________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 29. . . .April 1, 2016


Creep Con.

Kim Firmston.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2015.
151 pp., trade pbk. & epub, $14.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4594-0977-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4594-0978-1 (epub).

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.

Review by Sylvia Santiago.

*** /4


I donít feel like a hero. I feel like a fraud.

Iím going to a place Iíve never been to. To a convention I know almost nothing about. In a costume that shows off more skin than Iím even remotely comfortable with and Tya is texting me the message, Excited yet???

Maybe I can pretend Iím sick. I certainly feel sick. My stomach is doing flips, my head pounds, and my mouth is as gritty as a Popsicle dropped on the beach. I finger the folded costumeís silky fabric hidden deep in my backpack. Everything is ready to go.

Except me.

I take a deep breath. Think of Batgirl. If she gives her word, she keeps it. So does Haruhi. She's as loyal as they get. Black Rock Shooter wouldnít run. She never runs. So why is Mariam so wimpy?


Unsettled by a classmateís rape in their neighbourhood, Mariam and her mother move from Fort McMurray to Calgary. Though itís late in the school year, Mariam quickly finds a friend in fellow nerd, Tya. They bond over their interest in comic books and cartoons (Mariam) and manga and anime (Tya.) Tya invites Mariam to Otafest, a local anime convention. For their costumes, Mariam decides to go as Haruhi, a schoolgirl who masquerades as a boy in Ouran High School Host Club, while Tya decides to go as the more provocatively dressed Black Rock Shooter.

     The girlsí plans are spoiled when it turns out that Tya will be in Jamaica for her cousinís wedding the weekend of Otafest. Tya is upset that no one will see the costume she worked so hard on, and Mariam knows that her overprotective mother wonít allow her to go to the convention on her own. To appease her friend, Mariam agrees to go dressed as Black Rock Shooter for the first day and as Haruhi for the rest of the time. And she decides not to tell her mom that Tya will be out of the country that weekend.

     The first day of Otafest, Mariam meets Rick who is in costume as Tamaki, Haruhiís love interest. Charmed by his resemblance to the flirtatious character, Mariam tells him that sheíll be coming as Haruhi for the rest of the convention. Rick is thrilled, and they arrange to meet the following day. Mariam is flattered by Rickís attention until his insistence on acting out their charactersí relationship escalates from irritating to intimidating.

     Creep Con is a quick paced read, with culturally diverse characters. It offers an interesting glimpse into the world of anime, cosplay (costume play) and fan conventions. Note that there is mention of rape and a depiction of sexual assault. Kim Firmston is the author of Stupid, Touch and Hook Up.


Sylvia Santiago is a Learning Commons Librarian in Calgary, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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