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Students study superheroes at Comic Con

February 10, 2017

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Fouts - INTG Reflections students with the Justice Corps of Iowa at Comic Con in Cedar Rapids, IA. Pictured from left to right: Thelma Cruz, Sarah Fouts, Shea Sievers, Luke Long and Easton Schaber.

Last Saturday the Integrated Studies course titled Great Power, Great Responsibility traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to attend the Comic Book Convention aptly named Comic Con. The class is taught by Communication Studies professor Chris Goble, who has been an avid fan of the comic book genre ever since he was a kid. The aim of the expedition was to place the students into a totally new and different culture, than the one they are familiar with, while also engaging with cosplayers to see who they are and why they choose to cosplay.

Cosplaying is when a person decides to dress up as a character in a comic, show, movie, or game and take on that character’s persona. Throughout the entirety of the convention, one person could not walk around for more than a few feet without seeing a cosplayer. For some people, cosplaying is their purpose for attending Comic Con. Cosplaying has become so popular that there are Cosplay contests with different age categories. At the Cedar Rapids Comic Con, the cosplay contest was so popular that there was not enough space in the largest room available, and there were people lining outside just to get a glimpse of the action.

This year, Cedar Rapids Comic Con’s attendance was the highest it has ever been with over 10,000 people taking part. At this convention there are two main levels that the public can take part in. The first level has all of the vendors that sell comics, posters, toys, collectibles, games, and other miscellaneous objects. The second level is where people explore video and table top games. Such games range from Super Mario Bros. to Dungeons and Dragons. The second level is also where there are various informational panels on comics, upcoming events in the comic industry, and news from famed artists and writers.

For many students, this trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity to safely immerse oneself into a new environment, but for others, a door opening to a new hobby or lifestyle. Junior Kaila Heitter commented about her first time at a comic book convention while having almost no knowledge about comics in general. “Yeah, I have never read a comic before joining this class, but I always learn something new. The convention was definitely interesting to say the least.” Similarly, Junior Sebastian Hernandez genuinely enjoyed the experience. “I had never been to a Comic Con before, and it was really eye opening. I have only ever seen Comic Con on TV, and by engaging with these lovers of comics it made me want to go to another Comic Con in the next few years.”

Riley Hess
News Editor

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