Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Anime fans, cosplayers, LAMECon in Land O'Lakes is June 29-30

LAND O'LAKES — Five years ago, a group of about 50 anime and manga fans gathered at a Pasco library to celebrate these two popular forms of Japanese comic art. Year after year a few more friends came to join them, and last year, LAMECon drew nearly 500 people to the Land O'Lakes Library.

(For the uninitiated, LAME stands for Library Anime and Manga Enthusiasts.)

"Our little con has grown up so fast," said Diego Hernandez, a library volunteer who serves on the LAMECon planning committee.

This year's LAMECon is again expected to bring together artists and fans from throughout the state. It has established quite a rep among anime fans.

"I was at an anime convention in Orlando when a young lady came up to me and said, 'You run LAMECon!' " said Megan Zarek, 21, a LAMECon co-founder and planner who also co-hosts the Anime America podcast. "This has become a big event in our area."

A longtime anime enthusiast, Zarek says she has seen friends spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to attend state and national conventions.

"Between gas, food and all the artwork and merchandise, they'd spend so much," she said. "They'd go through all of the money they brought for the convention the first day."

Local anime fans found one remedy for this situation in the formation of the Land O'Lakes Library Anime Club.

"We couldn't all go to the conventions. We needed something more accessible," said Stephanie Kempe, 20, a co-founder of both the anime club and LAMECon convention. "We could get our anime fix in this club."

Under the guidance of Paul Stonebridge, teen services manager of the Pasco County Library System, and Karen Correa, head of youth services at the library system, these anime fans expanded their club into a con.

"All they have to do is bring along a few bucks for food and they can come to a full convention," Stonebridge said.

Originally a one-day, six-hour con, LAMECon has evolved into a two-day event that kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday with an anime dance night, featuring a professional DJ playing Japanese and Korean music, and a costume contest with prizes.

Visitors to this year's convention day on Sunday will receive complimentary door prizes that include anime and manga books, CDs and other merchandise. They will meet anime and manga artists at Artist Alley, including special guests Payton Abbott and Emily Colan, the Sarasota-based artists responsible for the Game Over anime comic.

Visitors also will be able to purchase and commission artwork. For an additional $5, guests can gain admission to a "Maid Cafe," in which costumed servers sell Asian teatime treats, as well as dance and perform songs.

The event will include speeches and discussion panels covering subjects that range from Asian music and horror films to the history of the world in anime; in addition, Stonebridge will share stories and souvenirs collected during a recent trip to Korea.

New this year will be panels on other forms of pop culture entertainment, including Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and My Little Pony.

Aside from a hearty dose of artistic inspiration, the convention will supply plenty of social opportunities for participants.

"When you all like anime, you all get along so fast," said Meghan Darby, 19, a convention organizer.

"We needed a place for people who liked anime, and that's why more people come every year," said Kenny Coplon, author and convention organizer. "There aren't a lot of places in Land O'Lakes where you can be nerdy. This is our haven."

>>if you go

LAMECon on tap

When: Saturday and Sunday

Where: Land O'Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway

For more information: Visit the LAMECon 2013 page on Facebook or call the library at (813) 929-1214.

Anime fans, cosplayers, LAMECon in Land O'Lakes is June 29-30 06/24/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 1:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Estimated 5,000 people marvel at MOSI over solar eclipse

    Human Interest

    Packing pinhole cereal box viewers, cardboard glasses and curiosity, solar gawkers gathered outside Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry on Monday for a show that required no ticket.

    At center, Sophia Butter, 8, and Kristina Butera, both of Valrico, watch the sun through eclipse viewing glasses during a solar eclipse party Monday at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. MOSI will reopen after renovations on November 18. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  2. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  3. Tampa officer treated for knee injury after police truck, police SUV collide

    Accidents

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A Tampa police officer was treated and released for a knee injury when his unmarked police truck collided with a patrol SUV while the officers were tracking a stolen car, a police spokesman said.

  4. Waiting for the eclipse: 'Everyone thinks this is cool'

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Holland came to school Monday with a NASA space T-shirt and solar viewers in his button-up shirt pocket. But he'd rather be in Missouri.

    Jayda Hebert (front, center), 11, uses her protective glasses to watch Monday's solar eclipse with her cousin, Judah Adams (back left), 11, and her brother Jake Hebert (right), 9, while with their family at St. Petersburg Beach. "We're skipping school for the eclipse," her mom, Sarah Hebert, said. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Second person resigns from Hillsborough diversity council after Confederate activist appointed

    Blogs

    TAMPA — A second person has resigned symbolically from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the appointment of a known activist of Confederate causes to the panel. 

    Two people have resigned from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the inclusion of David McCallister, a leader of the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.