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Conventional Wisdom

Conventional Wisdom

by Blitzkrieg1701
Ever wondered what goes on inside an anime convention, but are too afraid go anywhere near one yourself? Well, wonder no more! Conventional Wisdom is a comic that shows you what this strange, geeky world is really like, based ENTIRELY ON REAL LIFE! ...well, sort of.
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4 Days Ago

Conventional Wisdom

Ever wondered what goes on inside an anime convention, but are too afraid go anywhere near one yourself? Well, wonder no more! Conventional Wisdom is a comic that shows you what this strange, geeky world is really like, based ENTIRELY ON REAL LIFE! ...well, sort of.

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See, that's actually sounds like something good that I'd be interested in seeing... which sadly makes it less realistic. The version I imagined focuses way more on cutesy/fanservicy school antics with the MC's harem (gotta squeeze in as many waifus as possible!), occasionally interrupted by totally unearned stabs at emotional resonance, and ultimately avoiding any kind of resolution in favor of maintaining the status quo. It sounds terrible, but it'd sell way more body pillows.
@ Fictional Story: Honestly, the name alone gives enough that some people could write a harem comedy plot around it.

First volume establishes the premise and the MC's having to replace the Female Lead's (aka Childhood Friend's) deadly weapons with sparkly, non-dangerous equivalents.

Second volume introduces additional "Magical Girls" who attack the MC's family, as well as a group who attack the Female Lead.

Third volume starts the introduction of the Big Bad who made all the girls who believe that they're magical girls, probably via the MC breaking the brainwashing on one of them when they attacked him. Female Lead was either the last to be brainwashed into being a "magical girl", and thus received the deepest brainwashing before breaking out and starting the hunt early, or the first and thus is the hardest to break the brainwashing of, and started the attack early due to running into the MC's family due to her and the MC being childhood friends.

Volume 4 on is getting to the Big Bad, defeating them, and breaking the brainwashing on numerous girls while increasing the MC's harem to, probably, half a dozen. Big Bad gets taken down shortly after they manage to break the Female Lead's Brainwashing. Possible reveal that the Female Lead breaking the brainwashing was a temporary thing, and she's back to trying to kill the MC's family again, though this time the MC has help protecting them with the rest of his harem. Story ends there.
So, the gag here was ORIGINALLY supposed to be how geeks constantly try to hijack any conversation and steer it towards something they can rant about, but I think that light novel idea totally hijacked the comic. No joke, I just bashed that title out without much though beyond trying to make it as rambling as possible, but after just five minutes daydreaming in the shower, I was able to come up with an actually legit plot for My Childhood Friend Is Daughter Of A Yakuza Boss And Thinks She’s A Magical Girl And Keeps Trying To Kill My Family! ...and it's TERRIFYINGLY close to something that could actually be made and sold to people.

Also, as dumb as "History of Anime in Tax Law" sounds, I DID see a panel at Otakon once that was actually just a lecture on how to write a resume. This isn't much of a stretch.
Then it was a resounding success! :D
@Blitz: He's BREAKING EVEN?!? How? I stumbled across Hat Guy's Quest and dropped it immediately for being a boring snorefest fronted by a self-important a**-**** of a MC, with an author who seemed to imply that they were doing not only anyone who came across it, but the entire world, a favor by making their narcissistic garbage. They shouldn't be breaking even, even if they lived locally!

(No, Hat Guy's Quest isn't a real comic to my knowledge either. But reading that sign made me remember some of the things I've run into on the internet, only to immediately turn the other way going "Nope!")
There is no shortage of things I don't miss about spending a weekend in Artist Alley, but three full days spent in earshot of self-important artist-types being dramatic about everything is waaaaaaaay up there. Take it from somebody with a lifetime of experience languishing in obscurity: people won't just automatically find your stuff interesting once other distractions are removed. If nobody cares about what you're doing, they just don't.

...and if something in that sign triggered you, you should have seen the original draft of this comic. This is the SEVERELY watered down version. The rough draft was full of bad memories of seeing webcomic summaries on Project Wonderful where there'd be a whole paragraph on the main characters gender and race and sexuality before they even mentioned the genre, if they ever even did. But, of course, without the context that came across as a bit too personal and mean spirited... which the final draft probably does anyway. All the more reason to talk about fictional shows with imaginary fanbases that nobody cares about.
(feels mixture of excitement and dread..)
Have I mentioned how much I'd appreciate readers donating a few bucks? Because I really would appreciate it!

This, of course, is another reason I like the idea of using ConCONcon as a way to draw more convention comics without actually going to more conventions. It just gets more and more expensive every year, so any means of increasing my output without having to incur more travel expenses is something I really need to jump on.

Which brings me to a kind of awkward point: This is NOT the last of the ConCONcon 2019 comics... but it is the last one I was able to get finished by the 1st. With all the delays on everything else, I got a real late start on these, and half of them still aren't edited yet. But the thing is, I was already considering the idea of using ConCONcon comics as recurring filler material between real convention updates, so I guess now is as good a time as any to road test that idea! I'll keep working on the rest of these "April Fools comics" and post them around once a week or so, hopefully filling up the time between now and Animazement. We'll see how well that goes over, and who knows? ConCONcon 2019 just might keep popping up in the lulls between cons for the rest of the year! In the meantime, keep an eye on all the various social media outlets for alerts whenever a new page is posted!

I live in constant fear of the day it indisputably sinks in that I'm just not any good at working the Patreon business model and have to start selling stuff at conventions again. I really, REALLY don't want that day to come, and you can be absolutely sure that I'll be even more of a prematurely grumpy old man than I already am if it does happen. INSERT SUBTLE PLUG FOR DONATING SOME MONEY HERE.

That said, don't go reading TOO much into this page. It's just a joke, really. My life was already ruined LONG before I started drawing webcomics.
I think this is an exaggeration. I HOPE it's an exaggeration. But let's be honest, we've ALL got con stories of bad situations either caused or exacerbated by some poor staffer clearly stuck in a situation he or she was completely unprepared for. I mean, yeah, it's still on them if they do, if fact, make a bad situation worse, but I still feel sorry for the frazzled kid stuck in a room he didn't even expect to be in, trying to enforce rules no one ever fully explained to him, because there's just no one else available to do it at that moment.

In the interest of full disclosure, my only volunteering experience has been running a video room, but even that only came with about ten minutes of training, nine of which were devoted to operating the DVD player hooked up to the projector. I guarantee I would have had NO idea what to do if anything had actually gone wrong.
Oh, I have some pretty ludicrous paragraph/titles saved up for future use too. It's just that, in this instance, I needed a name I could condense into an easily copy/pastable logo to stick all over everything. Just you wait. >:D
I actually never submit panels to cons. If you see me up front at one, it's only because someone else invited me along as a co-host. The practical reason is because I rarely have a working laptop, so I COULDN'T run a panel even if I wanted to, but even if I did, I still wouldn't really want to. Aside from the fact that I'm provably terrible at driving conversations or filling awkward silences and work a lot better as someone else's sidekick, I've become increasingly convinced that no panel idea I could come up with would be of any interest to any of the people who actually attend conventions these days. I mean, Lord knows I don't find most of the stuff OTHER people host to be very interesting. I can't imagine that the disconnect between my interests and everyone else's wouldn't work the other way around. My apologies to the five people out there who'd actually enjoy hearing a lecture on the history of Japanese animation on Nick Jr, but it just ain't happening.

(By the way, remember what I said about not having to worry about offending actual fandoms? Well, that exact thing hit this page pretty hard. The original draft was a LOT more mean spirited, and contained some pretty venomous jabs at people committing the unforgivable sin of being interested in something other than MY interests. I had to tone it down something fierce for the final draft.)
Those colonated titles are so 2017, you have to have a ridiculously long light novel title nowadays, like: “What Kind of Anime Is This That Doesn’t Have A Long Title, How Good Could It Be, Anyway?”
It feels like this has actually died down a bit, at least at the conventions I frequent, but I can remember showing up at a con that some company had targeted for a serious hype machine assault and seeing their new show all over EVERYTHING. The schedule, the signs, the badges, whatever they were trying to build up would be all OVER that weekend. And you know what? I don't think I ever once sought out a single one of the shows I saw hyped like that. I'm pretty sure any show capable of grabbing the attention of someone like me will be capable of doing it hype machine or no hype machine. Anime that feels like it NEEDS that kind of marketing blitz to get me to notice it still won't be able to hold my interest even after it does so. I can't find it anymore, but I used to have this big plastic back I got at my very first Animazement that had a whole bunch of ads for (then) new anime plastered all over it... and the only think I remember about this is how utterly unmemorable they turned out to be.

And before you ask, no. IZO:Zopyrsphere is not a thing. That's something else I've wanted to do with the whole ConCONcon setting for a while now: filling this fictional convention up with fictional anime and manga. There's a lot of potential benefits to not using real properties in these comics, and not ALL of them are copyright infringement-related (though that IS one of them). For one, writing comics about made-up shows would allow me to crack jokes about generalized anime tropes, and general anime fandom, without having to worry about stepping on the toes of any ACTUAL fans. And if I'm inventing the anime whole cloth, I can bend it to EXACTLY fit whatever joke I feel like making (because why let a little think like reality get in the way of making a point). And best of all, I can claim ownership of all those ideas and eventually sell merchandise based on it! MAWAHAHAHAHA!

...or in the case of this specific page, inventing some random show meant I could also invent brand new memes for the bunch line, memes that will never get groan-inducingly dated with the passage of time like REAL memes. And since no one in the world has any clue what IZO:Zopyrsphere is supposed to be about, this is a rare chance for the rest of you to experience the same clueless, out of touch sensation I'VE had to deal with my entire life! (Serious, I NEVER know what most you kids are going on about. I mean, a guy who thinks a butterfly is a bird? What even is that?)
Okay, so in previous years, the whole point of these ConCONcon comics was do something waaaay more absurd and unrealistic than the coverage of real conventions. But here's the thing: real conventions are ALREADY absurd and unrealistic, and it not as if I wasn't injecting plenty of extra absurdity into those "realistic" comics. Trying to come up with Conventional Wisdom comics that were so insanely bonkers that they managed to stand out against all the NORMALLY bonkers stuff turned out to be really frustrating, and I never really liked the results. Or, more accurately, the results that I did like could just have easily been part of a real convention's update (except that I don't own a Ric Flair robe). So this year, I've decided to just embrace it, and use ConCONcon as an excuse to write some "real" convention comics without having to actually go to a real convention first. To be honest, I've been toying with this idea for a while now, and I'll be unloading a lot of that over the coming pages. It'll be the most honesty you'll see on The Internet all day!
That's right, kiddies! Once again I've made my grand, illustrious return to ConCONcon, the convention that's totally real and in no way... know what? No. I'm not gonna waste anyone's time with that gag this year. ConCONcon doesn't exist, it's just me using April Fool's Day as an excuse to break formula and do something not based on an actual con. We all know it, so there's no sense in insulting anyone's intelligence, ESPECIALLY since there's a lot else to talk about in relation to this special batch of comics. With that in mind, let's get right down to business!

(And speaking of business, don't forget to buy your own ConCONcon merchandise! Available in both "staff" and "non-Staff" varieties)
Well, the other problem is, as illustrated elsewhere, it was actually REALLY hard to get a clear shot of any of the machines unless you were in the arcade while everyone else was asleep. The only reason I was able to get good pictures of that Houdini table is because it wasn't working so nobody was playing it.
Eh, Doctor Who playing Doctor Who Pinball ain't something you see that often.

Show it anyways.
Now, you might think Miffy or Yoink would be the mascot who'd get the most uppity about copyright and trademarks and intellectual property, but I think it works to have The Mascot of Writer's Block be taking personal offense over this. If history has proven one thing, it's this: the people who spend the most time seeking out attempt to steal the fruits of their creativity are the ones who spend the least time actually being creative in the first place. It's like how the deviantArt pictures with the biggest watermarks on them tend to be the ones people would least want to steal anyway. But anyway, rest easy Real Scribbles. Mascot Scribbles isn't allowed to hire lawyers anymore. (Not after what happened last time)

And that's it! MAGFest 2019's comics are finally done! So, what did you think of having the pages come out one at a time? Was it better or worse having single, occasional updates rather than one or two huge ones? I know it was a lot easier on me to DO it that way, especially right now. It honestly feels weird to finish the final page and actually be DONE, rather than having to spend an entire day afterwards writing the commentary for each page before any one it goes live. At long last, I can finally rest...

HAHAHAHAHANOPE, I've still got one more chunk of MAGFest comics to finish for Patreon (which you'd be able to read if you donated as little as One Dollar A Month) and tomorrow's Far Out There page to draw (not to mention all of THAT comic's Patreon stuff that I'd put on hold) and a super secret extra project that I've been working on at the same time as all this! IT NEVER STOPS!
Oh, to be young and full of energy and able to just add conventions to my yearly schedule like it's no big thing. Every year I get more and more worn out by the end of these things, so it kind of astounds me to hear other people already talking about their next trip before the current one is even over. By Sunday afternoon, all I can think about is cocooning myself into my room and not seeing another human soul for about a month.

But speaking of The Northwest, if any of you out there are planning to attend Sakuracon, be sure to go see Awesomely Bad Japanese Music Videos! I'm not gonna be there (I can barely afford to travel across town, never mind across an entire continent) but Kurt will be, so it'll be One Hundred Percent Official Awesomely Bad action! You know you want in!