Linus Lam Network News
convention coverage report of
Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014!

Welcome to another edition of Linus Lam Network News for 2014!  This news report covers our trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014 for a huge weekend of anime and manga enjoyment and a whole lot more!  Held at the Cobb Galleria and Convention Center in Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend of September 26-28, Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014 saw lots of attendees ready to party on with a bunch of dedicated artists, live performances, gaming events, cosplay fun, and plenty of opportunities to hang out with fellow anime and manga fans. Our exciting trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014 starts here!  Coverage you can count on, here at Linus Lam Network News!

Highlights: Various live programming events kept the attendees well-covered throughout the weekend. Guests of Honor included Junichi Suwabe, Toru Furuya, Yuko Minaguchi, HOME MADE KAZOKU, Loverin Tamburin, MIQ, Shonen Knife, Cherami Leigh, Bryce Papenbrook, J. Michael Tatum, Scott McNeil, Vic Mignogna, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Kamui (Svetlana Quindt), ZANIO, HachiojiP, S*H*S, The Konjos, and Yaya Han.  Main Events included Anime Trivia Shows, Totally Lame Anime, Anime Hell, Fashion Show, Concerts, AWA PJ Party, Costume Contest, Anime Music Videos, Karaoke, Charity Art Show Auction, Saturday Night Dance, and more.  Panels and Workshops included Japanese Toy Collecting, Survive an Anime Convention, Doujin Culture, SD Gundam, Costume Photography, Japanese Street Fashion, Hetalia, Couples Cosplay, Blacksmithing in Cosplay, That 70's Anime, History of Webcomics, League of Legends, Art of Game Design, Bad Fanfiction Theater, Obscure Tokukatsu, Ball-Jointed Dolls, Magical Girl Madness, Crowdfunded Gaming, Kamen Rider, Shoujo Rock Heaven, Corset Making, Lolita and Japanese Fashion, Leatherworking, Kawaii Makeup, Inking, Life Drawing, Gunpla Building, Amigurumi, Draping Patterns with God Save the Queen Fashions, Cosfluff 101 Plus-Sized Cosplay, Anime Military Association, Advanced Photography, Super Robots vs. Real Robots, Kawaii Culture, Cosplay Makeup Demo, Anime Animals, and more.
Cosplay: This year's trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta saw lots of inspired costumes from numerous anime and manga characters and more! Chart-topping displays for this year included characters from Dramatical Murder, Free, Sailor Moon, Kill la Kill, YowaPeda, Attack on Titan, Final Fantasy, Magi, Magica Madoka, League of Legends, Dangan Ronpa, Vocaloid, Kiriko no Basket, Sword Art Online, and much more! 
Please check out more cosplay photo coverage from our Anime Weekend Atlanta stock convention archives!
Report: It's quite a challenge to write anything negative about Anime Weekend Atlanta, now celebrating its 20th Year Anniversary. I just can't find anything to improve. If you want a fun-filled end-of-summer weekend of shopping, great cosplay, lots of neat panels and workshops, and always a large line-up of interesting Japanese and American guests, then look no further than AWA. 

AWA is a mid-sized anime convention located in the very green heart of Atlanta, Georgia. It's a bit out there, off the beaten path from downtown Atlanta and if you're flying in, you'd need a taxi or extra time for local transportation if you want to save money and take the train since it doesn't stop directly at or near the Cobb Galleria. Weather is bit spotty at times as late September typically consists of chances of rain mixed with hot and sunny days so be prepared for extra humidity, but if you're indoors most of the time, this won't really bother you.

The first thing I noticed about this year's AWA was the new bright and colorful signage and banners for all functions including Registration, Dealers Hall, Artists Alley, etc, much of them celebrating AWA's 20th Year Anniversary.  Registration line experience was non-existent for me since I paid a little extra for an "Early Bird" option to have AWA send the badge directly to me.  I honestly wish more conventions would do this. Though lines for reg were long, either at Pre-Reg or At-Con Registration, the lines go fast and are very organized.  Never saw anyone complain about Registration.  AWA continued its own unique array of fan favorites like Friday night's Formal Evening Ball where fans can dress up in suits and dresses and dance in style, Maid Cafe, Manga Reading Lounge, and a whole lot of Anime Music Video panels since AWA seems to be the hot bed of AMV creators. Dealers Hall was re-located to the furthest end of the grand hallway, Artists Alley remained in the same spot, and Main Events was moved to the mid-section of the Cobb Galleria. The Dealers Hall always has the usual vendors and exhibits.  I was pleasantly surprised at the huge array of Kpop goods at the K-Poppin booth and picked up lots of stuff from their five whopping tables worth of goodies.  Lots of food trucks were rolled in again this year and I dined on some excellent gourmet hot dogs for only $8 a plate, a really great deal for the budget-conscious attendees.  I got shots of the Saturday Night Dance and it was a great disco ball of awesome lights and music, a must-go for the late-night crowd.

The people of AWA make the convention such a pleasure every year. Maybe it's the Southern Comfort mentality or maybe it's the nice weather. Many out-of-town cosplayers were surprised at the friendliness from everyone so maybe it's a mixture of both. The AWA staff are always consistently helpful and generally go out of their way to make sure everyone has a pleasant experience. They dutifully managed the flow of traffic with large arrow signs pointing to the correct doors to enter or exit, moved people along in the halls by vocally discouraging impromptu photos of cosplayers (there are far better places for this), and never showed any signs of stress or burnout like a few other conventions. There's always a bit of unique fun factor every year. Even when sitting at the tables near the food court, attendees have always felt the need to chat it up and talk about their weekend. It really felt like a nice big family gathering.

AWA has hands-down one of the best areas to shoot photos inside and outside, never has any crowd problems, has a nice staff, and has an overall nice and pleasant feel to it. No rushing around, plenty of food options, and not too loud or noisy. AWA has my personal Seal of Approval. Try it out if you can; you'd have a wonderful time.

Come check out more cosplay and events photo coverage from our Anime Weekend Atlanta stock convention archives!

Be sure to visit the next Anime Weekend Atlanta!