Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Boo on the Day!

Today was...not a good day.

This is not the day's fault. It is entirely my own brain, turning against me like a badly-trained hunting falcon. I'm in a craftin' mood, but whatever section of the brain translates abstract thought into handwork ain't on board. So I sit here seething, all a-brew with ideas and no way to implement them. Major, major frustration.

I probably shouldn't even be posting this, because I will look back tomorrow and say "Good sweet baby marmalade, what was I thinking?!? No one wants to know that!" But what I'm thinking right now is that my brain sounds just like rice krispies treats, with lots of milk and a case of pop rocks poured in.

And I know of only one thing to do, in this situation.

Play video games.

No, really.

There are people right now trying desperately to make video games that can be used for biofeedback. There are other people who like to point out, with some sort of bizarre righteous triumph, that video games induce the same sort of altered consciousness as drugs. To which I say, well, YEAH. That's why I have Super Collapse on my desktop, and routinely ask for Popcap games as gifts (someday, Bejeweled will be mine!). It's better'n strong coffee.

So I'm off to make tiny colored blocks pop for a while. See you tomorrow, when I will hopefully have more interesting tidbits and maybe even some art to share.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Have A Secret!

I have a couple actually.

The Etsy Texas team is having a team-wide secrets search today! If you find our armadillo mascot at one of the ETC stores, you get a freebie! The shop will say what the freebie is.

Here's the search tag to look for participating shops:


I should note that not *everything* tagged with etcsecrets actually is one...but every shop using the tag has at least one secret! I should also note that looking for the darn things is really addictive!

Come play with us!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Venue Review: Serendipity Haven Part 2!


Sunday was, amazingly even slower than Saturday. I think I counted about 6 people not in garb. But I still had a lot of fun, and even some steady business!

First, Roos (we think- in accurate peasant style, he didn’t know how to spell his name), who shared with me the horror of BooBah and general good conversation:

And then Tehwaz (in true artistic fashion, I don’t know how to spell his name), gave me the chance to paint his lovely family.

No flattery there, his wife is really lovely:

And their son’s got lethal levels of cute going on:

I even moved some more of my jewelry! Little stuff that wasn’t on Etsy yet, this time.

When I wasn't working, I went roaming the nice compact fair grounds. Serendipity is big enough for a body to stretch their legs, but not yet so big that the main stage can't be heard all over the fair, a thing I greatly appreciated.

Less good: one of the soap booths, the one with really fantastic fatty soap that was just about to start melting in the autumn sun, the one with the mild unsweet herbal scents and light florals I love...was having a half-off sale.
I broke down and went off my soap diet. What could I do? I'm only human! I got four bars of superlush fatty soap for about 9 dollars. I defy anyone to tell me they could have resisted that lure.
Big thick bars of the stuff, too. I am currently in love with the gardenia soap bought, and I would be linking to it, but there is no website listed on any of their soaps! Aiiigh! Let that be a lesson, sellers--always brand your stuff with web info!

Bottom Line:

I consider a fair as profitable if I make as much as I would have at my day job, or if I earn back the cost of the fair twice over. I made about 3 times expenses, and about as much as I would at the office, for about 14 hours of…well, hanging out and having fun. So for me, this fair was absolutely a financial success.

I’m not the only one who did well-- the food booth nearly sold out, and I heard a few others happy with their take. The fair was harder on people selling high-ticket items; the sword vendor behind us has surely had better times. But every year won’t bring a hurricane, and the general openness of hearts and wallets this year bodes very well for the future. If you’re a small vendor, or even a large one, I highly recommend trying
Serendipity at the spring fair, or next fall, purely on a financial basis.


I don’t do fairs on a financial basis, though, as my previous ramblings have no doubt made clear. I do fairs to avoid the artistic trap of going mad from fumes and isolation. I want interaction, even if it’s just talking about pricing and what someone’s mother would like colorwise.

Small, laid back and with the best weather a person could want, Serendipity was less a fair than a two-day party. I met great people, had hour long conversations, and learned a little bit about Ren vending. Artwise, I couldn’t have had a more appreciative audience-- everybody loved their pictures, and was extremely verbal about it. There’s no song as sweet as compliments;). And doing portraits meant I had a bit of a captive audience, since everyone I painted had to stick around long enough for me to get some details. I love compulsory socialization!

The fact that I was running the Nap Booth didn’t hurt either:

as I'd made an effort to have a comfy place for portrait subjects to sit, and many other folks decided to share our cushions-er, company.

There are so many neat people I didn't get to mention, or hang out with nearly enough-- my fellow vendors, the incredibly mellow fair organizer, the people hosting the horseback rides...so much stuff I want to do. Next time! Oh, there will be a next time! See you there?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Six Secrets

I got tagged by the lovely Good Witch Too to come up with six secrets about myself. Because, she says, I am one of "chatty ones". Hmph! Says me, and Hmph! Again! Doesn't she know I am a shy subtle introvert? Well, fine, I'll play, just to show that I'm a good sport despite libelous awful slander, and also because I have desperately wanted to be tagged in a blog game for like three years. Thanks, Witchy!
This one is a problem,however, because I don't *have* six secrets. I'm a very open person, and I have no shame. So this is more "Six things people haven't asked much", ok?

1.Lavender makes me ill. I don't mean I don't like it, I mean it gives me headaches, and, if ingested as in tea, makes me nauseous. This puts me at odds with about 70 percent of the holistic relaxing products out there.

Yet I appear to be resistant to all forms of insect venom. Ants,spiders, bees, wasps, bark scorpions...all have had their fangs and/or stingers in me, numerous times, with nothing more than the momentary pinprick annoyance I would get from any sharp jabbing. If civilization collapses, I'm totally turning bee hunter and selling the honey for my upkeep.

2. My best friend in high school came to my wedding, and that was the last time I really saw him. That was ten years ago. I still miss him every day.

3. I don't ascribe to any of the standard religious belief systems even a little, but I have absolute faith in my own way. To put it in the geekiest non-math terms possible: I believe this life is like a session of a tabletop RPG, the best ever invented. We're here to experience as much as possible, to have fun, and to learn how to be more ourselves. Everyone when our characters are sometimes at loggerheads it's good to remember we're all playing for the same reasons. And when this session is over, and we regroup for the next campaign, if the big GM Over All feels like handing out character points they will not come for picking the right ideological horse, or accumulating the best swag, or even having the most impressive character (fun as that all might be), but will instead be based on how well we were true to our character in this life, and how much we added to the game for our fellow players.

Also, I am totally going to be a superhero in my next campaign. Just for contrast, you know.

4.I have written fanfic.
If you do not know what that is, please do not attempt to find out.

If you do know, let me hasten to add that mine, at least, had neither Mary Sue nor sex scenes.

Nor are they published, online or otherwise.

Nor are they on my surviving computer's hard drive.

Yes, my old shame is gone! Bwahaha! I laugh the laugh of someone who will never have her adolescent prose held against her.

5. I am really hilariously disabled. Between the seizures, the daily migraines (every time I craft, draw, write, or otherwise create, it brings on a migraine. I mean a whopper. The longer I work, the worse it gets. This doesn't stop me or anything, but it's an irritating sort of tradeoff- the ability to interact with the world? Or the ability to create my own?), and the genetic connective tissue disorder, there's not a part of me that works right. I'm so very obviously disabled that I got approved for SSDI *on my first try*, in *under six months*. Unless you've been through the process or know someone who has, you don't know what a freakish rarity that is. As one of my husband's coworker's put it, "What is she? A head in a jar?!?"
Which I'm not, but I do have maybe eight semifunctional hours in any 24 hour period. The rest of the time I'm unconscious or immobile. I don't talk about it much because for me it's so old hat it's boring. But it's still there, and it affects everything, even when I'm having a good day, because I know I'm borrowing that day against the pain later.
But hey, I look good doing it!

6. I have modeled nude. Among my many malfunctioning systems is apparently the one that controls modesty and shame.
Nonetheless, I do not post pictures of myself in any identifiable capacity, because I like to maintain an air of mystery. I'm such a very blatant person, this sort of paper mask is the only one I can maintain. *choke* It's my only chance to be narratively interesting! Please don't take it away!

And seriously, if there's anything you're wondering about me, ask! I cannot tell a lie! Or shut up! It's like a syndrome or something.

Ooh, I have to tag people. Well, if they're following along, I'd love to hear from:

Mannie Mandible, who clearly has a playful streak,

Darkling Woods, who seems very mysterious to me,

Sygnet and TagsandButtons , who probably won't have the time, what with the running one of the chattiest groups to ever chat, but I'd still like to hear their Six,

Mondry, Miss Yknot herself, because she and her name both tickle me,

And Zappy Turtle, because how could I not love a zappy turtle? Look at that little shell!

Ok, now. Honestly. I'm a'goin'. I have work to do. Really! Quit poking me with the pitchforks! At least leave comments!

Brain, Blogger meltdown

For some reason, blogger isn't letting me add images. Why, Blogger? Whhhyyyyyy?

This could be overcome with a witty, wordy post of the sort that I don't actually write, ever. Or just a talkative post of the sort that I do write, usually. But my brain has decided that it is Happy Fun Seizure time, so that isn't going to happen today.


I've been taking this as the universe's cue to get the heck off the computer and create- I've got some more jewelry, some promotional stuff to send to ETC, and started making my Christmas ornaments (think I went mushy over Halloween? Oh-ho-ho-ho, you haven't even seen me begin to gush.), along with a few experimental things that look really cool, but serve no useful purpose that I can guess. Oh well. Failure is a learning mode.

And I've taken lots of photos! That, um. I can't share (see above, re: Whhhhyyyy?). But at least when I've got them progressed and everything is linking smoothly again, I should be able to keep up with the One-A-Day Challengettes through October! Yes! A whole month of stuff!

Back later, because my Texas team has a seeeecret, and secrets are no fun at all unless you go spilling them! But for now, meltdown time. So be good til then, ok?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Venue Review: Serendipity Fair (part 1)

Thursday, 5 pm:

Me: “Hey, Mom, you want to have a booth at Serendipity Haven this weekend?”

My mother and general partner in fairage: “Sure."

Thursday, 5:15 pm:

“Do we have a booth?”

So, sorry to disappear on you good folks, but I had an Emergency Renfair setup. This was my first time vending at a renaissance fair, too, so I my existing preparations consisted of
a. garb- it was my first time vending, but roughly my umpteenth year of being a rennie, so I had the outfit.
b. some product.

Everything else-- period booth dressing, signage, business cards, whatever-- I had to get ready between Wendesday and Friday. Or rather, on Friday, because I work Thursdays. Oh, and I don’t drive, so everything I needed that wasn’t in my house had to be grabbed by my dear indulgent mother. Planning!

So unprepared for anything more than making change, I decided to nonetheless go for it. And I‘m glad I did, because Serendipity was about the finest experience a first time vendor could have hoped for.


Saturday morning was a mad panic of flat tires, car switching, and last minute setup.

Fortunately, Serendipity is a startup fair, so they’re rather more relaxed about things like booth accuracy and vendor authenticity than some fairs. A canopy from the Blue Beast store,a few chairs and cushions, a wee tiny table, some tapestries and scarves, and voila, our booth was ready to go:

I brought my jewelry:

And I set up a little sign to let people know I was painting portraits (pictures, caricatures, whatever you want to call them), and I called myself ready, because while there was plenty more to be done, it couldn’t be done by me in two days.

Having set up, I proceeded to…sit back and relax. I’d been anticipating a small fair; I’d been there on opening weekend, when Saturday had brought in about 100 customers. But that was before Hurricane Ike came and rearranged everyone’s plans for a few weekends. This Saturday saw the arrival of…well, I don’t know, but it wasn’t a hundred visitors.

It also brought in some really gorgeous weather. And hey, I had my art supplies, so I wasn’t losing work time. So I sat back and started making some art cards, and waited...

But I didn't wait to long before the bombastic fantastic Gustav showed up. After essentially performing in character for a while, he decided he'd like a picture of himself:

And after being so pleased with it that even I, in all my egorifficness, was almost embarrassed, he showed it to his lovely wife Giselle. Then she wanted a picture too, which was both complimentary and profitable, so even better!

(no pic of Giselle herself-foop!)

They praised me for a while, which is always cool, then headed off. I barely had time to decide I'd make some art cards when one of the Fair Children- in this case, children of fairgoers, not fae (that I know of) came by and wanted her own picture. If I told you how wonderfully serious she was about the whole thing, you would not believe me. Despite her age, she had the great good sense to claim olive green as her favorite color. Sadly, she took her picture with a squeal and ran off in triumph before I could get a photo. But that's pretty much my favorite compliment of the day--you can't beat delighted shrieking.

The rest of my day was taken up with meeting new people, and mutual gabfests on epic scale. I ogled some handmade soaps, but held myself to my agreement (no more soaps until I use the ones I have! Not even if they smell like gardenia and look like pure butter!), ate some beast-on-a-stick, and enjoyed the free music and the sweet music. I capped off the day by selling some of my jewelry- sorry, everyone who liked the Winter Ivy piece!- and finding that, when it came to paying for my booth, my money was no good. The day could have been better, if I had been granted super powers.

And then I packed up (again, with the dominant assistance of my dear mother) and headed home. Not pictured: Us leaving our canopy and furniture on the fairgrounds, blithely trusting in our fellow humans. Would this come back to haunt us on the morrow? Stay tuned!*

Also: My Oh no! Photos! sale is still going on! Convo me or leave a note to the seller to get 20 percent off one item, or BOGO half off!

*No, it wouldn't. But stay tuned anyway!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Get A Head!

Sorry to disappear, but I was having Excitement this weekend. Which I will be sharing, as soon as I get the photos fixed up for viewability.

But there are nonetheless a couple items of excitement.

One, I have a hundred hearts! Yaaaay! Ok, it may not seem like much to some, but I'm happy.

Two, I have a new model for my jewelry! Everybody say hello!

She looks a little bare there...let's see how she handles the shop colors:

Oh yes, she'll fit in quite well.

Now, I will let you, dear readers, in on a little secret: I HATE doing photography. And though I bought this lovely lady (who is yet nameless) for the express purpose of showing my jewelry on a human(ish) model, I do not want to rephotograph everything in my shop.

So, known only to those of you with the intelligence to follow my blog, I am having an "Oh no! Photos!" sale. From now until the end of the week (Sunday, Sept. 30), all my jewelry is either Buy One Get One Half Off, or twenty percent off (so if you just want one item, you still get a discount!).

Want in on the sale? You can either convo me ahead of time, and let me set up the listings, or just leave a note to the seller mentioning the sale and let me refund your Paypal account.

And if anyone thinks they know the new girl's name, I'd love to hear it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Five-er, Four: Etsy Friends!

You may have noticed the sudden untangling of my blog. Perhaps, if you are an astute observer, you noticed me gaining a bloggy partner at the same time-- Sygnet Creations? No? Yes?

Well, Sygnet's the one who did the actual blog untangling. She did this because she is brilliant, and she rocks-- look at these aprons, from her shop Sygnet Creations:

And she did this because she's my friend-- My Etsy friend! Yes, I've joined another team, maybe the tightest, most talkative bunch of all the open chatty Etsy teams! Etsy Friends!
We have a blog:

And a forum thread:

And not a lot of members, yet! Which means I....still can't fit all the team awesomeness in four listings. But watch me try!

Sosoresey is so, SO cool. I want this bowl, which was once a plain, flat pillowcase:

Of course I want that one..er..shouldn't have pointed it out. Hey, look! You can get your very own set of bowls, too!

Genius often lies in finding the simple, often obvious answers that other people somehow fail to see. So when this made me slap my forehead hard enough to bruise and shout "Why didn't I think of that?!?" I knew Devancarol was a closet genius.

Plus, look what she does with scrabble boards! Mine just sit there and mock me with their missing tiles.

Zappyturtle takes eco craft and turns it into an art. Can you believe these come from a plastic bottle?

And how are the fish staying on the purse? I'm not even asking about the gravel!

Last and not least, Mvincent at Mannie's Mandibles has taste for dramatic lighting and minimal descriptions. Good for you, Mannie! Fight the power of the prose! I have already surrendered, as those who know me can attest. But look at what an artist who doesn't spend days chatting can do:

And yes, it's four this week folks, because I have a fair to get ready for tomorrow and blogger is crawling like a crawling thing that crawls. Pics and prattle Monday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

In Which I am Forgetful

Looked at my shop today and was maaaaaagically missing an item.

"Hey!" I thought will ill-founded optimism, "Maybe I have a sale!" But no, I am a dope, and what I have is a poor head for dates. And an expired listing.

On the plus side, this makes it easier to catch up with my one-a-day listing challenge, and I needed to update my tags anyway. On the down side, phoo, I like the description I had on that one, and now I have to rewrite it, and I don't write short descriptions these days, so it'll probably take about an hour to relist, and that's not even counting the bizarro picture loading time, and I can't believe you're still reading this sentence, seriously,it must be the commas making it possible, I know when I read a sentence this long I end up out of breathe because I experience words physically, so if you're like me and you need a pause there should be a period coming up at any point now and you can BREATHE.


More postying tomorrow, when I am not sneaking blog time from the day job.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Hallo-- What, Too Early?

Stepped outside this morning and there is an entirely unseasonal snap in the air. The light is different; the air has that clear carrying scent that allows the least odor to carry for miles. Looking at the early fall beauty, my rational adult mind said "Hunh, better call the propane guys."

My inner child jumped up and shouted "HALLOWEEN TIME!" and raided my inner closet for my inner costume remnants.

I love holidays, and Halloween was always one of my favorites. The easy reason would be the candy, but in fact for me the candy was secondary even as an eight year old. I could have bought candy; my parents could give me candy. Half the time, the candy wasn't even stuff I liked.

The real joy of Halloween was connection. It was visiting neighbors who might not speak to me on any other day and having conversations and even getting treats. It meant getting to stalk the neighborhood with just my friends, acting like we were big (and ignoring or forgetting the watchful adult wisely hanging back). Halloween was carving The Best Pumpkin into The Greatest Jack o' Lantern Ever, every year. It was the thrill of weeks spent arranging the perfect costume-- no store bought for me, not ever!--and getting to see what everyone else had chosen too.

And of course it was being someone else, just for a few hours. Someone braver or darker or just different. For those few hours, I tried to see the world through wildly different, often inhuman, eyes.

Now I'm a big grown-up type person, and it's my job to hand out the candy. And I'm even more excited. I get to meet the new batch of trick or treaters who come up bearing empty pillowcases and borrowed courage. I'll smile and act scared and hand out candy or stickers. Because now it's my turn to be the Halloween Gatekeeper, and help teach the real lesson of the season- that your neighbors are ok, that you're ok even when you're weird, that even when the world is scary there's candy if you just know how to ask.

And I will have The Greatest Jack o' Lantern Ever. Every year.


All that aside-- I'm going to celebrate like crazy. I'm deciding on my costume, and what movies to watch while waiting for the littles, and what nibbles to have as I can't have sugars or starches (no, I'm not losing weight- it's medical).

And I have deeevious plans for my Etsy store. Soon to be revealed! Bwahahha!

Anyone else putting up the black and orange banners?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Five: One A Day Challenge!

You may have noticed, if you follow my shop, that I've been updating much more this month. Why, it's as though I have something new every day!

And indeed I do, thanks to the inspiration of my fellow Etsiers at the One A Day Challenge! I could go on and on about how brilliant the idea and the people are, but instead I'll just show you some of the results:

Magpie's Daughter has an eye for the shiny. Just don't accept her food!

Cricket's Creations include scarves of sheer glamour:

And scarves you will steal from your husband:

Yarrow1 has her own style. Check out these gourds, which are not quite like anything else I've seen on Etsy--and do you know how rare that is? Look!

And can you believe the work on this ACEO?

The Gaudy Goddess works big, bold and beautiful:

Last but never ever least, our glorious founder, the brain behind the boom, Bittersweeets!

I think all avocados look like this:

Clarence lies, but I can hardly blame him:

This hardly even touches on the challengey goodness! For more, go to Etsy and search under "tags" for "oneadaychallenge". Really! Do it!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blue Line 1

So I've got a Cintiq! Yay! There's acres of stuff I want to do on it. But before I commit to any big projects-- a comic blog, an overall series, making new my Christmas cards for print-- I want to make sure I've got this thing under control. It's magic, I don't want to go using it unprepared!

So, I return to my first artistic love, comicking!

Now, I always want comments, but this time I really NEED them. Does the line resolution here look ok on your screen? Is the text legible? Do you notice any technical problems?

Your reward, should you choose to leave me a comment, is to dictate my fate in the next weeks-- leave a comment, and tell me what the next Blue Line should be about! Yes! You could make me draw squid-hugging elephants, or a romantic comedy, or the Viking invasion of America! And all you have to do is give me some feedback. At this point, ANYONE who leaves a comment and instructions can get on the list!

So what do you think, sirs?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hello Blog!

Yes, I've been neglecting this blog. I'm a bad blogmama. But I've been busy!

Still, it needs a little something. How about a picture:

This was drawn on my shiny new Cintiq tablet, which I love above all other material goods. If the house catches on fire, it's my husband, my Cintiq, and me getting out (the cats will get themselves out. They are daft, but not that daft.).

Big posts coming up later. I wish the blog could beep me so I don't forget!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Animefest Part 2: Sensible Advice and the Economies of Fandom

One of the standard bits of business advice, for any business, is to be friendly, but professional. Don't talk about your personal life with customers. Don't say what a bad year you're having. Don't ask about *their* problems, any more than to say "Whew, hot out,ain't it?" This is, in general, pretty good advice. Customers don't need to know about you. They don't want your bad mood bringing them down. And hearing about your skin grafts is unlikely to inspire the purchase of tea.

But cons are different. While there are more new people- strangers!- every year, almost everyone who's in the fandom found it through friends. And those friends come to the cons. And then there are the customers, who buy a thing because they love the art, and then want to know the artist, and then everyone goes out to dinner, and then... well, pretty soon, they stop being "customers" and become "friends who buy our stuff".

I've been doing this a while. My husband, even longer. About 40 percent of the people who buy from our booth are friends, people who we'd help move, people who came to our wedding, people who share hotel rooms and friends lists and family recipes with us. And in the tighter world of the Animefest dealer's room, that percentage is even higher; 80 percent of us in any given year are returnees. We know each other. We may not have the same social schedule, but we count on each other for minor supply assists, emergency table manning, and all the other little things that go with being temporary co workers.

So when these people come up and ask how we're doing, they really want to know. They know my health is bad-- is it getting better? Will this be the last year they see me? They heard my husband transferred jobs-- how's it working out? When will we get our house built? And we want to hear from them too. Even the grim stuff, especially the embarrassing stuff...We want to know. They're our friends.

They're why we go. With the internet's current power and scope, the real unique quality of cons is not merchandising, but socializing. We go there to see our friends. We sell there to pay our way, and support our habit.

Another very sensible bit of advice given to crafters is to not let friends block customers from the table. But this gets tricky when friends are the customers. Sure, they may only be buying a couple prints while they talk, but they are buying. And often they're the big money-- see the second paragraph. It was a friend of ours who shelled out 100 bucks for a small watercolor at this year's art auction. Strangers buy prints and mousepads and small things. Friends buy originals and commissions.

I suspect we could make more money if we followed the proper rules, put business first and pleasure second. But on a moment to moment basis, this is the way I know how to work, and I don't want to change. It makes me part of a community instead of part of a competition. It keeps the focus on the art part of our lives instead of the business angle. It keeps things fun and keeps me feeling human. And really, without that, there's no point in me having this life at all. There'll always be more money in the business world. But my friends are over here.

Even more con rambling tomorrow! And a return to Etsy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Animefest: Part 1 : Introduction: General Info: Attack of the Colons

Now, while Blogger works, about Animefest!

I've linked the official site up there, but frankly I've never seen an official site that gave away even half of what a con was really like.


For those who don't know cons at all: They're a magical place where people from all over the world gather for a few days in honor of a single, shared passion. The culture of any given convention varies depending on what that uniting factor is-- a sci-fi con tends to be a little more restrained and cerebral than a general comics convention, which itself is a bit more reserved than most anime conventions.

Anime conventions, like Animefest, are, in general, young (population wise), friendly, high-energy, and colorful. Despite the name, they're often devoted to Japanese general pop culture as much as anime. There's a whole lot of cosplay, everything from blockbuster shows to the ancient and obscure to original creations (my favorite)! And in the last five or six years, the fandom has trended increasingly towards women and girls, which means I am no longer the Token Chick. So that's nice.

Animefest, or the Very Model of a Modern Midsize Ani-con

Animefest tends to run between 4000 and 8000 people, over the course of four days. Compared to The Other Con in Dallas, which runs about 20 -25 THOUSAND people in a hotel in just three days, and you see why it's "mid size".

Partly because of its size, partly for other factors, Afest is also more laid back than most cons. There's a large number of older, long term anime fans (some of us in our thirties! Methuselah!), so the chaos and catgirls are held to a dull roar. It's also THE con for artists, as far as I can tell (though San Japan seems ready to give them a run for their title). The art show is in the dealer's room, always a major focus for congoers. The artist's alley is right outside, in prime place to catch the pre and post- dealer's hours crowd. The auction is generally on time and always has great presenters.

All of this is why it's the only con where we buy a dealer's table. Yes, it's more expensive (about 200 bucks for a dealers table vs less than fifty for an AA table) and has shorter hours (10-7 vs up to 24 hours), but the Animefest crowd makes it worth our while. We've been going about eight years now, and it's always a good time.

Including this one, about which more later. When I'm not at work, and can take the time to be...descriptive.