We gave you all you lunatics a quick overview of the convention yesterday but, as always, there was more to talk about than we can adequately cover on video. So, we wanted to share a little more…
First and foremost, it was rad to meet some of you fine people in person. We didn’t get to stay at the con for too long but, while I was there, I had the pleasure of seeing LoveNuggets again (in some killer SWORD ART ONLINE cosplay, no less!) and meeting Takashichea in the flesh (photo evidence to the right!).
The latter dude, sometimes known by the alias ‘Kerry,’ actually did a bit of convention coverage on his own. It was his first AX, and you all would do well to check out his blog to get his perspective on the show.
Now, to repeat - - Sam and I are going to be at San Diego Comic Con next week.
If you’re going, we’d really love to meet as many of you as we can, so please, PM us here or tweet us if you’re going to be there. We’re thinking about setting an official Vicers meet-up.
Now, for some choice memories from AX…
- A man’s got to know his limitations. After this con, I think I’ll be hanging up my gi and learning to be content with my fighting games Brown Belt. See, I’m good enough at the likes of MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3, TEKKEN X STREET FIGHTER, et al, that I can ruin parties (and trust me, I have), but squaring off against some of the real hardcore gamers in AX’s Entertainment Center turned out to be a full serving of humble pie, let me tell you. Those guys are the pros. I’m just an amateur, and it’s probably best to quit before embarrassing myself any further.
- While “Deadpool as Titan Gaurdsman” was my favorite cosplay, I’ve got to give major respect to the guy who was walking around in a 12-15 foot EVA armor. I couldn't even figure out how it worked!
- A big tank was rolled out in front of the South Hall with some cute cosplayers hawking GIRLS UND PANZER atop it. It was impressive promotion, sure, but I do remember there also being a tank parked in front of the West Hall at E3 (no less than two weeks prior to AX) so I wonder if somebody might’ve saved cash by not shipping that giant armored vehicle out of Downtown LA right away.
- Big shout-out to my pals, Josh Finney and Kat Rocha, who were in artist alley promoting their giant monster deconstruction, WORLD WAR KAIJU. Head over to their Kickstarter and order a copy. Anybody who’s ever wanted more of an East/West exchange of pop ideas will devour this.
- Lastly, while I wasn't able to spend too much time in either place, I've got to tip my hat to the newly-redesigned Lounge 21 and the newly-minted Cosplay Area (it's the 'enclosure' Marlan Moore discussed when he last guested on the Vice Pit). The former added some delightfully spooky ambiance this year, and the latter offered a rather brilliant series of sets for cosplayers to pose in, from the cockpit of EVA-01 to the typical anime high school classroom. Outside the box thinking!
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|
Again, my biggest regret is that I didn't spend as much time at the show as I did last year. But, like Tom said, this con is like your college anime club sped up to a million percent... and eventually college has to end. Not to say that next year I won't over-correct and literally live in Hall H off a sustainable of bad convention hot dogs and Tentacle Grape.
All that aside, here are my quick takeaways from the con. And to reiterate PM or Tweet me to let me know if you're going to CCI in San Diego... make sure to put a flower in your hair...
- There was a distinct increase of yaoi in artist alley and in the vendors this year. More than any other fandom, I've seen anime fans be the most accepting of LGBT entertainment and I think that's a good thing. In an era where people are questioning where the money is coming from or going to, expanding your audience by offering female and male body pillows is a critical first step. Trust me on this guys... it's economics.
- "Does anyone here play Cardfight Vanguard? Yeah?! See, Tom, I told you people still play TCG's!"
- Most of the vendors were shuffling off predictable wares, but I have to give credit to some of the more enterprising artists in the alley. Take note, if you want me to buy something in Artist's Alley, make it a sticker or decal and put it around $5. That's nothing but free money right there. Also, use Square, it literally made the difference of me whipping out my wallet or not.
- Also, shout outs to Matt Mercer and Marisha Ray of ADVENTURE! for performing their Neo-Tokyo set again! If you're in the L.A. area just google those guys, you'll want to see where this improv adventure show performs next.
- Also, check out some of my photos. They are almost exclusively things I am interested in. GUESS WHICH ONES! If you get it right... maybe I'll send you a surprise!
Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow @CraveSam