Show Some Love

Posted on Jun 1st 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Convention, Fan Convention, Show, Collectibles, Signature, Celebrities, Souvenirs

Recently my city held it's third annual Fan Convention. Each year I've had the pleasure of setting up and running the gaming area. It's a lot of work, and honestly I'd rather just attend the event as a patron and fully enjoy it. However, this year, I have more staff and experience doing this kind of thing than ever before, so I got to spend a bit more time than I have in the past experiencing the convention. I still had to work my butt off leading up to the event and during the prime times, but was able to explore a lot more than in previous years.

Because of the amount of items and the scale of the area we bring with us (had 18 arcade machines, 8 TVs, a projector/screen, 20 tables all with chairs, a library of tabletop games, whole bunch of consoles/games to play, plus all of our stock to sell at the booth) I get the luxury of setting up the day prior to the con. This meant that before the Con opened to the public, I was able to scope out vendors early. What caught my eye wasn't just the vendors though, but a special guest. You may not recognize her face or name, but you will absolutely know Erin Fitzgerald's work. She has a couple decades of Anime and Video Game voicework under her belt. And her video game stuff is my kind of stuff: games like Etrian Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Hyperdimension series, Rune Factory, Guilty Gear, Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, Dragon's Crown, but most excitedly the Shin Megami Tensei series (specifically Persona), and a ton of other awesome and very Japanese style games across a large number of genres and platforms.

Erin was already hanging out at her table ready to go for her fans. I was determined to be the first, so I ran back to my booth to grab some stuff I had brought for her to sign. She was so friendly and talkative that I spent the entire time I intended to explore the vendor booths just talking about games with her as she was very interested in who I chose as my "best girl" as she put it in the Persona games. And she couldn't stop gushing about how cool Catherine was to be a part of. She was a super friendly person and I definitely recommend stopping by to spend some time with her if you ever have the opportunity.

After that, things got pretty busy and I was stuck at my booth for the rest of the day. But because of how great Erin was, that was enough to make it a great day for me. The following day we arrived early again to make sure we were cleaned up and ready to go, since it would be the longest and busiest day of the three. My son was with me all day on Friday and unfortunately when working at events like this, I don't have as much time to spend with him as either of us would like; he seemed kind of bummed about the rest of the weekend after day one. He saw me talking to Erin again before the Con started and came over to see who I was with. She immediately started talking with him and they were having awesome conversations about Skylanders (which she doesn't voice, but seemed to know pretty well) and some cartoons that they both enjoyed. She gave him the offer to come visit any time he was bored and she didn't have a line up. He took her up on that and after he finished playing in a Pokemon TCG tournament, he visited with her several times over the last half of the day.

While my son was flirting up the older women, I had the opportunity to meet "Flash Gordon." A friend of mine had run into him backstage and they were pretty friendly so he introduced us.  I got to chat with him for a couple of minutes before getting him to sign my Atari game. He was pretty confident he had never signed one before, so I may have the only signed copy in existence. Cool! I also had to grab a cool print he had to hang up somewhere in the house.

After meeting Sam, I noticed Kevin Sorbo was at his booth so I snuck over there before I had to get back to work. I showed him the N64 game I wanted him to sign and he said he was pretty sure he had a couple cases of the game stashed away at his house somewhere and he remembered it not being very good. I thanked him and headed back to run some more events.

Later that evening when things started to die down a bit, I was finally able to head over and meet the guest I was most excited to see....Charles Martinet!! I had the same friend with me who introduced me to Flash Gordon......that was a mistake. While I was fan-boying over him while he was signing my Mario 64 game, my friend was trying to barter him down for a SMB3 poster and didn't want him to sign it?!?! He just wanted to hang it in his kitchen. I was mortified and kept apologizing for his rude behavior. As soon as we were done, I told my friend he needed to not be around me for a bit as I was kinda pissed at him for embarrassing me in front of Mario.

During the last hours Alicia Witt (another celebrity guest) kept coming over to our area to challenge people to a game of Galaga on our machine. She was really into it and was mopping the floor with her challengers. She later sent her handler over to ask if we could "mod" the machine to fire faster. That was pretty funny!

On the ride home, I was worried my son had another unsatisfying day. Much to my surprise he was really pumped with how the day went. He got some great cards during the Pokemon event and then spent much of the afternoon hanging out with Erin (they were on a first name basis). The whole way home he kept talking about how funny she was and the cool job she had and that they liked the same stuff; he just kept gushing. I was really grateful for that, since it was a big change in his attitude from the previous day.

The last day of the Con was finally upon me. My family was staying home this time around, since the final day is usually the slowest in terms of foot traffic. I had already let my staff know that I would be sneaking away to catch the Charles Martinet panel so I was really looking forward to the day. I got in early again and brought another item for Erin Fitzgerald to sign as a thank you for making my son's day. The only related item I had that was cooler than the Catherine special edition was a sealed Persona Q 3DS so that's what I brought with me. I had her sign it, grabbed a few of these cool cards she offers of her characters, and thanked her for being so awesome with my son. She remembered his name and showered me with compliments about how well-behaved, smart, and interesting he was. She was just a great person in each interaction I had with her.

When I heard that Charles Martinet was making voicemail recordings, I went to see about getting one done for my store. He was genuinely bummed that he couldn't legally do it for businesses. My personal voicemail would have been a waste, since I rarely use it. So instead, I got the poster my dumb friend wanted all signed up to Game Quest so that I could rub it in his stupid face whenever he comes to visit. Charles felt bad about the recording, so he threw in a signed photo of himself for me too. What a sweet guy Smiley

After that, I noticed that comic artist Jae Lee didn't look busy and was doing commissions. I asked him if he would do video game characters too and he said totally. I asked him for a Mega Man X commission and he agreed. I just had a to wait patiently for a few hours then I could pick it up. I went to see the Charles Martinet panel to pass some time and thoroughly enjoyed it. What a positive and uplifting human being! He is just through and through full of fun and happiness. A friend that I didn't know that was in attendance noticed me and said he thought it was "cute" how into it I seemed so he snapped a photo and sent it to me.

That's me in the red shirt right near the center

After the panel, Jae Lee wasn't quite done with my picture yet, so I went over to visit Mark Meer. He signed my copy of Mass Effect Trilogy last year so I got him to do another Bioware game that I love this time, Jade Empire. He said he was thrilled to sign it and barely had anyone bring that one for signatures.

I can't help but look for comics when I'm at a convention too so I scooped up some Spawn books that I didn't have. These homage covers are amazing!! After that shopping spree Jae Lee had finished and I got to grab my custom Mega Man artwork too. Turned out very cool!!!

With all that, my convention experience was over. Things wrapped up and we tore down as much as we could and went home to get some much needed sleep and to have nightmares about moving all the arcade stuff back the following day. This really got me pumped for RWX and I really hope to attend with my son this year and spend some more time with the RFGen gang this fall!!

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Wow, Kevin Sorbo has gotten to meet you and my mother-in-law within the last few months. He is one lucky guy!

Very nice.  I always look forwards to these posts.  It is insane how good Sam L. Jones looks.  I'm more than twenty years his junior and I don't look that good (or have that much hair).  Also, love that 3DSXL.  I'm not a fan of Persona at all, but I absolutely love the art for Persona Q.  Thanks, crab, and keep'em coming.
@nupoile: Kevin Sorbo is living the dream! Travelling the world meeting rfgenners and their family members!

@bombatomba: I really really love the art in every persona game. I've got a soft spot for Q too though. It's super adorable.
Always enjoy reading about your experiences from the opposite experience as a vendor as opposed to an attendee.  I know it's a lot of hard work, but happy to see that you got some time to enjoy yourself.  RWX = all play!
It was refreshing, reading a perspective on the local Con, that is different from my own. After reading the whole blog, I was like: "Did I go to the same Con?" Good read Crabby. I took much amusement by reading about our "mutual local friend" that knows no shame when trying to barter. Glad you had a good FanCon experience this year.
So awesome.  Kevin Sorbo!

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