Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Or
The San Francisco Bay Area Regional Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention,
May 26, 27, 28, 29, 1989
Red Lion Inn, San Jose, California
by Todd Allis
Okay, William decided not to go by train. We still have two planes and an auto. As we did last year, Japanimation, USA attended BayCon. For me, going to BayCon was a long list of traffic problems and a near-war with another club. But since I did eventually get there and the club incident was cleared up, I'll try to focus on the convention itself.
The convention was good. BayCon '88 was great, but '89 was good. Mamoru Nagano was a guest, which was definitely an improvement on last year. But the Japanese animation through the hotel viewing room was scarcely more up-to-date than last year (Macross Summer '84 was shown again). In fact, last year, they showed Project A-ko subtitled in English. This year, they showed the unsubtitled version and cut it off right before the missile-hopping scene! Mellowlink and a few semi-new releases were shown, but that's it.
The parties, compared to last year, were really dead, although the Dead Party was almost half alive. Of the members of J-USA that attended, the favourite event had to be the Fish Dance (which I missed last year because I was too busy). The music was enjoyed by all of us, and we enjoyed dancing to the Time Warp and Turnin' Japanese, among other songs. Some members claim the girl I danced with was too young for me, but don't listen to them.
When we made our reservations several months in advance, the hotel said they thought they could arrange to get us a room on the second floor (where the clubs and parties were, mostly), but they put us on the third floor. Instead of the two double beds we requested, we got one king-sized bed. And they were rude to us the first time we asked them why they messed up.
The Japanimation Program Guide was printed on 11" x 17" paper & stapled, the cover printed on the same thin paper as the inside. The guide was full of typos, and the ad we paid for was run in the general guide rather than the Japanimation Guide. Also, we sent BayCon some artwork which they seem to have not used at all.
The gophers (volunteers who get their membership money back by working a certain number of hours) got to sit in the elevators and help press buttons, in order to watch people and make sure the lights in the ceilings of the elevators didn't get punched out (it happened to one of the four elevators before the gophers were installed).
Our traditional trip to San Francisco was a great success, and especially fun for Kumiko, Jay's Japanese penpal who came along to the con. I found a rare comic at Books Kinokuniya (Slow Step) by my favourite artist (Adachi Mitsuru, who did Touch), and we found some cool buttons, jewelry, and clothing.
San Jose also had some great places to shop, like Yaohan and Nikaku, where I found two Hiatari Ryoko CDs, and Jim bought some Dirty Pair posters. Jay bought a poster of Ayukawa and some Orange Road stationary.
Well, the con could have been worse (we know, we've been to worse!), but it had a little trouble following the pace of '88. It was still a good con, and I already shelled out the $15 early to go next year. Maybe we could plan a few events in our room next time to liven up the atmosphere.