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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fanime, Monday

I got to the con on my own for Monday. I had to be at work later in the afternoon and wanted to catch up on stuff before I had to leave. I didn't get in as early as I wanted to, but I was still able to pre-reg for Fanime 2010. Tickets were for $40 for the entire weekend. Fanime is definitely one of the larger but also affordable conventions to attend.

I had been hoping that some of the dealers would be marking items down, but no such luck. I had been told in previous years the dealers room had great sales on the last day. Hopefully the trend will re-appear next year.

After making one last round through the dealer's room and A.A. and stopping to say hi to a few friends I called it a day and rushed to work. I did manage to snag a few "badges" from the A.A. room. Unfortunately I didn't get the card to the artist but will have pics up soon.

I had stayed for closing ceremonies last year and hadn't been impressed or entertained very much so I didn't feel to bad missing it this year. Of course, next year will be completely different and I'll hopefully get to stay the whole weekend, uninterrupted.

Fanime, Sunday

Again didn't quite get to Fanime as early as I wanted to. There weren't any panels I wanted to see early in the morning so I watched Ranma 1/2 for awhile until it was time for my panel to start.

The webcomic panel I attended this time was "Webcomic: Year One." Hosted by HellHasFoundMe, Timothy Green, and unfortunately someone's whose name I forgot to write down. Again these guys had a lot of the same advice as the previous webcomic, such as where to host (drunkduck, keenspot and using webpress with your own server were mentioned) and how important it is to keep with regular updates. I also was able to get an idea of when your webcomic becomes a lucrative career. And which comics had more appeal, episodic versus story line. All of the panelists were v. helpful. From my understanding year one is basically just advertising and promoting. By year two you can hope that through advertising you can pay for your own hosting. Also, it mentioned that talent wasn't the highest priority. If you have a good story line and consistent updates you will most likely develop a following.

I spent some time cruising the Dealer's room and Artist's Alley again. Also stopped in to watch people in the game room. Honestly, I hate playing video games with people watching me. I'm a horrible gamer and an audience just makes it worse. But I love to watch people DDR. I just find it fascinating watching "pros" go at it.

After the perusal I then caught up with a friend to watch the AMVs. I actually hadn't watched any AMV's before this, so I was throughly entertained. Unfortunately I arrived late so I couldn't participate in the voting. H4773r watched the Gurren panel while I was at the AMV's. From his account it was quite enjoyable and they answered quite a few questions. Again check out RedRoses's page for the complete panel discussion. Also check out here for the AMV winners list.

After the AMV's we went to dinner at Flames again.

Ended the night with more Anime Hell and speed runs of Sonic and Mario.

Fanime, Saturday

Got to the con pretty late and missed the webcomic panel I wanted to catch.

(NOTE: I have decided that next year I will be getting a hotel room for Fanime. I live in the SJ area, about 20 minutes drive to the convention center, but it's still a huge inconveinece getting to the con on-time. Plus I feel like we miss out on so much when we leave. )

While I waited for the Gurren Lagann movie premiere I did my shopping. I was able to get a nice sketch from Three Panel Soul artist Ian McConville. He's a really cool guy in person. I also bought my first round of manga (Ouran Host Club and R.O.D.). And last purchases were a WoW mage shirt and the Buffy killed Edward tee for a co-worker.

(NOTE: In the future I'll probably wait til Monday if I'm buying things at the Dealer's room, since theoretically they have sales but continue to make purchases in Artist's Alley as I find things I like. The reason for this is because a lot of the time you'll see a print or other item you like but the artists only bring so much with them. And if you wait to long it probably won't be there when you get back.)

Got to see some of the Gurren Laggann movie premiere. I hadn't watched the anime before and the movie hadn't been either subbed or dubbed yet, so H4773r spent a bit of time filling me in as the movie went along. If you want an excellent in depth re-cap of the Gurrenn Laggan movie check out RedRose's review.

The only thing I managed to watch was the Cosplay Spectacular. The line was huge this year. But I still got decent seats. This year I saw a big improvement over the entries. I opted not to stay the for the entire show, but out of what I caught the Pokemon guys were my absolute favorite.

Enjoyed Pizza My Heart for dinner this time. This a local favorite with an awesome surfer theme throughout. Think an Endless Summer pizza joint.

After dinner we decided to stay late and watch Anime Hell. Anime Hell is basically a bunch of anime, and anime related content. Anything from commercials, both foreign and domestic, short movie clips. I think we finally called it a "night" around 2am.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fanime, Friday

Started Friday out by enjoying some Jack in the Box. It's within close walking distance of the con and makes for cheap food. Because, no matter where you go, con food is always overpriced. Also we parked at the downtown garage on Fourth and San Fernando. It's right across from SJSU. Honestly, this isn't the closest or even the cheapest place to park. But for us it was the most convienent. H4773r goes to SJSU and has a monthly parking pass, so for us it was the cheapest.

We got there fairly early to pick up our badges (they were pretty and shiny, oooo). As we approached we saw protestors. Apparently they are there every calling all the anime geeks sinners and what-not, but I didn't remember them. We started wandering a bit and checking out the awesome pocket guide (literally mini guide that had all the panel, event, and video times). Just so you know, while the con opens early most events/happenings don't start til about 2pm. Luckily the anime rooms open up around 12pm, so I was able to catch up on a couple of things I haven't seen before. We saw Onion Samurai and Charlie the Unicorn 3. Also managed a bit later to catch Tweeny Witches (F.Y.I. My friend, Julie Rei Goldstein does the voice over for Biris in Tweeny Witches: The Adventures OAV).

As soon as the Dealer's room and Artist's Alley opened up we went out to scout all the merch. Personally, I thought both we're pretty "meh." The Dealer's room was actually quite small and a lot of the merch wasn't terribly noteworthy. Plus, everyone jacks up the price at con. Having said that, I still walked away with two purchases: a Gurren Lagan messenger bag and DeathNote lanyard. And while the A.A. had more artist's than last year I just wasn't interested in buying yet another plushie, or button, or print.

Had some dinner. Came back to see the panel "Webcomics: Behind the scenes," which featured Nonsense Wars, Thunder and Lightning, and Ensuing. The panel was fairly informative, considering I know nothing about starting a webcomic. They were able to give us some practical advice on which services can be used to host (comicgenesis was mentioned), and re-iterated frequently the importance of updating your webcomic regularly. And while the panel managed to end on time, the Ouran Host Club attendees were fairly annoying busting into the room to grab seats (not a fan of those fan girls).

(NOTES: H4773r and I will be starting a webcomic later this year. So catching all the webcomic panels meant a lot to us.)

After the panel we quickly made our way over to catch R.O.D. OAV. I've seen this anime before but I really, really enjoy the story line. In fact, I purchased manga for it (volumes 1-4).

Friday night's dinner was enjoyed at Flames. Flames is a local diner that has locations downtown across from SJSU (where we went) and a second location on Hillsdale. The food here is pretty good and decently priced. I liken Flames to slightly more upscale Denny's with a bar. They also have pretty good desert menu as well. The only problem I have with the dowtown location is they have varied hours operation and it isn't posted anywhere. I have no clue what time they open and what time they close always seems to vary.

Finally we ended the evening by enjoying our favorite downtown SJ pub, O'Flaherty's. O'Flaherty's is a place we frequent every Friday. Yes, I was in full costume and didn't care. If you go, try the Mad Hatter. An interesting twist on Guiness.

Fanime, Thursday

Overall: thought the con went very well this year. They were much more organized than previous years; panels and events ran pretty smoothly and on-time; the pocket guide was so very useful and helpful; and the eateries available were much more on-hand and had better hours.

I didn't get a chance to pick up my badge on Thursday, even though we had pre-reg'd. So I missed out on the small happenings that happen on Thursday evenings. Truthfully, there isn't much that happens on Thursday other than the swap meet and the game room.

(NOTES: I pre-reg'd again for next year and plan on going to Thursday night events. I think I'd just like to soak in the atmosphere.)

We did, however, take in some of the SJ night life. For those who are 21+ and don't mind a little GBTLA action then I highly recommend Hunter's. Every Thursday has $5 Cosmopolitans (in tumbler glasses) and is ladies night (although all genders do show up for drinking and dancing). Really, all ladies night means is they have female go-go dancers on the bar.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What is the C0n FaIry?

Back in 2007 or so, at Fanime, I was sitting with my friends, exhausted after a long day of conventioning. I watched as cosplayers, attendees, exhibitors, and other such people passed me by. And I started thinking, I bet quite a few of these people have never been to San Jose before this weekend and no nothing about the area. Wouldn't it be nice if someone could give them direction? Tell them, for example, some of the best, cheap, within walking distance places to eat? What about if they needed a band-aid, or hairpins, or an aspirin where would be they able to get it? And cheaply? Or even a tampon or condom? Wouldn't it be great if there was some sort of con fairy who could guide them along? And thus, concept for con fairy was born. The first trick was to figure out how the heck would store a bunch of these items on me? Finally I decided on a tactical vest, complete with wings (I am a fairy, afterall), skirt and boots. I really enjoy playing my own character and of course, at some point she'll show up in FTL. Unfortunately, since I'm not very well known, no one really takes advantage of the stuff I carry. Perhaps, someday that'll change.

So some other important info, if you find the C0n FaIry around:

I DO NOT carry: alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, cigarettes, or lighters

I don't have a ton of room on me and I still have to carry my own crap, so the following are items I might have on me.

Safety pins
Bobby pins
Travel sewing kit
Anti-bacterial gel
Hand lotion
Neosporin spray
Body deordant (usually AXE body spray)
Feminine pads
Granola bars (or other energy bars)
5 hour energy shots
Breath mints
Vitamin C drops
Baby wipes
Con schedule

I may or may not have some recommendations on what to do in the area or places to eat near the con. Any other advice requested will be complete and utter bullshit.