It was fun.
I drove up on Friday afternoon and arrived just in time to miss the gate and get in. I wandered around Stage Zero for a bit then went back to the hotel room, where I bedded down with only eight other people. Among the people in the room there with me was my good friend James Chen of the Thoughtscream, which if you aren’t reading you really should. Anyway, we woke up godawful late on Saturday, and I went downstairs to get my pass and get in.
I got in line at 11:30.
I finally entered the floor at 1:30.
While in line, I saw a woman who struck me absolutely senseless. She was tall, curly-haired, with a Wonder Woman t-shirt, a quick smile, and her heart on her sleeve. As I left the line, I introduced myself to her friends and then to her, and asked if I could buy her lunch. She stammered ‘o-okay,’ and I gave her my card. And that was the last I heard of her.
Ah, c’est la vie. I hope she reads this, so I can at least call her a fan.
When I got onto the convention floor, I started by wandering around, as you do. I went looking first for the Datesim.org booth, run by friends of mine. While there, I fell into talking with Alexis, the artist for the game, and how she was offering commissions. I started out requesting a quick sketch, but ended up with a full blown, inks-and-colors figure of Green Snake, dressed in a cheongsam, half woman and half snake, giving the sexiest of Stanley Kubrick glances (warning, image is not sexy).
It was a liberating thing, actually, passing ideas back and forth with Alexis. I originally pictured the modern-day Green Snake wearing long, flowing, yet form-fitting clothing, analogous to what Maggie Cheung wore in Tsui Hark’s version, except modern. Then I realized that a cheongsam would work better, and she corrected it. We played around with the hair a bit before it occured to me that she’d probably wear a pixie cut. I’d never thought about her hair before. Alexis added gloves (and now I can’t picture the character without them), and at her third or fourth exhasperated “I can’t draw legs!” I sarcastically suggested she do the snake tail instead.
That worked out fantastically, as it turned out. I highly recommend commissioning an artist any con you go to, just to see what things look like when they come OUT of your head.
I wandered around artist’s alley and the dealer’s hall a bit after that. I did meet Wendy Pini, of ElfQuest fame, and thanked her for that large chunk of my childhood that her work formed. By then, it was getting on in the day, and there is something very, very important that happens on Saturday at Fanime.
I am, of course, talking about Masquerade.
The line did, in fact, stretch three-quarters of the way around the block, as the Mexican ice-cream vendors trundled by in the hot afternoon sun. As I was running on empty, I agreed to make the run to the Fast Food Joint Which Shall Not Be Named, and as soon as I got back the line was moving. We noshed our burgers, James stuck his chicken sandwiches in his voluminous pants pockets, and we went into Masquerade.
I have good news: Those guys that did the awesome Pokemon skit last year? The one that sent the entire 30k strong audience to its feet, singing, clapping, and dancing? They did basically the same skit again this year. And they won Best In Show. My only problem was either we were sitting in the wrong spot or the sound was just bad, but every spoken comedy sketch sounded like this:
*mumblemumblemumblemumble* COCKPUNCH! *laughter*
After Masquerade, it was quite late, and I ended up in the game room, ostensibly looking for my friend Charlie. Instead, I got pulled into a game of Ninja, the Poor Man’s Twister, by Elphaba from Wicked. This went on for about four hours, with all of us at one point or another catching the Wicked STD and having green skin paint in unusual places. And then I stumbled off to bed.
What happened the next day? Read on.