Con is EVERYWHERE. Some recent reports and notes:
§ Janna O’Shea has a brief report on the recent 29th Barcelona International Comicon, one of the largest and most America-comics friendly of the European shows; this year’s attendance was announced as over 100K. O’Shea’s report mentions one of the most advanced things aspects of Euro shows — the press day for comics guests! With translations! So civilized.
I kicked off the festivities on Thursday by interviewing Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson of Astro City. Thanks to a mix-up with their next interview we had some extra time and wound up chatting about their legendary series for almost an hour. It’s obvious that they enjoy each other’s company and are truly delighted by the work that they do. The convention provided translators to help the Spanish press (and vice versa) understand interviews with the English-speaking creators. Each translator had their own unique way of jotting down notes and turning them back into sentences. They work incredibly fast and it was quite amazing to watch.
§ This old dude from Forbes magazine attended this weekend’s anime/manga/cosplay-centric Sakura Con in Seattle and he discovered many things:
It is a strikingly colorful celebration of mostly Japanese animation (anime), computer games and graphic novels. Sometimes the same character will be featured in all three media, first starting out as a graphic novel character and then jumping to video and/or anime. The mostly high‑school age attendees dress up as a character from one of these media. Sometimes attendees bring multiple costumes and wear them sequentially during the three day affair. Some groups, of as many as ten people, dress up as an assortment of different characters from the same anime or graphic novel series. All‑in‑all, it makes for a colorful and engaging display of youthful humanity. Most attendees have worked hard on their costumes and are proud and happy to explain who they are dressed‑up as, to an uninitiated questioner. There is a fashion show, as well as contests for cosplay (costume play), anime music video, karaoke, and fan fiction.
Attendance was announced as 19,000. There are kabillions of photos of Sakura-Con online and we hope we won’t be branded as creepy by suggesting that all 19,000 of those attendees were probably very adorable.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.