First of all, I would like to give special thanks to Brian ‘Kitako’ Bommarito, Fox Amoore and Lunden Otter for giving this already amazing vacation a silver lining. And now without further ado, the convention report:
Today was the big day. After doing my civic duties at the airport (this was the day of the vote for the Ukraine Trade Agreement), I checked in my luggage. As Thabo has gotten quite spacey ever since his new body, 2 suitcases were checked and then I proceeded onto customs.
Despite having flown to the US many times before, I am still a bit nervous before the trip. This time around, it was a direct flight from Schiphol (Amsterdam) to Detroit. The flight itself was quite comfortable. The onboard Delta entertainment center had recent films, and the lady sitting next to me was quite kind. We discussed what films to pick, and she loved Mad Max Fury Road and Star Wars episode 7, which, I must confess, I did not see coming.
On the airport, the customs and baggage claim went smoothly and Brian was right on time. When we departed we went to a music store to rent a keyboard for Fox, and boy was that thing heavy! After lugging it over the parking place I discovered the case came with man’s’ greatest invention: wheels. However, my epiphany was short lived as I stood next to the car, which had its own set of wheels.
When we arrived at Brians’ place in Utica, I decided to wind down a little and draw while he was going to pick up Fox from the airport. When they arrived it was nice to finally see Fox outside a convention. This evening I also learned about RonRon the fox and his unfortunate demise. May RonRon rest in peace, frolicking in strawberry fields forever. After some small talk, the jetlag took the best of me and I went to bed to drift off to lalaland.
In the morning, both Kitako and I decided to have our suits on for a little ‘test-run’ with Fox. Even though it was just on the parking lot, it was great to see the meerkat and the hyena finally come to life. After that, we all got our final gear together and started the final trek towards the Sheraton Novi, the Hotel of Motor City Furcon!
It wasn’t for long in the hotel that I saw some old friends such as Taya (formerly known as Fireboy), Era, Begger, Lunden and many more. After dropping off our things in the room, and a quick drink, I went to 5guys with Lunden, Fox and Perv. The burgers there are absolutely lovely! <3 Fun sidenote. This year I was a bit more conscious with making the right food choices, this resulted in no stomach troubles and I even lost a kilo during the trip! A little personal victory right there.
During my walk around the hotel, I wore my new feet paws and boy are they comfy! And the rubber under it made sure I was not nearly as static as I was last year. Seriously, at one point I fried a keycard, and the people on the other side of the hall could hear the giant zap!
Besides amazing fursuits, we also encountered some really amazing cards. One guy had an almost fully restored (he was still busy) vehicle with an engine that shook you to the very core.
After some chatting up and socialising, it was finally time to change into Thabo and walk along with the crowd. The responses were amazing. Granted, I was very nervous at first, but this feeling quickly vaporised. The crowd on MCFC in general, is very open and not cliquey at all.
After a nice sleep, I met up with several friends in the lobby before going with Fox and Taya to Paneera Bread. It almost sounds like this is one of those sleazy advertisements that slip into a regular article, but this chain truly has become my favourite chain ever since I was introduced to it last year. The food is light and good. But once more I was a bit baffled at the portions. Me and my stupid brain thought ‘a whole’ meant a whole meal, but it was actually the biggest size. This holiday was the first time I actually got fully stuffed just from a salad. But seriously, this is a salad-field instead of just a regular sized portion.
Back at the hotel I went to the MCFC photoshoot by Abrahm, which was a delight. I will post the photos when they are available.
This year I was assisting Brian with two sig’s. Today was the first one: “So you want to be a character” where we explained the various aspects, do’s and don’t of fursuiting. Due to time constraints the preparation was less than stellar but Brians’ excellent improvisation skills and an audience that was very involved, time flew by!
After the sig I had a lovely dinner at Olive Garden with Azure (the Utah Raptor in the center photo sharing a big grub with me). When we were driving to the restaurant, it started snowing. The weather in Michigan sure is temperamental. I think I experience all seasons in a single week! Dinner was a blast, and I must admit, I am a bit of a clumsy meerkat in new environments. But much fun was had by all.
Later that evening I had a cheese party with several friends, and this was the moment many of them were introduced to Dutch cheese and stroopwafels. Much to my enjoyment they all loved it to bits.
Today I had the pleasure to meet the charity of Motor City Furcon: Animal Magic. They were in the hotel with some very exotic animals, such as a sloth. This was actually the first time I saw one in real life! The handler, Mark Rosenthal is apparently doing various TV shows about this lovely animals. And his upbeat attitude made sure I will always remember him. For a small donation we had a photo opportunity with the said sloth. It was a lot of fun 😀
Of course, no visit to a convention is complete with a trip to the Artist Alley. Seeing so much creativity in one place worked very inspiring. I had a wooden badge of Thabo made, including some other lovely sketches.
Saturday was the day of the fursuit parade. It was a walk through the hotel, ending with a big group photo by Abrahm. He has been the official photographer of MCFC and a true delight to be around with. After the parade, he took some additional photos, and I look forward to publish them as soon as they are available.
In the early evening I had a sig called “Social ramifications of hybrids” where I assisted Brian. Basically this was a thought exercise about what would happen if real life. The audience was quick to participate. Many ideas were coined and scenarios were discussed. Where Brian went into the practical results, I coined comparisons and parallels from both history and works of fiction. We are a great team 🙂
Video by SparkyBlueFox
Sunday was a fairly relaxed day. Most of the convention was slowly closing down. I spent the day mostly socializing with friends. Unfortunately, Brian headed home only to return on Monday. During the day Abrahm had one last photoshoot with Thabo, and before I knew it, the day was at an end. Some were already leaving. During the Dead Dog Party I spend my time in the sponsors lounge, doodling a bit with friends.
During my time at the convention, I had several photos taken for photo-eddditing into bigger than life macro-photos. Think like Godzilla. I have included an example below. Next to the Road To Eldo Meerkat.
Monday morning was mostly packing and saying goodbyes before we were going to Brians’ place to meet up with Lunden Otter. After a brief chat and a lunch, Fox, Lunden and I went to see downtown Detroit.
Lunden knew his routes, and one of the things that awed me was the sheer contrast between old and new, maintained and decayed. But it is nice to see that the city was slowly starting to recover. However, we are talking about a city with 690 thousand inhabitants that once had over 5 million.
We went to see beautifully restored buildings like the Guardian Building down to monuments of days past such as the Grand Central.
This trip to the US was certainly an experience I’d love to repeat. I had the pleasure of sharing these memories with friends thanks to the effort of Brian, a special shoutout to him for making this all possible. And Fox with Lunden for making the trip itself so much more fun, and showing me so many new things. This week has left me with a lot of inspiration, and I look forward to next year!
Love and hugs,