AV Connection '02




av '03

The problem being in Australia, other than being Australian and having the most horrid Ambassadors to the rest of the world is the astounding lack of Conventions. If you want to go to the most meager of Con, you have to travel the equivalent of half of America just to get there to be disappointed. Interestingly enough, 2 University societies in my home city of Adelaide, South Australia decided to short-cut the whole thing and make a meager Con in our own city. AV Connection was brought forth, screaming and balling into the world. '02, being the first of seemingly many Cons bearing said name, will now be reported on by myself and Mark. Who knows? Maybe we'll be well enough known by next year to hold a panel... Here's to hoping. On with the reports!



As all epics start, Mordak arose to find himself in unfarmiliar surroundings. This is not his story. My story starts by me losing many an hour of sleep, awake thinking about a script to write for the guest strip for MacHall. Lucky me having to go to a two day Con when my favourite webcomic decides to have guest comic week in preparation for Otakon just seems like the deepest pile of irony I've had the misfortune to step in.

So of course, I wake up late. I had planned to meet Travis on a 9:10am bus into Adelaide to get to the Con about 15 minutes early. Considering I wake up at 8:30 - It isn't the most pleasant of situations. In any event I rush my arse off gettting ready and manage to snag a lift with my father and arrive in the City before Trav's bus turns up. I wait... and wait... and then get fed up after 5 minutes and walk off to the Uni.

The Con was being held on Campus, and through a little bit of guesswork and a shot in the dark about which building it was in, I manage to find it without too much trouble. As I trudge though the door, I set about getting in the way. Being a member of the Anime society (in a sense), and was present at some of the commitee meetings that graced the organisation of the Con - I got to laze around behind the Registration desk after buying entry from the Reg desk manager, that just happened to be the delightful script monkey of blancmange, Mark.

At first the turn-out wasn't that astounding. There wasn't a mass of people waiting to flood in - lined up down the street, and around the corner. Just a bunch of people clustering around the entry, shivering. We just had to hold the Con in Winter, didn't we? Luckily the weather held up, and the heavens didn't up-end themselves on us.

10 minutes after the Con was supposed to begin, I spotted Trav outside, and dragged him in. Apoligizing, I told him of leaving early, to which he revealed that he wasn't on that bus, but the following one. I withdrew my apologies. By this point it was 5 minutes after the Con was supposed to begin. Vendors were still in the process of setting up and the crowd was getting restless. By folly of lapsed communication and poor management, the general public slowly started to filter in.

The vendors were not happy. Quasi-security, being Julian - was getting complaints that people were *gasp* touching their merch! Heaven forbid items they want sold are being examined by potential patrons... While this was happening, the 2 Marks, Trav and myself were still milling around the Reg desk. Of course Mark insisted we go off and do something, to which I looked into the main hall and scoffed. A few measly stalls, the consoles, the Dance Dance Revolution machine and the Art comp were in there, and not all that active. Instead I derived much pleasure in insulting most of the A trailers that they were playing in the main theatre.

After the nth Dragonball Z trailer, I gave up. Ranma 1/2 started playing and I needed another diversion. So Trav and I went to peruse the main hall now that things had started moving. What entranced us the most was the DDR machine, but not for the normal reasons. Two blokes were thrashing the hell out of the machine and it was slowly moving around the floor. Of course this just would not do, so I went to report it. Not long after that something odd happened. Trav and myself were manning Registration.

It didn't matter how, but there we were. It was interesting to watch it all happening. People came in. Gave us 5 or 7 dollars depending if they wanted a one day or a weekend pass. Then entered. Not suprising that. That's what normally happens. What was suprising is they just kept coming. Person after person. It was amazing... we even ended up running after tickets at the end and had to handwrite them up!

After a lunch in the theatre, watching the horror that is Ranma 1/2, we went back to the table, and that's were we stayed for a fair while. Mark left for some reason I was to later find out, and for the next few hours it was a steady flow of inquiries and patrons.

There's only so long I could take the monotony. After procuring myself one of the AV Con T-Shirts, I made my way to the Staff Room; apparently where Mark was held up. I came in to find that Mark had obtained a few things. One was the MCing job for the Quiz Night. The other was helping rewrite and add questions for said night. I happily joined in, helping create some real nasty questions, especially for the last round. Our aim was to create 1 in 10,000 odds questions that would really tax our contestants. I came up with a few pearlers, including an obscure Star Wars question as well as a PGA Tour Golf '95 one...

The Quiz night was pretty fun. Mark did a managable job as MC as I joined the panel of judges to mark the answers the tables of six gave. 10 rounds of snide comments, assemblances of humour and correct answers. Truth be told, it was a lot more fun making jokes amongst the judges table than to do the Quiz. As for the Round 10 questions - all bar one were answered correctly - Mark's question about Planescape: Torment. This was mainly because only 5 people in the whole room had played it, and most of them were judges.

We left around 10pm, as the Quiz night was timed almost perfectly. On the train ride home, we decided that we wanted a PC on the Rego desk for tomorrow. Trav wanted to take his so that he could burn up some CDs as we wasted time listening to music - mostly to drown out the shrill sounds of the DDR machine.

Late to bed again, I managed this time to wake up early - with enough time to prepare as I packed up and prepared my equipment last evening. Turns out Trav couldn't take his rig, so I had to take mine. We arrived, by Trav's car at the Con just before 9 in the morning. As I set up my machine, I was chargrin to realise I had left my Y cable for my speakers at home. So much for doing ANYTHING on the damnable thing...

Pre-Con consisted mainly of me writing up more tickets for the day. Trav printed out an extra 150 for the day - assuming not that many people would turn up after the great turn-out yesterday. That was yet to be seen.

Another frigid morning, another load of people arriving and vendors turning up late. The morning was pretty boring. Not that many people coming in, and my computer just a glorified paperweight.

Come 11am, the stores in the City opened, so Trav and I made a quick pilgrimage to Dick Smith to grab a Y cable. Once we returned with it, the fun began.

By that I mean we borrowed Mark's 'Jungle wa itsumo Hale nochi Guu' CDs and began to watch them from episode 7. At some points during the day, we managed to attract quite a crowd. Was pretty good. Of course I had to keep dealing with Rego when everyone else had an unbroken view of the episodes. I didn't care all that much because in a few days, I'd just get the episodes off Mark.

Come 4pm, it was time for the Cosplay Ball. This would make most people shudder in disgust, but as I hadn't seen one as of yet, I was morbidly fascinated by the whole idea. In my honest opinion - it was the worst organised event of the whole weekend.

There was next to nothing organised. Mark found out too late that he was the MC of this event too, and had to rush around finding out what awards he had to present, and what precisely was going on.

After a few failed attempts at getting people on the dancefloor, be it by Drew, the 2nd in command or by the DJ's throbbing tones, and a few more unbecoming party games - the Staff huddled around the bar near a slowly aggrivated crowd.

The awards were handed out as quickly as possible and the Cosplayers had their little one on one with the MC. We managed to purchase a Gameboy Advance for the Door Prize with all of the pure profit our successul Con made.

After we cleared out in the evening, we left in our wake an amazingly successful first Con - that will definately occur next year, and I'm sure for years to come. Changes will have to be made, but learning from the mistakes made was certainly done. I for one, thought it horrid that they had no webcomic Panel *cough*



For a very small city like Adelaide, in one of the most sparsely populated countries on Earth, 430 is a good number to turn up to an Anime and Video Gaming convention in its first year. Especially when you consider we didn't do terribly much in the way of publicity, and that Anime isn't as firmly established as in America where the cons are huge. And on top of this, we expected only about 230 based on pre-sold tickets.

Anyways, I had fun. I was in charge of the whole front desk side of the operation, and I must say I learnt one hell of a lot for next year.

Day one dawned bright and sunny. The sky was blue, the birds were singing, the first rays of the sun failed to shine in through my window until well after I was up, and I had a felt like I had been beaten repeatedly by an angry mob. This was because I only got 4 hours sleep. I managed to get to the venue by 8:25, carrying a horrid, rancid, McDonalds breakfast in one hand and a newspaper in the other. I proceeded to help with the set up. About an hour before start, the first attendee arrived to ask if she was in the right place. She had come all the way from Brisbane to attend, I believe. After all was set up, we started to let people in. Which annoyed the vendors as they had been slack and gotten there late. The projector in the secondary screening room was giving everything a yellow tint and we needed to buy black cloth to string up and block the windows. Story of the whole convention: We needed more stuff.

The first day was a blur. I spent most of it running the front desk with Chris and Travis, who got their entry refunded after they became staff on the spot. At about 2 or 3 pm, it was decided that the questions for the quiz night were bad, so a few of us spent several hours writing new ones. I even put in a round of "Killer" questions, which included a question about a golfer not appearing in a 1995 golf game. Quiz night, which I was MC for, ran without many problems, aside from the fact that many of the original questions we kept turned out to be flawed quite heavily. I thought my MCing was pretty crap, but everyone seems to keep telling me I did quite well. I know I did get plenty of laughs. And the killer questions... One table got the one about the golfer through a wild guess, but no one got the answer to the following, one of mine. "In Planescape: Torment, Who created the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon?" If you don't know the answer, well, go play Torment.

Day two was even more fun. Chris brought his computer, which we set up at the front desk in order to watch Anime ourselves. We also raided the screening guy's collection, which turned up some interesting stuff. I spent day two less on the front desk, and more on the generally running around doing things. I ended up MCing the cosplay ball, which I thought flopped big time. It needed a hell of a lot more communication in advance between the staff.

All in all, I did stuff, and thought thoughts, and mainly want to get on with helping organise next year. It is something I really feel I can devote energy to, which is somewhat rare for me. Now get ye gone, and let me sleep more.

blancmange Copyright '02-'03 Chris Schlatter and Mark Stoffels. All Rights Reserved.