Hamacon 2016: General Impressions

hisui_icon_4040_round 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!

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HAMACON 7: He Was Invited to be a Guest by a J-Pop K-Town Dude

hisui_icon_4040_round As everyone knows the best way to start any post about being a guest at a convention is with an obscure reference to the 1991 cartoon about Stanley Burrell getting magical shoes to fight crime. That is what gets the clicks.

If the Hamacon staff is regretting their decisions at this moment I fully understand.

If you were unaware I will be guest at Hamacon 2016 in Huntsville, Alabama at the Von Braun Center South Hall. I will be on 5 separate panels 4 of which will just be your truly. If you ever just want to see me do our best panels without Kate making them better then this is your chance.

I have panels! Attend them if you can!
Friday at 04:00 pm: I Hate Sports: A Sports Anime Panel
Saturday at 11:00 am: Your New Favorite Manga
Saturday at 02:30 pm: State of the Anime Industry
Saturday at 06:30 pm: Epic Grail Battles of History
Sunday at 01:00 pm: New Anime for Older Fans

My Tentative schedule:
12:00 pm: Force Of WIll: The best Indie Japanese Card Game You Aren’t Playing!
01:00 pm: Request an Anime Suggestion
03:00 pm: Daicon Spirit: Past and Future
04:00 pm: I Hate Sports: A Sports Anime Panel
05:00 pm: Opening Ceremonies
06:00 pm: A Toast To Manga: Drinking Manga
07:30 pm: Idol Panels LIVE
09:00 pm: Live WIth Junko Fujiyama
10:00 pm: The Pain Train

10:00 am: Sci Fi AI
11:00 am: Your New Favorite Manga
12:00 pm: Heaven or Hell! Guilty Gear Panel
01:00 pm: Hamacon Presents: THE OMAKEDOME
02:30 pm: State of the Anime Industry
03:30 pm: Vertical Industry Panel
05:30 pm: STAND PROUD: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
06:30 pm: Epic Grail Battles of History
08:30 pm: Hakuoki’s Shinsengumi Bachelors
09:30 pm: The Twisted World of Junji Ito
10:30 pm: Surrealism In Anime

10:00 am: I Can Panelist! And So Can You
11:00 am:  Hot Dads of Anime
12:00 pm: Sailor Moon Panel
01:00 pm: New Anime for Older Fans
02:00 pm: Anime to Watch in 2016
03:00 pm: Korean Comics, Games, And Animation
04:00 pm: Tokusatsu and You
05:00 pm: Closing Ceremonies