When it comes to geek culture celebrations in Atlanta, DragonCon usually gets the dragon's share of publicity. But that's not until Labor Day weekend. Fans of anime, gaming and comic books are getting their summers off to a roaring start this weekend with MomoCon.
What started as a small gathering of Japanese animation lovers at Georgia Tech in 2004 has morphed into a more inclusive, family-friendly event that has outgrown its previous venues at two downtown hotels. 2015 marks MomoCon's debut at two large exhibit halls in the Georgia World Congress Center, which is expected to host approximately 20,000 attendees and more than 200 vendors through Sunday, May 31.
Half of the fun of attending a convention like MomoCon is in the people-watching: Atlanta has a very active cosplay (costume play) community, and you'll find many of them posing for pictures dressed as their favorite anime, comic book and video game characters. Those attending are also bringing their skills to the gaming area, where old-school pinball and arcade classics share space with digital favorites like Mortal Kombat and League of Legends, as well as popular board games like Magic: The Gathering. Like similar conventions such as DragonCon and San Diego ComicCon, the organizers have put together a long list of daily workshops, panels and celebrity signings (in MomoCon's case, the celebrities are top animation voice talent like Keith David, Steve "Master Chief" Downes and Sarah Anne Williams, and established artists such as Drew Garaci and Tracy Yardley.)
MomoCon co-founder Chris Stuckey talks about MomoCon's rapid growth and how it necessitated a move to a larger venue, whether MomoCon can successfully co-exist in the same city (and season) as DragonCon, and why the organizers are determined to make the show as family-friendly as possible.