Thursday, December 29, 2011

Matthew's Convention Year In Review 2011

As a preparation for writing this year-end review, I look back at what I wrote last year. I also wonder if I'll say that "this was a year of firsts,'" but at this point I need to find a new catchphrase to say during these year-end reviews. Regardless, 2011 was a year of milestones for myself and the California Conventions Blog, which I hope can lead into success in 2012.

We took our first step towards entering the comic convention sector of the blog with our visit to Anaheim Comic Con. While this isn't the holy grail in San Diego Comic Con, I was able to experience the major differences between both a comics convention and a convention with a Japanese/Asian focus like FanimeCon. Both have its perks, drawbacks, and experiences that you can only get with either convention. For example, I had two different experiences with voice actor James C. Burns during both Anaheim Comic Con and SacAnime Summer; one convention felt like he was on a strict schedule and wasn't as available as I thought he would, and another convention was very loose and felt more comfortable. A goal for the California Conventions Blog is to send someone, whether it's myself or one of the staff members or a combination of both, to San Diego Comic Con on press badges. We've been successful in providing coverage at FanimeCon and Anime Expo under press badges, and I think we can provide the same insider coverage at San Diego Comic Con.

There was a significant upgrade in the quality of our coverage. At FanimeCon 2010, I did coverage on a point-and-shoot Sony digital camera. At FanimeCon 2011, I was working with a Nikon DSLR, which translated into beautiful photographs and images that can tell the story much better than a point-and-shoot. There was also a upgrade in the video department. 2011 will the last year under standard definition video coverage as 2012 will usher in the era of high definition video coverage which will, like the DLSR, help us improve the overall storytelling and the quality of the experiences. There's also a podcast that is currently in development, and we hope to have more episodes detailing conventions and and our experiences.

2011 also brought some change that, whether I liked it or not, I had to deal with it somehow. The staff at Anime Expo 2011 was huge, and I had to manage that not at the convention site but all the way back in Sacramento. This was the biggest lesson that I learned from this year, and as 2012 brings more split coverage such as ALA and SacAnime Winter to start off the year I have to be calm and not be haste and worrisome to make checks to my staff every five minutes. This year also saw someone leaving the blog staff, and it's always hard to make a decision especially as we've all become this close-knit family, but decisions are made every day in this type of environment and sometimes we need to move on from things.

As 2011 comes to a close, I think that this blog continues to be more of an impact in how we see anime and comic conventions and how we choose to convey our stories. Somewhere in this process I lost sight of this statement with all the new in 2011, but with the help of my staff members they helped me correct myself so that we can all aim ourselves towards a brighter 2012.

I would like to personally thank every staff member who has worked for me. Without you, I would be at a loss and none of this would of happened. I hope to serve all of you in 2012 and in the years to come.

I would also like to thank our readers and subscribers. You are the reason that the blog exists, so that we can tell and illustrate our stories to you. To all of you: expect bigger and prettier coverage in 2012.

And with that, my convention year in review is done. Once again, thank you all!

Have a safe, healthy, and successful new year!

-Matthew Miranda
Founder & Editor in Chief

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