Events" Yuricon 2003 Con Chair Report

June 23rd, 2003

Short version: It rocked. :-)

My deepest and undying thanks to my staff, who were stellar. It’s not unheard of for a con chair to rant that their staff was awful, but my staff was so wonderful I cannot even express it in words. I am in your debt for all your hard work, good humor and patience.

I also want to thank our Guests of Honor: Rica, Kat and Eriko, who entertained and charmed all weekend long. And too all our Guests – Dr. Sarah Frederick, Yume no Senshi and Gaijin-a-gogo, all of whom made the con just that much more wonderful to be at.

My only complaint is that I could not have spent more time with you all.

Long version:

I, of course, didn’t do anything I wanted to do – except the dance – but the things I’ve been hearing from the attendees let me know that it went *really* well. Except for the Cosplay, but that’s another story.

If anyone ever wants to know what a Con Chair actually does, the answer is that they make decisions, deliver luggage, introduce people to other people, escort people places, make more decisions, find things, print things, interface with the hotel, keep track of equipment and supplies, and make decisions.

It takes a person who really hates a Con to want to be a Chair, because the one person who will never get to see or do anything is the Chairman.

Thursday night I took the Guests to dinner for Portuguese food (a local specialty) and when we came out it was monsooning. No kidding – walls of rain were pounding the streets. I’ve never seen anything like it here in NJ. So, of course I was late to the Staff meeting.

My staff was so seamless I never noticed they had it finished setup about fifteen seconds after the Staff meeting was done.

We opened Friday and by mid-afternoon, we had all the pre-regged people in. Attendance was about 200, so we were microscopic by most cons’ standard, but the crowd was wonderful.

The Hotel staff were delightful. By the end of the weekend they were mostly sporting various anime characters on various body parts and several had managed to snag a Yuricon t-shirt.

And the Dealers were gods. They were practically *throwing* things at my Guests and Staff. “Here, this is for you!” they’d say as I walked by in a dazed trance of *what was I here for, again – Oh right, that thing that came after those three things and before those five things.*

Saturday went pretty well, but I must have looked like hell, because every single person who saw me asked if I was all right. Random attendees I’ve never met before were checking to see if I’d eaten yet. LOL

The Cosplay was fouled up slightly, (something I now attribute to the dreaded Cosplay Curse, which simply states that dressing up is fine, but Cosplay Events are evil) but the Dating Game was a HUGE hit, which made me so happy. Winners were walking around quoting questions all weekend: “If *you* were a magical girl, what would your power be and describe your magic wand.”

Our Japanese Guests of Honor were so spectacular that I want to adopt them. How many con chairs get back rubs from their GoHs, I wonder? LOL (And darn *good* back rubs, too, I’d like to add.) Tadeno-san blackmailed me by saying that if I ran a Yuricon 2004, she’d do one in Japan. It’s not very nice, because I NEVER want to do this again as long as I live!!! I think you’ve got to be a special kind of masochist to want to do this stuff over and over. And Yuricon 2003 was never meant to be replicated. It was one in a list of “projects to do” for Yuricon.

The Academic Lecture Series was amazing. Our presenters were so stellar that if it hadn’t been for the walkie-talkie constantly paging me, I’d have been riveted to every word. There was an amazing unity about the presentations, too, where one topic almost naturally lead into the next. Let me wax a little rhapsodic about this, because it was *really* good:

Dillon Font’s presentation about the role of the “Good Wife, Good Mother” in shoujo anime was fabulous, and lead so naturally into Keridwen Luis’ talk about “Agency in Shoujo Anime” that it was creepy. Yuuki Hirano talked about ladies comics and “fantasy” in yuri, which was technical, but really interesting. The fact that she used “Mist” comic, of which I have a few issues, just made it that much more wonderful. (Mist is a comic magazine that ran from 95-99 or so that ran exclusively women-drawn yuri stories, my favorite being that of the straight woman who stars in lesbian porn movies, but falls in love with her makeup artist. Too funny to be good, too sexy to be bad.) And Dr. Sarah Frederick’s discussion of Yoshiya Nobuko makes me really want to write that paper about Nobuko’s writing and the Utena movie manga that I’ve been putting off.

The band kicked ass and I have the blisters to show for it and some very compromising photos of Rica getting down on the dance floor with some of the staff and attendees. LOL

I missed all the panels, discussions, clinics and workshops, but I’ve been repeatedly told that they went very well. I *did* get to hear a dramatic reading of selected passages of “Immoral Angel” (a really crappy hentai comic CPM put out, which is so repulsive and horrible that the translators obviously hated it and made it sound worse with simply awful dialogue.)

Video programming was amazing. There were exactly zero problems. And I finally managed to see the AMVs – they were surprisingly good, if a little heavy on the Utena.

G-Taste was, hands down, the favorite video showing, which just goes to show you that yuri fans really are pathetic drooling fanboys, but I didn’t say that. ;-) I’m still partial to Hana no Asuka-gumi myself.

Mostly what I remember are the absolutely breath-taking non-sequiturs I kept hearing all weekend:

“Shit, there are alot of trees in that room!”

“Well, I’m usually better with humans, but sure, I’ll help you with your deer.”

“Hey, did you hear about the eyelashes?”

“Whose breasts are these, ’cause they sure ain’t mine!’

Oh, and since Sean Gaffney couldn’t come, we called him during Opening Ceremonies and said hi. :-)

So, yeah, it was great. I’ll never do it again, ever. But it was really alot of fun. And my arms are really buff from lifting boxes.

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