Kevin and Amber Jackson will be attending Anime Milwaukee this weekend – along with about 10,000 other people!

Around 10,000 costume-clad anime, manga and gaming devotees will flock to Downtown Milwaukee this month for the Anime Milwaukee convention (Feb. 14-16). Kevin Jackson and his daughter, Amber, will be among them, per usual. The Milwaukee residents have been attending the convention, which began as a small gathering of a student anime club at UW-Milwaukee, for more than a decade.


How did you get interested in cosplay and taking part in Anime Milwaukee?

Kevin: When Amber first approached me, I said no. But we made a deal about her grades. She brought home a 4.0, so I have been dressing up ever since. But once I started going, it’s been all about the overall friendships and sense of community.

Amber: I’ve always been drawn to Japanese culture, and my love of cosplay led to my degree in theatrical costume production. I love sewing and costuming. It has allowed me to travel all over the country and make the most amazing friends.


What’s on tap for this year?

Kevin: I always told Amber that if we are going to continue to do this, we’ve got to up our game. Our costumes are big and elaborate. I even learned to sew and do a lot of my own costumes. I have 3D printers, and I’m working on creating a heavy infantry Mandalorian.


What is the atmosphere like at anime conventions?

Amber: People are drawn to these cons because of the vendors, the cosplay contests and the rave. It’s always buzzing. What’s nice about Anime Milwaukee is that people will wear costumes even if they are outside of the anime genre.

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This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s February issue

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