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It's almost AWA time and I have everything pretty much squared away. The SHFS changes are being handled before the con - people making changes or switching tables are in touch with me in plenty of time for me to write everything down and have it taken care of in advance. The files for video presentations are in the hands of the tech department and perhaps I won't have to do anything but show up and hit "play" and "pause". Most of what I needed to print out has been printed, the stuff I'm selling in the SHFS is in a pile, I think all I gotta do now is pack.

I don't know if my phone is going to work or not - we went to a beach near Niagara Falls on Saturday and I think I got close enough to the border that Verizon decided it was time to update the software, and it's been trying to get that done ever since, so I don't know if that means the time I put on it in July is still active, or what. I guess I'll find out on Wednesday. Anyway, if you need me, you already know where I'm going to be at specific times on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, or you can phone my room at the Waverly or you can find someone who knows me who has a working phone. It's not difficult.

Some years are busier than others and it seems like this year is a little less hectic than last year, which is good. I been doing this for a while, my energy level isn't what it used to be for these things, I no longer have that three day adrenaline rush. It's more of a marathon than a sprint, I gotta pace myself. Anyway, it'll be over before I know it, won't it?
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Just like it's been doing for the past 22 years, AWA is approaching, Atlanta's premier Japanese animation event.

I see people using the term "Atlanta's premier (WHATEVER) event" a lot, and I just want to point out that I was the first person to use that in the context of a fan event. I labeled AWA "the Southeast's premier Japanese animation festival" when other anime conventions started popping up in our territory. When AWA started in 1995 there was nothing within 700 miles of Atlanta that could reasonably be called an anime con. Katsucon started the same year as AWA, but the DC area is more of a "mid-atlantic" than a "southeast". Animazement in Raleigh started in 1998. Now there are anime cons in every middling-sized city everywhere.

Anyways, I see conventions use "premier" as a modifier, and half the time it's used by people that don't know the difference between "premiere" and "premier," and the other half of the time it's used by people who don't know what it means anyway, but are just copying AWA. Which remains the Southeast's number one anime fan event, as far as I'm concerned.

So what am I up to this year at AWA?





The SuperhappyFunSell is AWA's yard sale garage sale used merch event and it's a lot of fun and I floor-manage it.




Anime Hell is the freeform clip show event that I evented and invented. This will be the 20th year of doing Anime Hell at AWA!!




Saturday at 2:30 I'll be talking about the Japanese anime films that made their way into American theaters in the years before Akira finally put anime on the art-house cinema map.




Saturday night the grownups get their own space to socialize and have a few drinks! I'm sort of hosting this, which means I make sure the room opens on time and then I wander around introducing strangers to each other.




Sunday Neil Nadelman and I are talking about what may be the worst Japanese cartoon ever made, a little thing called "Chargeman Ken". And then for me AWA is over and I can relax for a few weeks and then it all starts all over again. Wheeee!

If you want to track me down, your best bet is to find me at one of these events. I don't know if my cell phone is going to work at all - Verizon changed their plans and now they no longer offer pay-as-you-go, so I can't just let it sit idle and only put money on it when I need it, and from here I can't even call into their network to see if I have any time left or put more money into it. There really isn't a good option for me and phones in America that doesn't involve me unlocking this phone and buying a burner sim card every time I cross the border, and I'd do that if I had any free time in Atlanta before AWA, which I do not. Probably get it done at Xmastime.
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Yesterday we went hiking along a spur of the Bruce Trail in Ontario that takes you alongside the Credit River to the ruins of the Barber Dynamo, the first electrical generation plant in North America.








It's an up-and-down hike on a trail that doesn't see a lot of use, but is maintained, after a fashion - there are bridges across the deeper gullies. The ruins aren't fenced off or anything, unlike the ruins of the paper mill this plant was used to power back in 1900. There's a lot of murky water in the bottom of what used to be the penstock. Be careful!
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Anime Hell is back for another two hours of goofy short stuff for goofs!! The first Hell at AWA was in 1997 at our third show - the first year I was way too busy to think about doing a Hell, the second year I put together a pre-made VHS of clips, titled it "Trailer Park", and put it in the anime room, where it filled the room, and the third year I said sure, fine, and used my Con Chair Powers to schedule it in the main events room on Friday night, where it became the big Friday night signature event and stayed that way ever since.

Once I started doing it at AWA I quit doing it at Dragoncon; in Atlanta it's an exclusive event at AWA. Other local shows have tried to do their own goofy clip shows, and I haven't seen any of them, but I'm told they aren't nearly as good as my Anime Hell.

There was a period in the mid 2000s when people were convinced that doing their own version of my Anime Hell would be their ticket to Fame And Fortune And Anime Con Guesthood Status; I'd get plaintive emails from people who wanted me to send them a big pile of hilarious clips and the full Anime Hell Franchise Package so they could become Big Stars and eventually do Anime Hell at Otakon or some dang where. One guy doing his own Hilarious Clip Show at Dragoncon wanted me to give him the post-Hell time slot at AWA so that he could leech off *my* success and bore the shit out of *my* crowds with his boredom. He emailed me and I said no, and he emailed my brother and my brother said no, and then he emailed me again and I said no again, and then he quit asking because we're all jerks. Too bad, pal.

The three or four years of every loser with a laptop doing their own Hilarious Internets Videoes panel at Doofuscons and Local Comic Expos burned the audiences, and those panels have largely vanished from the con schedules of the world. I'm still here doing my thing, filling the main events room.
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busy week. Saturday was my birthday! Shain baked me a cake and bought me Alison Bechdel's new book and we rode bikes up to Tilt and played video games and drank beer. From our place to the Annex is some good solid in-town bike riding. Took a bunch of LPs and sold them on Saturday, took some books to the BMV on Sunday and sold THOSE, that generated enough cash for that weekend's spending. If I did this every weekend, look out! Not that that's likely to happen. Sunday we went out to Rouge River and did some walking, marvelling at the giant trees that have fallen into the ravine, and me staring at the crayfish clambering over the rocks in the river. Video games, crayfish; I'm 12.

Yesterday was Shain's birthday and I got her AnimEigo's Blu-Ray of 1982 GRAFFITI OF OTAKU GENERATION and we went to the Ex and got fried carnival food and looked at the butter sculptures. Now I'm really tired because all that sugar late at night means it's tough to get to sleep.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend, and for me that means getting Anime Hell together for the upcoming AWA. Not going to Fan Expo, not going to Dragoncon, not going to any nerd thing at all, it's gonna be editing video and riding my bike and generally doing what I wanna do.

I think the last big "summer movie" we saw was the Wonder Woman at the drive-in. Didn't see the Spider-man, didn't see Valerian bomb, didn't see Dunkirk, we spent most of our disposable income on the vacation and bike repairs and, you know, adult grown up shit. I hate to see summer end, but at the same time I will love to see summer end and the giant massive crowds and traffic go away for a little while; the Ex means roads are closed and traffic is snarled in our neighborhood above and beyond the typical summer construction season closures, and the commute is starting to get tedious. Once the kids are back in school it should quiet down a little.
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Is it ethical to allow girls to think you're a handsome TV star so that they'll date you? Let Stupid Comics be your guide!




http://misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics543.html
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so if you went to AWA in the early years you might remember Alisa-chan. I think she was a Sailor Moon at AWA 2 or 3. She and her boyfriend Derek - you know, foam-hair Dragonball cosplayer Derek, angry holler-at-security-guard-late-Sunday-night Derek, internet-meme Derek - they did a lot of cosplay at a lot of cons and segued away from anime cosplay to super hero cosplay.

Anyway if you've been wondering what Alisa was up to, well, she and Derek are splitsville and she married another guy and that guy is a white supremacist and she and her Hitler-hubby were at the Charlottesville rally two weekends back, marching and hollering "Jews Will Not Replace Us."

Trust me honey, the Jews don't want what you got.

So because this is 2017 everything everybody does is all over social media and social media users were like, holy crap, that's Alisa. And Alisa, or Alyssa, or whatever, she was like, oh yeah, we were at the rally, on the side of the Nazi flags. On the side of the guy that murdered a woman. So there was some blowback on her FB pages, which have been deleted, and the webmaster of Alisa's sexy cosplay photo page took the whole thing down, and a few nerd news sites have covered the story.

http://www.nerdandtie.com/2017/08/18/cosplayer-alisa-norris-aka-alisakiss-participated-in-charlottesville-white-supremacist-rally/

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/08/18/supergirl-cosplayer-went-charlottesville-guess-whose-side/

Obviously there's been a lot of discussion among the Class Of 1998 anime nerds. How culpable is Alisa? Is she being manipulated by her husband and her husband's repulsive, hate-damaged pals? Is Alisa a grown adult capable of making her own stupid decisions? Or has she always been kind of, well, easily led? How many more white supremacists are walking among us, heads filled with poison? Something to keep in mind as we swing into fall convention season.

Alisa was kind of the first superstar anime cosplayer, kind of the template for the future photo queens and a target for the dudes with huge lenses who camp out all weekend long to capture their elusive beauty. I've seen her at a few recent AWAs but always outside posing for photos, never inside enjoying the con. If she wants to be a white supremacist she can continue to stay outside the con and be a white supremacist somewhere else.
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http://misterkitty.org/extras/podcast/index.html


Back when we started Mister Kitty we had a feature called "Found Sound" where we'd post a few music tracks every week, usually from some goofy record of cartoon music or celebrity novelty songs or promotional singles or kids records, something like that. After a while, the weekly grind of selecting songs, digitizing the songs, finding artwork to go with the songs, writing a paragraph about the songs, and posting the songs all got to be wearying, and we quit doing it.

I had no real idea how popular the feature was, but we got a significant number of emails and queries about the feature and if it was coming back, which was kind of a surprise to me. There are so many places on the internet full of wacky music, and so many people way more knowledgeable about music, that I figured people would just get their fix somewhere else. Seems that's not the case, or that our delivery of said wacky music is in some way pleasing or useful. Which is nice to know.


Even though we quit doing Found Sound, we still had a bunch of crazy music that we wanted to share, so when Shain started the Kickstarter for Element Of Surprise, we bought a mic and started doing a podcast. The main reason for the podcast was Kickstarter promotion, but it also gave us a chance to post a lot of the same sort of goofball music, interview our pals, and generally pretend like we were on the radio, like when we were 8 and got a tape recorder for the first time.

This week we posted the fourth installment of Mister Kitty's podcast LO-FI LANDFILL. I got to do a lot of fun audio mixing with this one, it's a fake telethon. I found a lot of live performances and mixed it with us pretending to be hosting a telethon, and I put in applause and phones and background noises. Give it a listen, won't you?





http://misterkitty.org/extras/podcast/index.html
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...with Dr. Steve Brule? No, check THIS out, it's a comic book about CHECKS! Art by John "Cracked Magazine" Severin and text by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY!





Back when my brother and I were in middle school, our mom worked in the Community Schools office there, and she'd drive us home, so we had to hang out for an hour or so after school ended while her work finished up. Anyway in the school office there was a box, and in that box were some comic books, and I asked what the deal was, and I was told they were free educational comics and I could have 'em. So I took them all home. Most of them were Popeye Careers comics, but this one was the prize in the package, as far as I'm concerned. I love that great Severin art, half-realistic, half-cartoony, and while I don't know what a comic from 1971 is doing in a box of Popeye comics in 1983, I'm happy to have it and to share.

http://misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics541.html
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For somebody who grew up in the Atari 2600 era and who genuinely loved spending the Saturday afternoon at the arcade pumping quarters into arcade games like everybody else my age did, I am not that much of a video game person now.

I had a 2600 and an Intellivision and a Coleco and a 5200 that didn't work and some other systems back in the 90s/00s when they were dirt cheap at thrift stores, but they have all since been sold (OK, I still have the 2600). I have the Nintendo that my brother bought sometime in the late 1980s; it still works and I use it to play import Japanese games for novelty value. I never really enjoyed game play on the NES. Never a big fan of the platformer games. This puts me at odds with the pop-cultural values of pretty much everybody ten years younger than me, lacking that deep love for Zelda or Mario or Megaman.

Anyways, I borrowed a PSX from Parker back in 2001 (?) and it was stolen, but I enjoyed playing those Medal Of Honor games on it. When we moved up here I bought a PS2 and I played a lot of MOH games and that Wolfenstein game, and I pretty much played those 2003-2008 games over and over and over, particularly when I was working third shift, I'd get home at 7am and play until 9am, then sleep until 6pm or so.

We have a Wii now, have had it for years. And I'm here to say that I have probably used it the most of any system I ever owned, and mostly because of the Wii Fit. Three days a week I have a 20 minute routine I go through that I've been doing for a couple thousand days now, that keeps track of my weight and gives me a baseline of where I'm at.

Back in October of 2011 I got the official speech from medical professionals that I needed to start actin' right; I was 85 kilos (that's 185 pounds). Shain and I started eating less at every meal during the week - we still eat "fun" meals & treats on the weekends, but during the week, portions are controlled - and I started eating less sugar and dialing back the carbs and I quit keeping alcohol in the house.

Anyway, having the Wii Fit was a big help in the "new healthy lifestyle"; "gamifying" the whole boring business of weighing myself, stretching, exercising. Some push-ups, some squats, a little running in place, nothing too crazy, a sustainable program that doesn't take too much time and can really show me what that second helping of Chinese food does to my weight.

My all time low was May of 2015 when I got down to 74.5 kilos - that's about 164 lbs. Right now I'm at 76 kilos (167lbs). I'd like to get back down to 74kg. After Thanksgiving I think I was up to 79kg, but I've been working my way back down. I have a pair of 34 waist Levis that I want to fit into and still be able to breathe, that's my goal.

I know they came out with a new Wii that isn't around any more. They came out with a classic NES thing that vanished. There's been a PS3 and a PS4 and a whole bunch of X-boxes that I've ignored. Most video games these days are either multiplayer things full of teens screaming obscenities at each other, or long, involved role-playing things that take five hundred hours to get through, and I want neither of those things. I still have the PS2 and I might just play some more games on it this weekend, if I'm not out riding my bike. But three times a week I'll be firing up the Wii and putting my little icon through his paces, that's where I'm at in the video game world.
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Mushi Production was Osamu Tezuka's animation studio and they produced a ton of works before - and after - going bankrupt! Check out this 1984 VHS of their 'Best Series' as described at Let's Anime!





http://letsanime.blogspot.ca/2017/08/mushi-production-best-series.html
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Well, that was a lot of driving. Out of Ontario in driving rain, through upstate NY into sunshine, stopped at the Salamanca NY antique mall. Salamanca is a off-the-beaten track sort of place with an Indian casino and an antique mall in what seems like used to be a Boscov's or some kind of old school retailer.

Now it's full of junk. We didn't buy much. One vendor was selling a Klan hood and robe, one vendor was selling new flags - two Nazi flags, one rebel flag, one "don't tread on me", zero US flags. One vendor was selling old movie posters and had one from the '40s starring a Carmen Miranda-type singer, on which the vendor had placed a note that read "ATTENTION LATINOS" for some reason. One vendor had a whole display of how copper is the new silver and how commemorative copper coins were the up and coming investment grade coin, and he had a bunch of coins he'd struck with themes like "The Second Amendment" and "The Spartans" and "The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse". The staff was dazed and slow, the Clark Bar vinyl figure we thought was $25 turned out to be $250, and generally the vibe was weird, like everybody in town had suffered a concussion.

We made tracks back to I-77 and headed south to West Virgina where we spent the night in a Quality Inn in Summersville. Friday AM we had breakfast in the next door Shoneys and it took so long to get us our coffee that we almost got up and left, that's how long it took. We detoured in Virginia just above the NC state line, bought some peaches at Mountain Man's, visited Mt. Airy NC (the model for Mayberry) and were in Smyrna around 11pm. It was hot, let me just say.

The next morning we loaded our stuff into Dad's CRV and hit the road again, off out I-20 towards South Carolina. Traffic stunk all the way to Augusta but cleared up afterwards. We were in Myrtle Beach in time for an afternoon swim.

The rest of the week was beach time, family time, a little shopping, some mini-golf, seafood, ice cream at Burky's, visiting the Gay Dolphin and playing some skee-ball in the Ocean Blvd. arcades. The wind calmed down later in the week and by Thursday it was like a bathtub out there, reasonably calm. Shain and I moved up to SPF 50 and as a result didn't get painful sunburns. We drove back to Smyrna on Friday, Saturday we did a little nature walking around the river and met up at Jessica and Mike's place with CB and Elizabeth and Parker to marvel at the new kitchen and visit for awhile. Then the next morning it was back out on the road. We got all the way to Dayton OH before we stopped for Skyline Chili and the night. Monday we jogged east towards Springfield, hit two large antique malls, did some cross country travel back to 75, lunch/early dinner at Big Boy, hit the border at Windsor around 6:30 and we were home by 11:30, including a stop in Cambridge for gas and groceries.

Now the cat is begging for attention, and we're back at work, back on our regular schedule. Stupid Comics once a week, Let's Anime once a month (I have one of those almost done), AWA in less than 2 months (!!), still working on my comic story in between times, and in December we'll probably make this big drive all over again. Whew.

Pix to come; I haven't uploaded them anywhere yet, except for the ones on my Twitter feed.
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So yeah Neil came to down and we did the all-night Ed Woodstockathon at the Carlton. Shain came along which was nice. The Carlton STILL had AC issues, in that there was none. That's a deal killer for me; I had fun and enjoyed the films but dammit, I was uncomfortable, and I shouldn't be uncomfortable when trying to watch bad movies. I won't be back unless they can guarantee my air conditioned comfort, dammit.

Crowd wasn't as heavy as it was for the Godzilla movies, but there were more women. The weird part is how well the films work as films on the big screen in a theater setting. They actually do. Even Bride Of The Monster holds up tolerably well. We left at 4:30 after Glen Or Glenda - Night Of The Ghouls is probably his most competently filmed movie, but it's also not as wacky.

Earlier in the day we did some shopping and went out into the sticks and walked through York Regional Forest and got some fresh air, and we met Donald & David at Fran's before the film. Sunday we got up tolerably early (before noon) and went back out into the hinterlands for more junking and chili dogs at the Oasis in Caledonia. We went through some pretty heavy rain on the way out and some lightning on the way back, which was interrupted by Hwy 6 getting closed and us taking a weird detour that swung us all the way down to Stoney Creek. Neil's probably pretty sick of Southern Ontario by now.

This week it's been getting ready for the beach trip, nailing down routes and collecting music and thinking about doing some surf fishing. We've been doing some long drives but I'm still looking forward to the drive down. I need a vacation, that's for sure.
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So a little while ago on Twitter a Twitter pal in Buffalo mentioned a Niagara Falls convention called "Fan World" and how they were being really vague about whether or not their big Japanese guest was going to show up. They're a "con in a box" type show: a guest list with five musical acts, four voice actors, and five "professional cosplayers" and not much else. They don't have any roots in local fandom and their website was designed by the same guy who designed the website for the Midwest Media Expo, which was a Detroit "fan con" that was cancelled days before it was supposed to take place.

http://www.nerdandtie.com/2017/04/26/midwest-media-expo-2017-cancelled-days-before-event/

In fact, both the Midwest Media Expo and Fan World Niagara had the same guest, used the same guest bio and the same photo of the guest - Akira Yamaoka - the same guest that Fan World Niagara was now being so vague about.

Turns out that Fan World Niagara just announced that Yamaoka cancelled. Which isn't a surprise, when shows say anything about a guest that may in any way indicate that guest might not show, you can count on that guest not showing.

The con also had an ambitious cross-border event plan, with most events happening on the US side and a few on the Canadian side; the Canadian side events have all been cancelled.

It looks to me like this is Midwest Media Expo all over again - a new show rides a little wave of interest and publicity, but is unable to maintain momentum and withers away after a few years. Who knows if Fan World will make it past two?

I've done a lot of "how to start conventions" panels in the past, and we always holler START SMALL at the top of our lungs, but people don't want to listen. I don't do those panels any more, because people don't listen. They have to find out for themselves that conventions have to grow organically, from the community, that you have to build relationships with staff and facilities and fans (your customers) over time, and that the good will you start with by running a fan event will vanish overnight if you abuse it.
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Got up Saturday morning to find that image hosting site Photobucket had decided that they were no longer going to allow third-party linking to photos posted on Photobucket. This means that all the images I had put up at the Let's Anime blog that were hosted at Photobucket were no longer there - and THAT meant that I was going to spend the next four days editing pretty much the first five years of Let's Anime posts, taking out the links to Photobucket images, and replacing those images with images hosted through Blogger. So that's what I've been up to. I still have a banner ad that needs fixing, but most everything else is where it needs to be, I think.

As God as my witness, I do NOT know what else you'd use Photobucket for, if not to post images for use on sites that don't have their own image hosting available. I will be wiping my Photobucket account clean and deleting it forthwith and will never use the service again.

Also Saturday: got the oil changed in the car and the fan belt replaced so that it doesn't squeak so loudly that it frightens children and small animals. Got a haircut. Did some walking. Sunday and Monday and Tuesday was more Let's Anime maintenance (and work). Fixing broken links, updating the more obviously out-dated news items, finding better images, that kinda thing.

Neil is coming to town this weekend for the all-night movie marathon and hopefully the Carlton's AC is better suited for the task than it was last year. I made it until about 4:30am last year before the swampy claustrophobia set in and I simply had to leave. This year's marathon is a bunch of Ed Wood movies, which at least are a little snappier than "War Of The Gargantuas", which is the one that broke me last time. Still, I don't make any promises that I'll be there all night long.

Next weekend we head South for a beach vacation. Looking forward to some time off. Then it's back home and time to get ready for AWA!
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disturbing horrors lurk beneath the placid surface of Duckburg in this week's Stupid Comics

http://misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics538.html


PR emails

Jul. 5th, 2017 04:11 pm
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As a noted anime blogger (?) I occasionally get emails from PR firms that have been hired by various fan-related events or products, trying to get me to interview somebody to promote their thing. Usually these just go straight into the trash, but every once in awhile I get one that piques my interest, like this latest series of emails (name of convention has been redacted).

The subject line is "Disney World for nerds of all ages", which is a big WTF. There already is a Disney World for nerds of all ages, it's called "Disney World".

The basic gist of the first email was "Gamers, cosplayers and anime nerds don’t need to cross the ocean to access authentic Japanese anime, video gaming and manga because CONVENTION is bringing Tokyo to CITY." In other words, it's just one more anime con. This one is special, kind of, because their guest list is heavier than usual with American entertainers... nerd musicians, YouTube "celebrities", and 80s-era standup acts that have theaters in Branson. There are also actual Japanese animation industry guests, but the convention's website does not promote these actual anime guests over the nerd-rapper guests and the cosplayer guests and the video blogger guests. I mean, there are fourteen (14!) different musical acts performing at this "anime convention."

A second email sent a few days later tries a different tack: "A three-day, $60 pass will open 100+ doors for your readers with a convention that is finally all-inclusive. At CONVENTION, they don’t need to pay extra for autographs, events or exhibitions. For a potential blog post, I can connect you with a member of the CONVENTION team to discuss the event, the growth of the cosplay culture and how this shift in conventions from ala-carte to all-inclusive is improving the fan experience."

In other words, this convention is trying to claim "not charging extra for events" is some sort of exciting new policy. Sorry guys, we've been doing it like this all along. Not charging extra for autographs is nice, but all that means is that the convention negotiated a rate with the talent beforehand. The talent is getting paid regardless.

A third email, sent a week later, is a lot shorter and to the point: "This weekend is THE weekend... for CONVENTION! Would you be willing and able to share the news with your anime fans who happen to live in the Midwest and may want to check out the all-inclusive convention this weekend?"

Yes. PR emails are going out the week before and THE WEEK OF their convention. Who exactly are they targeting here? Are there fans who make their anime convention plans a week in advance? Who just says, "hey, I read about this anime con that's happening next weekend, let's take time off work and make travel and hotel plans for this thing?" I don't know anyone that casual. Maybe they're out there. Most anime fans I know have their convention plans nailed down months before the show.

My conclusion is that CONVENTION might want to go with a different PR team next year, one that starts sending out PR emails earlier and that has a better grasp on anime convention culture, and that might actually look at the blogs they're sending this spam to, because my blog is about thirty year old cartoons, not cosplayers or YouTube stars or Yakov Smirnoff.
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enjoy a comic filled with repeated images of a blank-faced robot staring at you with his black, dead eyes. Maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word, Anyway it’s all happening at Stupid Comics!

http://misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics537.html
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we were at a fan event in a restaurant last Sunday and it was kinda crowded. Shain and I were at a table that had two other spots, and someone from our group was urged to sit down at our table by both the waiter and Shain and I. He didn't want to sit there, though, he wanted to sit against the wall at another table on account of his backpack, which was filled to bursting with... something.

Now, I can remember fans bringing backpacks to anime club meetings in the 1990s, and they'd be gigantic overstuffed backpacks full of giant 1990s era video game systems and cartridges and VHS tapes and issues of Animerica and CDS and manga and whatever he (it was always a he) was bringing to the club meeting to share. A lot of the fans were college students used to filling their backpacks with whatever they were likely to need for the next twelve hours, if I had to venture a guess. I suppose it gets to be a habit, I'm leaving the house, gotta take the backpack. I still see a lot of people at AN staff meetings with the backpacks. Me, I show up at the AN meeting with a pocket notebook and a pen and my phone, and that means I'm good to go.

This event Sunday was not a club meeting. It wasn't any sort of fan organization business meeting at all, strictly a social eat-food-and-socialize kinda thing, and days later I am still haunted by the question... What on Earth was in that backpack? I mean in this day and age you can fit the entirety of 1990s video game history, anime, and manga in the palm of your hand, so it's not that. What was it? A change of clothes? A year's worth of library books? Nice ripe grapefruit? What was so vital to life and comfort that it needed to be hauled into a crowded restaurant and sequestered in its own chair against the wall where it was safely out of everyone's way?

I still see this a lot, particularly at conventions, comic shows, and the like; worlds apparently bereft of hipster messenger bags, worlds where ever carrying implement has to jut out a full twelve inches into space, becoming a giant blunt object smashing into whatever is unlucky enough to be behind Nerdlinger Backpack Man. Because that's what backpacks do, they sit on backs and they get in everybody else's way, especially in crowds.

I am kicking myself because I didn't ask the guy what was in his backpack. "Man, seriously, I gotta ask, that backpack is jam full of stuff, what the hell is in there?" Maybe I'm being too nosy. But you don't manhandle that thing into a crowded room full of diners, not without a good reason.
davemerrill: (Default)
There's a new Let's Anime all about the gigantic life story of a gigantic talent, The Osamu Tezuka Story!




It's happening now at Let's Anime! http://letsanime.blogspot.ca/2017/06/the-osamu-tezuka-story.html
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