A con that's half great. You pick which half. If you were into indie J-rock bands, Pacific Media Expo had Suicide Ali and Kaya and they were very easy to access. In fact, we ran into Suicide Ali in the elevator. At one point, we asked them if they could play "Freebird." The Lolitas were in Little Tokyo for the Yumeiru Musical Paradise Angelic Pretty event. PMX did not feel empty in terms of attendees, but the programming was lacking.

The past few years had prominent Western guests of honor - the creators of Avatar, James Kyson Lee, Rex Navarette, and Colin Chou to name a few. Where were those guys? I was thrilled to attend James Kyson Lee and Colin Chou's panels last year. Pacific Media Expo has a wonderful concept of celebrating Asian pop culture on both sides of the globe. But htis year, PMX did not execute that concept well. It felt like another anime convention without the anime. What could PMX improve on? Bring on Asian American comedy acts likeRex Navarette and Edwin San Juan. Ray Nagar and I were talking about how it would be great to have Tony Award winner Lea Salonga as a guest of honor. She's local and she's made plenty of marks in the performing arts - Broadway and animation.

Hey, even PMX could get Playboy's Christie Thom as a last minute guest (Tom: "She's Asian and an artist"). She was present at Glamour Con after all. Of course, the only two people at PMX who were aware of her were Tom and Albert. Geez, I wonder why.

Many of the attendees felt that CosFest, the costume contest was held at an inconvenient time. Though having a main event on a Sunday keeps your attendees coming, people were already jetting after hotel check out. My suggestion would be to have CosFest during Saturday afternoon - simillar to how Yaoi Con does their masquerade. Concerts can take the later Saturday timeslot. This way, there can be more participants and it feels that there's something going on.

The karaoke room has always been my favorite part of PMX. Very friendly staff. I really like karaoke rooms that allow Western songs. Not all of us are comfortable singing in Japanese. My only suggestion would to have a better written song list. I certainly hope the anime song database is repaired. Otherwise, the karaoke room contributed to much of the fun at PMX.

It's great to be working with Tom and Stan. Many thanks to the new friends we've made and seeing oldies, but goodies again.

Many thanks to the cast and crew of Anime Los Angeles. Thank you for the food. There ain't no party like an ALA room party, that's for sure. I would say this was PMX's best hidden secret. Though not advertised on the program, if you were smart enough to check out the Anime Los Angeles booth, you learned about the free food room. All of this kindness and good times makes me look forward kicking off the new year with Anime Los Angeles.

PMX can improve on many points. It would be a shame to see this con go down the tubes. Don't get me wrong, I had fun with my friends and those I've interacted with. To me, those memories made PMX for me. As I keep telling convention attendees, the convention experience is what you make of it. As a Mr. Postman told me on Sunday morning, "Keep positive and everything will be great." Take it from the wise.

If I don't report on the Royal/T event, here's to 2009! With so much fun at PMX, I don't think I can wait until Anime Los Angeles to see you guys again.

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