My PMX 2011 Adventure and Misadventure (Yeah, I Got Kicked Out)

Note from Editor-in-Chief John Spartan: PMX 2011 was a fun event, and it’s thanks to the fans and the PMX media department for helping us out. With that said, we’d like to present to you…PMX: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good

PMX 2011 was good this year, but compared to last year, there was still something left to be wanted. Guests this year included the iconic George Takei, Matthew Mercer and C.S. Lee, while the main musical guest was the J Rock band, D. I’ll get into that later on. This year, the event had returned to the LAX Hilton, as opposed to last year being held in Pasadena. In terms of visitors, there was a lot more people than last year, which is always a good thing. With so much going on, it’s kind of hard to find a starting point.

John and I arrived on Day 2 fully decked out in our Umbrella Security Service gear, with John cosplaying as Vector and myself as Beltway from the upcoming Operation Raccoon City game. Walking into the hotel, there were cosplayers everywhere. One distinct feature that I noticed, was that most of the cosplayers’ outfits were of very high quality and detail. There’s not any that stand out specifically, only because there were so many (galleries will be up soon). As we traversed the area, stopping to take pictures so often, we came across some of the activity rooms that were setup. These ranged from the standard karaoke, artist alley, and console/table top gaming to a Pocky room, boutique and even swap meet.

There was also a main room that housed multiple booths that sold everything from clothes, to swords and wigs. One of the more prominent booths, were from Japanese clothing designer, h.NAOTO. The outfits that were on display were all for women, but there was a video running in the background that showcased some of the men’s fashion. What caught my intrigue was the actual clothing designs, as well as the color scheme used. Red, black and white seemed to be the undertone of the color combinations, with each outfit running different shades of that spectrum. Another nice feature was that unlike a lot of other clothes, these were handmade, which adds to the quality.

Still moseying around, we came across the Filipino Martial Arts room. In here, we got to experience and watch Filipino stick fighters sparring, as well as competing. It was very interesting to watch, especially because there was such a wide range of age groups participating.

After that, we attended the illustrious masquerade as well as viewed the AMV winners’ videos. The masquerade was standard format, with participants doing either a runway style walk-on or performing a skit, both of which to showcase the cosplay outfits for judging. While the judges went into deliberation over the winners, we were treated with the winning videos from the AMV contest. I must admit that the quality of AMV’s just keep getting better and better over time. The videos we saw, definitely deserved to win, although I would have liked to check out the competition and what they had to offer. Hopefully we might be able to get the videos up on here soon for everyone to check out.

Once the masquerade was over we had the pleasure of checking out the J Rock band, D. Let me be the first to tell you that I haven’t really been into Japanese rock bands that much, and the only time that I see them are at anime conventions. Case in point, I saw the band Flow for the first time at Fanime earlier this year and they rocked the house. So back to D; they are an amazing band to say the least, but they don’t dress in the normal fashion that you would expect. The easiest way to explain, is that they wear different variations of traditional Chinese attire. As far as sound goes, each of the band members are very talented; their songs don’t sound like just a wall of noise and it doesn’t feel generic in the least bit.

The Bad

Even though I had a great time, there was a bad experience that plagued our visit. Being an Umbrella soldier, I wear a mask as does John. It was never made aware to us that we couldn’t have masks on, plus we saw others wearing masks without a problem. We walked around for much of the day like this without anyone saying anything to us. We even took pictures with con security as well as regular hotel security taking pictures of us. Around 8pm, we were walking through the lobby of the hotel, still packed with cosplayers mind you, and one of the hotel security staff stopped us saying that we couldn’t have our masks on. John and I acknowledged what security told us and decided to head back to the car to drop our gear. When we turned around to leave, the security person grabbed my badge and was radioing in something regarding my badge.

The Ugly

I snatched my badge back once I realized they were trying to remove it (I had it tied to my belt loop). When that happened, security was radioing for backup stating that I’m refusing to comply and remove my mask. I then started taking off my helmet, gas mask, etc. to find out why they’re trying to take my badge and to explain that we’re just heading back to the car to take off our gear. By that time, there were 6 security guards surrounding me, some of which I took pictures with. As I’m trying to figure out what the hell was going on, the main security guard snapped the badge off of the clip. At this point, I’m infuriated but still maintaining a calm demeanor, but demanding to know why my badge was taken. It was told to me because of my refusal to abide by the “no mask” policy. I then looked at one of the other head security guards (one that I spoke with and took pictures with before) and explained that we were never made aware and that we were leaving. Let’s just say that he didn’t have an explanation. I then conceded, trying not to make an even larger scene than what was already created, and let them know that I’ll be back the next day. They then stated I can get my badge back then.

Even Uglier

The next day we went back and I tried to get my badge back but was denied. According to Con Operations, I was told multiple times by both Con Security and Hotel Security to remove my mask at various times throughout the day. I thought that was funny, because it was ridiculously UNTRUE. Now most PMX staff know me as “The Mask Guy.” Great.

In the end, I really hope they confused me with someone else and that things like this are handled a bit better. Will I be back for a third year in the row? Haven’t decided yet….

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Narvin Seegoolam
Narvin Seegoolam 712 posts

Narvin's middle name is FPS....ok maybe not, but he's like BOOM!! HEADSHOT!! I'm hungry...

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