Note: I am about to burn some bridges with people in the St. Louis anime convention and cosplay scene with this post, ain’t I? Bet.
Second Note: This is a freewrite. There’s no order of my paragraphs in terms of flow.
“You should all pay attention to me! I want people to take pictures of my cosplay! I work hard on it!”
An annoying, feminine voice behind me rang out in the halls of Gateway Convention Center during the morning hours of Archon St. Louis The owner of the voice is a bit of a…what the word I can use that won’t (easily) offend people of the LBGT community? A fairy. A very narcissistic, attention whore, drama starting fairy. But I’m used to him and his attitude. This guy, whom I shall call “Narcian”, is a well-known, highly egotistical, arrogant, eccentric (shit-tier) cosplayer (in our area) who believes he has magical, spiritual powers (trust me; that’s just 1% percent of his issues).
(And I thought my ego and narcissism problems were terrible)
His parents never gave him any attention or love; so he grew up seeking and demanding attention from others. I spent a good year and a half avoiding this man thanks to traveling to other conventions outside my hometown; helping me forget that he existed. As he tried (and failed) to get people to notice his cosplay (even photo-bombing a Marvel Comics cosplay gathering), I realized something:
“Wow! I haven’t missed shit while I was away from this con scene!”
Between Anime St. Louis 2018 and Archon 2018, I skipped out on other St. Louis conventions to work on myself, traveling(to Los Angeles and Atlanta), and to have a little extra money in my pockets. When I came back to the St. Louis convention scene, I was reminded – thanks to Narcian – that I truly wasn’t missing out on anything that St. Louis had to offer for their nerd culture cons. It was a reminder on why I decided to say fuck this con scene and explore other scenes across America.
The weeaboos here who never left the St. Louis area (or at the very least, aren’t bettering themselves) were doing the same shit: Bitching about how much they hate their current low paying 9-to-5 jobs, being stuck in the rat race, looking forward to going to the bars and clubs and conventions on the weekends, causing/starting childish drama and beef with people, and refusing to level up.
They love to complain about how their lives aren’t going anywhere, but won’t put forth the effort to make a change.
And don’t try to convince them to leave St. Louis for a larger weeaboo festival with superior guest lists (featuring Japanese voice actors and creators) and more to do that they love to fantasize about attending. They’ll hit you with excuses such as “I don’t want to travel by myself”, “traveling cost too much money” (but wasting money at the club/bar isn’t for some odd reason), and – my personal favorite – “You’re just going to do the same shit out of town you do at home!”.
Please. I’m doing the same shit at conventions outside my hometown (like exploring and spending more time in Downtown L.A. as opposed to Anime Expo itself) and yet you guys are okay with repeating the same things in your lives.
To them, being in a state of everlasting comfortable mediocrity is an amazing and great thing. Why apply yourself with self-improvement when you can have the same things you’re used to every day. Every week. Every month. Every year. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it – hell, don’t even upgrade it because there’s no reason or logic behind it! That’s how St. Louis runs; may it be politics, entertainment, or weeaboo shit.
Let’s take Anime St. Louis for example.
Anime St. Louis has been around for thirteen years (if we’re counting Kunicon: their first convention). Naka-Kon, another Midwestern Convention held in Kansas City Missouri/Kansas area, started around the same time as Anime St. Louis Naka-Kon brought in guests straight from Japan (such as the J-Rock band ALSDEAD, Nobuo Uematsu, Junko Takeuchi a.k.a the voice of Hinata’s husband, and Takashi Kisaki.
Anime St. Louis? I mean, they gotten voice acting legends and icons such as Richard Epcar, Keith Silverstien, and Troy Baker. But you can see them at any convention across America. Naka-Kon. In bumfuck Kansas. Can land guests. Straight from Japan.
And yet Anime St. Louis can’t do the same?
My grips with the St. Louis con scene don’t end with the convention either. The community itself is filled with toxic, drama causing, pathetic otakus who have nothing going on with their lives outside of playing dress-up as their favorite anime Chinese Cartoon Characters. As a result, they attack Black cosplayers for cosplaying outside their race, playing favorites during cosplay contests (and by playing favorites, the cosplayers and judges are probably fucking and sucking/eating each other out the night before the cosplay contest), and even spread their drama to other Missouri conventions: harassing anyone who aren’t in their clique and make them feel unsafe.
Don’t get me wrong: There’s drama in every convention scene around the world. You do need to learn how to deal with it and not get involved (and never create it). But there’s a feeling of joy when you go to a new con scene outside the hometown one and have a fresh start. Nobody knows who you are – making you automatic neutral to any conflicts. You dealt with drama and know how to read people so you can sense any drama-makers in a new con scene. Sure, once you’re cliqued in with a group drama might arise, but you can leave said clique.
This isn’t to say that all St. Louis cosplayers and con-goers have this loser, drama mentality. One of the first people to leave this scene grew popular outside St. Louis with her cosplays despite her haters here. I saw her recently at Archon and she looked incredibly happy with her life after St. Louis. Another major cosplayer from the St. Louis area (who’s a master of using duct tape and 24 hour cosplays) left town and blew up. He networked with some major players of the YouTube scene and is doing great with his life.
Hell, recently an associate of mines made a status about how they were felt discouraged on cosplaying at Anime St. Louis because the judge allows past winners (a.k.a their friends) to use the same cosplays that won them cosplay contests years previously. This inspired the associate to leave the St. Louis area to explore other conventions with their cosplays. Others have agreed with them and want to explore other conventions with the associate. Folks are giving up on the St. Louis and starting to understand that there’s more to the cosplay world than this small ass shithole city’s scene.
And to be honest, I am happy for them. I am glad to see people bettering themselves.
To conclude this rant of a freewrite, the St. Louis convention scene sucks outside of Archon (thanks to their old-school style of not playing the bullshit game). If you’re a seasoned con-goer who travel across America (or the world) for conventions, don’t come to St. Louis (unless its’ for Archon or work).
There is no progress here and you’re better off skipping over STL. If you’re a rookie con-goer, I do recommend coming to Anime St. Louis to get your feet wet and dip off once you earn enough experience. To the con-goers who keep doing the same old bullshit: Stop it. You niggas are Level 5 Terra and Locke off Final Fantasy 6 playing around in Narshe while we got people about to raid Kefka’s Tower at levels 60-100.
I’m about to get blacklisted from Anime St. Louis because of this I bet.
Oh well, I’ll show up to the con without a badge drunk as fuck next year and throw a giant room party (doubling as my Birthday party) as a final farewell to the St. Louis anime con scene on May 4th, 2019.
Note: This is a freewrite. This is an article without order or structure.
Disclaimer: To my fellow St. Louis weeaboos: This is not a jab towards the anime conventions Anime St. Louis (ASTL) and Anime Senpai. Although people wouldn’t have to jab at these cons and go outside of the STL area for bigger and better cons if these two cons weren’t doing the same bullshit every year.
There’s something magical about older, fan-run local conventions. I guess it’s because these conventions are run by fans who came from an era were conventions weren’t a place for popularity contest (through cosplay or otherwise). An era was being a nerd wasn’t mainstream or cool. Fans came out to these events and cosplay because of their passion, love, and respect for nerd culture.
To me, this is why Archon St. Louis stands out as the dominant force in the St. Louis convention scene. Plus, there’s the appeal of Archon allowing room parties and people to drink alcohol (in the hotel area) without stuck-up straight edge weeaboos being mad; Unlike other local conventions (such as Anine St. Louis) that claim to be “Family-Friendly”, but you have cosplayers high on hard drugs at the rave, weebs getting wasted on the con floor because they can’t handle their liquor, and otakus having orgies at the main con hotel.
(We still remember that Homestuck orgy from an ASTL long since passed you sick fucks.)
But what is Archon? Archon is an internationally known sci-fi and fantasy convention (they carter to other media pop culture group, but Archon’s bread-and-butter is the sci-fi and fantasy side of the game). Every year, Archon brings in world-renown figures hailing from the world of entertainment. Iconic figures such as George R.R. Martin (the first guest of Archon), Ray Bradbury, Billy West, and Phil LaMarr have graced Archon with their presence: bringing in thousands of their fans to their standing room only panels.
Sure, you can see them at panels at the bigger conventions such as San Diego Comic Con or Dragon Con; but what makes Archon worth going is that personal experience of being with these guests at their panels of say 500-1000 people; as opposed to those larger conventions and being in a room with these icons with 3,000-5,000 nerds. Would you rather waste thousands and thousands of dollars at these gigantic, cramped conventions where the odds of you meeting these guests and have a short chat with them are lower than you fucking a fine cosplayer at your hotel room?
Or would you spend the time and money traveling to a smaller, more warm and welcoming conventions where you can spend an intimate time with the guests?
Now that I think about it, it’s funny how I use the words “warm” and “intimate” to describe the Archon experience. Again, it does go back to how Archon is run by OG (original gangsta) nerds who came up in a time where nerds were bullied hardcore and weren’t welcome by normal society, but there’s that welcoming, warm vibe that surrounds Archon (because of what these guys went through).
Regardless of your nerdom (may it be anime, comics, sci-fi, movies, etc.), Archon welcomes everyone. Nobody will come up to you and get in their feelings on how you’re cosplaying as an anime character at a Sci-Fi/Western media convention (can’t say the same for you weeaboos who love to get in ya feelings and go up to non-Eastern media cosplayers saying they don’t belong at anime cons).
Believe me; check out these pictures of a few non-Western (influenced) media cosplayers I took (while drunk and stoned so that’s why their pics are blurry):
You may be wondering (due to the title of this post) at this point why I am doing just one local convention from here on out? It’s simple: Archon is much mellower and lax compared to the anime conventions in the St. Louis area. Wizard World St. Louis is an industry ran convention; meaning no freedom to go wild.
Anime St. Louis is “cool”, but larger conventions such as Anime Expo, Anime Central, and Anime Weekend Atlanta have better guests and have the funds to obtain guests directly from Japan. Anime Senpai just started their first year in 2018 and came from the remains of a few dead conventions that crashed, burned, and failed.
I have no hope for Anime Senpai lasting longer than five years at the most.
Archon has the longevity factor. It’s been around for nearly 45 years and each year they do something to make it better, bigger, and net new and old fans. Unlike other conventions in our area, they don’t play around. It’s a convention for everyone regardless of age and fandom. Have a cosplay even if it’s not sci-fi or fantasy? They don’t care – bring it to Archon! You will find people who enjoy it (if it’s not too obscure).
Archon is amazing and I love it.
‘What more can I say?
I wouldn’t be here today
If the old-school didn’t pave the way!’ -Brand Nubian
“You still watching Dragon Ball Z, nigga? Grow up!” “Stop acting white! You’re too old to watch cartoons!” “Go get some pussy and stop playing video games!”
Growing up as a (black) nerd in a backward ass Midwestern city was rough (in the early 2000s). Throughout middle and high school if you had nerdy interests, you were deemed a loser amongst your peers. Nobody (outside your fellow outcasted nerds) wanted to fuck with you. You were bullied, teased, and taunted for your nerdy passion. I too dealt with my fair share of bullshit from normies who didn’t have the balls to step out of their comfort zone; unlike us nerds who didn’t fuck with that fitting in shit.
I still remember how my normie peers would tell me how being a nerd was uncool and that I need to grow up. They claimed that video games and anime would never get me pussy, popularity, or money. Of course, they were wrong. Hell, even with my near grandiose levels of ego, I knew they were wrong. Mainly because I spent my free-time shit posting and trolling gaming and anime forums communicating with older nerds who went through the same shit I was going through back then. Many of them had wives, families, money, and status at their jobs. Some even talked about how they hooked up with an equally nerdy chick or a dude at comic and anime conventions.
I mean shit, I looked up to Bill Gates when I in middle and high school. Here was a nigga that was a total nerd in his school days. Was bullied for being a nerd, spent his weekends working on computers for 40 hours while everyone else was partying and doing stupid, unproductive shit. He played the long game with his brand and within a few decades, he became the richest men in the world.
So much for nerds being losers.
Reading about Bill Gates’s success (as well as the success of older nerds online) made me realize this at a young age: If I’m going to dedicate my life to being a nerd and building something for myself off it, then I better play the long game. I just knew deep down that nerd culture was going to be popular. I just had this gut feeling that nerds and geeks in America will stop being bullied. That we were going to be trendsetters. Game changers. The dominant culture in entertainment (The Big Bang Theory doesn’t fuckin’ count).
At the turn of this decade (the 2010s), my vision was coming true (for the nerd community). Blockbuster superhero movies were the norm. Video games were treated as a respectful, valued form of entertainment. Anime (and otaku culture) was accepted. Anime and video game clubs were poppin’ up in high schools across America. While nerds were still being bullied, it was happening far less often then decades past. Kids were free to wear their favorite anime or superhero shirt without fear of being teased or mock. Conventions were getting mainstream attention. Being a nerd was now consider cool.
Playing my first long game paid off.
Playing the long game with your passion isn’t easy. Do not think you won’t face difficulties as a player of the long game. You are fuckin’ stupid and clueless if you think there no errors or hardships with the long game. You will have people talk to out of your passion (as they do not see nor understand your vision). You will get called weird, mad, goofy, insane, whatever your hopeless, average, bottom feeders peers will throw up in your face. As a player of the long game, you need to block those people out. Cut them out of your lives even. Link up with other people who share your passion and understand that success takes years to achieve instead.
How do you play the long game as a nerd? Simple: Pick something you’re passionate about. You love vlogging about the latest episodes of mainstream anime? Good. Stick with it for a few years. Do you find joy in making others happy when you play video game music on your violin? Perfect. Keep it up for years and years on end. Don’t expect success to come overnight. If you do, quit right now. You ain’t cut out for the long game.
To those still bitter about the past and how nerd culture is now popular: Good. Stay mad. I need bitter ass suckers like you so I don’t have to worry about fighting other nerds to get that number one spot and dominate and intimidate everyone in the culture one day. Keep being miserable.
For the normies who made fun of nerds and are only on the nerd train cuz it’s popular: Thanks for being suckers! I look forward to making money and build my brand off yall niggas.
For the rest of us nerds who are taking advantage of this trend: Play hard. Work hard. Success is ours for the taking.
You gotta love bitter nerds. Ever since the emergence of nerd culture in mainstream culture, pathetic, dusty nerds have come out with their sob stories on women rejecting them (for being nerdy). You may have come across such stores like “Anime was the reason why women never like me” or “Now that comic books are popular ya wanna join the hype train but ya weren’t down with me back in high school!” If these sob stories describe your experience with women, then you need to hear the truth. You weren’t rejected because you like anime or video games. You got rejected because of you and you alone. Blaming your nerd hobbies only mean that you don’t have the courage to admit that you suck.
Let me explain why – because you losers need a wakeup call.
I know it’s hard to admit fault (for your rejection), but hear me out. The rejections happened because of your flaws. You’re a boring ass person lacking charisma. The girl you wanted like men who can wow her with their confidence and social skills – which you clearly lacked. Who wants a relationship with a man whose personality is that of the mundane Yuki Nagato off The Melancholy Haruhi Suzumiya combined with the unbearable stoic Obi-Wan from Star Wars Episode 1.
Next, your horrid appearance landed you that denial. You fucking stink. You smell like pure unwashed swamp ass. The last time you took a bath or put on deodorant was when Half-Life 3 came out. Your crusty dry lips are begging you to apply Carmex on them. You’re out here sporting disastrous, greasy unkempt hair. That doesn’t make you look cute. It makes you look like the three-way fusion of Post Malone, Digibro, and Mick Foley/Mankind. And that’s pretty nasty my man (no disrespect to the greats Digibro and Mick Foley). And your fashion sense boy! Did you really think rockin’ a fedora, a button down Dragon Ball Z shirt, and New Balance shoes was gonna get you some women?
How dense are you?
Enough your shit tier looks. Let’s talk your blame game. That shit’s weak. Yes, people are shallow and won’t date you over hobbies. That’s okay. I doubt you would date a normie girl with normie interests. With that said, wasting your life playing video games, jackin’ off to ero anime, and reading slice-of-life manga all day long as hobbies are turn-offs to some. Honestly, that’s boring. Nobody wants to hang around with a boring person like you. Find other things to enjoy, like watching live-action television, going out to the movies, reading things that aren’t manga.
Liking nerdy interests alone doesn’t make you special: It makes you uninteresting.
Gotta love bitter nerds. I mean, really. You can’t help but laugh at them for blaming their hobbies and others for their shortcomings. Are you amazed at how they can’t see their own faults and improve on them? Because I am. Look, if you are a nerd who does these things, you need to work on yourself and stop playing the blame game. Take a shower. Have confidence in yourself. Go update your fashion game. Indulge in cool shit other than nerdy shit.
The 2018 convention season draws near. You’re always broke from spending $500 on half-naked anime girl figurines. You love to spend $300 on anime Blu-rays, but somehow, you don’t have enough money for a convention. Do you think your mommy and daddy are going help you pay for your weeaboo dress-up festival? Of course, they’re not! You’re a grown man (or woman) now. Just like your friend whom you borrow money from for cons, they’re tired of funding your hobbies. Maybe you’re not broke, but you suck at money management. You’re the type of person to not have their priority together and splurge your cash on useless crap.
Because I’m a nice person, I’ll teach you how to get your money right. I’ll promise you that with my guide, you’ll have more than enough money saved up for you next convention adventures. It’s my duty and ethical obligation to help my fellow nerds stack money for their passion.
My guide is not for you begging ass, broke ass nerds (who always mooch off their friends). This is not for people who refuse to make money on their own. This guide is not for skeptics who believe saving money is impossible. Go away. You’re wasting my time and yours – but mostly my time. Do you tend to blow a check, or dip into savings for wants, rather than needs and raining days? Good. Get the hell off this guide – people like you will never learn. My advice is only for those who are serious about saving and getting their money right. I only help people who are willing to better themselves.
If you’re still here then that means you’re serious about wanting to save for conventions. Let us begin.
Obtaining a hotel room should be your utmost priority (next to buying a badge/pass). There are two categories for convention hotels: The main hotel(s); where most of the action takes place, and the secondary Hotel(s); for those who want a cheaper option and/or avoid crowds. The main hotel’s full price can range from $230-$1500 depending on the convention, location, hotel brand, days etc. Secondary hotels range from $180-$1000.
Most conventions hotels will accept room bookings about eight (8) months in advance (before con starts). Normally, the convention’s social media team will provide an update on when this will happen. Once they give the dates for room bookings, you want to start stacking up immediately.
Let’s say that you want to book with the Waverly Hotel (the host hotel of Anime Weekend Atlanta [AWA]). The hotel will allow room registration on October 3, 2017,* (the time of this writing) and the convention starts on September 20, 2018. The total cost of staying at the Waverly for four days is $700. This gives you about 50 weeks (or about almost 12 months) to stack. Ignoring assets and other forms of income, let’s say you get paid bi-weekly. You’re given 24 paychecks prior to saving if you’re working a regular 9-to-5.
Let’s do some math.
$700/24= $29.16. $29.16/2 bi-weekly paychecks = $14.58 $14.58 is how much you need to take out of your check a pay period. Put the $14.58 in a savings account (or any other accounts you do not have normal access to). If need be, consider opening a new bank account separate from your main one. If you bank at Bank of America, open an account with Commerce Bank, and then deposit the hotel money in that bank. Destroy any and all credit/debit cards linked to the bank – you do not want to spend any money on that account. Repeat until you reach your target goal.
(Please note that many banks are different with their savings account. Some may require you to have a minimum amount of savings to keep the account open.)
What if you’re splitting a room with four people (you included in this four)? Well, that’s simple! $700/4 people = $175 per person. Take your $175 and divide it by 24 checks. That’ll equal to $7.29 a check that you need to put aside.
Regardless if you’re alone or with a group, keep taking the money out of your check and stack it up until it adds up to the total amount of what you need. Remember not to touch it until it’s time to transfer your funds into your checking account, or when you need to give the money to whomever the name is on the hotel’s bill.
With the hotel taken care of, it’s time to tackle your badge situation. Now, should you save up for a badge, or go all in and buy one ASAP? That is dependent on you and your situation.
(*NOTE: AWA has yet to accept room bookings at the time of this writing)
Is it better to just go all in on a badge and pay for it now? Should you stack up for badge overtime and buy one in the future? Let’s go over each option and decide which is best for you.
Let’s say the badge is $45 at its cheapest (usually the first tier of pricing). If you can spend $45 and not be hurt by it, then go for it. Yes, you’ll lose money, but you won’t lose time waiting for your badge in line at at-door registration. Trust me: Losing time is worse than losing money. Money, we can gain back – time, we will never recover. You’re investing $45 in extra time – extra time you can spend on panels, autograph lines, chilling with friends, etc. To be quite honest, that’s a win-win.
Losing both time and more money is lose-lose.
So you can’t afford to invest in a badge quite so soon. That’s okay; you can stack up to the desire tier pricing. Maybe you want to save up for the second tier that’s coming up in two months. Or perhaps you want to wait and save for the final tier before online registration ends in six months. That’s cool. I can work with you on either or.
The second tier badge price starts at $55, the price increase will start on December 3rd, 2017. This gives you four paychecks until December 3rd. 4 paychecks divided by $55 equals $13.75 ($55/4=$13.75)
For the six months option (October 3rd to March 3rd): 12 paychecks/$75 = $6.25 a check. Again, just like your hotel money, place this money in your savings and do not touch it until you hit your target goal.
How you will get to the convention is up to you, and it will be different from person-to-person. Sadly, humans cannot teleport, so you must figure out a mode of transportation. This section will be broken down into four sections: Air, Road, Rail, and Public Transportation/Ride Share
Admittedly, I have never traveled to a convention by air. From what others told me, it’s best to book your flights as soon as your hotel and/or badge. I would personally put aside around $100-$200 a check for about 8-10 months if you have 100% confidence that you’re traveling by air. You might go a little over your target goal for the tickets, but it’s better to have more cash than what you think you need. Do not delay as airline tickets will increase their price as your departure date draw nears.
It’s not wise to wait.
In general, you want to book your rail tickets (such as Amtrak) months in advance. I say that you want to buy your train tickets around the same time you booked your hotel rooms and/or badge. The sooner, the better. Why? Because you don’t want to waste more money as time passes. Use the same method for booking and saving money for an airline flight as you would use for plane tickets as mentioned above.
CAR: This will depend on how far you’re traveling, your car’s MPG, and how many people you have riding with you. A trip to STL to CHI will cost you around $60-90 in gas. From STL to ATL will cost you $90-120. Again, this is dependant on your car and the people riding/driving with you. I would start saving up for gas money about three months before the convention.
Let’s take St. Louis to Atlanta as an example. When traveling with my friend to ATL, he charges me around $40 for the trip. I put aside about $20 a paycheck a month prior to us heading to Atlanta.
I really hope I don’t have to break down this simple math for you guys.
PUBLIC TRANSIT/SHARE RIDE: If you need to use public transit, taxi services, or a shared ride to get to a con, please research what bus, train, etc. you need to take for the convention. Bus and train fare will be dependent on the city you’re in, as well as share riding to a convention. In general, I say put aside at the $10-$30 for your choice of public transit and share ride a month before the convention (if need be).
If I know I’m doing a $20 Uber to get to my convention hotel, I put aside $5 from each paycheck about two months prior. So $20/4 bi-weekly checks = $5 I need to put aside.
Don’t forget to tip your driver. Don’t be a cheap ass.
You gotta eat and stay fueled up. Ever danced at a rave on an empty stomach? It’s not fun. Fast, cheap food or dine-in at a high-quality restaurant? Cook your own food if you have a kitchen suite? Again, this section depends on your budget and needs. If you’re planning on eating out in fast food places, your budget should be around $40-100. Are you planning on eating out at non-fast food places? You want to save around $130-200. If you’re cooking your own food, I say around $60-200 depending on how many people you’re feeding. Before I forget, you should have about $20-40 aside for a snacks budget just in case you’re walking around the convention center all day and you need lite fuel (such as cereal bars, fruits, etc.)
If I’m planning on eating out at fast food places, I place my budget at about $60 for the convention weekend. Knowing this, I give myself a month before the convention to put aside $30 a paycheck until I hit $60.
When I’m in Chicago for Anime Central, my friend, his crew, and I go to Hofbräuhaus for one night and dine in. Knowing that he preps for this dinner, I put aside around $40 two months prior. Two months gives me four bi-weekly paychecks. With this, I put aside $10 a check until I hit $40 and keep that $40 in my savings until it’s time to transfer my funds into my checking account.
This section is optional and you don’t need to party to have fun at cons (but it’s better that way). If you’re like me, then you’re about convention partying life. Therefore, this section is for you. In all honesty, this varies from person-to-person and their needs. If you’re just going to one party, you may need just one or two bottles, a few mixers, and a case of beer, which will run you about $35-$75. If you’re hosting a room party, then you may need to spend about $150-$1200. Feel free to check out my “So You Wanna Host a Room Party” article for more information.
I usually wait until after I check into my hotel and have everything ready before I buy my liquor. You do have those people who love to drop out of the hotel room at the last minute. That extra money could help in a situation. It does suck though.
Boy does it suck.
But you can make it not suck by stacking up six months prior to the convention if you’re 100% sure you’re hosting a room party. I’m projecting that my room party for Anime St. Louis* 2018 will run me $600 in alcohol, mixers, and other goods. Given my room party will be on that Saturday (May 5th, 2018), I must plan on saving my money aside for the party on December 5th. For two weeks up to May 5th, I will put aside $50 until I hit my target goal.
$600/6 months = $100 must be saved each month.
$100/2 bi-weekly paychecks = $50 taken from each check.
Of course, your room party budget will be different from mines. This is just an example of breaking down the math and planning.
*Disclaimer: I am not hosting a room party for Anime St. Louis 2018. Do not come up to me asking if I’m running a room party. This was just an example.
Adding it all Up
We have the numbers; now let’s add them all up. The total will be your target goal for savings. Below is an example based off my personal funds for major conventions, so your numbers will vary. Some will save more money than I. Others will save less. This is all dependent on the conventions you’re going to as well as funds and time.
TRAVEL (Road): $40 for my share of gas money
PUBLIC TRANSIT: $6
PARTY GOODS: ~$120
I’m going to take that $971 and divided by 11 months (until Anime Weekend Atlanta).
$971/11 months = $88.27 I need to put aside each month until the week before AWA for 11 months. By going bi-weekly paychecks I can put aside $44.13 per paycheck. This does exclude any forms of secondary sources of income. Applying my other sources of income to build up will make me reach my goal faster and earlier. This is giving or taking some items away (such as badge and alcohol)
Tips on Making (More) Money
Conventions aren’t cheap; that’s not a secret. I know people are struggling to make ends meet as well as putting towards their hobbies. It’s a cash drain, believe me. I understand. However, you can always make extra money to add to your funds. I’ll break down a few simple and easy ways to make extra money for you to use for the con.
WORK EXTRA HOURS/USE PTO
This is the simplest way to gain extra money. If you see that there are extra hours or shifts to be picked up at your job, jump on that chance. Does it suck that you have to give up free time to make more money at the job? Yes. Is it awesome to have a little bit of extra cash in your pockets for the convention? Yes. Go through some hardships now so you can have a better time later. If those hardship means working more hours at a job you don’t like, so you can go to a convention and escape from the workforce for a few days (or even work on your business AT the con), then do it.
If your job allows it, you can use your Paid Time Off (PTO) hours that you’ve stacked and use those hours on your off day. Then, when you get paid, put the PTO money into savings.
SELL/FLIP PRODUCTS ONLINE
Do you have old video games, comics, mangas, etc. laying around at your house that isn’t of use to you? Sell them on eBay to make extra dough! After you research and study the value of the items you want to sell, just create a listing for them on eBay, Amazon, Craig’s List, etc. You can either sell your own product if you have your own business or flip other people products. I personally flipped items from Loot Crates to gain extra cash for funds.
SELL DRUGS/INVEST IN A DRUG DEALER
Don’t do it. You’re not a dope boy/dope boy investor in college anymore. If you are a dope boy then all I have to say is be careful and watch out for the haters and fake friends.
…Althrough you could sell drugs to the partiers at conventions to make extra cash. Just a thought.
INVEST IN A LEGIT BUSINESS Your homeboy is a real estate investor or owner and has a great track record of returns on investments? Invest with him.
If you need more ideas to increase your income or have a new source of income to fund your weeaboo hobbies, I recommend the following, as they have helped me with increasing my income and manage my money:
Saving money for conventions shouldn’t be so hard. Yet, so many weeaboos struggle to do so. Sometimes, people attend conventions without a budget or money at all! Having a budget and money saved aside will help you out in the long run, as it’s nice to have extra money. Not having money at a con isn’t fun. Nobody will help you out – it’s up to you to have cash. With this how-to guide, I hope you learn how to save and manage your money for future convention events. I believe everyone should have money save up to maximize their fun at cons. Start saving now! Do not wait until it’s less than a month before the convention to save. Apply what you’ve learned from this guide for the future!
Besides, nobody will feel sorry for your broke ass. Get this money and save it.
Audio collab between my boy DJ Killzown Jones and myself. With the convention season well into the summer season, DJkillzown and I figure we will be nice and give nice audio guide on NOT to do at cons.
Cosplay is NOT Consent
Respecting Personal Boundaries
Creeping on Women
Ahh Anime Central. Chicago’s ultimate otaku convention for partying and debauchery. It’s a great convention to find hard drugs like coke and acid. There’s alcoholic beverages flowing about. Take a few shots for liquor courage to dick down that Cecilia cosplayer! Hey, Gotta celebrate Fire Emblem Gaiden’s 3DS remake somehow. There are also Persona orgies hosted by a kinky Shadow Rise cosplayer hunting down guys to run a train on her. ACEN has the great shit for ya if you want it.
Oh yea, they have cosplaying nerds who ain’t fuckin each other in orgies and industry panels. That shit is boring. As an (somewhat) honest person, I’m gonna tell you what really goes down outside the panels and normal convention shit. Autograph and photo sessions? Pfft. I rather waste time on my grind, writing passion, and networks. Why? So the anime and video game industry can notice my hardwork. I want to become lifelong friends with the niggas you stand in line for hours just to talk to them for twenty seconds out of your life.
Look, fuck all that lame boring shit that the average con attendees will tell. I’m here to too you the the real grimy shit. You can trust me on keeping it real. I’m a real nigga.
My friend “Adrian” (name changed because I’m the star and he’s not) and myself arrived in Chicago at 2:00pm Thursday afternoon after a long 10 hour trip from St. Louis via Amtrak. You see, Amtrak was running a special deal. Riders will have to suffer through delays and constant route changes with no explanations!
Something about a fatal train derailment was thrown in, but we didn’t get that option. Oh well. Public transit is better than Amtrak. You don’t get that fine Chicago-style piss smell on the Amtrak unlike Chicago’s CTA public transit. CTA ride was nice, sans some homeless diabetic begging money for heroine. Or was it insulin? I dunno I don’t do (hard) drugs, and I’m not hip on the new and upcoming drug trends.
Following that 45 minute ride, we arrived at Rosemont, Il! Home of Anime Central. Yes! Finally I can make my grand announcement to my haters that the guy they secretly want to fuck but can’t has arrive! The guy who they want to fight, but are too pussy to step up because they can’t carry their keyboards around.
It’s me: Benjamin Snow. I am the greatest otaku to have ever lived (one day I’ll snatch the Otaking title away from Toshio Okada) . I am the promised child of otaku culture niche, whom the prophets once warned the basement dwelling beta white cuck virgins weeaboos. I am the main character of my haters’ lives. I am the anti-hero protagonist of this tale.
I’m honored that you, the reader and haters, are focused on me. All eyes on me.
Adrian (I almost forgot about him) and I checked into our hotel, the Hilton, which is right across from the Hyatt, the main Anime Central hotel. Hilton’s a nice hotel chain for lodging space. Not a nice company to work for however unless you’re a masochist who hates their life. Oh wait I forgot you ain’t supposed to talk shit about shitty companies you used to work for. Actually, I take that back. Hilton’s 3rd party contractors can be hit or miss. Not the company itself.
Fuck you, Lodging Hospitality Management.
Grudges and come up revenge aside, my boy and I got a top floor room. We’re top tier men so we gotta be at the top. After showering (not with Adrian, that’s pretty gay), I decided to head to the Hyatt to scan the place for anyone I know. Encounter another homeboy, “Joe”. Joe’s a cool guy who I really wish I could hang out with more often despite we live in the same city. Big black guy fighting game fan such as myself. After some small chat we decided to roll out to Rosemont Liquor, a super nice liquor store in Rosemont that you already know is gonna love the money they racked in from us alcoholic weeaboos.
Went in and brought a bottle of pineapple New Amsterdam, a pack of 312 Goose Island Wheat, and big boy beer: My first 12% beer in my life. Trust me, drinking 12% beer is like smoking some fire ass kush after smoking that weak ass reggie for years on end. Forgot the name of the beer but they’re not sponsoring me nor this blog, so it doesn’t matter.
Following, Joe and I drove back to my hotel. During the drive, we spoke about fighting games, with Casual Player Neglect Fighter V being the main topic (Street Fighter 5) and how garbage it lowkey is. I brought up how for some reason despite not playing in months, I was able to beat my friendes who play nearly everyday with Karin.
Oh Capcom. I hope one day, you guys figured out why nobody enjoy this game.
Joe dropped me off at my hotel, as he had prior plans with a friend. Cool with me, given I had plans to kick it with another friend, “Vance”, and his Touhou cosplay crew at Hofbrauhaus. I “met” Vance back at my first ACEN in 2013 as he was cosplaying as Momiji (from Mountain of Faith or whatever idunno I don’t play Touhou like that). His outfit and the craftsmanship of it was amazing, and (at the time) Momiji cosplays were rather uncommon, so your boy had to take his pic. I would not realized I met him at ACEN until later.
I officially met and hung out with Vance at Anime Crossroads 2013, at his Touhou Panel he was hosting. We spoke about the series, our love for alcohol, and the convention scene in general. We naturally clicked and overtime, he became a good con friend. On some real shit, I wouldn’t mind being friends outside of cons with the dude…if I didn’t live in St. Louis but there’s always non-con traveling plans. Enough of my longing for networking with folks, to Hofbrauhaus
Hofbrauhaus’s food is amazing. I could tell you the fantastic variety selection of dishes and drinks they have , but my black ass is too lazy to look up their menu online. Settle with a picture of one of their dishes I that cannot for the life of me pronounce. I’m an American. Not German. We speak American in America.
After showcasing my quietness to people I don’t know outside my established friends in the group (I’m lowkey shy around strangers) and appropriating German culture (because I’m slightly racist), I walked back to my hotel and holy fuck! It’s fucking cold and windy as fuck outside! You see, my dumbass thought it would had been a great idea to wear a light T-shirt and shorts earlier in the day, despite knowing the fact the tempts were dropping..
I’m pretty sure some folks saw me walking around shivering in shorts and a t-shirt and were like “This stupid ass nergo.” Okay, I hope not. Rosemont is mostly white people, and they don’t have the right to say Nergo. Kinda like how I don’t have the right to make racist jokes about the Germans in a German restaurant (inside my head of course). Das boot! Big titty thick Germans girls wearing those Dirndi dancing with giant beer mugs! I swear I’m not racist towards Germans!
…fuck I’m racist.
I arrived back to my hotel to change into some warm clothes. Perhaps the harsh winds were karma for my inner-racism, but oh well. To help prove to myself I’m not a complete racist, I took up an offer to kick it with my white friend, “Beared Chibi-Usa” at ACEN’s infamous smoker’s circle. Great source for debauchery. And drugs!
Bearded Chibi-Usa, as his name implies, is a guy who has a beard and cosplays as Chibi-Usa from the Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon series. Maybe he’s actually cosplaying an alternate timeline of Chibi-Usa, who is actually a female-to-male transgender, and they have a beard. Who fuckin’ knows. All I know is that this man is cool ass businessman and has his own online advertisement company. Make that new money young nigga.
During our chill and smoking (tobacco) session, we overheard a rather interesting conversation between two guys talking about a stillborn dead ass baby. So, this loud ass guy was broadcasting how he may or not had been cucked by his (ex?) girlfriend at the time, and how his girlfriend felt so bad about it that she let the guy have pity sex with him. Like, raw dog busting all types of nuts inside the girl’s pussy pity sex with a creampie ending.
As we all know, sex makes babies. Sometimes, stillborn babies. Hey, that’s life. Some win. Some lose.
Despite people giving this guy confused looks and laughing at him, he kept going with the damn story. Bearded Chibi-Usa and I exchanged “what the fuck” looks and walked away, trying to contain our laughs to no anvil. We needed to drink after that, man. That was too much for us and this was day zero. A fuckin’ Thursday night.
People; keep your personal business about being a cuck with a stillborn baby to yourselves. I will laugh at you.
To keep your mind off how much of a fucked up piece of shit person I am for laughing at that poor guy, let’s go back to a certain point of this story. Remember how I told ya Beared Chibi-Usa is a businessman? Well, some non-nerd businessman got on my boy case for being him; a nerd. I don’t remember much of the details due to the alcohol and drugs, but I recall him shutting their ass down, talking about how he’s a businessman himself and that his company has clients from the companies the non-nerds work for.
Needless to say, he shut their ass down. Ya non-nerds should really let go of the stereotype of the broke basement nerd still in their parents’ basement. But hey, they’re old fucks. They have about what? 20-30 years of life left, and us young folks are gonna take their jobs overtime. No big deal.
We settle back to my room and we spoke upon various topics, such as grime rap, weight lost, and business. Grime rap. My god, no wonder it has that name. Angry. Aggressive. Blunt. Take what you know about (real) hip-hop culture, give it steroids and make it British. No, not fucking high class sip tea and eat crumpets British. I’m talking the low income, brutal lifestyle of the the British. Rap battles taking place inside decaying buildings and under bridges. Harden street rappers going berserk with their personal attacks against rivals and enemies. You got your feelings hurt? Fuck you, you’re a grime rapper. Suck it up.
No wonder my boy got me hip to this genre. I can see myself bumping this type of music and applying the story behind the music in my writings. I get inspired easily ya know. Speaking of, his talk about business, and how his networks pretty much inspired me to work on my grind, hustle, and brand. Here’s a young dude around my age with his own company, out here making moves and great money. I’m sitting here listening about his work. I’m like “man, if he can do it, so can I.” Granted, it takes hard work, dealing with self-doubts, and overcoming both haters and personal failures to reach what you want in life. This shit doesn’t come overnight.
I’m dragging this story with nonsense filler and I pretty sure you guys want me to talk more about partying and less about my sappy self being inspired. A couple of more folks came over to pregame (who I won’t mention because my uncreative ass can’t come up with fake names). I think we played the godawful broken Sailor Moon Super S fighting game on my laptop, as well as a real fighting game like Super Street Fighter 2. I got bodied in both because alcohol. One of my friends noticed my Sailor Saturn sticker on my laptop and we had a nice chat about why we like and relate to her (socially awkward but love having few but very close friends). Come to think about it, I honestly forgot what happened from between me light partying and when I woke up the next morning.
Fuck it, onto Day 1. A day in which gave me more inspiration from dudes doing better than myself, an convention and hotel staff hating on my alcohol collection, and me having to control my temper to prevent killing somebody who I thought was a friend.
Gotta love room parties. Where else can you find a normally socially awkward Uthena cosplayer drunk off shots of Hennessy flirting with other women, a Future Trunks cosplayer high off coke that he snorted off a Hex Maniac cosplayer’s ass, and two stoned Persona fans talk about who’s best girl(s) in Persona 5? (the answer: Tae and Ohya)
Yea, you could visit multiple room parties. That’s cool and all. But, what is cooler is hosting your own room party. You can become the source of otaku debauchery! I’ll teach you how!
To host a room party, you obviously need a hotel room. Make you have booked a room. Location is key. You want to host your party at the primary convention hotel. Hosting at the secondary hotel isn’t bad either, just as long as it’s not too far from the main hotel(s). Ain’t nobody gonna drive 20 minutes to your lame ass hotel party. A suite, a large single king-size room, or two rooms that are linked are best choices for room partying (depending on how the size of the party you’re planning).
If the convention hotel has a dedicated floor/wing/etc. for parties, request a room on that floor. Some hotels will move your room to the party floor for free, while others require an additional fee (around an extra $100 a night).
Anime Nebraskon (Omaha), Anime Midwest (Chicago), Anime Weekend Atlanta (Atlanta), DragonCon (Altanta) , and Archon (St. Louis) are conventions that I’ve personally attended in which they have a select floor or wing for partying.
The job of a host is showing as much hospitality to your guests as possible. Greet everyone with a smile. Show them respect. Make them feel comfortable and welcomed. This means cleaning the room hours before the party and throughout it, having liquor, juices, soda, food, and water available (which I will cover later). Talk to as many of your guests as possible. Be friendly. Trust me, doing these things will net you repeat visitors for future parties.
Spills and party fouls happen. It’s unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t clean up (plus, you don’t want cleaning fees on your bill). Cleaning supplies will help you in the long run, and plus, cleaning goes hand-in-hand with hospitality.
Here what you’ll need:
Trashbags: Hotel trashbags are small, weak, and will overflow quick. You want something that’s heavy duty, like Hefty trashbags. 3-7 heavy duty trashbags should be more than enough for your party. Tie a trashbag on the door handle for easy access for trash and waifus alike.
Paper Towels: Paper towels are godsend for messes. Get something strong and absorbent like Brawny or Bounty.
Tip: Don’t use the hotel towels. You’ll need them to dry yourself off , after you’ve washed off the shame of sleeping with that Black Lady (Sailor Moon) cosplayer after the party ended. You know, the one who was way into character calling you “daddy” while you were raw dogging her from behind.
Dish Soap: For difficult stains. Plus the best dish soap smells good.
Disinfection Wipes: Great way to kill germs and reduce con pluage from unwashed, unhealthy virgin nerds.
Febreze: Because people don’t fucking shower at conventions.
Having these simple cleaning products will help you in the long run. You don’t need everything on the list, but it’s useful to have at least trash bags, dish soap, febreze, and paper towels on stand by.
Food and Drinks:
What’s a party without food or drinks? A rather boring one, run by a host who’s most likely a freeloader, expecting others to bring things but not providing anything in exchange. Nobody likes those type of people. You gotta have your own set of food and drinks at your party.
Here what you’ll need:
Alcohol (LEGAL DISCLAIMER: DO NOT SERVE ANYONE UNDER 21)
3 Bottles of plain Vodka
2 Bottles of plain White Rum
2 Bottles of Dark Rum
1 bottle of tequila
1 bottle of gin
1 bottle of Triple Sec
1 bottle of Schnapps
1-3 bottles of Liquer (Peach, Sour Apple, Midori, coffee, etc.)
1 bottle of Rumchata
1 bottle/box or red wine
1 bottle/box or white wine
Case of beer (24-36 pack work best)
1-6 bottles of fruit flavored vodka/rum (pineapple, mango, raspberry, etc.)
Sweet and Sour Mix
24-36 case of bottled water
On the food end, pizza and chicken wings work well. You can order 1-3 pounds of wings and 5 boxes of cheap pizza for an entire party. Convince party goers to put in on the food. Don’t let others mooch off your shit.
Nobody will come to your party if they’re unaware. You must promote it. Create a Facebook event. Speak to people at the convention. Networking is key. Now, if room partying is against hotel rules, keep it on the low. Only tell a very select few people that you can trust.
Besides, you don’t want your party shut down because you let the wrong people in.
As a host, you gotta have rules. Yeah, parties can be chaotic, that’s a given. But you need to lay down some rules and have order to ensure a safe and happy party for you and your guests.
My general rules:
Respect the host and host’s room
Don’t be a creep and make others uncomfortable
Don’t fuck/sleep on my/our bed
Don’t steal. You steal you’re getting your ass beat and booted.
Keep noise at a reasonable level to prevent noise complaints.
No smoking unless it’s a smoking floor, 420 friendly hotel, etc. Also match me. I’ll match you too.
No one under 21 (if serving alcohol)
Just simple universal rules that should work. You can add your own rules for your party depending on the nature.
Hope these tips help! Feel free to apply them to your own parties. Be safe and have fun this con season! If you have any suggestions and advice, please post them in the comments section below!
We nerds are goofy. You’d think that from experiencing rejection and exclusion by non-nerds, we would be welcoming of our fellow nerds nerds. But nah, we’re not. Some indulge in repeating the same exclusion and rejection cycle they faced in the past to other nerds. Elitist nerds will play the gate keeping game; allowing certain “real” nerds in their circle.
Others will quiz people who they deem fake; asking questions and checking if a person is knowledgeable to their personal level. This essay will explore gate keeping, quizzing, and understanding the causality of such acts.
Gatekeeping is common, yet old practice, existing before the social media and nerd culture boom. Gatekeeping is the act of not allowing certain people into the community; fearing that they’re fake, attention seeking fans (nerds blessed with good looks are often accused of being fake), or casual fans who don’t appreciate the source material.
Example: Some Shin Megami Tensei (SMT) fans believe you’re not a real fan of the SMT series if you started out on Persona, or haven’t branched out to other games of the franchise. Some hardcore SMT fans have belittle, mock, and excluded the newcomers; judging them for not starting or being interested with the archaic (but fun) early games such as SMT 2 or Megami Tensei.
Elitists feel that to be a real fan, you must have outlandish amount of experience and knowledge before joining their ranks. It’s really just their insecurities speaking. They’re afraid of the inclusive.
But hey! What’s a great way to cope with your insecurities? Showcasing your superior, yet unimportant knowledge by quizzing folks! Elitists quiz others on topics that only the truly hardcore (virgin) nerd knows. They’ll ask things like “Who was Akira Toriyama’s first editor”, or “What comic issue did Raven (Teen Titans) debut”? It’s a test to prove you’re worthy to call yourself a real fan. Honestly, it’s stupid and it makes you come off as an asshole.
You know some useless nerd trivial. Congratulations. Nobody is trying to play your quiz game. Nigga you ain’t Alex Trebek.
When compared to their male counterparts, female nerds are more likely to be subjected to quizzing. These beta ass males can’t believe that women have nerdy hobbies and interests, so they gotta drill them to see if they’re not “fake”.
Oh, you’re a pretty girl at a comic book shop who takes care of her personal hygiene, rock a My Hero Academia snapback, and wear a Captain America shirt because you’re a legit fan of the comics before the movies because your dad passed down his Captain America comics to you? If you’re a real Captain America fan, then name the main staff who worked on the June ’97 issue of Captain America!
Can’t answer? You must be a fake nerd girl. Girls don’t read comics!
I mean, I get that these dudes are (probably) still mad about being bullied and rejected for being nerds by girls back in their high and middle school days, but let that shit go. Don’t become the bully fucking with a chick just because she’s a nerd and you assume she’s not a real fan. Go get help or something bruh.
While I do not agree with the gatekeeping, nerd checks, and quizzing, I can somewhat understand why they do such actions. Nerds were/are ridiculed, bullied, and mock for their hobbies for decades. Prior to the recent nerd boom, nerds weren’t accepted by the mainstream. Having nerdy interests was considered weird; nobody wanted to fuck with you. People were on that “Oh I’m a nerd!” game, only to play the real nerds and hurt them for being nerdy.
When you’ve been bullied and teased for your hobbies, you tend to be defensive. It’s a shame that people are like this, but it happens.
Maybe if these elitists weren’t so hurt. Not saying what they’re doing is right though.
We nerds are goofy. You’d think we would be more welcoming of other nerds to our circle. Sadly, with elitism, quizzing, and “nerd checking”, this isn’t the case in our community. Quizzing and nerd checking may leave out some and expose “fake” nerds, but is it worth making newcomers feel excluded?
I can understand why the elitist do this due to ill experiences, however, you got to let go of the past. Past experiences shouldn’t’ determine that everyone on that fake shit based off assumptions.
I would say it’s possible to end this but that would require humanity to end as well.