Pacific Media Expo 2014

The Los Angeles Airport Hilton celebrated its 10th anniversary hosting Pacific Media Expo this past weekend from November 7-9. Pacific Media Expo (PMX) is one of many annual anime conventions held in southern California. Cosplay, a term coined by combining the words “costume” and “play,” is a large part of the culture of anime conventions. It refers to those who build and sew costumes and attend these conventions in the garb of an anime character, or a character from other genres of media. PMX saw many cosplayers, panelists, and photographers pass through its doors this year.

“This year PMX felt a little small,” says cosplayer Christine Georgiades, when asked her opinion about the convention. “It doesn’t mean I can’t see friends and have a good time, though.” PMX has been competing with Anime Los Angeles (ALA), and it seems ALA might have the upper hand in attendance this year.

Panels ranged from how-to workshops, such as how to make your own armor, to ask-a-character tables, which feature cosplayers in character taking questions from the audience, to autograph booths for voice actors and character designers. Artist Alley and Dealer’s Hall are always a big draw for any convention, and saw a constant stream of cosplayers filtering through and buying anime merchandise and art.

“Artist alley is pretty much why I come to cons,” says cosplayer Tyler Allen. “I like supporting the artists and they’re always really nice.”

“As far as hotel cons go, I feel a little bad for the people just traveling and staying here,” says cosplayer and photographer Terron Seelmare. “I’m sure we freak them out a little, though it’s a great community and when people who are out of the loop take interest, it’s really nice to tell them about this weird, awesome culture we’ve got.”

Anime conventions are definitely a place for the quirky, creative and expressive to find people who share their interests. The next PMX will be hosted on November 13-15, 2015.