History

In the early 1990s, Tom Croom was a young science fiction fan. One Friday evening, while playing Dungeons & Dragons at a neighbor’s house, he and his friends discovered that a “Star Trek convention” was taking place that weekend within driving distance from where they lived in South Florida. They put together makeshift costumes and headed down the next morning. Tom met George Takei in person at the convention where he (George) gave Tom and his friend their prizes for winning the costume contest: $20 in cash and a Dick Tracy movie poster.

Tom Croom entering the Trekfest 1990 costume contest.

Years later, while working at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, he discovered movies like Ghost in the Shell and Akira on Laserdisc and began to learn more about anime – then referred to commonly as “Japanimation.” In 2001, Tom started his own anime club, Wasabi Anime, after attending two local anime conventions in Orlando, Florida.

Wasabi Anime the club became the de facto group in Florida for designing and producing anime-related content for local anime conventions and pop culture events. In 2007, the club expanded operations outside its home state for the first time by hosting panels at Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. That year, the club became a company, Green Mustard, LLC, and that company produced its first independently operated convention: ASSIMILATION.

Tom with George Takei in 2008 telling him about first meeting him at Trekfest in 1990.

Green Mustard, LLC is now Green Mustard Entertainment Inc. and has, to date, operated or produced content at over 100 conventions in North America. Wasabi Anime the club is now a brand known nationwide for creating premiere content enjoyed by fans of all ages. Green Mustard Entertainment owns and operates popular stand alone events like Fandom PDX in Portland, Oregon and WasabiCon in Jacksonville, Florida. Additionally, the company manages its own celebrity appearance booking company: Talent For Cons. Green Mustard Entertainment continues, to this day, to focus on the industry of fandom and making a positive impact on that community.

COMPANY MILESTONES

Last updated: July 14, 2019

2018 – Fandom PDX, the rebranded Anime/Newcon PDX event, takes place in Portland, Oregon the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd.

2018 – Edmonton Expo in Alberta features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: September 21st-23rd.

2018 – Calgary Expo in Alberta features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: April 26th-29th.

2018 – Anime PDX and Newcon PDX in Portland, Oregon are purchased by Green Mustard Entertainment on January 2nd.

2017 – Florida Anime Experience is sold to Informa Pop Culture and becomes part of MEGACON starting December 27th.

2017 – Boston Comic Con (now Fan Expo Boston) in Massachusetts features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: August 11th-13th.

2017 – Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, Ontario features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: August 31st though September 1st. This marks Wasabi Anime’s first official appearance outside the United States.

2016 – MEGACON Tampa Bay in Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: October 28th-30th.

2016 – Fan Expo Dallas in Texas features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: June 3rd-5th.

2016 – MEGACON Orlando in Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: April 10th-12th.

2015 – Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: June 3rd-5th.

2015 – Maid Cafe Mikkusu is developed to help provide a premium quality maid cafe experience for North American pop culture events. www.MaidCafeMikkusu.com launches on February 22nd.

2014 – CONjure, a pop culture event in Orlando, Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: August 1st-3rd.

2013 – Florida Comics Experience takes place August 10th in Melbourne, Florida – marking GME’s fifth original convention.

2012 – WasabiCon launches in Jacksonville, Florida for fans of anime, cosplay, and gaming on October 27th. This is GME’s fourth independently operated pop culture event.

2012 – PinUpalooza, GME’s third convention, kicks off a celebration of pin-up, burlesque, and rockabilly culture on October 6th in Orlando, Florida.

2012 – Umicon, an anime convention in Daytona Beach, Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime: September 7th-9th.

2012 – Project Anime, a B2B conference developed by Green Mustard Entertainment and the Society for the Promotion of Japanese, takes place for the first time in Los Angeles, California on July 26th.

2012 – Talent For Cons, GME’s celebrity booking agency, is created with the launch of www.TalentForCons.com on July 7th.

2011 – Florida Anime Experience, GME’s second convention, launches the weekend of May 27th-29th in Kissimmee, Florida for regional fans of Japanese pop culture.

2011 – InvaderCON, the first convention as newly formed Green Mustard Entertainment, celebrates Invader ZIM fandom in Atlanta, Georgia the weekend of March 26th and 27th. This is GME’s first fully operated weekend event hosted outside of Florida.

2011 – MomoCon, an anime and video game event on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta features programming from Wasabi Anime: March 12th-13th.

2010 – NeonCon, a tabletop gaming convention in Las Vegas, Nevada features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: November 4th-7th.

2010 – Gen Con, a tabletop gaming convention in Indianapolis, Indiana features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: August 5th-8th.

2010 – Ancient City Con, a pop culture and tabletop gaming event in Jacksonville, Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: July 18th-19th.

2010 – Green Mustard, LLC becomes Green Mustard Entertainment, Inc. on January 1st.

2009 – Anime Weekend Atlanta in Georgia features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: September 18th-20th.

2009 – Florida Supercon in Miami, Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: June 4th-6th.

2009 – AccioCon, a Harry Potter themed event in Orlando features programming from Wasabi Anime: April 3rd-5th.

2009 – The Broward Anime Festival (which went on to become Anime Supercon/Animation Supercon/ANIMATE Miami/ANIMATE Florida) features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time in Fort Lauderdale, Florida: February 6th-8th.

2008 – MuggleCon, a celebration of that particular boy wizard, launches as Green Mustard’s second event on November 1st in Kissimmee, Florida.

2007 – ASSIMILATION, Green Mustard’s first convention, celebrates sci-fi fandom September 29th-30th in Kissimmee, Florida.

2007 – Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: August 31st through September 3rd.

2006 – Green Mustard, LLC is created on October 17th, 2006.

2006 – JemCon, a Jem and the Holograms fan convention, is sponsored in part by Wasabi Anime and takes place in Orlando, Florida on April 24th.

2005 – COSPLAYBACK, Wasabi Anime’s retro-themed cartoon dance party, premieres at Anime Festival Orlando on August 6th in Florida.

2005 – The Animusical, Wasabi Anime’s stage show featuring a fusion of popular Broadway musicals, anime, video games, and cosplay takes place at JACON on April 15th in Orlando, Florida.

2005 – FX: The Florida eXtravaganza, a comic con style pop culture event in Orlando, Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: January 29th-30th.

2004 – DreamCon in Jacksonville, Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime: July 9th-11th.

2004 – Mystery Anime Theater 9001 is premiered by Wasabi Anime at Anime Festival Orlando on August 7th in Florida.

2004 – Otaku Insomnia, Wasabi Anime’s themed dance event, takes place for the first time at FITCON on April 3rd in Melbourne, Florida.

2003 – Yasumicon, an anime convention on the campus of Florida International University in Miami features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time on July 26th.

2003 – Vulkon, a regional Star Trek convention in Tampa, Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: July 18th-20th.

2003 – Metrocon, an anime convention in Tampa, Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: July 18th-20th.

2003 – FITCON, an anime and sci-fi convention on the campus of the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: April 4th-6th.

2002 – Anime Festival Orlando in Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: August 16th-18th.

2002 – JACON, an anime convention on the campus of the University of Central Florida in Orlando features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: May 31st through June 2nd. This is the first appearance of “DARE! The Transformers Panel Ultimate.”

2002 – Anime Express in Daytona Beach, Florida features programming from Wasabi Anime for the first time: March 22nd-24th.

2001 – Wasabi Anime’s Christmas Party, the club’s second official event, takes place December 15th in Orlando, Florida.

2001 – Wasabi Anime’s Halloween Cosplay Party, the club’s first official event, takes place on October 21st in Orlando, Florida.

2001 – Wasabi Anime is created with the launch of www.WasabiAnime.com.