Conventional Wisdom

Collage of Con Pics

The annual Summer Convention Season is almost upon us. First glances:

Otakon. This is my bread & butter summer escape. Baltimore wins for its location and cost associated, plus I’ve done this for so many years. The only complaint I have is how it is kind of in the middle of summer and it takes a concerted effort to go to it. A rumormongering little bird of viral marketing told me this year, unlike last, will be very cool. Reading the Otakon boards seems to confirm.

Anime Expo. I went last year and it was lots of fun. I don’t like SoCal but it’s a fun place to visit every now and then. This year their guest list is flowing out just now, considering only three months are left it’s a bit of a pinch. I suppose both this and Otakon are mainly mired by the locals and those dedicated enough to make it there on purpose. That said I’m pretty sure I will skip it this year.

A-Kon. It’s only on my radar for being one of the oldest con and KOTOKO. Never been there, so it’s pretty exciting. Right now, 50% of going; pending time and monetary issues.

Anime North. KOTOKO, again, but it’s not super far, and it might be fun to actually go to Toronto for, well, fun. Somehow Dallas just doesn’t seem that way. It’s also cheaper than Dallas. It takes place over memorial weekend, so that means I’ll miss out on some good BBQ opportunities if I do go.

Normally Anime Central would show up on my radar too, but this year (and last year) they’ve been pretty weak with the guests. The two years I’ve been to Acen things were already pretty rough, even if they did hit the spot in 2004 and 2003.

In retrospect, if I stuck to Otakon every year and went to nothing else, I probably would have saved a few thousand dollars. It comes both in terms of mere expenses of traveling, but also in splurging and what not. The hurt in the wallet makes me ask why if it’s worth it.

Alas, however, like community service, I tell myself every year how it is really all about, being a fan. It is one thing to look at the masses at the con, to soak in the cosplayers, to revel in the hustle of the dealer’s room… but it’s another to realize how happy it can make you feel, and how happy others are in the middle of their metaphysical orgy. They’re geeking out. It’s a little sad to see people go crazy over such little things, on the other hand, it just makes me more apperciative the goodness that’s left in this world. Our freedom to geek out, to express ourselves. It’s priceless.

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