This weekend, I’ll be attending the Flashback Weekend Horror Convention in Rosemont, Illinois. There’s a lot to look forward to, including screenings of the 1988 slasher classic Child’s Play and the 1985 vampire mystery Fright Night and appearances from horror luminaries such as Child’s Play star Brad Dourif, director Tom Holland and Chicago’s own Svengoolie, but the event that I’m anticipating the most is the 13th Annual Sinister Visions Costume Contest. Hosted by Svengoolie, this contest is a great showcase of the creativity and the passion that defines the hobby of cosplaying. In all my years as a con-goer, I’ve dabbled in costuming myself from time to time and experienced how inclusive and encouraging the cosplaying community can be. If you want to learn more about what inspires cosplayers or if you want to pursue the hobby yourself, consider this 2014 documentary, directed by Shelley Yu, a informative primer on the diverse costuming community.
Credit: Infinity Sky Productions
Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo
- What I love about conventions like this are the opportunities to meet new people and create new connections. Very few conventions help attendants establish such professional and high quality hookups like C2E2. From casual fan meetups to panels featuring experienced authors and artists, there is a plethora of ways to build relationships that can expand your knowledge and strengthen your creative skills.
- One of my hobbies is cosplaying and C2E2 is a great place to encounter some of the most clever and innovative costumers you’ll ever see! In this regard, a special mention must go out to the 501st Legion Midwest Garrison, Rebel Legion’s Nar Shaddaa Base, and the Nexu Clan of the Mandalorian Mercs. These passionate groups are the Midwestern branches of several volunteer Star Wars costuming organizations that operate with many other related groups around the world. Of course, special mentions should go out to all of the very gifted costumers in attendance, especially the participants of the Crown Championships of Cosplay competition! You can check out some of my favorite costumes from this and many other shows at my Instagram page.
- Finally, the most important element of C2E2 is its function as a platform for a diverse array of independent creators and small businesses to find ways to make their voices heard and showcase their works on a wide scale! While distributing products and promoting artwork online is very effective, there’s nothing like interacting face-to-face with individual creators and learning more about what they can do. It’s also a great way to discover rare collectibles and obscure material from more mainstream publishers, thanks to the wide variety of dealers at the show.
Overall, it’s just a lot of fun to attend every year! I’ve made a lot of new friends and connections and I’ve been able to meet people who I would consider to be very creative, friendly and passionate about what they do! I look forward to next year’s show and I hope to see you there!