San Diego Comic Con International 2001

I was actually at Comic Con 6 out of it's 4 days, o.O I worked the Exhibitor's (dealers) registration on the 2 days prior to the Con, which I went to free. I meet tons of nice people on these days and had access to the Exhibitor's hall before even the people at preview night did. In fact I was able to buy 2 Final Fantasy X posters before anyone, and lucky I did because the people who were selling them (They were straight from Japan so they had lots of good stuff!) only had 30 copies and they sold out at Preview Night. *Preview Night was the the night before the con that only multi-day members, professionals and exhibitors were allowed to go to. It was the Wednesday night before the Con. The Comic Con International 2001 lasted 7/19 - 7/22

Thursday's kind of a blur...I got there about 11:30 a.m. and it was the first time I've ever been to anything like that. I already knew that the exhibitor's hall was HUGE, but it was so crowded in there. I did the most shopping on Thursday because there wasn't much to do. I got Megumi Hayashibara's album, Bertemu, a Misao rice paper picture which is so beautiful ^_^, a mini Lain tin lunch box, a adorable Chocobo plush and a Cowboy Bebop character's collection book. I seemed to meet and talk to all the exhibitor's like they were long time friends! They were all so nice to me. I had a good conversation with this guy who worked the ADV Films/Sun Coast booth and with some girls working the Anime Pavilion booth who, by the end of the convention, really got to know me! I also went to a REALLY interesting lecture about the Argentinean comic writer Oesterhled, one of the most influent ional comic writers in Spanish history: lecture by Ana Merino and a lecture about Yaoi, a Japanese form of girl's comics (yes, girls. Most all Yaoi manga are written by women) that has crossed international borders and evolved into a form of cyber sexuality. This lecture was by Fusami Ogi (SUNY). That was at 4:00 p.m. After that I went and worked a bit and was able to get Brent Spiner's (Star Trek's Data) autograph for my dad and I was like 2 feet away from Russell Wong (Romeo Must Die) but I didn't get his autograph because I didn't have any paper ;_; After that I followed this guy around who was trying to get more work for me to do, because by then it was about 5:30 p.m. and I was to work until 8:00 p.m. But there was nothing to do really, so I walked the Exhibitor's Hall again then sat around in the Sail's Pavilion until about 7:30 when my dad came to get me.

Friday was more of an event day for me. I got there about 11:30 a.m. and I didn't work on Friday because there was too much things to do! I did manage to get the dealer working the Animetrix booth to put a Spike metallic wall thing on hold until the next day cause I'd spent my money on something else, but I had to have it >) . After another round through the exhibit hall, I went to the Trailer Park, which was about 2 hours of pure trailers for up coming movies that started at 12:30. They're making a Powerpuff Girl movie! ^_^ But I didn't stay for the who thing because at 1:30 I went to the Masquerade 101 session they had because I'd never done it and I wanted to know what to expect Saturday night when I went up in front of 4,500 people and did my little dance thingie in costume. That lasted about an hour and a half. After that I went and watched some Cowboy Bebop and Rurouni Kenshin until 5:00 up in the Anime rooms they had. I then left so I could go watch the premiere of the new Cartoon Network cartoon Samurai Jack. At that I got a free poster of it, which I gave to my brother cause I have no more wall space. After that I went and watched some bad anime waiting for the Rurouni Kenshin movie to come one was 8:50 p.m. After it was over I went home! ^_^ which was around 10:30 p.m.

Saturday: *The big day*
Saturday was the biggest day of the convention. I went there with my mom who wanted to see me perform in the Masquerade. Before that I had gone alone, but I always met people there ^_^ . I had to get there at 10:30 a.m. for the Masquerade orientation. I just want to say something, I got super special treatment for the Masquerade, in fact I even got my mom a free day pass because the Masquerade commander guy had dated my mom back in college and hadn't really gotten over her >) So it was sweet! I got almost anything I wanted eh heh heh heh. I took my costume to the Orientation and stored it in the room they were using for the Masquerade at that point in time. They didn't want you wearing your costume prior to the Masquerade because it kinda defeated the purpose of the masquerade to wear it before hand. The Orientation lasted about an hour and a half. There I dropped off my music and left all my little instructions for the tech people and MC. After that I had wanted to go to a Lord of the Rings trailer/discussion thing but I didn't because the line to get into the hall was almost a mile long, so my mom and I went to the Fish Market for lunch, even though I couldn't eat anything cause I had major butterflies in my stomach. After that we went back to the Convention center because I had my performance practice at 2:30. There I had to wait about 5 minutes for the people scheduled before me to finish with their practice. They were doing some REALLY cool fight scene thing because they were Masquerading as Mai from Fatal Fury and Yun from Street Fighter III. Their routine was so awesome! After they were done I put on my skirt and sleeves so I wouldn't get all messed up when I preformed my dance on stage, in costume. After a couple rounds, about 5, of practicing my routine, I stopped because my sleeves were getting kinda loose and I didn't k! now how much more my staff could take! There my mom told me how impressed the guy who was going as Yun was, he said I was really graceful ^_^ only making my head bigger...^^(). After that my mom and I went and hung out in the Sail's Pavilion. You guys have no idea how many Jedi there were there! Everyone and their mom was dressed up like a Jedi! Everywhere you look there was a Jedi! >) and I took a picture with a really cool Qui Gon Jin who let me hold his light saber and a REALLY cute Obi-won! At 4:20 p.m. my mom and I went and watched Rurouni Kenshin in one of the anime rooms. At that point in time my mom had only ever seen really bad little pieces of dubbed Sailor Moon. After watching Kenshin with me she understood why I would like this stuff so much and she found it entertaining, I love my mom ^_^ By then it was almost 5:00 p.m. and that's when they wanted all Masquerade participants to come to the "backstage" area and get ready. The Masquerade started at 8:00 and they wanted everyone in costume by 7:00. However...I started to freak out because that morning tickets for the Tool concert went on sale and I had forgot to ask Tamara to order the tickets for me, and they sell out in like 6 minutes. But, I was soon distracted by the fact that I needed to get ready. Tamara (she helped make my Yuna costume with me and she was the only one who knew how to tie my Obi) was going to get there at 6:00. So I figured I'd go make sure everything was ok in my dressing room. I looked through my stuff and found that I had no black bra which went under everything. I lost it at that point, I was about to hyperventilate, but got control and called home where one of my brother's friends said he's bring it to me. At that point in time I was very glad that he liked me because I don't live really close to the Convention Center... Anyway, my mom left me to go wait for him and I went to straighten my hair. At 6:20 there was still no mom and still no Tamara and I was still in normal cloth! es. I went downstairs to find my mom and Tamara, but only found Tamara. By then it was 6:30 and I only had a half hour to get in costume and make up. We found my mom and rushed upstairs and got dressed and make-up'ed faster then one would think possible and I still looked really good ^_^. started. Person after person in the back stage area only wanted my picture. In fact the people who awarded me the hall award took several pics during this time. I finally had to go and wait in the green room where I saw the girl who was dressed as Saturn who I saw during my practice and the two people as Mai and Yun, who really liked my costume. There were waited for our number to come up. I was number 39 (I was number 11 but I was able to get the guy who ran it to push be back to 39, like i said, I got special treatment!>) ). When it was called I went and waited back stage for about 15 to 20 minutes, the butterflies in my stomach went wild just waiting. I meet these really nice 3 girls, a guy, and a fish who were dressed as Chung Li's and one was some evil guy, right after me. After my performance I went to the photograph area and had a million pictures taken of me and an interview with a local TV station. I was also REALLY upset. The people had totally messed up my act. I did my little dance and at the very end of my music I had the wave of Tidus screaming, "YUNA!!" and at that point the lights were supposed to black and the rest of music, which had some more piano and Yuna saying, "Believe" in Japanese. But that never happened. A girl who earlier threatened to steal my costume and later look like 20 pictures of me and worked with the Masquerade(she really liked my costume ^_^) calmed me down. Then again it was the waiting game. I got back into the green room as the last couple people were on stage. After that it was the intermission where the judges went to decide who got what. Then my adrenaline kicked in. The shock of performing in front of 4,500 peo! ple wore off and I was wired. I went around snapping pictures of everyone who's costume I liked and had tons fo pictures of me taken. Finally were called back from the backstage area to the greenroom and the people's number's who won an award were called out. 32...37...39! my number was called out. Both my mom and Tamara screamed when they heard it! I was about to drop dead. As it turns out, I won the 3rd place prize from Anime Pavilion which was $50 booth credit. I tied this award with all those Chung Li's ^_^. After this the people from awarded me with their Hall Award and they took a few pictures. I went out and had like 4 people come up to me, all guys who obviously loved Final Fantasy, and asked me how I knew so much about FFX and had more and more pictures taken. I got to take this AWESOME picture with this girl who was dressed up with her sister as Squall, she had the best Squall costume I had ever seen and this perfect Gunblade, I'd seen her earlier in the exhibit hall with her sister who was Rinoa and I wanted a picture with the both of them after the Masquerade, but Rinoa left, so i just took one with Squall. I'm glad that she wanted a picture w/ me too. Unfortunalty the picture I took with them didn't come out and I'm really mad about that.. After this I went home ^_^

Sunday, I got there at about 12:00 p.m. in costume. However, I left my badge at home with the clothes I wore the night before so I had to go to the attendee help desk in the Sail's Pavilion and get another. There they didn't even question me and just gave me one because they remembered me from the Masquerade. They took a picture of my with my Staff and Chocobo and suggested that next time I wear a nude colored bra. I laughed at them and told them it was part of the costume ^_^. As I went downstairs to the Exhibit Hall, 2 girls passed by me and gasped and pointed at me with smiles. It was obvious they didn't know English very well and stopped me and pointed to their camera. I took a picture with one of them and felt really special because someone from Japan liked my costume. Then I walked through the doors of the Exhibit Hall that lead straight to the booth's that had the FFX merchandise and were playing the FFX trailer. I had to wait for the crowd to pass to get through and by then, people had just seen the video and pointed at me and took pictures lol. I went to Anime Pavilion's booth and got my award, but didn't spend it just then. One of the girl's who was working who I had met earlier was dressed up like Faye from Cowboy Bebop and I just had to get a picture with her and she wanted a picture withDonald's^ I went and got a camera and took a picture with her then looked at what they had there. I used my booth credit on a Rurouni Kenshin OAV wallscroll which I have no idea what I'm going to do with, a Gohan action figure for my brother, one of Arai Akino's album's which is REALLY good and the Lain Cyberia soundtrack. I then went to the Sail's Pavilion and ate some string cheese and read what anime's they were showing that day. I then left and went to the Masquerade replay that they showed at 2:30. There I meet up with the two people who had dressed up as Mai and Yun and hung out with them the rest of the day ^_^. The Con ended at 5:00 and then! we left and ate at Mc. Donalds for dinner. They were nice and cool, I'm glad I got to know them ^_^