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Katsucon: Good, Bad, and Neither

Good:

  • Hanging out with smillaraaq and eldanis
  • Seeing the movie Summer Wars (thanks, smilla!)
  • Taking pictures (will post soon)
  • Seeing The Mr. and the Young Lady in the Steampunk/Victorian hats they bought
  • Finding some manga I'd hoped would be there, including Not Love But Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy by Fumi Yoshinaga (and I would have missed it if not for smilla's sharp eyes - it was out of order at that manga vendor's setup)
  • Talking about gaming and movies with one of the guys from the Geek Comedy Tour
  • The good-natured and diverse con-goers.
  • Comfy bed and moderately quiet neighbors at the hotel (Gaylord). (The pillows didn't suit me, but they never do.)

Bad:

  • Artists' Alley was once again smerged with the merchants hall. So it closed when that did: 8:00 p.m.
  • Extreme lack of signage for finding the various rooms, and the maps that were handed out weren't much help, either. We were late to Summer Wars because of this.
  • The food situation was a complete bad joke. Last year, the big Italian-style moderate restaurant at the Gaylord had a really bountiful lunch buffet including sandwiches, salads, pizza, hot foods, and sweets. It was pricey at $18, but at least you were getting something for your money. This year, it was only $12.99 ... but it was nothing but two kinds of sandwiches, some salads, tomato soup, and very mediocre fruit. Then, when we got out of Summer Wars at 7:30, the Italian place was closed - and all the other places were booked until 90 minutes to 2 hours later. What were they thinking when they closed one of their biggest restaurants on Saturday night on a three-day weekend with several cons in the house?

Neither Here nor There

  • The hotel room was much too hot when we arrived, and the toilet clogged overnight. But the hotel staff fixed both issues fairly promptly.
  • There didn't seem to be any merchandise for most of my fandoms. And where there was, it wasn't for characters I liked. I did end up getting a Black Butler T shirt, but I would have rather had Grell than Sebastian. I don't think that's the con's fault, though. I just don't think most of my fandoms are the type that strike the manufacturers as best-sellers for merchandise. (I did see a lovely statuette of Balalaika from Black Lagoon, but she was $300.)
  • I could not find any art books I wanted. (Again, this is not really the con's fault.)

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
smillaraaq
Feb. 21st, 2011 02:16 am (UTC)
I'm sorry I missed you today! Tell the Mr. and the Y.L. thanks again for the help with my lacing. :) And today I finally figured out that there *is* a lobby bar cunningly hidden on the landing overlooking the atrium, so I am slightly mollified about the availability of a spot with comfy seating and refreshments in a central area where you can watch some of the passing cosplayers...food options and sightlines are still much better at the AUSA hotel, but this place was an improvement over trying to camp out in the seafood restaurant bar or sports bar and squint through the windows.

I was pretty disappointed with the vendor lineup this year -- not so much for not finding much merch that I wanted beyond books, because I'm mostly hunting for stuff from older or more obscure fandoms so I know the pickings will be slim, but just in terms of sheer numbers and variety of booths this was really the most pathetic selection I've seen in years; a bunch of the merchants I'm used to seeing around weren't there -- I wonder if all the drama earlier in the year put some of them off? I always thought AUSA was the smaller of the regional cons, but I would almost swear that they had more vendors back in November...

On the merch level, the odd thing is that tchotchkies for those series are out there -- sure, Black Lagoon licensing runs more towards limited-edition collectibles, although there have been plenty things like shirts as well as the pricey statues -- but Kuroshitsuji is big enough that even domestic vendors like Right Stuf have several pages of goodies, including Grell shirts and figures and keychains. And it's licensed and seemingly quite popular judging by all the cosplayers (and even dolly cosplays!) I've seen in the last year, so it puzzles me that there weren't a few more booths carrying a little more variety of stuff to cater to that crowd.

Speaking of Grell, I promised you clips from the musical, didn't I? Enjoy!










Edited at 2011-02-21 10:43 am (UTC)
lady_ganesh
Feb. 23rd, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
Awesome!
chomiji
Feb. 23rd, 2011 02:23 am (UTC)

Hee hee, bad, wicked naughty Grell! Of course, anyone could go for a Sebastian who does flips like that. The choreography on the fight scene was really great.

(I tried to listen for what pronoun Grell used for herself at the end of the last number, but I missed it.)

(The Mr. said that given that he'd helped you with that, he guessed he was really family now ... . The Grell tees on Rightstuf are women's contour-fit cap sleeves, which means an XXL might not be big enough for me ... too bad, the picture is cute. And OK, the weirdness of the world just went up by an order of magnitude: you can buy those T shirts at Sears!!!)

smillaraaq
Feb. 27th, 2011 06:41 am (UTC)
Bwa-ha-ha, creepy doll icon FTW!

In the musical clips I've seen, it's mostly atashi -- in the anime, it's watashi while in polite-male-butler drag and then atashi when Grell drops the meek persona and is speaking as her real flamboyant self. I've seen a few people claiming that default Grell-speak is actually full-on campy onee kotoba with the feminine sentence endings and all to go with the girlier pronouns, which would certainly be in character.

And hee, I figured with you guys' SCAdian background, he'd know his way around corset lacing. XD

The chibi Grell is cute, but it seems wrong to me somehow not being on a black or red background instead of white. That's SO not a Grell color! ;) I can't remember if that line was in the manga, but in the anime when Elizabeth is redecorating and dressing everyone up to their great dismay, Grell complains about the humiliation of being put in a dress...not because it's a dress, but because it's white -- skip to around 14:08. Sparkly ink probably wouldn't hurt, either.

Edited at 2011-02-27 06:42 am (UTC)
lady_ganesh
Feb. 23rd, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
I should send you the info for the condo we stayed at! It had its own kitchen and there's a market just down the street.
chomiji
Feb. 23rd, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)

Thanks, but I don't want my own kitchen! I don't want to cross the street!

(Part of the whole gestalt of a con for me is being free of domesticity and able to just go downstairs for fun timez. On a weeklong vacation, yeah, I want a kitchen and stuff. But not for two days at a con.)

lady_ganesh
Feb. 23rd, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
Fair enough! There is a good Thai place down the street for next year.
chomiji
Feb. 23rd, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)

Thanks! I think maybe the girls and Andrew (my friend Kat's husband) ate at that Thai place on Saturday night. The Mr. and smilla and I ate at the pan-Asian place that's literally across the street from the hotel on Friday night.

We think that part of the problem this weekend, in addition to the big hotel restaurant's being closed, was that it was Restaurant Week for the complex, and the better restaurants in the hotel were participating. There's been a serious shortage of non-fast-food dining options in Prince Georges County, so people come from miles around to east at National Harbor.

smillaraaq
Mar. 2nd, 2011 06:16 pm (UTC)
The Mr. and smilla and I ate at the pan-Asian place that's literally across the street from the hotel on Friday night.

Thinko for the YL or eldanis or someone there? I didn't hit the con on Friday. :)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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