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!