In the 18 years that I've been attending conventions, I never once imagined that I would be attending one for My Little Pony
. When I heard the Equestria L.A. was returning this year, I decided that I was going to check it out.
Due to time and budget, I had to skip my "annual pilgrimage" to Anime Expo earlier this year, but I feel that it was well worth it...Day 1
The last time I was at the Anaheim Hilton was for Anime Expo 1998 - the venue was just as I remembered it. I arrived bright and early to pick up my pre-reg badge and look over the schedule.
I hit the Opening Ceremonies, the Biologist Animal Show - a presentation by the Wildlife Learning Center in Sylmar, CA (the charity the convention was supporting this year), the Writer's Q&A Panel, the MLP Creators Panel (where Lauren Faust asked for Bonnie Zacherle's autograph on a vintage pony toy), How to Draw Ponies with Agnes Garbowska, and John De Lancie's Q&A.
Veteran convention goer that I am, I was able to subsist on granola bars and water from the ballroom water dispensers for a good part of the day - at least, before breaking down and purchasing an early dinner from the S'barro's onsite. I concluded Friday with the Fan Art is Magic panel, where
was among the panelists (thanks for your advice RE: line art refinement, Trini).Day 2
I started off with M.A. Larson's Interview with Lauren Faust, followed by Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the Charity Mad Libs with the voice actors. I'm pretty sure that by now, videos of these events have already been uploaded to YouTube. Among the Whose Line sketches was an improv Gospel song performed by Michelle Creber and Black Gryph0n entitled "Don't Touch My Optimus Prime Rib."
I would have liked to attend a Meet N Greet with a couple of the guests, but these were available only to those attendees who were actually staying at the Hilton. I guess limiting the Meet N Greet sign ups to hotel guests in the convention room block was the only efficient way of keeping them to a reasonable number.
For me, the highlight of Saturday was seeing a Fluttershy cosplayer carrying a sign that read: "Praise Smooze" on one side, and "Smooze Loves You" on the other. That, along with a Sonata Dusk cosplayer - the ONLY siren cosplayer I encountered all weekend.Day 3
I hit the Voice Actor and Comic Artist panels. Agnes Garbowska and Jenn Blake
had a back-and-forth "doodle duel" going on during the first half of their panel. Afterward, the sketches they did on the clear overhead projector sheets went up for sale at the charity table in the vendor's room. I immediately purchased the sketches of Rarity and Fluttershy that Jenn did.
I then headed over to Jenn's and Agnes's tables where I picked up a few prints, and some helpful advice from both artists regarding composition (thank you ladies). I originally hadn't planned on getting any autographs, I decided to get Tabitha's autograph on Jenn's sketch of Rarity.
I concluded my convention experience with a late lunch at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles down the street.
Overall, it was an excellent convention experience. It was more laidback feeling than a large con like Anime Expo. It was also good to see many of the folks from the local So Cal Brony potlucks. Most importantly, I was reminded of the reason I participate in any fandom - the sheer creativity that permeates both the franchise and the work of its fans.
Hope everybody is enjoying the Labor Day holiday!