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Strip 881, Volume 5, Page 121


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< Piro >

San Diego here we come...

"San Diego Comic Con"

Thursday - July 13, 2006

[Piro] - 12:17:00 - [link here]


One last update before we head off to San Diego.

Unfortunately i'm facing having to head to the airport here shortly without the benefit of having gone to bed yet. That's always fun for someone who never sleeps on planes. ^^;; I'll have some time to chill later tonight, so it's all good. As you may have guessed, i was not able to finish Wednesday's comic, so i'm going to have to post a few DPDs this week while i'm in San Diego. Leaving on Tuesday really boloxed up this week, thats for sure. I think you'll find the DPD i'll be posting wednesday is pretty nice, however. It needs to be since it will have to do for the rest of the week.

On monday i'll let Dom do whatever kind of damage he feels like doing, and then we'll jump back into things on Wednesday. Otakon is a shorter trip than this, so hopefully i'll only miss one comic for that trip.

One other thing to note is that orders placed this week in the MegaGear store will not ship unitil Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

That should do it. Gotta finish packing and find me some coffee. Maybe i'll just chew on the beans. :) if you are going to be at SDCC, i'll see you there!

piro - july 19, 2006



Mad scramble time, leaving for San Diego on Tuesday, so it's going to be a real trick getting stuff done before i go. The plan is for MT comics on Monday and Wednesday, some intimidating dommage for friday, and a DPD next monday (which is already done). The only iffy part of that plan is Wednesday's comic, which i have to somehow finish today as well as monday's comic :) Whee!


Next week Seraphim and I will be at San Diego Comic Con, July 20th-23rd at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Megatokyo / MegaGear will be in booth #2446. Since we can't really drive to San Diego without it taking a week, we'll have a limited selection of stuff for sale (mostly Megatokyo books and Boos. :) but both Seraphim and I will be at the booth for most of the show, including Preview Night on Wednesday. As usual, i will be more than happy to sign and sketch something for you, so please stop by and say hi. I will also be doing several signings at the DC Comics / CMX pavilion (booth #1995), so you know you'll be able to find me there at the following times:

Thursday 2:30 - 4:00pm
Friday 12:30 - 2:00pm
Saturday 1:00 - 2:30pm

SDCC is always fun, and we really missed not being there last year, so we're looking forward to being back this year :) If you are attending, hope to see you there. Also joining us at the show this year are Hawk and Ananth from Applegeeks, who will probably spend most of their time oogling around the show but you should be able to find them at our booth off and on Friday and Saturday.

For those of you on the East coast, Seraphim and I will once again be attending Otakon and will be bringing some of the MegaGear store with us. If all goes well, we will have a brand new poster that we will debut at Otakon. Since my CGing skills suck as bad as they do and its going to take time before my Copic coloring skills are up to the task (getting there, but not there yet) I'm working with Hawk to color this poster. :) The drawing for it turned out REALLY well, and with some of the dramatic lighting Hawk is capable of rendering, it's looking like it will be a damn nice poster.

Hopefully you've been enjoying Chapter 8 so far. This is really the first chapter i've actually managed to outline in its entirety, and the effort put into this i think is really paying off. One of the biggest problems with the way i produce Megatokyo is that up until now i really haven't applied myself to a well structured system for going from rough idea to finished comic. Last month i sat down and took a fresh look at everything that has worked (and has not worked) well for me over the years and developed an flexible yet structured approach that so far has been working really well. I really feel that in the long run this will lead to not only better comics, but more of them. My unstructured approach was resulting it comics taking up to 15 hrs to produce - which is crazy. My goal is to get the drawing times for the comics down to 5 hrs or so per comic, with 2 hrs to clean up and assemble things. MT comics should not take more than 8 hrs to produce.

Since i'll be away for almost an entire week, i'm not yet sure what my schedule looks like for comics next week - i'm going to try to miss as few as possible, but might have to DPD Friday of next week and Monday of the following week. We'll see how things go over the weekend.

Megatokyo Volume 4 has been selling really well, and the Bookscan numbers are showing that it's actually selling better than Volume 3 did. (even on its first week in stores (which was really only three days of sales) it was doing well.) That's good :) I don't have any rankings info for its first full week of sales yet, but i'll let you know sometime next week where we stand. I'd like to say a big thank you to each and every one of you who purchased a book -- I worked pretty hard on it, and the feedback has been mostly positive. As always, thank you very much for your support, and you might be interested to know that i'm already working on pulling together Volume 5. :)

< Dom >

SD Gundam Force, sadly, not SD Gundam.  I actually liked SD Gundam.

"Coming up Gundams, part I"

Tuesday - July 11, 2006

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

Part 1: A View to a Con
Anime Expo and I have a very strange relationship. On the one hand, it's a massive, faceless corporate entity that's approaching E3 in size and scope (at least 30,000 people attended AX, and some reports say 40k). On the other hand, at least two entire departments (karaoke and press) are staffed entirely by close personal friends of mine, so I can't exactly call it faceless.

I've also done pretty much everything possible for AX besides being a guest (which almost happened one year, but that's another story). I mean, I've been press, assisted press, staffed, I've cosplayed, I've helped run the masquerade, I've waited in autograph lines, I've signed autographs--it's just nuts.

This year, I went into AX with no expectations. I brought some things I wanted Koge Donbo to autograph, and I brought cash. That's about all I prepared (other than clothes and stuff), since I had no idea what I was going to be doing at the con.

So, given my usual activity level at AX, imagine what happened when I arrived on Friday morning and checked into the hotel, a full 24 hours before the convention was scheduled to start. That's right, I sat in the hotel room and did nothing. I watched the World Cup match for the day, and after I nodded off (a 5 AM start to your day will do that), I woke up and realized I was watching the World Domino Championships.

So, shaking off my boredom and lethargy, I decided to wander the area and see what I could see. My first investigation was of the Marriott hotel, since it wasn't an AX convention hotel that year and I wanted to know why. I got my first clue on the elevator ride down, when I saw quite a few men wearing square dancing T-shirts.

Now, before I continue this story, a note about sharing convention space: due to sheer numbers, anime conventions often share space with Christian conventions. At least 10 anime conventions that I can remember have shared their space with a gathering of Christians of some denomination or other, and quite often, the Christian groups spend a lot of time looking disapprovingly at the costumed pageantry and general foolishness of anime con attendees.

So imagine my surprise when I see several of these square dancers wearing rainbow pins t-shirts saying things like "Hotlanta Squares" in rainbow fonts.

That's right, these people were about as far from being evangelical Christians as you can get. We were sharing space with the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs. And they were GREAT neighbors. Being a gay square dancer teaches you something about tolerance, and as opposed to, say, Otakon's usual gaggle of drunken baseball fans, they left us alone for the most part, except to make pleasant conversation in the elevator and make jokes without being obnoxious. It was wonderful.

That first night, I also heard what I think is the quote of the convention: "It's not often that a gay square dancer gets to look at someone odder than he is."

Part 2: Press ganged
Since the Anaheim Convention Center wasn't really hosting anything yet, my next stop was the Hilton, where I knew the Press department was. I'm not sure what I was expecting to do, but given that every single member of the AX Press staff was a member of my college anime club, I figured I could kill a few hours talking to them and catching up with a few of them who've moved out of the area (Eric, you punk, move back to the states!).

So I arrived to see them desperately stuffing registration packets and turning away most of the press (note that I technically count as press for most conventions, it's what I default to when I'm not a guest/staffer) because they weren't ready to hand out badges yet.

So, what did I end up doing? Well, after telling them my tale of woe and watching the World Series of Dominos, they... well, they just sort of nodded at me in that "uh-huh, keep talking, I don't mind but I'm busy" way that assembly line workers often get.

So, attempt #1 at relieving my boredom failed.

Attempt #2 had me walk behind the press desk and start helping them out, since there really was nothing better to do. I mean, I could've gone to Disneyland, I guess, but it was hot out and the Hilton was air conditioned. So there was less sweating involved.

About an hour into it, after I volunteered to transport a cubic meter or two of bottled water from the convention center back to the Hilton, I realized that I'd made two huge blunders. Maybe even three. First, I was sweating just as much lugging around a dolly full of water bottles as I would've been running around Disneyland surrounded by tourists, except I was talking to friends instead of getting in two-hour lines for rides. Second, I'd taken a day off of work so I could... work. And third, well, I was wearing a black shirt on a sunny day in Anaheim. Which, lemme tell you, isn't always the best thing to do unless you reside solely in climate-controlled areas. And, while it had been my intention to stay in said climate-controlled areas for as long as possible, it turns out that Southern California hasn't gone to New England's lengths and has not built tunnels connecting its major buildings. I guess the fact that it never snows and barely rains enough to make life uncomfortable means that they'll never make little habitrails for us, dooming us poor Californians to walking around in 85-degree fahrenheit weather and complaining about the heat.

Damn them.

Anyway, despite all of my grumbling, it was fun back there--there's a point of being part of an assembly line where your hands start moving on their own and your mouths start working overtime, and honestly, aside from the labor, my time behind the press desk was what conventions are really about--the opportunity to take a weekend out of your schedule, run away from everything, and shoot the breeze with friends you haven't spent nearly enough time with.

And hey, I got a free dinner out of it.

Chapter 3: Talking with my mouth full
See, after Eric decided that we'd all done enough for the night and tried to commandeer a staff dinner for us, he found out that there were more extra layers of bureaucracy to go through than it was worth. So, he and the press director sent us grunts off to dinner, telling us that with a receipt, they'd reimburse us after the convention was done.

So, after wrangling everyone back together and essentially telling them where to go, we headed off to dinner at Baker's Square, where we would kick back, relax, and... well, do the exact same things that we'd done behind the press desk, but this time our hands would be busy stuffing our faces instead of stuffing registration bags for the press.

I wish I could relate to you all the strange things that happened at this dinner--I just remember a lot of people saying that they needed tape recorders around to record the strange things that come out of my mouth on a regular basis, and I remember a lot of the girls recoiling from me and throwing objects in my direction, but I can barely for the life of me remember what it is I said that caused revulsion and laughter in equal amounts.

Let me let you in on a secret: unless I write it down or someone reminds me, I barely remember half of what I say. There are just too many random things that come out of my mouth on a daily basis for me to remember any of it clearly, and the way my mind works, I'm always looking for the next joke rather than seeing if the last one worked. If it weren't for Cliff, I wouldn't remember my seemingly-famous proclamation that "we of the hairless folk come pre-lubed!" I wouldn't remember much about my proclamations regarding the vibrating sheep of doom, but not only did write that one down, it's immortalized in print.

This is what I do remember about the dinner: I was sitting at the edge of the table, so people at the other end of the table missed half of what I said. And apparently, heard out of context or half-heard, the crap that comes out of my mouth is even stranger and funnier than it is to people who actually hear the whole thing. Who knew?

I also remember that at one point, about 3 or 4 of us guys independently stood up, excused ourselves, and went toward the bathroom... for about 4 steps before we looked at each other uncomfortably, looked back at the girls (who were eyeing us suspiciously) and went back to exchanging disquieted looks. Then we decided to run with it, walked into the bathroom with our heads held high, and sauntered back to the table as if nothing had ever happened. Or maybe I made a lot of effeminate jokes, influenced by the gay square dancers down the street.

Who knows?

Coming next time: The con actually starts.


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