Anime Detour 2008
Anime Boston 2008
Sogen Con 2007
Anime North 2007
Anime Boston 2007
Anime Detour 2007
Anime North 2006
Anime Detour 2006
Sogen Con 2007
At which I learned cons can be too small.
Friday, October 5
Well, I forgot the anti-ego gear. Oh well, it doesn't go over as well at small cons anyway.
I got a late start, surprise surprise, but the con didn't start until around 4:00 so it wasn't that big of a deal. The trip was happily uneventful. The southwest corner of Minnesota seems to be entirely made up of farms powered by wind. o.O
The hotel here (Sioux Falls, SD) is amazingly awesome. There's a gorgeous fountain/garden area in the lobby, I wish I had had someone with me to take pictures of me there in my costume. Oh well. :\
The convention center... it's attached to the hotel by a looooong hallway.
Inside the convention center. No, it wasn't always this empty, I took this picture on Sunday. :P
After checking in and moving in my stuff (nice room in a great location in the building, too!) I quickly put some paint on the new shoulder pieces I made for my cosplay, and then tried to make it to Opening Ceremonies. Unfortunately, the convention center wasn't quite the hop skip and jump away that I thought it was, and the prereg pickup line, while short, was extremely slow. And then I had to run to the ATM and get some cash to register for the bento box workshop. The line for that was also very short and painfully slow, with some drunk attendees (already drunk!) and a chatty staff member. The staff here seems friendly and welcoming so far... but they really need to learn some SPEED. Holy crap. I'm glad it wasn't the size of line I'm used to at other cons, I would've been there all night.
So I missed Opening Ceremonies, but just for the heck of it I decided to go to the Mecha Combat panel. Not really my thing, but it was pretty interesting, they talked a lot about the realistic possibilities of mecha and the chances that we might start seeing these things in the real world. Smart guys, interesting thoughts. One of the panelists reminded me a hell of a lot of a guy I knew in a summer program during high school, though, and it was kind of freaking me out.
After that I breezed through the dealer's room, which is small but has some good stuff. I wasn't quite sure where the Artist's Alley stands, there seemed to be some of it in the dealer's room and some outside in the hallway. Maybe it'll be clearer tomorrow. There's someone there doing tarot readings, that's new. o_O I saw a guy from Detour in the dealer's room but he didn't recognize me. So it goes. Sogen's kind of weird in the social sense, too... it seems like half the people are really friendly, and the other half are looking at me kind of funny, like it's a private party I'm wandering into. Of course, the crowd's small, so individuals stick out more. (Speaking of the crowd, it seems to be largely populated by shrieking fangirls, and the convention center is uncarpeted. Ouch. x_x)
Then it was time for another coat of paint on the cosplay stuff, and The Great Errand Adventure. I needed food and some minor supplies, so I headed out and tried to follow the directions in the con newsletter thingy. Ended up in the middle of nowhere. Tried the other way with more success, and eventually found a Walgreens where I could pick up the stuff I needed, plus Subway for dinner.
When I got back I sewed for a while to fix a major mistake I made on my cosplay yesterday (GRR) and then went to "Whose VA Is It Anyway?" which was improv like the TV show with the guests as the players. That was pretty darn hilarious, which is easy to guess being that Greg and Chris and Monica are here. Plus it was an 18+ event, so there was all sorts of amusement going on. :3 Four words: Well-endowed space vampires. (or is that three words?)
After that it was back to the room to finish the sewing, which I did. Now I just have to fix the choker and then it's off to bed. There's a MST3K event I want to go to tomorrow, so I have to get up early enough to get my cosplay on in time to make it there. Ugh. x_x
No pics thus far, cosplay here is pretty lacking. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Saturday, October 6
Saturday was cosplay day. Fortunately nothing critical to me was going on until noon, so I didn't have to get up insanely early to get ready. This time I had new gloves of the proper length, a double-layered train, and a really basic choker, plus the new shoulder decorations on the dress. Much improved, in my opinion. :)
First on the agenda was the MST3K event. At Sogen it was some of the voice actor guests doing the commentary, namely Chris and Greg and I believe there was a third, but I was a little late so I missed the introduction. They were commenting on the dub of "Demon City (something)," a rather bad anime movie in the collective opinion. That was some seriously funny stuff. More cons need to do events like that. I wish I could share some specific commentary examples, but nothing's coming to mind. :\
After that I sort of hung around for a while, getting food and browsing the dealer's room and that, took some pictures and got some pictures taken of me. At one point I had to run back to my room and hotglue the top of my staff back on, the staff fell on the floor and the top popped off since I haven't glued it permanently yet. ^^;; That was no big deal, but my new train was becoming a real problem. I'd put gathering stitches in the middle of the back, and that made the center too heavy and it kept falling off the snaps. So before the Masquerade, I went back to my room for a while and added two more snaps to both layers, in the center next to the zipper. That seems to have done the trick; for the rest of the day the train only came off on the sides where it was easy to reattach, even after sitting through the Masquerade. :)
So then there was the Masq. I hurried back to the convention center to find the cosplay had been delayed. So I got in line, which was twice as long by the time they finally opened the doors. Meanwhile... there was a hockey game going on. And two weddings. Sogen's small, so it didn't have the entire hotel OR the entire convention center. There were a lot more normal people around than I'm used to having at a con, which was new and strange, especially on my cosplay day. I think it was a good experience for me, though. I definitely got stared at a lot, and it was good practice ignoring it and walking around normally even under three feet of green hair. Especially since... and this is something, coming from me... I was one of the best cosplayers at the con. >.> There, I said it. ^^;; Sogen appears to be a casual con for most people. There was some really good cosplay there, but a lot of people went without or wore really basic stuff. I actually felt a little out of place doing cosplay, when usually it's the other way around. So on the whole, despite whatever else, Sogen was a good experience for me. I'm much more confident about cosplay now. ^^
Small con, so the Masq was short, which was good for me since OW that strapless bra still kills after sitting for a while. I have to do something about this before spring. First time I've been to a Masq where they had more seating than attendees... There were several good costumes, and since the crowd was small I was able to get some pictures.
The main stage, such as it was.
Pics from the cosplay contest. Sorry about the bad quality of these, I still haven't mastered the art of taking good pics at a Masq. x_x
Halloween Town Sora won best in show. I remember admiring her costume at another con... Iowa? Detour?
Totoros... of a sort...
Back to the cosplay confidence... I had a couple of people ask me if I was going to be in the contest earlier in the day, and after the Masq one of the cosplayers I'd taken a picture of earlier came rushing up to me demanding to know why I hadn't entered. ^^;; She'd been in the contest with her group, and deservedly so, and showered me with lovely compliments I made an attempt to believe. I never intended to enter any cosplay contests, and I know I'm not on the level of the big cons and most likely won't ever be, but after all this... once my costume's completely finished, I may enter the Masq at some of these little local cons. ^^
I retired early after that since I was tired of being in costume and there wasn't anything else going on except a concert and a dance, neither of which is really my thing. I spent the rest of the evening brushing out the horrible mess that is my wig after wearing, and packing up my stuff. And that was Saturday.
Sunday, October 7
Got up at the time I'd planned, loaded up my car, checked out of the hotel, and hurried over to the convention center... only to discover that the bento box event was at 1:30, and not noon like I thought. There was some interesting stuff I'd missed at 10 AM, too. Should've looked at the schedule. -_-
So I spent an hour wandering around the dealer's room... big mistake. I spent waaaay too much in there, especially for a small con like this. I also checked out what passed for an Artist's Alley... except for one of the girls out in the hallway... who I'd promised on Saturday when I was waiting in the cosplay line that I'd check out her stuff Sunday when I wasn't burdened by my staff etc. And I didn't have time to stop by before the bento event. And when the event ended, she had packed up and gone. I felt really bad. ;_;
But I wanted to get to the bento event early as suggested so I could get a cute bento box. The previous panel was still clearing out when I got there, but I'm pretty sure I was the first person there for the bento thing. The staffer running it was a bit frazzled, since it was Sunday and all, and the convention people weren't showing up to set up tables... but I pointed out the tables were already in the room, just stacked up against the wall, and then helped set up the tables and get chairs around them. About a third of the people coming in for the event helped, but the rest of them just hung out in the back of the room chatting and, as it turned out, probably lining up to get good bento boxes. So when we finished and they started handing out the boxes, I joined half of the guys in cutting to the front of the line, something I would normally never do but there was no way I was going to get stuck at the end when I'd been there first and helped set up while everyone else was being lazy and greedy. No way. So I cut in line and didn't feel bad about it at all. >3
Then I did a selfish thing. It turned out the girl who had put up the money for the con to buy the bento supplies in advance really wanted one of the blue boxes that came with its own bag, which was the kind that I'd picked, and they'd forgotten to save one for her. So the staffer running the event had to make someone trade theirs for a pink one with no bag. She let the first person she spotted keep their blue one because it was a guy ( >( ) and then she was looking at me, but I hung on to mine for dear life. I'd paid my money like everyone else, and shown up early, and helped set up and everything, and I really really wanted that blue bento. ^^;; She got someone behind me to trade theirs instead. I did feel kind of bad about that, since the girl who lent the money for the event deserved the box of her choice, but... I really wanted it. ;_;
So anyway. The staffer told us the basics of bento lunches and went through assembling one with the ingredients on a table at the front. Then we got to go up and fill our own boxes. They were the two-layer kind, so we filled the bottom part with white rice, and the top with the basic snack things they provided like carrots and fruit slices and nuts. There were also little bottles for soy sauce, and cute plastic toothpicks and dividers. ^^ Then it was eating time! The guys at my table were admiring my apparent skill with chopsticks that I didn't know I possessed. o_O;; It was fun, I may try to make lunches with this sometimes. I friended the bentolunch comm on LJ. ^^
After the bento thingy I took all my purchases and stuff out to my car, took some more pictures, and went to the con feedback session to listen in. Apparently they've somehow convinced the convention center to let them allow outside food next year, which is a miracle in itself. o.o The food restrictions is one of the major downfalls to having an event in a convention center. Their discussion of the downsides to providing a consuite gave me an idea for Detour, which I plan to suggest to our consuite department.
After that was Closing Ceremonies, with the usual fond farewells from the guests, and that was the end of Sogen. (BTW, turns out that new Kakkoi Con thing here in the Twin Cities is run by Sogen's parent organization. Didn't know that.) All in all, not a bad little con, but I think it's a bit too little for me. There were some creative events I haven't seen anywhere else, and it seemed to be good for meeting new people, but since I'm not social and didn't have any friends with me it was a bit lonely and had a lot of dead time. I don't think I'll be going again unless I'm with a group, or really have nothing else to do that weekend.
So that's my last con until spring. I still didn't meet
Cosplay! :D The Lust in this picture is the cosplayer who came up to me after the Masq and wanted to know why I hadn't entered. ^^;
Okay, can someone identify these characters for me? They look familiar, but the source isn't coming to mind.
Kenshin! This would've looked better from the side, with the scar and ponytail etc, but oh well.
Edward Elric as a girl! xD
PGSM Sailor Venus!
Another version of Halloween Town Sora... from the "Perfect Collection," or something, I think that's what I overheard? I'm not that knowledgeable about Kingdom Hearts beyond the basics of the first game.
And a human Inuyasha for the road.
Last but not least, my goodies.
I seem to buy more at smaller cons than I do at major cons. Maybe the sheer enormity of the huge dealer's rooms at big cons is so overwhelming that I'm not as interested in individual items. It's particularly weird in this case, since I didn't think much of the Sogen dealer's room when I first walked through it, but by the end of the con I had all this stuff.