June 18, 2016

Kummacon 2016 – Quick one day visit

Hello geeks ~

Kummacon was held in Oulu, Finland, on 17-18 June 2016 for the second time. The reason I posted no cosplay plans before the con is simply because I did not cosplay. I simply couldn't be bothered because we only had a couple hours of con time and the weather was sorta shit anyway, lol.

Originally I had been set on attending for both days since it's a "local con" (approx. 100 km away is considered local for me, lol) but yeah, I got a dog before the con and that made things more... difficult. I also had my school's end ceremony on the same Friday the con started and so I wasn't even out of school until early lunch time. But yeah, at first I had some real issues with getting someone to volunteer to watch over my dog for the time me and my company would be gone; we had no luck on such short notice and yeah, for a while it looked like we'd have to skip Kummacon – until me and Sacchan realized that, even if we left now, we'd only have 2 hours of con time before the convention would close for the day and Kumma (the name of my Japanese akita, funnily enough) is extremely calm and well-behaved indoors already and so we thought that he could stand being alone for approximately 4 hours. I was a bit worried but turned out Kumma had no problems and everything in my house was intact and free from pee and poo when I came back home. He's an angel. ♥ 

The clock was past 15:00 Finnish time before we even started driving to Oulu, whoops. Our con group consisted of me, Sacchan and Frozen Angel and we all just went in our casual clothes. #boringnormies

Honestly, the driving weather was shit. Perkele.
The drive took roughly one hour and, much to our surprise, the rain actually stopped just before we hit Oulu, waddafuck. As soon as you pass by Simo everything's okay. We instantly found a place to park the car at and headed towards Pohjankartano, the con building. It's actually the same building Chibicon was held in several years back and thus it felt a bit nostalgic to be back there, haha.

Pohjankartano's front entrance.
Honestly, because we arrived around 17:00 I was worried that all the shops had already closed for the day and that we'd basically arrive to a con where everybody had already started to leave – luckily that wasn't the case (although it wasn't far away) and the quick visit turned out not to be a waste of time, gasoline and feeling sorry for leaving my doge dog alone.

Kummacon poster indoors.
My first thought, once we got past the entrance, was that it seemed really quiet but, then again, I had not expected anything else since Kummacon is a small con to begin with. What struck me though was that the main hall area was left completely unused, which felt like a waste of potential because back at Chibicon that was where all the merchandise tables were and it was a really good spot for just that.
I heard afterwards though that Saturday would be the busier day but me and my friends had only planned to attend on Friday so I can't tell about that; Saturday wasn't possible for us anyway.

Main hall.
Main hall seen from above.
It felt weird to see the main hall so empty but oh well, I guess Kummacon just didn't have enough vendors to really make use of all the open space. Nevertheless, I want to say that even though we only spent 2 hours at the con I felt like that was enough to see what there was to offer and what the general atmosphere was like. I don't mean this in any bad way, it's just that once you had checked the Dealer's Hall and Artist's Alley (especially when you arrive as late as we did, aka most of the panels were already over etc) there really wasn't all that much more to do to kill time, except hang with your friends and keep track of your StreetPass hits if you were a Nintendo 3DS owner.

Entrance area, view towards the merchandise sellers.
I was hoping to see some familiar faces but I actually didn't see anyone at the con whom I recognized, which was a bit of a letdown. :( I wanted to meet especially two guys but neither of them were at the con (or maybe they had left for the day, idk) even though they both also live in the north. Oh well.

Second-hand manga table.
Bakeries à la Disney princesses and soda.
When it comes to the merchandise hall it was placed in that little corridor area between the info desk and the cafeteria. There weren't many sellers at all, just the usual well-known ones that you find in like every Finnish con ever, aka Fantasiapelit and Urumi. There were also some sellers I didn't recognize from other cons so they were probably just local ones.

Different anime figurines and a Toothless plush.
Notice the Mikazuki nendoroids!
You could preorder Weed plushies, omg! ;A;
Of course you could also buy the usual ramune and pocky in the snacks shop – expensive, of course. This is Finland. What surprised me though was that there were some DragonBall and One Piece ramune! I was curious about them because I had never seen them before but yeah, I didn't buy any because I was too derp to ask the seller if they were of any special flavor or just the normal ramune. It bothers me that the Piccolo ramune is not green though... xD

DragonBall & One Piece ramune!
I didn't buy anything from the vendors but there were a few things that caught my interest – I'm too poor at the moment. *sobs* I would kinda have wanted the Kenshin Himura cup.................

Fantasiapelit's manga booth.
The Artist's Alley was in a separate room next to the cafeteria. I might remember wrong but there were about 7 sellers and a majority were selling prints and stickers. I was hoping to find some cool keychain but no luck this time. :'( Our company had a nice long and funny chat with two of the sellers though and the topics ranged from crazy cat ladies to boobs. Yeaaaaaaah.

Artist's Alley cards...
... and stickers from the same seller.
Once we had checked the Artist's Alley we were pretty much done... or well, that's when you noticed that most of the visitors had left and the sellers started packing up for the day. 2 hours felt about right to see and experience the con, even though it was a one day quick trip. I can't speak about the Saturday so yeah, this short summary is only about Friday, the first day.

Before leaving the con I decided to try some hohot from the outdoor food stand at the entrance. I had never seen nor heard about the dish before so I was curious to try it out! The prices were expensive considering the cup sizes (amount of food you got) but it was an interesting taste experience so I don't regret it. I guess if I had to describe what hohot is like it's similar to ramen – noodles in a cup with broth (you could choose between spicy or normal) and different ingredients of your choice. I ended up picking seaweed, some Asian mushrooms and fish balls but I must admit that I was disappointed when the guy doing the portions only gave me one fuckin' fish ball... I mean, seriously? ._. More than two thirds of the cup were noodles –which are the cheapest ingredients– and so I felt mildly annoyed since the smallest cup cost 2,50 €. Hrrmph, cheapskates...

Advertisement for hohot food.
On the way back home we stopped by at Kärkkäinen along the way and there we munched on some hamburgers, fed the car and bought some candies and toys for le dog. Fun thing is that both me and Frozen Angel bough some candies because the kilo price was cheaper than average and, well, we didn't notice until we were sitting in the car when Frozen Angel suddenly burst out laughing; me and Sacchan wondered what the heck was so funny and then he just exclaimed between the laughs: "we bought dog biscuits!". I was like wut and he told me to check the label on my candy bag and that's what I did...

It says "koiran keksi", literally dog biscuits!
Fun part is that the poster at the store said to press number 1 on the machine for candy weighing and well, turned out that was actually the number for doggy biscuits... oops. It's not like we tried to cheat on purpose; it was an actual error of the store, lololol. Well, I don't complain because the kilo price was cheaper for the dog biscuits by more than 1 € and yeah, now I'm a dog I guess. I'm surprised though that the cashier didn't notice.

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Okay so, Kummacon is still that comfy little con in Oulu with a relaxed atmosphere. There's not all that much to do so it's a good idea to go there with a bunch of friends, unless you love attending all kinds of panels and workshops. Even though I only spent a couple of hours at the con I had a pleasant experience (I didn't really feel like I missed out on anything) and no issues with anything – cons in the north have that cozy feeling that bigger and busier cons tend to lack. Kummacon falls into the hang-with-friends con category but there ain't nothing wrong with that! I'm curious to see how the con will evolve in the future and I hope they stay in Pohjankartano because it's a really roomy, well-lit and comfy building with good air circulation and it's easy to find too; Pohjankartano is also close to centrum and food places.

My purchases: two cute dog stickers from Artist's Alley!
That's all for this time. Thanks for reading!

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