Tuesday, May 30, 2006
There was room for about four more rows of chairs in the back, but the hotel itself ran out of chairs. Maybe we'll rent some next year.
Anyway, this was the first Hell that was mainly DVD, and it worked pretty well. One home burned DVD did not work at all (old, iffy brand) and another one did not work because I clumsily forgot to finalize it when I burned it (d'oh). I brought the Curtis portable and the Koss player and my SVHS for the few items that were on tape - I had a clip tape made up of trailers and ads I could play while waiting for DVDs to load and get past the stupid FBI warnings and menus.
The tiny portable B&W TV that Gordon bought me at the thrift store years ago finally gave up the ghost, so I had to haul my old Amtec monitor (vintage 1984)from home and I got another monitor from the con for cuing. I just split the video signal with some Radio Shack y-splitters. Everything went into the little switcher, which went to the projector and the amp. The con is no longer relying on those tinny house sound speakers in the ceiling - a real mixing board, real mikes, and real speakers made sure everything sounded great (last year I had a mixing board with issues and we used the house sound. Nix on that). I'm also glad I brought a power strip from home. Everything fit into my cool new suitcase with the world-spanning stickers all over it. I love that suitcase.
The crowd stuck around while I set up and continued to grow as I plugged stuff together. Once I got stuff plugged up I ran ULTRA FIGHT to check the levels and that seemed pretty popular. I led off with the Japanarama "ninja" segment, then ran a Panda Z bit, those GI Joe PSAs, a compilation of kiddy kidnap safety films called THE STRANGELY DANGEROUS, into Forklift Driver Klaus, the "Dancing Heino" segment, and from there the order of clips gets fuzzy because of the disc failures. I know I ran a new Live Versus Anime segment with the new Tetsujin and the trailer for the live Lupin movie, I ran Godzilla VS Mitokomon which was well recieved, a 30-second segment of animation of kitties and turtles singing Iron Maiden from a VH1 promo, the animated Pong movie, the Fish Fight music video, the rappin' Titanic dog as a promo for the next event (Worst Toon Ever), a title-carded episode of RAMPOO called RAMPOO: A DRAMA IN SIX ACTS. Segata Sanshiro, Rejected, and the Heino Wigwam /Porky closing wrapped up the Hell. Two seconds later we went into "Worst Toon Ever" and I lead off with the Chuck Norris Karate Commandos, so we kept a lot of the audience.
I had requests for the 3D Gundam home movie, and somebody suggested his pal's kooky Power Rangers spoof movie. There were a few segments that dragged a bit, but the audience's attention was kept at a fever pitch by frequent trivia question-awarded prize giveaways- mostly screener DVDs and manga. Surprisingly the audience could not tell me who created Tetsujin 28, but they knew the name of Godzilla's robot helper in GODZILLA VERSUS MEGALON, AND how he managed to grow to giant size.
I left off a lot of Hell classics and did not show any Corn Pone shorts, which was not deliberate on my part, but was the result of me forgetting to bring the disc. The 2-hour slot is just about perfect - just enough time to get the job done without having to resort to filler. The disc failures meant I had to drop two news segments and a new cut of Cartoon All-Stars, but that just means I have 'em for next year.
Klaus and Rejected continue to be tremendously popular. I predict a great future for that Klaus, even if he no longer has a head.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
As Tohoscope says, Crazy Monkey Hell will be presented at Animazement this coming Friday, starting at 11pm in main events. Literal public crusaders! Communist furries! Math lessons! And a startling glimpse into the horror that was the 1970s. If you aren't in Canada, come on down to North Carolina and join in the festivities. Convention details await you here.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
It was an OtakuHELL of firsts. Shiokazecon was the first OtakuHELL of the year and it was the first time we tried to have a HELLraffle. At certain points during the show (For example when the AnimeHELL Gremlins delayed the show) Nurse Katie would pull a name from the HELL-o-lantern and we'd give the winner a TOTALLY LAME ANIME DVD.
Congratulations to the big winners of the Shiokazecon OtakuHELL raffle:
Jason Van Dyke
These fine folks walked away with factory sealed DVDs of SPACE TRANSFORMERS and THUNDER PRINCE!
Besides being a fun filled give away the HELLraffle allowed me to do a little data mining. At the bottom of the raffle ticket I asked: "Is this your first HELL?" The results were surprising. At least to me:
NO - 22
YES - 58
Neither - 3
I'm not sure what to make of that.
It's been decided that the HELLraffle was a big success and you can look forward to another big HELL drawing at A-Kon in June.
OtakuHELL was held in Panel Room One, which turned out to be a sub-section of Main Events. This was in fact the largest room I'd ever done a HELL in. And it was outfitted with a fantastic sound system and an excellent video projector. The Shiokazecon AV staff had done an incredible job setting the room up. It made for a great show.
After years of fine tuning I've assembled a crack team to assist me with the show. I started with International Author of DRAW MANGA Bruce Lewis on the mic. Then I added Voice Actor Michael Tatum (You may have heard him as Rikichi in SAMURAI 7) on another mic. Together they fight crime, and they chat up the audience and throw candy and basically entertain while I'm cueing up the clips. This con we were joined by Nurse Katie who assisted those souls who were overwhelmed by the horrors of OtakuHELL. And Nurse Katie helped with the raffle, too. And last but not least the whole shebang was recorded by Joshua Roberts who took all these cool photos. Thanks Josh. Go team!
As usual the show was a freeform affair. I didn't keep a running list of what was played, so you'll just have to take my word that it went pretty well. I'd like to thank the dozen folks who stuck with us to the bloody end. We love you guys.
I hope to see you at the A-Kon show!
Check out the entire gallery of OtakuHELL HERE
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
If you haven't already done so, go to Love This Empire and check out the live action shorts "Mancop," "Free Lunch" (aka "An Infinite Carnival"), and "The Last Denominator," all conceived, written, and performed by folks I know! Free Lunch is what's running at the very start of the panel (though I didn't start the recording until about 30 seconds in or so), and The Last Denominator is well...mostly silent, so it probably might come off weird on the audio. All the more reason to watch it yourselves!
Monday, May 01, 2006
In a little while, I'll be posting up a recording of the entire panel. From what I've listened to so far, it's not just be two hours of indistinct chatter followed up by the sound of laughter. You can actually hear things! Well, most of the time anyway. Once that's done, I can finally get to releasing the latest episode of Anime World Order!