Remember all the cartoons you watched as a kid (Voltron, Transformers, Super Friends), and all those movies you watched as a teen (Star Wars, X-men, Indiana Jones), and how much you like your late-night programming on cable (True Blood, Walking Dead)? Have you ever wished you could visit your favorite world? There’s a place for that; it’s called a comic book convention. Amanda had a stressful week at work, so I took my sister to immerse ourselves in the fantastic world of Baltimore Comic-Con.
A comic book convention is– and isn’t — everything you expect. Are there comic books? Yes. Are there panel discussions? Yes. Is it a massive building filled with people dressed in leather and carrying toy guns? Yes, and that’s half the fun.
When you walk the floor of a convention you need to know it will be crowded early and filled with parents with children. My strategy? Find a panel discussion you want to attend in the beginning of the day and let the hordes shuffle through the floor booths. I find if you spend the first couple of hours in a nice air-conditioned room discussing things like how to get a Kickstarter project funded or the influence of British writers on American comics, the kids will get cranky and adults will get hungry and the floor will clear out. You will then have time and space to explore the floor and meet artists and find that rare issue of Flash Gordon. You can even get your picture taken with your favorite hero.
Now that brings us to cosplay. I know this is a couples’ blog, but that’s not the kind of cosplay I’m talking about. The folks on the floor who cover themselves head to toe in body armor or neglect to cover themselves in much more than a loincloth are (for the most part) normal people, and more than happy to let you get a picture with them. You will find some of the most creative and homespun costumes this side of Halloween on the floor of a con.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a celebrity, find a good costume and walk the floor. You will be stopped and photographed by people who admire your work. It’s a judgment-free zone. There’s a sense of camaraderie whether you’re portraying a hero or villain. I will admit from personal experience this feeling of celebrity is addictive. Last year I dressed as Doctor Who with fez, tweed and bow tie. I must be on 20 different Facebook pages smiling with my sonic screwdriver in hand.
If you are really lucky you have someone to enjoy cosplay with, much like
Rosemary Ward and Tony Tuski. As a couple with no kids, conventions are a place they can get in touch with their youthful sides.
If you don’t have your costume ready to run out to Comic-Con today (10-5), plan ahead for New York Comic-Con in October.