I’ve spent the last five years covering fan conventions, both the big events like San Diego Comic-Con and smaller, hotel cons like Anime Los Angeles. As far as reporting to go, these are nearly always my favorite assignments. That’s why I need to dig deeper into it.
Maybe my convention coverage is a little different from what you might expect. I’m not particularly concerned with entertainment industry announcements. Checking out the toys and art and costumes are fun, but they aren’t everything. Mostly, I’m interested in people. This is evident in stories I’ve written for L.A. Weekly, like “A Fan Convention Through the Eyes of a Single Cosplayer,” “The Curious World of Voice Actors” and “Sean Z. Maker: Founder of Bent-Con, the LGBT Pop Culture Convention.” I want to know why you lug your work out to artist alley booths, why you volunteer to run them and why you spend months working on a costume.
Right now, I’m in the beginning phases of a large-scale interview project concerning the world of fan conventions. The goal is to present a series of essays about people from various segments of the convention world. I will be updating this blog weekly with stories resulting from these interviews, essentially the rough drafts for what will, hopefully, become a book.
This where you come in. I’m putting out an open call for interview subjects. It’s imperative that these interviews take place in person, either at a convention or a mutually agreed upon location. Since I’m working with no budget for travel, this means that you have to be from the Los Angeles area. The first interview should take about an hour. We may need to meet for subsequent interviews, depending on the nature of the story. I’ll also need to take a few quick photos of you, so it’s important that you’re not camera shy. Finally, if you want to be considered for an interview, you need to be at least 18 years old. If you’re still interested, email me at lizohanesian [at] yahoo [dot] com with the subject line Convention Interview Project.
I’ve already conducted a few interviews, which you will see as soon as I can get those transcribed. Over the next few months, we’ll start to watch the big story unfold together.