This year, for the first time ever, your ol’ pal Phantom will be attending MomoCon!
I have no idea what to expect from this very different convention. Obviously parallels can be drawn between MomoCon and Dragon Con, but this one certainly seems to be aimed at a younger crowd. With a focus on anime, video games, and cosplay I’d imagine it draws the currently relevant “youth culture” much more than it does crusty old grumps like me. From looking at pictures it seems like the average attendee age might just barely be out of high school.
What that means is that this will be a fresh, new experience for me and that to a certain extent I will be much more of an observer; reporting on MomoCon in a much more traditional way than I usually do. I still plan to have fun, but I’m expecting much less interaction than a regular con.
The convention starts on Thursday at 2 PM – that’s when you can start picking up badges – but I’m working Thursday night. Right now my plan is to stop by before I got in to work to grab my press pass. I figure if my Wednesday night shift leaves enough of my soul intact I’ll be able to manage this.
For those of you staying on Thursday, though, get ready. I thought it had to be a mistake at first, but it looks like MomoCon’s programming is literally 24/7!
I’ll be operating purely on caffeine and enthusiasm after getting off work at 5 AM. I have to say, though, the thought of attending a con and not having any obligations other than a recap and social media posts is very appealing.
Like every con, MomoCon presents scheduling conflicts that will require some – likely last-minute – decision making. I’m going to go ahead and list everything I’m interested in that’s happening during the times I’ll be there, mostly as a way to show you guys just how diverse the programming is and that there’s plenty of stuff to do even if you’re not a young whippersnapper.
1 PM – The Stars of Voltron! – Main Stage Exhibit A3 – The new Voltron cartoon on Netflix has been great. I’d be up for some behind-the-scenes talk from the cast.
2:30 PM – Voice Acting Roundtable – Main Stage Exhibit A3 – I’ve mentioned it here and there, but voice acting is the dream I never pursued. It’s still an art I find fascinating. This panel features the pros Barbara Goodson, Chris Rager, Josh Martin, Kyle Hebert, Nolan North, and Richard Epcar.
2:30 PM – X-Men: The Animated Series 25th Anniversary – Main Events Omni-EF – This is, for me, a must-see panel. Eric and Julia Lewald and Mark Edens were part of the creative team behind one of the best animated adaptations of all time. I will be freaking out at these people’s table most of the weekend. They were also involved in Skeleton Warriors, The Real Ghostbusters, ExoSquad, the animated RoboCop shows, and all kinds of other projects.
2:30 – Beginner’s Guide to Voiceover – Private Workshops 304 – I guess it’s really not too late for me to look into voice work, so it couldn’t hurt to take a workshop. Of course, I’m not missing that X-Men panel, so maybe another time (this sort of decision making is probably why I’m not a voice actor).
4 PM – Karaoke Friday Evening – International Lounge O-ABC – I am always up for some con karaoke, but I will be leaving at 5 so I can get back home to take Phantom, Jr. to see Solo.
Friday will give me a taste, but I plan to fully immerse myself in this thing on Saturday. I will be here ALL DAY and long into the night.
11:30 AM – Anime 101 for Parents – Screenings O-Juniper – This is the sort of thing that, to me, seems specific to MomoCon. I feel like as an organization they put a lot of thought and care into their presentation, so this sort of panel is likely to be an interesting and informative experience.
1 PM – Twisted Toonz: Beauty and the Beast – Main Stage Exhibit A3 – This panel made me realize that some of these descriptions are a bit sparse or opaque:
“Are you ready to attend the one event at the con that everyone will be talking about next week all over the world? Then you do NOT want to miss the famous live movie read featuring the biggest voice acting superstars in the galaxy!”
Okay, that seems pretty straightforward. But the listing has a red diamond - a warning of adult content (which I didn’t even know they had at MomoCon or else I might’ve submitted some panel ideas…). I’m especially surprised to see adult content this early in the day. I’m not entirely sure what they’re doing, but some of the best-known voice actors on the guest list are part of it – Josh Keaton, Kari Walhgren, Nolan North, and Troy Baker – so it’s definitely a high-profile event.
2:30 PM – Arby’s Social Media – Meet the Artists – Main Panels 412 – This may seem like an odd choice, but Arby’s social media accounts are impressively tuned in to current pop culture. I’m curious to see how that all goes down.
2:30 PM – Cuphead Animation and Character Design – Main Panels 404 – Phantom, Jr. loves Cuphead and I have to admit that the designs are fantastic. I haven’t played the game yet, but I hear it’s super hard. Gameplay aside, I’d love to hear about how this game came to be what it is.
2:30 PM – Karaoke in Cosplay Contest – International Lounge O-ABC – YES TO THIS. I love cosplay and enjoy karaoke when I can. Cosplayers performing karaoke sounds awesome.
4 PM – Karaoke Saturday Evening – International Lounge O-ABC – Then just stick around for standard karaoke! Honestly, I don’t think I could be drunk enough before 8 PM to do karaoke in public, but we’ll see what happens.
4 PM – Voice Talent vs Voice Actor – Private Workshops 304 – I don’t know what the difference is, but I’d sit in on every one of these workshops if I could.
5:30 PM – Voicing for Animation – Main Stage Exhibit A3 – This one isn’t a workshop, but a standard panel with Carey Means, Josh Keaton, Kimberly Brooks, and Richard Epcar.
5:30 PM - Breaking Things – Physical Arts 402 – You might think that anything nestled under a “physical arts” category might not be my thing, but “Fighting against evil, conniving, spineless construction supplies! How to break things, why things break the way they do, and how to not break yourselves!” sounds like a lot of fun to me.
8:30 PM – Celebrity Jackbox – Main Stage Exhibit A3 – Wait – did they steal this from my now-defunct Dirty Con Game Show? The description mentions quips and witty answers and includes a person named “Octopimp”, which sounds reprehensible. I’m gonna check it out.
8:30 PM – Bit Brigade – Main Events Omni-EF – I missed them at Dragon Con, will I catch them at MomoCon? Find out next week!
10 PM – I’m Not Drunk Enough or These AMVs – AMVs 302 – I don’t know what AMVs are, but I suppose this weekend I’m going to find out. I’m probably going to find out a lot of things. And most of them will probably make me feel even older.
11 PM – Monster Mash Rave – Main Stage Exhibit A3 – This I understand.
11:30 PM – Cosplay Dance Battle – Physical Arts 402 – It’s fortunate that the rave goes until 4 AM, because this may well be the highlight of my weekend. The only thing better than watching cosplayers do karaoke is probably watching cosplayers have dance-offs. I’ve witnessed it at other cons and it’s insane. I’ve never seen it in a professionally judged environment before, though.
1 AM – Mermaiding 101 – Panels 316 – Panels 3:16 says you have a fish tail for legs, son! If you want to know where to find me and our pal, Mike Gordon, at 1 AM on a Sunday, this is it. Q&A with a real-life mermaid.
1 AM – Really, Japan, Really!? – Madness 301 – I have not mentioned this “Madness” room/track/whatever yet because it’s either going to be hilarious or tremendously annoying to me. I’ve read descriptions for all of their panels and it’s all the kind of stuff that’s great when people who are good at it do it, but horrible otherwise. And unfortunately it’s the kind of stuff that your average person thinks they can do, like “riffing” on movies.
I’ll probably drop by this room earlier in the weekend just to find out what’s up, but the name of this panel hits close to home for me. I have uttered that sentiment on many occasions.
1 PM – Becoming A Professional Geek – Main Panels 406 – There are a ton of MomoCon guests who have turned hobbies into careers because they are really good at promotion and networking, two things I am not good at. I doubt this panel will change my life, but it could certainly be helpful or at least informative.
1 PM - Voice Acting from the Pros – Main Panels 412 – Another one that will be interesting to sit in on even if my chances of entering the industry at this point are nil.
2:30 PM - Springfield Confidential – Main Panels 406 – Mike Reiss from The Simpsons! Should be cool!
And that’s all I’ve got for you, Phantomaniacs. There are also some extra events like concerts that you can hear about on Episode 212 of the Needless Things Podcast.
Additionally, MomoCon has the requisite Artist Alley and Walk of Fame. You can find full lists and the schedule at the MomoCon website.
Keep an eye out for me and be sure to say “hi” if you see me – I’m not going to know anyone at this thing!
You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest on pop culture!