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About This Site
The goal of "A Fan's View" is to go to as many anime conventions as possible, take large numbers of pictures and write dozens of stories, then put them on the World-Wide Web as soon as they happen.

The name of this site was chosen in haste, but has held up over the years. It is a fan's view of anime conventions, not a critic's view. A critical look at conventions would question why they exist. A fan accepts the conventions and thinks they're worthwhile events.

The author isn't shy to say that anime conventions are the best events that American youth culture has to offer. They show youthful enthusiasm for the exotic and unfamiliar, and show that the generation of fans has overcome the horrors of World War II. Other cultures carry hatreds from centuries ago (tragically demonstrated on Sept. 11, 2001), but not anime fans.

In a way, this web page started with auto racing, not with anime and manga conventions.

The author was a fan of auto racing long before he knew anime and manga existed. Chalk it up to meeting Rodger Ward, the two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, a long time ago.

Years later, the author got a job with a small race track in Indiana. In 1996, the owner of that track had the author create a web page.

So the collection of hardware and software started, beginning with a Canon 35mm SLR camera, a Compuserve web authoring program, and a 486 PC built from leftover parts. It was an odd combination, especially when the author had the desktop PC hauled to Florida to update the page. But it worked, and the racers' reaction convinced the author that the page had to be kept current. 

It turned out that racers would go home and check out the page after every event, a few hours after the races were over. That led to the author's practice of updating a web page in the field, something made far easier with the purchase of a laptop PC (a used Epson) and a digital camera (a Kodak DC50).

"A Fan's View" (the best name I could think up at the time) began as an offshoot of the racing page, with a trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta in 1997.

The author had wanted to go to an anime convention for years. Back in the days of the original AnimeCon and Anime America, he bought associate memberships which sent you the conventions' program books...and dreamed of the chance to travel.

It nearly happened in 1996 for AWA, the same year that the Atlanta Braves played in the World Series. There was a Series game at the same time as the convention, and I nearly drove down to Atlanta for both events - but never made the trip.

In 1997, AWA was the same weekend as the final NASCAR Winston Cup race of the season at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, about 50 miles south of the convention. Years of hoping and procrastination were replaced with travel reservations.

The anime convention turned out to be more fun than the race. The author couldn't wait for the next AWA, and decided to go to the next anime convention, Katsucon, That was so much fun that a trip was planned to Animazement, then everything else within reach. 

So how does all of this come together?

It takes some work. Head to panel discussions and take pictures and notes. Wander the halls and take pictures of costumers and other interesting things. then rush back to the hotel room, copy the image files to a laptop PC, fill in the blank spots in pre-produced page templates, and upload the results to a web site.

The page wouldn't happen without the hardware and software. Fortunately, everything has come together to the point that it's possible to create a web page in the field. And this can be done quickly - with some advance preparation. 

Here's how this site uses:
HTML software
Graphics software
Digital cameras