03 November 2009

Nekocon or Bust

This entry is a short one, devoid of academic ramblings. Mostly because I'm under a time crunch and I am leaving tomorrow for Nekocon, at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in south Virginia. This con is one of my favorites, because of its small size, intimate setting, interesting people and, I will admit this is shallow, the best connecting hotel I have ever been to. Every year, since 2007, I attend this con with my old convention friends, we make the 6 hour drive from south Jersey, stuffed into a minivan while driving down a 2 lane highway. And the payoff is worth it. I have many wonderful memories associated with this con, I've made many friends there and had truly amazing experiences.

As a longtime congoer, I've found that I enjoy smaller cons to larger ones. The community, sense of intimacy and general lack of extreme craziness all contribute to a more satisfying experience. As I was never one to attend panels or workshops, and have never been to a masquerade, small cons foster a deeper and better sense of camaraderie than their larger counterparts. Rather than being bombarded with corporate ads, huge lines and massive backlogs of people fighting for space (as is the case at Otakon), smaller cons are more relaxed, more focused on hanging out and making friends, and in many cases, more cost-effective. This is a sentiment echoed by quite a bit of the people I have spoken to over the past year: smaller cons tend to be more appealing, especially to longtime congoers, than their more massive cousins.

But as for me, I am looking forward to this trip greatly. The long drive, followed by what will be 3 full days of fun and friendship, is something I have been looking forward to all year. Though this is my 8th con since February, this is the one I've been waiting for. This is where my ideas for academic anime study were born, and this is where a good deal of my research comes full circle. So watch out, Virginia, here I come.

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