Atlanta: A Hub for Geekdom
Atlanta: A Hub for Geekdom
Editor’s Note: An earlier version stated that Travaris Moorman’s name was Morris.
Comic books have completely taken over pop culture. Superheroes dominate the big and small screen. Avengers: Endgame was the biggest summer blockbuster of 2019 and Atlanta CW’s Arrow, which ends after season eight, is one of TVs most popular superhero shows.
It’s no surprise then that fans of superhero shows and comics themselves would find a place to meet. Atlanta Comic Con (ACC), owned and produced by Imaginarium LLC, debuted last year at the Georgia World Congress Center. It is one of several conventions the company produces around the country in locations including Tampa, San Francisco and Wisconsin.
Atlanta, a hub for geekdom, hosts conventions like Anime Weekend Atlanta and Dragoncon for fans of anime and science fiction. Atlanta Comic Con caters to a specific group of comic book fans.
ACC brings in about twenty comic book creators and multiple stars related to both comic books and pop culture for fans to interact with. Last year stars like Blade Runner’s Sean Young and Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis debuted at the convention.
This year, the convention hosted Afua Richardson, creator of World of Wakanda: Black Panther, and stars like Val Kilmer, Bonnie Wright, and the original voices of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Townsend Coleman, Cam Clarke, Barry Gordon and Rob Paulsen.
ACC hosts multiple panels and events like LARPing (Live Action Role Play) and discussions about working in the comic book industry as a woman. Star signing is a major part of any convention.
Fans can can pay to get anything autographed by their favorite celebrity or voice actor. It was an overwhelming experience to meet the voices of their childhood heroes, and there were plenty of teary eyes. For those who grew up watching TMNT, it was a moment to introduce their family to the creatives that inspired them and influenced their childhoods.
While the voice actors provided pictures to sign, individuals came up with an assortment of Funko Pop figures, vintage toys and unopened original editions of action figures to be signed. One fan’s parents named him after the Ninja Turtle Michelangelo; his first name was Michael and his middle name Angelo. Another fan sported a full sleeve tattoo of the Turtles. Many fans brought their own artwork of the turtles to be signed or gifted to the voice actors.
Cosplaying is essential for conventions like this. It’s a passion that’s spanned 17 years for people like Travaris Moorman, an up and coming voice actor and cosplayer. Moorman got his start cosplaying his sophomore year of high school and hopes to inspire and encourage black cosplayers to be more involved.
Attendee Xavier Moss recently connected with cosplay and considers it to be a passion of his. Moss had been going to conventions for years before he started cosplaying. He debuted outfits from his favorite fandom of Captain America and Thor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently, and is branching out to other outfits and fandoms. Besides a showing of skill and dedication to the industry, cosplay is just another way for fans to show how much they care about their respective fandoms.
Comic book conventions like Atlanta Comic Con are a labor of love for attending fans. ACC had its second year of success and will most likely be sticking around for the foreseeable future as an alternative for conventions like Momocon and Dragoncon.