Woke up at 8:30 today and thought I’d let the Spawn sleep in a bit, since we didn’t have to check out til noon. At ten, I thought I’d check and make sure I was right about the time, so I rang the front desk, the occupant of which told me that checkout was at 11:00. Oops.
So I woke the Spawn, tried to get my hair from Bedhead Level 2 to Presentable, and packed up while the Spawn got her stuff together. We made it out with time to spare, and I can now attest that both hotels in the building are quite pleasant. We walked over to IHOP once more, and although there was a bit of a Father’s Day delay, we had another very satisfactory breakfast.
By the time we were done, it was a bit past noon, and while we entertained the thought of heading back for another round, I have papers to grade for tomorrow, so we bade Charlotte adieu and headed back to Mondoville. However, I still have a few odds and ends I had meant to blog earlier.
One of the Spawn’s favorite parts of the whole business is checking out the cosplayers — she has been known to do a bit of that herself, although she remained in mufti this year. As usual, the effort and ingenuity that folks put into their outfits — and in some cases, their childrens’ outfits — was remarkable. I didn’t see Irving Forbush this year, but there were numerous folks from multiple eras of geekdom around. A favorite of mine was a young couple doing Namor and his consort — I’m always glad to see characters that require some experience to recognize. There was also a pretty good group of meddling kids I encountered at one point.
While the Spawn and I were taking a break yesterday, a quartet of young women arrived at the table next to ours. One was playing Emma Frost, but I noticed a statuesque woman playing Batgirl (Barbara Gordon edition). I was pretty sure I recognized her from previous years — if she was who I thought she was, she had played Phoenix on numerous occasions, so I’m guessing the auburn hair is her base color. We were sitting in an atrium, and looking down, the woman noticed a toddler in Batgarb, riding her dad’s shoulders, and looking our way with wonder. Our Batgirl smiled and waved, and the toddler blew her a kiss. When she turned back in our direction, I struck up a conversation.
She was telling some of her friends about the little girl, and I said, “That’s gotta be a cool feeling.” She agreed, and I asked her how many different characters she played.
“This weekend, or total?”
“Both, I guess.”
“Well, I’m doing four this weekend, but I’ve got 56 different costumes.” I mentioned a former student of mine who is something of a semipro cosplayer, getting invitations to appear at these events, and even snagging gas money on occasion, and I asked her if she did that sort of thing. Batgirl told me she’s a volunteer, and does a lot of her cosplay for Make-A-Wish and other charitable venues. She’s based in the Charlotte area, and spends a lot of her weekends in her secret identities. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch her name, but I’m sure I’ll see her again next year.
In fact, I think one of the coolest things about the cosplayers is their charitable side. Every year, I see Klingons, Stormtroopers, and Ghostbusters, among others, raising money for various worthy causes. Again, I’m always happy to see people doing things they love while showing love for others in need. The line “Not all heroes wear capes” has become yet another ironic meme — part of the currency of our age — but some still do, and others wear jumpsuits or Star Wars battle gear.
This was the sixth or seventh HeroesCon we’ve attended, and I’ve noticed that there seems to be a greater diversity of fandoms in attendance. During our early visits, zombies seemed to be the order of the day, both in terms of costumes and stuff available for purchase. This year I saw the usual bunch of Jokers and Harley Quinns, but I also saw fans of various webcomics, cartoons, live action shows and video games maneuvering through the aisles. A number of these evoked nostalgic reactions from the Spawn. “You’re twenty,” I said. “You don’t get to be nostalgic yet.” But then I remembered feeling like that from time to time even when I was in my teens, so I guess I’ve no room to talk.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s installment, the Spawn and I saw the Wonder Woman movie last night (Interestingly, the title is never used in the movie’s dialogue.) On the way out of the theater, I saw a family of four — Mom, Dad, and two girls who were likely in the single digits. Mom and the two daughters were all clad in WW gear. As the dad of a geek girl, this pleased me a great deal.
As was the case last year, one corner of the convention floor was occupied by videogames and a pinball machine or two, on loan from Charlotte’s Abari game bar. I got in a few rounds of Rampage, but was less successful than I was last year with Karate Champ. I did get to have a brief chat with one of Abari’s managers, asking him if they happened to have my all-time favorite game. Unfortunately they don’t — apparently that one has become a collector’s item. Still, I got a kick out of knocking some buildings down, and just as was the case in the 80s, I impressed no girls whatsoever. The difference is that this time I knew I wouldn’t.
Well, I’ve been home now for nearly two hours, and those papers won’t grade themselves, so I’d better wrap this installment up. As ever, the Spawn and I had a great time, and it was another terrific Father’s Day weekend. Of course, as the Spawn continues to grow up, I wonder from time to time how long she’ll want to do this. “Until you drop dead,” she said. So, inshallah, we’ll be back at HeroesCon next year, for the 36th edition. Maybe we’ll see you there — and one of these days, I’ll be the one dressed as the Phantom Stranger.