March 28th was the day of Animarathon VII, a one-day anime convention at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Animarathon is always a highlight of my con season because it’s a completely free convention just outside my hometown of Toledo, so I tend to see a ton of people I know.
It’s really amazing how much this event has grown over the years. I remember going in 2004 when it was still held in just a couple rooms of the BGSU student union, and their Dealer/Artist room was about the size of my living room.
Chris and I left Columbus at about 7:30 in the morning in order to get to the con and set up my table before the Dealer’s Room/Artist Alley opened. I have to say that the staff this year was completely fantastic. This is the third year I’ve been to Animarathon as an artist, and their staff are always cool and competent and such, but this year they really went above and beyond. Several times throughout the day, either the Artist Alley coordinator or another staffer would go around to every table to see how things were going and ask if we needed anything. I actually happened to forget my bulletin board at home (on which I normally display buttons and keychains) and Erin, the AA coordinator, actually went and got me a cardboard box top to use instead, which was a HUGE help!
So a huge thank you to the staff. You guys were utterly awesome!
My friend Amanda Cuprys was right next to me in the AA, selling various cosplay items, so we essentially got to sit and hang out with all my Toledo friends all day. Amanda is a cosplay fiend and makes really excellent work, so you should check out her MySpace, which has pictures of all her costumes.
The Dealer’s Room and Artist Alley were combined this year in one room again, which I think contributed to my slightly lower sales this year. (Last year, the Artist Alley was in the hallways of Olscamp Hall, the building in which Animarathon is held.) Some aisleways of the Dealer’s Room were rather cramped, so hopefully next year they’ll consider moving some of the tables in farther, since there was ample room behind us, in the middle of the circle of outward-facing tables, that wasn’t being used by many of the artists.
Since I started offering Sharpie Drawings on Etsy, I’ve been spoiled by being able to keep index cards as examples, so this time I used my camera phone to get a picture of everyone that I drew!
I will definitely be doing this at as many conventions as possible in the future.
Next weekend I will be at Tekkoshocon in Pittsburg, PA! Due to my obligations with AnimePunch, I’ll only make it there for Saturday, but I’m hoping to see some fans there since it’s one of the bigger events in the area. Look out for another report next week!