GatchaCon took place at the San Diego Comic Con, July 26-29, 2007. The con itself was a low-key event, mainly because no new activity was noted in the merchandise or media areas (no movie news--sorry). Unfortunately, Gatchaman was misprinted on the con anime schedules, but was replaced by other programs. Attendance for this year's San Diego Comic Con broke previous records and sold out for several days (especially Saturday).
GatchaCon Con Kits and Screenings: We had two offsite screening parties, one of some truly horrendous Gatchaman-related programs and one of Battle of the Planets episodes on film. The Gatchaman screening party featured the video demos from the new Sammy Gatchaman Pachisuro game. Followed by the horror that is Winx Club, a PBS cartoon which comprised a wandering, incoherent storyline, Bratz-type plastic characters, cloyingly cute mascots, and worst of all, the guest stars: the "Science Ninja Team P-Force/Patchaman." (Gaah! Awful! AWFUL!) Next, the short episodes of "Gatchapin vs. Pierre Katse" were a mercy by comparison, with Gatchapin playing "Road Runner" to Pierre Katse's Wile E. Coyote. I found the Gatchapin shows to be cute overall (hey, it's for little kids). Then we watched little Spanish kids dancing and singing the "Commando G" theme song. The finale of the Gatchaman screening party was a video account of the "Battle of the Planets: Peril of the Preying Mantis" Shockwave game, mainly featuring crummy jokes about Zark's ineptitude and Zoltar's lipstick between virtually unplayable game sequences. It was like the game's creators didn't really care and just wanted to get the product out there. At the Battle of the Planets party, our "takeaway gift" was a CD of two audio stories from La Bataille des Planetes, Adventures de la Force G in French ("Hold-up Spatial" and "La Lune de Feu"). The con t-shirt and kit featured Gatchaman's 35th anniversary and had art of the firebird on the back. I think I've found a new favorite shirt.
Merchandise: There was no new merchandise on display this year. We found old DVDs, a couple of cels and some paintings at the Alex Ross Booth.
Next year: Next year's GatchaCon takes place at the San Diego Comic-Con, July 24-27, 2008 at the San Diego Convention Center. We hope to see more information due to the upcoming feature films.