With Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC having just passed, it’s important to keep in mind the real heroes of conventions. While cosplay has become a primary focus at conventions, and understandably so, it is important to remember the origins of comic cons, so let’s take a look at the people that make these events happen:
The artists, and the writers, are often undervalued at conventions. They devote hours and days of their time to making their work beautiful and well thought-out, whether it is original work, or based on a pre-written world. These people deserve the time of anyone who enjoys the more aesthetically pleasing things or those who appreciate the elements of art such as colour scheme, shape and design, medium, foreground versus background focus, and other artistic choices. There is a lot that goes into a piece of art, and these artists are a vital part of the convention. Their art can inspire young artists and cosplayers alike, pushing them to try new things. So take a second and look at their work, talk to them, and appreciate all that they do.
The second point of focus is the people who make all the awesome things you see at conventions. Functioning Star Wars droids, necklaces, wooden and foam weapons, real weapons, and all sorts of other interesting things. If you’ve been to a convention, you’ve seen the coffee mugs and wands, as well as the pins and hats and shirts. These people devote their time and effort in a manner similar to artists, shaping and creating their pieces for your entertainment. Without their plushies and pillows, a convention would be much less interesting.
These guys are an integral part of conventions, and they’re the reason that comic cons began. It was a gathering of comic-book fans who were looking for those rare comic books or the ones they hadn’t read. These people have taken the time to amass them and they are there, bringing them to you. Comic Conventions were about comics long before cosplay was common at them, and it shows in the name. Anime conventions have much less of a focus on comics, but even so they are still a part of those conventions. Comic sellers are an integral part of conventions and it is important to remember the role they play and give them your time.
Lastly, the collectors. These are the people who find those incredibly rare comics, signed books and prints, and the figurines and sell them at conventions. Their prices are usually some of the steepest, but their stuff is worth it because they are selling things you can’t find elsewhere. The things they sell are the things that people love, like prints of one’s favorite character signed by the writer, actor, or voice actor. They sell the things you treasure, and that alone makes them a valuable part of conventions.
Remember, before asking Batman, or Keith from Voltron, for a picture and stepping out of the middle and in front of someone’s booth, their business, they’re important too. Try and stay between booths, to the side of them, or if neither is possible, try and make it quick and step aside as to prevent their loss of business from having people block their table. They’re making the convention possible, so don’t forget them in your glee at seeing an awesome cosplay.