Tag Archive | conventions

#WizardWorld Cleveland 2019: livetweeting roundup

Did my first Wizard World this year — not in Artists Alley, didn’t get under the sign-up cutoff, but I’m so local (to the Cleveland version) that it made sense to go just for market research. (Also, fun. There was that too.)

So here’s how that went.


guy stopped at a booth trying to guess the ID of a magnificent X-Men cosplayer. She’s trying to give hints, saying her powerset, striking the movie-poster pose…he seems to be naming random well-known female characters, nobody she looks like at all.
6:21 PM – 8 Mar 2019

I walk past behind him and call, “Psylocke!” Cosplayer lights up, nods/waves. Dude doesn’t even register it, keeps trying to guess.

Kinda wish I’d stayed around long enough to hear whether he ever figured it out.
6:26 PM – 8 Mar 2019

He was in anime cosplay, so a genuine geek! Just…overconfident about the percentage of X-Men lore he’d picked up. (Dude, the lady wearing jet-black hair is not iconic redhead Jean Grey, nor iconic skunk-stripe-head Rogue…)
8:30 PM – 8 Mar 2019

Kid watching me draw: “Wow! That looks like a real cartoon!”

And then he asked if my eraser was a lucky rock.
7:57 PM – 8 Mar 2019

Jewelry vendor showed off rack of earrings, earnestly told me “they’re for pierced ears, but we can make any of them into clip-ons too!”

…I think she was just rattling off a stock speech out of nerves, because there’s no way I look THAT young.
9:53 PM – 8 Mar 2019


#WizardWorldCleveland gotta get some loud-voiced volunteers to hold up Line Ends Here signs.

The entry queue has aisles drawn in tape on the floor. Nobody’s looking at those, just milling around in a confused blob, and blocking the escalators while they’re at it.
3:26 PM – 9 Mar 2019

Audience member at Diversity in Comics panel complains about “the need to put a gay black trans character in every TV show.” Uh, what shows are you watching, and can I get recs?
3:49 PM – 9 Mar 2019

Complaints about “forced” diversity and how it doesn’t work…in between acknowledging the smash successes of Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, and black Nick Fury. Guys. Listen to yourselves.
4:02 PM – 9 Mar 2019

…anyway, the current Leif & Thorn arc involves a pan black trans woman, who is also a single mom with a disability, which is not something you have to “force” because none of those traits make any of the others less likely! That’s not how it works!
11:42 PM – 9 Mar 2019

Trauma presentation that followed was way better prepared and researched. (Speaker even used “triggered” accurately!) And he’s persevered really well through the lack of any techie stopping by to hook up his Powerpoint.
5:14 PM – 9 Mar 2019

First con I’ve been to that was so vendor-focused. There’s only about 3 programming things going on at any time…and most of them are *outside* the gated threshold where they check wristbands.
6:20 PM – 9 Mar 2019

Inside is the dealers’ room/artist alley, and lots of carefully-scheduled autograph sessions. Plus a few live drawing type events, a photoshoot booth, and places to play games/read manga.
6:23 PM – 9 Mar 2019

Also a stage with live musical performances, but it’s right by the entrance, so you can hear perfectly fine from the lobby. You could show up without a ticket and have most of the non-shopping part of the experience for free.
6:27 PM – 9 Mar 2019

Indie comics panel. Q: why indie? Most panelists talk about the various joys and advantages of going your own route. Last one in the line says “Marvel told me no.”
6:47 PM – 9 Mar 2019

… and the less funny follow-up is, he stood in line to get Marvel portfolio reviews for years, followed their recommendations, finally someone said “you really are improving, we’ve seen, it’s great, but we still won’t hire you because your style is too urban.”
6:49 PM – 9 Mar 2019

MC of the costume contest, pre-show banter with the audience, someone mentions Evangelion. “Is THAT how you pronounce it??”
8:57 PM – 9 Mar 2019

I only came here to sit in the back and listen to entertaining banter while I draw, but now I’m legitimately invested in who wins.
9:24 PM – 9 Mar 2019

Only an honorable mention for Flamenco Wonder Woman? She was robbed.
9:30 PM – 9 Mar 2019

Well-deserved prizes for color-changing Sleeping Beauty and gorgeous ballgown Him!

The other winners had high quality and technical precision, but my favorites are the ones that do something special and different with the characters.
9:36 PM – 9 Mar 2019

A stunningly detailed Ruby and Sapphire were also robbed, btw. Had the bad luck to end up in crowded and competitive categories, but even so…
9:39 PM – 9 Mar 2019


I’ve been wearing my Kyuubei hat all weekend, and not a single person has accepted a contract to be a magical girl :(
12:55 PM – 10 Mar 2019

First person in the room for the @3geekspodcast pre-recording banter. At least one of them considered it!
12:57 PM – 10 Mar 2019

Razzing the audience: “This lady in the back is doing her homework.” Me: it’s a webcomic!

And y’all coulda given me a shoutout. (http://leifandthorn.com , volume 1 on sale now)
1:29 PM – 10 Mar 2019

Honestly bummed to walk out before the end, but the schedule overlapped with the LGBT panel and I wanted this one more.
1:33 PM – 10 Mar 2019

LGBT panel was well worth the whole thing. Speaker didn’t use stage or microphone, just hung out in the seats with about 8 of us clustered around. Lots of feelings.
3:02 PM – 10 Mar 2019

Dithered over a bunch of Sunday deals and multifandom merch, but I’ve only ultimately spent $6. Maybe I’ll circle one last time and look for last-second deals on the way out…
3:06 PM – 10 Mar 2019

Secret blog-only follow-up: I got a cookie. When I walked past one of the fandom snack booths, there was a Batman-themed cookie, and I considered getting it for my aunt (her cat’s name is Batman), but it was unnervingly expensive.

So I told myself I’d come back at the very end, and in the last 30 minutes, I did. There were finally some low-price deals — and the Batman cookie was one of only 2 left on the plate. I figured it was a sign.

Belated con report (Otakon 2012)

I did go to Otakon, which was excellent if far too short.

Loved the “history of Lupin III” panel, and enjoyed the Madoka staff Q&As. Was intrigued by the first few episodes of Fractale. Enjoyed many many cosplayers, though I did not stop for many many pictures. Oh, and I got a free Sailor Chibi-Moon poster at the Kodansha panel! Not the first senshi I would have gone for, but definitely not the last, either.

There were a lot of Sailor Moon and Madoka panels, sometimes stacked up against each other. Tough decisions…

I have one of the new SM T-shirts, the pseudo-collar-and-bow one, and paired that with a blue pleated skirt and stuffed Luna one day in lieu of the full Integra Hellsing With Hellhound getup. (Not that I have the hair for either outfit right now…and I’m too cheap to get a wig. Heh.)

On the third day I just hung around in the Kyuubey hat — also with the Luna. Someone should write fic about those two together. Either as archenemies, or deeply distrustful colleagues in the Magical Girl Sidekicks Union.

Walked away with a Homura figurine for politicette and a stack of nonconsecutive volumes of Her Majesty’s Dog for self. I had reread several of them in the manga library, loved them just as much as the first time around, and figured, screw it, I might as well at least start buying them. It took visiting almost all the manga vendors in the Dealer’s Room to find anybody who stocked it, so it’s probably a good thing I didn’t put it off any longer.

Also sampled in the library: +Anima (didn’t care for it; cute but not that interesting), some forgettable fashion manga (picked because the title sounded neat; turned out to be a letdown), and the start of Cromartie High (the classic parody of Tough High School Delinquent manga; as always, charming in its ridiculousness). Also something that was advertised in the back of HMD and turned out to have a similar “powerful human young woman in control of cranky male demon, with bonus cute animal form” dynamic…but was really badly developed and only two volumes long. Sigh.

Drew a bunch of stuff along the way, much of which Xuanwu ended up with, as part of our “I will do commissions to pay my share of the hotel bill” deal. So you may or may not ever see that, depending on if/when he feels like scanning them. The ones I kept have mostly already been posted (I spent a lot of the con working on the updated Xyll Saga portraits).

I am so looking forward to the new SM anime, you guys. Also, the Madoka movies. The only way this could be more magical is if the Hellsing OVA and its translations were coming out in a speedy and quality manner. And maybe if there were an anime for HMD.

This Week, 8/4-8/10

Otakon! Have met a grand total of three Shine readers so far, which is exactly the number I predicted. Am dead tired. Activity, coherence, etcetera will return Monday.

Fake News/Doctor Who
Truthiness And Relative Dimensions In Space: First Meetings One (with opening credits!), Two (fic + vid, TCR/Doctor Who, PG)
T(ruthiness)ARDIS – poster (art, G)

Vintage art: Sunset Music, AxI Snuggle, Moment of Silence (art, G)
When Helena Met Reseda (art, G)

Next Week in Shine:
Better art, OVA IV jokes, a shocking twist, and a deus ex machina that isn’t.

Notes from CON.TXT 2008

CON.TXT is the third distinct convention I’ve been to, and it’s also the third type: media fandom (specifically, slash fandom) as opposed to anime or sci-fi. I’m equally comfortable with all three (alone and in combination), so it’s downright weird to hear otakudom spoken of as if it were a foreign country.

So it was a different experience. And an awesome one in its own right.

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Collapses, countries, and conventions

My Internet was out for most of yesterday afternoon and evening—basically, from when I woke up to a few hours before I went to bed. You would think this would make me very productive: reading books, cleaning house, and so on. In practice, I spent an inordinate amount of time refreshing pages and jiggling cables. Sigh.

If my website statistics are accurate, The Zen and the Damaged has received hits from, among other places, Finland, Israel, Belgium, Japan, Austria, and South Korea. And Shine England Then, meanwhile, has been visited from Denmark, Singapore, Malaysia, San Marino, and Estonia. (There’s a map widget on the front page of Shine, so you can see its visitors graphically.)

…Well, I think it’s cool.

Will be attending con.txt, a fledgling slash con near DC, this weekend. It’s small enough that if you’re going, I can’t imagine we won’t cross paths at some point…so if you do, say hello!

Notes from Balticon 42

I knew I was among friends when I paused in the dealer’s room at a table of expensive jewelry, and the vendor complimented me on the chain on my glasses.

“Thanks,” I said. “It’s . . . plastic on plastic . . .”

“But it’s shiny,” she replied, “so who cares?”

Notes from Balticon 42

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