Town Hall Meetings and Comic Cons: More Similar Than You'd Think

Topic started by gia on Feb. 11, 2009. Last post by N15PCA 5 years, 8 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
Obama's town hall
Obama's town hall
What do a presidential town hall meeting and an anime convention industry panel have in common?

If you guessed a similar Q&A process, you guessed right. It struck me one day, as I watched President Obama take part in a town hall meeting in Florida regarding his economic stimulus package, that although the town hall surely covers topics more dire and immediate than, say, FUNimation’s panel at New York Comic Con, they still both offer an interesting closeness of character to one another.

Take, for example, the goal of those attendees with their questions. They want information, and more often than not, they want to have a legitimate effect on both the proceedings and on the subject of the event (i.e. FUNimation or the President).

There’s also a similarity of presentation: the rehearsed feeling of the questions, the turns of phrase intended to be particularly clever or striking. And then there’s the attitude. There’s a certain respect, even reverence for anime and manga company representatives, but at the same time there’s sort of a feeling amongst fans: we are the almighty Consumer, and we are who you need to please. Similar to this we have those asking questions of President Obama: we made you, and if you don’t deliver, we can unmake you.

New York Comic Con
New York Comic Con
Finally, there’s the ultimate goal. What do the people want out of their questions? As I said earlier, information and to have an effect are the primary goals. Question-askers also seem to often want to impress those around them with their cleverness, their tough story, or whatever it is they share.

But there’s also something these people want that will never actually occur in a panel. When someone asks in the midst of a panel, “will you license XYZ title?” they would probably die for joy if the rep comes back and says “you know, I’m not supposed to say anything yet, but…yes, we’re getting that title.” Which, of course, no rep would ever say, and no regular convention goer would ever expect it, even if they might fantasize.

Similarly, I think a lot of these people at the Obama town hall meeting are probably secretly hoping that he’ll come out with a magic solution to their problems, that he’ll suddenly bust out a brilliant idea or something along those lines. Or maybe even that he’ll pull some kind of Oprah moment and give them all a car or something. (Hey, I mentioned this was fantasy, not what they actually expect, right?)

So, there you have it, just a little observation: when you’re standing up to ask that anime or manga publisher to pick up your favorite title, you’re probably not all that different from those demanding answers from our President.
Post by Jewel (1,654 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Interesting view on it all.. I wonder if the panel experts feel hounded by fans

LOL Gia, i swear we would have no threads without your blogs! the first page is full of em!! ;-)
Post by OkazukiIchigo (350 posts) See mini bio Level 11
what a mouthful?!
Post by HeeroYuy (1,210 posts) See mini bio Level 12
Interesting but not particularly unexpected...it's not really something that the two have in common so much as the fact that almost every press conference uses the same kind of format....
Post by N15PCA (611 posts) See mini bio Level 13
One is allot of fun and other is spend all of are money.  You can guess which one I think is which.
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