Ozine Fest 2009: Modern Masquerade

Every now and then, when I need that extra dollop of courage to face the world, I hang a drill around my neck. I’ve gotten quite a few odd looks and hesitant inquiries because of my strange choice of fashion accessories, but this afternoon no one even noticed it–which stands to reason I suppose, since most of the people around me at the time were decked out in shiny assortments of power armor, armed with swords twice their height and possessed hair styled as if by angry porcupines.

Oh, plus a Prinny.

Ah, the wonders of cosplay.

Anime and manga have a robust fanbase here on our shores, and summer vacation means conventions galore. Today was the first day of Ozine Fest 2009, a three day event organized by Ozine magazine as an anime/manga/videogame/cosplay convention. The venue was packed (largely in my opinion because (a) they only used one Megatrade Hall; and (b) many of the attendees had tails, swords, booster engines–and in one case–a wingspan of at least six feet from tip to tip.

I came largely to scope out indy manga komiks, but I found to my disappointment that there was only one table selling these, as most of the other artists were there instead to sell non-narrative merchandise such as keychains and commissioned sketches.

Still, the table did have a few komiks for sale. I ended up purchasing Piso by power-j (he was the one at the table. Nice guy) and two by Del Caraig. (Also picked up some Persona memorabilia because, well, it’s Persona @_@) Power-j also had a spiffy looking Naruto-Sakura doujinshi on sale, which seemed professionally printed with a stiff cover and glossy material, but since it’s been a while since I’ve read Naruto, I passed on that for fear of spoilers. I’ll post a review on these when I get through with them (and my backlog) and maybe I can interview the creators as well. 

Since I arrived so close to the scheduled beginning of the cosplay parade, I decided to catch a little of the event: the craftsmanship displayed by some of the participants was extra-ordinary: stand-outs from what I caught were a small terminator, chibi-L,a Gundam (please don’t ask me which one)  a Samus with a very creative routine, a stunning rendition of War Machine… and of course the Prinny. Forget halloween… cosplay events are our modern masquerades: venues where we can become other people, and through that facade, show hidden aspects of our true or ideal selves. 

Hm. Maybe next time I’ll bring a bigger drill…

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