I found the Flickr pool for the con here. This will give you a good idea of the sort of con it is.
I’m telling you, if you are an anime fan, the west coast is where it’s at.
This con is young and has its issues. Mainly, they have no moderators at the panels, which makes it, um, difficult to get the ones with writers and other non actors going. Actors can hold their own, but nerds: not so much. They also have spotty crowd control and no concept of room management. In some panels, it’s locked down and no one may enter or stand in back – even when people leave. In other panels, the rooms are packed to the ceiling and no one from the con is even around.
The vendors I spoke to all said they’d had a really good con. That is a very good thing and we are feeling encouraged to get our book printed and get out there behind the table. That is SO COOL!
They also had a great original art sale (Nick has a pic of the art on the Flickr feed). My only problem with it was that it was not for charity, but for paying some of the guest fees. I’d be more inclined to buy art that I could write off as a donation. It also strikes me as a bit of bad management that they can’t pay for their guests from the vendor table money… But, nonetheless, they got all the attending artists to donate a sketch or something and the art was very very good. DragonCon should do this.
They plan to merge with the Tucson Con next year (Memorial Day @ Hyatt Convention center in downtown Phoenix) and I hope that they do some research and get a clue. It’s doubtful that they will, knowing how slipshod cons are run in general. But it’ll still be hella fun even if they fuck up the crowd control. This is a medium sized con at best, so their lack of management won’t really start to show for a while – like DragonCon’s lack of management eventually destroyed the con experience here. Hopefully, that will be a long way off!
If anyone would like to join us at this con next year, please shoot me an email. It’d be great to be able to split a room! The plane tix cost us $200 each and the room was about $150/nt FYI. (So if we had four ppl, the room would cost $112.50 ea for 3 night stay.) The 3 day badge is $25. CHEEEP!
We will certainly attend this con next year.