The no money thing is a bit of a problem, because Mimsy developed some kind of drooling problem a few weeks ago, and now that we're back from Comic Con, we want to take her in. But Mimsy's not on a Wellness Plan like Oreo is, so we'll have to pay for her visit. Nevertheless, we're worried enough about her (it can't be fun to always have wet or sticky fur all over your chest) that we scheduled an appointment anyway. We'll be taking a credit card.
Also today, we turned in our Negima! 26 translation, e-mailed Viz, and wrote a column! So productive, the very day after our loooooong trek from San Diego. And now, as promised, the beginning of our con report!
Hello! Here we are at the lovely Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel, not having free internet. There's free internet at the convention center, but using it would require us to carry the laptop all the way across the street to the convention center. Across the street may not sound like very far, but we have to cross the street then walk aaaaaaaall the way to the other side of the convention center to get inside. At least it's width-wise and not length-wise (this convention center is seriously one of the most gigantickest buildings we've ever been in), but we are weak, weak individuals, and we're pretty much done conventioning, we think. But we have lots and lots of time to kill this Sunday afternoon, and since it always takes us forever and ever and ever and ever to write up our convention reports, we thought now would be a good time to start. When I started, I thought I'd ignore stuff like typos, because I'm still not very used to this keyboard (that happens when you don't use something very often), but I've been obsessive compulsively fixing typos this whole time I've been typing, so I guess I can't help it.
Anyway, the convention. Right. We left on Wednesday the 22nd. We ended up having to take the train, as I'm sure has already been mentioned, and man, if we thought it was long and boring to take the train to Los Angeles... The leg of the journey just from LA to San Diego is almost three hours. But since we've never taken the train farther than Anaheim, it was a little fresh and new. A good part of the journey had us traveling right along the coast, which was pretty awesome, except that we were already exhausted from the first seven hours of the trip (plus a two hour layover), and we didn't really have the energy we needed to hold our heads sideways as we stared at the ocean. But the ocean was awesome, so we kept staring anyway.
When we finally got to San Diego (which is a gorgeous, gorgeous city, by the way), our first task was to figure out how to get from the station to our hotel. It didn't take us long, because as we walked outside, there was a line of what I think they called bike cabs (at least that's what we call them), and one of the pedallers asked us if we'd like a ride. We asked him how much, and he said the ladies he had just taken to our very hotel gave him twenty dollars. Based on the fact that Mapquest had told us it was a two minute drive and what little we know about cab fare, we thought that was more expensive, but it seemed really really neat, so we decided to take him up on the offer anyway.
I think he took a little bit of a scenic route, showing us various neat things, like a restaurant where they filmed parts of Top Gun, and he was a little bit of a daredevil. We got to an intersection with train tracks, and the lights were flashing and the bells were ringing and the bars were coming down to stop cars from crossing because nobody wants to get hit by a train, but our pedaller only sped up! Aaaaaahhh! But as you can see by the fact that you're reading this, which means I had to type it up at some point and I don't have time travel powers so I had to do it after it happened, we're still alive. After the brief adventure, he asked if we were okay, and we were, so that's probably why he did some other daredevilish things when there were some slopes in the road. It was really fun, and he was really nice. He flirted, too. I think that might have been an effort to get more money. So I decided to one-up the other ladies and give him $21, which isn't much more, but I already suspected we might be paying extra (which might be false, since it's probably a lot harder to pedal a bike with benches attached than to drive a taxi, but might be true since he only told us what the other ladies paid him and not an actual rate) and we actually didn't have, like, any money to spare this trip.
At the hotel, we wandered around the lobby briefly and didn't find kabochan, who would be staying with us, so we decided to check in without her. We checked the lobby one more time, but she was still nowhere to be found, despite her flight having been scheduled to arrive three hours before our train (the only train that would have gotten us here earlier required us to leave the station at six am), so we thought maybe she was at the convention center and went to pick up our badges. The security around the convention was a little intimidating. They have guards everywhere just waiting to ask people if they can see their badge. We had to walk pretty far to find the badge pick-up, but when we did everyone was friendly (even the intimidating security guards were pretty friendly, but it's hard to notice that when they're telling you you can't go in there because you don't have a badge), and we had our badges in no time.
But there was still no sign of our roommate, so we went back to the hotel and waited in the lobby for her to show up. Apparently her flight had been delayed three hours. We wondered briefly if our bad air travel luck had rubbed off on her, and then we walked with her to get her badge, and caught the end of all the Warner Brothers previews (literally like the last ten minutes). Then we briefly checked out the dealers' hall, where we saw some interesting My Little Ponies at the Hasbro booth, and were too scared to approach the Square-Enix people to ask about potential localization work, and then it was back to the hotel to plan for the next day.
The first thing we kind of wanted to attend was the Disney 3D panel in the dreaded Hall H. Hall H has come to be our arch nemesis, but that's a story for another day. As for day one, the first panel in Hall H was the Disney 3D one, but the second was the one where they were going to have all the Twilight stars or something. (Athena has checked the schedule and informed me that the thing with Twilight stuff was the third thing in Hall H; between the two was a 3D showcase.) And that is why there was a huge group of people with chairs and blankets and tents and "I love Twilight" signs in what we learned was the line for Hall H the night before day one. You see, at Comic Con, they don't clear the rooms between panels, so the surest way to get a seat is to show up in that room for the panel before the one you want to attend. So there's actually a very strong possibility that almost everyone at the Disney 3D panel was really there for Twilight stuff. But if the panel generated more interest in Disney, that's probably a good thing. At any rate, we decided not to go. But we hear Beauty and the Beast 3D looks pretty amazing.
Oh right, speaking of the line to Hall H. So remember how all the Twilight fans were camping out and stuff? As we were walking back to the hotel with our roommate and her badge and stuff, there was a group of girls standing outside the queue area with Burger King crowns. But they weren't any Burger King crowns--they were the special Twilight ones. And there were two factions of these girls. There was the Team Edward faction, and there was one other girl trying to recruit members for Team Jacob. I always like to make the odds more even, so I decided to take a Team Jacob crown, and I wore it back to the hotel. I don't know it it would have helped her at all, though, since all I did was walk back to the hotel, which wouldn't have given it a lot of exposure. Our roommate got one for her boss's daughter, but she's more of an Edward girl herself.
So we went to the Dealers' Hall instead (watch me and my inconsistent capitalization/noncapitalization). The Comic Con dealers' hall is a magical place, mainly in that it manages to completely jam our otherwise very good senses of direction. We got so lost in that place. It was almost scary, but we were surrounded by a bunch of cool stuff, which distracted us from freaking out (we probably wouldn't have freaked out... I think). We found the TokyoPop booth, where they happened to be handing out free copies of the Fruits Basket fanbook. So we decided to pick one up, since we didn't have the English version. I was a little sad to flip through it and discover they completely removed the crossword puzzle game. Not that we would have expected them to figure out how to make the Japanese one work, but we had so many teachers in elementary school make crossword puzzles and even have us make crossword puzzles in computer lab that we thought they could at least have made up a new one. Ah well. We were also a little sad to inform the interns handing out the fanbooks that we translated it and then have them continue to ignore us. Because let's face it--we're desperate for attention.
We continued to wander and found ourselves at the Viz booth. Well that was perfect, because we needed to give them our card... but we had forgotten it. We were wearing our matching Minnie Mouse shirts, which had a lot of random people exclaim, "Twins!" as we walked by throughout the day, and it came in handy here, too, as we walked up to the counter where they had the Viz employees handing out the obligatory swag, and one of them said something about how we must be twins, and we responded with, "Yes, and we translate manga, too! If you're hiring." Athena said we'd forgotten our cards, but I remembered that we'd just picked up a sample of our work from the TokyoPop booth, so I started to pull it out, and she was impressed to see the title on it. She informed us that they're not allowed to take submissions at the event, but if we go through their website (that same jobs e-mail everyone keeps telling us about), we have a really good resume. So even though it was the same information, it was encouraging, and now it will seem like a little less of a chore to write that e-mail when we get back. (We were vaguely planning on e-mailing them after Comic Con anyway, but we didn't after AX because 1)we wanted to see how Comic Con would go, and 2)we felt pressed enough for time with Comic Con on the horizon.)
Wandering some more brought us to the Del Rey booth, were we thought we ought to introduce ourselves to the people we work for, but since we didn't know what any of them looked like, we weren't entirely sure how to go about it. The obvious answer is to just say hi to whoever's there and communication would work everything out, but we're also very shy. This shyness will come into play in many of the random occurrences throughout the convention. But there was someone giving something away to anyone who lined up to have their badge scanned, so we decided to get in line and get the free something. It turned out to be issue #1 of Del Rey Comics' first publication ever--a comic version of The Talisman by Stephen King abd Peter Straub--but that's not important. What is important is that as the woman scanned our badges, she paused for a second and a lightbulb seemed to go on. She said something that in my memory has turned into, "It's you!"
I responded by saying we haven't met anyone from Del Rey in person, but hello, I'm Alethea (Athena introduced herself), and she introdued herself, and I pointed to the giant Negima! poster behind her and said, "We translate that one." And she said, "I know." And we thought, "Gwah...?" And then another Del Rey person (I'm withholding their names because I don't know if I have their permission to use them) pulled out some samplers with Ace Attorney art on the cover, and we said, "Oh! We translate that one, too!" And they said, "Yes, you do." And we were confused, and they started talking about the samplers and we left. It was very strange and mysterious.
We found the CMX booth and our boss introduced us to their new assistant editor and she seems nice. And we once again chickened out of talking to Square-Enix people. And then it was getting to be time for the Time Jumper panel that we wanted to go to, so off we went to find it.
Wow, we just noticed that everything I typed up on Sunday is 11 pages long, and I didn't even finish the report! We found what we thought was a decent break in the narrative. Scrolling up, it doesn't seem as long as my normal con report pieces, but... more to look forward to in the future? Or you can be happy that I'm not taking up more of your time.
Anyway, today I'm thankful for having already typed up a good deal of the report, fast-acting account fraud people (if only we had a fax machine...), Sarah taking us to the vet later, bike cabs, and encouraging encounters with manga publishing representatives.