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Ten years ago, after attending my first convention with college buddies Scott and Nick, I sent an e-mail to my fanfiction mailing list giving them a link to a few pictures and a quick summary of my madcap adventure. This includes my infamous first run-in with Tiffany Grant, a chat with and picture of Love Hina/Negima creator Ken Akamatsu and the ultimate brainspike- staying up all night in a tiny viewing room watching all of Serial Experiments Lain.
While I didn't take a camera to my second convention (a tiny on-campus number called No Brand Con), I again sent some notes on it, ignoring the hour my cohort and I spent in a ditch in a snowstorm Friday night. I hadn't realized at the time how travel issues would become a recurring theme. The return trip to Anime Central, however, saw pictures and a full three-page narrative, marking the first proper convention recap.
This will be the last.
There are three reasons I'm retiring from recapping. First, with my other projects and real life occupying more and more of my time, spending a week after a convention composing my thoughts is becoming harder to do. Second, my interaction with conventions has changed now that I have an inside view. I'm on staff with both Geek.Kon and Kitsune Kon, previously serving as the former's chairman for two years. Between the commitment to promoting Geek.Kon and eagerness to help other conventions through volunteering, the days of crazy Lain binges are mostly behind me. Third, the audience has changed. What was once a bonus adventure for the legion of devoted fanfic readers has become increasingly read by those both attending and staffing these conventions. Many are active participants in these recaps, some lobby to be included more often, and all refuse to believe that I had a legion of devoted fanfic readers. Either way, it does call for a shift in tone, especially as some are more professional in nature and thus harder to rib than my friends and traveling companions.
So as 2012 wraps up, we end an era. But first! One more recap for old time's sake. To make it extra special for you- no table duty! And if theres a madcap adventure left in me, if any con's going to pull it out, it's Daisho.
Okay, this one's for any devoted fanfic readers still hanging on: hey look, Eric Stuart was at Geek.Kon! It's a really inside joke that I won't explain. This is now the second voice actor for a primary human Pokémon character I've met (the other being Rica Matsumoto, Japanese voice of Ash/Satoshi). This is amusing because for all the Digimon proselytizing I do and as many conventions as I attend, I have never met the voice actor for a primary human Digimon character. I suppose I could have met Quentin Flynn at ACen '08 or No Brand '12, but he's season five and that's practically cheating.
Anyway- Daisho! Simone decided to drive down and join me for this one, seeing as how it's another con, and it was in the Dells and everything. We arrived early Friday afternoon, thinking that maybe we could get the waterparking out of the way before the con really got going. As I had failed to do so last year, I was determined to actually waterpark at this waterpark resort.
But first I had to find out when my volunteer hours were. I was a little confused as I had not received volunteer hours (or guidelines, or rules, or anything of that nature) in advance, and soon discovered that that was because I had only submitted three weeks before the con. Apparently, Daisho is either so efficient that they are able to slot volunteers a month before the con (instead of a week/day before like most places) or my application got lost in the e-mail.
They still had a few openings... just at some pretty terrible time slots. I was hoping to avoid late nights and early mornings and was unsuccessful at either. The picks were so slim that I leaped at a shift starting in less than two hours, knowing it would be at the expense of our waterparking (which is now officially a verb as I've used it as such three times).
The interim was spent procuring badges and setting up the ambassador's table. We made the executive decision to run the table on auto-pilot for Daisho, since it was only two months after our last con and we didn't have anything to promote outside of our dates and our usual offerings (which most Daisho attendees are already aware of) and pre-registration wasn't up yet. That and our primary road crew were damn sick of spending all their con time cooped up at the table. So we put up a bunch of fliers and our banner, which Simone made sure was folded right and extra-pretty.
Our neighbors included these Ghostbusters guys who had a bunch of awesome knick-knacks, including a “working” trap and a large portrait of Vigo the Carpathian.
My first shift was guarding the video game room which, as it turned out, was right next to the tables anyway. I was able to chit-chat with the Kitsune guys while monitoring the room, and chit-chatting with the Kitsune guys is the best part of table duty anyway.
With the shift over, it was a good time for food. After all of our first meet-ups had ended up involving Perkins runs, it had become something of a tradition, to the point where we felt obligated to hit it up at some point over the weekend. Then we realized that we were in Wisconsin Dells, and Wisconsin Dells had Moosejaw.
Any reason to reprint Kellin indulging in Moosejaw after No Brand '06 is a good reason.
Simone is more classy and opted to keep the antlers on the wall.
As expected, the con was more lively when we returned, and we wandered around artist alley and the vendor room. I ended up spotting longtime Daisho staffer Vulaas in a panel room and stopped to chat. Turns out he was guest liaison this year and we had inadvertently stumbled into a Sonny Strait autograph session. During a lull in the action, I chatted with Sonny for a bit, especially as he's a Geek.Kon alumnus (class of 2011).
Next up was Otaku Tonight. In anticipation of a line akin to the one at Geek.Kon, we arrived early to ensure good seats. Then we realized we could just go on in and nobody seemed to care.
Their “post-monologue, pre-interview” skit involved Pher's staff having fan t-shirts (with catchy slogans like “Nick Izumi Is My Waifu”), but not Pher.
The reason turned out to be an unfortunate name choice. Bonus- Pher gave Simone the t-shirt during the break.
Now a year old, the show's been getting better and better guests, avoiding the need to have lower-tier guests like, well, me. Here's Chris Patton, chatting about the biz and using the word “taint” a lot. When the panda song from Nerima Daikon Brothers came up, I made an unfortunately audible yelp that garnered some attention from Chris and Pher. It's the noise one makes when one is a big fan of Nerima Daikon Brothers but forgot Chris Patton played one of the leads.
Dr. Cancer and the SKAmbies played the show out. I'm actually surprised that this is the first time the SKAmbies appeared on Otaku Tonight.
In keeping with recap tradition, this is one of only two cosplay pictures I took this weekend. This one was mostly in appreciation of the quick turnaround time. The other one is Kim.
Let's go to page two!