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About alabaster

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    Grand Vizier
  • Birthday 07/10/1970

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    Columbia, MD
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    anime, duh.

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  1. Otakon 2018 Guest Request

    So real briefly: On some level, it seems like you're just venting and don't want a response, and that's fine, but this is a guest request thread, on a forum designed for member interaction. Venting's fine, but if you vent *here*, it's only fair to expect a response, and in fact I'd argue we need to be responsive to complaints. There is also a difference between being vocal and being needlessly abrasive and confrontational. If you find yourself constantly being challenged about your opinions, it's likely that *how* you express your opinions is what people are reacting to. I've been on this forum since it started and I try, as a rule, to be tactful and reasonable in my responses. (Full disclosure: I personally agree that the mix of guests felt a little off last year, but I'm privy to some of the reasons why particular calls were made, even if I can't discuss all of them here. It isn't my call to spill beans when I'm not in charge and didn't make the decisions, but I think you'll find that I have explained my own calls in the past, and hopefully that lends some credibility.) Anyway, venting in public and then being upset when people push back on things you say or get defensive in response to your words? That's not a healthy way to go, and will eventually lead to embittered troll-dom. It may be a hard lesson for all of us to learn, but other people have opinions and reasons that are different from ours, and the same right to share those as we do. This isn't anyone's personal soapbox for shouting unchallenged opinions into the ether, it's a forum for discussing and questioning and answering. Look, you absolutely have the right to disagree with the choices made, but we (your fellow forum members and staff as well) also have the right to provide another perspective, and explain why a choice might have been made. Where things get unhappy is when someone claims that a decision they personally disagree with is either evidence of a laziness on the part of the organizers, or a terrible choice because of irrelevance -- and it is patently untrue. A few popular but frequent voice actors get complaints from a vocal minority, for example, but routinely pack rooms and book new shows. You may personally be tired of them, but that's fine; they're still an excellent use of convention resources and a guaranteed draw. And there are a few friends that we can rely on to fill seats and fill in for a drop-out. Because I wasn't in charge of guests last year (just the AWM show), I can't speak much to specifics, but I will say that there was a reliance on proven guests last year, and it wasn't necessarily the mix I'd have brought. Nearly everyone we brought were folks I've known for years, most of them friends, but none of them were my call. As you know, the only real exception to the "don't repeat guests two years in a row" rule has been Maruyama-san; for pretty much all other cases, industry has sponsored the repeat guest for their own reasons. Michael and Stephanie, and a few others, were here for that reason primarily. (They're also personal friends, but I've tried very hard not to let that influence my decisions, and at any rate I had no say in their presence.) Even so, Your Name was a big deal, and Gundam was having anniversary, and they're both knee deep in that stuff. So to sum up: * Lots of things go into the decision to bring a particular guest. * The repeats were likely because of industry requests, or may have been replacements for other planned guests that you never heard about. * The mix of guests last year was a little more reliant on prior guests than we usually are, but that's at least party because of the move and the need to have dependable draws * It's fine to feel however you feel about a particular guest, but if you post a complaint in our forums and don't expect us to address it, and don't expect others to weigh in with their opinions, you're misunderstanding the point of a forum.
  2. Otakon 2018 Guest Request

    Moving this to the existing request thread. Typically, Otakon has not invited cosplay celebrity guests, though some have obviously participated in our show as panelists, judges, or even (in the case of Yaya Han) as vendors in our dealer hall.
  3. Otakon 2018 Guest Request

    Folks: Please use the existing guest request thread, which we DO follow, and don't create new threads to request specific guests. It's much easier to keep them in one place. Shifting this to the other one.
  4. Otakon 2018 Guest Request

    Folks, I've moved some stray guest requests for 2018 into this thread. I've also locked up some older threads in anticipation of upcoming archiving/housekeeping. As for me, I'm taking a little break this year -- something I'd kinda planned last year, but I ended up overseeing the Anisong World Matsuri instead. This year, it's more of a proper break, so I'll pop in here occasionally and will be giving what advice I can to the new blood behind the scenes. Hopefully he'll pop in soon to take stock of things. Fact is, I've been doing this here in the forums since we launched them in ...what, 2003 or so? And I've been in various leadership roles almost since I joined staff in 2002, and have been helping since 1999. If all goes as planned, you'll see me at con (both at upcoming Otakon Vegas and at Otakon in DC), but until then I'll be keeping a much lower profile than usual. Be good!
  5. Anime NYC Nov 17-19, 2017. Anyone here going?

    Heard of, certainly. Organizers are friends. Considering attending. Always nice to hit shows I don't have to actually work. (This is where I complain about the cost of going to NYC for a convention. $150+ parking for train up, if I'm lucky crashing with a friend, and then just the cost of being in NYC for a few days.)
  6. Suggestion: bring back daily passes

    It's NYC. There are 8 million people there, plus another several million within reasonable access. Publishing and Entertainment capital, and media thrives there. They're in no danger whatsoever; their sponsors cover a big chunk of their costs in exchange for access to your eyes and the media's. It's a different model entirely.
  7. Suggestion: bring back daily passes

    That's exactly it -- member contests, discounts (we've done Crunchyroll and others in the past), and the things you list are all ways we provide additional benefits beyond the main "attend Otakon" membership perk.
  8. Otakon 2018 Guest Request

    Various Abridged folks have often come to Otakon as panelists, but typically not as guests -- which in Otakon terms means "guest of honor". Little Kuriboh's been a few times. .
  9. Otakon 2018 Guest Request

    Folks, please note that guest requests are best kept in a single thread here for monitoring. I've pulled in the other rogue threads and merged them here. Please note that it's fine to request a guest that's already been requested. But please also read the pinned topic on this board, which is essentially a guest request FAQ.
  10. Pardon, I wasn't intending it as an attack. More of an observation -- that people will walk right past five warnings and never notice, and then complain they weren't warned. Happens all the time. I'm not saying you're deliberately ignoring the signs, just saying it's human nature. People miss stuff, especially when in new places and full of distractions and excitement. Past a certain point, additional warnings do little good. The 18+ policy is in the front of the program book with other policies; it is also on the website, and it should have been on easels with other policies in the line-up area at registration. You also agreed to follow the policies when you registered. Next time, you'll know, and it'll become part of the rhythm -- or you'll forget and have to go wait in a line again. Not the end of the world, just inconvenient. I use the guidebook app myself; it's especially effective with the free wifi in the WEWCC. Setting reminders can be a godsend.
  11. Except legally you can't take responsibility if you're under 18. And that leaves it with us to take reasonable precautions to prevent the wrong people seeing 18+ content -- it's a liability concern. As someone else points out above, that's why we have a third party contractor handle the age verification step. I'm sorry, but there are multiple warnings about needing 18+ wristbands and they've been standard practice for a decade now. One more reminder to ignore won't matter that much.
  12. Number of attendees?

    there are tons of ways to compare MLP to Sailor Moon, for a start. Tons of relevant panel ideas that can show the influence of anime on western cartoons like MLP, Steven Universe, Adventure Time, etc. tons of ways to address Asian culture as represented in western media, from Doctor Who to Lord of the Rings to Teen Titans.
  13. Pretty sure there were signs, and there were guards and staff in the area on both sides. But clearly we needed more. We seriously upped the signage this year, but more can't hurt.
  14. Yikes. Well, I was late to meeting the whole AWM crew for dinner, and walked in dripping like a drowned rat (seriously, I literally could not have been any wetter had I been dunked in a pool), unable to see through my glasses. I got a round of applause, which was nice, and a beer, which was nicer, and then hot soup, which was best of all. When you're *that* soaked, you're beyond any concept of being embarrassed.
  15. I would disagree on only one point -- it was a *significant* storm, and I've heard 2-4 inches of rain fell on the DC area in roughly an hour. I was crossing the street when it cranked up in intensity, and in three blocks dashing between what passed for cover, I got so drenched that I had to wring out all of my clothes several times, and my shirt didn't dry until monday.