“Um, see me after this talk, I’ll give you my business card.” The Getting Started in Hollywood Q&A didn’t seem to be going as planned. Presenter Kevin McKeever, who is remaking 1980’s cartoon Robotech into a feature film produced by Sony, just finished his Powerpoint full of tips for seeking out internships and getting a foot in the studio door. The questioner, however, wanted to know when she could have a meeting about licensing out Robotech characters to her T-shirt company for mass production. Two other questioners asked if McKeever would consider moving all of Robotech’s animation production to their studios based in Shanghai.
This past weekend saw Shanghai’s first Comic Con, and the city is still figuring out what to do with it. The audience is loosely divided into two groups: fans, who came for a chance to be a part of the Comic Con community, and business people, who think they smell a potential to make some money off this. The two types awkwardly mingle in the expo space — one in meticulously primped cosplay outfits, the other in business casual. The walls of Shanghai Comic Con are draped with warning signs: half telling fans to keep their hands to themselves, that “Cosplay Is Not Consent,” the other half telling the business types who to call if they spot any intellectual property rights violations.