Who put a magazine in my program book?!?
Last year, about 1700 folks filled the Hotel Formerly Known As The Holiday Inn O’Hare to celebrate comics, manga, asian film, anime, music, and toys.
Last year went so well, the staff wondered what would we do for an encore?
We wouldn’t try for an encore. We wanted to try new things. Like this book you’re holding.
I remember that hot, lazy July day when Ben Nunez, Anime Reactor’s Creative Director, told me about his plan for the program book.
It was hot that day.
Very, very hot.
I digress. Ben and I were on our way to a movie. “I’ve got an idea for the program book,“ Ben started. “Why don’t we make it like a magazine. You know, something people will pick up and read after the convention is over?”
“You’re a damn genius,” I said to Ben with a smile. “Now you and Tim Georgi make it happen!”
That’s an over-simplification of what really happened, but you get the idea. The wheels of change were set in motion not only for our program book, but in every department at Anime Reactor.
Change even came to the convention’s name, as we declared that this year’s convention would be known as “Anime Reactor 2: Atomic Boogaloo.” The name is more than a passing reference to a crazy break dancing film from the late 80s. The spirit of Boogaloo encapsules everything we want Anime Reactor to be.
Boogaloo, also known as boogalu, is a type of music popularized in the late 60s. Boogaloo fused Rhythm & Blues and mambo into a new type of popular music. This new music form inspired a loose, interpretive dance.
The spirit of Boogaloo, a musical celebration of two distinct cultures, embodies everything we want Anime Reactor to be.
While we were planning this year’s convention, the staff noticed that a new group of people took an interest in Reactor. It seems that everyone who came last year had a blast, and told their friends about all the fun they had. As a result, we saw an increase in our pre-registrations.
How much of an increase?
We doubled last year’s pre-registration numbers.
On behalf of the staff of Anime Reactor, I would like to thank everyone who attended in 2003 and told their friends about all the fun they had. I’d also like to thank all of our pre-registered attendees for their support. To those who walked in and heard this was the world’s biggest party… You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
If you have a question or comment, grab one of the folks in a staff shirt. Tell them how you feel. Or, if you’d like to talk to me directly, you can join myself and the Assistant Executive Director Hugh Scharland in our office, named the Tequillarium, which occupies the atrium area of the hotel right above the Artist’s Alley. Pull up a chair, brush the cigar smoke aside, and tell us what you think.
Now, go have fun!
James L. Alsup III