Convention Carny

My favorite part about the conventions we attend? Being a Convention Carny.  And we hit quite a few conventions.


We get to be there before the show opens.  Often setting up a day in advance or sometimes only hours before the public comes in. My wife and I learn the layout of the show floor by wandering around talking with other vendors and artists.


We see all the cool stuff and have extra time to talk to everyone prior to the tens of thousands attendees flooding in.  I try and keep my cool, but sometimes my inner nerd goes all Fan-Girl.  I’ve gotten giddy over the Batmobile, Delorean, and a slew of astromech robots (R2-D2 for those who didn’t know). This show? NASA gives me a bit of a chubby.


I’m 41. Dreams of being an astronaut have long since gone by the wayside. But it’s still fun to see where mankind is going. This weekend I’m planning on attending some of the panels about space and exploration.


The coolest thing for me though was seeing the WordPress booth.  I spoke with some of the staff there.  Most were hired for the show only, not really knowing anything about the app or the website.  I’m no genius when it comes to using this app- but I spoke with them about writing a daily blog.  They accepted my knowledge and in the end- looked me up.


For a moment I was a mini celebrity to about… three people. It felt good. I never expect to have thousands of followers. I write for the joy of it. 

Tomorrow is the busy day.  Saturday.  I’ll be my wife’s “Table Tart” and try to sell her handmade hats and cosplay ears. Mostly in between the guest panels. Come out and visit us at Ningen Headwear table B24 and say hello.  Or buy something.  We like that as well!

Anime Convention

This upcoming weekend is the only Anime Convention we do.  It’s a local Vancouver one and is run really well.  We have been loyal to this convention for a few years and even did the winter one that they put on.  If you are in the Vancouver area this weekend, stop by Anime Revolution.  We will be at Booth 301.  (Side note: It just so happens that there are 2 Pokestops nearby us as well!)


We don’t do Anime Conventions regularly due to a few reasons:

  • They only draw in a few thousand attendees.
  • Most anime lovers are students with little to no money. (We are a business and still need to make money)
  • It is strictly anime.  Not comics, mainstream movies or videogames.
  • Our travel expenses exceed the earnings we would be capable of.
  • Most anime conventions are held in Universities or Colleges.  This means they cater to those students who are usually there to watch movies.

Those reasons aside AniRevo is an anomaly in the fact that we make a profit at it.  My wife also has a fan base here that stop by regularly to buy her products.  AniRevo is also becoming larger every year and it’s nice that we’ve been a part of it from the beginning.  It is held in the Vancouver Convention Centre East Wing and not at a university.  This alone shows their growth and potential for years to come.  

I love the natural lighting the Vancouver Convention Centre has to offer.


People in the Vancouver area love anime.  Vancouver is a major hub located in the Pacifc Rim with a huge Asian influence.  Because of the diversity of Vancouver we get to experience more of what the world has to offer than most.

We have made numerous friends at these shows.  From vendors to artists to customers.  It’s a great feeling to be locally recognized and supported.  That’s a major reason we do this con as well.  We love to show our support.  Having this as our only Anime Convention is like us remembering our roots and where we started from.

Feel free to stop by this weekend or visit Ningen Headwear to see what we have to offer.

The Big One

The Big One is happening this weekend and as usual it will be earth shattering.  San Diego Comic Con is the convention that started it all 46 years ago.  It began small and slowly grew.  Then it suddenly exploded in the 21st Century and has continued to gain popularity among movie goers, comicbook collectors, videogame fanatics, actors, film studios, media outlets, and everyone in between.  


Over the past few years, SDCC has reached a new level of importance in the entertainment industry.  Tickets are sought after by fans for access to exclusive merchandise, film previews, actor panels, and seeing killer costumes.  This weekend, most of my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feed will be filled with all things COMIC CON.  Saying that I’m jealous that we aren’t going to be there is an understatement.  However, seeing it through the eyes of those who I follow on social media is probably better for getting an all around feel of the con.  It saves me from waiting 4 hours to get into a panel at the fabled Hall H.  

As much as we go to conventions to sell my wife’s hats (Check out Ningen Headwear), SDCC would have us lost in a sea of vendors that are far too big for us to compete with.  For our little business, we make sure that we sell at Conventions that have an attendance of over 70k people.  That’s a fairly big number.  Our favorite Con: Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo.  Calgary hit over 102,000 in 2015.  Not a bad number at all.  Except SDCC 2015 had 167,000 attendees.  I’m not a fan of crowds of that magnitude.  I am quite content to be able to view everything on my cellphone and still get excited over the news that will come from SDCC.  Ok, I am still jealous of those enjoying the show.

I do love the convention circuit and get depressed if it’s been too long in between shows.  This past spring we crammed in four conventions in just over a month.  That was a tad bit overwhelming.  We are lucky that our children have been attending cons with us for so long and started at such a young age.  They are used to the crowds and what a Comic Con has to offer.  The first convention I ever attended was when I was a teenager.  I went to a Star Trek convention with a friend from school.  It was a one day event and the crowd was probably about 6000 people.  

The struggle is real.


I loved it.  The costumes were classic Star Trek and Star Trek:TNG mostly.  Same with the merchandise being sold.  There was some other Sci-Fi memorabilia and trinkets for sale.  At age 14 I only brought $20 with me.  It was hard to decide what I needed to buy.  I couldn’t afford a tricorder and forking over $4 for a Star Trek Federation lapel pin was really difficult.  Most boys my age were hanging pictures & posters of girlsor cars on their walls.  The other big purchase at my first convention was a $12 six foot tall door poster.  It was sexy in all of its glory.  It was of the Xenomorph Alien breaking through the door.  I kept that poster for years as a fond memory of that introduction into a world that made me feel like I fit in.


Now it seems that the Geeks shall inherit the earth.  It is prevalent when looking around and everything is nerd based & mainstream.  SDCC is even hosting a Pokemon GO event in the coveted Hall H this weekend.  Perhaps we shall see a sighting of a rare Pokemon!  I’m also excited about the possibility of some teaser Star Wars and Marvel movie clips.

Expect me to be buzzing with joy all weekend, even if it’s just in spirit.  Enjoy SDCC 2016!