One day last September I was walking home from the supermarket when I passed Spiderman on the street. A few minutes later I saw a group of teenagers posing for a picture with Dr Who and just around the corner the Joker was having a chat with Ariel the mermaid. No, I wasn’t dreaming. Comic Con was in town!
Comic Con (which is short for ‘comic convention’) is an event where fans gather to share and celebrate their love for comic-related pop culture. The first comic book conventions were held in the USA in the 1960s and since then they have become extremely popular all over the world, with some of the bigger events drawing crowds of over 100,000 people and lasting several days. Nowadays there is much more than just comic books on show at a comic con. The most popular events have expanded to include many other types of media and art forms, for example anime, manga, sci-fi, video games and TV series.
One of the highlights of a comic con for many fans is the ability to interact with celebrities of the industry as many artists, writers, actors and directors appear as special guests – like the headliners of a music festival! These special guests sign autographs, pose for photos with fans and hold question and answer sessions. Sometimes the fans will queue for several hours to meet these special guests!
Of course there is a lot of merchandise on sale at a comic con. From comic books to posters and T-shirts to toys, the options are endless but there is one thing in particular that sets comic cons apart from ordinary trade fairs and that is cosplay. Cosplay is the name given to dressing up as your favourite characters from comics, TV and other genres represented at comic cons and it has become common for many fans at comic cons to do this. Many people build their own costumes and some of them are very elaborate. Cosplaying has become an important part of comic cons all over the world and there are even competitions for the best cosplay!
Going to a comic con is like stepping into another world full of superheroes, time travellers, monsters and robots - you can really find it all at a comic con! It is a great place to be your favourite character for a day and share your love of all things comic-related with other like-minded people.
Would you like to go to a comic con? Which character would you dress up as?