Comic Con fandoms coming together


Clarion File Photo

Megan Behnke, Staff Writer

The San Diego Comic Con, the New York Comic Con. Fan, comic, toy, and anime conventions are getting bigger and bigger each year. In February 2015, the nation-wide convention, Wizard World, had its inaugural Madison Comic Con, with guests like Ian Somerhalder, Brett Dalton and Jason David Frank. With it being Madison’s first big convention, it brought in people from all over, shocking the Wizard World company with the amount of people there for its first year in Madison, so much so that they came back in April 2016.

The second year had even bigger guests; David Tennant, Alex Kingston, Brett Dalton, Elizabeth Henstridge, WWE Diva Paige, and Joey Fatone. Being a total geek myself, I went both years. Wizard World Madison Comic Con 2015 was the first convention I had ever gone to and I loved it. Seeing all the different cosplayers (from Captain America to Attack on Titan), the rows and rows of vendors with so many posters, plushies, souvenirs, Artist Alley with tons of amazing comics and sketches, a gaming area, and the celebrity booths. Also, meeting the Original Green Power Ranger, Jason David Frank, who’s as cool in real life as he is in the show.

My friend and I volunteered at this year’s convention and it was definitely something I won’t forget. When we went last year we kept saying that we should volunteer for the next one because it seemed like so much fun, plus you get in for free, so it’s a win-win. For half of our Saturday shift, we helped with the lines, maintaining them, and answering questions that any attendee had. I did get to help out in the autographs area afterward, just standing in front of David Tennant’s booth, even though he wasn’t showing up for another few hours. The next day, we helped out with lines again, only not as long as the previous day.

I, again, stood in front of “The Doctor’s” booth but then decided to stand in front of Brett Dalton & Elizabeth Henstridge’s booths so I’d be doing something different and they’d be showing up any minute. Not being an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fan, yet, I didn’t have really any idea who they were so when Brett was walking toward his booth, and said “Hi” to me, I was a little confused as to why he was walking up to the table. I had one look at the banner hanging behind the table and the realization hit me. I properly met both Brett & Elizabeth after my final volunteer shift with my friend, since she was a big fan of the show. And I immediately wanted to, and did, binge-watch every episode on Netflix.

Big or small, each convention is unique. There are good ones and some bad ones. No convention is perfect and I’ve gone to enough to know. The fact that huge stars from TV, movies, and comics take their time to spend a whole weekend or a couple days meeting fans, hearing their stories is something so intimate and personal and even if a fan meets their favorite character for a minute, it makes their whole year. Completely diverse people instantly bond and become friends over a movie or TV show that they love. It may seem weird to some, but there are tons of people who are so passionate about what they love they spend hours, days, weeks creating a costume, known as “cosplay”, that is almost an exact replica of a character they like.

If you feel like geeking out and getting your cosplay on, some area conventions coming up are the Daisho Con at the Kalahari Nov. 18-20, Anime Milwaukee at the Hyatt Regency & Wisconsin Center Feb. 17-19 and the Wizard World Madison Comic Con will be returning to the Alliant Energy Center for its third year Sept. 22-24.