Animation on Display is a small anime, cartoon and video game convention located in the heart of Japantown during President’s Day Weekend, this year being their tenth year anniversary.
On the morning of Saturday, turning the corner of Geary and into Japantown was like stepping through a portal to a different world. The streets were filled with lolita dresses and elaborate costumes, their bright colors made even brighter by the glow of DIY swords and cosplay props. Crowds were gathering, costumed individuals posing for photos and, no matter where we looked, someone was holding a DSLR camera at the ready, prepared to take pictures of any and all happenings that may occur. We were able to pick up our badges but there was no time to catch a break either–we were immediately lured in by the amazing displays in the artist alley.
The AOD artist alley was split into two different floors with more than forty artists. We had the opportunity to see some familiar faces and even more new ones. In particular, we talked to Melissa Pagluica also known by her online handle DarkSunRose, who gave us a little sneak peak of the next comic series she was ardently working on (but it was a secret, so we’re keeping quiet on the details!). We also met Kelsey Kraus, who introduced us to her amazingly funny and cute webcomic series Drop Dead Vince.
Afterwards, we lined up for Hideo: Counterpoint, a musical-esque performance featuring music from Japanese animations and video games. It followed the story of those at The Shiny Mug, focusing on Mari, the new bouncer on a quest to look for her brother and Rebecca, the bartender, featuring amazing songs from Darker than Black, Final Fantasy and other titles.
Japantown itself also had many stores and good eats to offer. Wandering around, we stopped for some frozen yogurt and “Happy Face Crepes”.
Overall, Animation on Display was an amazing experience. From the traditional printed comic to the dynamic Hideo performance, there had been so many different types of story telling gathered in one area–and it’s something that is expanding every day. It made me wonder what other mediums for story telling the future has in store for us, and what the next big thing is going to be: because who knows, you may be looking at it right now.
If you would like to see all of the pictures from AOD, visit the Tapastic Facebook page! Also, tune in on Friday for an in depth coverage of AOD from Michael!