Shinboku Con 8
Last year I went to Shinboku con on a whim. Some of the clix guys had mentioned it to me, probably Sean and I figured it was time I finally got around to checking out the con in my own back yard. I had such a good time that I decided to come back this year, and this time around, do it right.
I’d felt a little out of place last year because I wasn’t in costume (and a little older than most of the crowd. I’m an old school Anime aficionado) but this year I corrected that, designing my Mazingar Z / Transzor Z costume specificaly for this show (and then to be reused at Lake Effect next month)
I started off heading to one of the two Anime screening rooms for some Trigun and to get settled, plotting out my day. One of my big goals was to get Robert Axleod’s autograph fro my friend Johnny Em. Axlerod was one of the three spies in the original Robotech series, and john is the biggest Robotech fan I’ve ever met. Robert was nice, but professional. You can see he does a lot of these shows and he’s got a con persona. No complaints though. It was nice enough to meet him, he caught me on the way to his panel and I followed him in. The panal was all about his Power Rangers role, which was a little dissapointing consider his vast filmography.
I headed over to the Jedi stunt show wich was loads of fun, mostly involving lightsaber battles. A Darth Maul came out and invited members of the audience to try a lightsaber out. Watching him fight Fix-it Felix from Wreck-it Ralph (at first I thought it was Handy Manny) was hiliarious. Blade against hammer….
I volunteered and the croud roared with applause as Maul and I double teamed the Jedi, slaying him quickly.
I can’t tell you how much I hope that video shows up on youtube or facebook. I really want to see it.
Off to Kyle Herbert’s panel. Kyle was incredibly funny and insightfull last year and I really wish I had recorded it. This year it was a talk about nutrition and food This has been on Kyle’s mind you see, since he was diagnosed with Diabetes last July. He still managed to inject the talk with plenty of wit and charm, but not quite as interesting as last year. when I walked in to the room he suddenly stopped short, lost for a second. And then said in disbelief “and then Mazinger Z walked in the room!”
I got a lot of that. This costume is one of the most popular ones I’ve ever worn…even more popular than Spider-Ham. I got asked to pose for a lot of pictures and to take pictures with a lot of people. It made it worth it to wear such an uncomfortable suit. It’s really hot. I hadn’t realized how dehydrated I was until I got out of it (I lasted about five hours before changing into my TARDIS T-shirt and jeans). I’ve got to fix that helmet before Lake Effect, it’s too tight around the nose, I’m still sore under my nose and at the roots of my teeth.
I hate that the convention moved from five minuets away to half an hour away. I suppose Huron is that far, but I do miss being able to walk to the con and come and go from home. However I understand why they needed to move. Sawmill Creek was an excellent venue, and and all of those problems getting from one part of the con to the next were solved, the layout was far more logical and easy. This was great since my boots made traveling a little difficult at times.
I only caught the tail end of Alexis Tipton’s panel and never managed to catch her signing session. That was a shame but I was in time to hear her sing the theme song from one of er more memorable Animes. She was a little embarrassed so I’m not sure if I want to upload that to YouTube…
I also managed to catch a bit of Amber Lee Connors panel about breaking into voice acting. She’s bubbly and bright and a delight to listen to, and just as pleasant at her table.
The other event I had a lot of fun at was the Super Hero training. I loved the costumes and the variety of heros there. The costumes were REALLY well done and if I’d been in street clothes I would have gotten photos with every one of them!
One of the facebook reviews of Shinboku con that I read mentioned how the quality gets better every year. This is absolutely right. I can see it was more polished this year, and the new venue helped a whole lot. I don’t know if they actually added any vendors and I’d still like to see more stalls in the vendor room, but nevertheless, I was able to move around easily in my armor, the panels were well done, traffic was directed well and there’s ALWAYS something going on. This is the single convention I do that packs more programming in than Cinema Wasteland and that’s saying something! in addition to the standard dealer’s room, Shinboku con sports two rooms constantly screening Anime. Two stages with programming in both locations at the same time. Two panel rooms that almost always had something going on. A video game room with at least eight screens for competitive play and frequent tournaments, tables for people to play their Nintendo DS and 3DS, and a separate room for tabletop gaming, including Heroclix. And Twister, not to mention a well stocked Artist Alley (well placed too. You HAVE to walk through it to get to the two main stages, the video game room or the vendors room). There’s always something going on, not to mention parties and concerts that spring up around the event.
I think Shinboku Con may become one of the cons I attend every year, much like Wasteland or Lake Effect – or possibly even Monster Bash. It’s one of the good ones, and I highly recommend it. See you guys next year.