Tigercon is proof that awesome things can come in small AND FREE packages. I regret that this past Saturday was my first time. A convention organized by the anime club at Towson University, it occupies most of two floors of one campus building. It’s not small. It’s tiny. The turnout, however, beguiles expectations. All seven hundred badges were gone roughly three hours after start.
The amount of fun also defied expectations. Besides the band, there were no “guests” to speak of. Half of the panels featured topics I had no interest in. The only thing left to do were the dealer’s room, video game room and video programming. With so little to do, I am trying to determine how I still managed to thoroughly enjoy myself.
The concert is a good reason but that deserves its own article. Perhaps my expectations were too low? Or perhaps I have never been so flattered! It happened all too suddenly. Within my first hour of arrival, I received more hugs than my entire con going career. I think it was six. That’s one every ten minutes. (One friend even half mock shoved her friend away in order to get her turn.) I am fairly confident that the final tally (ten?) will prove greater than the number of hugs I will ever receive for the rest of said career (not counting this amazing con).
It wasn’t just hugs. I also received more compliments on my cosplay than all the other cons combined. And more people requested photos. I even got dragged into my first photoshoot. The avalanche of attention was a pleasant surprise.
I had just read Charles Dunbar‘s impression of NYCC the day before so I can’t help but feel, if I may be so bold, the Dunbar Phenomenon. In every respect, Tigercon is the opposite of NYCC. Except one. It is still a convergence of fandom. Just much, much cozier and without the claustrophobia.
This has more to do with Towson University than Tigercon but the building featured ungendered restrooms besides the typical binary! I knew I should’ve taken a picture. Really, really sugoi. The two panels are adjacent so noise pollution was a problem on several occassions. While the video rooms share the same setup, I did not encounter the noise issue there.
Considering the scarcity of space, there wasn’t really any traffic congestion to speak of. Of course all bets are off when people decide to take photos by the stairs. That said, there are multiple stairways so it’s literally seconds to take the long way. There’s a gigantic balcony of sorts on the second floor that serves as a good photo gathering besides the pond formation out front.
I have one single complaint. There were no Stocking cosplay. Technically, there was a lazy one who just did the trademark hair. It doesn’t count unless…stocking! Also, seriously, bag check for dealer and video game room is really annoying. Camera, wallet, phone and two hands. You do the math. Don’t worry. There was a line (seven people including non con goers) while I was trying to get food so you won’t miss out on that beloved con past time. Didn’t venture off campus so no report on that alternative.
Tigercon is a gem. Tom volunteers for it so it’s a vet there. It’s COMPLETELY free. Even parking. On one hand I recommend everyone to attend, then on another, I want to keep this treasure all to myself. Besides, I wonder if the magic can hold if it grows too big. Going to show up earlier next year to guarantee myself a badge.
More pictures here.