Entry: In which I am a self-fulfilling prophecy Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Listening to: Saigo no Jikan Ryokou Theme - Tomohito Nishiura

So anyway sometime in December, there was a Comic Fiesta.

Comic Fiesta 2008
20-21 Dec, Sunway Convention Center

I was SO scared it was going to be the ticketing line of hell that was 2007, I went at 8.30 and parked 3 minutes from the main entrance. Last year when the ticketing lines opened at 9, there was quite a line spanning 5 shoplots.

This year at 9 AM not only was I the FIRST in line, there wasn't anyone behind me in line for a LONG time.

But hey, goodie bag! :D A goodie bag that apparently NOBODY got, but...goodie bag! For the benefit of the poor 1000+ folk (gross overestimation I assure you) who somehow failed to get a complete goodie bag/get a goodie bag, full stop, it had:

- Game Time magazine with half the mag dedicated to CF's event booklet
- Tiny piece of paper with event schedule
- Animasia Artbook
- HP Ad
- Habbo Poster (comes with certain bags only, but it's not that great - I plastered mine somewhere in the con area and never looked back)

I'm sure there were more to it, but that's the main things I recall.

In any case, the line to enter the hall was longer because everyone had bought their tickets from the external sellers which saved queuing time at the ticket booth.

The hall was HUGE. And COLD. And the boundary between doujinland and sponsorland and stageland was separated by Hewlett-Packard and their advert-spamming booth. A booth which only had two ads, BOTH [HORRIBLE] [MONSTROSITIES] OF REPETITION. You think they're OK? Of course they're OK, now try listening to NOTHING but that for 2 days, 10 hours in a row! Still OK yet? How about HP's grammatically outstanding slogan, "Animation has come to LIVE" (live where?)? Have your senses died out from the barrage of fail yet? I know mine did!

First day for me is always doujin day - that means unless your group cosplay is phenomenal or you have something phenomenal lined up, I'm going to ditch that for wasting money on printed matter.

(By the way, I heard the group cosplay was phenomenal but this time everyone made dramatic recorded skits and had the misfortune to be paired with a bad sound system. Just wasn't their day, I guess. =| )

The doujin

So there were 60 groups, impressive.

So roughly 40 of these 60 groups were selling non-doujin merchandise...impressive.

It would seem an irony that the ones who were really hawking doujin were those artists who didn't draw anime or were the ones so against the manga movement during the early days of CF but now they're the ones most likely keeping the idea alive; there's the 30-day artist blog, and Sarah Joan Mokhtar (the one who painted the walls at Marmalade Bangsar), and I'm not sure if Yongumi counts anymore because they work mainstream and they've evolved their art into a mix of appealing manga and typical Malaysian style (like Mars & Uranus), and the idea of specialty fandom doujin has finally caught on (Hitman Reborn pairing fanbooks, anybody?), but in an already small pool of doujin, that just means one less doujin for ME to buy.

Thankfully that small pool of doujin had enough good quality to go around for everyone else's smorgasboard of badges and bookmarks and prints (pretty but wholesomely impractical - what am I gonna do, stick them in my locker? On the Axsym? Really now), so it was good. Plus most of the doujinka I met were warm and friendly (SJM gave me TWO prints for recognizing the Bangsar walls!), so it's allll gooooood.

The only bad side was that a some people now think it's acceptable to put their half-baked sketches into an artbook and sell it for RM20 a pop. A note: Unless you are Nomura Tetsuya selling off a concept art book for charity, you shouldn't even be thinking of selling them, let alone compiling into anything that's over RM5. A doujin group once sold an artbook for RM40 thereabouts in 2006, and then released another artbook 2 years later after plugging the first book just about everywhere they could. Not that the artbook was shoddily made, mind - the pages were glossy, the colours printed well, but the layout collapsed towards the end (repeated artwork, I'm looking at you) and in the end I still view it as the biggest pity purchase I ever made. They finally came out with something new and what is this, ANOTHER artbook? This is a group that to my knowledge hasn't come up with anything apart from bits of fan merchandise and a collective of nice DA galleries, and I would TOTALLY want to spring RM35 for another artbook...because?

There was a big discussion between Max and me about doujin shopping and comparing what was worth buying and what wasn't, but I've told you the gist of it, so there. I then dumped my VERY HEAVY doujin load into my car (the perks of having your own transport!) and returned to the event.

The cosplay

Everyone's a better cosplayer now! This may or may not be caused by everyone being Asian, but when everyone gushes about the standard, it's always a good thing.

Since my plans for CF were basically shafted and cancelled and left me with some soul searching about why I liked cosplaying, I decided to not recycle old cosplay and pursued a new goal to capture every single cosplayer on camera (which I almost did, mind). Surprisingly quite a few people recognized me, and the conversation would end up:

them: Ah, you're DM right?! :D
me: Ah, nice to see you again! :D
them: Why aren't you cosplaying?? :D
me: :D.....

I have NO idea what this implies, but I do see the irony because when I DO cosplay, NOBODY ever notices. My mum always tells me that people DO notice what I do but they never acknowledge it, and this has become my pet neurosis because if they're not telling me, they're probably telling it to someone else, and it may or may not be GOOD THINGS.

A conversation between me and Himawari made me think a little more about cosplay motivations:

H: Ah, you don't have any charas you like at the moment?
me: That would seem to be the case, yeah.
H: *pat* I hope you find someone to cosplay soon yah!
me: Ah, thanks!

It does sound like a logical thing to do, find a chara you like and cosplay them, but for me who hasn't had a fave character since PROFESSOR LAYTON OMG FANGIRL SQUEE coff anyway it also makes sense to not have anything I urgently want to cosplay in such short notice nor do I have any intention or rushing out a costume just because I want to. So yes I think not donning a costume every event is rather shocking, but I'll get used to it soon enough, and since I'm leaving my Elaborate Costume of Doom Phase™ (did I ever have one?), there won't be much to cosplay soon anyway.

Ahh, the death of a hobby; how bright its dying light flickers.

The End of Day (EoD)

Suddenly I bumped into MARILYN (OMG) and Guoy (also OMG) and had a brief chat about how the future has treated us before a Dark Knight Joker cosplayer came (OMGWTF!) and suddenly Marilyn & Guoy disappeared and then the bunch of us just loitered on the floor waiting for the clean-up to end before deciding on A&W for dinner to see Deru open her present. It took Tuna and me a DAMN long time to wrap the silly hexagonal biscuit box (curse you Hello Panda!) and Deru took 5 minutes undoing the cellophane, but the reaction? Priceless.

Had a massive headache from lack of sleep (growing old is baaaad) and so went home and conked, the end.

And that was day 1. Now wait another month for Day 2's report!


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