Sunday, 14 August 2011

Otakuthon 2011 Con Report

[Warning: LONG ENTRY! Image-heavy post ahead!]

Oh boy, what a weekend. Here's the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

But before that, here are some pics of my merch~~~

The Good
Location was Awwwweeessssome. On friday, I hitched a ride with my dad in the morning... he dropped me off at a metro station, so I was able to drop in my apartment to work on some extra stuff. A few hours later, I had to head to the con which is a few metro stations away from my place. The reg desk was easy to find, and it went smoothly. There was a weird issue where we needed to be escorted to the exhibition hall (something about security since we were passing by the loading docks), but I managed to be one of the first ones in line, so I had loads of time to set up. ^_^ Also, being at a con in my own city is really great. I can go to sleep in my own bed~~~

No Overhead Expenses! Since I live here, I don't have to pay any transportation or accomodation fees. :D I did buy lunch one of the days, but otherwise, I don't have to worry about food either. Really, doing an AA in your own city is THE BEST. So it's really quite easy to break even.

Good Lighting, Good Noise Control, and Good Company. ^_^ I was seated REALLY close to the table next to me. LOL I was at a corner where they didn't put an opening (you can kind of see it in my merch table pic). Needless to say, it was almost as if they were my table partners.  The noise control was decent. It didn't feel too loud, and we didn't have to scream to hear eachother. If I brought my guitar, I'd probably be heard quite well. Anyways,  I had a lot of fun chatting with them, and more importantly, we played a drawing game, LOL. Basically, it's like a collective doodle: one person starts it, then passes onto the next, and it keeps on going until we feel it's finished. The results are funny and interesting. ^_^ We did three in total, but I only recorded two since the first one was more of a testing of the waters.

Very funny story about the character on the bottom...Continue reading and I'll explain. 

I love this one! It has so many funny details!

Nice customers. I always love my customers. you guys/gals ROCK! It's great when someone really appreciates your work. ^_^ I should snap pics of more people that buy my plushies, but I tend to only remember when they're cosplaying characters that they pair up with, lol.

Cute Cute Misty!

She ended up buying a Matt plush too!

Pretty People Are Pretty. I think there were a lot of casual fans at Otakuthon. And tons of pretty people. I mean, there are always great cosplayers at cons and people looking great... but the guys here. Lots of eye candy. I couldn't snap that many pics of them since some weren't in costume; they were mostly just in cool fashion. But I did take photos of some cosplay that I liked.

Noface~~~ The love of my life.

Hakuouki dude on the left... tall & totally my type. LOL

I love all Howls~~ (even when they're female)

First time EVER seeing a Skip Beat cosplay!

Rainbow Brite! How Nostalgic.

Sub Zero. Also nostalgic!

FMA. :)

I don't know who they are. But I like the costumes.

They were young~~ But cute. ^_^ I'm so pedo.

OMG. When I saw him. SO MY TYPE!
I mean, it's Renji. In casual wear.
And he's ACTUALLY a GUY. *drools*
A bit young, but I have my cougar moments.

My biggest fangirl moment. It's F*ing SANDROCK!
I ran after him...and then demanded where was Quatre.

Funny encounter: a double coincidence. On friday, my point-and-shoot camera died the second I opened it, so I couldn't take any photos. Actually, friday was kind of blah, but I had two highlights. One was getting high-fived by a white pedobear, the other was this: this dude looks at my noface keychains and says to his friend "oh~ I still have the one that was given to me." [Okay, rewind. Back at Anime North, this girl bought two noface keychains. One for herself, the other for this awesome cosplayer that stayed outside in the rain and wouldn't come in.] So turns out, HE was the cosplayer! It was funny because I REALLY wanted to see that noface! The girl who bought my keychains was really raving about how cool it was, and I couldn't see it because I was stuck at my table. :( So instead of seeing it, I saw the man behind the veil, and he's super chill. ^_^

On saturday, after doing that collective doodle drawing, I looked at that dead-character with the horns and polkadot boxers, and I saw a cosplayer of it in a distance. I asked my friend where was the character from, and she said it's from the game Catherine. When the cosplayer approached my table, I was going to show him the funny drawing, and turns out that it was the same dude from yesterday's encounter!


He's done quite the number of cosplays, so it'll be fun to see what he'll do next if I go to more cons. :)

So that was the GOOD... Now onto...

The Bad
Empty Spaces Are Empty. I mean, it was great that they left lots of room in the alley. But traffic was SO BAD! THERE WERE NO PEOPLE! o_0 Needless to say, my business was POOR! Definitely my worse sales thus far... And I'm sure it wasn't just me. I felt like I was having a staring contest with the table across of me sometimes.

This was on saturday when it's supposed to be busy

Casual Fans have no money. Or more like, they're not prepared to dish out cash for their fandom. I was only selling chibi plushies (35$ each)... Compared to my 50~70$...or people commissioning me for 125$+... They shouldn't be complaining.  I guess on the plus, those who did buy a plush really wanted it. :) But it was just sorta annoying after a while hearing that it was "trop cher" (too expensive) when I haven't even shown them expensive yet, lol.

AA location= rock bottom. Seriously. We were shoved in this exhibition hall that was FREEZING and DREARY. I've been to Palais des Congres for other things, and there are some really nicer rooms (some with carpetted floors and a better vibe). To make matters worse, people would enter the room to the DEALERS first, then pass the artisans, then the artists. OH, and btw, the exit is BEFORE the artist alley, so could just miss us completely if you wanted to.

Dangerous holes on the floor...Don't drop your cell.

Seems like the Good outweighs the Bad...but here's the Ugly. (the juciest drama)

[Disclaimer: lots of profanity ahead. Do not take offense. Well, take offense if you are the assholes I speak of.]

The Ugly
Asshole #1: Okay~~ I'm used to criticism. I've survived 6 years of Art School. I know what it's like to be intellectually bashed and mutilated. But somehow, with the mixture of being malnourished, freezing my ass off, having slow sales because of lack of people, being sleep deprived after working on so much merch, and all round just not wanting to be there~~ I overhear this dumbfuck saying the words "plushies" and "shit"...Okay, maybe I heard wrong, and everyone is entitled to their opinion so whatever. But then he continues: he looks at my business cards (which are free of course) and says quite clearly "even the business cards are shit"...I stood up, and said in the nastiest tone: Excuse me? The rage was bubbling, and I was ready to start some REAL shit. I know it's immature, but I was ready to jump over my table and choke the kid out (he was scrawny and in his teens). My brother taught me an efficient choke. I know how to choke well. :) But instead, I gave him the death glare, to see if he'd continue confrontation. Well...he didn't. He just sorta scurried away. I gave a nice sarcastic THANK YOU.  I'm glad he didn't pursue his insults because I could have gotten in trouble. Plush artists always carry huge sharp scissors and tools around. Don't fuck with me.

Asshole #2: So today, an hour before close. I realise something. My N plushie isn't there, and I'm 99.9% sure I didn't sell him. Weird. Oh shit, SOME FUCKER STOLE HIM! People have been fussing over him all weekend: "oh look, it's N! Oh he's so cute. N! N! N!"..... When I think back, I didn't hear any N comments cuz HE WASN'T THERE! WHY DO I ALWAYS GET MY GREEN-SHIT STOLEN! FIRST KIWIS, NOW MY GREEN-HAIRED CHARACTER!
It would have been easy to steal him because Sunday was a lot busier, and since we aren't allowed to have free-standing displays, my shelf was on the table and hid my peripheral vision. If someone is talking to me, it's hard to keep track of my things, and I simply trust that people aren't assholes enough to steal from an artist. I mean, it's one thing stealing goods that are manufactured by sweatshops in China, but it's another stealing from an artist who doesn't profit that much to begin with. Oh, and espescially one that's right in front of you, right?

But as consolation, Julia gave me one of her macaron necklaces:

Asshole #3: Oh you bet! There's a third asshole, and to me, it's the most upsetting of them all. About ten minutes after realising the N thing. This girl who bought my Bakura plush (one of my first customers on friday) came by and asked if I had any Bakura plushies. I was like:" But I sold you one!"... then she said: "I got mine stolen!". WHAT. THE. FUCK! It really pisses me off because I saw her carrying the plush all weekend and she really liked him; it was her first and only plush she ever got since she usually doesn't collect them. Apparently she put him in her bag, and then looked back after a while, and GONE.  It's one thing getting my merch stolen, but it's another getting a customer's loved-purchase stolen.  It really brings me joy to make other people happy...and well, when someone kills someone else's happiness, it in turn pisses the shit outta me. I'm thinking I should have tried harder to give her compensation, but I don't have her contact info. :( (so if the bakura-girl is reading this, please contact me!)

People tell me: on the positive side, it's cuz your stuff is so nice that they want to steal it. I'm usually positive, but I really don't take it as a compliment. I think it's the biggest insult and sign of disrespect ever. Sure they like the product, but what about the artist? They don't give a shit. The thing could be manufactured in an assembly line, and they'd consider it the same. Something was just seriously wrong with this con: I mean, I had to have signs written "handmade" on my stuff. It could be from being so close to the dealers but whatever it was, I had to encounter The Ugly. I am glad it's in my own city because had this been elsewhere, it would have been the worse experience.

In hindsight. I got to see a lot of hot guys and met some awesome people.  I guess that's what matters in the end. All in all, the con looked like fun, but the artist alley was to the gutters.


  1. Ohhh my god. Wow. I really don't know what to say... I mean the lighting and location is really nice (OMG you're such a creeper LOL!!) but, I seriously can't believe some one had the nerve to STEAL your things! What the heck were the AA staff doing??! Nothing like that has ever happened at Anime North... honestly this is unbelievable! :( *patpat* Well, just think about how you'll be able to make lots at FanEx! At least the fans in TO have the brains to keep rude comments to themselves :/


    I can't even say all the crap I want to say about's just appalling. I'm so insulted for you and all plush makers alike...ughhhhhh


  3. @ Alice: YES, I'm a CREEPER! LOL. AA staff consisted of only the director, I think. Even though AN's so big, indeed, this wouldn't happen.

    @ Machiko: I will kindly borrow your fabric shears of doom~~~ :D :D