I had the opportunity to spend two days at the Cincinnati Comic Expo. If you've never been it's three days of comic books, superheroes and all around pop-culture fandom on display at the Duke Energy Center. While I was there I hosted five of their celebrity panels.Livvy Stubenrauch, Jewel Staite, Henry Winkler, John Rhys-Davies and a trio of Boba Fett actors - Daniel Logan, John Morton and Dickey Beer. All of them were warm, engaging, sweet and funny. Most of all, they seemed to have a genuine appreciation that they were sitting in front of a crowd of at least a couple hundred people who were there to see and hear from them. It was great to spend time with all of them and see them treat their fans with graciousness and respect.
All throughout the Expo, I saw people in costume, people stopping random folks for photos and people shouting out compliments to others for their great cosplay. From people who had elaborate Batman costumes to my personal favorite of the entire weekend - a girl of maybe 10 or 12 who was in her homemade Mork from Ork costume decorated with aluminum foil for the chest piece and boots. Everywhere I looked, people were enjoying themselves, shopping at the booths full of handmade pop culture crafts and having a good time.
For people who don't go to events like Comic Expo, or to similar gatherings like Renaissance Festival, you're missing something. I love the fact that people come together, knowing that they are going to be around a group of like-minded folks, and be an unashamed enthusiast of the things they love. My wife, kids and I constantly stopped to appreciate all the cool stuff and passion on display. I think that's what these gatherings are really all about - an unembarrassed celebration of fandom and fun.
It's really no different than the groups of people I saw streaming through downtown Cincinnati wearing Bengals jerseys and painting their faces orange and black. What's a jersey if not cosplay for sports fans? Comic Expo and events like it are like game day for pop culture, comic and superhero enthusiasts - there's just less alcohol, and everyone is on the same team.
I really appreciate everyone who came out, said hi, and made it a great weekend for all the people who organized the show.