• Everfree Northwest 2015: CouchCrusader's Retrospective

    Everfree Northwest. My hometown con. I couldn't be prouder of it. Talk to me back in 2012 when I was just getting into the scene, and I would've told you I'd be out of the fandom in 2015.

    Weekends like this last one, so long as they keep happening, are going to keep roping me back in.

    CouchCrusader here. Shifty landlords to sushi, spiders to surrealism -- hay of a way to spend 96 hours, I'll tell you. Forgive the relative lack of pictures 'cause I didn't really have a camera on me. I like remembering things my way anyway, how I remember them, and not necessarily how they happened.

    Hit the break and settle in, because this is turning out far longer than I'd hoped it'd be.

    I was so convinced I wasn't going to Everfree this year.

    I mean, that little nucleus in the back of my brain kicked and punched and screamed otherwise as March rolled into April, but after coming off a rough job in Wisconsin and starting a new one in my most favorite part of the country, it was hard to imagine I even deserved to return.

    Then April ticked over into May and I decided I needed to be a Community Guest. If there must always be a Stark in Winterfell, I guess some manner of EQD pond algae can man the Hilton, too.

    (I really like that show so far. That Ned guy is cool. I bet that he's gonna be king by the end of it all.)

    In less than 24 hours, I got myself a panel slot for Saturday night, with four of the best panelists I could dream of getting from the con. More on that later. My first shouts-out go to Tim, Tales, Piquo, and SR with the convention for accommodating my last-minute shenanigans and finding a late room to literally squeeze that panel into.

    A few weeks' planning and printing later, it comes:


    I work less than 20 miles from the Hilton Seattle Airport Hotel & Convention Center. The moment 3:30 turned over, I turned right the heck outta there, stopping only at Costco to pick up a box of Tim's Cascade Potato Chips and a 36-rack of Dr. Pepper in anticipation for all the wild parties there'd be.

    Naturally, the first thing DarkFlame tells me at dinner is that he doesn't like Dr. Pepper.

    Hang on, I got ahead of myself there. Well, traffic on I-5 northbound was doing 70 that afternoon and that still wasn't fast enough for getting me to the convention. I wound up pulling ahead of two bronies in a Jeep while taking the off-ramp to the hotel (seriously, "spot the brony" continues to be my favorite pre-con activity and if you don't agree then you're a rotten liar) and minutes later I met up with Tim in the lobby. Hard to believe it'd been a year since the two of us drove I-94 west to last year's convention along with Calpain and Valcron.

    Attire at the office is business casual, which meant I was in jeans the moment I got everything into the room. In the outdoor divide between hotel and convention center, I shook hands with J.T. and Bernd. Y'all know the former as DarkFlame, and the latter as one of the four anchors of the Cutie Art Crusaders. I knew them as a few (of many I would go on to meet!) of the members of Team Okay, a charity-oriented collective of artists I'd gotten to know in the past few months. My number one draw for conventions has been and always will be seeing friends I don't get to see otherwise, and this year would be no different.

    We took two cars out to dinner, J.T's crew by the cross-town route and mine by the highway. We both got there at the same time because the topological impossibility that is Greater Seattle enforces constant-time travel between two arbitrary nodes (and because someone nearly tried to merge into me on the 518!). When your final destination is AFK Elixirs & Eatery (read: cafĂ© for NERDS) that's all fine.

    To give you an idea of the place, imagine cardboard signs on the fireplace notifying patrons that the brick hearth turns into lava when a blaze is going (don't touch), the music playing overhead is a Final Fantasy VII battle theme, and oh yeah they had Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder available to play there. The menus were a bit glaring in terms of price and the actual lamination used to seal them, but the establishment also offered an immense, wide, and breathtaking variety of gaming-themed drinks for the cultured geek's pleasure.

    Six Fluttershy Mai Tais for a table of eight later... hey, did I mention just how many drinks they had there? I mean, I guess we got a little variety when #7 bought himself a Rainbow Dash...

    Feasted on Dwarven Battle Bread (be-baconed, of course), Firebat pasta, dragon burgers, and something they simply called "steak", we stepped out of the restaurant and I made my first move by giving everyone some of these.

    If you were at EFNW this past weekend and you ran into me, chances are I gave you some of these to take home with you! I'm still not sure how I've avoided internet stoning by literally promoting a personal project on Equestria freakin' Daily, but the fact is that I've grown to like how I draw Children of Everfree and I wanted to show my followers how much their attention validates me.

    More seriously -- I've never come to Everfree the same person every year, and I've been all four years. 2012 was my fan year, the year I literally stayed up all night to Delta Heavy's remix of "Must be the Feeling" as I churned out bad drawings for the VAs (worth). 2013 was my writer year, sitting on a panel or two with Skywriter himself. I was stoked to do a retrospective like this one for 2014, but that was the year I basically kept to my circle of EqD blogpony friends, so my con experience wouldn't be justifiably generalizable to all y'all.

    2015 is a year I've waited for for a long time because it's the first time I feel comfortable calling myself an artist, even if it's solely bizarro fanart a guest of honor later said was something "[he] never wanted to look at ever again," to my face.

    All around me are familiar faces /
    Worn out places, worn out faces

    Who knows what I'll wake up as for 2016?

    Anyway -- Bernd busted out his Magic cube when we got back to the hotel. I never got to playtest my top-heavy Esper beats in single combat because I got put into a bye round and I went off somewhere, but reportedly all it had to do was survive until turn four.

    Instead, after finally getting to meet Ardail (and learning that spinning people like propellers over his head is how his people say hello), I whisked off to meet up with Fisherpon, that guy you know for reblogging all the ponies he can find on Tumblr since 2012. Excellent man. The company he kept encompassed Hobbes (yes, that Hobbes) and Cigitia, two more excellently excellent dudes who I blathered at for having pretty art and in turn they had nice things to say about mine?

    Folks, pay me any manner of compliment and I would level cities to make you a road. I'm not a hard horse to sway.

    I finished the night ordering more prints to pick up from Costco the next day. Turns out fifty bookmarks and thirty prints were nowhere close to covering what I'd give away that weekend.


    Was super awkward because I had to drive everywhere.

    You could say I'm getting a lot of mileage outta this picture here.

    If you want to be a convention rockstar, be local and have a car. Denny's, I love you and your greasy yet vaguely tasty food will always have a place in the fibrillating ventricles of my heart, but this was not your year. I had other places to be.

    LeekFish (friend? I think??) needed a screwdriver to put new batteries in her tip box (a tiny, mechanized panda popped out to draw coins in with its paw), so I had one in my car (theme) and dropped it off. This let me into the vendor's hall early (as well as my media badge, so regular attendees with pointed tools might look worse forcing their way past con staff (you know, FYI)), which let me overhear one artist's plight of printlessness after Greyhound decided to take a nap on shipping him his stuff.

    BlindCoyote was another pal I knew from Team Okay, so I volunteered to drive him out to a Staples. Because the gods mock us, the both of us learned along with the hapless (and lonely!) counter tech that this vaunted, corporated copy/printing operation could achieve at best a blazing 0.5 Mbps from Dropbox. With 440 MB of files to go, we would have to return later that afternoon with a flash drive the tech loaned us.

    The time was not wasted. Blind's working to become a professional artist like so many of the people I would go on to meet that weekend, so we spent large gobs of that drive talking about exactly that. I wish I could make that kind of life work out for me, but I enjoy a consistent salary and benefits a little too much to take that kind of risk right now.

    At the very least, his butt in my passenger seat let us take the HOV lane on I-405 back to the venue. Seattle locals will know just how clutch a luxury that is around the Renton S-curves.

    The prints I'd ordered Thursday night were ready for pickup when I dropped Blind off, so I drove back out to Tukwila and picked them up. Mercifully, the tech behind the counter asked me no questions about the giant spiderhorse taking up most of the 5x5s in her hands. I'm old enough now to know not to draw extra attention to myself by asking if they've seen weirder, because 1) they certainly have, and 2) they're tired of you thinking you're so edgy.

    Back at the con, I found this guy.

    Needless to say I welcomed it back to the vendor's hall and made ready to sit down and draw when Blind found me and said he was ready to grab his prints.

    Fu[   ], why didn't I just combine that trip with my Costco run? Muh mileage. Going back out was super worth, though. Blind's stuff is glorious. Buy from him next con you meet him at.

    The next few hours passed with me sitting at Blind's table, setting out prints for people to take (again, free!) and wandering over to Dana Claire Simpson's table to pretend like I'm an interesting person to talk to and to buy her newest Phoebe and Her Unicorn book. If you haven't heard of D.C., she is Bill Waterson and Shel Silverstein reborn, absolutely no exaggeration. Every strip of hers is funny.

    Time passed and I meandered over to the Mane Events Hall for that day's big panel -- the very same one M.A. Larson put on at TrotCon breaking down the pitch to premiere process for "Cutie Mark Chronicles". Twenty-three episodes into Season 1, his third of the show, and even that late then-showrunners Lauren and Rob Renzetti hadn't finalized everypony's cutie marks. There's an amazing amount of uncertainty and fishing for ideas in those early stages we don't get to see on the screen.

    I can only provide a summary of a recap for this panel unless you want to spend your Saturday reading this exercise in self-indulgence, but I had takeaways aplenty. Go back and rewatch Season 1 -- it isn't until this episode that the staff realized Scootaloo might have something to idolize in Rainbow Dash. And if you ever wondered why Fluttershy had long legs as a filly, let that pony stand for Lauren Faust at eight years old and you have proof that self-insert stories can and do work when you're funded by a gigantic toy conglomerate.

    Larson went to lengths to point out the "shorthand" he uses in his scripts. At ~1 minute of animation per page and 22 minutes of episode to work with, his scripts would balloon to 35-37 pages. Cultural reference pools play a large role in saving space. He described the buildup to Rainbow Dash's race with a single sentence: "The atmosphere is electric, like a James Dean street race", and the animators know exactly how to set the tone from there. When Pinkie Pie witnesses the grand finale from her rock farm, she smiles and "we watch her mind expand."

    Also, Twilight was gonna stay up all night mastering magic before her entrance exam, Applejack was prissy, gonna have a parasol, and flee from flies on the farm, and Rarity had her own song (Larson wasn't shy sharing his opinion on the lyrics he wrote for Fluttershy). Cuts happen, guys.

    Larson also had a pretty baller background on his Macbook, too.


    Nothing else happened Friday night because I drove up to sign a new 3-bedroom apartment lease with my roommate. Sh[   ]show. Turns out the bedroom destined for our third roommate was still occupied for another month, the floors were all-white tile (even in the bedrooms!) and even though $550/month/person in Seattle is damn good rent, it wasn't for that unit. We walked, vowing never to visit another apartment sight unseen or trust a landlord on Craigslist.

    While I was gone, Larson reportedly went to dinner (at AFK E&E, incidentally) with a few other folks. Convention-wise, this quickly ballooned to thirty. I can only imagine twenty-nine of those vied for viewing space while the thirtieth tried to eat a steak in peace.

    It's a bit late to mention that PK was also up there, but he was! He was super busy assisting LeekFish at her table, I wasn't, but all in all the both of us had a fantastic weekend. Though, between my 7-11 hotdog and his crustless, from-the-clean-room PB&J 10 seats away from the Ali-Coronator himself, our Friday night dinners were a little lackluster.

    Yes, though! Saturday!

    I managed to catch the tail end of Jim Miller and Jayson Thiessen's producer's panel that morning, but the largest point I came away with sprang from a question about the ages of the ponies (somewhere between 16~20). The staff generally try to keep facts nebulous in order to avoid locking themselves out of future stories they may want to tell with the Mane 6. This echoes a point I made in my retrospective for ECCC, where telling good stories trumps the preservation of minor continuity. Friendship is Magic isn't about telling one story the same way other cartoons do, and I do feel like people are growing more accepting of that distinction as time goes o.

    I missed Jim and Jayson's panel because I attended a different one in the same time slot: a writer's panel aimed at rookies looking to break into writing their own stories. The panelists there were Xepher, ocalhoun, Brony2893, and the inimitable Pen Stroke, all together a highly-qualified bunch of folks. The main points they hammered on were getting eyes on your work as much as possible, as scary as that sounds. If you're one of those writers who have six or seven stories out there, though, and you're doing all the right things in asking for feedback but aren't getting any, it's best to become more active in your search for feedback by joining writer communities and groups, as well as participating in RogerDodger's write-off events. You'll have to write on a prompt for the latter, but the practice is just as invaluable as the guaranteed 10-20 pairs of eyes the event requires participants to give to other stories in competition.

    Larson also dropped by the panel to dispense his own experiences, and his main contribution to the fray was the importance of setting deadlines. If he's unable to write something, he has a deadline motivating him to do that anyway or else he's out of a job. Accountability plays a huge part in getting things done, and you can totally ask your friends and followers to lean on you if you're having trouble sitting down to work.

    Unexpectedly, Larson also dropped a bit of "Magical Mystery Cure" trivia in much the same vein as his Friday script-to-screen panel. The show writers caught some flak in 2013 when they admitted they weren't sure what Star Swirl's spell was supposed to do in the Season 3 finale. However, in the early stages of writing the episode, Larson had been Skyping with Meghan McCarthy suggesting that Twilight re-writes magic somehow, accomplishing something even Celestia herself couldn't do. The original idea was that Twilight would receive a crate from the Princess with stern instructions not to open it until she arrived the next day.

    In classic "Twilight messes up a spell" fashion, she opens Pandora's box anyway, causing everyone's cutie marks to switch around. The letter she gets back from Celestia only says, "My faithful student, what have you done?"

    Reversing the spell and accomplishing what Celestia couldn't fix earns Twilight her wings.

    It was out of the writers' panel and straight to the next one for this sofa surfer, where he got to meet the crew of ILoveKimPossibleALot and a few folks from Canterlot Radio! The fandom media element was out in interest for this one, because the man who walked out to a packed Emerald room was none other than Discord's voice actor, John de Lancie himself.

    John (for he, as I recall, isn't as fond of being called "Mr. de Lancie") ("my liege", on the other hand, he finds acceptable), is formidable. I can honestly think of no other word to describe him. You get all types with the cast -- Tara is intense, Andrea is flawless, Nicole Oliver is every bit the wise, radiant princess she voices, and Tabitha... does Tabitha. John is formidable, and he creates gravity. When he asked us to move our video cameras back because they made him feel like they were in a photoshoot, we complied. He asked mikes be moved around, and point-blank asked a later petitioner to not ask a question and point a camera at him at the same time, because he felt that awkward to both sides.

    This isn't the manner of a entitled actor used to imposing demands on others. Far from it, it is simply him being up-front with how he would like to engage us as his fans, and that theme of being open about one's self and how that led him to success echoed loudly throughout his Q&A.

    You wouldn't guess it from his consecutive appearances on Friendship is Magic from Seasons 2 through 5, but John is a busy man. He came to Everfree Northwest fresh off a premiere run of Rajiv Joseph's Mr. Wolf, playing a avuncular astrophysicist holding a fifteen-year-old girl as intellectual hostage. Last year, he undertook the voyages of Melville and Stevenson by sailing the islands of the South Pacific for fifty-one days. He acquired a tattoo (but wouldn't show it to us). All of this hints at a man I could never hope to imitate in depth and scope, but I can certainly respect him.

    So when the questions came flying fast and thick about a show he spends perhaps four hours a year voicing for and doesn't follow closely, interesting chemistry emerged.
    • Little child: Who's your favorite background pony?
    • John: *stricken, amid audience "ooh"ing* ...Fluttershy?
    Much of this verbal firing squad of a Q&A continued, and I'll admit to being perversely entertained by the spectacle. The next time you sit a panel with John de Lancie, it's perhaps best to avoid specifics/fandom terminology around him unless you want trouble.

    But we had an hour and a half of his time, and an hour and a half is a long time to get to know someone. John brought up his upbringing in a world much different from ours. He told us how poorly he did in school until he found Shakespeare, while devouring the stories of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells in his youth. He struggled through A Tale of Two Cities and its ending reduced him to sobbing. At twenty-one, he went to audition for The Globe Shakespeare and inadvertently received an offer to attend Julliard from John Houseman. That the audience was silent for this revelation shows just how different we really are. John appreciates how he's influenced three different spheres of popular culture over his lifetime, but he also admitted to not "inhabiting" pop culture, either.

    Perhaps the most surprising admission to come out of that panel, then, was that he is dyslexic. Nope, I didn't find that on Wikipedia. I'm not convinced it belongs there either, guys, so please take his privacy into account if you're thinking of taking action. Every time John receives a script, he cloisters himself for hours going through the words, circling the operatives, and applying immense mental force to the text until he internalizes the reading. Recording, he said, was easy, because he does his homework before (lesson to the kids everywhere). When his father confronted him about turning down the offer to go to Julliard, John said he really didn't want to go back to school because he was a poor student.

    Maybe that's true. But the effort he puts into all his roles speaks otherwise.

    In the meantime, John was capably conversant in some of the more recent events of My Little Pony. He called up "Make New Friends but Keep Discord" for throwing into lights the problem of treasured friends spending time with other friends. That issue, and all the overtones of abandonment, inadequacy, and insecurity are felt just as acutely by grown adults as they are by the show's target audience, and it was clear that John has a soft spot for Fluttershy's character.

    That said, when asked who Discord would fall in love with, "Celestia" came to his lips with ease.

    The entire room went bananas.

    No, he doesn't follow the show as closely as the rest of us do. He does, however, follow us. His inspiration to produce a documentary to combat the popular and media perceptions of bronies came from within him. The best part of playing Discord, in his words, was standing on that stage and sharing himself with the fandom.

    I lunched later with Fisher and new friend Lovely Laughter at a Hawaiian BBQ joint down the road from the hotel. I'm really glad I found the place with Aquaman last year, because crap, I really want some mac salad now. The three of us... connived for later that evening.

    Returning to the vendors' hall, I set up with Pixel-Prism and the TSSSF crew to keep plucking away at a Children of Everfree update, set out prints. Once again, people came looking for me, found me, and not once did I ever not think that their attention wasn't the best thing in the world.

    I also got to run into Heather and Torrey again, and every year their Shining Armor and Cadance cosplay game only grows more intense. The only reason they didn't win the cosplay contest a second year in a row, so they were told, was because they'd, well, already won last year, and isn't it about time that other kids got a turn on the swing set? Sharing, caring, that whole gambol.

    Dinner that evening was an earlier affair I'd arranged with one of J.T.'s friends, Regal, who also brought ShadesOfEverfree and BronyDanceParty along. Nifty, 'cause the latter two are Seattle locals as well, and Regal and J.T. are looking to move up here too!

    The car comes into play again here, because we hit up Marinepolis Sushi Land. It's been a con staple of mine all four years I've attended Everfree, and they still sell plates of the best seared salmon nigiri on the planet for $1.50. This was Shades' first time eating sushi, and from what he told me it was a highly enjoyable experience. $1 kinshi rolls are better than California rolls for initiating new sushi eaters, in my opinion.

    With dinner squared away, it was time for the event I'd been looking forward to this whole past month. 

    There it is! J.T., Chocolate Pony, Lovely, Fisher, and I crammed into Columbia B for over an hour with fifty of y'all discussing the stuff we like (and don't like) seeing in askblogs. I like to think we were reasonable entertaining, informative, and, most importantly, tolerable. Fisher is currently working on the video for that panel, and you bet all of us are gonna be posting it once that happens.

    In the end, however, I sent this panel in too late to acquire Community Guest status, but whatever. I had an awesome time.

    One of the best things to come out of that panel did so literally, walking up to the table to say hi to me. Whiteout and Kuroi have been fandom friends of mine since 2011 (back when I used IRC!) and they brought Trouble with 'em. I was so sad missing her when I came out last year, so the three of us happily retreated somewhere and shot the breeze about ponies and each others' lives for several hours.

    Bumped into Foal Papers later that night, too. Though I always wish the two of us could hang out more because I genuinely like the bloke, I think our hi-and-byes are perfectly fine, too. The life of the #HorseFamous never stops, so I'll toast to that.

    Speaking of horse fame, I later found Larson sitting at the hotel bar chatting up Claire, the barkeep, about all the pony hubbaloo taking place. I absolutely promise I had no alcohol in me when I went up to him and gave him Fluttershyder prints to keep.


    Remember the guest of honor I mentioned earlier? Him.

    "This is horrifying. They're adorable. I never want to look at these again."

    Then he asked me, "Do you know who David Lynch is?" No.

    "You don't know who David Lynch is?" Outside of ponies, I'm quite culturally insulated.

    "Watch LOST HIGHWAY," he said, grinning. "It's from the 90's, and it shows. You have to understand, it's a little dated. I think you'll like it. You'll like it."

    If all I get out of everything I tinker with in this fandom is a movie recommendation from a Power-That-Be, I'll take it.


    Thursday and Friday at the convention this year took forever. Saturday was perfect. Sunday was rushed like that one episode of My Little Pony.

    Still convinced I could somehow update my askblog while I was out there, I camped a table outside the vendor's hall, set out prints, and drew while people came up to grab them. I looked up a little later and noticed this one girl on the other side of the table coloring in an impossibly elegant Nightmare Rarity as a merpony.

    "Holy crap," I said. "I need to throw money at you right now."

    So I did, and got myself a Fluttershyder in markers. Mandarr, you do lovely work and I will absolutely commission you again for Siren Dash.

    My agenda for that morning was attending Kelly Sheridan's panel, Heroes and Villains, moderated by Mic Check. Despite a few technological glitches, I very much admired the panel format -- the two of them reviewed Kelly's (quite extensive!) career in voice acting, from Ranma 1/2 to Hero 108, Powerpuff Girls Z, X-Men, Barbie, Inuyasha, and, of course, Friendship is Magic. If I'm correct, this is the first convention period Kelly's ever attended, so this was quite the unique window into her life before marshmallow ponies.

    Regrettably, I didn't come away with many notes for that panel -- what I didn't realize was that the main voice actor panel came right after that one, but I was back in the vendor hall for that. Sorry, guys!

    The most interesting thing I did find out about Kelly, however, was that she wanted into Friendship is Magic from the beginning. In no uncertain terms, she'd auditioned for everyone. So it was years later, in a hotel room in Kuala u, that she received a call from her agent asking her to send in an audition for the show. Huddled under her blanket and acting into her iPad, she got the role of Starlight Glimmer and entered the recording booth a couple of days later.

    The moral of the story here is that good things come to those who visit Malaysia, I guess. That's a strange letter to send the Princess, though.

    The other panel I hit up that day was with the Secret Shipfic Folder crew. I shan't say aught about what transpired therein other than its final result:

    Oh my god. That is Doritos dust sprinkled on his coat there. Please also note the ficlet title, "Headshot to the Heart."

    In the downtime that ensued, I got to sneak into the autograph room when it wasn't busy and exchanged a few words with Bonnie Zacherle, the originator of all things pony. It was a very relaxed and low-key conversation for her first brony-focused event ever, and she shared a story of how she'd envisioned these ponies to be realistically colored (think palominos and other sorts) before some Hasbro VP told her they were going to be pink and purple. The 80's, ladies and gentlemen.

    The last day of the vendors' hall hit me pretty hard, so I'm gonna wrap it up by saying I emptied my wallet in there. Prints are nice, and I got my share from Steve Holt!, Ardail, J.T., Hobbes, and Casey Robin (her Equestrian postcard/poster series are FANTASTIC). Better, in my opinion, are commissions -- you can see the amazing inks Patchwerk and SleepyOtter did of two of my OCs up in the title image! I also managed to score a quick sketch of Rainbow Derp from Pixel-Prism, as well as two shots of my dumb ponysona from Mwai and Trick Candle, too. I still love 'em, guys.

    I'd also ventured out by the convention tables by the Emerald Room, where I got to see my old uni buddy Jayden advertising Pacific Ponycon in San Diego, coming next January! You should go. I also got to bum a poster off the BronyCAN folks out there, and got a moment to ambush Tabitha as she walked past thanking her for the kind words she'd had for my art years ago. Haha, still a fan after all these years, I guess.

    The convention closed down soon after that, Sushi Land was had once again, and BlindCoyote drew me and J.T. some adorable sketches of our askblogs. I'll have to look for those, come to think of it...

    The rest of the night passed far too quickly; I hung with LunaJax and Mummafied for a bit and sang some songs with them before retreating with J.T., Bernd, Regal, Jer (kickass vendors' hall this year, man! You made it work!), and others. Be on the lookout for a secret project from those guys -- it's gonna be nothing but trouble.

    I left the convention at 12:30 AM Monday, and BOY was not taking that day off as well as Friday a mistake when I punched into work...

    Monday Evening

    I watched LOST HIGHWAY. Larson, it was indeed excellent. Bizarre, but excellently so.

    I love writing these retrospectives. Conventions can be a funny way to measure the progress of one's life, but they definitely coincide with some epoch-making moments for me. It's become a lot easier for me to talk to not just the show staff, but any and all other attendees since showing up at Everfree in 2012 going "wtf am I even doing here?" This past weekend was one of friends, fun, and too much money spent, and I'm not sorry for a second of it.

    Make it all the way down here? According to the Dale-Chall readability formula, you just negotiated a text at the 11th-12th grade reading level. Nice. Also, share your convention experiences in the comments! Y'all definitely got to things I didn't, and people want to hear all about it!

    That's it for me, at least. Thank you for reading!

    CouchCrusader, out.