Archive for the Events Category


Event Report: Flamecon 2017

September 3rd, 2017

In the ancient days of anime fandom, it was a given that your very first time at a con was the best. It was all exciting and new, and being unable to differentiate between our own enthusiasm and others’, we remember it as being the most amazeballs thing. After that, we find ourselves going back, not liking the new anime, not caring about the cosplay as much, nothing in the DR is new, blah blah blah….

In direct reversal of that trend, I can’t help but notice that the cons I’ve been to this year are actually getting better. Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) has a reputation for “this year is the best year ever” and I’m pleased to say that Flamecon seems to be headed in that direction, as well. Under the guidance of Geeks Out, this third year of Flamecon was the smoothest, most pleasant and fun so far. The volunteers were all wearing fetching little capes, which I though just perfect!

As I entered, I was given a special variant cover issue of Your Pal Archie #1, drawn by Dan Parent and written by Ty Templeton, that included Flamie, the Flamecon mascot on the cover. It’s all still very Archie inside, so sadly, not Betty and Veronica realizing they would make a great couple – which is literally the only thing that would get me interested in an Archie comic. ^_^ 

The dealer’s room is well laid out, with enough room for people to comfortably get to both sides of the aisle. 

I began my day talking to Cat and Erica from Margins Publishing, who were promoting Dates 2: Anthology of Queer Historical Fiction which I and many others supported on Kickstarter.  I asked them if any of the stories were continuations from the first Dates Anthology, Cat said that a few of the illustration pieces were following on from stories in the first collection, but that what they really tried to do was give people a little more space to develop characters and stories in this volume. 

I was able to meet Yamino, an artist I was introduced to by Ted the Awesome some years ago on Twitter. I had a lovely conversation with June Kim, who is an incredibly talented artist and creator of Tokyopop’s manga 12 Days. She’s working on food comics these day that look super fun and tasty. Take a look on her site for some examples.

Northwest Press was repped by owner Zan Christensen, who always has a bunch of exciting new projects on the stove. I enjoyed working with him for Absolute Power!: Tales of Queer Villainy and hope to work with him again. He and I agreed that for a hotel full of queer folks, the drama level at Flamecon was very chill.  I ran into a pile of fanart by Janet Sung for Yu Yu Hakusho, with much love for Kuwabara, which made me happy. 

Also in the DR was Justin Hall, editor of No Straight Lines, , co-chair of Queers & Comics 2017 and a great cartoonist in his own right. He was doing a booming business. I picked up a decidedly Utena-esque sticker from Kate Leth and a comic called Gamer Girl & Vixen about two young costumed criminal working out who they are and what they want to do. I was finally able to meet Megan Rose Gedris, and we spoke about Spectacle, her upcoming project about a circus, coming next year from Oni Press.

Magdalene Visaggio, one of the creators of Kim & Kim: This High-Flying Glamorous Rock Star Life, was at the show. She and her team are working on selling the book and it’s sequel as pamphlet comics as well as GNs. 

The highlight of my foray through the DR was getting to shake the hand of Tee Franklin, the powerhouse behind the upcoming Bingo Love.  I am not joking when I tell you that this is going to be THE book of 2018. It’s  already gotten a ton of press and ran an incredibly successful kickstarter…because the world needs and wants this book. I strongly recommend you pre-order it.  Tee is a talented woman and I’m pleased to have shaken her hand.

I presented one panel at Flamecon this year, Discovering New Yuri, which included so many of the amazing books and anime and cartoons and comics we have available. The room was full and the crowd was fantastic. Those of you who know my panels know that I strongly suggest people not ask me an opinion on a specific series, and I give prizes for good questions. It always works to get thoughtful, interesting and fun questions. Included in the presentation are several video clips, including the full Kase-san animation clip, Kimi ni Hikari. Listening to the reactions of the queer and queer-friendly audiences at Yurithon and Flamecn while watching this was fun for me. It has some amusing moments, but I know that people are laughing at themselves and that moment when they felt that, as much as they are that it’s just goofy. ^_^

 

 

For Flamecon I added in Do It for Her/Him from Steven Universe and it became a full-on sing-along, which thrilled me to no end. All in all a very satisfying panel, made even more so by being approached by some folks from Yen Press who were happy to see that the recommendations included their work.  

I was able to connect with two dear friends, Kerry and Jude, who had come down for the con, and we had a lovely time at lunch chatting about our various bits of research and writing and conning.  It was a lovely way to wrap up another lovely Flamecon!

If you are in, near or willing to travel to Brooklyn, New York next year, I wholeheartedly recommend Flamecon as a uniquely queer comic con, with lots of fantastic, queer-friendly cosplay.

 

As I was wrapping this all up I had the most extraordinary thought. Every single con I have attended in 2017 to date has been overtly queer-friendly or queer-focused. Queers & Comics, TCAF, Yurithon and Flamecon. What an extraordinary year 2017 has been for LGBTQ comic creators, publishers and readers. A blessing on all our heads, may we continue to flourish.

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Discovering New Yuri 2017 Presentation

August 21st, 2017

At Yurithon 2017 I did a presentation called Must-Read/Must-Watch Yuri.  At Flamecon 2017, the same presentation was presented as Discovering The Best New Yuri Anime and Manga.

I promised to put the entire presentation up here, so folks could draw on the links, rather than taking photos of the screen. Not that I didn’t want them to do that, but this is SO much easier, I hope! For reasons, the videos were making it impossible to upload as a Powerpoint (and not everyone has that, so I’ve taken out the videos and converted the presentation to PDF. The links should work for you. Only the Utena Blu-Ray and Citrus anime have no links, as they currently have no ETA. 

 

 

 

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Yurithon in Montreal, Final Thoughts

August 7th, 2017

Home from a really lovely time in Montreal with the folks at Yurithon. I give the event two thumbs up. Because Yurithon and Yaoithon are programming tracks under the auspices of the larger general Otakuthon, you get all the intimacy and camaraderie of a smaller event, while enjoying all the perqs of a large event!

This meant I got to really speak with a lot of the Yuri fans AND got to talk to vendors I had never met before. It was a genuine pleasure to meet Marc who has written guest reviews for us in the past and Shannon C. and a bunch of folks who were kind enough to let me know Okazu was and is an important resource to them. 

I wanted to also tell you about the stupid idea I had that totally worked. ^_^

One night while not sleeping I came up with an idea for a con game. I called it “Yuri Court”. A person would come up in front of a panel of judges and “present a case” for a series being a Good Yuri  (innocent) or a Bad Yuri (guilty) series. We’d give prizes for participation and have some fun. I literally had no idea how it would go, but we had so much fun! My wife came up with the inspired idea of calling witnesses to testify for the the claim the plaintiff was making…or against. It was hysterical and we laughed ourselves silly for an hour, and gave away a pile of prizes and candy and wtf stuff I had. The participants were fantastically entertaining. I would be happy to play that again anytime. And if you were one of the participants, thank you! You were wonderful! You really made our day.

And with that, our time at Yurithon came to an end. We threw a little more money at the DR, then at Montreal proper…then it was time to go home.

I want to thank Serge, Donna and my wife, let Bruce and Kelli know that they were there in spirit and once again thank Meggie and Kim and the folks at Yurithon for such a great time. 

They always need volunteers, so next year, step up and help them out and be part of a terrific Yuri-focused event.

Next up for me, Flamecon!

 

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Yurithon in Montreal, Day 3

August 6th, 2017

Saturday at Yurithon was lovely.

We started our day with a purpose – get as much time in the Dealer’s Room as possible. It’s been a while since I’ve been at an anime and manga con (as opposed to cons focused on comics and manga) and I wanted to see what was in these days. Otakuthon has a pretty darn huge DR and we had a chance to see a lot of cool derivative and original work in a variety of media and genre. Lots of fun original t-shirt art.

I picked up a copy of Shi-lin’s next artbook, Tocatta II. She’s also got all the volumes of her comic Carciphona here. Her art is all that and a bag of chips and she’s a strong storyteller, go take a look. We also had bought the most adorable items from a webcomic called Ponto about an orange traffic cone that leaves home (a road in front of a farm) to go to Montreal. It’s killer cute and is drawn with such love for the city of Montreal. The charm and cute are quite overwhelming. ^_^

Our panels went well, questions were pretty excellent in the Yuri manga anime panel and many books were handed out. ^_^

We wrapped up with delicious dinner again with Meggie and Kim in Chinatown, then we wandered our way back to the hotel after buying delicious pastry for the morning. It’s a good thing we’re going home soon, the pastries here are too delicious for my own good.

One more day, one more panel, undoubtedly more buying, to come!

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Yurithon in Montreal, Day 2

August 5th, 2017

I’m just going to start today’s post off with a repeat of something I said yesterday – get out and see the place you’re in.

We began our day with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal. It was wonderful. The sound installation by, I think, the Ritters in the Expo ’67 exhibit was top-notch.

And so is Yurithon! Today I had one presentation, to a full room of enthusiastic people. We didn’t get to do many questions, and that’s my fault, sorry. But there’s two panels today Must-Read / Must-Watch Yuri from 1-3 and A Yuri Otaku in Japan from 7-8.Things will be given away. ^_^

Right after my panel, Shannon C. led an excellent panel on recommended Yuri anime. We enjoyed listening to her and her panelist talk about so many great series. I hope to see her today to tell her in person.

See you tomorrow!

 

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