Ani-Me Con 2017, March 18-19th @ the Big Fresno Fairgrounds in Fresno California.
For my latest convention report for 2017, I traveled to Fresno, California for this year’s Ani-Me Con.
Attendance was just over 7,000 for the weekend, making this year their biggest convention yet.
Some of the things you would have found at Ani-Me Con this year included the live action role playing of “Terras Wars”. As well as Ani-Me standards such as the collector card game tournaments, comedy acts, band performances, panels, dance crews and a rave on Saturday night. And also a cosplay contest that took place on both days plus a fashion show.
Special guests include voice talent Erik Kimerer, Sarah Annie Williams and Erika Harlacher and on Saturday there were panels on voice acting, experiences in the industry and autograph signings.
Band performances by “Coast in the clouds” and “Light of mine” and on Sunday a performance by the band “For the record”. Artist panel was by Hyperbooster studio who displayed his talents including drawing manga and also there was a comedy act by Vanna Vandal.
There were three different dance crews on Saturday which include “Empire Dance Crew”, “Royal T”, “Corps Dance Crew” with their hip-hop sailors scouts routine, which was a lot of fun to watch.
On Sunday we had singing and dancing performances by “Lovely Rushers”, who I think did a fantastic job, even though they were not the last act onstage on Sunday, they were a hard act to follow.
On Saturday and Sunday, Ani-Me hosted a cosplay contest. I am really impressed with the level cosplay that’s happening in the Central Valley. From beginner to advance, people are putting a lot of effort and a lot of thought into the costumes of their making. This year they had a fashion show on Sunday, featuring the designs of Miss Alphabet. Very colorful, very fun and the presentation was done very well, quite impressive.
Overall, Ani-Me has definitely grown compared to last year. I have lightly touched, on a lot of the different things that was available at Ani-Me Con.
I haven’t talked about what was on the main floor all the different items that were for sale at reasonably market prices. Like items from Japan, PVC figures, hoodies, games, card games and etc.
The convention had an artists alley with very talented artists. Cosplayers had tables where they had on display items from their different costumes. On display were props, where they could talk about how they made it and the process of what they went through and also giving tips to other people that are interested in making props and costumes.
It was a pleasure to return to Ani-ME Con this year. It will be interesting to see what they do with next year’s event.
Photos By Derek Orchard
Bak-Anime 2017 February 25 and 26 at the Kern County Fairground in Bakersfield, CA
The 9th annual Bak-Anime, Bakersfield’s one and only Anime convention was held in the final week of February 2017.
In previous years, the event has been held in a much smaller venue which they had outgrown. I have gone to other events where they had changed locations and the new locations were really too big for the event.
From my personal perspective, it was a smart choice for the convention to make the move, as there were plenty of dealers and plenty of attendees.
In fact, Bak-Anime had a record attendances with over 3,500 attendees.
The dealers room was not too crowded and t was really easy to shop around and find deals if you are looking for something special. And for those who were hungry, a Okamoto Kitchen Japanese comfort food truck and Pappa John’s Pizza were there on hand.
Bak-Anime 2017 had a returning favorite, Actor/voice actor/composer/singer/producer Vic Mignogna. And new to Bak-anime, Actress/voice actress/Producer Cherami Leigh and Voice actress/gamer, Danielle McRae.
On Saturday only, David Yost, Karan Ashley and Walter Jones from the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” were special guests at the event.
All the guest had panels and were available for signings.
All the lines seem to move pretty fast, I thought everyone was having a good time.
Pro Lab gaming was there at Bak-Anime for the video game tournaments, Paladins Game Castle and the Gaming spot sponsored the collector card games, demos and other hobby games.
They also had their 4th annual swap meet which is an event only for fans. On Saturday night, they had their late night electric dance party open for all ages. And on Sunday, the event had an art contest.
There was plenty a Cosplay to be seen throughout Bak-Anime 2017.
There were plenty of people walking around in different costumes from anime, comics, video games and movies. On Saturday afternoon, Bak-Anime 2017 had an adult cosplay contest, where just about everyone had skit or a dance routine that they did. And I actually think there was an actual marriage proposal that happened during the contest.
On Sunday, they had another cosplay contest which was for the kids only. Even though the kids had help sometimes, it is really amazing to see all the talent that is out there. People with the skills to make these elaborate and awesome costumes.
I have personally been really impressed with how Bak-Anime has continued to grow and has been so well supported by the community out there in Bakersfield.
I really do think it is a show that is worth your the time , even if it is just for one day.
If you’ve never been to a “Anime con” or a “Comic-Con” this would be a great first time show to get a taste of the con experience.
More Photos By Derek orchard
Zappcon 2016 was held October 15 and 16th at the Valdez hall in Fresno California. ZappCon brings a wide range of talent from all kinds fandoms. You can learn about voice acting, building models from masking tape board, gaming and many more.
I think this year at ZappCon, they improved on their organization of the booths and table, putting more like things together. If you are looking for cosplayers, go to one location, toys another location, videogames another location and so on. I do think that made it easier if there was something that you wanted to buy, but you didn’t want to buy it right away, it made it easy to find that vendor later.
Some of the special guest that were at Zappcon this year. Hynden Walch, she is The Voice of Starfire on “Teen Titans” and the new “Teen Titans Go!”, Princess bubblegum on cartoon networks smash hit “Adventure Time”, Harley Quinn on the Batman series as well as DCU animated feature “Assault on Akrham”, for which she received a BTVA People’s choice award. Lisle Wilkerson, she is a power house behind some of gaming industry’s most popular female fighting characters, such as Nina Williams, Christine Monteiro from “Tekken” and Sarah Brandt from “Virtual Fighter”. She’s acted alongside Bill Murray in the academy award winning film “Lost in translation” and had the lead role in the award winning in the film, “Kamataki”. D.C. Douglas the sinister voice of Albert Wesker in “Resident Evil”, The Voice of Legion in “Mass Effects” series and he was Bud in the movie “sharknado 2”. Chanda Hahn, a New York Times and USAID today best-selling author of “Reign (an unfortunate fairy tale)” she also writes the “iron butterfly” series. Eben Burgoon, started his career writing short fiction and sketch comedies for over a decade before embarking into comics, his first comics series was “Eben07: covert custodian”. Shawn Sutter, he is the creator of “Relicblade” and is the lead artists on the comic “B squad”.
There were some familiar faces down Cosplay row, returning this year Holly Brooke, based out of northern California, right now she is studying to become a veterinarian. Loki Hates You return ZappCon, and this year for his 2nd appearance and Mighty ThorTV to continue the panel they did last year the “awkward family panel” where they interview the audience. Yes is true Loki’s running for President. And new to ZappCon this year, Princess Marley cosplay, she has been active in cosplay since 2007 she is an advocate for body positivity in the cosplay community. She is also a huge supporter of cosplay in the things you love no matter how many people may recognize you. Originally reached nor I are to the running the popular tumbler blog “the little cosplay things”. If you wanted to get a picture of or with one of your favor characters they had several cosplay meet ups for photos. So if you are dressed up your get got to gather together to should a photo together and I was a great place if you wanted to get your photo with your favor character. These happened multiple times each day plus they had the all ages cosplay contest on Saturday and on Sunday they had a kids cosplay contest.
Kirby Krackle A internationally touring nerd-rock artist, featuring the music of songwriter and performer Kyle Stevens. Pioneering the genre in 2009. Kirby Krackle is known the world over as the go to band for heartfelt songs dedicated to the best in comic books, videogames, Pop and geek culture with youTube videos, totaling over 3.5 million views and I have been featured on MTV, i09, boing boing, Gizmodo and more.
Okay, you walked the floor, I maybe you made a few purchases, found if you must have items like comics may be some art from a local artist, but you’re not ready to go home yet. What are you now? Well if you have young ones you could take them over to the kid’s own where there was Bat party for kids, Todd the snake man, the discovery center, California arts Academy, pro martial arts. And if you don’t have any kids. outdoors there was iron gate sword fighting, Terras Wars. You could go and get a photo taken with the 501st in the photo area. And you could check out any board games and play them there at the show in the gaming area they had set up. They also had a video game area also set up so you can go play video games while you are at the show and at certain times,The Voice actors were playing there games that they had voice characters in, so you could smacked down our get smacked down in person by the characters you play in the game. if that wasn’t enough, after all of that they had multiple panels starting at every hour. You probably could of watch panels all day and never seen the floor.
I really do think this is a fun show. Sure maybe it’s not one of those huge shows that you hear about on TV. And they always have something new big and exciting every year. But not everyone can go to those shows. I do see the event coordinators doing their best to create a fun and happy environment for their attendees. I enjoy the smaller shows because I think they stay to the heart of why we have all gotten into the stuff. For the fun in the enjoyment, for ourselves and that what we share with one another. With events like this where just all people, we all can be kids and act like kids. Here we are all friends and we help one another.
So if you didn’t make it this year, you should think about attending next year.
Ani-me POP Summit is the first cultural convention dedicated to J-pop and K-pop in the Central Valley and is always striving to give the Central Valley new, refreshing and exciting entertainment.
The event was held at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 18, 2016 and this convention is dedicated to bringing Asian pop music, fashion, film, dance, art, games, interactive workshops, stimulating panels, Anime, movies and import car shows.
Ani-me POP summit had a huge lineup of guests including five singing performances, five live band performances, two comedy acts, five dancing performances, cosplay contest, fashion show, not to mention, gaming tournaments, panels and a Rave plus DJs.
Kinu Cafe was there and they had a vendor’s hall, with stuff ranging from Anime, Sci-Fi and comics and Bushiroad showed their upcoming releases.
I thought this event was pretty well set up. You could walk around the vendor’s hall, get something to eat, the sit back and listen to some music.
Then you could play some games, head back to the vendor’s hall make some purchases and then go back and listen to some music or watch some of the dance routines.
There was plenty of room you didn’t have to worry about feeling like you are being shoved into one spot.
Akai Sky, Coast in the Clouds, Light of Mine, Outside the Wire were some of the bands performing later in the day. Some of the Highlights I experienced feaetured Paprika Mari. She is the lead vocalist for Candy Bomber, a multi-genre pop band based in Los Angeles, California.
Her roots in both the U.S. and Japan helped to shape her musical sensibility and OkitaSemi cosplayer and Vocalist from California, USA. Paprika Mari’s goal is to recreate scenes from anime/manga as much as possible.
Paprika Mari & OkitaSemi did a set of music covers from different Anime. I was really impressed with the quality of their performances and their song choices.
“Candy Bomber” is a J-rock inspired band/project formed by five musicians of various musical backgrounds with a burning passion of music and providing endless entertainment to the people.
Like the idea of AKB48 joining forces with Visual-Kei then leaping through an adventurous journey with Polysics and The Clash at Demonhead, Candy Bomber takes the standard “Rock Band” and fuses it together with styles and instruments from different genres of music – the Uke, Sax, and at times the Kazoo.
The audience is sure to hear their familiar favorites tunes from Anime and J-Rock, combined with a mixture of Jazz, Pop and METAL. I really enjoyed Candy bomber’s performance, it was nice seeing a full band with a saxophone player.
I had a lot of fun listening of them perform and I will be looking forward to seeing them perform in the future.
Tiffany Fujii is a Bay Area idol dancer/singer/performer whose credits include dozens of anime conventions and events.
She’s been producing and uploading odottemita videos since 2008 and was the winner of the first ever Vocaloid Dance Contest at San Francisco’s JPop Summit in 2011!
Besides performing solo she is also a member of several Bay Area idol groups such as Ti@Mi, T…radmark, Hello! Musume, as well as many others.
As a lover of Japanese pop music, especially idols. This girl had so much energy!
She was singing and she was dancing, spinning around. She sang a full set of songs. She also sat in on the panel with Roli Angels.
RÖLI ANGELS includes 4 women artists which consists of SHAKE (green), LEMON (yellow), APRI (red), and GRAPE (purple) with a “costume play party Rock” as a concept.
Roli Angels came directly from Japan and originally, they were an Indie idol J-pop group, and now ARE rock!
Performing all their songs in English, having copies of their latest CD in English for their American fans, new and old.
If you knew Roli Angels before, you might have been surprised to see the new direction they are going with their music.
This isn’t their first trip to the states, but it is as a rock group and with this lineup, Apri and Grape are new members of Roli Angels.
They put on a really great show, they were really personal with fans at their booth and as well as the panel before the show.
There was a full venue of stuff to do here, there a lot of things that happened that I have haven’t even mention.
If you came at the beginning of the day or the end of the day, there was a lot to see and do. this was a full one day event.
If you like Japanese music, fashion, art, games, anime, food, Cosplay, as well as niche subcultures. then this is something you should check out.
See more photos from Ani-Me Con at:
Ani-Me Con 2016 took place at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds in Fresno, California February 20 and 21st. Ani-Me Con is one of the biggest Anime/gaming events in the Central Valley. This event had over a 100 vendors, artist, exhibitors and fan club’s, also had a live entertainment, Tournament gaming and a cosplay contest on both days.
This is my 2nd year attending Ani-Me Con. So much has changed from last year, the first thing easy to notice different venue and with a different venue comes ticket sales. Before Ani-me Con, was a free event and the venue was very small and they did the best with what they could now that they’ve opened up to a much larger venue, So this little show is growing up. Now I seen some other shows start to grow and try to expand, the event coordinators are doing a good job growing with the purpose in mind. A lot of their vendors had a lot of things that was reasonably priced for someone who may have not had a lot of money to go to an event like this, this is a very accessible show.
One of the things I really liked about this show is that it wasn’t just all about the commercial side of the conventions. There was enough other things, there that you actually can learn more about voice acting, costume making an what was happen the next. You could go and learn about something that you’re very interested in and you don’t have someone to talk to in person about it. You could a shown up early and stayed late for the after-hours party. This just a wasn’t a Anime show or a trading card gaming show. If you took the time and walk by the Cosplay area, a lot of the Cosplay artist had their props out and they were there willing to talk about how they made their equipment, what materials they used and the whole process of making costumes.
The voice actor guests were Erika Harlacher, Sarah Anne Williams and Erik Keimerer. Some of the live entertainment, Kinu Cafe, Lolita fashion show, Terra wars fighting exhibition, heart of otaku culture import car club. Singing performances of Lovely Rushers and Band performances by Akai Sky, Iwanaga, Light of mine. This is just some of the things that they had, There is much more to see.
I could spent a lot more time talking about how much more they had to offer than they had from the year previous, The venue is bigger and they were working really hard to fill the space they had. Some shows just have console gaming for you to take a break and play, Ani-Me Con had that and Gaming Tournaments. Everything was very current Street Fighter 5 tournaments, They were having smashed brothers too. also they had retro-gaming going on.
They have made so many changes from last year’s show to this one, they seem to have a really good handle on what was going on. Now not soon of that there weren’t any mistakes or anything like that of the wasn’t something that’s up to the cracks, but I never heard anyone complaining about anything that wasn’t happening like they thought it should. It kind of feels that Ani-Me Con has really come into its own this year. They moved into a big your area and they filled it with more vendors and vendors, that have a variety of things. There have been some shows in this area. That move into a big your venue but they didn’t have any more vendors to add to their show. So they had a bigger space, but they were filling it with anything. That was not a problem at this show. From what I saw you got a lot for what you paid for to get into the event. I think that if they can keep growing with a lot of thought that they put into this show and they build on it, this show, shall continue to grow and be an amazing show to attend.
See more photos from Ani-Me Con at:
Article and Photos by Derek Orchard
Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo was held October 30 through November 1, 2015. At the Los Angeles convention Center in California.
This is Comikaze’s 5th year. I was looking at it as a another young convention. I wasn’t expecting a big set up. I know it’s got Stan Lee name on it, I had been hearing more and more about the show and I knew it was growing. I was not prepared for what I saw at the show. It was huge! they have broken it up into two separate halls.
They had so many guests, I really don’t know who I should mention I mean, of course, they had Stan Lee, Elvira, Carrie Fisher, Grant Morrison, Summer Glau and not to mention Costume makers Vampy BitMe, Riki Lecotey(Riddle), Genevieve Marie, LeAnna Vamp. And we can’t forget the artist like Art Adams, Ashley Riot, Francesco!, Joyce Chen, Mike Mignola, Crystal Graziano, Todd McFarland, Tom Hodges, Camilla D’Errico.
In all the different panels they had here. I mean they had stuff, ranging from how to write what writing methods you should use. Panels on cosplay making costumes, how to think about the costumes you’re making and how you should feel about wearing your costume. There is all sorts of sci-fi panels, on Star Trek, on Star Wars, there was panel for Babylon 5, Spartacus. they had panels on drawing, in voice acting, 8 bit video gaming and of course Horror.
Comikaze introduced on the main stage, Stan Lee and Yoshiki’s “Blood Red Dragon” which is a motion graphic novel, later we have the two main actors from the movie, “2001: a Space Odyssey”. They had a lot of fun talking about different things that happened during the making of the movie and some of the adventures in their lives. William Shatner also made an appearance with his “Man O’War: Cinematic graphic novel” talked about the changes that were coming in season two, what they were doing to make it better and they really wanted feedback from the audience of what they should be doing next to improve the experience. DMC was they are on the main stage talking about his impact on music his career and his current endeavor, “Darryl makes comics”. And more than $10,000 cash and prizes was up for grabs as in the best cosplayers in the country come for the Cosplay National Championships. Stan Lee’s, ComiKaze was proud to launch the Prop Making National Championship which also had a 2nd category for fans choice that you were able to vote on the props. That were on display until the last day of the show.
Those are just some of the few highlights of the show. My small little review of this convention cannot convey the size of this show. The crowds they had on Saturday and Sunday were comparable to San Diego comic con. Personally this is a show that I have been trying to go to for the last 5 years for one reason or another, I have not been able to go, but this year I finally made it and this was an amazing show. It seemed like this show was centered around the fans. Seem like everything was made really accessible to everyone, even though you may end of standing in the line for a while. You had a really good chance of getting what you wanted.
ComiKaze Expo, is an accessible show, you can still buy tickets during the show. So even at the last minute. If you want to go to the show, you can. it’s not one of those shows that you have to plan months, years in advance to get tickets to go. I really like the fact that a young fan just discovering conventions can make a to a show like this. To be able to meet his or hers heroes, whether they be fictional or real, A show like this allows them to have the opportunity to have that moment where the line between fantasy and reality can meet for a moment.
Check back for more photos from Stan Lee’s ComiKaze Expo 2015 in our J!-ENT 2015 Annual scheduled for November 2015
Article and Photos by Derek Orchard
ZappCon , took place on October 17 and 18th, 2015. At the Convention Center in Fresno, California.
After spending the last year seeing what some of the San Joaquin Valley of California has to offer in ways of Anime/Sci-Fi/Comic conventions. It seems that I’m ending it with ZappCon. What a way to end it, I have really been looking for a traditional comic con that felt like, San Diego comic con felt when I first started to go. This is ZappCon’s 2nd year and is not a small as I thought it was going to be. The fact was very large.
A few of the guests were voice actress Andrea Libman. TV and movie actress, Gigi Edgley. Illustrator for wizards of the Coast, RK Post. Webb artist Drew Green. Periscope studios from Portland, Oregon. Actor Joey Oglesby, of law and order:SVU and NCIS. The guest cosplayers they had of the show was Loki hate you, ThorTV, Christine Sprankle and that’s just naming a few of everyone who was here at this show.
What I found the show is what I expect to find when I go to a well run comic convention, I expect to find everything that I want there and to me, they had at all, they had Anime, they had comics, they had steampunk, they had sci-fi/Star Wars. Videogames both current and classic. Vendors were selling all the main stream stuff that you’re looking for, a couple of vendors were selling stuff, they had picked up from Japan and were selling at the show.
If you’re on a budget they had gaming areas for both card and table top games. They had games there that you could try out to see if you do even would like plainly game later on. So you do even need to know anything about the game before you were there to play it. An upstairs they had video gaming on all the major consoles And also had RPG gaming. Outside, Terra wars, Iron gate sword fighting and Sunspear Belegarth. They also had a kids zone, which offered activities for kids, seem like everyone was Entertained.
Let’s talk panels! The 501st Legion had a panel on making costumes from the Star Wars universe and they also talked about how to joined the ranks of the 501st. they had a panel on farscape with Gigi Edgley. A on panel how to be successful on YouTube, a game design Roundtable, tip and tricks for cosplay, working at Jim Hanson Studios, voice acting, making as independent artist, how to set up a kickstarter and be successful, that is just a few of the panels They had at zappcon.
They were also showing off Artemis spaceship bridge simulator which is a game that allows you and your friends to be the bridge crew of a spaceship. Just think rock band, Star Trek flavored. But allows you to network 5 computers together play on a server where you are the crew of one ship all in one room. This is the first time, I have seen it in action and they had a set up. So you could play for a while but then’s a will allow another group players to come in and play the games there wasn’t anyone monopolizing the game play on it.
At ZappCon, each day they had a Cosplay contest, the first day was the all age contest, which I think they had at least 30 cosplayers and on the 2nd day they had a kids only contest, which I think they had just as many kids’s cosplayers as they did in the all age group.
The thing That surprised me the most about this show. Was the amount of people that attended the show, there was another event going on across town. I did not expect to see A lot of people showing up on the first day. But There was not a shortage of attendee’s so they had done a good job of getting the word out about the show and when it was happening. on the 2nd day which is a Sunday, and at most shows, it is a slower day at any convention. It started off slow but then people started showing up. I know a lot of these people must have come the day before. And for them to come back a 2nd day says they had a lot of fun and that they brought more people with them, I didn’t talk to anyone that had anything really bad to say about the show. Everyone was really happy and they all seem to have a really good time. I hope they can continue the momentum that they have an do the same or an even better show next year.
Check back for more photos from Zappcon 2015 in our J!-ENT 2015 Annual scheduled for November 2015
Article and Photos by Derek Orchard
Long Beach comic con, took place on September 12th & 13th, 2015 at the Long Beach convention Center.
This is my first year attending Long Beach comic con and I had a fantastic time, I would say it’s grown into a midsize convention plenty of people attending, plenty of small vendors, cosplay , variety of panels and my personal favorite lots and lots of artist and independently created comics. Some of the guests they had there at the show was comic book artist, Arthur Adams, Kris Anka, Chuck BB, Joe Benitez, writers, such as Sandy King Carpenter, Dennis Culver, Dean DeBlois, Jeff King, Jim Krueger, Sarah Kuhn and on the list of voice actors, they had Rikki Simons, Neill Ross, Bill Ratner, Alan Oppenheimer, Samantha Newark, Mary McDonnell Lewis. That just to names a few. they had so many guest there it was hard to see everybody, but there were something there, for everyone. Chloe Bennet from agents of shield was there for a photo op and to present the Girl Scouts with badges. John Barrowman was there for a Q&A.
It was announced at Long Beach comic con that the Columbia Memorial space Center are working together for space Expo 2015. Space Expo was a part of Long Beach comic con and they have all sorts of different activities, they were doing 3-D printing, remote-controlled robots and a lot of different activities. Therefore, for the family and for kids and they also had a space suit that you could climb into get your picture taken. They had a lot of different panels, ranging from Star Wars Steampunk, Indi creators, animated films to Marvel comics. Buffy the vampire slayer panel. There was just a Star Wars panel. There even was a “Drawing at comic con” where you were able to get instruction on drawing, you brought your own material to work with, but there were people there to help review what you are doing give you some pointers on how to improve. So you could actually go to this comic con and learn something before you went home.
They also had a costume contest or cosplay contest. Now this wasn’t a masquerade, doing a little performance or something was not a part of it, it was as mainly showing the costume, but that didn’t stop some from doing a short little thing to show how much they are in character. I believe they had something around 50 entries of singles or doubles or groups in costume. It didn’t take the very long to get through it, it ran very smoothly. They had 3 cosplay judges and they were Vegas power girl, Raychul Moore and Giada Robin.
Long Beach comic con was a well run show tickets were available each day at the window and people were lining up to come to the show. Everyone was having a good time and there at the convention Center is not far from other attractions to the area of Long Beach and there’s a nice little shopping center across the convention Center, where there were different places to eat, a movie theater. Now outside of the convention hall there was a Starbucks and there is eateries inside for people to have the traditional “con food” but outside. They had food trucks, they had like for different food trucks with a variety of selections to to choose from. And also outside. They had a lineup of cars from different TV shows and movies, Magnum PI’s Ferrari the original Knight rider Kitt and the new Kitt, back to the future DeLorean, a Jurassic Park SUV.
On top of everything else I’ve already mentioned, they had a kids play area. So you can have your kids playing around get them right of all the excess energy giving you a chance to catch your breath. Table top game mean card game mean all could be found here at Long Beach, con they had a huge area with I want to say at least 6 Row of tables 10 or 15 seats deep double-sided so you go buy cards and play a game right away.
Yes. This is a comic book convention, but you could also find Anime, Manga, videogames toys statues from all the different genre’s. Some vendors were selling material to make costumes from, this is a very well-rounded show. I mean, you can go there and find everything you’re looking for just about. There was even a group promoting their roller derby team. There are quite a few people to come to the show but I never really felt like the room was overly crowded with people sure there were certain time. Something would be happy not more people would be in one area at one given time, but it didn’t stay like that indefinitely you could go and come back and then be less people and you could see an you can look at things and you can really have some fun.
I sure would like to return next year, it not too loud, so you still think while you’re there, really pull in the feel. the show as a really Exciting, really friendly Vibe, inviting; Doesn’t feel like it’s overwhelming or that you’re going to just get sucked into this thing and just be lost for couple hours. I do think you if you have young ones and you want to go you can take them with you to this show and you all can have a good day together!
The odds are, this show is going to grow and it has grown. There’s no reason for it not to grow. No two Shows are the same, they change year to year. it is not like a Theme park. So I will tell you to go now and become a part of the fun, part of the legacy and share the joy that a show like this can bring.
Check back for more photos from Long Beach Comic 2015 in our J!-ENT 2015 Annual scheduled for November 2015
Article and Photos by Derek Orchard
Big WOW! Comic fest was held in San Jose, California on April 18 and 19th of 2015. At the San Jose Convention Center.
I want to start this by saying I had a great time at big wow. Some may say that big wow is a small show, maybe it is; you don’t have to stand in a Digital line and in the first 5 minutes, If you’re not getting your tickets, you are NOT getting A ticket. Big Bow, still a very accessible show, for fans, families and it brings is a lot of big name guest, both international and domestic.
I wanted to go to Big Wow for quite a few years but something is always come up. So this was my first year attending Big WOW! Comic fest. When I have attended, comic book conventions “Comic Cons” it is usually been the big ones like, San Diego comic con and WonderCon in Anaheim and as I watch those shows growing bigger and bigger. I think they have lost some of the heart of why these thing started in the first place. It’s not supposed to matter , if your boy or girl or if you’re black or your white or your pink and green or young and old, any of those type of things. Were there because we want to be a part is something that we all like that we all find a common interest in and we think its FUN. Big Bow is that type of show, where it is just about what is brought us all there, our fandom.
They had areas set up for kids so they had coloring activities reading activities. games for kids. They had a they had a gaming area where people were able to play rock band and another videogame area set up to play a lot of the 3-D fighting games like street fighter 4 or dead or alive 5. They even had a mechanical bull, You could ride and if you hang on for the amount of time you got a prized. They had an art exhibit for Vampirella and the swamp thing. Then you have all the panels!! too many to go though And also the coveted free stuff table.
Big wow was celebrating the 45th anniversary of Vampirella with a art book, you could purchase it at the big wow table and they were also selling to different big wow T-shirts and with the announcement for next year the Silicon Valley, con they were selling the a T-shirt for that convention for next year for 2016. They had a lot of different vendors stuff for props for sci-fi comics artist tables both big name celebrity artist table little name artist and craft makers and I mean if just about assume. I just about any toy, they had their you they had their you could get, and if you were really smarting a really looking for a good deal you can to save money on buying stuff there.
Some of the international guess they had their they had Dave Givens, the Co. creator a Watchman and Kingsman: the Secret Service and International best-selling French artist Claire Wendling. Adi Granov concept designer and illustrator on all 3 iron man films, Toshio Meada of Urotsukidoji and La blue girl. Some of their domestic guest some the new ones first time at big wow this year was of the swamp thing creators, Steve Bissette, John totleben and Rick Veitch. Some of the returning guest were Arthur Adams, that has worked on Books like Batman, Superman, X men Vampirella ,danger girl, Monkey man and O’Brien. Frank Cho best known for his work in liberty Meadows, jungle girl, Mighty Avengers. Adam Hughes, worked on Wonder Woman, Before Watchman: Manhattan, Fairest, Ghost, Star Wars legacy. Don Rosa an artist for scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck, the Son and the Sun and the life and times of scrooge McDuck.
Cosplay, I that they had a lot of people in costume there. They did a special photo shoots on both days where they had everyone together. group shoot of marvel and DC United where they had everyone dressed up in costumes altogether standing together for photo opportunities, then into just Marvel, just DC and then groups of deadpool , just Batman groups or avengers groups. alot of people show up. They did everything to get everyone involved, I think for those who dressed up feel like they were part of the show. They had a cosplay contest, which in the in the end, there was barely standing room only for people wanting to watch the show. They had a with the called “Cosplay Row” and for the first time you would find Ani-Mia, Marie Claude Bourbonnais, Holly Brooke, Danquish, Bill Doran, Kit Quinn and many others. Some of the returning cosplayers from years previous was Riddle, Valerie Perez, Kelly Delcambre , Vegas Power Girl and many more.
I know I spent a lot of time here, naming names and trying to wet your appetitive what is going on at this show. There’s a lot going on here. If you haven’t heard about this show, you should have it is pulling people from all over the United States and its even bringing in people in from overseas. I know you may be saying, “I want to go to the really big show’s were lots of things are happening”, There IS a lot to see and there is a lot to do here. Maybe, you just want to go to a smaller show smaller than the show that’s okay too, this show is small enough that you won’t be overwhelmed with people . you will get to see some of the big time stuff here, that normally at small shows you don’t get to see. I’m just saying that if there is A show, should be on list to check out, this is one. if you’re making the trip from some far off land, it be worth your time to come and see Big Wow Comic Fest.
Check back for more photos from Big WOW! Comic Fest 2015 in our J!-ENT 2015 Annual scheduled for October 2015
Ani-me Con was held at the Manchester Mall in Fresno, California, March 20th and 21th . This is Ani -me con 4th year of having a small two day show . they have a lot of independent artist/ craft makers of selling their wares. A small console game area and a lot of areas for trading card games there wasn’t any type of Anime viewing taking place. they do have two cosplay contest that takes place on both days of their event. they had a lot of people coming into the show
Erika Harlacher, who is a voice actor, which right now you can hear her in the English Dub of Kill la kill. it was very nice meeting her. Holly Brooke is a professional cosplayer who attended their show and was, the judge of their cosplay contest on Saturday the 20th, she is a very nice person if you ever get a chance to meet her.
Ani- me con had a lot of live music band from the Bay area with a distinctive, J pops sound that are getting recognition on a national level. In the weeks before the event they had a drawing contests which the contest was then voted by attendee’s at the show .
On their main stage, they had panels for Erika Harlacher, Holly Brooke, there cosplay contest, music bands came back and talk about their music and what their plans are, some of the vendors there talk about what they were providing.
behind the main stage, they had a mock fighting arena, if you were in costume or not could battle and fight for your own glory and triumph
with the amount of people that are coming to the show. I sure would like to see more vendors with more variety of different items to sell in different price brackets sold. . they did have a variety of stuff, but some of the other things that are from an import market would be out of the price range of some young, Anime fan who doesn’t have a lot of money to spend and he or she has a very limited collecting experience This is still a very young show i would like to see some more variety , Anime is for everyone, I think it would benefit from an anime viewing room.