The Annual Summer Pilgrimage to “Nerd Mecca” in Paradise

Honolulu Comic Con was held this past weekend at the Hawaii Convention Center. I attended Saturday’s festivities of the three day event alongside my childhood friend Justin Wong. This was the third year of the convention, and it was rife with vendors, panels, and famous actors. This was another nerd Mecca, so to speak. Another epicenter of activity where movie/television stars, comic book artists, voice actors, etc. come to meet the fans. During HHC’s first year, I met Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner, Selena, Battlestar Galactica, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, etc.), and was an honor to meet William Adama himself. Other famous individuals from fandoms included Gates McFadden (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Sean Maher (Firefly, Arrow), and many more.

Cosplaying is an important aspect of these conventions. During one year at an anime convention in Honolulu called Kawaii-Kon, I cosplayed as a Water-Bender from Avatar: The Last Airbender. My cosplay was created by a Quidditch friend at the time who lived in the mainland. This time at HCC, I went as Clark Kent taking a summer break in Smallville, hiding my Kryptonian/family crest underneath a plaid farmers-like shirt. Other attendees made more elaborate and spectacular cosplays for the con, some of them you’ll see within this article.

The Faces and Voices Behind Our Beloved Fandoms

The guest list at Honolulu Comic-Con included: Benjamin Byron Davis (Red Dead Redemption, Ant-Man and the Wasp), Anjali Bhimani (Overwatch, Fallout 4: Nuka World, Modern Family, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Sopranos, etc.), Amy Reeder (Eisner Nominee, comic book artist), Carolina Ravassa (Overwatch, Grand Theft Auto V, Max Payne III), the cast of The Dragon Prince on Netflix (Jesse Inocalla, Jack De Senna, Paula Burrows, Racquel Belmonte, Sasha Rojen), Mark Jackson (The Orville), Rose Mciver, (iZombie), Will Friedle (Boy Meets World, Kim Possible, Geek and Sundry’s Painter’s Guild), etc. Wil Wheaton was scheduled to come this year, but unfortunately he had to reschedule his appearance to 2020. Me and everyone at The Grand Geek Gathering hope all is well with him and his family. I, for one, hope to meet him next year and talk about Star Trek, etc.

Engineering Cosplay via STEM + Other Panels

The panel I attended on Saturday was at the behest of my friend Justin. He mentioned there was going to be a panel that talked about implementing STEM practices into building cosplay. The main speaker at the panel was Ericka Brown, local cosplayer who designed that brilliant sky blue Monster Hunter cosplay in the picture below. Many thanks go out to Justin Wong, and Maria Sittre-Fujii for taking these pictures of the panel that we attended. Ericka and her group went into great detail about the time, effort, and scientific know-how one has to commit to in order to make a great cosplay. Cosplaying is more than just dressing up as someone else outside of Halloween. It is an art form, one that takes years and years to perfect. The unique skills of each cosplayer is visible with their cosplay. A Padawan like myself has a long way to go to get to their level of expertise. For now, I will just learn from their sage wisdom, and ask for help when it comes to creating my next cosplay for future cons.

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Iron Man, Monster Hunters, and Darth Maul, Oh Myyyy!

Throughout the day, me and my friends saw many brilliant cosplays at Honolulu Comic-Con. Special thanks go out to Maria Sittre-Fujii for contributing some of her pictures for this article. In addition, if any cosplayers from Honolulu Comic-Con would like to be credited for their phenomenal hard work, feel free to contact The Grand Geek Gathering. We will endeavor to mention you accordingly within this article. Some of my favorites are from the Monster Hunter fandom, other video games like Nier: Automata, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, etc. Groups like The Last Outpost and the Pacific Outpost of the 501st Legion also attended. I have no doubt that each of these cosplayers will come up with a plethora of new cosplays come next year.

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“They’re Break-dance Fight…, I Mean, Medieval Cardboard Fighting!”

One of the last things I had the pleasure of seeing at Honolulu Comic-Con was medieval cardboard fighting. Hosted by the Manoa Medieval Combat Club, MMCC is a sport organization centered around fighting using foam “boffer” weapons. Located in Honolulu, they typically meet up every Wednesday at the University of Hawaii at Manoa between 4-6pm. Quoting their promotional handout given at con, they state that it’s a:

“Fun and inexpensive form of exercise. There’s all the trill of armed combat, none of the dismemberment! One can experience and explore the historical weapon tradition and techniques. Attendees can try that sweet “special move” from that one movie, video game, comic, etc. You can also learn how to build your own personal boffer weapons.”

Before I concluded my day at HCC, I recorded (forgive the bad camera skills) the final Free-For-All that occurred after all the combatants competed for 1st place. Remy Zane did some wonderful color commentary during each match, and it was a joy to watch my friend Timmy Schoenau (seen in the 1st picture below) participate and get to the finals. Fortunately, my picture taking skills are a bit better than my video skills. Thank you’s go out to Maria again for taking pictures of MMCC’s panel/demonstration

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“All Good Things…”

Honolulu Comic-Con was great experience filled with good memories. I want to thank my brothers and sisters at The Grand Geek Gathering and the administration team behind Honolulu Comic-Con for giving me this opportunity to attend this year. We shall see what 2020 has in store. Wil Wheaton is scheduled to attend next year, so I hope to have the honor to talk to him. His tenure as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation and in the movie Stand by Me, were my first introductions into his awesome career. I plan on asking Will what it means to be a nerd/geek in the 21st century, what’s on the horizon for him, as well as other questions next year. Rest assured that I will endeavor to chronicle all the stunning cosplays and informative panels as well. Till then, have a good summer, everyone. Live Long and Prosper.