Sandy Fox Appearing at Otakon 2015

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Sandy Fox, the new voice of ChibiUsa/Sailor Chibimoon/Black Lady will be appearing at Otakon 2015, accompanied by her husband, Lex Lang (who is also a voice actor, best known for playing Han Solo in Star Wars video games and Sanoske Sagara in Rurouni Kenshin).

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From the press release:

Fox began her career in voice acting with an array of voices for “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill,” and “Futurama”. She is recognized for her unique and child-like voice, and in addition to her roles in “Sailor Moon Crystal” and “ALDNOAH.ZERO,” she has played Mina in “Naruto,” Cylindria in “Pacman’s Ghostly Adventures,” Peashy in “Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory,” and Flonne in the “Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten” video games. She also voiced the faeries and creatures in Disney’s “Maleficent” and various characters in the blockbuster, “Wreck it Ralph.” Fox’s animation roles include Daisy in Disney’s “Princess Palace Pets,” Harmony in “Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi,” T-AI in FOX’s “Transformers: Robots in Disguise,” Mipsy Mipson in Nickelodeon’s “As Told by Ginger,” and Melody in “My Life as a Teenage Robot.” She has also voiced legendary anime characters, including Mina and Momiji in “Naruto,” Himespetchi in “Tamagotchi,” Sumomo in “Chobits,” Flonne in “Disgaea,” Ritz in “Bleach,” Tachikoma in “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex,” Marie in “Please Teacher!”, Kyoko in “Akira,” Mistral and Mirielle in “.HACK” and Paiway in “Vandread.” Fox has become internationally known, as well, for voicing Betty for Universal Studios and King Syndicate Features since 1991.

She is also co-founder of H2Om Water with Intention, Love Planet Productions and The Love Planet Foundation, a 501(c) non-profit which creates education and awareness for social and environmental issues.

Otakon 2015 will be held July 24-26 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. current pricing is $90 for those who renew a previous online-registration or $95 for those who are registering as new members. Prices will increase after they sell 25,000 tickets. Please note that Otakon has an attendance cap of 35,000 people.

Countdown to Anime North 2015

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Anime North will be starting in a couple of days!

For Toronto area fans who may have missed updates on our Facebook page, here are some of the Sailor Moon highlights:

  • Sailor Moon discussion panel: Saturday, 4pm, Plaza ballroom A (International Plaza) — I’m on this as an expert for media and merchandise questions, especially for those who can’t make it to my presentation.
  • Sailor Moon Merchandise and Media: Sunday, 10am, Halton room (International Plaza) — this is my usual presentation on the latest media and merchandise news, followed by a Q&A. I will have a small giveaway for anyone who attends!
  • Sailor Moon photoshoots (these locations are on the lawn outside the Congress Centre):
    • Saturday, 2pm at location TCC3
    • Sunday, 2pm at location TCC2
  • Video showings:
    • Sailor Moon Classic (dubbed, most likely the Viz Media version), Saturday, 2pm, Aurora Room (International Plaza)
    • Sailor Moon Crystal (subbed), Saturday, 6pm, International A (International Plaza)
    • Sailor Moon Crystal (subbed), Sunday, 10am, International C (International Plaza)
    • Sailor Moon Classic (not sure if this is subbed or dubbed), Sunday, 2pm, London Room (International Plaza)

Other places you can find me (or get a message to me):

I will be reporting on Anime North with a dedicated photographer/videographer. If you get your picture taken, be sure to check out our Google+ page after the convention!

Hope to see you there if you can make it! Have a happy and safe convention :)

Jill Frappier Appears on X Company

X Company is a relatively new television series created by Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) and her partner Mark Ellis. The series is about a secret organization in World War II era.

Here the series description from IMDb:

X COMPANY is an emotionally-driven character drama, set in the thrilling and dangerous world of WWII espionage and covert operations. It follows the stories of five highly skilled young recruits – Canadian, American and British – torn from their ordinary lives to train as agents in an ultra-secret facility on the shores of Lake Ontario. These agents parachute behind enemy lines, where they’re fair game for torture and execution. From elegant hotels to hellholes in the field, it’s one risky operation after another, masterminded by the brains of Camp X.

It’s worth noting that Camp X was a real spy facility, the first in North America, and trained hundreds of spies. The series inspired by Camp X (which includes many historically accurate details) airs on CBC on Wednesdays at 9pm eastern, and you can watch full episodes of X Company on the CBC website.

In episode 5, Jill Frappier (Luna) plays the role of Lisette. She’s seen at the beginning of the episode, just after the title screen, talking on the train to two of the main characters who have gone undercover as a married couple as a means to enter a town in France where young girls are disappearing.

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image property of CBC, et. al.

We’ll keep you updated about any other guest appearances by Sailor Moon cast members. If it’s anything like Flashpoint, we can expect to see at least a few more.

 

Video Interview with Sailor Moon Cast Members at Anime North 2014

Sorry for the delay with the editing, here is the video footage of our exclusive interview with the Sailor Moon cast members who were at Anime North last year.

There are quite a few interesting questions and answers in this video featuring Toby Proctor (Tuxedo Mask #2), Katie Griffin (Sailor Mars #1), John Stocker (Grandpa Hino, Voice Director #3), and Linda Ballantyne (Sailor Moon #3). This includes John Stocker’s confirmation that he was Grandpa Hino!

Hope you enjoyed the video!

Stay tuned for more video convention coverage featuring Sailor Moon talent at other events.

FrostCon 3: Review of a Poorly Organized Convention

This January was the first time that I attended FrostCon. I attended as a media representative and a panelist.

In the interest of full disclosure, some of the comments I have are about mobility access and I do have a medical condition which limits my ability to walk unassisted. Basically, after a couple hours I have to either take medication or have a wheelchair handy, otherwise my feet can swell severely and it becomes painful (sometimes impossible) to walk. It’s a personal issue, so that’s about all I will say on that, but it does mean that mobility issues are something that I notice probably more than the average able-bodied convention attendee.

Also, keep in mind that I have attended a variety of conventions, of various sizes in Canada and the US. I have attended as a fan and as a media representative. I have run panels and A/V presentations multiple times at various events. I have even been on convention committee for a couple of events, and I have experience managing tradeshow booths (up to 10’ x 30’ size at national tradeshows) from my day job.

I’ll start off chronologically with what happened and then lead into a list of the problems I noticed and recommendations I have for the convention to improve.

Here’s the short review I posted on their Facebook page:

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If you don’t want all the nitty gritty details, you can skip to my pictures and lists at the end.

Read the lengthy explanation…

I know that was long, so if you don’t want to read through all that and you’d like to get to the short of it…

Here are a few pictures I took of the crowds. I didn’t manage to get better pictures of the elevator in picture 2 being blocked or any pictures of the women’s bathroom door being blocked on the lower level.

Here are the problems in a nutshell:

  • Extremely poor organization shown by convention organizers, with programming decided shortly before the convention.
  • No advance notice given to panelists that their panels were approved — contacting panelists DIRECTLY is essential. Posting a schedule on your Facebook page is an extremely unprofessional way to share an unconfirmed schedule and you can’t rely on panelists actually seeing that.
  • Programming posted only a week before the convention.
  • Programming not posted on their website, only on their Facebook page.
  • Programming not available in a printed format that attendees could carry with them at the event.
  • Maps not available at the event — not even digitally.
  • No crowd control.
  • Poor security at the paid coat check.
  • No badge check in any rooms.
  • Unprofessional staff making offhand, condescending remarks about the lack of equipment that was promised in advance.
  • Poor mobility access.
  • Poor coordination with the venue to ensure safety measures were in place (including disabling escalators as needed) and that convention attendees would not accidentally wander into an area dedicated to another event running the same day.
  • Lack of signage — no signs for registration, no wayfinding signs directing people to the convention floor.

 

Acknowledgements byFrostCon staff of some of the issues (emphasis mine):

We would like to thank all our attendees, artists, vendors, guests and volunteers for making this our BEST YEAR EVER! We are so glad you were able to come out and celebrate geeks and cosplay with us at FrostCon 3.0. We hope to continue to gain your trust and support as we grow.

We would like to take this time to address two areas that we need to improve on. We want to assure you that we hear you and we take providing you with the best possible experience very seriously.

FrostCon would like to assure you that moving forward we will take steps to ensure we provide you with a professional and organized coat check, we realize we bit off more than we could chew, and we are very sorry for the long wait some of you endured while your gear was located.

Also we would like to apologize again for the tech mix up, we are taking steps to ensure that moving forward FrostCon has an onsite tech crew and a head technician to deal with making sure all our needs are met and on a timely course.

Again we want to thank you for coming out and geeking it up with us!

FrostCon Team

Posted by FrostCon on Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Recommendations:

  • Staff lounge should be a separate room not easily accessible by the average attendee.
  • Coat check needs better security in place. NOBODY should be able to wander around in there without being escorted. (and I’m not the only one who thinks so)
  • Crowd control is important. Multiple times I saw staff members standing around looking bored and doing nothing about the crowds around them. Even when those crowds were blocking elevators or bathroom doors. (overcrowding and/or blocking halls, rooms, and stairwells is against their policies — elevators and escalators should be added in here too — but nothing was ever done by staff to control it)
  • For a convention heavily focused on cosplay, there should be dedicated areas for cosplay photography. It is bad for traffic flow when people take pictures of cosplayers in the middle of crowded areas, especially the dealers’ room and hallways.
  • Printed programs, maps of the venue, and maps of places to eat nearby would be extremely helpful. These can be done cheaply — even a single letter sized sheet, double-sided and photocopied would suffice, at a minimum including scheduling, hours, and a map of the venue. You know what else would be great? QR codes that people could scan to save this stuff on their phones. It’s really easy to make QR codes. Or use a Guidebook app like other conventions. My point is that it should be easier for attendees to get information in print as well as digitally. Panel attendance was low, partly because people didn’t know what events were going on.
  • Mobility access may seem to affect a minority, but it is important to make your event accessible to a wide range of people. Paths to elevators should be taped off and staff should ensure that nobody blocks elevators (for persons with mobility issues) and that nobody blocks stairways (for safety reasons).
  • Staff needs to maintain a professional attitude with the public. Condescending remarks are not conducive to a positive convention environment. Every attendee, media rep, and guest should be treated with respect (also, fellow staff members and volunteers should be treated with respect).
  • Never, ever attempt to run A/V panels and presentations if you are unwilling to actually rent the equipment in advance. It is extremely inconsiderate to panelists and guests when you do this. I actually saw one of the guests was so upset that she couldn’t do her presentation on a projector that she cut her panel time to 20 minutes (when it was originally going to be an hour), suggested people take a look at the presentation at her booth, and spent most of the time at her table looking really disappointed. The organizers should be EMBARRASSED that they handled this so poorly for the guests. at the very least they should have rented a projector for the guests.
  • Cross-post content and update your website! The schedule should have been on the website, how did that slip through?
  • Constantly be available to people making inquiries. If you have a problem with your email client, get it fixed as soon as possible. Not responding is not okay. I had to send out inquires THREE WAYS before I even reached a person to talk to about concerns for equipment for my presentation. That should never happen.
  • If something goes wrong, tell people. When the decision was made to not have A/V equipment, everyone who wanted to have an A/V panel should have been notified immediately. No excuses. You have contact information for all panelists and guests, you should notify them. This is exactly where an email using the BCC field would have been appropriate.
  • Choose a different venue, or at least a different floor. Being on a floor below street level is not good for large crowds. This can potentially become hazardous if there is a fire or some other accident when crowds are not being managed. Give yourself more options for a safe environment for staff and attendees. If that is the only option at that venue with the space you need, consider a different venue.
  • Signs need to be posted! There should be signs directing people to registration and weapons check. The registration/info desk should also be clearly marked with a sign.
  • ALL STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS should be aware of key information such as where to register for specific kinds of passes. It shouldn’t take asking more than two people to find the right desk. Everyone at the info/registration desk should know who has what information and exactly which passes are available and what restrictions may apply to any passes.

All in all, I would NOT recommend attending FrostCon for most people. If you want to cosplay and hang out with your friends, or if you want to take photos of cosplayers, those are about the only good things going for it — but those strengths are from the attendees, not the organizers. the artists and dealers were fairly good, for the small selection of them, but again — those strengths are not from the organizers.

Until they address and fix some serious issues, I will be skipping this one in future.

And I’m not the only one with complaints (note that complaints have been removed from their Facebook page unless they are reviews — which cannot be hidden):

Check out more complaints in this thread on Warosu. Note that there is some NSFW language and it turns into trolling and personal attacks by the end. Also note that Antonio jumps in and complains about the personal comments but largely ignores the comments about the convention being poorly organized or deflects them and tries to blame others. I don’t agree with personal attacks, but seriously — all of the comments about the convention being poorly run are true, and that’s a problem. Most of the issues are on the onus of FrostCon, so trying to blame all the problems on the Sheraton is dishonest. And gee, thanks for making it so the Sheraton will never want to have an anime convention there ever again because you’ve been publicly making negative comments about their venue.

Here are some of the more specific complaints, in case you don’t want to read the whole thread: