We're here at the final dispatch of our series of Europe posts, based on things I encountered in Dublin, Berlin and Frankfurt last fall. Happily, these posts have sparked some super informative discussions and shed light on stuff we knew nothing about prior to seeing it firsthand.
To recap, here's what we've covered to date:
1. Things we recognize, but this time in GERMAN!
2. Dark Horse and non-crumbling Museums of Terror
3. A preponderance of Maruo
4. Jeff Smith and his Bone in deutsch
5. German gem, Insekt by Sascha Hommer
6. "Judith Park is the most famous manga-ka in Germany"
7. German cosplay and the international power of shojo
Sadly, the commentary segment of my brain is rattled and foggy today, as it's now been more than 6 months since these photos/videos were taken. As mentioned previously, the main attraction for me at Frankfurt Book Fair was the Comics Pavilion in the German hall, which was the de facto manga fangirl/fanboy meeting place. Cosplay ground zero, if you will.
Things really picked up on the last two days of the fair, in which cosplay kids basically took over the entire pavilion, waiting in long lines to meet Anike Hage, Judith Park and, to a lesser degree, dudes like our new buddy Sascha Hommer and Mr. Jeff Smith. The split between females and males was about 90/10, and I heard from some of the kids that they had taken the train in from all over Germany, just to hang out with their friends/fan community and meet their favorite creators.
In a very savvy move (that I have trouble imagining happening at a US book fair), the Frankfurt Book Fair offered free admission to anybody that showed up in cosplay on Sunday, and held a 'Cosplay Masquerade' talent show in the afternoon. Germany cosplay cultural cross-pollination?!? You know I had to attend and document this. In lieu of repeating thoughts from the Judith Park post, and in the spirit of getting to the point, I present you:
GERMAN COSPLAY PICS & VIDEOS!
The girl on the right was officially the scariest/awesomest person I saw in Europe.
You'll notice I don't recognize who most of the cosplayers are dressed up as. An eyebrow-less Victorian chambermaid? Fill me in via the comments.
German teenagers meet their friends, get their make-up & accessories just right.
The boys in attendance were rare goods
Frankfurther Buchmesse PPT slide: Big-in-Japan, Cosplay 2006!
The 1-hour masquerade was hosted by a nurse/doctor duo.
WHOA! Check out how many freakin' kids attended this event!
What character is this? I don't speak German but the crowd was laughing their asses off at her skit. Channeling Malifacent?
Just a normal day in Frankfurt, seated behind Rei fron NGE
Oh yeah, and she was carrying an electric guitar.
I was very out of place in the audience, dressed in a shirt & tie, and looking like a narc.
Cosplayers from across Germany mix and mingle.
Man, this guy was the most popular dude I saw-- German tweens were all over him!
I have no idea which character this is...
Quite possibly the BEST PHOTOGRAPH EVER TAKEN? My 4 favorite cosplayers together in one shot.
Surveying the crowd during one of the various skits.
The reference is lost on me, but I still think these kids are rad.
Capturing candid shots of the audience as we exited the Cosplay Masquerade.
Various kids mulling around, with a final shot of white-haired cosplay dude.
That's it for our Europe manga commentary... for now! There is always Frankfurt 2007, and Sascha promised to take me out properly next time I'm there!