|'Pinkie Pie' 1|
It being the second year for ShutoCon, I was determined to ignore my social anxiety and attend the only "animation" convention in Lansing--and I use that term lightly, though not in a negative fashion mind you. ShutoCon caters to a wider audience then just the folks like me who are all about the art of Japanese animation. At this convention, you'll find a plethora of cosplayers, people who study the Japanese language, aficionados of the Gothic Lolita fashion, artists who create Japanese-inspired artwork, people who are interested in Japanese food and culture, as well as those who just want to do some shopping for Japanese-themed products.
|'The Samurai' 2|
However, shopping wasn't the main reason for attending ShutoCon. As the convention organizers brought in two of the four voice actors that I suggested in 2011's "who should we get for next year" forum, I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to have Richard Epcar and Mary McGlynn sign the 'Ghost in the Shell: Innocence' poster that Crispin Freeman autographed for me last month at Con Ja Nai.
|Me and Richard 'Batou' Epcar|
Over his sessions, Mr. Epcar covered a lot of ground including how to become a voice actor--not just for anime, but for animation in general--his career history, how he got into voice acting, and how he got into directing and screenwriting. Additionally, he ran a hilarious out-takes show for the 18+ crowd where it was one video clip after another of voice actors flubbing their lines or being silly and inventing their own lines. I especially enjoyed how he talked about recording the recent unabridged Doc. Savage audiobook 'White Eyes'--which I purchased from him for this year's twenty-hour roundtrip drive to the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
|Mary "Major Kusinagi" McGlynn|
One thing I do regret though is not going to the rave. Luckily, since I was volunteering to check badges down the hall from the ballroom that night, I did get to hear some of the music at a level that wouldn't damage my hearing. A made a mental note to keep an eye on Greg's website for its relaunch and check it for upcoming performance dates. Given that I've already lost a small range of hearing due to some serious acts of stupidity at loud concerts during my younger years, I probably won't ever be front and center at a D.J. Ayers show in the future. But considering how much I enjoy electronica, I'd love to just hang out sometime, outside the main hall, and enjoy the music without having to bump into the sweaty little kids with glowsticks, dancing in the ballroom and making the same mistakes with their hearing that I made in the past.
|Cons, better with friends. 3|
ShutoCon just got Greg Ayres's contract in the mail today. Looks like I'll have the chance to hear him jam at next year's rave after all!
1. Photograph copyright 2012, Paul Gordon.
2. Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com.
3. Photograph copyright 2012, John Collins of Weird Review.