Summer of Tsubasacon Picnic Gathering Sunday June 22

Updated 3 years ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Summer of Tsubasacon Picnic Gathering Sunday June 22

Here come those fantasy comic art nerds again. This time they assemble for a picnic in Ritter Park on Sunday, June 22 , a type of warm up for the three day event which will be October 10-12 at the Big Sandy Superstore Riverfront Ballroom & Conference Center.

Tsubasacon emphasizes  the pop culture niches known as anime and manga.

Anime refers to a Japanese animation style dominated by distinctive characters (ex. “Sailor Moon”) and backgrounds. Storylines of what mostly originate from television productions depicting fictional or historic characters, events and settings. Manga  translates to “whimsical images” which blends Western and Japanese drawing styles. Both anime and manga exaggerate physical features of characters (i.e. “large eyes.”)

The third "Natsu No Tsubasacon" (Summer of Tsubasacon) picnic  kicks off at noon  at the Ritter Park Picnic Shelter.  Hot dogs and pot luck food items will be served. Admission to the picnic grounds Is free; however, in the spirit of community guests are asked to either bring a dish for the picnic or a canned good items for the Facing Hunger Foodbank.

During the fan celebration , a mix of videos will  play on a big screen at the shelter, a Cosplay competition with prizes will be held, a “Name that Anime” tune game,  a kickball competition, a used video swap meet and a Japanese watermelon splitting competition will be among the activities. The picnic brings fans together for personal interaction and communication which can not be accomplished solely by an internet avitar.

Jack Varney, marketing director for the con, explained that the melon games is called Suikawari.

“It’s a traditional Japanese game played in groups that get together during the summer. It basically involves splitting a watermelon with a stick while blindfolded.  Suikawari is most often seen at beaches, but also occurs at festivals, picnics, and other summer events,” Varney said.

He continued, “The rules are similar to piñata. A watermelon is laid out, and blindfolded  participants one by one attempt to smash it open. Each is blindfolded, spun around three times, and handed a wooden stick, or bokken, to strike. The first to crack the watermelon open wins. Afterwards,  the chunks of watermelon produced are shared among participants. Because the watermelon can fall into the sand and get dirty, a sheet, a piece of cardboard, or other element is commonly placed beneath it.”

Let the organizers know you are coming to the picnic, so they know how much food to bring. Check,


Varney told HNN that the Tsubasacon’s move to the arena has been delayed until 2015 due to a scheduling conflict.

Still in 2014, “we are expanding some main events, particularly on Saturday , October 11,” where a to be announced activity will take place in City Hall Auditorium, Varney said.  The convention will broaden to include more forms of pop culture, too.

The decision to expand results from increased attendance and fan bases encompassing cities within a 150-200 mile (plus) radius of Huntington.  “We are focused on Columbus, Lexington, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Pittsburgh, just to name a few.”  Having developed friendly networking relationships with other anime/gaming and comic cons, the cross-promotion has become a “win/win” for both Tsubasacon and cons in other cities.

One of the October con's guests will be Paul St. Peter is a voice actor from Los Angeles whose many anime' and video game credits include KINGDOM HEARTS (Xemnas), NARUTO (Nine Tail Fox), ROBOTECH (Zor Prime), BLEACH (Yammy), WORLD OF WARCRAFT (Boden The Imposing), DYNASTY WARRIORS I-IV (Yuan Shao), DIGIMON (KOKOMON), ZETMAN (Sugito), MAJIN (Majin), and RESIDENT EVIL 5 (Swahili Zombie). Paul has comical voices too, from COWBOY BEBOP (Punch) to DIGIMON WARRIORS (Wormmon). Among his other game, anime, and feature anime credits are GURREN LAGAAN (Jorgun), THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (Mondego), MONSTER (Dr. Reichwein), PAPRIKA (Konakawa), LUPIN III The Secret of Mamo (Mamo), DURARARA (Higa), X-COM (Dr. Heinrich), BATTLE B-DAMON (Armada), DIABLO III (Demented Spirit), and DEFIANCE (Burgess). He has recently wrapped work on CYBORG 009 (Dr. Gilmore), DRAKENGARD 3 (Michael the Dragon), CANNON FODDER (Gidi), and GUNDAM 7 (Syam).


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