Earlier this month I hosted a panel at Florida Supercon called “A History of Florida Anime Fandom.” In the panel, I tell stories about anime fans in the age of anime clubs and VHS players to wide eyed locals. Once I get through the initial dozen or so Florida anime conventions, I ask the audience to name conventions they have heard of and cross them off a list I bring with me to the panel.
(For the record the list has over thirty names on it now.)
Since I was in South Florida, Chibi-Pa was brought up by someone in the audience. My answer: I can’t stand the convention or the guy that owns it.
That might sound pretty harsh, but the fact remains that they guy has been an “that asshole” on the Internet not just to me personally but also to Florida’s anime fans. Every time I explain it at the panel, I always end my little rants with “look it up on the Internet.” Today, I wound up doing just that. Thus, the next time I host the panel I can just point people to this post.
After some of the usual Interwebz shenanigans on forums, Livejournals and via email, Chibi-Pa’s official site posted the history of their convention. In it (under the “About” section) it cited the founder of Wasabi Anime (me) as a the reason they kept going. The were intent on “proving WasabiGay wrong about too many conventions.” (That last part is an actual quote.)
Added note: for those of you new to my blog, my handle for a number of things online has been “WasabiGuy.” The misspelling was someone’s (allegedly) clever way of slamming me. That said, if you’re on Xbox Live, that’s still my handle. Add me!
WHEN IN DOUBT, BLAME THE FANS.
I can take insults; it comes with the territory of being any sort of personality at events. The moment when Chibi-Pa went from “annoying” to full on “asshats” was back around mid-November of 2006. After a failed attempt to put on the convention again, they posted a message for all to read on their main page. I’ve taken the best paragraph from the message and bolded and underlined the most interesting part of it. Check it out:
“So Lynn and I decided to make this announcement considering we believe that there is no chance that we will be able to come up with the required monies in the next 10 days. On that note we would like to apologize to the people who have helped us and worked very hard to make this event. We apologize to vendors and advertisers that wanted to come to our event. We also apologize to the artist who have lined up to attend Chibi-Pa. On the other hand we do not apologize to the attendees that came to our website and saw the donate button. $1 form 1000 people may have kept Chibi-Pa alive. But you are so busy worrying about your daily lives that you do not care about the big picture. And for that you can stay home and twiddle your fingers. Maybe you can dress up like your favorite anime characters and go to the local mall. Just pretend your at a free anime event. Cause thats as good as it gets for now.“
The team at Wasabi Anime is mired in projects now spanning the U.S. Before the year is over, we’ll have appeared in Atlanta, Indiana, Miami and Orlando. Next year there’s even the threat of finding ourselves in Los Angeles. We just can’t be everywhere all the time… but DAMN, how I wish SOMEONE would pick up the reigns in West Palm Beach and put on a quality convention the fans there deserve.
So endeth the post.
For the complete Chibi-Pa “blame the fans” page, click here.