This anime con supports people with autism — and it’s just a short drive away

While all fans of anime and cosplay are invited to attend the annual Animatic Con, to be held in Blue Ash this weekend, this con is special because it also caters to and raises money for those on the autism spectrum. Brent Filipkowski, Chairman of the Con, said an autistic relative inspired him to create Animatic.

“I have a nephew who’s really into Pokemon games,” he said. “I knew about this Indiana show that was all tabletop games, but when I suggested he go, I was told he couldn’t because of the big crowds. So I decided to create an event that caters to their needs so they can enjoy their fandom.”

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Noting that “the first thing you notice (at a con) is the costumes,” Filipkowski decided the Animatic Con will be primarily devoted to amateur and professional cosplay. There will be cosplay contests, panels on cosplay, autism, anime, and modern cartoons, karaoke, lip synch battles, two dance events, and a room for tabletop gaming.

There’s also a theme every year, and the 2018 theme is the Year of the Villain. To that end, one of the invited guests is the voice actor, John Swasey. Although his credits include the video game, Borderlands 2, and the manga series “Black Butler,” his most relevant role to this year’s theme is his voicing of the villain, Sir Crocodile, from the manga series, “One Piece.”

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Throughout the Con, staffers will guide autistic attendees on which panels are sensory friendly and ensure they have a safe space to enjoy the Con. Indeed, of the two dance events, the day dance is sensory friendly, with soft lighting, less intense music, and no bass.

The money the Con raises will be channeled back into the autism support community.

“I want to help people who aren’t getting paid (to support the autistic),” Filipkowski said. “People who are building centers and holding free expos, like the one they do in Sharonville, where autistic people can learn what options they have and who’s out there to help them.”

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What: The Animatic Con

When: March 16-18

Where: Quality Hotel Cincinnati Blue Ash, 5901 Pfeiffer Road, Blue Ash

Cost: $10-$15 (single day), $30 (three-day pass)

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