In the years that I’ve been venturing out to conventions – and then subsequently covering them – I have to admit that I’ve primarily adhered to those that focus on comic book culture. After all, that is my area of expertise. But, more recently, I’ve somewhat broadened my horizons with horror cons and what happens to be the biggest anime event of its kind in Michigan, Youmacon.
To be honest, I’m not exactly what you would call a fan of the medium, though I do love animation itself. It’s just that I gear more toward the superhero stuff, but am not afraid to pick up something like, say, The Animatrix or Supernatural: The Anime Series when it’s produced by a Japanese studio. Regardless, it’s due to the fun that I experienced at last year’s show that persuaded me to come back for a second tour.
A minor regret of my own this time around was not staying late enough for the raves on Friday and Saturday, or attending panels, but the latter is due in part to the fact that the Marvel vs. DC panel was unfortunately placed on Thursday night when barely anybody would be showing up. The primary focus of this may be anime, yes, but if you’re willing to throw fans of the Big Two a bone, at least give us a chance to chew on it.
As such, much of my time was spent perusing artist alley and whatever other vending booths occupied the dealers’ room. Suffice it to say, it was Xanadu for anime lovers, with video games also not being negelected. Seriously, if you love the vintage stuff, be sure to show up in 2018 with cash in hand because you may be able to call yourself a proud owner of a Famicom.
Personally, I think what may be the biggest selling point Youmacon has to offer is that it can probably lay claim to having the biggest cosplay turnout of any convention in Michigan. With 24,000 eager patrons projected to have shown up, it stands to reason that a significant chunk of that number was clad in the guise of their favorite pop culture characters. Heck, even I partook, dressing up as Green Arrow on Friday and following it up by doing the Court of Owls thing on Saturday. And in case you’re wondering, Sunday saw my most ambitious cosplay yet: “Eric Joseph, writer/editor.” In other words, that ended up being my casual day.
On that note, I guess there couldn’t be a better time than now to mention that one of my fonder memories of that weekend came via the one day I didn’t have a photographer in tow. Believe it or not, as I was leaving for the night, I happened to walk right into a photo shoot involving some of the best Justice League and Bat Family cosplayers you could hope to see. Of course, I didn’t fail my city, and got in on the action. Still, we did get shots the following day during the organized DC Comics photo shoot, some of which can be found in our gallery.
Aside from that, it was hard not to notice how video games such as Overwatch and Fallout continue to be well represented. In fact, Hailey S Cosplay, who happened to be in attendance, had this to say about Overwatch taking the cosplay community by storm:
“I really love their costume designs, and they just keep making more really amazing skins. I mean, the game could be a few years old now, but they still come out with new skins for the characters that you love, so you still have more cosplay options to do from the game, which I feel is really cool. It always has replay value because you want to get the new skins like the Halloween ones that just came out – people are already cosplaying those. With BlizzCon, they just released the new skins – the Diablo/Overwatch mashup ones – and those are just sweet. I’m like, “that’s awesome!” That just gives it more replay value. It’s fun.”
So, before going about your day, be sure to check out some of our favorite cosplayers in the gallery above. And, if any of this sounded at all intriguing to you, we recommend attending Youmacon in 2018 because any geek residing in Michigan should do so at least once.