Thursday, March 31, 2011

A New ______ Appears!

Sorry  about the quality of this little comic. I did it in about an hour after I was told I was a member, and that I should make a post.
So, hello. I guess this is my intro post! *Waves shyly*

Online, my handle is Steph O'Dell, but my name is Jackie. I'm from the magical land of Canada (which, according to some people, is a part of the States), and drink maple syrup from the bottle, and enjoy poutine, wrestling bears, and saying 'eh' with the frequency Naruto says 'Dattabayo'.

Okay class, raise your hands. What in that last paragraph was a lie?

If you ask Zanney, the thing where I drink maple syrup straight from the bottle is true. I did it during her trip up here to visit me. (As I type this, I am still in Canada, however, by May, I will be officially in California. Please don't eat me. ;A; ) I have eaten poutine, and think it's delightfully yummy and artery-clogging, and it's one of the best things to come out of Quebec, really. But that's about it. It's not my favorite food or anything.

I saw a bear once, rather close. It was a black bear. It was a momma black bear with two cubs. I biked for my life and never looked back. They were at my Elementary school, up on the soccer field. True story kids. Bears and cougars were common things at that school. We got news letters all the time about them, and to be on the lookout for them. And lock our dogs up so they didn't get eaten.
True facts.

I say 'eh' occasionally, but it's happening less and less nowadays. Fun fact: the particle 'eh' is used in place of 'right' or 'okay', usually at the end of a sentence, and those sentences are always in the form of a question. The verbal tag originated in Newfoundland, and not even other Maritimers know what the Newfie's are saying, trust me.

Also, no, I don't own a dogsled. I don't know Mary, Joe, or Steve from Edmonton, although I'm sure they're very nice people. It's spelled 'colour', not 'color', pronounced 'ZED' not 'ZEE', and hockey is a GREAT sport, but I swear to GOD if the Canucks don't start shaping up, I'm gonna break Luongo's legs.

And the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.

I also dislike Price, because he's from my home town, and he's a whiny little prick that not even the Canadiens like. Seriously. Bench that twerp already.

*Shakes fist in angry Canadian rage*

*Ahem* Hello, tangent! How's the weather?

Where was I? Oh yeah. So, I got into drawing because I read 'Garfield' a lot as a kid. When I was just a wee lassie, I found Pokemon, and never really looked back. Anime just sort of consumed me, and my drawing style changed drastically as a result. If I had to pick three artists I admire and why, I guess they would be...
  • Atomic Fireball, because he draws very sexy hair, and the story for Kagerou is really dark and twisted. Also, not afraid to give his girly boys body hair, and that's a-okay in my books.
  • Blue Fox, because her noses are just so spiffy~!
  • And Himaruya Hidekaz, because there's just something really endearing about all of his character designs. The eyes, the hair, the poses...even the really sketchy ones are just so wonderful. All that aside, the idea that he did exactly what I've always dreamed of doing is...super impressive. He turned a bunch of random doodles on his blog into a comic that eventually became super famous, and then an anime with a movie and 100 episodes, and then never actually stopped drawing or being awesome. That's some super awesome stuff right there. And he's a troll. He's a HUGE troll. I love it.
So, yeah, I've been approached to do art for this blog before, but until now, I just didn't have the time, what with my job and all. Once I'm in Cali, I'll be an unemployed bum just another otaku, so it's ALL GOOD~! Lots of spare time then, right?

Plus, I get to go to cons in America. How cool is that? And draw little comics about all the awesome stuff that happens while I'm there? SIGN ME UP.

So, yeah, that's me. I'm 5'7", if anyone is curious, and my favorite comic books are Batman, Wonder Woman, Fables and Deadpool. I like music in all forms (except country, but that's not really music, now, is it?), and I'm (sadly, not sadly?) taken. Zanney was kind of my own hero, and quite literally scooped me up and ran away with me.

When you see us in the future, we'll be a cosplay duo to recon with, I assure you.

So, until we next meet, keep it cool, and thanks for all the fish~!


Little note: Sorry about the double post on Twitter! I was trying to work out the bugs in my post, but I got it now~! Had to kick the HTML around a bit.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

California Conventions Blog Invited to Anaheim Comic Con

On March 15, we received a message on our Facebook page from Nicole Williams representing Anaheim Comic Con inviting us to attend the event, which takes place over the weekend of Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1.

Matthew Miranda, our site's manager, said he is looking forward to covering this convention along with the full team, which includes fellow convention reporter Ryan Silva, Tsunami Scoreboard columnist Zanney Sperber, new member and artist Jackie Doncaster, photographer Avi Tiscareno and photography lead Lucas Chang.

When asked if she'll be writing a Tsunami Scoreboard article for the upcoming convention Sperber said, "I'm curious to see whether or not Anaheim Comic Con can hang a perfect ten. I can't wait wait to go!"
We are currently awaiting confirmation from Anaheim Comic Con and we hope to hear from Williams soon. We're all very excited to put our collective talents to good use and provide full-coverage of the event to the best of our abilities.

CaliConBlog sends a HUGE "Thank you!" to Nicole Williams for inviting us to cover Anaheim Comic Con and for saying such wonderful things about us. We think you rock too!

And we're back!

Did you miss us~?

CaliConBlog has been a little bit quiet as of late, both because of the situation in Japan as well as the yearly early-Spring convention drought. Generally speaking, in the area we cover there aren't too many events that occur during the time between the end of Anime Los Angeles and the beginning of Fanime. That's almost a whole five months that passes while there's not much to do.

And then we get into the middle of Spring and people start to become restless and plan a bunch of events. I'll be covering a few of the ones I can get to before I head back up to British Coumbia, Canada to finish moving our newest member and my lovely girlfriend Jackie all the way back down here to California. I'm really excited for the upcoming months, that's for sure, especially since my schedule's so crammed! I love having lots of work to do~

So here's a quick breakdown of what you can be expecting from us in the not-so-distant future, starting this weekend at bginning of April, and I'll give a few quick summaries further down the post.

April 1

Magical Girls Party w/ Live Art & Music From Japan
@ Meltdown Comics on Sunset Blvd
Facebook Event Page

To be honest, I don't really know that much about this event, but that's the point of goings, you see! Trying new things and broadening our blog's horizons are definitely a plus sign in my book. I actually got invited to this through Facebook, and it seems to be an art showcasing similar to the ones they have at Royal/T in Culver City. Sunset's closer to me, what with being a Hollywood/San Fernando Valley area native, so I'm gonna go check it out with my father and my grandmother, who is a painter herself.

April 2 + 3

Little Tokyo Cherry Blossom Festival Web Page

Originally, I was planning to cover the Little Tokyo Hanamatsuri event, but that has been postponed until further notice, due to lack of funding. There's a donation event going on, and I'll be posting about that a little bit later.

For this weekend there is a smaller event planned by local cosplayers in Los Angeles so I will attend that and do a Features article on just that. Local events are always really enjoyable for me and I feel that they deserve much more love.

April 29, 30 + May 1

The California Conventions Blog has been invited to Anaheim Comic Con! This news is SO AWESOME that we'll be posting a separate update JUST for this, so stay tuned!

May 14

The SoCal Cosplay Ball

This charity event is something I have been looking forward to for a long time, and I'm especially excited to see what GNB Cosplay, Otaku Sanctuary and Chlobits Cosplay have in store for us. Here at CaliConBlog we're looking forward to an evening of dancing, entertaining and fun times for all!

As a side note, it should be mentioned that our very own Ryan Silva's solo project the SoCal Host Club will be participating at this event as part of the show! Good luck to our lovely hosts and managers as well as Momo Cafe, an affiliated Maid Cafe that had just recently formed itself. I'm expecting lots of good things from both committees!

What To Look Forward To

Last but not least, I am confirming California Convention Blog's intention to cover and attend FanimeCon 2011 in San Jose during Memorial Day Weekend and Anime Expo 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center during July 4th weekend, as usual. We're looking forward to a great season and things can only continue to get even BETTER!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayers For The World

I'm sure everyone is sick of all the posts about the earthquake and the tsunami and all the other crazy things happening in the world today, and that we're all really tired of hearing about so-and-so's friend who lives in prefecture-goes-here, right? I assure you this post is quite normal. I'm not about to run around screaming and flailing. I already did that at 4 AM when CNN scared the crap out of me by saying the waves were getting BIGGER on their way toward the west coast of North America.

I forgot that CNN likes to over-dramatize things like that.

In any case. The situation in Japan is NOT over-dramatic. It's very, very serious. I'm also not sure how things look for the rest of the Ring of Fire at the moment as I only just woke up. (This is what happens when I stay up too late watching the news...) However! I DO know that there are ways to help!!

Right now, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to have $10 charged to your phone bill. That donation will do amazing things, guys. The ten bucks I just texted to the Red Cross is going to provide someone with a meal today. Right now, lots of people there are without power, transportation has been halted, fires are raging out of control, and a possible nuclear emergency have all been listed as things that're going on in the world right now.

I urge you all, since I know most of our readers are into anime and video games and J-Pop and all sorts of other Asian media, to do anything you can to aid the country that brings us all of the wonderful things that we enjoy in our own respective countries. Every little bit counts in supporting the Japanese people in their time of need.

Another amazing thing I saw last night was a twitter post that had been sent around in hopes that people would realize the nature of this crisis. A man working in the NHK building tweeted the following:

>I don't want to die.
>It hurts.
>I'm going mad with pain.

Later, someone began translating his posts on Babelfish or Google Translate (not sure which) and we saw these appearing:

># Aftershocks began to emit intense pain. ... Abdominal injury. Die. It hurts. The angle of the server, I can see tears in the belly Meri込N. Leg cramps are painful. I have a faint several times, and waking in pain. Someone noticed me out of movable finger. Die. It hurts. Likely to be mad with pain. I'm in the server room. 8 minutes ago via web

># Pain, skin may be torn. Severe blood loss. I have heard a voice from outside, would be more trouble trying to calm down. Twisting themselves many times in pain, unable to escape, but speech is leaking from his mouth in pain. Not words. It hurts. If someone feels like it, Do not you think I'm Eru tea completely erase the pain. 12 minutes ago via web

># When an earthquake occurs, but was in-house server room, rack collapsed. Crushing the abdomen, blood is flowing. Ouch, somebody help me. Deformation of the door to a steady flow of information is everyone moving to the site shall be broadcast stream. Too late. Move only the arm, can not breathe. Can not call for help. 19 minutes ago via web

The reason why this had me floored is because this is the very first positive thing I have had to say about twitter EVER. It can actually be used in a time of crisis to help people find each other, and perhaps even alert rescue teams to people's locations while they're buried under rubble and debris. If other cellphone markets don't jump on this, I can tell you I will be very, very angry.

I hope this man's life is saved, and I pray for him, although I am not so sure if he'll be okay. I think that his example, while tragic, is something that can inspire hope. Supposing other people start tweeting to find each other. Then we might even have regular citizens across the globe helping each other when they're separated or trapped or in need of rescue.

I immediately though of Eden of the East, an anime that hinted at the sheer power of wireless connectivity. If you haven't yet watched the series, I urge you to do so. It's inspiring in the same way that I get an adrenaline rush and suddenly feel very, very small when I see a ten meter wall of water tumbling across a once busy city street in Tokyo, when I see a refinery tower in Chiba literally EXPLODE before my eyes, when satellite pictures show me just how HUGE this tsunami is all from my television and computer screens. I am floored by not only Mother Nature's fury, but the sheer will of humankind to survive.

That's why I'm not just thinking of Japan today. Right now, my prayers are for Taiwan, the Philippines, Hawaii, the west coast of Canada and Mexico as well as the United States, Central America, countless Pacific islands whose names I can't even list because I don't even know them all, China, Hong Kong, Russia, and even BEYOND the Ring of Fire.

My prayers are for the world.

And that means they're for you too, no matter how far apart we may be.

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster

I had something planned today to post, but that has been preempted for the time being.

If you haven't heard, an magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck Japan last night (Friday afternoon over there) which has resulted in major damage not only from the earthquake but also from the resulting tsunami that has destroyed the northern part of the region surrounding the area of Sendai. If you haven't seen the shocking footage of this debris flow ripping through the countryside, take a look at this powerful clip:

People are without power, transportation has been halted, fires are raging out of control, and a possible nuclear emergency are just some of the headlines surrounding this natural disaster of epic proportions.

Stateside, the tsunamis were predicted to hit Hawaii and the West Coast earlier this morning. With most of the California Conventions Blog staff living in these prone areas, it is safe to say that all of them are safe. But the same can't be said for Japan.

The California Conventions Blog staff sends our condolences and prayers to everyone affected by this disaster. I urge everyone to do what they can to support the Japanese people at this time of crisis. The best way to contribute is through the American Red Cross either through their website or you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to have $10 charged to your phone bill.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More Fun With Photoshop

As I advance in my introductory photography, I have free time to retouch cosplay photos after I get my main assignments done.

For today, I took Eurobeat King's photo of Ouran!Junpei -

- and applied some black and white & blur filters as well as cropping the image. This was the end result:

I'm holding off on the more radical editing - such as removing the background and placing myself in front of Tatarus - until later when I work on my final portfolio and I master Photoshop. But so far, this class has proven to be very useful not for learning the ins and outs of photography but also photo editing, more than I ever knew.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fanime 2011 Updates

As we move into the first weekend of March, it's just another friendly reminder that FanimeCon 2011 is two months away.

So far, it looks like all six of us - myself, Zanney, Avi, Lucas, Ryan, and Tom - will be attending this convention, and are aiming to make this the best coverage yet. Our cosplay schedules are being hammered out at this moment, so those will probably be posted sometime before the convention starts.

As for the convention itself, they announced their first MusicFest Guest of Honor and his name is Yuya Matsushita. The only piece of work that I know he did was the first ending theme to Durarara!!, "Trust Me."

Then this showed up in my subscriptions box today on YouTube Twitter posts.

This is Yuya Matsushita.

I have put in some suggestions for other guests, and I hope that Fanime comes through and they're able to attend this convention.

As more information comes in for this convention, I'll post more updates.