I now have an official entry at Animecons.com. I have been a featured panelist before this but I never got that illustrious position on the Internet hub for anime conventions. This year at Hamacon has changed all that. It does feel like I have step one very important step forward as a blogger and podcaster. This is not to take away from my previous appearances as a featured panelist at Genericon or Castle Point Anime Convention. Those were definitely fun experiences that paved the road to this point. I doubt this is going to lead to me be a Charles Dunbar styled anime panel professional but I do hope it is less of a fluke and more of an occasional treat.
I happen to attend several more professional anime conventions a year as a function of living in an area with a decent number of larger events happening around NYC. Because of that, I have been accused of not understanding what smaller conventions outside of my area are like. The only anime convention I have been to outside of the Northeast is Anime Expo and that is hardly a small local California relaxacon. So I was curious to see the REAL anime convention as opposed to the corps d’elite of conventions I am used to going to.
Before I go into my convention report proper I will mention two important points. One: This was the 7th year for Hamacon so they have had a few years to really build up a reputation, audience, and overall organization that a convention that just started could never have. In 2015 they had over 3,500 attendees which would still take more than 7 Hamacons to equal the number of people who attended the rather anemic numbers for Otakon 2015 but that is still a great turn out for a smaller local convention. Also, it is clearly doing well enough to fly in someone like me just to be a featured panelist. Therefore it means that while this is hardly the final form of Hamacon it is also possibly not the 100% standard experience one would have at a small convention.
What I am saying is this is probably one of the best examples of a small pure anime convention. If you wanted to know what is probably the premium experience you could have at a small to the medium-sized local convention then Hamacon was probably the ideal way to judge the best a smaller con has to offer.
How do the down-home charms of Hamacon compare to the big city razzle dazzle of Otakon? Let’s find out!