Category Archives: Conventions
All the photos that I don’t want to make into separate posts but I’d like to remember
Old LA Zoo/Griffith Park
Outdoor Film and Food Festival
Justin’s 21st Birthday
Now this gets a little more explanation because it’s super important to me, we ended up getting sushi together and then wandering around Little Tokyo/LA and chatting about everything and anything before finishing by going to Boba 8, an awesome alcoholic boba speakeasy.
So, I attended Vidcon 2013 this weekend, and it was absurdly educational. I checked in with Taryn at our hotel at the Sheraton (right next to DISNEYLAND, I was able to see the fireworks from outside) on Thursday night, and we wandered over to get our community passes. First thing we noticed was we were in the middle of the road in terms of age. There were 14 year olds running around and filming their escapades with their iphones as well as a good number of 25 year olds doing the same. The second thing we noticed was everyone was fashionably dressed, and most had brightly colored hair. The last thing we noticed was at least 60% of the con was female.
Day 1 (Friday) dawned bright and early, and I headed over to the exhibition hall. It was jam packed with people promoting their products, shows, and services, but also had a very nice play area and arcade for some needed decompression time. I went to two panels that day, Creating a Hit Show on YouTube: What’s Working and Why in 2013 and How I Make Videos. At the first one we got a physical copy of the Youtube Creator Playbook (which I highly recommend checking out), and the second one just gave me a taste of what it’s like behind the scenes. The rest of the day was spent networking (I met a really cool Let’s Play youtuber) and wandering around.
Day 2 (Saturday) I went to Meet-Up: Geek & Sundry Vlogs (I’m actually planning on applying to intern for them in fall), How I Make Videos with Kevin Tancharoen: Creator of Mortal Kombat Legacy; 5SecondFilms; Wong Fu Productions; and Chris Thompson: Creator of SupRicky06, and finally The Tipping Point which taught me about how to keep increasing your audience. Commence more networking, watching Steam Powered Giraffe perform *swoon*, and a new drive to create a video.
Vidcon has inspired me to explore vlogging on my own, and you should see a new video coming out soon enough. I highly recommend the con to anyone who enjoys youtube, or wants to break into the blogging world.
So I managed to obtain tickets to the Valhalla of the nerds, San Diego Comic-Con! My hero’s journey went a little like this:
First round of ticket buying went past, didn’t try particularly hard, obviously didn’t get tickets because everyone else was basically executing perfect purchasing plans they had created months in advance.
Round Two: Comic-con allows people who have registered (but not purchased tickets) to enter their names in a drawing to purchase the tickets that had been returned. My name is not chosen.
Round Three: I am randomly derping on facebook, when my friend (a girl I have never met in person but who also cosplays) shares a link to purchase Thursday or Sunday tickets for comic-con. I desperately call Seana, and we both purchase Sunday tickets. Too late my father asks if it’s a scam. I look on the official website, no mention of this resale. I check the twitter, no mention. I check the Comic-Con facebook page where the girl shared it from, there is the link. Apparently only pure luck let me find this deal. I AM THE CHOSEN ONE.
A month later I drive down to San Diego to stay Saturday night at Seana’s house, where I am treated to my own bed in their backyard studio apartment. We play animal crossing and surf the web and get frozen yogurt, all necessary to prep our minds for the next day. At around midnight we rest our weary heads, and I wake up bright and early Sunday morning to clad myself in my battle suit, aka my Velma cosplay.
Before we even get to the con, the attention starts (which I would like to make clear I’m not complaining about, I love how many people know Velma and how many of them go ‘YOU ARE MY CHILDHOOD’. I love both being Velma, and seeing the smiles when people recognize me as Velma). We purchase our tickets for the train into downtown San Diego, and the lady in the ticket window stops me to take a photo. We step onto the train (which I nearly fall off of because apparently I don’t know how to ride public transit in heels), and I find myself catching a teenage boy very quickly putting his camera away (here’s a hint: if I’m wearing a costume, if you ask, I’ll probably let you take a photo). On the train a man with asbergers starts up questioning me about my life. I can’t hear half of his statements, but I just keep smiling and nodding, enjoying what little I can. The conversation comes to a temporary halt when the man says, ‘Oh, I’ve been obsessed with Velma since I was 8 years old!’ I smile slightly awkwardly and nod, adjusting my glasses and looking away.
‘Maybe that’s not quite appropriate to say…’ another man on the train states.
‘Ah, she just knows I’m messing around, I’m just an old guy.’ the first man replies. We continue our conversation without issue, but I will take a moment to point out I really don’t mind if you are in love with my character, but please be aware that if you are a stranger, as safe as you may be, and as harmless as you meant it, it will still make me uncomfortable, especially if you use words such as ‘obsessed’. Velma may be one of the most modestly dressed characters I could possibly cosplay, but the fact she is so overly sexualized (usually by older men) actually sometimes makes me question if I want to continue wearing her, even though the reasons I love her is that she is a strong female character who is portrayed as being the voice of reason and extremely intelligent, a good role model even when I was young. You have the right to say what you want, but because I’ve been taught from a young age that certain outfits are ‘asking for it’, please be aware of why I feel mildly threatened if you tell me you are obsessed with me, especially when you have a 12 inches and 150 lbs on my 5’2″ frame.
Back to the fun part (aka the con), while Seana and I were walking to registration, a Steam Powered Giraffe cosplayer walked by.
Seana (staring openly): Is that…?
Me (also staring rudely): Nooo, it’s got to be a cosplayer…
The Spine ( as he passes us with his liquid gold voice): No, it’s me.
Us: （ ﾟ Дﾟ） （゜◇゜）
I’m pretty sure he found our shock amusing, and apparently had many other fans believe him to be a cosplayer. From his tumblr:
I swear I tried to be straight with people about me being the REAL David Michael Bennett who plays the actual The Spine in Steam Powered Giraffe…but some people still just thought I was a cosplayer, even after I said things like, “Yeah the show was great! It was fun up on stage” or “Well I should have the mannerisms down, since I am The Spine”.
So at least we weren’t the only ones being dorks. (we also ran into him right down the escalator after arguing the entire time in line if we would ever see him again).
Steven met up with us, and we derped in the dealer’s hall, explored artists alley, and then went to go get Andrew Hussie’s (creator of Homestuck) autograph. Seana and I left him there and went to get food, and when we returned, it turned out you needed a ticket to get an autography and I didn’t have one. Luckily when I brought Steven’s food to him, a random girl goes ‘Oh, you need an autograph ticket? I have an extra!’ so I bought a pyralspite plush and a poster, and got in line.
Me: Yeah, I just bought this Catbug plushie online, it was the best choice I’ve made this summer.
Her: Yeah, I love my Catbug plushie too, Catbug is the best!
Random Guy walks up: Hey, you’re Catbug, right? Can I get a photo with you?
Her: Sure! *takes photo with him* So you like Catbug?
Random Guy (nonchalantly): Oh, I created him.
Commence fangirling by me and Catbug cosplayer over Random Guy who turns out to be BREEHN BURNS (producer/writer of Bravest Warriors)
And that’s why I love Comic-Con, you have random famous people wandering around EVERYWHERE.
I also visited the My Little Pony booth, took photos of cosplayers, got photos taken of me, visited my sister who was judging the Magic the Gathering tournament, the standard con routine. I’d say the things that make Comic-Con is its sheer size, the fact that it draws so many famous people, ranging from writers to artists to actors, and you can never really see everything. Crossing my fingers for 4 day tickets for next year.
Anime Expo 2013. My 6th Anime Expo. At least my 15th convention. I regret nothing.
I only went for Saturday during the day this year. Was invited to a crazy room party by the lovely Stacie (I wish I could have spent more time with her), but I’m still trying to decide if that’s my style (currently my style seems to consist more of going to the gym and playing animal crossing). Spent more time with Buike and Michael than I have in a really long time, and bought buttons for ERRYONE.
I decided not to cosplay because wearing a turtleneck in the L.A. heat probably would have killed me. Didn’t go to a single panel. Didn’t go to a single show. Just played my DS, hung out with friends, and bought swag. It’s so nice to go ‘this is what I want to do at a con’ instead of ‘this is what I should do at a con’. Next up, Comic-Con!
Fanime has come and gone once again (and I shall miss it ever so dearly). This year actually oddly enough changed my life view (quite an intense statement to make, I know). I suddenly realized I didn’t need to do everything. I didn’t have to see everyone. I could go to the panels I wanted to go to, meander the con floor when I wanted to, and hide in my room when I wanted to. It doesn’t mean I didn’t get things done, it just meant I saw less of the Dealer’s Hall and Artists’s Alley than I usually do (which was nice for my wallet). So I apologize in advance if I am becoming an old, boring fogey.
Day 0 (Thursday Night):
Drove up to Northern California with one William Grabill. Got caught in traffic, but survived. Made a 2 am run to Denny’s when we were both hungry and attempting to kill each other (okay, maybe it was just me). I have never seen one individual make that many expressions during one video. He ended up dropping me off at City Hall instead of the Hilton at 4 am. Decently good time overall.
Day 1 (Friday):
Slept in, then stood in line from 1 pm until around 7 pm (yes, 6 hours). Made friends with some random high schoolers, they had to leave before they could even get their ticket because they were only there for one day, it was really sad. Finally got badge and met up with the lovely Kelly (she is probably the most perfect individual to walk this earth, I am not worthy of her presence). I followed her and her friends to Gordon Biersch. Nearly died from ecstasy from their fries. Eventually ended up at the rave, good times all around. Ran into my friend Alex who was cosplaying Sherlock, he came sober to the con late at night, which meant although he met a lot of cool people, not all of them remembered him. It also meant he got a lot of tipsy hugs.
Day 2 (Saturday):
Oh jeez, the list is a bit long. Wandered around, took ridiculous amounts of photos. Managed to run into a bunch of cosplay friends. Artists Alley, Dealer’s Hall, exploring San Jose, the list is really pretty standard. I wore Velma that day, got a lot of compliments.
Comments I received about being Velma ranged from the absolutely sweet ‘Oh my gosh, you make a perfect Velma!’ to assholes trolling.
I had a number of people tell me that I was their childhood. I had a number of people come up and hug me, I thought a couple of them were going to cry. I was told I was a perfect Velma. I was recognized by both young and old, and got a lot of (nice) comments from strangers on the street who weren’t even attending the con. I got smiles from some 80 year old ladies, and had my picture taken with a 6 year old girl. The good significantly outweighed the bad, but unfortunately my patience has a limit.
As I’m walking down the street:
Random fan: ‘YOU’RE WELMA, RIGHT?’
Him: ‘WHERE’S SCOOBY’
Me: ‘In the Mystery Mobile!’
Him: ‘HE’S DEAD, ISN’T HE? YOU KILLED HIM. HE’S IN THE POUND’
Me: ‘Yes, sure, he’s dead.’
*his girlfriend pulled me aside to take a photo*
Her: ‘I’m so sorry about this, he’s just a master troll, you’re taking this really well.‘
Me: ‘…no, that’s not how trolling works.’
Her: ‘Just getting in people’s faces and being loud, right?’
Later that night, I’ve taken off my wig and glasses and shoes and am walking back to my hotel room:
Random guy goes ‘Hey, are you Velma?’
Me: ‘I was Velma, I’m done for now.’
Me: ‘Well, you aren’t hot if you aren’t Velma’
He then proceeds to try to ask me where I’m going and flirt with me. Apparently this is a phenomenon called negging? Guess what guys, if you do that, you’re an asshole.
The one that made me finally snap was walking the hotel and someone goes ‘Daphne!’ and I’m like ‘Whatever, they made a mistake’ and I smile at them as they pass by. Their friend turns to them when they are a couple feet away and goes ‘That’s Velma’. The original guy goes ‘I know, I’m just trolling her’. Something in me snaps, I turn around, and just shout down the hall ‘OH MY GOD, YOU ARE SO CLEVER. I haven’t heard that at ALL this convention!’ which was probably not the most mature thing, but c’est la vie.
The best one that wasn’t actually trolling was when there was this 12 year old boy who went ‘HEY DAPHNE!’, which I assumed to be an honest mistake, and I go ‘Hey!’ at the same time another fan goes ‘Hey Velma!’. The young boy just turns bright red and looks to his friend and goes ‘Oh my god, I just called her Daphne, oh my god, I’m so embarrassed’ and his friend goes ‘You’re such an idiot!’
And that’s the reasons I don’t assume people are trolling.
Back to funtimes, I attended the Nerd Courting panel with Sam and Char, it was completely full and BRILLIANT. I asked a question about the speaker’s opinion on the so-called Friend Zone, and the entire audience erupted into applause (it was very gratifying). He informed us all that the Friend Zone was BULLSHIT. I was relieved. He spoke about how nerds tend to build whole fantasies in their head before they are even dating, which is why it’s so much more crushing to be rejected. Finally, I ended up hanging outside at 1 am with a guy named Eric and his friends, he turned out to be pretty chill and we danced together at the rave before I headed to bed.
Day 3 (Sunday):
Slept in till noon. Did the standard exploring. Wore Velma again. Just chilled out until going to a FANTASTIC restaurant with all the people I was rooming with and their friends. We then returned to the hotel room and got ready for the black and white ball. I got to practice some salsa, waltz, etc., and remind myself I suck at it. Samantha’s and my combined efforts managed to sort of hook our friend Alex up with a really cute girl. Went to bed early but content.
Day 4 (Monday): Drove down with Will. We nearly killed each other again. Best part was when I was saying something, and he literally interrupted to just scream AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH for 2 literal full seconds. We really shouldn’t be allowed in a car together for long periods of time…
Fanime was pretty good all in all, super chill, I just did what I wanted. I’m going to see if I can apply this new concept to my life in general, it was interesting how much less stressed I felt.
Found an old video on my youtube channel that I forgot existed. Welcome to Anime Expo 2009. Once a geek, always a geek~ (this wasn’t even my first convention ._.)
After a bit of a rocky start, Marjorie, Jane, Kevin, and I headed out to Wondercon in Anaheim. Once we parked we became a bit lost, and decided to just follow the train of steampunk and Homestuck. Since it was at the Anaheim Convention Center, we were also mixed in with quite a few people walking to Disneyland, so we got some interesting stares. Now, there’s an interesting phenomenon I like to call ‘voices in my head‘ where you may just be walking down the street or Artists Alley, and suddenly you’ll start hearing your character called. You’ll turn, expecting to have a fan asking for a photo, but no one will be looking at you. You’ll keep walking, and it will start again. Eventually you reach the point where you stop turning towards your name unless it is called multiple times. I am most definitely guilty of being a voice in someone’s head, for some reason if I see a character I love I feel the need to say the name, as if stating it to myself means anything. Welcome to con culture.
Anyway, this was Jane’s first time, and one of the best parts of the con was probably watching her lose her con virginity. There’s this type of wonder that is obvious in anyone who goes to a con for the first time, almost like going to Disneyland. Reality becomes slightly malleable, and you can tell who is a con virgin by their eyes shining at the magic of it all.
Kevin and I wandered Artists Alley together, stopping for photos, and I bought way too much stuff. Eventually exhausted, I sat down and just read my purchases. Kevin eventually joined me after exploring the Dealers Hall, and we cuddled for a bit. We found that we were suddenly being asked for more photos while we were sitting than we had while wandering, and I’m pretty sure the cuddling became more for show after that point (don’t judge us for our love of attention). Watching random congoers passing by was fascinating, and I am tempted to create con bingo next time.
Definitely going to repeat the experience next year, hopefully a bit more awake, hopefully attending a few more (aka >0) panels. I didn’t realize it was going to be quite as fun as it was, so I’ll take full advantage next year.
I don’t know how many of you out there have ever seen Pony.Mov, but it’s a fairly sadistic spin-off of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic T.V. series that has caught the eyes and hearts of numerous males and females in the 16-25 age range (fondly nicknamed Bronies). Well, as you know, I was stage manager at a My Little Pony convention in Los Angeles (Equestria L.A., and you should go next year!), but what you didn’t know was I had the chance to be sassed by the very creator of Pony.Mov, and to find myself on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yObNFW0RGPg
Now, as much as I hate to admit it, it does give me a little thrill to find myself on youtube. This video only has 357 views, but those are 357 times people have seen ME. Well, it’s a dorky me waving my hands and looking sternly at a man a foot taller than me, but it’s me. I guess sometimes all I want to do is be recognized, even if it’s simply in a tiny part of the internet.
The panel itself was a combination of hilarious and awful, depending on your sense of humor. It consisted of the creator sassing each and every person who came up to ask him questions, as well as cussing and drinking on stage. As a family-friendly con, we had to ask him to change his language, but it was the type of panel that would have fit in perfectly as an 18+ midnight panel when everyone was drunk at an anime convention. Funny panel, wrong place.
Hello, my name is Ali Lewis, and I am a Brony. And to prove my street cred, I’ve included a photo (one of the few where I look decent) of my Applejack cosplay at Fanime (Yes, I have in fact dressed up like a pony from a children’s tv show. You know you’re jealous.)
Anyway, this past weekend I managed to be qualified enough to be hired (and apparently decene enough to be asked back for next con) as stage manager for the first annual My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic convention in SoCal, Equestria L.A.! It was a pretty brilliant con, and to sum up my experience, you’d simply have to check out this video. If you don’t feel like watching it, it is a swarm of bronies doing Oppa Gangam Style (eeeeey, sexy lady). It. Was. Everywhere. Like honestly, at least once every hour one of those would break out, whether it was in the panel room, in the hall, or in the artist’s alley. I’ve never seen so many people come together so many times, and I really do feel like it just exemplified the sheer camaraderie of the convention. Even thought I’ve been to 10+ conventions, I’ve never seen one that had the sheer amount of love and friendship this one possessed (cheesy-sounding, I know, but what can you do?).
Probably both the highlight and the most frustrating part of my con was waiting 3 hours in line and paying $30 to get a card signed for a friend’s bday, but it turned out gorgeous, and I don’t regret an instant of it. I also met some cool dudes and dudettes (Dave and Samantha, you guys were awesome <3).
Most everyone was ridiculously polite (except for slight sass from one of the panels, but it was funny so it was okay, and you’ll see later), and I’m crazy excited for it next spring. Call-out to all you bronies out there, check this con out, you won’t regret it.