Anime Expo 2018 : Artist Alley Review

You know what, this is my blog! I can do what I want! So if you’re reading this, you must be aware of this- which means you won’t care about the fact that I’ve included some vacation-y photos too! Yeah! Also, AX was good.

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For this con I (as I so often do) split my table with the wonderful Preciouz Bbyz. And boy, did we have a time. Some kind of time.

Logistics

I don’t really know where to begin. Honestly I don’t. It was too easy to check in Wednesday, they didn’t care to check any of the things they said they would need to check (this came midway through the day on Thursday or Friday after we had already set up. What if we? weren’t? legit? Like what is the logistics of this???).

We were located in the first row (A-row) towards the back. We did not get as much traffic as the front half of the alley, but just due to the sheer size of AX, we still got a lot of traffic. This was fine.

What was not fine was the endless back and forth with rude and incompetent staff. We were constantly told conflicting rules regarding our tables and display. Here’s a list of what I can remember:

  • On Wednesday, suitcases can be behind table. Wait no, Thurs/Fri they must be flush with the wall length-wise. But not the people 4 tables down, they can have theirs width-wise.
  • Oh just kidding, it’s Saturday and now you can’t have ANYTHING behind the table!
  • Your display is the right height.
  • Oh wait, it’s Saturday and we got a new stick with a new measurement, now it’s not the right height.
  • You can’t have a tripod display behind your table, it must be flush with the table.
  • Except in other sections of the alley, then tripods can be wherever, including 2 feet behind the table.
  • Write ups are a strike after you’ve been warned.
  • Except for when you haven’t been warned, then you get a strike just because.

The staff were also extremely unhelpful. No one ever asked us if we need anything, we really didn’t get apologies. One staff member kept being sarcastic with us, and eventually saying she was SO SORRY and THANK YOU FOR COMPLYING. Some staff also felt the need to stand over us and interrupt us in the midst of sales in order to have us make these arbitrary changes. We did also deal with really helpful and apologetic staff, but it was a huge effort not to let the incompetent ones ruin the fun.

It was also mind-blowing the obsession with walkway space behind the table, when the walkway in FRONT of the tables was a disaster waiting to happen. It was completely un-navigable. When there were no crowds, a bathroom trip took 10 minutes. When it was full-up, it took 45 minutes to pee. Literally. It struck everyone as an exceedingly dangerous situation. But hey, at least the staff could walk 3-abreast BEHIND the table.

With that note, it was really difficult to pee or run for food. We had 2 helpers (which is technically not allowed, we’d have to trade out constantly) and they were able to run to the food trucks for us, but it would take like 1-2 hours. It was also exacerbated by the freak heat-wave that hit Los Angeles that weekend- it was like 120 outside on the pavement. Dangerous heat. But there WERE plenty of options for food, when you were able to get it to you.

 

Performance

AX has 120,000 attendees. I did well.

Overall Convention

Due to the fact that leaving the Artist Alley was a minimum 30 minute process from where we were located, I really didn’t get to experience the con. The most experience I had with the convention itself was when I left my phone in the bathroom at the alley, ran to lost and found (approximately one mile away) and filed a claim, within a couple hours Marina got a phone call that they had it and I got my phone back. The staff were extremely helpful and patient.

But really guys, this convention is huge. It’s so big. So many people and such a large space. Just for the sheer spectacle of it, it’s worth attending.

Los Angeles

Before Marina and Christian left, we were able to go around and have a weeaboo afternoon! We went to the Japan LA Pop-Up in Little Tokyo (and just Little Tokyo in general).

 

It should be noted the amount of curry we ate was a lot, but not nearly as much as it should have been:

 

So after AX my boyfriend and I decided to turn my work trip into a mini-vacation and we had a nice time hanging out on Venice Beach.

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I then went home to Texas to hang out with my family for like 2 or 3 weeks. Now I’m back in the swing of things and prepping to start classes at FiT this month. I don’t really know how it will be, juggling class and a business but in the words of Little My, I always manage! My next con is Anime NYC and I am really excited for that one.

 

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