An Ethel Among Mermans (thornwolf) wrote,
An Ethel Among Mermans
thornwolf

FC

Had a great time! I was prepared early, had a very low stress con overall, and did pretty well!

Travel
We had gotten to the Grapevine JUST as it closed. We stopped for breakfast at that Carl's Jr. right before you start on the official route, but literally 10 minutes later it was closed due to snow and ice. BOO! So we had to go the long way around. Between that and torrential rain in Santa Barbara, it was a very scary and long 9 hour trip. It should usually only take about 6. We were lucky though, as I guess the rain had caused flooding that shut down the 101 shortly after we passed through that area. We were fortunate to get out of there before they did that!

Hotel
I know it's more expensive, but I really like the Fairmont. I loved the Doubletree, but I figure this hotel is a little more suited for our needs in regards to food and provisions located right within walking distance. We didn't have to use our car at all the whole time! We parked in the structure across the street when there was still parking, but walking to various food places without having to worry about the clusterfuck of organizing rides was actually rather nice. Only suck though, we left yesterday and had attempted to go to the 2 sushi restaurants in the immediate area and noticed they were both closed. So were a lot of really tasty sounding restaurants. I know that since sushi is incredibly popular with this crowd and lots of folks stay until Monday, I wonder if sending a flier out warning them that we're coming between such and such dates and saying that we bring quite a lot of business to that area during the weekends might be worth it. I mean it's one sunday a year they can make some extra bucks on. I know the Tandoori Kitchen across the street was overwhelmed with the amount of weekend business they were getting, as was the parking garage we parked in, so much so that the cashier asked us if there was a convention across the street because of the increase in business he was getting.

The rooms were rather posh. We had an excellent view of downtown and the hills. I didn't much care for the lack of signage in regards to where everything was though. I hate having to ask people like con staff who are already busy with other things. I know that's what they're there for but having signs would reduce the chances of them being interrupted by everyone trying to figure out where everything was.

The dealer's den, is it me or did it seem like it was the same size as the one in the Doubletree, and the artshow seem smaller?

Art Show
Took a look in the art show, there were some nice pieces but it seemed like the majority of the artshow was prints, both limited/special edition and "last one's". I didn't see too many originals that struck me really save for mythos_amante's iconic panel series. I bought the minstrel rooster :D Also, xbalaax's stuff was beautiful to look at in person. I was very tempted.

Also, a lot of the panels weren't very well lit. You'd have a really well lit panel next to one that was incredibly dark and hard to see. No bueno. I remember the Doubletree's art show being a little bit more evenly lit with the exception of the far edge panels.

As for my panels, I get to keep my St. Christopher which I'm not at all broken up about. It's going in our livingroom or office :D It will be the first piece of my own art to be on the wall. I WILL have limited edition prints available at some point in time with gold on them, I just have yet to make them and decide how many I'll make. So, I'll keep y'all informed. I need to do some more color fiddling on my scan as well.

Dealer's Den
I'm sad to say I didn't really make the rounds here as much as I would have liked. There was a badge I wanted to buy but it was between that and buying Tessa's rooster piece, so I figured "one chance thing vs. someone who's here every con..hmmm..." I did however get a surprise badge from feralityillust that I absolutely adore! I'll have to scan that in along with the "Niko Comet" pic Tessa did for me on the fly XD

I talked to demonvaska about how no one really buys prints anymore, but then suddenly I got a slew of print sales and sold out of a few images. I think Sunday is "print day". I was worried about my numbers this con mid Saturday, but it all evened out by end of business Sunday. Very atypical trends, but that's the fun about these cons is you never know what's going to sell and what's not! It's just best to be prepared for everything I guess. I kind of like being surprised like that, but maybe I'm weird.

I'll make a post with some of the stuff I have left over and see if anyone here on LJ wants them.

Con cons
I wasn't able to pick up skorzy's badge with my dealer registration. This was the first I recall that happening, and was kind of annoying because I needed him to help me set up and he had to go to another line entirely. Fortunately it wasn't the huge "not pre-reg" line, but still, when I have all my stuff right there I would enjoy it if my minion who's reg I bought together with my dealer stuff could get squared away right there with me.

We couldn't put our own stuff in the fridge in the hotel. This is the first hotel I've been to where the fridge they give you is packed to the brim with minibar stuff that there's no room left over for other items. If you remove these items temporarily to put your own stuff in, you'll be charged a $20-25 fee. Weird!

Art show pickup for buyers was apparently a total mess with poor Ch'marr doing all the paperwork, so one guy handling everyone, and 2 runners grabbing stuff. He totally needs more help, that's just too much work for one guy, and it would make things go a lot quicker.

This is more of an observation: California usually has pretty good weather. Why in the hell is FC set in the one time of year where our weather is crazy as all get out? Seriously, it's pretty much guaranteed that the week of FC is the one week a year we have crazy apocalyptic winter storms and road closures. Never fails. The weather's pretty predictable and mild the rest of the year.

Overall

I liked this con. I'm happy with the hotel, happy with how things turned out, happy with the lack of drama, and I got to talk to lots of people I wouldn't normally get to talk to. Looking forward to next year!
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