Yaoi Press and Yaoi Jamboree will be exhibiting at Phoenix Cactus Comic Con this weekend. We’re at booth #6. We’re signing up ‘Yaoi Boys’ to take part in the skits, improv, and Bishounen Wheel at Yaoi Jamboree (more info here). There’s a free raffle for a $40 computer game at our booth, and of course there will be hundreds of yaoi titles to browse including all the Yaoi Press titles currently in print. I will be attending this show with the West Coast convention manager Crystal Blu and the Yaoi Jamboree historian Amy Lynn. The Yaoi Jamboree Chair, Kyla Mills, is promoting Yaoi Jamboree at Further Confusion in California this same weekend.
Winter Demon 3 will not be out in time for this show. However, if you give me a Cherry Laffy Taffy rope and/or a cold Fresca I’ll let you look over my shoulder to see it on my computer screen. (For everyone who laments not being able to buy WD3 at the convention I’ll claim the decision was at ComicsPro’s request).
Phoenix Cactus Con is one of the few non-Anime shows we exhibit at. This is not our first year there. Last year I purchased a seat in the guest area planning to do a modest exhibit. I was moved to a dealers space due to the mob jamming up the area. I’d brought six long boxes of books. At the end of the show I had two copies of Pinned, one Exorcisms and Pogo Sticks, and a third title I don’t remember. It turned out to be one of those fantastic shows like Otakon, or Anime Central (not quite in the league of Yaoi Con, but no show is Yaoi Con except Yaoi Con). I love when all the left over merchandise can fit in my carry-on.
Cactus con is the birthplace of Yaoi Jamboree. I met Kyla Mills and several of her cohorts who were passionately promoting Anizona (which was recently eaten by Yaoi Jamboree). At the time I’d been trying to find a venue for ‘Yaoi Vegas’ in my home city. Sadly, all the venues I’d investigated in Las Vegas were either too expensive, too inconvenient, or casinos that required all attendees to be 21 or older. I’d mentioned this to Kyla, and she seemed to become inspired. I could tell this was a very ambitious and dedicated woman. The next day she laid out a proposal to me to sell me on the idea of having our Yaoi show in Phoenix. She had staff, experience, a great venue negotiator (thanks Anthony!), and a gleam in her eyes. After Cactus Con we had much discussion back and forth, including my taking a short day trip to Phoenix to tour some sites. Yaoi Jamboree was a go.
I’m glad that most of the Yaoi Jamboree operations are being handled by Kyla and her staff. My part right now is confirming the guest of honor. It was natural for me to take up this task with my connections in the industry. We’re holding off on sending press-kits or inviting industry exhibitors until we have this nailed down. The deadline for our first choice’s publisher to give final confirmation is the end of the month. If we don’t have an answer by January 31st I have to move the budget towards bringing other tantalizing guests. I know I can count on my friends at several yaoi publishers to help me out.
If you have a suggestion of who I should target as the Guest of Honor for Yaoi Jamboree, please comment. We’re trying to have a prominent Japanese or Korean BL mangaka as one of the main guests. (Though I still cling to hope on our first choice.)