moby-dick-(or-the-whale)-89
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HERE BE PICTURES!

10 October 2007

I'm back from Abunai and it was a roaring weekend filled with hilarity and suspense!

Well, like I said, I cosplayed for the first time- as Herman, Team Rocket recruit extraordinaire! And it was quite a success; people really reacted to it. Especially the off-kilter H on my chest caused some confusion and when people asked what it stood for; I saw it as a nice little challenge to always respond with something different, preferably funny. Mostly, folks thought it stood for Hentai or Team Hocket. I also had another surprise, however; a little something to wear while waiting in the many queues that popped up all over Abunai in front of dealer rooms and breakfast lounges. It was a simple Manny Calavera mask I had fashioned out of cardboard, along with a bony hand to hold my partner with. Here are my two disguises alongside each other:



I arrived Friday morning pretty early, so there wasn't a huge line in front of the entrance yet. Luckily, the weather forecasts had predicted a gentle weekend without rain and plenty of sun and it delivered. Before long, many people I know began trickling in and without any warning I was caught up in a whirlwind of social interaction that didn't stop until the weekend was over. The only breaks I had were when I took a blissful shower in my buddy Tim's hotel room and when I exited the campus grounds for my own sleeping place; a house in Enschede graciously offered by friends.

Notable things that happened: I spent less time in the dealer room trying to sell my wares than ever, and yet the sales of Captain August ~Year One were never this strong! It seems as though the general discours of the convention is changing. People are more receptive towards non-manga, weird comics. Suddenly, Captain August isn't something I need to fight to get people to accept. They embrace it out of their own volition. I had posters hanging around the stand depicting the episode where August and Moby Dick go head to head (with thanks to Diederik), which some even wanted to take home with them. And guess what? I sold all the books I had with me! The full first print run is now almost gone; only five (!) shrinkwrapped units are left. If you want to get your hands on one before they're sold out completely, you'd better order one on the double!

Saturday held many surprises, because Melanie (also dressed up as a Rocket) and I got asked to participate in a cosplay act; a piece of theatre held then and there! No talking role of course, but an important supportive one nonetheless. During the show, Rockets would enter the stage and perform a coup. The central Rockets (people dressed up as Jesse and James and others) would start a meeting on the stage discussing plans, while a group of 'grunts' (including me) would enter the rows of seats. In the days and hours before the act, many Pok,balls were distributed among the crowd by Professor Oak, and now we came to collect them in burlap bags sporting a red 'R'. The show obviously erupted into madness as Giovanni fired everyone and the Team Rocket anthem burst loose and we all went nuts on the stage with bells and whistles. As the well-known Team Rocket's Blasting Off Agaaaaaain! ripped through the theatre, we all flurried off the stage in different directions. Excellent fun.



In the evening I watched the only anime I really wanted to see there: Satoshi Kon's Paprika, a delightfully imaginative movie where reality and dreams warp into each other. I really like how anime has gone from the crude, philosophically in-your-face movies from the 80s and 90s like Akira and Ghost in the Shell to subtle, sophisticated works like Paprika and Millennium Actress. Obviously, I'm generalizing hugely.

Sunday was as ever the most relaxed of convention days, as Saturday is where you expend all of your energy and then the day after you're lucky not to look and act like something Ursula would put in front of her cavern entrance. Low-key and relaxed; perfect for chatting with people and making new friends; Sunday dissipated into a pleasant ride home by train and bus, and then a good night's sleep in the comfort of my own bed.

An excellent convention came to a close.

Roderick.