I really love that I get to travel the country meeting fans of JHCSC. Reality show or not, it seemed to strike a chord with millions of views, makers, and cosplayers. I can say with some authority that there is nothing cooler than meeting people who have seen you on a television show.
My latest appearance took me to the Mile-High City for Animeland Wasabi. This was the convention’s tenth year and a clear indication it was still going strong. While Animeland was smaller than what I am used to, it had the same enthusiasm and power of a convention boasting 80,000 attendees.
My first anime convention was in Layton, Utah: Anime Bonsai. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about accepting a spot as a celebrity guest. I didn’t for a moment think that I had any relevance at an anime convention. When I arrived, that all changed. To my overwhelming glee, I was meeting fans of the show who wanted to talk my ear off about the Jim Henson Company, being on a television show, and so many cosplay questions it would have taken the entire cast of JHCSC a week to answer them all.
Having one great anime convention under my belt, I was more confident accepting other invitations for conventions in the genre. When I arrived at Animeland Wasabi, I was met by a similarly excited group, an incredible staff, and a group of celebrity guests I have come to consider friends.
As most convention-goers know, there are countless experiences that make these events so pleasing, but of them a handful stand out. For me, these are usually fan encounters. I am always surprised to meet my younger fans. For all the bleeps that drowned out my dialog, I am flabbergasted that my larger fan demographic were children 11 years old and under, but that changes over time and I simply wasn’t prepared for the reality of it.
I had just returned to my table with a cup of coffee when suddenly I was overrun with a group of young women. The leader, a power-plant producing an incredible amount of energy, starts telling me how much she loved the show. She tells me they all watched the show online over summer vacation.
“Summer vacation? Are you guys in high school?” I ask.
They confirmed they were in high school. The leader said she was 16, as were a couple others, with one 15 year old in the background. As she is telling me the story, I start to latch onto to key phrases:
“A couple of years ago.”
“When I was a kid”
I wish I hadn’t asked, but I went there. “How old were you when you watched the show?”
Never ask a question you really don’t want the answer to. Just know the answer is going to be bad. Yes, your ass looks fat in those jeans and no, you really aren’t that good looking.
“We were 11 or 12!”
When you boil it down, I basically asked, “Am I old as fuck?” The reply was “Yes! Yes, you are!” My youngest fan base aren’t children anymore. They are starting to drive, date, and will soon vote.
One of the really great things about Animeland Wasabi was that I debuted my new how-to series, A Workshop with Russ Adams. The latex mask making book was a hit with the convention, selling to 10 percent of the con's population. I was delighted how well the book did as a standalone.
My next appearance is in Dallas, Texas, at All-con. This is my third year at this incredible convention. When I arrive in Dallas, I will have three titles available from the series — a good solid base. More importantly, I will be among a great group of people I have come to see as a second family. I hope to see all of you there.
The best thing about comic, anime, and horror conventions are the unbelievable stories. I will do my very best to share as many as I can here in this blog.
THINGS OF INTEREST:
Keep an eye out for me at a comic con near you by visiting my Appearances page
Check out the status of my new how-to series, A Workshop with Russ Adams
And if you are looking for custom work on a costume, cosplay, or film project, check out Escape Design FX.