Weebcon is an anime convention based in Dallas, Texas. For being just three years old it’s doing great. It moved to the fabulous Gaylord Texan this year and had a great turnout. I’d estimate it to be around 15k attendees. While there might be some bumps and growing pains along the way, I’m pretty sure this con is going to keep growing and improving. Definitely consider it if you’re looking for a new convention.
WonderCon is a comic convention held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim California. Operated by Comic Con International, the same company that runs the very popular San Diego Comic Con, WonderCon is an absolute blast of a convention. It’s as though the company knows how to step aside and just let people have a good time. Too many conventions want the event to be about itself, constantly reminding you of how great it is. WonderCon sets the stage and gives you, the attendee, the opportunity to shine.
If the anime community is a high school, then Katsucon is the homecoming prom. It’s the big event that everyone looks forward to. People dress up in their best outfits and get pictures taken. Hopefully all that con-crunching has paid off. Some people party late into the night and do things they kind of regret, if they can remember it at all. Maybe it will become a fun story to tell years later. Conventions are supposed to be fun after all. Whether that means partying, cosplaying, or attending panels – we all have different ways of having fun.
I’ve attended enough conventions to recognize a well-run event. Considering its size, Anime Los Angeles (ALA) is an impressive convention. With an attendance of 16k, ALA offers a lot and presents itself in a professional manner. There’s a lot that goes into putting on a convention and the success or failure rides largely on the competence of the people running it. I have no relationship nor personal knowledge of the folks behind it, so these are just my impressions.
In the run-up to Holiday Matsuri, it looked like it was going to be a banner year. There was lots of chatter about it online - everyone wanted to go. COVID was almost completely gone, and it seemed like it would be the last big get-together of the year. And it was, with some minor setbacks.
It felt odd to be at the Los Angeles Convention Center for an event other than Anime Expo. Having only ever visited that venue for AX, it’s a bit of a Twilight Zone or alternate reality experience. It has much the same layout with the vendor hall, panels, cosplay and food vendors, but instead of anime everywhere and the AX-themed marketing, it’s a comic con.
Ah, New York City. It’s one of the most famous cities in the world. It also happens to have one of the largest anime conventions in North America. At just five years old, that’s quite an accomplishment. We always hear how expensive it is to live in big cities like New York City, and I imagine it must be equally as expensive to rent the Javits Center. Home to Anime NYC, this massive convention center sits on some prime riverside real estate. It takes a lot of courage to start an anime convention in one of the most expensive cities in the US. It’s a huge financial risk and there’s no guarantee that anyone will show up. If things go wrong you could find yourself in massive debt. If things go well, or well enough, you stand a good chance of becoming one of the largest anime conventions in the USA. You can also make a buck or two along the way.
Colossalcon East is an anime convention held at the Kalahari resort and water park in the Pocono Mountains area of Pennsylvania. It's the second Colossalcon event in a growing list which now totals four. Having attended the 2019 event I was curious how many people would turn up this year. Conventions took a hit during the pandemic and some still haven’t recovered. The main Colossalcon event in Ohio hasn't returned to pre-pandemic attendance numbers, but that may be due to a number of reasons other than COVID.
Have you ever wondered how an anime convention starts? Many of the conventions you attend have probably been around for ten, twenty, maybe even thirty years. Dragon Con, Katsucon, Otakon, Sakura-Con, and so on. They all started somewhere, obviously, but how?
If the measure of a convention’s success is the number of attendees, then Otakon 2022 was a resounding success. With more than 40,000 memberships, this year’s event was record-breaking and represents a growth of 56% over last year’s approximately 26,000 attendees. The previous attendance record was in 2013 with 34,211 memberships.