Montreal was an interestingly mixed experience. It was a beautiful and artistic city, with one of the most vibrant gay communities I’ve seen anywhere. I loved everything that I saw, and I definitely want to be able to spend more time here, especially since half of my time was eaten up by the convention, but I also had some of the most awful hosts during my stay, and it really soured the whole experience.
I shan’t go into too much detail about each of the people, but the first was a pretentious ass who decided pretty much the moment he saw me that he didn’t like me, and then kicked me out the next day without any warning, and the last was a woman who similarly wasn’t that friendly, and also clearly wasn’t in a position to be hosting. I did get to meet up with a long-time friend from a Discord server though, who was pretty good company, and someone that I’d wanted to see for a while. He recommended the Otakuthon convention to me a while back, and it was a great opportunity for us to meet up
We spent the first day exploring the city together, and got plenty photos, and then the convention started the next day.
There’s a lot to say about the convention itself, and I’ll let a lot of the photos speak for themselves. One particular thing that I have to comment on is the atrocious organisation, which partially contributes to my mixed feelings about this weekend. I actually ended up travelling to Montréal last-minute, because I applied for a panel at the event, and I didn’t really intend on coming if I couldn’t do it, because it would have been a little out of my way to try and come here otherwise. The site stated that I’d hear back within 3 weeks of the application deadline, but I only got my acceptance email a week before the convention itself, which really didn’t give me any opportunity to plan or prepare.
To make matters worse, they didn’t give me details about where/when my panel would actually be at all. I emailed them repeatedly about the fact that this is information that I really needed to know, but I got no response, and only found out once I got to the convention itself, and found my panel in the schedule itself.
That said though, it was still an amazing weekend, where I got to meet some really cool people. I spent most of my time in the artists hall, and chatting with all of the amazingly creative and talented people there. Some particular highlights would be Ocean in Space, who I got an amazing and cute shirt from. SleeplessTotodile was a plush-maker and sculptor that I ended up chatting with a lot, as we do similar plush-styles, and he actually knew a few friends of mine. In fact, I’d actually seen one of his sculptures before when I visited my friend Garthic’s house over in England over a month ago. Yoli-chan was an artist whose style I really loved, and I ended up chatting with a bunch at the end of day 2, when I saw her running a stall while cosplayed as Reimu. She was dressed as Marisa on the next day that I saw her, and she had several Touhou pins on her desk. Darknud was a hentai artist that my friend introduced me to, who I got along with pretty well, and it was quite amusing seeing his nsfw art sticking out rather conspicuously alongside everything else in the hall. Annue was another lewd artist there, but didn’t have any of that work openly on display. His table was also shared with Sharmie, who I chatted with quite a bit, and got a few Pokemon stickers from, which I put on the back of my laptop.
There are definitely many more artists I met that aren’t listed here, whom I’ve either forgotten, or didn’t have much to say about, so these are the highlights.
My panel was scheduled for the single last timeslot on the last day of the event. Whilst it did give me the chance to end the convention on a high note, it did feel like quite a dick move with all the other organisational blunders, especially since they they even spelled my name wrong on the schedule. That said, the talk itself went really well. I had a far higher attendance than I expected to get, and people really liked my work. I ended up making friends with a few attendees afterwards, and we went out for dinner together. I also got invited to a female game developers group in Montréal called Pixelles, which was nice.
All in all, an amazing weekend, spent with amazing people! I don’t really have any plans on what to do next, but I’m thinking of heading to Ottawa while I’m up the northeast.