The Capital City Comic Con inhabits Austin’s Lester E. Palmer Events Center for three days from July 11th to the 13th, 2014. The con, short for convention to the hip, is a huge event that fills the giant auditorium with sales tables of art prints, originals, dolls, fantasy costumes, new and collectible graphic novels, and, oh yes, comics. Since the coming of graphic novels, movies made from comic book series, and cable series on fantasy themes, comic conventions have exploded into multimedia events to take advantage of the expanded interest.
The Austin spin on the genre event is to place greater focus on the attendance of artists. Artists in all media, truly, sat at the tables drawing, sewing costumes, and sketching ideas for their next sculpture. All had plentiful autographing material at hand, and young fans flocked to them for signatures on their purchases. Comic book sellers offered huge stocks of comic books, graphic novels, prints, and videos for collectors.
Age stratification was readily apparent. Fans of artists were notably young, but the older set had largely never heard of the artists. Parents stood in the background with worried looks on their faces while their excited children greeted their artistic ideals.
Cosplay, short for costume play, is a growing trend within the growing trend. Professional performers tour the country showing off their costumed characters, and several were in attendance. They’re fine, but teenagers, especially, took pains to wear costumes (major plus points for making your own) of their favorite characters. Those in evidence in the Austin show displayed an impressive breadth of imagination. We saw living, breathing anime characters, Robocop, imperial stormtroopers, Batman multiples, Power Rangers (the full team apparently), and even unique, self-created phantasms. Marvin the Martian, from 1960s TV cartoons, made this older writer’s heart gladden with childhood memories. The Capital City Comic Con is for all ages. The show is an annual, highly commercial series, so save your money and keep it on your radar.