This is a blog post that I should have done ages ago… I can’t believe that I let so much time go past without writing this up. I remember sitting home with bored as hell and leave it to television for giving you ideas. Sitting at my computer on a Tuesday night watching Hulu and looking for something to occupy my upcoming weekend… (I do not pay for commercial free Hulu… I just refuse.) Leah and my sister had moved away and there wasn’t a bunch to do or anyone to do it with. But they advertised for the Atlanta Comic Con. I had never been to a convention… Several of my friends had been to Dragon Con/SDCC/NYCC and the Anime Expo and talked about how much fun they had…. and I remember adding a con to my list of new things to try out. So with nothing else to do… I decided to see what this was about. I found out later that this was probably a good one to start out with because it is no where near as big as other cons but it is growing… I look forward to seeing how things will work out for them in the future.
For those not familiar, Atlanta Comic Con is a comic book convention located in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Georgia World Congress Center. Featured are exhibitors that cater to a wide-spectrum of interests including comic books, magazines, toys, games, Star Wars, Star Trek, anime, manga, cosplay, artwork, sketches and apparel. In addition, a roster of comic industry professionals, and comicdom-related celebrities are in attendance for attendees to meet and greet.
I am not cosplayer (although a lot of people I work with think that because you like anime you are automatically a cosplayer. They were disappointed on Halloween.) I was hesitant about heading to a convention… as I am about concerts, music festivals, and sporting events. I am not a fan of large crowds, but I never let that stop me from having a good time. By Friday, I ordered the tickets and parking passes online from Eventbrite. Luckily, the site is easy to use. (Normally, when I purchase tickets… it’s a done deal. It is happening.) I was on my own… but I quickly found out that was okay.
Saturday morning… I put on my favorite (and at the time my only) Bleach t-shirt….(I promise that will be important later.) and headed to downtown Atlanta. Not really sure what to expect at a convention. I just figured that I was going to look around until I got tired. Leah pushed me to download the app for the convention so shout out to her for helping out the newbie. That was so helpful. So for other newbies…. and/or people that don’t know… DOWNLOAD THE APP….
There was nothing better than seeing Kevin Conroy on the panel list… and the TMNT (1987) voice actors were there. I knew what I was going to do before I got there. So I am off. Heading to downtown Atlanta. I had to park a few blocks away from the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) and had to walk there. Prior to this, I am not sure I had ever been to the GWCC before… and I guess I was surprised to see so many people there for different events. There was a youth basketball tournament and a cheerleading competition… so I had to get over the fact that there was going to be a lot more people than I originally thought. Interestingly enough, things were sectioned off pretty well. With no idea where I am going… I figure I should follow the people in costumes. In no time, I was able to get my armband… (I only bought tickets for one day because I wasn’t sure how I would like the convention.) I have to say though… walking in I knew it was going to be great.
There’s nothing better than having a friend messaging you talking you through things. You guys may find this funny. There wasn’t a lot of people that had arrived first thing but the people that were there were decked out in awesome costumes. And when I message Leah about it… I will never forget her response… “Ask them to take pictures… they usually enjoy that and are happy to do it.” Going forward this will be my new rule for conventions. It was extremely easy.
Since there wasn’t a panel that I wanted to see right away… I was able to stroll through the tables and buy plenty of merchandise. Now… I am sure that there is a learning curve when it comes conventions but let me tell you guys…. definitely bring cash. I am not a person that carries cash all that often (usually I lose things pretty easily.) Thank goodness a lot of vendors have credit card readers. But it is easier to have cash so keep that in mind. There was an ATM but the withdrawal fee was ridiculous.
The vendors had fantastic stuff. Several places that sold shirts… and off the anime characters I love on display. I ended up buying several posters. Some of the vendors have cards and websites… A lot of it was great shit… and I regret that I didn’t save enough money to buy all the things.
I was able to score some 3D prints from https://wizyakuza.myshopify.com. I loved what I was seeing and got a bit carried away. As you can see from their website… they have a lot of great stuff. You can order from them and get them sent directly to your house. Good times… I probably should have paid attention to that and not spent a bunch of money right away.
I ended up having to hurry to the BATMAN/KEVIN CONROY PANEL. It was packed in that room but listening to him talk was great. There was also a panel where I listened to the origins to the present of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I did miss the panel where I would’ve gotten to listen to the voice actors of the 1987 cartoon. Le sigh. So kids… always double check panel times… use the app… and try to start moving to panel locations early. GOOD TIMES.
There was a point where I bought lunch from some of the vendors just outside the doors… and sat and watched people as they were coming in. Obviously.. I picked a great spot for candids… Lucky for me I had the iphone at the ready. I see the Joker was pretty popular.
The highlight of the trip was seeing people in Bleach costumes…. because as you know this was before we got the epic announcement that they are going to animate the final arc. FINALLY. I didn’t expect to see any costumes… or anyone reppin Bleach… but I HAD to get a picture with this one guy.
He was with his girlfriend and I was hesitant about it but she told me after the fact…. that he really wanted to do this costume but he was sure that no one would want to take a picture with him. He almost did want to come. And she is sure that he is glad that he did come. She was glad that I was sporting the shirt and thanked me for making his day. I told him…. I loved his costume and I am glad I am not the only one still repping Bleach. Good times.
The only other thing was the meet and great. They had some great people there… Sean Schemmel, Kevin Conroy… (these lines were ridiculously long)… I was amazed that you could not only pay for a picture but you could pay for the VA’s to do a voice recording on your phone… if I had the time or the patience to wait in those line…. I would have totally hopped on that. (Just imagine Kevin Conroy saying… “I am vengeance…. I am the night…. I AM BATMAN!)
So all in all… I had a great time… even though I went by myself… Next time I will drag Leah and my sister Momo… The good thing about being by myself is that I could leave when I wanted to. I left around 4 but the party went on until midnight. So remember people…
- Stay hydrated
- Rest when you need to
- Use the app
- Ask questions if you need to
- Bring a snack (or two if you need to.)
- Bring a bit of cash for merch.
Anyways… I will be going to more cons in the future. But I will always remember my first one…. NEXT STOP DRAGONCON… MAYBE. lol