Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Cosplay & ALA 7

For a bit today I put on Junpei to cosplay as I ran errands, but didn't go out tonight; instead, I was getting my haircut. But I did try on Junpei in the configuration that I plan to wear at ALA 7 two months from now. I'm skipping the holster for the Evoker, which I plan to get before the end of the year. What I plan to use instead is one of the black belt holsters that I used for my FMA "Special Ops" cosplay, then work on getting the holster for FanimeCon 2011.

Tomorrow (or today in some parts of the country) is November, which means two more months to the end of the year. Has been that long since we started this 2010 Con Season?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Another Year, Another No-Show to Yaoi-Con

So myself and Zanney are not headed up to Yaoi-Con which starts tomorrow and runs through Halloween. At first Zanney was going to go but backed out due to finances. Finances also play a reason into why I'm not going, but I made up my mind about a month ago.

I really want to go to this con not for the yaoi, but to see how well this con is run. There are also the legendary myths surrounding Yaoi-Con, and maybe maybe maybe I just want to see if those myths can be achieved.

It feels like Yaoi-Con has become the new Anime Expo, and maybe since I went to Anime Expo finally Yaoi-Con is on the horizon.

But for now, we'll have to wait another year to cover Yaoi-Con.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hetalia Day 2010 - Los Angeles Division

Avi and I were actually the co-hosts of this event, so I'm not 100% sure I can give everyone an unbiased report of the day, since we were kind of the people running the thing... But here's a quick run-down of what I did, condensed to as short and sweet as I can make it.

Also, the rest of the weekend leading up to Sunday was trampled by drama llamas, so I shall leave the beaten corpse out of the report out of respect.

An Overview of Hetalia Day in L.A. 2010:

I think I began the day feeling jittery and excited. There was some tension due to a couple issues the night before, but I felt like we were gonna have a great event. I'm not afraid to say that while we did have some internal snags with a few staff members, I am still very pleased with how things turned out at the end. I only lost my cool once, and that was at the very very end when I had been instigated by someone. I think that's a personal achievement for me, seeing as how I've previously been notorious for flipping out at these things when I'm faced with as much stress as I had been burdened with all day.

There were some speed-bumps, but I think we got over 'em just fine. Opening ceremonies went smooth as silk and my buddy Nathan (who was cosplaying as Wayne Brady to represent Jamaica based on a joke me and Avi made ages ago) helped us explain the Hetalia Day Code of Conduct--which, by the way, was written by Avi and me and is translated into four languages and available for your reading pleasure on the main Hetalia Day website. Nathan was amazing as ever, and his improv had the entire crowd in stitches, especially when he sang us a lovely little tune I like to call, "Please remember to keep our area clean!"

I spent the rest of the morning at the Staff Booth with two members of my staffing division who were the only ones to actively request shifts, but I honestly didn't mind much. They were lovely company and since we had a nice view of everything from the staff booth I wound up kicking them out so that they could go play games after our Historical Trivia event, "Are You Smarter Than America?" in which I portrayed Alfred F. Jones as a participant in a game show where contestants were asked to put their faith in the fact that I was smarter than a 5th grader.

The host of the game show was Lucas, another member of CaliConBlog who cosplayed as Austria for the day. I hear he plays an awesome rendition of Edelweiss on the acoustic guitar, by the way. He was a HUGE hit, especially when Avi stood around to listen--it was ten times as d'awesome 'cause she was cosplaying as Oktoberfest Fem!Prussia.

Around lunchtime, I noticed the weather turning a bit foul and there had been rain all week before the event, so I wound up pushing a lot of activities around and re-arranging the schedule, just in case we got rained out. My wrist started to hurt pretty bad by the time HetaMUN (a model United Nations crisis event organized by Jet and applied to Hetalia) started up, so I asked Lucas to keep an eye on the time for me. We wound up having to stop HetaMUN early, because we were almost out of time for the main event--the Miss Hetalia Day Pageant!

We were a bit ahead of schedule, and I didn't fill the contestant slots up to the number we had planned for, so I grabbed a waiting list I was keeping of my own staffers interested in participating and called out some names. The contest was pretty awesome, and the winners pictures are gonna be added to the blog photo gallery once I get them from one of the many photographers I spoke to. We had seven pageant awards, and one staff award.

It began to rain shortly after awards, which was a bummer, so Lucas and I directed everyone to an open area on the grass while the rain was still light and we all scrambled over there to take a group photo, and then we all made a bum-rush back to clean up our spot and get out of the park cause the Lifeguards were going around in their trucks telling us that they'd be closing the park in 15 minutes.

Everyone, not just staffers, helped out with clean-up. And when I say everyone, I mean even Dad, who carried several tables and chairs we borrowed from one of the photographers to his car. I stood with two large piles of equipment while their owners brought their own cars around to load everything up and head home, and due to the rain and the shuffle and some extra drama at the end of the day, Avi and I opted to cancel the staff dinner. We'll probably try to reschedule it next month if there's time.

I was pretty stressed out by the end, and I guess I had been progressively spiraling without realizing it all day, but I'm so thankful that I had staffers who would loan me their ears when I wanted to kick someone's butt for being frustrating even though I never truly meant it.

However, even though there is that much stress leading up to the event, the feeling of accomplishment is just sooooo wonderful when you've gotten home and taken off your cosplay and you've had a nice hot bath. You have no idea. The icing on the cake was probably checking my email later in the evening after eating some soup for my shredded vocal chords and discovering that I had won a drawing for tickets to see the Boom Boom Satellites. I believe Matt had mentioned the contest to me earlier in the month and so I sent one email with my name and my favorite song by the band and forgot all about it.

I think that my crowning moment of TRIUMPH at Hetalia Day, though, was when my Dad showed up to see it just before the big cosplay contest at 3:30PM.

My family's very against my interest in cosplay since they're all a bunch of old-fashioned, uptight Austrians who think I should be attending a fancy college right now if I'm not planning to get married. This weekend was my Parents Day at the college my younger brother just got into (NYU, in New York City) and so Mom and Dad had planned to fly out to see him. I had asked Dad to come to my event on Sunday if he had time, but retracted the request when I learned from Mom that they had plans to see my brother instead.

So when Dad came up to me and pulled me into a bear-hug in the middle of the crowd, I think I almost cried. He told me he was very proud of me. That's something that's so rare I would probably have to expect the guy from 'Bed Intruder' attending this event and bringing a batch of Double Rainbow cookies with him for the potluck before Dad praising me in front of people.

I later learned that Dad canceled his trip to NY because he felt like he wanted to see what I want to do in life. Event planning is my dream, and since he already knows and understands why my brother wants to do, Dad decided it was a good opportunity to see what I have in store for the future. To have my Dad's praise on top of everything else is so incredible to me that I can't describe how I feel in words.

But at the end of all this, I'm proud of the other volunteers who worked so hard, the attendees who had such a good time, and I'm even proud of myself too for doing my best to stand at the top of this event and oversee it the best I possibly could while lending a hand when I had the ability to do so. We did a great job. We did such a great job.

I posted a big thank-you list on my dA this afternoon, and I did leave a few things out so I'll be adding them later on. But here's a link for those of you who might wanna read a little more:

Last but not least, some of the photos I have already received. (There will be more added to the blog gallery until I can afford to buy a domain name for Hetalia Day in L.A.)

That's me as Black Armband Protest!America with my best friend Tony, the alien! He later won the Team USA MVP Award for HetaMUN by a unanimous vote--for some reason my teammates really loved the little guy~ He got a cool United Nations pin for his scarf.
He likes to collect them.

Two of my staffers got caught sleeping on the job, but it was just too cute, so we forgave them and got blackmail material for later. XD They're cosplaying as France (left) and England (right) which is one of my favorite Hetalia pairings.

Our theme for the day was Halloween, so a lot of attendees and staff dressed up as alternate versions of their favorite character. One of my volunteers is shown here with her epic use of make-up to portray "Explosion Germany" which is based on a Hetalia fan fiction a lot of my friends are reading right now called Seven Little Killers. By the way, that is in fact a cookie with the German flag on it. Another volunteer baked these for everyone. I'm a bit bummed that I didn't get one before they were gone though, but that definitely means they were yummy if they were devoured so fast.

This is the amazing Lady BelBel, the winner of the Miss Hetalia Day Pageant. The costume was crafted and designed by Anec-Dotes of Deviantart. She was awarded "Miss Hetalia Day 2010" for her clever interpretation of a Hetalia character who looks like Lady GaGa by incorporating attributes of Belarus's character design into an existing Lady GaGa outfit. Needless to say, the 'Paparazzi' were after her 'Bad Romance' for most of the day.

Jet, the organizer of HetaMUN, brought us a world map poster that everyone got to sign. We'll be sending this along with some photos to Tokyopop Inc. as a thank you gift for their AMAZING prize donation. They sent us trading cards, pencil boards, posters and five copies of the first volume of the Hetalia manga!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hetalia Day Is Tomorrow!

Well as I sit here in Sacramento, the rest of the CCB crew down in Los Angeles area are setting up for tomorrow's Hetalia Day in Van Nuys which is one of three confirmed Hetalia Day events in Southern California (four if you want to count San Diego). There are three confirmed in Northern California according to the official site (San Francisco, San Jose, and Madera), none of them in Sacramento, so I'll the only one who's not participating in Hetalia Day tomorrow.

So if you're headed out to Hetalia Day tomorrow, head to one over at Lake Balboa for a great day of fun! Don't forget to say hi to the crew while you're there!

Disclaimers About "What's Wrong With Anime"

I've been getting some complaints about posts that feature Jared's "What's Wrong With Anime." My original intention was to promote Jared's series and his channel, Jaded Otaku Media, and most of these people feel that this series contradicts the mission statement and beliefs of the California Conventions Blog.

Therefore, I won't be posting anymore "What's Wrong With Anime."
I do apologize for those who watch it on the blog.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What's Wrong With Anime - Highschool of the Dead

Hey, it's that anime that's like Left 4 Dead with fanservice!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Banner Contest Changes, Again!

For some odd reason, I keep adding in staff members that cosplay from Hetalia. First it was Zanney now Avi. But because I don't think you can fit all five chibi characters plus the logo for the Hetalia Cosplay banner, it'll make it so that you must have myself, Ryan, and Lucas in the banner; Zanney and Avi are optional but recommended if you can fit them.

I'll make these changes on the page as well.

Good luck everyone! Get those submissions in ASAP!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Girl on Film

Hello there~! I've just joined Cali Con Blog as a new *coughamateurcough* photographer! My name is Avianna, though I usually go by Avi. I've been photographing everything from cosplay to BJDs for about 5 years now, though I'm certainly still practicing. One day, I hope to save up for a fancy SLR so I can take my photography to the next level.

As you can probably tell, I'm now the second female on the team. *crashes the sausage-fest party* Woo! I'm looking forward to photographing at PMX, ALA and any gatherings in between for our team here at Cali Con Blog~!

You can see examples of my photography on my dA and Flickr.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different, Meg Whitman Edition!

Usually I don't blog about anime and manga in general, just anime conventions and similar events, but this I couldn't pass up.

Here in California, we have a hot Governors race between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. We all expect a media blitz as November looms especially the use of social media like Facebook and Twitter, but yesterday one of Meg Whitman's spokespeople really messed up when using social media as a campaign tool.

One of her spokespeople put out this tweet yesterday:

[San Diego County] Sheriff [Association] says @ [for governor]! RT: @: [California] Cops get it: Jerry Brown is too soft on crime.

The problem is that it doesn't link to the press release and instead links to this:

Yes, that is a cross-dresser playing a bass cover of Fuwa Fuwa Time from K-ON!. Apparently he's Korean and is Youtube-famous for his covers.

What had happened is that Whitman's spokeperson forgot to put an "r" at the end of the link. With the link, it goes to the press release.

The funny thing about all of this is that the day after the tweet went up, it's still up there unedited.

As for the content I'm pretty sure deep down somewhere Meg Whitman wants Ho-kago Tea Time playing at her inauguration, assuming she wins.

[LA Times Blog] [Gizmodo]

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Guidelines for Banner Contest

With Zanney joining the blog, I should add her to the Hetalia banner list. So it would be myself, Ryan, Lucas, and Zanney as chibi Hetalia cosplayers. If you just have myself, Ryan, and Lucas to submit at this point I won't penalize you in the final decision.

I'll update this on the contest page as well.

So send in those banners folks, I'm waiting to see some handsome artwork!

Kiss My MAX!

It's come to my attention that the more hardcore convention attendees in SoCal have started to join the butthurt bandwagon over Anime Expo 2010 and have decided to jump the sinking ship for a little engine that really SHOULDN'T called MAX.

So what the heck IS this "MAX" thing anyway?

According to my research, it was a "donation event" last year that was free to enter... until you decided on one of their events that you wanted to go to. Then you were expected to pay after all. *rolls eyes*

This event is also sponsored by mysterious shadow-men from the industry who's names remain shrouded in obscurity for all time, so surely it must be better than Anime Expo, what with their CEO and his alleged rudeness toward celebrities from Japan that have never been confirmed as Guests of Honor, right?


Let's say there's a panel you wanna go to at this MAX thing, and so you waltz right into Club Nokia, where they supposedly had some swankified meet-n-greet with some big-name muckity-mucks last year. (By the way, the only name that stood out in my mind was Stan Lee, but I later heard it wasn't worth the trouble anyway.)

So off you go on your fancy little schmooze with the cool kids. No more swimming in the kiddie pool for you, eh, tough guy? So then you pick out this nice J-Rock panel with a concert and an autograph session, but wait! Looks like you're expected to DONATE SOMETHING! After all, this is a DONATION EVENT and all these fancy suits are looking at you to see how much you care about the industry and how you're gonna show your support, right?

At Anime Expo 2010, I, like so many of my fellow cosplayers and anime fans, was just making it by the skin of my teeth. As much as I would LOVE to donate five bucks to support my hobby, I kind of need to be able to afford my hobby first. Eating food is also a decent option, as well as paying my bills, buying clothing and other necessary objects with which to live.

I just can't stand the idea that these guys have the balls to pressure me, the fan, the enthusiast, THEIR CONSUMER, into forking over what little I have for myself for their stupid company and their muckity-mucks and their so-called swankified whatever-this-is event!

Also, why would I attend the one for 2011 if it's in Anaheim, where the locals don't want us around when I happen to live in Los Angeles and can easily access the Los Angeles Convention Center via public transportation? It's way more efficient, AND the tourism factor actually helps my city's economy. Go figure!

Some of these things are purely situational, of course, but when I weigh the options in my mind, I come right back to the beginning of the cycle where all of the wanking began--money.

I think the CEO of Anime Expo has more than enough support financially to pull of yet another year of this convention even WITH their debt. You know they're in debt right? Did they mention it? Because you really ought to know that AX is in debt, since you probably don't wanna go to a convention with bad credit scores no matter how amazing it is this year. I mean, how could they possibly hope to top Megumi Nakajima, May'n and anime and video game soundtrack composing LEGEND Yoko Kanno what with how much money they're apparently losing right now!

I highly doubt there's anything to worry about if Anime Expo got Yoko Kanno with this monster of a debt looming over their heads last year. I don't suppose anyone knew that they've BEEN in debt since a few years back, did they?

This is why I find other anime fans frustrating at times. A lot of 'em think they can simply whine and cry and get their way, and when it STILL doesn't work, they go running off with their knickers in a twist to try and start their own party and so-and-so from the other group isn't invited.

And then there are the ones who assume that the money used to run a convention simply appears in mid-air. Perhaps Haruhi Suzumiya herself smacks God upside the head with a paper fan and he drops a sack of Leprechaun Gold on the CEO's head--just so he can put on an event for ignorant otakus the world over!

Plain and simple, guys, conventions cost money for the people organizing it too. Why else do you think the badge price is so high? It's actually not entirely the convention's fault, in case anyone has any knowledge of business whatsoever. See, every year these guys have to pay to use the convention center. They have to pay people who work for LACC to work on a National holiday, which counts as time-and-a-half for people with REAL jobs. There are laws that state an event with this many people MUST compensate its workers, so people who are high up enough to get a salary out of this receive one, and the lower ranking grunts get a free pass for next year if they work enough hours.

There's also safety regulations. The reason we're not allowed to sit in the hallways is because of laws. "It's because of the fire marshal" is a phrase you might wanna get used to if you ever attend as many conventions as me--and I volunteer at a few of 'em too.

I guess I can see both sides of the playing field, and that's what riles me up. But really, what on earth do we need YET ANOTHER anime convention in Southern California for anyway? We are just so spoiled here. I think NorCal doesn't even have HALF as many events as we do here in the southern half of the sate, and what's even more ridiculous is that with the addition of Anime Conji last year and Kintoki-Con and MAX this year, we'll outnumber ALL of the East Coast cons by almost half their numbers in just one state!

If people have all this money to throw around, why not go somewhere that better organization is needed, huh? I hear a lot of complaints for Texas con attendees who say some of their events need some work. Some of the Midwest cons seem like they could use a boost. Heck, I bet even the big names like Anime Boston, Sakura Con and Otakon could use a hand.

Then again, this is California we're talking about, and I already mentioned that we're spoiled rotten.

So, back to the original reason why I posted tonight.

I'm not gonna bother attending MAX 2011. I'll be hitting up Anime Expo again if I'm not visiting my friends in Canada for Anime Evolution in August or if I'm not cosplaying as Sasami from Tenchi Muyo with a group of friends in Texas for AnimeFest in September.


Because I know AX well, it's in my neighborhood and I find the idea of attending MAX similar to the concept of rewarding a toddler who's thrown a tantrum because mommy and daddy said no dessert until after dinner.

I'm not interested in coddling a group of butthurt ex-staffers who didn't get paid enough to get stressed out over something that tons of people in the area would love to get paid for themselves. That's how businesses handled strikes in the 20s--they found people who DID wanna do the job for the amount of pay that wasn't satisfactory. Only difference between now and then is that people in this day and age go on strike when they don't get their way and their scabs wouldn't be working in life-threatening conditions for two cents an hour.

Simple enough.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Drinking the MAX Kool-Aid

I noticed that a lot of people are drinking the MAX Kool-Aid, and we're not even at the end of the calendar year. So many people want to jump to MAX because "AX doesn't have a refund policy" or "Lattanzio **bleep**ed everything up, therefore let's go to MAX because we know it's not going to be **bleep**ed even though the chairs of the SPJA have admitted to the mistakes of AX 2010 and are working to solve them for AX 2011."

Well, what about the other conventions? Last time I checked, conventions like Sakura-Con and Otakon don't allow refunds either, so why is everyone complaining that AX has a no-refund policy? I'm getting a sense that people want a refund policy so that they can book for AX 2011, then cancel when AX hits rock bottom without any penalty and then enjoy themselves at MAX while AX becomes the next Titanic.

People are jumping onto the MAX bandwagon without knowing what's going to happen at AX 2011 and at MAX 2011. There is a huge amount of uncertainty that I have for MAX 2011, and its all boils down to the "no badge fees." They are asking for a lot of sponsorships at both the general level ranging from a Media Sponsor to a Presenting Sponsor as well for specific events like the Masquerade or the AniMaid Cafe as illustrated in the Propsoal PDF that's available on their website, not to mention my earlier argument of how this convention is going to pay for everything. Like I said before, I'm not sure a convention can live off of sponsorships and dealers hall fees with no badge fees. You also have the remember that this convention has a short and in a way shaky history if you know the whole story. With AX, it's been an up-and-down type of affair but at least it's still one of the biggest cons in North America and still one of the most prestigious. And until AX disappears off the convention map, which is highly unlikely in 2011, it will stay that way.

So for now I'll pass on the MAX Kool-Aid, but most likely I won't be drinking any.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Zanney's Quick-Update

Well it seems I hit a nasty little speed bump early in the game. But worry not! Even though I'm missing YaoiCon, I can always try again next year. In the meantime, I plan to write a report of an event that I'm hosting at the end of the month--Global Hetalia Day!

I work as the spokesperson for the Los Angeles division of a global holiday for fans of the series Hetalia: Axis Powers that takes place yearly on October 24th, which is the same day as United Nations Day if you check your calendar.

There'll be a nifty little photo album that I'll post up here for my lovely readers out there, and I'll have a magazine-article style report of how things went for the day. For now, I'm kind of buried in preparations for that. I can definitely tell you that this event wouldn't be made possible without the countless volunteers that have given me and my co-host their time and effort and even some extra effort and elbow grease. We're hoping to put on a really great event this year!

After Hetalia Day, I've got Pacific Media Expo. I'm gonna be hitting the town with my good friend Avi, who's joined me and the guys here at CaliCon Blog on all sorts of other epic adventures, to bring you all the latest and greatest information on trendy Japanese fashion, music and art--not to mention coverage of the famous Lolita Fashion Show.

This blog doesn't usually cover Japanese pop-culture beyond anime, but since I joined up to bring you readers yet another perspective on the anime world of California, I might as well show you what's hot in SoCal--and right now, Japanese stuff is trendy. In fact, the fashion industry of both the East and West influence each other often enough to consider California a pretty accurate representation of the awesome mash-up that is the fashion scene.

I myself have been a fan of clothing styles like Elegant Gothic Lolita, which even branches off into several different styles within a style. I like to design clothing, so this convention happens to be a gold mine for me. I'm really looking forward to the new and improved fashion hall this year--especially since my favorite store 'Baby, The Stars Shine Bright' is bringing by one of their brand-managers for their store as well as the spin-off shop, 'Alice & The Pirates.'

I'm also something of an amateur Asian Ball Joint Doll fanatic, and since the cute Pullip I ordered earlier in the month will be arriving in the mail soon I'll definitely hit up the BJD meets. I feel like it'd be a pretty cool idea to show you guys the beautiful styles of clothing the dolls wear, not to mention some of them are based on anime and manga. A friend of mine has a Dolfie Dream based on Mikuru Asahina from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya as well as a Pullip like mine who is designed to look like Suisei-Seki from Rozen Maiden.

Last year we had amazing Guests of Honor in attendance like Nabeshin, one of my all-time favorite anime directors. I actually met him in an elevator by chance last year, which was definitely one of the highlights of my convention experience for 2009!

They haven't posted too much information on who we'll be expecting for 2010, but I'll definitely keep you guys posted as I hear more about it.

Last but not least, I'll be in attendance at Anime Los Angeles 2011 with CaliCon Blog and the SoCal Host Club to reprise my amateur-role as Mistukuni Haninozuka from Ouran High School Host Club. We're gonna be working with the lovely ladies of Mochi Cafe, so I'm really excited for that.

Also, I will be joining Matt as his lovely assistant for the Shin Megami Tensei franchise meet-up this time around for the unveiling of my first female character in ages, Minako Arisato from Persona 3 Portable!

The winter convention season is looking good, so stay tuned for updates from everyone on the blog--not just talkative people like me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

YaoiCon 2010 - Are YOU man enough?

How'd you all like my intro post? As you can probably already tell, I'm a bit of a jokester. Consider me this group's comic relief, I guess. I'm also the only girl at the moment, which is sort of a cliche novelty, but also a bit interesting. Most male anime fans don't have a reason to get into genres like Shounen-Ai, what with the demographic and all, so that means a blog with an all-male writing staff wouldn't do much with it.

I'm about to change that, though. *evil grin*

Thusly, does this train of thought bring us to my first mission here at the CaliCon Blog:

YaoiCon 2010

Since it is now my grave duty to review a con that is notorious for quite a few outrageous rumors, I think it's my job to become something like the Mythbusters and figure out whether or not it really is true that all the attendees are single, easily-wooed-into-bed, women. So I'll pretty much be answering the age-old question of "Can a guy get laid at this con?" for everyone who's been dying to hear the answer we all already know.

Among the YaoiCon myths and rumors, there are also some unique guests of honor this year, such as Hidenobu Kiuchi--who provided his voice acting talents to series like Nana, Katekyou Hitman Reborn!, and Prince of Tennis. We also have the standard regular, Ayano Yamane, who has attended YaoiCon as a GoH since 2004 when she was a rising star of Yaoi. Now she's a household name to fujoushi worldwide!

There are also countless sparkly-sounding events like Bishie Brunch, Bishie Bingo and Bishie Auction, there's a host cafe with REALLY good soup for lunch (which I sampled last year~), your standard fan-panels and copsplay meet-ups and the Masquerade competition, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show (as expected of a San Fransisco Area convention!) and since this year is YaoiCon's 10th Anniversary, there's even MORE shiny new events to check out, like a Carnival and a Hallowe'en booth decorating contest for fan-vendors.

I've also heard that the dealer's room at YaoiCon is pretty sweet, and last year they had two different rooms forindustry booths, plus the Artist Alley, Swap-Meet and Fan Vendors area. Since there's a pretty good chance most of the swag I return home with will contain explicit content, I'll probably just WRITE my swag list this time around, hahaha~

I was also invited to attend YaoiCon with a group of cosplayers from my local area known as CrazyOtakusPro, who are not your average cosplay crew. They're about the same size as the talkative Italian family that squeezes around a normal-sized dining room table for dinner every day in the movies, and they really do act like a loud and boisterous family of cosplayers. COP takes pride in their camaraderie and group-events, and they've got a very diverse range of interests in anime, despite most of their photo shoots involving just Naruto.

While they do draw influences from the more famous cosplay groups like FightingDreamersPro and KoiCosplay, they are their own organization and they just go with the flow. They have a member forum where they plan events and a deviantART group with tons of fun cosplay photos.

They also regularly update their YouTube Channel with all sorts of amusing cosplay shenanigans, such as a parody of a Lady GaGa parody called "Butterfish" which features the group's Kisame cosplayer, a charismatic fellow who goes my the name--you guesses it--Fish. The CMV is great for a hearty chuckle, and I recommend checking them out.

You can check 'em out on their dA here.

Note: California Conventions Blog is in no way associated with CrazyOtakusPro, FightingDreamersPro or KoiCosplay. The writer of this entry is simply an appreciative fan of all three, and glad to be able to tag along with COP for a convention this month. We do not share the opinions of any of these groups, nor do we endorse them in any way. They're their own people. We all just love what we do--cosplay. :-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kintoki-Con 2011

So I found out through Facebook that there is going to be another convention in Sacramento called Kintoki-Con, and it'll be held June 18-19, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. Yeah, it's sandwiched in between FanimeCon and Anime Expo (assuming that I go to both in 2011), but I can always cut the costs down by commuting to and from the con each day and knowing all the cheap eateries in downtown Sacramento, plus it's not a con where I would be buying merchandise.

This is their website if you want to check out more information, as well as the Facebook Event page.

I will be checking out their press registration information at the beginning of 2011, and I look forward to pressing at the 1st ever Kintoki-Con.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A New Blogger Appears! [Zanney's First Update]

Hello, ladies!

Look at your blog.
Now back to me.
Now back at your blog.
Now back to me.

Sadly, your favorite blog is not updated by me.
But if you stopped looking to pink-loving, sparkling, shoujo-bubble-headed bloggers on LJ, and switched to California Conventions Blog, your RSS feed would be updated by me.

Look down.
Back up.
Where are you?
You're on a boat, motherf*cker, and don't you EVER forget with the blog your blog's updates could look like.

What's in your hand?
Back at me.
I have it:
It's a DVD box with two tickets to that convention you love.

Look again--
The tickets are now mochi!

Anything is possible when your favorite Japanese pop-culture blog is written by someone who actually knows what they're talking about, and here at California Conventions Blog, we know our stuff.

I'm on a Cat Bus.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Already Looking Forward to Anime Los Angeles 7

By the time Anime Los Angeles 7 rolls around in January, finances should improve and any and all personal problems will have probably been dealt with.

There are so many things planned out for this year's con.

For starters, the SoCal Host Club is teaming up with San Diego's Mochi Cafe to provide this unique experience of a combination of a Host Club and a Maid Cafe! We have all our paperwork in, so we're waiting to hear what the plan is, but most likely we will be on Saturday around the same time we had the SoCal Host Club at ALA 6 then some. We are also looking at doing the same informational panel we did at FanimeCon and Anime Expo, but I'll come back to this in a bit.

There's also other panels that I want to attend and/or is being asked to be a part of. Based upon the track records of panels this year, you can probably guess what they are.

You can't forget about Cosplay Chess, and with a more accurate Junpei to showcase at the event I'll be better than ever! Plus I'm looking at filming the event for archival purposes and for the blog. Let's just hope that the SoCal Host Club Informational Panel doesn't run up against anything that I really want to do, especially panels and/or Cosplay Chess, especially if I'm asked to be part of said panels or put to the task of filming Cosplay Chess.

Of course, there are the cosplay gatherings that will be held. I'm looking forward to running a successful SMT/Persona Gathering after the dud at Anime Vegas. There's also Hetalia and Code Geass that we will be part of, as well as some other gatherings that we might attend. There's also supposed to be a kick-ass Highschool of the Dead group, and I want to get some shots of that group.

And finally, the "late-night events." Enough said.

Room is booked, roommates booked in, and I'm about to pay for my registration. All that's really left is the flight down there on Friday morning.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

So, Who Wants A Banner Contest?

UPDATED 10/18/10 - Added Zanney to the Chibi Hetalia banner list

As we draw closer to 2011 and the 5th year of the California Conventions Blog, I would love to have a new banner, one that would be a permanent banner for the blog!

And for that, I announce the 1st ever banner and logo contest for the California Conventions Blog!

Here are the guidelines:
  1. I am looking for two banners: one that has chibi versions of myself, Ryan, Lucas, and Zanney from our Hetalia cosplays and one that represents California.
  2. I am also looking for a logo for the California Conventions Blog, which will be part of the banner that you create and for promotional material such as our business cards and fliers.
  3. This banner must also indicate our 5th Year Anniversary.
  4. The dimensions of the banner must be 611x111 pixels. No more, no less.
  5. Please e-mail me the following when you are ready to submit: the banner with the 5th Year Anniversary notation, the banner without the 5th Year Anniversary notation so that we can use this banner past 2011, and the California Conventions Blog logo.
  6. There will be two winners, one from the Chibi Hetalia Cosplay banner and the California banner. Each winner will receive $20 in PayPal credit and the honor of being part of the California Conventions Blog as our banner and logo designers which will include future commissions for new banners and logos.
  7. The deadline to submit is December 26th, 2010 at 8:59PM PST/11:59PM EST.
Please spread the word about this contest, and I hope to see my inbox full of beautiful banner artwork!

Also, permanent link to Banner Contest here!

Friday, October 1, 2010