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Saturday, May 24, 2014

4 Reasons Why I Want NEXCON to Succeed


NexCon Manila, touted as "the ultimate celebration of all things science fiction and fantasy", is a week away, and I'm cautiously optimistic. Genre conventions here in the Philippines that aren't anime- or cosplay-centric are few and far between, and what little we do get often fizzle out, never to be heard from again (except for legacy cons like Komikon).

But my nervousness hides the fact that I think NexCon is the hottest thing since sliced bread. Not even joking. Never have I ever wanted a convention to succeed as I do right now. And I have four good reasons why I desperately want it to:

IT'S A WESTERN-STYLE CONVENTION

I've always envied my Western brethren with their SDCCs and NYCCs, with fans paying major cash to go to a convention where they get to see their comic book and movie idols live and even talk to them via panel discussions and the like. NexCon will be offering the same thing in its CINEMA FANTASTICA, MEET THE TALEWEAVERS and KOMIKS REBORN panels that will feature some of the most popular writers, komikeros and directors in the industry. Guys like Marvel artist Leinel Yu and On the Job director Erik Matti in one place talking about their passions? That's something worth paying good money for. Which brings me to my next point...


YOUR ENTRANCE FEE IS ACTUALLY PAYING FOR SOMETHING

I remember one time paying for a convention's entrance fee just to get in, since I was curious at what the con had to offer and also had to meet with friends. After an hour of walking around and not finding anything, I walked out and realized I just payed good money to walk around for a couple of minutes.

NexCon's entrance fees include panel discussions, trivia contests, cosplay and more, and you can choose which ones to opt into when you pay. You're not just paying to get inside a con anymore...you're getting something good out of your well-earned cash. It's that kind of 'bang for your buck' mentality that I wish more conventions here have.

And speaking of things I wish we had more of...
 

SCI-FI/FANTASY NEEDS ITS TIME IN THE PINOY SPOTLIGHT

Anime and cosplay conventions abound here in the Philippines, and while I'm as much an anime fan as a comic book fan (I used to be a common sight in anime conventions during my time as a writer for HeroTV), sometimes too much of the same thing gets stale fast. NexCon is awesome because it's focused on fantasy and sci-fi from TV and film, something the convention scene hasn't seen in a long while, which I hope NexCon remedies. I've seen the passion people here have for their fandoms, from Sherlock to Star Wars, from komiks to Doctor Who, and I feel there should be a con we could actually call our own.

But the most important reason why I want NexCon to succeed is simple:


IT'S DIFFERENT

I've been going to cons for the past decade, and I've seen enough of the same conventions to last me a lifetime.  I think the Philippine fan convention scene needs something different, and a purely sci-fi and fantasy convention might do just the trick. It's a risk, surely, but the idea of a new bar being set for conventions in the country is enough to make me excited for what the future brings!


It's hard to manage expectations when a convention like NexCon is just around the corner. As we speak my Eleventh Doctor costume is itching to be worn among friends and fellow fans...and I'm hoping there would be more NexCons for me to do so!

Now repeat after me: pleasebeawesomepleasebeawesomepleasebeawesome...


...or I could go there and make it so. :)


NexCon Manila happens this May 31 to June 1, 2014 at the Bayanihan Center, Pasig City, Philippines. Tons more info about their activities over at their official site.

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