March Update 2024

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Tags: Anime 2024 Updates

Galaxycon Richmond 2024

This is probably the most Karen-ish I’m going to sound on my blog. I’m going to be constructive with my criticism and not expect unreasonable things. This was my experience from what I saw and have heard from several sources who attended the con, and things that I think could’ve improved the experience.

My brother, his 2 friends and I all went to Galaxycon Richmond on Saturday March 16th. My brother has been to a few different conventions across the US, and I’ve been to the Galaxycon in Raleigh a few times, but I think this was all of our first times in Richmond for one. It honestly ended up being a pretty bad time for our group. It took about an hour to find a decent parking space and about 3 hours just to get into the building. Then, by the time we got in my brother and his friends had missed all their photo ops which was really aggravating and disappointing. My photo op was later in the day, so I was lucky to be able to still get it, but it wasn’t as enjoyable since they didn’t get theirs.

I’ve never waited for more than an hour at any of the Galaxycon conventions in Raleigh, even when they were checking our bags. My best guess as to why it was so hard to get in is that they overestimated how many people they could handle. There were very few registration booths for what I heard was a sold out convention center (I’ve heard numbers like 30k-50k people showed up), and there was only 1 door to come in to get your badge, and I think 1 or 2 more doors you could come in if you already had your badge.

They focused very heavily on where the lines needed to be going outside instead of having that planned beforehand and working on getting people through the line faster. Maybe the path the line was meant to take was planned beforehand and it just wasn’t communicated well enough to the people showing up, so they were having to fix it as they went. Or they didn’t realize how much space would be taken up by all the people and they had to rearrange it on the fly to get us all to fit into the 1x1 city block by snaking us up and down. There were very few signs indicating where the door even was, you basically just had to look at where the people who were dressed up were going. The people who were guiding the lines probably could’ve/should’ve been inside checking people in instead of having to organize the line. They also probably should’ve had a louder and more commanding tone, it seemed like the person that was directing us was kinda timid and had to call out the directions several times. I understand that due to city ordinances and rules they probably couldn’t block traffic or anything without getting shut down, but the line situation seemed like it could’ve been a lot better prepared for.

I found a reddit post where someone was complaining about the lines from 2023 also taking around 3 hours to get in, so maybe this is just the usual experience. It was pretty quick to check in once you got up to the desk. I’d say it took at most a minute or 2 to get your badge and be able to go where you wanted, unless you had questions or some special circumstance. If they had more spots for people to check people in, or even mailed out badges beforehand, then it could’ve been significantly faster.

The food lines I don’t totally blame them for because there’s only so many spots to get food in the venue, they were going to be crowded anyway after waiting in line for a few hours near lunchtime. I feel like there could’ve been better organization around the lines for the food though. There were lines that stretched 50-100 people long that blocked some areas of the convention. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to try a Korean corn dog, they looked really good and I’ve wanted to try one for a while. I’m sure it was all pretty expensive, but that’s something I expected.

The lack of wifi was really annoying, but that’s because I couldn’t mindlessly scroll social media while I waited in the lines. I’ve heard the vendors wifi was acting up so people couldn’t pay by card, which made the ATM lines incredibly long. Then due to the long lines of the ATMs the machines were getting bogged down and started acting up or ran out of money. I’ve seen a few people on reddit complaining that they were double charged for things they paid for. I guess because they’d try with their card first, realize it probably wasn’t going to work and switched to paying with cash, and then when the vendors systems reconnected it would make the charge again. We were lucky not to have ran into any of those issues because we brought cash.

My brother emailed the organizing staff about how disappointed we were about missing the photo ops, the speed of the lines, the lack of wifi and the general poor experience, and they kinda turned it on him saying that he could’ve gotten his time slots switched once he got into the venue and how the food/lines/wifi weren’t their fault because that’s handled by the convention center themselves. It seemed sort of unprofessional and like they were just passing the buck instead of owning up to their shortcomings and coming up with a plan for the following years. Just sucks to hear their response. I’ve also seen on reddit that several people have had their comments deleted on social media after complaining. If that’s true, that’s really bad.

Overall, I think having a much lower cap of attendance and probably twice as many people working would’ve solved most of the issues and made the experience much more enjoyable. I understand they have to pay their expenses and make some money, but there’s gotta be a better way to handle an event this large. I probably won’t be going to another Galaxycon Richmond for a very long time, unless there is someone I’m really interested in seeing, in which case I’ll be waking up at 5am to get good parking and a spot in line. But even then, I’ll check the Raleigh Galaxycon site first to see if they’re going to be there lol.

Emily Rudd was the saving grace for my experience, if I hadn’t gotten to meet her I would’ve called the entire trip a bust. I was super excited to meet her and she was every bit as nice as I’d hoped she’d be and more. I was really nervous, tired, I hadn’t eaten or drank anything all day, I probably smelled really bad from sweating in line, and I was ready to go home. But she was incredibly sweet, shook my hand and introduced herself. She was like that with everyone I saw her interact with, it was so great to see that she was nice in person. I highly recommend getting a photo op with her, or stopping by her booth to get an autograph if you get the chance. If she’s coming to another con around me in the future I might get another photo op or an autograph to redeem myself. Here’s my photo op with her.

Back Update

After talking about walking and standing for 3 hours, you might be wondering how my back held up. I actually did WAY better than I thought I would.

I’m not gonna say it was comfortable the entire time, there were several points where I was bent over in a weird way to get the stress off my back, but I did stand the whole time. I only started sitting down once we were in the venue.

The ride there and back was about 6 hours total, and that was a little rough. On the way home I wanted to cross my leg but some muscle in my leg didn’t like that and started cramping. It wasn’t the same as nerve pain but I’m not sure if that’s related to the sciatica or if it was just because I was working muscles that hadn’t been worked recently.

I’ve gotten really slack about doing the MGB3, I only do it about once per week now when I go to my friends house. Thankfully I haven’t felt too much pain from not doing it as much, but I should probably get back to doing it 2 or 3 times a week.

Manga Collecting

My friend has gotten me hooked on collecting manga, specifically box sets. I never thought I would try to collect them because it’s expensive, I don’t have a lot of room in my house anyway and I can read a lot of them online for free. But, it’s been super addicting. I already had a few volumes like Dragon Ball Z volume 1 (I got this 10+ years ago, RIP Akira Toriyama) and the Berserk deluxe editions 1 and 5. But, he pointed out a few really good deals on box sets that I couldn’t pass up. A Silent Voice was like $50 for the entire series, the 4th One Piece box set was $100, Assassination Classroom was $100. I also got Goodnight Punpun for $160, but that’s about retail. I just wanted to read it badly (it’s really good so far).

I’m going to have to buy another bookcase or something soon, I actually have no more room on the shelf that I bought last month. I’m looking into getting the 1st One Piece box set soon (when it goes on sale) and maybe Fullmetal Alchemist if this ebay listing I’m looking at pans out. I like knowing that I kinda like the series before I actually buy it so I read a few chapters online and look at reviews. I also hate getting spoiled, so I have to be really careful about where I look things up. I’ve been burned by looking up certain series on social media and then having a spoiler come up in my feed.

I might make a new page on my site for a collection showcase or something. I’m experimenting with images in Hugo, and it’s a little bit of a pain. I’m probably just being dumb.

RIP Baxter and Thievin

I scroll tik tok a lot more than I should, but you find a lot of interesting creators on there. Two of which were Baxter Hosley and Garret MacDonagh. They both had fitness accounts that they would post on almost daily. They both lost a significant amount of weight, documented their journeys, made fitness content and worked with a supplement company called Ekkovision. I hadn’t really watched either of them consistently in a few months, but, I was still incredibly sad to see that they both had passed away on March 10th. They were both slightly younger than I am, which breaks my heart.

They were very loved by their friends and fans. To hear some of the stories that their friends from Ekkovision are telling is really sweet. So many people are pouring out support for them, it’s bittersweet. Ekkovision’s owner, Em, has come out and said that Ekkovision will be taking care of their funerals in full which is really really awesome to hear. I know it won’t replace the hole that they left, but I hope they stay close with the guys from Ekkovision and are able to hear all the stories they have with them.

This is not something that I would normally talk about, but I liked these guys and it struck pretty close to home in a lot of ways so I wanted to pay my respects to them. Last month was really busy and I was complaining a lot and not having a good time. This month has been pretty busy and sad, but very eye opening and I’ve been a lot more thankful for what I have and the experiences I’ve gotten. It can all be ripped away from you in an instant. Tell your friends and family that you love them, because they’ll be gone one day, and more importantly because they’re here now and it never hurts to let them know you care.

by Jackson Taylor