|One of the four available badge designs (Totally forgot to Pre-reg this year, oops)|
Up at 6am. Wigs in the backseat along with luggage. Breakfast at McDonald's (A convention tradition). Then 6 hours on the road in my bright yellow jeep! Starbucks cups in the cup holders and the drive wouldn’t be complete without crazy people on the road (Honestly, since when have semi-trucks went 90mph and swerved around the road? That’s news to me!). iPhone as a GPS since my right-hand woman happens to be unable to tell direction. Then CON TIME!
|Random artsy photo of fake hotel flowers|
So we stayed at the courtyard Marriot, which was a block or two away from the convention. The walk wasn’t too nice in the hot weather or in heels, but it was close enough! Not to mention the room was a steal and bigger than we thought it would be. There were 5 of us in the room (Shhhhh don’t tell!) and honestly we are the best group ever! (Oh is my ego showing?) The café in the hotel served Starbucks coffee but the barista’s left a lot to be desired. Although this is the barista in me talking, but I’d much rather have jumped over the bar and made that caramel macchiato myself, for real.
For giggles, the DoubleTree had a fire alarm incident in the middle of the night. Glad I missed that one [JT's note: Seems to be a common occurrence with our groups. Colossalcon 2010 (a.k.a. Tornadocon), we slept right through the sirens and the banging on our door to get us into the basement because there were tornadoes touching down all around the resort. THIS ONE (*points to Jas*) and two others thought it was me and the other two people in our group trying to get back in the room because we lost our key. So she promptly goes back to sleep without answering -_-.].
My group attends conventions solely for photography + cosplay so we never really are able to attend any panels or other events. We get stopped too many times to ever get into them, and waiting in lines never seems to be our thing. So I can’t say much about the events but we did check out the dealer’s room and artist alley!
This was my second year at AnimeNext and the round-about way to get into the dealer’s room really threw us all off (considering last year the entrance was inside and easy to get to). Not only was it confusing, but it was really annoying to have to leave the convention center, walk around the building, and enter into some creepy back door. Last year’s dealer room was much better.
Artist alley was about the same as last year, I remembered seeing a few familiar faces and also some new ones as well! There was a lot of talent this year and I got some great pieces. AA is always one of my favorite parts of a convention aside from the dealers room.
|MY SPOILS! Bwahaha! mmm Bunny|
The location is decent for photos, the best locations are around the lake and the little red pier. There are some other areas around the center that can be used for good photos but most of the groups/meet-ups are around the little lake. I’ve gotten some great shots from AN and I love meeting new photographers and seeing what they can do with the landscape.
Spoils of war: A mask, 3 blind boxes from Tiger and Bunny, melon bread + snacks, and a fuzzy alpaca hat (From dealer’s room) annddd 1 print, 1 sticker, and 1 clay dragon (from Artist Alley)
Gosh, I can’t even get started on this. There were SO many talented cosplayers this year and we were stopping people all over the place for photos….and I mean ALL OVER THE PLACE! (walkways, pools, lakes, streets, hotel lobbys, restaurant waiting areas, and the works!) At one point I fell asleep in the grass in the middle of a shoot, oops, there are some lovely candid photos of that.....of which I won't be showing you. :P
|HNNNGGGHHHHH Xiaolin Showdown group made my ENTIRE day!! Each of these cosplayers were amazing!|
The two cosplays I debuted at this convention were Alibaba from Magi (shown below!) and Nevan from DMC 3. Though for Nevan there is a con rule about 80% of skin being covered, so I had to wear a little wrap thing to cover my boobs [JT's note: Do I really need to make a joke here? Or can I just let everyone else fill in their own?]. It was also my first experience with body paint, which went better than expected but I still have a lot to learn!!
|Necessary photo of me (and Sarah) being totally durps in the middle of a shoot|
All the cosplayers that I met were so nice along with the photographers. Plus it’s always fun to meet up with old friends that I only see a few times a year at conventions!!
|Here have a photo of a Nyan Cat cosplayer!|
So I’ve been cosplaying and con-going for around 6 years now and AN is one of my favorite cons mainly because I get to see some close friends I otherwise don’t get to see. Spending time with friends is really the most fun parts of a convention. So let’s see…
Artist Alley: 4/5
Dealers Room: 4/5
Favorite thing about AN this year? Seeing everyone and ogling all the cosplayers. Least favorite thing? Paying tolls on I-76. Ugh, I hate the turnpike. Also, this convention got me into MLP. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
[JT's Final note: Hope you all enjoyed Jas's first guest spot here. She'll be doing more in the future, but if you'll excuse us, I'm going to go put her back in her cage so she can learn to english good. -_-]