Another Sac Anime in the books. This time I tried to branch out a bit, but ended up pigeonholing myself in another way. Overall though, I’d say this event was a success.
It was a hot-ass weekend, but most of my time was spent inside, so it wasn’t much of a problem. Sacramento has changed quite a bit in the last year, though. One of the better changes is that there’s a new comic book store near the convention center: Oblivion Comics & Coffee. It was a good place to kill time before the vendor area opened. It was also where I got my first purchase of the weekend: a trade paperback of the WWE comic book series. It’s pretty hilariously tongue-in-cheek, and I almost wish the actual product were more like it.
I unfortunately didn’t attend any panels this time around. I spent a significant amount of my time in the tabletop room trying out the Pathfinder card game and Starfinder. Both are pretty entertaining, but I was more impressed by Starfinder, naturally. The card game was pretty interesting in its own right, but too much of it implements the idea of deck leveling, which complicates the game just one step too far. I love the idea of playing different characters with their own deck structures and powers, but good lord, the leveling system is absurd.
Here’s how the Pathfinder card game works in terms of decks: You pick one character to play. That card has its own special abilities, like the ability to use certain categories of cards with perks or bonuses to certain rolls. In addition, their deck is limited categorically. For instance, one character can have a deck of 3 weapon cards, 2 spell cards, 1 armor card, 4 item cards, etc. A starting player can only have Basic cards for each of these from a starter deck for their class. Depending on the cards they defeat in any scenario, a player can gain the ability to “level up” by replacing one of the basic cards in their deck with a higher level card. In addition, you can level up a character, increasing the value of their bonuses or increasing their deck size. It’s a LOT to keep track of, and it needlessly slows down gameplay for the sake of making it feel more like an RPG. Imagine if in Yu-Gi-Oh! you could only play with a deck made from common cards from a Structure Deck, and you had to earn the right to swap out some common cards with uncommon cards, then later rare cards from the same Structure Deck. It’s shit is what it is.
So, on to the real meat of what I did this weekend: COMMISSIONS!
The first day was very productive. I managed to get three commissions done:
Boku no Pichu Academia by PacificPikachu. The idea behind this piece was pretty much just as it appears: Raichu as All Might and Pichu as Deku. Why? Because Pichu hurts itself when it attacks!
Mina by Slifer the Sky Dragon. This is basically an interpretation of the old ALTIMIT submission I made 10 years ago.
The third one was of Nadeshiko Misaki from Millennium Match. I decided to commission Peach Momoko on a whim and because she was a guest artist, but… it kinda turned out like one of those carnival caricatures.
But hey, she nailed the brass knux and wheelchair fighting pose.
For lunch, I had a Yakuza Roll at Mikuni’s. I didn’t even know there was a Mikuni’s downtown. It’s behind the P.F. Chang’s I used to pass by on my way to Big Brother Comics (which I now know changed locations after a fire in 2016… I really should pay them a visit next time).
I picked up my commissions in the afternoon and ended up buying volumes 4-5 of Marionette Generation. The seller intended on only selling the full set but decided to sell the four after I said I was only interested because I only had the first volume. Now I kinda feel bad for multiple reasons because when I got home I found out I also had the second volume. Dilemma.
Second day was pretty much the same. I went over budget and ordered more commissions. I picked up the last of the commissions I ordered on the first day:
Sera by ipscy. I love it when I can have a conversation about what I want with the artist, because we end up hashing out all the nuances that I never would have thought of when making my initial write-up. For instance, I knew I wanted Sera to be “confident,” but I never thought to have that expressed with a “toothy smile” or a “wider leg stance” until I saw some initial sketches and, by sheer instinct, realized what tweaks needed to be made.
This time I had lunch at Dad’s On J for burgers, so nothing new. I was just craving a damn good mushroom swiss.
Final day, final chance to get the autographs of the cast of Power Rangers Dino Charge (minus Yoshi Sudarso for reasons I have yet to learn). I showed up an hour early waiting for the 12:00 line to start. Every time I asked, staff said the line hadn’t started yet. People wanting to get in for 12:00 lined up as part of the 11:30 line and they were told that there is no 12:00 line yet. I stayed outside the line and patiently waited for the 12:00 line to form, but as 12:00 approached and no one left the line despite being warned multiple times that there is no 12:00 line, they staff just gave up and allowed it, meaning I, the person who waited for two hours, had to line up behind the assholes that played by their own rules and made their own line.
Well, once I actually managed to secure the autographs, I calmed down pretty quickly. I really ought to have attended the panel, because I just love this cast. Brennan Mejia has this boundless energy and is just all around an awesome guy. Definitely the kind of red ranger the franchise deserves. James Davis has somehow managed to make himself even sexier in his time off, and it’s breaking reality. And of course, I had a photo taken with Davi Santos, perhaps fulfilling my long-held desire to become a Knight of Amber Beach.
I had lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory, which I always planned on checking out but never did because it was outside of my budget as a college student. Welp, who has two thumbs, a job, no loans, and a hunger? This guy.
Anyway, finally picked up my final commissions.
Marina by Neal Salud / Naedallus. I wasn’t planning on doing a Pathfinder character commission right away, but Marina seemed simple enough.
Lucia by Mengo. She was by far the most expensive artist I commissioned this weekend, but well worth it. I fell in love with her piece on Sailor Saturn, but it was sold out. She also wasn’t selling what appeared to be a WIP based off of Kubo and the Two Strings, and none of the other prints she had interested me, but I wanted to support her based on those two pieces, so I figured why not a commission? I have zero regrets because, well… just look at that Lucia:
I didn’t give her all that many notes. Just two pictures of reference material and a general idea of the kind of character Lucia was. I never asked her to draw her bursting with radiance, but she went and done it anyway. Practically brings tears to my eyes.
And that’s about it. I also bought a few prints that I have yet to hang on my walls because laziness. You’ll notice I took a lot less pictures this time around. Well, I was focused on experiencing the con more than reporting on it, though fat load of good that did me. Plus, I just really hate taking pictures with my phone. Hopefully I’ll have a dedicated camera before Winter rolls by. CRISPIN FREEMAN, BAYBEE! Should I nab a copy of Fencer of Minerva for him to sign? HMMMMM….