Convention Report: Anime Iowa (part 2)
I got up bright and early and did my Friday morning convention routine of hitting up the gym. To my surprise, there was another person in the gym – but he wasn’t with the con at all.
A quick shower and breakfast later, and I was out on the floor setting up my table. I usually have 8+ feet worth of product, but I didn’t bring all of my displays to this show. And it’s a good thing I didn’t, because the table was only 6 feet. I think I made it work.
The table is set up, ready for a weekend of selling!
The floor opened around 2pm, and at that time it was game-on for selling. My friend Brooke Stephenson (Fallen) eventually showed up, having been delayed by the storms the night before, and was setting up / selling / prepping for opening ceremonies all at the same time. A stressful situation that I’ve been in before, and one I know to be difficult.
We eventually got our handler to cover our tables for us while we went to opening ceremonies. They keep a section free in the front for the guests, including people like Kyle Hubert and Spike Spencer, but the chairs were pretty full. I was talking to Spike and his wife when I was suddenly tackled from behind – it was my pal and yours, Doug Walker!
Doug invited me over to the Channel Awesome seating area, since there were so many of them in attendance, and we hung out during the ceremonies. Eventually, it was time for us to run up on stage and introduce ourselves. However, because the ceremonies had run so long, and because every minute away from the table is lost sales, the comic guests had to get back to our tables while the voice actors did their introductions.
Opening ceremonies with the Channel Awesome crew. From left to right: Barney Walker, Doug Walker, Tamara Chambers, Malcolm Ray, Jim Jarosz
Back on the floor, it was back to selling. And commissions. A LOT of commissions. I love doing art, and I was a little rusty since I had been traveling so much lately, but it was fun to put pencil to Bristol board again and get to work.
Sketch card commission of Aerith from Final Fantasy VII
Chilling with a fan at the show
Hanging out with Mel, our handler and fellow Novembro
Novemrbos unite (sans Chris Malone, who was at a panel). From left to right: Brooke Stephenson, me, and Mel
After the floor closed, it was time for some much-needed dinner. Doug had texted me earlier in the day, and we headed over to the local brew pub and were set up in a back area (like, where they store everything) which created a unique ambiance to the eating and drinking experience. There, we met up with good friend Karl Custer (Uncle Yo) and his friend, Carrie Wink, who runs a booth at the show. We had a great time hanging out and relaxing after a long day at the show.
Dinner with Doug Walker at the brew pub
Dinner with the Channel Awesome crew at the brew pub. From left to right: Malcolm Ray, Karl Custer (Uncle Yo), Tamara Chambers (and me in the middle)
Dinner with the Channel Awesome crew at the brew pub. From left to right: Barney Walker, myself, and Jim Jarosz
After dinner, we returned to the hotel and made our way to the VIP Sponsor hang out event, which culminated in a Cards Against Humanity game. I was socializing with guests and fans, but some of the guests played and had a grand ol’ time. After a while, though, I got tired (and I had a 9am panel the next morning), so I excused myself and wen to bed.
All in all, a decent day to start the con…but Saturday would blow expectations out of the water!
What are your favorite things to do at a con? Panels, cosplay, shopping in the marketplace? Let me know in the comments.