Ah. My first major road trip con! dirktiede and I left onThursday afternoon to meet up with Maciek and Kim in Madison. After nerding out over chimichangas and waiting for a few other friends Stacy, Pete and Ally (who, with Maciek and Kim, are part of Studio Antithesis), we headed out for the Minneapolis area. I was introduced to This American Life, and Dirk was introduced to cookies and cream flavored coffee. After almost six hours of driving, we stop for the night at a house less than thirty minutes from Anime Detour.
The next morning, after a casual breakfast, we hit the road again, and finally arrived in time to set up our table. We weren’t able to get a table in Artist’s Alley, so we set up in the dealer’s area. This was probably for the best, as the Artist’s Alley was… Spartan, at best (No, I don’t mean that in the 300 sense of the term). Once the room opened, we spent the most of the day talking to our neighbors and anyone who was willing to listen to our spiel about Paradigm Shift.
A quick dinner in the hotel lobby, and Dirk and I went our separate ways for the evening. Dirk got to shmooze with fellow comics artists over milkshakes, while I visited the steamy underbelly of late-night con happenings. I somehow found myself in the game room, after spending hours watching anime in the viewing rooms and admiring the various costumes. I got involved in a round robin session of old-school Super Mario Bros. and watched as others played Super Smash Bros., DDR, and even a bit of Wario Ware on the Wii. I engaged a small scale war with an army of neko-jin, lounged outside the pool, and paid a quick visit to a small in-con tea shop/Avatar: The Last Airbender viewing party called the Tea Weevil (Yes, we know the name is stupid; it’s an A:TLA reference.) for a nightcap before heading to bed.
I got up surprisingly early for a panel discussion on making comics, but the panel was cancelled, so I joined Dirk – and a small group of Bleach cosplayers - for breakfast. Once again we were at our table, and business quickly picked up. The slowness of Friday was not even a reasonable indicator of how well we would do Saturday. Those who didn’t buy books were stopping to get their portraits drawn by Dirk. We even found a nice store willing to buy a few books from us wholesale to sell at cons. Lunch was mercifully delivered to us courtesy of the con staff.
That night we gathered the troops and went to eat at a Mongolian buffet called Khan’s. If you suddenly had images of Capt. Kirk yelling “KHAAAANN!” flashing through your head, don’t be ashamed. So did we. All of us. Being at the buffet, it was the first time I had ever been told, by staff at the restaurant, that I needed to go back and get more food. I had found heaven, and it was a Mongolian buffet.
After that we decided to go to an art jam at the con. Dirk, being one of the only professional artists there, gave a bit of a lesson on inking images and using color markers. He closed the art jam down drawing with Studio Antithesis and helping fellow artists. I stuck around for a little while before hitting the Nerima Daikon Brothers viewing party with Chris and Greg Ayres and going to bed.
Came the dawn and we met for a breakfast buffet with delicious waffles and omlettes, where we talked about publicity and future comics-related events. After that, Dirk went to open shop for the day, and I visited the nearby Mall of America. No trip to Minneapolis is complete without doing so.
No mall should be that big! It had an amusement park, an aquarium, and a chapel to get married in. They were even developing a mini-golf course by the massive food court. I got lost inside there, trying desperately to find the way I came in so I could get back to the con. I reiterate: NO MALL SHOULD BE THAT BIG.
Back at the con, Dirk was still drawing portraits and making the big bucks (‘cuz he’s smooth like that). More than a few of our neighbors had already sold out and were packing up to go home. We stayed, dutifully talking to costumers, passing out cards and generally having a good time until we were virtually kicked out of the hotel. After gathering our belongings and saying goodbye to our surrounding vendors, Dirk, myself and Dirk’s friend Abby (who does a comic called The Green Avenger) went for dinner at a Chinese restaurant near Khan’s (And there goes Kirk again). While Dirk and Abby spent the late afternoon speaking of recent events, I spent it reminiscing on the tiring fun I had, and looking forward to the equally tiring ride home.
- Current Location:Ba Sing Se
- Current Mood: accomplished
- Current Music:"IKEA," Johnathan Coulton Project