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A brief excerpt about the chairmen; a mission statement, if you will.

Keith Thomson
a.k.a. Hot Beef Injection, a.k.a. That guy who tells all the horrid jokes.
I’d like to think I’m the brains behind the brawn on this project but I don’t have enough brains. I’m also not the brawn, so in the end I’ve decided on the money. This is an unenviable position to be in. I’ve been going to events and conventions since 2003, and I’ve had so much fun I just think it’s time to give something back. It helps me get perspective on just how thankless the task is of organising something like this. I’ve always had a huge respect for the passion and dedication shown by everybody who has ever run a club, organised a meet, run a convention or done anything to make the life of the average anime fan just that little bit more interesting. I’m sure that if this event is a success that I will have more people to thank and gratitude to share than I could possibly list here. I also realise that this will be one of the few events where I will be sober by the end of the night. I know my reputation precedes me in that respect!

The Cosplay Cruise started when I was talking to Matt about how we both felt that, as we’ve grown older the convention-going experience hasn’t really changed. Not that it needs to; it’s just that we were just hypothesising on what other possibilities there were. The second I mentioned a cosplay event on the Thames, Matt said “Congratulations Keith, you’re now Chairman of your own event; you have to do it now”. Rather than request he took a long walk of a short pier I actually did some research, and after a lot of phone calls, meetings and deliberation we’ve finally only gone and done it!

My own personal history is nowhere near as interesting as Matt’s, so I’ll leave him to tell you about his achievements, which are numerous. I hope to see some familiar faces on July 10th (especially some old Wolves Anime Club folk, you owe me for my chronic shoulder pain carrying that bag!) as well as make some new friends.  I’ll end it there before I tell another joke that gets me in trouble!
Matt Kamen
a.k.a. Greywing, a.k.a. That Guy From NEO
As Keith says, this whole event came about from the fact that we’re old – a staggeringly ancient mid-20s – and were getting our grumble on about those blasted kids and their darned conventions. Ayacon 2009 was the latest in a long line of cons for us both and, great as they are, the burden of familiarity was bearing down on both of us, or so it felt at some point between our eighth and sixteenth frosty alcoholic beverage of the day. Fast forward a few months and we’ve thrown caution to the waves and are trying to pull off something new and unique that the UK anime and cosplay community has never seen before. In fact, we might be the first in the world to do something like this!

My background is one of stark, bleeding terror that I’ve carefully bottled away in the deepest recesses of my soul. Thankfully, having gotten past all that, I now have the rather nice job of being a media journalist, meaning I often get to watch anime and play games for a living. I’ll most likely be seen on the boat frantically organising the evening for you lucky people, while finishing deadlines between breaths.