Anime Los Angeles is a popular medium-sized convention that held it’s 14th annual convention from January 25-28, 2018. It had all the good things that every convention needs – an inspired artists alley, fun cosplayers, and excited fans.
— LEN @ ALA #420 (@princehowleu) January 27, 2018
— Misery @ALA 124 (@PrincessxMisery) January 28, 2018
— Tim Wyckoff (@SamuraiSimba) January 28, 2018
The convention stands out from others with a fun ribbon collection tradition that allows fans to showcase their creativity and meet other fans.
TY FOR THE PERSON WHO GAVE ME A NOHRIAN SCUM RIBBON hehe I'm not much of a con ribbon collector but I'm always very grateful to get one * 0 * pic.twitter.com/YndM8BaQEY
— SIREN (@ladylawga) January 28, 2018
Day 1 ribbon haul
— iCYhot @ dead (@luzrovrulays) January 27, 2018
— Shelbi @ ALA/Protect Miczawa (@princess_hylian) January 23, 2018
Last minute ALA ribbon designs pic.twitter.com/z3ohBzj7dN
— sink (taking a nap) (@grandmarth) January 3, 2018
These creative convention attendees were alarmed when a 4chan post on Sunday morning threatened them.
The post stated they would make things look worse than Phoenix Con, which is the con where an attendee aimed to kill the Green Ranger: Jason David Frank. The attendee made it inside the convention hall with a 12-gauge shotgun, a .454-caliber handgun, combat knife, pepper spray, two 45-caliber handguns, and throwing stars.
Anime Los Angelos attendees were, of course, concerned about the posting. Two cosplayers were also making people uncomfortable.
……….. so two boys dress up as the Columbine shooter at ALA then this shows up… oh. ok. pic.twitter.com/IS0jz1jYhl
— Kelly Eden (@kellyeden) January 28, 2018
no matter whether it’s real or a fake threat I’m still terrified of these things but apparently there’s a thread where someone threatened to shoot up the con and my mood suddenly just went down I just wanna go back to the hotel
— REY @ ALA ❗️❗️ ❄️ (@arcaneglitter) January 28, 2018
sooo the columbine shooter cosplayers are still here. they haven’t been kicked out and it’s been hours. they’re now both separated from each other. i’m. put off.
— jake @ katsu crunch (@legendarybIade) January 27, 2018
i didn’t pay $70 to see columbine shooter cosplayers
— paul blart’s kitten (@lesbiannadine) January 26, 2018
I left ALA early! If you came by before and wanted to get something I'm so sorry but what with the shaking tent, my sickly body, and the threat of violence to the con, I've just about had it. send me a DM if there was something you wanted to get!
— there's no place like wonhome (@royalchatea) January 28, 2018
Fortunately, the final day of the convention passed safely with an elevated police presence at the convention and many, many ribbons.
By the way, how many ribbons did you get??? Our account manager scored 168.
SHOW US THOSE RIBBONS pic.twitter.com/toKKq4iGnE
— Anime Los Angeles 14 (@AnimeLosAngeles) January 29, 2018
It’s not clear at this time if the online posting was a serious threat or a 4chan joke. Either way, threats like these are reasons why anime conventions (especially larger ones) are adopting stronger weapons policies, mandatory bag checks, and are hiring extra security to monitor exits and entrances.