Comic book fans and enthusiasts of any niche pop culture genre can be secular at times, closed minded, and exclusionary. It is the nature of the thing, I suppose, to be deeply invested and engaged by taking ownership of what appeals to you and what may become the building blocks of your identity. I’ve ignored the last ten Anime Boston conventions on this narrow-minded reasoning. After the Marathon bombings postponing Boston Comic Con this year, I put on my black costume karate gi to embrace the sense of pride and engagement with the nerd fan community that one can only get at a large convention in your hometown. This is how I, as a superhero comic fan, learned to stop worrying and love Anime Boston 2013.
My photographer Stacey and I headed for our passes early in the day, eager to take in the wonders of Anime Boston on Saturday. Lines were manageable with bag checks and plenty of volunteers to assist directing traffic. In light of the terrorist attacks, no weapons were allowed at the con this year.
There were plenty of foam swords, accessories, and larger than life costumes this year, so the restriction was certainly not affecting anyone’s creativity.
It should be noted, cosplay at Anime Boston is intricate and omnipresent. Well over 80 percent of the crowd is dressed up or decorated in some way.
Nerds of all fashions are here, Doctor Who fans, Vorlons (Babylon 5), superheroes, kitty cats with mechanical ears, all manner of tails and white masks swarm around you in a sea of paper mache, facepaint, leather, and vinyl. Cosplayers range in age from young to old and costume materials range from $2 to $2,000.
Cosplay at Comic Con is huge, don’t get me wrong, but as Stacey pointed out, “You’d be out of place if you didn’t dress up here.”
My thirst for nerd knowledge makes me a panel junkie. Anime Boston uses Guidebook, a live updating smartphone app that makes it easy to look at a complicated schedule such as this that includes screenings, martial arts demos, panels, kid’s activities, signings, and contests. We had set up our schedule in advance the night before and backed this up with the hard copy on the convention floor. Getting the lay of the land took some getting used to, Anime Boston uses most spaces in the gigantic Hynes Convention Center.
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