MARS: The ultimate nerd festival sees big turnout in Guyana


Local anime and comics fans got to experience an event similar to the internationally known comic-con at the Merch Anime Rave Spectacle (MARS) on Saturday at the Regency Suites, Georgetown.

Sozos Art and entertainment – an online art business – hosted the event to spark the interest of the anime, comic book and merch community.

The founders and weebs, Marissa Ramnauth and George Jacobs, decided that they wanted to create an event where their fellow anime, K Drama and comic fanatics can meet up.

The event saw a turnout of more than 600 persons, surpassing the initial 400 tickets sold. Speaking with the News Room, the pair said their vision is to create a one-of-a-kind convention for the nerd community to enjoy.

“We see the large events happening overseas and we are like we so want to go to those things but they are so expensive and we were, like what if we are able to have that here?”

“With that urge and that craving to want to have the anime expo, the comicon themed event, we were able to put MARS together,” Jacobs said.

George Jacobs, co-founder at Sozos Art and entertainment

It was the Guyanese comic-con, on a smaller scale, allowing fans of comics, anime, videogames and other related entertainment to gather in one place and appreciate their interest.

Anime is an animation style originated in Japan and Manga is Japanese for comics or whimsical images. Both have characters with exaggerating physical features like large eyes and have interesting storylines, some made up or sometimes influenced by folklore.

Although there have been similar events with the most recent being the ‘Summer Festival’, an art and cosplay event back in July, Jacobs said he wanted to create a more spectacular event.

“As I said we are weebs so we put ourselves in that position as to how we would feel to go to an event and there’s certain things, so we tried to look at vendors that are mainly anime based, we tried to get those who are into anime, manga, games, pop culture, the K-pop, the K- drama, we tried to get those who are centered around those things,” Jacobs explained.

He further noted that there were vendors who don’t sell merch but had sold items that are relatable to the theme and they were also brought onboard.

Manga readers were given the opportunity to cosplay, a common term used for persons who dress up in costumes portraying a character from a book, film, or videogame.

In doing so, fans got to replicate the look of their favourite characters. Even if the look isn’t an exact replica, it is the comfort of being around persons who share the vision that is important, Jacobs said.

Marissa Ramnauth, co-founder at Sozos Art and entertainment

“Folks were super excited, we had the costume competition, our MC did an awesome job, he had them come down the runway, walk.”

“You know even if you weren’t a part of the competition you were still able to showcase your cosplay to everybody that was there. The atmosphere was amazing everybody was just weebing out,” Jacobs excitedly said.

He said, “They were disputing over which character is better, which show is the best they know that song, of they know that song, it was just really great vibes. Nobody was judging you for your costume even if you were a bit off they were like I know who you are trying to cosplay as.”

To add to the dressy themes, there were trivias for persons to truly show their dedication to their favourite shows. A rave, party with electronic music and lights, brought down the curtains for the event.

“It was just a great vibe, everybody was hype for the rave aspect, the DJ did a great job,” Jacobs said.

Over 30 vendors selling related merch participated and the sponsors for the event were Bad Monkey Merch and Kabisa.

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