The Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre came alive on Saturday and Sunday as comic lovers and local cosplayers turned out for one of the biggest live displays of animation: AnimeKon 2019.
Booths at the Two Mile Hill, St Michael location included those from Komic Kraze who said they were excited to capitalize on sales, Odboih, the Clothing Brand, and Rivenis’ Discordia comics who shared similar sentiments.
Co-owner of Komic Craze Tyrone Lynch said AnimeKon is normally good for their company. “All the fans come out as we have a wide array of stuff that they like. It has been getting better. I hope for lots of cosplay and sales.”
The family affair was said to be a plus and a brilliant idea by mother Michelle Doyle who brought out her daughter. Doyle said it allows people to express themselves in a way that they can’t do on a day-to-day basis.
“It allows children to see what is available to them and they see that people do not have to stick to traditional jobs. They are allowed to be creative and as long as they stick to it, that can propel them internationally,” she said.
Organizer Melissa Young said there was an increase in Saturday numbers. “This year, we have done a lot more contests because fans prefer doing something different on stage than compared to any other event that they go to. We have seen a really good response from contestants to the changes in entertainment.”
She said the point of AnimeKon is to foster a sense of belonging and to encourage innovation and a person being able to find their tribe makes people feel less alone.
“In terms of mental health and mental well-being, the fact that there is a community has played a really big part. The goal is to create a safe place where people know they are not alone in their journey.”
Owner of Play Barbados Sunil Mahtani said he found it shocking that people come around with so much money. “People do come to buy things and we put things on special. The crowd this year seemed a little smaller than 2017; maybe people are getting poor but there have been good outfits this year.”
Co-owner of Odboih Daniel Nicholas said they had really good sales and sold over half of their stock this year. “I enjoy being here and creating things that people enjoy. It is good for the community and being with the people.” (MR)