The Mechacon 9 convention was recently held in the Grand Hilton hotel in New Orleans, celebrating popular culture, cartoons, and anime. Voice actors, as well as celebrities, show up and provide panels for fans’ questions. I decided to go on Saturday for “research.”
A large group of friends and I all got up at around 8:00 a.m. (truly a feat of strength and determination), and drove across the Causeway, with way more money than we would need, to see what it was all about.
Anime. It was about anime. But not just anime, it was an outpouring of a great many fandoms: Homestuck, League of Legends, Borderlands, Bioshock, Doctor Who, Silent Hill, Welcome to Nightvale, and certain others I don’t want to mention. In no less than minutes of arrival, we had snapped pictures with people we didn’t even know and taken photos with a wide variety of cosplayers — those who like to dress in costume as characters from their favorite series. Exerting as little effort as possible, we got lost, then found each other, and then got lost again in a sea of spiky and multicolored wigs.
The celebrities there, while few, were exciting. The original cast of “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” made an appearance, as well as Hynden Walch, the voice actor of Princess Bubblegum from “Adventure Time” and Starfire from “Teen Titans.”
Mr. Guillory, the AP Writing teacher at St Paul’s, was spotted at The Con, son in tow. When asked why he decided to go, he replied, “I really wanted to mee-…I mean my son really wanted to meet the Power Rangers.”
Halfway through the day, the cosplay competition began, which included such characters as: Link from “Legend of Zelda,” Pyramid Head from “Silent Hill,” Weeping Angel from “Doctor Who,” way too many League of Legends cosplayers, and a life size Big Daddy from “Bioshock” with working lights, drill, and a little sister! (Fun fact, the Big Daddy was none other than SPS’s Mr. Carambat’s nephew.)
We escaped to the merchant room, where you could get anything you could imagine and things you never knew existed. There were action figures, wallscrolls, manga, imported video games, anime, statues, accessories, and more. Then there are the things you wish didn’t exist; they sell that too.
By the end of it, we all piled into mech simulators and had a good old giant robot battle royale (they call it Mechacon for a reason). This led to Hoboing Coma (Mitch St. Pierre), JoJo (Jonah Knickles), and Le Dolan Face (August Dixon) completely trashing everyone, while Clogs (myself) and Steely Dan (Kenny Ross) fumbled around the cockpit and crashed our mechs into other people.
As Mechacon began to wind down, we piled in to our Evas and went back home, well over our normal encumbrance level with action figures and statues. During the ride, I reflected on how much fun it was…the shops, the cosplays, the celebrities. And then I realized we would “have” to do it all over again once New Orleans Comic-Con comes around on Feb. 7, 2014. All in the name of research, of course.
[photo credit: Adam Cannon]