Anime Club hosts first Quinni-con convention
Anime and comic book characters left the shelves of stores and appeared in costume at the first Quinni-Con conference April 28. And the fun wasn’t just for Quinnipiac students. Fans of all ages enjoyed QU’s resources.
The event’s title is a combination of the Comic-Con International convention and the ConnectiCon convention that celebrates everything from anime to science fiction. These events were the inspiration for Quinnipiac’s version.
The Rocky Top Student Center bustled with students and fans of all ages as they went from vendors to rooms. Certain locations were designated for video games like Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, DJ Hero and Pachingo. There were also panel discussions about comic book and anime-related topics, as well as a screening room where participants could watch their favorite anime films.
“It’s our life. It’s great. And the community is like no other community out there,” said Sarah “Disgea” Bauker, a senior at Central Connecticut State University, as well as a dedicated fan and vendor. “So it’s really interesting. If I wasn’t vending, I would be participating.”
Despite the open event, there was still Quinnipiac students scattered amongst the non-students.
Freshman Michael Calandro attended even with the May Weekend hype on Mount Carmel.
“I’ve always been into the books and the television shows, but my friend Mike, he really got me into conventions. We made our costumes,” Calandro said, who was wearing a lab coat and holding a large, cardboard sife in his hand. He was dressed as Dr. Frankenstein from the anime film, “Soul Eater.”
Calandro’s friend Michael Bilgore is a freshman at University Of New Haven and an expert at conventions like Quinni-Con. He started going to these events last year when he attended Comic-Con and the New York Anime Festival. He was dressed as Mephisto Pheles, a character from the anime film “Ao No Exorcist.” His costume included a pastel wig and a white umbrella.
“When I heard about a free convention at Quinnipiac, I was just like ‘Let’s do it!’” Bilgore said.
Andrea Marrero, a student from Tunxis Community College, was another vendor. She shared the same enthusiasm.
“It’s really hard to define my love for [this culture],” Marrero said. “It’s the creativity and the community that is so welcoming and they’d never shun you whether other people find it strange or not. It’s like a constant Halloween party.”
Senior Jennifer Andreozzi is the president of the Anime Club on campus. She and her staff made the dream of a convention come true.
“I am thrilled with the turnout. I did not expect this,” Andreozzi said. “I expected a quarter of this. Last December it was a joke between me and the Anime Club, then it went into our budget, and then it happened.”
Andreozzi, who has been a fan of anime since she was 10, explained that the conventions offer her the opportunity to meet interesting and fun people.
“There’s so much talent, too. There are some people here who make every part of their costume. It’s amazing. The talent that people have astounds me,” Andreozzi said.