SacAnime is finally done, and it was as insane as could be expected with me and Dawn Star Wood stuck in a booth together for three days. Here are the high points, low points, and some photos along the way!
Thursday – Setup day! Setup was scheduled for 6pm to 11pm. Ouch. Dawn and I spent the day gathering everything we would be stocking and then stuffed it into the Highlander to head for the Convention Center. We went back to the loading dock, and the nice lady directing people was ECSTATIC that we knew our booth number off the top of our heads since no one else had. (Really, people?) We parked and started unloading, and Mom stayed with the vehicle while Dawn and I wheeled in our first batch of stuff.
And that was where the first ‘low’ point occurred. We paid for a booth. We very specifically paid for a BOOTH. To help refresh your memory, here are the two definitions of a booth from the dictionary: (1) a small temporary tent or structure at a market, fair, or exhibition, used for selling goods, providing information, or staging shows. (2) an enclosure or compartment for various purposes, such as telephoning, broadcasting, or voting.
We did not see any booths. It was nothing but a sea of tables surrounded by lines taped onto the floor. Also, the tables were not labeled. We couldn’t make heads nor tails of where anyone was, or what was going on. We checked in at the main SacAnime table, and the guy told us where our ‘booth’ was by pointing to a line and saying “There’s aisle C, and you’re five in.”
Allow me to reiterate: THIS WAS NOT A BOOTH. And we were not the only ones upset or vexed. There were a lot of vendors pissed about the lack of walls. An awesome gal from Epic Cosplay Wigs was right behind us, and we ended up helping her jury-rig her one display so it stood up since it was supposed to be HUNG FROM A BOOTH WALL. It was ridiculous.
Dawn and I managed to get our tables set up and ready, and help our neighbor, by 9pm. Too bad we couldn’t hang up the prints on walls as we had INTENDED to do. (No, I will never not be pissed about this. I would demand a partial refund if I thought it would work.)
Friday, Day One: Dawn came over early and we laced each other into our steampunk costumes. We were going ‘punked for Days One and Two and then would wear something more comfy on Day Three so we could break down the booth easier. I was more ‘standard’ steampunk, and she went bohemian punk the first day and goth punk the second. Here’s the goth image. (The first one didn’t come out as well.)
Day One also started with another snafu of the technical kind. We had paid the $60 for electricity for our booth, and the cords hadn’t been run on setup day. Still weren’t there when we got in during the morning setup time on Friday. We asked, and the guy in charge had to call the electrical guy and tell him there was another booth that needed power run, and yes, they paid for it. We got our cord run within the hour, but . . . wow. Haphazard preparation much?
The actual con on Day One was relatively low-key and not super busy. Dawn spent the time making mini paintings on site, and I sold mini-food jewelry. We also had people completely freak out with delight at our costumes and ask to take pictures with us or of us. Strangest. Feeling. Ever! We people watched and networked with a few people. Not bad for a first day.
Saturday, Day Two: We live in the land of the Fez. We saw a TON of Doctors, and all of them were Elevens! I saw a single solitary Ten, and a lone Fourth. That was it. The rest was a sea of fezs, and a smattering of Tardis dresses. It was much busier that day, and we sold more jewelry, bookmarks, and mini paintings. More people wanted photos of/with us. Still strange. One of my highlights was seeing what is possibly my favorite Deadpool cosplay EVER.
My other highlight was seeing someone cosplaying as my favorite Final Fantasy male ever: Squall Leonhart! Also, I kinda made his day when I squealed over him, and he glomp hugged me. Squall is kinda under-appreciated/underrepresented in the fandom. *ponders a genderbent Squall cosplay for the future* Hmmm. Oh, and he took a photo with me!
Day Two was not all smiles and sunshine, sadly. My beloved iPad 2 that had been with me for four years without so much as a ding decided to commit suicide and fell onto the concrete floor where the screen shattered terribly. I had to weigh the merits of paying for a screen replacement on a model that might not be supported for much longer or just gritting my teeth and shelling out for a newer model. (I ended up shelling out for a newer model. There went $500 I could have used on something else. Criminy.)
Sunday, Day Three: Dawn and I decided to wear jeans for comfort, and our adorable chibi Cthulhu shirts that a friend had made. Dawn took it a step further with a sign on her hat, and we officially became the Cthulhu Cult Hug Division. Cthulhu isn’t trying to strangle people with those tentacles; he wants hugs. He just doesn’t know how to do it.
We gave out a lot of hugs on behalf of the Overlord, and we made many people quite happy. Dawn spent the day doing mini painting commissions (six within seven hours, and all of puppies, poor thing) and we continued to people watch and sell minor things that did eventually add up. I only sold a single book, but I think we also had trouble getting people into the booth since we were lost between two very large companies, and there were no walls separating us. Day Three did turn out to be slightly more exciting in some ways, though. That includes the really strange cosplayers, the preponderance of alpacas, and a little girl that I rescued when she lost her parents. She was maybe three, and had to stop to put her flipflop back on. Parents kept going without realizing, so I pulled her out of the traffic and stayed with her until grandpa came rushing back. Crikey. Oh, and speaking of alpacas . . .
Yep, I gave in, too. I needed a buddy for the big purple one at home!
At the end of the day, we packed up and took everything home. Dawn and I made enough to recover our costs of the table, but that was barely it. We would like to go back next summer, but we’re both leery of whether or not it would be worth the cost. We’ve made plans for a new display system, though, just in case we do go. In the meantime, I am now turning my energy toward my two booksignings this month! I will be at World’s Best Comics on September 13, and then I will be at the Creative Women Mini-Con on September 20. An artist’s job is never done.