OTFCC 2003

Reports are done by everyone. I grow weary of reports and events that are timed out with precision. A random smattering of pics and thoughts are below; things that made an impression on me...that's all you get. It is up to others to fill in the blanks. :-)

Well, ok, ok, maybe a few words on the convention (though frankly, I think Northern, Rework, and Esteban did a fine job of filling everyone in). I'll just add the bits that made an impression on me:

The fact that the Hartmans showed up just before the pre-registration lines opened was interesting; the clapping and cheering certainly made an impression. Of course, they weren't 'really' there in any sense. Depending on who you believe, it was either a business move designed to get the fans smiling and divert questions until later, or they were just there to get their stuff beforehand... I dunno. And in the end, it doesn't pay to care. More on that in a moment.

There is an issue in the air, and it's one that seemingly divides the fandom (as if the fandom needs yet another reason to be divided): Glen. I can't speak for other people. I can only speak for myself. To me, he's friendly enough in-person, and he's efficient in his dealings. That being said, I do have a general complaint, based solely on my observations of him interacting with others. The issue for me isn't whether or not any money is made at this convention. The issue is the somewhat underhanded way that Glen responds to questions *regarding* the money (and the convention in-general, his standing on it, profit, business, etc, etc, etc...it's a recurring theme). Everyone is entitled to make a buck. But to deliberatly disguise that fact, or sugar-coat it with platitudes for the fanbase smacks of deceit. If a person can't be upfront about his most basic dealings, how can we expect him to be honest about anything else? Keep in-mind that I am approaching this from a criminal justice point of view. I look for the bad in people (and usually find it). There are no controls in-place with regards to the business aspect; no one to blow the whistle, no one to catch the wrong-doer. There is a potential for abuse of the fanbase that doesn't sit well with me.

I am a cold-hearted bastard. I listed to Glen's speech at the organizer panel, and frankly, none of his 'boo-hoo, feel bad for me' stuff really made an impression on me. I work with people like Glen. The difference is, Glen hasn't been caught and locked up yet. :-) I know, I know, but I did say I was a bastard... The key point, I believe, is how he doesn't address the missing money from last year, and how he tells us that the business aspect of what he did to John and Karl, 'isn't our business'. Then he tells us that the convention isn't about money at all, it's about us, the fans. But then he says he *has* to make money to pay his employees. Last time I checked, he draws a salary from the convention, too. Hmmm...

In the end, all I can do is disconnect. I enjoy the convention as-is, and try not to think about the rest. It's only in moments like this that I feel...dirty about it. I try to shake that feeling, but I can't. And yet: I still go. Aware of all the facts, I am still drawn in. I suppose that hints toward a moral failing on my part as well. It says that I can live with the underhanded dealings, as long as I can get my toy. Therefore...my morality has a price. And a pretty low price at that. I can be bought off by a few bucks in plastic.

Things *did* run well-enough, but most of us would have preferred that the dealer room, our hotel room, the art room, etc weren't miles away from each other within the hotel itself... As for dinner, we ate at the hotel once. At those prices, it was enough. The solution here is to hook up with a group, and drive to Denny's. :-) John, you and your entourage are certainly invited to go with us next year. The more, the merrier.

Getting the substandard toys. Yes, many complaints, about the packaging, the screwed-up weapons, the cheap cellophane on the boxfront, and the fact that none of the boxes were sealed all took away from the pleasure of getting toys. Still, I applaud the effort, at least, on the female two-pack.

Getting called an asshole because I pointed out that a dealer's $550 diaclone Devastatator was stamped 'taiwan' was my fav. He didn't want to hear it. 'Oh, I had six dealers tell me it was legit'. Whatever. I smiled and laughed the entire time. No sense being mad at a person. I also enjoyed having fun with Bill thinking Northern was my dad. Bill was set-up next to us. He didn't know that we had seperate cases. He thought I was getting rid of my dad's stuff. :-) LoL. :-) More on that from Northern later, I hope. Getting no sleep the entire time is expected, and this year was no exception. I am happy to say, however, that Northern kept his promise to not kill me in my sleep.

More? Well, Esteban's autocon exclusives rocked! I'm thinking of adding them to the 'con exclusives page on the Vari-Quest site. I finally got my 'spirit of brawn' figure (and a shuttle to boot) so I am thrilled. His 1st-place diorama kicked ass, plain and simple. I actually feel bad that I took 2nd-place from him. He should rightly have swept the diorama catagory, considering how little work I put into my projects. For pics of Cobra Devastator and Save the Sparks, click here!

Pictures, in no particular order...

The fellow in the center of the 3-shot is the fellow I will give kudos to for years to come. In the second pic, the guy holding up his arms is one of the famous, '3-fumis'. To his left is Aaron, one of the two folks I know at the 'con who speak fluent japanese.


This is Bill, the guy that Northern fooled. I'm innocent, I tell ya...

This is Curt's secret source for getting all of us cheap reissue TFs. Let's just affectionately call him, 'Steve':

Esteban, of course. 'Prime told me there'd be days like these'. The fellow in the next pic was kind enough to scour the entire room for Jumpstarters. I wasn't going to look this year...he sent me home with two crates. :-)


This fellow is someone a number of folks should know. The reason I picture him is to remind Northern who spilled soda all over our cases, and sent the tops crashing down on our stuff.

This fellow gets a number of the clear toys sent directly to him from his buddy in the factory. It was the first time I'd seen the clear skids.

"Hey baby, where's *your* rubsign?" Also, a pic of Joebot at the table, looking fried.


Joebot looking a lot better after some sleep and breakfast. :-) Lewis, of AWorldTransformed, the fellow responsible for easily 90% of the beast paint-app info on the Vari-Quest site.


Luke, the most enthusiastic dealer-helper in transfandom. Not satisfied with merely getting in early, he seeks out other people to help haul in stuff, watch booths, etc. The next pic is Lyn, in-bed with TFs, while Shawn watches.


Mark of Transmanual fame, explaining to his helper that time *does* in-fact equal money.

The same breakfast from earlier, with Mark and Wilson (amazing what a cup of orange juice can do for a person).

We kept this guy talking at our booth for quite a long time, for no particular reason.

A picture of my knee at parts night.

At the sports bar. Happy people, considering a burger there is fifteen bucks.

Robowang pities the fool...

A pic of Shawn and Tim, and staring into the abyss.

The happy guy who bought all my Roadbuster parts in one shot. The fellow from the first pic, who waited 3 years to be seen in-person with Toiletbot. A guy looking at the ceiling when I pointed up there, telling him that's where free Transformers come from.


Some unhappy guy (at least his kid is smiling).

Spence and helper (ask about the realllyyy tight schoolgirl outfit she was wearing the day before). Also, Eric and Andrea, who wiped out a significant number of items on my Needs List in one shot. Very helpful folks.


And of-course, the traditional, 'final pic'. A tradition started in '99, with Joebot, Wilson, and myself. This year, tradition has expanded.