If you visit us here at CWC often, you have probably seen a trend in the types of things that I talk about when I post here. Mostly men, and mostly about them touching in some way.
Did you know there is a convention dedicated to this wonderful niche interest [you probably could have guessed, there is a con for everything these days]? It’s called Yaoi Con, and up until this year, it had been held up in Northern California. I’ve attended since 2006, with the exception of last year due to work *grumbles*.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, Yaoi is a Japanese term referring to boys’ love, generally geared towards women. Yaoi Con is a glorious place where people come together to celebrate an interest. It’s 18+, since the content is really meant for adults. Even with a guardian you can’t get in unless you are over 18.
So as I previously mentioned, this year was the first time since 2001 that it was being held in Southern California. One other major change that happened was that last year it was bought by Digital Manga, and many regular attendees were nervous about both changes. I myself, try to be an optimist, and was  excited that it was just 40 minutes away and  not ready to judge until I saw what Digital Manga did differently.
Now, please bear in mind that this is my viewpoint of the convention. If you attended and had terrible experiences, be it with staffers, with panels, with the dealer’s hall, please let Digital Manga know! The only way to make things better is to give feedback!
I’m breaking this up in chunks to try to make everything more digestible. Today kids, we will talk about the main con events!
First up, the opening ceremony and bingo.
On Friday night of Yaoi Con, there is always a quick opening ceremony to welcome the con goers, and to welcome the guest of honor. This year, the guest of honor was Uki Ogasawara, who is responsible for a fun little manga called Black Sun. I didn’t go to the events involving her though, but we did buy the second volume that was being sold in the dealer’s market! Also the industry guest was Jo Chen, who draws amazing and beautiful things.
Anyways, opening ceremony was really brief. I mean, super fast. Which was a bit surprising and strange? It was like “Hi guys how are you LOOK BOYS.” Which I mean, I don’t mind too much, but the opening ceremony used to have a bit more umph to it. *shrug*
It was immediately on to Bishounen Bingo. The rules of the game are simple. If you get a bingo, you get a prize, and a bishie takes off a piece of clothing. *waggles eyebrows* Yes yes we are objectifying men. Yes.
The boys are all really sweet as they walk around to sell more bingo sheets. I always try to be nice and not be as rough as some girls I’ve seen be. Plus I’m usually dressed as a boy in my cosplay, so you know, us guys gotta stick together [lolwut].
We didn’t win anything, sadly, but we had a grand old time. Eventually there were no boys left that had any more items of clothing that would be appropriate to take off, which made the night a success overall.
Saturday night, the main event was the Bishounen Auction. This is a night of serious business. The bishounen do some sort of skit on stage, and then bidding starts! In the past I have seen boys go for high into the thousands [one by the name of Lestat I believe. . .]. This time the highest was into the 800s, which is still crazy. Now a lot of times people will join up together and pool money in order to win a bishounen.
What is the prize, you may ask? The auction ends just in time for the dance, so he can be the winner’s date, or they can just hang out, until 1 in the morning. All the funds go back into the Yaoi Con fund [at least it used to, so I can imagine it still does?]. I imagine it’s like having a host club boy hanging out with you for the night.
The bishie that went that highest was one named Reno, who did lots of dancing and was very bendy. :3
Then we are on to Sunday! Closing ceremony was brief again [I think? I don’t remember much about it, now]. And we delved right into the closing raffle! More money is spent buying raffle tickets in the hopes of not only winning a prize, but also the chance to either spank or hug a bishounen. It all sounds so silly when I type this out, but man, it is amazing good fun.
I have only won once, back a few years ago, but it’s still fun to participate no matter what. One of the highlights was when a newly acquired friend dressed as Tony Stark happened to be called up when the bishie dressed as a cop was onstage. Nothing beats Tony Stark telling the cop he was going to show him how it’s done. XD
Events I Didn’t Go To:
Cosplay Masquerade – I was slightly bummed I missed this, but there was another panel during the time that I wanted to go to. If you like The Road To El Dorado, and other pretty boys, the group that won best group skit did a funny skit encapsulating the yaoi fandom. Pretty much, we are all a little crazy.
AMV Contest – I didn’t go to this because I was at the HamletMachine panel, because omg StarFighter. I will rave about her more in another post. Oh yes.
Dance – We had intended on going, but were voluntarily kidnapped by an awesome group of cosplayers and ended up hanging out in the lobby until 1am instead. We heard it wasn’t very packed, which if that was the case is a bummer! I always enjoyed going with a large group to tear it up in cosplay.
SO! From my perspective so far, I haven’t noted any huge difference in the convention since Digital Manga’s take over. Stay tuned for more posts to come, where I will talk about the dealer’s market, panels, swap meet, cosplays, and more! I think!