May 14, 2019

Kummacon 2019 – Cosplaying something different differently

Good evening~

Kummacon was held this past weekend on 11-12 May in Oulu and I was there on Saturday only, checking out the new Kastellin Monitoimitalo that I'm pretty sure has never hosted a con before. Kummacon is one of the few remaining cons in Finland that still has free entrance and aims to stay that way, especially now when it seems that Kitacon is dead.

Let's get to the summary!


I woke up on the morning, fed the cats, myself and then proceeded to put on my Jedi garb. I had decided that I'm not gonna bother with any makeup or anything (unlike normally when I cosplay) as I was frankly too tired and woke up too late anyway to really have time. My Jedi clothes of choice were a combination of my Obi-Wan gear and parts from random cosplays, didn't want to wear exactly Obi-Wan's clothing as I was in fact just supposed to be a random Jedi and not a face character. I will admit though that I felt very naked and insecure without any makeup on, but tried to tell myself that it's a small con and no one really cares. #anxietyisreal

Stepdad was kind and drove me and Frozen Angel to the con. The trip took something past one hour and we arrived somewhere between 11-12 local time. The weather was pretty nice on Saturday.

Kummacon entrance. Kastellin Monitoimitalo.
Oulun Miekkailuseura had an info booth at the entrance.
As you can see on the photo above there was a historical sword fighting club present. As a former kendoka it was super cool to see, you could even try swinging one of the swords on a tire dummy. Chatted with the guys for a pretty long time and now I feel like I want to cosplay someone with a sword like that lol.

Once we were inside the building we instantly started to check everything out. Neither of us knew if any of our friends were there so we didn't really see any familiar faces, save for Karri who appeared for a brief moment during the last hours. 

This is pretty much the view you had once you stepped inside.
A bit to the right you had the Kumma kahvila (cafeteria) area.
They only sold vegetarian/vegan food and some sweets/bakeries mainly.
The con was decorated with these adorable... HATTIVATIT.
My first impressions of Kummacon was that it was comfy and I liked the building. Okay, it got quite crammed at times (especially when the obligatory line for the cosplay competition happened) but nothing too bad; had it been a bigger con there would have been problems though. The con building had two floors and the Artist's Alley and some of the chill corners were on the second floor while the rest was on the main floor. Kastellin Monitoimitalo felt fairly modern and I liked the white "pillars" everywhere holding the building up or something, idk.

View towards the toilets and the second-hand shop etc.
Kumma Kirppis, the second-hand store where congoers could
sell stuff they don't want anymore.
There was a karaoke room and a rhythm game room. Disappointed
that just like last year there was still no video game room. :(
Same view as on the other area picture, except this is from the other
direction, aka when heading back to the main area with all the merch etc.
I felt like the seikkailu (lit. adventure) theme was represented well, although maybe not as many funny signs as last year's cosmos theme had. Points for the watching Sauron eye sign in the second-hand store though, made me chuckle. xD

Main area, Urumi's shop to the left side.
A bunch of Pokémon plushies. Notice the Tyranitar!
I didn't buy anything this time but Urumi is always nice to see...
... because you know they only sell legit stuff.
Urumi's shop seen from above.
I saw this Milotic later on and was SO TEMPTED. ;_;
I feel like Kummacon had a lot of merchandise sellers for a small con, I was pleasantly surprised once again! It was everything from video games to literature and to the obligatory weeb stuff. A lot of the sellers I recognized from having seen at other cons before; I think many of the sellers are the same ones just circulating all cons in Finland but it's still nice to do some "window shopping" haha. Especially when it seems like there's always at least something new.

View of a part of the Dealer's Hall. Most was located on the other side
of where the cafeteria was, like basically on the "backside" when you went around.
There's no con without kigurumis, except I think these were poncho style?
Sci-fi figurines and stuff like that. Pretty cool.
Video games. Surprised at the amount of Japanese
imports, seemingly most were from a single guy's collection.
Pockys and ramune in abundance. There were
so many ramune flavors I had never seen before!
I'm sorry I forgot to take a photo of the ramunes on the other side of the Manga Cafe shop but there was stuff like coconut ramune and some other ones I was really curious to try! I just wish ramune wasn't so expensive. Oh well, maybe next time.

When I looked at the people around me I felt like more than half were not cosplaying, which I think is pretty usual. There were some furries (pretty many considering the con's size?) and some people wearing j-fashion but overall everyone was very colorful, except those dressed in black of course. There was a lot of people wearing the pride flag's colors and even rainbow flags draped over their shoulders. Cons are so nice as it's one of the few places were being LGBTQ+ feels like the norm and you are wholly supported by almost everyone attending. ♡

This was next to the entrance. Super clever idea!
I found some more of the hattivatti army... xD
It took us a while before we realized that the Artist's Alley was on the second floor, actually. Despite the obvious sign next to the stairs. *facepalm* Almost the whole second floor was in fact dedicated to the AA, save for the end half that was just a water drinking spot along with a general chill area where you could sit down. There were a lot of artist's there, much more than I expected as some other small cons I've been to have barely had more than one, lol.

A small part of the Artist's Alley "corridor" upstairs.
View of the chill area upstairs.
The first thing I check for when I go to AA is always magnets. Because I want my fandoms visible (wow that sounds so weebish lol) and cool art on my fridge where I can see them and they're useful for holding whatever papers I currently have there. When I find magnets of a style I like it's almost a guarantee that I'll buy something from that table. :D Another thing I keep an eye out for is other useful items along with keychains, necklaces and such, although I start to feel like I already have way more lying around than I have space for lmao. I'm a horrible hoarder of all things cute, can't help it.

The library inside the building had the only game console at the con...
... and there was only like 4-5 uninteresting games, imo.
I feel like if Kummacon won't have a proper video game room next time I'll contact them myself and lend out my PS1 and Wii or something. Honestly once I'm done exploring the building and checking out all the merch I quickly get bored as I have "already seen everything", especially if I have no friends around me whom I haven't seen in a while to chat with. Now it was just me and my brother, who of course works for company but yeah, we don't have so much to talk as we see each other almost every day lol. Note note note that I am not criticizing the con! It's just that I've come to expect the video game room to be there –as it's such a staple– and a lot of congoers play video games so yeah, it always feels like something is missing when it's not there.

Extreme nostalgia when I saw this poster!
There were some lectures that I was interested in but sadly I thought they were on Sunday (had checked the programs before the con only), so we didn't actually check the con's schedule leaflet until we were done with all the exploring and then it was already too late for the most interesting panel. :'( Felt discouraged after that to care for the other interesting-but-not-as-interesting lectures and besides, there was a tier 5 legendary raid coming up at the nearby Pokémon Go gym across the street – so we made a call for others to join us and went to kick Mesprit's ass instead.

I almost missed this at first but I found a Monster Hunter plushie!
It's Legiana from MHW. So happy that you can regularly find MonHun
merch nowadays. It's my con challenge to find something. xD
When we were done with the raid the con was on its last half an hour before closing for the day, or that's the impression I got as many were leaving. We called stepdad to come pick us up as we felt satisfied for the day once we had quickly snagged some proof photos that we both did dress up as Jedis and that it wasn't just a prank.

Proof that I tried to be a Jedi.
I hate my hair, for real. It looks the worst when it's newly washed (weirdly enough) because it's quite literally everywhere, it "floats", waves and kinks however the heck it wants, looks like garbage and feels like fucking frizzy hay that is 100% uncontrollable. It won't stay put or normal no matter what I do to it and sometimes I am mighty tempted to just cut it all off and hope it grows back normally, like it used to be for some years ago before it turned into this dry static shit. Seriously give me back the straight, behaving hair I had in my early teenage years that I still hated because of the split ends, I'd take that back any day of the week now lol. I should just have worn a wig but wearing a wig while not wearing makeup makes me look horrible and... yikes. :S

I must admit though that I was surprised that people actually came up to talk to us, some even asked for photos. I'm used to being left alone on small cons but I guess with basically everyone and their grandma knowing about Star Wars it was to be expected. A part of me felt flattered but another part of me felt like "this is seriously like a little to no effort cosplay and I get more attention for this in 20 mins than I get on a full day when I wear a proper cosplay and do my makeup for like 2 hours lol". Anyone who can relate to this mood?

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Kummacon was overall a comfy experience. I'd definitely keep going there and the organizers have their hearts in the right place too, seen by how they this year raised money (the price of what "tickets could have been") for Mielipotti charity campaign, to help battling mental health issues, which is common among con people based on my personal experiences; a lot of attendants relate, symphatize and thus donated to the cause.
Kummacon has the charm and comfiness typical to a small con and go all out with the decorations to set the mood for the year's theme. Everything seemed to run smoothly and I didn't notice anything severely lacking or ruining the overall quality, or illusion of quality at least. In hindsight I do think though that the location was perhaps a tiny bit too small, especially when compared to how roomy Pohjankartano is.

I generally felt safe at Kummacon's cheery atmosphere and despite battling long-running mental illness myself it felt okay, save for the nowadays obligatory uncomfortable feeling I get when someone asks for a photo and, after the initial seconds of happiness and perceived appreciation fades, I stand there looking into the camera and dread my life decisions as I know that it's gonna look like shit because I'm ugly af but I'm too kind to decline. Asdfghjkl.
This is obviously not a fault of the con itself, just me being reminded of how it felt to cosplay and be a target of attention after going casual and being "safely invisible" at a lot of cons lately. *shrugs*

And before I end this post, here's my con purchases:

Two magnets from Artist's Alley and Pokémon cards from
one of the merch sellers who sold single cards.

Thanks for reading my summaries!

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