Anime and cosplay fans in Red Deer rejoice; there’s a new comic expo in town.
The Red Deer Pop Culture and Cosplay Extravaganza is set to hit the Harvest Centre at Westerner Park this weekend and it’s bringing with it a slate of events that is sure to please any fan of geek culture.
The event, which is being put on by Starburst Events, was originally started as a way to bring the worlds of comic conventions and anime conventions under one roof.
“There’s comic cons and then there’s anime conventions and they almost seem like they’re totally different. The art’s different but one’s for one and one’s for the other,” said Dustyanne Evans, one of the organizers of the event.
So was born the Pop Culture Extravaganza, a two-day celebration of all things cosplay, comics, video games and entertainment.
Evans said having a comic convention in Red Deer is important because it allows people in that community to get together and celebrate their passion without having to drive to Calgary or Edmonton to experience the much larger conventions that they offer.
“I’m only 29 and when I was in high school being a nerd or being an anime fan you were like the ultimate freak. But nowadays it’s getting to the point where it’s almost the new cool,” she said, adding that part of what draws people to that community is the fact that there are no barriers to becoming a part of it.
“The nice thing about cosplay or comic books or video games and all that stuff is that it’s not exclusive. You don’t have to be super fit to fit in kind of thing like sports kids. You can take anybody of any gender, any age — anything — and put them into a room together, throw in a Doctor Who reference and you can go for hours on that.”
Panels that will be hosted at the new show will include topics such as an Introduction to Steampunk hosted by Mike Johnson, Pretending to Adult with Arty McFly, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hosted by the Central Alberta Quidditch Team and a panel discussing the NCR from the popular video game Fallout hosted by Those Fallout Guys.
“We have a lot of cosplayers coming. We actually are running two different cosplay contests,” Evans said, noting there will be a separate contest for adult and kids cosplayers looking to show off their creations.
There will also be the usual myriad of artists and retail vendors on hand for participants to browse through.
Special guests at the event include Felicia Does Stuff and Hotshot Cosplay.
The show runs this Saturday and Sunday in the Harvest Centre at Westerner Park.
For more information on the Red Deer Pop Culture and Cosplay Extravaganza or to purchase tickets you can check out the event web site at www.starburstevents.ca/rdpopculture.