4.27.2008

ROFLCon Recap, day 2

Oh man... Where do I begin?

I'll begin with breakfast, because it's a pretty simple place to start. Basically, Jeremy and I had some. That's really all there is to this part of the story, and that's a fine thing, because it's also the only thing about day 2 that makes ANY sense to me.

I met so many people on Saturday (Caturday?) that it completely blows my mind. I sat in on the "Making it Big" panel and watched the Bros. Chap, the Cyanide and Happiness guys, Rooster Teeth (Red Vs. Blue) and Brad Neely talk about their creations and public reception, and how things have changed since they did them. I finally got to ask the Chaps about a story I heard from the former director of marketing at an old employer regarding how much Disney lauded them, and they verified it - so it turns out Peter DID go to high school with them and wasn't just flapping his gums. That was nice to know.

Afterward, I got to talk to them a bit, and that was nice - but the biggest win of that panel was getting to know the Cyanide & Happiness / Explosm guys. They are AWESOME. They're funny as hell and super nice, and were really into MI and wanted to read the book, so I gave them copies. I really enjoyed chatting with them for a while, and then Jason Scott showed up and started talking with all of us, which was even more like OMG WOW, given how big a fan I am of both groups - THEN Stephen Granade (who did LOLTrek and is a real-life rocket scientist) was there... It was nuts. I was introduced to the Chaps and got to share Atlanta stories with them for a moment, gave them a book, all that - which is when I ran into the Rooster Teeth guys and was able to talk about how much I love Red Vs. Blue. VERY long story short, they were really into MI as a concept too, and I gave THEM a book...

See a trend?

Anyway, we had very little in the way of lunch, because I got into a nice conversation with the guys who used to run LOLSecretz about the book and self-publishing, which was very rewarding and fun. Then, Drew's panel (Meme Frameworks) started, along with the MetaFilter guy, and Alexis from Reddit - and the guys from Overclocked Remix. That panel went really well, and the best part for me was being able to ask the OCRemix guys (who are THE foremost authorities on video game music and the various remixes out there) about the disgustingly under-discussed situation with Timbaland stealing chipcore music from Finnish artist Tempest (enjoy the latest info on this scandal here and be sure to click "more" to see the full video information and read all the links - there's SO much proof of his theft, yet he's still getting away with this???) They went OFF - which was the goal, trying to get awareness of that little situation for the biggest news propigation site owners on the net. And it looks like it worked, because Drew asked the OCRemix guys to gather all the info they have and send it over.

After that panel, the OCR guys were overwhelmed with people asking about their Final Fantasy VII remix disc and whatnot, so I just stepped up and started helping them sell shirts - which they sold out of, mostly because I'm loud and annoying and can get peoples' attention. We ended up hanging out after that panel, and it turns out the OCRemix guys are cool as HELL. I'm a huge fan of the Castlevania and Mega Man remix portions of their site, and it was FANTASTIC to meet DJ Pretzel and Liontamer. Of course I gave them books.

After the panel, Drew needed to do an interview with some Germans (that's literally all we knew about them), so we sat and waited in the lobby area, where Cheez from I Can Has Cheezburger plopped down next to me and introduced himself and just began talking to me about MI. I'm sitting there with my jaw open, wondering just how the hell he knows about it, and he told me he routinely gets LOLCat submissions that reference the Wal-Mart story, PeTA Cows and Dell. So he's checked it out and he really likes it. So yeah, I gave him a book, too.

Jeremy and I went to dinner with Drew Curtis and Jordan Golson, the man who broke the story about the sad treatment of the bloggers over at Gawker Media (and was consequently fired for it). Jordan is awesome - he drove us around all of Boston, and was overall just one big ball of information (as one who writes for ValleyWag is bound to be). Then, we went to this "VIP Party" for the guests of ROFLCon, which... Hell yeah. I get to be a VIP for once in my life.

That's where the most surreal part of an incredibly surreal day happened.

Right in the middle of talking to the OCRemix guys about video game music, my good friend Ian Spector came up to me and said "Hey, someone wants to talk to you." I said "Who?" and he responded "Martin Sargent."

I was all like omg.

Jeremy and I went over there, and there's 6' 5" Martin Sargent with a huge smile on his face. He shook my hand and told me he Google's his name periodically to see how his show is doing, and he ran across my blog post about how apprehensive I was to even attend the con and talk to him, so he started reading my blog and read through the Google Books version of my book and basically just went crazy researching just what the hell it is I do on the net. Long story short, he told me he really respects the project and would love to talk to me about it later after the con..

So, let's recap - Alexis from Reddit recognized me from the fist fight dealy, Jason Scott hung out and talked super mega knowledge about the oldschool internet, I hung around Drew Curtis and met the artists behind Cyanide & Happiness, the ONLY consistently funny webcomic on the net (besides Perry Bible Fellowship - and don't give me any of that XKCD crap, it WAS funny as hell until Randall started pandering to his audience instead of just being his own kind of smart and funny... He's STILL funny, just not consistently), and became friends with the OCRemix guys, and then had Cheez from I Can Has Cheezburger tell me how he found MI from researching cat macros about the Wal-Mart story and how much he likes it... AND THEN Martin Sargent actively sought me out to tell me that I shouldn't be such a pussy that I have a great project and he respects it...

Well. Let's just say the little fanboy in me was (is) going absolutely apeshit.

I've been in the industry of building internet crap for a long, long time, and I've been actively doing my own content-driven project since 2003, but that doesn't make me jaded - all it makes me is even BIGGER a fan of stuff worth liking. So yeah, I'm a huge fanboy. And it was a monster thrill to get to meet and hang out with all these great folks.

So, like, back to the sardonic and bitter observations of suburban life tomorrow... For now, I'm just going to beam and enjoy my extended visit to Logan Airport due to a delayed flight.