Within the framework of society, there is a general feeling that although someone may not be blood related, they are still family. There was family all around at J1-Con. Jason Richardson, owner of J1-Studios, puts his heart and soul into creating a familial experience for the anime community of Philadelphia each year. The feeling is evident in the dedicated fans that turned up for the last hurrah in Philadelphia. While only personally knowing a few cos-players that attended, I was introduced to many more that immediately accepted me for me. The feeling was heartwarming and mutual. I immersed myself into the culture of the weekend and found myself in a world of positive, creative comfort.
Whether I was observing the camaraderie in the video gaming section, seeing smiles on customers faces making a purchase from a vendor, or witnessing a fan meeting a cos-player they admire, J1-Con’s family ties were strong. From the solo cos-playes, to groups, everyone was accepted. I was immersed in a culture of fandom, dedication, and love. Everyone in attendance was included. Everyone had a say. Everyone had their own way of expressing their love of attending. Eric Cooper, creator of “Knight Seeker” was connecting with fans of all ages, and fan favorite Chris Williams, creator and illustrator of the comic “Summons” had the crowd out in droves!
Even though there was a last-minute venue change, Jason and his team pulled off a wonderful final J1-Con hurrah in Philadelphia. Historically con/event organizers/director may usually be seen running around from point to point making sure everything is in order, seeming like the world is constantly one step ahead from their grasps. Jason’s composure under the pressure of the weekend trumped any potential reservations there may have been about the venue change. All events came together beautifully at this local fan favorite.
Next year we will see J1-Con move to Atlantic City, NJ to the Showboat Hotel 801 Boardwalk Atlantic City 08401. J1-Con is scheduled for September 14, 15 and 16, 2018! Early bird registration ($40 for a weekend pass) is available on the J1-Con website now!