Artist Alley: Guest Artist
Panelist: Props and Sh*t
Masquerade: Performance Judge
Shiva's Special Activities:
Team Anime Trivia: Co-Host
Steve, Shiva (x3)
PortCon Maine is New England's oldest anime and gaming convention, held annually in South Portland, Maine. 2010 marked PortCon's final year as a strictly anime convention, and it's theme, "Old School," was a fitting tribute to the history of the genre. Expanded programing was geared towards older attendees, several programs in the evenings were 18+, and Jeni hosted both a 21+ "Rule 34" panel Thursday evening and an "Old School PBS/PSA" panel on Sunday which featured long-forgotten (but quickly remembered) clips from the 1970s and 80s that appeared on Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Electric Company, Square One, 3-2-1 Contact and other childhood educational programs. Unfortunately, several guests scheduled for the convention were unable to attend last minute due to various reasons, but the PortCon staff kept the con entertaining enough that their absence didn't effect programming much. Returning to its perennial location at the Airport Wyndham Hotel, PortCon did continue to suffer from overcrowding but improved its methods of handling it; aside from a "hug me" sign hallway, security did an excellent job of keeping traffic moving in a polite manner. Also, the main events tent which hosted the masquerade, Anime Unscripted, Extreme Geek, and the rave was upgraded in design from last year; the ceiling was raised to prevent performers on stage from bumping into it and ventilation was much better, despite the humid and rainy weather. Overall it was an enjoyable event, even though it suffers from the restraints of its location.
Sketch and Shiva's Weekend Breakdown:
We were really looking forward to attending PortCon this year; it was the first convention we were going to as a couple and we were excited to enjoy the con experience as an official twosome. Sketch and I arrived at the Wyndham just after lunchtime on Friday; we we were rooming with Mookie and Alyssa who were already set up in artist alley, so we grabbed our badges and settled our things in the room before Sketch went downstairs to set up his art table. Shiva served as photographer for a Project A-Ko photoshoot for Ellystar and Jeni before changing into her Lebreau costume from Final Fantasy XIII and co-hosting team trivia in the main events tent with Ellystar. The show had a great turnout, contestants were enthusiastic, and the members of the group who won turned out to be fans of AnimeCons.TV, and Shiva and Ellystar had fun chatting with them afterwards.
That afternoon we met up in Ellystar's room with Steve and mixed a batch of white Russians to pre-game for Anime Unscripted. Sketch and Jekka were slated to perform but unfortunately, the other guests originally scheduled for the show were among those who had their flights grounded and were unable to attend. PatrickD managed to scrape together a last-minute replacement cast, however, and those who were pulled in did a great job. Slideshow Roulette was exceptionally funny; Shiva and Ellystar shouted out the chosen theme, “The Development of Time Machines,” which ended up matching the slides really well and all the performers were hilarious. After the show we went out to dinner with the crew before partying in our room late into the evening.
Saturday morning Shiva and Ellystar wore their Relm Arrowny and Celes Chere costumes and Ellystar dressed Sketch in her Locke Cole costumes for a Final Fantasy VI shoot. We took pics in the dirt piles of the lot behind the hotel parking lot, which looked decently enough like the World of Ruin. Afterwards, Sketch changed into Jiraya while the girls went to main events and helped set up the tent for the masquerade. Shiva filmed the show for AnimeCons.TV while Sketch judged and Steve and Jekka hosted as Chrono and Azmaria from Chrono Crusade. The Best in Show winner was hilarious; the group had set up an airport metal detector, complete with flashing red light and sound effects, and had one of the DragonBall Z characters as the security guard checking various characters for weapons. The best gag was Princess Peach, who started pulling various weapons out of her dress, including a tennis racquet and golf club, and finally Solid Snake came running out from under her hoop skirt.
When the awards wrapped up we changed out of costume and hung out at Sketch's art table until dinnertime. Sketch headed out into Portland with the artists while Shiva hit up the game room, playing several rounds of Uno and Taboo with the crew before going out to eat. After dinner, Ellystar filmed while Shiva canvased the convention, quizzing random attendees on a list of trivia questions for AnimeCons.TV's “Versus” segment. The segment had Gale asking the same questions of AnimeNext attendees that same weekend, with the goal of seeing which con would beat the other at trivia. Shiva tried to pick people who looked like they’d give amusing answers, and was not disappointed! After filming we ordered cocktails and kicked back with Con Mom at the Wyndham Hotel bar for a few hours, telling funny stories. That night Sketch rejoined us and we retired to Steve and Jeni’s room for homemade drinks and a hilarious round of Chat Roulette.
Sunday morning we decided to be lazy and wear normal clothes and pack up the car before going down to the con for the day. While Sketch manned his table, Shiva did a photoshoot with Crazy Flower and Ellystar in their Dynasty Warriors costumes. The costumes were beautiful and looked great posted inside the small section of foliage and rocks outside of the convention's main entrance. Later that morning, Shiva and Steve joined the con-wide game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, each putting on a black headband indicating they were playing and could be challenged at any time, the winner claiming the loser's headband for themselves. Shiva remained undefeated for over an hour, even beating Steve and collecting a large assortment of headbands which she turned in for prize.
That afternoon we went to Jeni's 1970s and 1980s PBS panel. It was awesome watching clips from old-school Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact, and School House Rock that we had spent our childhoods adoring, and Jeni's analysis of what they were attempting to teach us and how they failed in certain ways and succeeded in others was fascinating. Sketch’s prop panel was in the same room afterwards, which attracted a good sized crowd who asked some excellent questions. We did a bit more filming for AnimeCons.TV before Ellystar's costuming panel, then said our goodbyes and headed home. After grabbing some lunch at Sebego's in South Portland on our way out, we stopped at Len Libby's chocolate store. It had a little bit of everything: blueberry mead, life-sized chocolate moose and bear cub sculptures, and endless rows of tasws of tasty treats. We stocked up on a box of confections before hitting the road. Excellent weekend, all around!