Fan conventions can be a huge big deal event, and they can also be very small and intimate gatherings! They can be for a specific media text, like the Supernaturalconvention that I visited in the Fall, or around a whole area of media, like the Children’s Comic Con that I visited too in the Philadelphia area! Or they can be mammoth like Comic Con, which hosts large events in major cities around the country and the world! The biggest Comic Con locations are San Francisco and New York, and these conventions span basically all areas of pop culture and the media! They are a ton of fun, and are a great place to meet up with friends from within your fandom and to have a chance to interact inperson with your favorite stars and people related to your fandom! One thing to keep in mind though is that they can be quite pricey! Basic tickets can get you a foot in the door, but the fun experiences may have high priced extra costs.
Photos above provided by Rebekah Pierce
Scarlett Rose attends conventions professionally as a cosplayer! She travels to conventions and fan events to perform and model the amazing costumes and characters she creates! I had the chance to ask her a few questions about her experiences with fandom, fan culture, and conventions:
What is your earliest memory about fandoms or fan-culture?
I was introduced to Disney and video games by the age of 3. My first system was actually a Sega Master system that belonged to my dad. My earliest memories are from both of my parents. My mom used to love playing Nintendo, so whenever I had a happy face report in kindergarten, she would play Nintendo with me at night for an hour. My father introduced me to Star Wars as a young child as well, so one of my first Halloween costumes ever was princess Leia.
Have you attended conventions, which ones, and do you have a favorite?
I’ve attended many of them, but now I mainly attend as a cosplay guest.
It is a very long list. I have guested at multiple conventions in different states in the US, and this year will also be guesting in Canada.
There are a few I love for different reasons. I will always love MegaCon in Orlando because that is my home convention. Holiday Matsuri is also another favorite of mine.
Could you describe the atmosphere at conventions?
Every convention has a different atmosphere, but being amongst other people that love the same fandom’s you do is a wonderful experience
What is the best experience you have had at a convention?
I had the pleasure of meeting Colleen Clinkenbeard at Megacon in Orlando. I was trying not to be star struck because I absolutely LOVE Erza from Fairy Tail. The first thing she said to me was “Have you ever Cosplayed Wonder Woman?!”. She is the reason I did it, and that is still my favorite memory. I went back a year later in my Wonder Woman costume and she remembered me.
What fandom did you first identify with? And which do you identify with now?
Initially, it was definitely Star Wars as that was how I was introduced as a child. I was always a huge gamer, and as I got older I felt very connected to the Final Fantasy series. Now I identify with most of them, but I lean towards gaming more than anything.
How is the world of fandoms and fan-cultures special to you?
The world of Fandom has always been a very prominent and important part of my life. It has been my creative outlet for over fifteen years.
What is your favorite activity to do at conventions?
As a guest, I usually am doing panels and greeting people at my table in Cosplay Alley, which I love to do I enjoy meeting new people. When I attend for fun it is always great putting together group photo shoots.
Do you attend panels at conventions, if so, which is your favorite?
I normally do not have time to attend panels unfortunately, but I have to say I always make an effort to go to YayaHan’s. She is wonderful.
It is very Go Go Go. You have to time everything out to make sure you are in costume at your table, and ready to go before the convention opens. We want to be there for fans as much as we possibly can.
Janine and Peter Jones are fans of many different things ranging from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to Star Wars and Outlander! They have had the privilege to attend fan conventions together several times and the photos to the left , provided by Janine and Peter Jones, and video below help show the amazing times that can be had at these events!
It’s the family that you choose to have!
Photos above provided by Taylor Coan-Luckenbill
Taylor Coan-Luckenbill is a fan of the Japanese style of cartoons and graphic novels, Anime and Manga! In the video below she describes the Anime conventions that she has attended and how they have impacted her love of this genre!