Copy pasta from last year’s disclaimer: These pictures (the ones you see here) were taken in HQ (Canon EOS 500D) with a file size of roughly 5mb~ per picture. So uploading each and every one of them is not a smart move since it takes up way too much storage space and the loading will probably take forever. In order for me to upload them in SQ here, I have to first upload them to Facebook before re-saving each and every one of them, rename and re-upload them to WordPress.
As you might already have figured, this becomes an increasingly tedious process proportionate to the amount of pictures taken. So instead of doing that for all 80 pictures taken, I have decided to just make the photo albums on Facebook public (it loads faster too). You will need a Facebook account to view them.
Because of Attack on Piano last night and how late I stayed up to get the post and videos out, I planned to reach the convention at around 2pm so I could catch a glimpse of redjuice’s signing session (the event started at 10am but there wasn’t anything interesting for me earlier). To my dismay, when I reached the convention center, there was still a freaking queue for entry tickets! Fortunately, half of the queue was for the exclusive toys sold at the event so the waiting time wasn’t actually that long.
For me, the two main stage activities I was looking forward to was redjuice’s live drawing session from 3.45-5.15pm and TAM’s violin performance from 6.15-7.45pm, so I had around 1 hour of free time in between and whatever time I had before the drawing to look around and take pictures of whatever is worth taking.
Evidently, this year’s theme was clearly Iron Man/Marvel related as a good portion of the displays out there were all about the man in the suit of iron, thanks to the movie that came out earlier this year. Keep in mind this is primarily a toy convention with the “East meets West” flavour in it, with the western half having a greater influence, so while there are some anime products present, they were also in the minority.
To be frank, the huge downside to attending conventions was the crowd numbers. Taking good, clean photos was always a challenge because people would always get in the way. Some of the photos turned out to be less than satisfactory but oh well, it can’t be helped.
Before long it was about time for the live drawing session to start! I went to the stage area about 10-15 minutes earlier in order to reserve a good spot (for taking pictures). While I would have liked to record the entire thing (I had a feeling it would look awesome if it was sped up at a x10 speed), there wasn’t much space left on my memory card and I had to save that space for TAM’s violin later. Have zero knowledge on drawing and art, watching the whole process was still an eye-opening experience. redjuice said himself after the drawing that he usually spends 13-16 (IIRC) hours on his drawings, so the one that he did live was really impressive considering that it was just done in 90 minutes.
Had one hour to spare before TAM’s performance starts, so it was time for me to walk around and take more pictures. Come to think of it, I didn’t take any cosplay photos this year for 2 main reasons. The first being that I didn’t have the time (pretty much slipped my mind anyway), the second being that apparently a form was needed to enter the cosplay hall this year (not sure what the deal about that is). Not a big deal anyway since (believe it or not) I’m not a fan of taking cosplay pictures.
Anyway, TAM’s mastery of the violin is insane. My preferred musical instrument of choice is and always will be the piano but damn TAM showed me what the violin can be capable of when it comes to covering songs and soundtracks. After the performance, I saw him at his booth giving out autographs and he looked like he was about to collapse any moment. The convention hall was air-conditioned and let me tell you his entire shirt was soaked, he looked visibly worn out and yet he still had to give out signatures (to a relatively small number of people luckily).
As the venue was closing for the night, this was actually the best time to take photos unobstructed; unrestrained; aka take your own sweet time as people left one by one.
Sorry redjuice bro, I love you, but not enough for me to part with $20 for your art book. However! The art on the post cards were amazing and I simply couldn’t resist since it was $2 a piece anyway (still a ripoff?). Actually I was torn between choosing one out of the nine designs available so I followed the old but gold mantra of buy first, regret later and got the three that I liked the most.
The best part was probably chancing upon redjuice signing stuff at the booth after his drawing session (probably wanted to check how much he earned), then something amazing happened. Since the ink took quite awhile to dry, I accidentally smudged the ink and ruined one of the postcard, then good guy redjuice came to the rescue, he got a replacement from the staff and signed on it for no extra cost. Faith in humanity restored. Sadly the ink really took a long time to dry and some of it came off when I tried to put the plastic sleeve back on for the replacement, at least it wasn’t smudged. In the end I managed to figure a way to place the postcards in my bag without the inked portion touching anything and thankfully when I got home they were undamaged and dry.