Thursday, 30 May 2013

ETC: Anime North 2013: I

There is some writing stuff in this post, but it's mostly a recap of Anime North 2013. Why? For the purposes of my memory, and to see if you spot anything else of use. (Hopefully you'll tell me if so...?)


Friday doesn't happen for me any more. From experience, the earliest I can get to Toronto (after a day of teaching) is 8:30pm. While registration is still open then, the last few years they've started closing the line at 8pm. So since there's no chance, I don't rush. Got into town about 11pm, went to bed.


Woke up before 7am, breakfast, got to TCC registration line just after 8am. Marked papers for an hour until registration opened. Moved through line fairly quickly, from there to the AMV room, no point lining up again in the line longer than ours.


Returned to TCC after 11am. Not for the dealers room - I wanted to commission art of my mathematical characters. (Still really like the Para from Con Bravo last year, pictured on the right.) So I actually looked though ALL artist booths in the alley for the first time since... well, since it just got far too big for me.

Many who listed commissions said they needed "a reference", so immediately I'm thinking wow, you need to phone one of my friends? To make sure I'm good for the money? Then I realized they meant a drawing reference. Which is fine, I'd brought some of my sketches.

Over an hour later, I had 5 artists who would individually sketch Linear (coptic), Tangent (chibi), Para (line art), Root (ditto) and the Trig Twins. Some borrowed my sketch, others just took a photo and let me keep it. That seemed smart.


At 1pm was the panel "Fic Fic Boom", by the usual suspects: Chaos, Steve Savage, Nightbreak, and Sean Gaffney.

This tends to be a riff on bad fanfiction, but Steve basically started by saying Amazon was going to be publishing fanfiction, so given "50 Shades of D-Grey Man" would soon be legit, "There's nothing to joke about anymore". (He goes into more details of the Amazon deal in this post at FanToPro.)

A few takeaways:
-The recent shift is away from Reality Shows and towards Fairy Tales (as no rights needed).
-Everything's going anthropomorphic (ha, I have a leg up there) along with fanfiction of real people (like the panelists).
-People need to stop using Dr. Who as the little black dress of fandom, even if it does go with everything.
-"Pandering" to fans in writing usually results in problematic plots.
-And finally, someone needs to write the existential book "Why is Waldo?"

After that was a panel on "Getting Published". I don't have specific aspirations, but info is good. Plus Derwin Mak was on the panel, along with Karen Dales. A few takeaways:
-You don't need an agent for short stories. George RR Martin ("Game of Thrones" guy) got his start with short stories.
-"Story" definitions can vary; short story word counts (5,000-9,000) versus novels (40,000-120,000) are North American, UK novel limit is higher.
-There's a difference between self publishing and vanity publishing.
-Harlequin stories are extremely formulaic because the publisher made the rules (eg. "By page 30, your protagonist will have...")
-"Finding a job is easier than finding a publisher."


At 3pm, I was torn between "Create that Anime", an AN staple with Steve Savage and "Songwriting/Parody Songs", given my recent inclinations. I went with the latter, and WOW am I glad I did. I got introduced to the world of "filk", with a panel including Leslie Hudson, Devon, Kari, Errol and Debs. Those last have a daily comic, go check that out.

More takeaways:
-February is Album Writing Month (FAWM). 14 songs in 28 days. There's a month for everything.
-Stay creative. If you're stuck on a rhyme, put in filler lyrics, keep going, fix it later. If a lame idea keeps asserting itself, get it out on paper so you can move on to fresh territory.
-More ideas: Put a song to another tune. Vary things up, grab a random chord from a jazz song, or a musical; Disney songs and Christmas songs have some crazy chord progressions.
-Rap lyrics is all about cadence, and word stress. (I think this is why I find that so hard to parody... and write...)
-As soon as you've recorded your song, that is a standing copyright.

They also mentioned the "Filk/Geek Music Concert" later that evening. In retrospect, the past 5 hours were probably the best ones of the whole weekend. I actually wouldn't get into any other panels, because there were lineups and cutoffs based on room occupancies, which I failed to account for. On Saturday morning I saw a sign like the one I'm holding here (memories of ConBravo), but not after, and it all seemed to be rather haphazard.

The highlight is yet to come though. I'll continue in a subsequent post.

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