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Nerding out at Ocean City Comic Con 2018

By Abigail Neely

As someone who loves comics, movies, and pop culture, the second Ocean City Comic Con was definitely something I was looking forward to. With seven anime screenings, eight different panels, and over 110 guest appearances and vendors, the 2018 Ocean City Comic Con truly had something for everyone.  

After the huge success that came from last year’s Con, the venue was moved from the Grand Hotel to the much larger Roland E. Powell Convention Center. According to one Comic Con volunteer, the new venue — five times bigger than the last — was large enough to hold six times amount of people as last year.

The excitement was contagious, and when making my way through the throngs of people looking at vendors, it was hard not to feel pride in geek culture for making such an event possible. When I talked to other guests and attendees, they shared similar sentiments.

Jimmy and Andrea from`Pizza Party Printing told me they felt that Ocean City Comic Con had a good, fun vibe, and were looking forward to meeting cool people and vendors when I talked to them early on in the day.

Jimmy and Andrea

Gunnar Adkins, dressed as Doctor Fate from DC Comics, was at Ocean City Comic Con last year. After nerding out over comic books together, we agreed that the amount of energy and enthusiasm at the event was undeniable.

Gunnar Adkins as Doctor Fate.

Energy and enthusiasm were definitely displayed by a gang of three Spidermen and a Deadpool, who ran around the convention acting as if they’d come straight out of the comics or movies.

Three Spidermans and a Deadpool.

James, who is one of the Eastern Shore Ghostbusters, told me how the variety of people that he meets at conventions is always his favorite part. He jokingly added that his least favorite part of conventions is trying not to blow all his money on merch and art, which is something I and many others can agree with after leaving with heavy bags and a lighter wallet.

Yep, there are Ghost Busters on the Eastern Shore.

Ally Blaze and Dynamite Webber, creators of Fantastic Cosplay, were selling some of their creations, and when I visited their booth, we compared costume making techniques. Dynamite Webber, who has been going to conventions since 2002, shared that one of his favorite parts of attending Cons is being blown away by the costumes that people come up with.

Ally Blaze and Dynamite Webber.

Yancy Wharton hosted the “So, you want to Cosplay?” panel. His favorite part about conventions is how people who are normally introverts rally around a common interest in hoards. A cosplay enthusiast, he finds costumes a way to have fun creating things while expressing your unique interests.

Cosplay panel host Yancy Wharton.

With so much interest in costumes, it’s not surprising how competitive the cosplay competition was. Children and adults crowded around a stage to see who’s creation would be deemed the best. The judges had an extremely difficult decision to make, and I was glad that I wasn’t in their shoes.

After dozens of different costumes, many of which I had never even heard of, the winners were declared. The first place winner, Krampus, is a costume that will creep me out forever.

Cosplay contest winners.

Overall, Saturday was another huge success. The Ocean City Comic Con has once again exceeded my expectations, and I know that I, and many others, have just as high hopes for next year.

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