Since the ripe old age of sixteen years old, I’ve been going to fan conventions. For those of you that know me well, THAT’S A LONG FUCKING TIME. (In short, I’m old.) Over the years, I’ve worked hard to be less of a grumpy old man of anime and more of a vocal proponent for the cohesion in the fan community… which leads me to the douchebaggery that was pointed out to me last night.
First – a lesson in anime conventions from the eyes of Tom Croom. I went to my first anime convention at the turn of the century (in the year 2000) and since then I’ve attended literally DOZENS of them. During that time, I’ve determined that there are three types of anime cons in the United States:
THE COLLEGE CON: These quirky little events are awesome, but they come with a limited shelf life. College based anime conventions either disappear when the main people running them graduate or when they outgrow a college campus and move on to larger spaces. I *love* college conventions. There’s a vibe at these things you just can’t replicate at other convention formats. (See JACON and Yasumicon as examples.)
THE HOTEL CON: This makes up the majority of anime conventions. Industrious fans get together and rent some hotel ballrooms and board rooms and fans gather to celebrate their love of Japanese cartoons and stuff. Hotel conventions create another set of experiences since events usually run all night and many attendees sleep (have rooms) at the event location itself.
THE CONVENTION CENTER CON: Yes, I know that sounds redundant, but it is actually a correct description. Conventions in convention centers are huge and offer a different overall experience due to massive size and availability of content. These behemoths, while less intimate than the other two, are a blast and keep you busy non-stop the second you walk in.
There are hybrids that occur on the evolutionary track of events (College Cons with a hotel running events; Hotel Cons with a small convention center attached; etc.) but the primary categories are, as far as I can tell, accurate.
For the most part, convention politics usually keep the playing area level. Hotel cons will bitch about other hotel cons while convention center cons rarely get caught up in any of the silliness that “teh dramaz” can bring. What sucks is when an event further on the event evolutionary process decides to take actions that mess with others that are still working things out.
WHICH LEADS ME TO CHIBI-PA.
Never hear of Chibi-Pa? They are the “class act” of anime conventions in South Florida. A West Palm Beach event, they’ve been a blemish on the Sunshine State’s fan culture for a number of years now. If you haven’t heard of them, I suggest you take the time to read this:
So why am I not a fan of a convention called Chibi-Pa? http://www.tomcroom.com/archives/7746
So remember my post about why Chibi-Pa (the West Palm Beach anime event) SUCKS? There’s an update… http://www.tomcroom.com/archives/7775
So what AMAZING thing have they done now? Well, there’s a small convention from the University of Miami Anime Club that started last year called Miami Hurricon.
As a college club event with limited resources, their one day convention takes place on a Sunday. Last April was their first year and a couple of weeks ago they announced that they were returning again in April of 2013. Good stuff.
Enter Chibi-Pa. The promotors of West Palm Beach’s anime event (that berates anime fans) CONTINUES to show their disrespect to the community at large. How? Yesterday they announced a mini “Chibi-Pa Sampler” event the same weekend as Miami Hurricon. Oh wait, I’m sorry – I meant to say the same fucking day as Miami Hurricon – which, if you recall, I pointed out is on a Sunday. A SUNDAY. Who does that shit? Really?
Local events like Florida Supercon (the largest geek convention in South Florida) have already thrown their support behind the “little con that could” be establishing their attendance at Miami Hurricon and allegedly even giving away free Pocky there.
So there you have it… Chibi-Pa is proving that they are still the same, sad little event that blamed local fans for their show failing in 2006. So what can YOU do about it? Here’s some suggestions:
- Email the promotor. His name is Jason Bailey and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him how you feel. Let him know that what he’s doing is wrong.
- Post on the Chibi Pa Facebook page. This seems the be their main communication tool to their fans. Let them know that they are NOT supporting anime fans by creating conflicting events in the same region on the same day.
- Don’t go! The number one way to send a message to a company about bad business practices is to not support the business. There are always options and better places to spend your hard earned money.
Me? I’m not sure where I will be that weekend in April. If I have the time, though, you’ll probably find me in Miami.
UPDATE: It appears that Chibi-Pa got the memo… way to go Florida anime fans for speaking out! https://www.facebook.com/events/428254473922182/permalink/429318813815748/