Barbados’ pop culture came alive last weekend when AnimeKon 2013 was hosted at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Fans and enthusiasts packed half of the convention centre on Saturday and Sunday for the fourth annual event which featured movie showings, dance and karaoke competitions, cosplay competitions and showcases, along with the latest games, attractions and paraphernalia in the pop culture genre.
The highlight for many, beyond the cosplay competitions though, would have been the many workshops hosted by internationally renowned cosplay ambassadors and costume designers Yaya Han and Jayem Sison, along with award winning comic creator Yale Stewart, who were brought in for the event, themed Living Legends.
Stewart enjoyed a very interactive session about his JL8 webcomic, but fielded questions about more than just what goes into making a highly successful online comic and keeping it alive.
He told a large audience in one of the conference rooms that he enjoyed his work and while it would be cool to be picked up by one of the big comic creators, they knew how to find him if they wanted him and in the meantime he would continue to create his own work.
He offered encouragement to local comic creators to continue what they were doing.
Han gushed about how great it was to be in Barbados, adding that she enjoyed the cosplay she had seen and would definitely like to come again. She said she enjoyed travelling to other countries to see what the pop culture was like so she could take information back to her own colleagues in the US about how the genre was growing outside of the US.
Sison, whom most remembered as Gray Fullbuster, provided tips on his own preparations for getting into the mind of any character he plays as well as his preparations for the physical demands of it.
The packed convention of mostly youth also featured a number of booths showcasing everything from actual products like Teatime biscuits, to Axe cologne, to video games, Wii games, even Cosplay stores, as well as young artists showcasing their work and designs. (LB