News and Hearsay
Yes folks it's that time again. Boomslank just got back from another con! This time around, it was Animazement in beautiful Raleigh NC, USA (our home base by the way). This con has a special place in our hearts. Why, you ask? Well our artist got his first bit of recognition in the art gallery/auction room, winning 1st place in the 2D art contest. We knew we had to go this year, we just had to. We had learned a lot in our first con (IchibanCon), and we were not going unprepared this time around. We planned weeks in advance. First of all, we were not able to get in as sponsors like we did at IchibanCon, as a result we did not get as large a space. This meant we had to optimize what we had.Check out the pictures below of our rocking table setup.Here's the table before.....
......and after. Pretty nice if I do say so.
Just like Ichiban, we had some pretty sweet neighbors. It's very good for those times when things slow down, and you can just turn around and shoot the breeze with a fellow artist. The few free minutes I got, I took a stroll around the alley, and my goodness, the raw talent on display. The kind of stuff you see there should be hanging on museum walls. I will give a special shout out to one of our immediate neighbors Danielle of Danielle Sylvan Illustrations (http://daniellesylvan.com/). She was supper nice and super skilled. She's a beautiful young woman with a bright future ahead of her, and you should all check out her gallery online or her Deviant Art page (I got the Hunger Games print :D).
How does Animazement differ from IchibanCon? Simple. It's about 5 times as big. Maybe even more. Before this weekend, I have attended it twice as an individual, and even then it seemed overwhelming. So you can imagine just how much more so it was when you actually have to work. So many things we had planned to do kinda went out the window because of how busy we were. Like I said several times over the weekend, it was a good problem to have :). The strangest thing was i seemed to get even less sleep for this con than for the last, even though it was right in our backyard. I'm not so sure what it was. Maybe because we had so much more stuff to lug around this time around, so we came home every night exhausted to the brink. Who knows?
Unlike IchibanCon, Animazement was unique in that it had actual Japanese celebrity guests. I had tried to contact the con-ops to see if we could have the same arrangement we had at Ichiban, where the guests could come by our table and pick up free gifts. Unfortunately I never got a response, which wasn't great. I went to the con resolved to not being able to recreate the same experience we had with Lisa Ortiz and Vic Mignogna at Ichiban. But wait!!!! Who should come by our table around the end of day 2 other than manga Artist Mayu Shinjo (Sensual Phrase, Ai Ore, and others) and her entourage? It was a lucky thing that our artist had stepped away and missed her, because he may not have been able to control himself. She was super impressed with all our work, especially the Long Distance poster, and the Sound Flow t-shirt. She advised us to send our work to a Japanese publisher! Talk about high praise! We later learned she was a judge for the art contest, and without hesitation, had picked P-Shinobi's Airport on canvas as the winner for 2-D art contest! Check out this picture of her with her brand new t-shirt. I hope she likes it.
It was also super awesome to see people wearing their new shirts around the con. At the moment, we absolutely plan on being at Animazement every year to some capacity. Thank you all for making it such an amazing (or should I say Animazing? That's right I said it) experience. From our artist P-Shinobi, and the rest of our Boomslank team, we love you all, and hope to see you at the next con.
As most of you know, this past weekend Boomslank was at our very first convention. Don't get me wrong, as individuals, we have been to conventions. This time though, we went not as individuals, but as Boomslank, so yea, kind of a big deal. We always knew we would have to do a con sooner or later, but we've been to Animazement in Raleigh, NC and have seen how overwhelming they can be. In other words, we were.....kinda scared. So we decided to start small at the artist alley at IchibanCon in Charlotte instead. Great idea, I thought.
Going as a regular person, I kinda know what to expect from a con. Walk around a lot, look at some awesome costumes, take a break by watching one of the many anime showings, check out the dealers, etc. Going as an artist/dealer, it is completely different. For starters, you have no time to actually "go" to the convention. You have to man your table at all times, lest your wares be pilfered. As a result, you come to the end of 13 hours, and find that you have sat in the same place for 9 of those hours. Very sad thought. And then there is the preparation, oh the horrible preparation. Did we forget anything, how are we setting up our table, who do we talk to about this, who do we talk to about that, just so much to think about. Add to that the fact that we were going as sponsors, so there were certain obligations we had to meet. Stress levels were a little high. But all in all, it was a fantastic experience. We have been to two conventions earlier, and we have to say this was the first authentic con experience we have ever had. Since we were sponsoring the con, we were given a pretty rocking spot for out table. Our neighbors were pretty awesome too. We sat next to the SpacePod club wear table, and those guys were great fun. All in all, this was a major learning experience. We gained some tips on how to run a successful artist alley table. Here are some of the main observations we made though: Celebrity guests at the con rock!
With all the anime we watch, we had never given a passing though to how it would feel to meet the voices behind our favorite characters. But when Vic Mignogna (Full Metal Alchemist, Dragonball Z, Bleach) came by our table to redeem his gift card, we have to admit that was a pretty special moment. Apparently he likes mechs, as you can tell from the picture. He is one of the funniest guys you will ever meet. Lisa Ortiz (Pokemon, Slayers, Yu-Gi-Oh) was another hilarious one. She was super nice and was a huge fan of Airport. She even tried one on! Looking good Lisa! Our artist was absolutely ecstatic to hear their kind words for his work. We love them all and hope to see them in more cons. There is way more anime out there than one could watch in a lifetime, and that makes me sad.
We can't even count how many cosplays we saw. It is just mind-boggling how much anime there is to see. In some ways it's a good thing, 'cause you will never be without something new. In other ways it sucks because you could never see all that you want to. I have made this pledge to myself though: I am going to watch Hetalia this weekend, because I am pretty sure I was the only one there that didn't know what it was. Get plenty of sleep!
I can't stress this enough. On the last night I probably got about 3 hours of sleep, and there aren't many things I have regretted more. Our artist P-Shinobi was smart about it, and got his 7+ hours. Thankfully he was there to pick up my slack 0:D. Working a busy artist alley table is hard work. Do not take it lightly. We would like to thank Nostalgia Conventions for throwing one bangin' con. We thought it was well-organized, and we cannot wait for next year. They were willing to give us a chance, and as a result, they are good in our book. We would also like to thank the celebrities (Vic Mignogna, Lisa Ortiz, Veronica Taylor, and Eric Stuart) for being super awesome! I mean, if they were any more awesome........man they were awesome. Last of all, we would like to thank everyone that attended the con, especially everyone that visited our table. Boomslank will be nowhere without its wonderful fans, and we are absolutely thrilled by the new friends we made over the weekend. We will be trying to make it to more cons, and will keep you posted. Till then..... See all the pictures from the convention on our Facebook page