Con Season!

Tomorrow is my first convention of the season, and as anyone who’s followed me knows, I always come home from cons feeling super creatively energized, though often directionless in terms of where to channel that energy.

This year, with two projects already under my belt, I feel like I have gained enough momentum and have enough ideas to carry me through another two or three projects on my own, so my hopes for this convention are a renewed sense of creative energy, and maybe some new inspiration for subject matter for the future.

I also hope that it will help me to put into words a few things I’ve been wanting to write about, and should that be the case, I’ll be back with a few new posts in about a week.

Also, woo, long weekend!  Hope you all have a safe and happy one.

Friday, Friyay: August 17th, 2018

& (1)Yooo, guys, this has been a pretty laid-back, do-nothing week (not that there is anything wrong with that), but I got some pretty big “yay’s” out of it, nonetheless.

First of all, I’ve gotten three snail mail letters/packages from my mail trade site of choice, in the last few weeks.  I’d hit a long dry spell, because I hadn’t updated for a long time, and because I stopped doing tag backs, and- honestly – I more or less forgot about the site for a while.  But recently I went and updated my info with the intent of getting back into it, and – I don’t know how, maybe honestly by sheer luck? – my profile seems to be gaining traction again.  I’m psyched.

Second, I finally replaced all the Dollar Tree picture frames on my living room wall with really cute/chic collage picture frames that I got at Wal-Mart, and filled them with all our Florida vacay pics.  They look great – I loved my DT picture frames, they looked good and all, but the sheer number of them – 16 – plus a pre-schooler who likes to climb meant they were always getting knocked off-center, getting crooked, etc, and it was driving me bonkers.  So, this wound up being a cute, appropriate solution.  It also means I can use some of those discarded frames for other things – i.e., my planner last year had some gorgeous typographical art/inspirational quotes as on the divider pages, and I’ve been hanging on to them forever looking for a purpose for them.  Viola!  I found places of four of them in my house, and the remainder are set aside for goodies to send through aforementioned mail trades.  So, I got great new frames for my photos and four new pieces of free art.  Score.

Third – AND THIS IS A BIG, BIG YAY – the first con I ever attended, the Harry Potter-centric LeakyCon is coming back to Boston to celebrate its 10th anniversary.  I am so, so psyched, because I think – I think  I can afford it, and I might even get to go with my siblings, who have expressed (albeit tentative) genuine interest.  This would be the first con my sister has ever attended, and the first one my brother would attend outside of Arisia (and only his second ever as a “layman,” i.e., not working the whole con, which he usually does at Arisia, anyway).  I’m so psyched about the possibility, and even if the cost of the hotel is prohibitive , I can always commute.  I’d really rather not, but I can, which is reassuring.

Fourth – I’m not going to register for it yet because this summer has been crazy – but registration is already open for GISH next year, and the dates are already set – July 27th through August 3rd – and I can actually plan for it almost a full year in advance (and I can recruit in real life, too).  I’m excited – I feel like, given I only had three real days when I could GISH this year, I got a decent amount of stuff done, and my team was aaaaa-maz-ing.  Next year, without the stress of vacay coming right in the middle of it, I bet we can rock it.

Anyway, this is coming to you super late on Friday – it’s edging in on 10:30,which actually isn’t super late even for my Exhausted Parent brain, but is later than I’m usually up and blogging.  Had a busy day with my niece and nephew today over at my mom’s house, and got very little done that was on my to-do list, but it was worth it.  My sister works weekends so I don’t see her or the kids as much as I’d like, so I’ll take a zero-productivity day for some time with the bubbies.

I’m down to the last 10 days of summer vacation, and looking forward to it (I really do love my job, and I like having structure), but also, aaaaargh, where the hell did my summer go???

What has kept you going this week?  Is your summer long over, or still going strong?

 

FanExpo Boston

Zach Callison is meme trash – pass it on.

I’ve been attending conventions since 2009.  My first con was the inaugural LeakyCon in Boston, followed by recurring attendance at a now defunct convention focused on queer transformative fan media, a single stint at Anime Boston, and my sort of “forever” con – the one I try never to miss – Arisia.  Throw in a couple of one-or-two day mini-cons, like MICE and LadiesCon (which are wonderful and tons of fun, just not the full convention experience as I have come to know it), and con-going isn’t exactly a lifestyle for me, but it’s something I’m well familiar with.

Prior to FanExpo, the most “commercial” con I’d ever been to was Anime Boston, and my understanding is that even AB is still run by local groups.  FanExpo, on the other hand, is the rebranding of Boston Comic-Con, and is a worldwide exhibition organization – they run tons of the other cons under the FanExpo and MegaCon name.  So this was an experience that was very, very new to me – the majority of my con-going experience has been very, very much “by fans, for fans.”

I was supposed to meet-up with a couple of people who ultimately did not show (one who was legitimately sick, and one (my brother) who is just a mega-flake-and-a-half), and I can tell you unequivocally that, especially as someone with social anxiety, having a companion would have elevated the con-going experience exponentially.  There were a lot of free photo ops – there were fully clad Jedis with replica lightsabers, life-sized functional R2D2s, a set piece from the Mos Eisley cantina (complete with Greedo corpse), a replica of the control hub for the TARDIS, life-sized Simpsons couch (with life-sized Simpsons family), and Olmec from Legends of the Hidden Temple (dude, that show was my jam!  Did anyone else turn their backyards/rooms into temple-esque obstacle courses when they were kids?).*  Any of those would have made amazing photos – and made my Insta feed vastly more interesting – but I don’t feel super comfortable approaching strangers on my best days, less so when I’m handing them a valuable possession and just trusting they won’t run off, and I was feeling especially overloaded because of the sheer size and scope of the con already, so approximately zero photos were taken that day.  And that’s a shame; I really would have loved to capture some of that stuff for posterity.

But none of that is the fault of FanExpo.  What FanExpo did do that no other con has done for me before is put me within arms reach of people I deeply admire and fangirl over.  I got to see, for instance, Jeff Goldblum charm the pants off a gaggle of cosplayers, as well as what felt like the entirety of the audience in the Main Stage theatre that day.  I honestly think he must be adept at hypnosis or… I don’t know, something, because while I’ve always liked and enjoyed Jeff Goldblum, I’ve never been a Goldblum “fangirl.”  But man, seeing him up on stage (from an actually pretty close vantage point) just made me absolutely giddy.  He has, ahem, uh… aged well.

I also had the opportunity (though I didn’t take it, because I hadn’t thought ahead) to ask questions of the cast of Steven Universe – I got to hear Zach Callison and Dee Dee Magno Hall sing snippets of “The Room Where it Happened” and “The Schyluer Sisters” (Hamilton meets Steven Universe??  Yes, please!), and I got to participate in a singalong with the cast, which was beyond awesome. Sure, there was some waiting in line, but the wait was maybe 45 minutes for sixth/seventh row seat for Goldblum and fourth row seats for the Steven Universe cast (and only then because the first three rows were reserved for VIP Pass holders), and while in line I got to oogle some of the best cosplayers I’ve ever seen.  Not a shabby trade off.

Capping my evening off, I got to see Boston’s Unscripted Musical Project, an improv comedy troupe that improvises a new musical comedy every night based on audience suggestions.  They were so far above and beyond what I expected (I’ve seen an exceptional improv performance or two, but I’ve seen way, way more terrible improv performances), I actually wish they’d had longer than an hour to perform (though I imagine that’s probably “capacity” for them in terms of being able to sustain an improvised musical, and it’s damn impressive as is.  I just would have liked more of them, is all).  It was nice to see something geeky – and seriously, I mean this is a genuinely affectionate way, but improv is geeky as hell – but not fandom-centric.  It’s one of the things I love so much about Arisia – there’s plenty of fandom, but there’s a ton of stuff to cater to people’s love and interest of other non-fandom geekish interests.

Anyway, all in all, I think a day pass was more than enough for me, though I would happily go back for more of the same next year, assuming I wouldn’t be going alone.  I could have spent hours more wandering the dealer’s room and artist alley, but that likely would not have been the best case scenario for my mental health (serious sensory overloads) or my wallet.  As it was, I spent $40 on four beautiful prints, and am so, so happy that I downloaded the FanExpo app, because I can go through the dealer’s room listings and bookmark more vendors for future online perusal (minus the sensory overload).

And, as happens after every convention, I now feel very, very inspired to be creative, but am immediately dissatisfied with any creative output.  Damn my brain.

I don’t think I’m slated for another con until MICE in October, which will be another one day affair, and then Arisia again in January, which will be nice – Arisia at this point kind of feels like home.

Any fellow con-goers have favorite convention stories to tell?