Thursday, February 19 2009

Katsucon 15

While I work on fleshing out a long post on the stimulus and economics, I return to a more important subject: anime!

Last weekend, I attended Katsucon 15 in Arlington, VA.  Katsucon was always the odd one out of the local anime conventions.  Anime USA has always been the small local con, and Otakon has always been the big show.  Katsucon was more about the social aspects of American Otakudom.  It's got a higher percentage of cosplayers, for one.

It also made the Washington Post this year, on the front of the style section.  Saturday morning, I was asked if I was attending the convention listed in the paper, and made the mistake of answering "yes" before reading the article.  Big mistake... the big selling point of the article was about the maid cafe being run at the con, which was not one of the attractions I visited.

I had a chance to meet two of my favorite web comic artists, Brad Guigar of Evil, Inc. and the always irrepressable Phil Foglio of Girl Genius.  I purchased autographed books from both to add to my collection.

As for the current state of anime:  Naruto fans were rarer than previous cons  Bleach is still overwhelmingly the most represented, although the Soul Eater crowd was out in force as well.  The cosplayers for Bleach, Soul Eater, and a couple of the second-tier series such as Revolutionary Girl Utena, Gurren Lagann, and Ah! My Goddess seemed to pick a more diverse cast of characters and outifts than previous cons.

Katsucon seemed to have less Western-inspired cosplayers, with the mos prominent being a handful from Team Fortress, a couple of Jokers, and a couple of V's.  That is, except for a large number of  Avatar fans, which really exist on the continuum between anime and Western characters.  There were a few notable oddities: Carmen Sandiego was spotted in the company of Waldo, the Vault Dweller came out, and there were a few characters from the upcoming Watchmen movie.  Oddly, there was a girl that didn't look to be out of high school dressed as Hunter S. Thompson from Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas. 

Posted by: Civilis at 07: 33 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 362 words, total size 2 kb.

Monday, February 09 2009

To Fail or Not to Fail?

...That is the question we are posed with.  Is it patriotic to wish the president to fail?

Ultimately, most people on both sides want the United States to succeed.  Wanting the United States to fail is, by definition unpatriotic.  But if you believe that having the president succeed at his political agenda ultimately means the country as a whole will fail, then hoping the president fails at his agenda is ultimately patriotic.  It all reduces down to a policy debate on the relative  merits of the president's political agenda.

 Note that I leave the position in the above formulation, rather than a name.  The formulation should apply no matter which president is in office.  Those who complain about failures now are those that were complaining about endless negativity then.  Stick to debating policy, and let rhetoric be rhetoric.  If it was fair last time, it's still fair this time.

Now, as many would suppose, I have my own views on the soundness of the policies being debated, and the fairness of the debates, but that's a matter for another time.

Posted by: Civilis at 08: 56 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 186 words, total size 1 kb.

Sunday, February 01 2009

Superbowl Weekend Thoughts

I think too many conservative pundits are attributing the decline in the fortunes of much of modern mass media to viewer frustration with media bias, or even just the poor quality of reporting overall.  I think this misses a major cause of media decline, one that affects the small online media as well as the larger print and broadcast media. Appropriately enough for this weekend, the relevant factor is the increasing ineffectiveness of advertising.

I've seen stories about advertisers scaling down for the Super Bowl this year, and it's too easy to blame that on the economic conditions (although that is certainly a factor).  I think advertising is becoming less effective because it has become over saturated, as I've said before.  With advertisers scaling back their advertising, media budgets for all media are dropping.

The big hit movie the past couple weekends has been Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which certainly wasn't expected to be a hit and certainly lacked advertising support.

Part of the factor with regards to Superbowl advertising, specifically, is that those people looking to watch for the good ads now have a better option, YouTube, and can focus on the best advertisers.  Excellent advertisements are now an art form in their own right, but do they sell anything?  And advertisements that aren't excellent are lost in the massive amount of advertising we've learned to turn out.

Update 2/5:  From what I'm told, the most successful ad of the Superbowl was a Doritos contest winner inviting fans to submit their own ads.  Total budget for production?  $2000.

Posted by: Civilis at 07: 24 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 262 words, total size 2 kb.

<< Page 1 of 1 >>
19kb generated in CPU 0.02, elapsed 0.0659 seconds.
39 queries taking 0.0475 seconds, 97 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.