Animay Expo

Note, not anime.

First tiny convention! It sure was a lot smaller than the mega madness that is San Diego Comic-Con, but that was sorta expected. What wasn’t expected? The amazingness of Fry’s. But more on that later.

Me and Whitney (CSUF Whitney, not Whitney Whitney) entered the CTN Animation Expo, got our wristbands, and stood in line. We assumed that line was for going inside the exhibit hall, since our passes only gave us access for that. BUTT, it turns out the line was for a panel thing and we snuck (snook?) inside for free because the guys at the door were, as you say, “noobs” and didn’t recognize that our bracelet colors technically shouldn’t have been allowed to let us in!

!!!, right!?

So the very first thing we did was watch a free panel of this guy talking about him working on Shrek 4 (DID YOU KNOW there was gonna be a Shrek 4?! Way to milk that franchise to an empty utter, Dreamworks. Please don’t sequelize Kung Fu Panda, twas good by itself. And I haven’t seen Monsters VS Aliens but I want to!) and he animated a stick-block figure running off screen. Twas pretty good, especially cuz it was FREE!

It was about 15 minutes of him talking and 30 minutes of this. If you weren’t interested in animation, you’d probably be bored to tears (which actually sounds very painful), but luckily I found this quite interesting! Mmmm yes, yes indeed mmmm…

After an hour of that, we walked around the exhibit floor. To put it into perspective, I’d say the floor was about the size of 1.5 average gyms (but not as tall), assuming your perception of an “average gym” matches mine.

This picture captures about a quarter of the floor. !!!, right?! That’s like the size of one big booth at SD Comic-Con, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just an “oh hey that’s smaller” kinda thing.

There were a plethora of (expensive) books on sale, one of them being this one about what appears to be stoned cats and their hallucinations.

Wacom was having some kind of drawing competition. DUDE I totally sampled a Cintiq for the first time! It was pretty awesome and more slippery than I imagined. It’s not on the top of my wishlist, but I still want one. Goal: To obtain a Cintiq within 10 years (assuming I’ll be doing a lot more digital work in the future).

Speaking of digital work. Check THIS break dancing out!

There were a WHOLE bunch business cards with art like this on them at the Imaginism Studios booth (I got 20 cards HAHA). That one called “Big Bad Bunny Eater” by Bobby Chiu was my favorite.

COSPLAYER IN SIGHTS! I was happy to see one at the convention. (Sorry I got his back, I’m not good at taking sneaky photos.) (And when I say “got his back”, I mean got a PICTURE of his back. Although if he were to get into a scuffle, there is a small possibility that I’d help him out. So I guess it works both ways.)

In fact, cosplayers should be at EVERY single CONVENTION! Even at actual cosplay conventions, there should be someone dressed up as someone who’s dressed up as someone. As scary as it sounds, that has probably happened before. Cosplayers – the epitomic blend of passion, geekiness, and insanity.

Dude dude, guess who else other than that Deviant Art guy I saw there!

YUP THAT’S RIGHT! Laura Faust and Craig McCracken! THE CREATORS OF FOSTER’S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS! (And Powerpuff Girls.) Previously I had only seen them at the Comic-Con 2008 panel, but THERE THEY WERE at their own little booth! Just a few feet away from my feet!

I got to talk to Laura a little, but Craig was busy looking at some stuff. It’s funny how nervous I can get when meeting artists I’ve revered so happily. (See, Comic-Con 09 Half Pixel) Best of all, I had them sign my Blooregard Q. Kazoo keychain!!

YEAH! But now I can’t use it. And if you were curious, Craig’s working on a graphic novel and Laura’s selling dolls, both of them hoping to turn their works into a TV series. And… it’ll probably happen.

For lunch I went to Fry’s Electronics for my first time! (Other than happening on the same day and being nearby, COMPLETELY unrelated to the expo.)

It had the crazy theme 1950’s sci-fi horror movie which, of course, was amazing. There were 50’s diners, martians, an octopus, spaceships, and even a 50 foot long gigantic ant that would make any Taylor Tso squeal from giddiness.

After lunch at Fry’s, we went back to the expo, looked around a little more, then left for home. In the end I was pleasantly surprised at how much good illustration there was at the convention. Makes me wanna draw on the computer more. Fun times, good day.

As it turns out, we got to see the whole show floor in about 2 hours that morning. So if YOU ever go to the CTN Animation Expo, make sure you get a one day complete pass so you can sit in on the panels and participate in the “connections” mixer thing. Also, bring lotsa money. Those dang artists charge appendages for silly drawings.