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2017 Convention Schedule (A New Home)

blerdy momma selfie.jpgI. am. SO. EXCITED!!!!! Y’all, we got orders. We got orders on pretty short notice and we PCS’d to the East coast. That means a whole new crop of conventions to attend!! I loved San Antonio, and already miss it terribly, but I cannot overstate my excitement at being a blerd family living right in the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia, fyi). This is going to be so great!!!

(Sidenote: I cannot neglect to mention my absolute heartbreak at learning that the 2017 Royal Rumble would be in San Antonio a month after we were leaving. Undertaker was there… I’m still not over it, but I’m trying not to dwell…)

So beyond doing all the responsible adult parent research (schools, neighborhoods, etc.), I immediately started researching our options for keeping up this blerd family lifestyle. Are there any local conventions? Where are the comic book/ nerd shops? How often does WWE come to town? #Priorities, people. Check out my dreamsheet for the year below!

  1. MAGfest- Jan 5-8; We missed out on this festival for 2 reasons: 1. We were hip deep in boxes and paperwork. 2. By the time we found out about it, badges were insanely expensive! It would’ve been nearly $250 for our family just to get in the door, and it just didn’t make since financially at that moment. Day passes were no longer available, so we’ll just have to shoot for early pre-reg next year.
  2. Animore- Jan 13-15; Unfortunately, we missed this convention this time around. We simply were too busy settling into our new house and unpacking. But I don’t want to forget about it. It looks good for next year.
  3. Katsucon- Feb 17-19; This has been like a mythical event I only ever heard about in POC nerd groups on Facebook. I am too hyped to be attending myself this year! I already love that there’s an entire section of kid-friendly panels listed on the website.
  4. Anime Fan Fest Baltimore- Jun 3-4; Apparently this will be the first year of AFF Baltimore, and June means I have plenty of time to get cosplays ready for my whole family on my new sewing machine!
  5. BlerDCon- Jun 30- Jul 2; I am thoroughly excited to go to a con that expressly caters to nerd of color. This will be the inaugural year, so I have high hopes that the first impression is a great one!
  6. Otakon- Aug 11-13; This is another convention that seems popular in POC nerd groups, but I’ve never been to it in person. The website says they’re expanding for 2017, and registration isn’t even open yet, so I know I can get some great cosplays ready!
  7. Baltimore Comic-Con- Sept 22-24; I love any event where my kids get in for free!
  8. Congress of Gamers, Fall Session- Oct 7-8; The gimmick of this is just adorable. The whole website is written in the style of our founding documents. That dedication was enough for my to check out the Fall session. If I enjoy myself, I may check out the Winter and Summer sessions as well.
  9. Southern Maryland Comic-Con- This con did their 2016 event in November and hasn’t posted a 2017 date yet. Right now it’s on my radar, but it’s only a one day event, so I’m not yet sure the drive will be worth it. For now, it’s worth keeping my eye on.

Ugh… this list looks expensive… I better kick my virtual assistant hustle into overdrive! What conventions are you going to this year? Will we be at the same ones? You better say hi if you see me at a convention!!

Update: Umm… why did nobody tell me about Awesome Con (Jun 16-18)?? It’s right in Washington D.C and it’s only the weekend directly before my birthday! I must be in the building! I guess that rounds things out for 10 conventions for the year IF I can make it to them all…

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I Went to San-Japan! (My First Anime Convention)

This past weekend, San-Japan happened in downtown San Antonio. Let me just say, this annual anime convention is an experience like no other! For one, it’s a 24-hour experience! Maybe this is common and I’m just unaware, but I’d never seen a convention go all night long before. I just wish we’d had a babysitter so we could experience late-night geek life! I guess I’ll have to plan better for next year. (Note to self: Invest in babysitters and energy drinks)

The theme for this year was Samurai 7, an anime that I’ve only seen a couple episodes of. I debuted my Sailor Saturn cosplay, and my husband dressed as a Steampunk DJ. Our son was a button-mashing no0b, haha. Our cosplays are┬ádiscussed in a separate post. In the meantime, San-Japan did soooooo many things right! I definitely got my money’s worth (and spent much more than I originally planned). So let’s talk about how they impressed me.

  • Open space- San-Japan took place in an entire convention center PLUS portions of the hotel next door. This offered breathing space for everyone, which is something other cons I’ve been to didn’t do. You could walk around without rubbing anyone inappropriately, despite the fact that there were thousands of people in the rooms at any given time.
  • 24-hour events- There was ALWAYS a panel, watch party, workshop, tournament, or other worthwhile event going on. From masquerade balls to sparring circles to karaoke, there was always something for everybody.
  • Affordable admission- My badge only cost $50 for the entire weekend, and had I ordered it earlier, I could’ve paid as low as $35. That’s an INSANE deal!
  • Pre-judging the Cosplay Contest- I love cosplay contests! What I don’t love, is sitting there for 3 hours just to get through the first stage of displaying all the costumes and then sitting around for another hour while the judges wade through their notes to figure out who won. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t start at 7pm, but really I just want to snap some awesome photos and see who won! San-Japan had cosplay contestants report during the con for a step called “pre-judging” where they got an in-depth look at the cosplays and got to ask whatever questions they had about construction. This meant that at the actual contest, contestants spent a grand total of 20 seconds on the stages each, and all the competitors were displayed in a timely manner. YES! It still took quite some time because the list of people was long, but it would’ve been sooo much longer if they hadn’t done it that way.

I had a great time at San-Japan. I only wish that I had more energy and hours in the day to attend more events, and maybe more guts to participate in a contest of some kind. I also wish money grew on trees, because the pile of loot I brought home is nothing compared to the pile of loot I wanted and left on the tables. My only gripe is that most of the celebrity appearances were very obscure people. The kind of folks who have cult followings but most lay-people wouldn’t actually know. It didn’t take away from my experience, but it would’ve been nice to see some bigger names. Maybe that’s just me being an anime novice…

Now check out my awesome collection of new geek swag!!


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