Manga Monday: Let’s Make Friends?

Published on June 22nd, 2009

Firstly I apologize for not blogging last weekend, as mentioned I am a midwife and I spent last Monday knee deep in amniotic fluid and clunge. So without further delay, lets talk geek….

Manga fans, much like comic book fans, enjoy spending time among their own kind. Don’t say I blame them, nobody but our ‘own kind’ gets us. You know what I mean- your ringtone, t-shirt, and those little in-jokes you make. Yeah only your friends get it. This brings me very nicely to my theme for this Manga Monday which is of course, conventions.

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It is now officially summer time and this means the UK convention season is in full swing. UK boasts two different kinds: expo’s and conventions. Expos mainly refer to the MCM Expo which I previously blogged about, with upwards of 10,000 people in a big hanger with lots of stalls. Conventions are a little bit more personal and that’s what I am going to focus on today. The UK has quite a few conventions for anime and manga each year but Aya-con is the biggest convention, and is taking place this coming August. When I say ‘biggest’ I mean it only takes 1,500 people.

Conventions are important to me; they are where I’ve met some of my best friends and had some of the greatest times of my life. Manga is often a relatively ‘underground’ scene so the idea of people coming together for an entire weekend to share something they love is pretty amazing. Do I use it as a glorified excuse to drink? Hell yes I do! But there is so much more to it. Conventions here allow for a very amazing family feeling. I and my friends come from all over the UK and the conventions are the only time we get to see each other. We party the night away at j-pop parties, cosplay balls and in hotel rooms. We read manga together and watch hentai for kicks. We cosplay, we go to sushi making classes, and did I mention that we drink?

Solidarity, right? There is something pretty special about these little worlds. The atmosphere they create and just how amazing living with 1000+ manga fans for 3 days really is. These are the perfect places and times to meet some great friends with things in common. Never been before? Take a deep breath and dive right in!

Living in the UK and all this sounds exciting? Join us at Aya-con this year ayacon.org.uk and don’t worry, we will talk about another manga for you kids to try out!

Hollie ‘pheonix drinks to much’ Bennett
Hollie@comicimpact.com