Last weekend, (Oct 19-21) I went to Anime USA, a local convention in Washington D.C. held in the convention center at the Marriott. It was a birthday gift to my sister, and though neither one of us are “otakus”, both of us do love the artwork, and sense of community portrayed at these events. I was sure I would find neat things to do, and learn quite a bit as well, especially some advice concerning work in the industry, and lore I intend to use in future works. Now, I didn’t take many pictures, partly because I’m not very photogenic, and partly because my camera battery is never charged, even when it is, but I do want to share with you a few of the things we saw and did.
Here is a picture of me with the legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett.
Yes, I am smiling in the picture. Believe me, it is a step up from the permanent scowl that my siblings and I tend to possess.
There were so many other awesome costumes, I wish I could show them to you, but even if my camera had been charged, there is only so much space I have at my disposal on the WordPress database, so I’ll just have to list off some of the more notable ones I can remember. There were several kitsunes, quite a few Umbreons and Espeons from “Pokemon”, many Links and Zeldas from “The Legend of Zelda” several Kazutos from “Sword Art Online” , an Alucard from “Hellsing” Mario and Luigi from “Super Mario Brothers” a Goku and Vegeta from “Dragon Ball Z” and even the main character from that new anime “Golin Slayer” everyone is talking about. Of course there were more, but it would take me hours to find and reference them all, since many I really don’t know that much about.
We also went to a number of different panels, from one’s that had my sister make stuffed animals, to one’s that covered Japanese lore, to producers of “Pokemon” discussing the show, and even a few that had me make a piece of semi-functional armor. I met well known animator Jeff Cummings, voice actress Liza Ortiz, and got a little professional advice from voice actress and voice coach, Karen Strassman; experiences that were well worth the entry price. Karen’s words have motivated me to push the gas pedal, so to speak, on doing this as my profession, and so, I will be talking about that a bit later.
However, my favorite place by far, at almost any con, (all three I’ve ever been to) is the artist alley. Separate from the dealers hall, which was quite large for such a small con, it allows local and national artists to sell their work, advertise, and take commsions. I am a HUGE stickler for originality, and this is one of the few places you can find it. Though many prints and designs represent characters from shows and well known works, they are drawn and colored by the people there, making them unique in their own sense. I often opt for completely original works, ones that don’t depict well known characters, but sometimes, there’s a pose, or a scene I just can’t say no too. I have been collecting works from several artists in this way, making sure every print and poster is personally signed in some way or form, and am creating a portfolio to display them all. I know some will ask why, as many of the posters have little monetary value, even with the signatures, but just as with any other collection, it’s not about the money, but the journey taken to accrue it. Naturally, I cannot post the prints I purchase without the artists permission, so don’t expect to see many any time soon, but for those that might be interested in my other hobbies outside of Warhammer, well, now you know of another one.
And speaking of collecting, I am also a huge fan of talismans and pendents. Outside of a watch, it is the only jewelry I ever really wear, as my fingers are gigantic sausages that don’t take well to finger rings, I am extremely hard on belt buckles, and I have no interest in ear or nose rings. To that effect, I also bought several little pendants at the con, all of which depicted… EEVEES! I am a huge eeveelution nut, even though I haven’t paid much attention to Pokemon in years. I have an Eevee and a Jolteon on the dash of my truck, an Eevee sticker on my computer, and now I have three new eeveelution pendents. Though made of far cheeper materials than silver and pearl, given they were done in a vibrant victorian style I just couldn’t say no. So now, I’d like to show them to you. In order from left to right is, Jolteon (my favorite eeveelution), Leafeon, and Sylveon, (my second favorite eeveelution)
Umbreon (my third favorite) was also available, but I’m not made of cash, and so I got the three I thought looked best. I was going to go with just Jolteon and Sylveon at first, but Leafeon made it a very difficult choice. If you are interested in acquiring similar pendants, they were purchased from a shop’s booth called, Viking Sheep. They do have an online store, but you’ll likely have to contact them if you’re interested in the pendants, as they are not up on the store’s display.
So, that was my first time at Anime USA. It is not as big as Otakon, so it may not be worth going to from out of state, but it is certainly worth going to if you live in or around the MD/ VA area, or even just a bit beyond. After all, Otakon didn’t start off as huge as it has become, and other conventions can only grow as large when people attend them. As for us, my sister and I find we prefer the smaller conventions anyway, as Otakon was very busy and a little too crowded for our tastes. What? Why have I never talked about Otakon? Well… my trip there this summer was my first, and done largely for my sister who needed someone to go along. We went on Sunday only, and though I collected a lot of artwork, that was all I really had time for, and didn’t have much else to speak about. Maybe next year, if I have the funds (Buy my books!) I will be able to go the entire weekend, and have a great deal more to talk about.
Next week, I am going to discuss some plans going forward as far as this site, my work, and marketing. Pay attention to the “Loringlund” lore page, as I will likely be finishing it up later this week. Also, if you have any fan art you would like me to post, send it to me at my email address located on my “About” page. I’m always happy to hear from fans. That’s all for now. Take care, and don’t forget to Subscribe and Comment. Also, if you want, check me out on FaceBook and Minds. Always happy to get more likes and shares, and often return the favor if you have a page yourself.