51 Things I Noticed at San Japan XI

San Japan is probably my favorite convention, bar none, and this year was great! As always, I noticed a few things…

  1. BEFORE – I’m guessing “Magical Universe” means there will be a lot more Sailor Moon crossplayers.

    badge

    #17 Yay?

  2. They’re going to have to try pretty hard to top Okashicon for: “Con with the most pinks and pastels” prize.
  3. Between this and Furry Fiesta 2019’s ‘Roll Fur Initiative” theme, I’m not feeling a lot of love.
  4. As a nerd who’s old enough to have owned an Atari 2600, I’m not exactly the target audience, so yeah.
  5. I’m getting a new fursuit and this will be my first time wearing it. It’s just the thing for MID-90 DEGREE WEATHER.
  6. In addition to the usual con prep, I’m also looking for a new job and getting my house ready to be put on sale the Tuesday after. No rest for the weary! >.<
  7. I guess I can’t awkwardly refer to San Japan as a ‘Comic-Con’ anymore to normies for fear of being sued by SDCC.
  8. Staying at the nearby Tru by Hilton, which apparently is a more modern hotel, which means it annoys me somewhat.
  9. Thing I forgot (again): Aftershave.
  10. Chili’s seems to have become our San Japan Thursday dinner go-to.
  11. Looks like my fursuit won’t be ready for the show. Given the temperature outside and my lack of experience, it’s likely just as well.
  12. Had a funny moment with a friend when I had to remind him that he wasn’t working on Labor Day the following Monday.
  13. Dave: “You can have ambience or you can have a butt-load of arcade games.” I’m glad he went with Door #2.
  14. Maybe they should change the name to ‘Sign Japan.’
  15. I find the lack of security on Thursday nights to be just a little concerning.
  16. FRIDAY – Nothing like waking up early to go feed the meter; a small price to pay for cheap parking!
  17. I was happy with my badge art until I saw the volunteer badges have the same art and now I’m less happy.

    signjapan

    #14 The signage was YUUGE!

  18. Yay escalators!
  19. Yay, I forgot about the escalators and took the scenic route down to Artist Alley!
  20. Furst World Problems: I quit wearing my ears because the hairband kept digging into my head.
  21. I got a haircut the other day so there is less hair to cushion it now.
  22. The uneven lanes the Artist Alley are just a little weird.
  23. No panels to run on Friday: HOW DO I HAVE FUN?
  24. Retro Game Museum might be better off being called “Pong Museum.”
  25. Might need to put together a video game history panel, made better because I WAS THERE FOR MOST OF IT.
  26. The arcade was cool, though the sound on the music games wasn’t always loud enough.
  27. You know the competition between the three(!) Chinese joints at Rivercenter Mall is crazy when someone tries to hand you a sample WHILE YOU’RE IN LINE FOR THE PLACE NEXT DOOR.
  28. SATURDAY – I didn’t have enough change to feed the meter for the whole day, so I decided to live dangerously.
  29. Old hotness: Annoying music over Bluetooth speaker. New hotness: Watching anime subs on your phone with the volume turned up
  30. Sign of the times: Sriracha at the breakfast buffet
  31. Thanks for the retweet, Dave. Be nice if your Twitter account wasn’t protected, but such is life.
  32. I had an unfortunate situation with the light switches before Furry 101…maybe not for me, but the dance contest people next door likely hate me now.
  33. Very happy with the turnout and participation at Furry 101 this year, thanks for the help, San Antonio furries!
  34. I always have to buy a paleta from the vendor in front of the Henry B…BECAUSE REASONS
  35. It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to lose fursuiters at an anime con!
  36. There seem to be more people wearing ears and tails this year, hmm.
  37. Chili’s again for supper.  I’m okay with that.
  38. SUNDAY – Good trend: Vendors playing 80s music
  39. I’m still having difficulty finding cool stickers for my my laptop, though I did buy a chibi Bender.
  40. I’m pretty much forced to stay all day thanks to having a panel scheduled at 530 PM.
  41. Decision time: Carry my laptop around all day or return to my car to get it at 500 PM. I went with door #1
  42. Luckily, there is less me to carry around this time so it wasn’t a big problem.
  43. Dunno if anyone is going to be at “How to Panel,” but the show must go on.
  44. laptop

    #39 Bite my shiny chibi ass!

    Maybe I’ll use the setup time to take a nap.

  45. Mental note: Add a “Finish on time and clear the room” slide to the presentation because the group before me didn’t.
  46. Yay, people showed up…including one person with REALLY weird questions.  Sometimes you get ‘that guy’ at a panel, and he definitely was THAT GUY.
  47. Overall, the panel went well. I learned some stuff and made notes to add stuff to the presentation to make the next one even better!
  48. I took one of those Lime-S rental scooters back to the car, it was pretty cool!
  49. I was relieved to not find a citation on the my vehicle when I returned to it.
  50. I really can’t find anything major that went wrong this year, it’s gonna be a boring post-game Con Talk episode.
  51. San Japan XII: Sports?! Finally, a theme I can get behind!

Short Steampunk Subjects

Positively steamy!

I like things that are short.  Quite a few of my favorite types of media are short: theatrical cartoons, Three Stooges shorts, Aesop’s fables, and Isaac Asimov’s short stories, to name a few.  Curiously enough, my own writing consists mainly of short stories.

I initially kept my short stories to just one side of a page out of sheer habit, but as I write more I am finding myself becoming more comfortable with going beyond that self-imposed arbitrary limit.  Curiously enough, my very first short story came in at 12 pages, which I felt was way too long, so there’s that, too.

There’s just something about quickly getting to the point.  Sure, a one-page story doesn’t leave much room for character development, but it also means that a message can be delivered effectively without getting lost in the rest of the story.  It also leaves armchair psychologists with little room to to find deeper meaning in between the lines.

It may also explain why I enjoy comic books.  In addition to enjoying the exploits of Superman, the Green Lantern Corps and Mega Man each month, I have also taken a liking to the various Steampunk titles currently being printed by Antarctic Press.  In addition to artwork relating to the book’s theme featuring comely lasses, each one has also featured two or three short comic stories featuring the works of Rod Espinosa, Fred Perry, and other creators.

I really enjoy those short comics.  I read them, have a quick laugh or smile, and move on to other things.  But unlike the one-issue comic stories I discussed previously, which are ‘fire and forget,’ those short comics (especially Perry’s) have me wondering about just what happened before and after the story.  How did that Bad Guy end up as a pony?  Who ended up winning the Fairyland Steampocalypse? Just why did Dr. Frankensteam create her Monster?

I also wonder if I am being given glimpses of a bigger tale that has been untold, or are these the scattered pages of a work that is not yet done even in the creator’s mind?  Or perhaps, like myself, all they want to do is make a quick joke or point and move on without having to write a whole book.  I can certainly relate to that!

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Twelve Mezasu mini-con 2 Observations

As Hannibal would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”  Our second Mezasu mini-con is over, and despite feeling really really tired, I’m feeling pretty good about how the whole thing went.  Some things I noticed:

  1. The old “can’t have fun when you work at a con” rule isn’t that big of a deal when you see everyone having a good time and have the opportunity to occasionally walk around and talk to people.
  2. I guess it was easier to notice this because this was a smaller event, but serious cosplayers tend to travel in packs…I don’t think I’ve ever just seen just ONE wandering about.
  3. The art auction was a huge bust, I think we need to do a better job of explaining how it works next time.  😦
  4. I believe you should always give your all whether 3, 30 or 300 people show up to your gig, which is fortunate for the 3 people that showed up to my podcasting panel.
  5. I am just not used to hearing my voice amplified; when making announcements or announcing raffle numbers over the PA speakers, I was worried about blowing out the speakers whenever I raised my voice.
  6. From the “beware of what you wish for” department: we asked, prayed and begged for rain,  got it…and a brief power outage.
  7. Thanks to Madame Jaqueline’s Apothecary, I now know what a ‘bath bomb’ is and does. Freaky.
  8. I bought an Android mascot figure in a “blind box,” from Bean Pot Toiz but I have yet to actually OPEN it to see which one is in there.  The anticipation is eating at me yet I don’t want it to end!!
  9. Considering how many times I was asked “How did you find this place?” I’m glad that we were able to make people aware of the nice facility and folks at Tripoint.
  10. At the same time, how can one not notice a building the size of a grocery store with a YMCA and a coffee shop?
  11. I forgot to pack cough drops and now my voice is a little hoarse.  Hopefully it recovers by the time work starts on Monday.
  12. I don’t want to go back to work on Monday…then again, do I ever?

San Japanic!

San Japanic!

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Our first First Storm Manga project is a commission: we have been ‘hired’ to create a short manga (a Japanese-style comic book) to promote the San Japan 2.x Japanese Culture and Anime convention.  The manga is supposed to feature the convention’s four mascot characters: a bat named Dios (like most folks, I was all, wait, that means “God” in Spanish!  I presume its something different in Japanese) a longhorn named Suzaku, an armadillo named Hinode, and a girl named Sana.

The story will consist of all four characters encountering some kind of (hopefully) funny situation as they voyage to the convention.  I am the storywriter/editor (because I can’t draw) and we have three different artists working on the project.  Its lots of fun working with them, and I think it will come together quite nicely when its all said and done.  Click the picture above for the full image, and stay tuned!

Super Happy First Storm Manga Group Hey!!

Okay, so I got a little silly with the title…

First Storm Manga is a group of artists and writers that I joined recently.  We get together on Saturday nights at the La Taza coffee shop to go over various projects that we are working on for self-publication.  Our stuff is going to be done in the manga style of Japanese comics.

Well, the artists, stuff, anyway…since I can’t draw, I suppose that makes me a writer-slash-idea man.

I am working on a project right now, though I can’t say much beyond that.  Its neat to have a creative outlet and to meet and work with other Creative Types.  Its also like herding cats in terms of trying to keep things organized, and I admittedly don’t make things much easier, but we solider on, and if all goes well, we’ll have something to show for all our work.

I’m pretty excited about it, though, the thought of seeing something I created in words come to life in pictures is an exciting one!