It’s that time of the year again where your feed is filled with top moments of 2018 lists. Instead of doing one post each week like I have in years past, I decided just to do one big one this year. 2018 was another fun year for conventions and here are my favorite moments since January. As a reminder, these are just my opinions! Tweet me your favorite con moment(s) from the past year!
10. Custom Arcade Cabinets
I’m a sucker for retro gaming and this past Game On Expo I fell in love with three custom arcade cabinets that were in the theme of Ducktales, Mega Man, and The Legend of Zelda. The insides featured emulators and any game could be played but it felt right playing the actual game of the cabinet theme.
9. John Romita Jr. Visits Arizona
This past January, Ace Comic Con came to Glendale and one of the headlining creators was John Romita Jr. The long time comic book artist has an extensive list of work, a lot of it coming from Marvel titles. I don’t recall John Romita Jr attending an Arizona convention in the past 5 years so getting a book signed was a must.
8. The Cosplay at WonderCon
It’s no secret that WonderCon is usually one of my favorite conventions of the year as it has some really solid panels, its well organized, and its generally a good time. This past year however, I felt like the panels were lacking (or at least lacking in things that interested me) but the amount of awesome cosplay made up for it. You could easily spend a good portion of your day in front of the convention center or in the lobby and take a ton of photos of great looking cosplay.
7. My First Anime Expo Experience
I wasn’t ready for my first Anime Expo. It’s a convention with over 100k attendees but unlike San Diego Comic-Con, there is much outside of the convention center to draw attendees out. The convention was PACKED. Combined with the weird layout of the Los Angeles Convention Center (three different main halls) and the heatwave that California was experiencing, it made for a weekend with its highs and lows. I want to go again since I know I have a better feel for the convention and what to expect.
6. Netflix Press Room
My first press room experience came courtesy of Netflix during WonderCon. I got lucky enough to be a part of a round table with three other people from different publications and we had the cast of the Netflix series Lost In Space rotate a few cast members at a time where they talked about their characters and the show. As a special treat, actor Nathan Fillion was a part of the press room as well who was promoting his role in the second season of A Series of Unfortunate Events. While photos of any kind were not permitted, I may or may not have snapped a quick photo as proof it happened 😉
5. The Panels at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con
Yes, I’m a sucker for a good panel. It makes things even easier when I can spend a good portion of the day in the same seat watching entertaining panel after panel. June’s Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con provided a chunk of entertaining panels and was my heaviest attended panel convention this year. Entertaining and interesting guests such as Charlie Cox, Rob Liefeld, Max Mittleman, Jason David Frank and a host of others made it really easy to not to leave the main panel area.
4. Michael Rooker Panel
If you attend a lot of guest panels, you’ll notice quickly that many follow one of two formats (for the most part): either the moderator asks questions the entire time or the time is split between the moderator and the attendees. It is always a nice treat when panels stray from those two formats and Michael Rooker did it to perfection. He spent his entire 45 minute panel running around the large ballroom at Phoenix Comic Fest putting the microphone in the face of people who wanted to ask questions and generally answered a funny and witty way. It was the highlight of the entire convention for me and a memorable moment for a lot of the attendees who to got to ask him a question face to face.
3. Meeting Yuji Horii
Square Enix pulled out all the stops in promoting Dragon Quest XI over the summer and that included bringing legendary series creator Yuji Horii to Anime Expo. Horii participated in several autograph sessions that required a special ticket to attend. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one and waited a brisk 35 minutes for turn to get an autograph and photo Horii. It was literally the first thing I did on my first ever trip to Anime Expo and it was a great way to start the trip.
2. Dragon Ball North American Tour
I’m a huge, huge fan of Dragon Ball. So much so that in my single day in San Diego during SDCC, I made it a priority to visit the Dragon Ball North American Tour exhibit which I was able to do during a press preview of the exhibit (thanks Kerry!). While the exhibit was small but cool, it was such a cool experience to see the inside and outside of the Marriott hotel decked in Dragon Ball materials.
1. Darin De Paul At WonderCon
This was easily my favorite convention moment of 2018. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough then you know I have had a few great run-ins with voice actor Darin De Paul (Overwatch, Final Fantasy XV, Spider-Man). During this past WonderCon, getting ready to call it a day, I saw a small crowd huddled around an individual. As I got closer, I realized it was Darin who was graciously talking to fans and taking photos with. I stood there for a minute and he noticed me and yelled “ROBERT!” and gave me a big hug. We talked for a few minutes and I immediately felt like the coolest kid around. I didn’t want to keep him long so we grabbed a quick photo and I said bye. Afterwards, I caught up with my friends and we ran into Darin again who introduced himself to my friends and chatted for a little bit. Again, it was awesome that he was so polite with my friends when he could of easily excused himself.