I stopped by Katsucon 13 this morning, the big anime convention that happens to be down the street from our joint in DC. [Yes, I just called our house a joint. But after chilling at the con, my nerdmeter is seriously out of whack.]
Last year, I took the kid, thinking she could score lots of cute Japanese plushtoys and lots of sensory overload from the costume-wearing hordes. [It was mostly the latter.] This year, it was a pre-school day, so I just went as a reporter.
First thing I noticed: the kidult otaku crowd is procreating, because there were a lot more babies this year. [Big shoutout to Chad, one of the Katsucon organizers and a DT reader, and his wife Marya. Their kid's attending her first con this weekend.]
Maybe it's because I just got back from Japan a few weeks ago, or maybe it was the complete absence of Yawaraka Sensha merchandise, but the dealer section was a little disappointing.
The Artists Alley, on the other hand, rocked, even though only half the tables had been set up by the time I got there. I thought I might score the kid a plush riceball or something, but when I saw the amazingly executed fan art by an artist who goes by the name Ryo0oki [that's a zero in the middle, btw], I knew what to do: I commissioned a portrait of the kid on the spot.
Ryo0oki, known to her grad school classmates as Sylvia, had a table full of chibi drawings [example above]. Chibi=Shorty in Japanese, and they looked like perfect little anime toddlers. Like Muppet Babies-meets-Akira. You can see her work online, but Ryo0oki only accepts commissions at cons, as it turns out. I'm sending her some pics of the kid, and in a week, we'll have the anime version. I'm kinda stoked, stay tuned.
Katsucon 13 runs through Sunday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC [katsucon.com]
Ryo0oki's gallery [ryo0oki.deviantart.com]
Previously: the other K-12: The Kid Visits Katsucon