Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mr Rigas goes to @rcadecon

As of starting writing this @rcadecon was a week ago, its only now I've recovered enough to muster the energy to write this (Take this as a positive sign). For those of you who don't know @rcadecon is the mixed media convention of gaming and geekatude, created by the people of the The @rcade, It was my first convention and this my story.

The Journey
@rcadecon 2011 was held in the D4 Hotels Ballbridge, and I live in the far remote west of Ireland. So getting up to Dublin for a simple country boy was an adventure in itself. So I brought my wife with me, so I didn't accidentally just walk into the Liffey or something ( well actually it was her idea to go to begin with ). So we got up before 5 and headed to Westport for the 07:15 train. The tea on the train was unexpectedly nice! That started a trend that would continue for the entire weekend. I'll spare you the details, but train -> LUAS -> Taxi -> Arrived at hotel and settled in awaiting the festivities to kick off.

There were six special guests this year.

Voice Actors extraordinaire, trust me you have heard their voices, too many to list here, just check the wiki and you will see. 

Sonia is a multi-award winning comic artist and illustrator, her work has been featured in film and television as well as having been displayed in various museums and galleries. 

Dock is an artist, professional graphics designer, gamer and movie fanatic who has worked for the BBC, Barrons and Harper Collins 

The writer and artist behind the "The League of Volunteers" among other things.

There was a voice actor panel and a comic book panel, sadly I didn't get to either because of so many awesome things happening simultaneously, but my wife did go to the VA panel and when we met up afterwards she had these videos to show me, I if wasn't sitting down when I saw them I would have been floored with the awesomeness.

A preliminary glance at the timetable we kinda decided that the Workshops will be handy places for a time out to rest between the other more exciting, oh boy was I ever wrong. When I saw it at first I thought the steampunk workshop is the only one I really want to check out, for some possible inspiration for a side project i'm working on. On Friday we met Tab Kimpton of KhaosKostumes at his trader table, checked out his costumes and had a general chat. That was enough for us to decide we had to go to ALL his panels. They were super informative and very entertaining on many levels. He had a crossplay, steampunk and special effects make up panels.

Sonia Leong had a panel on Manga, just a general who, what, where, when of Manga and some tips are tricks on drawing style, I found it very informative and fun to attend.

We also caught the tail end of the Armour Workshop, I never knew how versatile Yoga Mats could be, it was a real eye opener.

Trader Room
Great selection to be found in here anime, art work, cosplay, toys, comics and all sorts of other treasures.  One particular highlight for me was Gurinder of GundamNation, mountains of gundam and other models and a whole bushel of anime DVDs. Artists Alley was also living in the same place as the trader room, I picked up some awesome Transformers sketches and prints from Ger Hankey and my wife got some manga from Sonia Leong and prints from an artist named Kaci ( sorry, can't remember any of  her information )

There were fantastic Console and LAN rooms set up, before we arrived I had assumed i'd be spending a lot of time in here, but there was so much going on we actually spent very little time in here. But going by my luck we were in the upstairs game rooms when the zombie apocalypse happened, did I not mention that? We were invaded by zombies on the second day of the con. As zombies go there were pretty well behaved and didn't leave body parts all over the place.

Anime Room
Really great addition, this would be get my mark for greatest simple idea, so whoever thought this one up, I owe you a sandwich. Great place to sit when need to rest or check out random anime. caught the last ep of Gundam Wing, forgot how awesome it was, and how great the music is too.

Maid Cafe
Where a herd of maids sell you tea, coffee and sparkly cheese cake. What more do I need to say.

Charity Auction
Didn't know what to expect going into this one, had a great variety of stuff here from, a Captain Planet DVD signed by someone from the show, manga, anime, clothes and accessories, a Dagger wielded by the Highlander himself(Duncan Macleod)! original artwork and all sorts of other things I can't remember. I can't remember because my little geek mind was blown. The main event was a custom made life sized Master Sword and Hylian shield, This was an amazing piece of work. If I could go back and change something it would have been to bring a lot of €€€ to bid on this sucker. It was amazing item and went for over €400 in the end. The real highlight was when the bidding started, the orchestral zelda theme started up and Link! Link himself walked out onto the stage, drew the sword (didn't time travel for some reason) and started posing with it. You could feel all the fanboys hearts sell as this happened.

My Personal Top 5 moments (in no particular order)
At the Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham autograph signing session, I handed Laura my copy of Final Fantasy XIII to sign, Travis saw I was wearing my 80s TMNT Michelangelo Party Dude t-shirt and just burst into singing the TMNT theme song, quickly followed by Laura. So I was a little awestruck at this point and had to  be gently guided out of the room for some quiet time.

Even though I didn't make it to the panel since I was at the Manga Workshop, but the two videos my wife took (linked above) were just amazing. Travis' KaMeHaMeHa made the entire building shake, and seeing Duke Nukem perform the fusion dance is a memory I will treasure forever.

The whole Link/Master Sword/Charity Auction was a highlight for me too :)

And my last highlight is this amazing sketch I got from Ger Hankey.

All in all it was amazing, we are definitely going back for @rcadecon 2012, and maybe a few of the other cons that are around the country, my convention cherry is certainly popped and I have the convention sickness now. Really looking forward to meeting all you guys again.

In the meantime, I've got plenty of manga, anime and a few Gundam kits to build to keep my busy.

Also Zombies!

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