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September 9, 2002:
So, where the heck do I even begin. Well, overall, the con was good. There were a few things that I totally didn't expect. First of all, registration was empty when I got there at 9:30 on Saturday. Hey, I can't complain. It's just that with the "10k attendance cut-off" I expected reg to be a mess. Attendance was another thing. I heard that they had between 5k - 6k people. They might have been able to fit 10k, but I think it would be packed tighter than a bento box. I kinda like the smaller con feel. It was reminicient of some of the earlier Otakons.
The first thing I went to at the con that was worth noting (after opening ceremonies) was the Web-Manga panel run by Josh Mirman of "Stubble", Ian J of "RPG World", Jeff Himmelman of "Ying-Yang", Jodi Tong of "Lang Lang", Meredith Gran of "Not Gonna Take It" and Henry Chiu of pOnju. I figure since Radical Dreamers is still fairly young, I might pick up some grains of wisdom from some of the more established creators. Anyway, it was not packed, but there were a fair number of people in attendance (I hope some of you picked up flyers). This panel was also my first eperience of shoddy management and planning at this con. When I got there at 11:30, the panelists were outside the room putting together a makeshift sign because the AXNY people hadn't managed to put any signs up showing what the different rooms were and what was going on in them. I graciously volunteered the use of my stapler and the sign was up in time to direct lost souls into the panel. But wait, it gets better. 15 minutes or so before the end of the panel, this phone on the wall inside the room rings. It was con-ops saying that they were bringing up a sign to advertise the panel. Oh well, better late than never right?
After the Web-Manga panel, I wandered around a bit and put out a few stacks of flyers (man, paper can be deceptively heavy) then headed (with a list of stuff from Laura) to the dealers room (which for some reason the AXNY people called the "exhibit hall"). And well, what do you know, I was greeted with a line. I guess I've been spoiled by this past otakon since I never had to wait in line for the dealers room then. Okay, to be fair, the lines for the AXNY dealers room were only really present on early half of the first day and in the mornings before the dealers room opened on the following days. Once inside, I found out why there was a line. The place was kinda small and was insanely packed. Well, I won't bore you anymore with my shopping adventure, but there was much carnage involved.
I guess the final thing that people who actually read this might be interesetd in was cos-play and the masquerade. First of all, the oldest of the my cousin that I went with went as Doraemon... and that's all I have to say about that. I took a fair number of picture of cosplayers. There were these really cool DragonballZ costumes, but I later found out they were from the Viz/Shonen Jump people, so they don't really count (but they were still really cool). Then there was this group that dressed up as Clow Cards from Card Captor Sakura. I was surprised when, as I was taking their picture, I heard "Hi Joe!" Of course I had no idea who it was because her costume, "The Silence Card", covered half of her face... and the other half was covered by makeup. I should have guessed it was Sionna, since she's the only one I know that would come up with such an elaborate costume and have the ability to pull it off. Her group ended up winning a bunch of the awards, and they really deserved it.
Now on to the actual masquerade. All participants in the Masquerade had to arrive at 6PM, and seating didn't start until 7:30PM. The AXNY program said that lining up in advance for it was discouraged, but for about an hour, there was nothing else to do. The dealers room was close, they closed down the video rooms because they doubled as the main events room and they had to be switched over for the masquerade. There were also no panels running. Pretty much the only other thing to do was karaoke, which I passed on. So, since my cousin was going to be in the masquerade, I had to look over my two younger cousins, so we just waited. And wouldn't you know it, they ran a little late. And so begins my tale of the worst case of shoddy management and planning at the con. First, they separated the participants from the spectators. Then, there was this poor staffer that had to scream to try and get all the contestants arranged in the propper order. If that had been me, I definately wouldn't be talking again until the end of the week. Aparently, the contestants were not given the rundown of events and their order of appearance before then. While this was going on, the security guys for the con decided to try and organize the line somewhat. We were shifted around a few times. The result was something much worse than if they had just left things alone.
After we actually got in and seated, things ran fairly smoothly. There were 53 acts in total. All were pretty well done. One skit that was worth mentioning was this FF7 one that was a little slash.... It rated pretty high on my "wrong-ness" meter, but it was extremely entertaining and amazingly apropriate in a lot of ways. The costumes were also really well done. I'll leave it at that, since this site is somewhat unofficially for all ages at the moment.
Well, that's pretty much what sticks out in my mind. I wasn't able to meet any people that actually reads Radical Dreamers. Well, I guess there was one person who mentioned that he'd heard of it before (sorry, I never got your name!). Anyway, I'm glad I went to AXNY. I had a good time overall. It was worth the price of admission... I don't know if it would have been worth it if I had to pay for the hotel room though.
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Laura: September 9, 2002:
Agh. So what's my excuse this week? Well, not much. I guess it's just that when you work, everyday you get home and want to flop on the bed and watch tv, and basically not move from that spot until you have to. It's not even that my job is hard, but I guess I've rediscovered that when you work, suddenly you seem to have so little time :( Everyday that I tell myself I'm going to work on RD and get ahead on my stuff, I don't.
Granted I got a lot done this weekend. I finally bought a car. My first car! Wohoo!!! That task alone has been plaguing me for a few months. I bought this bumper sticker at Otakon that says "My other car is a Gundam". That baby's going right on there as soon as I get the car on Thursday. Yeah, it's silly but I'm going to declare my otakudom to the world!....Or at least people who drive behind me. Anyway, I'm all motivated now, so I'm praying a week from now, I'll have something done. I'm tired of scribbling away my Sundays.
I should probably cut my rant off about here. Joe's written a rant for a whole army of men. Till next week, and sorry again for the lateness.
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