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Conventions 0

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)

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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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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

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Nerd Culture 2

Are Nerds Trendsetters? (Freewrite)

Yuki’s Note: This is unorganized and I probably got a few things wrong about nerd culture in the mainstream.  Whoops. 

I love scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing ads from companies such as Sugoi Shirts and Kaomoji.  Seeing their flamboyant Japanese street fashion inspired clothing makes me smile at the expense of my wallet.  But who cares as long as it could make me look good. I just wanna rock a fuckin’ shirt with an anime girl with a censor bar across her eyes in public!  It just makes me feel good about myself and feeds my ever growing ego. But man, who would imagine vendors online selling stylish and fashionable weeaboo shirts on Facebook?

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Nerds have come a long way since the darker days of our passion when we were shamed for simply enjoying our nerd culture.  If I were to wear my weeaboo attire 20 years ago, people would mock me.  Today? People (for the most part) tend to mind their business.  Shit, just the other day,  when I  went to my local head shop the store clerk saw my shirt and we started talking about Fate series for a few minutes (he thought my sunglasses were something based off Fate).  It was a lovely chat until he said that Rin was the worse girl in the Fate series and that Saber was the best.

I ain’t never going back to that headshop.

Anyway, you wanted to catch a superhero movie in full cosplay back in 1996 and you were over the age of 13?  You got roasted!  Now it’s the norm for people to cosplay as their favorite Marvel or DC superhero at opening night. If there was a nerd in a TV show, they were the laughing stock loser who never get the woman.  They never got anywhere.  But shows such as Silicon Valley has ended the stereotype that nerds are losers and that their hobbies won’t get them anywhere.  I gotta say, this is the golden era of the nerd.

Everything that I’ve mentioned above now leads me to this question: Are nerds trendsetters?

The obvious question is yes, of course.  In fact, I even answered the question my self.  So leave my page.  I want to say that, but I do enjoy going deeper with my theories and exploring them. We (well, I) have come up with the conclusion that nerds are trendsetters.  But why?  Why are us nerds trendsetters, and how can we take advantage of this before the inevitable nerd bubble breaks and we’re back to being shoved into lockers and having our lunch money stolen by the jocks (well, you weak nerds are getting shoved into the lockers, I’m knocking anyone out who tries to do that to me).

This is my theory:

People were tired of the old shit and wanted something new.   Everyone and their moms love reality TV, watching sports, drinking at the local bar, what have you.  Meanwhile, the nerds were in the background; creating and working on their passion. We spent our time inside, communicating with our peers, showcasing our talent online.  As time went on and technology advance bringing the advent of social media people were started to take notice of the group they once shunned away: The Nerd.

Social media lead the way for nerds to showcase their creative talent (although we’ve been doing this shit years and years  before that came along through online forums, blogs, etc.) As more people gain access to the internet, the more nerds were given exposure.  Yes, there were TV channels such as the Sci-Fi Channel, Tech TV, and g4, but they were only viewed by their niche target market.

Now?  Well, I mean they’re still being watched by their niche market, but the normies are getting into them as well.   Oh and g4 is dead.  So perhaps that doesn’t count.  Shows that were once for nerds with cahs (meaning they could afford internet and cable packages) are available through streaming services such as Hulu, Crunchyroll, Netflix, etc..   The video game industry makes more than the movie industry.   Anime is…catching up.  It still has a some catching up to do, but with anime (slowly) creeping into the mainstream, I say it won’t be long until anime in the West is treated like film.

It’s funny to think about how nerds are shaping things up.  We’re like rockstars (almost).  Seriously.  Go on YouTube right now and you see that some of the top YouTubers are people talking about video games or streaming themselves playing games.  Two decades ago folks would scream at nerds that playing games isn’t a real career.   Today? Playing video games and screaming at a game for hours on end is considered a real job. Of course, you have those normies who think that isn’t a real career, but they’re just mad that they’re slaving away at some corporate or labor gig they hate while the nerds they used to bully are making hunder of thousands of dollars playing video games.

So, to anwser my own question: Yes. Nerds are trendsetters.

 

Nerd Culture 3

Dear Nerds: The Past is the Past – Get Over High School.

From my last article, I stated how nerd culture has reached popularity that rivals mainstream culture.  Years ago, anything nerdy was deemed pathetic – activities that only people with no lives enjoy. Today, it’s going through a renaissance. Superhero/comic movies are now major blockbusters. Video games are treated as a serious art form. Anime is no longer viewed as a joke  (for the most part).  Yet, despite those achievements, there are bitter nerds angry with the newfound popularity (of nerd culture). They’re upset at the past (as they were bullied for being nerds, weren’t accepted, etc.) They continue to cry about whatever happened to them in high school.  Can I say something?  If you’re this type of nerd, you need to get the fuck over it.

High school is over.  Nobody (but you) gives a shit.

The past is the past; let that shit go. You need to stop being mad at your peers from high school just because they rejected you (for being a nerd). The popular preppy girl who wouldn’t dare date you because you played Pokemon? She’s now fat, have five unruly children from three baby daddies, and she’s working at a dead end job. She’s hopeless.  The asshole who called you lame because you wanted to study rather than hitting up the weekend party?  I bet you he ain’t doing shit with his life today.  He’s strung out on drugs and begging people for money on the streets.

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You, my friend?  You’re doing well (I hope).  You’re working on your goals, dreams, making money, and life-changing moves for the better. There’s a special somebody in your life that appreciate your nerdiness.  You changed your wardrobe and rocking the fresher clothes of the season; clothes your bullies never imagine you wearing years after high school.

You changed, just like trends and the people who may have made fun of you.

 

Here’s what you need to understand.  The bullies and assholes that made fun of you could’ve changed after high school.  They could have realized that they were horrible to you and others.  Perhaps one day they reflected on their hurtful actions of the past, realized what they have done, and made the effort to never repeat that shit again. Teenagers are pricks.  They should know better, but it takes a while for people to grow and self-improve for the future.

People need to change for the future.

 

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Peter Parker and Flash Thompon; Peter’s former bully.

 

Let’s talk about the future.   We’re living in the golden age (of nerd pop culture).  Superhero movies are bringing studios hundreds of millions of dollars (the good ones of course).  Adults are playing on their 3DS in the open without normies talking shit about them.  Otaku are expressing their love for the anime medium without fear of ridicule.  You can talk about the latest episode of Dragon Ball Super or My Hero Academia with your coworkers.  Cosplay is getting the respect it deserves.  Everything nerdy is slowly becoming accepted and not made as a joke to belittle the people that love it! I can bet money that in a few years, people will no longer be mocked or bullied for liking anime, video games, comics, etc.  It’ll be too deep within the mainstream for anyone to go out their way to bully people over those things.   So what if there are some norimes who think that shit is lame?  Fuck them! Let them be stuck the past with that old mindset.

We’re moving towards the future.

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