Thank you for joining us last month at the Sakura Matsuri Street Festival hosted by the Japan-America Society. The festival, which takes place alongside the Cherry Blossom Festival, is one of our favorite times of year. It signifies the arrival of spring and the beginning of the con season.
This year, we hosted our annual Cosplay Fashion Show during the festival. You may have noticed some photo posts from the festival in this blog. In the next few weeks, you’ll see posts of photos from the lovely attendees and cosplayers we saw at the event. If we post a photo of you, let us know by reblogging it.
Cheers from your friends at Anime USA.
A taller-than-life Jack Skellington makes an appearance at Anime USA 2011. While the convention’s 2011 offering was held closer to Thanksgiving than Christmas, Skellington wanted to ensure as many nightmares as possible.
Charles Dunbar, the anime anthropologist and well-versed mind behind studyofanime.com, has been announced as a guest at Anime USA 2013.
This will be Dunbar’s fifth time appearing at Anime USA. The convention is merely one of his storied appearance history. Dunbar has given many different in-depth panels and lectures at conventions up and down the East Coast, including Anime Boston, Katsucon, and Otakon. Outside of convention appearances, Dunbar has also given lectures on anime and manga topics at various branches of Queens Library in Queens, New York.
Anime USA chatted with Charles Dunbar about his experiences at conventions, his favorite series, and other updates.
How did your first AUSA con differ from your most recent experience? What do you feel still needs to be done to ensure a maximum enjoyment/fiscally sound level?
When I first attended back in 2009, I was still collecting field work and hadn’t yet begun paneling in earnest. I spent most of that con sitting in a table in artist alley collecting data. By the end of the weekend, I had received over 150 survey replies, making AUSA the most productive con for my data gathering. In contrast, I did 2 panels that year: modern mythology (sans slide show) and weekend nihonjin (which has since been retired in favor of Otaku Discussions, We Con, and the soon to debut Fandom & Convergence). I also attended the Gear Master’s Ball with my lovely girlfriend (pix were available online for a time), and dropped a decent amount in the Dealer’s Room (I still have the Yoko said gf got me).
In contrast, my last AUSA was my busiest panel-wise: I spent most of the con paneling and hanging out with friends. Back in 2009 I knew very few people at-con; now I have a lot of friends who I met there who I look forward to seeing each year. I look forward to the attendees who drop by my panels, I look forward to irreverent fun and I look forward to bringing new people into both the fandom and the convention scene. While I also managed to enjoy bits of the neighborhood, never have I spent so much time on the con floor without feeling “bored.”
I can’t attest to fiscal solvency when it comes to cons. I don’t spend much $$$ at them anymore (usually a commission or two and the rare DR purchase), and have “mastered” the fine art of eating on the cheap over the weekend, but that took me years to figure out (ok, it took me one huge purchase at last year’s Zenkaikon to kick my into budget mode and I never left it). But to enjoy the CON, all you need is healthy curiosity a good group of friends (who you can meet at the con if you want to) and the desire to WANT an awesome weekend. Seriously, you want one and you will get one.
Are you able to tell us any of the panels you may be presenting at AUSA? Anything brand new? Any new tweaks to old classics?
As of now I have 4 set in stone: Real Ninjas, which is a look at ninja history and lore; Rise of the Warrior Class- a look at Heian Japan, which looks at where the samurai and warfare that Edo is famous for actually came from; Masters of Monstrous Media, which explores the contributions of artists (and one writer) to the spread of yokai lore and culture; and I will be hosting a Hyaku-monogatari storytelling session one night, where attendees can bring their best ghost stories and tell them by candlelight to their fellows. I should have two more in addition, but not even I know what they will be. (But I HAVE edited Dead Like Us, and am hoping that one sneaks its way in)
What are you personally looking forward to the most about AUSA 2013? What do you expect to see, in terms of cosplay, in terms of general discussion, etc.
As with all my cons, I just want a weekend of friends, fellowship and fun. Really, that’s all I can ask for. If I get a commission done, awesome. If I find some rare item in the DR, awesome. If I see a bunch of Persona cosplayers I can photobomb with, awesome. But really, all I ask if a good time, and that’s what I always get.
Is there anything else you would like to add? We of course will plug anything and everything you wish :)
I’m always accepting submissions to the ID project, I will be working on getting some of my lecture notes published this year for attendees to finally consume, and if you see me in the halls, you can say hi ;p