San Antonio’s first furry convention, Alamo City Furry Invasion, took place this past weekend. Many locals (including myself) were excited to have a furry convention in our hometown and I noticed a few things during the furry fun:
BEFORE-Sorry guys, but ‘Alamo City Furry Invasion’ as a name is too long, I’ve just been calling it ‘Furry Invasion.’
RealmsCon also happened over the same weekend, so I have another reason to not go there.
Thing we forgot to mention on the pre-game podcast: Parking around the con itself is going to be ‘fun’ especially for those of us not getting a hotel room.
There was some confusion about the availability of a projector. We were told to reserve the one projector they had, which was odd considering I checked a box that said ‘I need a projector’ when submitting my panel.
I made arrangements to have one just in case.
Day before the con and we don’t have an online map
There have been a few complaints beforehand about the potential parking costs, oh well.
Took a walk around the hotel Thursday afternoon and it was plenty warm, which doesn’t bode well for our fursuiters.
Surprised they aren’t doing a ‘print out your email’ thing for pre-registrations, hope that doesn’t slow down registration.
FRIDAY-Pleasant surprise: Free parking for hotel guests while it was available. I fed the meter.
I had to make jokes about “Don’t let your meter expire or Judy Hopps will pay you a visit!”
I see the hotel and Barry Manilow’s ‘Copacabana’ pops in my head.
As always, the guy with the Bluetooth speaker has to have crappy taste in music. I swear it’s a physical law at this point.
Got into the reg line at 3:38 and waited for 45 minutes, pbbt
The ‘WE’RE SORRY’ guy in the reg line finally got on my nerves and I had to open a can of manager on him.
Fire alarm lights go off at 541 on Friday, oh boy.
Little Kid: “Pokémon!” Dad: “I don’t think those are Pokémon…”
Just a little sadface over not getting a personalized dog tag…does that make me weird?
The comic book was a lame substitute, and it’s not good to see staff members with tags
No furry Westerns for movie night? Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron? An American Tail: Fivel Goes West?
If I’d have realized there were going to be so many people there on Friday, I would have shaved!
SATURDAY-Up bright and early so I can shave (see above) and get a parking spot (see #3)
There were plenty of parking spots with meters around the hotel and even some $1-$2 parking a block away.
You still have to feed the meter on Saturday? LAME
Downloadable PDF format for the schedule would have been nice
Oh wait, the online schedule is different than the printed one, uh-oh.
That is, assuming you can read it, looks like they used they used 4-point font.
Nice job of giving credit where credit is due at opening ceremonies
For fuzzing sake, can we keep fetish gear out of furcons already?
Stop popping your heads and breaking the magic, people!
They definitely dropped the ball on the schedule. What is most surprising to me is either the staff didn’t notice or they chose to not do anything about it. No bueno.
How to handle major screw-ups: 1-Apologize. 2-Take no more than two sentences to say what went wrong. 3-Tell us how YOU ARE GOING TO FIX IT.
I mention the previous item because I heard the same ‘printer guy screwed up the schedule’ story way too many fuzzing times. WE DON’T CARE WHAT WENT WRONG JUST FIX IT.
Regardless, I got by with a little (okay, a lot) of help from my friends for Furry 101.
A bunch of quiet people attended Furry 101, there were no questions for me at the end!
Some parents were there too, and were very complimentary after the fact.
OMG all the Amber Alerts
Seems I forgot to turn off the Amber Alerts on my new phone, too. DERP
Guillermo’s Italian restaurant near the hotel was delicious.
Had to do karaoke to finally get Copacabana out of my head.
Forgot about the 20-bar instrumental break in the middle, should have found a dance partner.
Going to be hard to not wear my Dallas Cowboys jersey on Sunday. GET IT? COWBOYS? 😀
I wasn’t even aware of the food trucks, need to work on communication, there. Maybe a bulletin board?
Bedbugs, tire slashing and threats? It’s a party now.
I won’t lie, my eyes got a little misty when one guy did ‘Free Fallin’ during karaoke. God Bless Tom Petty.
SUNDAY-To the person who glomped another fursuiter: YOU SUCK
Apparently fursuiters weren’t happy with the fursuit lounge closing at night. Even by my cranky middle-aged standards, 10 o’clock is WAY too early.
Another furry watching football? SAY IT AIN’T SO!
If you’re still telling Tony Romo jokes now, stop talking about football. Just. Stop.
Had my panel cancelled on Sunday because I was feeling way
oo hungry that afternoon…and they scheduled it opposite closing ceremonies.
737 attendees, wow!
IMO attendance would have been higher but for RealmsCon being the same weekend in Corpus Christi and some folks in Houston are likely still recovering from the hurricane.
I should probably get a room next year so I’m not dragging my tail home in the middle of the night.
Overall, it was good but y’all really need to fix that scheduling, guys!
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.
I spent the weekend at Oklahoma’s other outdoor furry convention, Wild Nights, and as is always the case, I noticed a few things…
After two false starts trying to go to this convention, itlooks like the third time’s a charm!
Introduced my co-pilot to slot machines at a gas station casino; many apologies in advance if he becomes a gambling addict!
Cell service is zip at the park, luckily I saved the camp maps to my tablet.
At first, I listened in horror as the only FM stations my radio picked up played country music and then luckily stumbled upon a classic rock station…whew
Looks like they got off to a late start with dinner, I hope everyone had a big lunch.
The park is awesome, and even has real trees!
Feels odd to not be wearing my rings, I keep reaching to take them off before I walk to the restroom…TMI, maybe?
Old tech is better #1: LED lights have come a long way, but I’ll take my trusty 2-mantle Coleman lantern for lighting up camp any day.
I thought I was going to be attached to my backpack for the weekend but I surprisingly did okay without it.
Thing I forgot: a handkerchief, its driving me nuts because I keep reaching for it when I cough, but it isn’t there!
Last year, I wrote a story at Oklacon about my own withdrawal from the Internet. This year, I may scribe a similar story about a friend descending into madness.
The blooping noise the tap makes when getting water is the COOLEST THING EVAR.
I didn’t go to the hat-making panel and spent the rest of the con wishing that I had one!
Idea: Glow in the dark zippers for tents.
Temps were in the fifties outside on Thursday night, WHY were the a/c units on at the cabins?
Robber’s Cave State Park took a little looking for, didn’t help that I took the scenic route. Stupid Apple Maps
The cave itself took some hunting to find, too, but then again, we went off the beaten path.
Apparently the NOAA weather computer saying ‘shitstorm’ on the radio is the funniest thing ever.
Crepes for breakfast, potato soup for lunch; seems like someone in the kitchen knows what they’re doing!
Didn’t bring the car key for passenger, came to regret it after being asked ‘is it locked?’ every hour or so.
We got caught by the grocery stores in the nearby town being closed early twice, once at 9 and then at 8. I wanted to ask if dancing was also forbidden and that’s because I’m from a small town in Texas.
Nothing like hearing a gust of wind come from the trees then seeing a cloud of pollen descend. Crap.
Scheduling seems to be an issue for Wild Nights, and registration also took a little while. Don’t forget to bring some patience along!
Comparing the two OK outdoor cons: Wild Nights has the better venue, but Oklacon seems to be better organized. Balance of the universe and all that.
Also: At Oklacon, I took home red dirt in the Excelsior as a souvenir. This time, it’s POLLEN. POLLEN EVERYWHERE. *cough cough*
Saturday afternoon turned into siesta time at the con, there was very little going on. Works for me.
Wore my bear ears into town for no good reason. Oh yeah, because I felt like it. That’s a good reason.
Had my first s’more ever, yum!
Once the weather forecast started mentioning thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes, it quickly lost its comedy value.
Old tech is better #2: While most smartphones were useless, my radio worked just fine.
There appeared to be an exodus of people Saturday as word got around about the impending weather. We hung around, but put everything away just in case we had to make a quick exit.
I don’t think I have ever slept in a top bunk, and after spending a restless night in one, I still haven’t.
This felt more like a camping trip at a furry convention than a convention that involved camping.
Drove into some hail after leaving the event, apparently we just missed the bad weather. There but for the grace of God we go.
Another year, another San Japan. I’ve been going since the beginning and its been getting bigger and better ever since. This year, I helped out at the Original-Gamer.com table handing out flyers and helping out with Video Game Jeopardy, which was another rousing success. Of course, I noticed a few things along the way:
The Valero on I-37 near the Beeville exit makes bacon and egg breakfast tacos with the bacon MIXED IN…I think I just found my new place to stop for a bite when traveling to and from Corpus Christi.
The convention center is FREAKING HUGE…and they’re using less than 20% of it. Wow.
This is probably the first time I’ve ever felt COLD at a convention, and that is AWESOME.
Those complaining about having to go back and forth between the hotel and convention center don’t remember the 1-block walk between the Municipal Auditorium and El Tropicana hotel the first 2 years.
After a two-year layoff, Water Ninjas are now re-employed.
Idea that sounded good on paper that didn’t quite work out as well as it could have: “Late Night Artist’s Alley”
Found it hilarious that the “Mu Epsilon Kappa” table was next to the “Ushicon” table. The Ushicon mascot is an anthropomorphic cow girl. Mu, indeed.
I don’t know if it was the Alamo Drafthouse or the Doctor Who Fans Unite group that bought the TARDIS along, but whomever it was, YOU ROCK. UPDATE: It was the Doctor Who fan group.
Wacky Japanese thing I saw there: Nekomimi ears or “mood ears” as I like to call them.
Sign that people have too much money: Nekomimi ears.
You knew how important you were based on how ‘finished’ the art on your badge was; I’m sure the art on my Con Alley badge looks awesome once its inked and colored.
You can never have too many flyers. Unfortunately, we didn’t.
Raffling off videogames is a good way to get people to come to your videogame website table.
If you’ve been advertising the fact that you’re also giving away videogames at Video Game Jeopardy, expect a packed panel room.
Is it wrong that I take evil delight when people don’t know the questions to our Video Game Jeopardy answers?
Surprisingly, the site’s review copy of the latest Naruto game was NOT the first one to go when we let the winner pick her prizes.
The main area was fairly spaced out, which is a good thing because it means they have room to grow.
Okay, maybe a little too spaced out, it looked a little empty initially.
Next time I should NOT take the camera out of the camera bag…I bought the bag with me on Sunday but left the camera on my desk.
Bought a pair of Chinese iron balls in the dealer’s area, I’ve always wanted some.
I found it hard to resist saying “I’ve got balls of steel” in Duke Nukem’s voice to several friends after acquiring them.
Does Egoraptor have a street team? I was randomly asked by someone, “Do you like Egoraptor? He’s over there.” Unfortunately, I had to be somewhere at the time.
For the record, I said “He’s okay.” I’ve never met him but I do find his work entertaining and insightful at times.
The parking lot behind the Rivercenter Mall sucks and I am never parking there again.
Even though I missed the first day of SJ due to a family gathering, I am still tired as all heck after the fact.
The attendance was over 9,400 so we can expect to hear lots of lame jokes for the next year.