Every time I attend a convention, I always seem to expect a perfect con. Perfection is overrated. The illusion of Perfection may be enticing but far from ever being well digested. Did I lose you there?
New Con, literally a new con. It, maybe I should say she, just celebrated her 3rd year on the con circuit for cosplayers. New Con comes into play for me, journalist, panelist, character designer, builder and Cosplayer, lining up with other Cosplaying conventions such as Kumoricon, Sakura Con, Aki Con, Emerald city comic con, Jet city comic con (Yes, I said comic Con’s despite some’s beliefs that Cosplayers shouldn’t be at Comic conventions) and a hand full of others here in the Great Northwest.
Loz Link, my fellow partner in cosplaying crime, and I fell into New Con by accident. It was, potentially, a well welcomed accident. We joined New Con this year, January 2015 in Portland, OR, in the midst of her “growing pains”. Last year saw an attendance record of under 1000 attendees, this year New Con shot up to just under 2,000 attendees. A giant growth spurt for such a “new” con. In some aspects New Con is still getting her feet under her in the convention world. There was trouble with the Hotel about the mask policy, trouble with not have proper signs in place for attendees to find things or have knowledge about certain rules or edict, trouble with the written fliers, trouble with sound during the Con’s costume contest, trouble with staff not truly knowing how to handle the constant questions from con goers on why things were not going well. (The hotel itself, the Doubletree in Portland, had staff that was fairly friendly and accommodating, but they did not seem quite prepared to handle such an influx of the type of guests that are known as Cosplayers.) But despite the problems arising during the time of the convention, New Con’s staff appeared friendly and always ready with an honest answer. Sometimes I questioned the staff’s professionalism, sometimes I applauded their professionalism. I have been on the Con circuit in one form or another, whether staff, attendee or panelist for 15 years now and I have seen cons rise and fall depending on how the attitudes of the board and staff handle themselves in the public and private eye. Welcome to the growing pains and always being under a scrutinizing eye.
However despite the growing pains, New Con has plenty to offer on the “Golden Platter” of Cosplay. They brought in not only local well known Cosplayers making their mark in the cosplaying community as special guests but also a nice line up of headliners from the entertainment world. New Con offers up panels aimed at the cosplaying world. Panels for hands on crafting and building, thank you to the Creation station group. Panels aimed at meeting other cosplayers and fans of certain genres. Panels for those just want to have quiet drawing time or quite time. A karaoke room that was never empty. A green room that was dedicated to free fixings and repairers for all cosplayers needs. There was at least 4 different gaming rooms. The dealers room was a little on the small side but the Artist ally was more like an Artist Extravaganza with artists lined up like candy vendors at the state fair.
New Con was also the proud host of not only their own cosplay contest which included skit and costume categories for novice, journeymen and master levels but also welcomed the World Cosplay Summit competition thru her doors.
Do I still have your attention?
Good, because despite flaws, that in truth all Con’s have at one time or another, as a journalist, a panelist, a cosplayer (who just happened to take the Master’s category for both skit and costume along with Loz Link, yes, I just waived that under your nose) I can only in the end say that if you are a Cosplayer or just want to come and enjoy this conventions growth into the con world then book your hotel, plan for bumps along the way but enjoy the ride. It is worth it in the end and hopefully I will see you next year at a little con called New Con.
Written by Joy D’Avanzo