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Megacon 2013

So... Megacon '13:

Ghosts, Ghosts, Ghosts

Going to conventions can be, well, rigorous. You're on your feet all day, moving from panel to panel, dodging people in the dealer's space aisles, talking to strangers, waiting in line for everything, and keeping your camera ready. Rest is for weaker fans, haha.

But I'm very sneaky.

I happen to know Scott Tepperman, an investigator on Syfy's Ghost Hunters International. He's the coolest guy you'll ever meet: funny, easy-going, and kind. He had some great stories about what it was like to travel the world, exploring haunted castles and prisons in pitch black darkness. Although Scott is branching out into other avenues, like starring in low-budget horror movies, he still goes to conventions around the U.S. I was thrilled to hear that he'd be going to Megacon this year!

The GHI booth became my home base for next two days. I met fellow investigator Paul Bradford as well (who turns out to be a big Doctor Who fan, haha).

Dodging the crowds lining up for autographs in the special guest sections, I always returned to the booth to check in, eat my lunch, and listen with a huge grin on my face as fans came to the booth to share paranormal experiences with Scott and Paul.

Sci-Fi Speed Dating

Speed Dating was so much fun! The people behind the TLC show, Geek Love, were indeed running the sessions; just knowing that helped calm my nerves because they are the best, haha. Ryan Glitch had a slew of hilarious jokes to keep all of us distracted and calm. What I liked most is that he was very concerned that us girls were comfortable - and if we needed anything, he'd rush to our rescue like a superhero!

Luckly for me, I had no issues. I got to talk to thirty-five guys, three minutes each. My mouth went dry after the first three minutes, but I soldiered through it somehow. I had a water bottle, but time went so fast that I'd probably miss talking to someone if I reached for my water and took a drink (I kid you not). For the most part, three minutes was more than enough time to feel someone out and see if you like them. After the first four guys, I relaxed and started having fun.

I took Speed Dating very seriously. I vowed to myself that I'd only write down the numbers of the guys I'd like to get to know more - guys that I could see going on a date with. So... at the end of the session, I only wrote down one guy's number. Ah, well. I talked to so many nice guys, but the chemistry just wasn't there for me.

My sheet, however, had a lot of numbers on it. Wow! I'm very flattered.

I'd love to do Sci-Fi Speed Dating again. Really, truly. The only tough part is that the two hour sessions are huge chunks of time to lose when you're at a convention. To do more than one session per convention would mean that you'd ultimately miss out on other panels or, well, eating. Eating is very important... but tends to be ignored during cons, haha.


The panels this year were a mixed bag, but for the most part, I enjoyed them. My first panel of the weekend was "Crafting the Character Arc: How to Successfully Navigate Your Character Through Your Narrative." Going in, I expected to see a full panel of comic book writers, but instead discovered that the entire panel was going to be conducted by one lone woman: Jennie Jarvis, an MFA instructor as Full Sail University.

With less than a month away from holding my MFA degree, I felt a swell of pride in seeing her up there, kicking butt and taking charge of a large room packed with writers. Some of what she taught was review for me, like how she used a story diagram to talk about character growth (rising action, climax, etc). However, Jarvis has written in various mediums, including screenplay writing, so she had a lot of tiny but glittering gems of great advice. The best for me was when she defined the difference between goal and motivation. Readers, Jarvis says, expect to see a character win or fail at a goal (aka a tangible thing). You can't rely on a character's internal conflict alone. Ex: seeing two characters wed at the end of a story is more powerful than just having one character feel that the other character loves him/her.

Another memorable panel was "Q & A with Vic Mignona." For anyone living under a rock (seriously, guys), Vic is an amazing voice actor; some of his roles include Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist,   Zero Kiryu from Vampire Knight, Tamaki Suou (!!! *passes out*) from Ouran High School Host Club, and, like, a million others.

I've gone to Vic's panels before, and it's probably a miracle that I had because his legion of fans keep growing every year. What makes Vic so, well, lovable, I suppose, is that he has a very warm and encouraging personality. He always does a great job with voice acting, but when you meet him in person, it's almost as if those shiny anime sparkles surround his face, haha! During his panel, he talked about his journey in becoming a voice actor, pursuing your dreams, and speaking in the voices of our favorite characters. I would have liked to have seen more of him, but Saturday was insanely crowded, making even the smallest goals seem quite impossible (my, have these conventions grown!).

In the evening, I attended an indie film festival, showcasing award-winning short films in various genres. In addition to seeing Creepy Crawly, an aptly-named horror short film with Scott Tepperman as one of the actors, I got to watch Pupsock and Wendell vs the Sky Pirates.

The humor is wonderful, and a bit eyebrow-raising, but the mixing of mediums is the best part. I love that puppets and digital characters share the screen, along with special effects and real actors and actresses. I met Thomas Mumme, one of the masterminds behind Pupsock. Somehow, we got on the subject of Buster Keaton (always a good thing) and then we geeked out about Hugo - he insisted that I need to put the book up at the top of my reading list! And it is. I have The Invention of Hugo Cabret on my desk, ready to be read.

The Haul

Despite the gigantic dealer's space, I walked away from the convention with only a few items. Many booths sold the same exact t-shirts, plushies, posters, etc. - an unusual phenomenon. As you can see, I didn't get any Doctor Who merch;Hot Topic sold about eighty percent of what was there (and, if I had really wanted them, I would have already emptied by wallet at Hot Topic, thankyouverymuch). 

I am a big, big, big fan of the Portal series, and practically slobbered over the small, but good wares. I got a huge, stuffed Wheatley and a "Wheatley Laboratories" t-shirt. Yes, Wheatley is my favorite character, haha. 

I also got issues #1 and 2 of the Fionna & Cake comic book series. Adventure Time is pretty awesome, but the gender-bent characters have stolen my heart. I wish there were more issues! The artwork inside the comics was gorgeously-drawn and I'm so excited to see more of Flame Prince.

In regards to anime, I finished my collection of the Earl & the Fairy manga. I fell in love with the anime, but the manga is also great. And, last but not least, I got a keychain of Sailor Moon's disguise pen, the first weapon of sorts she ever used alongside her tiara. The disguise pen doesn't get much love, so it's wonderful to have one! 


T-Shirt Time!

So, I love cartoons.

The best way for me to share the love is, usually, through the magical art of t-shirts. I used to have a huge collection of t-shirts, but recently I've done a massive clean out because... I'm a grown up now. I can't have too many of these things. As a truce, most of my closet is full of lovely bow and bird prints and lace dresses. But I can never forget my t-shirt days.

The shirts I've kept are my favorite cartoon ones - and yes, once in a while, I still love to purchase new ones. Also, my new school year resolution is to wear some of these shirts when I teach. I'll do it. It's going to be fun, haha.

I want to share some of my t-shirts with you - and consequently, some of my favorite cartoons.

From one of my favorite cartoons EVER: The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Sadly, this shirt is mostly used for pajamas since it's way too big on me. I really didn't expect shirts for this show to be gone already, you know? I'm sad that this is the only one I have. 

However, anything that mentions the mythical Candied Island is awesome in my book. It's on my list of places to vacation along with Nilbog (*cough* Troll 2 joke *cough*).

Ahhh, oldies. To be honest, I had a love-hate relationship with Captain Planet. My brother and I would make fun of it the whole time, but we secretly coveted the power rings. I wanted the wind one, haha.

I watched a lot of Felix growing up - and the movie was by far one of my favorite  things to watch. The scene where Princess Oriana dances in a bubble has stuck with me as one of the most striking animated scenes I've ever seen. So I'm including the clip here, haha:

Regular Show. My brother got me interested in it, despite my initial reluctance to watch it.  The characters are all surprisingly endearing - to the point where I haven't decided who my favorite is. But I got this shirt because I love when Mordecai and Rigby shake their fists and chant, haha. I'm guilty of imitating them... though it usually comes off better when you have a friend to mirror you, haha.

Rocko's Modern Life - another childhood staple. This show is totally guilty of corrupting my mind, haha. I started watching it again recently and what surprises me most is that the show is so quiet. Do you know what I mean? It's actually peaceful to watch, instead of having blaring, heavy sound effects and high-pitching voice acting. 

By the way.... my brother interviewed the creator, Joe Murray, on his radio show. I even got to ask him a question! That was a great fangirl moment, haha. The interview is here... just don't cringe when you hear my voice pop up, haha. (is sensitive about my voice, bwahaha). 

Courage the Cowardly Dog. This is probably my favorite cartoon ever! No joke. I've gushed about Courage before, and more specifically, his creator John R. Dilworth. It's a wonderful treat to be able to wear shirts from this great show. Courage looks delightfully frightened in both shirts.

Adventure Time. Of course. As much as I love this show, it's been difficult to settle on which shirt to get. A lot of the girls shirts have Marceline, the vampire hipster on them, so I've said no for a long time. Her character just rubs me the wrong way, I guess. But I was so excited to see a shirt inspired by the gender-bending episode - so this is the one for me! Fiona and Cake are adorable. And, well, I love the positive energy going on here with the "HECK YES!"

Not a cartoon, I know. But how could I not include Buster Keaton? In honor of meeting  some summer goals (including writing ones), I bought these two Buster shirts. The grey one, I think, is one of the better shirts out there for Buster fans. The fabric is thick though, so I'll have to wait until it gets cooler to wear it for long periods of time. *shakes fist at Florida*

The white tank top makes me smile - all my favorite silent film boys, haha! At the top is Fatty Arbuckle, then to his left is Al St. John, then there's Luke, the talented dog, and finally good old Buster Keaton. This was from Buster's early film years, before he struck out on his own - I really love watching Fatty and Buster's short films. I'm sorry to say that the design for this shirt is no longer available, but if you're a fan of Al St. John (who isn't?), you can check out the other shirts and items from the shop.