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Archon St. Louis: And Why I’ll Only Do One Local Convention From Now On (Freewrite)

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.  

(The jabs are coming in a future post.)

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.

(Check their website I didn’t make that shit up)

Archon_Logo

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):

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monika_off_ddlc_cosplay.jpg

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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

FOLLOW ME ON THESE  SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS:

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

“Personal’” Facebook:
Yuki Benji
https://www.facebook.com/yuki.benji.1?ref=br_rs

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https://www.instagram.com/yukithesnowman314/

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What TO Do At Cons DJkillzone Feat. Yuki The Snowman (Text Version)

NOTE: This is the text version of the audio discussion between my friend DJ Killzown and myself on the same topic.  The link to the YouTube will be provide below.

 

Conventions are a wonderful place to have fun and let loose with fellow nerds.  However,   conventions can also be overwhelming for newcomers,  lacking knowledge on  what to do. So, out of the kindness of my heart (and because I need to clean  my public image), here are a few things to do at conventions!

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Panels

Lost-Girl-Panel_MG_7829
Wanna learn interesting tidbits  and facts about your favorite series, gain knowledge that’ll set you apart from your peers, or learn more about your favorite voice actor or creator? Go to a panel!  Usually, conventions will have four types of panels: Fan, Interactive Industry, and Guest.

Fan panels are run by passionate and all-knowing fans of a series, sharing their expert knowledge to others fans and newcomers alike.

Interactive panels are panels in which you can partake in the action and/or have an hands on experience in relation to the subject.  Examples include sake tasting, sewing tutorials, murder-mystery solving, cooking anime inspired foods, and hypnotism panels.

Industry panels are run by industry guests such as Funimation or Viz Media. Industry panels will host series reveals, news on upcoming projects, and the industry hosts will answer your questions about what’s currently going on in the industry.    Sometimes, industry guests will reveal get exclusive news  andcontent about a project first at their panels before the rest of the world get the information.

Finally,   guest panels.  Guest panels are of course hosted by the guests of honor. It’s worth your time going to one as you can learn about your favorite voice actor on a more personal,  learn how they got their start, and even learn how they feel about their co-workers that they normally wouldn’t say in front of their face (did you know that a lot of America voice actors hate Vic Mignogna?).

 

Meet Guests

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Me with Ryukishi07 (creator of the When They Cry  series). Anime Centraol 2014

One of the best experiences of a convention is meeting your idol and having them autograph their materials for you! To start,  learn when and where the guest(s) that you want to see are hosting panels and  autograph sessions and attend them.  Did they make your favorite manga?  Get that shit sign.  Are they a voice actor you really love? Get your DVD signed by them!  Do you want to know how your favorite voice actor got their start?  Go to their panel! Be aware that  popular gusests tend to have a long waiting period for autographs sessions. Be sure to have  fully charged cell phone or a book to read on standby while you wait!

Cosplay/Fandom Meets
wtc_cosplayers

Higurashi and Umineko cosplay meet
Met new friends within you fandom and show off your cool (or trash) cosplay!!   You can find information on meet ups in the program booklet or on the convention social media and website. Showcase your cosplay or just chill and kick with fellow fans and make new connections.

Dealers Room/Hall

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1/8th of the mammoth-sized dealer’s hall of Comiket.  Yes. 1/8th.  Imagine the full  hall.

The dealers room is a hall or room full of offical merchandise, fanmade items, wigs, cosplay materials, etc.  They’re open all weekend but it’s  best to wait until Sunday for the best deals and discounts on products, as merchants want to reduce the amount of items they have to take back home Sunday or Monday.

Game Room

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Scrubs playing a wannabe fighting game.

 

Play video games here with other cons goers (or be that one asshole who hog ups the console all day because you couldn’t even make friends at an convention) Setups can range from the old school, current games, arcades, or a mixture of all three. Tournaments (such as Street Fighter, Project Diva, Mario Kart. etc.) are often held here, so you should try to join in a tournament if you’re confident in your skills.

Make Connections
Relax! You’re with like-minded people!  Cons  are a great place to make new friends and networks that can last for life (or a few years until some petty drama comes up and ruin your friendship)!   You are all here for a common passion and love.  By networking and befriending fellow comic book nerds, weeaboos and otaku alike, you will build a network that can help you find and learn about more conventions in the area and other cool nerd shit outside of cons.   Who know what new connections can lead you in the world of convetions.

For you bloggers, vloggers, etc –  make sure that you have a business card if you’re networking with others in your field (thanks for that DJ Kill Zone)

 

Cosplay

__balalaika_benny_revy_and_roberta_black_lagoon_drawn_by_hiroe_rei__sample-9125492ccc387bc07a59176e4dae0a02
Dress up as your favorite character and join the cosplay gatherings and meet.  Take pics taken of you in your  cosplay, never to find them online!  Cosplay is a wonderful hobby that will bring joy and new people into your life!  At least do one cosplay in your life if your curious about it!
That wraps up my “What do do at cons” post!  I’ll hope our tips will help you enjoy the con!

IMAGE SOURCES:

Lost Girl Panel:
http://www.mcmbuzz.com/blog/2013/10/29/disguises-surprises-and-cross-over-ideas-lost-girl-panel-at-mcm-comic-con-london/

Comiket Picture:
http://www.bigshinyrobot.com/31516/lets-go-to-the-ultra-con-introducing-comiket/

Game room:
http://agamersescape.com/post/107228508851/winter-sacanime-2015-review

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What TO Do At Cons DJkillzone Feat. Yuki The Snowman (Collab Video)

Audio collab between my boy DJ Killzown Jones and myself.  With the convention season well into the summer, DJkillzown and I figure we will be nice and give nice audio guide on TO do at cons.

This is the follow up to our previous video, “What NOT To Do At Conventions”

TOPICS INCLUDE:
Attending Panels
Meet Guests
Cosplay/Fandom Meets
Dealers Room
Networking
Cosplaying

DJ Killzown Jones’s social media accounts:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwO0lojnveRjDrVyJyl167A
https://www.facebook.com/Killzown314/?ref=br_rs

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What NOT To Do At Cons (Text Version)

NOTE: This is the text version of the audio discussion between my friend DJ Killzown and myself on the same topic.  The link to the YouTube will be provide below.

A convention is a wonderful place to meet and befriend new people who share your passive for nerd pop culture.  You can be yourself without being ridiculed for who you are.  However, just  like in the real world, you still have to obey the laws of the land, use common sense and logic at conventions.  Just because somebody is cosplaying as a sexy Slave Leah outfit doesn’t give you the right to touch her.  Somebody has a cool prop you’re admiring?  That’s great!  Just ask permission to hold and touch it first.    You don’t wanna ruin the con experience for yourself or somebody because you’re on some childish crap.  Don’t know what not to do at conventions or need a refresher?  Well, we’re here to help!
Not Taking Care of Your Personal Hygiene
Look, there’s no excuse for not taking care of your hygiene; both in the real world, and at conventions.   You need to shower and take care of other hygiene issues before you hit the con floor.  Take a damn hot soapy shower.  Use deodorant. Brush your teeth. Comb or brush your hair..  Freshener your breath. People are sensitive to body odor.  You are being selfish when you do not bathe.  Again, there’s no excuse.

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Disrespect Personal Boundaries.

People attend conventions to have a good time. They don’t want it ruined by some creep or somebody breaking their props.   It should go without saying, but think before you act.  Keep your hands to yourself; cosplay is not consent.   People have worked hard for months on their costume and props.  They don’t want it destroyed by some touchy grabby idiot.  Please ask for a picture before you snap one.  Don’t become that one creepy photographer that gets talked about within the community.

cosplay_is_not_consent

Ghost the convention
Please, support the convention.   If you want the convention to flourish, you must buy a badge.   Ghosting hurts the convention as they lose money to stay afloat.  Every penny counts.  If you want better and bigger guests, convention to expand, and an overall better home con, supports the convention.  Buy a badge.

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Consume drugs/alcohol beyond your limit

Partying is not a secret at the convention scene, so I’m going to say this: please know your limit when consuming drugs or alcohol.  Don’t consume drugs or alcohol on the convention grounds. Leave that shit in your room If you smoke trees in an illegal state, spray yourself down or cover the smell with tobacco smoke.   Be aware if law enforcement catch your ass with that shit, you’re getting locked up, no tolerance.  Do not drink if you’re underage.    Do not serve underage people alcohol. . It’s not worth it.

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I hope our tips will help you improve the quality of your experience at conventions.  We wish you a great and happy convention season!

Please!  Check out our audio discussion on the topic on YouTube!

Drunk 2hu art souce:
https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=27755916

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What NOT To Do At Cons DJkillzone Feat. weebtrashyuki (Collab Video)

 

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.

TOPICS INCLUDE:
Cosplay is NOT Consent
Respecting Personal Boundaries
Personal Hygiene
Ghosting Cons
Alcohol/Drugs Consumption
Hotel Partying
Creeping on Women

TEXT VERSION COMING SOON!!!

DJ Killzown Jones’s social media accounts:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwO0lojnveRjDrVyJyl167A
https://www.facebook.com/Killzown314/?ref=br_rs

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A Short Weeaboo Guide to Convention Planning (and Survival)

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With the 2017 convention season starting (and me still angry with people whom won’t shower at these things), I figure that I’ll be nice and give some helpful advice to survive the convention year.   These tips and advice come from my own personal experience such as budgeting, taking care of me, and saving money.  I hope you’ll apply these tips for your convention plans.

The Hotel

__christophe_giacometti_georgi_popovich_ji_guang_hong_katsuki_yuuri_leo_de_la_iglesia_and_others_yuri_on_ice_drawn_by_mamemomota__sample-d265ad8e5e3efe0ed8ae553874cc6596.jpg
An example of chilling in the hotel during downtime. 

Generally, the convention’s social media page(s) and website will post booking information such as the start date of booking for hotel(s) blocks (reversed sections of the hotel for the event staff, guests, and attendees) .  Once the reservation dates are revealed, mark your calendar. The night before hotel reservation begins,  set an alarm up to an hour early than the time the hotel will accept reservation.  Have your credit/debit card information ready.  If you’re a rewards member of the hotel company (I.E. Hilton HHonors), have that information ready as well.  You may gain points or a discount for being a rewards member.

If booking by phone, please note that everyone and their moms are going to do the same.  You may get put on hold, and there is a chance you may not get the room.  Please, please, PLEASE, do not go off on the operator if this happens.  It’s not their fault.  Be kind to them.

Some hotels may require an one night deposit upon reservation.  This is to prevent last minute cancellation and people hustling and flipping the room(s) to others at a higher price than the average (although the latter is still possible.  Make every dollar.). You best be fully committed.

The Badge

acen_2016_badge
My Anime Central 2016 badge (do not post images of your ACEN 2017 badges on social media. They’ll banned you from the convention.)

Now that you’ve booked with the hotel, it’s time to pre-register for the badge!   If possible, buy the badge as early as possible when pricing is at its cheapest.  It’s a smart investment.

Think about it: Would you rather invest that $45 on the badge right now, when it is at its cheapest and not worry about saving up, or would you want to stand in line for hours, and pay $75 for the at-the-door prices?  That was $75 for extra food, a cool ass Mystic Gohan figurine at the dealers room, or at least two top shelf liquor for a room party.

If you cannot afford the badge right then and now, stack up and budget for the next tier price.  If the next tier price is $50 in about two months and a week, put aside $10 aside each paycheck for five pay periods, or $25 aside for two pay periods.  Then, once you got your money straight, buy the badge.

Seriously, you do not want to buy at the door.  You’ll lose more money and time that way.

The 3-6-1 Rule

Three meals a day.  Six hours of sleep.  One bath a day.  You think something as simple as taking care of your hygiene, eating, and sleep are easy tasks.  Indeed they are! However, you have those few who don’t follow this rule (especially the bathing part).   To those who will follow these rules, I’ll break it down for ya.
3 Meals a Day: It’s that simple.  Have a healthy breakfast to provide energy until lunch time. Toast, yogurt, eggs, nuts, grains, etc.   If your hotel offer free breakfast, take advantage of that, even if its food you do not enjoy.  Your favorite food is free food.

For lunch, I tend to go with something between a light and heavy meal. A sandwich with chips and another side is a nice go-to lunch meal. It’s not a bank breaker and it doesn’t leave me feeling tired or sluggish because I ate more than I could handle.  Dinner is where you want to eat something heavy, especially if you’re going to be going to a room party with alcohol, the rave, or doing many night time convention things.  I recommend pizza, pasta, fried chicken, etc.  Do not eat too heavily though.

Another helpful tip: Snack between meals such as fruits, nuts,  and those fancy multi-grain bars.  Drink plenty of water as well.  The key is to have energy and  not feel like shit because you haven’t eaten at all.  Ramen and pockey does not qualify as meals.

Yes another helpful tip: If your hotel has  a full kitchen (stove, oven, fridge, etc.) and you know how to cook, cook your own meals.  It’s a money saving tactic and you’ll have leftovers throughout the day.

__saigyouji_yuyuko_and_son_gokuu_dragon_ball_dragon_ball_z_and_touhou_drawn_by_kamishima_kanon__sample-d3e10d43e5792fc9e9cb927fc3e759c2

Six hours of sleep: Please, get some rest.  You should sleep for about 8 hours a day, but 6 hours isn’t too bad.  If you’re running a panel or event, get as much rest as you can.  There is no shame in resting up and missing out on a few things at the convention to keep  alert and active.

Sleep Tip: Powernaps are wonderful.  If need be, take at least 30-45 minutes every couple of hours  to powernap.  If you’re doing something major such as hosting or partying, try to get at least 1-2 hours of sleep.  Your body and energy levels will thank you.

 

sleep_with_your_friend_and_enemy
Nebraskon’s mascot has the right idea! (This blog does not condone the act of vandalism) 

1 Bath/Shower a Day: There is absolutely no goddamn reason for you not to  shower or bathe before going out in public.  A convention is not exempted.  Nobody is trying to smell your nasty ass because you did not want to shower and use hygiene products.  If you’re a cosplayer, plan on changing clothes, or sweat a lot, please take a shower before and after an outfit change.

best_girl
The best Fate/Zero girl takes bath.  Why don’t you?

It’s 2017 and we are still debating if people should shower and take care of their hygiene.  Yay for human evolution.

Showering Tip: Beer showers are fun.  And an early sign you might be an alcoholic. Go me!

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Having a beer while taking a shower/bath is relaxing as hell. I suggest that you’ll do this, my 21+ drinking followers! 

But seriously, fuckin’ take a shower and use deodorant.

Budgeting

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Unlimited Budget Works

Ah the fun part for us adults: budgeting for the convention.   In general, the plan is to stack up save up, and split funds for the event.   No one’s budget will be alike from the other guy.  This is normal.   Here’s an example of my budget for  Wizard World St. Louis:

Badge:  $50
Hotel: $217 ($73 for my share between three people)
Food: $60
Misc: $200 (Not required.  For things such as dealer room, liquor/mixers for room party, “vices”, etc.)
Total: $383 ($183 if I removed the miscellaneous items)
Paydays until Wizard: 2

Friend owes me $66.  Use that for the badge
Save $51.14 per check.  Since I’m using the money I’m owed for the badge, this isn’t a huge blow to the budget. Take another $51.14 from income taxes.
Simple budget, yes.  Admittedly, my math may not be right and I’m too lazy to whip out my calculator to get the correct total amount.  You get the picture here.  Just manage your money correctly and save up.

If you’re splitting hotel costs, pay up.  Nobody likes a mooch.

Pay_Up.jpg
You don’t wanna end up in this situation if you have yet to pay for your share of a room.

Let me say this: If you cannot afford to go to a convention, don’t go.  If you have needs such as bills to be paid, medical expenses, etc., take care of that first. Skip out on the convention if your money isn’t right.  It’s not worth going broke or screwing up your money just to go to a convention.

The convention ain’t going anywhere soon.  Wait until your money is right and go to the next convention.

‘Let me tell you something: You gotta find the balance between having fun and having funds.’
Nino Brown (American rapper)
I hope my tips will help you in this convention season.  If you have anything else to add please feel free to state them in the comments section!

Have a fun and safe time at the convention(s) you’re going to this year!

 

Art Sources:

YURI!!! On Ice Art:
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=60232886

Haruhi cosplay:

http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=3265564
Yuyuko and Son Goku eating:
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=25590837
Best girl bathing:
http://bo.xrea.cc/fate/