Most of the day was packing. In the afternoon, Kanu brought us to the train station, from where we took the MARTA train directly to the airport. We had some Five Guys burgers at the Atlanta Airport, pretty tasty! Our next stop was a layover at the Las Vegas Airport where we spent a little more time than planned due to a delay of our next flight. It was pretty obvious that it was the Las Vegas airport.
Eventually we made it to Reno and caught the last Airport shuttle that day. The Grand Sierra Resort is conveniently located right next to the airport, requiring only a 5-minute drive to get there. We checked in and pretty much flopped onto our beds.
Fur lunch today we met up with Kanu at Willy's Mexican grill, then we went to Fry's Electronics since Chris told me about how amazing that store is because they sell single electronic components and all kinds of geeky stuff. We also went to the Northpoint Mall to check out the Lego and the Disney store.
In the evening there was another party, had a nice time and people also didn't leave too late, giving us enough time to sleep.
We got up at 10, packed our stuff and dumped it in Chris' room. We ran into a couple of people leaving and said bye to them, including FoxB and Kookie. We had one last breakfast at Starbucks, spent some more time in Chris' room and then left the Hotel along with some nice con-memories!
Back at Kanu's house, we spontaneously decided to go see the new Muppets movie at a cinema that also served food in the cinema, radical! We all enjoyed the movie too, both Henrieke and me liked it even better than the previous Muppets movie. In the evening we just relaxed and watched some Space Dandy.
I got up at 12 and met Henrieke and Louve who were busy drawing cats in the charity room. Henrieke was up for a while already since she attended Louve's live drawing panel.
We went to the artist alley after that and got some lunch at Dunkin Donuts with Louve. Back in the hotel, we ate our unhealthy American food and I drew my part of the trade with Mehndi. We went to Stigmatas "Try Harder" Panel and after that wandered around between Dealer's Den and Artist Alley. Henrieke, me and Zahzu sat there for a while and I got a Domino's personal pizza. I don't know how they did it, but they managed to mess up a pepperoni pizza. I will eat a pepperoni pizza in any form, thin crust to deep dish, but this was just a sponge made of dough that was completely soaked in fat, with some gross cheese and pepperoni on top. I felt sick after eating it. I went to CVS to get some edible food for Henrieke as all other stores were closed at that time and after they threw us out of the Artist's Alley, we went to Louve's room where a photo shoot was happening. Since Kookie and Sapphire felt like suiting, I bored them Baseball and Dog and we all went downstairs a bit, where not too much was happening. The rest of the evening we spent on Louves room with Booboo, Sapphire, Foxjump, Clawed, Mehndi and others. Doing fun things like watching Red Dawn and Monsters Inc., eating German candy, taking creepy photos of Clawed and making fun of everything. Foxjump also took some nice photos of Baseball and Dog! We had lots of fun that night and went to bed at 2:30.
Good news: Henrieke's elbow popped back in, no trip to the doctor necessary! We got up at 10 again, once again went to Starbucks and got out both Baseball and Kiki for the group photo.
After that we watched the Parade with Louve, Booboo and Stigmata. After that, Henrieke sat at the Sofawolf table to sign copies of her book. In the meanwhile I went to the food court in the Peachtree Center to get some lunch that we ate back at the Sofawolf table. We went to watch some of the charity auction to see if the patches Henrieke donated sold. After some strolling around in the art show and the Artists Alley, I got a coffee in the lobby and we ran across Bloodshot23 and Designosaur and went up to the observation deck, granting us an amazing view over Atlanta.
We brought Kiki back to the room, got some food and drinks at CVS, then got Dog out. We met Brian and took him to our room as we would all go to meet at the Steakhouse with Chilly anyway. It was nice meeting Chilly finally as she was one of the first artists I met online! We had a nice time and good food st the steakhouse, said good-bye and went back to the hotel.
Henrieke and Nicole were sitting in the artist alley, but since I didn't feel like drawing too much eventually I got Baseball out at 2am, ran into Kanu and Chorca and partied until 3:30.
Had breakfast at Starbucks, a way less fancy experience than in Austria. Then went to the Dealer's Den to say hi to everyone we knew, mostly annoying Louve and Booboo, also meeting Stigmata who is a *real* artist. Henrieke's book was on sale at the con, giving us the first chance to see it in real!
Apart from the Dealer's Den we also went to the Artist Alley and pretty much spent most of the day there.
For lunch we went to the Peachtree Center Mall and got some tasty chicken. After wandering around a bit at the con, I got Baseball out for a short while.
At 6:30 Henrieke went to a crowdfunding panel, I went to Chorca's room in the meanwhile and hung out a bit with the people up there.
Also I got a tiny Domino's "Pan Pizza" which they sold directly in the hotel. It looked adorable, but tasted terrible and made me wonder how on earth one could mess up Pizza. It pretty much tasted like someone accidentally dropped the whole thing in a barrel of oil. After the panel we tried to have an artjam in the Artist Alley, sadly much less big than at FWA 2011 but still very fun. Louve made an amazing drawing for me despite having to be somewhere else and we also met bloodshot23, an absolutely amazing artist who I instantly did an art trade with! It's always fun meeting new people! Also Zahzu, who might be an even bigger Lemur nerd than Henrieke was there, making awesome art. Eventually I went to the dancefloor and danced a bit with Shannon, sadly Henrieke felt bad because of her elbow problems so we went to bed shortly after that.
Since Henrieke did something to her elbow prior to the trip, our first stop today was a doctor, which naturally meant filling out lots of paperwork. The doctor did suggest that it might be a dislocation and wanted us to go to an emergency room, but since that would mean tons of paperwork, spending half a day there and paying a 4-digit amount which would probably reached my credit card limit, we decided to just see of the arm sling, muscle relaxers and painkillers would help for now. We picked up our medications and other stuff for the con at Walgreens and then had lunch with Chris, Kanu and Scott at Fresh2Order, pretty tasty and absolutely amazing wild mushroom soup!
It took a while to get to the (massive) convention hotel due to rush hour traffic, but we made it eventually. The hotel the convention was at was the Westin Atlanta, the tallest hotel in the U.S.! After waiting a bit in the Lobby for Nicole, our roommate, we got to our room in the 5th floor which granted us a wonderful view over Atlanta and far beyond the city borders. First event of the con was the opening ceremony where we already met Louve, Booboo, Foxjump, Clawed and Sapphire. Louve was guest of honor, so we sat there and watched her sitting on stage in all her glory, silently cheering for her. Right afterwards, there was the GoH meet and greet panel where Louve answered questions mostly about horses.
We all then went to Metro Diner, a restaurant we've already visited in 2011, except this time with horrible karaoke in the background! We enjoyed the dinner a lot though, drawing a bit while trying not to fall asleep due to jetlag.
Naturally jetlagged, we took a challenge by walking to the supermarket, which meant crossing streets with no pedestrian crossings and walking on what definitely wasn't a sidewalk! We still made it though, got some breakfast supplies and some pecan waffles from waffle house. In the backyard of the house we were staying in there was lots of wildlife to see: Squirrels, Rabbits, Cardinals and many other animals. According to Kanu, sometimes you can see deers there too.
In the evening we went to Marlow's Tavern with a few local people who also worked for FWA, the con we'll be attending.
Afterwards there were some people over at Kanu's house and we ended up watching ridiculous cartoons and passing out eventually due to jetlag.
Once again, these entries are more for myself, but if you're interested you can read them or look at the photos!
We are going to the States again! This time we had quite a different experience with our trip to the U.S. than last year! No Blizzard, no lost luggage, no AirFrance troubles, just a smooth flight from Vienna to Amsterdam and from there to Atlanta, where Kanu and Melo (sp?) picked us up at that felt like 3AM for us. We didn't do much that day except dumping our stuff at an amazingly 70s-looking house and falling asleep on a very comfy futon!
For Valentine's day, I had a little surprise for Henrieke! You see, in January, my mom and my nieces went to see Ice Age Live. Everyone else uninterested, except me of course, knowing that even if the show turned out to be boring, the costumes would be amazing!
Well, it turned out I was utterly impressed by everything, the show was super entertaining and left little to be desired!
Naturally I would've loved to watch it with Henrieke and I had to hold myself back with bursting out about how awesome I thought the show was. Seeing in the Netherlands was no option as we would be in the U.S. by the time the show was there, but I didn't give up that easily and found out that it was played in Oberhausen, Germany, a bit more than an hour from Henrieke's house! I quickly snatched some tickets for the show on Valentine's day, booked some flights and looked forward to a nice surprise!
I even managed to keep it secret, Henrieke didn't guess it until we arrived at the venue!
Anyway, to the show and why I enjoyed it so much!
Other shows I know make large compromises with their costumes and stick to abstract designs in order to give the performers more freedom or simply because their costume designers are not very good. Well, in this case, the costumes were absolutely true to the movie and everyone performed incredibly. In fact on some photos I saw before the show I had to look closely to see if it was CG or costumes.
Both shows are aimed at kids primarily, but one of them doesn't have creepy human body parts sticking out of their characters.
They did have some fighting scenes that were impossible to do with these detailed costumes, so their solution to this was that with some costumes (Diego and the Birds) the performers would wear simpler costumes under their bigger costumes and quickly switch (on stage) for those scenes. I found it kind of odd at first, but actually a pretty nice solution and definitely better than "half-assed" costumes for the whole show. Also they included some nice acrobatics in their performance which is always fine with me!
Kudos to everyone on ice, the vision in those costumes couldn't have been good. Doing a solid performance on ice where bumping into another performer would be very bad, all while you have a lot of light shining into your eyes, that's an achievement! At one point there were about 30 performers on the stage, all with limited vision, yet perfectly choreographed!
I can't decide whether I liked Sid's or Peaches' performance better, in any case Peaches was definitely more adorable! Sid moved just like in the movie, combined with the super-on-model costume it was a fantastic performance! All the other characters also were really lively!
If you go in and expect an amazing story, you might be a bit bummed by the simplicity of the story. Honestly, I didn't care about the story at all as it was basically just a device to get all the characters into various situations0!
The many different aspects
I loved that the show had something for everyone. Adorable costumes, cheesy music, great character performance, some pretty bad-ass ice skating, acrobatics, even more impressive acrobatics in 2-person costumes and more. Definitely something that both kids and adults can enjoy, and looking at the people in the audience, everyone did.
For me, another thing to enjoy was also the amazing craftsmanship of the costumes, and thanks to our seats just a few meters from the stage we had a very good view on that.
A whole load of photos is behind the cut!
Recently, Henrieke and me (and Kiki) were in Berlin to see a concert and to meet friends. Since we were curious about the Estrel, Eurofurence's next location, we stayed there one night to see what it's like. In case anyone finds it interesting, I'll write about our experiences, especially comparing the hotel to the Maritim. Keep in mind that everything is based on a one-night-stay and will also contain personal opinions that others might not share! This should not be a deciding factor for going to Eurofurence. You should go anyway as it'll be amazing!
A bit late, but here it is: our report of the Kraftwerk concert on 18th October at the Evoluon in Eindhoven. We've been in this building once before, and it looks not only out of this world but also pretty nice from the inside. Usually it's used as space for conventions, but there could hardly any better place for a Kraftwerk concert than this! We went with Layown, Kaelin and Kenai who were all pretty stoked about seeing KRaftwerk live, thanks to Kenai for snatching us some tickets again, the concert was booked out instantly and we didn't manage to get any ourselves. Here are some impressions from the evening!
As you can see on the photos, there was a 3D projection in the background. Due to us standing right in front of the stage, the 3D effect didn't work too well, but seeing Keaftwerk from so close was much cooler anyway! I got some really nice shots that way.
Without much comment, here is the result of tonights "eat poop you cat" game we did at the artjam after the Comic market.
"A chiuaua-space-dog and a sausage-space-dog playing chess in the deep sea, while a giant squid with mustache is serving tea." by Lisa
"Astronaut chihuahau and astronaut dachshund play a game of underwater chess while Stalintopus serves tea. Anglerfish swims by." by Henrieke
"Under the sea. You'll find this mad tea-party. Candlelight-dinners without candles and a game of kings and queens. It's a mad party you'll see. After some time you want to know what's right or wrong. Was there a head on this octopus? Nevermind." by Fischi
"Alice in Wonderland Tea Party scene with the Mad Hatter, Alice and the march hare but they are an octopus, a bunnyfish and Alice had rope for arms and smokes out of her head." by Phil
"Spaghetti arm girl had a tea party with her aquatic friends while a gentleman watches her from the shadows." by Yamavu
"The spaghetti monster is having the most delightful underwater tea party with deep sea creatures while a spy is watching." by Andi
"A private underwater detective is investigating at a tea party held by the flying spaghetti monster who invited all his fish friends." by me
Here are some photos of the comic event "Vienna Comix" last weekend! Henrieke, me, Gerald, Luri, Lisa and Andy had a table again and Baseball showed up too!
Since it was the 20th anniversary and also the ever-popular Star Wars special with people coming from as far as Germany, it was very busy again.
When it finally calmed down a little, it was time for Baseball to get out and entertain people.
After fooling around a bit, Baseball went to the table and offered sketches to people which turned out to be quite popular!
Also, don't forget to visit the next Vienna Comix on 1st of December!
Last weekend was so packed with stuff, I feel obligated to write a post about it!
Friday, 27th September
On friday we planned to go to Game City, a free gaming event in the city hall of Vienna where big publishers present their new games. While games are nice, the real motivation to go there was of course to meet Ulrich Schröder, a great artist from Germany who draws a lot of the "Donald Duck Sonderheft" covers. On the way there we ran into the Neubaugassenflohmarkt, a big flea market where a lot of stores sell things such as art supplies, cameras, postcards and useless junk. We looked around a bit and then stopped by Haus des Meeres, the big Aquarium in Vienna which is located in an old anti-aircraft tower. They just finished their new rooftop cafe, which we had to see!
Later at Game City we met Ulrich after waiting in line for a while. It was quite busy there already and we had a short chat and agreed on meeting after Game City closes, which gave us about 1.5 hours to kill. At the same time on Stephansplatz, there was the campaign finale of the right-winged party FPÖ along with a protest against the party and their policies, so we went there and met up with Chris. Sadly, a lot of the protesters were too extreme for our tastes and while I would have liked to protest against the racism and intolerance that FPÖ spreads, we didn't quite feel like protesting against the police. So we stayed between the 2 sides and tried to take a few good photos capturing the atmosphere.
Back at Game City, we met up with Ulrich and Henrieke showed some of her drawings before going home.
Saturday, 28th September
On saturday we got up early to sell at a flea market. My whole family was there and we got rid of quite some junk! At around 9:30 we went to Game City again to get drawings by Ulrich. We stood in line for about 2 hours, but it was worth it for getting a great drawing!
We hurried to get back to the flea market, had some quick lunch before and tried to sell as much stuff as possible. Despite the market being open until 5pm, most people packed at 3 already and so did we as no more customers were coming in. Henrieke and me qent on a quest to get a cake and we had a nice afternoon with my family then.
Vienna Comix gets a separate post!