Jambox: I’m Not Your Hero by Tegan & Sara

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Sometimes it feels like I’m all that they’ve got
It’s so hard to know I’m not what they want

I love Tegan & Sara for the honesty in their lyrics. Some of them are so personal it’s as though you’re reading a diary. This track is from Hearthrob, which came out earlier this year. In my opinion it’s on par with So Jealous, which is the only other album of theirs I like. Very high replay value. Sometimes I hear their music in various hippie towns I visit.

Speaking of hippie towns…! Roy and I spent three days in Vermont last weekend. A write up is in the works. I didn’t mention it because I still have a lot of work to do, and didn’t want to seem like I was slacking. (I…did say I have an unhealthy attitude towards work, right?) A part of me knows nobody cares. Another part of me is waiting to be shamed by some Internet phantom for taking time off when there’s so much to be done. Whatever. Something I need to deal with.

Updates from this week:
Put together a process post on the Culty blog showing the steps I took to make the Gunner’s Guide cover. I actually wrote the post on the way up to Vermont.

Other stuff? Worked on changes for a couple of website clients. Other than, non-stop work on the guides: illustrations and page layouts.



Never in a million years would I have thought I would be drawing monsters and weapons on a regular basis. I have a rough draft of the Bowgun ebook that Roy and I are going to go over today and see where we can squeeze in more graphics.

I also wrote up a script for another short comic that’s part of a larger project I was invited to. I’m very excited to do right by this one! I’m being vague about it now but details will emerge soon. I love being invited to contribute comics for a bigger project. (Related: you’re following Hana Doki Kira, right? I have a preview up there!)

So much to do, but it’s all very fulfilling. Life is good right now.

Shop Talk: About Writing & Staying Inspired by Ray Bradbury pt. 5

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This is the last part in my series of takeaways from Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing.

Previously we talked about passion, inspiration, time-wasters, and work, work work! Today’s final installment encourages you to stop thinking too hard and work on your project without any hesitation.

On Doubt & Trusting Your Gut

“Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.”

So many times Bradbury reinforces the idea that you are merely a vessel through which inspiration pours out. He recalls a time when he was sent to Ireland to write a screenplay for Moby Dick. Bradbury apparently HATED Ireland. He worked over there for about a year before he washed his hands of the country. Several years later, a random cab driver surfaced from a memory about Ireland, and Bradbury found himself writing all sorts of stories inspired by his trip.

First of all, let’s think about how hilarious it is that this man had some dark feelings towards Ireland. Like he went to Mexico and was surrounded by dead people at one point and found it vastly more inspiring than Ireland. Okay. Whatever.

Second, it is at this point that Bradbury suggests that your sub-conscious is really, really powerful. It remembers and picks up on stuff you don’t even know about. Names, places, colors. You have to trust that you were born with an ability to retain information alongside the tools necessary to tell a compelling story about that information.

Don’t doubt! Trust the process. Don’t overthink. You can do it.

Quantity Turns Into Quality

Writing a thousand words every day, Bradbury was a firm believer that you need to invest a lot of time into developing your craft before you can output anything of high quality. There are so many examples of this, it’s almost not worth elaborating any further than that. Put in the time. Get better at what you do so that when opportunities present themselves (and they will, because people will start to take notice), you’ll be ready. You’ll be the surgeon that knows exactly where to place incisions on your patient. Or the artist that knows how to bring a concept to completion in the way they intended it.

We are constantly training when we work. Certain parts of our brain gets stronger the more we exercise it. If we stop then it starts to weaken. Honestly, though? If you’re feeling inspired (which is what the previous parts in this series intended to help with), work will feel like play. And you’ll rack up whatever brain and talent points you need to become really good.


That’s a wrap for this series. Naturally, you should grab a copy of Zen in the Art of Writing as soon as humanly possible. If you’re new to Bradbury’s work, then I recommend checking out the Illustrated Man, which captivated my imagination in middle school. It’s a collection of short stories told through the tattoos of a man. Great stuff.

Previous posts in this series:
About Writing & Staying Inspired pt. 1
About Writing & Staying Inspired pt. 2
About Writing & Staying Inspired pt. 3
About Writing & Staying Inspired pt. 4

Shop Talk: Monster Hunter Gunner’s Guide Cover Process

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I wrote up a process post on the cover I made for our Gunner’s Guides. You can read it on the Culty blog! I hope the insight is interesting to people. The process itself is rather simple, but it takes a lot of time to get each individual technique right.

Jambox: Casting Agents and Cowgirls by Busdriver

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I love how chaotic this song and video is! From Busdriver’s 2007 album Roadkillovercoat. You might also recognize him from P.O.S’s 2012 album We Don’t Even Live Here (another artist I need to feature soon! Argh!).

Sorry for the lack of blog posts this week! I meant to post the final Bradbury-inspired Shop Talk installment, but time got away from me. It will go up next week. I also plan on posting the process behind the Gunner’s Guide cover, along with a lil’ tutorial on how to use the dress shop in Animal Crossing: New Leaf since people have been asking me about them.

Speaking of the Gunner’s Guide….

Updates from this week:

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We put up the landing page for our Gunner’s Guide, and everything has been non-stop since. We’re offering a ton of extra content (videos and audio books!) which I am really excited about. The audio books are in the works and I can’t wait to reveal who does the reading.

Since we’re in crunch time now, I’ve been focusing on drawing the graphics for the books and laying out the pages. Gunning is complex so we are aiming to be generous with the diagrams. Roy and I also went through both of the guides together, word by word, to make sure it was easy to read. We are both really happy with how things are turning out.

By the way – how cute are the fake book mockups on the landing page? I created them using templates from PSD Covers. They are Photoshop actions that do everything for you. I might do a tutorial to show how I used them with the guide covers.

Well, back to work! See you next week!

Jambox: Green Eyes by Erykah Badu

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My eyes are green/Cause I eat a lot of vegetables/It don’t have nothing to do with your new friend

A three-part suite about insecurity.

My Friday posts are quickly becoming a recap of my work week and I hope that’s okay! This week was great despite a couple of days where I absolutely couldn’t get any work done. I started on the cover of our gunner’s guide, which is actually going to be split into two separate guides – one focusing on bow, and the other focusing on bowgun (it took me forever to set them straight!).


Monday I sat down with Roy to brainstorm what would be on the cover and did some concepts sketches and inking. Tuesday I worked for 8-10 hours straight coloring in Photoshop. Wednesday was a wash because of some family stuff and Thursday was spent wrapping up a website that was in the works since spring.

Today I intend to finish up the guide cover, or at least get very close to being done so we can start promoting the guide coming out in September. Exciting! I plan to do a process post on the Culty blog to show how I put everything together. I would say I’m about 70% done with the cover at this point.

I also managed to finish the comic I had been working on in the previous two weeks. And now I can talk about it! It’s for Hana Doki Kira, a shoujo zine with a bunch of amazing contributors that I feel incredibly honored to be a part of. The organizers just set up a tumblr that will showcase in-progress stuff from the artists. I might post some sneak peaks of my contribution, but after working on it for so long it’s hard for me to open up those files again. I’m still very excited for this zine to launch and see all the other art that will go into it.

Well, a 800MB Photoshop file awaits me. See you next week!

Shop Talk: About Writing & Staying Inspired by Ray Bradbury pt. 4

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This is the fourth part in my series of takeaways from Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing.

So far we’ve covered paying attention to your passions, inspiration and avoiding time-sucks. Today we’ll examine different types of work we encounter, and why work on its own isn’t a bad thing (in fact, when done right, it should feel quite fulfilling!)

Loving Work

“Not to work is to cease, tighten up, become nervous, and therefore destructive of the creative process.”

Most people think of work as Agony. I grew up thinking that Agony Work is all you would do in life. Before I had my first job I was told that you can’t have sick days at work (what?), that you have to sacrifice everything for your job because Money is Tight. As a result I developed a lot of unhealthy associations with work. Calling out, even if it was justified, made me sick with guilt. Going on vacations – despite being planned for months, with ample notice given to managers – filled me with dread and I could never fully relax. I had anxieties about returning to the office and being sneered at by co-workers for taking the time off while they were hard at work. Of course it was all in my head, but it’s a hard mentality to fix when you’re used to your dad putting in hours and hours of overtime every week. By comparison, I always felt like I was never working hard enough.

Then I discovered Happy Work, by accident, when I got my first few gigs as a web designer and developer. I loved designing and mucking around with code, so any assignment I had felt almost like fun (!!). I learned that, ideally, working should feel natural, like it’s what you were meant to do. Finding yourself “in the zone” is easy. Hours slip by at night. Bradbury even goes so far as to say being engrossed in work is actually more gratifying than finishing something. Maybe that’s why there are so many abandoned projects. Could be why I’m writing this on a Sunday night instead of getting drunk and watching Teen Wolf. Bradbury says as long as you keep working and don’t stop, you won’t fail. I can get behind that.

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From the ever-inspiring Marlo Meekins.

That’s not to say if you keep doing busy work, you’ll succeed. Busy Work is the insidious thing in-between Agony Work and Happy Work. It’s checking your email a million times a day. It’s checking Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr. It’s checking off little tiny boxes that become un-checked the next day. Monster Hunter is great at checkboxes. It’s having meetings. I hated company meetings because nothing was ever actually set in motion. Just a bunch of talking with no direction. Whenever I meet with people these days, I make sure that whoever’s included has stuff to do once we’re done. A client has to provide me with art assets for their company. Or I have to gather some data to present to someone at the next meeting.

Instead of job searches, I wish you could just hold up your hand and say “I love researching technology!” and some wise and noble manager would come over to you and give you a job researching technology for them. Instead of someone who went to computer school because that’s what their parents told them to do and now they’re sweating in front of HR, wondering if they forgot to put deodorant on before their interview and desperately wishing they were home baking cookies instead. Then they’ll get the job and love it at first but hate it after a few months of not being able to exercise their full potential. Each day starts with the thought “is this how it ends?” and you find yourself covering the clock on your computer with a Post-It note so you can’t see how slow time is crawling by.

What kind of work have you been doing lately?


Next up: On Doubt & Trusting Your Gut, and Quantity Turns Into Quality. This is the last post in the series.

Previous posts in this series:
About Writing & Staying Inspired pt. 1
About Writing & Staying Inspired pt. 2
About Writing & Staying Inspired pt. 3

Stuff! MercWorks Volume 1 on Kickstarter

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One artist I failed to mention in my ConnectiCon write-up was Dave Mercier, creator of MercWorks: The Joy of Despair. He approached us at City Steam and started talking about his comic, which he just started a Kickstarter for. I was having a (not so) serious discussion about 90s movies at the time, but I overheard some details here and there.

I made a mental note to visit Dave’s booth the next day, which I promptly forgot about! Buuut I did manage to find Dave online and check out his comic, which is really pretty funny. A funny, well-produced webcomic born in the Constitution State? I had to reach out to Dave, who took the time to answer some interview questions about his comic, the Kickstarter, and how he manages to update with original content regularly. Here we go!

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Thanks for taking the time to do this interview! Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and MercWorks? Give us your best elevator pitch!

My pleasure! I’m Dave Mercier and I’m a pretty cool guy who makes a pretty cool comic called MercWorks. It’s a semi-autobiographical comedy strip with an emphasis on storytelling and art, touching on themes of dating, depression, and society at large with twists from my own horrible imagination.

We met very briefly at an “after hours” event for ConnectiCon, and I totally missed catching your booth the next day. How much do you hate me? More importantly, what was it like tabling at ConnectiCon?

I don’t hate you at all! My table was pretty scrappy because I didn’t know I had it until someone texted me the first night with “where are you? There’s an empty ‘MercWorks’ booth at CTCon.” So I showed up the next day with whatever prints I had lying around the studio and a white picnic table cloth. Aside from my lack of preparedness, it was an amazing experience. It was the first time I had a table at a con and I sold a lot of prints, as well as got the word out about the Kickstarter in a very targeted way. All-in-all a huge success, and I can’t wait to do more!

Is this your first time running a Kickstarter? How is your experience with it so far?

This is my first time doing a Kickstarter and I’ve had a slow, steady panic the entire time it’s been up. The first few days were the worst, especially right before I put it up. The day I put it up felt like that moment right before you kiss somebody for the first time, but ten times worse and for the entire day. I was blown away by the support I got right away, and I’m really thankful to have such wonderful, supportive fans. We’re right on track with it and I’ve got high hopes.

Because my backup plan is to go on a month-long bender and ruin every relationship I’ve ever cherished.

As a fellow CT-based artist, what do you think of the web comics scene in Connecticut? (Err, “non-existent” is a totally acceptable answer.)

I think the only scene that isn’t “non-existent” in CT is the insurance agency scene, and having grown up here I’m pretty accustomed to it. Fortunately, with webcomics being an inherently internet-based medium it’s easy to make a lot of friends in our field without them being local.

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Despite the dark humor featured in your comics, you actually seem like a guy who loves life! What’s that all about?

I really do love life quite a lot! I often describe my character in the comic as the worst version of myself. I think we all have a tendency to focus on the negatives sometimes, and we all have this sort of small, horrible stuff happen to us all the time. Philosophically, I don’t focus on the negatives – but it’s no use ignoring them either so I try to see the humor in it all. There isn’t anything inherently funny about a perfectly well-rounded character so that’s why I focus on my own shortcomings. It’s also a kind of therapy for me – there’s stuff I get genuinely depressed about, and I get genuinely lonely (we all do!), so to put it on paper and laugh at it, that’s incredibly cathartic for me.

Keeping a regular posting schedule is one area many web comic artists have trouble with. How do you keep up with new content every week?

Sometimes I wonder this myself. I base a lot of my comics on real experiences, so I take a lot of time to think about the stuff that happens to me in a given day. Sometimes they write themselves – for instance, I recently did a comic where a girl says “you have a nice ass for a white boy” which was something a girl really said to me. Throw a honey ham in there and you’ve got yourself a punchline.

I think more than anything it’s a matter of taking your deadlines seriously. If I say I’m updating on Mondays and Thursdays, I get crazy deadline fever if I’m cutting it too close. Sometimes it’s not your best work (most of the time, in fact), but you’ve updated on time and people appreciate that. They’d rather have new content that isn’t your best than nothing at all.

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Any other projects in the pipeline that we can look forward to?

Right now I’m focusing on getting the book out there and pushing MercWorks a little more. I’ve been considering doing graphic short stories (novellas, are they?) for a while now, so I might start experimenting with longer-form stuff once the dust settles on that.

You only have 10 more days to donate to the MercWorks Kickstarter. Good luck, Dave!

Jambox: Waltz for Hulot by Mamerico

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Our heat wave broke, and the temperature for the past couple of days feels like the beginning of fall already. Matched with a random pumpkin ale Roy gave me the other night, it’s as though we skipped August and September entirely. I’ve started listening to Mamerico in the mornings again. Waltz for Hulot is the first track from her 2011 album Miniscule. All the songs are pretty soothing and pair well with tea in the morning.

This week has been another fairly productive one. Roy has finalized the text for our Gunner’s Guide (which is actually going to be broken down into two guides – Bow and Bowgun), so I need to go through it a second time for edits. We do this process back and forth until we feel confident that the material can be easily understood by readers. Next step is working together to find references for all the illustrations in the book, so I can work without having to pause and Google things every five minutes. It’s hard finding good references for Monster Hunter gear. I’m always worried that somebody is going to point out that some random strap or button isn’t properly drawn.

I’m also just about done with the 6-page comic I started last week. Inspired by some Adventure Time comics a friend lent me, I decided to hand-letter the comic instead of using a typeface. I really like the look of hand-drawn word balloons and letters. I just have to re-work some details and decide whether or not I want to use screen tone, and it should be good to go.

Other stuff? Roy got a review copy of Dragon’s Crown and we’ve become super addicted to it. We can’t reveal much until the embargo drops, but we’re already planning to do a Let’s Play for when it comes out. I’m hoping to squeeze in some fanart for it over the weekend.

Shop Talk: About Writing & Staying Inspired by Ray Bradbury pt. 3

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This is the third part in my series of takeaways from Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing.

Last time I gave specific examples on how to find inspiration and keep it maintained. This time we’re going to bring the focus inwards and do a little self-examination.

Getting in the Way of Your Own Story

“The stories, the plays, were born in a yelping litter. I had but to get out of their way.”

This is a common theme that occurs throughout Bradbury’s essays. He is big on getting your inspiration out there, without interference from…well, you. He says that an idea is like a dog that bites your leg and won’t let go until you can shake it off by turning it into a story. This makes sense to me, because whenever I’m overwhelmed or can’t deal with stuff, I write it all down. Goals and stuff. Things I want to happen. It feels really good and I’ve filled up entire notebooks this way. By writing thoughts down, you can release them. The dog will relax and go away.

What are some ways you interfere with your story? I can think of some. Distractions like social media and gaming. Busy work also comes to mind. It should be that an idea hits you and you write it down until it becomes a story. What does it matter what software, what app?

When I need to go into “termination mode” – a concept I adopted from another productivity-focused blogger – I close all windows except for the ones I need to get the job done. For art and comics, that means it’s Photoshop or Manga Studio + Evernote if I need references. Chrome, Twitter, and all of my web dev apps do not need to be open “just in case”. I intentionally put my phone face down on my desk.

Since I switch hats often from “business owner” to “web developer” to “designer/illustrator”, I used to have a million different programs open and checked Gmail regularly just in case. This is how you’ll feel busy without actual getting anything done. Because you’ll be in the zone, working on comics, and suddenly you’ll see a tweet with a link you need to open. (Here’s a hint: you don’t actually need to open it. You’ve lived and survived for many years without seeing that link. If it’s worthwhile, then it will come back to you.) Or you’ll notice the Gmail tab in your browser suddenly have a “(1)” appear. And you switch windows to see what’s going on. You send a reply. You get back to work. Suddenly, there’s that “(1)” again. After a whole day of stop-and-go work, you’ll feel like you got so much done! But…could you have gotten even more done by focusing on the task at hand until it’s complete? Could you have delegated certain times of day to check your email and social media?

Not sure if you’re falling victim to yourself? Start tracking things. Make a list at the start of the day and see how much you were able to cross off by the end of it. Not busy work like “browse Pinterest for the best way to fold socks”. Stuff like “2 pages of comic sketched” or “outline blog post on Favorite Video Game Food.” If at the end of the day you find yourself unable to accomplish what you set out, keep tweaking and adjusting things until you can. Two comic pages too ambitious in one day? What about one page? Or even one panel? Keep fine tuning until you start to have realistic expectations on what you can accomplish. You can even go so far as to make notes on your moods and habits so you know when the best times are for you to work, and when you’ll be mentally checked out. Don’t assume that just because you tend to stay up late that that’s the only time when you can produce your best work.

Ray Bradbury wrote a thousand words a day. He wrote one short story a week for ten years. He wrote Fahrenheit 451 on a typewriter in the basement of a library. You had to put a dime in the typewriter to get a half hour of typing. The first draft of Fahrenheit cost $9.80. This was a man who was so feverishly consumed by his ideas that he had to get them out at any cost. He didn’t perpetually search for the BEST typewriter as he was writing, or check the news every five minutes just in case. He knew how to get out of the way of his stories.


Next up: Loving Work. The differences between Agony Work, Happy Work, and the Busy Work that sneaks up in-between.

Previous posts in this series:
About Writing & Staying Inspired pt. 1
About Writing & Staying Inspired pt. 2

Out & About: ConnectiCon 2013

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People kept asking us if we were going to ConnectiCon this year, and we kept telling them that we weren’t. Tickets are a bit pricey for casual con-goers and I had no plans on exhibiting like last year. On a whim, though, Roy was able to get media passes through his site. We weren’t too confident that our last minute request would go through, but within 24 hours we had confirmation, which is an AMAZING turnaround on behalf of PR Director Leo Marinak. When I applied for an online media guest exhibit last year it took months before I heard back from anybody.

So we drove into downtown Hartford to brave the heat and walk around the nerdy masses. It’s hilarious to see Hartford so active during the daytime on the weekends. Most businesses in the area were closed as usual, but some were smart and capitalized on the influx of visitors, offering discounts for those with badges.

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Saturday we went to Woody’s to get away from the crowd. Despite being featured on Man vs. Food, Woody’s is enough of a hole-in-the-wall that we ate in almost entirely empty restaurant.

Afterwards we were joined by Shepard of Teamwork Cast and dove back into the convention.

Shepard & Roy

Shepard is sporting a Monster Hunter lanyard that we were giving out. Roy is wearing a Uniqlo Monster Hunter 4 shirt in front of our Culty Animal Crossing tote bag.

The gaming room this year seemed to have expanded and had plenty of space for those to play together. The arrangement was really nice when we wanted to chat together and not have to shout over the noise. We found ourselves coming back to the gaming area to refuel and check our Street Passes.

View from the press room

The artist’s alley and online media guest hall were combined into one exhibition hall along with vendors like last year. The booths were arranged so that you could stroll through the artist’s alley first, then walk through the online media guest hall before hitting the vendors in the back. This arrangement is great for supporting independent artists as they are the first tables people will see and give their money to.

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Clockwise from left: Cari Corene; C. Spike Trotman & Amanda Lafrenais; Ming Doyle; Annie Stoll & Tim Ferrera; Jamie Noguchi

The online media guest hall was definitely my favorite place. This year’s roster of artists was fantastic and I feel incredibly lucky to have met some of my favorite online artists, not to mention meet up with artist friends I’ve met at previous conventions.

Highlights:
Cari Corene: I was introduced to Cari by Annie on Saturday night at City Steam. The next day I made a point of tracking down her booth, and had to circle back a couple of times because this girl’s table was constantly swarmed by attendees. For a good reason, too: her art stood head and shoulders above many others. Intricately drawn watercolors of mythical beasts filled her booth. My friend bought her Inari Fox print, which she later had framed.

Support Cari: Comic | DeviantArt | Store


C. Spike Trotman & Amanda Lefrenais: I discovered Spike’s comic Templar, AZ recently and it is quickly becoming a favorite. When I saw that she was tabling with Amanda, I knew I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to meet some of the hardest working artists I’ve seen online. I let my shyness get the better of me in the morning, but when Spike tweeted about selling out of copies of Smut Peddler, the decision was forced. I needed a copy! I needed to meet them! So I put on my big girl pants and dragged Roy and Shepard to meet them. I’m so glad I did. They were both friendly and professional, and it was clear that they really love what they do. They’re hilarious together, too. Roy said he could listen to them talk for hours.

Support Spike: Comic | Store | Iron Circus Comics

Support Amanda: Website | Comic | Store


Ming Doyle: I’ve been following Ming’s work online for a long, long time, and had always categorized her as one of the people that existed in Important People Land in Which I Would Never Tread. But when a friend asked me to show her around (it was her first time at a convention), I pointed out Ming as one of my favorites. She is really nice and approachable in person, which was kind of a relief because I’ve found that some artists from Important People Land can be a little cold. We both bought a tote bag from her, which has since become my go-to for outings.

Support Ming: Website | Store


Annie Stoll & Tim Ferrera: I met these two when I was tabling last year. Annie is an artist, graphic designer and comicker; Tim is a writer. Annie has been very generous with sharing tips and resources with me over the past year, for which I am forever grateful. Shepard ended up buying her infamous Ghibli print for his wife. I’m glad we were able to spend more time with these two on Saturday. Hopefully it won’t be so long until I see them again.

Support them: Annie Stoll Design | Squid Salad | Comic | Store


Jamie Noguchi: I met Jamie when I tabled next to him at one of my first-ever conventions. His energy is infectious and he always seems to be buzzing around with new projects. We caught the tail end of him winning Super Art Fight, which was filled with excited con goers. I’ll definitely make a point to watch it in its entirety next time. He gave me and my friends some Fuckin’ Do It stickers and bracelets. That man knows how to churn out excellent-looking merch.

Support Jamie: Comic | YouTube

my haul

My haul: Ming Doyle’s tote bag; Smut Peddler; Attack on Titan sticker a friend gave me; Fuckin’ Do It merch from Jamie

I have no regrets on how I exercised my purchasing power.

game of thrones!

Cosplayers are always fun to watch, but I didn’t see many groups going around. These Game of Thrones cosplayers made us stop in our tracks to ask for pictures…

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…as did this Layton cosplayer, who Shepard introduced us to. He had a story behind why he wanted us to see this particular Layton cosplayer, but I only caught the end of it. When we met him I asked for a picture, to which he responded, “Well, you’ll have to solve a puzzle first.”

Oh. That was the part of the story I missed.

This man takes his role seriously. He whipped out puzzle after puzzle for interested con-goers, and a circle of people quickly formed around him. I couldn’t solve the puzzle he gave me (it was a level 5 puzzle, it had turned out – one of the harder ones). Roy was able to solve his level 2 puzzle in about 5 minutes, so I passed off my puzzle to him and continued to people watch, thinking about how this is why conventions are so fascinating and fun. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll wind up doing.

I was also reminded of just how…nice random strangers can be to each other. Con-goers would come along, try their hand at a puzzle, and politely leave. It dispelled some of my usual anxieties about meeting strangers, which was a nice change.

Monster Hunter panel

We ended Sunday night with a highly anticipated Monster Hunter 101 panel that was put together by Twitter friend Will. We were looking forward to it all weekend and it did not disappoint. Will broke down the basics very clearly and managed to slay a Lagiacrus with a gunlance – requested by the audience – in 15 minutes. It’s hard to speak while hunting, but to do so live in front of an interactive audience was very impressive. The audience also made the panel even more engaging with their enthusiasm. Shepard did a spontaneous giveaway at the end for whoever was the fastest at a Lagombi arena quest. He and Roy also gave out some masks and lanyards that were sent to us by Capcom.

We invited Will to join us for our latest episode of My Fair Hunter, and I’m so glad he obliged. Sweltering in our ridiculously hot and stuffy apartment, I was able to achieve G-rank thanks to Will, Shepard, and Roy. Roy and I messed up recording the second half of the episode, but expect it to come out some time this week.

there was a bug net inside

Despite the last-minute arrangement, I’m pretty glad I was able to make it to ConnectiCon this year. Even though I didn’t exhibit, I still feel as though I’ve learned some things that can make my tabling experience better for next time. I’m also inspired to do a post series based on what I’ve learned both as an exhibitor and as an attendee. We’ll see.