Yaoi-Con in Long Beach: A Celebration of Male Beauty and Passion

  • 10/11/2012
  • Terelle Jerricks

By Lyn Jensen, Contributing Writer

On weekend of Oct. 12 through 14, the fan-driven comics convention known as Yaoi-Con will be taking place in Long Beach for the first time.

Event organizers are calling it a “celebration of male beauty and passion.”

It was founded in 2001, in the Bay Area,  to celebrate the genre known variously as yaoi, shonen-ai, or Boys Love (BL) that originated in Japanese manga (comics) and anime (animation).

Prominent female Japanese manga author and illustrator Oki Ogasawara will be the guest of honor.  The con’s sponsor, Gardena-based Digital Manga, Inc. publishes an English-language edition of her yaoi manga Black Sun.

“Yaoi is a concept that pretty much defies understanding by non-fans, particularly in the West [Europe and America],” explains the event’s Web site. “In Japan today it is mainly used to point to the sex scenes of [a comic] with male/male content. In the West, yaoi has become a catchall term to indicate any [Japanese or Japanese-influenced] story that includes a male/male relationship.”

The site explains the terminology further, “Boy’s Love (BL) is the usual term used by the Japanese publishing industry to categorize commercial works focusing on male-to-male relationships marketed at women. These now include not only manga but novels, CDs, games, and anime.”

Yaoi-Con will be built around a fan swap meet Oct. 12, and a fan market, Oct. 13 and 14.  Other events include panels, games, fan art, a cosplay (costume) contest, video contest, and a fundraising bishonen auction of young men, who attendees will expect to be good-looking.  (“Bishonen” is Japanese for good-looking young man or men.)

For event passes, check the www.yaoicon.com website.  Yaoi-Con will take place at the Westin Long Beach, 333 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach.

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