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Tycho / on Mon, Apr 7 2003 at 6:59 am

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Hello Panda

I don’t know what the kanji looks like for “Methamphetamines,” so I couldn’t tell you if those tiny pieces of heaven contained it.  I can tell you this much, though.  The booth next to us, for a store in Kent, Washington called “Sweet Kitty,” was like a delicious mouth journey.  They had a thing that was like a Hershey’s Kiss, except not made of chocolate - made of wholesome graham, lightly dusted with cocoa.  Within this crisp contraption, a realm of strawberry mousse hid like treasure.

We also adopted the little girl from Sweet Kitty, who you can see in panel two.  Her name is Amy, and she stole my GBA SP no less than twelve times because she is crafty.  Brenna tells me that we need an Asian baby, and I quite agree, though I think we have different approaches to the issue.

If you’re coming here off of my post on Friday, you might be wondering just what was so vexing about the convention.  Indeed, many have already psychoanalyzed this or that and determined what my problem is.  The presumption of many mails was that it was the cosplay that we found so harrowing, and nothing could be further from the truth.  Have you seen how hot these girls are?  Sure, you’re going to mention “Sailor Man,” that unfortunate human monolith who decided to dress as a tiny girl.  The percentage is low, player.  There was a girl dressed as Battle Angel Alita that was…  The word I am looking for is radiant.  Don’t even start me on the Yuna from FF X-2.  Jesus jumped up Christ.

No, girls dressing up - and more importantly, a context for geeky girls to completely obsess and take it too far - this is something I support one hundred percent.  To be honest with you, I did not know it existed, and if it existed, I did not know that it did so to this extent.   

A word on the dress-up:  There are documentaries like “Trekkies” that show Trek fan culture in a certain light, but Sci-Fi cons don’t have shit on Anime Cons.  Period.  I see Klingons in the produce aisle at the grocery store, that shit isn’t weird.  The density and intensity of the cosplay, even here, makes Star Trek fans in full regalia look like they saw an episode once and they thought it was alright.  I was happy to see Colonial Marines guarding the doors with their M41-A Pulse Rifles, even if their costumes might not have been theme appropriate. 

The shocked missive I jammed into my Hiptop and posted to you was solely based on us, and how we felt at a very particular moment.  We have a very pronounced sense of place, maybe everyone does, but it certainly feels very intense when it operates upon my mind.  People are constantly walking all over your shit, eroding it, misrepresenting it, demeaning it, and I do not want to be that guy.  I have my own geek culture that I try to maintain against the rest of the fucking Philistines around here.  I felt not just out of place there, but actively invasive.  I felt like sliver. 

When I made my feeble cry on the site, I had no idea how many people would read it.  I suppose if they’re using the RSS feed they might be notified, but I would imagine that most people simply wait until the next posting day and read extras then.  Apparently my impression of the usage pattern is entirely false, because I heard what I said quoted back to me many times.  And as more people came up on the second day - perhaps the first day was not a good indicator - it appeared as though we do have a place there, or maybe not there there, maybe outside by the road.  In any case, we were made to feel quite welcome both by readers and the people who ran the thing.  The third day, there wasn’t really anything going on at our booth, so we mainly just hung around with Amy and ate candy. 

We had two “panels,” which were interesting experiences.  The first was with Piro from Megatokyo, and it seemed like human beings enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it too, except for when Sadako/Samara from Ringu/The Ring stood in the doorway, her clawed hands ending in black fingernails.  Probably could have done without that.  But, Fred was actually pretty great.  He has taken positions on “Donation Systems” that I can’t support, simply because they provide compensation for artists doing work online, but I’m not going to bring shit like that up just so I can get in a fight or something.  It was also a real treat to see the sort of line that forms around this man.  Indeed, they actually announced it when he came into the dealer room, like royalty.  And you’d best believe he is royalty there.  He beats himself up a lot about his work or whatnot, but if Jesus Christ were there, the Son of God and Man would get no line like his.  He’s on top of the world, with an adoring throng that will wait in excess of three hours to see him, a very successful book out, and more on the way.  It is my hope that he will one day enjoy it.

The second panel, with just us, took sort of an interesting shape.  People didn’t really want to know about Penny Arcade, by and large - they wanted to talk games, which is something we are uniquely equipped to do.  As could be expected at this convention, some questions went into more detail than I could on specific types of console RPGs, which is not something I can give a speech on.  You could play just Console RPGs and nothing else if you wanted to, and there’s too many games out there for me to focus like that.  Hopefully we sounded reasonably cogent. 

I believe they will invite us back, and after this experience on the whole, I think we will be back.  Next time, though, I’m just going to stay in the hotel for the three days and try to do the rest of it - people invited us to so many parties, and there were even arcade games and a LAN at another hotel across the street - but I said I’d be in a particular place, and I wanted to make sure I was there.  Next year, next year.

(CW)TB out.

that’s the first thing i say to you


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