Every year I post a summary of my adventures at Otakon, the East Coast's largest convention on Japanese anime. For a lot of my friends, that is a bit out of their comfort zones, probably because in Anime there's a lot of "anything goes". But did you know that there are also conventions for American-made comics and animation that have been going on for decades? What started with the fan conventions for Star Trek has become a staple for how the video game, comic, and animation industries connect and converse with their fan base and colleagues. In a funny sort of way, its like when 40,000 people attend a game for their favorite sports team. You get the full set of fans and pros from crazy to mild all out enjoying one thing that they all have in common.
So what do you do at a "con"? Depending on the size and subject, you'll have industry panels where producers talk about their latest shows and products; fan panels where you'll talk about everything from what you hate to what you love; workshops on how to draw, write, dance, or even make costumes; panels where you get to have Q & A with famous voice actors, producers, animators, writers, you name it; vendors who sell the latest collection of fan gear; spaces for people to display their own fan art; photo shoots for the costume-minded attendee; autograph sessions, and the list goes on. I find there's always something to see, do, or play at when I go to a con, which is why I'm always inviting people to go with me. But to entice you further, here's a sample of one of the panels that was hosted by the Emerald City Comicon this spring. You just can't find this kind of entertainment anywhere else but a con!