AM2 2011 Day 1 with Mayerson

So, holiday weekend traffic was very kind to me as I drove from LA to OC to pick up Tom Good

(as we were sitting down to lunch [I was starving])

at the Santa Ana airport and off we went to the Anaheim Convention center for Day 1 of the first annual AM2 (that’s AM Squared) Convention. Holiday weekend traffic was kind to us so we got there fairly quickly. It’s been 30 years since I’ve been in the John Wayne Airport. In that time, they’ve built a freeway ramp directly into and out of the airport, so it was much easier than I remembered it. I, of course, used the old way to get in (via MacArthur Blvd) and got lost, but then recovered. It’s a big airport; hard to miss it but I almost did.

Tom checked in and then we went of to get our press passes, which was easier than any other convention I’ve ever been to.

Cosplay and cosplay photography near the press registration area

The exhibitor hall didn’t open until 11, but the opening ceremonies were about to start so we went up to the 3rd level to watch them. We ran into the fabulous Chase Wang, my favorite PR genius.

Chase Wang, PR Genius

Then we met some Passport holders

AM2 is an unusual (to me) convention that has free admission, but a Passport program to buy a little more access and ease at the convention. A fascinating idea and one I’ll be watching in future. Also, 25% of all official Passport sales will be donated directly to Japanese Disaster Relief efforts. Yay!

And onto the opening ceremonies! Just a few shots here. There are more on the Day 1 Flickr set.

Kanon Wakeshima and dolly

Sadie, Sixh, and heidi

(There was more eyeliner on that stage than I have ever worn in my life.)

Masao Maruyama, founder of Madhouse Studios, has a hair moment with Sixh

Then Tom and I had lunch (I was starving) and spent a little time with the cosplayers.

Yes, I really did ask her to do that.

AM2 is sharing the Anaheim Convention Center with a Loyal Order of Moose Convention. On the way out, I asked these guys if I could take their picture because I liked their vests. They were nice and said yes.

I hope they are enjoying the AM2 cosplayers, etc.

Holiday traffic was NOT kind to me at all on the way back to LA. I left at noon, and it took an hour and a half to get back to downtown LA. Gah! And I think I missed the worst of it! Saturday and Sunday will be mellower, traffic-wise. Traffic updates as they occur.

More photos on the Flickr set