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Mobicon returns in spectacular fashion

Fans+gather+for+the+annual+Mobicon+convention
Fans gather for the annual Mobicon convention

Fans gather for the annual Mobicon convention

Marissa Mason

Marissa Mason

Fans gather for the annual Mobicon convention

Marissa Mason, Managing Editor

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Over 1,543 comic fans attended Mobile’s annual comic convention, Mobicon, this May. Mobicon has brought actors, authors, artist, and other media guests from science fiction, fantasy, gaming, comics, anime, manga, horror, paranormal and mass media to Mobile.

“Mobicon embraces Geek culture to the fullest and leaves no stone unturned in making sure we have something fun going on for all ages,” Mobicon’s website, Mobilecomiccon.org, states.

At the convention, there are separate rooms for events, gaming, and artists and vendors. In the gaming rooms, there are usually two types of areas: video games and tabletop games. This year, Gulf Coast Gaming Events LLC set up their library of board games: the most extensive library of board games on the Gulf Coast. Members could rent the games for free and switch them out whenever as long as they remained in the gaming room.

Mobicon, a non-profit organization, donated to the Make a Wish Foundation, Bay Area Food Bank, Mobile SPCA, and other local organizations.

“The Mobicon Foundation is a charitable organization setup to build a qualified vendor list for STEM learning programs, games, kits and tools and is actively working to build a fund that will be accessible to academic instructors and advisers to help subsidize the cost of these tools for their classrooms,” Vice President of Mobicon Operations Jason Putnoky said. “The Mobicon Foundation believes heavily in the power of gaming as a learning tool to help build logical and problem-solving skills in people of all ages.”

Mobicon offered adults and children alike a rare chance to interact with their favorite stars during events tailored to their particular interests.

Around the vendor’s’ area, special guests set up tables to interact with attendees. This year, one of the notable guests was the singing voice of Sailor Moon, Jennifer Cihi. Originally unaware of the success of the show, Cihi now attends conventions to meet fans, hold concerts, and sign autographs.

“The convention world brings that confidence and you feel special when you come to conventions,” Cihi said. “It’s an equalizer. I believe that a lot of people that come to conventions are the underdog in their school or maybe they’re struggling, but this community at anime conventions really brings out everybody’s best attributes.”

Cihi held a Sailor Moon concert in one of the panel rooms. After the concert, the room quickly transitioned to the next event; a cosplay contest. The contest is often one of the spotlight events at a convention. The most fun, quirky, scary, intricate, and technologically advanced costumes are showcased in a comedic, fashion show-type event. Often the hosts and judges are special guests at the convention and the silly banter gives off a friendly atmosphere.

“There’s a major comradery,” Cihi said. “Here, everybody belongs to something and everyone is encouraging and uplifting one another. It’s very supportive.”

The costumes are usually pre-judged based on craftsmanship. Many people pour hundreds of hours into their home-made costumes. Category winners, special mentions, and finally the grand prize winner are announced after everyone has shown their costumes to the crowd. This year’s grand prize winners were Luella Peebles and Brian Hansen cosplaying as Lord and Lady Loki.

“Always be willing to try something new and don’t be afraid to go try things that you’ve never tried before,” Peebles said. “If you set your goals really high and you meet them, that’s great. If you fall a little bit short that’s okay as long as you’re having fun. That’s the most important part.”

Though this year’s convention has passed, there will be yet another gathering of heroes, magical girls, gamers, fans, and guests ready to spend another weekend living out their dreams and sharing good times with one another next May.

For more information about Mobicon or the Mobicon Foundation, visit mobilecomiccon.org.

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The student news site of The University of South Alabama
Mobicon returns in spectacular fashion