I then got up and made my way to the bathroom to finally take a shower after a long period of none (except what was managed in a hotel sink). I saw my face in the mirror. My electric razor had been left with my gear in Urd's van, so I was a little bit scratchy. And though they had all but faded, on my right cheek were still traces of two black lines inked in the previous day thanks to a Sharpie brand marker. I smiled at my reflection. It had been a fun time.
It had begun on Thursday after I had gotten out of school. Right when I got out, I went straight to Urd's to set up my makeshift workshop in her basement using the family's collected expertise on costume-making, as well as their gracious use of their glue gun, wire cutters, and occasional Pepsi. I had stopped at the Salvation Army some time earlier that day to grab myself some light blue shirts, one of which was a $1.50 Gap shirt which I chose purely for the fact I got to cut it up and make it into scraps (*crazy laughter goes here*). I didn't get to finish it all up, but I definitely got a large portion done.
From there, thankfully I didn't have to stop by Steve's house, because I was there the previous night and had given him my Speedy Cerviche armor. I was quite surprised to find that it fit him pretty well! The pants were a little bit tight, but nothing inappropriate thankfully ^_^; After teaching him the bare basics about the character of Speedy Cerviche, poses, factoids, relationships to other characters, and a little info about Samurai Pizza Cats, I had left him to try to explain to his relatives why he was dressing up like that in a few days to traverse about in public in Chicago no less :3
So I headed right back home, and got there right in time down to the minute to meet Kristen at my place. From there we went to miscellaneous other places, including Salvation Army (shoes, don'tchaknow), the Purdue computer lab (my comp is under maintenence, though I have choice words I'll keep to myself about said person working on it), and Urd's place once again. Then somehow Kristen and I were able to actually stay up the entire night working on our respective costumes, and had them completely finished come the morning. Wii...rock. And upon donning our costumes and waiting for the next train (a little later than we had planned, but it didn't make much a difference), we were on our way to Anime Central.
On a train, on a subway, lots of people looking and pointing, some walking, stop at a hotel, then we were in the convention center. Sheesh, I really think that this was the biggest that Anime Central had ever been...! The artist alley was unbelievably huge! I wish I had a map of the floor layout! And it was connected with the dealer booths...whose area was just as huge, if possibly not even a little moreso! I got to see a few unexpected and expected faces, all of which were a very welcome sight :) Artist friend Kenmei "Roku-chan" Rokugatsu was in attendance...as usual ;D I got a commission from her on which I won't elaborate. Oh yeah, and she did the art for my premiering =) I'll cover that in a bit! I also got to see Chibi Toaster, though I didn't get to talk to her as much. Somebody I was REALLY happy to see was a girl by the name of "Cheshire Neko" (no link available, sorry!! ^_^; ). I had met her at MTAC down in Tennessee. She was somebody with really, really cool art, of which I bought a print (Haruko freaking rocks!! :DDD ). But the thing that really distinguished her was that she was a born-again Christian! You don't see that much from artists, much less anime fans!! ^_^ I had bought a commission from her in Tennessee, and this time I got another one from her :D She'll send them both by mail later on...but still. It was actually a little weird looking through her art book, because she didn't have yaoi, hentai, depressing gothic stuff, scantily glad girls/guys, or anything even remotely perverted! Actually...I thought that was pretty cool!! :D
I met up with Hillary, Fawn, Urd, and their whole menagerie. They were nice enough to let me sleep in their hotel room during my stay there, plus even gave me my own room key! -^_^- During my attendane at the con...sheesh, I had so much fun! For everything except their rave Saturday night, I was in my Guido Anchovy Samurai Pizza Cat armor carrying around that pizza box with that cloth rose taped to the top. People kept making remarks (like usual ^_^; ) if there was anything inside the box, if that was pizza, if the pizza was for them, that I keep making them hungry, etc. I don't know if I detailed it in here before, but the pizza box serves a few different purposes. While serving as a prop, it also keeps all my items conveniently in there. The costume has no pockets whatsoever, so that works out quite well. It's also large and obvious enough that I don't misplace it anywhere! Also with the top cover, I got lots of doodles and autographs inside! =) I didn't get a "lot", but I got a few that were pretty meaningful to me! -^_^- Jeff Nimoy, the man who voiced Wolfwood in "Trigun" signed it. That was actually his first con! Also, Fred "Piro" Gallagher of Megatokyo fame signed it and even drew a little funny doodle in there, though I told him he didn't have to. His wife Sara/"Seraphim" also signed it! There was another webcomic artist who signed it and did a quick little doodle in there, though I'm not a fan of him. Does anybody here know who Michael Poe is? I also got to meet real-life j-rockers!! They were a group of three girls who had a nice sound from what I randomly heard of them while passing by their concert while they were playing in the Main Programming...but man, I don't remember the name of their band!! ^_^;; They were really awesome, though, and the only word I understood from them when they were talking to each other about signing the box was "pizza". Yep! XD;
I got other random doodles from artists around the convention as well...and you know what, every single sketch I've gotten in my pizza boxes have all been girls with weird ears, whether they be elven, cat, or robot! o_O Not that I'm complaining, fyi!
I got lots of pictures on my cell phone. I could have brought my normal camera...but my cell phone one is just so much more convenient! Plus then I can send off pictures to whoever wants them right then and there! XD I also got a lot of requests for pictures to be taken of me! People were really impressed to find that there was a Samurai Pizza Cats cosplayer walking around. And you know, I was actually surprised by what a lot of people asked me. "Hey, are you the guy who was the Pizza Cat over at last year's Anime Central?" "Are you the guy who was the Pizza Cat at Anime Reactor?" "...Youmacon?" "...MTAC?" And for a couple of those cons, I had been passing out CD's with my AMV's on them, and people watched them and remembered them too!! "I really liked that Sonic the Hedgehog one with 'Danger Zone'!" Waddaya know...! =) People actually did watch them! I wonder if I'm considered "famous" now o_o;
And speaking of AMV's! Like my previous post stated, I submitted an AMV into Acen's contest! And it got accepted and shown!! XDDD I was really happy to see it up there. You know, it's one thing to make an AMV, and another to actually see it debut before a crowd and watch and listen to everybody's reaction to it. "Love and BOOM" showed, and people watched it, liked it, and applauded it. Unfortunately, I didn't win anything, and somebody using the Berzerk manga won the Action category. I hadn't ever seen anything like this guy's video, though! o_O He took scans of the manga, then using special effects animated them a little sometimes, clipped portions of them in throughout the video, did special effects with them...bunches of stuff. But I couldn't understand the song! >_< "GROWWWWWWWL GROWWL GROWL GROWL GROWWWWWWL...GROWL GROWL GROWL FATE GROWL!!" No offense to the editor, but I don't speak Kill-Your-Throat-ese o_o; Anyways, back to my Trigun video, with my next post, I'll have the link where you people can kindly go and download it! ^_^ It's on YouTube currently if anybody wants to cheat and go over there to check it out, but if you want your own copy to put on your computer, put on a CD, DVD, whatever you want, then watch it whenever you want and carry it around with you always...yeah, just wait for the next entry ;) Roku was kind enough to draw me a cool Trigun picture to put on there, instead of the norm of my AMV avatar. I think it's sort of cool how it was last year at Anime Central I paid for the picture, and it's purpose was for the very next one!
Oh yeah, concerning more AMV stuff...Justin's video won for the Drama category o_o;; Huh...that was unexpected (*whine about how everyone else wins goes here ;D*).
The weekend went fantastically. A lot of people complained how the Samurai Pizza Cats weren't on tv anymore, and I directed them to YouTube to watch episodes :) Once I get the computer back, I plan to put even more episodes on there! Make YouTube a Samurai Pizza Cats internet hub!! Hoo-wah!! I actually even made a couple unexpected friends while there! Not that I mind in the least! :)
Unfortunately, the con was over far too quickly, and Sunday evening, Kristen and I trekked to the train station and started our way back. We got to meet up with Justin, as well as some of the crew from Valpo in the process! It was really refreshing to hear as we entered the train station, "Mikeyyyy~!" Liz Price was happy to see me, and the rest of the people there were friendly faces. It was nice to be around a group of people who had high regard for me and were happy to see me. I don't know enough irl friendly people.
Finally our stop came at Ogden Dunes, and Dad was nice enough to come pick us up from the station. He even bought us dinner! Food! As in...real food! Some of you folks might not understand. Over there at the hotel, it was virtually isolated from any and all fast food places. If you wanted food...you'd have to fork over $10+ for something menial. I stopped at the sports bar they had in there, just thinking to grab a cheeseburger, and I picked up a menu. For their appetizers, I saw fajitas going for nine bucks! Nine bucks!! For fajitas!! For an appetizer!! I blinked and quietly put down the menu and walked out. Also unfortunately, I had been mysteriously seperated from my bag of wrapped food that Dad had put in my duffle bag. So what sustained me during my stay there?
Junk food!! That's right, ladies and gents, I went on sugar. Sugar and chocolate substituted real, actual food for mostly the entire time that I was there. Saturday night, though, I did buy a slice of pizza from someone who had ordered a pizza. And when I got it, I devoured it. I'm pretty sure it was just because I was so hungry, but it felt like the tastiest slice of pizza I had ever had...! Don't get me wrong, there is a McDonald's located in walking distance, but you also have to understand this "walking distance" is almost a mile. Being exhausted from lack of sleep, fatigued from lack of food, drained from drain on emotion, as well as the fact I was wearing the armor (plus it got cold at night outside!)...I only took the trek once. But those three double cheeseburgers and that Coke without ice...oh man, it was like ambrosia. I sat there and relished them all. Mmmmmm....
Kristen finally left, and exhausted I trudged to my room. Anime on VHS littered my floor, piece of the costume intermingled, the pizza box (with the rose still taped!) sat precariously on top of a box standing to the side, and my head hit the pillow and I curled up. Mmmmm, it felt good to be on an actual bed with actual covers and an actual pillow all alone and by myself in the room again. I was exhausted in multiple ways, but I think it was worth it. Next year...I'm looking forward to next year.
I think at that con I'll be a Patlabor :)