Fandom Convention Love

Photo: Shannon Cottrell/L.A. Weekly, taken at Anime Expo, 2010.

Over at LA Weekly, I write primarily for Style Council, our arts blog. I almost always work with photographer Shannon Cottrell. Together we cover everything from local artists to nightclubs. What we've possibly become known for covering, though, are fandom conventions.

Shannon and I met about two years ago, when we were paired together for the same assignment. Then, at one point I said something to her like, "Hey, want to go to Anime LA with me? There will be lots of cosplayers. You'll get cool photographs."

I'm admittedly an anime nerd, so I had been to Anime LA before, and to a few other cons. Shannon had been to Comic-Con, but hadn't attended any anime events. I'm not sure if either of us knew what was going to happen that weekend. But by the end of it, we had become reporting partners and developed a serious con addiction. Our mission, henceforth, was to scout out every convention, plus fan gatherings in between conventions, and cover them. That summer, we scored our geek fantasy assignments—Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con International—and the obsession grew worse.

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