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< Piro >

that other site...

"uhm..."

Friday - August 2, 2002

[Piro] - 10:42:02 - [link here]

The official press release is here. you can skip the rant and just read the press release here if you like :)

You'd think a week where i barely was able to finish one comic (its still not done - it's a good one, its just not finished yet) that i'd be relaxed, recovered from the Otakon trip, refreshed and relatively stress-free.

ha. this is me we're talking about here.

I started working on a Otakon 2002 wrap-up, but it's still not done (dom's quick wrap-up is amazingly succinct (yes he did get slapped once) and it covers some salient points. First off, panel 1 was a disaster. Panel 2 was much better. fans seemed to enjoy both, which is all that *really* counts. I'm still overwhelmed with gratitude for all the friends, associates, and Otakon crew who spent so much of their time at the con helping me out. I'm not really sure how to thank all of you. I'll try in my Otakon wrap-up.

To, the sheer number of fans who spent a lot of THIER con waiting in line for MT events - not having any comics done this week is NO way to repay you all for your patience and, well, stamina for waiting for stuff. I really tried to do my best to get to everyone - to those of you who i was unable to meet or talk to, i'm very sorry. Nothing sucks worse than standing in line for an hour and not then not being able to either get in or meet the person you are waiting to see. I think the DeadPass idea worked pretty good, i'll have to make sure we do that again next time too (either that or we have a room that really is big enough).

That and i really have to work on the 'uhm' thing between thoughts. Sorry 'bout that. ^^;;;

Oh, and the art auction. To the fellow who cast the winning bid of $1,750... you're nuts, dude. :P I still can't fathom any drawing of mine being worth that much, i figured that it'd bring in a few hundred dollars (mainly because of the server fund thing) I swear i am suffering a bit of a guilt trip over this. ^^;; Honestly tho, i have to say, I personally liked the piece, i felt it was a good drawing, and, well, dude, you looked really happy to have it, and that's what matters. Thank you very much, your excessive generocity has lead directly to the following announcement.

On tuesday i ordered a new server. I don't have the exact specs on hand, but it has 2 gigs of DDR Ram, dual 1600 AMD processors, a nice shiny case, and it should at least be able to handle Megatokyo and it's forums for... a few months of growth at least. ^^;;; With any luck Megatokyo will be moved over to the new box by next weekend.

I have several other announcements too. Some are the culmination of months and months of work in the background - dead piro days don't just happen because i am tired, they usually have to do with me being overwhelmed with other projects in the background.

First announcement has to do with the Megatokyo store. As i announced during the 2nd panel at Otakon, Megatokyo has partnered with Think Geek to open a new store sometime in the next few weeks. I'm very excited to be working with them, because they are a great online retailer that offers high quality stuff with attitude. :) They are great people, they make good stuff, and i am very happy with the new shirt designs (i have introduced new shirts and refreshed old favorites) and yes, most of them are either on black shirts, or other, specific colors. More information on the new store when we are ready to launch.

Oh, and how much time did all that require to set in motion? A lot more than you folks might realize ^_^

Announcement number two is also a big one. The 2nd biggest request i get has always been for black t-shirts. Got that covered. The number 1 request i get is 'is megatokyo available in print'.

The answer to this is now "come this december, yes". Don't say i never listen to fan requests. :)

Yesterday i reached an agreement with Studio Ironcat, publishers of the Vampire Princess Miyu, Yui and Dahlia series, to publish the first and subsequent collection volumes of Megatokyo. The official press release is here. Press releases always sound so damn silly, it's almost like they exist in this land of marketing and hype lingo where you have to say all sorts of really glowing things (my friend patchmonkey, who is my de-facto marketing guy wouldn't let me write it :P) but the truth is, i'm very excited about this because the IronCat folks are hyped and willing to work with me to help produce these volumes the way *I* want to make them. Megatokyo in print is a big deal, and i am going to work very hard to make sure that volume one, which will contain all of chapter 0 in its entirety along with a lot of extra material, is well worth buying.

I have a lot more i can say, but i think that should be enough for today. ^^;; It's all very exciting stuff, and as you can see, things here at MT just, well, keep getting more interesting. :P All this was actually more work than it would take to do 3 comics in a week, so i hope you guys at least understand why the delays. :)

Oh, and then there is that deadline at work on monday. Gonna have to put some time in the weekend to hit that... (sigh)

< Dom >

...to itta kanji da.

"Let's do the Time Warp again!"

Wednesday - July 31, 2002

[Dom] - 19:40:00 - [link here]

Dom's note: this is a rant from Ken, AKA Asmodeus... you may have seen him at Otakon running around drunk and trying to make trouble. Here's his story, edited for content, humor and grammar

I’m slowly recovering from the trip down to Baltimore for Otakon. It was a 5 day trip for me-I was driving alone for the 780 miles and I wanted to be safe. It was a long distance trip to a place I've never been before. The thing is, 5 days passed so fast it felt like a 2 day trip.

Pre Con
I left my home at around 10 AM on Thursday, the day before the con started. I wanted to arrive at the hotel before 5 so I could avoid the nasty traffic of Baltimore. Driving down there went better than what I imagined. Didn’t get lost. Got there in 6 hrs. including lunch/bathroom/gas break. Got to the hotel on time but Ukyo wasn’t there yet since his girlfriend’s flight got changed. The room was reserved under his name so I could neither check in nor park my car until he arrived. So I just sat in the hotel lobby, pulled out my laptop, and played bunch of 2D fighting games like Party’s Breaker, Glove on Fight, and Eternal Fighter Zero (Editor's Note: Blah... play some real fighting games, Ken. :)). While I was playing the game, a couple of people came to see what I was doing. Some of them were MT fans but since I’m not famous like piro (yet) they weren’t going berserk or anything. They were very cool. After playing games on my laptop for a while, Ukyo finally arrived. So I went to drop my car off in the valet parking and brought my bags in. That nite, we just chilled and met with friends who arrived early. Had a small party in our room, where I got groped by like 6 people at the same time. THAT wasn’t fun (Editor's note: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA). At 1 AM, we kicked everyone out so we could sleep. We had a long day ahead of us.

Convention Time!
After a good 6 hrs. sleep (Editor's note: Lucky bastard), I was ready for the con. Since Fred and Dom wouldn't arrive until later in the morning, we wasted our time checking the convention center for the cosplayers, the Dealer’s Room for goodies, and friends for conversation. Once Fred and Dom arrived at the BCC, the riot started. We ran to the Green Room to meet up with them, headed over to the opening ceremony, snuck back to Green Room to plan out the day, then to the Dealer’s Room to pick up a Comic Party Visual Fanbook that was on reserve (Editor's note: I want that book, dammit), and to the autograph session that lasted for 3 hrs. I believe we did autographs for over 500 people in the 3 hrs. We had to share the autograph table with Fred Perry for the last hour.

After the autographs, I had to make a quick run back to my hotel room to pick up Nadesico the Movie: Prince of Darkness LD box limited edition to be autographed by Tatsuo Sato. Mr. Sato is such a nice guy that he not only autographed but he also did a Ruri sketch on the back of the cover of the box. It’s sad that he had to leave early on sat. afternoon. I didn’t have a chance to talk to him after that.

The night ended with a fun dinner with group of MT crew and MT fans. But after the dinner we had to plan out our panel on Saturday. We found out that the flash file for the Naze Nani Megatokyo crashed. Kai made a promise to do his best to get it fixed before our panel. The meeting ended around 12:30 and I headed over to the dance and danced there till the convention center closed.

Saturday finally came. It was the busiest day of the con and it became the BUSIEST day. Since we truly appreciate our fans, we were mostly down in the artist alley to do autographs for the people who missed the session the night before. Before that, we made a stop down in the dealer’s room to see how many “Capture the B34r” posters were sold down at the US Anime booth. Fred had to run to the artist alley so he gave me $100 and told me to grab Chocola 2001 and some Japanese gal (editor's note: non-porn) magazines. After buying Chocola 2001 and Megami for Fred, headed over to the artist alley and hung around with friends and staff for a while.

After that, we went back to our hotel room to prepare for “Naze Nani Megatokyo: Live!” and we freaked out when we saw the line of the people trying to get in. It extended from the entrance of Panel Room 1 all the way to the end of convention center, near Skywalk entrance. The poll gave us the data that over 1000 will show up but never expected to see over 1000 people coming. Where did all these people come from? Isn’t there any other things to do besides come watch us make fools out of ourselves? The con staff assigned to organize the entrance wasn’t enough, so some of us volunteered to help them. Still, it took almost 30 min. to fill up the room. The panel started half an hour late since filling up the room took more time than what we expected. Seeing Fred in a cat suit was simply funny. He’s not the type of a guy who would normally cosplay. He’s not shameless like Mr. Shirt Guy :P (Editor's note: Damn straight) The flash presentation had some trouble but it went pretty well. Kai did an excellent job to recover the lost flash file. He only had like less than a half day to recover the thing. I heard some people say it disappointed them but seriously, he did a fine job to recover the lost file and pull off such a funny flash. After the submitted Q&A, we moved to live questions from the audience. During that, I asked kai to show some images I chose that would be interesting to show. I had to pull out the "Taishi in a Union Jack speedo" (Editor's note: Mustn't forget the roses... with the thorns still in them. That HURTS image since that’s what dom’s future cosplay will be. (we’re trying) (Editor's note: No we're not). And I wanted to see how 900 people would react to that funny yet horrific image.

One thing amazed me with the panel is number of MT cosplayers. We saw like 3 at last year’s Otakon. But this year, there were like 50. I was amazed with the quality of their costumes. Especially Idol Kimiko cosplayer and DJ Piro cosplayer. That sure reminds me that “Cosplay is Love!” (^^)

After the panel ended, we found out that Eli and Ian's bags were missing. We thought the back hall would be secure since it’s restricted to staff and BCC personnel only. Guess we were wrong. Whoever stole the bags, I wish they die in a horrific way. It is absolutely wrong to take another person’s belongings. I feel really sorry for what happened to them since it’s partially our fault. If they weren’t helping us setting and running NNM:L, their bags and precious items would still be in their hands.

On the way to the guest dinner, I was chatting with staff and guests. I had a chance to exchange some words with Yoko Ishida. She is very sweet person. It’s sad I didn’t have a chance to go see her concert. I was mostly talking to Mike, Jessica, and Amy, the autograph table staff. On the way, we found out that Jessica and I live like 5 min. away from each other. What a coincidence, eh? (Editor's note: And he didn't even hit on her once. I'm disappointed in him...). It’s very odd meeting person from your neighborhood at a random location. It truly is.

We returned from dinner at around 11:30. We had no time to waste and headed over to Panel Room 3 for Late Night with Megatokyo. There was a huge line again. Not as big as the afternoon panel but it surprised us completely. I had fun with this panel since I was able to mess with Fred and Dom. Got to hump Dom’s leg and show the Kanon poster that explains why Fred nicknames himself “Piro”. Midnight panels are really fun since we can do things we can’t during the daytime panel. I gave out Yakpak sampler bags to people who asked interesting questions that caught our attention. Hope you enjoy them.

Sunday was pretty much chill out and wrap up day. It was mostly business talk with industry people and chatting with friends and staff. One thing surprised me was that Mr. Nightow of TriGun heard about the Saturday madness. (I introduced myself and about MegaTokyo on Sat. morning when I met him in the Green Room.) He mentioned it when I went to get his autograph. Wow, what an honor.

While sitting around in artist alley with friends, we heard that Fred’s DPD sketch got auctioned off at the price of $1750. $1750!! I can’t believe someone is willing to spend that much money on a single piece of art. Thanks to him, we're going to have a new server, which will improve the access quality of MT.

Almost forgot. We saw the lecture of Great Teacher Largo in front of Green Room on Sunday afternoon. It was simply...scary. It made us think “Is this our fault? Are we the ones who made these young men go insane? What have we done? What have we created?” Now we know how those Japanese creators feel when they see their characters in cosplay skits. It is truly odd.

At 3 PM, I said good bye to everyone and left the BCC, headed over to my friend Shaggy’s place for an overnight stay. (Thanks for the kick-ass dinner and comfy couch.)

Post Con
I drove 7 hrs. on Monday to go home. Got lost twice but the trip was smooth. Had no serious problems at all.

Wow, I was gone for 5 days but it only felt like 2 days. It’s truly an odd feeling. And I'm still trying to recover from the con.

Thank you list
I had a great time at Otakon and hope to return next year. For letting me have a good time, I would like to thank following people:

John Heaton, Scott Argenziano, John Harmon and John Scofield of the Otakon Green Room.

Mike Williams, Jessica, and Amy from the autograph table. (Jessica: since we are like neighbors, we should hang around sometime.)

Sam D. and Chris of Con Ops.

Ardith, Uchino-san, and Yamashita-san of Broccoli International.

Lianne, Cat, Joel from TokyoPop.

Andrew and the entire gang of US Anime. Without you, MT posters wouldn’t have been a success. (Editor's Note: And Ken would have a lot less porn and other such items to rub on people)

Kei, Ellen, Steve, and David of Studio Ironcat.

Richard “Pocky” Kim for doing a kick ass MC for the opening of NNM:L

Bill, the guy who won the DPD sketch at the art auction. Without your support, we would've been stuck with slow server.

All my friends from the channel which shall remain nameless. Sorry we couldn’t hang around with you guys that much. Next time, drag our ass out from MT business to have fun.

All the people from #MT who helped us pull off our panel. We couldn’t have done it without you guys.

All the MT fans who support us. Without your support, we couldn’t have done this.

Dom, Ukyo, Natsuki, kai, patchmonkey, merekat, and Crowie. I had a great time hanging around with you guys.

And finally to Fred and Rodney for creating such a wonderful web comic. It is an honor to be part of something big and entertaining.

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