Owens to host expanded Glass City Con July 9-10Written by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
With more guests, vendors, artists and gaming space than ever before, anime and gaming fans won’t want to miss this year’s Glass City Con, organizers say.
The event will feature three anime screening rooms, four rooms of panel speakers, two performance stages, an expanded tabletop gaming area and an expanded video gaming area, featuring eight donated flat-screen TVs, said convention organizer and event co-founder Chris Zasada.
The third annual Glass City Con, which is free and open to the public, is set for July 9 and 10 at Owens Community College, 30335 Oregon Road, in Perrysburg. Hours are 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. July 9 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 10.
“We get a lot of local people who are just kind of curious and want to check it out,” Zasada said. “But we do have quite a following with people saying they can’t wait to come and they had such a great time last year.”
Originally known as GarasuNoShiCon —Japanese for Glass City Con — the event started in 2009 with about 500 attendees and 20 artists and vendors; the second year, it more than doubled in size, with 1,100 registered attendees and 47 artists and vendors. This year, 44 artists and 28 vendors are expected. Many attendees will be in costume, Zasada said.
“You’ll see some pretty impressive costumes here. That’s something we’ve become known for is our support of cosplay,” Zasada said. “People get pretty excited to try out or show off their costumes and their passion.”
Cosplay — short for costume play — is one of the biggest draws at Glass City Con, Zasada said. Prizes are awarded for costume craftsmanship and skit performance.
“It usually packs the event rooms,” Zasada said. “Lots of people like to watch people go by in their costumes or perform the skits.”
A live auction after the cosplay competition will benefit Child’s Play, a charity that donates money, video games, DVDs and other entertainment to children’s hospitals around the world.
New guests this year include Findlay-based video game podcasters Classic 1337, video game developer Distant Star Games, voice actress Tiffany Grant, writer John Oppliger, writer/producer/director Matt Greenfield and artist and voice actor Doug Smith.
Linkwise Productions Inc. will screen its independent film “Cosplayers” at its first convention appearance outside the western New York and Southern Ontario area.
Anime titles to be screened include “Hetalia: Axis Powers,” “Evangelion 2.22,” “Summer Wars,” “Highschool of the Dead,” and “Dance in the Vampire Bund,” Zasada said. Another highly anticipated screening will be the classic television series “Dirty Pair.”
“It’s been a series American hardcore fans have been asking for for years,” he said.
Robert Axelrod — best known as the voice of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villain Lord Zedd — will be back this year.
“There’s still people who are fans of that era of Power Rangers who are excited to see him and want to meet the voice of Lord Zedd,” Zasada said. “He also speaks of his experiences in film and does a voice-acting panel. He gives people copies from an actual script and has them read and gives them pointers. He shows them what it’s like to do voice acting or onstage acting. He likes to get some interactive stuff going on.”
Also returning will be fire artist Gwydion aka Anthony Doherty, Sailor Moon musical tribute group The Salad Time Soldiers, musician Gavin Goszka and Toledo kimono specialist Kerry Porter.
The event is primarily an anime convention, but there will also be tabletop gaming, like “Dungeons & Dragons,” and live action role-playing events, including “Eaten Alive” and “Battle Arena,” Zasada said.
Several anime and video game cover bands will perform, including The Mini-GAME from Bowling Green and metal group Year 200X from Lansing.
“There’s actually a lot of them around, but they’re pretty underground,” Zasada said. “These are pretty well-known amongst the fan base.”
Video game developer Galloping Ghost Productions is bringing arcade machines, said Aaron Auzins, co-founder of Glass City Con and head of gaming for the event.
“There’s really nowhere in this area that offers the arcade experience,” Auzins said. “We give people the opportunity to play coin-operated games the way they were meant to be played.”
Attendees will also have the opportunity to play Japanese video games not available in the U.S., Auzins said.
A rave is also planned, featuring DJ TKR of Cincinnati, Auzins said.
“We do actually have guests who come primarily for the rave,” Auzins said. “It’s kind of a different culture associated with the rave.”
The social aspect of the convention is one of its biggest draws, Auzins said.
“People just like to come out and play with other people; it doesn’t really matter what the game is,” Auzins said. “Just to get out of the house and meet with their friends or meet other people.”
“We just hope they come here and have a good time hanging out and meeting people who have similar interests they do,” Zasada said.
For more information, including a full event schedule, visit www.glasscitycon.com.