San Diego, CA, turns into a full-on Cosplay geek-fest with some 130,000 fans and comic, movie, entertainment industry types converging on the largest comic trade show in the country from July 18-21. Comic-Con, which can charge basically whatever it wants, has become so popular, that it can take a year in advance to get a ticket, and lines for certain talks, panels, masquerades, and autograph signings can last for hours.
What’s quite interesting this year is the number of movie industry heavy-weights that have converged on Comic-Con ever since series such as “Twilight” and Marvel Comics “The Avengers” among others opened the Pandora’s box of fandom by sending its lead actors into the throngs of Comic-Con-ness. Movies such as “Ender’s Game” had their leads Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield talk during an opening panel at this show about their epic film with Ford going on to express what Han Solo might have said to Indiana Jones.
In addition, the hot ticket “Divergent” by Veronica Roth hosted a panel with their lead characters, Shailene Woodley (Tris) and Theo James (Four). The futuristic action adventure is a trilogy hoping to be bigger than the Hunger Games to be released also in 3-D by Summit Entertainment. It was here, this week at Comic-Con, introduced to Comic-Con fans first, that the first video releases were shown of the upcoming movie. Unlike any other venue, Comic-Con has become the place for movie trailer releases of genres within the super-human or futuristic, action adventure realms.
At the same time, its comic strip heroes, the very root of a Comic-Con convention that continually gets re-circulated into blockbuster movies over the past several years. They’ve turned out to be a source of inspiration and secure money for the sagging movie industry trying to figure out ways to make the most from a digital, DVD-renting generation.
TV has descended as well on Comic-Con this time around, from the X-Files 20th Anniversary reunion with Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny to the second season of Beauty and the Beast, Sherlock cast with Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and the cast of The Big Bang Theory. The entertainment industry from LA just north can’t get enough of Comic-Con these days.
Geek girl fashion via Cosplay, and Super-hero appellations are all a part of youth culture today and not just at a convention like Comic-Con. Elements from super hero T-shirts to blue hair to bright colored tights and accessories have spilled over into trendy fashion staples on the street, giving designers something to watch and learn from as creative comic-con-like fans creep into a new realm of virtual X reality fashion styles.
What Comic-Con is known for however are other fan-centric activities where you can dress-up as your favorite character (Cosplay) complete with necessary accessories, i.e. sword, crown, hats, make-up, wigs, and participate in a number of masquerade activities, from balls to competitions with mini-skits, singing, costume creation, and high-teas. There’s the Game of Thrones panel the Masquarade Ball, and Cosplay classes (101 to 103) on how best to achieve your inner character. Throughout are of course comic book releases, exchanges, and video gaming crossover characteristics.
Our favorite person/geek is Felicia Day, creator of the YouTube video channel Geek & Sundry and the Flog and the wonderfully creative series which has turned TV on its head called “The Guild” about a group of MMORPG players and what they go through playing the game within their daily lives. Her panel and meet and greet is definitely worth going to since she talks about how she created her video series and uses social media to promote, skipping right over the traditional models of TV and expensive TV advertising. This is the future of entertainment.
This stems to a growing trend in entertainment with youth culture which is watching YouTube videos of people talking about playing video games. It’s become highly contagious, springing forth a plethora of cult fans who follow various gamers who go through, step-by-step, the best ways to play games and score big.
Overall, Comic-Con creates a unique landscape where virtual, fantasy, heroics, entertainment, and fashion crossover into the realm of reality—when humans can create their own avatar live and/or geek-out to the vibe of others living on the edge of action adventure.