Mr. and Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple will be venturing into a new world soon. We will be attending Mechacon the “largest, longest-running and most successful anime convention in Louisiana.” Anime is not our area of expertise, but we probably have heard about Mechacon more than any other con in the area over the years. Students, past and present, alway talk glowingly about Mechacon. Friends, who have brought their children to the con, have marveled at the sheer range and quality of the cosplay at the con. Obviously, we are excited to go!
Media guests include Power Ranger veterans, Jason Narvy and Paul Schrier, as well as voice actors Khary Payton and Wendy Powell. They will also have cosplay guests, music guests, and industry based guests. Two of the artists are local people. Amelie Belcher was born in Baton Rouge (you can see her work here) and Metairie-born and raised Robby Musso who is a long time Transformer artist.
Plenty of anime can be viewed at Mechacon. In fact, the schedule looks like it going from the opening of the con to the end of the con! Gamers, both console and table top, will have a chance to be able to show off their skill.
For us, because we are new to the Anime world, we are interested in learning more about the culture so we will be attending plenty of panels. One I’m interested in attended if we can get there in time is the Beyond the Costume: A Cosplay Sociology Panel. Cosplay is serious business. With it comes many opinions about how it is perceived and the future of the artform. At the same time is the MechaCon Anti-Bullying Panel to help people understand how to have a safe con. The Japan Society of New Orleans will be giving a panel; later in the day, a panel will discuss how to make travel to Japan a possibility. There will be panels on specific shows including non-anime fare like Game of Thrones and Buffy. Of course, there will be plenty of panels featuring anime discussions.
Other panel topics include how to start cosplaying, role playing game devlopment, armor making, and creating webcomics. These are my favorite panels because they encourage creativity. Comic-con attendees are not just passive consumers of geeky products. We love to get involved. We love to share our knowledge. To outsiders, I often describe such shows as jewelry shows for geeks. But us insiders, we know better. We know these cons are so much more.
If you don’t believe me, take a trip downtown this weekend. Just come near the Riverside Hilton. You will be amazed by the cosplay. You should be further amazed by how many are handmade. Those that did purchase have altered them to create something new.
Mechacon will be July 29-July 31, 2016 at the Riverside Hilton in New Orleans.