On July 27, Lock City Anime and Comic-Con ran its annual show. As with last year’s show, it brought a great variety of fandoms together and even expanded to include more vendors and activities for attendees. Because there is a recap from last year’s event, this article will focus on new additions to the show.

I attended this convention for the first time last year and it instantly stuck with me. I knew I wanted to come back. Although it is a small con–it is held in a Best Western Plus–it was packed to the brim both last year and this year. Every year has a theme, and because there was a promotional contest related to Ready Player One leading up to the convention this year, the theme was general pop culture, like the virtual world of the book and film.

The dealer’s room had more of a variety of sellers, with many returning and new vendors. One thing I noticed this year was that it seemed like vendors themselves had more of a theme to their booths. Obviously, artists specialized in whatever they specialize in, but there were also things like (huge) Star Wars– and Pokémon-specific booths. The booths had also expanded outside of the dealer’s room this year into parts of the hallway that led to the game room, as well as the back of the game room, which was expanded this year.

The expansion was a big benefit for both rooms. There was more room for videogames, including an additional VR station that had a variety of games to try out. (There were also baby wipes for the headset!) This also allowed console setups to spread out, which benefited everyone, especially for the game competitions. (The competitions were also more staggered, which also helped.) This also allowed for other types of games, such as a Dungeons and Dragons area.

There were also some spots in the game room set up with chairs and tables, perhaps intended as more game space, but useful as sitting areas for people who just needed a quick break. A nice addition was also a kids’ corner, with comfier chairs and couches and a little LEGO table, along with the tiniest arcade version of Street Fighter I’ve ever seen. (It was kid-sized, but I played it kneeling because it didn’t occur to me until much later that it was intended for children.)

There were fewer guests this year, but it meant more time to meet and hang out with said guests. A standout was actress Brianna Denski, who just came off of the movie Wonder Park. She was on a panel about voice acting, the movie, and her career, and also had a booth that was open for the duration of the convention. Nikki Gee, a professional cosplayer, was another big guest, who ran a booth and a contest. Presumably, she was also involved with the cosplay contest, which attracted many well-dressed cosplayers.

As I said last year, one of the strongest features of this convention is the sense of community. This was still true–there were many familiar faces in the vendors’ room and game room, many of which remembered me and stopped to chat with me. Actually, some of them were at Connecticon this year, and remembered me and chatted with me there, too! But it really is a comfortable con to be at. The staff and vendors are friendly and helpful, and so are the attendees.

I mentioned in last year’s recap article for Lock City that the con seemed it would be a good starter con for kids, or for parents who weren’t sure if they wanted to take their kids to one of the huge in-state cons. This was based on that feeling of friendliness, the size, and the guests obtained for the size of the con. The open-ended theme of the con this year lent to this feeling even more, as there was something for any visitor, even if they were more into classic comics, anime, art, videogames, and so on.

I also got to test my idea this year. I attended with the same friend as last year–and his parents, who decided the morning of that they would like to attend too. Although my friend’s father had attended conventions before, he said it had been about twenty years. So, I’d say it counts as basically a “first con experience.” They seemed to enjoy the experience, and as I’ve been saying, they didn’t really get in on the anime stuff or the videogame stuff, but they were interested in American comic products and Pokémon. They even attended a Doctor Who panel with us!

All in all, this was another great year for Lock City Anime and Comic-Con, which was held in North Haven, Connecticut this year. For more coverage of this and last year’s convention, you can check out our hub page for the convention here.

At this time, no details have been announced for next year’s convention, but you can check out its website for updates in the future and related events throughout the year.

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