Katsucon 17 came and went, and as fast as we arrived in Maryland the faster we arrived back home it seemed. It was a fantastic time, lot of good artwork, awesome artists, some good cosplayers, and fun times. Let’s get this party started:
Since I am coming from above NYC, my course down I-95 has me leaving early Friday morning around 330am in order to make it through NYC at a reasonable time. A smooth ride down got us there around 11am where we joined the other Art Show staff and got situated. This year they put up the staff at the Mariott across the street and we found that our Manga Library roommates did not come leaving us with a one-bed “extended stay” suite that included a fridge, stove, and dishwasher along with couches and desks. It was quite nice and a treat to have a nice room for just us all weekend. We helped set up the show in time for artist’s to arrive to start checking artwork in, and a lot of nice pieces went up throughout the day. Staff food this year was the same as last year, down in the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center’s “Galaxy Cafe” which was alright, though I feel with the increased number of staff members, we hit the limits of how much food they could make for us and their own staff. We took a trip around the Marketplace, which includes Dealers and Artist Alley and saw some excellent pieces and things for sale, along with meeting some past and present artists. The show runs up until midnight so by the time the show closed for the day we had been up for close to 20 hours, so sleep was in order and that bed was fantastic and comfortable.
Saturday we woke up and tried the Mariott breakfast, which was decent, but a lot of attendees and staff were also there so slim pickings. We continued to the show for more art check-in and handling bidders and onlookers. We went to one panel this year, which was SuperArtFight, a concept that evolved from Katsu’s old “Iron Artist” competition modeled after Iron Chef but with artists facing off against each other with art.I had seen these guys at Connecticon last summer and the matches, artists, and topics were excellent, this one lacked a little steam, either because they had some first-time fighters or the topics and “Wheel of Death” additional topics were kinda bland. The last match was probably the best one, as no one, including Katsucon admin staff members, expected Frank Cho, a very awesome, talented, and professional artist, to really pull out the stops against Jami Noguchi, and by stops I mean tits that at one point, admin staff had to cue to have him “cover it up”. We made another pass on Marketplace after that, where I bought the Figma version of Fate from Nanoha The Movie the 1st. Bidding closed around 6 and we moved pieces upstairs for auction. Twelve pieces went this year, more than last, for no less than $40 for most and the highest for $160. After everything was over for the day we got to bed around 12am once more. Sunday we headed back over for the final day, mostly bidder and artist pickup and tear-down. We wrapped up everything by 4pm and hung out in the room for a few hours until dinner and the reception party with Suds. I torrented some of last week’s anime to watch while Ashlynn watched Criminal Minds and Suds took a nap on the chair. We had Baja Fresh for dinner, which was alright, but they got raped pretty hard by the con over the weekend and ran out of a lot of things. The reception party, in lieu of a staff dinner in previous years, was pretty good as all of us Art Show staffers sat and talked and listened to the con chair and others present awards and recognition to many staffers, as well as heard from next year’s con chairs. Afterwards we parted ways and went back to the room to sleep. We returned home this morning, beating the snowstorm that apparently came through NYC and CT as we were driving through MD and NJ. Overall the con was pretty good, I had an excellent time and got to see some new and familiar faces this year, as well as help finish off another mostly successful year of Art Show. We got a fair number of pieces in this year, more than I expected and a decent variety of pieces. I was stoked to see three different artists submit pieces from Panty and Stocking, one of which I bid and won, as well as pieces from familiar artists. Ashlynn bought several prints from one artist while I won the bid on one of his small framed pieces. She also got contact info for the guy who put a finished resin model of Lelouch from Code Geass who she didn’t win, but was able to talk to him about commissioning another, possibly with C.C on the same base. Pretty cool.
As for my pre-con comments, honestly, I will more than likely return next year, only because I was satisfied with the chair’s response to the fan art issue, even if it was a little late.I’m pretty partial to art and artists, and I feel that if at any time the industry tries to strongarm artists, cosplayers, or attendees with their copyright bullshit when they are just trying to display their fandom, I will quit and fight them back, because I don’t think it is fair for the industry to take what the fans have given them and turn around and take it back from them in that sort of manner. I love original artwork, and I think our show has exhibited some of the best anime and fantasy inspired artwork ever, I don’t want to see anyone with vested corporate interests take that away from the fans.
Many thanks to Paul and the KCC, everyone else higher on the food chain than me in Katsucon, my heads Eric and Malie, Sudir, Scott, and our volunteers, as well as the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center staff for putting up with a few thousand idiots in costumes, and the Marriott staff for instituting a “no party policy” which I think was a excellent move, even though I at the same time fault them for having only one elevator working, card-only access to everything, and non-functioning environmental controls the room.
Next year my goal is to have artwork, models, or maybe modified Nerf guns in the show, we’ll see how that goes. Hope to see more of you next year as well, you lazy sods.
Finally some last photos of items won in the show: