Big Wow! ComicFest is still in its early years, but has grown quite a bit since its creation. The con is still located in the San Jose Convention Center, but has grown to fill more rooms and draw in larger crowds, with more guests and panels each time around.
This year, the convention brought in a wide variety of industry guests, including Sergio Aragones, Frank Cho, and Greg Rucka, among many, many more who were stationed in their booths around the convention center. From the world of entertainment, they brought in several actors from the latest “Power Rangers” show, as well as Ultraman actor Satoshi Furuya, The Greatest American Hero William Katt, and actor Parker Stevenson, just to name a few.
However, Big Wow was sure to invite a large amount of cosplay guests as well, with big names such as Jessica Nigiri, Anthony Misiano (also know as Harley’s Joker), Vampy Bit Me, and a few of the cosplayers who appeared on “Heroes of Cosplay.” Several of them did have panels they were participating in, although some were only there to sit in their booths and sell prints. That said, many of them who hosted panels did have very positive topics, such as “Cosplay: Acceptance – No Matter What You Are or Aren’t Wearing” and “So They Say You Shouldn’t Cosplay,” which sought to encourage cosplayers of all types, fighting against the elitism and snobbery that all too often rears its ugly head in the community.
For great cosplay, though, one did not have to wait in line to meet guests, for there were outstanding cosplayers all throughout the convention. People came dressed as their favorite characters from comics, movies, television, anime, or anything else that they happened to enjoy. There were cosplayers of all ages, from children having the time of their lives in Halloween costumes to octogenarians who could still rock the costume. The attendees personified the true spirit of cosplay by having fun and enjoying themselves throughout the con.
On the topic of panels, there was a good variety of subjects covered throughout the weekend. There were panels on monster movies, the comic industry, old TV shows, and so on. For the more socially-minded, there was a discussion on “Cultural Diversity in Comics,” and a more specific panel on “Native Americans in Comics.” Of course, the guests had several panels as well, such as “Figure Drawing with Frank Cho,” “DISNEY Legend – Floyd Norman,” and “Drawing The Walking Dead” with Charlie Adlard and Stefano Gaudiano.
The convention center had just recently finished renovations, and was far more spacious than in previous years. Big Wow could not do too much to make use of the space, sharing the space with other events and meetings, but they had several rooms and a large hall, with space outside for registration and “Rock Band.” The convention center did not feel overcrowded, and there were often guests heading outside for photoshoots around the area.
Although aside from “Rock Band,” which was set on a stage in front of the hall, there were limited options for gaming, though there was a table where people could rent board games or play “Magic The Gathering.”
However, there was enough to do and see to make up for that. There were auctions being held, limited edition prints to purchase, and a section full of Batman memorabilia, including a Batmobile used in the classic TV show.
All in all, Big Wow! ComicFest went well enough. It was smoothly run, and had plentiful guests and a wide variety of panels. As always, there is room to improve in the coming years, but no con is perfect. The attendees had a good time, and that’s the most important thing of all.
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