Above: cosplayer Brynn Balogh at a previous Capital City Comic Con
The third annual Capital City Comic Con (C4) will be held on Saturday August 26th at MSU’s Breslin Center from 10am-6pm. The event will feature:
- 50+ comic artists
- Four clubs, including the Michigan State University Graphic Novels club
- 35 exhibits and vendors, including comic book sales, face painting and several other Michigan-based cons.
- Five game demonstrations, including the Evolution Games store, MSU’s Video Game Lab and three charity groups: Down the Vent, Gamer’s United and Veterans for Gaming.
- A cash-prize Cosplay Contest
- The winner of the Capital City Comic Con Scholarship
Due to the expansion of the Breslin Center concourse, C4 has room for more attractions with no additional cost to attendees. MSU’s Video Game Lab, where classic console and PC games can be used by library patrons, will be demonstrating a Virtual Reality console in the new space.
ELi spoke with Christina DeJong, a Criminal Justice professor at MSU who has been on the C4 board of directors for three years. According to DeJong, the Lansing-area Comic Con “is community-focused, and gives back to the community.”
One way C4 “gives back” is by donating one dollar from every ticket sold to the Capital Area Literacy Coalition. There’s also a scholarship contest which awards one current MSU student with a $1,000 commission to create an original artwork inspired by the Capital City con. Contestants enter an original comic that is judged by a comprehensive jury panel, and the winner receives a dedicated table at the Con to showcase and/or sell their work.
“People who are really passionate about this kind of stuff love the opportunity to celebrate” DeJong said. “We have a lot to offer a lot of different people. We make sure that we highlight the work of the creators in our own community, and we provide opportunity for local comic artists and craft-people to show off work. We have a lot of [artists] in our community who are trying to make a living.”
What is a Comic Con?
The largest Comic Con in the country is the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC). It began in 1970 as a comic convention and is now a four- day event with 167,000 people in attendance. SDCC is a multi-genre con that includes Japanese comic books (known as “manga”) and Japanese animation (“anime”), comic books, novels, toys, board games, video games, classes, movie and TV panels with actors and creators, independent films, and costume contests.
Other events have a wide variety of size and topics. GenCon in Indiana has 60 thousand participants and focuses on tabletop gaming, such as Dungeons and Dragons. Pax East and West, in Seattle and Boston have 70 thousand attendees and are technology based. Blizzcon in California is put on by the video game company Blizzard, creators of World of Warcraft. ShutoCon in Lansing is a relatively small Japanese manga and anime convention with six thousand fans attending in March 2017.
Featured at any comic con, large or small is Cosplay- a mix of the words “costume” and “play”. Cosplayers create costumes interpreting their favorite characters from comics, movies, TV shows, novels, etc. Cosplay can be as simple as wearing the right shirt and pants, and as complicated as a full suit of armor with LED-lit weapons and wings. At large cons, competition entries are often created by a team of people.
When asked about cosplay, DeJong of Capital City Comic Con said “People love to dress up. It’s an escape for a lot of cosplayers…like being a celebrity walking around in costume. If I could have met the real Wonder Woman (or who I thought was the real Wonder Woman) back in the 70’s that would have been something. Just to see the kids’ eyes when they walk in to see their favorite heroes (or antiheroes) is very exciting”
This year, C4 expects to host the “501st Legion-Vader’s Fist” Stormtroopers and the Mandalorian Mercs bounty hunters, both from the Star Wars universe, the Ghostbusters and a group of Steampunk cosplayers.
Tickets to Capitol City Comic Con are $15, and children under eight are free. Tickets may be pre-purchased online or at the Breslin Center box office window. Due to the new construction around the Breslin, parking will be free.
The Breslin Center is located at 534 Birch Rd., and directions are available here.
This article was originally published Monday, August 14, 2017.