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Special Guest: Kevin Lillard

The first Japanese animation I saw was something called "."

I didn't like it. It wasn't animated as smoothly as my favorites, , and .

Twenty years later, I learned that Kimba was actually the "Jungle Emperor" series from . By then I'd changed my mind and had become thoroughly fascinated with Japanese animation, starting with .

At that time, I was getting most of my anime information online, from services such as and . In this era, I was vaguely aware of the Internet, but I wasn't that interested. Through the forums on those services, I heard of anime conventions and wanted to go to them, but couldn't make the trips.

How things change.

Now I spend much of the year in the air and on the road, traveling to as many anime conventions as I can reach. And my experiences end up on the web site for all to see.

This started when I nearly traveled to in 1996, procrastinated and never went. Then in 1997, AWA was on the same weekend as the last race of the season at the . I managed to snag a pit pass to the race and headed south.

It turned out that I liked the con as much as the race, if not more. I was used to the patterns of racing, but the spectacle of AWA was a refreshing experience. Everything, from the costumers to the dealers' room, was a positive revelation.

I couldn't wait for the next AWA so I could relieve the experience. I didn't have to wait; there was another convention, , in three months. I went there and had even more fun. Then there were two first-time conventions, and ...and my travel schedule blossomed from there.

Now I'm going to more conventions than races.

At the conventions, I've had the pleasure of meeting people in the anime and manga industry, such as , , , Tiffany Grant, , , , , , , , and .

I've seen a large group of costumers, including , , , , , , , , and .

Then there are fans who travel long distances, like , and those who cover conventions a long distance away, like

The "A Fan's View" web page comes together with software from , and . The digital cameras come from and , and everything is assembled in the field on a laptop. Digital cameras are the most important part of the package, since I can get pictures online without the delays and expense of processing and printing film. There's a wealth of digital camera information at , the page and site.

I still pay attention to racing through sites like the , , , the , and .

Then there's the fan who decided to . Judging from the pictures, he almost got the job done.

Anipike not being responsible for Acts of God or the vaguaries of humans  ;)
this column will appear 'as and when' articles come in. New articles will
be announced on the "New List" page. (So original, da yo..^^)

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Last Update: 9/13/99