We left the camera at home so I was unable to get pix of the Arale or the Panda Z cosplayers, or of the Hell; it was in the main video room, which had roughly 220 chairs. All chairs were filled and the front, sides, and rear of the room was full of standing, sitting, or lying down Hell watchers. We took the room away from the masquerade overflow room guys; they had it last year and expected it this year even though the schedules all clearly indicated they did not get it this year. Poor guys. Anime North has kind of outgrown that hotel, at least for the giant events.
There was room for about four more rows of chairs in the back, but the hotel itself ran out of chairs. Maybe we'll rent some next year.
Anyway, this was the first Hell that was mainly DVD, and it worked pretty well. One home burned DVD did not work at all (old, iffy brand) and another one did not work because I clumsily forgot to finalize it when I burned it (d'oh). I brought the Curtis portable and the Koss player and my SVHS for the few items that were on tape - I had a clip tape made up of trailers and ads I could play while waiting for DVDs to load and get past the stupid FBI warnings and menus.
The tiny portable B&W TV that Gordon bought me at the thrift store years ago finally gave up the ghost, so I had to haul my old Amtec monitor (vintage 1984)from home and I got another monitor from the con for cuing. I just split the video signal with some Radio Shack y-splitters. Everything went into the little switcher, which went to the projector and the amp. The con is no longer relying on those tinny house sound speakers in the ceiling - a real mixing board, real mikes, and real speakers made sure everything sounded great (last year I had a mixing board with issues and we used the house sound. Nix on that). I'm also glad I brought a power strip from home. Everything fit into my cool new suitcase with the world-spanning stickers all over it. I love that suitcase.
The crowd stuck around while I set up and continued to grow as I plugged stuff together. Once I got stuff plugged up I ran ULTRA FIGHT to check the levels and that seemed pretty popular. I led off with the Japanarama "ninja" segment, then ran a Panda Z bit, those GI Joe PSAs, a compilation of kiddy kidnap safety films called THE STRANGELY DANGEROUS, into Forklift Driver Klaus, the "Dancing Heino" segment, and from there the order of clips gets fuzzy because of the disc failures. I know I ran a new Live Versus Anime segment with the new Tetsujin and the trailer for the live Lupin movie, I ran Godzilla VS Mitokomon which was well recieved, a 30-second segment of animation of kitties and turtles singing Iron Maiden from a VH1 promo, the animated Pong movie, the Fish Fight music video, the rappin' Titanic dog as a promo for the next event (Worst Toon Ever), a title-carded episode of RAMPOO called RAMPOO: A DRAMA IN SIX ACTS. Segata Sanshiro, Rejected, and the Heino Wigwam /Porky closing wrapped up the Hell. Two seconds later we went into "Worst Toon Ever" and I lead off with the Chuck Norris Karate Commandos, so we kept a lot of the audience.
I had requests for the 3D Gundam home movie, and somebody suggested his pal's kooky Power Rangers spoof movie. There were a few segments that dragged a bit, but the audience's attention was kept at a fever pitch by frequent trivia question-awarded prize giveaways- mostly screener DVDs and manga. Surprisingly the audience could not tell me who created Tetsujin 28, but they knew the name of Godzilla's robot helper in GODZILLA VERSUS MEGALON, AND how he managed to grow to giant size.
I left off a lot of Hell classics and did not show any Corn Pone shorts, which was not deliberate on my part, but was the result of me forgetting to bring the disc. The 2-hour slot is just about perfect - just enough time to get the job done without having to resort to filler. The disc failures meant I had to drop two news segments and a new cut of Cartoon All-Stars, but that just means I have 'em for next year.
Klaus and Rejected continue to be tremendously popular. I predict a great future for that Klaus, even if he no longer has a head.