L-CON ANIME FAIR
I have to admit, I was highly skeptical when Terry Germano e-mailed me, asking me to appear at a one-day con at a library on Long Island. But I did my research, and the Mastics-Moriches-Shirely Community Library has an impressive Teen Services department, with an anime club and an illustrators' workshop. With very few activities in the area for young anime fans, a mini-con was the next step.
The library is out in Shirley, and incredibly impressive. Recently, it's begun lending DVDs, CDs, and even cameras. As large as it is, there's still talk of doubling the size of the building to accomodate their activities. The main 'con' itself took place in a large screening room, with areas off to the side for more anime showings, a small art display, and a gaming room.
Seeing as I was apparently the 'main attraction' there, I tried to steer things away from long talks and more towards interaction. The attendees were more than happy to tell me about what they're into, and I got to turn things around and tell them a bit about the real thing. A few even showed up in costumes, and we had a bit of judging and some discussion on how the cosplay and craftsmanship judging work at bigger affairs.
My favourite part was easily the round table I had with some of the members of the artists' group. I ran it less as a panel and more as an open workshop. Rather than telling them how to do things (and believe you me, there's plenty some of them could teach me), I wanted to work together and compare styles. In the end, there was lots of gorgeous artwork to be had all 'round.
I wish I could have stayed 'til the very end, but living in Virginia puts a bit of a crimp in any plans to skip a flight from New York back home. There are possible plans to extend L-Con next year, maybe even making it over the course of two days. With more people in attendance, there'd be plenty of room for multiple panels - I'd love to see the teens run some of their own - more video rooms, and maybe even a proper cosplay on one of the evenings. I'm excited about the prospect, and hope I get invited back next year.