The last night of the con, I ended up sitting across the dinner table from Arima, his cousin, and a friend, attempting to understand a joke they'd make about the hemp design on his hat. O_o We'd spoken on several panels together, which was a real first for me; I've never been on a panel with another Japanese guest. It's vastly interesting, but it's very difficult to get the kind of fast paced back and forth I prefer.
However, of all the panels, I think my favorite was this one:
The room was packed to standing *^-^* Basically, I got a prompt from the audience which I had to draw the character, while members from the audience stood up front and attempted to give her a voice. This is Rebecca (yeay!) who won a picture for giving her the best voice.
All my other panels went incredibly smooth. They were smaller and intimate, and it was wonderful being able to sit down and hold a discussion with aspiring artists and writers.
In the time between panels, I retired to my table in artist alley (I declined a booth in the dealer's room because I prefer the atmosphere in artist's alley and feel that it's much intimate and encouraging to conversation). In all, I sold about 40 books, which is pretty decent considering I wasn't even there that much. ^_^; But it was fun speaking to fans and other artists and running from some. XD And there's missmonstermel!
And my editor in the background, giving another artist a critique. XD
And to top it all off, right behind my table, a beautiful sunset, Saturday evening.
In all, Ushicon went incredibly well. I was most impressed by how on the ball the coordinators for the event were. Everything RAN ON TIME. O_o That's so a first for any convention I've ever been to. I think I'm beginning to prefer these little conventions to the big ones. They're so much more intimate and interesting. I like being able to speak with people I'll be able to run into again in the halls and hold longer conversations. And I loved speaking to both the Japanese and American guests every night. :) I really hope Ushicon invites me again next year, because I've never had so much fun at a con before. :)
And since I'm unloading pictures, here are a few from the American Library Association Midwinter convention in San Antonio:
As you can see, the demographic is drastically different from an anime or manga convention. :P
TOKYOPOP giving away 100 free copies of my books to librarians. And I'd wish I'd thought to take more pictures, because I sat RIGHT ACROSS THE AISLE from Terry Moore of "Strangers In Paradise." He really is the only artist/writer I go fanish over. ^_^; It was embarrassing talking to him, and barely being able to contain my excitement at being able to speak with him. -_-; I'm going to die of shame someday, thinking about it.
And the Austin Public Library ladies!
We all traded ideas and it looks like there might be some manga/comics art and writing classes at the Austin Public Library in the future! *^-^* Also exchanged tons of business cards with other librarians, whom I now finally have the time to write. Oy vey. It feels so good to not have anywhere to be at. *^-^*