July 30, 2014

Glass City Con 2014 Recap

Well well well, it's been a while, Glass City Con! For those of you who recall the LAST time I went to GCC, it's been a long time. There was the one year they were supposed to run, and then had funding issues, and then they went on hiatus for a year as they got new sponsors and such.

They finally came back this year, and after having a couple of what I'd consider "dud" cons (aka, barely making booth back - though one of those two I'm still interested in vending at), I didn't want to take any more chances. However, knowing that the show is about the same distance to get to Lansing, it was worth a day trip for me to see if it would be a show I'd be interested in in the future. (Reconnaissance, it's good for you!)

After an arduous morning, my friend Kristy, not to be confused with me, Kristie, (hey less names to remember, amirite?!), and I finally arrived at the show. It ended up taking us like 3 hours to get there or some nonsense. Between running late in the morning and then having an ungodly long backup near the border of Michigan, causing us to offroad onto some country roads to make our way there, missing an exit, driving over bridges a lot, BUT WE MADE IT.

As opposed to being a little College convention in a college building, this one was in a little convention center in downtown (I think) Toledo! It was called the Seagate center if I'm remembering and it was pretty cute inside. We headed in, and we were a little worried at first because we didn't see a lot of people.

Then we reached the inner convention area, and weren't so worried anymore. We found the line, and waited for our turn to get a badge. The staff was on the ball as there weren't a lot of pre-regs who needed to get in, soooooo they started taking all the regular people, which is great because we got through really fast.

Seeing as how we got there at like, noon, we were worried we were late. Turns out the alley didn't open until noon? Bwa? Really? We were confused given that it was only a 2-day convention, but hey, at least we didn't have to wait around for stuff to open. Heading inside, we found the dealers and artists in a big convention-hall space that kind of reminded me a little of Shuto Con's but much smaller?

Crowd was generally laid back, and wasn't too crazy for me (I get nervous if I have to deal with a lot of people and I don't have a table to hide behind!). We saw some pretty neat cosplays, but of course, here was one of my personal favorites:

Parenting: You're Doing it Right

I believe they were dressed from halo? And the little gal was absolutely adorable and so calm for having her face covered! She walked around that show like a BOSS.

My Cosplay pal, LunaLadyofLight was assisting with the Costume Contest at the show so I peeked in and said hello, as well as stopping by a panel being run by "And Sewing is Half the Battle" to say hi to them as well!

Speaking of cosplay, I had made one the day before - mostly because I'm running out of stuff that fits (means I need to run more or SOMETHING), and I lost all my accessories on the one outfit I WAS going to wear. So I went as a Casual!Madoka in a pink Yukata. XD Yep. Made me another kimono because WHY NOT.

lucky for me I had the wig, shoes, and tabi socks just lyyyyying around.

After perusing the show for a good chunk of the day, Kristy and I did some photos and then we went and saw the Masquerade, which was short as we expected it to be.

I did have one major complaint about the Masquerade though - the halftime show. What is it with cons and their halftime entertainment being a bit... how shall we say... inappropriate for the age of the audience? This time we got a pseduo burlesquey kind of dance by a gal who was very pretty, but basically was doing lots of shimmying, skirt flipping, and bust views during the whole thing. I don't mind it if it's an older audience, or a show that's specifically indicated for teens and up, but seriously, there are KIDS at these things. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

After the show we stopped by to have dinner with ASiHtB, to which we went and had some delicious pizza (albeit it took us like 3 hours to get it due to the computer apparently "losing" our order? But we got a free pizza out of the deal by accident? So yay?). Found out I'm apparently sort of internet famous for that little Sailor Moon propaganda poster I made a while back, and made the day of one of the gals with us at dinner.

Then, as the day was ending, very very late, my pal and I headed home, and goodness gracious if I wasn't dead for the entirety of Sunday. I slept like 2/3rds of the day. I felt like I had been hit by a truck or something (which is why, for those keeping score, I didn't update my comic monday. I was DEAD.)

Anyway, that was about it.

TL;DR Version

Good: It looks like it has potential to be a bigger show, a decent amount of attendees, artist area was pretty well-sized. Staff seemed knowledgeable, everybody seemed pretty happy to be there.

Bad: Location took some time getting used to, heard there were some table snafus (OH BTW there was a "geeky porn" table there or something and let me tell you how...awkward that was having it in the alley), and Masq's halftime was... special.

Would I Vend Next Year? Still on my maybe list. I gotta talk to some of the other people who vended at the show to get their take.

July 23, 2014

In Case of Power Outage, Press Play

Okay guys. As I'm writing this there's a string of storms headed through Michigan, the lovely state in which I reside.

For those not in the know, apparently the area in which I live in is quite possibly the WEAKEST power grid I've ever dealt with - and a mere tiny thunderstorm has knocked out our power numerous times. I'm getting really sick of having to replace the food in our fridge (I made sure not to buy any ice cream or milk this time around in hopes nothing bad will happen).

BUT just in case that happens and I can't update my comic properly, I will leave you with an awesome thing.

If you've been anywhere near the internet you might have heard about a little musical artist known as Weird Al. He's super cool, and I must say his new CD is ON FIRE. It's a great selection of songs, but I wanted to show you guys my favorite one.

a.) It makes the graphic designer in me so happy because I love the way it's animated.

b.) It summarizes what I feel when reading incomprehensible things on the internet.

(assuming by the time you see this the video isn't taken down sometime in the FAR FAR FUTURE. I mean, if you're looking at my blog years from now, like YEARS this video might not exist. So I apologize for that. When I posted it the video was in action.)

(For you FUTURE TRAVELERS, the song is "Word Crimes" by Weird Al - and is a fresh take on the song Blurred Lines which is a horrible horrible song - with a catchy tune apparently - so let us rejoice in getting a fun hilarious set of lyrics to go with this snazzy music now.)


MORNING UPDATE: WE HAVE POWER. It's also significantly cooler in the house today - so I can finish coloring in my art lair (which happens to be upstairs and was doing its best yesterday to impersonate a sauna.)

July 17, 2014

Hey, Where'd That Go?

I'm one of those creative types who has like 18,000 projects running through her head at all times, and I will admit I get a little jumbled now and again, but mostly keep stuff in order.

You know the type. We just keep getting new ideas, and shuffling them into our mental filing cabinet, which I think perplexes some other people, and that's totally okay! I don't expect everybody to know what's going on up there in my head.

However, it does make me forget to tell people when I have a plan for things that they don't think I have a plan for. Namely, I wanted to reassure everybody that even though I'm really focusing on Sky's End right now, I haven't forgotten about my other projects!

Most importantly, Tangerine Wings.

I honestly haven't forgotten about this lovely little story I had started!

Now that I'm getting used to doing things via actual paper, I need to actually sit down and remember how to do this digitally (if I still want to do that as is) or if I need to get myself Manga Studio to get better tones going (I'm honestly VERY limited in what I can do here with tones).

So my promise to all you lovely readers is that while I'm working on Sky's, I'm working to create a very large buffer in which I'll spend the buffer time then penning the next chapter (of which I have mostly plotted out, I just need to actually DRAW it up).

It might take a while - my current estimate is to be drawing the next chapter by September, but we'll see how efficient I can be! I'll keep you all updated as I go along. :)

July 15, 2014

Dashcon - A Lesson We Could All Learn From: AKA "How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Ball Pit"

So I don't know if the rest of my readers here keep up with latest convention information, but quite a debacle went down this past weekend in July.

There was this little show going on in Illinois called "Dashcon". The name had appeared in my tumblr feed a few times, as well as through artist circles, so I figured I'd check out their website. Site looked slick, but the premise for the show was dubious at best. This "convention" was set to be a "tumblr convention" wherein all different tumblr users could meet in person and finally see each other in meatspace as well as share in their fandoms, artwork, and more.

Seems legit, right? Well, that is unless you know Tumblr. I definitely have a very love/hate relationship with tumblr. It's great for WIP shots, promotional stuff, and getting artwork out, but it's also writhing with crazed fandoms, less than savory pictures (usually NSFW, thank you people who tag those), and tons of "Social Justice Warriors".

It can honestly be a very tiring place, and it's taken me a while to even pare down my tumblr feed so I don't get depressed on a daily basis. BUT I DIGRESS.

Around two months ago, they posted their "panel listing", to which I opened it up with a group of friends, and even just SEEING the titles of the panels, the show became a big NOPE to me. A lot of the "panels" focused on strange topics like "tumblr speak" all the way to ones obsessing over stuff like "British Men With Cheekbones". Needless to say, it was a huge red flag.

The show claimed that they were going to have some pretty big tumblr guests as well as "Welcome to NightVale" doing a Q&A and a reading of their podcast shows. Totally legit, right?

Well, as the weekend progressed, I discovered just how badly designed and organized this poor show had been. Thank you internet for keeping me up to date on this!

1.) According to the convention, the hotel was going to toss out the convention on Friday night if they didn't come up with the full amount to cover the show, equaling about $17,000 (they already apparently had $3000 on hand because the total was $20,000). They managed to raise this money within hours. Queue tumblr memes of "what $17,000 can buy you.

This is still under investigation - and rumor have been flying like crazy. Namely - was this a scam? Did the hotel re-neg on their original contract? How did they get the paypal money immediately to the show? (It takes 3-5 business days to transfer the money) Will contributors be refunded after the show is paid off with entrance fees and the like?

Did the hotel make it up because they were "weirded out" by the con goers? (According to some accounts, this hotel had never actually held a convention like this and were taken aback by the weird people in costumes), or was the convention staff trying to get extra money they knew they wouldn't get otherwise? NOBODY KNOWS YET.

I'm still waiting to find out more details. Honestly, because I'm worried about the poor people who contributed a lot of money and tried to make this an honest thing.

2.) They had advertised 3,000-5,000 attendees. According to accounts, about maybe 500-1500 might have been there all weekend.

3.) Guests began disappearing after it became apparent that they were not going to get paid. NightVale even had to pull out (understandably so), but attendees who paid for an extra ticket were not told until hours after the start time and no show. They were then given the option of having "One Extra Hour in the Ball Pit"

4.) Speaking of the ball pit... Yes. They had a room with an inflatable bounce house and a ball pit (I don't understand why cons do this - other ones have, and they've been kind of impressive, but honestly, I don't get it. Maybe I'm too old.). But this one? This one spawned it's OWN memes.

That's it. An inflatable kiddie pool with plastic balls in it. 

At some point it apparently sprung holes and deflated. So they had to patch it up.

5.) After checking out a personal account of a former committee member, I came to the conclusion that the people who decided to organize this show had never actually worked at a convention, let alone thought about how they're actually run. Apparently the committees were based on "fandoms" (superwholock, vampire diaries, etc), rather than... say... departments. You know, things like "guest relations" and "vendors".

Honestly the whole thing was a hot mess. I hope that we can all learn from this event on "what not to do when running a show". I'm almost more embarrassed for this convention than the AkiCon disaster the other year (where all the artists and vendors were located in a leaky, cold garage with no heat).

My condolences go out to anybody who may have gone out with the intention of having a good time, but getting kinda shafted in a way. Those who had fun, I'm glad you did, but don't think this is how shows are run, please!

At least we got some good memes out of it, right?

katsucon gazebo to the RESCUE! (found on tumblr)


If you'd like more COMPREHENSIVE coverage of this event and the disasters that went down, I'd STRONGLY suggest checking out the links below.

Other Website Coverage

Daily Dot

The Geekiary

The Escapist


Further DashCon Reading (tumblr posts)


General Recap & Updates

Personal Account by a Former Committee Member

Personal Account by Attendee

July 10, 2014

Retro Recap: Indy Pop Con 2014!

Retro Recap Time! I didn't want to totally flood my blog with a bazillion convention reviews as I had so many so close to each other I was getting exhausted. So here's the recap I had been working on but got distracted with!


This year I had the opportunity to vend at Indy Pop Con, which was a "Pop Culture Convention" being held in downtown Indianapolis! 

Dave and I got there on Thursday afternoon after an interesting drive of avoiding all the accidents that seemed to be occurring on EVERY FREEWAY EVER. We also picked the route that apparently avoided ALL REST AREAS. Never doing THAT again!

So we got in, and then traveled down to the convention center hall, to which I've only EVER been visiting to during GenCon. I'll admit. I was a tad stoked to be in the hall I had only visited before. The hall they had set up was HUGE, and I'd want to say it was on par with the space size of C2E2 in 2012 when I visited that one. Lots of vendors, lots of artists, and a whole bunch of other things!

Since I was sharing a booth with my pal, Tiny T-Rex studios, we had to figure out how to combine our booths, and we came up with this lovely set up:

We had a lot of stuff.
I discovered that I LOVED the put together cubes for a set up kind of like this - so I'm probably going to be investing in some of those for Anime cons (I'll talk more about that later!).

We got set up, and then crashed out at home. Friday was a slightly later starting day, but we still got there pretty early. It was hard to tell exactly how many people were there, as the room was so huge, but it felt kind of sparse. There were some really neat vendors, and I liked walking around the artist's area seeing all my neighbors. I was also selling the books written by my pal Laura (who I did the cover for Con Job for [that I mentioned in an earlier post], and she had written some other stuff too! CHECK OUT THE LINK!)

I even got my own copy, signed by her, I was so excited. I can't wait to read it. :)

ANYWAY, Saturday came, and there were definitely more people, but it still felt sparse? Either way, we were still slow on the business end, but don't worry - Dave and I were using this time to think of new ideas for conventions (as we always do!)

Apparently there was quite the hullabaloo about the Costume Contest, which I certainly didn't enter, I was busy trying to sell things! Kinda glad I didn't though, it was apparently kind of special and I hope they fix it for next year.

Then after the show room closed for the night, we all traveled over to our friend Alena's house and hung out for pizza and fandom chatter, which was a fabulous night! I had a lot of fun just hanging out and relaxing at a con for once. :)

Then Sunday came, and the crowd was about the same? People ended up packing up around 4 pm as the crowds were really dying down at this point, and we were ready and out by 5 pm! On the road, and headed home, which we made great time, and gave us a good amount of time to rest and relax before starting the workweek again.



  • Very professional! Hall was set up like actual shows - we had CARPET IN FRONT OMG, everything looked really polished.
  • No bad spots, really! No poles to worry about, everybody was pretty visible
  • Big room!
  • Lots of cosplay! Lots of Kid cosplay! (OMG TINY BEN TEN I <3 YOOOOU)
  • PLEASANT CROWD - No running screaming groups, everybody was mostly polite, felt like a real show, not a babysitting service!


  • Not as much attendance as previously estimated by the show. This probably hurt them the most - they were expecting Indiana Comic Con numbers, but got maybe a third of that (I hear the dealer's weren't very happy about this).
  • Attendees really didn't know what they wanted out of the show, or how the show worked (newbies are great! But an entire audience full of newbies is difficult to figure out what they want)
  • Lurking cleaners - I swear they all just sat around the Ladies room waiting for somebody to use it, and then hurry in and clean it. I like a clean bathroom, but I don't like having random people just lurking in there waiting to clean and hearing me as I, yanno, USE THE BATHROOM!


  • Shrink the areas for a year? It definitely needs sometime to get bigger - I'm glad it was as big as it was this first year, because the attendees appeared to have a blast, so they'll definitely be repeats.
  • Increase the number and type of panels - and please change the process for panel sign ups. It was apparently very haphazard and unconventional.
  • Advertise specifically to each group you want to cover - I think the comic book fans didn't realize there was a ton of comic stuff here, and the anime fans had no clue what to expect, and the general fantasy/sci-fi/gaming crowds had NO clue what was there! If there was some specified advertisements (not just the general "we're having a PopCon!" flyers), it might help get a lot more out-of-towners in.
  • Try to keep the guests in their own area? I was at at able located right next to an art guest who was providing free head sketches, which pretty much killed any chance we had of doing commissions at our booth (and I'm sure others did too).
  • Heavier duty badges. Mine got all bent, and I like to keep em, but that's just me. OH, and please have a space for a name? That'd be awesome.

Overall Rating:

OKAY - I would definitely want to try my own booth again next year. I'm lucky because I know people in the area I can stay with, and I'd like to experiment with my table set ups, so my costs aren't as high. It just needs a little refining. I sense a lot of potential in this convention. :)

July 7, 2014

Somehow I figured out comic coloring in the past year....

So in case you hadn't heard, I'm kinda doing this webcomic called SKY'S END.

I had started drawing this comic ages ago (like what, 4 years give or take? maybe it's 3? I DUNNO I'M GETTING OLD), and the beginning was kind of gobbledygook and as I was re-writing the story, it kind of got more precise and I needed to change a lot of stuff from the beginning. However, going back and retconning like 40 pages would be a tad difficult (I honestly lost count at this point too), because so much is different than when I started it.

So very very much.

THAT HAIR. Gave me more tendinitis problems than I'd care to advertise.

The original comic came from a chat-based RPG, long long long LONG ago. When considering adapting it, I had started trying to keep it exactly the same as the plot we had. Maybe with a few tweaks. Welllllll, there were two flaws with this:

1.) I'd already know EXACTLY what every character is doing at every moment and I would be reliving the same tale again and again over a LONG period of time. And frankly, that's kinda boring for me.

2.) The comic would go on forever, probably most of my life. I don't need that. I'd like it to finish at some point and I can work on other things!

I worked with my husband on switching around plots, characters, tightening up a lot of world-building stuff and plot stuff I had left up in the air. Needless to say, during this time, the more and more I looked at the old comic... the more I didn't like it at all.

I also had the problem of changing my medium every dozen pages or so - I started doing just straight ink, tried to do digital tones. I wasn't really happy with that, and then eventually moved onto digital inking with digital tones. During this time, I also switched over my drawing template, so my margins were COMPLETELY differnent than what the original pages were. I also wasn't happy with this style either. I would find the pages would take me a bazillion years to finish, as it would be eons between when I could get them done.

...the project got sporadic. I lost interest as the old version I didn't like as much anymore. And I got busy with a bunch of other stuff. Like getting married and things.

So I decided to officially set a new date for myself. I found some new pens (yay JET PENS), and I did some color testing. And, as was expected there was only ONE TRUE WINNER when it came to what I could color with the fastest:

can I tell you how much I love this panel?


The comic officially launched on last Wednesday, July 2 (I was gonna originally do it the 1st, but then I realized I wanted to update M-W-F, and the 1st was a Tuesday and i wasn't having any of that. Also, my power went out. ALL FREAKING DAY - I actually went to my husband's work and borrowed a cubicle just so I could use my light box. I don't think Panera would have liked me bringing in all my art supplies).

I think I've definitely improved since the last, original, batch of pages:

the actual size of this picture is on 11x14 paper and it FILLS the length of it.

There are always things I can improve, and I will say, my biggest nemesis is making sure my boxes are straight-straight. But it's not too bad. I think it looks just fine for now. (It's a tad more difficult because I don't have a blue box line on the 11x14 paper - since I'm doing it in color, it'll be hard to remove that exact color in photoshop, so I have to HARDMODE it) I'm working on better ways to figure this out - but these things come with time. The key to webcomics is clearly: JUST POST IT. OMG JUST. JUST POST IT. I DON'T CARE, POST IT.

As always, you can find the comic at http://skys-end.com, and it will be updating every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as much as I possibly can. (I'm now fighting the buffer monster, which I should be able to finally build properly now).

If you're lazy and want to be auto-reminded on when I post, go onto tumblr and follow my page: http://skys-end.tumblr.com! I always post an update at 9 am, and I'm working on nighttime reminders around 10 pm!