With every year, comic cons get increasingly popular. At this point, they are pretty much a staple of modern society and why shouldn’t they be? They bring people together, people with similar interests and a passion for all things pop culture. This past March saw the return of the Big Apple Con, a fun little con that has been around since 1996. The Penn Plaza Pavillion in New York City has once again played host to the con and once again, the results were pretty great. Movie, tv, comic book, and wrestling stars delighted attendees with their presence and it was certainly a weekend to remember.
Every February, a little bit of Japan comes to Maryland. Actually no, that’s not right. A LOT of Japan comes to Maryland. The annual anime and cosplay festival glow sticks comes to National Harbor and attracts a bevy of anime enthusiasts and professional and amateur costumers. It is a yearly celebration and with thousands of joyful participants, it is truly a time to treasure.
The concept of the aging adventurer who has fallen from grace, only to try and rise again is something film and television has embraced wholeheartedly over the years. To laugh at one’s self in the face of getting older provides for some really strong entertainment and the latest pair to embrace this concept is that of Academy Award-winning actresses Shirley MacLaine (Terms of Endearment) and Jessica Lange (Tootsie). They have a new film coming to home video and Wild Oats may very well be the next Grumpy Old Men, but flipped gender-wise.
The world of anime is a vast and interesting place. Every year, Japanese culture and art explode into National Harbor, Maryland with Katsucon, an annual convention that celebrates all things anime and the people that enjoy this powerful art form. Like most cons, Katsucon plays host to panels, screenings, and of course, cosplaying. A plethora of the attendees dress up as their favorite anime characters, strut their stuff, and pose for plenty of pictures. There are even those who dress up in non-anime attire (this particular writer walked the convention halls as a Ghostbuster and the response from fellow con-goers was a truly positive one). All in all, it is an event that anyone and everyone can take in and thoroughly enjoy.
The future of our world is in the hands of the children of today. What they do and what they conjure up will hopefully benefit mankind. Science and technology are what move society forward and with the right encouragement, we can see a world that is bright and full of home. The Young Innovators Fair, which recently took place on January 2-3, 2016 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania played host to a bevy of young minds, children who with the proper tools and mentors will lead the way and help create a great future for mankind. The event is a springboard for children to share their ideas and use the resources available to them to make life better, not just for themselves but for everyone around them.
Rashida Jones is really quite special. Over the past decade, not only has she made a name for herself on television but she has appeared in quite a few popular films. She maintains a fine balance by being funny and beautiful simultaneously. From a supporting role on the American The Office to a seamless transition to another popular NBC sitcom, Parks and Recreation, Jones has proven time and time again that she has the chops to tickle many an audience member’s funny bone. Her upcoming series Angie Tribeca is premiering on TBS in January of next year and the first episode was screened at New York Comic Con this fall.
We all wear masks in one way or another. Some masks may be part of an elaborate costume and other masks are emotional and invisible to the naked eye. Either way, people tend to hide from life and the mask and costume serve that function. You can say cosplayers do the same thing and they do but their purpose is one inspired by entertainment and flashy fun. In case you aren’t familiar with cosplaying, then let me enlighten you. To “cosplay” is to don a costume or disguise (usually that of a character from fiction) and act out or at least strut around… Much like Halloween. However, unlike Halloween, cosplayers are often drawn to other cosplayers, similarly minded individuals who congregate, pose for photos and basically just have a good time. I was at Hartford Con recently and the cosplaying spirit was alive and well with many of the con’s attendees. It was indeed, quite a time.
In recent years, I have become increasingly more active in the comic con scene. I wish I started going these wonderful events earlier on in my life but it looks like we have a perfect case of “better late than never” here. It all started in 2010 when I attended my first New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in Manhattan. I was born and raised in Queens so attending NYCC was just a matter of time and oh, how glad I am that I went. This soon opened the door for many other comic cons, events which attracted geeks, nerds and sci-fi/fantasy fans from all corners of the world. I met people I never thought I would and how happy I was to finally be in an environment where my love for 80s movies and action figures was accepted. Most recently I attended Hartford Con in the XL Center in Connecticut and what a joy it was.
Childhood is something most of us all remember, many with fondness and a deep love of the things and people around us. Nostalgia can be very powerful and it can transport us to different times just thinking about the cartoons, movies and toys that occupied our lives at those moments. Comic and toy conventions have been growing more and more in recent years and one such convention, Retro Con, has been joining in on the fun for a few years now. Located at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania and going on September 12th and the 13th, it is a venue in which many vendors, celebrities and events can take place and fill the air with positive energy and limitless fun.
There are many classic sci-fi franchises out there this day and age, many films and TV shows which, over the years, have generated fan bases whose numbers might seem rather insane. In 1984, director Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters took the world by storm and since then, legions of fans have flocked to Comic Cons, parades and charity events. The number of fans keeps growing and with the film turning 30-years-old last year and an upcoming reboot currently in production, the franchise seems to be stronger than ever. A new documentary, courtesy of filmmaker Brendan Mertens, is also being released next year and it promises to highlight the fandom that Ghostbusters has unleashed. Ghostheads is due out next year and with the participation of fans across the planet, it is looking to be quite a film event.