Anime Boston con report

First of all, the organizers of Anime Boston need to get the registration thing under control. I heard tales of eight-hour waits on Friday, and on Saturday the line filled an entire exhibit hall. The folks in the registration area were working hard and they were quite efficient, so that wasn’t the problem; I got my press pass in less than five minutes. But perhaps there should have been more of them.

For me, the best part of the whole day was having coffee and conversation with my fellow bloggers: Kate Dacey, Erin Finnegan, and Ken Haley of PopCultureShock’s Manga Recon blog, Chloe Ferguson of Shuchaku-East and ComiPress, super-librarian Robin Brenner of No Flying, No Tights fame, Erica Friedman of Okazu, and Scott Green of Ain’t It Cool News. We compared notes on new releases and manga personalities for almost an hour and a half.

Then Robin and I headed into the fray. We started out in Artists’ Alley, where I was looking for people with stacks of comic books on their tables. We briefly chatted with My Cat Loki creator Bettina Kurkoski, Sonic the Hedgehog penciller Matt Herms, the folks from Foongatz! Studios (who were kind enough to autoraph one of their SAM comics for me), David Montoya, Ace and Queenie creator Rusty Haller, Dominic Deegan, Garth Graham, and JD Calderon, among others. And we took the opportunity to hang out a bit at the Wirepop booth with Svetlana Chmakova, J. Dee Dupuy, Dan Hess, and Myung Hee Kim. As you can see if you click some of these links, the art was pretty varied, and some folks had traveled impressively long distances from places like Virginia and Ohio to be there.

Several publishers had booths in the dealers’ room this year, including Drama Queen, Vertical, ALC Publishing, and Yaoi Press. The books all looked beautiful, and sales were brisk. I don’t remember seeing any publishers there last year, but several told me that they had really wanted to be at Anime Boston for some time. I also picked up a few manga from Comicopia’s well-stocked display. True and strange fact: Comicopia owner Matt Lehman is one of my sister’s students. But we didn’t get to chat much as the booth was getting lots of traffic.

I didn’t have time for panels or anime screenings, but I did enjoy the costumes. There was plenty of creativity on display, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. One scheduling note: It was unfortunate that Anime Boston was scheduled over Easter weekend, because family obligations kept me away on Friday and Sunday, and I’m sure lots of others were in the same boat—this is highly Catholic Boston after all, and even the non-religious were probably expected at family dinner. On the plus side, there is a Catholic chapel right at the entrance to the Hynes, for those who want to combine events, and it’s always fun to see the interplay between the cosplayers and churchgoers when mass is getting out.

Overall, from the few hours I was there, I would say it was a success. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, there was quite a bit of talent on display, and people were definitely buying comics. But if I had come on Saturday and spent half of it on line, I might not be so sanguine. Hopefully the AB folks will figure this out by next year.

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  1. “It was unfortunate that Anime Boston was scheduled over Easter weekend, because family obligations kept me away on Friday and Sunday, and I’m sure lots of others were in the same boat.”

    So if it wasn’t a holiday weekend, does that mean the lines would have been even longer! Oh noes!!!!

  2. I think it may have increased the pressure on Saturday—and it made it worse for people who could only be there that day, and ended up spending half of it on line.

  3. It was nice meeting everyone, and congrats on dodging the epically long registration lines!