After a lot of random wandering (with some occasional panel viewing), I had quite a busy night ahead of me. There was a masquerade to check out, room parties to hang out at (including Kitsune’s) and the last of my panels, Manly Men of Anime. Hoping to snag myself some prime seating for the Masquerade, I made my way over to the Wisconsin room (Main Programming) around 5:30-ish. The Mission was indeed going to be a successful one, as I ended up being first in line. There was plenty to do to pass the time, including writing more recap notes. The line got long soon enough, so there were peeps to chat with and Security even got involved by leading the people in line in a most epic singing of Bohemian Rhapsody. The doors were opened about 10 minutes later than scheduled, but the Masquerade itself started fairly on time. I didn’t see who all won, as I had left during Intermission. But what I can say was that it seemed like they randomly jumped around from category to category, which felt a bit disorienting and detracted from the presentation a bit. But it wasn’t all too bad; lord knows I’ve been to worse. Some visual highlights:
Very well done Merida (Brave) Cosplay, reminding me I really need to sit down and watch that movie sometime.
Why? Because Digimon.
TEK getting her Greed-ler on.
While there was a tragic lack of bacon at the Kitsune Kon room party this time around, the burgers (which Shaun grilled before the kon), hot dogs and massive amounts of cookies kept everyone more than filled. Mike W. was the first to greet me upon my arrival to inform me they just finished playing some Hamster Ball and were now engaging in some sweet Bomberman action. I gave ‘er a few shots myself, which usually resulted in me somehow managing to blow myself up. Dan and Christa had some games of their own (one of which was Apples to Apples) going on one of the beds, but I didn’t stick around for too terribly long for Manly Men of Anime was soon at hand.
Wait a minute here…….
Seems I had unwittingly wandered into something involving Homestuck. I sat it out as best I could, but I kept popping my head out of the panel room because it was almost panel time, but Nick Izumi was nowhere to be found. Once the Homestuckers cleared out, I tried to stall for time as best I could, even having a couple of the panel attendees as “fill-in guest hosts” until Nick did eventually arrive. Understandably, he had some sort of a situation to deal with that had a slightly higher priority and I thanked my “fill-ins” as they took their seats elsewhere. They had us in one of the bigger panel rooms this year for it, which was nice. Long story short, good times were had by all and Alex Louis Armstrong is still the only man who can make sparkles manly.
Someone cosplaying as Jet (Cowboy bebop). Definitely not something you see every day.
I made my way back to the Kitsune room party while trying to hear the voice mail Adam left on my phone, but the craptacular reception kept me from hearing most of the message. With the young ones who were there earlier now gone, that cleared the way for some good rounds of Cards Against Humanity while others were engaging in a surprisingly glitch-filled round of the Scott Pilgrim game on my PS3. Things did around 11 as was advertised and after a quick run to get my stuff out of Shaun’s truck, I made another round on the room party circuit. I encountered Adam as I went from Anime Fusion’s party (which was starting to wind down itself) to OddCon’s. Seems he was trying to find out when Kitsune’s room party was as he wanted to check it out. D’oh! I also randomly got a Charizord card from a Kon.Monsters card game from him, which was kinda cool.
I grabbed a couple of quick brewskys at OddCon’s party, then I was planning on hitting up Anime Twin Cities’, but they (ATC) had already closed up shop. So with not much else to do, I tried to hang out and dance a bit at the Mixer. However, a couple that was standing in front of the stage in a constant state of liplock got rather annoying rather quickly (get a f***ing room!) and I ended up leaving after about 10-15 minutes.
At least he was having a good time.
I eventually made my way over to the viewing rooms as there was Chris’ “Mystery Hentai Theatre”, with the room in “standing room only” mode and a far-less-than-thrilled Simone tasked with checking everyone’s ID’s. I stepped out myself about halfway through to hang out with Simone, who I swear would’ve fried Chris (when he briefly stepped out) with laser beam eyes if she had them. I eventually called it a night around 2:30-3am so I could get some marginal degree of sleep.
I decided last-minute I wanted to check out the “Good Morning Geek.Kon!’ panel (which was a random chatter panel Scott was hosting), so I got up around 7:30 and showed up in my “Shogun Doctor” Cosplay. For an 8am Sunday panel, it had a surprisingly good turnout. After that and my umpteenth go at some arcade Mario Kart, I ran into fellow Facebook Ranger Sajia, who was waiting on a photographer for a Cosplay photo shoot. Who was she cosplaying as, you ask?
Not every day around here you see Super Sentai-specific Cosplay in these parts, so this cosplay of Escape (from Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters) was a nice sight, indeed.
It wasn’t long after I took this picture that I got a text from Shaun that we were checking out. I didn’t feel like doing much waiting on the elevators, so I machoed it a bit getting all my stuff (and I had quite a bit with me) to Scotty’s car. I even got a picture of my “Shogun Doctor” Cosplay taken at one point. HUZZAH! The guy who took it even said he was looking forward to this recap. Now if only I would’ve gotten his name.
With a few hours left to kill till after Closing Ceremonies (when Scotty wanted to leave), I did a lot of panel-hopping which included 3 –panel stretch that involved checking out their AMV Contest. And wouldn’t you know, a well-done amv (a Gurren Lagann one that hit ALL THE FEELS) actually won the darn thing. Imagine that. ;) Closing Ceremonies came soon enough and it turned out to be another fantastic year for them, as they cracked the 2,000+ mark for Weekend Attendance (2,043 to be precise) for the first time ever. It’s a shame though I most likely won’t be at it next year, as it’s dates (August 22-24th, 2014) falls on the exact same weekend as Power Morphicon. Me, Scotty and Andrew soon left (after I said my goodbyes to a few people) and opted for some McDonalds as our post-con dinner. The drive itself was mostly uneventful, but we did a bit more conversing this time around, so it went by fairly quickly. Heck, I even had time to do laundry when I got home. I sadly did have to go in for work the following day, so I didn’t do a whole lot and called it a night relatively early. And by “relatively early”, I mean “slightly before midnight”. But before I end this recap:
The Shogun Doctor. Congoer tested, Constantine In Tokyo approved.
While I’m normally the one to be responsive to my alarms (especially if it’s something vital), seems leaving the phone charging in the hotel room’s bathroom wasn’t the best choice, as I woke up at 6:30 instead of 5:30. A quick shower and Cosplay change later (Shogun Doctor this time) and I made it down to the viewing rooms in time to at least catch the latter 3/5ths of Genesis of the Daleks. It was easy to see why its highly regarded as one of the better Doctor Who serials of all time. Sadly though, the headache I got the night prior hadn’t gone away and the tight-fitting helmet sure wasn’t helping matters any. This prompted an early return to the room for some Ibuprofen and clothes change (trying to be as quiet as possible).
Since there still wasn’t much going on quite yet, I paid the video game room another visit for some Mario Kart (Arcade version) until it was time for the Godzilla and Kaiju Attack panel. It was a most entertainingly informative panel (especially the video clip Chris Strauss showed from a BBC special about the world’s favorite Kaiju) and it made me glad I went. Right after that was an Anime Commentary panel with Alexis Tipton and Ryan Reynolds (no not that Ryan Reynolds) involving an episode of Baka and Test (which I really need to watch one of these days), which soon after the episode turned pretty much into a typical Q&A panel.
As much as I wanted to stick for the duration, the paltry 2 granola bars I had earlier in the morning didn’t last long so a food run was in order. I ended up settling for a turkey and salami sammitch at the hotel’s concession stand that was surprisingly worth it’s price. After some more wandering and run-ins (namely catching John Fox by the Registration area and Ashley (The Energizer Kitten) not long afterwards), I made my 2nd major Vendor Room run of the weekend so I can get the stuff my folks requested taken care of.
That and so I could catch some good Kyoryuger Cosplay from OTP.
After securing some Pocky for my dad, a keychain for mom and a Ninja Kitty shirt for my sister, I meandered on to the Artist Alley side of the room to buy stuff and chat with some of my peeps. For some ungodly reason, I never did run into Autumn all weekend long (though she said she was at the booth nearly the entire weekend), but I’m sure she would asked if I had Voted Up We Shadows yet. I did find Nick (whose cosplays I sadly neglected to photograph) and Rena, however. After chatting it up with them a bit, I headed over to Trae’s booth (who has some pretty sweet webcomics). While the Fourze Driver purchase (from a budgetary standpoint) kept me from buying any of his Crosarth books, I was at least able to appease him slightly with buying a Crosarth button for my con bag.
I had the second of my three panels that was coming up in a bit, Geeks On Sports(pretty much the only time the whole con him and I hung out for a significant period of time), but I squeezed in a quick round or two of Goldeneye on the N64. I met up with Adam and Brian at the panel room (Lacrosse, same place where my Power anger panel took place the day prior). Both of them were sporting soccer apparel whereas I chose to wear my Milwaukee Brewers cap, which prompted some ribbing from Adam about my lack of Tottenham apparel. The panel itself was pretty entertaining as well. Such things were discussed like the “simple” formulas used in Baseball (probably the most mathematical and statistically heavy sport on earth), various sports fandoms, managing virtual soccer teams and I even managed to sneak some “Eyeshield” references into the conversation.
The panel flew by pretty quickly and right after it ended, I briskly walked on over to the Aturim as an Autograph Session for two of the guests (Alexis Tipton and Ryan Reynolds) started the same time as the Geeks On Sports panel in hopes that I could still get my faux MTG cards signed; Chris Patton’s was soon afterwards. Much to my relief, the line had fairly well died down when I got there and I didn’t have to wait too long. Ryan Reynolds was among the many (including yours truly) who was glad that Toonami was brought back and Alexis’ first words upon seeing the card I made for one of her characters were simply:”The feels”.
I did some more wandering and quick snack run in the hotel room before heading back to the Atrium. For a bit beforehand, I stopped back by “Con Friend Ryan” at his badge checking chair just as Mike from Henshin Justice stopped by. He seemed to be equally as dismayed at my loathing of Power Rangers RPM, but good times were had. I soon made my way back in time for a good spot in line (FIRST!).Chris Patton loved the Greed card I made and it was fun chatting with a fellow Queen fan. His eyes lit up when I mentioned I had spotted a guy who was cosplaying as Freddie from Cromartie High School (pretty sure the same guy who has done it there last few years), who people know was modeled after Freddie Mercury. This prompted Chris Patton to ask me to find him and bring him over IMMEDIATELY. But of course, the one time I actively try to find him, “Freddie” was nowhere to be found. I played some more arcade games in the video game room to soothe the pain of defeat a bit. I couldn’t wallow in failure for too long, as I got a text from Shawn saying they were getting everyone’s personal goods out of the hotel room to get the room party ready. Once that was out of the way, I sat down at a nearby ledge and wrote some more recap notes before making my way to get in line for the Masquerade (Cosplay contest).
I woke up nice and early (and slightly sweat-soaked) right around 6am and nommed on a couple of Bananna-flavored granola bars while gathering my wits about. Reanna was soon up herself and was nice enough to lend a towel so I could take a shower, which I undoubtedly took advantage of. It wasn’t long after I got out of the shower that I checked my phone to see some good news from Kitsune Shawn. Seems they allowed him into our room early, so I could come to the hotel and get in soon as I got there. Once me and Reanna were ready (and after Affy was awesome enough to drop us off on his way to work), we got to the kon roughly around 8. Since Registration wasn’t open for another hour yet, I met with Shawn to get my room key. Upon securing that Key Item, I attempted to get a hold of Scotty to get my things from his car only to end up waking him prematurely. Whoops!
To kill time until registration, me and Shawn made a quick McDonalds run for breakfast since neither of us had eaten much yet. Registration itself was fairly painless (I was 8th or 9th in line) and Scotty contacted me soon afterwards. I made a quick dash for the room after procuring my belongings and for good reason. You see, I decided to get back into Cosplaying and I had two outfits in store for this weekend: Troy from Power Rangers Megaforce and “The Shogun Doctor”, a creation that came about entirely on a whim because I found a Red Shogun Ranger helmet that was on Clearance at my local Walmart for $10 a couple weeks beforehand.
Got the bland facial expressions down, at least. :P
With all the fun I had planned on partaking in (Panels, room parties and all), it was tough to do much in the way of video game tournaments save for a Tekken Tag Tournament 2 tourney that was going on early in the afternoon. So after a quick ramen and Peanut Butter sammitch for lunch, I made my way back down to the video game room to sign up and play some Mega Man 2 while I was waiting for its start. An adorable Roll cosplayer soon joined, cheering me on and talking about various mega Man-related things as I was playing. This was rather short-lived though as they were soon calling names for the Tekken tourney and I dashed on over. Not much to say for the tournament itself. It did get bogged down in the early goings as the group that was running it (and most of the con’s tourneys) didn’t have the game data installed in their tournament consoles. Not like I lasted that long anyways (it was Double-elimination and I definitely got double-eliminated).
At least Cookie Monster was happy.
By now, the Vendor/Artist Alley room was just about to open, as evidenced by the fairly long line just outside its main doors. Once the doors did open, a massive roar of approval was let out by the congers as we all rushed in to lay first claim to the goodies that awaited inside. About a week or so beforehand, I had learned that one of my favorite vendors of all time, OTP, was vending again at Geek.Kon this year. Naturally, I made a beeline for their booth. I had primarily set out to guy some Gokaiger ranger keys, or at the least a replacement ShinkenRed key (lost it in my room some number of months ago). But a retinal scan of their big goodies revealed something even better:
I knew right then and there that if I didn’t get it then, I was going to majorly regret it. So I did indeed buy it as well as a couple extra Astro Switches (Winch Switch (16) and Aero Switch (36)) to boot. Sure enough, not 5 minutes after I ran into one of my con friends, Ryan (who was badge checking at the time) stopped me, with a friend of his not far behind. Seems his friend went to the OTP booth as well not TWO MINUTES after I left to attempt to get the Fourze Driver. Talk about cutting things close!
Before I went back to the hotel room, I made a brief stop at one of the tables in the Atrium area to attempt to catch up on my recap note and I ended up chatting for a good 5-10 minutes with a random conger about the con, Power Rangers and I’m pretty certain about Life, the Universe and Everything as well had it gone on much longer. We did eventually part ways (but not before he mentioned looking forward to my Panel later that day, “Top 11 “What The F***!?” Moments In Power Rangers History”. But before the rousing panel, I went back to the room to drop off my Fourze Driver and even chatted a bit with New Con Chair Chris and Mike Wilson as I nommed on another cup of ramen and a PB sammitch for an early dinner. The panel itself was a smashing success even in spite of the anticipated boos I got when I took a few jabs to Power Rangers RPM during the panel.
I want my own Tardis someday. ;)
Since I had time to kill until Gaming With The Guests, I swung by Main Programming to catch a bit of Whose Line Is It Anyway@ Geek.Kon just in time to see Nick Izumi (please tell me you’ve checked out his YouTube channel by now) do a great Godzilla impression during the “Let’s Make A Date” segment. Eventually, I made the pilgrimage to the Tabletop Gaming room (and I think the only time I was in the room all weekend) for one of Geek.Kon’s charity events, Gaming With The Guests. Matt M.McElroy (Director of marketing for DriveThruRPG.com)and Eleven language expert David Salo led us in an interesting RPG game called Pandemic. Yeah, we may have doomed mankind in-game, but at least the pizza (which those who donated for the event got to consume) was good.
The event ended just in time to make what I dubbed the “Room Party Circuit”. There weren’t many going on (4 total and Kitsune’s was Saturday-only), but much fun was had. Anime Twin Cities’ was streaming some anime on Hulu+, Oddysey Con’s was showing some episodes of Night Gallery. Odd Con’s also made for a personal first: consumption of alcohol at a convention (which caught everyone in the room off-guard, don’t know why). A quick drink or two and a short stop at Anime Fusion’s, who was airing Summer Wars. If you haven’t seen that movie, do it now. Well, at least once you’re done reading this recap. :P
Not much else happened after that, caught the tail end of “Bride of It Came From The Internet” and a small part of “Fandub Insanity” before calling it a night shortly after 12:30am. I did say I was going to watch “Genesis of the Daleks” at 6am and I didn’t want to find out if Miles really was going to follow through with his “threat” the day before to drag me out of bed to go see it. Initially, I was just going to say “f*** it” and pull an all-nighter, but the headache I got after I left OddCon’s room party changed that plan.
Speaking of Daleks, you should probably run to Page 3 right about now before it tries to exterminate you.
It was indeed a time to get away. Between my hectic work schedule, working on panels and getting back into Cosplay for the first time in years, I was in a most dire need for my yearly “Vacation Con”. Luckily, I managed to get about 95% of my packing done the Thursday before I left and even managed to make a final tweak or two to one of my panels. I wasn’t Volunteering at Geek.Kon this year, but I had plenty to keep me busy there (but in a good way). Manly Men of Anime was on the docket as usual (which gave Nick Izumi his only panel work for the entire con). But as my personal way of celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Power Rangers, I also hosted a panel called “Top 11 “What The F***!?” Moments In Power Rangers History”. Heck, I even got invited to take part in Adam’s “Geeks On Sports” panel. But before all that can take place……..
LODGING!!! While I was rooming with the Kitsune contingent the 2 nights during Geek.Kon, I still needed some crash space for Thursday night. I tried to see if I could crash with John Fox again this year, but he wasn’t able to allow me, so I had to scramble for a Plan B before Reanna, Miles and Affy were gracious enough to offer the space. With everything in place, there was just a last-minute supply run that morning to make and the Kon was on!
Yep, no reason to panic. :P
I got up around 7 in the morning, which left more than enough time to finalize everything before Scotty arrived slightly after 10. The drive itself was largely uneventful, save for a couple of things when we got to Appleton to pick up Andrew. Seems they picked a heck of a time to do road construction in front of the road we needed to turn unto to get to his place. Scotty was not too thrilled with this development. And for an even more absurd reason, I kept texting Shaun, thinking he was the one we were picking up (in my defense, I was a bit sleep-deprived that morning). We had a lot of time to suddenly kill once we got into town because some of the No Brand Con crew who were helping with setup was running a wee bit late, so we made a slight detour to the Westgate Mall to Ravenworks to check out their fares.
The Force is indeed strong with this shop.
Since this was, after all, Andrew’s first time visiting Ravenworks, it was customary (according to Scotty) for him to dress up in some of their clothing. Scotty partook in it as well, I opted to just play the role of photographer this time around (It was my first time last year). While we were waiting on Andrew, I was checking out some of the Star Trek uniforms they had available for sale.
Brace yourselves. Andrew is coming.
Once we got our fantasy fill, we had enough time yet for a brief Rocky Rococo’s pit stop (because eating food helps) before arriving at the Kon Site around 2:30. I mostly just vegged out, watching them start setup work with the video game room before Reanna arrived about an hour later. We chatted about many things on the walk up to the apartment such as the states of our respective fandoms, the impending epicness of Geek.Kon and what was on the menu for dinner. It was a fairly lengthy walk (thank god I chose to wear a white shirt that day), but Reanna made sure we stopped at Geekplastique because I hadn’t been to it yet (and it was along the way). I decided to acquire a Kamen Rider mini-figure for $5 and joked about how knowing my luck, it would end up being a Den-O figure. Sure enough, I opened the box and Den-O Sword Form was staring me right in the face. Frig.
After that and a Target stop for pizza supplies, we did eventually arrive at the apartment, where much fun was had. After Reanna introducing me to the awful hilarity that was Shinesman, we ate some pizza, watched a Lupin the 3rd movie and engaged in some Cards Against Humanity (where Miles managed to force a tie with “Rando” on the final turn) before we turned it in for the night shortly after Midnight. We did have a convention to go to the next day, after all.
The calm before the storm of fun that awaits us all on Page 2.