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I went to two different events on April 23. First I went to the Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire, which I wrote about in my last blog post. Then I went to Silver Spring where I checked out something called a Creator Con, which I first learned about on Facebook.

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

The event was held at the James Hubert Blake High School and the admission price was only $8 per person.

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

There were a couple of food trucks parked outside the school for hungry participants.

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

There was a Game Truck parked outside that has all kinds of video games for people to play. This Game Truck can be rented for all kinds of events through its website.

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

Inside of the convention there were plenty of information regarding art and technology schools, hands-on exhibits (including video games), and an Artist Alley full of various kinds of arts and crafts available for sale. There were also a few cosplayers who milled about. Since this event was held in a high school, the vast majority of participants were high school students. Yet many of these teens showed a lot of potential in their art and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of them actually go on to be comic book artists or work in the video game industry.

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

At the Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland. #Creator16

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Late last night I posted online my experiences with the first day of Intervention Con. This post is about my second day, which not only had more people attend (compared to the previous day) but there were more things for me to do.

The weather outside that day was nothing but non-stop rain, which made me glad that I was at an indoor convention.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Yesterday I started this crochet project during some downtime because I had thought about going to the Early Bird Stitch-n-Bitch that was scheduled for 9 a.m. on the second day. Except I didn’t make it because I overslept a little bit. I still brought my crochet project with me and I worked on it some more during downtimes. Of course I took some more photos, such as the next one of one of the official Intervention Con camera operators with his high-end equipment.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

The major bummer about oversleeping is that I not only missed the Early-Bird Stitch-n-Bitch but I also missed half of the documentary Plastic Galaxy, which is a fascinating look at the Star Wars toys, the original Kenner employees responsible for creating them, and the collectors. I’m sorry that I missed the first half and I was too broke to buy the DVD that was on sale in the Dealers Room. I’ll try to catch it online at some point.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

There were a few more cosplayers walking around but it seemed like the vast majority just wore casual clothes.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

And here’s a rare online picture of me with a Doctor Who cosplayer that someone else volunteered to take with my smartphone camera.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

At one point I ate the lunch that I brought with me then I attended a session on “Manga Studio 5: An Intro”. The leader of that panel was one of the leaders of the previous night’s panel on “Comics Rehab: Overcoming Creative Depression” that I attended and she promoted this one towards the end of the previous one. I decided to check it out because my potential future is in a constant state of flux and I wanted to know what software is out there. (I have a friend who’s practically an open source evangelist who frequently promotes the idea that open source applications are the solution to almost everything. I just wanted other opinions so I can think about things, which was why I attended the workshop.) Manga Studio 5 looks like a very interesting program even if it’s not open source. (The retail price is $50 but one can find that application online for far less.)

I stayed in the same room after that panel ended because I was interested in the panel following it which was titled “The ToonSeum and Creating a Museum Celebrating Your Passion!” It was given by an artist named Joe Wos who was the original founder of the ToonSeum, which is a museum dedicated to cartoons and comic books in Pittsburgh. I found his talk totally fascinating as he gave details about the challenges of trying to find space for such a museum and getting the funding in order to keep it in operation. I found his talk so interesting that I would definitely put the ToonSeum on my personal itinerary if I ever find myself in the Pittsburgh area again. (Come to think of it, I’ve been through Pittsburgh—usually when I was traveling to Ohio—but I’ve never actually stopped in that city. I need to rectify that one day.)

Joe Wos mentioned that his young daughter had her own table in the Artist’s Alley. I came across her table later, which had this amusing sign.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

The sign convinced me enough to shell out $2 for one of her small drawings. I have to say that she has a lot of potential. 🙂

I spent time in the Dealers Room perusing the various items on sale.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Here’s another shot of one of the two rooms that had video games available to play. I focused more on the vintage arcade games from the 1970’s and 1980’s (such as Super Mario Bros., Tron, and Wizard of Wor) than on the later console games.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Walt’s Cards & Board Gaming Room, named after one of the sponsors who provided the games for this room, was full of games and players.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I had wanted to attend a panel on “Living the Dream: Planning a Sustainable Career.” I walked into an empty room that I thought that the panel was being held in. To pass time, I took out my crocheting and started to work on my latest project. Some guys came in and they started to talk about the joys and struggles of making a web series called Shotgun Mythos. It sounded really interesting even though it didn’t sound like the panel I had planned on attending. It wasn’t until about a half an hour into the presentation that I looked at my schedule and realized that I had walked in the wrong room! It was a workshop on “The ABCs of Creating a Web Series/Shotgun Mythos.” It was still an interesting workshop even though I had never heard of this web series before. (I should at least check out an episode online sometime in the future.)

I decided to head into another panel that I was interested in and, this time, I made sure that I found the right location before entering the room. Kelsey Wailes gave a demonstration on how she creates her Doctor Whooo owls. I took a few photos during the presentation.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Here’s an interesting story about the below photo. During my weekend at Intervention Con I had uploaded a few select photos on both my Twitter and Instagram accounts. A few minutes later I got a notification from Instagram that the Official Instagram of Doctor Who on BBC America had hit the “Like” button. Seriously, my modest photo was noticed by someone at BBC America. That was so awesome that I approached Kelsey after the panel was over and I told her about this. She was so thrilled when she heard this that she had me forward that photo to her Instagram account with the indication that BBC America had liked that photo. I don’t know if anything will come of that attention from BBC America but it’s pretty cool.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

By the way, if you like her art, you can not only check her out on Instagram but also on Deviantart, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Etsy.

After the workshop was over I ate the dinner that I brought with me. I also saw the sign leading to this special party that was only for designated Enablers, who are the special attendees who paid a higher admission fee than the basic admission fee that I paid. (The Enabler passes started at $15 above the basic admission and there were different levels of Enabler where the more money you paid, the more goodies you get.) One day, when my fortunes improve, Ill seriously consider being at least a low-level Enabler and I’ll be able to attend parties like the one indicated by the sign in the photo below.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

The Internet radio station Tau Radio Independent Broadcasting did live broadcasts from Intervention Con the entire weekend.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I hung around the con while killing time alternating between playing video games and working on my latest crochet project. I patiently waited until the 8 p.m. magic hour arrived. There were subtle hints of what was happening on the second day of the con such as what I found at the water fountain below.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con was hosting the premiere of the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I could’ve watched this same episode on my own TV at home but there’s something special about seeing the show in a large room with a bunch of other like-minded individuals.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

There were also people who even arrived totally dressed up for the occasion, which I would not have experienced had I sat home watching television alone. (Besides, given my current situation, I have plenty of other opportunities to watch TV at home alone so I didn’t mind seeing Doctor Who at Intervention Con.)

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

After the episode ended, there was supposed to be a general party but most of the people left immediately. I hung around because there was one last event I was curious about. It was called “Club 242 Presents Drink and Draw Artist Jam” and I was curious about it even though I left my drawing pad and pencils at home. (I didn’t realize it until after I arrived at the hotel.) But it was okay because the organizers provided paper and pens for those who didn’t bring their own. There was a lot of serious drawing going on while dance music played.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

There were a few people who opted to dance instead of drawing.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I even shot a short video of the dancing mainly because someone was playing this techno dance music cover of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” that I only recognized because of the lyrics. The music part sounded pretty different from Madonna’s original version.

There was a bar that, for a fee, served booze so people could drink and draw. I didn’t drink any alcohol mainly because I had a half-an-hour commute in front of me but I drew some anthro female dog. (I was kind of influenced by these really cute Pinkie Cooper anthro dog fashion dolls that I saw on sale at Target. I ended up buying a couple for myself because they were so cute. I should write a separate blog post about these dolls at some point since I’ve had them for a while.) The biggest challenge was that it was getting late at night and I was pretty tired after a full day of being at Intervention Con. I drew a really quick sketch until I felt too tired to attempt another drawing.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

I decided to prop the drawing on one of the decorative ledges on the walls of the room where the party took place. I took a quick photo from that horizontal perspective but I was in a really tired mood and I didn’t think that it was among my better efforts so I decided to leave it on the ledge and left for home.

Intervention Con, Day 2, August 23, 2014

Passover
Easter
Yesterday I checked out the second annual Awesome Con DC. There are definitely changes from when I attended that event last year. First of all tickets have doubled in price. (Last year I paid $15 for a Saturday-only pass while this year I paid $30 for the same type of pass.) Awesome Con DC has definitely doubled in size from last year and it was definitely more crowded this year. It took me twice as long to get a pass. Even though I purchased a ticket online I still had to stand in this long line just to get a wrist bracelet that said “SATURDAY ONLY” on it.

When I got out of the Metro station I was greeted by this sign, which was a foreshadowing of what I encountered next.
Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Lines, lines, and more lines of people waiting to get in.
Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

When we got inside there was yet two other lines—one for those who had pre-ordered their tickets online like did and the one for those who didn’t. I noticed that the latter line was way longer. But it made for a very crowded experience.
Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

The next photo shows the cover for the official program guide, which I thought looked pretty nice.

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

The next photo shows inside the program guide, which has a price list for the major media guests, all of which was pretty pricey. I noticed that there were separate pricing for both photo-ops and autographs, which indicated that if you wanted to get both an autograph and a photo-op from Billie Piper (best known for playing Rose Tyler for a few seasons on Doctor Who) it’ll cost you a whopping $100.
Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Billie Piper was giving a Q & A at 1:45 p.m. and I made every effort to get there in time only to get held up by both a Metro ride where the train remained in one station for a long time before it moved on and having to stand in that totally long line. By the time I arrived there was that really long line that stretched down the hallway (similar to the one in the photo below) where the Q & A took place and I gave up out of frustration.

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

In fact it seems like Awesome Con DC this year is getting to be like Otakon was last year where, unless one stood in a line outside the room at least a half-an-hour before the event, there would be no seats left. This is what one room looked like when I made an ill-fated attempt to go to a Steampunk Show and Tell.

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

As a result of the crowds I spent most of my time at Awesome Con DC perusing the Dealers Room and Artists Alley while taking photos of various cosplayers. (I saw a lot of women dressed as either Anna or Elsa from the hit Disney movie Frozen.)

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Like I wrote earlier, there were a lot of women who were dressed up as either Anna or Elsa from the hit Disney movie Frozen, such as these two who were among the four people trying out the Microsoft XBox Kinect version of the video game Just Dance.

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

I even shot a short video of this.

There was a local DC organization, called R2DC Builders, that is dedicated to building their own replicas of R2-D2 from the Star Wars movies.

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

I even shot a short video showing R2-D2 in action.

There was this puppeteer in the Kids’ area who performed with a sock puppet.

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

I even managed to shoot a short video of this performance.

There was a long line of people waiting to get inside a replica of the Tardis from Doctor Who, which was really a photo booth. The resulting photos were shown on the screen outside, which was just as well because I really didn’t want to wait in yet another very long line. I later learned online that this Tardis photo booth can be booked for parties and special events.

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Another area of the Dealers Room that also drew a large line was this opportunity to get an autograph and a photo taken with actor Ernie Hudson, best known for appearing in the Ghostbusters movie. It cost money to meet him so this photo was the closest I ever got to meeting him. (That’s him way in the back—near the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man—wearing a Ghostbusters t-shirt while shaking the hand of a lucky fan.)

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

One of the few events that wasn’t quite as crowded so I was able to find a seat was at a movie I had seen before a few years ago at the Utopia Film Festival called Every Other Day is Halloween, which is about the career of local legendary DC horror movie host Count Gore De Vol. Here he is signing a DVD that I bought from his booth.
Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Before I left for the day I spent some time in the Video Game room but that one was also crowded so I just took photos then went on the Metro.

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

This last photo is of a lovely sunset I saw while I was riding the Metro back home.

Awesome Con DC, April 19, 2014

I’ve been attending a lot of local conventions lately and I found another one that seemed interesting to me. I originally considered going to it on Saturday because there would be special sceening of the animated movie Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie which would include not only the movie but also a live appearance by Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes that will include a Q&A that would be part of a live podcast. The only reason why I didn’t go was because of the price. A one-day Saturday pass cost $25. That’s not so bad except the Jay and Silent Bob event cost extra. The Saturday pass did not automatically give you an admission to that event yet if you wanted to buy the pass for the separate event, you were required to buy the Saturday Comic-Con pass as well. The regular Jay and Silent Bob pass cost $40, which meant you had to pay a total $65.

But that’s not all. There was a "Super Groovy" ticket for the Jay and Silent Bob event that cost $75, which not only netted you an autographed print but it enabled you to enter the event first before those who purchased only the regular $40 pass. Since the "Super Groovy" ticket also required that you purchase a Saturday pass for the rest of the Baltimore Comic-Con, anyone who wanted it had to pay a whopping $100.

I not only wasn’t crazy about paying extra fees but I had an issue with the idea of people who paid more for the "Super Groovy" ticket had the right to cut in front of people who could only afford the $40 pass. I was personally more in favor of the usual first-come, first-served policy that usually accompany a movie screening where people who line up early had the right to get good seats over those who arrived later. With this two-tier pricing, one who arrived very early to get in line but paid only the lower $40 price would see later arrivals get into the theater before that patient person simpy because the later arrivals had deeper pockets and could afford the higher ticket price.

On top of it, I was still smarting from having to pay a very high $1,600 health insurance bill. (Here’s some background. As a spouse of a federal government employee, I had long enjoyed being covered under my husband’s generous health insurance benefits. When my husband succeeded in his quest to divorce me, I filled out a form with the federal government in order to continue being covered under my ex-husband’s health insurance since I’m currently seeing a therapist and I also want some kind of insurance in case something unexpected happened to me. The federal government takes up to 90 days to review my request. In the meantime I would remain covered, I assumed that they would continue to deduct some of my ex-husband’s pay to keep me covered while the govenment reviewed my case. Imagine my surprise when I got a notice saying that I would continue to be covered but I needed to cough up $1,600 for the 90 days I was covered while the government reviewed my case.) I really didn’t feel that I could afford to be extravagant so I decided to skip the whole Jay and Silent Bob event and attend Baltimore Comic-Con on Sunday, when ticket prices cost only $20. Besides, the one panel that I was interested in (besides the Jay and Silent Bob event) was held only on Sunday.

Normally when I attend an event at the Baltimore Convention Center, I usually drive my car to the North Linthicum light rail stop then take the train to the Convention Center stop because it’s the cheaper option. However the one panel I was interested in was being held in the morning and the light rail system tends to start later on Sundays and I was afraid of missing that panel. So I ended up driving the car into the city and parked at one of the many parking garages. I arrived early enough to park in this one garage that had a special rate: If you leave before 4 p.m., you only have to pay a $15 parking fee. (The full price is $20 per day.) On top of it, that garage was just a short walk from the convention center, which was great since it ended up being so hot and humid.

I knew I was at Baltimore Comic-Con when I arrived at the Baltimore Convention Center and I saw all kinds of cosplayers waiting outside in line on a bright sunny September day that ended up in the high 80’s along with very high humidity. (It felt more like summer than fall that day.)

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013

In the lobby of the convention center was this really awesome life-sized balloon sculpture of Dr. Who and a Dalek that was done by Starkey’s Balloons.

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013

Everywhere at the Baltimore Comic-Con there were cosplayers and staffers wearing these interesting looking t-shirts.

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013

I managed to make it to the one panel I wanted to attend. Toy designer Paul Harding and comic artist Mark Buckingham gave a very interesting presentation on the topic "Toy Design: From Paper to Plastic." It was a demonstration on how an original 2-D illustration gets translated into a 3-D statue and action figure. It was a very interesting topic that I enjoyed while I ate the lunch and drank the sodas that I brought with me from home. (I brought my own lunch rather than buy any of the overpriced food and drinks sold in the Baltimore Convention Center.)

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013

They had some real-life models based on the characters Snow White and Bigby Wolf from the comic book Fables.

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013

I spent the rest of my time in the Baltimore Comic-Con in the Artists Alley. The high point was seeing this framed The Amazing Spider-Man comic book that once belonged to actor Nicolas Cage on sale for $250 on one of the vendor tables.

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013

The rest of the area was a whirlwind of vintage comic books, dolls, costumes, t-shirts, vinyl figurines, DVD’s, and stuffed animals while various cosplayers were walking around the area and the various comic book artists and writers signed autographs for fans. There were some strange stuff on sale like a Jerry Garcia action figure (I’m old enough to remember when Jerry Garcia was alive and The Grateful Dead used to frequently go on tour) and Stan Lee Cologne (that’s right, you now have the opportunity to smell like the famous Marvel Comics comic book writer and editor <LOL!>). There was even a table that gave away free samples of PlowOn Energy Gum. (To be honest, I didn’t like the taste that much although it did a great job of keeping me awake since I chewed it at a time when I began to feel physically tired. I managed to keep on visiting every table in that room at least once. But I would rather drink Five-Hour Energy to stay awake than to chew PlowOn Energy Gum.) The next several photos should convey an idea of what the giant Artists Alley room was like.

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013
Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013

I finished my day at Baltimore Comic-Con by sitting in on a cosplay costume contest for a few minutes. I didn’t stay long because, as you can see in the photo, the room was very crowded.

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 8, 2013

Thanks to my decision not to skip the Jay and Silent Bob event the day before, I treated myself to a couple of items from the Artists Alley. Believe me, it took a lot of discipline to limit myself to just two items because there were a lot of stuff sold in that room that I felt tempted to buy but I didn’t because I didn’t want to go further into debt than I already am.

I found this really cute Funko vinyl figure that’s based on the character Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony.

Swag From Baltimore Comic-Con 2013

I also found this DVD collection of vintage early 1960’s black and white episodes of Astro Boy. It’s definitely a blast from my childhood. (Astro Boy was definitely one of the first Japanese anime series I ever watched on TV but I was too young to realize that was anime.) Now I can relive my early childhood whenever I want.

Swag From Baltimore Comic-Con 2013

September 8, 2013 turned out to be a momentous day for me and it’s not just because I attended the second and final day of Baltimore Comic-Con. When I came home I did the usually weekly Sunday cage cleaning of my pet hedgehog Spike. Little did I know at the time that this particular day would be the last day I ever saw Spike alive. When I finished with cleaning his cage, I saw that he went into the pink plastic igloo that he used as his bedroom. I never saw him alive again after that.

I first learned about the existence of this convention when I was at Otakon because the people behind Intervention Con had a table in the Dealers Room promoting it. I went to the official site online and I found that there were a couple of panels that I was interested in. However, since I was still trying to recuperate from the massive convention monster that is Otakon, I really didn’t think I could handle all three days of Intervention Con. The good news was that, unlike Otakon, an individual had the option of buying a one-day pass. After going through the schedule online, I picked Saturday to go because that day had the most panels I was interested in.

So I packed a lunch, dinner, and a few sodas and drove to Rockville. I found that, compared to Otakon and BronyCon, Intervention Con was smaller and more intimate. I didn’t have to do as much walking and there weren’t huge crowds like the other recent conventions I attended. While there were cosplayers at Intervention Con, there were far fewer of them and they were definitely in the minority. (The vast majority of Intervention Con attendees wore jeans and t-shirt and eschewed costumes.) The few cosplayers I saw had interesting costume, like the person in the photo below.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

When I got my pass, the first thing I did was sit down in a hall chair and eat the lunch I brought with me. Once I finished, I proceeded to tour the entire Intervention Con, starting with the LARP Room, which provided pretend weapons for anyone who wanted to engage in live action role playing.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

The Internet radio station Tau Radio Independent Broadcasting did a live broadcast from Intervention Con.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

The Video Gaming room had a variety of the latest video games for computers and consoles that convention attendees can try, such as Rock Band. There were also a few of the older consoles (like one of the first Nintendo consoles) that one could use to play older games like Super Mario Bros. I had fun trying out some of the games, such as Fruit Ninja for the X-Box Kinect.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

Walt’s Cards & Board Gaming Room was named after one of the sponsors who provided the games for this room. There were a lot of board games and card games that one could purchase. However, if you weren’t sure about purchasing a certain game, there was a Game Library on one side of the room where people could borrow a game and play it on one of the tables in the room.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

The Art and Music Studio room was a place where people could create art and/or music. When I was there, people were drawing on the boards using the dry erase markers.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

I have to admit that my favorite room at Intervention Con was the Arcade Gaming room, which had a variety of classic arcade games from the 1970’s and 1980’s. What was really cool was that all of the machines were on Free Play so I was able to take a trip down to my high school and college years as I played games like Tron, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Tetris, Arkanoid, and Wizard of Wor.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

The biggest room at Intervention Con was one that housed three different things—a guest area where some of those who gave panels and workshops signed autographs, the Artists’ Alley where aspiring artists tried to sell their handcrafted stuff, and the Vendors who sold t-shirts, buttons, and similar geek-oriented items.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

The same room also ran a Charity Auction, which was a silent auction where people could bid on various items ranging from t-shirts to plushies. The proceeds from that auction went to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013, Maryland, August
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

The first panel I went to was on "Making Makers" and it was given by Mark Frauenfelder, the person behind both Make magazine and BoingBoing.net. It was a very informative panel on how there is a trend towards people making their own things, which has been spurred on by the rise of 3D printers.

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

After that panel, I walked around where I found this flyer touting the official Twitter hashtag for Intervention Con (#interventioncon).

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

The last two pictures I took were of cosplayers (one was wearing a neat red dragon tail and the other was fully dressed as one of those Transformers robots) before my smartphone battery totally died. (Yes, I stupidly forgot to fully charge my phone before I headed to Rockville.)

Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013
Intervention Con 2013, Rockville, Maryland, August 24, 2013

Despite my dead cell phone battery, I did plenty of other things (like frequently returning to the Arcade Gaming room so I could play those old arcade games I used to love so much). I managed to check out Mark Frauenfelder again as he was among those who sat on a panel I attended titled "Revenue Streams: How to Make Ten-Tenths of a Living". It was basically advice from professionals on how one could potentially make at least a part-time income through their own original creative product/idea (like a self-produced comic book). That panel recommended an online essay, which I later read, titled 1,000 True Fans, which showed that a creative person would only need to cultivate that amount of true fans in order to make a living. There’s also a book, called The Art of Doing, that the panel also recommended reading. The panel was basically positive and upbeat and it also had this message, it takes time to cultivate being able to make a full-time living off of what you create and you shouldn’t feel like a failure if you have to get a day job to pay the bills. I enjoyed myself watching the panel while eating the dinner I had brought with me from home.

I also attended a panel titled "So You Wanna Be an Artist?" and it was given by a former Disney animator named Raul Aguirre, Jr. He gave a really upbeat talk on how he managed to make a living as an artist despite being the son of Mexican immigrants. He has a webstie called Man vs. Art where he has a podcast series that’s designed to provide insipration to would-be artists and urge them to not abandon their dreams. After that panel, I attended another panel titled "Sh!t Gets Real: A Conversation With Frustrated Artists" that provided a sobering counterpoint to Aguirre’s previous panel. (It was too bad that the powers-that-be at Intervention Con couldn’t combine the two panels into a point/counterpoint on the issue of trying to make a living as an artist. That would’ve been cool to see.) This panel was pretty funny while the participants provide their horror stories (complete with gallows humor) on trying to make a living as an artist. Basically the message is that many artists may have to get side jobs to pay the bills.

After that panel I grew tired so I drove home. I learned a lot at Intervention Con that day. I also liked the fact that it was a smaller convention because I didn’t wake up with my body hurting the next day (unlike Otakon).

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