Posts tagged Cosplay Deviants
This is that time of year when folks begin posting about how this year they’re planning on changing a zillion things and making thinks different somehow. For me, though, I’m not looking forward to changing… I’m looking forward to continuing.
2012 was a hard year, but that’s not a bad thing. As friends and colleagues will tell you – I tend to be a workaholic. I love it. I love the feeling to things getting done and the creative process attached to it in my little geek universe. My friends (my team) and I put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into a number of projects that are now continuing into 2013.
Hell. We’re already in production for two unannounced things in 2014.
The best way to look forward, though, is to remember where you’ve been. SO, here’s my recap of one of the craziest years of my life. Enjoy.
- Reflected on a pretty exciting life thus far in this blog post. No clue what the year was about to bring.
- We were in the thick of planning InvaderCON II: DOOMCON that month, too.
- Took the first of what would be many trips to Los Angeles to work on Anime Expo and Project Anime.
- Randomly took an air boat ride in the Florida swamp because, you know, I’m random that way.
- Took another trip to Los Angeles for work on PA/AX some more.
- Took another trip to Los Angeles two weeks later… on my way to Japan for the first time. I spent eight days being the tallest person in the room.
- I went to Tokyo Disney SEA.
- I went to Disneyland (in Los Angeles) with the voice of Gir.
- I won a $500 Apple gift card for telling a goofy story online about my old IIc.
- Took a quick trip to Atlanta to look a party spots for some adult website.
- Was the best man in my best friend’s wedding… on a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas.
- Saw Tom Petty in concert! I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.
- Went to Los Angeles again.
- Dealt with loss as my father’s wife passed away.
- Survived Year Two of Florida Anime Experience with the first ever appearance of Terri Hawkes (the voice of Sailor Moon!)
- Back in Los Angeles again… this time to visit E3!
- Return to Los Angeles at the end of the month to set up for Anime Expo and Project Anime.
- Survived the hell, horror, and amazement of Anime Expo 2012. My eyes were open to a lot of things that one week in Los Angeles.
- Found out a cheesy horror film I did in 1991 was finally coming out on DVD.
- Read the Steve Jobs book. I’ve revisited a lot in that book since then (after years of being told that I am “an asshole just like Steve Jobs.”)
- Returned to Los Angeles for Anime Expo follow up meetings… and new perspective.
- Ran, successfully, InvaderCON II: DOOMCON in Los Angeles. Amazing things happened.
- Finished laying the groundwork (after months of set up) for what has since become Talent For Cons by booking voice actors in Anime Expo and Florida Supercon.
- Announced a new show for the Jacksonville market called WasabiCon (since EXPcon had fallen completely off the radar.)
- Ran events at Gen Con in Indianapolis again. Good times!
- I spent a lot of this month recovering from the Anime Expo/InvaderCON/Project Anime stuff in July.
- Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia. I helped some Edgar guy host events at a party at the Hard Rock Cafe there. While there, I saw a sci-fi celebrities drunk daughter dance on a stripper pole. (I love my life.)
- Lots and lots of catch up work that month…
- Wound up visiting EPCOT on the 30th anniversary of the park’s opening. Turned out it was a clever day to take my friend Marc Perez there for his first time.
- Launched the very first PinUpalooza. It was a lukewarm event (after getting dates bounced around and whatnot) but we proved the event was a solid concept. Already planning Year Two.
- Because one con just wasn’t enough, we ran WasabiCon that same month, too. One of the best cons assembled in two months EVER.
- Took another cruise for my five year wedding anniversary with one of the most patient women on the planet. This time we found ourselves in Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. (It seems that I still need to write a blog post about this since I didn’t see one while writing this.)
- Spent Thanksgiving with my dad… because that’s what family does.
- Got blind sided (for the first time in my life) by a surprise birthday party. I have some amazing fucking friends.
- Launched ANOTHER new event in 2012 – Cosplay Christmas. It was holiday goodness that will return in 2013.
- Went to Busch Gardens for the first time in yeaaars.
- Was a groomsman in the AMAZING wedding of Troy and Kim Doerner.
- Returned to Los Angeles for the first time since July to start work on Project Anime 2013 again. Saw some geeky stuff.
- Spent the first Christmas in 13 years without my wife… but got to spend it with my dad. My heart was happy, but my lungs were in pain. (Long story.)
SO – cities I found myself in during 2012:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
And now for that part we all do during a perceived time of renewal – plan for the future. So what are my goals in 2013? I have a couple of things to work on, sure, like anyone else. I like keeping things simple, though, so here are the three things that I will concentrate on in this new year.
- Lose weight. (Cliche, yes, but truly needed at this point.)
- Blog more. (In reading about my past year, I realize that I didn’t write as much about most of it that I should have.)
- Continue onward. (I created a lot in 2012; now I have to build it up even more.)
So here we go…
The amazing thing about leading such a detail oriented life and having a brain that focuses on minutia is that you always notice the little things… or so you think.
Apparently, my wife and friends have been conspiring for the past two months to throw me a surprise birthday party for my thirty-something-or-other birthday. Knowing ME as well as I do, I can safely say that this had to have been a major undertaking of logistics, deception, and timed distraction to the professional level of a top notch magician. Seriously. Shit like this doesn’t get past me. I’m that guy that guesses the killers in mystery movies forty five minutes into the flick. I notice minor details to a degree that drives folks to look at me like I’m Rain Main. I ALWAYS FIND WALDO.
My only conclusion can be this: I have amazing friends who, over time, have learned to know me too well.
I mean, look at this:
Does this look like the birthday gifts for a thirty-something-or-other man? You might not think so. But they’re perfect.
After a day of business meetings in Orlando (the ONLY way my friends knew to absolutely get me into town without suspicion) I was led to the Geek Easy next to A Comic Shop to look at the space for a potential entertainment project. I was tired, dazed, and didn’t really WANT to see the space, but Tentacle Chris (whom I had been reviewing Cosplay Deviants related project stuff with) wanted to check it out and drop off some leftover flyers for some Sega video game.
When we walked into the Geek Easy and saw a large group of people I immediately thought, “Oh, shit. We accidentally just walked into a private event.” I paused ready to back step away and then, a nano second later, my brain recognized everyone in the room.
I HAD BEEN DUPED.
Not content with just a “normal” surprise party, my friends put together The Roast of Tom Croom which, if spend more than five minutes on the Internet, isn’t that hard to do. Needless to say, this is what it looked it:
I know what you’re thinking… you’re thinking, “Why the hell is Katie dressed like that in front of the mic?” Well, part of the party’s theme was to dress up as me at various points in my life. Katie (along with Disney Legend Tom Nabbe and his wife) were all dressed as ME dressed a VINCENT VEGA as a previous birthday party I had… one where everyone was required to dress as a character from a Quentin Tarantino movie. They ordered the correct shirt (just like I had years before) and even brought a photo of me for reference:
Thus my evening was spent being insulted by the most amazing people in the world… all dressed as me. I’m sure Freud would have a field day with this.
And so, at the risk of sounding sappy, THANK YOU. You’ve all made an old man feel appreciated and loved.
- Allen - My fellow towel carrying Guide lover. I’m fairly sure you can sell some of those photos from last night to TMZ or (at least) to some nerds on 4Chan. Thanks for always being there. :)
- Angie – You are an amazing part of my life and I’m glad to have you as a close friend. That said, you make a DAMN SEXY Prince Eric. Just sayin’
- Chris - The next time I say I don’t need a site tour in order to visualize an event concept, I’m sticking too it! Your epilogue from your roast was the most touching part of the evening. I love you like a brother I never had (or, at least, one my father never told me about.)
- Dave – Always the quiet one, but always one of the most reliable ones. That said, you heard that my mic was cutting in and out… WHY DIDN’T YOU FIX IT! :)
- Eric – I can’t believe you own one of those hats. You’re a gentlemen, a scholar, and good people. I’m glad our lives are permanently intertwined due to that damn cartoon. :)
- Erik – You and Karen have known Shannon and I since… well… damn near forever. AND WE’RE ALL STILL GEEKS. (Which is a good thing.)
- Gary – Stylishly late, but always stylish. Shannon and I will get out there for beer at some point. I promise!
- Gregg - Worst. Roaster. Ever. The reason, though, is because you are one of the kindest souls I have ever met. You are amazing and you’ve made this “old man” feel like more than he is, but at the same time believe that he (I) can still aspire to be it all.
- Jessica - How did you know I like Starbucks! That said, your Tom Croom costume was outstanding. Though, I’m not sure everyone remembers my time performing at the Parliament House. Thanks for being a part of this madness. :)
- Jo - Gifts are never necessary, and that gift card was too much. You’re a great guy and stop reminding me how long ago we met in college. It only makes me feel OLDER. ;)
- John – My best and worst roommate ever. It’s always great to see you again, though I am disappointed you couldn’t find our matching underwear. :)
- Kaleb – Thanks for taking photos at the event. I’m downloading copies from your camera (we took it home last night) and OMG WHAT ARE THESE OTHER PICTURES??!!!
- Karen - Damn, ma’am. I’ve known you longer than most of the folks in that room. I am happy that through the years, clubs, conventions, and strange anime fans that we’ve always remained friends. You are an amazing woman.
- Karma – What can I say that hasn’t already been said?
- Katie – Who’d of thunk that my ability to put up with Mike Herz and that FX Show would ultimately result in THIS? Seriously. There’s some deep philosophical implications there – or I’m just damn lucky to have you and mine and Shannon’s life. (I’m going to vote the latter.) Your channeling of your husband at the roast was spot on. :)
- Ken - You weren’t here in person, but your spirit (and words) were carried via your wife… asshole. ;)
- Kim – Thank you for being there all these years and I may need to hit you up for a copy of the kumquat tree story. (I need it as the foreword in my autobiography.)
- Lyn - One of the FEW people on the planet that knew that costume that you wore. Thanks for being such a good and unique (that’s a good thing) friend over the years… and for putting up with so much of my shit. :)
- Myna – I wanted to say something profound and touching here, but I was distracted by your boobs. You’re a great addition to the circle of nerds and I’m glad you were able to join the insanity.
- Ray & Diane – I always hear jokes about “the in-laws.” Thanks to you two, though, I don’t understand a single one of them. I love you both dearly. :)
- Richard – Your video message was inspiring and disturbing. Strangely, it was shot in a locations just like Rikki’s. You’re a good friend and I DON’T CHEAT AT WORDS WITH FRIENDS. That’d be that “Kaleb” guy.
- Rikki – I’ve watched your video a few times now. I keep struggling between laughing again or just calling you and forwarding you to someone for professional help. I may do both. Also see my note to Richard above; you’re both seriously fucked in the head – apparently in similar ways. :)
- Scott – I haven’t read those Shia Lebouf books. Yet. It scares me, though, that you know me well enough to know how much I’ll enjoy the torture of reading them.
- Seth – One of my oldest friends who predates my hardcore venture into the business of geek. You are an anchor for my sanity reminding me that there were people who saw things the right way in our days at Universal together. You are amazing and I’m glad to have you continually in my life.
- Shannon – I love you. You completely and entirely got me by surprise. Well done. Game on. ;)
- Shortie - Last night I realized how long we have known each other and, as a result, I felt EVEN OLDER. Thanks for always being there for Shannon and I – and especially Shannon. It’s good to have another person she can talk to about mutual friends. :)
- Tom & Janice – You will always be my adopted Orlando parents who have always been there for my wife and I. Thanks for showing up and reminding me that I will ALWAYS be younger than your real son. :)
- Tracy – I’m sorry I was tired and distracted all night and didn’t have time to make you cry – because it’s not a party until Tom Croom makes his sister-in-law cry. ;)
- Troy – Well played, sir. Now I have NOTHING to bitch about at Busch Gardens on Saturday… or Sunday. There was SOMETHING I was supposed to do on Sunday, too, right? Better check my Google Calender. ;)
Now, this sign was a little confusing to me. The last time I visited, the restaurant was called “Gladys Knight And Ron Winans’ Chicken And Waffles.” It seems that Ron’s passing in 2005 was the basis for the name change (according to the staff.)
The menu, though, was the same great awesomeness as before. Troy and I both ordered the legendary “Midnight Train.” Check it out:
For dessert? I had the sweet potato cheesecake. There is no photo of that (since I ate it immediately.)
On our way out, I noticed that the mannequin behind the counter still had a “Gladys and Ron’s” t-shirt on it. I asked if they had any more left since the name change. The woman told me that there weren’t any more…
except the one on the mannequin.
Troy asked again to have her clarify, “So that is THE last Gladys & Ron’s t-shirt ever?”
“Yes,” she replied.
OH HELL YES I had to buy it.
It’s a small, so Shannon gets it – but I own the final shirt before the name change. It’s probably not a big deal in the scope of the universe, but it was a big deal to me.
It’s Saturday. It’s #GenCon & (bonus!) some @ManvFood love. Also: Check out @TentacleChris & @CosplayDeviants!0
Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day. Going on an obvious lack of sleep from the hotel situation the night before, I pressed on with the help of Starbucks and 5 Hour Energy shots. The photo above is one of the last things I remember before heading to my room and passing out… Tentacle Chris playing to a packed house of hundreds for the Cosplay Deviants Hentai Cafe at Gen Con. Yes, he is purposely grabbing his junk for the sake of the photo.
The Wasabi Anime panels were a blast. I was VERY happy with how well The Miyazaki Panel and Anime Retro: Neon Genesis Evangelion went. The feedback from the attendees was overwhelming. It’s amazing how deeply quality entertainment, even when animated, can touch people. Great stuff.
In the midst of all this going on, Lyn, Tracy and I still found the time to hit up a local Man v. Food location. Here’s a preview (and a great photo.)
This weekend was an epic undertaking. Kudos to the team from Wasabi Anime and the Mint Chocolate Chippies for some outstanding work these past four days. Also, a big congrats to the folks at Cosplay Deviants for hosting a couple of tremendously successful events over the last two evenings.
There was a lot of good that happened at Gen Con. It was marred by (unfortunately) a lot of bad at the event that was, for the most part, kept “behind the curtain.” I’m thrilled to see so many of my friend and the team had a great time, but due to the circumstances that took place over the weekend I feel a little gypped out of what could have been some fun a renewed interest in a old hobby. It would have been nice to have fun at the convention beyond my one stint in a Battletech game.
There’s still an afternoon of work to get done here and then back to the land of humidity.
I have been insanely occupied with about a thousand and one things in the past week. My wife celebrated her birthday this past weekend and, if my sister-in-law can get me the photos, I will do a write up regarding the masterpiece of planning I pulled off with that.
Things are hectic at “the day job” – but I won’t bore you with that.
The major vacuum sucking all my spare seconds aways is Gen Con. In just a few short days, Joey Snackpants, The Mint Chocolate Chippies, Tentacle Chris, Wasabi Anime, our friend Jingoro, and our pals over at Geeky Pinups and Cosplay Deviants will all be magically appearing the largest gaming convention in the U.S.
At the same time, half of the Wasabi Anime team is getting things together for an appearance at Anime Festival Orlando the same weekend.
In the midst of all this: I’ve gotten through the audio books The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. I’m currently one third through the final book of the trilogy.
To top it off: my health isn’t exactly one hundred percent today.
The good news is that, according to Google Analytics, those zany kids from some web comic have stopped stalking my blog. (Yesterday was the first day without and pings from their website.) I can now continue in peace to point out that Beast Wars Sucks and that BotCon was BotFAIL. Information came my way regarding the second aforementioned opinion; it seems that other very, very interesting people also noted the failure of BotCon. People who matter more than some asshole with a blog.
That made me grin.
Saturday in Cancun was our opportunity to answer the ago old question: Are the Mexican geek conventions like American geek conventions?
After sleeping in and waking up to the ocean outside our balcony, we began prepping for our first day of ExpoComics Cancun. The event, produced by Ecreativo, is an anime and comics fan convention that takes place annually in Cancun, Mexico.
A convention center event (it takes place in the Cancun Center) as opposed to a hotel based convention, the show opened its doors at 11:00 AM with a dealer’s room that doesn’t close until 10:00 PM… a far cry from the the event’s American cousins.
- Mexicans love to cosplay. Check out Mexican Sailor Moon:
(click here for other Mexican cosplay photos I took)
- Even though we couldn’t understand what they were saying, it was easy to read body language and actions. Thus, we were able to spot practically every stereotyped attendee: shy goth girl; socially awkward girl who talks in a funny voice; Narutards; dressed-to-sexy fifteen year old girls; screaming and running fanboys trying to glomp people; girls that think they are cosplaying if they wear cat ears; etc.
- Different dealers but the same exact merchandise. We looked long and hard for some uniquely Mexican anime merch and came up pretty much empty handed.
- Panels, costume contests, and the usual batch of events. Ever heard a Mexican with a Spanish accent singing in Japanese during karaoke. There is no difference in how painful it sounds.
- Con funk smelled the same.
- Mexicans don’t assume that the convention is a day care. We saw a number of young attendees, but they were with (shocker!) their parents.
- Attendees seemed more respectful of each others’ space. This is hard to describe in detail, but it all came down to a different “vibe” from attendees.
- Where American conventions find cosplay guests amusing, Mexican convention attendees see them as bona fide celebrities. I watched the girls from Cosplay Deviants sign more autographs than many voice actors at local cons.
- While not a standard at all American conventions, it is common to have a convention guide or even a schedule offered to attendees. The only schedule at ExpoComics Cancun was posted on a large banner at the entrance of the con (and on the website.)
- The Mexican voice of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons (aka Senior Burns). Check out this video from the convention. It is excellente.