That it rained most of the day was dreadful, especially because most of the panel rooms were on the complete opposite side of the hotel, and by most I mean what little there were. I don’t honestly know how they managed to draw a crowd for a day, much less a weekend. There were more people there for Sea World than the convention despite guest names like Chuck Huber (Android 17, Dragonball Z), and Dameon Clarke (Handsome Jack, Borderlands), among others. I actually took a nap outside one of the panel rooms because I was so bored!
Speaking of bored…well, a different kind of board, rather, one thing I will say that was pretty awesome were board game tables in the dealer’s room. Seriously, had I not been already put off and damp by the time I got in there, I would have gathered all the players I needed for a game of Clue. Another neat thing that I am seeing more and more of in the Florida anime scene is guest tables in the dealer’s room, like an open floor sort of thing. I saw it for the first time at Jacon 2007, but I felt like that idea tapered off somewhere down the line. However, over the past couple of years I have seen it become increasingly popular again, and I have to say that I like that idea, especially at smaller conventions such as this one. It was nice to be able to talk to Chuck Huber and share a few laughs with him with just him, my fiancé, my friend, and myself.
But there is bad news to this as well, ladies and gentle germs. Something else that is becoming increasingly popular much to my personal dismay is the combining of the dealer’s room and Artist Alley. It’s more of a pet peeve than anything, but I find it incredibly frustrating. But alas, with a smaller convention, comes a smaller Dealer’s Room. Admittedly, the tables that were set up were for the most part littered with quality anime memorabilia, and I found myself diving (literally) into a huge bin of Pokemon plushies, (I couldn’t decide which one I wanted between Mew and Charmander and I eventually gave up because I couldn’t afford both). So while small, it was refreshing to see not so many knock off tables.
With Artist Alley being nearby, I happened to run into a few familiar faces from OmniEXPO and AFO, which was nice even though they were trying to peddle the wares I had already bought from them on me. However, for the most part, Artist Alley was as standard as ever, and there was nothing that was particularly eye catching or note worthy, sadly.
The highlight of the entire convention was a little booth set up by the entrance just inside the dealer’s room/Artist Alley. It had caught my eye a few times, but it wasn’t until we were getting ready to leave for the night that I finally dragged my fiancé and friend over there with me and simply had to inquire about this big black box that was beside their table.
Welcome to It’s A Trap! The booth and box were set up to be miniature examples of what has become an actual place in Winter Park, Florida, just a few blocks from Full Sail University (and where I happened to have graduated from). It was a live action escape game, where you have to figure out puzzles and clues to find your way out of the room. I’ve yet to go down to the actual shop, but from the three-minute demo my friend and I experienced in the black box and trying to solve the three Chinese puzzle boxes, we had a blast. It was a great way to wrap up what was otherwise a pretty lame convention.
Do you want on time con reports? Of course you do! Sadly, you won’t find them here.
I’m just teasing. Here at Chibi Media we are always on point, and on your side! We bring you the most up-to-date coverage from conventions across the east coast in the most honest way we can, but you already knew that, otherwise you wouldn’t be here, would you?
…Right. Moving on then.