A Trip to MomoCon 2017

Jason Nimer
In Short
Jason reports back from his trip to MomoCon 2017 in Atlanta.

As regular DragonCon goers here in Atlanta, my wife and I have seen that event transform into something nearly unrecognizable over the past decade or so. The pieces are all still there; the parade, the dealer room, the gaming, the cosplay and the events, but something has changed. Not to come off sounding like a hipster teenager (those years and I parted ways long ago), but DragonCon has become a mainstream event; it's bloated, overblown and, while still a blast, it has lost some of the magic. We still go every year, but it's just not the same as it was.

Enter MomoCon, Atlanta's newer anime/gaming/comic/nerd stuff convention. From the moment we entered the door, the wave of 'this is what DragonCon used to be' hit us both like a tidal wave. The scale may be smaller than the mammoth DragonCon setup, but the size felt perfect. We started our day in the dealer's area, where the merchandise selection was downright amazing. I was able to buy a Dragon Ball Z Super Nintendo game I'd been hunting for ages, and my wife found more stuff she wanted than we could possibly afford. The best aspect of the dealer's room was that everything their 'fit' with the theme of the con. We've been to other cons that seem to turn a blind eye to what people are actually selling, but not MomoCon. This dealer's area was among the best we've ever visited.

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While we aren't too big into collectable card games (CCGs), the huge area allocated to them was as impressive as watching the skilled players go at one another. But for us, the draw was the full arcade of video games from both here and abroad. Arcades went out of style here decades ago, so it was nice to see people enjoying the stand-up cabinets that have all but fallen away into history. If you've never seen a skilled player in front of one of the many Japanese arcade rhythm arcade cabinets, you really should take a second to watch a video or two on YouTube. These people have muscle memory and hand eye coordination that makes even the most skilled Guitar Hero player look like a toddler playing with a see-and-say.

For us, though, the most impressive part of the weekend was the Friday night panel with the stars of Cartoon Network's Steven Universe. Zach Callison (Steven), Deedee Magno (Pearl), Michaela Dietz (Amethyst) and Grace Rolek (Connie) They were the perfect kind of panel guest; the joked, they gave real insight into the show, they took even the dumbest of questions and, best of all, it really looked and felt like they were enjoying themselves. I've been to more guest panels in my con-going days than I can even remember, but this was easily the best one I've attended.

This was my first year attending MomoCon, though I can promise you it will not be the last. The setup was unbelievable, the guests and panels were great, the merchandise was varied and actually made sense that it was there and the cosplay, in a lot of ways, was some of the best I've seen at any con. Though MomoCon is still only a few years old, it may just be the best one in the Atlanta area. If you missed it this year, do yourself a favor and go next year. You won't regret it for a second.

Transmitted: 6/19/2018 2:45:02 AM