This post is several weeks late. I’m still not exactly sure what happened to my time last week (or this weekend), but it seems like I’m running out of time everywhere in my life. (Also, can we switch to a four-day work week? A two-day weekend is not enough time to recover.)
Long story short, though, last weekend in February was Kami-Con, Birmingham’s anime convention! Steven and I bought the three-day pass back in September (when the pass was going for $35; walk-in price this past weekend was $55). We didn’t go Friday night, but we were there for a good chunk of Saturday and several hours on Sunday.
This makes three years in a row that I’ve attended Kami-Con, and we only did one panel this year, too. (I’ll get to that in a minute, though.) I feel like next year we need to actually participate in panels more. We spent the vast majority of our time in the vendor room/artist alley, only leaving to get food, one autograph, and attend one panel.
We got to Kami around 11 on Saturday, just after the vendor room opened for the day. There were so many things to see and to buy, and we spent the vast majority of the day in the vendor room. I’d brought $200 in cash, so that was my budget for the weekend. My very first buy was actually from someone our friends knew from college, and it was a wooden Jiji lamp box.
The second purchase was a set of Ghibli pins (I got four of them — Nausicaa, Kiki, and Jiji for myself, and a Calcifer one for Steven) from another artist, before we wandered around to the actual vendor side of the room. And it was there that I knew I was about to drop a lot of money, because they had original promotional movie posters for Ghibli films. (They also had original Ghibli film cells, but those were like $2,500, so way out of my range for the weekend). I bought the Nausicaa poster, because I’d never seen one before (it’s one of the more obscure Ghibli films, since it was technically made before the studio was established). It was still $80, and I’m going to have to spend a lot of money to get it framed, since it’s 20.25″ by 28.75″. It doesn’t even fit the specifications of posters from other countries, so I can’t even buy a frame online for it. (Like, if I were to get it framed at Hobby Lobby, it’d be around $120 for the frame itself.)
We attended one panel on Saturday, and it was a “Live-Rate Your Waifu/Husbando” panel, starring everyone’s favorite YouTuber Prozd. (He’s one of the main reasons one of our friends went to the con.) People lined up to defend their waifu in front of him, and they were rated from 1 to 5 stars, depending on age (and/or how old the character looked, which is important), looks, and personality. I thought of someone to submit too late, and just sat and watched.
I spent all of Saturday as Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle (petticoats and all!), but on Sunday I went as Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service. I named my cat Kiki after the main character from the movie, and she wasn’t super happy that I decided to pick her up to pose with her. While I had several people ask to take my picture on Saturday (and not a single one of those made it to Instagram or Facebook — I have spent many hours looking through the #KamiCon tag…), I only had one ask on Sunday, and she was super sweet about it.
Again, we spent all of Sunday in the vendor room, only stepping out for a few minutes to get a signature and a picture with ProZD, the same YouTuber from the previous night. He’s growing on me, too, and he even complimented my phone case when he took our picture. (It’s a little $5 thing I got off Wish – it has cat ears and whiskers and a little pink nose.) We went back to the vendor room again, and I spent the vast majority of the day trying to rationalize to myself that I couldn’t spend $2,500 on an original film cel for Kiki’s Delivery Service. Luckily for me, the people with the film cels had already packed them all up, so that was temptation removed. (Maybe someday…)
I ended up picking up a few small items on Sunday. A few keychains (I won one of them – I rolled a natural 20 on a D20 at a booth showcasing wooden crafts), a set of stamps, and a loaf cat keychain. There were so many things I wanted to get, and so many things I couldn’t justify getting. It’s like, eventually I’ll be able to go to a con and buy something I really want, but for the time being, I’m just going to collect a few small things here and there, and slowly work my way up to the Ultra-Nerd level. I’m really interested in the artwork by the small artists (not the major chains or whatever), and Steven even bought a beautiful set of Cowboy Bebop posters that I know will look really good on our wall someday. (He keeps buying art and not actually putting it on the wall…)
Kami-Con may be small, but it’s a lot of fun, even if all you do is walk through the vendor room. Next year, I’m hoping to get to more of the actual panels. We talked about going to multiple ones this year, but for some reason it never happened.
Do you like going to cons? Will you be going to Momo-Con later this summer? (I’ll be in Atlanta for an X-Wing tournament!) Let me know in the comments!
And as always, keep reading.