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Messages - cutiebunny

Quote from: MyAlterEg0 on April 20, 2016, 09:43:16 PM
Totally agree...that's why you don't have to go.

I haven't gone to Fanime since 2012.  I opt instead to pay the $800 to fly across the US and attend Animazement. 

As I've said in other threads, I would rather pay the $800 or $1000 I'd spend going to Animazement if Fanime could get the guests I want.  But when Fanime consistently doesn't get any Japanese artists that I either couldn't have met at smaller cons (ie. Nonaka & Yokota) or doesn't get any artists at all, it's a waste of my time and money to attend.

Telling me "I don't have to go" under the guise of a friend of someone who works at Fanime only further demonstrates why I don't attend Fanime anymore.  It's this elitist attitude that *some* Fanime staffers have.  The one staffer in particular that I'm thinking of will introduce himself and in the same sentence follow it up by telling you how many Rumiko Takahashi sketches he has.  Because, apparently you're supposed to be impressed with that.  I've seen how staff will usurp almost half an hour of an hour long autograph session so they can get sketches for themselves, and when they finally let the attendees (some of whom have been waiting for hours) in, they'll tell the attendee that all they can get is one autograph (while they hurriedly put their sketches away so you don't know what went on) because they have to get through that line.  You can tell me that that's a perk of working at the con until you're blue in the face, but having been to other conventions across the US, they either hold an autograph session for staff before/after the con or hold drawings for staff autographs.

Sorry, but, you lost my business a long time ago.  Granted, things aren't perfect at Animazement, but things are handled a lot more fairly for attendees than they are at Fanime.
Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Sponsorship?
April 20, 2016, 01:30:48 PM
Quote from: eHash on April 18, 2016, 01:34:59 AMCitrus wrote "What if it was big name companies like Good Smile Company willing to sponsor and sell their products?"
*cough* I believe Good Smile is being paid or compensated to have a presence at some of these conventions..

Yup.  They get free booth space, usually in a premium location.  That's the standard agreement that most sellers have with conventions, such as SakuraCon and Anime Expo.
^ I had the same response with a similar issue.   So I found another convention that was more than willing to work with me.

Seriously.  Fanime isn't the only game in town.  There are other conventions out there that won't give you the cold shoulder.  They're more than happy to work with you.  Fanime banks on the fact that they're local to you and you're not going to spend your money to travel elsewhere.
I disagree.  I would pay if Fanime could get the guests.

I mean, technically I already am.  I'm paying to attend Animazement in Raleigh because Fanime can't get any decent animation guests. To fly there, that's a good $600.  Splitting hotels, I'm looking at a good $800+ before I even step in the door at Animazement.

Even if Fanime charged $800 for a non-corporately sponsored event featuring guests that interested me, I would pay it  because I'd save time not going to AZ.

Quote from: MyAlterEg0 on March 16, 2016, 05:51:24 PMEspecially when a "sponsor" has brought in a big guest, and then you as an attendee have an opportunity to help pay them back (in essence paying them to advertise to you) instead of scratching your head asking "why did any of my money go to it if I am asked to pay more for it?" 

I agree with this.  Aniplex is a shady company and I would never buy anything released under their logo.  The things that I've seen them do would make anyone blush.  But in regards to Aniplex and AX charging for a live SUSHIO tracing, that's just in poor taste considering how much money both AX and Aniplex are making.
You answered the question yourself, citrus.  As long as people such as yourself keep paying to attend Fanime, there is no incentive for Fanime to improve upon anything.  And, as you also put it, the other option, which would require you to pay a couple hundred dollars and spend approximately 11 hours one way to attend Animazement, is not a viable solution for you and many others who might feel the same way.

Here's my advice to you - Animazement isn't going anywhere.  Just like Christmas falling on December 25th yearly, AZ always occurs Memorial Weekend.  Why not save the money that you would have used attending conventions that annoy you (I've seen you complain on the SacAnime and Anime Expo boards, when they existed) and go to Animazement instead next year?  Depending on how much you can put aside, you could even afford to fly First Class and thus not have to deal with those uncomfortable Economy seats.  Once you experience Animazement for yourself, you'll be better able to compare the conventions, and see if continuing to go to AZ works for you.  This would also give you less reason to write these posts as you'll be attending AZ and won't need to concern yourself with Fanime's issues.

As mentioned on other topics on this forum, the way I chose to deal with Fanime's severe problems is to simply attend Animazement that weekend instead.  Yeah, I'm paying an additional $800+ to attend Fanime, but I meet up with friends there and the convention gets a lot of Japanese guests that make the money that I spend to attend the convention worth it.  If Fanime can get its act together and return to the 2011 Fanime that I loved, I'll be more than happy to return.  But until then, I choose to speak with my money, and Fanime hasn't earned it.
The fact that you're asking this makes me wonder if one (or both) of the following things have occurred for Fanime 2016.

1) The big name group you thought was going to show up has canceled.  You know you can find local acts to fit the bill, but in order to justify it, you're going to ask attendees so you can later claim that you're catering to what (a small percentage) of your attendees want.  In other words, a Fanime 2012 repeat.

2) You're looking for ways to cut costs to fund the money into....'better' and/or more guests? Free water for all attendees?  Staff that can announce things in a timely fashion?

Fanime's one saving grace was their ability to get a solid Japanese group to perform.  Even when the rest of the guest list was (largely) disastrous, MusicFest would always round things out.  I even contemplated missing Animazement, despite them landing Nobuteru Yuuki, because of Home Made Kazoku in 2014.  For someone who has little interest in musical guests and goes to conventions solely for the animation guests, that was quite notable.

I hate seeing topics like these because I've seen similar request threads ignored in lieu of whatever Fanime management was already planning to do.  I guess it's great that you're the only large convention that I know of that still has a forum and allows people to post their thoughts, but I often wonder if that's just a meaningless gesture when our voiced concerns are rarely addressed. 
Serious Business / Re: A little backstory until now
February 11, 2016, 03:44:17 PM
Much of the 'stink eye' element is just due to you being an older attendee.  Once you hit the age of 25, especially if you look your age or older, you're going to get a lot of condescending looks not only from younger attendees who will bemoan that you're too old for this and you should 'go adult' somewhere else, but from their parents, many of whom are under the impression that you're out to defile their precious.  As an older attendee, I get those too along with "Which one is yours" comments from other adults.  I've heard from much older con goers (age 50+) that they not only get the parental comments, but are often mistaken for the janitor or other convention related staff.  So, there's what you young'uns have to look forward to experiencing.

Regarding "clutching the purse tighter" because of your race, while not trying to condone it, this is something that happens in society as a whole.  It is not just a Fanime element; I've seen old white women clutch their purses tighter in the mall when passing black teenage boys. I don't think most people are even aware that they do this.  I know I've realized I've clutched my bag tighter after the fact and then wondered why I did it in the first place.

I've been attending Animazement (North Carolina) in lieu of Fanime since 2013.  Unless you've gone to a southern convention, you don't have much of an idea of how bad it can get.  Black people are more or less shunned at the con, doubly so if they try to cosplay a character that is not black or masked.  Woe unto you if you happen to be disabled.  Not only is the convention center itself a horrible place to navigate in a wheelchair as there are two elevators, spaced down a long hall from each other, and one elevator will take you to the top floor and the other to the bottom floor...but not both.  Not only that, but the city itself is not designed to handle wheelchairs, with steep hills and inaccessible sidewalks.  This doesn't even include the narrow dealer hall aisles, nor the people who would smack against my friend's foot, crying "I just wanna get through!".  My friend was confined to a wheelchair due to a car accident 3 months before the convention and I was the one pushing her around the con the entire weekend.  Con staff were very callous, refusing to create a special line to accommodate people with special needs and forced them to stand with everyone.

As bad as you think Fanime is in this regard, Animazement is far worse.
Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Sponsorship?
November 26, 2015, 09:15:08 PM
Quote from: citrus on November 21, 2015, 07:14:38 PM
I mean... can you blame me for trying so hard to see if Fanime can bring back the same expectations they had during 2011?

Complaining on an internet board does not equal 'trying'.  Volunteering your time to work at Fanime to make the differences you want to see would constitute as 'trying'.

I get the feeling that you really don't understand what a sponsored convention really entails.  You seem to say that sponsored conventions are the best, but then you point to Fanime 2011 as being the best.  Fanime 2011, with exception to MusicFest, was not sponsored.  The guests that came to Fanime were partially motivated to help out with the tsunami relief efforts in Japan and wanted to raise money to aid those affected.  You were able to spend time with these guests because they weren't sponsored.  Had Yokota or Yoshimatsu been sponsored by Aniplex, the lines would have been cut off at exactly 1 hour into the autograph session, there would be no special panels where the guest could speak their mind, and instead, you would have the pre-scripted garbage that appears at every panel sponsored by industry.

What industry sponsorship has done is created a two tier system, and one that favors attendees with more cash to spend.  The same mingling with guests that used to be free at many conventions in the 1990s-early 2000s is now only available for a price.  Back in the early days, if you wanted to ask a guest a question or maybe get more than 1 item signed, it used to be that you could line up super early, and chances are, you could do that.  Now, with corporate sponsored guests, you have to be one of the first 100 to buy some super ultra deluxe Blu-Ray collector's edition or some other equally pricey merchandise and then the only thing you'll get is a quick autograph on the official merchandise. Additionally, this means that the only guests that will ever attend a corporately sponsored convention are those from recently released titles, or an older title where the company is planning on releasing a new, expensive collectors version of the show that you'll be forced to buy if you want that autograph.  I'd be willing to bet that Amano attending AX next year will coincide with a new DVD/Blu-Ray edition that some company will force you to buy if you want to be one of the 100 or so people to get that autograph.
Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Sponsorship?
November 19, 2015, 11:53:04 PM
Quote from: citrus on November 06, 2015, 10:28:27 PM
..Because of those events Sakuracon was able to get Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Voice actor of Kirito. If anything company sponsorship can many things. If it means giving the company a nice, flashy vendor booth selling their products then I be more happy and 3. Who doesn't like learning the hottest new anime coming soon or the next figurine being made?

Ugh.  An Aniplex sponsored guest.  Seriously...when I see Aniplex is sponsoring anyone on the art portion of production, I don't go to that con.  I've yet to meet a more controlling and shady sponsor.  I remember when the Magi guys came to SakuraCon that a fellow collector was threatened with legal action because she had obtained production artwork that was sold on a large, public Japanese auction site. 

I think you need to come to the conclusion that Fanime will not be the kind of con you want it to be, Citrus.  You plug AX as being an awesome con, and if that's what works for you, I would recommend you go there instead of Fanime.  If Fanime wanted to be more in bed with the industry than it already it, I'm sure they would have already put Aniplex, PonyCan and other companies on speed dial.

Quote from: pitin on September 22, 2015, 02:43:16 PMFanime DOES notify attendes of exactly this stuff in the "code of conduct" section of the event program. It says things like "no selling alcohol to minors" and "no smoking inside building or within 25 ft of an entrance". You know, basic laws that everyone should be aware of. So how would notifying attendees that the convention is private property and thus attendees have the right to not be photographed if they so choose any different?

Does Fanime not mention the "cosplay is not consent" motto in their rule section as well?  I don't think I've been to a con in the past few years where that hasn't been blasted everywhere.

Quote from: pitin on September 22, 2015, 02:43:16 PM
I don't agree with the "if you don't like it, then don't cosplay" mentality. If that were the case then hardly anyone would cosplay. I even know people who have stopped cosplaying because of how the fan community treated them. It' just sad when it comes to that. I'm in favor of doing anything possible to make sure it doesn't have to come to that.

How hard is it to use some discretion?  If the character you want to cosplay normally walks around in skin tight clothing and that is something that you, as a cosplayer, would not feel comfortable wearing, why do you have to cosplay in that particular outfit?  Or that particular character?  Once again, no one is forcing any cosplayer to wear what they choose to wear.

As for those that have stopped cosplaying because of a couple of creepers, while I feel bad that there are people out there that have ruined it for them, I also think those who feel this way are allowing the creepers to win.  Ultimately, it's up to you if you want to let jerks ruin it for you. 

Quote from: pitin on September 22, 2015, 02:43:16 PMThe person to whom I referred in my anecdote was an adult (everyone at y-con is of legal age) I honestly didn't get the feeling that they were intentionally being a creeper either. They just didn't know.

I was at YaoiCon as well this past weekend.  Yes, they are all adults, and yes, they can make their own choices.  That's why I think, other than a brief mention in the rule book, bombarding people with PSAs is annoying.  By the age of 18, you should know to practice safe sex, realize cosplayers are fellow attendees and if you're 21, to drink in moderation.

Quote from: pitin on September 22, 2015, 02:43:16 PM
Cosplayers can be socially awkward too. It's easy to feel pressured into doing something you are not comfortable with and it is all  well and good to say "next time I'll stand up for myself" but far more difficult to actually do that in the moment. I didn't mean to just let what happened slide, and I regretted it after the fact. And that wasn't even the first time that a photographer has made me feel uncomfortable. Some people don't do well with confrontation, so should only confrontational people cosplay?

This again boils down to your personal comfort level.  Would you feel comfortable wearing this costume in public?  Would you feel comfortable if something attempted something lewd?  If you would, how would you deal with this?  Would you be able to ask them for their name and/or badge number?  Could you tell them off?  How would you handle yourself?

I think that cosplayers, as well as any young man or woman in general, should think and practice how to handle themselves when dealing with uncomfortable situations.  That's just common sense in the world we live in.

Quote from: pitin on September 22, 2015, 02:43:16 PM
You're absolutely right and that is pretty much what I had said. But I'm not talking about stopping every incident ever. I'm talking about raising awareness. I drive the 85 to work every day and there are big electronic signs that are used for amber alerts but sometimes they say things like "Don't text and drive", "click it or ticket", "report drunk driving", and "if you are in a minor accident pull to the shoulder". Things that quite honestly every person old enough to drive should already know. But they do it to raise awareness. So if having "cosplay is not consent" signs help to prevent harassment by even just the smallest fraction then I find it hard to sympathize that you "grow weary" of them.

I think that people are very much aware of "Cosplay is not Consent".  I attend conventions throughout the US.  It's in every convention's book and many cons have signs advertising this throughout the convention.  I don't know how much more blatant it could possibly be.

What I think bothers you is that someone, an adult, made you feel uncomfortable this weekend, and you feel that that boils down to the fact that YaoiCon doesn't have signs advertising this.  Even if the signs were present, that likely would have made no difference.  Just because someone crossed the line when it came to acceptable behavior does not mean that everyone in the community should have to be bombarded with more PSAs. 
I don't think it's a convention's responsibility to constantly remind people everywhere that "Cosplay is not Consent" anymore than I think a convention should remind attendees not to have room parties and not to drink if they're not of legal age.  Most of the people attending conventions are adults and are able to make their own choices.  Those that aren't, though, should be constantly under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian.  That's utter nonsense if they're not.  I do think it's a con's responsibility to provide security to its attendees, though that might be more of a manpower issue (either having the funds to hire security or enough volunteers). However, I grow weary of conventions like SakuraCon and their blatant posters everywhere I go in the hall.  My thoughts on the issue are simple - If the thought of the possibility of people taking lewd pictures of you bothers you so much, don't dress up.  I wear anime shirts at cons.  No one goes up to me and asks me to pose, nor do I take pictures of others. Or, if you do dress up, be aware that there will always be a problem and stand up for yourself if something bothers you.  Trying to "save face" by not calling out those that cross the line will only futher the problem. 

There will always be at least one person at every convention that will try to take lewd photos, want to take risqué poses, etc.  No amount of advertising, panels, shaming, etc. is going to change that.  Ever.  Many attendees are just socially awkward.  And many others are just creeps.  Until conventions do a thorough vetting of every attendee, this will continue to happen.  It is each individual's choice to cosplay and it is each individual's responsibility to decide what they're comfortable doing/showing/portraying.  If and when someone crosses the line, it is your responsibility to tell that person how you feel.
I forgot to add that convention management, especially that of SakuraCon, seems to think that those that post on their pages no longer have the anonymity factor that they did on their forums. SakuraCon staff believes that Facebook enforces their standards and demands real names from the people who use their services.  That actually was the reason that they cited for shutting down the forums when they announced it on their Facebook page.  Though, anyone with even a remote understanding of social media knows that it's all too easy to register under a nom de plume; I have a couple of accounts under false names that I use specifically to post on these pages.  Many of us pointed that out on their Facebook page as well, and it was as if you could tell that no one in upper management had seriously considered that.

Moral of the story - When posting a complaint on social media, use a dummy account.

The forums have been nuked because it's too easy for people to search for complaints that way.

If staff tried to delete complaints on the forums, those that frequent the forum would complain that they were being censored and would cry foul. One of the main reasons that the SakuraCon forum shut down was because an attendee did complain about the convention, including staff names, and it seriously irked the management.  The same could be said with Anime Expo; It was very easy to find threads regarding complaints.

With Facebook and Twitter, these topics can be quickly moved off the front page.  Most people don't hit "See More", and if they do, they might only be willing to scroll down a couple of posts.  It just boils down to convenience.  If the answer is easy to find, then more people will know about it.  If it's not and requires a Google search and the reading of several websites, most people won't.  People often believe the source that's easiest to reach, even if that source is incorrect.  Case in point - The idiots clamouring for CLAMP to return to AX in 2016.  If they had bothered to have Googled CLAMP's prior visit, they would have noticed that CLAMP were total douches, going as so far to make fans stand several feet behind the table to present a pre-printed shikishi (the only item CLAMP would sign).  They also cancelled their panel to go shopping, and when staff complained, they said "We're CLAMP, F you".  So, yes, anyone who bothered to look this up would not be requesting them.
Quote from: citrus on August 04, 2015, 01:38:01 AM
I don't mind repeat guests so long as it's somebody I CARED ABOUT.

Not gonna lie, but that came off as completely selfish. 

I don't get you, citrus.  You whine and moan about Fanime being a horrible convention all year long, and then when you attend and enjoy the concert, you claim that you like the direction that Fanime is going.  So...which is it?!  You continually spam the forums with complaints, but then you post this -

QuoteI have plans on returning back to the con.

What incentive does the convention have to change if you've already decided you're attending in 2016?  They clearly must be doing something right if you're willing to forego attending other conventions.

QuoteI'd much rather pay a lot more for the badges and hotels if it means getting better guests.

Then put your money where your mouth is and go somewhere else.
OP, I don't think you're being realistic.  This is Miyazaki.  An OLD man.  A well known man.  Even if Fanime had the funds necessary to bring him over (and I'm sure he'd ask for quite a pretty penny as an appearance fee), the fact that the man doesn't like anime cons does not bode well for your request.  Besides, didn't Miyazaki attend ComicCon a couple years ago?  I seem to recall him being there.  So, there ya go, sport.  There was your opportunity to have met him.  If any convention can afford to bring over Miyazaki, it would be ComicCon.

I think it would be more constructive on your part to simply find another anime convention if Fanime is not meeting your needs.  Fanime is not so desperate of a convention where your $55 weekend admission fee will be sorely missed. 

Quote from: citrus on June 19, 2015, 11:10:00 PM
I am looking foward to this year's AX and I know that it's gonna be WAY better then Fanime Animazement 2015...I know I'm going to enjoy Anime Expo 100 times more.

Had to fix that as Fanime is not applicable for me.   But I disagree with that statement; Animazement was far superior to AX.  I look forward to Animazement every year.  AX just feels like a horrible family reuninion; There's one or two things I want to see, and I spend the rest of the time wanting to avoid everything else.  Nope, not looking forward to AX at all.  Several of us are tossing around the idea of this being the last AX we attend.  It's just too big and too expensive for what you can accomplish.

While I'm not worried about being trampled again while heading to autographs like I was last year, I am concerned with AX's autograph handling.  Waiting outside the autograph room to be one of the first 100 or so to get a guarantee ticket means that people will be lining up at crazy hours.  I may actually beat the amount of time I'll wait in line for an autograph this year.  My record is 8 hours.

I've said it before in other threads, but you can't compare Fanime to AX.  Attendee size notwithstanding, AX is purely an industry convention.  The majority of guests announced are being sponsored by companies, often in lieu of paying for their booths in the dealer's hall.   This is a trend that many conventions are slowly incorporating.

QuoteThough what I am worried about is how AX is going to run this year. They've screwed up a lot of things before the convention is starting. Communication wise they're doing a better job but it's still very bad. And to those that went to AX 2014 it was the worst year I ever experienced when it came to organization and was also the year when AX had lied a lot, send MANY attendees to the hospital, abusive and clueless staff and pretty much everything you can think of was bad. if I wasn't a premiere fan that year I would most likely have the most horrific vacation ever.

I've been going to AX since 2008.  The first rule about AX is that management will always F it up.  It was very bad last year.  I had hoped that AX would have learned how to handle autographs after the "Running of the Otaku" in 2010, but it was repeated on Day 1 last year.  I had to run to get to the autograph line, and even then I was cut off after the seiyuu spent a couple of minutes per person to chat, meaning that, if you weren't the first 10 people in the line, you got nothing.  After Day 1, most of us gave up. The panels were all filled to capacity and the wait time for the "K: Missing Kings" event was four hours long for regular attendees.  I had a Premier badge in 2014 and I have one this year as well.  It's really the only way to get anything done.

The second rule about AX is that even numbered years are horrible.  2010, 2012, 2014....all really bad years at AX due to management and staffing issues.

What am I looking forward to seeing at AX this year?  Other than KISS (well..Gene..) and the "Waifu Wars" at the AX charity auction this year, I'm looking forward to this convention once again reminding me as to why this will be my last year at AX. 

And Pollo Campero.  That's a mandatory stop on Day 0.

I'm kinda scared to see this list...

Anime Expo - 2008-2015
Animazement - 2013-2015
FanimeCon - 2010-2012
SakuraCon - 2011, 2013-2015
SacAnime - Summer 2013, Winter 2015 (I go when they get seiyuu and artists)
Pacific Media Expo - 2013-2014 (2015 pending)
Animation On Display - 2015
Japan Expo USA - 2013-2014
KintokiCon - 2013
AM2 - 2011-2012
YaoiCon - 2014-2015
Big Wow - 2014-2015
Otakon Vegas - 2015

Too.  Many.  Cons.
It's the same with most anime conventions; Areas outside the convention center, and often inside the convention center, are free and open to the public.  If you want access to the dealer hall, artist alley, game rooms, autographs, concerts and panels, you have to buy a badge.

I'm sure that there are many people at conventions across the country that solely attend either to cosplay or to take pictures of cosplayers do so without buying a badge.  Short of hiring staff to patrol these areas and remove those without a badge, I'm not sure how you can actively control this...especially when your convention booklet states that sitting at Stage 0 doesn't require a badge.
Quote from: GokuMew2 on May 19, 2015, 08:50:18 PM
I have been browsing the forums for a while now and to be honest, it really, really hurts to see people saying that the reason our guest lineup is disappointing is because the staff are lazy, among other false assertions.

I suppose you feel the same way I do when I approach conventions who want sponsors and offer the funds to bring over an animator or manga artist only to be ignored and then read something like "We only have a limited budget" when staff complains how they can only do so much.  Or, better yet, to be told that you're being "rude" for asking to offer your own personal funds towards something like this.  Do I think that, with what a con like Fanime spends securing guests, that my donation will make much of a difference?  Not really.  But I know that it would easily cover airfare and hotel for a guest, which would give a convention more funds to dedicate elsewhere.

Most of us, myself included, understand the difficulty in getting guests.  We know it's no quick phone call and they're a confirmed guest.  Nor do most people expect that Fanime is going to bring in Naoko Takeuchi or someone equally, if not more so, well known.  With the exception of MusicFest, Fanime has always been a place for up and coming or people past their prime.  I don't think anyone really expects otherwise, especially not us 'whales'.  We'd actually prefer you drag in someone like Kenichi Sonoda in lieu of a corporately sponsored guest.  I know a lot of people that would be happy with him.  However, I do think it's fair to compare you to SakuraCon as you're both roughly the same size and feature Japanese guests when I wonder why, ever since 2012, guest announcements don't begin until April, at the earliest, while SakuraCon starts four months prior to con.

If the key obstacle between getting more Japanese guests is money, I'd be happy to put my money where my mouth is and donate.  While I love the food in North Carolina to death, I'd rather use my travel expenses towards providing a higher quality experience for everyone if that extra couple grand would make the difference between having a guest and not having one.
No worries, I'm not offended at all.  I've been called worse things at charity auctions  ;D

Quote from: Tony on May 18, 2015, 09:28:48 AM.. that there was a small-ish and well-connected group of people who just came as collectors. The way it was framed to me, though, was that these people had connections that informed them of opportunities, and so they simply hopped a plane cross-country at a moment's notice to bid for rare pieces. Maybe that was a bit exaggerated, after all. ;)

Including those that live around the US, I'd say we roughly number around 30.  Most of us network with each other and many of us have connections to management at various cons.  Most of these were made during the 1990s when conventions like AX were just starting out and it would be the same handful of bidders winning everything at auction.  I'd say no more than 15 of us ever travel beyond our respective coasts for conventions.  We go because there are guests there that we're interested in seeing, though, not because we heard some rumor that something spectacular will show up for auction.  I'd say the only people who either have enough funds and/or are crazy enough to drop everything and buy a last minute ticket are the two highest bidders for the Sadamoto sketch.  And one of them almost did for a con a couple years back.

I'm looking forward to the 2012 chapter.