While there were a couple panels I could have gotten up early for, the drinking and staying up late the night before meant that I decided the only panel I needed to attend was the James Rolfe Q&A at 6. I wandered around a little bit before hand while nearly everyone else headed to TGWTG panel. Apparently the lines for that one were so long they wrapped around 6 times. Somehow they still all managed to get in though. I was too antsy to play any games, so I called Jak and talked to him until 4:15. Chris joined me soon after as he hadn't gone to TGWTG either. There was a panel starting at 4:30 that preceded James' panel. Once everyone was loaded in for that one we lined up right outside and ended up about 5th in line.
During the wait, a man covered in black from head to toe and carrying a puppet walked up to the front of the line and asked if this was the line for the AVGN panel. He spoke only through the puppet. I was allowed to take a picture of them only because I was "a hot girl."
The nametage says Aaron, but the puppet's name is actually Marcus.
He continued to be snarky and mess with people and tell really bad puns, therefore making the wait highly enjoyable. At one point a guy in a similar green outfit walked up, and he started to ask him questions: "Is it hot in that suit? How do you go to the bathroom? What about when you need to eat?" He ended up sitting next to us once we were inside and that was fun. He's apparently featured in Mega64s videos. Well I know what I need to go check out now...
Notice him slyly putting his hand on Breda's.
Our view from the second row.
There were some decent questions and also some rude ones, as I pretty much expected. Some of the ones you won't hear in the edited version on Cinemassacre were someone basically accusing his wife of mellowing him out (James specifically mentioned two different episodes and asked if those were angry enough. When the guy said yes, he told him he was married long before he made those.) and Pageant Mom making another appearance asking when he would be doing a Casting Call in Connecticut so her son could get in the film. (She had apparently also been asking questions at TGWTG panel. Big surprise.) Someone also inevitably brought up The Irate Gamer and other video game reviewers, to which James stressed that he had no problems with anyone. Classy guy, right there.
For the signing we had to go downstairs to the dealer area. On one hand it made sense, because I guess that way you could immediately buy a DVD or t-shirt and have him sign it. On the other hand it meant we had to rush down there and we ended up further back in the line then if we had just gone in order from where we were sitting in the panel. I probably shouldn't complain though, as it gave me time to prepare.
I had decided going in that I didn't want an autograph. I technically am already getting one because I gave him money through Indiegogo to get the movie made. I knew I wanted a picture, but what was I going to say? After a bit of thought I had decided I would make him something. Last year I had bought some blank Munnys from kidrobot and attempted to make an AVGN one just for my own collection. It came out okay, but not perfect. I went back to the drawing board and designed a different one this time around to give to James. When I heard Mike was also going to be there, I decided to make one of his character too. While Mike hasn't been as big an inspiration to me as James, his characters in the AVGN and Board James episodes make me laugh hysterically on a consistent basis, so as far as I was concerned I owed him something as well.
Everyone I had shown them to ahead of time thought they were adorable, but I was still pretty nervous leading up to it all. I'll admit, I came really close at one point to chickening out and not doing it. But given how much I had been fretting about it the entire weekend, there was no way my roommates were going to let me get away with that. We were about ten feet back in line when I had another momentary crisis: I started to worry about how I looked. Back in November 2010 a dog bit me on the nose, requiring major surgery. I've been incredibly self conscious about the scar ever since. I had a momentary irrational panic about it, but then Dayna whispered in my ear and made me laugh. I took a deep breath and decided that I wasn't going to let that ruin this moment - no one else seemed to give a damn about the thing, so why I was I so worried about it all the time? Fortunately it worked and before I knew it I was standing in front of James.
Forgive the blurriness in these pics, Dayna was taking them as quickly as she could while I was talking to them.
Look at how incredibly excited he looks!!
The first thing he said when he saw him was "He's not wearing any pants!" I sighed and said "He's wearing khakis, I swear to God!!" A couple of friends had said the same thing to me via Twitter earlier, so the comment wasn't entirely out of left field. But dammit, I swear I used two separate color paints!
Not sure exactly what I was saying here, but I'm putting this one so that even though it's really blurry you can see that Mike was happy to get his as well.
Yes you do need to see three pictures of that moment. And also video! It was a very important moment for me!
James was seriously really giddy about the whole thing. "Oh, look, his arms move too!!" "He has a tail!!" Mike seemed a little more reserved but I don't think he was unhappy with them. He was mostly working camera duty for the signing so perhaps he was distracted. But I was so happy with myself because I didn't cry and I didn't stutter or stammer at all. I gave them my card so they could know to credit me (and maybe also check out my website some time? pretty please?) and I made them smile and laugh and it was incredibly awesome.
After that I was basically feeling invincible. Just about anything could have happened and I would not have been phased. Though that theory did get tested later on...
From there we ended up back in Chris and Jason's room for more drinking. I realized very quickly that drinking without food was very bad, so I had to take a break to go back to the room and eat a sandwich, and George was a super-nice guy and came with me. But then George is always super-awesome like that, so it's really no surprise.
When we returned both Breda and Chris were super-drunk and left on a mission to get Chris a girlfriend. Since everyone else was watching football at that point (*snore*), I decided to go find them. Ended up listening to a bit of the Earthbound Papas in the process. I believe it was the boss theme from Final Fantasy 7. When I eventually found Breda and Chris they had met Derrick, who was happy to tell me that he knew a lot of arcade record breakers and also people who worked for video game companies. Let's just say I was having flashbacks to listening to local New Orleans musicians who like to tell you all about how they know Dax Riggs or Phil Anselmo (Little known fact: Everyone in New Orleans has some kind of connection to Phil Anselmo, whether you give a crap or not.)
Our attempts to find a girl proved unsuccessful, mostly because both of my cohorts were really too drunk to make that mission successful. I will save the gory details to protect the innocent, but suffice to say I was basically taking care of both of them after a while there. I managed to get Breda back into bed with some water and we eventually succeeded with Chris as well and I went back to the LordKat party room in order to see it shut down by security due to noise around 2 am.
I do have to say I feel bad for anyone who was at that hotel for any reason other than MAGfest. While most of us were mature and the "elevator party" crowd was kicked out Friday night and never seen again, it had to be a bit loud and obnoxious at night for anyone who wasn't there for the con.
We eventually crashed back in the hotel room, and this time I couldn't sleep because I was too damn happy rather than nervous.