The well anticipated Otakon has come and gone and post con depression has swept over Facebook faster than the geek flu at a winter convention. I myself must say that I have a touch of it, but I will say that this is an Otakon that will go down in history for me.
This year when applications popped up on my RSS feed, I decided to just bite the bullet and show the otaku world what I had to offer with my close friend Margaret, the brains behind Magga Draws. This would be my first time selling my artwork at a convention whereas this would be Margaret’s first large con. Through months of stress and sketchpads we had finally made it to Thursday; the calm before the storm.
After having a great time at the Matsuri festival where all of the same groups of people who’ve had a table there last year (BSFS, AnimeUSA, etc.), Margaret met me at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum where we work, just to make sure we were able to meet up without confusion. We walked down past the long line down to the second set of doors to the convention center to just check in, but instead of the artists going there to check in where there was no line, we had our separate line inside the convention center. We did have line priority to skip the line so we would have extra time to set up. Unfortunately, waiting in line because there was only one set of people taking care of one artist at a time, the system shut down and we waited for two hours until it was back up and running. Hungry, tired, and ready to get out of line, with what little time we had left, Margaret and I had no choice to leave our stuff at our table and worry about set up tomorrow. That evening was met with a ton of friends I haven’t seen in a year (since last Otakon, really) who couldn’t get their ticket because they had cut off the line to make their 10:30 stopping point and others who successfully acquired their ticket after hours of waiting in line. After a few drinks and reminiscing of Otakon’s past my boyfriend met me there listening to the stories we shared about past experiences and of what’s to come; this was his first Otakon.
After relaxing the night before I was ready to go and sell my artwork with my usual overconfidence dressed as Shadow the Hedgehog. My partner began to feel a little nervous, but what normal person wouldn’t be? We had a small grace period where the VIPs first came in an hour early to see what we had to offer and it was the calm before the storm.
Then the clouds rolled in and it began to rain.
There was no time to rest. There were times where I had no time to eat. During this time, unfortunately my boyfriend had to go to work during the day and experience Otakon at night because his job wouldn’t let him take off. After my first night I was super busy, Margaret was super happy, and he was super disappointed. He didn’t quite understand the obsession I felt about attending conventions and I didn’t understand why he hadn’t been consumed with a passion for conventions. The next day was a similar experience. More people visited my table with amazing costumes which I could take pictures of, having them take pictures of my Garnet costume from Steven Universe, buying my product, chatting with people who are in similar fandoms, and all around having a great time with my partner. However, even though I was having a blast, by the time my boyfriend got off of work and made his way back to the con, most of the things he was looking forward to go to already over and it was ending. We decided to have dinner and I began to tell him about the amazing day II. Even though he wasn’t happy with what his second day, he was proud of mine, which pushed him to go and experience the con for one last day.
We both started on a bad start, with the bus running late (after the first one drove right passed us) and didn’t even get to the convention until much later, I was late to open my half of the table; understandable because I was dressed as a weeping angel which probably scared the driver off. My awesome tablemate took care of most of the work for me and I was off and running as soon as I sat down. Not only that, meeting people who love the cosplay I do, who just want to talk and share a conversation with me about fandoms is always my favorite part of this whole weekend. This was also the first day that my boyfriend could venture on his own during the day in his first ever cosplay: the 11th doctor to go with my weeping angel.
Once everything was done, I took the train home with my boyfriend who was extremely quiet with a large grin on his face. He looked at me and began to tell me a story. He fixed his bowtie as he walked me through his day of people taking his picture for the first time and having a great time talking with others without a worry for once. Then he started to tell me about a time where he was taking a picture and his wallet dropped out of his pocket. He didn’t notice it was gone until much later and hoping for a lucky strike, he decided to go to the lost and found just to see if it was there. It was there with all the money still inside. It was rearranged because it looked like someone was just looking for his ID. Nothing was missing. He sat there for a second letting it sink in. That was the first time he had ever experienced that sort of nobility; that sort of kindness in the outside world. He realized that with that level of chivalry still existing in conventions, he now knew why it meant so much to me to have cons in my life.
Despite the waiting in line for hours, forgetting about missing the big events this year, letting go of the fact that we missed all of the panels that we wanted to see, just the fact that there was someone kind enough to do something as simple as return a wallet blew all of his expectations out of the water. There were several firsts that we both experienced that made our experience at Otakon this year. He grabbed my hand as we got of the light rail on the way home and after a couple of seconds of silence he turned to me and said, “I can’t wait for my second con. I already have a second cosplay in mind if you’d like to hear it.”