Hello From Anime Expo

I am halfway through the USA’s largest Anime convention. I overheard that the show ‘sold out’ at around 60,000 attendees. It’s possible. Something is making the dealer’s room unbearably hot. 60,000 bodies radiating heat could be the cause.

The lesson for this year: BRING MORE STAFF. Two people are not enough for a corner booth. Two selling sides mean twice as much space for hands with books to be flung in our faces.

Outside the convention center is a carnival midway where you can throw darts at balloons, and try to catch goldfish. This wouldn’t work at most other shows. There’s just so much humanity here. The midway is full of people not so much because they’re interested in the games, but because there’s no where else for them to stand. I’m still happy it’s there. I like being able to buy cotton candy at an anime convention.

People have been coming to our booth asking why Viz and Tokyopop aren’t exhibiting as if their absence is based on some controversy that I should know about. I don’t. Why isn’t the giant pikachu float drifting above our heads? Anyone?

My one breather from the exhibit hall was participating in the Manga Mania panel with the publishers from Infinity Studios, CMX, Go!Comi, DMP, and writer Jason Thompson. This was for industry and press only, but I’m pretty sure some fangirls snuck in so that my yaoi-related jokes would not go unlaughed at. I knew I was going to like David Wise since he publishes After School Nightmare. He has a great sense of humor. He encoraged the panel to joke and be interesting. The other panelists were all insightful and made meaningful comments. I think I did too. The podcast will tell.

Other panel observations: The Infinity Studios publisher has very long hair, which is good, because we had a friendly introduction, and now I’ll be able to recognize him in the future. Jason Thompson and CMX publishers were relaxed and friendly. There was much banter on the panel among most of us. Two panelists did not show up. At least one of them was female, meaning I was the only woman left on stage. The DMP publisher was the least casual panelist, and also the most self-assured.

I’ve been asked to have an industry panel next year. I really should have done one this year.


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