[Convention] Otakon

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[Convention] Otakon

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Postby Reichu » Sun Aug 21, 2005 10:02 pm

[This was split from a thread I attempted to take over, with no success.]

Otakon was ... okay. Forgetting sneakers (or trainers, for you British folk) and screwing my right foot up kept me from getting crazy and hyper enough to get as much out of the con as possible. I didn't even make it to the Dealer's Room. However, I did end up sitting around a lot and chatting/drawing, which is nice in its own way.

I participated in Aaron's Eva panel (while I was just a very loud bystander last year), but, despite attracting a full room of people, it kind of sucked. Aaron seemed to have had big plans for this thing, being the 10th Anniversary and all, and didn't want to take the quick and easy (albeit BTDT) way out with another Q'n'A -- but they just weren't realized. We just weren't prepared. I could just blame Aaron for this, but I suppose Real Life (TM) had something to do with it, too.

Aaron had an idea of what he and Otaprince were going to do, but I had little idea as to my own role. Getting me to talk about Evangelion is NOT difficult, but I need to know WHAT to talk about. Erik was supposed to go first, but he was kind of, like, late, so Aaron went first and babbled about NGE news. It was awkward, though, because he wasn't as prepared as he had been in the past. Erik finally showed up, but he said far less about the history of Gainax leading up to NGE than we'd expected him to. That left me, having no clue what to say despite having nagged Aaron off and on about it beforehand (so that I could, you know, PREPARE). From my POV, it was a disaster, and things just lapsed into Q'n'A because there was no other option, really. To make matters worse, Christina (who had a bloody panelist's badge) was prevented from passing the mic around to people because of some staff member. WTF?

We didn't have prizes to give out at the end, as we'd hoped. (Well, I brought two little things along, but Aaron decided we shouldn't even bother... so I sold them to Digitalex afterwards for a fiver.) At least I was able to pass out my own brand of "presents" -- 20 photo sets of my infamous "Christmas Hentai" sculpture. (30 goddam dollars out of my own pocket to get them printed up at Staples. Argh.) Okay, they weren't presents so much as a gratuitous attempt to promote myself, but, hey. Fortunately, enough people were left in the room that they flocked to the front and accepted my gifts with relish. (Well, except the ones who took a look inside the protective tan folder and quietly put it back on the table.) One little kid seemed interested in getting one, which I'm not sure his mother would have appreciated... Then again, I'm sure these days kids his age have seen far, far worse. The 20 sets went out quickly; Digitalex got the last one.

At any rate, that was a lesson for everybody, I think. I'd certainly like to continue spreading the joys of Evangelion via convention panels -- and, considering the full room, Otakon has no reason to turn us down for 2006. Aaron was right in that we need to do something different, but we need -- NEED -- to organize it in advance. I have some ideas, and he said he was willing to put things more in my hands for next time. It means I'll have to learn Powerpoint and actually practice the jig beforehand, but I feel confident that I'd be able to entertain people for an hour with something like Pointless Eva Trivia, with omake bits thrown in here and there to make sure people are paying attention... ("Myths of Evangelion" would be another good one.) There are tons of possibilities, considering the scope of this show. I have an opportunity to get my feet wet organizing a panel myself with the upcoming Anime Boston in April... We'll see.

This year, I finally decided to actually participate in the art-related festivities, so I dragged along "Christmas Hentai Evangelion" and "Layers of the Universe" to put into the art show and expose the crowds to my madness. For some reason, they didn't let me put submit them as "Not For Sale", so I slapped a $15,000 minimum price on both pieces -- I thought it would be effectively discouraging, though I'm sure it made people wonder. I loitered now and again around my pieces to eavesdrop on people's comments (and reveal my identity if it so suited me). Didn't hear anything on "Layers", but "XHE" got plenty of reactions... just as I'd desired. The purpose of the piece is so convoluted I don't think many people can appreciate it without hearing the story, so I hand-wrote a brief explanation of the piece's "story". (I would have done a typed one beforehand, but, like so much else, it just didn't get done in time.) People actually stopped to read it, which made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I also bumped into one of the staff moderating the art show, and he appreciated both of my pieces greatly (despite being the sort of guy who digs the very things the piece is mocking!). His name was... Dan, I think. He was cool. He said he would have bought my stuff were they in a realistic price range. And apparently, he isn't the only one who would have gone after them! I suppose this just goes to show that being wildly different isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Even though plenty of people don't appreciate what I do, this was an encouraging experience. I've long wanted to get back into art and become somewhat more prolific than I am now. I want to be able to ENJOY art again, to feel free to do things for the simple pleasure of doing them, instead of doing them on a deadline to earn such intangible things as grades and credits. My nearly-a-year long bout of depression forced me to take a leave of absence from RIT (where I'd been majoring in illustration, and not having a terribly good time), but maybe that'll be a good thing. I am planning to get my feet wet in another potential "career outlet" during my hiatus from schoo. In the meantime, perhaps I'll rediscover art as a personal passion, instead of putting hopes into it being a profession.

At any rate, I'm hoping that, by next year, I can finally increase my "artistic fertility" and produce a number of new pieces to showcase. I would like to continue my "Sexy Evas Series" (<-- temp name), which involves refining my abilities with both sculpture and textiles (since I think actually producing some of the garments is more effective than trying to emulate them with clay). At the same time, I think I'll continue the even LESS accessible "Beyond Eden's Shores" pieces -- which, to my amazement, Aaron actually appreciates! I suppose I should at least show some signs of catering to more "normal" tastes, though, and produce some less eccentric (non-Eva!) pieces, too... If I can build myself back up enough in a year, maybe I'll even have enough for my own Artist's Alley table.

Hard part is making that "maybe" a "definitely".

Anyway, sorry to be so long-winded. I'm feeling uncharacteristically optimistic at the moment about the various possibilities unfolding before me (re: NGE, art, and the other facets of my life) -- if only I can pull through and tackle all of this stuff. I imagine it will be considerably easier now that I am not (for the time being, anyway) weighed down by my lifelong partner, depression. Kind of strange, really, considering I've been through a hell of an emotional crisis lately. It helps to highlight the difference between optimal psychological functioning (feeling sad/upset at completely appropriate times) and, well, psychological sickness (feeling sad/upset for absolutely no reason). Gawd, I hope this lasts.

I imagine I won't be around the forums much for the time being. (However, if anything particularly interesting -- or something that elicits the response, "Where is Reichu when we need her?" -- comes up, feel free to point me to it. That includes the AnimeNation Forum, too. :passes out "Reichu" Summon materia: ) I'll be working on Ye Olde Commentarie Projecte as time allows, but, much as it pains me to see months go by between episodes, I have an opportunity here to reclaim my life, so hobbies need to find their proper place -- as hobbies, and not things I default to because I'm too miserable to do anything else.

Take care, all. (Especially you, Biscuit.)
Last edited by Reichu on Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Soluzar » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:17 pm

Reichu wrote:
Soluzar wrote:Considering that my trip to Otakon ended up not happening, it seems as good a time as any to lock this.


Too bad I'm a mod and I can reply anyway. In fact... I think I'll take this thread over. Tee hee!
Did you mean to unlock it?

Even though plenty of people don't appreciate what I do, this was an encouraging experience. I've long wanted to get back into art and become somewhat more prolific than I am now. I want to be able to ENJOY art again, to feel free to do things for the simple pleasure of doing them, instead of doing it on a deadline for grades and credits. My nearly-a-year long bout of depression forced me to take a leave of absence from RIT (where I'd been majoring in illustration, and not having a terribly good time), but maybe that'll be a good thing. I am planning to get my feet wet in another potential "career outlet" during my hiatus from school, and in the meantime, perhaps I'll rediscover art as a personal passion, instead of putting hopes into it being a profession.

College/University is not the only route to a career in art, and I'm glad to hear that you are pursuing your other opportunities. Your talent is too much to waste.

At any rate, I'm hoping that, by next year, I can finally increase my "artistic fertility" and produce a number of new pieces to showcase next year. I would like to continue my "Sexy Evas Series" (<-- temp name), which involves refining my abilities with both sculpture and all that sewing stuff (since I think actually producing some of the garments is more effective than trying to sculpt them).

When will you learn that you are the ONLY one who can see the myriad of flaws you recognise in your art? :)

At the same time, I think I'll continue the even LESS accessible "Beyond Eden's Shores" pieces -- which, to my amazement, Aaron actually appreciates! I suppose I should at least show some signs of catering to more "normal" tastes, though, and produce some less eccentric (non-Eva!) pieces, too... If I can build myself back up enough in a year, maybe I'll even have enough for my own Artist's Alley table.

If your muse inspires you to produce pieces loosely based upon Evangelion, then why deny her?

Anyway, sorry to be so long-winded. I'm feeling uncharacteristically optimistic at the moment about the various possibilities unfolding before me (re: NGE, art, and the other facets of my life) -- if only I can pull through and tackle all of this stuff. I imagine it will be considerably easier now that I am not (for the time being, anyway) weighed down by my lifelong partner (depression).

It is good to hear that you have rediscovered your optimism. I hope that it remains long enough to be your new lifelong partner of an emotion.

Kind of strange, really, considering I've been through a hell of an emotional crisis lately. It helps to highlight the difference between optimal psychological functioning (feeling sad/upset at completely appropriate times) and, well, psychological sickness (feeling sad/upset for absolutely no reason). Gawd, I hope this lasts.

I'm sure it will. Believing that it will, and hoping that it can is half the battle.

I'll be working on Ye Olde Commentarie Projecte as time allows, but, much as it pains me to see months go by between episodes, I have an opportunity here to reclaim my life, so hobbies need to find their proper place -- as hobbies, and not things I default to because I'm too miserable to do anything else.

I did try to put this suggestion to you on one occasion, and I'm glad that you have discovered the truth of it for yourself.

Take care, all. (Especially you, Biscuit.)

I will, have no fear on that score. Take care of yourself, Reichu. It's been cool. Sayonara!
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Postby Hexon.Arq » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:24 am

*takes Reichu's stapler*

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Postby Reichu » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:47 am

Soluzar wrote:Did you mean to unlock it?


Actually, yes, I did... But maybe, paying as little attention to current forum threads as I am, there is a more appropriate place for my musings? :shrug:

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Postby Hexon.Arq » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:55 am

I enjoy your musings very much, though that might have been one of those situations in which you'd want to create your very own thread, even if only to lock the door once you turn on the porchlight. Now look--all those words will sink to the bottom of the ocean in an abandoned farewell.

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Postby Otaprince » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:04 am

why do all the Otakon threads keep getting locked???

Re: the panel, I wouldn't say *disaster*, but yes-- we were not prepared at all. Oops.

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Postby Reichu » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:01 pm

Hexon.Arq wrote:I enjoy your musings very much, though that might have been one of those situations in which you'd want to create your very own thread, even if only to lock the door once you turn on the porchlight. Now look--all those words will sink to the bottom of the ocean in an abandoned farewell.


Sometimes you really confuse the bejezus out of me, Hexon. In your own inimitable way.

Well, I took your suggestion. Here's my thread, for better or for worse.

Time to go engage in mass botanical genocide.

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Postby ObsessiveMathsFreak » Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:25 pm

I'm burning with curiosity. How many attended? What were the demographics of the audience like? What questions did they ask exactly? Deep philosophical enigmas, or garden fare trivia about Unit-00's soul?
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Postby The Eva Monkey » Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:31 pm

Eva panel = disaster of a higher order

Next year, I'm securing the slot, doing busy work, providing color commentary, and leaving the actual planning to Rachel. Seriously, slap me in the face and put me in my place. I deserve it. I suck at teh panel planning.

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Postby Soluzar » Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:35 pm

The Eva Monkey wrote:Eva panel = disaster of a higher order

Next year, I'm securing the slot, doing busy work, providing color commentary, and leaving the actual planning to Rachel. Seriously, slap me in the face and put me in my place. I deserve it. I suck at teh panel planning.


Ohhh shush. You did alright before.
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Postby Hexon.Arq » Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:13 pm

Even Burton did Planet of the Apes.

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Postby Reichu » Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:29 pm

ObsessiveMathsFreak wrote:I'm burning with curiosity. How many attended? What were the demographics of the audience like? What questions did they ask exactly? Deep philosophical enigmas, or garden fare trivia about Unit-00's soul?


Damn, your questions make this panel out to be ten times more interesting than it actually was.

For the record, the moment the panel lapsed into Q'n'A, we immediately forbade any questions about Zero's soul.

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Postby Defectron » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:13 am

I also bumped into one of the staff moderating the art show, and he appreciated both of my pieces greatly (despite being the sort of guy who digs the very things the piece is mocking!). His name was... Dan, I think


Whoah this guy has the same name as me and I was a guy on staff at anime central at the eva panel. Damn, I hope he didnt look like me too, thatd be weird.

so I slapped a $15,000 minimum price on both pieces


If someone actually tried to buy them for that price what would you do?

Even Burton did Planet of the Apes.


According to my freind, the ending they put in that movie wasn't Burtons original ending, it was something the producers had them change at the last minute without burtons knowledge. Supposedly when he saw the new ending in theaters he threw a fit and stormed out. Anyway this is all according to my freind, so this might not be accurate and may just be a rumor.

But I always thought that it would have been very fun if when Burton stormed out of the theater a bunch of people dressed in ape costumes were waiting for him outside and burst into song and would begin to sing "You finnally made a monkey out of me!" from that one episode of the simpsons.
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Postby Reichu » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:20 am

Defectron wrote:If someone actually tried to buy them for that price what would you do?


I'd be able to buy a helluva lotta Super Sculpey.

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Postby Digitalex » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:33 pm

Sorry EM. It didn't help that things were put out of order because of unforeseen delays. I guess it didn't bother me because I had as much fun hanging out with you, Reichu, Dan, and the others.

I have to admit it was interesting seeing how many people were VERY attentive to whatever tidbit of info they could get.

OMF, the place was fairly packed. I don't know the total capacity but there were people sitting along the walls.

On a side note, I would love to get involved with helping with any future Eva panels (as a silent, behind the scenes contributor). I've helped put together discussion and training panels at work so I am very familiar with the technical side of things. Reichu, if you ever do want to perform a "test panel" at one of the smaller conventions in our neck of the woods let me know if I can help out.

Some ideas popped into my mind as I observed the crowd during the panel. I wish I had more in depth knowledge about Eva (or at least confidence in my beliefs) because I think the Eva panel could potentially be one of the better ones to attend, especially after seeing the crowd.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:34 pm

I'm so glad you had a good time at the con, and are starting to rediscover the joys of doing something for fun rather than reward.
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Postby The Eva Monkey » Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:45 pm

Highs
Hanging out with people I don't ordinarily get to
Meeting people in person
Discussing various stuff, Eva AMVs, Art, Etc
Dark Water (until people started heckling)
NIGHTMARE!
Hearing Seiji Mizushima refer to Anno as "sensei"
Eva Lunch
Seeing Eva ReDeath ReDux again

Lows
The poorly prepared Eva Panel
Most of the convention itself
Being broke and being forced to be overly frugal
Cell Phones that are useless in noisy places
Getting no sleep
Heat

In the end, I really didn't have that much fun that was actually related to the convention itself. I was rather dissapointed with the weekend as a whole, especially with the poorly prepared Evangelion panel. I had a good time, but mostly because I had good company.

Next year, I'm planning a lot of things for myself to do. Including a room party that everyone's invited to.

I may post a more detailed rant later... if I feel like it.

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Postby Digitalex » Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:42 pm

Bummer. Too bad you didn't have more fun. The good part is that there is always next year! That room party sounds like fun. I need to book earlier though. I'm glad I scored a hotel at all considering it was last minute but 6 blocks uphill is a little too far to be carring bags of stuff purchased at the Con.

I will definitely book well ahead next year. Maybe a few of the Eva people can book adjacent rooms so we can span the party across the rooms. :lol:
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Postby The Eva Monkey » Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:58 pm

Digitalex wrote:Maybe a few of the Eva people can book adjacent rooms so we can span the party across the rooms. :lol:

That's actually a really good idea. Some hotels have doorways between rooms. The Hyatt for one does... and if that's the case, you could make one big room party. Perhaps.... *scratches stuble*

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Postby Digitalex » Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:06 am

The Eva Monkey wrote:
Digitalex wrote:Maybe a few of the Eva people can book adjacent rooms so we can span the party across the rooms. :lol:

That's actually a really good idea. Some hotels have doorways between rooms. The Hyatt for one does... and if that's the case, you could make one big room party. Perhaps.... *scratches stuble*


Hehe. I'll bring my PS2 and games. I'll even stock up on liquor and maybe bring my friend's front projector and we can fire some AMVs/videos on the wall to watch.

Asuka and Rei cosplayers get free admission. :wink:
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