Saturday, 27 July 2013

Butthurts, Circlejerks, Labels and Jellyfish

In the past few years there's been a rise in the number of anime and manga fans, and subsequently Cosplayers. People being people, and by that I mean a stupid ignorant mass that is the general demographic of society, brought with them a rudeness and aggressive outspoken attitude that the spoilt youth tend to harbour.

The community as I've said before is like a big dumb animal incapable of fine motor control, much like me after my second white wine spritzer. It responded with a flurry of activists who very harshly in turn with almost bullying tactics to label the newer harsh ones so permanently that it was unthinkable they would grow into a member of the community that we could one day appreciate. This happened, this can't unhappen, but this response action grew and deformed like white blood cells attacking it's own body in a horrific irony of ever escalating actions. Honesty is out of the window and in comes the fear of speaking your own mind, instead I see people ignoring the truth and praising completely ridiculous shit and each other. Hell go build a campfire so you can keep warm cracking each other off. If someone does speak their mind holy mother fuck here comes a lynching harder than all of the MCM Expo Forum moderators coming down on someone for saying they don't want to buy a wristband.

Craft foam is not a good replacement for a backbone.

One of the things that pisses me off more than my Barber's shutting at 5.30 when they said they shut at 6 is when the inevitable "reason" comes out. Problems, life dilemmas, baggage, all out in the public view as if you'd get arrested for doing that out in the street. Some people suffer from problems, nasty heavyweight bonecrushing paralysing stuff that's like trying to carry my monthly food shopping in one go. I've got about 250 people from the community on my facebook. How many have real problems? 10, 15 at a stretch. The rest are able to actually take a step outside of the door, talk on a mobile phone, talk to new people.

For every emotion there's an "extreme" and these never get explored. I'll tell you about one guy, not saying who. He attends classes to cope with anger issues, his home life is not fantastic because his family are idiots and the parent who is the world to him is disintegrating in front of his eyes. He puts on a brave face and doesn't tell anyone that he's always 3 steps from screaming and hurting people like he used to do many years before the community knew of him. But you wouldn't know it, because he knows that getting attention doesn't fix anything, just unfiltered anger kept on a tether that could snap so very easily. He appears as any other guy but you wouldn't know beyond that is a wall of rage. If you ever feel insecure, or paranoid once or twice then get over it, good for you. You don't have it on 24/7, or constantly fighting back your demons when you're trying to be a good person but getting shit thrown back in your face. Toughen the fuck up.

I find there's a lot of "Us vs You" and segregation in places where it shouldn't, especially in the anime/manga/cosplay community. We pride ourselves on being open to all, yet get past the free hugs and the facade of open minds and you'll see we're really not. You'll get invited to events/cons/expos/meet ups and then on the day you'll find yourself in a group of strangers none of whom wish to talk to you if your cosplay isn't ridiculously awesome or if you don't have something to offer them. Thankfully it's not all like that, just the ever increasing vast majority.

I came to realise that it's all a power struggle for a small collection of people who wish to have a little control and attention from others. Maybe it's how they get by, but if you aren't liked for being who you are when you take the costume off.. you're wasting your time whatever you do.

~Warai Otoko

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

You're Not Anything Special

I read something interesting in the news today, about The Law of Jante.

Today we live in a world of perpetual adolescence where the average individual of age tends to indulge in childish notions. I'm no different, I make engine sounds a lot, even when I'm driving my car. The internet is a wealth of knowledge yet many don't get past Facebook, Twitter, or that site where I download porn with hedges and shrubs. It's all so easy for you, yet unless it's linked to you and given on a silver platter in a bitesize format it will be lost to you forever.

The Law of Jante lists a few things that can be summarised in two words; Be Modest. However even this is too difficult a notion to comprehend because it means you've got to utilise your gray matter to work out how to implement and use such advice. We need to break it down further into an idiot sheet of what to do and what not to do, hence why you see factsheets on how to attend a fucking convention by yours truly, goddamn you're welcome.

It makes me feel pretty wrong when I have to spoon feed it to those who need it, because I'm enabling their dependence on babyfood information. Trust me, I feel pretty wrong as standard after seeing an Ent orgy and there's no limit of sodium hydroxide showers that I need to feel clean again. I thought we were getting somewhere, that free hugs and idiots were dying out. Seems someone threw some pocky on that fire and cranked up the Carmeldansen to 11 because suddenly there's a fucking outbreak of stupidity that makes me feel like giving my eyes a shower with a bottle of concentrated Listerine.

I personally think the community in it's entirety has become an Elephant. A grand majestic beast, exotic and huge. But it cranks out so much shit you could almost drown in it. If you're not careful it can crush you. It will devour and consume a hell of a lot then want more. The adolescent males sometime stink like shit and for some stupid reason they just won't start charging at you thinking that's how to get a mate. It's an awe inspiring icon of strength and fortitude, but my fucking hairy Odin-chin it's a slow ass motherhubbard despite it's renowned "intelligence" is still a pungent beast who communicates through grunts, shrills and bad broken Japanese.

Go see what the Law of Jante is all about and remember all of it. You're no better than everyone else, you're nothing special, you're not above anyone else. You got that? Now tell me after all your planning of shit that revolves around you is it worth the hassle and stress you get from it? Do people like you more or less now? Are you the kind who is so concerned over people liking you that you're not even doing it for yourself anymore but doing it it because you want people to like you? This attention seeking irrelevance is choking anything good that we have. 

Well if "likes" were cakes and candy you'd be all full with magical di-ha-beet-us, right? But it's not. Oh shit, sit down, do you feel okay? I better get you some water. Drink it all, good kid. Btw that was neat vodka, man the fuck up.

I've said this before; the true megastars of the cosplay scene are people who have these things in common;
 - They don't care if you like them or not
 - They're doing what they love, for themselves
 - They won't make you feel like shit for not having a professional grade costume
 - They appreciate effort and energy
 - They will freely give advice and encouragement

Hell even I'm too shy to thank Xaerael for his inspiration and knowledge he shares because I think I'll melt into a puddle of giggly shit cus he's goddamn amazing at his stuff. Yet I don't see him waving his shit in everyone's faces or even trying to become famous. He's doing what he loves, just another one of us.

This was never supposed to be a popularity contest, and the stupid thing that those are won by not even trying. I don't envy those with the most attention, or the ones with the amazing outfits. I envy those having the most fun.

Hours, days, years and many years. That's how long it takes to get truly good, when you work on your passion for a sickening amount of hours and you feel like giving in but you push through like some kind of masochist with a sewing machine. It's truly hard to say how many hours because the only real answer to that is how long is a piece of string? Just be prepared for that string to be long enough for Kim Jong Un to fashion into his latest Capitalist message interception net.

Society promotes quick fixes in fame, and that stamps on effort and passion like how my upbringing stamped out basic emotions such as empathy, sympathy and not punching people in the teeth. Quick fixes are as wrong as this list of shite I just pulled from the MCM Expo Group page;

 - Douchebag who posted his mobile number on a public page
 - Dickmuffin who posted something about intended to throw paper shuriken. Law suit in 3....2...
 - Self righteous justice fighters who don't really know what the crapola they're on about
 - A kid who used the N word profuuuuusely (Yeah he went there, ain't nobody got time for that)
 - The axewound disharge who posted for a free hug. I seriously don't know if that is obvious troll or not.
 - The pikachu onesie group that makes me wish that I didn't live on this planet anymore
And lastly the fact that the group is a prime breeding ground for creeps, paedophiles and image whores which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside when shit is deleted without warning. Oooh, nostalgia.

I fucking love bullet points

Ps. You're lucky I'm not linking the Glengarry Ross speech.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Convention Review: Gemucon 2013 [Cupcakes, Beachballs and That's so Gemubaby]

Reviews, we love reviews. Seems everyone and their pony is doing reviews, but this isn't so much an account of how I felt but what the Con was to me. If you want to write a diary try livejournal, or a little book with a flimsy lock on it that will protect your feelings.

Last weekend I attended Gemucon 2013 and it was a very interesting convention. I'm sure all of us who had attended enjoyed it thoroughly and are sitting comfortably cracking walnuts, coconuts and other consumables that humans usually use tools for with our thighs, after having to use all 20 flights of pain stairs to get to the games rooms.

Gemu for me started on the Thursday night where we kinda picked a venue that was too good for getting wasted at. I met Jakeachu and Rilack there where Jake and I jumped up and down shouting "SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS" to persuade Rilack to do silly shots with us. I'll not get into the machinations of how that went but it was a pretty awesome ice breaker, even if Rilack bought me a shot of something I could use to neutralise most toxins or strip the rubber off a car tyre. That troll convinced almost everyone to get classy and dress up then turned up in a T shirt.. Pains me to say this but well played good sir.

I didn't actually stay at the Britannia but I did see the rooms and although small they were not too shabby. A friend of mine stayed at the Park Plaza which was across the road and insanely spacious and nice, I tried to camp there but he was having none of it. I stayed at the Travelodge down the road which was okay apart from the drunk Nottingham people and the pub next to it, don't expect to sleep there because it'll annoy you senseless. We found out the joys of earplugs that stay, or drinking yourself into sleep/unconscious. Still for £25 a night it was pretty budgetcon and you didn't need to walk past reception to get to your room.

Again did not stay at the Britannia, but we were in Nottingham City Centre. All you had to do was sneeze and several noodle shops would pop up.

The opening ceremony was a little slow to get going, as well as Friday night party. In all honesty I walked away from it as there was no saving that. What hit me right off the bat was the amount of socially awkward individuals and the boy-girl ratio made me think that females were suddenly DLC only. However the attendees were very well behaved and much quieter than most Anime Con attendees which was nice. Though the thing about smearing the free cupcakes on the banisters pissed me off; you'd need to be pretty fucking retarded to think that's a fun thing to do. Oh fuck, what to do with a free cupcake firstworldproblemsohmy... Smearing cupcakes on your body is horrible and wrong, it disgusts me and makes me wish there was a porn for it.

I can't remember most of Friday other than hobbling about in a half-assed daze being hungover and gallivanting around as a TF2 red spy.

By the time Saturday came about it was pretty widely known that punctuality wasn't a strong suit on the con, but it's rare to see that at most conventions anyway. Most of the day was spent going up and down the stairs in the Brittania hotel, with the stairwell caked in coffee cups, empty energy drink cans, glowsticks and the sweat of a thousand cyber athletes. You lot probably didn't know those muscles existed and now you can't even sit without getting a rash on your inner thighs. The games rooms didn't look so bad but I had to re-inject my bloodstream with cans of relentless by the time I got to the top, so I didn't really get an opportunity to have a game in between fashioning an IV drip out of tescobags and more spent glowsticks. I'm not gonna lie when I say this con had glowsticks, glowsticks everywhere, in your ears, in your hair. Though there was a table at the top with a sheet of paper that was available for doodling so I wrote "FOR A GOOD TIME CALL 0800-R-I-L-A-C-K"

My little crew had come prepared and caked ourselves in UV reactive and glowing gear, enough to make passers by think everything went nyancat. We got to the party and were begged to get it started. You asked, we delivered, you're welcome. On a serious note I gotta say I was happy that DJ Snap was there but I'd heard a lot of that mix at Kita and Ame and at Gemucon itself in the same fucking set you played it in! I really love DJ Snap mixes and the first time I heard the Kita mixes there were special times in my pants, but I was so drunk I was drinking near neat vodka (it was a mixer for my rum) and even I noticed everything sounding exactly the same as anything uploaded on Youtube and the Pokémon track played twice. The only thing that almost nullifies my arguement here is that Gemu is not an anime convention and as far as DJ Snap could be concerned Gemucon attendees are a completely different crowd (that said the fucking flyer was handed out at anime conventions that Snap had played at). Still it was something I had looked forward to and I can't help but feel short changed on that.

Fucking beachballs. Not the huge kind, we're talking football sized ones. Sure if the dancefloor is heaving a huge beachball would be cool but when you put a couple of beach balls in a sparse dancefloor that is 80% guys, you'll get a fucking kickaround. Who's idea was it to go "hey man let's fuck up a rave by playing keepy-uppy with balls that blow away with the slightest light fart"? If y'all kept it to yourselves then no problem, except for the sweaty lads landing on me who made me wish I'd wore my Metal/Rock gear, maybe impale a beach ball or three. Hell son if you want a mosh pit I'll show you a mosh pit, put your WKD down and put your damn shirt back on.

I owe DJ LastKnight a very hard kick to the ribcage, when DMX vs Thomas the Tank Engine came on I folded up and laughed my rocks off. Then I looked round and saw half the crowd looking at him, and the other half trying to carry on dancing to it regardless. That was it man, game over; I almost blacked out from laughing too hard and my girlfriend thought I was having an asthma attack on the floor. I think I'm still bleeding inside my chest, LastKnight, you chug lyf motherlugger.

The Geekton factor was one of the highlights for me, though half my team didn't turn up it ended up with myself, my girlfriend in the cosplay she won the masquerade in and four very young attendees who knew a fucking shit-ton of gaming knowledge. Big thank you to Zelly for the special sweeties for me, they were a sugary party in my mouth. There were a couple of teams at this event who were a bit too serious for their own good and not really the kind who where there to get into it and have some fun. If you get too serious you're not having fun, so shut the fuck up and appreciate your damn prizes from the Shite Box. Also for the person who had a glowstick leak on them; forgive me for not shouting; "BATHE IN IT".

Cosplay was slightly stranger than many Anime Cons, I won't say there were a lot of cosplayers and the Gamer crowd really brought out some special gems like the nice girl who won the Masquarade as Eliza Casshan from Deus Ex. I caught up with her and found out the entire cosplay is hand stitched from pleather taking her months to do entirely from scratch. If you cannot comprénde then think about a boxful of kittens playing with some string, haha they're so cute aren't they? She even got a douche to do some sewing for her the night before. Props to her and a deserved win I say. The Executioner at the Masquarade was amazeballs and really shoulda socked it to That Link Guy- OHHHHH SHIT SON YOU THOUGHT I'D FORGOT ABOUT HIM. Him. Well, to those who don't know The Link Guy was some douche in a Link cosplay who practically annoyed everyone he came into contact with and played his ocarina so much he had requests to stop playing. And guess what guys? He vlogs too. If you're reading this Jimmy, then I'll kindly re-direct you to my response to your shenanigans. In any case the masquerade was short and sweet; some stunners and some time wasters, I'm looking at you Link. I also heard you got banned from the Convention on sunday night, life achievement unlocked! 5G.

(Side note: don't go flaming the fuck out of him guys, it's far too easy.)

Now I'm not sure what it was about that side of Nottingham town centre but we saw a lot of non-convention drunk people. A drunk middle aged couple fell down on a traffic island and we went to help them, I watched because I'm a pretty shady looking character as it is and me helping up a drunk well dressed guy in the streets looks like a mugging from too many right angles. We spent another 10-15 minutes watching them amble up the road, that was entertainment right there. Then there was the hairy rambler who wanted me in his band, had to tell him my name was Marcus The Octopus to get away only to find the damned noodle shops were all shut. I shoulda taken him up on the offer, everyone said my first album should have been "Freshly Baked" (We ended up in Subways). I can't say shit however, I got so drunk Thursday, Friday and Saturday that come Sunday night I was drinking near neat vodka and struggling to get a happy alcohol rush. I ended up giving it away to Leon whom I hope it hit him like a brick to the cornea, I got you bro, I got you.

There are mixed reviews on Gemucon but I for one thoroughly enjoyed it. It felt a little like a Fushicon and that's not a bad thing, loads of connections were made and in-jokes made too. Most of the hate seems to come from things that no-one could have helped and I get the feeling that some of you wanted to it go down the pan. But it didn't and there were a lot of people who enjoyed it. Any haters? Headbutt a moving train and leave us to it.

But let me draw next set of conbadges? I draw mech and girls. I promise that whatever I draw won't have any extra elbows. When I pointed that out to Tomska he threw it away like a soggy nappy/BNP leaflet, still I really wanted that drawn picture of him with his willy out. Hah gaaaaaaayyyy..

Shout out to the girl who ran into a mirror, the guy who flipped his shit because he lost a quiche, the person who puked a trail of puke from the bar to the toilets like a magical technicolour yawn/rainbow path. GG
Shout out to the guy who looked like Tom Cruise and bought me a Guinness. GfuckingG.
Shout out to Team Neko, Conn, Rilack and Jakeachu you happy awesome buggers

There are so many people I can't highlight you all, so Gemucon, all of Gemucon, GG.

~Warai Otoko

Ps. I wrote this in stages to make sure there wasn't anything I missed. Of course I probably did, anything you'd like to highlight please stick in the comments box, mail, tweet or flash your ankles at me... Phhhwoorr...

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Conventioning 101

I was approached by Rilack of Gemucon to write up a guide on how to convention for beginners for the Gemucon Conbook. This posed a bit of a problem because I really wanted to do it and I was kinda shitting myself because I had to tone down my usual sarcastic doucheyness. In fact Rilack told me to make sure it was readable by anyone 16+ regardless of the fact that many attendees would be Xbox live players and well versed in the art of profanity. In any case, my review will be up shortly of the convention itself, and here's the article I wrote for it. There will be a few things echoed from Conventioning 102 but I'm quite happy with it.

How to Convention 101

Hello! And welcome to Gemucon 2013! My name is Jae, I’m a blogger under the name of Warai Otoko and everywhere else I’m JaeXD. Disregard my bad grammar, I warn you there will be a lot of it and an excessive use of the comma. In fact if anyone here studies English at a degree level or teaches it, please do not read any further and forgive me for setting any potential students back a few years in their syntax. For those of you who know me and my blog you’ll fare pretty well as you know the score, but unfortunately I’m not allowed to go full throttle here or Rilack will beat me with the Fist of Rukt.
    So here’s an article on how to maximise your time at a convention by yours truly, so if you really want to grab the action by the polar regions then read on, you lucky lucky people.

This is pretty straight forward and for the most part echoes the rules of the Convention, which you should go read if you haven’t done so. It’s okay, go ahead right now and read. I’ll stare at you uncomfortably as you do so.

Done? Good good, read on.

Food - Eat it. I don’t know how some people forget to do it, I wind up cranky and cantankerous if I haven’t eaten for more than an hour (more so than usual) but it’s understandable that there’s so much to do/see that you don’t think you’ll have enough time. Thankfully Gemucon is in Nottingham city centre, so run out and grab a bite to eat.

Drink - For conventions pack some isotonic drinks and make sure you drink the entire bottle if you start to feel a bit run down. These are pretty damn handy in the morning after a hard night’s thrashing around on the dancefloor like the greatest Magikarp attack impression. Regarding alcohol; adhere to the rules of the convention on that and if you do drink then do so with consideration. The committee are all issued with gravity hammers, just so you know.
    I’ll assume many of you are gamers who love carbonated beverages and the energy kind. Many of you however aren’t like me in that your blood isn’t mostly comprised of coffee, or XtremeCaffeine whose adrenal glands have biceps. I implore you to take it easy with the energy drinks or you’ll have a ridiculously harsh crash that’ll make you feel like forgetting to save your progress on Ninja Gaiden after those damn fire spider ninja shank you in the coccyx with those exploding shuriken.. For the love of Jenova, they were out of view on the screen how could I see them!? …  So take it easy on the energy drinks, unless you too cannot function without eating ground coffee beans or a bowl of cornflakes and relentless instead of milk.
Etiquette - Don’t get me wrong, when you’re in a place with a few hundred other people who share a hell of a lot of your interests it’s rather easy to feel like we’re all mates. In a sense we are, but like that friend who you don’t see very often and you have to get to know a little better before you jump on their back and start screaming “Death To The Covenant” and let’s be honest you can’t even do that with your best mates half the time, if I had mates I could put that to the theory. So don’t jump on or glomp anyone which is doubly important if they’re in costume.
    Let’s say you see a Chun Li cosplayer, I’m the first one to admit that yes I once had the hots for her sprite way back on the SNES with SF2 Turbo. I mean holy sugar mitts, dem thighs. Sure she was only a handful of pixels but what I would give to have her spinning bird kick me... Lost about half an hour in thought there. Anyway, you’ve got to remember that Chun Li isn’t a real person and that lass in the cosplay, no matter how amazingly stunning she is to you is still a real person who has every right not to be leered on or be treated as an object. This also goes for the guys with unholy chiselled abdominals or in that costume you girls love, for the love of Sparta don’t fling yourselves at him like soggy lovesick ragdolls. If you want a hug just ask, it’s okay to hug just ask before you do so you don’t accidentally damage cosplay. I like hugs too and one day I’ll get one from a real person too.
    Ask before you take photos and whenever possible exchange details on where they’ll be able to find the photos. Also let whoever you take a picture of have a look and say on whether you should keep or delete the photo. Nine out of ten photos of me look like I’m eating a tennis ball or about to go into hysteria mode, and I know you’d appreciate it too if you had the chance to ask for a re-take so you don’t end up put online looking like you’re having a happy in your pants.

Looking after yourself - Get a freakin’ shower at least once a day and use deodorant. You lot are pretty lucky, 5 years ago at conventions it was rare to shower and you could literally see the funk emanating from individuals. But we aren’t gonna do that at Gemucon, are we? Are we? HMMMM? Good. Now remember, lather, rinse, repeat. Always repeat. There’s another part to that but Rilack says if I mention how to have fun the “Jae Way” he’ll have at my kidneys with a plasma sword..
    Pack your medication and whatever you need to keep yourself running in sound condition. Personally I have a bag for painkillers, inhalers, mouthwash, engine oil and plasters. Having an emergency sewing kit in there would be pretty damn handy too.
    For the important stuff; always carry your ID on you and show your con badge so everyone knows who you are. Don’t carry any more money than you need and zip/button up your pockets to be on the safe side. I might sound like Daddy Jae here, however you need to remember that there will be a lot of people there and things can go missing unless you make sure you know where your personal items are.
Sleep is key for a good convention, sure some people pull all nighters and consider themselves the party equivalent of a visible pantyline but if you want to get the most out you need to get some quality sleep in. This’ll save you from shuffling about like the missing zombies from the Wii version of Dead Rising and on top form if you’re in any game tournaments. Don’t think that caffeinated drinks can save you from sleep either, when you need to sleep you need to sleep. Unless you’re Rilack; he doesn’t sleep, he waits.

What I’ve mentioned so far is common sense, but above all please respect those around you including anyone staying at the hotel who isn’t there for the convention. No, that’s not Pheonix Wright or Rude looking for Reno, that’s some guy in a suit. Probably. Don’t shunt/push or use your bodyweight like a meaty snowplough if you want to look at a stall. The hotel isn’t your house either so don’t think it’s fine to scream down the hallways shouting FUS RO DAH in your Dovakin fluffy hat. Hotel Security totally won’t get the joke and you won’t either when they find you. In fact go read the rules again just for good measure. Yes I am staring at you again.

    Make use of what’s available to you for the events, there’s so many on and it would be a waste not to get stuck in. There’s game tournaments, a cosplay masquerade and my favourite; The Geekton Factor hosted by Team Neko. If you like to party, and we love to party, you’re in the right place; when you see that group of attendees who’ll look like they’re having a cracking time you should go ask them what the cheat codes are to hadouken your boredom in the taint. Get stuck in and make friends, don’t be afraid to ask someone about their costume or just get up and say hello. Try not to disturb anyone whilst they’re having a break from being in character, I know I like to finish my sandwich/AA battery/coffee before I get back into the swing of things.

    Lastly, if you spot a committee member, take the time to thank them for what they’ve put on for you and maybe buy them a drink to say cheers for the gig. A little appreciation goes a long way.

That’s all from me but if you’ve got questions feel free to find me and ask. But I’m not telling you my badgename ohohohoho!

Remember folks;
>Vidya Gamez

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Conventioning 102

I should really do a "Conventioning 101" however that more or less gets covered in many FAQs for first timers at conventions. So here's my version which is for intermediattes, experts and more importantly the bored and energetic. It'll be stuff I do, stuff I don't do but want to, stuff I don't want to do anyway and stuff that is stupid enough to have you catapulted to The Convention halls of fame and/or stories we take away with us.

I should also note I'll do a seperate one on "How to Tokonatsu" and that'll have a downloadable disclaimer which exempts me from all responsibility and also entitles me for 80% of impending royalties if you get super fucking famous from it.

I'll assume that you too are a heavy drinking knobhead who has a decent tolerance/dependence on caffeine. Not everyone drinks beer (but bloody well should) so I'll factor that in.. reluctantly.

Amongst your standard crap you bring, YOU WILL NEED:
Hat (I recommend bowler)
The glowsticks that aren't bendy
Wet wipes
Hair spray

Your hipflask is important, don't fill it with anything less than 15% alcohol unless you have an alcohol tolerance of a southerner or you'll be constantly refilling it. I prefer scotch or absinthe as the extra alcohol acts like a cleaning agent against bacteria and memories of *that* girl doing *that* dance.

Before you get to the con, prepare! Personally I'd suggest getting enough money to make a run to the local supermarket at the convention itself to avoid heavy luggage. Sometimes you can't do this when you're so arse-bleedingly far from the convention that you're rogered without a car (Kitacon, Tokonatsu). If you're in a town centre that's even better; root around the biggest supermarket for the best deals to bring back enough intoxicants to render you and your bezzies technically flammable by the evening. You'll need it. Be sure to get some powerade too, or any isotonic drink. Great for hangovers and sobering up fast for when you have to explain why you took a shit and set it on fire before flinging it at your -former- mates in the world's greatest pokemon impression. Of that monkey thing with the fire. You know the one.

Parties are awesome and rocking out in your cosplay is even better. Big kudos to that Belle in the ballgown (Beauty and the Beast) who was headbanging with the rest of us plebs. But you wanna go all night and be alert, we all know alcohol is a depressant so it'll slow you down. Check into a sports shop and get a sachet/bottle/vial of a pre-workout drink. This has a metric fuckton of caffeine and other stuff designed for sports people to ramp up their workouts like a coked out hummingbird. Big alertness and little to no "crash" because they're designed not to. Just be prepared to not sleep till the next day.

We love food, and we need food but somehow a staggering amount of you forget to get food and put it in your face. Personally I'm not quite sure how one of your basic survival requirements gets forgotten, but no worries. Just wake up and get down to breakfast (if there is one) to stuff yourself silly, take a bag too and see how much you can sneak off. I was so close to being able to carry round a mug of coffee with me last Kita.. so goddamn close.

Feel like you wanna stand out a bit more at parties? Don't feel glamoured up enough? Are Team Neko making you feel inferior because they somehow managed to wear so many glowsticks that if XtremeCaffeine  dances hard enough you'll see rainbows on your vision for a week? Some things we can't help such as Team Neko's insane love of glowsticks, but what we can do is find a few T shirts that glow/uv react. If you're a fan of Cyberdog like me, you'll know they're the best source of rave gear (If anyone wants to prove otherwise, feel free to direct me where to throw my money for more rave gear).
Getting on Ebay will also get you to bulk buyings of glowsticks and it's always good if you wanna get loads with your mates or if you feel like handing them out like the creepy man giving away sweets at the playground, because everyone wants what you got.

At times you won't feel like you've got time, and drinking takes time, right? WRONG. Carry some straws in your pocket so you can shotgun entire bottles of beverage as if you're sipping it. Don't do more than 3 in one go unless you have a stomach of titanic proportions or you wanna show your mates what you meant by "Technicolour yawn". Though if you can/want to do more than 3, whether it is bitchpops or beer please take a video of it and send it to me. It'll make a change from all the hedge porn I'm getting, but hey who wouldn't sign up to "Fuckin' Shrubberies XXX"? I also suggest having an alcoholic beverage in the shower/bath, as this is always super fun, unless you're blind drunk then I accept no responsibility for you braining yourself on the taps. Please send pictures though.

Making friends may seem tricky and some people resort to signs. Now if this were a good idea then signposts and lamposts up and down the country would best mates. In fact some have more than me, but let's gloss over that because I don't want to spend too long wishing I had friends as I've got to make some fake profiles on facebook and kid myself for a bit longer. A good way to make friends is to compliment them on their cosplay and be down to Earth and somewhat more corporeal than many present themselves as. (However due to that many people won't be ready for someone actually down to Earth at Expo, and may react adversely such as hyperventilation, broken bad Japanese, guttural throat sounds, severe defecation and sweaty hugging). I wouldn't even try throwing catnip or balls of yarn at the catgirls or furries, it's a waste of time and they just steal your fucking yarn for use as a free prop.
However you didn't come here to do things by halves, so here's what you do; find the party animals. I'm not talking about that girl who blazes herself like a moist teatowel across the forums in an effort to show how cool she is, there's like 7-8 different ways this would pan out as bad but I'm already waist deep in Angry Lesbian ranty mode here and if I go anymore I may as well cut off my junk, buy a chequered shirt and quiff my hair. You must find the Party Animals, these beasts of conventions are actually tough to find and a rare species. Some may even get wasted before the parties start and get carried off by their mates, I can't even dream of being that awesome. Not in public anyway because you can get in trouble when it's apparent you've got a raging boner. Finding them depends on experience and you'll have to be prepared to stay up all night, but I know you little fuzzybums are hardcore and you can do it! Best place to look is to the committee/organisers, they'll know who to tell you to find. It'll be a crazy night but well worth  it, take along at least one full bottle of vodka and leave your mobile phone in your room.

Yatak's Con Essentials is a golden set of rules for any weeb at a con, however rule 7 is quite important;
Bring Condoms. People actually do the horizontal shuffle at conventions, and the last thing you want is to be caught short and use one of those white ones with TESCO written on the side. I'm joking, don't use a tesco bag as contraceptive. You've got more class than that, use a Sainsburys one.

Hanging out at the bar with your mates is a staple of the convention. That feeling of knowing you spent a crapton of money to be there only to do what you can do in any bar back home for free. Use this time to get nicely wasted with that bottle of JD in your bag so it looks like you're getting drunk on cola. Also check out what special drinks they're doing for you special con-goers. These are always full of win, such as the infamous Amecon Back Door Smasher. Anything alcoholic that is named after reaping great vengeance upon one's coccyx has got to be good. Get 3-5 of them to make sure it really tickles your taint, you'll like it after the 4th, honest.

You're waking up in bed as if the Hulk had teabagged you into it, half awake with a mouth full of funk and a head full of hurt. What do? Well don't stay there, you're wasting time! Drag your sorry ass to the bathroom and get a powerade down, or water. Drink it all in one go if you can, you need to process that fluid before your morning Guinness. If there's a sachet of coffee, eat that and get in the shower, right now I don't care what you do because no amount of cleaning will remove those memories but you do need to get yourself straight. Put the Rocky theme on, Eye of the Tiger and pump yourself up! (Personally I do this, but with the intro theme to Fist of the North Star, the not Gackt version). I tend to bundle my clothes into sets, so I pull out a set of clothes in a neat bundle. Clean yourself, chew toothpaste in the shower and get something to drink. When you get to breakfast start on the eggs and meat, high amino acid profiles/protein will assist in breaking down the alcohol in your system. Lots of coffee and/or a Guinness to top up your iron levels should seal the deal. And yes, I did say eat the coffee granules, don't be a pussy.

When you come to the sunday of the Con, try and pack your shit up the best you can and find something to put all your alcohol into, like a fishbowl or some shit. I guess you could save it and take it home, but you gotta carry it and waahhwahhhwaahhh. Don't mix beer and liqour unless you're ridiculously awesome to the max. You've got one more day of the convention to shuffle through so smash back a pair of paracetamols and have at it like the worlds most fabulous swashbuckler. If you're lucky they'll play the Pokémon theme at the party so you can do all the actions to it, if you're lucky you may win some new friends. .. That's a lie, it never works, no matter how heartfelt my actions to the song are.. OHH YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND! IN A WORLD WE MUST DEFEND!! .. My best friend... friend...

By the time it comes to Monday morning then you are on your own. Hopefully you'll feel like a bag of smashed arseholes with equal amounts regret and joy. But that is called living and for more information leave a comment or email or something, yeah.

~Warai Otoko

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year New Events New Douchery

I'm not going to stand here and pump you all up like a special guest preacher at the Evangelist family redneck special fun day about how great 2013 is going to be, because today is Tuesday and yesterday was Monday and that's how it is for me. Be honest now my little mufflewumps, nothing really changes as if by witchcraft and court orders against that really creepy girl we all "sorta know". (She'll get you eventually mate, and you said being a douchebag to her was just mean. Mate, I saved my own damn hide. Learn how to say no if you wanna avoid 3 years of being the one getting dicked down.)

I highly doubt I'll be going to many Expos by MCM unless I get dragged there to extract the urine, it's a headache in a monkey's vagina that I can very well do without. I may have to take this back if I have a ridiculously good cosplay I want everyone to see so that I can have one day in the year where I don't cry myself to sleep. I haven't seen much change in 2012 as I have done over the last few years. A lot of cosplayers are younger now than we've had before and we're seeing some crazy effort put in; but I'm not too sure if we're seeing that because there's just more people now and by lieu there's a fuckton of half-assed Ls and Naruto's at a Bahmitzva than I've noticed.

New conventions and small events! For me that's where it'll be this year. Gemucon, Tokonatsu, Fushicon and on the other end of the scale I'll try and get to Ayacon (No promises). Being new to an event brings back some of the magic and last Toko was my first. I had high hopes for entering the masquarade for next Toko however my girlfriend is an insanely awesome cosplayer that makes me look like I made my shit out of Animeleague flyers, banana pulp and kleenex; she's been made a Judge for the masq as she keeps winning it and now I'm either gonna have to learn how to weld or sit this one out due to potential calls of favouritism. Now, where's that arc-welder..

I've met more really interesting people by going to conventions than I ever did through expos, and I guess that's where it's at now. Expo used to be a place where you met people, now it's swelled so big it's become a microcosm of the English Society; keep to yourselves, don't talk to strangers and move along there's nothing to see here.

What I really love is the creativity of conventioning. Humans are pretty stupid meatsacks but sometimes this stupidity is an amazing source of entertainment through ingenuity. Last Amecon a friend of mine realised he paid almost £200 for a room he barely used, there's tons of places to sleep and if you can borrow a mate's shower/floorspace for luggage you're all set. I've even heard of the room rota, you get 6 people to a room, they have 1/3 of the 24hour day to sleep in the room. It's so stupid yet my OCD loves the efficiency . I don't know wether to smile or frown and it makes my face ache so hard I want to tear out my eyeballs and fill my sockets with Patron Gold. The same friend who decided to "HoboCon" wants to see if he can pitch a tent. Again my common sense wants to tell him to stop using JD Honey as the water component in his coffee, yet Tokonatsu springs to mind and I'm still drinking my HoneyJack Coffee.

Shameless plug times;
Gemucon 5th April - 7th April - Nottingham 
Places are already at the 250 mark, and it's filling up. FREE CUPCAKE FOR EVERYONE GUARANTEED.

Gemu Pre-Con Party 4th April @Brass Monkey - Nottingham
If you can make it to the PreCon, we've got Happy Hour prices until 3am and single mixers/bottled beer at £3. Brass Monkey is my personal favourite bar and a classy-ass place to be but you don't need to dress up. Cosplay and stupid/in game meme T shirts encouraged.

Looking forward to news of future conventions and as always keep the news/comments/confessions of love/suggestions/ransom notes flooding in. You can get me on my email, twitter and for anyone in Yorkshire I'm three hills north past the pointy rock as the afternoon crow flies.

~Warai Otoko

Monday, 3 September 2012

Convention Review: Amecon 2012 [3 Mile Walks and Backdoor Smashers]

About this time about two-three weeks ago I was at Keele University campus for Amecon 2012, my first Campus based convention. Two main things that stand out from a campus based convention is that there are less general public around and you'll have to do a fuckton of walking. That aside, it was quite enjoyable. It would have been more enjoyable if I hadn't broke my goddamn 2 litre stein when I checked in, but I guess it was karma for me not to walk around with more beer than is humanly logical.. Fuck you Karma. Fuck you.

The only major downside I found was the cost and the difference in facilities. You see, to pay a bit extra gets you a lot more however that cost to start with is already fucking painful to start with and you do run the risk of feeling like you didn't get your monies worth if you don't throw yourself into the deep end.

So lets get started!
Standard student halls. Okay so it's the most expensive part and you get a choice of ensuite or non. Personally I went ensuite because I like the option of hosing myself down after a technicolour yawn in case it's not as tidy as I had hoped. Having been through a variety of student accommodations in my heyday as a dirty student I can say it's pretty decent, albeit the motion sensitive "Jedi" showers were a fucking pain in the arse to operate/adjust. The rooms were tidy nonetheless and functional. They even gave a little kettle and tea/coffee thingies in the room which I thought were nice considering it was a university not a hotel.

Breakfast was pretty fucking awesome. Seriously! Though the coffee was liquid shame the rest of it was on par with some of the large hotel conventions; Hilton standard at least. From there it gets sketchy, food is available from a studenty type restaurant but till like 4, then you've got takeouts from what I believe or the mini-mart on campus where you can stuff for later. Handy as there are microwaves in the kitchens at the student halls. And for the really hardcore twats out there, ovens! Yeah, check that shit out.

You can do what I did and get a chinese take-out on the Friday (furama palace I think) spend about £5 and get enough food to last you 2 days. I'm not joking, massive portions and value for money. Unless of course I had stumbled upon magic egg fried rice that never ends, stranger things have happened.

Holy feckerama, there's so much going on and I even managed to wangle myself into the Masquarade! The committee, or rather Ilpala was really sound about me getting in last minute; no groans or hiccups and for that I'm really thankful. I've even gotta hand it to GrannyGertrude for his announcement for me"Alan Gabriel from Big O- BIG-O BIG-O BIG-O!" A thing Big O fans get from the ridiculous intro sequence. That pretty much made it for me, and my first masquerade was a lot of fun. Big shout out to Tino and Rob for being legends with the facepaint emergency, muchos gracias.

The masquarade itself was a little unorthodox for me as I'm used to seeing one single stage, this one was all the way through the Student Union with several stop points and I'll be honest I was so paranoid about being as good as I could be that I probably ran through the entire thing like a coked out butterfly. The Masquerade briefing could have been a little better rather than a glorified role call -IT'S PRONOUNCED "VALLON"- but hey we got the gist.

Party-wise it was pretty hit and miss, catering to a lot of genres but again that's what the convention scene is about; varied tastes that generally hit within the mainstream of our collective tastes. I got my DJ Snap conventioncore set, which had me rave out like a Disco-Fu after an eyeball injectionful of DMAA. Something was pretty awesome about the Student Union Layout; if you didn't like the nightclub part you could go next door to the very warm and welcoming bar, play some pool, get a cheap ass drink, have your backdoor smashed in or be entertained by the hilarious bar staff. Saying the "drinks were cheap" is an understatement along the same depth as "Neil Armstrong was a cool guy" or "Mike Towers is a bit of a shady character", because how much better can you get other than Student Bar prices? I barely spent £20 the entire weekend, maybe £10 of drinks bought for me because I'm a classy mother hubbard like that, I probably consumed about half a bottle of Kraken Rum too and found myself nicely inebriated through the entire gig. I didn't get drunk off my face because due to the walks I'd have found myself waking up in a hedge or in a tree with a crown.. I'm looking at you Cid. I had quite a few shots called BackDoorSmashers which was essentially everything in a shot and tasted like a party in my mouth, you know the kind of party that ends with the police getting called round several times and someone getting knifed with a broken Pink Floyd CD.

As a conclusion, anyone who is into the convention scene needs to attend Amecon at least once and get in the deep end. Although not as glamorous as Kitacon it does the basics incredibly well and the sheer scale of the Con is not something to be missed. Though anyone used to a Hotel Convention will find the area difficult to cope with at first, once you nail the timings you'll be fine.

Pack a camera and take along a little more maturity than you would normally, this is one convention where you can get a hell of lot out of it. A lot of friendly faces and appreciators of the more obscure cosplays.

~Warai Otoko