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Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Archive for September 13, 2014

Blogversation – The pros and cons of conventions

Blog-versation logo

Last week, Joel discussed conventions briefly with us all and so I thought I’d carry this conversation on but actually discuss the pros and cons of the conventions.

Now Joel did a nice job of summarising some of the negatives to going to a convention early on in his post on the subject, but this is my turn now and I’m going to give you a funky fresh approach to this. No, I will not be doing funky fresh rhymes.

 


 

Pros

Networking – The first and foremost reason why we all go to a convention in the first place is to meet similar minded people, who are partaking in similar activities. However in the case of a blog, a games studio, manga artist, etc, conventions are invaluable communication methods, which serve as a brilliant marketing strategy and drives engagement like there’s no tomorrow. I’d have not met Joel if he wasn’t trying to plug Quotes from the Tabletop at me.

Admiration – To receive admiration for the work that you’ve done; be it writing, art, cosplaying – in fact nearly any skill of any kind, so long as you’re willing to show off what makes you so damn great, then people want to see it. They don’t just want to see it, they want to talk to you, because you’re there being you and you’re like a physical manifestation of what people around you like.

Wow. Yes. You see pikachu's in the merch.

Wow. Yes. You see pikachu’s in the merch.

Gaming – Mhmm, believe me or not, gaming seems to be a massive part of the anime convention scene as well as video games convention scene. Be it tabletop role playing games, a good board game, that blasted Cards Against Humanity or video gaming: You’ll find it in these conventions by the bucket load. Good!

Yes, I realise the initials above so far are NAG. I am doing just that.

Partying – It’s time to party like there was never going to be another party. Whilst it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, the partying in the anime convention scene is phenomenal. Be it a late night dance in the nightclub with all of your favourite characters, or be it a private party in the dorms – Conventions allow you to meet and socialise with people in ways you’d not normally be able to. Trust me: It’s not that common to step outside your house and meet with people who are into the same damn things as you. Geek culture, whilst on the rise, still isn’t mainstream acceptance.

Enjoy the parties at these events!

Enjoy the parties at these events!

Merchandise – The dealers halls are packed with geeky stalls, with pocky sticks everywhere, bags and clothing. You name it: it’s probably sold there. From miniature mecha’s and Pikachu’s, to pictures of your favourite anime and manga to buy. From cheap games to expensive games – Yes, you are likely able to buy it at a convention. Some conventions get exclusives, too.

Panels – Panels are one of the major reasons to go to conventions. If you’ve gone to a convention and never

This was before the MegaRan performance - which rocked.

Panels are taken very seriously and are looked after professionally by fans who help to run these events.


Cons

Fatigue – Even the most seasoned party-goer will slowly crawl to a stop at a convention. Seriously, you get so tired due to the lack of sleep. Be it the parties themselves or be it because there were three guys outside at 5am chasing foxes around a university campus, you will find that sleep at a convention usually is scarce. Make the most of your time, don’t drink coffee before you go to bed and stop drinking energy drinks.

Drunkenness – Hand in hand with partying is getting drunk. Please remember to drink responsibly, know your limits and don’t be horrible to other people. At the end of the day, your convention experience is yours and yours alone. You’re always welcome to get as drunk as you like/can handle, but do be aware of the consequences. Plus it can make the rest of your convention pretty crappy if you’re feeling under the weather all the time. Also, you could damage your costume or others costumes!

Take your hat off, sit outside with a nice pint at Natterjacks.

Please drink responsibly.

Spending – I won’t beat around the bush with you guys here: but conventions are expensive. If you’re a cosplayer, you have the expense of your costumes. You also have the expense of the event itself, which can vary from £20 to £500+! You’ve also got to remember your spending money. Taking £100 for a night is fine, but taking £100 for 3-4 nights? Certainly not fine! Depending how far away you go, you could be racking up a £1,000+ event for yourself!! Please do not blow your whole lives savings on these, start small and close to you.

Activities – There are so many activities to do and so many panels to see that I find it’s impossible to actually plan. Formulating a rough plan is good, but you’ll still find you keep missing activities and events! If you have a foolproof way of sticking to your plans at conventions, I salute you. I can’t and won’t do it, especially when I get to bump into so many cool people on the way to these activities!

Play some games, you know?

Play some games, you know?

Yes. The initials for the cons are FDSA. I am not insane, honestly.

 


 

Overall then I think the pros vastly outweigh the cons. The cons are draining, which I guess it somewhat counter-intuitive of a holiday – but the draining feeling you get from these conventions are wiped away quickly by the natural high you get from the environment and the fellow geeks you meet.

I’ve been a little bit biased in these circumstances, of course. I mean I go to conventions fairly frequently now and I look to be attending at least 5 events next year. However, I honestly couldn’t review this in any other way. The cons of going to a convention are vastly inferior to the reasons to go. Who knows: Perhaps soon we’ll be at the same convention and we can continue the discussion there?

What did you all think of my little post on the pros and cons of conventions? Now that Alcon is over, we must move forward towards our next one…
… Oh hey, I am attending a 1 day local Sci-Fi and Geek convention in the upcoming weeks! Stay tuned for more information on that!

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Who are Mayamada + Samurai Chef review

This past week, Joel and I took to Alcon 2014. It was 4 days of action packed fun and I can’t wait until next years’ Alcon. That’s right, you all know where I’m going to be in a years’ time now: Back to Alcon! I will also be attending several other conventions throughout the year, so do come grab me for a friendly, geeky chat!

Alcon2014

During Alcon, we went through the dealers’ hall. I only went there on the Sunday and although there weren’t as many goodies to get through as Kitacon, there were still some stalls that were actively pushing their products. I almost walked out with a brand new bag, but I figured my bag had lasted me for nearly 10 years now and wasn’t looking weak. So I didn’t get a new bag… But instead: I found a wonderful stall from a company called Mayamada.

Mayamada sells geeky clothing, but the guys at Mayamada also worked on their own manga, called Samurai Chef. The story features a monkey who is a chef, but instead of cooking, he slices his competitions dishes down. The tougher the dish is to slice down, the higher the chef scores. The concept amused me greatly so I wanted to quickly share with you all some of the wonderful artwork and how you can get a hold of Samurai Chef for yourself!

Mayamada Logo

You can buy a copy of episode one of Samurai Chef from the Mayamada website and hey, perhaps they’ll have a stall at another convention sometime soon – I hope the guys at Mayamada keep in contact with us so we know when they’ll be at another convention that we’ll be at! You can also get a freebie from this link.

You can buy clothes featuring the zany characters of Samurai Chef, as well as some awesome beanie hats and accessories, so please do check them out. Heck, even their businesses cards were amazing – I’m oddly infatuated by their card. An air of professionalism that really helps the company!

Seriously, this card rocks!

Seriously, this card rocks!

The guys at Mayamada have been kind enough to share some of their art and pages with us!

Follow them at:

Mayamada’s Facebook page

@Mayamada

 

Samurai Chef – Issue 1

In issue 1 of Samurai Chef, we see the Samurai Chef in a televised competition acting as the “judge”, as he cuts through the competitions dishes. The dishes get tougher and tougher throughout and some people from the different cooking schools think they can beat the Samurai Chef.

However he’s one tough monkey! He is constantly able to cut through the competition and gives them a grade. People seem more eager to beat the Samurai Chef than they are to beat one another as heck: this is still a competition! But the contestants are eagerly trying to beat the Samurai Chef.

SamuraiChef1-0003

The art style of Samurai Chef is very appealing, with all of the animal characters being incredibly easy to identify. The expressions are captured perfectly and you can see just by expression alone who is on what side and what purpose each character serves.

The story has been a little confusing at first, but it’s just the right level of “am I reading what I think I’m reading!?” Yes, you really are. This is about a monkey, who’s a master chef and who also happens to be a samurai. Yes: He cuts through the competitions food. It’s zany and it’s fun and there feels to be a big story building up.

SamuraiChef1-0011

See? I wasn’t kidding about him cutting through his oppositions dishes!

I’m enjoying this so far and issue 2 will be out soon enough. I’m excited by Mayamada’s works and I hope to be reading more of it soon. If Mayamada read this, good luck on your venture with Samurai Chef and let’s keep in touch about it!

A sneak peak for all you wonderful readers!

A sneak peak of issue 2 for all you wonderful readers!

What do you think of this story? Have you heard of Mayamada before? Let us know what you thought of this preview in the comments section!