This week as our article we're focussing on me. Me, me, me, me, me.
...oh, I have to type more. Yes, this is the profile of me, the Vice President of Hibanacon. Hopefully after this article you'll understand a little bit more about another of the minds behind the convention.
Name: Mike Chomyk
Badge Name: The Chom
Role: Vice President
How did you discover anime?
I was part of an IRC channel (you can tell how long ago this was) that talked about video games a lot. Over time I noticed that a lot of people there were also interested in anime. I’d seen bits before, I knew the art style, but I’d never really watched any. One day I sent a private message to one of the bigger anime fans of the group and asked him what was a good anime to watch if I’d never seen any and he told me about the existence of Ranma ½.
It was a hard time to be an anime fan, the number of legitimate releases was low. Worse still there was no UK release of Ranma ½ so I ended up obtaining it through some less than savoury means. The show may have aged now, and feel quite old but it made me laugh out loud watching a martial arts battle where a Panda smacks someone over the head with a road sign. Frankly it all spiralled out of control from there.
Top 5 Influential anime?
Kill la Kill
What do you do for the convention?
As Vice President I help anyone with anything. Events coordinator wants to bounce some idea around? Let’s do this. The communications director needs more industry contacts? I got you. The President wants to make sure everyone’s up to speed on everything? Grand, I’ll get right on it. I’m also here as head of the gophers. Whether it comes to organising who’s where at what time, or making sure we have enough to cover our larger events I’m the person who makes sure our resource of wonderful volunteers then I’m the person to deal with.
Why did you volunteer?
Many moons ago when the earth was young its innocence as yet unsullied I was the treasurer of Aberystwyth University’s Anime society. Back then we had vague dreams of running our own convention (then named DragonCon), but it never came to fruition. We were too young, not financially stable, and probably would have struggled.
Fast forward over a decade and the idea came up again, only this time we didn’t abandon it. We pressed on, and I was asked to be Vice President to be a sounding board and communication front for our mysterious President.
Now I think about it it was les volunteering, and more “Unexpected Shang-Hai-ing”!
What do you bring to the convention?
Well I was AberAnime treasurer 2004-2007, and a member of the society for longer than that. I’ve been an active event organiser from 2008 onwards for various TCGs, and tabletop games, and have been helping out as a volunteer and later a committee member for the SmogCon wargaming convention since 2011. On top of all this I’ve been attending anime conventions of all sorts since 2004, and I think between my organisational knowledge, and my convention experience I’ve got a wealth of lessons learned over the years.
Best convention experience?
I’ve yet to really top the belly laugh I had watching the man who would go on to play Jessie McCree in Overwatch lose a bet and go on stage in an EGL outfit complete with matching wig. Matt Mercer was a laugh riot at Ayacon back in the day, and a wonderful example of conventions getting in great guests!
Where can people talk to you?
Do be prepared to have a lot of board/war game talk on there mixed with the anime and politics.
What do you hope for from Hibanacon?