Katsucon is tough. Yes, I’ve been attending on and off throughout the years since the late 90’s… but it’s always at the beginning of February which is cold as hell! It’s almost always overlapping with Valentine’s day/weekend which is annoying. It also happens adjacent to MagFest which I’ve wanted to go to but couldn’t justify going to conventions two weekends in a row.
This year I went to Katsucon with Taz, Tony and Tony’s fiance Ashley. For the most part, I did things with Taz which was probably for the best since every time we met up with Tony he only had negative things to say. If we saw a cosplayer Tony took the opportunity to point out things he didn’t like about their costume and then still asked for a photo - what a dick. Anything we saw, liked, or purchased Tony took the time to say “Why don’t you just print out copies at home?” or “How much did that cost?” instead of simply keeping his mouth shut or pointing out something he liked about it. Even though Taz and I came away with differing opinions of some of the things we saw, we still had a great time.
Taz and I got to the Vertical Comics panel a little late, but still caught a bunch of good stuff. The highlight of the panel was the strangely awkward and hilarious interview with Ninja Slayer creator Philip Morzez. I wasn’t sure whether to pull the trigger on Ninja Slayer after that but Taz did. I’ll have to catch up with him on whether he likes it. The ones I saw that looked interesting were The Gods Lie, Wolfsmund, Abandoned Sacred Beasts, The Book of Human Insects, and Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom. I really hope they do a hardcover for the Ito book!
This webcomics panel was actually insanely good! As a casual webcomic reader, it was interesting to hear about how these writers and artists do their work. They covered everything from what budding webcomics writers should study in school, to what tools to use to publish webcomics online, how to promote their content, etc. The author of The Devil’s Panties shared quite a bit and was very informative and funny! The guys from The Guilded Age were pretty funny and had some great insight as well. As a kid that grew up on Katsucon wasting time doing stuff like playing games and watching anime in the video rooms I suddenly realized how much I’ve missed over the years. My goal with future conventions is to try more panels!
I ended up spending a lot of time in the merchants’ room. There were the usual things like DVDs, BluRays, figures and such, but the standouts were the merchants selling things they made themselves. From leather workers, artists, costumers, prop and weapon makers, to custom pen and timepiece makers, there were tons of things to look at. I ended up picking up a Gundam figure which I’ll be working on as I get time in the coming weeks, Fist of the North Star for the NES, and a handmade pen.
Pens & More
I met up with this interesting guy, Robert Wierbinski, out of Indiana who is an RN and hand makes pens as a hobby. He has engineered a number of mechanisms for exposing the ball point and demonstrates masterful craftsmanship. I ended up picking one up made out of a bullet casing that uses a bolt action mechanism for exposing the ball point. It also has a circuit board inlaid around the barrel. If you’re looking for something one of a kind you should look him up. #pen #katsucon2016
I normally spend time in the artists’ alley, but this year I had the budget to get commissions and the time to see more than ever before.
I hit upon Agent Wednesday by accident while I was hitting up Edwin Huang for a commission. She was taking “commissions” for naked baby sketches on a “whatever you think it’s worth” price basis. We had a sort of speed-dating dialog while she learned about me to make my sketch personalized. It actually turned out to be quite funny and quite fun! Everyone else I came with ended up getting one once they saw mine. I hope to see her again at some future convention.
With Street Fighter V just a few days away I stumble across Edwin with a huge Chun-Li banner behind him. He had some nice prints along with original sketches for sale. I ended up picking up the ladies’ lunch at the ramen shop pictured here, and I commissioned him to do a torso shot of Laura. His sketch of Laura really blew me away and I will cherish that for a long time to come. Now, to find someone to color it!
Walking around the artists’ alley is tough because there’s just so much to look at. However, when we turned the corner facing Newsha’s booth we both said “Holy shit!” Her flower series of scrolls were hanging behind the booth and were just stunning! There were a lot of good ones, but the one pictured here spoke to me so I picked it up. She also had some cool double sided bags and prints available. If her booth wasn’t so busy I would have liked to stop off and talk to her a bit. Maybe next time!
ZipperTan was doing cosplay, but also taking commissions for chibi drawings. I like that she got the flowers and stuff from my jacket. The price was a little high, but as part of the overall experience was totally worth it. I’m hoping to catch her next time and see more of her cosplay.
Lucid Sky’s booth was hard for me to get to on Friday due to the crowd around it. Luckily on Saturday Taz and I were able to get to her. She had a bunch of really good artwork including a Legend of Zelda tribute, Sailor Moon, and Capcom Fighting Tribute along with a ton of other fan art that I was not familiar with. Unrelated but this girl was very cute! Haha, hope to see you again Lucid Sky!