Do You Have Angst?: My Muse Dresses Funny

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Muse Dresses Funny

My 3rd year attending the Naka-Kon anime convention in Kansas City was a great time.  Two years ago I went with my daughter, and we left in stunned silence.  It was like we had walked through a dimensional barrier to find an entirely different culture of people.  Last year we were more prepared, but my friend Allie and her daughter had the same response we did.  What the heck was that?!  This year the four of us seasoned professionals went with a friend of my daughter's, who handled it pretty well but was still surprised at what we saw.

People-watching is one of my all-time favorite things to do.  It is more than a little voyeuristic to monitor the unbeknownst while they shuffle to and fro with hardly a bit of acknowledgement or care that you are capturing their moment for your own viewing pleasure.  It’s also a constant education in sociology, psychology, and the general craziness that makes us people.  From a writer’s perspective I try to find interesting individuals and figure out how I would describe them.  I look for features that stand out, or gestures that a reader may identify with.  On those days when I’m feeling less analytical, I enjoy a great amount of entertainment.

I think an anime convention is one of my favorite people watching venues.  The attending cosplayers want to be watched, they revel in attention and opportunity to flaunt their individuality.  The best compliment you can give them is to ask for a picture.  Some spend months sewing, sculpting, duct-taping, and painting their visage (others don’t).  Cloaks, helmets, weapons, uniforms…all works of passion and art.  Even without being familiar, at all, with many of the characters these costumes were based on, it is still easy to appreciate the effort that went into their creation. 

 So, while I don’t always ‘get it’ and will never know the amount of effort made, I really appreciate the drive and inspiration behind what the attendees are trying to do.  I (usually) love the youthful in-your-face freedom they revel in.  I’m always inspired by the passion to express themselves creatively and how they want to share that with others.  It makes for one heck of a muse.

You can see more Naka-kon photos on Google+ by clicking here!


  1. I've never been to one of these convention things but I have friend who goes to the Sci-Fi convention in Atlanta every year (is it Dragon-Con?). She keeps asking me to go with her, but she's married and I'm married and we're not married to each other, and our spouses have no interest in it. We're all good friends but it just wouldn't look right. It would be fascinating to see all the insanity up close and personal instead of just in photos. Thanks for sharing!

  2. The real question is, when are you going to put the other foot in and wear a costume? :)

  3. @Allan It definitely works out going with a friend. While my wife doesn't necessarily want to go, she's cool that I bring my friend Allie. Makes it easier on me too having an adult female there since I'm bringing 3 teen girls. I've thought about getting a table at Dragon-Con, which would definitely be a way to see the show ;)

    @Marie it's funny you say that. Allie and I joked about dropping the kids off at the show and then showing up an hour later in costume just for the shock factor. I doubt it happens, but it would be a great prank :)

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed the convention. Every year it's a huge challenge to get everything working and you never know how things are going to go. As with every year, there were numerous challenges and we couldn't rise to all of them, but overall, I think this was our best year.

    I'd love for you to share more on your experiences people watching. Personally, I think it would make a great idea for a panel: "What I Learned from People Watching @ Cons".

    Jon Voisey
    Assistant Programming Con Com
    Naka Kon 2012

    1. We will definitely be back for next year, and please pass along to everyone that we had a great time.

      A panel sounds like a lot of fun. Keep me in mind for next year, I'd love to participate.