Although I am really interested in Japanese culture, and I can’t deny my love for Studio Ghibli, I’m not actually that much of an anime/manga geek. When I was a student I did go through a bit of a computer games, comics and sci-fi phase but even that seems to have passed now. However, I do have an appreciation for all things geeky, and I was keen to attend when I heard about CamCon, Cambridge’s first comic convention dedicated to all things cult, from comics to sci-fi, anime to gaming.
Arriving at CamCon just before 1pm today, I dashed in just in time for the alternative fashion show. As it happened, there was a bit of a scheduling delay, so I had time to catch my breath and settle before I had to start snapping.
Looking at the schedule before the event, the fashion show was the one thing that stood out as being of interest to me. It was nice, and it’s always a delight to see Lolita fashion, but unfortunately there wasn’t really anything I hadn’t seen before. The outfits were gorgeous though…
There was a dealers’ room with a number of tables featuring the likes of Tofu Cute, Sweatdrop Studios, Anime League, Chie Kutsuwada, and Anime Pang. Most of the dealers were comic related, and there were quite a few artists displaying their work which was available in comic form, as prints and as postcards. I found some of the work quite interesting, and am always amazed by the talent on display when I attend these kinds of events.
As I’m not really into comics, and attended CamCon mainly for the Japanese element, one of the highlights in the dealer’s room for me was Tofu Cute. Tofu Cute sell sweets and kawaii goods from Japan and East Asia. Tofu Cute is one of my favourite Japanese candy sellers, and the staff always seem so friendly and interested in what they’re doing. They also have the cutest ever character as their mascot:
Tofu Cute had a nice selection of Japanese sweets on sale:
Although I don’t often know the characters involved, I do have a bit of a soft spot for cosplay (costume play). I think I like it because, when it’s done right, I shows amazing creativity and skill. The key to good cosplay, as far as I’m concerned, is to (1) have a well designed costume that looks as much like the original as possible and to (2) embody the character and act it out a bit. No one wants to see a shy cosplayer!
The cosplay costumes on display in the cosplay masquerade were nice, but I have seen better. I think I’ve been spoilt by the quality of costumes I’ve seen at other events such as Hyper Japan. There were three Pikachus, which was a bit of a shame (not the most exciting character to cosplay as, in my opinion)…
Here are some highlights of the other costumes:
The convention seemed quite well attended, attracting cosplayers and comic fans, manga and anime geeks, and sci-fi devotees. The majority of the audience seemed quite young, and I imagine a large number of the attendees were students, much like CamCon’s mascot, Cambi.Cambi, designed by Sonia Leong, is a 19-year-old Cambridge student, who loves to ride her bike around town. She likes to read comics, watch sci-fi anime, and eat jacket potatoes, apparently.
Overall, I found CamCon to be more-or-less what I expected. Although I am a geek, I’m not quite geeky enough to get the most out of all the comics, games and sci-fi stuff. I think I’ll probably stick to what I know in the future and just attend events that focus more on only Japanese culture, like Hyper Japan and the Brighton Japan Festival, as there wasn’t quite enough Japan at CamCon for my liking. Still, hats off to Head Organiser Ziggy “Zonic” Newman for putting together a convention enjoyed by many!