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24th May
2011
written by daredragoon
The Big Wow Comic Fest is a relatively new comic book convention in the Bay Area.  Located in the beautiful city of San Jose, the convention offers a large range of interest groups including science fiction enthusiasts, comic book lovers, and anime fans.  The comic festival offers a wide variety of entertainment for its guests, including panels and autographs from renowned comic book authors and artists.  In addition, they have a variety of vendors and local artists where guests can purchase items, comics, and artwork of their favorite characters.

The convention’s panels were abundant, and full of variety.  Some panels included comic book authors explaining their inspiration for their comic book characters, while others assisted students and fans with breaking in to the comic book industry.  Overall, fans are put in direct association with their icons… and idols and are able to ask them questions, and pick their brains on their artistic endeavors.

The San Jose Convention Center also has a large array of vendors and artists which sell merchandise related to their interests.  This allows a greater form of communion between fans, allowing them to feel closer to their favorite pastime by acquiring their own versions of simulacrum.  Fans also portray this by dressing up as their favorite characters, and even do this in large groups.  Besides showing off their fandom, many fans do this to gain credibility and notoriety within their community.

Overall, the convention was a remarkable success… and everyone had a great time.  The panels provided an opportunity for fans to interact with their favorite comic book creators, and both the vendor and artist hall allowed fans to purchase items which helped bring them closer to their favorite comics.  In addition, people from many walks of life… whether they be fans of comic books, sci fi, or anime… got the chance to converge at this one fan festival, and express themselves with people who share their own interests and passions.
28th April
2011
written by Andrew Evans

We’re trying out a podcast format, which is basically us ranting about everything from video games to convention parties. Let us know what you think here or on Twitter!

19th April
2011
written by Andrew Evans

The San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival isn’t strictly an anime convention – it’s a celebration of all of Japanese culture. But anime and cosplay certainly plays a big part, and the festival always draws out a friendly anime crowd. The festival runs two weekends in a row with a cosplay contest and parade on the second Sunday. We attended the second weekend to check out the food stalls, merchandise, and march in the parade with the other cosplayers.

There is no end to how much food you can buy here – there is an incredible variety of everything from Takoyaki to gyoza & sushi, and all of it is delicious. Most places are cash-only, though, so bring a hefty supply. The merchandise was not the kind of stuff you could get at any anime convention – there were a lot of culture-themed collectibles such as glass & pewter dragons, tapestries, and awesome clothing from dresses to kimonos.

We got there a little too late for the cosplay contest, but made it to the parade. There were some excellent cosplays with everything from Inuyasha to Prinnies from the Nippon Ichi games. After wandering around a bit, we also caught a show from a Sailor Scouts group on the main stage which was delightful.

There’s not much of a party scene for the Cherry Blossom Festival, since it’s not really something people come from out of town to see, but we made our own fun. After the parade we hit up a Korean karaoke bar nearby, ran into some friends having a birthday, and ended up at a couple different house parties throughout the night.

Cherry Blossom is a great place to go with friends. We’ll be there next year – will you join us?

22nd February
2011
written by Andrew Evans

This was our third year at AOD, the small but growing anime convention based in our home city of San Francisco, and was another great year spent at SF’s Kabuki Hotel. The location is fantastic for a convention since the Japantown Mall is attached to the hotel. Tons of great food ranging from sushi to crepes to fusion-themed curry pizza is on the same block as the dealer’s room and artist’s alley; and plenty of Japanese music, designer clothing and curiosities as well. There’s also a Safeway right across the street for cheap munchies and party supplies.

The con space is somewhat constrained by the size of the Kabuki Hotel, but there were plenty of rooms for running con events. They even had a separate game room with huge blocks of time dedicated to Rock Band. The panels & speakers for this convention were extra entertaining, with a few great giveaways and some informative lessons. The anime rooms had some great series to show, too – we stayed for a few episodes of Black Lagoon. The dealer’s room / artist’s alley was rather small, but packed with great cosplay supplies and collectables.

The cosplay at AOD is fantastic, although we didn’t have a full-time photographer for this con. The venue provides a lot of small outdoor spaces with bamboo and fountain themes that make great backgrounds for photo shoots, and the piano area in the hotel’s downstairs makes a great space for meeting random people and getting funny cross-over shoots. So, if you’ve been thinking about cosplaying, this is a great con to start at!

The only unusual thing about AOD is the age distribution. It skews even younger here than for normal anime conventions, and that’s saying something. To give you an idea, they had a special panel on Sunday for the old, ancient, grey-bearded anime fans ages 25 and over.

The party scene was great, with a few good room parties to hit up. Bring some extra cash, as getting drinks around Japantown can be pricey, and party-runners may want guests to chip in to help defray the costs.

All in all a great convention – we’ll definitely be there next year. Will you be joining us?

11th January
2011
written by Andrew Evans

Our second year at Anime Los Angeles was a hoot! We may have outdone ourselves on antics this year, but we had a blast doing it. The LAX Mariott was a good location as usual, featuring plenty of hall space and a beautiful outdoor pool area for social gatherings, as well as several restaurants for the inevitable con munchies. Their game room was a bit hidden off to the side, but featured some neat previews of up-and-coming SEGA titles.

The cosplay scene was amazing as ever, and included some wild shots around the pool area. Someone set up an entire row of Patapon cardboard cut-outs next to the pool for a tribe photo shoot. Someone cosplaying Zangeif was threatening to pile-dunk several other characters, and there were some truly excellent BlazBlue: Continuum Shift costumes. Since most of the rooms for the convention have balconies overlooking the pool area, it’s a great place to get spur-of-the-moment photos and show off some amusing stuff.

The party scene was off the hook! If you intend to party at this con, you better go prepared. Anime Conji had a 24-hour party room serving up nachos, chicken, soda, and other tasty treats right next to the pool. There was a Scott Pilgrim viewing party which included special drinks for each of the seven evil exes, and apparently a toga brigade marching around the halls whom we had nothing to do with.

All in all a great time, and truly a 24-hour party convention. We’ll definitely be there next year. Will you be joining us?

4th November
2010
written by clarissy

This is the con we have been waiting for all year!  Yaoi-Con is a very special convention that celebrates and fully explores the fantasy of two men in hot, steamy romance for the female fans (and some of the men too).  This weekend marks their 10th year Anniversary!  We, the Con Crashers, have eagerly anticipated this event… and this year, we’re an official group!  Yaoi-Con this year was held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Burlingame.  The previous year’s convention was held in the Marriott Hotel in San Mateo, which was half the size of the current venue.  It was a big change, and was for the best… as a lot of the events were held in bigger rooms.

My fellow Con Crashers got to the hotel Friday evening, and prepped our official room party.  I arrived later, put on my cosplay, and handed out party flyers.  I was finally cosplaying an original character, the Yaoi Mistress.  After some modifications, I was happy with the outfit overall… as were the people who took pictures of me!  After we handed out enough flyers to get a good amount of people in our room, we decided to walk around the con and check out the Bishie Bingo event.  After bingo was done, we went back to our room and organized where the alcohol should go.  Our room became packed with cosplayers, bishie boys and other random visitors in no time.  Overall, we all had a brilliant time entertaining our guests, chatting and drinking, recruited a bartender for our “bathroom bar”, and just having a blast.

Saturday quickly became flooded with cosplayers, and I walked around the convention checking out the Dealer’s room and the Fan Market (the place for local artists show casing and selling their art).  I checked out Scuttlebutt, HamletMachine (a well known DA artist and creator of the web comic series Star Fighter), and Ponderosa.  We spent a lot of time walking around, killing time before the huge Bishie Auction began.

This event is focused around hot, pretty men who do skits and are auctioned off to the highest bidder.  They hang out with their buyer till about 3:00am.  I was impressed with some of skits these lovely boys were doing, especially the one where a Hollow Ichigo cosplayer from Bleach simply came up on stage and showed off his very well muscled body while the song “I’m Too Sexy” from Right Said Fred was playing.  However, the biggest surprise was having two popular Japanese voice actors (Hidenobu Kiuchi, and Ryoutarou Okiayu) being auctioned off!  The audience quickly became ecstatic, and bidding went through the roof!

One lucky group outbidded another group for exactly $11,000 dollars… I was flabbergasted!  Even our own Con Crashers were part of the Bishie auction.  The creator and founder of Con Crashers Andrew, and fellow Con Crashers Josh and John did a skit while cosplaying three soviet Russians.  Andrew portrayed a gay Stalin, and used “visual” aides to the Russian soldiers for Siberian Winter combat with hilarious results.  Alas, all good things must come to an end.  Sunday was our last day, and we said our goodbyes to the people we’ve met and parted ways.

Yaoi-Con was the best con we’ve crashed by far, and the room party we threw was the best part of the convention.  Please keep your eyes open for the Con Crashers when we update again for our next anime convention.  Till then, adieu!

28th October
2010
written by Andrew Evans

Con Crashers is throwing our FIRST OFFICIAL party in a suite at the Hyatt’s Yaoi-Con room block… and if you’ll be at Yaoi-Con 2010, we want YOU to join us.  Expect the entire Con Crashers crew, bishounen, cosplayers, drinking games, energetic attendees, laughs, and great alcohol when you arrive!

We don’t know our suite number yet, so visit http://3.ly/concrashers to follow us on Facebook or http://twitter.com/concrashers for Twitter to get updates.  Come early… space will be limited to the amount of bodies that we can fit in our suite, and it’s going to be crowded… especially near the alcohol.

Price: Free!  We will thank people with updates for alcohol contributions, too.

Rules: Be quiet when asked, so the party can rock all night.  That’s it!

If you use Facebook Mobile and/or Twitter Mobile, click “Subscribe via SMS” on our Facebook page or click the phone icon on our Twitter page to get updates sent to your cell.  That way, we can let you know if the party switches rooms or when we re-open the party if hotel security shuts it down… and if we decide to do a follow up party on Saturday night.

23rd September
2010
written by clarissy

We drove all the way to Sacramento to take pleasure in SacAnime. Let me just say right off the bat that if you ever plan on going to this convention in the future…bring your friends. No, seriously, bring as many friends as you can. This is a very small convention and bringing friends along will make it a lot more fun!

SacAnime is in the Radisson Hotel, which is conveniently close to Costco! Home of the huge packaged deals, cheap food and drinks, and all the free samples you can stuff in your face with, and only a minute away by car. You will probably find yourself in the Dealers’ Room a lot since there are a ton of cool dealers! So let me give you the break down; a fellow Con Crasher and I drove down to the convention (traffic was nightmare). After reaching to our destination we settled for a bit in the hotel room then Josh (the Con Crasher) got into his German officer uniform for cosplay and we started walking around the hotel getting chummy with the rest of the con-goers, and passing the time. The other Con Crasher trio (Andrew, Chris, and Eric) finally made it, and we decided to crack open some beer bottles and rum in our hotel room to relax and hang out till the next day.

Saturday came rolling by, and we set off to explore. It took us about an hour to walk the whole convention. Andrew took some pictures of cosplayers with his awesome camera. I snapped a few pictures of people, including a super cute Atoli cosplayer! Ahhh~! Can’t get over how cute she was. Even in the dry heat of Sacramento, there was a pleasant cool wind blowing outside. Later on, Andrew was cosplaying as a cop, an outfit he borrowed  from Chris, and asked if I take a couple of pictures of him. Shortly after, I ended up talking with a fellow con goer who noticed a button I got from Yaoi-con. I told her all about it, and that she should totally be there this year! Too bad she turned out to be underage (wamp wamp!). I said goodbye to the charming young lady, and found out we were going on some paddleboats! See, this is why I love being a Con Crasher; we make our own fun, and if we see any thing interesting we just do it! All five of us were on two paddleboats, three on one and two on the other, and we started singing “I’m On a Boat” by the Lonely Island! Course I didn’t know all of the words but I think we made an impact with everyone waiting in line outside. So after 20 minutes or so we were sweating like hogs in the crazy heat. We paddled back in and chilled in our room most of the day. Finally it was nighttime and decided to check out the rave. I enjoyed some of the euro hardcore, but the speakers were hurting my ears, so I decided to clear out and wait for the others. Wasn’t long till they also vacated the room, so we went back to our room to get the party started! Whooo~! It was a great time, and we had some delicious pizza!

Conclusion, the con may be small but if you bring enough friends and know how to have a good time; you will have a blast. Next year, we will coordinate a bigger room party and meet more awesome con peeps. Till then, catch ya guys on the flipside!

7th September
2010
written by Andrew Evans

Yes, we hit up SacAnime, the Sacramento anime convention this weekend just past. The CC crew arrived in two vehicles, the first to stake out territory and the second to deliver exotic drinks. Friday night was spent cavorting around the public areas, since half our crew arrived too late to acquire badges. We did manage to crash the rave for a bit, which was spinning some fun EBM & industrial music (although the stage-left speaker was cutting in and out the entire con). We ended up back at the room, having a few drinks and meeting the neighbors, who were interesting characters all. The night ended with a short run to the outdoor jacuzzi at the Radisson, which went very well with the drinks.

Saturday we got up around 9:30 and were out the door in short order. The day’s activities included gaming, chatting with random folks, photography, some costuming from nearly the whole crew, PADDLE-BOATING (yes, we serenaded the Steve Blum autograph line with “I’m on a boat!” sung from the Radisson lagoon), some pool time, and several runs to the Costco right across the street. The genius of having  a Costco next door cannot be overstated – easy drinks; great, cheap food; party supplies; and more than you could want of anything you forgot.

Saturday night we met up with some random folks, hit the rave again for a bit, and ended up with many drinks, surprise visitors, cosplayers and Super Troopers in the hotel room. The dance had the same issues as the Friday — also, their MC was shouting the “rules” of the dance over the music. Bit of a mistake in my opinion, but then no one expects anime con dances to match up to clubs or underground events (unless you’re at Otakon). Another jacuzzi run with the game room crew, and it was time for bed.

Sunday was a bit slow; we were all tired and barely had the energy to dress up. More gaming, perusing the dealer’s hall, and a very few costume photographs. We ended up leaving around 3:00pm right as the con was winding down, which turned out to be a good decision. Traffic from Sacramento back to the Bay was… unpleasant.

All in all a great time was had, many great folks were met, and a fun party was held both nights. Next year we shall plan more, and party bigger and harder. Until then, SacAnime!

Like the pics? The full set is available on Agius’ Flickr Set!

8th July
2010
written by Andrew Evans

We attended Anime Expo for the first time this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We drove down from SF on Thursday evening, and got in to the Kawada Hotel at an even 2:00am. The Kawada did not make for the most comfortable lodgings (when they say a 2-person bedroom, those two people better be pretty damn close), but we nevertheless passed out by 3:30 or so.

I spent Friday afternoon walking around the con, photographing cosplayers and generally trying to stay awake. It was a blast, though – there were some tremendously awesome costumes in the large south hall of the convention center, and the arcade game-room was open to all with some excellent rhythm, fighting, and shoot-em-up arcade games.

Friday night we attended the launch party for Ani.me, an awesome anime blog and community site. Their con review is posted here. The party was held at a place in LA Live called the Farm, and was, to use the technical term, totally ballin’. After that we hit up a party with mutual friends Supa Pirate Booty Hunt, which was hilarious and fun. Held at a karaoke bar in Little Tokyo, we went ’till about midnight having beer, discussing the con and making idiots of ourselves. Great times. Called it a night shortly after.

Saturday we hit the con in earnest – made three passes through the football-field-sized Artist’s Alley and Dealer’s Room, checking out booths from Aksys Games, NIS America, Funimation, and some fantastic cosplay shops. We went to a few panels, including AMV Iron Chef (though we didn’t stay and watch the “chefs” compose AMV’s for THREE HOURS – we did catch the end of it for some good music videos) and the “how to get started in animation” panel, which had some pretty high-up Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon folks explaining how they got into the field. Console gaming room was tight, with the same games as the arcade but free (BlazBlue, SFIV, Rock Band, some Cave shoot-em-up).

Saturday night was partying with a few friends and doing nothing too specific – finding parties and meeting up with friends proved to be quite a challenge due to the huge distances involved. The shuttle routes, double-Mariott’s, and spread of locations made it require significant commitment to go anywhere Saturday night. Next year, we’ll be planning all that out in advance.

Sunday, I took the day off to hit the beach, which was a total Bro-fest. July 4th in LA? Who’d have guessed? The rest of the CC crew hit the con, but it apparently shut down by 3 or so. Shortly after we high-tailed it back to SF.

All in all a great weekend – this con might be a little too huge for its own good, but with a proper plan of attack, next year will be much less challenging. Pics below!

Like the pics above? See more on our Facebook Page or on agius’ Flickr Photoset!

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