For most cosplayers, con season is the busiest time of the year when it comes to conventions. Every cosplayer’s con season is different, but usually, the busiest time of the year for conventions is the right before, during, and right after summer.
My con season was a bit crazy in 2017, so I wanted to talk about some of the events I attended. These are events I ended up attending as a press or cosplay guest, and as a result, I was able to see all sorts of aspects of each event from the inside out. Now that the events and my con season are just about over, I want to share my experiences and information about each event so you can check them out for yourself next year!
In this post, let’s talk about EmCon Anime Festival at the East Meadow Public Library!
What Is EmCon Anime Festival?
EmCon Anime Festival is a three-day event in May at the East Meadow Public Library on Long Island. A Pre-Party on Friday night, followed by the full event on Saturday and Sunday. This year, the Pre-Party was from 6-9PM on Friday, 10AM-5PM on Saturday, and 1PM-5PM on Sunday. It is a weekend of drawing, cosplay, talks, workshops, contests, and networking.
What Can You Do There?
There’s a lot to do at EmCon Anime Festival! They have an Artists’ Alley where you can buy art and merchandise, tables for guests and cosplayers, drawing workshops, anime screenings, musical performances, a cosplay contest, and much more.
EmCon’s schedule included anime screenings such as One Punch Man, the Sailor Moon R movie, The Boy and the Beast, and Ghost in the Shell 2.0.
The Young Adult Room had video games happening all day including Pokken Tournament, Smash Brothers, and Mario Kart.
There was a Writer’s Workshop, hosted by Olivia Schanzer, all about how to create your own character. Workshops for woodburning art with artist Savanna Matias, a meet the artist workshop for artist Rebecca Friedman and her comic book series, Lovely Demon: Demonic-Reapter Chronicles.
There were guests to meet as well, including voice actor Eileen Stevens who is best known for her work as Bell-dandy in Ah! My Goddess as well as Iris in Pokemon Black & White.
Comic guru Brimstone was also in attendance and had an event on the main stage Saturday morning. His resume includes professional wrestling, actor, author, musician, philanthropist, food critic, and of course comic book guru. He’s known for his popular comic book series Brimstone and the Borderhounds.
Quinton Flynn was also in attendance, holding a Q&A session with It Came From the Radio as well as being a co-judge at the cosplay contest, and having autograph sessions at his table. His voice acting credentials span from Reno in Final Fantasy VII, Silver in Sonic the Hedgehog, Raiden in the Metal Gear series, Lea and his Nobody Axel in Kingdom Hearts, and in Crash Bandicoot, just to name a few of his works.
Susan Roman had a Skype Q&A hosted by It Came From the Radio. She is best known for playing the role of Makoto Kino/Lita in the original Sailor Moon dub made by DiC.
Musical guests were also in attendance for everyone to enjoy. NovaDrop had various performances throughout the weekend — at the Pre-Party, mini-shows on Saturday, and the performance during the cosplay contest intermission. They are a group of J-Pop idols whose goal is to spread J-Pop Idol Culture throughout America and to show awareness to growing underground and underrated idols. It’s hard not to get hype and dance when they’re energetically performing some of your favorite anime and J-Pop songs.
Tha Gata Negrra held a performance on Saturday, and she is not to be missed. She is a proud geek and otaku and her performances absolutely highlight these facts for her viewers by featuring cosplay and her own spin on decora kei style. Gata has earned the designation of “New Jersey’s real-life Catwoman” by Indie Flava Magazine thanks to her distinct flow, kawaii aesthetic, and catgirl persona. She was also one of the co-judges of Sunday’s cosplay contest.
How Much Is It? How Do I Get There?
EmCon Anime Festival is free to attend! Whether you want to attend one day, or both days and the Pre-Party, there is no fee to get in.
If you’re coming from somewhere on Long Island, the library is right in-between the Meadowbrook State Parkway and the Wantagh State Parkway in Nassau. It is also minutes away from Hofstra University and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
From Manhattan, if you’re driving you can take either the Grand Central Parkway or I-495 eastbound. If you’re taking public transportation, you can take the Long Island Railroad using the Ronkonkoma line from Penn Station to Hicksville. From there, a bus can finish the commute and bring you straight to the library.
Check out some of the absolutely amazing cosplayers I saw all weekend!
I attended the convention as a cosplay guest — holding a cosplay panel on Saturday and co-judging the cosplay contest on Sunday with Quinton Flynn, Tha Gata Negrra, and Okami Yoshino Cosplay. Okami is an adorable cosplayer whose talent is obvious. The detail she puts into every aspect of her costumes is to be commended, and she’s an amazing photographer to boot! She has a lot of tips and ideas for cosplay makeup, posing, photo editing and structuring. Okami is an amazing resource!
There was really so much to do at the event. Everyone I spoke with was incredibly kind and fun to talk to. I spent a lot of time chatting with Brimstone, Gata, Okami, and NovaDrop, and I learned a lot from them! That’s one of the best things about local events — it’s a little easier to be able to chat with people and get tips, pointers, and a better feel for the community and cosplay.
The cosplay contest was so hard. It wasn’t my first time judging a cosplay contest, but everyone was so energetic, had worked hard on putting their costumes together, and were a joy to talk to and listen to as they described their work. EmCon Anime Festival holds two cosplay contests – a junior one on Saturday, and the standard contest on Sunday. This is a great idea because, for younger cosplayers that are just starting out, it might be incredibly intimidating to join the older cosplayers on stage.
This was my first time attending this event, and I will happily return next year. It was a small, comfortable, well-organized event on Long Island that absolutely needs more events like this one. I noticed a lot of attendees were younger and I find that perfect — it helps them step out of their shells and try new things. It introduces them to new people, artists, guests, musicians, and fellow cosplayers to inspire and motivate them to proceed. There’s something for everyone and it helps become a great weekend hangout.
If you’re local to Long Island or Manhattan, it’s not too bad of a commute. I definitely recommend attending EmCon Anime Festival net year — it’ll be the festival’s 8th year and there’s bound to be more fun and things to do. If you need to relax or lay low, there’s a room downstairs with food, tables, and chairs, and there is a TV playing anime to watch as well. It’s next to the bathrooms and the community room where some panels and events were held.
EmCee Peace, EmCon organizer McKel Supreme of Night and Day Anime, and Brimstone really know how to work together and make this amazing event. They put on a great show and make you feel at home from the moment you walk into the East Meadow Public Library. You don’t have to worry about who’s running what here; you’re in great hands.
Be sure to check out EmCon Anime Festival’s Facebook page, as they’re always providing updates as it gets closer to the con, and they hold other events as well such as Star Wars Reads and EmCon Anime Festival’s Halloween Party. Both are in October so be sure to keep an eye out!
If you like what you see, see you next year in May for the 8th annual EmCon Anime Festival! It’s a fun, family-friendly event to really welcome the summer and welcome you to the community.