The Best and Worst of
Hello there! In case you didn’t yet know (or somehow missed the memo in the last couple editions of GR2 Weekly), I’m going with a slightly different format for my Convention Recap. Instead of the usual storytelling format, I’m gonna pull a page out of With Leather/With Spandex writer Brandon Stroud’s playbook (if you are a fan or wrestling, I highly suggest you check his work out) and go with a “Best and Worst” format. It’s still going to have some degree of chronological order to it, no doubt. But without much further ado, I present to you: The Best and Worst of No Brand Con 2015- The End Of An Era!
*EDITOR’S NOTE* I thought maybe some of my prior posts were clear enough on the idea, but some criticism that has come to light recently, I guess I have to edit in a slight reminder. And here that goes……
Any and all GR2 Weekly and Convention Recap blog posts are the sole opinion me and only me. The remarks in these blog entries do not in any way, shape or form represent any group or convention I may be affiliated with. It’s just one dude’s (me) ramblings about various things and should not be taken too terribly seriously.
Besides, life’s stressful enough. Last thing we should be doing is making one another even more stressed out.
Worst: Why does this keep happening to me?
For as long as I have been going to conventions (around the 10-year mark now), one thing remains constant: MASSIVE amounts of pre-con jitters the night beforehand. It’s half the reason I do 95% of my pre-convention packing one full week beforehand. Didn’t help much either I opted to try “calming myself down” by playing Online games of FIFA ’15 (which often can stress me out even further) until after 1am. But considering the last game I played in the evening got me the win needed in Online Seasons to move to my highest Division ever (Div. 6), it was slightly justifiable. But I probably should have valued sleep a smidge more, seeing as I usually don’t get much to begin with at conventions.
Thank you, Morgan Freeman.
Best: On the road again……
Some car trips are ok, some you’d rather forget. This particular trip, though was a pretty entertaining one. It also tends to help too when one of the passengers is frequent No Brand Bowl-er and former Daisho Con man Zack “Spittin’ Wheelie” Neal. Him and his friend Jason arrived at the house shortly after 9 and we were quickly on the way. We had to settle for radio music for the early goings, but all the discussions about WWE, Marvel movies, No Brand Con itself (I do have to give a very minor Worst to the fact that we were planning on leaving the con so early on Sunday, but it worked out with other things), the trip was quick and we made it to the convention before we even knew it. We even blared some Danger Zone with the windows rolled down once we were on the main drag.
Worst: ….but not all is great in paradise.
I have to give the city of Eau Claire a Worst for one pretty simple reason. I don’t know if they ever were going to build any kind of a convention center or expand a hotel’s enough elsewhere, but between the fact NBC had been flirting very heavily with the Plaza’s attendance cap the last couple of years and they had no other in-town options, they posted on the back of their Program Guide that they were moving to Wisconsin Dells next year. More specifically, the Chula Vista Resort. Also, I usually like to spend time in the video game rooms of conventions, but once again, No Brand’s felt pretty underwhelming. It was a slight step up from last year’s (frankly) dismal appearance (to the point where I never even mentioned the VGR in last year’s Recap). And they even had an Initial D arcade machine in the room this year. Dang.
Nothing like admiring a good selfie. 😛
Best: Random run-ins and Vendor surprises
Seeing as conventions are always the few times I get to see the vast majority of my friends, I always try to run into as many of them as possible. This year’s NBC run-ins came fast and frequently. Within the first 30 minutes alone, I ran into Ashley, Brandon, Nick izumi, Trae, Erika F., Langland, Pher and a few others whose names are currently eluding my sieve of a memory. I paid a few visits to Erika F.’s Artist Alley Table this weekend, mostly to chat Eyehsield 21, but also to acquire some Archer-themed buttons for the ‘ol con bag. Trae even signed my newly-acquired print copy of UnCONventional (read it now). While I also have to add in a marginal Worst for none of the Vendors selling patches OR wristbands for the 2nd straight convention I’ve been to, two of the vendors more than made up for it by selling some Tokusatsu merchandise. Yeah, it wasn’t anything as major as any Morphers or Rider Belts, but I did score this sweet game from Fast Food Anime:
Something to grind through on my DS while my 3DS is out for repairs.
Best: FIFA Las NoBrand
As has become recent tradition whenever me and Adam are at the same convention, we always manage to squeeze in some rounds of the latest FIFA game. This convention did not disappoint in the least. Once him and Simone did eventually arrive, I moved my stuff from Zack’s room to theirs (as I was crashing with them), I got things squared away and we did eventually squeeze in a few rounds that night. I tend to play a LOT of Online matches on that game and all the online gaming seemed to pay off a first, as our Triple-header went very well for yours truly, especially considering how badly I got schlacked at Kitsune (Tottenham 2- Fulham 0; Seattle 6- Sporting KC 1; Everton 3- Southampton 3). But we would square off again soon enough.
Time to crank the funneh to 11!
Best: Panels, Pizza and Beer FTW!!
Seeing as the main dish of Otaku Tonight Productions (OT with Prof. Pher) was smack dab in the middle of the room party the following night, I made an effort to at least see some of their other panels. Whose Line did not disappoint in the least, at one point causing the entire room to nearly pass out from laughing-induced lack of oxygen during the Sound Effects skit. But seeing as Simone had earlier ordered Pizza Hut and it did arrive mid-panel, I left to join on the nommage and in the process, watch a random Eyeshield 21 episode that was on my portable hard drive. But drinks with Pher were promised, and the new renovations they made on the bar were pretty sweet and made for a pleasant experience. That’s more than I can say for what was soon to happen.
Worst: RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
And as is par for the course was the annual Midnight Screening of Hanzo The Razor in all its LaserDisc glory in the infamous No Mercy Room (complete with its own Ball Pit!). But what I’m WORST-ing the event for was not the movie itself (which is so bad, it’s almost funny). Hell, it wasn’t even for the fact that people snuck open containers of beer into the movie showing (I didn’t see them at first, but it is a clear violation of policies). But you know what, I’m going to be Double Worst-ing this for two reasons: 1.) One of the convention staffers (effectively) forced Trae to Stop the movie so the new guy could 2.) Nearly yell at the top of his lungs at everybody about the earlier mentioned policy and threatening further action if it happened again. One could chalk this up to rookie error (as it was later noted the dude in question was on his first year as a staffer), but I just can’t let this slide. What he should have done was either discreetly pull the offenders aside or if he was still going to interrupt in the fashion he did, at the very least go with a more polite sternness. Douche. Trae’s announcement that he was retiring from hosting duties for Hanzo didn’t help much either, but that I can let slide. Dude’s been hosting it for 14 years. When you gotta move on, you gotta move on.
Langland and Max will debate the Meaning of Life in the Ball Pit while we make our way over to Page 2.