AllAmericon seems very much to be a show in transition.
I don’t know that I would have liked it in the past. From what I’ve heard, it was a much smaller show, and really just one of those “conventions” that served as a comic related bazaar. I’ve criticized this in the past with other shows stating how easy it would be to add a couple of guests, a panel or something to make it into something more.
AllAmericon 5 is attempting to do just that. This year, they shelled out some cash to get Jim Steranko as a guest – a big name if there ever was one. They also slated Daryl Banks, the co-Creator of the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern and a Cleveland mainstay, not to mention great guy. In addition, they brought in Knightmage – a well respected member of the cosplay community to bring a greater cosplay element in with a panel and a costume contest. I brought my Voltron costume to debut here, but the day started before I even hit the venue. About 20 miles out, an orange blur barreled down on me and I recognized My friend Riley’s Batwag following my little red Superman Honda. We waved at the stop light and occasionally one of my lion heads would peek out of my sunroof and make faces at them. Mage saw me as soon as I walked in and just shook his head at my costume. “You’re my hero man.” The admission table told me “We usually stamp people’s hands, but somehow I think we’ll know you’re part of the show.”
I hung out a bit but couldn’t do any shopping because of my lion hands. That was fine I was planning on changing out of the costume after the contest. At 11:00 most of the contestants hadn’t made it in yet and there weren’t a lot of people dressed up yet. I saw the line for Steranko’s table streached across the wall. We swung by several tables including Pixel Bits which I have seen before, most recently at Lake Effect Comic con where my Lydia bought a wonder woman design from them.
The Cosplay panel was fine. There was a heavy emphasis on cosplaying for charity which is a little bit of a departure from the cosplay panels I see at Anime cons. However it’s not surprising seeing as this is a big part of what Knightmage and Riley do.
I got back on the floor and saw a really nice Iron Man costume – comic accurate, lit up, really well done. I was heading over there to get a picture but he saw me coming and was really excited to see Voltron. Apparently he’d been following my progress on Ohio Cosplayers. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see this in front of me!”. The photos of Iron Man and Voltron are some of my favorites from the day.
About forty five minuets before the costume contest my chestplate broke. The velcro held just fine – in fact it was stronger than the glue holding it to the foam! the strip ripped right off. Pulling it out, the crest in my chest began to come loose as well, however that was an easy matter. Push it back in and it would hold. The chest plate however, was another matter. Fortunately, I had a hot glue gun in my car with an AC adapter in my lighter. In about fifteen minuets I was back in the con, hoping the quick and dirty fix would hold for at least another hour and get me through the contest.
The costume contest was really nice, but in the uncomfortable costume it felt a little long. During the course of the day, a lot of really great costumes had filtered into the convention hall as I knew they would and I wasn’t so confidant of my ability to place. Indeed, a young woman in a beautifully hand crafted Mad Hatter-like getup took first place, and she definately deserved the win. I was pleased to get second, narrowly beating out a Catwoman I had seen a year or two ago over at Akron Comicon.
Finally out of the costume contest, I hastily wiped off my makeup and shuffled out of the costume then headed for Steranko’s table. There was no line this late in the day and I was a little concerned he may have packed up, but no, he was still there and now it was no waiting!
I asked for a Shadow print and pointed to the one I wanted. Jim told me “I’ve been saving this one all day just for you!”, then signed it for me, but declined to take a photo “I’d prefer not to, but we’ll always have this moment!”
He wasn’t rude or unreasonable, but he does seem to have a “convention personality”. Very much a sell sell sell feel. Nevertheless, I can forgive it. He really is a comic legend, and I’m going to treasure my personalized signed print of one of my favorite characters.
This convention has great potential, and they really are trying to become something bigger, something better. Not as big as say Wizard World or SDCC, but I think they are certainly trying to grow into the kind of show Akron is and I’m interested in seeing how they grow. I may not be back next year, but I think I certainly will be back in the future
A side note, it appears I made the news in my costume. http://wkbn.com/2014/07/06/big-day-for-comic-enthusiasts/
It’s not a comicon without picking up a stack of books from the quarter bins. I was particuarly pleased to find the Ambush Bug issue!
Glimmer is one of the few figures from the new MOTU line I really wanted, mostly for my girls who play with the She-Ra figures all the time. I won a gift certificate in the costume contest, and sunk the entire thing into getting this figure for us.
Deadshot is one of my all time favorite characters in comics. From the first mini-series which led me into Suicide Squad, I was hooked. It was so exciting to see a Deadshot cosplay here – and a good one at that, very firmly based in the Justice League cartoon.
We did have a huge turn out for that contest, they managed to pack that little lecture hall. All in all a great day, and a show I’d go to again.
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