For 12 years, Rick Fortenberry and Dave Hinson (of Dave’s Comics in Fort Mill, SC) have been delighting Charlotte area comic book collectors with their Charlotte Comicon. The show is held three times a year–in April, August and December–and never fails to entertain. I suppose this would be a good time to mention that I have been involved with this show in both a volunteer and working capacity for a couple of years now. But, I promise not to let personal feelings get in the way of an honest convention report.
The Charlotte Comicon averages between 1,100-2,000 visitors per show, with ages ranging from toddler to senior citizen. Most of them are die hard comic collectors, as this show is predominantly a ‘trade show’. With 35 vendors and 24 special guests (artists, authors, and so forth) at their April 13, 2014 show, there were plenty of treasures to be found. I have seen this show grow exponentially in recent years, even causing them to change venues to their current home at the Crown Plaza Executive Park Hotel.
One aspect of the show that has continued to expand is the Cosplay participation. Years ago, the number of attendees in costume was less than 100. Now, hundreds show up at Charlotte Comicon dressed not only as their favorite comic book characters, but recognizable characters from movies, television, novels, anime, manga, and more. This year’s spring show had 164 contestants just for their costume contest! I do not envy the job of the judges, whatsoever. There were multiple age divisions for competition and Honorable Mention awards given out as well. Winners from each division were given cash prizes that they could spend in the dealer room. The costume contest is one of the bigger draws for the younger crowd that attends each show.
Seeking to connect with their cosplay fan base, Fortenberry and Hinson arranged for a special Secrets of Cosplay panel. The hour-long panel featured professional cosplayers DJ Spider, Amberle Linnea, Todd Lacey, Eve Madison and ‘The Clown Prince of Charlotte’ Victor Goldberg. Each panelist addressed specific topics such as the politics of cosplay, construction tips, and staying in character. It was standing room only in the ballroom that housed the panel, as the audience hung on their every word. Some went so far as to take notes during the panel and many hands went up when it was time for the Q & A segment. I know a lot of the familiar faces who attend the Charlotte Comicon regularly came away from that session eager to put their knowledge to use. The level of costumes at the summer show should be extraordinary.
Another new addition to the spring show was the Tribute to Charlton Comics panel, featuring Michael Eury (Editor-in-Chief Back Issue Magazine), Dan Johnson (Comics Historian) and Fester Faceplant (Artist, Writer). This hour-long panel with Q & A gave a unique history of Charlton Comics, 1946-1985, and the original characters that ended up being acquired and re-imagined by the likes of DC Comics. I admit, I knew nothing going into this panel, but by the end was fascinated with the industry and the backstory of the likes of The Watchmen. The Charlton Arrow #1 was being sold in limited quantities after the panel. Charlton Arrow is a limited edition collection of stories by Charlton veterans as well as contributors from DC Comics, Marvel and Archie. This historical look at the world of comics was enough to make me hungry for more. I hope that Charlotte Comicon will continue to include such panels.
All in all, Charlotte Comicon is exactly what they claim to be: a family-friendly show. For six hours and $5.00 (free if you are in costume or under the age of 12) you can enjoy a day meeting authors, watching artists paint and draw bringing characters to life before your eyes, and take in one of the wackiest costume parades I have ever seen. Here’s where my honesty kicks in…if you have trouble with tight spaces, you might want to consider that when attending one of their shows. They get more and more crowded each time and maneuverability in the dealer room can be daunting at times, especially if you are wearing a costume. Beyond the tight quarters, I have never had a bad experience at a Charlotte Comicon.
There was a big announcement made at the spring show, however, that should alleviate some of the traffic. Fortenberry and Hinson will be adding a third ballroom for the remainder of the 2014 shows. This additional room will house a Toy Show, with vendors and collectibles as far as the eye can see. With comics in one room, toys and collectibles in another, and cosplay/panels in yet another room, even if their attendance doubles as a result, it shouldn’t feel crowded and will remain a fun and affordable outing for families. I’m looking forward to watching this little show grow and grow. Who knows? Perhaps in the near future it could end up being a full weekend? Until then, I don’t think Charlotte Comicon or its fans have anything to worry about.
The next show will be held from 10am to 4pm on August 3, 2014. Information can be found at charlottecomicon.com
Tampa Bay Comic Con and Fan Expo Canada get bigger and adds sports stars, Thor is headed to Disneyland, and the Heroes of Cosplay get reviewed.
Yaya Han is a costume designer, model and cosplay entertainer with 13 years of experience. After discovering cosplay at her first con over a decade ago, she quickly absorbed the heart and soul of costume design and creation. To this day Yaya has made 200 (and counting) costumes in the genres of anime/manga, comic books, video games, sci-fi and of course from her own original designs. Her intricate and lavish creations have won many awards and acclaim world wide, and Yaya has been featured in a myriad of magazines, websites, and television programming. Commercially, Yaya’s visage has been drawn, painted and sculpted by a number of noted professional artists and she enjoys modeling and collaborating with photographers and artists.
Additionally, Yaya has taught a multitude of panels on costume craftsmanship, presentation, makeup, wigs and more; and judged as well as hosted countless costume contests and performed in front of many peers and fans alike on stage. Over the past several years, Yaya has traveled to a long roster of conventions and events within the USA as well as internationally to Italy, Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, Scotland, Japan, Costa Rica, Australia, Germany and Brazil as a Guest of Honor. Yaya is a strong advocate of preserving cosplay as an art form and encourages and mentors new cosplayers to improve their craftsmanship constantly. She is extremely excited for her first visit to Boston, and Boston Comic Con! For more information, visit www.yayahan.com
Tickets for Boston Comic Con are $25 per day or $40 for the weekend and available through Eventbrite at the link!
Artist alley and vendor table registration is also open. Forms can be found on the Boston Comic Con website.
About Boston Comic Con:
The Boston Comic Con is a 100% independently run comic book show committed to bringing the biggest and best comic creators to New England. Run by fans for fans, Boston Comic Con is not affiliated with any other convention tour or corporate interests. Hosting over 40,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia, this is a destination event for geeks of any stripe. Next year’s convention will be held Saturday April 20th and Sunday April 21st opening at 10:00 am each day at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. For more information please go to our website at www.bostoncomiccon.com and follow us on Twitter (@BostonComicCon) and Facebook!
Photos from the SDCC: San Diego Comic-Con International 2012 Group Pool on Flickr.
A cosplay lipdub performed by cosplayers at EXPOCOMIC 2011 in Madrid, Spain to the tune of “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO.
In addition to the all-star line-up of talent scheduled at this year’s 12th Baltimore Comic-Con, the show will host their third annual costume contest … back by HUGE demand! This year, the event will be held Saturday and it will be larger than ever!
“After a second year of an outstanding costume contest, where we literally had to break down walls to meet demand – we are thrilled to bring it back in 2011,” said Marc Nathan, Baltimore Comic-Con promoter, “and we were totally caught off-guard when hundreds entered last year. For the second straight year, the contestants and audience overflowed the planned contest room.” He went on to add, “This year, we are planning for it to grow again. We are taking it up a notch this year by getting an even larger space!”
The $1,000 grand prize will be awarded to the best over-all costume at the event, including all of the over-13 and under-13 categories. Category winners will win a $100 gift certificate to Cards, Comics and Collectibles of Reisterstown, Maryland. Additionally, all category winners will receive ONE pass to see an Avengers movie sneak preview, and a free two-day pass to the 2012 Baltimore Comic-Con.
Our categories will include the following:
Best Male (over 13) Superhero
Best Male (over 13) Non-Superhero
Best Female (over 13) Superhero
Best Female (over 13) Non-Superhero
Best Group (majority of members over 13)
Best Male (under 13) Superhero
Best Male (under 13) Non-Superhero
Best Female (under 13) Superhero
Best Female (under 13) Non-Superhero
Best Group (majority of members under 13)
A panel of celebrity media judges will determine the contest winners, including some world-famous comic book creators!
The contest will start at 1pm on Saturday, August 20th at the Baltimore Convention Center! Registration will begin as soon as the show opens at 10:00am. Contest Registration forms will be handed out at all ticket booths for all patrons interested in entering the costume contest to further speed the registration process. Over 13 registration will cost $5. Under-13 registration will be free.
PLEASE NOTE: NO WEAPONS WILL BE ALLOWED WITHIN THE CONVENTION CENTER. Do not bring real swords, guns, or any other type of an authentic weapon!!! Only props allowed!!!
Jessica Nigri returns once more, this time in search for the “hottest cosplayers” at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Honey badger spotted at Comic-Con! — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Six months ago, the world was introduced to the honey badger via a laugh-out-loud funny viral video narrated by a sassy man known only as Randall. The indefatigable animal, Randall explained, “doesn’t give a s—.” You know who else doesn’t give a s—? The denizens of Comic-Con, a famously audacious crowd who think nothing of parading in public in all manner of crevice-hugging, skin-revealing costumes.
So Entertainment Weekly asked Randall, along with colleagues John Carlucci, Chris Gordon, and Dave Schlow, to turn their eyes to the wilds of the San Diego convention center during the height of Comic-Con craziness. They delivered an exclusive video report from San Diego Comic-Con International, or, as Randall initially puts it, “the San Diego Zoo’s annual Come Along Intentionally Tour!”
Check it out on EW.com:
THE FSC COSTUME COMPETITION
SATURDAY JULY 2, 2011 @ 8:00P
OVER $3,000 IN CASH & PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AT THE SHOW!
$1,000 CASH PRIZE FOR BEST IN SHOW!
PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
Best in Show: $1,000 cash prize. $100 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award trophy.
Con Chair Spotlight: $250 cash prize, $75 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award Trophy.
Masters Award. $250 cash prize. $50 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award trophy.
Costumer’s Award: $100 cash prize. $50 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award trophy.
Craftsmanship Award: $75 cash prize. $50 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award Trophy.
Best Individual, Journeyman: $50 cash prize. $25 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award Trophy.
Best Individual, Novice: $50 cash prize. $25 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award Trophy.
Best Individual, Junior/Youth: $50 cash prize. $25 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award Trophy.
Best Prop: $50 cash prize. $25 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award trophy.
Best Group, Journeyman / Masters: $100 cash prize. $50 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award Trophy.
Best Group, Novice: $50 cash prize. $50 Florida Super Comics gift certificate. Award Trophy.
for more information on the contest and the show in general check out the website.
Adam Sessler from G4 talks to cosplayers at PAX East 2011 that take their craft very seriously.