AnimeFest 2014

Afest 2014 Praise the sun!

Time sure flies fast, can't believe it's almost the end of summer already, gotta make sure to make the best of it.

I sure have been by dropping by a local con AnimeFest, this past Saturday.

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I'm not really much of a con goer. Mostly because there really wasn't all that many cons where I lived and never really tried to go to the bigger cons. Except for Otakon, twice I was planning on going but abrupt changes in my financial situation prevented me. May be next year, may be... right Chag, HamsterCorp?

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I'm not a fan of large crowds, so I usually skip out on big cons or events to begin with.

AnimeFest though, was what I would call cozy, the con brings in a few thousand people over its duration so it's not super small but it's not seas of people either. There was a great crowd of attendees, vendors, artists, and guests at just the right size for me.

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AnimeFest also brings in some nice big names like FLOW, who apparently had their first overseas concert at this con a few year's back. As well as interesting guests from the animation industry such as the staff from Space Dandy or Gundam Unicorn's director Kazuhiro Furuhashi.

Speaking of Kazuhiro Furuhashi, I'm sad I did not go to the con on the day he did autographs. I would have loved for him to sign my AGP Gundam Unicorn MS Girl.

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The con was great for me, even if I was only able to go on one day.

I was able to spend a few hours taking photos of all the nice cosplays on and about the con, got to go a panel and watch some nice shows, check out the vendors and artists.

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I was so impressed by the variety of characters being cosplayed.

Not only were there cute cosplays like the above pictured Kobato and Menma but there was a nice slew of more unusual picks like Athena from Ace Attorney or good ol' Sunbro Solaire.

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My favorite of the day really has to be the The Stig and Producer combo from Top Gear. The Stig got carted in through the door in a loading cart in true Top Gear fashion, so good.

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My prize for most surprising cosplay of the day goes to these two fellows who did Shiroe and the Chief from Log Horizon.

This show is now my favorite stuck in an MMO show and I'm looking forward to the upcoming second season later this year.

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I was so happy how all these guys and gals were good sports about getting photos taken and I was able to finally put my Panasonic 20mm lens through the paces. Just do remember kids, don't forget to ask first and always be mindful if they are occupied with something else.

I took a few more photos and you can check them out on my flickr album for AnimeFest.

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The biggest reason I attended this con was to meet the lovely Stereometric who reached out to me and invited me to check out the con and her panel on figure collecting.

She has made her presentation available online if you want to check it out. If you are a veteran like me it's nothing new but for people who know nothing about it and want to buy their first figure it was a good panel to attend.

It's always great meeting fellow figure collectors in person something I wish I could do more of. This would be the second time I meet another collector after meeting Chag from HobbyHovel a few years back.

If you happen to be on the DFW area, let's hangout alright?

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As far as goodies I only bought these two pieces.

On the left there is this super cool Lucina poster from Fire Emblem Awakening by artist Finni Chang. He had a lot of nice illustrations and you can buy them online as well so check him out.

On the right we have this hand drawn and inked Reimu that I commissioned from the super nice Hannah Chung from Pineapplebananacurry Studio. She made this for me on the floor, it feels great to have a one of a kind illustration of my favorite Reimu.

 

Overall I had a great time at AnimeFest 2014, I will probably go back next year and plan to attend on more days if I'm still living in the area.

I do hope I will less socially inept and actually have someone to go with next time though.

So, we went to EP-Con 2012 our local comic convention!!!

For the second year running what is known as EP-Con, the El Paso Comic Convention was held in the downtown convention center during this past weekend. Together with exilehero and friend #2, I attended during Saturday for the first time to check it out.

As the name entails the convention is made to promote comic and related culture by bringing together artists, guests, events, panels and vendors.

Now, I got to admit, none of us three have any major interest in the comic book culture or knew the majority of the guests attending. We decided to take this as an oportunity to go out and take pictures of other things besides figures for a change.

We were not disappointed at all, plenty of people dress up as a variety of characters for us to snap pictures. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of effort people put into their costumes and acting in character for the pictures.

Although any prizes for effort have to go to the lovely lady who cosplayed as Breakdown from the currently airing Transformers Prime TV show. I'm always impressed at the people who go out and make elaborate costumes that are not necessarily of a human character. The amount of work that goes into making it, wearing and then getting out of it for simple tasks like eating must be commended in my opinion.

Although, it wasn't all western comic characters there were few people dress up as characters from anime and Japanese games. I definitely did not expect to find a Stocking or a Miku walking around at a comic con.

Much to my surprise there was not only one but two Mikus walking around at the convention. I particularly liked this girl, her slight embarrassment and awkwardness was kinda cute.

Throughout the con there were events happening throughout the day to spice up things such as this rather interesting dancing number. It included people dressed up in costume in stage dancing to popular culture music as well as an acrobatic display from some of the dance members.

Very interesting, the performers hanged from a cloth suspended from the ceiling with no other support as they did their various movements in the air. I regret not taking a video, it was better than my bad explanation makes it sound like.

One thing that I love about the cons that I have been to in the past is the spontaneity that results. Take for example this ensemble of people who just happened to cross by each other. We ended with a nice recreation of Batman roughing up the Joker up to including Batman asking in his raspy voice "Where are they?!" in true movie fashion.

Out of the events happening that day we only attended the cosplay panel, so surprised they emphasized on things like body shape and facial features when choosing a character to cosplay as well as how easy or hard is working various materials. I only expected a basic, this is what cosplay is kinda deal.

This con like all cons had various guests, from comic artists to movie and tv celebrities.  There was the Alien Comedian, THE original black power ranger Walter Emanuel Jones, Michael Biehn from Aliens and Terminator fame to name a few.

There was also quite a bit of artists selling their wares from local artists to seemingly famous artists. There was some very nice looking artwork pieces for sale as well as the expected comic book shops making an appearance. One shop in particular caught my interest as they were selling a packaged sets of comics covering  a complete story line.

There were shops selling assorted memorabilia such as framed posters, shirts, toys, autographs and several other things.

The guys for the 501st made an appearance, you could go sign up if you wanted too. There was several charity organizations present come to think of it, all appropriately in costumes.

Going to this convention was an enjoyable experience, will probably go back next year.

Although I did learn some very important things to keep in mind for next time: Bring a fast lens to shoot pictures, having other photographers with you as a backup is a saving grace and I don't know how to write about conventions.