JEZ'(RE): YOUMACON 2017
So, I went to YOUMACON two weeks ago—have two reviews waiting and yet to finish SDCC—slacker, I know…
To be fair, I was PMSing; then, I got fired for the second time this month; started playing STAR WARS: JEDI CHALLENGES… which is the most fun I’ve had in a very long time…
PLUS!!! Marvel’s The Punisher came out on Netflix this weekend…
It was… fun—the con, I mean.
Applied for press end of Sept. / beginning of Oct. but had a problem with the application from my phone so I sent an email to media department with no response for weeks—emailed again, with direction to apply again and a solution to my problem.
I really wanted to go, as I hadn’t had a con since SD in July and the next major convention isn’t until, like March.
Plus, was completely disappointed when attending 2015 and really wanted to give it another chance.
Being fairly new to cosplay, and after the face paint fiasco at SDCC; arriving in MI in time to attend Arts Eats and Beats, I passed a woman there face painting and asked her what she used.
She was kind enough to not only show me what she uses and let me take photos, but also told me where I could order from as well as a few techniques.
I had the items in my cart for weeks XD finally making the choice to place the order after applying for Youmacon, with it and Halloween quickly approaching.
Figured I’d use Halloween as a test run—glad I did.
The silver on my arms was fabulous!
A nice even coat of gray powder with metallic silver powder provided the perfect coverage but weather in MI is a thing unto itself and was entirely too cold for me to be sleeveless, so that was a bust…
The white for face was good, but I’m not great with makeup or paint so it took about an hour and a half to really get the solid coverage I was looking for before finally having to accept it wasn’t going to get any better.
Total bust on the black though as it was simply just a smudge stick and, well, smudged.
But, I still liked what I did:
Finally receiving approval preview day at quarter ’til 6, I spazzed to make “scissors” for my costume which took a little over 4 hours.
It was a really horrible experience, let me tell ya…
Anyway, again, I had to realize they weren’t going to get any better and any more time put into it was only going to piss me off further.
To make things worse, I felt the cramps of PMS coming on… and, I was already cranky.
So, I get up Friday morning to start doing my face and had spazzed for some liquid eye liner, which did work well for the black lines I needed; however, my eyes started watering—I’m assuming a combination of getting some of it in my eye and cold weather—which washed the water based paint from under my eyes; and, pissed me the fuck off.
AGAIN, had to say fuck it because it was time to go…
Wasn’t ridiculously cold, but I’m not use to the weather here—originating from much a warmer climate; plus, just spent a year in SD—I def don’t know how some of the chicks wore what they wore without freezing… EEEEEKkk!
So, I went with my roomie/boss, Todd.
Upon arrival—AFTER PAYING 19 FUCKING DOLLARS FOR PARKING!.. I mean seriously, I understand the city needs to make money but, fuck… No. You know what… I don’t fucking understand… I mean, the city CHARGES its people a 1% tax to work in the city GO FUCK YOURSELF, DETROIT—the first thing we noticed was: A) lack of staff to answer questions B) lack of signage (also a problem I had two years ago) C) a massive line of people waiting to buy tickets.
That line stayed solid for hours.
It took time to find where to pick up press badges as there was limited people to ask, and those people didn’t really know.
That’s not entirely true…
The one guy did tell us where to go for operations, but again, there was no signage.
We were directed to a room with a line out the door for panel registration.
I’m getting pissy and Todd walks in to ask if it was correct place.
It is and no one is in line for that so I get to go right in.
If I was waiting in that line as a panelist, I’d have been even more pissed.
The showroom floor didn’t open until 2 but PRESS passes granted early access, which was really nice as the larger companies like REEDPOP and Comic-Con International have moved away from those type of press perks—though, the press room at NYCC is relatively nice with a constant supply of free coffee.
The con floor was very tiny—certainly in comparison to conventions I attend regularly—pretty similar to 2015.
I’ve had to realize that smaller cons will be, well, smaller.
Also, that YOUMACON is a different kind of convention—it’s an anime convention—though to me, it’s more like a cosplay convention.
I really was blown away with how many people were dressed vs. not.
Def, more than not.
Wasn’t sure what to do after, about, two hours.
Annnnnnnd; I was starving.
Pulled Brisket with some kind of fancy BBQ chips.
Centerplate does the staffing at Cobo—same company in SD—interesting…
I’m not really super into panels—though, I’m starting to get since, well, I am a panelist and should probably attend others—for reference, if nothing else.
Stuffing face made perusing through the panel list less annoying.
The program guide was gridded—in very small print—by day and time; but listed completely alphabetically—not by day—highly vexing with the sheer number of events.
Decided to go check out table top gaming before heading out—totally over it.
True to it’s tower like nature, the inside is a giant circle with different branches on the outer spokes advancing upward at the center via elevators toward the hotel guest rooms.
Chatted with a few guys gaming… looked at so magic cards… and left.
Nodded off in the car on the way home.
Then took a nap—for 5 fucking hours… sigh…
Awake for a few—then out another 7.
Apparently, I was tired. Or, fatigued. Or—whatever.
I wasn’t going to go back—but, didn’t have enough material for this article—soooooooo, I went back.
Got up and checked the bus schedule…
I’ve had problems with SMART on Saturdays and had to walk a mile to the Royal Oak transfer station so, wasn’t too enthusiastic.
But! I REALLY DO LOVE THE BUS!
Twice, I’ve rode up and down the east coast on a greyhound.
There really are whole other worlds out there…
Changed buses at the fair grounds and landed at the Rosa Parks transfer station—just so happened to smoke a cig around the corner and saw a plaque on the wall which told me I was there.
It also said 1920 something to 2005.
Now, I learned about her in the early Ninties like she’d been dead and gone for 30 years but the woman was alive at least another 10.
Like, ZERO FUCKING CONTEXT IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM.
I hope she knew how important she was.
I walk to Cobo and immediately notice, again, the very large line waiting to buy tickets.
So, I go back to operations and ask about attendance numbers, pre-reg and if this was normal.
That’s not entirely how that bumbling conversation went, but close enough.
They told me pre-reg in the past is about 1/4 of total sales but this year was about 1/3.
Over 5k pre-purchased tickets for Friday and 3k paid at the door.
I thought there were more than 8k people there total but maybe not.
Def more Saturday…
I’m looking online and nothing official has been released but estimated 20 to 25k.
Anyway, while in operations, I over hear the one chick tell these dudes that the other chick behind the table is the press chick and she could set up interviews.
So, I walk over there and ask her how it worked.
Of course I didn’t have a list ready but remembered Tawny’s name; looked up the Japanese dude who was Assistant animation director for Naruto and Death Note’s name on the youmacon website but he wasn’t on her list of available guests, and one more dude with a Robot video game.
She text me about an hour later with an offer to interview Tawny Lett at 3:45PM.
When I read her bio, I was like, How is the women real?!?!
I’ve got time.
Finally worked up the nerve to start interviewing cosplayers.
It was fun:
I was really stoked about her hooves!
These two were my favorite to chat with:
“It only has to look good from 5 feet for 5 seconds.”
Pardon me double chin… as I said, PMSing.
I loathe being a female at times.
I snapped a bunch of photos of NARUTO cosplayers too:
And some others as well : )
Something else I noticed which was, kind of, a suprise—please, don’t be mad; zero disrespect—there was a large percentage of black / African American attendees.
Also a lot of women.
And lesbian couples.
The reason I bring this up is the standard stereotype of a fat, nasty, greasy white nerd living in his parents’ basement isn’t reality.
By this time, I’d realized there was much more to Youmacon than the actual con.
It’s more of a place for people to gather and share and experience with each other.
AND—from what I’ve heard—PARTY.
Dude. I want to get a room at the ren cen next year so I can nap in the afternoon then stay up all night nerding the fuck out XD
I get an interview with Tawny scheduled at 3:45PM after her cosplay panel.
Sam, who works at the record store, bumped into me while I was interviewing the two elf chicks and then went off to the show floor—I followed and found him with his friend.
We walked around a bit and then went out to smoke.
At this point, my demeanor had started to deteriorate and I needed food.
They went off the the game room and I went to eat.
This time, I opted for pizza and a coke.
I <3 food.
But, still had 2 hours left until the interview, so decided to walk around some more.
On this passing, I just so happened to walk by and glanced a name above a table which stopped me for a moment.
I realized it was him!!!
So, like, He speaks Japanese and his translator got sick so no interview, but the guy they flew out to assist with the booth was able to get me a picture…
Then I was like… WILL YOU PLEASE TELL HIM i FOLLOWED NARUTO FOR 12 YEARS?!?!??!
And he goes… “Oh! Naruto!”
And starts sketching!!!
TOTAL FANBOY MOMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Assistant Director of Animation, Naruto Shippuden; Director of Animation DeathNote— Mamoru Yokota:
I really did look horrible…
And… I wish I would have asked for a Kakashi <3 as he reached for the paper; but, that would have been rude, me thinks…
At this point, I’m geeked the fuck out with my sketch, I’m getting, kind of, tired and I still have an hour to kill so I go look for the room.
Of course, it’s on the far left side of the building and isn’t clearly labeled so I head in the wrong direction until finally finding a map.
I find it and go in to wait.
I caught most of her panel, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
She answered several costume build design questions in a way which I felt would really help someone think more out side of the box.
I could feel the epiphany this one chick had from several rows behind without having to see her face.
I’ve repeatedly said strong women both scare and inspire me:
I was so awed by this woman.
I wish I had thought of more to ask her—wasn’t prepared, of course—slacker; I know.
But she did say something that reiterated something I say all the time—if you’re not there, you’re not there.
If you don’t communicate, you didn’t communicate.
The favorite reviews I’ve done were a thing simply because I messaged someone and asked to review their book.
All the cons I’ve done were a thing because I applied.
The people I’ve met…
Shit, I even had an article written about me:
But what I took away from this interview was summed up by her husband—don’t let not having a formal education keep you from doing things.
This especially hit me hard as I’ve repeatedly been turned down professional employment for not having a degree despite covering conventions the last four years.
I DO THINGS PEOPLE WITH JOURNALISM DEGREES ARE TRYING TO DO!
It’s very frustrating, I assure you.
Maybe some magic…
10ish min walk to the Ren Cen.
Up the escalator.
Around the circle…
Back escalator to the next floor is down.
…no sign at the entrance…
…no one advising…
Guy at the back directing people back down stairs…
Somehow, I wander into the hotel lobby and take the elevator up.
Then, there are ZERO FUCKING SIGNS POINTING THE THE GAME ROOMS.
I finally find the video game room:
Kind of impressive how many peeps up in there.
Did a video and all I could saw was, “massive” when describing and I’m just not going to do much better than the photos so we’ll be moving right along.
Was going to try to find the one guy with the robot game but but ehhhh… MAGIC.
Found MY OWN FUCKING WAY to the table top game room.
SINCE THERE WERE NO FUCKING SIGNS.
Cake to the left walking in.
It’s baffling how many other cons are trimming on table top despite demand.
I was really happy to see an entire ball room dedicated.
So—I go sign up for Casual Commander, $5—playing for prize packs.
…call me when 3 other players sign up…
And then I’m like, okay… Maybe they called me and I didn’t hear…
So I go stand by the table and I’m waiting…
And these dudes are now standing there and one asks if I wouldn’t happen to be waiting for commander.
They have 3 and need 1 more…
Well, I’m 1 and need 3 more… sooooo… let’s do this.
…eliminate a player, get a pack—win, get remaining 3.
I won all five : )
Damn! I’m good.
…skipped right over the whole game XD
Let’s be honest—Wellford always said lesbian honest XD Ugh. I’m still sad—anyway; I’m 2255 words and several parts of days into this bitch and I’m, kind of, fucking over it.
But, yeah… exchanged numbers with one of the dudes—he runs Board State.
Invited me to a Sunday draft at W.A.B. in Ferndale, MI.
Also, went by today after X-travacon for some Commander.
Fine. I’m Done.
HAPPY NERDING ; ) AND SUPPOPRT INDIE <3
jEZ OUthttp://www.firstcomicsnews.com/jezre-youmacon-2017/http://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/20171119_234919-600x450.jpghttp://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/20171119_234919-150x113.jpgInterviewsJEZ'(RE)Newscosplay,JEZ'(RE):,Maagic: The Gathering,Mamoru Yokota,Tawny Lett,Youmacon