Archive for the ‘ Comics ’ Category

Fandoms and Fun! Comic and Anime Conventions

By Juliette Puplava

Every year, thousands of people attend anime and comic conventions to express themselves and become characters from their favorite series. Arizona has six of these conventions. Each conventions is different, but all include dances, masquerades, panels, a vendor’s hall, and cosplays. This article will cover the basics of what to expect as well as what people enjoy most from the conventions.

One important thing to know is that anime and comic conventions generally happen at hotels or convention centers. These conventions can vary in sizes of 3,000 to 130,000 people. San Diego Comic Con, the biggest convention, has hosted about 130,000 people at once.

Most people who attend are in cosplay, another name for costume play. Cosplay is dressing up as a character from a comic, a book, a manga (Japanese comic), television series, or even a movie. Many people buy their costumes. However, since there are costume competitions that require homemade attire, one of the most exciting and creative parts of the convention is creating a costume after your favorite character.

People who choose to make their costumes may enter in the Masquerade to win money or prizes. Masquerades are generally hosted on the second or third night of the convention in the biggest room. The room has a stage and table for judges. Everyone else sits in the audience and watches the performance, which can consist of a Walk-On or a Skit. A Walk-On is generally where cosplayers have music and pose so everyone can see their craftsmanship. A Skit generally consists of something where people do voice overs.

The rules of competing may differ from convention to convention, but usually to compete in the masquerade you need to make eighty five to ninety five percent of your costume. Then, you are judged on performance and creativity. This is probably one the most exciting parts of a convention because you get to see people who are so passionate about a character that they try to bring them to life.

To help breathe life into a character, you might want sit down at a convention’s panel on how to act like your character. However, conventions aren’t completely about cosplaying. Many people go to conventions to attend panels that they are interested in. These might include an ask panel where people become the characters and you ask the character questions, a food panel where you learn about the food of japan, or even a panel where celebrities talk about their roles.

Celebrities can also be found in the vendors’ hall. The hall consists of people who sell figmas (figurines), toys, fashion, and accessories. Next to or mixed into the hall is the artists’ alley. This is where artists may sell their work and cosplayers may sell prints or costumes.

Around five in the evening, the day starts to settle down, and most people will go to get dinner and change into their dance outfits. The dances at conventions are sometimes themed, but generally they are casual. At this Labor Day weekend’s convention, a cosplayer who has been in the community for nine years commented on the conventions and their culture.

She said, “My favorite part of conventions is attending the panels, and just by walking the halls you get [to] meet and see so many different people, and my favorite part of the culture is that we are all very accepting of others.”