A few hours ago I got back from BUCK, which was my very first convention ever. I’ve never considered myself one for cons but BUCK was seriously so bucking fantastic I really cannot wait for next year, and will definitely be trying to make sure I can get to Crystal Fair Con and Galacon assuming the dates work out ok.
For anyone who doesn’t know, I was kindly selected as a guest of honour for the con, which got me free tickets (whoop) as well as an awesome little picture of my OC on the front cover of the con book (which I lost, doh). Annoyingly the con ran out of guest badges somehow so I had a standard write bracelet with the text guest scribbled on it, and while I was never going to make a fuss and it isn’t really a *huge* deal, it did bother me a bit. Surely there should have just been a pile of x guest badges for the x guests but whatever. While I’m complaining, I was also a little bothered by the general lack of information I received, I really had to keep digging at people leading up to the con to find out what I had to do, and it’s lucky I did otherwise I’d never have gotten my ticket. Maybe this is just because I’m not experienced with cons and I didn’t know if I was supposed to skip the line or what, but it was very much an issue for me.
Now that I got the negatives out the way regarding staff though, I can only give them glowing praise for everything else. You guys seriously did an amazing job at organising this con. I’ve watched enough screw ups at cons to know this one went very cleanly, with the only issues being things starting a bit late but c’est la vie. Clover if you read this I wish I could have gotten to chat with you over the weekend, but I know you were ultra busy with sound equipment, and you did an *amazing* job with all that setup. Major kudos to you and the rest of the technical staff for doing a generally thankless task that required stupid amounts of work. While I’m dropping names, Emerald did a great job MCing compared to other people I’ve seen doing it. Should have totally told people to shut up with “fun” more often though.
I also decided to drop...quite a lot of money at BUCK. I didn’t see it happening but I totally got swept up with the charity auction and decided to spend £500 on this totally adorable Snowdrop plushie, which felt great and lots of people wanted pics of her so I carried her around for the rest of the con. I kind of forgot who was running the auction but she did a great job there too, especially since I’m assuming english wasn’t her first language. It could have been hurried along a bit, but unlike other brony auctions I’ve seen it wasn’t full of people trying to slap their signatures on everything to stroke their egos. It was a really fantastic and fun auction to be involved with, and the £6,500 raised was just incredible. Sorry to the two guys who I sniped Snowdrop from :V
A surprise person I got to meet was Blitzpony who I didn’t even know lived in the UK. I love her art ( my profile is covered with it ) and she was totally cool as hell in person. Blitzy pls marry me thx xoxox. I’m sorry guy who she was with but your name totally slips my mind, but both of you were fantastic and I really enjoyed the time we got to chat (and bail from the autograph line) together, before I got whisked into judging fanfiction.
Speaking of that, if the guy who wrote the Daring Do fanfic which won reads this, please get in touch with me. We really liked it and I totally want to feature it. If the guy who wrote the poem reads this please do as well, because yours was actually my favourite. All the rhyming and flow in that poem written in 45 minutes was really impressive to me!
The highlight of the con for me was really just hanging around the lobby areas just chatting to people who recognised the shirt. I loved talking to you guys, and it was one of the most humbling things in my entire life. It made me feel validated with my work and by the closing ceremony I was finding myself really emotional at the whole thing. I didn’t expect it to hit me like it did but while singing Winter Wrap Up ( about the most painfully brony thing I can think of ) I found myself practically holding back tears because I just didn’t want it to end.
As far as the panel goes, Hazel and Sketchy it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed chatting to the two of you at other times during the con. I am pessimistic as hell so I expected like 30 people to turn out but at a rough guess I think we had about 120-130 people there which was amazing at 10am (grrrr….10am panel….). Unfortunately a lot of the questions were aimed at writing (of course) so I either couldn’t answer a lot of them or had to give kind of wishy washy motivational answers which I was annoyed with but I tried my best to say things that were as fact based as I could because people who give general motivation answers drive me mad to no end. They’re not answers. I really wanted to have a version of the Android app to show at the panel but I couldn’t finish it in time and since it was a purely Q&A panel there’s no where I could have demo’d it. Next year, Clover, Zeeraw and I are going to do a panel even if I have to move mountains to do it, because it was kind of silly me being on a writer’s panel even if I appreciate the con couldn’t put me anywhere else.
Zeeraw…..man you are one cool dude. Too cool to be a programmer. Get the hell out of my industry son. I spent the best part of Sunday with Zee (who runs cloudsdale, check it out), and we had a lot of fun chatting about code, programming meet ups, moderation and all kinds of other stuff. I can’t wait to get to hang with you again.
^ Zee and I out on the town saying goodbye :(
The cosplay contest had some really amazing entries. I’m *so* glad the Pegasus Guards and Princess Twilight won awards because they were my favourites. The Vinyl Scratch and Daring Do fursuits were very nicely done too, was fun seeing them around the place.
If I could mention another thing that got me a bit down, I did frankly feel a bit out of place as a guest of honour. Maybe I should have just been a guest because let’s be honest, compared to the musicians listed on the list I felt like a nobody. I was kind of annoyed I didn’t even know about the green room, it would have been nice to maybe chat with some of my fellow “guests of honour” or the Crebers (who I really badly wanted to chat to), though frankly I feel like hardly any of the musicians would care to talk to me anyway and I'm not one for imposing (hell, I queued in the normal ticket holder line), so whatever.
Despite that though, this was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. I totally know what con crud is now, and I cannot wait to get to another con. Really, the ones of you that came to speak to me made my weekend. I want to be approachable. I want to be a guy you can just come and chat to and I tried to make myself that guy at the con and I was so utterly humbled and emotional that people even wanted to talk to me or get my signature. That was funny actually. When I was first asked to sign something I had no idea what to do because I’ve never signed knighty before!
I’m sure I’ve missed a load of stuff but that’s everything I can brain dump right now. Until next year!
edit: I forgot to mention Roboshi, ie my "I favourite everything on derpibooru". I wish we could have chat more but I had to get somewhere and there were a bunch of people who wanted to ask about things after the panel so I couldn't talk much. Now I know what you look like we can have a proper chat next year though :V
edit2: And HMage! God damnit my short term memory sucks. I'm so glad we got to meet finally and walk around town. The whole breakfast/lunch thing was sadly a bit awkward because I don't really know anyone else there but I'd love to hang out with you again.