Alcon has always been a huge reminder to me about how uncomfortable a con can be if you don’t know the subject of the con. Last time I went to Alcon I had seen a grand total of zero anime and had read no manga. This time I went having seen a huge number of five animes and read the entire Attack on Titan series, so at least I knew something about what people were talking about.
Unfortunately I don’t have the greatest association with Alcon. The last time I guested there wasn’t the greatest of experiences for me which consisted mostly of me doing what I was scheduled to do, walk around the con a few times then sit in my room watching Heroes of Cosplay. I agreed to go again this year and hoped that it would be a bit better than last time.
This year was better, primarily because I’ve actually seen some anime and one of my best friends had gone with me to do wig panels. Alcon is a pretty small convention and has a vibrant community spirit, which can be a bit disorientating when you aren’t familiar with the con. It is located at De Montfort University in Leicester which has some beautiful locations for shoots but unfortunately no one using it. Considering some of the pretty decent cosplay there, there was no one there taking many photos, although I did bump into Shades On and Smile 250.
Alcon has quite a full schedule of panels and workshops during the day which can be pretty good if you like that sort of thing. There were panels and workshops about a huge range of subjects from wigs and sewing all the way to voice acting and creating manga. One of the main problems with it was that the panel room wasn’t clearly marked up and the workshops were done in the middle of the artist room, so it was sometimes difficult to figure out if people were there for the workshop or if they were there to just chill.
I did enjoy looking around some of the stalls, especially this one stall that sold shaped cookies with anime logos on them. I ended up having some banter with someone who sold Attack on Titan jewellery and then we ended up in a closed off auditorium to do photoshoots.
Although Alcon isn’t really my cup of tea, on the whole Alcon is a good con if you prefer smaller weekend cons. Personally, Kitacon and Katsucon were more my speed for conventions but I can understand why people would go to Alcon.