Tempest's Guide to Otakon 2005
Another year, another Otakon... it's something we've come to look forward to every summer... kinda like a birthday, but not really.
A few months ago, we sat around idly for 10 hours to be first in line on opening night for Star Wars Episode 3, a movie none of us even give a shit about. It was here that we decided we absolutely had to be first in line for Otakon 2005. Skip ahead a few months, and it’s Wednesday night before Otakon weekend. We decided that leaving at 4:30 AM, we should arrive in Baltimore with plenty of time before the first otakus begin showing up. We pulled up to the front entrance of the convention center to find several tards already sitting around idly. I recall being totally pissed off. We found out later that they showed up at fucking 5 AM. It would probably have taken an act of God to get us out there that early. Our only consolation was that we were sitting directly under the canopy of the main entrance and not suffering under the hot afternoon sun, as we did last year. Good enough.
Hours of waiting laid ahead, so I busted out the Rubik's Cube and spent nearly the entire duration of the wait, either speedcubing or trying to learn a blindfolded solving technique. Everyone else was doing their own thing, trying to maintain their sanity during the ten hour wait. There wasn't much to see while waiting in line, but I do recall walking away for a moment, to find some disturbingly obese girl sitting in our general vicinity on my return… she was easily 2-3 times my mass. I wanted to hurl.
Upon entering the convention center to pick up our Otakon badges, we figured that each of us would naturally select the best badge on our own, as posters displaying all badges were not present. I selected one with these ninja guys from Little Gamers. I looked over at Platy and found that he had selected the one with a bunch of pandas on them. “Pandas? Why didn’t you get the little gamers?” and with that, Platy exchanged his badge. I’ll admit, the pandas were pretty cool. It probably would have been my first choice, if the little gamers badge wasn’t present. It turned out that Liquid had also almost selected the pandas, but opted for the Little Gamers. I later got my tag signed by the artists of the online comic.
Due to the fact that nobody had attended the closing ceremony of Otakon 2004, we had not the slightest clue as to when Otakon 2005 would be held. By the time we found out, it was too late and Days Inn had already been overbooked. We settled for Wyndham Hotel. Placed on the 15th floor, we had to deal with slow elevators, fat people, overcrowding, and similar bullshit. All in all, it's just a place to sleep and shower anyways... nothing particularly noteworthy happened here anyways.
This year, we made the effort to attend the closing ceremony. Platy and I were waiting for it to be announced, but were told by one of the speakers that he did not know when the next Otakon would be held… we got pissed off and left. Several hours ago, Platy informed me that the date for Otakon 2006 is currently posted on the Otakon main page and that it was announced at the closing ceremony… that lying sack of shit… Minutes later, I had reservations made to stay at Days Inn for next year. Hell yeah.
Two weeks ago, Platy and I screenprinted a bunch of new Evasource shirts for ourselves and to give away at Otakon. The ones worn by us looked jacked as ever, displaying the evasource name in graffiti style lettering. The ones to be given away clearly indicated that the wearer had been seduced by Evasource. The shirts were tied up into balls and thrown from the second floor balcony, down to the first floor lobby. Announcing that free shirts were to be given away, a crowd of people gathered below us. We managed to get a bunch of confused people to scream "EVASOURCE!", as we tossed down a few shirts. At one point, there was broken glass on the floor and people were still scrambling to get ahold of a free shirt.
More noteworthy individuals who were seduced by Evasource include the son of God himself, Jesus Christ and the lead singer of The Indigo, whose name I don't even remember.
Cutting Long Lines
It has been an Evasource tradition to cut extremely long lines. A common problem associated with cutting long lines is the whining and bitching you hear from the people you are cutting. However, during this Otakon weekend, Evasource has made a crucial discovery in the art of line cutting. Basically what happened was that Mog and I cut the line and started walking to the front, while Liquid started walking from the front of the line, towards our direction. The place in line that we ended up meeting was the part of the line which was cut. In utilizing this technique, nobody in our general area saw us cut, and they probably just assumed we were always in line to begin with. It was at this point that Platy, who had been documenting the whole event on camera, came over to join us.
The dealer's room was significantly less impressive compared to all previous years, though entertaining nonetheless.
Tags & Stickers
Stickers could be found in specific areas in the convention center, including the third floor lobby and specific vendor booths in the dealer’s room. In efforts to promote our website by non-traditional means, we stuck stickers and tags to peoples' backs, with "evasource.net" or "seduced by evasource", written on them. However retarded it may sound, it was quite entertaining to watch as people walked by with stickers stuck to their costumes and their backs. At one point, Platy managed to get one stuck on this guy's shirt collar without him even noticing... we also managed to tag Darth Vader's cape and Spike Spiegel's fake afro. Oh yeah, there was also quite a bit of backstabbing among Evasource members here, as I tagged Liquid and Platy with multiple stickers… repeatedly.
The gaming room is an area of the convention center, where a lot of people just sit around and play video games for lengthy periods of time. It’s quite possible that these people do not shower, as I have noted that it was among the worst smelling areas in the whole convention center. I entered the Naruto tournament, along with Eric, Ed, and Platy. I got creamed by some scrawny white kid. Eric, who I actually thought might win the tournament, was defeated on the third round. Oh well.
Nothing has changed about cosplaying since last year. Otakon still has it’s Boba Fetts, Neos, Jesus Christs, Pac-Men and Tetris blocks. There were also quite a few guys walking around in dresses and skirts, as weird as that may sound. The most disturbing part about it is that I don’t think they were even cosplaying.
On Sunday, while walking around in the dealer’s room, some random girl stopped me to take my picture. I wasn’t cosplaying, but with the kinds of costumes people were wearing in the convention center, I guess it didn’t even matter.
We made a lot of the usual stops for food this year, including California Pizza Kitchen, Afghan Kabob, and City Lights. We also ate at this place, that we to refer to as “Master Chef”. The place looks mad shady and Ed was telling us stories about the Master Chef being totally nuts, but for the price you’re paying, the food is amazing. They also serve up items that completely aren’t on the menu. Platy, for instance, ordered a cheese steak and the Master Chef’s wife asked if he wanted shrimp on it. It was pretty fucking weird.
It has sort of been an Evasource tradition to steal shit from the convention center and this year was another success, with Ed walking out with an “Attendance Cap Reached” sign and Platy with a large Otakon sign. The Otakon sign, as Platy pointed out, is printed on a sort of plastic material, meaning the sign is most likely reused year after year. It seems this sign has seen its last Otakon. Incidentally, the Otakon sign jacked in the name of Evasource is the very same sign featured on the front cover of this year’s Pocket Program Guide.