There aren’t many places where you could see Spider-Man chatting to Star Wars bounty hunter Boba Fett, or a zombie complimenting Batman on his ensemble, but these sites, and more, can be found. at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs over the weekend.
Tens of thousands of revelers – most of whom were in costume – turned out for Comic Con 2022, a three-day pop culture convention for fans of comic books, movies, science fiction, video games and other related entertainment.
The first convention, in 1970, was held in San Diego and was attended by about 300 people, according to event organizers. Since then, it has become a pop culture phenomenon with conventions held nearly every weekend of the year, in virtually every state.
The first Colorado Springs Comic Con, held in 2016 at the Mortgage Solutions Financial Expo Center, drew about 10,000 attendees, according to event coordinators. The 2022 event is expected to draw between 20,000 and 30,000 people, officials said.
Vendors, artists, charity fundraisers and celebrities were present, selling costumes, posters, dolls, autographs and more.
Lauren and Ethan Brandt, an eponymous “geeky husband and wife duo,” spent the weekend raising money for Freedom Service Dogs of America, an Arapahoe County-based nonprofit.
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“People here have been incredibly charitable,” said Lauren, dressed as Harley Quinn. “Everyone is in a good mood, which makes people more generous. And it’s a great atmosphere. »
The Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club, a Star Wars costume organization, was raising money for WarriorNOW, a nonprofit focused on veteran mental health and suicide prevention.
“The best thing about Comic Con is the opportunity to put a smile on the kids’ faces,” said member Ben Acimovic. “Putting fans in front of their favorite characters and seeing them react is what makes us fun.”
Kids thronged the arena as if celebrating a second Halloween, but they weren’t the only ones having fun. Virtually all age groups could be seen at the event.
“We see people of all ages,” said Lance Leber of Iron Lion Collectibles. “It’s a great time for people to get into something they’re passionate about. If I wasn’t working, I’d still be here – probably in some sort of cosplay.
Cosplay – the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, comic book, TV or video game – was in full swing on Sunday, with hundreds of people dressed in intricate costumes mostly depicting characters from comic books, science- fiction and movies. Cosplayers dressed as Spider-Man, Batman and Wonder Woman could be seen comparing costumes and sharing stories with Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.
“This is my second event,” said Vash Siffrine, 18, who wore a Batman costume. “It’s great to be surrounded by so many people, from so many different backgrounds, all enjoying something they love.”
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Several movie and TV celebrities mingled with the attendees, telling stories, signing autographs and posing for selfies. Familiar faces included John Barrowman from Doctor Who, Ahmad Best of Star Wars Episodes I-III, Matt Lintz from The Walking Dead, Richard Karn from Home Improvement and Tom Arnold from Roseanne.
“I love Colorado,” said Arnold, who often performs stand-up comedy at Comic Con events. “Two of my ex-wives are from here.”
And, of course, there were comics everywhere.
Dozens of sellers featured thousands of comics and graphic novels. Many fans showed off the prized first editions, taking care to keep them inside their transparent protective sleeves. Several comic book artists were also present, signing books and selling their work.
“We introduce people to comics as a medium and show them a bit of how books are made,” said artist Ian Nichols. “As an art form, it’s sometimes hard to find. So when we come here we try to be as informative as possible and give people a little knowledge of what we do.
Admissions director Eric Fusco, who has worked at every local Comic Con since 2016, said the event never gets old for him.
“Whether it’s their first time here, or their sixth or seventh time, they have the same look of joy and excitement on their faces,” Fusco said. “That’s what I like to see the most.”
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