Originally posted 2016-07-03 12:00:52.
Hiya! WoWMeaghan here, and I’m so pleased to report that we had a fabulous time at JAFAX (Japanese Animation Film and Art Expo) in Grand Rapids Michigan! It was my first time attending, and I learned a boat load of information regarding the Expo!
JAFAX has traditionally been located at Grand Valley State University, in Allendale Michigan. Historically, it has been a free-admission con, but due to its growth and expansion, this year JAFAX decided to move to the Devos Hall in Grand Rapids Michigan. It was also the first year JAFAX charged for admission. It was great to talk to some of the volunteers and die hard fans of JAFAX about the positive changes that caused the switch. The biggest reason was the need to have a larger venue to accommodate some 5,000 people that attended in previous years. This year’s expo marked JAFAX’s 20th Anniversary, and was dubbed JAFAX 2.0 – Reboot!
They had some fantastic Panels, including “Archetypes of Anime”, plenty of Cosplay How-To’s, How to create a hero, and of course how to create a villain! Teaming up with Amway’s Grand Plaza Hotel, which sits right next to the Devos place, offered a great opportunity for cosplayers to easily access to the hotel and the event. Plus, there’s some GORGEOUS river backdrops to make that perfect photo op!
Jafax was not lacking in Cosplayers! Mostly everyone we ran into was a cosplay of some sort. Here are a few of our favorites:
I saw a perfect Caitlyn, from League of Legends, cosplay. However, I was unable to locate her after we got set up, but whoever Cosplayed as Caitlyn on Sunday – Massive Kudos to you from Geeks and Geeklets, we loved your Cosplay and were our favorite!
Now, on to my favorite part… VENDORS!
If you’re ever struggling on what to buy your fellow family Geek, or your Geeky Best Friend, look no further than your local Conventions and Expos. They have everything, I mean everything, your friend’s little geeky heart could ever desire.
We found some fantastic local vendors, ranging from weaponry for cosplay:
Custom made Sailor Moon (Legit) crystal wands:
Top Craft Cats also makes custom Cake Toppers for all of us nerds who need a non-traditional cake topper. You can find Top Craft Cats online at http://topcatcrafts.tumblr.com/
Surprisingly, I did not find much World of Warcraft Merch, maybe it was because this is a Japanese Expo? However, I did manage to find some lovely glass etched Shot Glasses from TraditionalGeek.com:
They also had some amazing custom wood burning pieces… Great work!
My all-time favorite vendor, The Black Bazaar, was also in attendance at JAFAX. They do leather goods, hand crafted metal pieces, and basically have ALL OF YOUR STEAM PUNK NEEDS. Seriously, they do fantastic work. I saw a couple of cute black-gothic styled dresses that I must have, along with some other gothic styled pieces.
Check out their Esty Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/damianblack
And of course, give their Facebook Page a like: https://www.facebook.com/damianluciusblack
We also met some people from Washi-Con from the East side of the state of Michigan, and were happily invited to attend their con next year!
You can find our full album on Facebook, here.
Thanks to the staff and volunteers at JAFAX, we had a brilliant time! Until next year,