MomoCon 2012 [Recap]
As talked about many times in the past on CEN.TAKU.ME, there is one convention that is quickly becoming the must-attend convention in the south besides Anime Weekend Atlanta that kicks off the year’s convention season. That convention is MomoCon, a convention that I’ve been trying to attend since moving to the area a little over 5 years ago. It has finally happened: I was finally able to attend their 8th year, but with a few changes that was rather timely, being a first-time MomoCon attendee.
To break down our review of MomoCon, everything will be categorized under Venue, Guests, Panels, and Events.
Venue: I’d comment about the quality of the hotel itself, but there’s not much to say as I had to stay at the Holiday Inn a couple of miles away. Adding the fact that I couldn’t attend the late night events as the shuttle service ends at 10:30 PM.
For the venue, this is MomoCon’s first year at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, the home of Dragon*Con. MomoCon was originally a free two-day convention held at the Georgia Tech Campus in the heart of downtown Atlanta, GA. With a new venue brings MomoCon an extra of events, but with paid admission.
Everything is held in the entire hotel with plenty of room for non-MomoCon functions. But it wasn’t until Saturday I discovered Artist Alley, which was a very cozy place to hang out…though I think that’s frowned upon. The area where AA is also houses the majority of the panel rooms. Since spending the most of the time exploring MomoCon as a kid in the candy store, I did not attend many panels (and not forgetting the must-see panels were held after the Holiday Inn shuttle ended for the day).
Seeing over 8,000 people at the hotel on the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day might confuse some people: as to if these people forgot that Dragon*Con is in September, or they really enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. Fortunately, there were no hostilities with the locals despite the sudden appearance of so many anime fans. I wonder if some of the people in the parade were aware of MomoCon to do a subliminal shout-out to fellow otaku…
Guests: MomoCon is known for hosting guests in the fandom community: from web comics, cosplayers, and artists. LittleKuriboh of Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series and TeamFourStar’s Dragonball Z Abridged is an example as a personality in the community to attend.
This year’s MomoCon is the year of their first major guest, Wendee Lee. Wendee Lee is a guest that appears to attend fewer conventions, but you got to remember that most guests are restricted to their closest region.* I did not get a chance to meet the other guests. I also did not get a chance to meet Ms. Lee through a later signing nor an interview.
*(There’s also the logistics of the convention itself, but that’s a little inconvenient to explain at the moment. ^^)
Panels: The first (and only for me) panel of interest was of LittleKuriboh’s. Arriving late, I caught the Q&A part of the panel. A question that I’ve been curious about was asked by a fan: will there be a Bleach Abridged series? Of course, the answer was “No,” due to the length of the series, and the subtle fact that there will be no more of the anime, for now…
I also had trouble finding the other panel rooms (as previously written above), but I didn’t find out until Saturday afternoon that it was in the “basement” area where Artist Alley is held.
Events: The Opening Ceremonies were out of the question as I arrived late… Fast forward to the Cosplay Contest! There are many awesome costumes at the contest. It was fair competition as there were categories from new to experience cosplayers. There was also a surprise: though there were participants who had great costumes, one of them happened to be a member of the Scenic City Anime & More group who took home the Master category entering as a beginner for her Korra from The Legend of Korra!
Congratulations to everyone who entered the contest! Cosplay Contest is also a bad time for your camera to die on you… I managed to capture earlier shots of the contestants, but pictures had to wait until Sunday.
Final Comments: I can’t think of anything wrong with MomoCon, except the backlash of being a paid convention now. It’s understandable that the event isn’t free anymore, but it was for all the right reasons. I missed out on the original MomoCon, but I think it was worth the wait! The only disappointment for me is missing out on Wendee Lee, a childhood hero! But that didn’t keep me away from enjoying the rest of the convention.
In closing, the only complaint I have is having the convention so close after ConNooga and before MTAC. But it can’t be helped. Either way, MomoCon is worth checking out for the fandom experience if you cannot make it to one or two of the three conventions in Tennessee and Georgia.
BONUS: MomoCon 2012 Costume Contest Photos
Concluding with our MomoCon 2012 report, here are select photos from the costume contest! Check send a shoutout to your favorites in the comments section!