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Playing Catch Up & a little Heart-to-Heart on Anime Cons

0 Ish Good!

We are back from Fanime!

Fanime is always a fun show for us -- we like the staff, we like the city, the great dining options (Super Taco w/ Orange Hot Sauce!!), how convenient everything is, and how cozy the show is for it's size. I totally love our fans from the area and I look forward to seeing them each year. Aside from some major SNAFUs with power outages, crazy long lines, and unseasonal chilly weather on Friday, all's well that ends well, right?

Well, maybe not this year.

That being said, I'm really sad to say, I don't think we will be returning next year.

Let me explain.

When we started exhibiting 5-6 years ago, there was a vibrant fandom for all things anime. Attendees were still high on series like Bleach, Naruto, FMA, and later, Hetalia. People were more open to trying new things that were anime/manga-related and nemu*nemu fit in perfectly.

But from my perspective, the anime scene in general is shifting and there is a lot less focus. Without a single series for the fans to rally around, it feels much more like an all out "entertainment/fandom" fest and people are less interested in testing out the waters on a completely original work like my comic and instead focused on gathering with like-minded fans.

The series of choice this year? Avengers, Avatar/Korra, Homestuck, Adventure Time, Vocaloid, and My Little Pony (and a smattering of BBC goodness like Doctor Who and Sherlock). Don't get me wrong, I love all of these series and am cool with the fandom circling each of them. I'm just trying to prove a small point. ^^

I've noticed this trend for the past two years now and it's leaving me in a strange predicament. If my main goal to attend these events is to reach a new audience, I'm failing miserably. My comic is an investment of time and/or money on the behalf of the reader and both seem to be in short supply with all these competing interests. On the other hand, exhibiting is a huge investment of time and money for me, and I need to spend both wisely.

So after SDCC in July, where I will be exhibiting in Small Press, I think I will refrain from most, if not all, events away from home for 2013 and focus instead on growing my audience online. Likewise, I encourage you to help me share this comic with people you think would enjoy it! If we can grow our audience (and likewise there is demand for me to come back to these away-from-home events), I'll be happy to come out and exhibit in your neck of the woods. :D

Any thoughts from your end? I'm all ears~ ^^

Share your thoughts

17 Replies

  • Kenji

    I was going to add, all that travel probably increases the exhaustion meter, since you're trying to either get the comics done before the con or release them during.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with refocusing back on the comic itself. It's a good way to reestablish the main fanbase and just about everything you work on. And I think the way the comics are branching off now, there are entire new worlds and stories to flesh out - but there's only one kyubikitsy and kimonostereo to tell them. As always, if there's anything I can do in my spare time (illustration, promotion), don't hesitate to ask me~ :D

    • Audra Furuichi

      Aw~ Thanks so much Kenji! :D

      Admittedly, traveling is one of the toughest parts of doing any show. I try hard to make sure my comics are still updating while I'm away, but it sure is stressful during event prep when I'm juggling tons of other responsibilities.

      But likewise, I certainly want to re-focus on doing art in general. If all my time is spent playing catch up, I'll never be able to get to all those other things I'd like to do/explore.

      • Kenji

        Yah, because now aside from the pup's story (and everyone involved), you have Enchilada's universe, and the Henshin rider universe. Leaves a lot open but also means a lot more time is required. XD;;

  • Darcy

    I'll try to introduce nemu*nemu to as many people as I can~!

  • Tymesplit

    Im going to miss you if you don't come! I totally understand the constraints you have on travel and such though. I do have one suggestion. You might fit in better in artist alley. I know there are many more original works there versus the dealers hall where people go to find plushies or figures of their favorite series. Just a suggestion because I dont really know how either of those work for signing up etc. <3

    • Audra Furuichi

      I've been off-and-on considering doing the AA at various shows, but talking to some other creators who do original work there and even they have been noticing a slump.

      Because we have to fly to all our events, our overall costs are never "cheaper" to go the AA route -- in fact, they stay about the same. One of the biggest perks for us being in the dealer's room is the security. We don't have to put up and take down our set up daily, we don't have to stand in line for our badges (or likewise, fight for a table space when registration opens), and we usually have an easy way to contact staff for any housing inquiries. (That and they usually frown on people selling manufactured goods -- like us with our plush. XD;)

  • Robert K

    Thanks for the last 5 years @ FanimeCon... You, Scott and the rest of the Nemu*Nemu gang are a joy to know. I'm just sorry that the efforts I have done here hasn't increased your viewership much... Doesn't mean I'm giving in... Maybe I'll have to join you in rethinking my strategy in promoting Nemu*Nemu. Just know I'm forever a self-appointed member of the Nemu*Nemu Street Team (^_^)!

  • Greta&Anpan

    can you guys make a Blue plushie? That would be cute:D

  • Mike C

    It seems like cons these days are all about enforcing what you already like, rather than finding new things to enjoy. It's much more insular.

    That said, keep up the spectacular work. :) It's hard to find such high-quality work these days. I'd love it if you'd visit the east coast someday. I'm sure the pups could find some new friends here.

    • Audra Furuichi

      I, too, hope we can hit an East Coast con one of these days. Hawaiian Airlines just opened a direct route to NYC so if the stars align, there is always a chance. ^^

      I really do feel anime cons (and fandom, for that matter!) have changed a lot over the past 10 years. It's inevitable, so keeping relevant is a big goal on our part. ^^

  • Daniel

    hey there... i was really sad to read this post, because this year was my first fanime, and my girlfriend had told me so much about your comic before. we met you there, we were the gakupo and gumi cosplayers. we mentioned that we were going to cosplay anpan and nemu, and we really wanted you to be able to see them. i know it's a lot to ask for you to come all the way out here for two people, but we still plan on doing the cosplay. and if we see you next year, then we see you, and if we don't, then we will definitely email pictures :3

    • Kim Kantere

      Hi! I'm going to add to my boyfriend's post. It's a bit sad to hear that you are thinking about not going next year. It is a bit heartbreaking,you were there at my first fanime a few years back and I look forward to you every year I go. Daniel and I are working hard to get our Nemu and Anpan cosplays together and we will most defiantly email you photos if you choose to not go next year.
      Also when it comes to fandoms,its hard to gather a huge following. But I know here in California you have a family [my mother and siblings,myself,and Daniel] who love your works as a whole! this comic is what I pitch especially to good friends of mine looking for something that is for all ages. I always try to spend a little at your booth at fanime I was so excited to meet you and get those signed prints. My mother is also a fan of your work,she reminds me every year, 'don't forget to get me something from the nemu*nemu booth!'
      Most of all,patience is key. I've been drawing for years and I'm not even close to being as talented as you are!
      I will continue to spread the word about NEMU*NEMU to all that I know! > w< and I will remain a huge fan!

      • Audra Furuichi

        Hi Kim & Daniel --

        Thanks -so- much for your kind words! Although I cannot promise we will return in 2013, know that you two are part of the reason we always consider and reconsider returning year after year. I am so thankful for your support. ♥