I have never been to a nerd convention featuring specifically the Japanese aspsect of Nerdom, and I got my lucky chance to attend the Anime Expo on its opening day, Saturday. Hannah Heath and I waited for about forty minutes on the freeway ramp, giving me more than enough time to take pictures of the large AX welcome sign on the large Los Angeles convention center where the Stan Lee Comic Con was held last year. Thankfully, there wasn't enough parking in the parking garage; we were guided to park on the curb right next to the entrance for the Expo. As for how many people there were, I would make an estimation in the late thousands, but crowd numbers may seem higher to me than they actually are.
We stood in line for only four hours. But it was awesome, because despite sore feet and a bit of sunburn, we certainly knew how to get around the convention grounds; the line looped in a dozen different places to form a very large, rounded W around the building. We also got to nonverbally hang out with some pretty epic cosplayers we stood in line with; two people behind me, though strangers to each other, ended up getting to know one another pretty well after four hours, according to my hearing observations.
Fast-forwarding hours later, Hannah and I had our badges on and cameras at the ready and we marched triumphantly through the crowds and into the large, air conditioned room packed with vendors, artists, gaming stations, and cosplayers. Hardly knowing where to begin, we decided to stick to the side and make our way to the back.
There was also a ton of manga vendors. One of the reasons I went to the Anime Expo was to find out some cool series to add to my TBR.
Guys, there was an ACTUAL MANGA DRAWING CLASS!!!! A manga artist was projecting her drawing onto a screen where anyone could watch while listening to her instruction through speakers on drawing manga basics. It was so cool. If we hadn’t waited for hours in line, I would have totally jumped in and tried this out. (Also, the more I look at this picture, the more I’m noticing Mitsuha’s red hair ribbon. I’m feeling very legit.)
A Your Lie in April poster because I was very excited to finally see something there that I actually watched and loved. I probably freaked out a little too much upon first seeing it. Everything about it is beautiful, and seeing a poster for it at the Anime Expo, along with my glimpse of a fantastic Kaori cosplay, literally made my whole day.
There was a pretty cool T-shirt art vendor with some more universally known fandoms. This was one of my favorites.
Artist Alley was my favorite part. Since the whole main convention room was full, we were directed to the UNDERGROUND PARKING, which was also jam packed with artists and other gaming vendors and whatnot. That should probably give you an idea of how HUUGGEE the expo was (far bigger than the San Lee comic con; I’m still not sure why).
Business cards I actually thought to pick up from a few of my favorite artists and vendors.
Sugar Mints was my favorite artist out of all of them. I absolutely adore the style, design, and colors of the art. Basically anything anime with silhouettes, starry skies, sunsets, and colorful nature is my thing. In the top picture is a poster of Your Name. It looks exactly like a shot from the movie itself (every shot from that movie, though, is gorgeous). Anyways, Sugar Mints. I’m still squealing over Lily’s talent. Here’s her Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy social media pages.
Penelope Love Prints was my second favorite. Her style of art is very similar to Lily’s Sugarmints. I loved all of her art, especially the ones of Your Name and Harry Potter (on the top row in the picture). Here’s her Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Etsy.
The cosplays were cool. There were a lot I didn't recognize, being new to the anime universe, but I did see two Kaoris, a very well done Snape, Batman, Princess Leia, R2D2, and Jyn.
Does anyone know who the top two cosplays are and where they are from? I'm clueless, but I really liked them.
Overall, the trip to the Anime Expo will be one I certainly won't forget, mostly because of the four hour wait, but also because there were some really awesome vendors and artists that I was more than happy to wait in line that long for. Next time I'm at a con, I promise I'll pick up some more business cards. Buy hey, at least I gave out one of Goody's Art of Cosplay questionnaires and Hannah gave out some Constant Collectible cards. If you're a cosplayer and you're interested in doing an interview featuring you and your work, contact Chad "Goody" Goodwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you been to the Anime Expo before? How about this year? Were there any cool vendors or cosplays you really liked? Don't forget to comment below and subscribe to get notifed of upcoming posts. In the meantime, thanks for reading and have a stellar day!