Last year saw the introduction of a new convention to the UK - Alcon -  a convention held in Leicester De Montfort University and run by Anime League.  Anime League is a global anime forum and community site which regular hold regular meetups in the UK & USA, as well as Alcon.

2007 was attended by webmasters Tom & Rich and we both felt that the event was great fun, if a little chaotic but showed potential of improving in 2008.  Some that attended felt that it paled in significance and was less organised then bigger conventions such as Amecon, but this is an unfair comparison to make.  The focus at Alcon was more on camaraderie rather then constant events, with lots of time for socialising between events and also through Pirates Vs Ninjas, building up points for your chosen clan. 

One of the most positive comments I was told at the 2007 event was that Alcon felt like a convention back in the early 90's - fans who have organised a small get-together for fellow fans to come together and have a good time.  Laidback, less hectic and good fun because of it. 

So its no surprise the organisers are currently working on Alcon 2008, which will run from Friday 5th - Sunday 7th September 2008. 

So 2007 was good but will 2008 be as good, if not better?  Although, at the time of writing, the event is eight months away it is almost certain to be bigger and better. 

For starters planning for 2008 started not long after the 2007 event and has been going at rocket speed ever since.  More members have already signed up for 2008 (240) then the total amount which attended 2007 (202).  Plus several guests and panels have already been announced.  Akemi Solloway returns with talks on Japanese culture, comic artist David Bircham also returns and popular Sweatdrop artist Sonia Leong will be in attendance. Panels will include a plushie making, model painting, character drawing, radio podcasting, a ball-jointed dolls panel and a fandom panel by the Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged team.  If that wasn't enough there is also the cosplay masquerade, anime pub quiz, karaoke, gothic lolita picnic, AMV night, cosplay blind date, anime pictionary and there is still lots more to be announced! 

As well as the daily activities, attendees will also have the VG Party and Battle Of The DJs to look forward.  The VG Party will be a video-gaming party, where retro gaming remixed tracks will be played which is a nice addition to the anime antics that will be happening all weekend. 

The Battle Of The DJs will give all members the opportunity to be a DJ on Alcon's internet radio station.  Entrants must sign up before March 2008 via the Anime League forums here.  A panel of judges will then pick the top three and they will appear at Alcon 2008 where members will vote for their favourite.  The winner will then receive a prize and DJ for the whole of Sunday night! 

So a huge list of activities are lined up for the weekend in September, with lots more currently being planned.  Keep an eye on Animetion for further details in the future.   

Over the page I talk to the Chairman of Alcon Mike Towers about how he felt the 2007 event went and his plans for the 2008 event.