You might call it the Little Convention That Could, or perhaps Artist Alley Con 2012, but one thing’s for certain: Mini Con is back for a third year at the McCully-Moiliili Library. And, pardon the cliche, it’s bigger and better than ever! No, really, it’s gotten to the point where it’s started to spill out from the meeting room in which it’s traditionally been held, taking over an area known as the children’s storywell near the circulation desk as well. Sure, it’s no Ala Moana Hotel-to-convention center transition like Kawaii Kon in its third year, or Blaisdell Exhibition Hall-to-Aloha Tower Marketplace like the Hawaii Entertainment Expo in its third year, but still.
Subscribers to this fine publication saw our writeup about it last Saturday in the Today section’s weekly “Kalakoa!” roundup, but for those of you who aren’t subscribers (and why not? It’s cheap, plus it ensures that I have enough money to eat and keep a roof over my head), here’s a recap: Come on down to the library on Saturday, dress up in your favorite costume and get prizes, watch free anime, and meet many cool people including:
- Jon Murakami, the artist behind Gordon Rider, our paper’s Calabash strip and a number of children’s books and greeting cards.
- Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga, Team Kimonokitsy Studios and purveyors of fine plush pup swag for more than six years running now.
- Kevin Sano, a Crazy Shirts designer who’s also produced some neat prints inspired by Kikaida characters that will be available for sale. Debuting this year: four Hakaida prints.
- Members of Pen & Ink Works, the anime/manga-inspired art group that debuted at this event last year. Artist Tara Tamayori will be talking about inking techniques at noon, and one-on-one consultations with artists of all skill levels will be available.
- And new this year, welcome Misty-Lynn Sanico and Alex Alba — and mascot Wormy! — of Hawaii Reads (formerly Hawaii Book Blog), who will be handing out bookmarks and spreading the word about their site, which promotes and examines local literature.
You can also watch your friendly neighborhood Star-Advertiser anime/manga blogger run around taking pictures but generally not saying very much because, even though he just turned 18 (*mumble*timestwo*mumble*) last Saturday, he’s still kinda shy.
Need more convincing? It took one year and 11 days, as well as a leap into the Flickr pool, for me to get this up and running, but I’m finally ready to present some of the highlights I captured from last year’s event. Since it’s been a few months since I posted my last Flickr gallery, here’s a refresher course on how best to use it: To start the slideshow, just press the “play” button in the middle of the frame below. Pause and restart using the button on the lower left. If you want a larger view, click on the icon on the lower right; in that full-screen view, you can also see the captions I’ve written for each picture (using the “Show Info” link) or slow down the automatic scrolling (using the “Options” link). Finally, if you’re viewing this blog on an iOS device (iPad/iPod Touch) and can’t view Flash plug-ins, or if you just want to skip all the slideshow fiddling and go straight to the gallery, here’s the direct gallery link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumiyoshi/sets/72157631579553092/
There’s much fun to be had, for sure. I think there’s too much to cram into three hours like previous years, so this year, Mini Con is lasting a whole extra hour, running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library is at 2211 S. King St., and once again I must add the customary disclaimer: Parking in the immediate area is limited, so arrive early, carpool or use public transportation. For more information, visit the Mini Con Facebook page, which is also available to non-Facebook users.
The complete HEXXP 2012 guest roster, take 2
I really meant for last week’s Cel Shaded Report to be the last major update on the Hawaii Entertainment Expo (HEXXP) story until the event itself. Maybe there would be a few little details to add to the “More From the Anime News Desk” section, but that was it — the guest roster was locked and loaded, the schedule of events was posted, I think it’s time we blow this scene, get everybody and their stuff together, OK, three, two, one, let’s jam.
… and then I went and forgot to put voice actress Megumi Nakajima on the list. This happened despite the fact that the Aug. 2 Cel Shaded Report was about her and all.
So in the interest of being one-stop-shopping complete, let’s try this again. Here is the full guest list for this year’s HEXXP:
- Angel Anatomy, musical duo with a style that’s “ambient, classical, industrial, and a touch of opera”
- Akiakane, noted Nico Nico Douga/YouTube utaite (cover artists who perform Vocaloid songs and other anime/video game /J-Pop pieces)
- Atelier Pierrot, a clothing brand known for its EGL (elegant gothic lolita) styles
- Andy Lee, modern zen painter and illustrator who’s done work for DC and Marvel Comics
- Livetune, music mastermind behind the Hatsune Miku Re:package and Tell Your World albums
- DJ MaRia, Avex Entertainment’s resident DJ for House Nation, “the most famous house music party in Japan”
- Megumi Nakajima, voice of Ranka Lee in Macross Frontier and Chiho and Chise Mihara in Kobato
- N.S.D.P., J-rock band
- Royalvana, online purveyors of Japanese GAL fashion
- Sana, visual kei guitarist
- Nobuo Uematsu, music composer for many games in the Final Fantasy franchise, who’ll be performing with his band, the Earthbound Papas
- Kazuki Yao, voice of Franky in One Piece
- Joji Yoshida, local actor
HEXXP is happening Oct. 19-21 at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. I mentioned last week that the Slopes of Diamondhead Hui’s “Crazy, Sexy, Ghoul” Halloween party/Make-A-Wish Hawaii fundraiser would be running up against the convention’s Friday night programming; it’s since come to my attention that Scare Hawaii’s “Terror at the Tower” haunted house will also be running concurrently in the same area all weekend, from 6 p.m. through midnight. My advice is very similar to the Mini Con item above: Carpool, take a bus or taxi, or be prepared to either walk from a downtown lot or pay for valet parking. Parking in the immediate vicinity will be tight.
For more information, visit www.hexxp.com. You can also preregister there, but there’s now another way you can get your tickets: Groove Ticket outlets at Local Motion stores statewide, including the Ala Moana, Waikele, Windward Mall, Hawaii Kai and Sheraton Waikiki locations on Oahu; Kihei, Kaahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului and Lahaina on Maui; and the Queens Market Place in Waikoloa on Hawaii island.
More from the anime news desk
Kawaii Kon:It’s late September, but it’s never too early to start thinking about next year and the local anime convention’s ninth annual installment. If you ever wanted to sign up to be a volunteer worker, your time is now: The first of four volunteer staff meetings is being held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Kakaako Waterfront Park. (You’ll have to attend at least two out of those four meetings to qualify as a volunteer.) Bring your properly filled-out forms, available at http://www.kawaii-kon.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=7508.
MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com for more information.
Comic Jam Hawaii: Local artists gather to draw collaborative cartoons and other artwork and talk story, 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Kahala Mall, center court area. East-siders, take note: This is the last time they’ll be at Kahala Mall, as they’ll be shifting their sessions to Pearlridge starting next month. Visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428/ (Facebook login required).