Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Youmacon Wrap-Up 2012

Youmacon 2012 gave Imaginos Workshop another awesome opportunity to spread the word about our work and talk with fans of comics, anime, manga and storytelling. Youmacon, a relatively young anime convention in downtown Detroit, attracts an enthusiastic crowd of die-hard fans and creative cosplayers. I was impressed with the huge number of people cosplaying in Detroit for the weekend. I'm new to the world of anime and manga, so a lot of the costumes went over my head. But I could appreciate the time, money and creativity of the cosplayers, and there was some crossover: I saw characters from movies and video games as well, along with several Doctor Who's and Walter Whites. The con itself showed some serious growing pains. Registration for many was a lengthy and confusing process, and one that involved waiting in lines, wandering various floors of registration, and walking back and forth between Cobo and the Ren Cen. These are organizational problems that will hopefully get worked out as the convention grows and perfects itself. Despite these issues, the overall attitude at the convention was one of conciliatory excitement.

Star Wars maintained a presence amid the anime and manga cosplayers.

Imaginos Workshop handed out posters, flyers, business cards, stickers and our new "Dirty Weaponry" sketch book. We talked as much as we could with people, and tried to make inroads with a crowd that wasn't our normal demographic: an anime convention is not the same thing as a comic convention, but people still seemed encouraging of our work. This convention also marked our first official, public collaboration with the girls producing the webcomic Mutare Ludum. Their names are Danielle Todd and April Cox, and they've evolved from Mark's students to peers and promising young artists. They are developing a webcomic that is parts fantasy and horror; you can check out their blog here.

Probably the most encouraging part of the whole weekend for me was Imaginos Workshop's public panel How To Create Comics, led by our own Mark Dudley. He led a panel that quickly turned into a fun, interactive discussion on constructing, writing and drawing comics from start to finish. We had good attendance and the people there were enthusiastic and engaged. Nick and Joe also contributed to the panel by leading some of the discussion and answering questions. Even Danielle and April were able to add some words of wisdom. Unfortunately the panel was cut shorter due to an oversight on the part of the convention planners (not the last time that happened over the weekend) but it was still a good experience. After the panel ended, a group of artists, fans and writers hung out and talked with us about creating stories and drawing. It was fun and informative, and it gave us all some great connections and interactions with people that are all part of the wide web of creative industries in Michigan.

Mark Dudley leads the How To Create Comics panel.
We are still working on our Imaginos Plus comic book, part of which will be sent to Image Comics on completion so hopefully we can get a publisher for our work. We also have movie scripts and video projects in the works, and we want to continue pushing our online presence and interacting with what we hope will be a growing and loyal fan base.


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