*Thanos Snappening happened in early March. Will restore to old grammatical standards and photographic illustration—Dodson
Conventions are funner with friends. This is a universally known fact. Covering conventions can often isolate you into a cycle of binging and purging different mediums of information and attempting to make some sense of it all. Speculating based on your personal experience has it’s limits. This convention gave me an opportunity to team up with an Illinois Media School Graduate, veteran con-goer, and my blood relative Shane Dodson. He introduce the group he has been going to conventions with for years at Anime Midwest, so at C+A+D I went up to the room and started asking all the question I could from experts. Here’s what I found out:
A Rag Tag Bunch
Though tons of the attendees were with family or groups of friends from the smae town, this group was made up of Chicagoan, Indianans, and people from all over Illinois. There were police officers, security guards, nurses, artists, servers, journalists, cooks, and factory workers amongst us. The longer i spent with this group the less those titles mattered. All that seemed to matter was what brought us all together… the convention.
Gifts of Nerddom and Geekdom
What really kept me with this group was the diversity of interests and skills that were in the room. One person was a master at carving wooden swords that were fantastical replicas, while another was a metal worker who builds a DIY forge. Shane and his security buddies all are into airsoft and building protective gear from scratch; another guest was a tattoo artist who designed her cosplay at home. The group of 12+ attendees ranged from 21-30 years old, and was a fan of different aspects of the convention, while some were in their first year of attending conventions. This collection of diverse experience shared 3 days of their life looking beyond differences to celebrate our similarities.
A New Way To Experience Conventions
Covering conventions can be isolating when you are relatively new to the experience. It’s easy to get drawn to panels and towards the stars, making one oblivious to what they are missing out on. Attending C+A+D with a group of friends amped up every event we attended from the Roasting Session, to the Smash Ultimate Tournament, to the nightly raves. Whenever an individual attended a panel and someone wasn’t aware of the material there was always an educational exchange. Being able to share my Animecon experience, first with a group of students and teaching artists, and now with a group of con-regulars has truly cemented both Anime Midwest and C+A+D into my memory.