Sensory Overload

A newbie’s first comic con

Posted by Heather Gross | October 24, 2011 09:54 AM

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First off, I need to put something out there: I’ve never seen “Star Wars.” (My Alive co-workers heard me mention “that dude who was Luke’s father” last week.) I’ve never bought a comic book that wasn’t “Archie” circa 1992, and I couldn’t tell you anything about “Star Trek” except that William Shatner was once a cast member.

I’m not the most logical comic con attendee, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend this past weekend’s Mid-Ohio Comic Con, put on by esteemed convention production company Wizard World, once I found out that James Marsters – aka Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” – was one of the guest celebrities. (“Oh, so you are a dweeb,” you say. Perhaps. Or maybe I just have good taste in television.)

Before I arrived on Saturday, I worried that I might be the only person there not in costume, but I figured my Audrey Hepburn-inspired Halloween costume wouldn’t help me fit in any better. Luckily, it turns out only about a quarter of comic con-goers dress up for the occasion, and those in costume proudly pose for photos.

Wanting to make sure I was correct in my assumption, I asked my photo buddy in The Joker’s face paint (see above) who he was supposed to be. Looking at me like I was an idiot, he responded, “Steampunk Joker.” Silly me.

It turns out there is one rule for comic-con costumes, though: They should be homemade. Store-bought costumes will incite whispers of, “Ugh, store-bought,” from the con elite.

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This guy, dressed as War Machine from “Iron Man 2,” said he spent four months working on his gear. Everyone I talked with agreed that he had the best costume of the event:

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The convention was fairly small, with one medium-sized trade room (which held a “Back to the Future” Delorean, a bunch of Stormtroopers and lots of comic book vendors) and one room for programming. Unfortunately that room was too small to fit all of the participants. My guess is that Wizard World, who was hosting the Columbus event for the first time, will grow the programming side next year.

I caught comic book artist and writer Michael Golden’s discussion of what constitutes good storytelling on Saturday, and I stood in a very long line for a very long time to catch James Marster’s Q&A session Sunday morning. Marsters wooed the crowd with his hip sense of humor and frequent rock-on hand gestures. The highlights of the convention for me were Marsters’ impromptu performance of a song off his soon-to-be-released album and his biting (har har) remarks about the “Twilight” vampires.

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Here’s the one problem with the comic con: You have to come armed with cash. To get a photo with any of the special guests costs some serious moolah, as does an autograph. I waited in line to get Marsters to sign something, but was turned away when I didn’t have $40 I wanted to part with.

But all in all, it was a fun experience. And even though some of the costumes were a little overwhelming to those of us comic-con newbies, few things could be more amusing than seeing superheroes and very evil-looking villains in the vicinity of hundreds of little, makeup-covered girls with sprayed-stiff hairdos from the neighboring cheerleading convention.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                               

 

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