Ending B

I can't log out!!!

Acen 2009 Report: Day One

by Eric Kociecki

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day one is finished and everyone else in our hotel room is asleep. It's way too late at night/early in the morning, so I'm gonna try to make this quick. We arrived at the hotel yesterday evening, about an hour after Artist Alley registration closed. I already had my con badge, so this wasn't an issue for me, but it meant that Kim would need to wake up a bit earlier tomorrow to get everything taken care of before setting up her tables. This morning we headed over to start the con! Read more after the jump.

Line of people outside Acen

This is the line to enter the dealer's room

Once inside the con I got to exploring. The first stop was the dealer's room, where I found the t-shirt castle! Every wall of this castle (inside and out) was covered in t-shirts. There were tables set up with t-shirts. Employees were advertising t-shirts. It was t-shirt heaven!

A huge t-shirt booth at Acen

I kept waiting for the medieval weapons dealers to lay siege to the t-shirt castle

There were tons of cosplayers, and more crossplayers than I expected. The con seemed to me to have more artists and dealers than Otakon, but fewer attendees. I'll have to see what tomorrow brings, as Saturday is traditionally the busiest day for cons.

A couple dressed as Mario and the Princess

This picture is to convince my parents to cosplay with us next time

Part of the problem at Acen is the layout of the con. Registration, Artist Alley, the Dealer's Room, and a few minor extras are in the convention center. The rest of the con takes place in three of the local hotels (mostly the Hyatt). There are covered pedestrian bridges connecting most of this, but it still spreads out the con over a large area that requires a lot of walking to get anywhere. Because of this spread, the con never feels crowded, but it hurts one of the best parts of cons. Nowhere is there a huge congregation of cosplayers like Otakon and even Ohayocon have. Acen spreads them out over too large of an area. My favorite part of cons is just wandering around mingling with the cosplayers, and that just doesn't work as well here.

A mudkip cosplayer

I hope the weather stays this nice

The only other problem has been the lack of affordable food. The area right around the convention center is pretty swanky and has quite a few high end restaurants. Our first night we checked out some of their menus and found one place that was serving quite a few meals well in excess of $40. Just for the food! If you don't mind a little bit of a walk, you can get to a Denny's farther down the street. Tomorrow I'll probably just eat the generic con burgers, pizza, and hot dogs.

A Faith cosplayer

Woo! Mirror's Edge!

Regardless of my above rants, the con is still a lot of fun and we're all looking forward to tomorrow. As soon as I get some sleep that is.