COMING AROUND TO COMIC CONS, COSPLAYWhen I was in middle school, saying that somebody looked like they just came from a Star Trek or comic book convention would have been considered an act of teasing, regardless of whether or not it was true. But even though these conventions are still considered to fall a little on the nerdy side, there’s something cool about them.
I had no idea what to expect when I showed up to The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con, which was held recently at Hawaii Convention Center, but I was overwhelmed by a buzz of excitement and wonder when I got there. The booths had a huge variety of things for sale: rare comics, T-shirts, snacks and collectables, and many of them featured noted comic artists.
But what I found most interesting was the comic-inspired fan art. There were some really cool abstract/paint-splatty versions of characters that brought a sense of the avant-garde to images that normally would be seen in black and white.
Perhaps even more interesting than the attractions themselves were the people in attendance. I had never been to Kawaii Kon, a popular local anime convention, so I have no reference from which to judge this one, but many of the attendees showed up with impressive costumes. One woman, for instance, had painted her skin completely purple. However, since I don’t read comics, I wasn’t sure what her super power was, so I was afraid to start talking to her because she might have zapped me, or powed me, or turned me into a grape.
Halloween is fun, but there’s a degree of mischief and debauchery that comes with the holiday. Something seemed much more pure about the experience of dressing up here — the cosplayers had obviously put a great deal of care into crafting their looks, and they seemed to have a genuine sense of pride in their creations. Maybe part of it is that cosplaying has come out of the closet in some regards — thanks to Instagram and other social media that have allowed cosplayers to easily connect with one another.
The convention was a great place for children, too, and it was cute to see them running around, wide-eyed, with their parents who were equally impressed. However, when I saw kids throwing tantrums over toys they wanted, it didn’t make me want children of my own anytime soon.