So this weekend was Otakon, Baltimore’s annual anime convention. Though this was my first foray into the actual convention center, Otakon weekend (along with Baltimore Comic-Con weekend) has long been a favorite event of ours, purely for the people-watching. This year I got to experience it first-hand as a vendor in the Dealer Room, and it. Was. Awesome.
We got a primo position, directly across from the restrooms (seriously. Guaranteed foot-traffic!) and had a pretty sweet booth set-up, if I do say so myself. For the sake of clarity, I snapped this before the attendees were allowed in for an unobstructed view; with 30,000 people strolling around in costumes that in many cases doubled their actual size, I figured I should take a pic before it got blocked out by a giant dragon:
Yeah, that’s Spyro. And there’s more where that came from!
Everyone’s favorite Pokemon trainer, Ash Ketchum, also put in an appearance!
Not sure what was going on here conceptually, but that hair is awesome! And those beads—like a Japanese Mardi Gras reveler from the future!
An assortment of costumed attendees.
Lots of cute doll costumes like this cupcake-themed one…
…as well as more traditional, less food-centric ones.
We also spied this creepy quasi-Gentleman from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The whole Joker fam, including Joker’s Daughter, Harley Quinn, and the clown prince of crime himself!
And nothing Japanese-inspired would be complete without an appearance from the Mario Bros (or Sisters!), Mario & Luigi.
There were also some more generic characters, like this spacey schoolgirl.
And this attendee, who seemed to have a pretty original look going on, though the hat, bowtie & jacket definitely remind me of Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen.
There were also a TON of steampunk aficionados in attendance throughout the weekend…
And of course, you had your staples, which ran the spectrum from your traditional Darth Vader (shown here attempting to choke me out from afar via The Force)…
…to more creative renderings of classic characters, like Leia in a balloon bikini.
By far one of my faves was just this cute little pink bear, giving me either the double-bird, or two thumbs up (I hope the latter.)
Even better, I got some new super-fans! I saw this one sporting her new Fuzz tee the day after she bought it, and (shocker of shockers) experienced seeing someone I don’t know walking around with my stuff on for the very first time. I imagine it’s a lot like hearing your song on the radio for the first time. The Beatles>Jesus, Me=The Beatles…am I a god? Probably only when facing Gozer the Gozarian on the roof of an apartment building. Baby steps!
All in all, it was a great experience, and I can’t wait to do it again next summer. To fans new and old that came out and said hi, you guys are awesome! And especially thanks to Adrienne, Tony, Lauren, David, & Andrea for helping me man the booth and pimping my wares throughout the weekend—you’re all the second-best friends a guy could ask for (the wife wins that one every time!)