Come Joins Us At Tekko 2017!

As some of you may already know I will be attending Tekko as a panelist again this year. I’ve got 5 panels…well 4 panels and a live show in one of the panel rooms. I welcome you all to attend and here’s the run-down of what I’m bringing to the convention this year:

-Friday, April 7th-

Noon Tekko Gakkou Room – Japanese Heraldry: The History of the Mon. We’ll discuss what Kamon are, how they were utilized, how they are still utilized, where you’ve seen them, and compare them to similar Western Ideas.

2:00pm 18+ Panel Room – How To Write MORE Dirty Stuff. All you adult-y type folks interested in writing, or simply laughing at me comment on sexy gifs, can join me in the 18+ Panel Room for a lesson on Writing Dirty. We’ll address purple language again briefly before touching on setting up a scene, fore and after play.

11:00pm Panel Room 1 – Samurai Gaiden Presents: Live Rakugo! My first ever live Rakugo performance (totally *not* nervous, BTW… 0_0 ). I’ll be giving some information about Rakugo, what it is, and how it works in between my three chosen stories: Xiahou Dun’s Eye, Botan Doro ‘Peony Lantern’, and the Gyurokushujo Monogatari ‘Tale of Orihime and Hikoboshi’.

-Saturday, April 8th-

1:30pm Workshop Room – The Art of Renga – Linked Verse Samurai Poetry Workshop. Come join us and make poetry with us! We’ll give a brief overview of Waka poetry, particularly the Tanka and Renga styles and then we’ll help you to produce Renga poetry together with us! Don’t have a pen or paper? Don’t be silly; free pens and notepads will be provided for the workshop at no cost to you.

4:00 pm Tekko Gakkou Room – Waka – The Classical Japanese Poetry of the Samurai. Did you know that poetry was one of the samurai warrior’s favorite pastimes? Come learn about the poetry of Japan including Tanka, Renga, Bussokusekika, and we’ll even touch on the redheaded step child of Waka: The Haiku.

If you aren’t already going to Tekko this year, maybe considering taking a trip this weekend and visiting with us in between panels. Also a surprising request was made of me this year: I *will* autograph copies of my book if you have one and approach me with it (between panels, of course).

~Rich

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Tekko 2016 Review: Saturday

We’ve talked about Friday at Tekko 2016, but what about Saturday?  Well that’s what we’re talking about, today!

Saturday started around noon for us, after checking in with Con Ops we hit the lounge to fuel up for the day. We caught the better part of Nancy Kepner’s “How to Explain Anime to Your Parents”. One of the funniest selections from her routine was talking about her conservative religious aunt telling her, “Your Grandmother would be so ashamed of what you’re doing!” because in her song ‘Sexy Asians Dancing’ she uses the line, “Oh my God, sexy Asians!

So once we were done fueling up and Nancy’s show was over, we headed to our home away from home, the Tekkou Gakkou room for our final panel of the weekend: Samurai Mythconceptions. In it we discussed the common tropes of the modern media portrayal of a samurai as well as various myths associated with samurai. If you were there for that and liked any part of it, you will definitely enjoy our Samurai Gaiden series on YouTube.

Once that was all said and done we dropped off our gear since we were done running panels and we hit Jimmy Johns again, but unlike the first time…this time they were packed. The line wound around the interior of the building and you had to pass the line in order to get to the end of it.

But Jimmy Johns is incredibly fast and we were trough the line and had our food within ten or so minutes. We headed back to the convention center and ate in the Premium Lounge, watching the opening portion of the masquerade on the lounge’s closed-circuit TVs. We got to see the fantastic Castiel cosplay that the young lady with the extendable wings; that was pretty cool to see. Aaron Fristik of Snap-Fit Comedy’s final Masquerade stand-up was about the last thing we saw before heading out from the lounge and headed to the what would be our first panel that we planned to attend and only the second panel of the weekend we attended.

What panel was it? Games to Film: Issues of Adaptation run by the guys who do the Inciting Incident podcast. They recorded the panel live and you can find it on their podcast here (the panels starts at the 32 minute mark). They discussed some interesting points and were pretty entertaining; seemed to know what they were talking about as well.

I really enjoyed their deconstruction of the old Super Mario Brothers movie and how they were able to look at it with an entertaining way and deduced the problems that created it. One thing that was interesting was how they were able to critically cite the flaws and issues with various video games movies, even though they liked them (their comments on Street Fighter is a great example).

We then went to the Game Room and watched a few people play some pachinko and arcade games before checking out the table games on the other side of the room. It was nice that they expanded the game room this year; I can’t wait to see what it looks like next year with even more stuff to fill the room.

The wife enjoyed watching some of the Japanese games that looked flashy, even though she couldn’t read enough of it to have any idea what the game was or what the hell was going on. She did get a kick out of the Taiko Drumming game. But we didn’t stick around long enough to play anything and never made it back to the room with everything else going on.

The final panel we attended was the Japanese Mythology in Anime and Games 101. They had some interesting information, although the girl leading the panel had a problem with her countenance at first. When the panel started out she was clearly trying to hide how nervous she was, because she couldn’t complete a sentence without stammering and repeating herself. She would start the sentence…she would start the sentence and then stammer…she would start the sentence and then stammer a bit before being able to finish her thought.

But to her credit she seemed to smooth the problem out by the mid-way point of the panel and was able to talk in a more confident style and the panel improved a bit there. They had a few bits of trivia that I’d argue were incorrect, but the overall information was good.

Unfortunately at that point we hadn’t eaten in about five hours and couldn’t contain ourselves for the rest of the panel and headed out to scrounge up some food. We spent the rest of the night sitting around, watching the Sleeping Samurai stuff and chatting with the guy who owned it while he was making a foam sword.

~RCS

DJ Comics: Convention Reality

I wish I really was this confident!

DJComic_009

Ͼ-Mimi

DJ Comics: Convention Expectations

This is usually how I feel and think this will happen at the start of every convention I go to.

DJComic_007

 

DJComic_008

Ͼ-Mimi

Tekko 2015: Day 3, Sunday and Final Overview

Sunday did not start anywhere near as early as Saturday.  Thank God in Heaven!

Praise the Merciful Lord of Flighty Deliciousness!

Praise the Merciful Lord of Flighty Deliciousness!

We got in around noon, maybe a little later.  There weren’t in particular panels we were gunning to see but we always wait until Sunday to hit the dealer’s room.  We headed straight for the dealer’s room and picked up all the merch we had been eying up the day before, which we quickly hauled back to the van.

Unfortunately one of the places we frequent for purchases, Far East Boutique, has decided to go out of business.  They decided it was just too much and they were getting too old for the convention circuit.  So we went back closer to closing time and got some huge deals from them.  On the one hand it sucked that they were closing down, on the other hand…we got bunch of stuff for way less than we normally would have.  And I finally got the statues they’ve been selling for years that I figured were too expensive.  Yay, me!

So, what did we do while we were waiting for things to get a little nearer to closing time?

keep-talking-im-listening_307

Yup, just lounged around in the Premium…well, Lounge.  While we were in there a local act, a lady by the name of Nancy Kepner, was going on.  We’ve heard about her and one of our friends actually has a huge crush on her and wanted to ask her out a few years ago, but he backed out of hitting on her at the last-minute.  Needless to say, we’ve never actually managed to make it to one of her shows.

She was rather amusing, a bunch of humorous songs.  I think my favorite was her song about filler episodes with the awesome line about, “…following a ninja ostrich up a hill…” but she had a bunch of great songs in her repertoire.  Highly suggest giving her a listen if you have any interest in Anime, Humor, and/or Music.

And that was pretty much Sunday for us.  I always like Sunday being kind of an easy-going day to recuperate and ease out of the convention atmosphere.

So that brings us to the overall review of Tekko 2015!

Ultimately it was pretty cool.  There was a limited number of panels we were interested in, but that was mostly our own fault.  We are so far behind on watching new anime that we couldn’t go to half of the panels because they were about shows we haven’t seen, yet.  Like Attack on Titan, Madoka Magica (which are watching right now to fix that issue), or Kill la Kill.  Hell, we just finally watched Death Note like three months ago.

The panels we did attend were done well, there weren’t any crap-panels and the only panel that seemed to have any unaddressed tech issues was the one we watched at 9:00 am when the staff was trying to get everything else fixed up.

Actually our main problem was that the Premium Lounge didn’t seem to be stocked properly.  Almost every time we went there for a snack or a drink it was empty, especially if you were looking for a bottle of water.  So, since our biggest complaint was that the Premium Lounge was poorly stocked, I think the folks at Tekko have definitely improved greatly from what they were just a few short years ago.

The staff seemed professional and helpful.  I had an issue with my first panel on Friday that I needed a staffer to answer a question.  The issue was whether or not each panel room had separately registered lighting; you see the last year there was some issues that Panel Room 2 would try to lower their lights for a video presentation and the lights in Panel Room 1 would shut off.  I wanted to make my presentation easier to view, but didn’t want to shut the lights off on other panelists.

They had already learned from last year’s kerfluffle and each room had their lights separated.  The wife went to Con Ops while I was setting everything up and they had a staffer there to help me out in a matter of minutes.  Much better than I’d seen in past years.  The staffer knew what he was talking about, too; that’s always nice.

So yeah, overall only superficial issues.  I hope that Tekko continues to remain at this level in coming years.  I really can’t even think of anything for them to improve upon for next year, except for a better system of keeping the Premium Lounge well-stocked with victuals for the foppish pricks full of first-world problems like myself.

So, that’s it.  We enjoyed the convention immensely this year and can’t wait for next year.  The videos and the merch post will begin going up some time this coming week.

Thanks, again all!

~RCS

Tekko 2015: Day 2, Saturday

As I mentioned yesterday, Day 2 started awfully early for us.  9:30 am.

There's a 9:30...in the morning, too?

There’s a 9:30…in the morning, too?

Our young ward met up with her friends and went to a panel about an anime that the wife and I are too out of the loop to know anything about (they did a group cosplay from the anime, and we had no idea who either of them were supposed to be).  We decided to throw on our Hitatare outfits and wore them to the convention.

So, while our ward was away, we decided to head over to the Godfathers of Anime panel that my nameless friend I mentioned yesterday (the guy who ran the RTK panel a few years ago).  We walked in around halfway through because 9:30 was strenuous enough, there was no way I was getting there before 9:00.  He had some pretty good information, I wish we’d have been able to see the whole thing.  Definitely interesting.

We were going to hang around and chat with him and his ladyfriend afterward, but a big group approached him to chat and we were…well, still not entirely awake.

Us at 10:00 am.

Us at 10:00 am.

Next up we wandered around the convention center again, checked out the gaming area, trying to wake ourselves up some.  It didn’t work.  So we figured we would go veg out in the Premium Lounge for a few hours until Uncle Yo’s Magical Girl Bootcamp panel started.  It was 10:00 and the panel didn’t start until 12:30.  Good God, what were we going to do?

We zombie-crawled our way into the Premium Lounge (one of the perks of getting Premium Badges, and actually a pretty nice feature we have to admit).  We figured we could grab a bottle of water and get a few snacks, maybe try to get some fluids and food through us to try to wake ourselves up.  While we were there the Maid of Hearts Café group was running one of their events.

We were invited to play a game of Bullshit with the maids and a few other attendees.  I won.  Thus proving that every time I say that I can’t lie I am apparently lying.  We played a second round with a bigger group and I’m still going to claim victory, because at the end of the game I had the fewest cards of the group.

It was actually pretty fun and it helped to wake us up a lot, too.  The Maids were very interesting and fun to hang out with.  And they gave us a few trinkets before we left.  The wife got a plastic folding fan and I took a nifty Pop Art Disney Princess Bag, as they called it.

It pays to be a good Bullshitter in a café full of maids.

It pays to be a good Bullshitter in a café full of maids.

Yes, that’s Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, and Pocahontas in teary-eyed mode.

Jasmine says, “I didn’t even know his name!” Which, taken out of context, is a pretty whorey line.

Ariel says, “But Daddy…I love him!”

Belle says, in all her Stockholm Syndrome glory, “Please don’t leave me…I love you!”

And we finish it off with Pocahontas saying, “I can’t leave you!”

And on the side of the bag it even says, “It’s tough being a princess!”

The wife says I’m creepy, but I find it amusing.

So then we went to Uncle Yo’s Magical Girl Bootcamp panel.  I’m not sure what I was expecting from this panel.  It was Uncle Yo, so I figured it would be hilarious.  I thought he’d just riff on Magical Girl Anime.

I was wrong.

It was better than that!

It was better than that!

It was an intellectual panel on women’s equality, as told through the allegory of magical girl.  It was as hilarious as I expected from Uncle Yo, but it was also very poignant and thought-provoking.  I strongly recommend attending it in the future, if you have the chance.

We took a lunch break with our ward and a few of her friends.  Any guess where we took the poor girls to?

No, seriously.  Why have I not approached them for ad revenue, yet?

No, seriously. Why have I not approached them for ad revenue, yet?

With a lunch break in we did a quick jaunt through the dealer’s room and artist alley (which they have combined and are just calling the Exhibition Hall now) to see what we might be interested in purchasing later.  After that we decided there were no panels we were interested in.  Well, no, that’s not true.  We actually decided there were no panels we could stay awake through.  We made a quick trip back to the parking garage and slept for an hour and a half in my van.  With a good nap we made our way back to the convention and attended the Disability in Video Games panel.

The panel was hosted by a pair of women, I do not remember their names.  In my defense…I had just awoken from a nap and I’m generally bad with names any way.  One of the women suffered from anxiety issues and the other suffered from a deformed right hand.  At a few times in their panel they came off as a little whiny, but I’ll give them a pass because…in their situation I probably would have whine twice as much as them.

Being a game developer I have to say that I’m glad I attended the panel.  They talked about lack of positive portrayals of disabled people and disabilities as a whole in games.  I wholeheartedly agree with that, but I was already thinking of that kind of stuff.  What they brought up in the second section of the panel, however, was something that I had never thought of as an Indie Developer: Accessibility.

I make computer games so I don’t have to deal with how useless a Playstation controller is to a person with only one hand or arm.  However placing keyboard shortcuts far from each other lowers the accessibility for disabled players, same with requiring the mouse and keyboard to be used at the same time.  I’ll definitely take that into consideration in future titles.  This is especially important in RPGs and Visual Novels, the most likely titles for Nic3Ntertainment to produce.

After the disability panel was over we collected our ward and went home, because we were all sleep deprived and the nap had only let us make it as far as we had gotten.  So we missed the surprise fire drill that happened about a half hour or so after we left.

And that was Saturday.  Tomorrow we’ll talk about Sunday and the overall review of the convention this year.

~RCS

Tekko 2015 Wrap-Up

All right folks, unfortunately Tekkoshocon 2015 is over.  But fortunately it was pretty good this year.  We did two panels this year (How To Avoid Bad Writing and History of Sengoku Japan) and, to be honest, I was worried about the turnout since we were on Friday and the largest number of attendees comes in on Saturday.

But both rooms were super-packed!

Con Panel Joke

 

Okay, so…maybe it wasn’t that packed.  But still, the rooms were way more full than I was expecting.  Thanks, again for showing up.  I should have my full review and my merchandise review (i.e. a list of the stuff we bought) in a few days.  I’ve got some time off this week, so I should be able to get them done in a timely fashion (for once).

As always, thanks for coming folks.  And not just to my panels, but thanks everyone for showing up to the con as a whole.  It was a fantastic year.  It seems like each year Tekko has fewer and fewer hiccups, this year was no exception.  Well, except for the surprise fire drill, but that’s another story.  I should also have some video up on the Youtube channel before too super long.

~RCS

Tekko 2014 Review: Day 1 (Part 1)

As you all know I was very critical of Tekkoshocon a few years back. I decided to give the convention another chance this year. And that was a good decision. A lot of the problems they had before, they had fixed. Not to say there weren’t a few hiccups, something that big always will have something go wrong, but it was much better organized this year.

So here’s my complete review of Tekkoshocon 2014, starting with Day 1. Well, actually Day 2…we didn’t go to the Thursday events, opting to utilize the day for a set up period. So we’ll call Friday Day 1, for all intents and purposes.

 

First off we hit registration somewhere after noon. We had gotten the Premium Badges again this year, but our friend who went with us just got the regular badge. This opened her to a slew of jokes about abandoning her and going to the special Premium Lounge without her all weekend.

The Registration was something I had talked about before as being pretty poor, and it usually was every year. Getting the chance to go through Otakon’s registration was a delight…

This is the Premium Line?

This is the Premium Line?

So the last time I talked about Tekko registration I had mentioned I didn’t have any idea how to improve registration. Well the good news is somebody else must have, because Registration was a breeze. We Preemies…err, that’s a poor choice of name for that. Uhh…we…Snobby Cocksuckers?

I almost like Preemie better.

I almost like Preemie better.

Anyway, the Premium line was a simple process and we were done in about two minutes. Our friend didn’t even pre-register and she was still done with her regular badge in about fifteen minutes.

The last time we were at Tekko it took over half an hour for us to get through registration, and we pre-registered last time, too. So they’ve definitely hit a sweet spot with their registration set up this year. They need to keep doing whatever they did…it was over so quickly I couldn’t even be sure about what they were doing to make it go so smoothly. Ten points for Griff–Tekkoshocon 2014.

Anyway we had about an hour and a half to kill so we went to the Disney in Japan panel. The panel was basically an excuse to talk about the movie Frozen for half an hour. The first half was a lesson about Disneyland Japan from someone who had never been there; but she did have first-hand accounts from workers and visitors, so at least she knew something of what she was talking about. And she was very up front about her total lack of first-hand knowledge.

It was interesting and the last half of the panel was a comparison between American trailers and Japanese trailers for the movie Frozen, followed by a short discussion about the movie. Which I am plenty okay with; if you haven’t seen Frozen, yet, you really should. Children or not it’s a pretty awesome movie.

 

And that brings us to, what my wife calls, one of the best panels of the convention. The History Behind Sengoku Basara panel, hosted by yours truly and presented by Dickjutsu.com. Which I pointed out numerous times during the panel, because that was the whole point of the panel: To get paid to advertise this very site.

…okay, well actually that was only half of it. I really love talking about this stuff and it was a chance to get paid for talking about something that I care about deeply. Oh, and advertise the site, if I didn’t mention that already.

If I got a nickel for every time I used this picture...I'd use this picture a lot more.

If I got a nickel for every time I used this picture…I’d use this picture a lot more.

For those of you who came out to see it, I thank you. I hope you enjoyed listening to me talk at you as much as I enjoyed talking about Sengoku Japan. And my wife enjoyed it because I wasn’t directing all of my nerd air at her, alone…trapped with no recourse but to listen to me nerd-out, like usual.

...and then, when Oda Nobunaga was fifteen he...

…and then, when Oda Nobunaga was fifteen he…

 

Intermission

Now this is the point where I’d like to talk about dinner. It was at the Sharp Edge on Penn Avenue. That means it was delicious. We brought our friend to it, and indoctrinated her. Now everyone should go eat at the Sharp Edge– Wait a minute, I should charge advertising for how much I shill for that restaurant.

Can I at least a free pudding?

Can I at least get a free pudding?

Anyway, after dinner we headed back to the convention. This is already a step up from the last time we were there when we had dinner and decided we’d rather walk around Pittsburgh, even though it smelled like hobo semen, than go back to the convention.

So Tekko’s definitely making progress.

 

Back to the Story at Hand!

When we returned to the convention we went straight on to our second panel, the History Behind Dynasty Warriors. Like I mentioned before it was getting paid to talk about something I’m very passionate about and get some free advertising for the site.

Once again…thanks to those who came and I hope you enjoyed the panel.

Immediately after my panel was the Attitudes Toward Plus Size Cosplay panel, which was actually one of the bigger issues with scheduling. Normally all the panels had a 30 minute set up/tear down period, but there was no such period between my panel and theirs. I tried to get out of their way as quickly as possible, but oh well, a minor hiccup compared to the kind of stuff that used to happen at Tekko.

We decided to stay for the next panel and that was probably a mistake. The ladies handling the panel had a good idea, their premise was to stir debate about the attitudes toward plus size cosplay; hence the title of their panel, I imagine. A good idea. But they handled it poorly, especially when the debate broke out.

A small-framed young man stood up and shattered their whole plan by actually coming up with a counter-point and calling up a moment of hypocrisy in their suggestions.

All in all I can see both sides of the coin. What they were saying was right, but what he said was also right. He lacked tact, as far as he just stood up and called hem on their bullshit instead of going at it from a more diplomatic avenue. But when they accused him of not having a viable opinion in the debate on cosplay attitudes because he wasn’t a fat woman, she showed that she had even less tact than him.

We’ll be going into more detail on this later, but we’ll leave it at that for now. This post is about Tekko as a whole, not a rant on a single panel. I will say, however, that we got disgusted by the ladies running the panel when they singled the poor guy out and made fun of him…right as they started discussion on engaging with detractors and to always ignore them and take the high road. By the way, though, ignoring those who speak out against you…not a good policy for ‘starting a debate.’

Moving on we went to the Anime Horrors panel. But I’m sure you have something productive to do right now. So we’ll take a little break here and pick this up tomorrow. Your homework for next class is to like, share, and comment on this post. Haha, and you thought I could only shill for Sharp Edge–goddamnit I do need to charge for ad time.

~RCS

Tekkoshocon 2014 News!

I’ve been rather critical of Tekkoshocon before, but this year we’ve decided to try it out again.  We’ve been told by folks that went last year that a lot of the things we complained about had been fixed; so we’ve decided to give it another shot after going to Baltimore’s Otakon last year.

But not only that, we’ve gone two steps further: I’m going to be hosting two panels at Tekko this year.  As it looks right now one panel, on Japanese History related to the anime/game series Sengoku Basara, will be Friday afternoon at 2pm in Panel Room 3.  The other panel on the History of the Three Kingdoms Era of China as related to the game series Dynasty Warriors will be held the same day (Friday) at 6pm in Panel Room 2.

I’ll let you all know as soon as I do if the times change.

We’ll be giving away door prizes at both panels as well, including books and computer games, and of course the chance to listen to me talk about two of my favorite subjects for an hour a piece.

So if you’re going to be at Tekkoshocon this year in early April, feel free to come on down and see either or both of my panels.

The door prizes alone are pretty nice, we’ve got some decent games to give away: Europa Universalis 3, Majesty 2, a few Uno games, a book on Ninjutsu in the Sengoku Basara panel, and who knows what else!

Oh I know what else; that’s right.  Anyway…

We’d love to see our adoring fans (maybe even both of you!) come on down to see us, especially if you’ll be there anyway.

~RCS

Otakon 2013: Day Zero

Sorry for the lackluster update on this. We wound up being more than 2 hours behind schedule because of a huge accident on I-70. Then once the hectic day was over, we go back to the hotel to find…the wifi is not working. Only for us though.
Called down to the front desk and got this response, “I dunno…it’s working for me, it’s working for everyone else. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Stay tuned for another update, hopefully tomorrow and hopefully not typed on a phone.
~RCS

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