London Ramblings

Musings of a London Migrant

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Catching Up...
I was at Minamicon in Southampton last weekend. It's an anime convention, generally seen as the "friendliest". Also seen as the "old farts" convention. I'd been roped in to assist one of the dealers there (Martin "Ferengi" Dudman of United Publications) who was a bit short handed. He pays the fees for the con, the hotel, the transport AND I get paid. I was hardly going to say "No" was I, so Friday evening I headed down to Keston, stayed overnight and early next morning off we headed in a loaded van.

This was the 23rd Minami. Blimey, 23 years old, older than some of the participants. I used to go to this a lot when I was in Devizes, part of the Wessex Anime Club crew. From around 2001 to 2004 we ruled the cosplay scene but slowly people drifted away, I ended up in London (and married) and I stopped attending, concentrating more on Pratchett fandom. This was a chance to catch up.

I spent most of the time in the dealers room (peddling yaoi to teenaged girls) or in the bar chatting with old friends. And a lot of them there were too, some I hadn't seen for over a decade. Virtually the entire Wessex Anime Club committee were there and it turns out there's still a lot of money in the club bank account. We decided we'd arrange a meet-up in Bath for a slap-up meal (at Mrs Miggin's probably) and donate the rest to charity.

I had determined that I wouldn't get more anime but in the end took partial payment with the Girls Und Panzer TV series and OAV collections. Back home I spent a bit more of my pay and went for the third series of Aria in the "thickpack" while it was still in print. A bit more expensive than the thinpack, but it'll match all the others on the shelf.

It was good to get back, good to see a thriving crowd of old and new faces. And quite startling to realise that United Publications is now probably the largest dealer there, the table everyone makes a bee-line to when the dealer room opens. I remember when Martin used to attend Ian Curtis' housecons with his first imported anime (and furry) goods when he first set up his company, cackling about all the latinum he was going to make (Deep Space Nine was doing the rounds, which tells you how long ago that was), hence the "Ferengi" nickname he acquired then and which has haunted him ever since.

Well, we've all passed a lot of water under the bridge since then. The Wife and I have started watching Aria again now, curled up on the sofa. I'd forgotten just how good, how heartwarming it was. Probably pick up Non Non Biyorni and Gingitsune as well over the next few months. Chicken soup for the soul, and I think I've missed it.


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