Friday, October 24, 2008

Busan Comic World Festival 51!

Just put it in my veins!!

     Last Sunday, I had the good fortune to be invited by my former roommate Amanda to the Busan Comic World convention. Also on board too early for a Sunday was her man Glenn of course, and Scott, who knows everything about everything, except the Korean language.   

We took a bus and then the subway to BEXCO convention hall.  

    Entering the inner convention hall, there were about three things to see.  Largely, there were booths set up of people selling their various anime, anime-style swag and doujinshi.  There were posters, cards, t-shirts ("daeth note?!"), mugs, key chains, and all sorts of other goodies.   Events like these seem to be a rare outlet for those artists who like to portray the um...more "rainbowish" lifestyle in conservative Korea.   

    There was an especially long line of people in front of a booth selling stuff related to the manga Reborn! , so I got into it and bought a few things, including a manhwa I can never show my children.  

    Also present was some of the  the Deleter company's comic book making supplies:  comic paper, pens, Copic markers, manga software, etc.  I found myself far more exited about this (and bought some paper and pens).  Maybe this stuff was being resold illegally, as I was discouraged from taking photos!  

crappy clandestine photo!!

    And to round it all off, there was a large screen set up in the back apparently showing nothing but the opening credits sequences to different popular anime.  I really hope they showed something more interesting later, but I didn't stick around to see.  

    Of course there were the various cosplayers, few of which we could identify.  Some were advertising "free hugs".  

Rose of Versailles, right? 

Glenn gets some awkward first-time Fruits Basket love.

And just when you thought it was impossible to look like more of a dork...

    I must admit that the experience was a tad anti-climactic, as those of us who are just weird enough to know about "nerd" conventions had higher expectations.  There should have been more to see, it should have been bigger, it should have been more interesting.   Amanda  had her hopes nearly crushed as there weren't many Naruto-related sights to be seen; although she did probably find the only  doujinshi in the universe that wasn't gay porn.    

    Comic World, as it turned out, was little more than a comic village; and apparently Busan hosts one every two months!  Maybe they should have them less often and make them more anticipated events?

But it was fun to go out and experience a real manga/manhwa/anime convention in Asia with TaLKing friends.   

    As I've pontificated before into many a tired ear, I have a love-hate relationship with manga and especially anime.   On the one hand, I have enjoyed many anime over the years,  on the other hand, I find the anime style in general to be cold and soulless, and in terms of animation itself, prefer American style (when it's done well, which is sadly almost never).   There have been anime that I thought were cute, fun, cool, or interesting, but besides some of Hayao Miyazaki's films, there are none that I *love.*  I'll watch just about anything animated once, but there's very little I would actually spend money on.   

    Seeing these Korean kids dressed up in kimonos and watching Japanese anime was interesting to think about.  What do they think about participating in this celebration of Japanese culture? Do they ever think about that sort of thing, or do they give a darn?  Do Korean young people under the age of 30 really give two bento boxes about the Dokdo Islands, or Japan's WW2 atrocities, or is it just something that older people and the government go on about?  Maybe they're just kids who like what they like, regardless of where its from.  Korea and Japan have a lot in common.  It would be interesting to know what the Korean youth's opinions are about Japan--hence one more reason I'm studying the language.    

    Anyway folks, that was the big event of last weekend--here at the beginning of another weekend, I'm sure we'll experience even crazier adventures, the likes of which this blog cannot hope to contain, 


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