Return To The Factory

For 2 years, our sperels have been projecting their story to the public through participation at various cultural conventions along the West Coast. These events have provided an excellent chain of opportunities to enhance the sperels’ freedom as a species while furthering awareness of their plight through the creation of a small but enthusiastic base of sperel activists. Despite the progress however, an unsettling concern pulls down upon the wings of our liberated sperels and those of us dedicated to their betterment.

If you’ve been tracking sperel activity for any length of time, you too may realize this unfortunate fact: ever since that initial large flock of fugitive sperels found its way to the Joldabrun Foundation, not a single other sperel has arrived since.

That there are still more sperels who remain enslaved is well understood. What is not so clear though are the specific mechanisms of oppression which keep these sperels subjugated.
Sacrificing rest for salvation, a sperel seeks to escape!
This is why throughout the remainder of 2014 a covert team of sperel activists will focus their efforts towards infiltrating the deepest depths of the melmire mines to shed light on the various barriers therein – both physical and psychological – which deter the advancement of sperel liberation. Upon identifying the adversities of the environment, we shall be better positioned to formulate new strategies in support of what has always been our core intent: to save more sperels!

Posted in Activism, Story on May 4th, 2014

Summer Convention Schedule

Summer is officially here, and the sperels are getting more & more excited each day as they wait oh so patiently for their first big convention appearance of the season. To all of our California convention-attending fans, the sperels will be tabling in the Artist Alley at these upcoming events:

Anime Expo, July 4th – 7th at the L.A. Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Stockton-Con, August 4th at the Stockton Arena (Stockton, CA)
Japan Expo, August 23rd – 25th at the Santa Clara Convention Center (Santa Clara, CA)
SacAnime, Aug. 30th – Sept. 1st at the Sacramento Convention Center (Sacramento, CA)

(and perhaps we’ll have one or two additional West Coast shows to announce come Fall)

Posted in Events on June 22nd, 2013

Winter Fun Ahead

Announcing our next two conventions: AnimeiCon in Nov/Dec and SacAnime in January

Posted in Events on November 27th, 2012

Hyper, Hyper, Hyper-Con!

This upcoming weekend! The sperels will be at Hyper-Con! In San Mateo, California!
Flyer announcing the sperel's presence in the Artist Alley at Hyper-Con 2012:::: Update: a few photos from our Hyper-Con experience have been added on facebook to our Convention Comrades photo album. ::::

Posted in Events on September 5th, 2012

MindYourMind, MindYourWings

Often times, the greatest obstacle between a sperel and their escape is the limitations of their own beliefs. Born into the factory, their every day structured in despair, what evidence would a young sperel have that any other life exists but the one which so noticeably restrains them all?mindyourmind IYD2012 event organizers show off the prizes for their talent show
Yet for the sperel who begins merely to imagine some alternative to this despair, new possibilities emerge as if suddenly all darkness were lifted to reveal passages previously unseen. And these possibilities, if faithfully and persistently explored, inevitably lead to the types of perspectives and ideas that embolden a sperel to seek its own salvation.

For those sperels who have successfully overcome the obstacles in their own minds, they are continuously discovering possibilities of purpose and adventure beyond any that they could have imagined from within the factory. Awhile ago, we were contacted by Max from mindyourmind, an organization in London Ontario dedicated to helping and empowering youth through mental health services. On their website, mindyourmind describes themselves as “…a place where you can think something new and do something new, where you can get what you need to help youself and your friends. This is a place to get unstuck!”
Identifying with the purposes implied in this statement, the sperels were happy to hear that mindyourmind wanted to invite them to their annual International Youth Day event (which is happening today, August 12th) to participate as prizes for some of the contestants in the event’s talent show. As can be seen in the above photo, a group of sperels have arrived safely in Canada where they are now looking forward to a fun day with mindyourmind, celebrating the talents and capabilities of youth across the world! Photo by Sean Meyer/London Community News

Posted in Activism on August 12th, 2012

Sperel Expo

At the outset of June, the sperels never would have imagined that they’d be traveling to Los Angeles for Anime Expo at the end of the month. Anime Expo (or AX, for short) holds a reputation as one of the largest conventions of its kind in North America, and relative to its size and popularity, tables in the Artist Alley disappear quickly once registration opens up. Despite not even knowing about AX until seemingly too late, the sperels were blessed with an invitation to share a table with our new friend Jenn, whom we’d met just a couple weeks prior in the Artist Alley at AM².

Sharing a table did require some creative configuring to condense the sperel display, and I was pleased to discover that the sperels can actually present themselves quite well with less table space than what we thought necessary… which perhaps means that we’ll be able to bring some new items to set out on our table at future conventions? Here’s a shot of our Expo display with Nathan, Jenn’s fiancé, giving his approval.
Table H28 in the Artist Alley at AX 2012
With our table arranged to satisfaction, I decided to run out and grab some food from my truck to snack on throughout the day… only to turn right back around when I saw all the Day One attendees waiting for the exhibit hall to open!
The Day 1 Exhibit Hall crowd (in waiting) at AX 2012What a humongous crowd!!! All weekend long, Friday and Monday included, the isle in front of our table was teaming with a steady stream of people. The sperels, of course, had a blast!
The sperel and Korra are color coordinated!As busy as we were, I didn’t take many pictures of all our newest friends, but when my table mate pointed out that this Korra cosplayer matched the sperels in color, I was at least quick enough with a ‘click’ to document the observation: the sperels and Korra are color coordinated! What’s that you say, the sperels and Korra are color coordinated?!?
Yeah, there’s a tongue twister for ya! Go on, try it – try saying it three times fast!

Following my duties in the exhibit hall each day, I did find the chance to snap just a few more cosplay photos which the sperels have posted to their tumblr blog. (Beware the ninja!)
We also had time before the exhibit hall opened on the last two days to visit some of our Artist Alley friends and see what was new with them.

Courtney and John of Decalzilla have participated in the Artist Alley at all (three) of the anime conventions where the sperels have been so far. I wish we could say that we’ll be seeing them again when they go to San Japan in August, but the sperels aren’t quite ready to fly out to Texas just yet. Certainly though, so long as the Decalzilla sticker catalogue doesn’t grow so extensive as to obscure the smiling creators behind their work, we know we’ll be seeing them again!
John & Courtney of Decalzilla, surrounded by their many decals
We first met Oborocharms‘ Octofruit plushies at AM², but the owl (being the rarer of the two, possibly due to that pesky Meowth lurking there in the background) was nowhere to be seen. The sperel was ecstatic to see a lone little owl with the Octofruits this time, and was even more excited to learn that there just might be more little owlets on the way! Kim (the creator behind all the cuteness at Oborocharms) has launched a Kickstarter campaign for her owls, and with just a couple days left, it is insanely close to reaching its goal. If you love things with wings as much as the sperels do, and you can give Kim’s project an extra push towards success… Save The Owls!
Cute Plushie Alliance - Sperel + Owl + Octofuits
A couple rows away, we caught sight of the Sorbet Jungle table, where upon visiting we found another plush surprise in the form of Deanne’s soon-to-be-released stegarawrus. When we met Deanne last April, she excitedly showed the sperels some in progress shots of her plush dinosaur endeavor, so it was great to see one of them sitting there looking ferociously cute at AX. These two together, the sperel and the stegorawrus, sure look like they’re ready to cause some kind of mischief, don’t they?
Sorbet Jungle's Stegorawrus plush, visited by a sperel
A Laxus cosplayer from the manga 'Fairy Tale' presenting his fan art.Lots of people tell the sperels how cute and adorable they are, and even pick them up to give them hugs, but one of the coolest ‘compliments’ they received at AX was when Jenn’s friend Jared re-visited our table to present us with his piece of sperel-inspired fan art. Jared’s sketch features his cosplay character Laxus Dreyar (from the anime Fairy Tail) crossed with a sperel to make ‘Sperelaxus’, a new type of sperel who specializes in various forms of lightning magic! We’ll be sure to show a closeup of the sketch soon, either on facebook or tumblr, or perhaps in a blog post here alongside some other sperel fan art and photos that we’ve seen around the net.

Speaking of fan art, the video game and anime inspired artwork of our table partner brought a special guest to her side of the table on Saturday….

Here’s Jenn with Bryce Papenbrook, the voice actor of Zidane Tribal (the protagonist of Final Fantasy IX). With Final Fantasy being one of her favorite games, and Zidane being one of her favorite characters, we’re pretty sure this was one of the highlights of Jenn’s weekend!
J.Raye meeting Bryce Papenbrook, voice actor for Final Fantasy IX's Zidane TribalAnd that’s the type of environment that AX provides – so many wonderful connections, just waiting to be made. We look forward to seeing everyone again and meeting even more new friends in L.A. next summer!

Posted in Events on July 10th, 2012

The Sperels Are Going To Anime Expo!

Flyer announcing sperel presence in AX (Anime Expo) 2012 Artist Alley
Anime Expo is happening this upcoming Friday through Monday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The sperels will be there! Table H28 in the Artist Alley is where they’ll be perching, playing, and looking cute. If you’ll be there too, then by all means, do come by to play with them! Or if you’re not up for playing, you can come by and just look cute along with all the sperels… take a picture maybe? Help them fix their hair? Whatever they inspire in you really, just as long as you don’t try to perch with them up on the table. Convention policies, you understand – no people allowed on the tables, at least not until after hours.

Posted in Events on June 28th, 2012

AM² Friendships!

While Disneyland will always be Anaheim’s #1 attraction, the city now offers yet another sort of ‘magical kingdom’ for fantasy seeking travelers. Even if this new realm does only materialize for one weekend out of the year (with this year being the convention’s 2nd annual occurrence), AM² provides exactly what the sperels want most in an anime/manga convention: a perfect environment for making new friends! Here are just a few of our Convention Comrades… and as for the others, we’ve got a feeling we’ll be seeing many of them again real soon, so we’ll hold their introductions for next time.

Not long after the exhibit hall doors opened, we began noticing convention-goers walking around with these colorful dragons perched over their shoulders, and we knew that the Demmon Dragons must be at a table of their own somewhere in the hall. These same dragons were also at Sakura-Con, and it was great seeing them once again since the sperels love befriending any creature with wings but hadn’t found the chance to introduce themselves last time around.A sperel amidst Demmon DragonsSeizing the opportunity, one of the sperels went over to roost awhile with the Demmon Dragons, bonding closely with a large ice dragon who reminded the sperel of an old lost friend. Old Icey, along with several other of the nearby dragons even had purple eyes!

At the table next to us, our neighbor Totoro invited the sperels one by one throughout the weekend to try some sweet fragranced treats, as provided by Lydia of DokiDoki♥Delights. The charmingly cute morsels tempted all who walked by her table to stop and smell the… doughnuts.
A sperel with our neighbor Totoro and some DokiDoki♥Delights at AM²

The AM² Summer Stage was set up directly across from our table row in Artist Alley, which occasionally required us to raise our voices to communicate with fans during some of the louder acts, but a benefit to this location was that the sperels had front row seats to all the performances. One of their favorite bands of the weekend was Midnight Shinigami, a J-Rock/Anime-Inspired band.
Mynx, of the Anime Cover Band Midnight Shinigami, gives a sperel a kiss
Winning last year’s Battle Of The Bands competition at Anime Expo, Midnight Shinigami is poised to rock many more conventions to come, and the sperels look forward to seeing them again! Of course some of the sperels are not as patient as others…. Unable to wait until next time, this one couldn’t resist flying backstage to meet Mynx, the band’s lovely lead singer.

Towards the end of the convention, this little 8-bit invader floated down to our table, having skillfully evaded the laser fire of our planetary defense to deliver its message of intergalactic unity. “8-Bits Are Enough For Me. 8-Bits Are Enough For Me,” it kept saying, until we realized that the invader had originated from a nearby table where numerous other 8-bit perler bead lifeforms did indeed coexist harmoniously with one another despite the oppositional nature of their programming.
An 8-Bit Invader by Perler Bead Artist '8-Bits Are Enough For Me' If Space Invaders can live peacefully along side Piranha Plants and Ponies, can’t the sperels make a world for themselves where they can all be free from exploitation? The 8-Bit Invader thinks so!

Posted in Events on June 25th, 2012