PersaCon ’10: Day 1

Rarely do I get the chance to branch out and explore new cons, since I already attend so many. However last year I and some friends decided to check out PersaCon, a long running convention that had just moved to Decatur, AL. We learned very quickly that PersaCon would certainly not be the largest con we’d attend; however, the small time feel, easy access to the guests, and the plethora of friends attending, due to the close knit nature of the Souther con circuit, made PersaCon a convention I knew I would want to attend again in 2010.

Now a little less than one year later I am back again! Sadly we have significantly fewer friends attending, but that’s already allowed me to meet new people. Likewise while the panels I want to attend either happened prior to my arrival or are happening Saturday, this extra time has given me a chance to briefly check out the dealer’s room, see a lot of cool cosplayers (no pics yet so sorry!), and hang out with friends I’ve made over the years.

I did actually attend one event today which was PersaCon’s ’10 AMV contest. I suppose I’ll start with the one negative. There were way more AMVs than could be shown in the time period allotted. I love AMVs so I wouldn’t have had an issue watching all of the AMVs, but the problem that occurred is that the AMV contest had to be abruptly split-up so that Opening Ceremonies could occur. While most of the attendees were able to watch and vote for 3 out of 5 categories for the AMV contest, the Horror and Romance AMVs were delayed, presumably till after Opening Ceremonies thus likely decreasing the audience for these categories. Having now put on two AMV contests I understand that trying to schedule AMV contests is certainly a challenge, so I completely understand that this is an issue with putting on AMV contests. MTAC found this out in 2009. So even though I can emphathize, I still think this problem should and likely could be avoided. Perhaps set a stricter time limit for AMVs or the # that can be submitted?  Or give some wiggle room to the scheduling of the AMV contests? Some combination of those ideas right there would probably help solve the problem.

Aside from that one issue I really loved the AMV contest. PersaCon chose an excellent room, same as they used last year, to hold the contest in. Specifically the room has plenty of seating, a great exit/entrance route behind the AMV Contest attendees so as not to block people’s view, and a giant screen which really helped the AMVs come to life. In addition, the caliber of the AMVs themselves were certainly of high quality, helped no doubt by internet submissions. I loved many of them but a couple truly stuck out. One of my favorites in the Drama Category mixed Code Geass with Les Misérables “I Dreamed A Dream” (not Susan Boyle’s version). Continuing the theme of great AMVs based on musicals, the AMV “Springtime” in the Comedy Category featured Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conquerror of Shamballa and the song “Springtime for Hitler” from The Producers. Again there were several other fantastic AMVs too, but I don’t have the time to list them I’m afraid.

After the AMV contest my brother, my friend Liz, and I headed down to the dealer’s room to look around. I ended up spending more time talking with James from Gaijin USA, but he’s an awesome guy and it was fun talking to him. After letting James get back to doing his work, I was able to glance around briefly but really only as I walked out and back to the room. The reason I wanted to get back was because FUNiCon 4.0 was happening in mere moments! Sadly my attempt to watch FUNiCon 4.0 failed as you may have seen. Due to low bandwidth I only heard every fifth word or so, which certainly is no way to watch a streaming video. I’ve been able to catch the highlights on FUNiCon 4.0’s own blog, but I had such an enjoyable time live blogging FUNiCon 3.0 that I was very sad when I realized I wouldn’t be covering FUNiCon 4.0.

To make up for this, and because dinner time was upon us, we decided to find a nice Chinese restaurant. I suggested Fulin’s Asian Cuisine and away we went! I don’t want to spend too much time on the restaurant itself except to say it’s kind of like a better P.F. Chang’s, and I like P.F. Chang’s. What’s most important about this trip is that we got to explore the main drag of Decatur. Like many commercial districts in smaller cities the commercial strip was long and littered with box stores, chain restaurants, and fast food restaurants. Still even among the familiar we saw some cool and uniquely Decatur locales. Having little time though to explore further, and having seen a Books-A-Million, we decided to stop there, look around, grab some coffee, and then head back to the convention.

That basically takes us back to the present time where now I sit in my hotel room writing about the day which for some hasn’t quite finished. I did spend some time hanging out with Chris from The Man Power, and meeting some of his friends, but it’s difficult and perhaps unnecessary for me to really detail our fun and friendly banter. Anyways at that point I was already much more tired than I realized, and Chris had a panel to prepare for, so I said farewell and headed to the room. Thankfully I’ll see Chris, his bandmates, and his friends tomorrow when I’m much more awake, so perhaps I’ll have some detailed stories then. Anyways at this point, I’m still back in my room writing this post.

Perhaps I’ll stop now and call it a day. Till PersaCon ’10 Day 2 this is me saying good night.

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