Friday | Saturday | Sunday
A funny thing happened after Geek.Kon: I was elected con chair. This means nothing in the context of your beloved convention recaps... at least until next Geek.Kon. It does solidify that pretty much every con this year is viewed through the lens of someone who knows the inner workings of running these suckers, or at least pretends to for the cameras. It also means I'm representin' Geek.Kon at all of these, but it's been that way for a year now.
With so much Geek-centricity, Daisho is always a nice wrap-up party- a high-energy con that doesn't ask for much. While I was originally planning to do my con stories panel again, they were bringing in Spike Spencer and his audiobook of tales that pretty much had that field covered. And we wouldn't want to upstage him now would we? So no panels, no volunteering, just a nice place to relax and soak in the insanity from a safe distance.
Or participate in my own special little ways, as the case may be...
Amy Winehouse with the Potato Baby in the Hourly
Daisho was also a bit of a confluence of old and new as the room consisted of not only Sarah and Evan, but also Scott. Scott was riding up with Nick F., apparently sleeping in his car. At this point, I estimated roughly an 80% chance of Nick F. crashing as well.
The drive was uneventful, which is noteworthy any time Nick F. is mentioned in a con recap, even if he isn't traveling with us. We got into the hotel, where it was damn cold in the hotel room. Sweatshirts were donned immediately, despite having a table right next to the heated pool.
Yes, as with Milwaukee and Acen, we had a table this year. Unlike Milwaukee and Acen, we were prepared for one.
Webmaster Joe and Evan model our new banner. It's a thing of beauty, isn't it? We rushed to make sure the banner would be done, knowing how good it would look under the 8'x3' table Daisho said we'd have. We ended up with a round table, a miscommunication that can almost certainly be attributed to the exclusion of a pi symbol somewhere in the e-mail chain. So we used the nearby fence instead. It was pretty.
So was this. When Chief lent video game systems to Iowa, he put up small “sponsored by Geek.Kon” fliers on the tables and wanted to do the same at Daisho. Being the Productions guy, I whipped up something a little more formal, and a lot more inspired, than the old 'magic marker on notebook paper' routine. I was very happy with how this turned out, and eager to show it to Chief, Mike and Red. All were impressed.
Rather than post these suckers on the wall, however, I got a tad distracted by the actual classic video games Chief had brought in. I snuck in a round of Donkey Konga before returning to the table.
From there, it was chill time as we manned the table. Our location turned out to be a good one as, conscious of their growth, Daisho made a successful effort to turn this little-used pinery area into a prime gathering spot, much like Iowa's patio and Otakon's fountain. It was also directly across from the con suite, which was great not only for traffic flow, but also because Sarah and Mike took shifts in there Friday afternoon.
We also got to hang out with the other conventions as well- Milwaukee and Kitsune had nice displays and table materials, getting along pretty darn well for conventions one week apart (and yes, I'm planning to hit both next year).
No Brand wasn't as flashy. We were actually surprised to see that No Brand had a table: they don't really do ambassador tables given their limited ability to grow and the fact that they're freakin' No Brand. As it turned out, No Brand wasn't aware that they had a table until they showed up and saw the placard. Turned out about as well as our table at Milwaukee.
Eventually, I got free to scope out the Vendors Room, say hi to John and pick up the first two Hetalia seasons. Already, things were really buzzing in there. The hallways were crowded and the atmosphere felt more like a Saturday night than a Friday.
They even set up some beats in the area to lead up to an eating competition that I'd rather not go into.
Dance, Calvsie, Dance.
After a McDonald's run, it was time to do stuff. Namely Spike Spencer's con stories panel. Now, I knew full well that it was him reading the same stories from his audiobook that I already own, but I wanted to say hi again. His flight was late getting in, making me very tempted to grab the mic to warm up the crowd, but again... didn't want to upstage him. Besides, half the crowd seemed more interested in seeing Shinji's VA in person. Don't worry- they learned.
As the panel segued into an autograph session, forcing me to get the hell out of there, I lingered around for a while to get a feel for things. While the vibe was fantastic, one thing I soon realized was that the program book's schedule was not particularly accurate or informative (or legible, depending on who you ask). Times were wrong, descriptions were wrong, entire panels were omitted... it had issues. But people managed. Hard pressed between Daisho and Iowa as to whose book was worse. To counter the negativity, Milwaukee's was tremendous.
Sarah and Evan were taking down the table, freeing us for the evening as we elected not to run a room party. No Brand did, however, so I stopped by for a quick round of Apples To Apples, with Harley and I dirtying things up in place of Evan. Also pre-registered and got to chat for a bit with Cecil, their new con chair. We figured we were due to sit in a study somewhere, smoke cigars and talk about how awesome we were.
Speaking of studies, the game ended abruptly and Sarah and Evan dragged me to the Tabletop Room. Now, I've been dragged places at conventions, but rarely the Tabletop Room. In fact, this wasn't even to play one of their games: we were playing Harry Potter Clue and Sarah was damn excited about it.
The Harry Potter version of Clue has become one of our mainstays during weekly game nights, and a pretty damn fine game as far as knockoffs of popular board games run. The rotating secret passages, blocked doors and dark mark cards add some suspense and urgency to the detective element. And there's hit points. Yes, you heard me- hit points in Clue. Run out and Mr. Green's history. Or rather Neville, which is less surprising.
The spins we put on it, however, make it worthy of an audience. We play in character and set out to be as vulgar as possible. When not chosen at random, Evan is Harry (the goddamn Batman), Sarah is Hermoine (the only one interested in playing Scooby Gang and actually solving the mystery) and I'm Ron (functionally illiterate). We also rename the suspects (Bellatrix is Amy Winehouse, Lucius is Legolas, Crabbe and Goyle are Bert and Ernie), the weapons (the Portkey is Boot To The Head, the Mandrake is Potato Baby, and the weird perspective of the Vanishing Cabinet makes it look like Pyramid Head) and house rules say that instead of drawing a random Dark Mark card when the situation arises, the player gets to choose one from their hand in an effort to kill somebody else. Finally, the Alohamora card, which allows passage through a blocked door, is known as the Kool-Aid Man spell and must be accompanied by a rousing “Oh yeah!”
"Stop being so racist, you filthy Mudblood."
Sarah's friend Mandy and spider god-slayer extraordinaire Alex watched the first game in awe as we completely destroyed any notion that the Harry Potter protagonists stand for the forces of good. They were so in on the next game.
Of course, the Tabletop Room at Daisho closes at midnight, owing to a vendor inside that needs to sleep. This is a bit of a downer, particularly as the next-door table was a a home-brewed Persona RPG that was advertised in the program book as running until at least 1:00 am.
So we took it back to the room and continued the filth. Mandy was a fantastic Luna and Alex put a brilliant spin on Neville. An extremely depressed, alcoholic one. We chose randomly, giving me Luna for one game and a Ginny-of-loose-morals in another. Evan's checking the phone book as a backup option. Apparently Harry Potter's name wasn't in the Bible the way it's supposed to be.
The only sad thing is that nobody died. Not even Neville or Ginny.
We did better on Saturday.