Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kin-Yoobi Con Report

While Kin-Yoobi Con was on the first Friday and Saturday of August, I could only attend Saturday. Thus, I won't be able to say anything about how Friday was, but I've heard positive things about it. It's the same weekend as Hyper-Con, so while I'd have liked to have made it to both, I could only get to Kin-Yoobi, which was closer.

I arrived early, debuting my Bill Nye the Science Guy cosplay. It seemed a good chance to wear that costume, although lacking any scientific props, I instead brought along a sonic screwdriver, as well as my iPod and speakers with his theme song on repeat. I was also asked to host the Cosplay Battle event, as I did at Fanime, so I was given a volunteer pass.

The convention wasn't particularly large, being located at a college, but that's how many conventions started off. While the room was somewhat empty early on, more people showed up around noon, and by the end of the day, it was decently full. There were a few people there who weren't attending the convention, though, as it was also hosting a Yu-Gi-Oh sneak preview event for the latest expansion. Being the fan that I am, I bought several packs, but found myself insanely unlucky - almost all the cards I pulled I didn't need, and none of those I did get were particularly rare or valuable.

Finding myself low on cash, I discovered that there were no ATMs nearby, and I had to walk a few blocks away from the convention to withdraw money. Since conventions are places where people usually spend a lot of money fast, the lack of ATMs was an inconvenience.

Among the events hosted were bingo, anime charades, and a wheel of fortune type of game. I participated in the charades, teaming up with a fellow scientist, and managed to win when my "love and peace" gestures clued her on to Vash the Stampede. There was also an "open mic" sort of comedy hour, which I participated in with my routines about how hard it is for nerds to get a date (evidently "Hey, baby, I have a PS3" is not a good pickup line), and "You might be a geek." It didn't seem that anyone else had material, though, which was a shame, but my routine, unrehearsed though it was, seemed to go over well.

The guests of honor that I saw were Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham, who held a Q&A with a very receptive audience. I found them to be quite engaging, and they were kind enough to compliment my standup when I got autographs from them.

The musical guests I saw were akai SKY, who performed an outdoors concert during lunch. (The lunch was free, by the way, which was a huge plus for the con.) While I hadn't listened to them before, they were quite good, and were enjoyable to listen to while eating.

The guest that I found most inspiring was Steven Savage, who hosted a panel about using our geeky hobbies or the skills we gained from them to make a career. As a newly-graduated college student in need of work (if any employers are reading this, you can reach me through the contact page), it was very encouraging, and he was a friendly guy. If any of you see him hosting a panel at a future convention, I highly recommend stopping by and checking it out.

Due to a scheduling conflict, I had to miss the Bay Area Conventions gathering to attend his panel. As soon as it was over, though, I had to go and host the Cosplay Battles. That was the plan, at least, but due to timing and schedule difficulties, it was pushed back to an hour later to make time for Cosplay Chess. That did mean I got to participate in the chess, but I was killed pretty early on.

Because of the aforementioned rescheduling, the Cosplay Battes took place during the judging for the masquerade. That meant that many of the cosplayers who would have participated were preoccupied. There were only a few battles, but they went well; we had a bit of a scare with a fast-moving prop, but no one was harmed, and all was well.

I also took the time to participate in the karaoke open-mic. A skill I probably shouldn't be proud of but still am is my ability to sing the entire Poke Rap from the first season of Pokemon. That's always a hit at conventions. Once karaoke ended, it was time for the masquerade.

The masquerade consisted mostly of walk-ons, with a few skits and dances. At the behest of a friend, I did a (literally) last-second walk-on, but I didn't expect to win, and didn't. That's fine, of course, since everyone who did win really deserved it. Congratulations to all the winners, you were all awesome.

It was then that I decided to leave for dinner, so me and my friend got food and said our goodbyes. We didn't stick around for Charity Date Auction or Ball Room Dance, since we were all pretty tired, and it was a long drive back. Still, it was an enjoyable day.

As a few notes for the future, the staff needed to be on their game a little more, since it was hard for them to keep on schedule, and sometimes their announcements were lacking in energy. I understand that a lot of these events depend on audience participation, though, so attendees, pick your pace up as well. Also, to belabor a point, ATM's are sorely needed. Oh, and this is no one's fault, but I'm so unlucky when it comes to pulling cards from packs that it hurts.

There were plenty of good aspects worth mentioning as well; the environment was nice, the events were clever, and the free food was more than appreciated. So all in all, I had a good time, and look forward to seeing how this convention grows in the coming years.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! Thanks for both the compliments and criticisms, we will be sure to keep them in mind for next time!
    (Sneak preview of next year: We're moving locations. I'll be sure to bring up the ATM issue when choosing another one.)


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