Was it really 2013 last time I blogged? It’s been a very busy winter, writing and having fun and sometimes doing both at the same time, but I really didn’t think it was that long! I’ve been Tweeting almost daily, since it’s so much faster and easier, so those of you who don’t want to hear me going on but don’t mind keeping in touch might like to follow me there. But now you’re here, let me tell you about the last convention I attended.
Last weekend was spent at S-Con in Scunthorpe, one of the parts of Great Britain that nobody outside the country has ever heard of and not that many within it have ever visited. That’s a pity, because S-Con is well worth a visit. Going there reminded me of the cons we used to make for ourselves back in the early days of UK anime fandom. Maybe those old-school events were a bit short on multiscreen video and big-name voice actors, but they were full of energy, passion and a lot of fun. S-Con was my own personal Tardis taking me back to the roots of my fandom, reminding me why I am and always will be fangirl and proud.
Managed and supported by the North Lincolnshire Central Library, and masterminded by librarian Veronica Robinson, the convention is staffed by a horde of fan volunteers, many of whom I didn’t get to meet. I had dinner with a few of them the evening before the con, and that was great, a pause before the madness of next day. Whether a convention has around 400 attendees like this one, or around half a million like Comiket, the convention you experience is still down to the individuals you run in to and the interactions you have. Mine was a good one thanks to the S-Con crew and attendees.
It was a packed day. David Hancock, the convention’s other special guest, is an artist specialising in cosplay. He spent most of the day giving art workshops. We didn’t really get much chance to chat about cosplay history until we shared a meal and a train on the way home, but it was good to find someone else who approaches cosplay from that angle. I gave two talks – which turned into three talks, because my audience couldn’t decide whether they wanted to hear about the history of cosplay or the artistic heritage of kawaii, so I did both presentations very fast indeed to fit a single slot. A few people had to be reminded to breathe, including me.
I also promoted my forthcoming book A Brief History of Manga – more about that in a later post. And I did a manga cross-stitch workshop, which was amazing. A dozen stitchers of all ages and both genders showed up to spend a couple of hours with me. That deserves its own blog post.
I boogied gangnam-style at the back of a crowded hall, raced between lines of tables packed with gamers bent on each other’s complete annihilation (in a very polite and very British fashion) looking for my workshop room, chatted to conrunners and congoers and cosplayers, and had a lot of fun.
Thanks, S-Con, for taking me back to my fannish roots and showing me a really great little con. Can’t wait to go back again!