Another Anime Con: Slave Leia Taught Me To Bellydance

I'm back in town for oh, about a day, and looky! You're getting a convention report! "Another Anime Con" was three days of cool costumes, neat swag, and shrill teenagers -- many of whom were underage females dressed, whether consciously or unconsciously, as if to encourage behavior prohibited by one or more statutes, but already I digress. The convention organizers did a great job. This was a first-year convention that drew crowds (over 500 paid attendees) took great care of everybody, and was just plain fun to be at. Returning to the first paragraph's digression, I am fairly confident that it is legal for me to admit that I had a good time. I contributed to no delinquency (yeah, that means you, Sean!) and took the time to provide a functional definition of "yaoi" to a girl wearing a button proclaiming its virtue. Later she was seen button-less. I think this Boy Scout did at least ONE good deed over the weekend. I also took the time to whip out artwork for fans, some old, some new. Admittedly, the crossover between my fanbase and the convention's core demographic was rather limited, but this is not the last Anime-themed convention I will attend. I'm pretty sure I learned things that will enable me to attend them profitably without resorting to heavy doses of "big eyes, small mouth" in my artwork. I probably had the most fun hanging with the other Guests of Honor, along with the convention committee. This is likely because we were about the only grown-ups present at the event (excluding those few, sainted parents who attended just to chaperone their youngsters). At one point we found ourselves in the hotel's bar where the execrable service could be forgiven in light of a "no minors allowed" policy. In that regard "J.D.'s Tavern" was greener than any green room, and more hospitable than any hospitality suite. Greg Finley was loads of fun to talk to. I think I could sit and just converse with this man for hours and never get bored. He regaled us with anecdotes from his high-school musical (Beverly Hills High -- the cast list read like a major studio production), from Broadway, and from his career in voice-over. I did a Webcomics panel with Brian Wilson of Hookie-Dookie Panic, Shawn Handyside of Staccato, and Sean Callahan of Dorkz. We had fun counseling impressionable young teens in regard to the dangers of becoming addicted to creating a webcomic, and we regaled them with some anecdotes of our own. The "tell us about your favorite piece of fanmail" question was probably my favorite. Amira Sa'id was a very, VERY good sport, and tried to teach me to bellydance. I learned the basic mechanics at Saturday night's dance, and then retired to my room exhausted for a cold shower. I have been led to understand that there was video of the event (me being taught to belly-dance, not my shower) but I have yet to see it. If you find it, please don't tell me about it. I prefer to work on my humility through introspection rather than public humiliation. Amira's got a good thing going -- her "Slave Leia" costume is one of the best Star Wars themed costumes I've ever seen. I've seen HUNDREDS of Stormtroopers and Lord Vaders, but it takes some serious work to pull off Princess Leia in bikini and chains. As a professional dancer, that kind of work is right up Amira's alley. I wish I were half as good a figure-artist as she is a dancer, because she was kind enough to pose in the Leia outfit for photos and sketches. I came away with a better understanding of the human form, and absolutely NO sketches I'm sharing with any of you. But I can't send you away without a picture of some sort. So here's an anime version of me: Howard Tayler, as seen through the eyes of Shauna Leva This was drawn by the hugely talented 16-year-old Shauna Leva, whose mother's permission was obtained before I went and dropped her name in front of half-a-hojillion Schlock fans. You really do need to watch for this girl. If she's not putting lesser artists out of work in two years it's because I was very careful to stay the heck out of her way.

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