June 23, 2002
News for Bakuretsu Con 2002:
Bakuretsu Con 2002 convention reportby Patrick Delahanty
Day 1: Friday, June 21, 2002
I couldn't take a day off from work on the first day of the con...so I wasn't able to attend on Friday. Since stuff seemed to end around 5pm, I didn't bother heading up after work.
Day 2: Saturday, June 22, 2002
Looking at the schedule, I found that the masquerade was scheduled for 1:00pm. That's unusually early for a convention. I was familiar with Burlington, VT because my brother and his wife went to college up there and I drove up to visit occasionally. Figuring on about 3 hours drive time, I planned to leave at 9am. That would give me plenty of time to get there, get into costume, and participate in the masquerade. I ended up leaving at about quarter-past 9.
After passing through Manchester, NH, it began to rain. Not a hard rain, but enough to be annoying. When I got to Vermont, I discovered that they were doing construction on parts of Route 89, so that slowed me down even more.
Sheraton, Burlington, VT
I was a bit confused about where to go. I could find no evidence of any sort of costume contest anywhere. After asking and wandering around a bit, I found it hiding behind some curtains in the back of the big hall that was being used as the gaming, video game, and dealers' room.
There wasn't anyone there yet, but there was a small stage with a microphone...so I figured I was in the right place. It wasn't long until others showed up and the masquerade began.
As I recall, there were ten entries. Nine of them were walk-ons with the Hellsing entry being the only skit. (Obviously, they won best skit...) The whole thing was over in under 10 minutes. It's a shame that it wasn't scheduled much later in the day since they would have had additional entries (besides myself).
So with the masquerade over, I headed back to my room to get settled, grab some Anime Boston flyers, and see if I could find Adam.
I eventually ran into Adam who was staying at a B&B about half an hour away down near the Ben & Jerry's plant. I was lucky enough to find out about a week before the con that the con had booked some extra rooms at the con-rate, so I took one of them off their hands.
Stopping by my room again, I decided to change into a costume. I also had my Gene Starwind and The Shot costumes with me. Dressing as Gene would have taken longer than Ferio and I decided to save The Shot for Otakon...so Ferio it was. I didn't bring my Renamon costume since I figured 3 cons in one year was enough exposure for that. (It turns out I wore it to four cons...if you count TOTEMCon 2.)
"All hail Ilpalazzo!"
We wandered around a bit and headed up to the hotel restaurant to eat. Apparently I had eaten breakfast at this hotel restaurant once before when I was in the area with my parents to visit my brother. I had forgotten about that until my parents reminded me after I got home.
We wandered around the con more, talked to people, and played some video games. Since we weren't into the whole "gaming" aspect, we seemed to be at a loss for what to do. I mean, there was stuff scheduled, but a lot of time was spent wandering.
That night, I threw an Anime Boston room party in my hotel room. Plenty of snacks and drinks for everyone! We (appropriately) watched Excel Saga on my PowerBook.
Unfortunately, the Excel crew had to head back to Massachusetts that night and couldn't stick around long.
A couple hours after the DVD finished, Adam headed back to the out-of-the-way B&B. I went out to see what was still going on at the con.
I found the con chair, Valerie Lafleche, and talked with her for quite a while about con-related stuff...our con, their con, other cons, hotels, attendance, guests, etc. She introduced me to Lisa Ortiz's brother too, who was apparently there for the gaming.
After helping them move the art exhibit inside the main hall, I went back to my room and crashed.
Day 3: Sunday, June 23, 2002
I was asked to host a cosplay panel on Sunday. I woke up with plenty of time to spare, packed up a few things, grabbed some assorted cosplay props to show off, and wandered down to a panel room in the basement. While I waited for people to show up, I blew bubbles to entertain myself.
Nobody showed up.
After about 15 minutes, I wandered back upstairs to the main hall. Valerie decided to give the panel another try in the corner of the hall where the masquerade was. After a few people walked in and sat down, I sat and chatted with them for a while. It wasn't really so much a panel as a conversation.
The next event scheduled was the auction. There was an assortment of stuff which had been donated by various dealers and anime companies that was going to be auctioned off...but most of the people at the con seemed to be too busy gaming to care. While staff was off trying to get people to come to the auction, I grabbed the microphone and did a few K-mart style announcements. "Attention Bakuretsu Con gamers. The auction will be starting in approximately five minutes. Grab your wallets and approach the stage area at the back of the hall for some great deals on...stuff. Thank you."
I didn't really have any interest in most of the items...since I don't want more VHS tapes and don't have any interest in gaming stuff. I stayed and watched though. Some stuff went pretty darn cheap. Some people went home with some great deals.
After the auction, Adam showed up again and helped me pack up my car. I stopped by to say goodbye to Valerie and then headed south, following Adam's car to Boston...
I'm told there were 200 people who attended the convention. Unfortunately, most of them seemed to be gamers who never left their tables so there weren't a whole lot of anime fans wandering around...but the video rooms did seem to have decent crowds whenever I peeked inside.
Will I be going back in 2003? Yes. Not only is Vermont pretty, but Bakuretsu Con has actually asked me to be a guest! I guess I'll have to share some of my tales of Chibi Project adventures...assuming people actually show up at my panel this time.