Friday, September 29, 2006

Soapy the Germ Fighter (1951)

Soapy the Germ Fighter is the story of Billy, a dirty little boy, who is visited in the night by a talking cake of soap called Soapy. It seems that Billy associates being clean with being a Sissy. Soapy reinforces the sissification by dressing and talking like a Shakespeareian fop, complete with tights and a poofy sleeved shirt. Soapy argues that it's manly to be clean and offers up uncomfortable images of Cowboys washing up. Is that a wedding ring on Soapy's hand? Is there a Mrs. Soapy? Yes, Soapy the Germ Fighter will make you want to wash, but only because you'll feel unclean after viewing it...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Panel OF DOOM report at AWA 2006

I'll admit it: I've become rather negligent when it comes to making posts on the Hell blog since the podcast eats up my free time. Anyway, the short version: despite some technical problems, one of which couldn't be fixed and would have been a dealbreaker had it happened in front of another crowd, the Panel OF DOOM at Anime Weekend Atlanta went quite well indeed. The long version follows.

Due to time constraints brought on by excessive procrastination, the original plan was to run something nearly identical to the JACON panel with only minor alterations, so I didn't record the proceedings and opted to give the recorder to my AWO cohost Gerald so that he could do an interview. Then I decided to make sure that the panel was at least 25% actual ANIME for once, so I loaded it up with Ippatsu Kikimusume (aka Miss Critical Moment), some of Osamu Tezuka's short animated works such as Memory, Ziv International's Captain Future, Voltes V dubbed in English by Filipinos, Superbook, and Saban's masterpiece, Macron 1. After adding in that and some other things, the panel ended up being about 50% different from the last one after all, which is the mix I generally try to go for.

After filling up the A/V panels room well past capacity last year, AWA went ahead and put me in the much larger Kennesaw ballroom, which was where Totally Lame Anime was the year before. One post on another message board describes Kennesaw as "the redheaded stepchild of panel rooms," but I wasn't seeing that at all. On top of the size and location of the room, it already had speakers, a projector, a microphone, a DVD player, a VCR (!), remotes for all that stuff, a mixer board with everything labeled with tape (Mic Volume, Computer Volume, etc), plus all the necessary cables and connections for me to just connect my computer up and be ready to go. Short of having little security monitors for previewing footage (which I've never had except for when I bring my own TV), that is absolutely as good as it gets. On top of that, I was scheduled from 7 PM - 9 PM instead of 9 PM - whenever, which meant that I'd be able to actually put in more than just a brief cameo at the after hours parties. No complaints here.

Of course, the panel still started about 10 minutes late even though I arrived 15 minutes early to set up. Prior to my panel, the room was being occupied by the Risembool Rangers, which is Vic Mignogna's fan club. If you haven't been to a con in a while, there are LOTS AND LOTS of people who come to cons to see Vic, and once his panel was over, a huge mob of people stormed the front of the room to get autographs, which incidentally is also what happened right before Totally Lame Anime (because the FMA Movie was shown in there). During the chaos, the speaker cables became disconnected, meaning I had no sound at all and couldn't tell where the disconnect occurred. After everyone who wanted autographs made their way out of the room and the sound was fixed, I was ready to go.

There was however, a problem. Most anime conventions do not have S-Video inputs for things like DVD players, VCRs, computers, and such. Composite video equipment is much cheaper and easier to come by. Laptop TV outputs are all S-Video, so to output composite you need an adapter.

I lost mine.

So I borrowed Gerald's laptop. He's got a Dell laptop, I got a Dell laptop, it should work fine, right? Bzzzt. The pin layouts must have been different, because everything coming out of the laptop was in black and white. I switched over to the backup DVD and tape footage I had brought with me while trying to see if I could fix things, but eventually I just gave up and thanked my lucky stars that everyone didn't just leave because of the lack of color. In fact, at least one person thought the black and white made things sillier. Looking back, perhaps I could have circumvented this by just using the VGA output from the laptop into the projector, but it would have required an extremely long VGA cable that I certainly didn't have and didn't expect AWA to have. Even if they DID have one, I wouldn't have been able to instantly switch back and forth between the computer, DVD player, and VCR using a setup like that. I'd be stuck with the laptop playlist, and what kind of panel would it be if I was only running things off the playlist and nothing else?

Overall, things went well. The "Dark Kitchen" segments of Kamen Rider Kabuto, which was added in at the last minute since the clips were taken from very recent episodes, was probably the best received of the recurring bits along with Miss Critical Moment. I did have to cut down on the amount of Ninja Squad since without color, you can't really tell just how menacing Ivan the Red and Master Gordon are in their NINJA outfits, though. No idea what the motif of next year's panels are going to be, but I guess I've got until May to figure that one out since that's when JACON 2007 is. I think the panel right now is much too big to fit into an ordinary panel room, but not quite big enough to completely fill up a Main Events room. I'm not sure whether I should stick with the late Friday night in the Main Events room timeslot at JACON like I did this year or whether I should request the VAT (their AMV room) on Saturday night opposite the cosplay/dance, as is my traditional timeslot. After all, I started doing these deals so I would have something to do on Saturday evening!

I'll try and post a playlist over in the HELLforum, but I wasn't keeping track of everything this time and there's no recording for me to listen to this time. I might forget some things.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Don't forget! AnimeHELL at AWA This Friday Nite!

Enjoy DESSLOK's BIG SCORE while you wait for the 10th Anniversary of HELL at Anime Weekend Atlanta this Friday night! Be there!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

10th Anniversary of HELL

10 years variation 4
This year's Anime Weekend Atlanta marks a decade of Japanese Animation Hell. That's right. 10 long years of Dave hauling boxes of VHS tapes to AWA. And I want to take this moment to thank Dave for doing it. If it weren't for Dave there'd be a little less laughter in this world, and Friday nights at AWA would certainly be less fun.

Without realizing it, Dave had created more then just a freeform video clip show. Japanese Animation HELL was subversive and underground and DIY and yet it was something simple and entertaining: just a guy playing video tapes. A simple idea. And like any good idea it had a life of it's own. Japanese Animation HELL would inform and inspire many of us to go out and do our own wacky clip shows at anime cons across the country. And here we are 10 years later still looking forward to Friday night at AWA.

So join us in celebrating 10 years of hell and saluting Dave Merrill for starting all this. Thanks man, you rock.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

OtakuHELL after the fact

Dispite a number of setbacks OtakuHELL did happen thanks to some last minute help from friends. A family emergency kept Michael and Joshua from being at the show, but luckily Emily and Bob DeJesus and Taliesin Jaffe offered to help out behind the microphones. With our usual problems and issues with sound and video the show went on. Bruce Lewis kept up a stead stream of banter with the audience and we remembered that this show was the one year aniversery for Hell Nurse Katie. Candy was throw and laughs were had. And we wrapped up the show before 1:00 a.m.

Big thanks to the AnimeFEST AV Crew for getting us up and running. And a special thanks to Emily, Bob and Taliesin for coming to our rescue at such short notice. And thanks to everybody who came out for the show. I hope you had a good time and hope you'll come back next year!