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Posts posted by alabaster

  1. In 1987 through the mid 90s, the bustling harbor place pavilions were packed every weekend and busy most weekdays. I even worked there over a summer or two. I say 1987 because that was my first real solo trip down there after high school graduation.

    Now, when I say packed, I mean every retail and restaurant space and then some was filled — all the shops, plus carts and temporary setups.

    One major cause of mall death across the board is obscene rent costs and rules that make it nearly impossible for anything but big stores to operate without losing money, in “tourist” areas like Harborplace. but it’s true of most malls and has been for twenty years. Then the market begins to collapse and owners take shortcuts that make the mall less appealing, and as stores disappear the survivors get more pressure....it’s vicious.

    When I went to Sydney, Australia, that harbor has a very similar feel (and the same architects), but the rents are either stabilized or supplemented to ensure business can turn a profit and stay afloat — because it keeps the tourist area vibrant.

  2. Short answer: some of the earlier ones are complicated by copyright issues, which we discovered when we tried to arrange something cool for our 10th.  At least one of the early ones is probably not reprintable at all, if memory serves because it uses a character we don't have rights to. In other cases it's likely that either we don't have access to quality version of art, or don't have the correct agreement in place for reprint -- it was a few years before we got the hang of that stuff.  But I've seen the odd shirt show up on eBay.

  3. 9 hours ago, Aresef said:

    Yeah, I just wish they weren't legally obliged to keep people in the lurch so long.

    Heck, even having a con, what would that look like? Something I asked in the feedback session of the Twitch event that didn't get answered was what kind of restrictions was Otakon prepared to put in place if the con were to have gone on (assuming planning was at that stage at the time the plug was pulled).

    The short answer -- and remembering I do NOT currently speak on behalf of the organization -- is that we've generally followed the recommendations and requirements of the venue, because what choice do we have? And the venue follows city guidance. Everyone does.  Just like we're stuck with the required food vendors and security contractors, and required to scan bags and restrict costumes.  (Further disclaimer: there are a LOT of Ota staff connected with health care, public safety, and government, and we're pretty vocal when such things are discussed. It would be impossible to "go rogue" for something like "do we follow guidance" with this crew.). Masks and sanitizer, of course; but social distancing a convention simply was NEVER going to work, and anyone with any sense saw where this was headed.  All of the con runners have been discussing this since January. 

    If the show is just a glorified flea market, or run small with a really supportive hotel, then you MIGHT have a chance -- but panels and autographs and concerts just ain't gonna work safely while this crap is going on, and personally any guest willing to show up in the current climate is not someone I'd consider safe to be around.  Any show large enough to need a convention center simply cannot survive with a 25% cap on attendance and no content. Remember, it costs a few million dollars to run this event and organization, and the biggest part of that is the facilities and setup costs.  Being forced to run like that, even before bearing the brunt of extra precautions, would bankrupt us.

    But it's not just us -- NO event I'm aware of could take a 75% cut in revenue and survive; most would be fatally crippled, because nearly all of us run on thin margins and are supported primarily by membership or ticket revenue.  (Dr Matt the Minion could break it down for you, but the raw costs of running events like ours are staggering if you're not used to seeing them.)



    Will there be any autograph sessions for Chris and Sean?


    Was wondering the same thing.

    Alabaster - Able to shed any light on this? And or what the description of "Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F OFFICIAL" is on the schedule?



    They'll be signing exclusively at the Funimation booth, as they are entirely sponsored by Funimation.  We'll try to post any other info we have.


    As for DBZ:  If we got a description, it should be posted into the schedule.  That's the big show-based panel and you can expect them to be at that.

    Apologies, folks, it's been a roller coaster as usual and i've spent most of my waking hours at work or doing Otakon stuff, so I've left you high and dry once the guests were announced.



  5. This might be something you are still working out, but with Pony Canyon bringing them both over, are Seiji Kishi and Shinji Takamatsu going to be doing a joint signing session or separate ones?

    Probably separate as they are promoting separate properties. 

  6. Appreciate the thoughts as to how well the semi-offsite areas worked last year. The feedback is helpful.


    Rest assured we are giving plenty of thought to where and how we manage autographs, but bear in mind that the biggest issues involve lining-up space, and there is simply not enough of that to go around. Because y'all are a little crazy. :)


    As with the past few years, while the general autograph policy will remain in place, there may be specifics for particular guests that we will alert you to once we've finalized all the schedules and space usage planning.


    There's a part of me that will REALLY enjoy having room in DC to consider other options for the autographs area....


    I knew it.

    The Garo director was a huge hint.

    Kinda thinking that way too once I read her involvement in that show.


    If Funi is indeed the one that helped bring Park to Otakon, then they definitely outdid themselves this year with not only her, but also the English voices of Goku and Vegeta (now if only Otakon could have gotten the guests that Japan Expo has in store this year).



    Funimation brought us Sean and Chris, as their bios state. They weren't involved in any other guests.


    Garo is produced by MAPPA, which is Maruyama-san's company.  Those guests came via our good relationship with him.


    For Romi Park, we've actually tried to bring her a few other times, but the timing hasn't worked out -- she is after all one of the busiest seiyuu out there.  This year it worked out, and we're very happy about that.

  8. Glad you guys are excited; I am too!


    And we understand the concern about how we'll run the autographs.  We're working on it and are aware of the various conflicting preferences.


    Autographs are always a limited commodity and assuming we got the usual 2 hour-long sessions, only a few hundred people are going to get them. There's just a limit to how much can physically be done to accommodate the demand.





    But hey guys, we still have a few guests to announce.  Tomorrow's the Sunday act, and then some more guests next week. :)

  9. I've been hoping to get the chance to see Schemmel and Sabat at the same con for a while. Now hopefully I can actually make it to Otakon and see their events together, get both of their autographs, etc. A lot of wishful thinking, but the opportunity for any of that is plenty welcome.

    I've never heard of Draft King and it doesn't look like they've done anything in anime, so I probably won't be seeing them unless there's somehow nothing going on at the time.


    Believe it or not, Otakon doesn't ONLY bring folks with ties to anime, nor ONLY giant stars -- we've long brought up-and-coming, or otherwise under-appreciated, acts as well.


    Draft King is *most* of Stereopony, who did what by all accounts was an amazing show in Boston a few years ago -- so we know they can rock the house. But they're relatively new as DraftKing, and the sound is a little different,  so if we can help them get some deserved publicity and attention, all the better. Remember, our mission is at least partly about bringing something new or rare -- sometimes it's huge, hard-to-get, well-established stars; sometimes it's awesome bands you might otherwise miss out on.


    The question to ask is: have we steered you wrong before when it comes to music?

    I hope you'll give them a chance, because these gals ROCK.

  10. ^ Don't get your hopes up about Kappei Yamaguchi he came before & from the description it sounds like someone new.


    It's not Kappei Yamaguchi, though I hear he would like to come back at some point when schedules work out. We were his first.


    Look like we'll be the first US one for this seiyu too. :)

  11. Oh, you guys.


    So here's the current COMING SOON:


    Friday Musical Act:  Guess the guest ASAP next week. Announcement ASAP after that.


    US Voice Actors:  3 more. One will surprise you. One will make some people VERY happy. One is mostly known for video game work, but not for long. One contract left to sign and we're good there.


    Seiyuu: One. But oh my.  Mwahahah. (waiting for approved bio and updated photo)


    Director: 2 more. One is a true veteran who's worked on everything, the other has been really, really prolific for like 10 years now. Very happy with these, now I just need updated bio/photo...


    ...and like 3 or so more folks....

    ...and some premieres and special events...


    And assuming everything gets in my hands tomorrow, and the web ninjas can pull it off....we'll announce as many as we can next week.


    ...and then we gotta build the schedule.

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