALIEN GUYS
I keep thinking ‘Spock ears’ whenever I see pointy ears
An anime con is one of the few places where you can lose a fursuiter
Need to mark the lanes in Artist Alley, which one is ‘Row 5’ again?
Arrived too late to the Bitforce concert to take advantage of my press badge, pbbt
Wonder if they had technical problems; we could see the lead guitarist was shredding his fingers off but could barely hear him. Otherwise, good show!
Except for the game room, the air conditioning seems to be holding up well.
Good thing too, because I was soaking after the occasional three-block walk to my car.
The paleta man is back, woo!
Nearly filled up our medium-sized panel room for Furry 101, w00t.
45 minute time limit threw me off, though, may have to reorganize things for next time.
I only have two cosplays (Professor Utonium and Soos). I didn’t wear either, and saw the perfect people to take pictures with (The Powerpuff Girls and Giffany)! ARGH
18+ maid cafe was fun!
Tipsy elevator normies were…interesting.
Tipsy normie asked: “WHY YOU WEARING MOUSE EARS?” I’m not going to debate with someone holding a drink in public, they won’t remember anyway.
SUNDAY-Less parking at the lot, but still no problem finding a spot; be interesting to see the attendance this year (It was down 12%)
Been seeing a lot of ‘robot guts’ shirts around, guess they’re a hit.
Hey panel door guy, the door opens when I say so, capisce?
Noticed a lot of Judy Hopps cosplayers, bunny ears, Nick Wildes, and even an Assistant Mayor Bellweather. YAY ZOOTOPIA!
Overwatch was also popular. I don’t even play the game, but for my friends it’s always HIIIGH NOOOON.
Left early because the show just isn’t as fun without my friends!
Mizuumi-Con is now “Otaku Fair” That’s good.
Otaku Fair decided to not make any further announcements about their new event at THE BIGGEST EVENT IN THE CITY FOR POTENTIAL ATTENDEES. That’s not good.
Observation: Labor Day weekend works great for older folks like myself. For the youngn’s, though, not so much.
Instead of my usual ‘things I noticed’ list, I’m going to take a different approach with this post-convention blog post. At every convention, I see lots of neat artwork from independent artists. Sometimes there are independent game studios showing their wares, and they will often have some pretty cool demos to check out.
“Redemption,” a comic written and drawn by Veronica Kathryn, is the story of a girl who’s trying to make up for the fact that she ENDED THE WORLD. Oops. It can be read at redemption.smackjeeves.com and her artwork can be found at bobo-kitty.deviantart.com
There were a few indie game developers there with some neat games, such as Black Ice, a funky Tron-inspired first person shooter with RPG elements by Garrett Cooper. Finji knocked my socks off with a turn-based survival game called Overland, which is currently in development.
I had an enjoyable weekend at HavenCon, made even more so by these folks and their wonderful work! I hope you check them out, and thanks for reading!
Realized after the fact that I overpacked and should have left my Bluetooth mouse/keyboard at home.
Observation from OG: There were no volunteers barking at attendees like at other cons
Wonder if it’s because the attendees seem to be a mite older here?
Regardless, perhaps other cons need to jazz up their marketing and call their volunteers something else to add prestige and respect to what is a very thankless job. “Volunteer?” Boring. “Enforcers?” Oooh.
Not sure what I’m going to do for Sunday. I pretty much saw all the booths yesterday
Made darn sure to charge my 3DS last night
Also remembered to fill my water bottle before leaving the house this time. Mmm, home water.
The weather was so nice I almost forgot my coat when I left
Now that the event is over, I can finally delete all those ‘PLEASE COME SEE OUR STUFF’ emails from devs.
Obligatory work item: My legs should not be this sore after the fact, need a gig where I *don’t* sit on my tail all day
PAX South is probably the best fan-run gaming convention around and I can see why folks love it so. Its not really my thing; if I go next year it’ll just be for a day. Plenty of my friends had a blast, though!