Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This is what's called a Badass Weekend.

So! AnimeNEXT! Totally badass! Yes.

I always enjoy this convention as just a little vacation not so far away, never really percieved it as a big deal compared to some of the larger cons I go to throughout the year. This time however, it was just an all-around AMAZING weekend. As with many cons, however, it was made to be kickass all thanks to the friends that attended. It's much easier to remember what was so cool about this con when I link it to the people who went, so instead of a 3-day report, I'm gonna give some big thanks to the friends I hung with this past weekend.

The MAGFest Crew (Anthony "Kroze" Krestky, Brandon Girkas, Brian Wilson & Dominic Cerquetti) - These guys worked REALLY hard this entire weekend. The Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged booth they worked at in the Dealer's Room was fantastic looking and they sold out every single t-shirt they had. I roomed with most of these gentlemen for NEXT and they were a pleasure to be around. I helped them out as much as I could with selling stuff at the booth and it looks like it paid off, so keep it up guys!

Martin "LittleKuriboh" Billany - Martin I probably spent THE most time with during NEXT. Some of his close friends, like Alpha and Birde, also joined in and they were great to see. We did a whole bunch'a events together, including a panel for his YouTube smash-hit, two 4-hour long screenings of his videos...even some autographs! All of which, were PACKED. We also did a dramatic reading with a few other friends, plus I sold some of my drawings for the "Leather Pants" music video (Thanks, those who bought 'em!). Martin, you really kicked ass this weekend, thanks for everything!

Karl "Uncle Yo!" Kuster - This guy is HILARIOUS. We had the chance to hang with Karl at AnimeMilwaukee one night and he was incredibly entertaining to us all. At NEXT we really got to bond with him, laughing all the way thanks to his uplifting personality...and jokes about stabbing. Buy his comedy routines on disc, seriously. He also recorded a bunch of us after seeing Toy Story 3, which was the perfect way to end the weekend, then took the train back with me to NYC as we geeked out about various things. You're a riot, dude.

The BigBaldBroadcast Crew (Kyle Hebert & Marc Swint) - Always seen around cons, Kyle's also always a fun guy. Marc, his engineer for the Big Bald Broadcast, is also a hard-worker, a talented actor I work with, and a tremendous friend for constantly getting me out of technical hitches. Kyle invited me and Martin to be on his Big Bald Broadcast recording during one of the panels, which was really cool and we all geeked out about anything from childhood toy collections to favorite cons. Thanks for the opportunity guys!

Tony Oliver - I had met Tony briefly a few times at other conventions, but this time we really got talkin'. After he inadvertedly learned I made Go! Go! Parody Rangers during Kyle's panel, at first I was horrified, but was then overjoyed to hear he liked it! The Producer of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers saw my stupid cartoon from 4 years ago and DIDN'T think it was a giant load of garbage. GASP. Near the end of the con, we traded a bunch'a stories and he told me lots of funny mishaps while working on the show and even the Ivan Ooze Movie. Tony's the bomb.

Dave Lister & Chris Malone - Two talented artists that I had also met briefly at other cons, but again got to really know them this year at NEXT. Dave, in the midst of taking care of his beautiful new baby daughter, threw a badass Pokemon party for one of the panels. I, plus a surprise Michelle Knotz (voice of Jessie and Piplup), were invited on and had a great time, watchin' the games occur, singin' songs and all that jazz. I didn't get to hang with them as long as I had hoped, but they were awesome nonetheless. Thanks guys!

There were plenty of others I was happy to see, including several fans of all the stuff I've been producing for the last several years. It meant a lot to meet people that just flat out enjoy the stuff I do and made the weekend even better than it already was! Hitting the ground running with more work on Parody Rangers, as I may be able to meet the July deadline I set for myself. Still more work to be done at EduWare, too, but nothing to showcase regarding those minigames just yet, as the programmings being handled as we speak. I've got even more conventions to look forward to now, so I'll be sure to buzz about 'em later. Off I go!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

NEXT time...

Summer's only a month in and I'm glad of it!

Even with all the stuff I've been doing, I feel like May might've been a slower start than I would've liked. Now that June's come though, I feel far more productive and busier than ever. Been pulling as many hours at EduWare as I can manage, starting to draw on the train rides there and back every chance I get, working on some animation stuff at least a little bit every day, doing a lot of new voiceover excercises. So much, it feels amazing!

So speaking of EduWare, you guys may finally get the chance to see some of the stuff I've done for them; in a very interesting way too. The project I've been focusing on for them this Summer has been a collection of original mini-games, based after the characters from "The EduGame!" product. I'm doing quite a few at the moment, including but not limited to: "Fall of the Snowflake", "Smiley Seeker", "Beaver Bash" and "Fishbone Frenzy". I'll be kept busy all Summer with these, which is good news for my wallet at the very least. However, these are some fun little games, about as quick and simple as a Mario Party mini-game. The Snowflake one is nearly finished, so once these start getting posted on the EduWare site, I'll throw you guys a link to check 'em out. Granted, you'll have to answer some questions to get the chance to play 'em, but a little educational value never hurt anyone, right?

In the realm of voiceover, I'm happy to announce not only my next gig, but my first Video Game gig of all things! Ayu Sakata, one of the awesome creative minds at Sakevisual Studios, has just released the Murder Mystery Game "Jisei", which went on sale at Oni-con a little while ago. I play Detective Mikolaj Gurski, who's always there to help out the player in their endeavors towards finding the crook who done it! It's available for purchase for PC, Mac & Linux, I highly reccomend it, if anything to support the very talented creators that put it together! The voice cast also includes Micah Solusod ("Soul" on Soul Eater) and Kira Buckland ("Eri" on Aika R-16 Virgin Mission). Check it out! ;]

Enough of these games! Animation now! Rob Kohr's film, "The Lift" is hitting the festival circuit across the US. Rob's launched an official site all about it; I'm honored to be linked on there amongst the credits page! If you guys get any chance to see the finished version of this baby, PLEASE take it. It's a gorgeous cartoon. On my front, still toiling away at the Rangers Movie. Just hit the halfway point now, definitely keeping up with my vow to finish at least one scene per week. Make sure to subscribe to the blog if you want constant updates about it! My other big secret project is also slowly but surely getting done. Once we reach a certain point to where I can say it's essentially finished, I'll make the announcement for it here. If all goes well, it may even be showcased at an upcoming convention!

Speaking of, AnimeNEXT< in Somerset, NJ is fastly approaching! I'm not a special guest at this one, but I'll be doing a few panels throughout that weekend (June 18-20). Martin will be doing a YGO:A Panel, which I'll be on with him along with Kroze, plus Kyle Hebert will be doing a live recording of an episode of the Big Bald Broadcast! Martin and I will be on that as well, along with Tony Oliver and the talented Uncle Yo!. If you're going to AnimeNEXT, be sure to stop and say hi!

Last thing I'll mention is the $5 Commission deal I'm doing on throughout the month of June: a sketch of a character of your choice, Parody Rangers-style, plus a preview of Parody Rangers: THE MOVIE Part 3's animation! Every little bit helps and I sincerely appreciate all of the support and feedback from you guys. Gotta get back to work already, latah!