Monday, 30 May 2011

Anime North + MLP = Win!

Just back from AN and an amazing weekend.  I can't say enough to thank the organizers for putting on such an amazing con, and for inviting me to take part!  I'm already looking forward to going back next year!  I also want to thank our catsitters/housesitters for taking care of our place for the weekend and freeing both Roomy and I up to go to the con.

Roomy and I took off Friday morning from home in order to be in Toronto in plenty of time.  And that plan worked out well until about halfway through the trip when the car suddenly started to make ominous noises.  Luckily we were in the town beside my hometown at the time, so navigating to the garage wasn't too bad.  And three hours later we were back on the road.  Canadian Tire FTW!

After our five hour drive was unexpectedly extended to ten, we arrived just in time for my first panel on MLP Collecting Friday night.  There was a great turnout and some really great questions and feedback.  We covered topics such as differences between the four generations, tips and tricks for cleaning and restoring, convention exclusives, etc.  It was also great to meet a few collectors from the online community in person!

The next morning we were up bright and early to hit the dealer's room.  It's overwhelming to see that much merchandise in one place at one time.  There was a crazy amount of stuff, and I'm sure that we missed at least half of it.  I did get to pick up a few volumes of manga though, as well as enjoying some amazing artwork from many talented amature artists.

Dealer's Room

More Dealer's Room

Still more Dealer's Room
My second panel was on MLP customizing, where I went through the basics of customizing, talked about some of the techniques and materials that customizers generally use, and offered advice on issues people were having with customizing.  I had several of my own customs on hand as examples and got a lot of positive comments on those.  Thanks, everyone!

 Sunday was the last day of the con and had the panel dealing with all things Friendship Is Magic (FIM) moderated by DJMidli.  Before this I had known that FIM had gained a huge popularity outside the collecting community, but I hadn't really realized how far it had gone.  People were actually lined up to get into the FIM panel, and had to be turned away because the room had reached capacity!

Crowds at the FIM panel
Full house at FIM
 The FIM panel was a great mix of people who've been familiar with MLP for 30 years or more and people who are new to the brand with FIM.  Everyone brought some interesting points to the table and it was great to share information and learn from each other.

Of course, there was also a lot of cosplay going on at the con, and MLP wasn't left out.  Seeing the costumes was great, everyone was really creative!
Doctor Who and Doctor Whooves
Applejack, Big Mac, Spike, Applejack, Rainbow Dash x3, Doctor Whooves
It was a bit odd for me to be the MLP "Expert" at the con when there are so many other collectors and customizers in the community who have been around as long or longer and have as much or more experience.  I hope I was able to represent the community well.

AN was a blast.  I hope to see you all there next year!


Sunday, 29 May 2011

To tide you over

It's Sunday, May 29th and if all goes according to plan I'm at Anime North right now.  I'll be posting how the con went shortly but in the meantime while I'm running about in the dealer room buying cute round Anime plushies that I don't really have space for but can't resist, here's a new custom for your perusal.  You met this happy little critter as a work in progress a few weeks ago, now say hello to the finished product.

My Little Cthulhu:

Her big round golden eyes seem to say that she just wants to give you a hug.  Don't mind the claws.

Claws, wings, tentacle hair and nose tentacles are all sculpted in Apoxie Clay.  Paint is Reaper Master Series, custom mixed for the colour.  She has painted highlights and lowlights, mostly on her tentacle hair and also gold spackling all over.  She is not for sale (OMG, Elf actually made a custom for herself!?!) but she came with me to Anime North and will be making an appearance at the MLP Fair in July as well.  Hope you like her.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Of customs and con prep

It's a long weekend here in Canada, and along with some gardening, hockey watching, and relaxing I've been busy with some preparations for Anime North and the MLP Fair.

First off, I've got five new customs finished, which I'll be sharing over the next few weeks.  I'm also still working on two others, one of which will be a contest entry for the customs contest at this year's MLP Fair.  Here's a peak at one of the finished customs: Ponyville Gusty.

Chibi Gusty is for sale for $15 USD and if not sold before then will be coming to the Fair in July.

I've also been busy getting some visuals ready for Anime North.  I'm not planning on taking many ponies with me, but I will have a powerpoint to showcase some of my collection during the collecting MLP workshop at Anime North.  If I had finished my clean/photograph/catelogue the collection project on time last year I'd have already had all the shots I needed, but as I haven't it's been Pony bathtime and photoshoot at the house this weekend.

G4 Cheerilee and Lily Blossom fresh out of the box

SDCC MLP Exclusives

Junko Mizuno designed MLP Exclusive

My workshop on collecting is Friday at 9pm and my workshop on customizing is Saturday at 9pm.  You can see the whole schedule for Anime North here.  There's a lot of great stuff going on, I can see that I'm going to have a hard time deciding which attractions to check out.  Can't wait for next Friday!


Sunday, 15 May 2011

MLP at Anime North

Anime North is a huge convention that takes place at the end of May every year in Toronto, Canada.  Along with anime and manga, there are diverse interests represented at the con including sci-fi and fantasy authors, professional costumers, artists, and gamers.  And this year, Ponies will be there too.

There's going to be an MLP panel, a screening of some Friendship is Magic episodes, and two Pony-related workshops.  Did I mention that I'll be giving the workshops?  Eep!

One of the workshops will be on customizing, where I'll be displaying some techniques, some customs in various stages of creation, and talking generally about materials and techniques.  The other workshop will be on collecting.  I'm still working out what I'll be talking about in that one, but I'm thinking I'll cover some of the basics of MLP such as the four generations, Nirvanah ponies, fakies, and so forth.

There's only two weeks to go before AN, so I've got quite a bit of prep work to do.  But I'm looking forward to the con and to seeing how the workshops are received.  I'll post some more information next week when I have all the details of time and place and so forth.  In the meantime, check out AN's website at  I hope to see you at the con!


Saturday, 7 May 2011

MLP Fair Prep, Part 4

Ooooo-kay.  It's really time to get to work here.  July is just around the corner.

Custom contests: I'm a little sad there isn't a theme specific category this year, but there are still the Hasbro inspired and general categories.  I'll defintely be entering the general category.  So far I have no plans for the Hasbro category, but there's still time.
Anniversary Trio - 2nd place in 2008 MLP Fair Anniversary Custom Contest

Art contest: it's been several years since I entered this one, but I'm working on a piece for this year's.  Hopefully it'll turn out as nicely as Moondancer did.
Moondancer - 2nd place in 2007 Hasbro-Inspired Art Contest
Parade of Booths: Roomy and I have only just started planning the set up for our Booth this year.  What I can say is that we'll be mixing MLP items with handmade structures, hopefully creating a scene that will give people a few chuckles if nothing else.  We certainly had fun building last year's booth display.
Our handmade "Winner's Circle" display - 2nd place in 2010 Parade of Booths
There's also a lot of general prep that needs to happen before we head off to RI.  I have my binder of previous customs work to update, a new banner for the front of the table to print, and an autograph book to hunt up (how I manage to lose that thing every year between Fairs is a mystery to me.)  It doesn't matter how early I start, it always comes down to the last second crunch in July.