Words by Tim Wong
Pacific Media Expo (PMX) is a small convention that promotes Asian culture and media such as anime/manga, music, and culture. This year it was held at the LAX Hilton and I attended for a couple days as a photographer. For many years, I only attended big conventions like Comic Con and sometimes Anime Expo, but this year I decided to expand into smaller conventions to see what they are all about. So far, I don’t really care for them too much as a convention mostly because they are more Cosplay gathering oriented. That’s fine, but as a convention, these small ones have trouble providing interesting panels, a decent sized exhibit hall, or keeping things organized.
The attendance was in decent numbers; however, that led to the underparking structure that accommodates the attendees along with hotels guests extremely packed to the point where people were making up parking spots where none existed.
They had a dedicated Pocky room with some taste testing and a couple games to play.
One thing that I did find surprisingly above my expectations was the artist alley. Some pretty interesting artist were showing.
One artist that really stood out amongst the crowd was “Champakali” with her unique prints that are all hand stamped out.
She was dressed up in her Psylocke cosplay. Not only is she an artist she spends a good amount of her efforts in cosplay. You can see some of her cosplay and art here.
What makes her artwork so interesting is her process. She sketches out a design on a small slab of rubber and then etches out the design by hand.
With the rubber stamps she rolls paint on the stamps and then presses out prints.
As great as her prints are, I feel her commissions are even more worth it. You can commission your own custom stamp from her which is such a cool thing to have.
While in artist alley, I ran into a friend of mine, Jeff Martinez. He’s a great artist that I’ve known for many years. Currently, he works at DC Comics and does some side work at conventions. You can check out some of his work here.
Now on to the what bring most of the attendees: the cosplays. I don’t cosplay myself, not because I look down on it, but because I don’t have a passion for it and I believe if you going to do something, you might as well do it right. Some cosplayers do an amazing job with details on their costumes, but all of them do it for pure enjoyment. I watch a good amount of anime, but I don’t know every single character so I’m just going to try to name most of them. This is just a couple that really stood out to me.
Not sure what the character is, but I’d guess it’s from some vampire anime.
A cosplay of Shiro Fujimoto from Ao no Exorcist. I found this to be an extremely good cosplay.
A Celty Sturluson cosplay from Durarara!!.
This is easily one of my favorite cosplayers of the weekend. Her name is Day Hymn and she is such a pretty girl. Her Pedobear cosplay was adorable and easily tell she was just having fun with it. Day Two she was cosplaying as Alice which I found even better.
I usually don’t find Cloud (Final Fantasy VII) cosplays very good, mostly because everyone wants to be Cloud and he isn’t a very easy character to cosplay. This one was exceptionally well done.
Ran into a couple of friends Angeline and Darwin doing a cosplay of Popura Taneshima and Jun Satō from Working!!.
SeeU from Vocaloid.
Amane Misa from Deathnote cosplay.
While I was there, I did a short little photo session with Sami in her Gumi from Vocaloid cosplay. This is some special version of Gumi, not really sure what since I don’t follow Vocaloid. It wasn’t a “real” photo shoot like some of the more diehard cosplay photographers. I didn’t bring a whole lighting set up like a good amount I saw there. I might get into that scene more later on, but I find a large amount of photographers over edit their work. Then again, it’s like that in most fields of photography.