Tag Archives: Paquines

Kaisen Infinity Convention of Puerto Rico

Kaisen Infinity poster

The Kaisen Infinity convention was held this past Saturday May 7th at the Fernando (Rube) Hernández coliseum in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. This is the main event of Paquines, a nonprofit organization of fans of comics, anime, science fiction and other hobbies on the island. (Paquines are the same people behind the Karibukai Animation Festival.) The main attractions of Kaisen (besides local retailers of fandom goodies) are the cosplay contests, gaming tournaments, model exhibits, live music, and fan skits.

Welcome to Nana Cafe

Kaisen attracts people of all ages and fandoms, although most of the cosplaying (and merchandise) I saw was inspired in anime.

This was the first time Kaisen was held in Gurabo, a town in the central eastern part of Puerto Rico. The relatively new coliseum was an ideal place for this event. It was spacious, fully air-conditioned, with ample parking and a great location. People came from all over the island to enjoy the festivities.

Some highlights of the day:

  • Furries represent!

    An impromptu dance based on the Caramelldansen meme everybody seemed to know and I had to look up later. A lion furry started it as a solo dance and people just jumped in behind him. It was definitely a great moment of the Con. Here is a video I found on YouTube.

  • Nana Cafe, a new local maid cafe, offered food and entertainment. I look forward to their restaurant opening soon to see them in their element. They even danced during skits time after being crazy busy all day.
  • The huge detailed World War II and Iraq War dioramas from Museo de Figuras y Dioramas. I did find the Nazi flag and cosplay jarring however.
  • Rock band Back Seat Driver gave a crowd-pleasing performance.
  • Quickly helping Captain America

    Another local band present that I didn’t see perform but were lovely to chat with (in spite of their name!) was Death Arrangement.

  • Being amused at the innocent/sexy feel of the anime cosplay and merchandise.
  • The Flash and Captain America chasing each other around the coliseum. All those who were having fun with their outfits were also fun for us to watch.

I was part of the volunteer crew; it was great to talk with fellow genre fans while we attended our duties. A shout out to Paola of Hogwarts Puerto Rico, Aiko, Lavinia, Victor, Karlo, and Alchemist for your Japanese lessons and general camaraderie!

I posted my photos in a Facebook album. Also here’s a slide show with even more pictures- another YouTube find:

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Karibukai Animation Festival

North entrance to Ballajá

This weekend I made it to the Karibukai Animation Festival. I say “made it” because it was raining constantly this past week and I waited until the very last day of the festival for drier weather.

I got the chance to meet Carlos Goméz Nicolás (Nikodemo), creator of the funny animated series from Spain Cálico Electrónico. Niko was freshly arrived from a (wet) tour of El Yunque rainforest. Poor guy came to Carlos Gómez Nicolás and Menormally sunny Puerto Rico and barely saw the sun.  He was nice enough to autograph stickers of his Cálico series for free. Cálico Electrónico is about a short chubby janitor/superhero that fights (or tries to fight) bad guys in Electronic City. Some videos the Cálico website are dubbed into English so if you can’t understand Spanish you’re in luck.

I saw Dig Comics, a pro comic book reading documentary with writer/director/host Miguel Cima (of Argentinean heritage).  From what I saw, Cima is very much a comic book fanboy and this documentary is a labor of love.  Made me smile.  There was a second documentary about comic books called Comic Book Literacy. It was a longish but very educational. I learned something of the history of comics in the United States.

Of the Japanese anime I saw, I found Gundam Unicorn to be the most interesting and will be looking for the DVD. I hadn’t seen any robot anime since Voltron.  I thought it had ruined me for anything else.

The shorts contest was disappointing not because of the quality but because of the quantity. There were only three contenders, and three prizes, so it wasn’t exactly a fierce competition. Hopefully next year we’ll get more entries. Here were the winners:Elena Montijo, Wewex Collazo, José (Pepe) Vázquez

1st place ($250) and Viewer’s Choice award ($150). Fried, Elena Montijo Capetillo. This was a cute dark humor story about a little girl who loves her chickens but each bird is a bit crazy (and the girl too). I voted for this entry because it was the one I liked best. Having it created by a woman was a nice bonus. Check out her promo video at the link. It shows a bit of the winning short starting at 0:37.

2nd place ($200). Boricuas Beyond: Happy Hour, José Luis Collazo. This animated short from the Puerto Ricans in the future series Boricuas Beyond was the one I least enjoyed. Although the animation is excellent, I didn’t like the crude humor.  It uses local pop culture and slang heavily so it would be hard to get if you’re not a Puerto Rican living on the island.

3rd place ($150). Ventana, José Vázquez. I’m not sure Ventana was a story, it was more like a look at past and future Puerto Rican cartoon characters, some corporate logos and others from comics and webseries. Vázquez also presented a short called Mad Taíno about a native couple who fight Spanish conquistadors.

I really hope more animators and  film producers participate in future Karibukai events. It’s great exposure and the money isn’t bad either. Here’s to next year not having such foul weather that keeps people home. I really enjoyed the event and hope the Karibukai Festival will become a yearly tradition.

Carlos Torres and Emilio Torres of Paquines.com, event organizers

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