My first con experience. Was it a success or a total lame-o?
As this random guy in a suit of something that I don’t know would attest.
The juicy details?
- Got to meet Blindability and 7thwraith and walk around the con with them (thanks to Misaki for playing matchmaker). They were really cool and totally not your awkward otaku stereotype… gee, that sounds terribly disingenuous when I write it out. But I’m being serious.
- Got to meet and take a picture with “Kawaii Ambassador” Yu Kimura
- Dealers room was pretty awesome. Even though a lot of the stuff was overpriced, it was just cool to see figures and merch you wouldn’t see anywhere else
- A heck of a lot of cosplayers. Way more than I thought there would be. I thought maybe 10-15% would dress up, but actually it was more like 30-40%. And there were some really good costumes too.
- Just overall cool atmosphere. I wasn’t sure what the heck I was walking into. Worst case scenario, I thought there’d be a shitload of teenagers running around, screaming “OVER 9000!” and random crap, but it wasn’t like that at all. I’d guess that 80% of the con members were over 18, and a good 40-50% over 21. I sort of lol’d when I was in a panel listening to convention stories and there were stories of people getting piss drunk and passing out and stuff… or basically the college student experience. I was like, “wut? these are not your parent’s otaku hikikomori”
- Location was nice. Ok, Somerset, NJ is out in the middle of nowhere. But the benefit of that is that there’s not much local traffic and lots of free parking. I can only imagine the vehicular hell a con would wreak when in the middle of a major city.
- Non-stop schedule. To be honest, I didn’t make the best use of time. Nor was I an early bird or late owl, but it was really cool to know that something was going on basically around the clock. You know, just in case I did want to play tabletop games at 4am (I didn’t).
For next time
- I sort of wish I took more photos. I was shy about taking them this time, even though there was no reason to be. I guess I was just overwhelmed by the number of actual cosplayers there were
- I will read the map as soon as I get there. First time, I walked through, saw the main room, went into the Artist’s Alley, Dealer’s room and then I was like, “that’s it?” It took me half a day to realize that there was a whole ‘nother building where the actual panels were happening. And another day for me to realize there was even a 2nd floor where additional panels were happening.
All in all, the con was a blast. More fun than I would’ve imagined. The time flew by, I was sad to see it end.