Kumoricon 2009

So on Friday I was reading the latest installment of Girl Genius, and saw a note that the Foglio's were going to be at Kumoricon that weekend, and also the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, and said to myself, I did, "Hey, the Nikkei thingy is in Portland!" and proceeded to type a quick search on Kumoricon and found that it was an Anime Convention, seventh iteration, held at the Portland Hilton. Labor Day Weekend. $45.00 at the door.

And I thought about it. It would be crowded. I wouldn't know anyone. The video list was all stuff I wasn't familiar with [not having watched Cartoon Network][or anime in general for far too close to 20 years]. I'd also need to buy food. And if I went to the Dealer's Room, I'd spend money, probably.

And I thought about it. It was a 15-20 minute ride by bus from my front door. I wouldn't need to worry about where I was staying. Given my lack of current anime/manga knowledge, I wouldn't spend that much money at the Dealer's Room. And I hadn't gone to any kind of con in at least ten years. I wouldn't need to explain to anyone who knew me why I'd been a hermit and vanished off the face of the Earth for seven+ years.

If I didn't enjoy it, I could always go home.

So I went.

Got there Saturday morning, stood in line [in the rain] to get into registration. Noticed that anime fandom has bigtime costuming going on, and that this was a young crowd, teens through twenties on the whole, some of us older folks but not that many proportionately, which ties in with my discovery that many of them got introduced to anime via the Cartoon Network, so it's a Cable Generation thing, I got introduced in an earlier period, back in a much more word-of-mouth period, where the anime was available in Japan and what we saw was multi-generation copied... kinda like Blake's 7 fandom was. Anyway, back when I was watching in college it was a dedicated core and only starting to get to where some of the stuff was being imported to the states.

So I'm waiting in line, in the rain, listening to the folks in front and behind me, and it felt good, it felt like a con, full of media fans. And I just know it's going to be bursting at the seams crowded, as I can remember what it was like when Orycon used the Portland Hilton, and I can already tell this will have far more than Orycon had when last we used this venue.

Get registered, look at the pocket program guide, and start thinking about what I'm going to do. Some stuff on the third floor looks interesting. Now how do I get to the third floor... Much latter, after searching unsuccessfully for stairs [they did exist, I found them later on, but not this first time], and then standing in line for an elevator, I reached the third floor.

Which is where I spent most of my time while at the con. Seems there was a programing track on writing fan and original fiction, which I found interesting, and the presenters amusing, so I just hung out there. Did make it to the Exhibitor's Hall, spent not that much money, and didn't stay very late either day as I found myself getting tired and went home, but for a first foray back into the world of fandom, and just back into being around other folks, felt pretty good about it.

Fandom is a separate and distinct culture, homogeneous even in it's diversity, and I really am comfortable in it; my kind of people.

I did, a couple of weeks ago, buy an Orycon membership, so I'll be attending Orycon in a couple of months, the first time in over ten years, and there will be folks I know there; that'll be a different situation, re-establishing contact.

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