Hello everyone! So I said I was going to go a bit more in-depth about Anime Weekend Atlanta, and here we are!
The dealer’s room/artist alley was one of the best I’ve seen! Even on Saturday with foot-traffic at it’s worst, it wasn’t impossible to keep our large-ish group of five people together, and it wasn’t impossible to get to the booths we wanted to look at. It was set up in a way that was very easy to figure out and navigate, unlike some conventions where the area is a confusing maze with no aisle markers and plenty of bottle-neck areas. As far as the dealer’s side it was the same as any other anime convention, with your booths for anime DVDs and Blu-Rays, t-shirts, and pillowcases. I’m never as interested in this side (it tends to be the same stuff at every convention, so I’ve seen it more than once), and, of course, the one thing I was interested in and bought (apple pie flavored kit-kats) sounded amazing and was disgusting. You failed me Japanese candy.
My thoughts on Anime Weekend Atlanta? I would attend it again, no question. It’s only a couple of hours away from my home in a easy to navigate area. There were a few restaurant options nearby so I never felt like I was going to get stuck eating at Micky D’s all weekend. The staff, from my little experience, seemed friendly enough. The only issue I had was lack of signs (such as ‘no photos here’) that assist in the process of making sure that doesn’t happen. AWA by far had one of the most well set up artist alley/dealer rooms I’ve ever seen, and it’s worth a trip just for that in my opinion.
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I’d like to talk about a few of the real aspects of the convention. Firstly, badge pricing. The prices of badges were, in my opinion, very reasonable. We did have to buy a child’s pass while we were there, but a full child’s pass as a walk-in registration was 50 USD. Not bad, in my experience. We paid 56 USD each for our weekend passes on the last leg of the registration discount, which I was a bit impressed with. The sooner you buy your passes the cheaper they are, always keep that in mind. Smaller conventions will also be cheaper, especially when they first start out, but well-established conventions are the better bet for your money.
However, the artist alley was fantastic! So many beautiful works of art everywhere. I’m always inspired after a convention, and one of these days, I’m going to actually get a booth at a local con and taste what it’s like on the other side of the table. Artist alleys are always worth hitting if you attend a convention because it’s never the same twice, and anything you buy goes to support artists trying to attain their dreams. Don’t insult people’s pricing, even if it’s because you want it but can’t afford it. Believe me, there was a piece of original art I wish wasn’t 700 USD because I want it on my wall, but with all of the beautiful hand drawn centaurs and careful placement in the shadowbox to make an amazing 3D piece of art, it was worth it. As an artist I understand the time that goes into these works, and artists deserve to get paid for their time and effort. If you’re looking for some deals, go in on Sunday; plenty of artists selling prints will offer bigger discounts or package deals because they don’t want to take any more of the work home if they don’t have to, so you may get something extra thrown in for free.
This convention had enough people in it to keep it interesting and a lot of cool costumes, without being too crowded. Anime conventions are a little hit or miss for me because I haven’t watched a lot of newer anime that this ‘hip’ and ‘young’ crowd are into, and unless it’s DBZ, the stuff from my childhood and older isn’t represented much. I recognized more characters this year, but mostly because I’ve been watching more newer American cartoons that are popular. Yay cable!
It’s never good when the Crystal Gems run into one of their most fearsome enemies almost instantly!
Only at conventions can you find Amethyst in Garnet’s glasses eating Pizza Steve. RIP Pizza Steve.
There seemed to be a lot of panels and events to go to, so if that’s something you’re into, keep that in mind. I rarely go to panels, but I always skim them to make sure there isn’t something I’d be interested in doing.
The convention center/hotel/mall thing this was held in was very easy to navigate, although it was not as big as I originally thought it was! As someone used to attending Dragon*Con, I tend to expect to get lost at some point during a convention, and that didn’t happen here. We weren’t in the host hotel, so I can’t speak for it. The hotel we were in was pretty great, though. The big upside to the convention’s location has to be the fact it’s outside of city limits, so traffic isn’t so bad, but there also aren’t any other hotels near it, so we had to drive every day. However, there was a ton of parking so even that was just a minor inconvenience.
There was an awesome pizza place inside the mall area, too.