09 Nov Behind the Scenes at Comic Con: A Glimpse Into the World of Anime, Video Games & Comic Books
I’m at New York Comic Con, and I’ve never been more out of place. Trailing alongside my client, I struggle to understand his rapid explanations of every exhibit we pass. The showroom floor is an intricate maze of lifesize character cutouts, video game demos, and merchandise booths. Two girls donned head to toe in Doctor Who costumes cut between my client and me, and I power walk to catch up.
Just another day on the job. I was stationed at Comic Con to support LaunchSquad client Crunchyroll, a video streaming service for Japanese anime. Comic Con, a conference that draws fans of everything from anime and fantasy video games to classic novels and comic books, is a key event. However, I do not quite fall into its target audience. Before joining the Crunchyroll team, I had no clue what the difference was between Sailor Moon and Ninja Girl & Samurai Master. Sure, I have my fair share of geeky obsessions, Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to name a few, but at Comic Con–the pinnacle of nerd culture–I was out of my element.
Despite my misplacement, I instinctively understood the excitement that permeated the Javits Convention Center. I related to the conference goers’ unbridled enthusiasm about their passions and observed as people of all ages and backgrounds showed allegiance to their favorite series. Although not everyone was a fan of the same show, or even the same genre, everyone accepted each other as part of the same larger fandom community.
Attending Comic Con was the immersive experience that made it all click. For months I had been researching the world of anime, and it all came together when I gained tangible access to the fandom I had studied so carefully. It was this entry point into the industry that lent me the perspective to best assist my client.
We’re taught to be voracious consumers of media to best understand the versatile industries we’re representing. At LaunchSquad, I appreciate that I can represent such diverse clients, and have the opportunity to become an expert in previously unknown industries. Because no two clients operate within the same industry, each account requires a different set of PR tasks, which ensures that no two days are the same.
When I returned to the office after Comic Con, I couldn’t help but notice parallels between the two worlds, finding new meaning in the natural spirit of camaraderie among my coworkers. I experienced the same contagious enthusiasm I felt at Comic Con as my colleagues ardently discussed newly booked briefings and print placements. I realized that at LaunchSquad we too had created our own fandom community, rallying around a shared thrill in driving results and fostering a positive and supportive office culture.