Between Electric Daisy Carnival’s rainbow-clad PLUR set and Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con’s cadre of costumed conventiongoers this weekend, the question had to be asked: Who wore it best? Well, EDC costumes can be amazing, but it’s probably safer to side with the group that has the 6-foot-long anime katanas.
The pop-culture convention’s sophomore South Point installment featured a noticeably more filled-out convention space and a well-rounded itinerary of panels with industry pros and games with fellow fans: You say you’ve never seen Cobra Commander playing Family Feud? Well, you haven’t lived.
In addition to that raspy-voiced G.I. Joe villain, there were plenty of cosplayers worthy of taking a photo with. Among the highlights: A Fallout: New Vegas soldier in crazily weathered armor, a Wonder Woman with ginormous sword and proper Greek skirt armor and a young, blue-skinned Nightcrawler who gave Alan Cumming’s 2003 big-screen version a run for his money.
Even with the chance to chat with and get autographs from superstar creators like George Pérez (Wonder Woman, Teen Titans), Jim Lee (X-Men, Batman), Rob Liefeld (X-Force, Cable) and Andy Lanning (Guardians of the Galaxy), checking out up-and-coming artists remains one of the coolest parts of a comic convention. The con’s artist alley and vendor areas had more varied offerings over last year’s version, but here’s a plea to artists and buyers alike: Can we get over the obsession with mashing up every property with another, vaguely similar one? The trope loses its charm after passing by the umpteenth iteration of Doc and Marty as Calvin and Hobbes, Han and Chewie as Calvin and Hobbes or Batman and Robin as … you get the idea.
On the flipside, local artist duo Ninjabot’s hardcover Origins collection is homage done right. It’s an elegant and minimalist take on the origins of famous pop-culture characters that’s both distinctive and instantly recognizable, and it continues to be a hot seller at regional cons a year after it started as a Kickstarter project.
Tabletop games were an eye-catching niche at the con, with local game shop Shall We Play? hosting a couple of tutorials. Sadly, they didn’t break into DrunkQuest, a real role-playing game that uses booze and cards instead of dice and stat sheets. Also spotted: a T-shirt for Crabs Adjust Humidity, an “unofficial” expansion to vulgar party favorite Cards Against Humanity.
And while retailer Maximum Comics’ Whack-a-Nerd game, using locally sourced nerds and inflatable mallets, lacked the tactical edge of Shall We Play?’s wares, it made up for that with sheer catharsis—and served as a reminder of why our local comics scene is so lovable.