Now I've never really been into manga or Anime that much. I've had friends who have tried to get me into various series but nothing ever really took my fancy. But this year I've started to pick up some small press manga at different conventions. I started off with a few books from the Red Garden Artist Group (so if you wanna blame somebody.....) and some other bits and pieces here and there and enjoyed every single one. So when I found out that there was a manga and anime convention in my own town I thought "well why the hell not?" and mosied on over to check it out.
ReadCon is organised by the Reading University Anime Society (www.readingunianime.webs.com/) and is, without doubt, the tiniest convention I've ever been to. Yet the talent on show was huge. There were only about ten tables there and maybe only four of those were home to small pressers. But that was okay as they were really cool people, happy to chat not only about their manga but also about making comics. I picked up The Elemals by Josh Clarke (www.JoshClarkeDraws.deviantart.com). I love this guys stuff; it's like someone has taken the cells from an animated movie and made a comic book out of them. It's really a funny book too. I also picked up Crankrats by Katherine Ellis (www.sio64.deviantart.com). It's an amazing amalgam of manga, anime and steam punk and I can't believe she's only been at this comics creating game a couple of years. Manga retailer Frank was there, who, along with his Red Garden Artists Group, is becoming a familiar face on the convention circuit.
Even though it was a small convention it got real busy real quick; so I hope it was successful enough for the organisers to put it on again next year.