Wild Wild, West

Veteran voice actors and cosplayers converge at the Broward Anime Festival.

He traversed the galaxy as the unfrozen, 20th century layman Phillip J. Fry and his faithful companions, Dr. Zoidberg and Professor Farnsworth. He amassed an impressive collection of nose goblins as the lovable cat Ren Höek, and screamed "You eediot!" at himself, essentially, as Ren's bosom buddy, Stimpson J. Cat. His ever-changing voice has been heard on countless programs, video games, and films, from The Howard Stern Show to Joe's Apartment. But this weekend, Billy West — perhaps one of the most prolific voice actors ever to sync his speech to animated lips — will be right here in Fort Lauderdale, where he'll be signing autographs and discussing his countless characters as part of the Broward Anime Festival.

Presented by the folks behind Supercon, the BAF kicks off on Friday with three days of animated, fanboy love. Aside from West, there will be dozens of appearances by industry vets, artists, voice actors, and cosplay glitterati like Yaya Han, a model and costume designer known internationally for her elaborate convention get ups. In that same vein, BAF will also present the D.O.A. Xtreme Challenge, a story-driven contest themed after the Dead or Alive series of video games. The organizers farmed Fort Lauderdale for gals that most resemble the buxom ladies of D.O.A., so at the very least the live action show should look authentic. If that's not enough to get you excited, the multiple dance parties, with music from The Pretty Faces and The Joyness, might be up your alley. Or, if you're the type that prefers more controlled enjoyment, you can hit up the gaming areas for some Magic: The Gathering, video game battles, or just a spirited match of Anime Taboo.

The action gets underway at 3:30 p.m. at the Inverrary Resort, located at 501 Inverrary Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, and continues at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets run $20 to $35; get them at animesupercon.com.
Feb. 6-8, 2009

 
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