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I went to North West Arkansas comic convention last weekend. It was definitely a blast. Normally when I’m at conventions I’m the guy people know as Buddy the Elf but this event was different. I went as Napoleon Dynamite because I thought it would be appropriate with Napolean himself Jon Heder being there. One of my favorite moments of the convention is when Jon Heder first saw me He looked at me and said “Are you the guy with actual tots?” I told him yes (like Napolean I had a Fanny pack full of tots). Over 7000 people were in attendance over the two day event there to see people like Jon, Veronica Taylor (original voice of Ash from Pokemon), Charles Martinet (THE voice of Mario!) , Billy West (Bugs Bunny from space jam, Phillip J Fry from Futurama and a thousand other shows) and many other great guests as well in attendance. ​

One thing that impressed me about this convention is that you could literally buy your ticket the night before the convention for the same price. A lot of conventions I have attended to usually the price will go up the week before the convention. Also admission to in the con was cheaper then expected it was $30 for a single day or $50 for both days. ​

I got to interview convention creator Jay Branch that runs he convention. His biggest struggle with planning the event? “Getting volunteers who can assist with celebrities,” he said while also mentioning the goal for next year to be bigger and better than we had this year with bigger guests and even possibly expanding the layout. He was happy with more fans in attendance as well as having fans interact with celebrities more. (Events like this are like planning a massive wedding and fans appreciate the staff’s hard work.) One funny stories or weird anecdotes that Jay told me that happened at the con was there were lots of doppelgangers of staff and celebs. Everyone took pics with their lookalikes on Saturday. Everyone took pics with their lookalikes on Saturday. Other conventions that Jay owns that are coming up include Little Rock Anime Festival which is February 4th and 5th and Missouri Comic Con February 11th and 12th. I will be attending both of those convention as Buddy The Elf. As for North West Arkansas Comic Con I definitely recommend this event for everyone if you ever wanted to go to a convention, especially as a first timer to cons. Great guests, great staff and a reasonable price for the opportunity too see what the convention world is like for yourself.

See you at the next one!

Rob (Buddy the Elf) Manning

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