< Piro >
Monday - February 7, 2011
It’s been over three years since I’ve done many conventions, mostly because attending conventions with a very young child is more than a little difficult. Last year we experimented with going to Anime Central, Intervention and SugoiCon with Jack and that actually worked out pretty well. In fact, the little guy is a bit of a ham. ^^;; After declaring the experiment a success the plan was to hit a lot more conventions in 2011; at least that *was* the plan until Sarah was diagnosed with Lymphoma.
As you might imagine, that put any travel plans for 2011 on hold; at least for conventions early in the year. There is still the possibility that we could do some conventions later on, but as of right now we don’t have any solid plans. With so many unknowns, we didn’t want to commit to attending a convention until we had a feel for how Sarah’s treatments were proceeding (FTR, Sarah is doing good so far).
Then Sarah had an idea. Why not have a 'Virtual' Convention?
Offer Megagear merchandise at convention prices, offer signed sketches and do a online panel or two. Give people who never get to attend conventions a little bit of the Convention experience, so to speak.
Sarah can be remarkably brilliant sometimes. Duh. Why didn’t I think of that. ^^;;
Obviously, a ‘virtual con’ would not really be the same as a real con. For starters, you don’t have the joy of traveling in this wonderful weather, getting assimilated by security at airports, defending your patch of carpet in the hotel room floor you are sharing with fifteen of your friends, standing in endless lines to get your badge, to get into the dealers room, to get into panels, to go to the bathroom…
Ok, maybe all that *is* part of the fun, but there are some things we can do online that can be done at least in the spirit of things, and we don’t need to limit it to just three days. :P
For starters, the first things we’re doing is offering MT merchandise at Convention prices in the MegaGear store. True, you have to deal with shipping, but think about how much cheaper it is to ship a few t-shirts than to ship yourself somewhere. Also, online we can accept credit cards :P
The next thing is to offer the one thing most people who haven’t been able to attend cons feel they miss out on the most - signed character sketches. One difference, however, is that I can’t offer these for free like I do at conventions.
Hopefully, $10.00 does not seem unreasonable for a personalized sketch of your favorite character (you can request which MT character you want when you order). We felt this was a better option than setting a high ‘minimum purchase required’ to get a free sketch. Of course, you are welcome to order as much stuff as you like (please do!) but you can also just order a sketch if that’s all you want, and you are welcome to order more than one if you would like. Details about Signed Sketches and how to order one can be found here in the MegaGear store.
Now, the biggest part of any convention for me is usually the Megatokyo panel. For the past year or so I’ve been broadcasting live drawing on justin.tv; so setting up to do an live online panel event should be quite doable. We’re still working on what I’ll be doing, but some ideas involve answering questions live, digging into my hard drives for stuff as needed for photos and drawings and other stuff, chances for you to show off your MT cosplay outfits, past and present, fan art and other stuff. More information on this as we solidify the event and set up a date for it.
This is just the start of some of the things I’m looking at doing for the Megatokyo VirualCon 2011. We’ll be offering some new merchandise, starting with a Fine Art Print of Miho - Broken Blades, which just went up today.
Thank you for your support of Megatokyo, especially after what turned out to be a particularly difficult year. Some of this stuff should be fun. My next order of business is to get back to doing at least two comics per week, a challenge that has proved difficult up until recently. Thanks again.