It is becoming an increasingly rare habit that I travel with a group these days.
Let me tell ya, solo travel is great and all. But, sometimes you want to share a special moment with at least one other person. Rooster Teeth Expo would be the first con that I introduce my partner to conventions and boy, did I pick the best con to do so.
First timers to a con are so precious.
Their excited because everyone around them is excited about the same thing. Right before the first line of the day drains them of said enthusiasm.
On a whim, I decide to try a new con this year. The Stars and planets aligning, mi amor happened to have some left over vacation time. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if introducing him to the world of cons through RTX would be a good idea. I’d fallen off the Rooster Teeth scene since the early days of Red v. Blue. Circa season 5, if you will. Besides the occasional binge watch of Always Open and FunHaus episodes. (Yes, I am that kind of fan.) I was in the dark, but still revving to go.
To ease him into what Rooster Teeth was about, I started watching some their latest shows out there. Camp Camp, Off Topic, and RWBY. And that’s when I fell in love with Gen:Lock.
The futuristic, mecha infused battles for the human race was enough to suck me in for a whole week of binge. A few times, I found myself rewatching episodes because I really needed to understand what was up with Julian and his new family. My boyfriend was relieved the cartoons were in english therefore no subtitles. (He’s gone numb from my Anime marathoning in the background while I work from home.)
Badges were bought, hotel booked a few blocks away but still close enough to hit up all of Austin’s downtown hotspots. Downloading the app was interesting, but essential to keep track of line status, the exhibit hall times, and events we wanted to attend simply because it sounded cool.
Picking 25 events to go to , but only going to 5 was still a win.
We were together all weekend, wandering up and down the convention halls for panels while nursing our coffees was grand. I made it a priority to have him pick where we would go next. For every panel I wanted, I had him pick two more. That way, depending on the time of day or what building we still happened to be in, there was no shortage of things to go to. In the end, it was less stress and more time to spend with each other.
Yes, I’m sappy sometimes.
As a veteran con crawler, I had learned that while it would be great to do all the things. You just can’t; Taking care of yourself and visiting with those were able to go for the weekend is the highlight of any trip.
The five panels we did manage to attend were to learn more about the RTX community. The “Everything is Fine: Running a Community” talked in depth about aspects of running a community. How to get involved as a fan, how to set up events and catch up on the latest news. Like a brand new forum rolling out some time this year.
It was interesting to hear what the staff wish people knew. That every question is read and it does matter how you present yourself as a member of community. Being kind to one another and following through on requests for changes.
We also attended the “Cosplayers vs. Photographers” panel which went over the unspoken rules of getting together for a photo shoot. I especially loved how the panel was a broad range of skill levels from both sides of the camera. As a former, seasonal portrait photographer, it was nice to see that setting expectations from the beginning was reasonable. I came away with a ton of notes and a found new discord to join for next years Cosplans.
But, my absolute must go to panels were the “The Dungeon Drunks” and “FunHaus” live shows.
DD picked up a one-shot campaign of the gang trying to collect marshmallows from a Confectioners. The single humanoid ant chef turned out to be three giant ants in a chief coat. I still loved you, Ant-thany.
FunHaus pulled all the stops with the usual celebrity introductions to raunchy bits. We were even treated to a sneak preview of their latest video. Unfortunately, I can’t tease anything from that panel. So….Definitely attend sometime if you can!
We had a day of venturing outside the con which gave us a break from the bustling crowd.
As a first timer to the Austin area, I had to show him a few favorite spots. Con weekends can get so crammed with activities. It’s nice to take a breather with choosing a place to dine while exploring a small part of the city.
Day 1 was a brunch excursion to Paper Boy, a mobile diner that was nestled just a 10 minute walk from our hotel. Of course, in the heat of the day it was a bit more challenging to walk and talk about our plans. The poached egg on sweet caramelized potatoes, listed as Texas hash, was still worth it.
Day 2 was a lunch date at a Mexican restaurant. Austin is well known for its taco joints, but for a full plate of home style dishes, you have to do some digging. Lovely dish by Fruta Feliz with a live Mariachi band.
That same night, we ventured to Backspace for some brick oven pizza and a draft of house beer. The ambient lighting was just enough to make our eyes adjust from the outside.
On the final day, we made the “Sunday Deals” shopping worth it.
Sundays are the best for shopping in the Exhibit hall. If the treasures you are after don’t have the words “Limited” or “Exclusive” attached.
Come to think of it, missing out on the Cosplay Photo shoots was replaced with browsing the wares of sellers and watching demos.
I had the chance to play a round of Swapette Showdown, a magical girl puzzler by some spunky indie developers.
There was also, Shot One was top down battle demo that was fun to watch.
If you are skilled in the market haggling( Mot low balling, HAGGLE), sometimes the last item in a vendors possession can go for less. My other favorite thing to do is collect all the free giveaways, like the giant mouse pads and water bottle via AT&T Fiber booths.
We were very lucky to take advantage of the 50% off for the Rooster Teeth store. However, many of the popular items were already gone. Save for a few figures, tees from different shows, and very very few pins.
Spending time together was still worth the weekend of RTX.
We went in with very little planning; Aside from where we would crash, eating out and sightseeing. The entire weekend was played by ear and lead by stomaches.
I was impressed by the community of RTX. Many polite and helpful souls amongst attendees. Not too large a crowd, but just enough to feel whisked away into a private nerdvana with the occasional eCelebrity in the crowd.
My love and I officially decided that we’ll be making RTX our anniversary con in the near future.