Tidewater Comicon was this weekend, May 16-17. The Virginia Beach Convention Center drew fans of all types imaginable- not only comic book geeks, but Bronies, Whovians, Trekkers and Browncoats, along with superheroes, heroines and villains.
I attended Comicon with my husband (a Trekker and gamer from way back) as well as my four children. My older girls are into Doctor Who, my younger girl loves Wonder Woman, and my 3-year-old boy has been passionate about Superman since before he could talk. (We once had a serious potty training setback when he ran out of Superman boxer-briefs and was left with only Green Lantern). All four of them love My Little Ponies. One of the best parts about Comicon? Kids under 12 were free.
Featured guests at the Con included Sam Witwer of Being Human, Kelly Hu of Arrow and X-Men 2, Sam Huntington of Superman Returns, Chloe Dykstra of Heroes of Cosplay, comic book writer Ron Marz and comic artist Kevin Maguire.
Vendors were both national and regional, and included writers, artists and designers as well as podcasters and local businesses and community groups. A Kids’ Zone included props to pose with as well as a “brick” wall for kids to run through.
The most fun part of Comicon (especially with kids): the cosplayers. Some of my observations:
- Despite the popularity of the Marvel family of heroes, DC was better represented- especially Wonder Woman.
- Hermione is by far the most common Harry Potter costume choice.
- I didn’t know who a lot of the characters were, especially the more obscure superheroes and anyone from anime. I really need to brush up on my geek trivia.
- From Doctor Who, various Doctors were present (Eleven being most common), along with multiple ladies dressed as the Doctor’s TARDIS, but I only saw one companion- Amy Pond (saw four versions of her, though!)
- Anyone dressed as Deadpool is really into it.
- Cosplayers love to be approached by admiring children. It was a great opportunity to let my children practice talking to strangers (something I encourage, under supervision.)
Take a look at some of the attendees in full gear, below, and learn a little more about them.
Harley Quinn, pictured, works in retail. Her hair color is real.
Superman and Wonderwoman (pictured with young fans).
The Green Arrow, along with Doctor Who’s Amy Pond, including Superman and Wonderwoman, attended the convention together. The superheroes are actually nurses, working at Norfolk General. Given the superheroism of nurses in real life, the costumes seem completely appropriate.
Deadpool is the “merc with a mouth” who will do anything for money, “no limits at all.” Cancerous disfiguration, followed by rapid cellular regeneration, has aided his mercenary skills. He may consider protecting small children and the elderly, but “it depends on who’s paying.” He either wasn’t interested in telling me what he did in real life, or possibly is the real Deadpool and doesn’t have a real life.
Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, and Poison Ivy are a psych orderly, a waitress/teacher and a bartender in real life. It’s Wonder Woman’s first time cosplaying; She-Hulk uses her costume to take advantage of men (in addition to protect and serve), and Poison Ivy spent several months with a hot glue gun to achieve her look.
This gentleman is not actually the Tenth Doctor, but the graphic designer proprietor of Pixel Who. He’s combined his passions for Doctor Who and the 8-bit art of 80s video games into this business. My 8-year-old daughter and I were a bit starstruck, even though he wasn’t actually David Tennant.
“The Bloke” is a Chesapeake gentleman hailing originally from England who produces, writes, and (in comic-book form) “hosts” Bloke’s Terrible Tomb of Terror, a “retro-style horror anthology magazine.” (Etsy). He came to writing and art around 2009, and has been working on the magazine four years.
Starlord, working the Kids’ Zone, had a mask adapted from an Iron Man mask and made with mostly Dollar Store materials. Starlord is a real-life construction worker who joined the volunteer group to run Comicon last year and decided to give dressing up a try. The kids loved Starlord, a lot.
Luna Lovegood and Harry Potter with two aspiring witches.
Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Princess Luna the My Little Ponies.
King (in this case, Queen!) Arthas from World of Warcraft, accompanied by Rainbow Dash the My Little Pony.
A real-life family of Guardians of the Galaxy- Mom Gamora, Dad Starlord, and son Rocket the Raccoon. Gamora and Starlord were volunteers for Comicon, and hope to see returned and new attendees next time.