hazelchaz: (ears)

Michael Contos and Theresa Contos, with their hand-painted tiki coolers. Michael and Theresa Contos found these tiki coolers, and he used colorful model paints to decorate them festively. Michael remembered us from AniZona earlier this year. (right)

Someone, somebody, and someone else. Thee Swank Bastards. People were ready to start partying again Saturday afternoon... )

The Devil-ettes. Saturday evening, down on the lawn, the Devil-ettes were dancing on stage... )

Saturday night was the last night to party. A number of rooms were open for "after parties" meaning after the music and burlesque show is over for the night. So they opened at 10:00 pm or so. (In sci-fi or anime convention terms, think "after the masquerade.")

Rebecca Cate, Martin Cate. At the Smuggler's Cove party I met Rebecca Cate and Martin Cate... )

Kari Hendler (''Tangaroa-Ru'') and the Mai Tai Jell-O she's created. Tangaroa-Ru had a party, on the ground floor, that I'd wanted to check out, and I'm glad I did -- she was serving up Mai Tai Jell-O... )

Tana the Tattooed Lady. ''It's okay, I'm a mermaid.'' ''It's okay, I'm a mermaid'' (and other elevator snapshots)... )

The newly-built ballrooms at the Crowne Plaza. They haven't finished getting the access ramp ready, so if you're on wheels you'll need to go around to the other side. They also haven't added any new tiki decorations. On Sunday, I took a look at the newly-built ballrooms at the Crowne Plaza. They haven't finished getting the access ramp ready, so if you're on wheels you'll need to go around to the other side. They also haven't added any new tiki decorations. (left)

Dixie Von Trixie at the ''Wear It Again Sam'' booth. Wear It Again Sam is a San Diego store in Hillcrest. Dixie Von Trixie was in the indoor dealers room with the "Wear it Again Sam" booth. (right)

King Kukulele. King Kukulele was on the phone, and had swapped shirts with Otto. Kukulele is the convention's toastmaster. "Otto Von Stroheim" is the chair of the whole convention. (left)

Interviewer, Otto Von Stroheim, and photographer. Framed by the tiki fence. Otto had Kukulele's shirt, because he wanted to look sharp for an interview. I didn't catch the name of the photographer or the interviewer. (right)

And shortly after that I ran out of battery juice. Rather than fish a fresh set of out my luggage, we opted to head for home.

Next: preview of our Guests of Honor and a picnic in the park.

hazelchaz: (Default)

Theresa Mather, artist.Photos online: Xanadu Las Vegas part 1: Arriving late Thursday night (17-Apr-2009) et seq.
The picture of [livejournal.com profile] theresamather is from the convention.

AniZona, then Xanadu. AniZona had a mix of a seasoned "old" (over 30) crew of concom, and its third batch of under 30 staff learning the ropes; while Xanadu had a small concom of over-30 people learning as they go. About 350 members attended Xanadu.

AniZona's supposedly trying to train up the younger generation. My conclusion: it's not working. If this is their third batch of staff, if they've managed to have a 100% turnover in staff twice, then there's something wrong with how they're going about it. And it's not because people don't want to make anime conventions happen in Arizona: Saboten-Con over Halloween Weekend, Phoenix Cactus ComicCon (they dropped the "Cactus" this year) in January, AnimeTuCon down Tucson way... (We'll gloss over Yaoi Jamboree for now.) Anime convention fandom has spread into Arizona.

As far as Xanadu: Jacqueline Mason, the lady who'd convinced me to sign up back in September, was no longer part of the Xanadu operation. I expected to find a con suite, but they didn't have one. They didn't have name badges for at-the-door members, just wristbands. And the hotel, the Plaza Hotel (ex-Union Plaza) stinks of cigarette smoke, not just the decades-old kind but the fresh kind from the guy standing outside the door to the ballrooms smoking. I'm not going back to that hotel for a convention again.

We're heading out to Bakersfield tonight, for a cosplay picnic that [livejournal.com profile] summoner_lenne9 is involved with. Should be fun.

hazelchaz: (Default)

Nikki Costa with tattoo and ''Free Snacks'' sign (which has a tattoo in the corner). Photos now online:
AniZona 4: Late Thursday night (10-Apr-2009) New 16-Apr-2009
AniZona 4: Friday (10-Apr-2009) New 16-Apr-2009
AniZona 4 part 8: Saturday Morning (11-Apr-2009) New 16-Apr-2009
AniZona 4: Sunday (12-Apr-2009) New 16-Apr-2009
A stop at the PODS Warehouse (13-Apr-2009) New 16-Apr-2009
The picture of [livejournal.com profile] aesthier as "Morrigan" with the [livejournal.com profile] animelosangeles tattoo is from Saturday.

Part 1 of my AniZona report. The Friday night dance at AniZona was cut short at midnight, apparently because the DJ got tired or bored or something. Reportedly the fans weren't dancing that much anyway. Which reminds me of a card I need to write out and mail:

[livejournal.com profile] lynxcat, I owe you a major apology for not asking you back as DJ at Animé Los Angeles 4. Your dances in the early years were always well-attended, and you kept the energy going all night. I still remember that night you told me "They won't die! I'm trying to kill them, and they just keep dancing!" I made a big mistake in removing you (in order to to try to solve a different problem). It was incredibly disrespectful and rash, and I shouldn't have done that.

I realize that you've moved away, and are now married with a wonderful son, and have a new life almost completely independent of everything you left behind here in So. Cal. But I would be honored if you would come down next year, our convention's fifth anniversary, and take a shift during our Saturday night dance at the LAX Marriott (2010-01-09). Show these upstart otaku DJs how it's done, put some of your manic "Adrenochrome" energy back into this convention, and leave the fans wanting more.

Yours in fandom, etc.

I'll look up his address and get that sent off real soon now.

I've been writing a lot of notecards lately, in fact -- I've written over 200 in the past month or two, thank-you notes for everyone who worked at our convention this year. When I have time, I write until my hand gets tired, then stuff the envelopes and stamp them; repeat. So some of them have Arizona postmarks if I worked on them last weekend.

Melissa De Mello at breakfast. We had a fan table at AniZona, which was nice. [livejournal.com profile] ladymaxstarr rode out with me (left), and we took turns driving. A lifesaver, truly; if I had to choose between having a helper for the drive, and having one at the table, I'd take the drive to make sure I get where I'm going safely.

And the attendees at the convention seemed to have a good time. Which is not surprising: when people go to a convention expecting to have fun, they usually do.

Stephanie Bannon in the convention office. The schedule grid is on her computer. If I remember the numbers treasurer Stephanie Bannon (right) told me, 70% of the members pre-registered in the last month before the convention. (They maxed out their cap the week before, so there were no at-door membership sales.)

What did I think of the convention? I saw lots of people having a fun time. There were some details that were lacking, such as the signs... )

There were a lot of good feelings among the attendees. But there are some major issues with the staffing, so this is the last AniZona weekend convention for the forseeable future... )

It was an odd convention experience for me. AniZona's as old as Animé Los Angeles, so for it to end on such a conflicted note -- the regular attendees having a great time, but clear signs of early burnout on the part of the staff -- is hard for me to internalize.

I'll have more thoughts on the convention in my next post, along with some ponderings on the Arizona convention scene.

Tonight we hit the road for Xanadu Las Vegas. [livejournal.com profile] ala_mokita is on the road already, to set up a movie illustrators exhibit. (As I write this, he's about 60 miles from Vegas, while I haven't left Orange County yet.) Lynn, Melissa and I plan to wait until the traffic dies down a bit after rush hour and then we'll hit the road ourselves.

hazelchaz: (Default)
Tomorrow: The [livejournal.com profile] loscon Picnic that [livejournal.com profile] squiptryx0 is organizing. See his post here for more info.

After that: Two conventions and three picnics, and stuff like that.

Artists: We need an extra design, one for an Animé Los Angeles postcard (you've got about four weeks) and another for a special postcard/flyer we'll be handing out at Anime Expo. More info to follow.

[livejournal.com profile] ladymaxstarr has a regular Orange County habit on Wednesdays: She goes to a goth club that some friends of hers run at a nightclub. Starting this coming week, it will be at an 18-and-over club in downtown Anaheim. For a month or two there, they were closed and she's been coming out and hanging out with us on some Wednesdays. As it turns out, the SPJA (Anime Expo's parent organization) board meetings are held on Wednesday nights... )

So, about those conventions. For AniZona, we'll have a table, likewise I hope to have one at FanimeCon in Artists' Alley. For FanimeCon we're probably going to have a Peanut Butter and Jelly Frenzy like we did a few years ago, which won't be advertised.

It's not clear yet whether we'll have a table at Anime Expo, but we have decided that we'll have a hospitality room at the Westin Bonaventure serving dinner. (That's the hotel which will have most of their evening programming.) We'll open in the afternoon/evening -- the time we open depends on whether we have a table in the dealers room. I'm going to want art for a special flyer we'll print up that will invite people to join us for dinner, and we'll hand those out -- face-to-face, and at our table if we have one. I'll be announcing the art contest for that flyer on the [livejournal.com profile] animelosangeles LJ in a few days.

For all of these conventions, plus Anime Vegas (at the Cashman Center, about a mile north of Fremont Street), I need to know who wants to help; if you and I have already talked about it, it wouldn't hurt to remind me now.
hazelchaz: (ears)

Gallifrey One report part 1: Friday Afternoon. (See also part 2, part 3, and part 4.)

I don't usually attend Gallifrey. I'd given [livejournal.com profile] fairegoddess and [livejournal.com profile] summoner_lenne9 memberships, and then a combination of factors including [livejournal.com profile] missmea wanting to go led to [livejournal.com profile] library_lynn and I deciding to book a room and attend. And, incidentally, making sure that our family and friends had a place to stay.

I'm just barely a Gallifrey One staffer: I served as the Postcard Maven for three years... )

I also volunteered to print some jumbo posters on Bertha. )

Los Angeles Airport Marriott valet drop-off. It's raining, so I'm not going out for a big exterior shot right now. Friday morning, Lynn and I left a little late, and stopped at Trader Joe's in Cerritos for some snacks to keep in the hotel room. She bought these big chocolate chip chocolate mini-bundt cakes for "breakfast food," and some rolls and fruit and so forth. We didn't get to the hotel until just before 1:00 pm. (In the rain.) But that's the beauty of not having any at-convention responsibilities -- it doesn't matter when we show up.

Lynn Baden and Sarah Goldberg. As one might imagine, Sarah was the first person we ran into. She came down off the mountain, just as a big winter storm came to town. (left)

We had promised her that, rather than try to get back up on Sunday (which might not work if the Grapevine was closed due to the snow expected), she could stay over at our house and we'd make sure that she got home at the end of it all.

Melissa and Maria would be arriving on their own at some point. Lindsay wasn't going to be joining us after all, so we'd only have five in our room instead of six.

Stephen Roberts and the first bellcart full of Dalek parts for Steve's Dalek. We weren't really sure what we'd be doing to pass the time Friday afternoon, but half an hour after we arrived we found out: We'd watch Stephen Roberts bring a Dalek to life... )

Jim Vowles. While sitting around at one of the fan tables, putting tape on the posters, a few people found me, such as [livejournal.com profile] jvowles of Otakon who waggled his Sonic Screwdriver at me. (left)

Patrick Beckstead, Aimee Hoff, Korinne Wilkening. Horizon Chaser is handing out an ''I know WHO he is'' ribbon to someone off to one side of the picture It may come as no surprise that I'd handled the ribbons for a few fans at the convention. One such fan was "Horizon Chaser," who handed out a ribbon to anyone who knew who Horizon Chaser is. Here you can see one of those yellow ribbons ("I know WHO he is") being handed out. (right)

When the time came for me to help Steve with a tricky hinge, I handed my spare camera to Lynn so she could shoot some of the action-packed excitement... )

But my weekend wasn't going to revolve around the Dalek. I had a few things I wanted to do. I wanted to see if we could get the various guests and program participants on the postcard mailing list. I'd sent in an article to be printed in the program book about the postcard mailing list and the art contest, and I wanted to have flyers about the postcard project in the green room for when the guests checked in.

The problem with this scheme was that I really needed to have the flyers ready before the guests started showing up -- getting to the convention an hour or two after the panels started meant I'd missed a chance to build up a lot of momentum, and I hadn't talked to Suze and made sure she was fully on board with the project. I put a few signs up in the Green Room, which was one room used for Program Ops and Green Room Hospitality and even Staff Lounge, and I hoped for the best.

Ninja Kitty of Doom. I had a few other errands to deal with. I had (almost) all of the leftover Gallifrey postcards, and I wanted to park them on a freebie table in the Pass-Through Lounge.

I also had a very large number of AniZona postcards to dispose of. Lucky for me, I ran into Ninja Kitty of Doom, who has some important job with AniZona and took them off my hands. Hooray! (left)

Next: The Dalek moves!

Yes, I'm in Indiana this week. Saturday I'll be at the Cosplay Potluck Picnic in Bakersfield, though. Look for me there...

hazelchaz: (ears)

My Animé Los Angeles report, part 6: Sunday. (See also part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 7.)

Fred Ladd had originally been one of my picks for a Guest of Honor to tie in with Old School Day... )

Sunday also marked the debut of our ''Your Next Convention'' mini program track... )

Rob Miles is in charge of "Stage Zero" at FanimeCon, and he's offered us a half-hour timeslot to talk up [livejournal.com profile] animelosangeles. What shall we do? Will it be at 9:00 am on the last morning of the convention?

Sunday afternoon was the ''Walking Free'' Fashion Show... )

There was a lot of interest in next year's Fashion Show, especially for having it earlier in the weekend. It'll be either Friday or Saturday next year, depending on what Tech and Events work out.

Our Editor Guest of Honor, Zac Bertschy, was only able to attend on Sunday... )

Feedback/Gripe Session, in the timeslot before Closing Ceremonies, was relatively painless. Suggestions included positioning signs so from the foyer you can look down the hall and see where the doors to Artists' Alley, Dealers, LP1, LP2, and so forth are. It was pointed out that the hotel has removed the signs hanging from the ceiling that used to say Salon A and Suite 1 etc, so it's even harder to find things. Another suggestion was to add a map of the facility to the BADGE ZONE signs, with a YOU ARE HERE dot. Many compliments, lots of people liked the costume-eating escalator sign and the big posters we had everywhere (mostly of Kevin Lillard's photos). We should have announced at Gripe to go get your poster now -- many were torn down once Closing started. (I may owe people a few reprints.) Suggestion for next year: post photos from the past five Animé Los Angeleses (Animé Los Angeli?). As well as Jessica's art.

Next: After it's all over


hazelchaz: (Default)
Chaz Boston Baden

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