Home » On Site Convention Coverage

Knoxville Anime and Comic Con: Good Times, Good People, and Cloudy

27 June 2011 by

Knoxville Anime and Comic Convention in Tennessee (guess the city yourself) was a pretty fun weekend for me. On Saturday there were over 600 people to come through the doors of this little show. I have to say I meet a bunch of friendly people at this con. Everyone was willing to open up and talk with you.

The hotel the con was held in was very nice. The lobby was spacious and polished. There was a bar and café right inside. The pool was an inside one and in the middle of the hotel with an atrium for people to hang out at. Several restaurants, both chain and more locally owned ones, were within an easy driving distance.

Most of the con took place in two small function rooms of the hotel, the first one with most of the dealers in it and the other with the guests and some other dealers (the ones putting on the con). On Saturday both these rooms got very crowded and hot with all the people there. There was also a meeting room being used as a video room and panel room across the atrium and down two short hallways.

All the guests were friendly and happy to be there. They were willing to chat to anyone who came up to them about their work or anything else even. Richard Horvitz and Rikki Simons had a constant stream of people to their tables to talk to them about Invader Zim and the two of them loved it. They two were joking with each other, attendees, and staff all weekend.

Eric Stuart hung out with them and ran his own table promoting his music and talking with fans of his own voice acting work. Mostly Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. Richard Green was a Disney animator and classic horror monster artist who had several pieces of original art for very low prices. He was also telling people all about when he worked at Disney and about his art work. I picked up a Sleeping Beauty piece of his. You could find Mike Holman of MTV’s Jackass at his table talking with people or roaming the con himself hanging out like a regular attendee himself.

I got to meet an independent comic creator by the name of Hushicho Phoenix. His work has a foreign feel to it and is a bit on the adult side, but not by too much. Nick and Angela Mizgala, the creators of the webcomics Think Weasel and Drama Llama, had a table set up selling their products and promoting their comics. I chatted with them for a while about their comics and the con; nice couple. Robert Luedke, the creator of his own graphic novel series, was there selling his comic and prints of his art. I didn’t really pay too much attention to the others, but they seemed to be busy with fans too.

The vendors at the show brought several different things to the con for buyers. There were two Star Wars toy dealers, comic dealers bringing different stuff, Aardvark Tees, a contact lens company, toys dealers (one referred to several times as “my childhood on display”), Frank’s Cool Stuff, and another dealer had hand crafted macbe and unique wares. They had things like vampire hunter kits, shrunken heads, canned fairy meat, and more.

Costuming at the con was pretty good. There were a few of the standard anime ones: Ouran Host Club, Hentali, some 501st members as Darth Vader and Bobba Fett. There were in fact a few Dragon Ball cosplayers, and some Soul Eaters. The new “it” thing was some elaborate Black Butlers costumes, and a couple doing one of my favorite animes, School Rumble, who I became good friends with. Doctor Who was also represented: one woman had a TARDIS dress and there was a couple as the 11th Doctor and River Song.

Though all of those were nice costumes they did not win the costume contest prizes. For comic book characters, Saturday was won by a Captain America, who also won on Sunday for his Magneto. The anime win on Saturday was Medusa from Soul Eater with a snake she made wrapped around her shoulders. Sunday was a tie between a pirate girl and Kamineko (biting cat) from Azumanga Daioh. TV/Movies winners was Cobra Commander (who had both the helmet and hood to switch between) on Saturday and a girl with a pink Dalek dress (with a plunger and pink whisk) on Sunday.

The con did lack a bit on things to do. After you went through all the vendors and met all the guests there was nothing really to do but hang out with other fans. Which is actually fine, but having options is still nice. They did show a few videos on Saturday, but only for a few hours, with no schedule beforehand available. There were panels for both the Invader Zim voice actors and Eric Stuart. They were originally planned to be held in the same room as the videos, but they were moved when they realized how many people wanted in to see them. Things got moved to the atrium around the pool with microphones for the guests to use.

After closing hours on Saturday, there was the Eric Stuart acoustic concert. It had a nice folksy feel to it as he played several of his band’s songs and talked about music and band. Except for one small problem argument in the back, the whole thing was laid back and relaxing.

The con is a good one for people looking for a small show with interesting guests and dealers. Good for those who are fine without a lot of formal programming and more into hanging out with other fans. That said, the con does not provide you much in the way of information about who is set up where and you have to figure out how things are run by yourself.

Next year they are already planning a pool and pizza party, more events and games, and guests for next year, all while retaining their low prices for everyone. So keep an eye out for what they do at www.knoxvillecomicanimecon.com and www.comiccitytn.com.

The promoters are also running a comic and horror show in Nashville on October 1 and 2 as well.

Comments are closed.