Convention Report: Anime Iowa (part 3)
The big day opened with a quick run downstairs to the marketplace before it opened (because SOMEONE forgot to grab books for his panel the night before). And it’s a good thing I did, because the staff bought doughnuts and fruit for the dealers. I had a quick bite, chewing as I packed and ran to my panel room for a 9am panel about Making Webcomics.
Thankfully, the room was unlocked and I got in a little early, so I opened the door and people started to pile in. Like, a lot of people. A surprisingly large number of people for a 9am Saturday morning panel. I got the room warmed up, telling stories and getting them ready for our topics as Brooke came in, her books in tow.
We got started a little early, going through our usual introductions and spending the bulk of the time on Q&A (which I find to be much more helpful than us just talking for an hour). The questions were engaging, people were really into it, and we had a fun time.
After the panel ended, we ran to the floor to open our tables before the sales started. Our new friend Fredd Gorham was there, and we traded friendly jabs and blows as he kept me safe from the playful menace of my friends Briana and her wife, Jessica. This went on throughout the day as we engaged customers in sales, and a number of commissions.
Hanging out with a fan who buys commissions from me every year. She’s awesome!
Her commission sketch card
And another commission sketch card
After the floor closed, we headed over to the OTHER pub with Doug Walker and the Channel Awesome crew, along with Karl Custer (Uncle Yo), Carrie, Brooke, Chris Malone and his fiance, and were eventually joined by Shinichi Watanabe and his translator. The group kept getting bigger and bigger, despite the fact that it rained briefly. Most of the group parted after dinner, but since Brooke had a 10pm panel, we stayed a bit longer and hung out with Karl and Carrie, watching some cosplayer dancing in her hotel room window.
Eventually, though, it was time to head to Brooke’s panel about Writing Strong Female Characters. But when we got to the room, we discovered there was a scheduling conflict – her panel was at 11:30pm, not 10pm! She was exhausted, having stayed up late the night before and both of us having lead the 9am panel. We killed some time by watching Netflix (discovering we both did not find the first episode of Bojack Horseman funny at all), and then went to her panel.
She asked me to help her out at the panel, being so tired she wasn’t 100% confident in being able to keep the audience engaged. Thankfully, she did pretty well, all things considered. There were a few points where the audience got off topic, or started bogarting the panel with niche topics that didn’t add to the conversation, but I only felt the need to step in a few times. Mostly, I let her do her thing.
After the panel ended, Chris and his fiance came into the room and the group of us slowly made our way back to our respected rooms, talking about the day and how well the weekend was going. I ended the conversation once we got to our floor, though, because I was about to fall over. Jet lag from my China trip was still causing me to get tired at strange times (and not a little tired, but like “I need to sleep NOW” tired).
What kind of stuff do you do at cons on Saturday? Do you see the masquerade? Do you go to the rave? Tell me in the comments.