Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Con-Man: Summer Swell
It's been months since I've been to a convention, months! July is going to be a Kaiju near double event with two of the biggest shows around coming in hot and in a row. Anime Expo takes over Downtown, Los Angeles July 4th Weekend while San Diego Comic-Con International starts on Thursday, the 9th. Then a new, smaller show has popped onto my radar, August's Central Coast Comic-Con on the 28th-30th before the last show of the summer, The Long Beach Comic Con September 12th and 13th, phew!
lookie loo if you will. I only spent a few hours walking around but got a feel for the vibe, attendees and offerings. Basically, a whole lotta cosplay and Japanese culture. Panels run the gamut of how to survive your first con, music, karaoke, new and old anime screenings, fandom, audio mixing, e and board gaming, tips on moving to Japan, voice actor studio and much more. Recognizable brands like Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Naruto, Ultraman, Robotech and Cowboy Bebop will be well with premieres and screenings. There are multiple separate ticketed events going on like the Maid Cafe, an interactive experience of dances, music performances, photo ops and more or late night Fate/Stay Night Special with screening, Q&A and a concert. Gonna get weird, gonna get crazy, gonna be weirdcrazy!
The following week is the big one, the mecca of all things popular culture, the one, the only, mother fudging San Diego Comic-Con! Comikaze, New York, Salt Lake, any Wizard World show? Children. Amateurs in comparison. No other show gives you face value like SDCC. Your ticket gets you into the convention, exhibit hall and programming. No Gold or VIP upcharges here. No major plugging to plop down $50 bones for a photo or autograph. Heck, you don't even need a badge as there's plenty of art shows, fan gatherings, movie screenings, parties, Q&A's, concerts and the like going on outside the hall in the streets of downtown San Diego. In a first, late night TV host Conan O'Brien will be hosting four shows from a local theater and moderating a panel. In a probable other first, San Diego Comic Con is banning selfie sticks, GoPro poles, Google Glasses, streaming, e-cigarettes and drones! Good, it's hard enough walking around when a million people stop dead in their tracks in the middle of an aisle or stop to take photos of cosplayers. If anything, SDCC could pioneer small areas between booths for photos so traffic isn't as impacted.