Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Religious Protestors At Fanime 2011 Interrupted By...

I was not at Fanime this year, although I did miss some pretty awesome shenanigans. While waiting for more pictures and video to turn up on the wonderful world wide web, I found a very amusing video:

Now, this is is just ONE reason why California conventions rule, and it's probably one of my absolute FAVORITES!

Fanime has this sort of... "unspoken tradition". There's a really over-enthusiastic religious group in town that likes to turn up at con and protest all weekend. They've been known to harass convention attendees and cosplayers especially, so the fans usually come up with hilarious new ways to fight back with a more peaceful (albeit a bit strange) method.

This year, the fans got really, really creative. Aside from this (which is my favorite of this batch) the Fanime vs. Crazy Bible-Thumpers highlights include the yearly Raptor Jesus cosplayer(s), a zombie invasion and someone who even went so far as to rent a HUGE truck to block the protestors' signs!

I wish I'd been there to see it in person! Sounds like the guys had an interesting weekend, that's for sure.

Matt told me he grabbed our very first Japanese Guest of Honor interview at this con, and while I'm really excited to tell you readers all about it, I'll leave that to the boys. They've really outdone themselves this year, let me tell you.

Jackie, Avi and I are glad to have our co-bloggers back home safe and sound, and there'll be some entries featuring Anime Five Cities and a summer cosplay event list, as well as your regularly scheduled Fanime coverage posted pretty soon, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 23, 2011

FanimeCon 2011 Preview: Karaoke Contest

Hi, everyone! Long time no see. It's me, Shiro, and I'm here with an upcoming preview of the FanimeCon 2011 Karaoke Contest. It is a major event at FanimeCon, and indeed at every anime convention you can think of nowadays. People practice their singing year round for these kinds of competitions, and I've been working hard just like everyone else. I will be performing in this year's contest, but more on that later on.

The contest is set up so that performers go in two groups: Group 1, those who wanted to perform as early as possible; and Group 2, those who wanted to perform later. The top ten performers out of both groups go on to the finals, where a winner is chosen from the finalists. Both individuals and groups can enter the contest. The amount of people who can perform in the contest this year has been limited to forty spots, and all are currently filled, with others entering the day of the contest being placed on a waiting list. If someone registered to participate in the contest fails to show up or otherwise decides not to compete, their spot will go to someone on the waiting list.

While it might just seem like pointless showing off, there really are rewards for performing in the contest. The winner receives a microphone trophy as proof of their victory, and also earns the right to perform two songs in the Cosplay Spectacular: the song they performed in the final round, as well as an encore song of their choice. Naturally, its the chance to have a performance in the Masquerade that seems to motivate some people to enter. Others enter simply because they enjoy the fun of performing in front of people. It all depends on the individual.

In short, the Karaoke Contest is a brief, but exciting part of FanimeCon that all can enjoy. Whether spectator or performer, you can have a fun time hearing people perform. For California Conventions Blog, this is Shiro signing off.

You can find out the start list and order of performers here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Big WOW! Comic Fest

While I was at the San Jose Convention Center, I had the opportunity to attend the Big WOW! Comic Fest. It was fortunate that it was at the same time as the Pokemon Regionals, and it was located close by, in the same room that Fanime uses for the Dealers Hall. While a smaller convention, it had a fair share of amazing guests, who I took the time to speak to.

I wasn't sure if I could get in to the convention, having no funds, but I spoke to the staff and asked if a Press Pass would be possible. The woman working there was very agreeable, and after inquiring as to the nature of this blog, provided me with a pass so I could get inside. Once again, my deepest thanks to her.

Once inside, the first thing that I saw was a row of tables for the industry guests. The first guest I spoke to was C. Andrew Nelson, whose body you might recognize as that of Darth Vader in the Special Edition films, video games, postage stamps, and many other forms. "I started as a fan before I was a professional," he says, "and I haven't forgotten that."

Following that, I managed to speak to several actors from the various Power Rangers TV shows. Being a child of the 90's, I admit to having watched the show in my youth, and was pleased to see that they were all very friendly people with amazing senses of humor. They spoke highly of the convention, before going off to their panel about being in a show that was so popular during the 90's.

Next in the list of guests was Denise Crosby, who acted in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Dexter, The Adventures of Lois and Clark, and many other shows and movies. To those who couldn't make it to the convention, she said: "Next year, guys, no excuse, you better be here."

Last on my guest tour was fangirl favorite Vic Mignogna. "I love meeting fans," Vic said. "It doesn't matter where, or how few… so any opportunity to do that, I welcome." He reflected on his time before he was a voice actor and would go to sci-fi conventions, dressed in the uniforms of his favorite series, although now he's sitting alongside the same actors he used to wait in line to see.

Exploring the small convention, I found that it was mostly a dealer's hall, with half the room for vendors and the other half for industry or web artists. There was a section in the back for video games and tabletop games, but it was very limited in its options. Around the corner were the panel rooms, which were large enough to accommodate the crowds. I found the vendors had a wide variety of comic book paraphernalia to choose from, and there was even a table handing out free copies of various comic issues, as well as Green and Black Lantern rings and posters.

My time there was limited, and although it's a two-day event, I was only able to attend the first. Given the size of the convention, I didn't see too much of a need to go another day anyways, but as a warm-up to Fanime, it was quite enjoyable.

(Videos of the interviews will be added shortly.)

Pokemon West Regional Qualifier Tournament

Tension and spirits were both high at the Pokemon Black and White West Regional Championships in San Jose. In spite of claims that the world would end on this day, the rapture was postponed to allow this competition. Trainers from across the land flocked to the convention center to prove that they could be the very best, like no one ever was.

I showed up wearing my finest Team Rocket suit, dressed as Giovanni not only to report on the competition, but to try my own hand at the championship, and perhaps to stop by the Comic Fest held at the same convention center. With my Nintendo DS in one pocket and Pokeball in the other, I began my own Pokemon journey, to test how far my own training could take me, and to see the fruits of labor for competitors who'd been preparing for this day since the games first came out.

Nintendo seemed to be aware of the growing age of their players, as the Masters Division, for players 16 or older, had room for 1024 competitors. The Junior and Senior divisions had spaces for 512 each. Given that the line stretched around the walls of the convention center, I'd guess that each of those spots were filled. For this competition, trainers were limited to 5th generation Pokemon only, so while I was left without the use of my trusty Electivire, everyone had prepared a team of the new Pokemon to battle with.

Arriving early, before 10:00, we had found that a line was already forming, and quickly took our place in it. While there, I met up with several other members of Team Rocket, and other Pokemon cosplayer friends. We were in time to see the Junior and Senior divisions as they came to an end, and I took the time to speak with three competitors who had just ended their matches. Even though they weren't the most competitive of players, they'd all spent the last few months preparing their team. The younger players, they claimed, had spent even longer, not having to worry about as much school work. In spite of their losses, they said they had fun.

"This is like the Elite Four for all of us," said one of my friends, who was cosplaying as Johto's ghost-type gym leader, Morty. I can't say I disagree; this was the competition that we'd all been working hard for, but there can only be one champion.

I also had the chance to speak with the first and second place winners of the Senior division, Aaron and Richard. Aaron used a team taking advantage of the Discharge ability (which hits all Pokemon on the field), while Richard used his choice of Tailwind or Trick Room to give himself a speed advantage. They were both very good sports, speaking highly of their battle and the others' abilities.

There was plenty to do for people who weren't competing as well. While I waited, I took the time to take pictures with the mascots (the three Unova region starters, plus Pikachu) and compete in the Battle Facility rankings. Going up against five strong NPC opponents in a row, and winning every battle, my score of 6105 was enough to place me second on the rank list, and while I was later moved down to 4th, my score was still good enough to remain on the top 10 list. There were also several people to battle with, and a "king of the hill" miniature competition.

Returning to our place in line from lunch, my group was confronted by a security guard, who demanded we take the bagged food beside us outside. The problem was, it wasn't our food; we had finished before returning, and it was someone else's lunch sitting next to us. The security guard refused to listen to us, though, and demanded we remove it, or else he'd have us thrown out. While we didn't want to mess with someone else's food, the stubborn old man did not seem to care what we had to say, and gave us the "just doing my job" excuse while insisting we throw out someone else's lunch. So I have to say, Convention Center, you have disappointed me with your staff.

However, soon after, the competition began. We were led in single-file around to the registration booth, where we had our teams registered and entered, as well as being given a useful little Pokemon knapsack. Once the matches began, the competition was off to an incredible start, with trainers going all-out with their chosen Pokemon.

Sadly, I was defeated in the first round. My opponent used Whimsicott's ability to outspeed my own Pokemon, greatly reducing their stats to minimize damage, while inflicting powerful attacks with his Landorus. While I was ready for the land genie's underlings, the Flying-type Tornadus and Electric/Flying Thundurus, I didn't have enough counters to Landorus, and found myself defeated. My opponent was a very good sport, though, and we thanked each other for an enjoyable match. (I also find it worth noting that out of all my battles that day, all my victories were in non-tournament matches, all my losses were for competing.)

The tournament continued on until its epic finale. It was an incredibly close match, where a Terrakion with one remaining health point managed to finish off two of his weakened opponents at once, before taking down a full-health Hydreigon with a super effective Close Combat attack. Due to time constraints, I was unable to speak to either the first or second place winners, but would like to congratulate them both for an impressive match, and wish them luck in their upcoming competition matches.

So in spite of my quick loss and the rudeness of the security staff, the Pokemon West Regional Qualifiers was a success. I had an enjoyable time, and hope to try my hand at competing again. Next time, I plan to get a few more wins under my belt.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

FanimeCon 2011 - Black and White Ball Tutorials

One of the signature events at FanimeCon is the Black and White Ball, held every Sunday over at the Fairmont. During the convention, the staff hold lessons leading up to the event, and this year they have put a number of online video tutorials ranging from Argentine Tango to West Coast to the Hustle. Check them out and get your dancing shoes ready!

Monday, May 16, 2011

General Updates & A Video

There are a few minor things that aren't enough to make single entries about so I have compiled them into a single update entry.

First, I'd like to make a correction to a previous entry with coverage from Anaheim Comic Con. Paige Wiley was credited as "the ride" which is a little unfair, I think, since she really saved our butts when our booth wasn't getting enough visitors. To our wonderful big sister and fellow "booth bunny" a heartfelt apology is extended. You mean so much more to us than a sweet set of wheels. Thank you so much for all your help.

Second, I've got to follow through with blog procedure and all that jazz and a bag of chips in order to tell you that Jackie and I will not be attending Fanime 2011 after all due to some financial issues. We're still going to cover Anime Expo 2011 and we are in the process of making arrangements to be able to attend AM^2 for a short time in order to cover that as well (and visit the lovely maid cafe).

Third, I have a video to share!

A friend of mine sent me a link to this a few months ago when I was feeling down in an email in hopes that Japan from Hetalia dancing like Michael Jackson would bring a smile to my face. Needless to say, my cheeks were sore from the ridiculous grin plastered to my face for the entire duration of the video. I've noticed that a lot of people have been feeling blue these days, so hopefully this will cheer some of our readers up a bit too.

Thanks for sticking with us through thick and thin. I'll have my coverage for SoCal Cosplay Ball posted sometime within the next couple of days. Stay tuned!

Fanime and AX Preparations

Fanimecon and Anaheim Comic Con preparations by Rukazu

I thought this may be a good as time as any to explain my plans for the rest of the year. Right now I'm making preparations for Fanime and Anime Expo, and that's the usual planning gatherings and working on cosplay.

Since I'm graduating from college at the end of spring this year, Fanime is going to be big for me. I managed to get two of my friends interested in staying in the room with me, Ryan, Matt and Tom. I've been meaning to do a convention with them for some time now and I am glad that I have this opportunity. I was also surprised to hear that FLOW will be back again this year. Last year was amazing and I wish to see them again as well this year.

Here is a list of the cosplays I have planned for Fanime:

Emperor Lelouch
Emperor Lelouch (artbook)
Lyrica Prismriver – Touhou Project
Sergeant Kane Fury – Full Metal Alchemist
Naoi Ayato – Angel Beats!
Nakaji – Pop'n Music
Seta Souji – Persona 4
Austria – Axis Powers Hetalia

And for Anime Expo I plan to have:
Asbel Lhant – Tales of Graces
Takashi Dai/Banker – Star Driver

As you can see, I have expanded my list of cosplays since last year. This year I'm also excited about Anime Expo. Not only is it the 20th Anniversary, but also I will be participating in the Masquerade this year building props. The anime club at my college have planned a skit for the event and although I will not be on stage, my name will be credited so I'm happy about that. I am also pleased to announce that that Hatsune Miku will be doing a concert this year. Although I've never really been a huge vocaloid fan, to see the 'actual' person on stage performing this year will be something to look forward too.

After AX however, I'm not sure what my con plans will be since I'll be working (hopefully) full time by then. Even if this is my last convention, I am glad that I have had this opportunity to work alongside my colleagues to report on conventions and cosplay.

This is Rukazu, signing out!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Anime Expo vs. AM^2 vs. The Tsunami Scoreboard: Part I

Recently, a friend told me she saw a commercial on TV for the Toyota Corolla featuring a certain turquoise-haired pop-idol we at CaliConBlog all know and love. My initial reaction was disbelief. I thought, "Japan can't be that trendy here yet, can it?"

But my curiosity was piqued. I needed to know, and eventually I found myself googling "Miku Hatsune car commercial", which resulted in me watching the video below:

That's pretty sweet, isn't it? But I bet you're wondering what that has to do with the Anime Expo vs. AM^2 debate we've been hearing lately. Well, I'm glad you asked, friend! As it turns out, yesterday none other than the "digital diva" Miku Hatsune herself was announced as an official Guest of Honor at Anime Expo 2011. She has also been confirmed as a performer, and word on the street is that her concert tickets are selling like hotcakes!

As some of our readers may already know, Matt and I have been closely following the discussion of these two conventions as well as the varying anime community opinions, and as Anime Expo began updating its Guest of Honor list, I began to form a scale in my head. By this point, it's become far too interesting to see how this all plays out, and it's even more intriguing to try and examine things on my own. That's why a lot of other people seem to be talking about it too.

With such a discussion constantly buzzing around the blogosphere and the company water-cooler, a lot of questions are raised. For starters, "Which event is better?" That's the number one question on everybody's minds right now. Should we avoid huge lines and pricey tickets in favor of a free event at the old Anaheim location, or do we stick with what we know? Both Anime Expo and AM^2 are rolling out their biggest big guns to reel in all the biggest and best fish--both consumers and industry bigwigs--but in terms of popularity, Anime Expo is winning by a landslide now that they've added Miku Hatsune to their guest list.

Before Miku's name appeared yesterday, we saw updates for Vic Mignogna (famous for being the voice of Edward Elric in the Fullmetal Alchemist series and Tamaki Suoh in Ouran High School Host Club, among others), Danny Choo (another anime enthusiast, writer and blogger who I personally admire) and Kalafina (a Japanese musical trio who have provided hauntingly beautiful songs for series like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kuroshitsuji, and Kara no Kyoukai).

AM^2 has a long list that is largely populated by Visual Kei bands just starting out and three more artists that I do recognize--Kanon Wakeshima, heidi. and SCANDAL, who have both provided music for a variety of series. While their event is free to attend, they also have an intriguing option called a Passport, which does cost money and allows you to qualify for a vast array of benefits for $25 online and $50 at the door. You need a passport to see them, though, and you still have to pay even if you get one of those.

I've been attempting to gauge this race for attendees by the list of attractions and how the general anime community in my area reacts to the announcements as they are released, and I can definitely say that no matter how open-minded I am about both conventions, I can only come up with the usual set of pros and cons for Anime Expo and a considerably long list of cons is growing for AM^2, which seems like it has only two pros on its side for now.

"What are these pros and cons?" you might ask me.

And now we get to the point! During the next few weeks, the Tsunami Scoreboard will be featuring a series of compare and contrast articles on both Anime Expo and AM^2. There will be an article for each that reflects both the positive and negative feedback for both cons from what we can tell before the doors open. It's up to you, the readers, to decide which convention you'll attend this summer, but hopefully these articles will shed some light on the mysteries of both events and help the folks like me who are torn over which convention to attend.

Summer is almost here, so pull up a beach chair, crack open an ice cold drink and get ready for the first swell of the season!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Anaheim Comic Con 2011 Report: Part 5 - Epilogue

This was a great convention as we got some exposure, especially through the Wizard World interview. Special thanks to Bridget and the Wizard World TV staff for making that happen!

This was also a great way to get introduced to the comic convention scene which has a totally different vibe than most anime conventions. Most people who just go to anime conventions freak out when they see prices for autographs and photo-ops at comic conventions, but this is the norm here. It's also a bit quieter and less crowded which makes it easier to get around without have to run into something big like a gathering or some huge random event. The only thing that stays the same between the two is lines, because you can never avoid lines at conventions.

Like I mentioned before, this con was a learning experience, both good and bad. We had some mix-ups on Friday concerning our press status because initially we were penciled in as a fan group and not a press group. We did get our press credentials and we kept our fan table. Speaking of the fan table, while we had a great time talking to people at our fan table, this might not be a feature for us in the near future. My main concern was being locked to the fan table instead of walking around getting interviews and photos. This does open the door for other opportunities and we'll learn how to make the most of it the next time we get a table of some sort.

I would like to thank Jerry Milani for helping us out with press during the weekend, and Nicole Williams for inviting us to Anaheim Comic Con!

A special thanks goes out to Jackie Doncaster, which we all consider to be the MVP of Anaheim Comic Con 2011. She did a wonderful job with the poster board and did spectacular at the fan table! 

This concludes my Anaheim Comic Con 2011 Report. We would be honored to come back to Anaheim Comic Con 2012 and/or the newly announced Los Angeles Comic Con in September!

-Anaheim Comic Con 2011 Report End-

Anaheim Comic Con 2011 Report: Part 4 - Sunday (Day Three)

With Zanney and Jackie absent for Day Three, we didn't have much use for the fan table. Me and Ryan had three goals in mind for Sunday: film the Music in Video Games Panel, take home the sign, and get some last-second photos.

During that time, I was sitting at the Los Angeles Film School's booth that they running over the weekend, playing the final level of the Quantum of Solace video game. Sometime during my play time, the Art Director for the game was talking to me, and we had a good conversation about the process in which the game was developed. I found out that he became the Art Director by way of succession, and that the hardest aspect of developing was game was taking a two year project and condensing it into eight to nine months in route to completion. He did compliment me on my use of the cover mechanics instead of running and gunning, like what most people do in the game.

At the Music in Video Games Panel, we were treated to some of the finest composers out there today.

And with that, we called it a convention as I had to catch a train back to Sacramento. We had some time to spend, so we stopped in La Mirada for a well-needed In-N-Out before I went back home.

-Day Three & Anaheim Comic Con 2011 End-

Anaheim Comic Con 2011 Report: Part 3.5 - Return To Our Roots

When me and Ryan finally decided what to do Saturday night, we went back to his place to change and catch our breath before heading up on the 57 towards Rowland Heights. This is going back to our roots both in terms of video gaming and family as I had family who lived here and I would stay in this area when I visited Los Angeles.

The first stop was the old site of Arcade Infinity. We knew that Arcade Infinity was in trouble last year at Anime Expo and had plans to shut down sometime after July. They officially closed their doors in February 2011, three months before we would visit the site.

There are some relics though that have been left on the premise. On the windows contain a heart made out of Arcade Infinity tokens as well as “RIPs” written in the dust on the windows. 

We put our business cards as a tribute to this fine establishment and Ryan wrote his own RIP on the windows.

Our second stop was Speed Zone, an outdoor go-kart, mini golf, and indoor arcade facilities. What separates Speed Zone from other go-kart places in the region is their wide-range of activities from simple go-karts to real-life Formula 1 cars to dragsters. We watched a bit from the sidelines before heading off to our final destination.

Down the street Puente Hills Mall was a bowling alley and arcade called Round 1, nearly a mile and a half away from Arcade Infinity. Many thought that Round 1 would take over as the arcade of choice in the area, and given the fact that they are a Japanese company it would be state of the art.

As we walked towards the arcade area, games that I've never seen before starting with a Guitar Freaks with a five-button layout like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, and Dance Dance Revolution X2.

Then as we walked towards the back of the arcade section, we totally freaked out.

We saw Initial D Ver. 6 AA. IMPORTED FROM JAPAN.
We also saw what looked like brand-new Maximum Tune 3 DX+ machines with left-handed shifting. IMPORTED FROM JAPAN.

Then over at the fighting games section, they had an arcade version of Tekken 6 but this arcade was also running Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, which a) hasn't come out to the States in the form of DLC and retail package to the console versions and b) Round 1 has had a week after its release.

Our first thing was to find out if Initial D Ver. 6 AA had any cards and if they had any in stock. Finds out the owner of Round 1 doesn't want to buy any Ver. 6 cards EVER. Since the machines were basically brand-new, the cards haven't arrived yet and would arrive months after out visit. Despite that though, we stayed there and we tried out some new and classic games.We did have a hard time adjusting to left-handed shifting on 3DX+ and the competition is much stiffer than anything we've faced in my playing career but in the end I squeezed out a win and made some new friends.

In the end, we lost an old place and gained a state-of-the-art facility in return. From one era to next, if I want to think about it that way.

-"Return To Our Roots" End- 

Anaheim Comic Con 2011 Report: Part 3 - Saturday (Day Two)

Me and Ryan woke up Saturday morning anticipating the biggest day of the convention. We threw on our cosplay, and headed out for some errands before the convention started.

Our first stop was NORMS in Anaheim, a 24/7 diner, for some needed breakfast. Then we made a stop at Office Depot for some water and a poster board for Jackie to draw on. We finally stopped at Jamba Juice to slam down some Vitamin C before diving into Disneyland traffic en route to the convention. Apparently Zanney and Jackie along with their ride Paige were there since 8am, and we didn't get there until right at 10am.

Nearby our fan table was a collection of famous cars ranging from KITT from Knight Rider to the Magnum, P.I. Ferrari to the DeLorean from Back to the Future.

Shortly thereafter, I got my first interview with Pierre Bernard Jr., who is known for his rant on anime during his segment on Conan called Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage.

Here's a short YouTube clip if you don't remember how it went:

I asked him if his cable provider, Time Warner, gave him The Anime Network after the rant appeared on national television, and he said no. He also shared the same opinion that a channel like that won't surface on television again because of the changing mediums in which anime is aired especially through the internet. He does have plans for another rant once his "Recliner of Rage" finds its new home aka the current set for Conan.

We roamed around some more, getting more shots of the sights and sounds of Anaheim Comic Con.

I also got some pictures of a Magic the Gathering tournament that was going on.

We come back to the fan table to see Jackie's completed work on the poster board. Great job!

Ryan heads off to take some photos at the Power Rangers Panel.

After a quick lunch, me and Ryan decide to jump into the line for some free merchandise - a limited edition customized S.H.I.E.L.D. badge as part of the marketing for the movie Thor. While they were running an online campaign in which you can get a virtual badge, here they were printing real badges. What made this interesting was that we didn't use our real names but instead of cosplay names of Minato Arisato and Junpei Iori. While Ryan/Minato got away without any question, the lady agent grilled me restlessly. Needless to say I carried out Junpei's character to the fullest.

Unfortunately the line for the Adam West Panel started hours ago and we didn't get in due to the room being full, even with our press badges. So at this point I get two more interviews: Kevin Sherwood and James Burns, who both worked on the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Here is the full transcript with James Burns:

Matthew Miranda: You were a recipient of the [Spike Video Game Awards] back in [December]. What did it feel like when you found out you won the award for your role in Back Ops?
James Burns: What people don't understand is that this character is the result of a lot of great people and great work. It was an honor for the VGAs. I'm new to the business and it's a huge industry that I really don't know much about and it's so much fun to it. I'm grateful for it but I like to spread it with all of the animators and a lot of guys who did a lot of hard work who are talented and made this character. We won it.
MM: What was your favorite part in doing the motion capture for Frank Woods?
JB: Well first of all it wasn't just motion capture. [Treyarch] developed a new technique called Performance Capture. Before we used to capture the voice separately from the face separate from the motion capture. We captured all three at once; it was like shooting a movie. The best part about it is that they gave me these one-liners like "This is 'Nam baby!" and "You can't kill me!" That's the best part, doing all those lines.
MM: My final question is do you know the future of Frank Woods?
JB: Yes I do.
MM: And what is it?
JB: I can't tell you that. You'll have to find out like everyone else, that's top-top-top-top secret information.
MM: Well thank you for the interview Mr. Burns.
JB: My pleasure.

In my interview with Kevin Sherwood, I asked him how he got his start. He told me that he actually started out as a game tester for Treyarch then moved up the ladder to he got to composer. Then I asked him the most obvious question for anyone who has played the Zombies mode on Call of Duty: what's the inspiration? He told me that he and his crew started to watch a bunch of 90s horror films as inspiration. My final question was to get information on the music for Call of the Dead, the next chapter in the Zombies saga. Like all the other times that a map pack with a zombie map has come out, he cannot say anything to the media or release the music until he has clearance from Activision.

Also near our fan table was the gaming section.

With the convention ending a bit early, we packed everything up and headed off to the most exciting part of the day: getting an interview with Wizard World.

Earlier in the day, Zanney had talked to one of the people working the area and arranged for an interview with our group. When I finally met the person that Zanney had talked to, it was none other than Bridget, the same Bridget that I slammed for her performance at Last Comic Standing at Anime Expo 2010. I felt really guilty that I said everything about her, and we shared a couple of good laughs.

We also took some last-minute shots before leaving.

While Zanney and Jackie went home, me and Ryan decided to head out for the night.

-Day Two End-

Anaheim Comic Con 2011 Report: Part 2 - Friday (Day One)

Like my recent trips to Los Angeles conventions, this one would start again at Sacramento Valley Station and the San Joaquin 702 to Bakersfield with a bus transfer to Los Angeles Union Station.

During my wait for Ryan, Zanney, and Jackie to pick me up, I ran into The Roman Sisters, a group of period-era costumers. They told me they were dressed up from Pearl Harbor during World War II, and so got a quick photo of them before the three would arrive.

As soon as they rolled up, we were off on Interstate 5 to Anaheim Comic Con to check-in, find our fan table, and scout the area.

In the meantime, Zanney & Jackie were testing out the fan table, and me & Ryan went off to see what would be in store over the weekend.

We eventually ran into the SOYJOY booth and their setup of Dance Central for the Xbox 360 and the Kinnect. Having not tried out Dance Central before, I gave it a shot.

Then Ryan shows me how to really play the game.

Back at the fan table, we were checking out our neighbors and getting some shots of people in cosplay.

With Day One winding down and all of us looking for something to eat, we head back up to Pink's Hot Dogs, with at this point we consider a staple for the California Conventions Blog.

After that, we drop off Zanney and Jackie back in Woodland Hills before hauling ourselves back to Anaheim for some much-needed sleep.

-Day One End-