Last weekend my wife and I attended ArcadeCon in the Ballsbridge Hotel (You know the one, Sean Dunne paid over €100m for it thinking that Irish people would queue up to pay €1m apiece for apartments in Dublin’s most charmless area. Yeah, I said it: Ballsbridge can burn in hell, There’s no decent pubs and its full of bankers .)
Anyway, rant over. The hotel isn’t bad except for the insane prices in the bar and the fact that it looks like it was constructed out of bargain basement Lego bricks in the 1970’s. It was filled with a mixture of convention attendees dressed as Anime characters and bemused American tourists. The Convention took over most of the ground floor and some of the first floor. The main attraction for me was the Stephen Mooney and Roger Yuan panels.
Stephen spoke to the rather small but enthusiastic audience about his comic “Half Past Danger”. It’s great, by the way. You should go buy it. I’ve decided that the trade paperback will be my default Christmas gift for those who I feel need some culture in their life. I do that sort of thing a lot, because I’m an unbelievable ass. Stephen claims to be useless about self-promotion but I think he did a great job. If you get a chance to chat to him then you should. Kim from the Irish Pubcast interviewed him and they made for an entertaining team.
I hit the trade floor for a brief period between panels and picked up some Anime films at very decent prices and chatted to a few of the comics people hanging around. It isn’t really a comics event though, the crowd swings very much towards anime even though the Con tries to cater to many tastes including movies, games and comics and I imagine that people who don’t have at least a passing interest in Manga and Anime may be left feeling a little cold.
Roger Yuen’s panel was an absolute joy to attend, at least for me and my interest in martial arts and action movies. Again, the turnout for the panel was pretty sparse, maybe fifteen people out of the entire attendance of over one thousand. That was disappointing for a guest who has done so much work in Hollywood over the years. He was in “Skyfall” and trained Daniel Craig to fight for the film. If you remember the film there’s a scene where Bond is attacked by three guys in a Casino in Macau. One of those is Roger. He was also the Fiendish Doctor Woo in “Black Dynamite”. I asked Roger a question about the techniques he would use to train an actor who has no martial arts background and Roger told us to move the chairs into a corner as he took us through a class of the basic moves he uses to train actors to perform in fight scenes. Spoiler: he starts with boxing techniques and moves on from there depending on what style most suits the actor physically.
I enjoyed the con overall and it’s great to see another successful entry into the nerd calendar in Ireland. I think my future attendances will be based on what guests the organisers get for coming years, if they manage to get people of the calibre of Mooney and Yuan again then I’ll definitely be back.