Otaku USA Magazine
Japanamerica Author Investigates Anime Cons in the Time of COVID

Japanamerica author Roland Kelts recently wrote a piece for The Japan Times about how COVID-19 is affecting anime conventions.

Cons have been canceled all over this year, and one issue is that the conventions want to get cancelled for safety reasons, but they could lose a lot of money and even cease to exist next year if they break their contracts about holding the con. One such example is Youmacon of Detroit, scheduled to happen in-person later this fall. They’re hoping for help from force majeure, a legal term where contracts can be broken because of the unforeseeable.

“But not all cons have contracts that even allow for government intervention,” A. Jinnie McManus of Colorado Anime Fest and We Run Anime Cons told Kelts. “In some places, that’s seen as ‘big government,’ so it isn’t acceptable. There are cons in the U.S. that have spent thousands of dollars to cancel their own event.”

Kelts’ article also explored how virtual cons have been doing well, though people are also experiencing “Zoom fatigue.”

“The initial approach was to just take what’s on the floor and put it on the internet,” Anime NYC founder Peter Tatara told Kelts. “But the reality is that people don’t experience both the same way. Revenue for artists and distributors has been pennies compared to what they’d get at a physical show.”

Source: The Japan Times


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.