Cosplay Con: A Celebration Of Playing Dress Up

David Nieves writes;

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Over a thousand fans of comics and cosplay gathered at the giant fanboy warehouse known as Frank and Son’s Collectible in City of Industry California this past Saturday. While there are always cosplayers at every convention in southern California, this was the first to be dedicated to the phenomena known as cosplay.

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The Frank and Son’s show is a great location for an event like this. Open every Wednesday and Saturday inside a large warehouse located in an industrial distribution area of the valley, F&S has been a longtime gathering spot of all things geek. The parking was easy especially since it’s a weekend meaning surrounding businesses are closed. Even the worst of the street parking only came with a few feet of walking. In the most extreme case, shuttle parking was available from a nearby lot. While inside, the show has thousands of square feet of exhibitor space filled with vendors of comics, anime, toys and sports memorabilia for attendees to peruse. Even when there isn’t an event going on, this place is a great shopping experience where you can find hidden treasures of anything you’re a fan of.

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As far as Cosplay Con itself, I’m happy to see cosplay and its enthusiast take center stage for an event, I just wish there would have been more of it. The biggest draw of this mini con was the legendary Stan Lee. His legions of fans certainly came out in droves, about three quarters of the crowd were there for Stan the Man’s autograph, standing in line for hours was of no consequence to them.  In addition, a few other comic creators were on hand to sign autographs including J Scott Campbell and Joe Benitez. Which makes a lot of sense, since many cosplayers meticulously build costumes for every show based on characters Campbell and Benitez created.  However, the culture of cosplay itself was well represented by some of its most popular personalities like the illustrious Ivy Doomkitty dressed as Ms. Marvel, Krystal Method dawning a Scarlet Witch outfit, and the West Coast Avengers being well… Avengers. Attendees definitely enjoyed having the mix of the two worlds as lines for Lee and J Scott overflowed with costumes and non costumed fans alike. While the nation of dress up took photos with each other and attendees.

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Overall I think it was a great first outing for this show. No doubt it succeeded in drawing an overwhelming crowd and has a lot to build on for next year. Because of the ratio of cosplayers to regular attendees, next year I’d like to see the event really take center stage at F&S maybe by offering incentives to people willing to come in costume. The 501st Legion of Star Wars cosplayers accounted for half the costumes I saw. Even having an area in the center of the vendor space for photo opportunities would help to highlight it more. I’d also like to see Stan Lee on a stage somewhere, I know he was there but I just couldn’t get through the sea of people to get a blurry cell phone picture. Hopefully the show will continue to embrace the hand in hand relationship cosplay has with just about anything people love.

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Follow David Nieves on Twitter @daveynieves to see what he would like to see people to dress up as for conventions

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