Words and photos by Mike Toole. Some pictures are thumbnails. Click for larger image.
I love Anime Weekend Atlanta. Not only have I made a million friends at the convention, there’s always an interesting mix of good programming, weird stuff, and fun guests. I won’t waste time waxing poetic– here are some of my favorite photos from Anime Weekend Atlanta 7!
In this first photo, popular ADV voice actors Jessica Calvello and Brett Weaver harrass Bruce Lewis at the Cheap Disposable Entertainment table. I’d print what these two goons were saying to poor Bruce, but it would probably get me locked up. Without electricity.
Later, I took a candid photo of Brett, and forgot to turn the “read mind” feature on my digital camera off. We should alll be lucky enough to be as lucid and introspective as Brett.
I later went to a panel on writing about anime, which I wasn’t actually sitting on. (I was incensed, of course, but I somehow managed to keep my famously-violent temper in check.) Here, Rob Fenelon, Steve Kyte, and Jonathan Clements react to the sudden appearance of a monkey on Helen McCarthy’s head. After a brief but memorably chaotic moment, it was established that the monkey was actually a regular contributor to Animerica magazine, and the panel continued peacefully.
Here’s a shot of Carl Horn and Bruce Lewis, the other two panelists. Did you know that Carl discovered the peanut? It’s true! And Bruce is actually the man who invented Velcro! I’m serious!
The next day (that would be Saturday, you loons), I began the day properly by attending the panel of Hilary Haag and Kira Vincent-Davis, two more actors in ADV’s stable. It was a fun panel (only 3 unruly fans had to be escorted out by armed guards). I enjoyed hearing the two talk, even though I was mostly there to meet Hilary (on the left). Her performance as Nene in Bubblegum Crisis 2040 had charmed the hell out of me, so I was crushed when I discovered that she didn’t look exactly like Nene. Can you believe that? And George Lowe doesn’t look like a thing like Space Ghost, either! I want my money back.
After the panel, I rushed up and took a photograph of the gang at the front. Left to right, it’s Greg Wicker, Brett Weaver, Hilary Haag, and Matt “Bowling” Greenfield.
I really can’t remember when this photo was taken. I think I took it on friday night, and then it somehow got processed out of sequence. Here’s evening relaxation, featuring Melissa Jensen, Dan Baker (peeking out from the back), and Kathy, one of the coordinators of the wonderful party on Saturday night that is only open to a select few friends.
Cosplay photos are fun and popular, but I tend to only take a specific variety of cosplay photo when I can: the kind where the person in costume is doing something normal, like waiting in line at the ATM. Here, as Prairie succinctly puts it, Hikaru is waiting to get her escudo.
The Georgia International Convention Center is spacious and roomy and space-age. Here’s a couple of balcony-eye views of the crowd gathering for registration and the dealer’s room on Saturday morning.
These two crack me up. On the left, there’s Corinne Orr, voice of Trixie in Speed Racer, the Snuggle fabric softener bear, and hundreds of other character voices. On the right, there’s Peter Fernandez, the voice of Speed in Speed Racer, and the lucky guy who got to direct the dubs of all sorts of cheesy old Japanese movies and cartoons. Meeting these two is always a tremendous experience– they’re always full of stories about how bizarre the cottage industry of dubbing is.
Saturday night saw a party hosted by the lovely and cultured Jessica Calvello, who will shortly be appearing as the title character in Excel Saga. Her only requirement for admission to the event was that each person needed to wear something anime-related on their head. Here’s ADV’s famous producer David Williams, wearing something anime-related on his head.
Here’s more from the party. On the left is Mariela Ortiz, known to Anime on DVD readers as the keeper of the indispensable Grand High Licensing List. On the right is Stan Dahlin, the man who brings guests to Anime Weekend Atlanta and arranges them in a fashion that allows us fanboys to meet them. He’s a swell guy.
Blinded by the flash in my camera, EK grins helplessly, while Mariela reads comics.
I stopped on the way out of the party to be photographed with its hostess, Jess herself. (She’s dressed as Shiokaze from Virgin Fleet, a character she provided the voice for in the dub. Don’t mind her, she always dresses like that.)