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Tsubasacon is coming! Get ready for Oct. 10-12

By Staff | Sep 24, 2014

By Tony Rutherford

Heroes and villains, males and females in sparkling and dark outfits take to the streets of Huntington Oct. 11 for the first Cosplay Parade sponsored by Tsubuscon, which runs Oct.10-12 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Conference Center. The parade begins at 5 p.m. and will wind through Pullman Square then end at Huntington City Hall, where a cosplay competition occurs inside the auditorium.

The cosplay parade and retro gaming are two of the 2014 additions at Tsubuscon. For 2015, the con will, according to Jack Varney, marketing director, expand to both the arena and adjacent conference center incorporating additional pop-culture niches.

Complementing the con’s rapid growth, Varney, a former broadcaster, revealed, “the nearest anime convention that has an official cosplay parade is Atlanta’s Dragoncon.”

All cosplay groups and individuals are invited to participate in the parade, which does not require a ticket.

“It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your costumed role role play attire and related fashion accessories,” as well as show “Huntington and the Tri-State what it’s all about,” Varney explained.

However, you must purchase a one day (Saturday) pass to participate in the cosplay competition inside the Jean Carlo Stephenson (City Hall) Auditorium. Early registration is required for the competition.

Walking zombies will join the parade, too.

“Since Tsubasacon is close to Halloween, we feel it’s a an ideal time to incorporate and capitalize on that particular theme and expand participants to all cosplay groups, regardless of affiliation with Tsubasacon,” Varney said. They are “working to bring someone associated with ‘The Walking Dead,’ It’s not an A-list person as they are mostly tied up in New York City at the New York Comic Con.”

WV native Jeremy Ambler, a “walker” from the show, is expected to make an unofficial appearance.

D.C. Douglas, the sinister voice of Albert Wesker (“Resident Evil”) who screams ‘Chriiiisssss” as he melts in a lava lake will be a special “cross over” guest. Douglas played the persnickety alien Zepht in “Star Trek: Enterprise” and Legion in the “Mass Effect” videogame series.

Other voice actors include Charleston-born Lisle Wilkerson, who grew up in Japan, and Paul St. Peter.

The awesome Cosplay Masquerade Ball takes place Friday night, Oct. 10.

Musical guest Eien Strife, which has been touring anime, comic and gaming conventions all over the United States, perform Saturday at 8 p.m. The concert tells the story of four adventurers from the world of Terina. Their high energy show shares adventures with the audience while interacting through animation and cosplay. Their first album, “Full Speed Ahead,” has just been released.

Greg Wicker known as “Greggo” brings his anime game show to the convention and a Lip Sync for Life cosplay video contest. Songs can originate from Japan, America or Disney. The winner will star in the con’s own lip-dub video.

Varney stressed that despite “expanding our scope of programming offerings and demographics… anime/Manga will remain the foundation. Our loyal fans will not be disappointed with subtle additions. Anime is and always will be our strong suite,” Varney said.

For those not familiar, anime/magna creations are styles of Japanese produced artistry. Anime (short for animation) often stresses setting realism, while magna are Japanese produced comics published mostly in black and white.

Further info, including featured artists and vendors, can be found at: www.tsubasacon.org

Facebook link: www.facebook.com/events/333598026811789

Word of warning: Hotels near Huntington do fill up. As of press time the Holiday Inn was sold out.