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South Texas Comic Con Draws Thousands of Fans

Cosplayers dressed up as their favorite characters from television, movies, animation and video games at the 5th Annual South Texas Comic Con. Photos: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Fans of comic books, superheroes and science fiction movie characters flooded the McAllen Convention Center during the 5th Annual South Texas Comic Con.

South Texas Comic Con is a pop culture celebration where fans of comic books, fantasy, sci-fi, gaming and other genres can gather to meet artists, actors, writers, and publishers and to make friends with people who share their interests. Fans enjoy autograph sessions, photo ops and Q&A panels with celebrities, cosplay contests, art workshops, video and card gaming tournaments, the Artist Alley, Vendor Market, Kid’s Comic Universe and more.

The three-day pop culture event, now in its fifth year, has grown from just under 5,000 attendees to just over 20,000 people visiting over the course of the weekend.

Julianne Gaytan and Ale Garza, students at La Feria Emergency Education Training Center, talk to a couple Comic Con fans.

The convention was held on April 27-29 this year and featured many of today’s popular television and movie icons such as ChristyCarlson Romano, Yaya Hahn, Greg Baldwin, Jim Beaver, Cam Clarke, Joey Lauren Adams, Scott Wilson, Will Friedle, Jason David Frank, Mart Steger, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Kristian Nairn, and many more.

Superman Dean Cain, who is best known for playing the dual role of Clark Kent/Superman in the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman television show and star in dozens of movies and TV shows, was one of the many celebrities who held question and answer sessions.

One of Cain’s revelations was he is afraid of heights and mentioned two of his most terrifying experiences were while he stood on Australia’s Sydney Harbour Bridge and on Toronto’s CNN Tower, which stands more than 553 feet high.

“When you are an actor you make yourself appear real in imaginary circumstances,” he said. “I don’t like or feel comfortable of heights at all.”

Cosplayers pose for photos at this year’s South Texas Comic Con. Photos: Tony Vindell/LFN

Cain said he likes to be known as the good man in Superman, not as the horrible character in the God’s Not Dead movie.

Many of the people attending South Texas Comic Con came from throughout the Rio Grande Valley and showed up in cosplay as their favorite characters from movies, anime and comic books.

Cosplay, a contraction of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. The rapid growth in the number of people cosplaying as a hobby since 1990s has made the phenomenon a significant aspect of popular culture in Japan and some other parts of Asia and in the Western world. Cosplay events are common features of fan conventions and there are also dedicated conventions and local and international competitions, as well as social networks, websites and other forms of media centered on cosplay activities.

Lois and Clark star Dean Cain was a special guest at this year’s South Texas Comic Con.

South Texas Comic Con has a strong cosplay presence each year and guest professional cosplayers attend the convention to meet and take pictures with fans.

“This is awesome!” said one Rio Grande City participant dressed up as Qui-Gon Jinn, said.

“Everybody is real friendly here.”

Ivana Rodriguez and her family said they had been to several of the conventions held over the last few years by  Kaboom Comics and South Texas Conventions owner Ramsey Ramirez.

“We first attended Horror Con,” said the Brownsville resident. “It’s evolving. The costumes people wear today are a lot different. We really enjoy coming here.”

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