This convention has been a local favorite of mine for many years but it has a lot of drawbacks. The artists in the artist alley don't really push the envelope for their art but I think that's the nature of the environment. People just want their favorite character in a recognizable scenario and that leads to really boring repetitive art. The kawaii art is mostly the same with everyone copying each other's motifs because that's what sells. I've seen a few artists who haven't changed their style for years because of this. I do wish they would take risks and bring in artists that change it up and challenge the idea of what an anime convention artist alley can be.
The otaku art market they do on Thursday has a huge variety of artists doing different things. They don't have the pressure of the whole artist alley so people let loose and draw different things.
I find this convention to generate a lot of money and attendance so its definitely worth doing the alley if this isn't a deterrent. It's a winter convention so the con space is cooler and the cosplays are bigger. This con has outgrown this convention center the last 5 years so be prepared for packed walkways.
I do not have a lot of interaction with staff so I can not speak on how they conduct the alley or convention.
August 7, 2022, 10:45 am
A small venue and a small care about what the attendees want.
This is clearly a convention run by an out of touch staff that allows their friends to get in and get away with downright table thievery (An artist literally bought their way off the waitlist this year, and when caught, the staff let them stay instead of having a backbone and sense of honor to those who were on the actual waitlist and did things right)
Also, their idea that you have to come in, take a day off work, and do their little "craft fair" and "flea market" to get priority for a no show, off the waitlist table, feels more like "dance monkeys dance" than a credible way of doing things.
There are better shows this time of year, and better shows in the same building three times of year here.
February 1, 2020, 10:13 am
Gets more biased every year
The artist alley used to be pretty good, with a good variety of different arts, crafts, and styles. But the last couple of years they’ve been pretty biased to one art style, and it kind of all looks the same. I used to enjoy seeing everyone’s things, because it was so different from mine