Comicpalooza proves that pop culture isn’t just for nerds

Commentary by Edwin Vega
For The Fort Bend Star

(Photo by Edwin Vega)
A fan dressed in a costume of Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy poses as another fan holds a Baby Groot figurine on his shoulder during Comicpalooza, the annual pop culture festival held at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The festival attracted tens of thousands of people and no longer appeals just to comic book nerds.

Whether you’re a fan of Marvel Comics artist Arthur Suydam or actor Chuck Norris, Comicpalooza proves that pop culture isn’t just for nerds.

Perhaps Comicpalooza should be renamed, “Popculture-palooza,” because this convention does not just attract comic book nerds and geeks, but like everything else that becomes popular, it has evolved to attract anybody willing to spend money to see their favorite celebrity, or just get their comic book signed by the artist. People in the Houston area had the chance to do that last weekend as the annual festival was held at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Long gone are the days that a comic book convention was only for comic book readers and enthusiasts. Thanks to Netflix, Hollywood has become a major influence in the rise in popularity of comic book conventions. Within the past few years, Marvel has produced shows such as: “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage” and “Iron-Fist.” This is why conventions like Comicpalooza have become so popular, but this is a good thing!

It’s no surprise that film and television have a big influence in pop culture. Not only do fans appreciate the superhero film and TV genre, but also the actors portraying their favorite superhero or villain. Now, imagine a place where all these actors come together to meet their fans. Now your typical nerd gathering has become Comicpalooza, a place where anyone can participate in their individual interests, or have a photo opportunity with an actress, like Danielle Panabaker of “The Flash.”

Comicpalooza isn’t just for the hardcore comic book reader, and it shouldn’t be. One of the aspects that make Comicpalooza so unique and diverse is the cosplay culture.

Cosplay allows individuals to showcase their artistic abilities, by creating costumes, and portraying their favorite characters from science fiction and entertainment. This is one of the best reasons to attend Comicpalooza, because fans get to experience the creativity of fellow fans, and at the same time, make new friends.

What if you’ve never read a comic book, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry; it’s not the end of the world. Comicpalooza is the perfect place to interact with individuals who are just there, waiting for someone like you to ask them about comic books. Not only will vendors (who are also fans) point you in the right direction, and tell you what comic books and graphic novels to start with, but more than likely they are in possession of that particular issue. It’s a win-win situation for any beginner, because these individuals love talking about their favorite comic books and graphic novels.

Comicpalooza is one of those events that you’ll regret not going to if you miss it. Once you’ve attended your first Comicpalooza, there is no doubt that you will be looking forward to next year’s event. Mark your calendar for Memorial Day weekend 2018!

(Edwin Vega is an intern for The Fort Bend Star.)

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