Late, Late Katsucon Stuff

So Katsucon was two weeks ago, and I’d already made a promise to get my thoughts up. It appears I’m even more terrible at time management than I originally thought. I probably did more con stuff this year than I have in all previous Katsucon’s I’ve attended. There’s also a lot of stuff I DIDN’T do that I’d planned to. Either way, here’s some stuff from Katsu.

2-10-09I brought business cards with me to the convention. They were a very last minute idea, and in retrospect one I could have totally skipped out on. I handed out maybe three or four of them. I’d brought fliers too, and left them nowhere. One of these days I’m going to have to shake off all that hesitation and just get out there and talk to people. I’ve decided I’m not a great self-marketer. Need to change that.

One thing I did that was slightly stressful but totally worth it was sitting in on a panel with Darren Gendron, who does the webcomics Dear Pirate, Hello With Cheese and Experts Guide on How to Kill Things That Go Bump in The Night (WHEW!). It was awesome to have me up there with him discussing how to do photo based webcomics featuring hand-made characters crafted from totally different mediums. I’m hoping the next time we do something like this I abandon the jitters ahead of time, because I felt off the first fifteen minutes or so.

2-13-09I also brought my camera. Truth told, I went to the convention with the intent to take photos like mad. I planned to drain some batteries, fill up SD cards and run around documenting things like a crazy person. This is one of maybe a handful of photos NOT of my friends. I suffer ridiculously from an anxiety about talking to people that I find it almost impossible to ask a simple, “Hey, can I take your photo?” I even bought some new gear to keep my flash off-camera. I just see people walking around with bigger and better stuff and start feeling self-conscious of what I bring to the table. This is something I also need to change.

One chance that I DID have to use my camera, that I absolutely loved, was getting on stage at Katsucon’s SUPER ART FIGHT version of Iron Artist.


Four teams of two skipped from canvas to canvas, adding to and modifying the art laid down by the other competitors. Crowd reaction was great, and it was a thrill to be up there documenting everything. More photos from the event will be found shortly on my Flickr page, and even more should go up at as soon as I get my archive of photos to them.

Fighters from the event included many faces from all around the world of Webcomics. Teams were:
Nick “Ghostfreehood” Borkowicz (Art Fight High School) and Jamie “angryzenmaster” Noguchi (Erfworld,
Jamie Baldwin (Sudden Valley) and Yuko Ota (Johnny Wander)
Hawk (Applegeeks) and Bryan Prindiville (Hello With Cheese)
Garth Graham (Finder’s Keepers) and Steve Bennett.

Having just gotten into webcomics in general, not to mention starting this one, it’s no surprise I spent a lot of time talking to webcomics folk present at the convention. Lots of panels were webcomics-centric, or included webcomics guests speaking on them. In addition to the webcomics represented by the Art Fight competitors, Dominic Deegan, Blue & Blond, Fragile Gravity and The System were also there.

Three heavy hitters in webcomics, representing and The Halfpixel Crew were Dave Kellett (Sheldon), Kris Straub (Starslip) and Brad Guigar (Evil Inc.). I got to talk briefly to Dave about pugs, and to Brad about some opinions he’d had regarding photo based webcomics. What he told me put me more at ease and I walked away feeling a little better about what I’m doing here.

All of the webcomics guests were rounded up by Onezumi and Harknell from Stupid & Insane Defenders Against Chaos. They are awesomely cool people and run a smooth ship. Any con should consider themselves lucky to have these two working for them. Amu and I had the pleasure of sitting next to them at Otakon‘s Artist’s Alley last year and had a blast. If possible, we’re going to try and do so again.

Speaking of Artist’s Alley stuff, while we couldn’t get a table at Katsucon, Amu DID put some art into the Art Show. She had a couple of things sell, so if you’ve bought something from Amu at the con and would like to share a photo of you with your JUMBO KATMARI PRINCE amigurumi, send it out way. We’d love to see how it’s enjoying its new life with you.

Part of why I love conventions is the time I get to spend with my friends. We don’t get rowdy or party or go crazy, but we joke around a lot and enjoy a good many laughs. As with most friendly gatherings, there are certain themes that crop up all the time. It’s amazing how micro-viral some of this stuff gets.

Original Video– More videos at TinyPic

This Saturday Night Live skit from WAAAY back in the day was quoted probably hundreds of times in our group. I’d never seen this before, but it was an instant hit. I’m reminded of the clever, witty SNL that I enjoyed back before it became mostly frat guy fart jokes.

2-15-09Aside from sharing inside jokes, creating mini memes and having fun, we also like to indulge in a little ritualistic torture. A few years ago we were shopping at an asian grocery store and picked up a pack of mixed snacks. A tradition was born when we decided to take turns reaching into the bag of indecipherable snack foods to pull out…something. Most of the reactions are hilarious, and it’s honestly more of a texture thing than a flavor thing. I will say though that these packs tend to include A LOT dry read bean pasted crammed inside a wafer shell. It’s HOLY CRAP I CAN’T GET THIS RANCID, SMUSHY GLOB OF DRY ICK FROM THE ROOF OF MY MOUTH-TASTIC!

Next Katsucon we’re going to try to be there representing the comic, so when next February rolls around keep watching to see if we’re going to have a table where we can meet and talk and show you more of what we have planned for the comic.