Comic Con draws thousands, many dressed for the part

Zack Anderson of Grand Junction dresses as Ghost Rider during the Mesa County Libraries Comic Con on Saturday morning at Two Rivers Convention Center. The celebration of comic books, comic arts, science fiction and fantasy included panel discussions, hands-on workshops, kids and teen activities. A costume contest and a guest appearance by “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars” author Ian Doescher were all part of the fun.

Comic Con fans have a photo with the Ghost Busters during the Mesa County Libraries Comic Con on Saturday.

Sometimes, it’s nice to pretend.

People of all ages like to escape a little, celebrate the things they love and geek out with others.

And on Saturday, at least 5,000 participants in the third annual Comic Con organized by the Mesa County Public Library got to do just that.

Though the event included authors, speakers, panel discussions and how-to seminars as well as meet-ups for fans, the biggest draw of the day seemed to be the costumes themselves and the fans who engage in cos-play, the practice of dressing up as favorite characters from books, movies, and TV in all genres and playing the part.

Mya Butler and her cousin, Michael Holland, both 6, practiced their signature moves as Wonder Woman and Optimus Prime in the hallway before the children’s costume contest.

“One shall stand, one shall fall!” Michael announced sternly, standing with his best Transformer posture, as Mya held up her metallic-cuffed arms in a defensive Wonder Woman stance.

Mya’s mom and dad, Tia and Jerry of Fruita, said they brought their relatives who were visiting from Colorado Springs to make a day of Comic Con.

They weren’t disappointed.

“There’s lots of energy and I love all the costumes,” Tia Butler said.

Jared Edmunds, 19, struck an imposing figure as a 6-foot-8 Soundwave, a Transformer famous for turning into a microcassette recorder. His costume took him three months to construct out of boxes, binder dividers and a ridiculous amount of blue, silver, red and yellow duct tape.

The best part of Edmunds’ first ComicCon was “seeing the kids go, ‘WOW!’ when they saw me,” he said.

The children’s costume contest alone attracted 80 participants, and some of the children were so tiny that they were dwarfed by their own props. One by one, they crossed the stage to wow the crowd with their signature moves. Many of the costumes at the children’s contest were homemade, and contest emcee Trevor Adams gave shout-outs to moms and grandmas who fashioned the attire.

But plenty of older participants also dressed up.

Lindsay Curry, 24, was a doppelganger for Barb from the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” complete with the dowdy elastic-waistband mom jeans. Her costume was mostly homemade, sourced at secondhand stores and a costume shop.

Annalise Mininger, 13, was with her dressed as Black Widow, a Marvel Comics superhero known for being an athletic spy. Both of them had been to Comic Con in Denver before, but this was their first year at the one organized by the library here.

Mininger said it’s nice to have a place where people can be themselves.

“I like it because I think there’s a lot of nerdy people in this town and it’s nice to help inspire them and have a safe place to go,” Curry said.

Attendance at this year’s free event eclipsed the number of participants last year, which numbered an estimated 3,100 attendees.


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