Once again Phoenix Comicon presented another great event and even though there were a few minor issues that popped up (like a fire alarm going off to end the convention or no sound in the presentation on one of Hell’s Kitty panels) it’s proving that there is no shortage of fun. Yes, the Phoenix Comicon staff should take a bow for the work they have done because they gave us all another terrific convention. This year was much bigger and there were indeed seemingly a few more exhibitors than there were last year.
However, like many conventions of this magnitude there was something noticeably different which is not the fault of Comicon but the humans attending. Yes, even some of the exhibitors mentioned what was lacking, and that is originality. This year there were some original costumes but the biggest dose of originality came from the writers, web producers and yes even some of the comic artists themselves. In conventions like these, there are a lot of those attending who dress like their favorite superhero so we end up seeing Iron Man, Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Halo, and a lot of other clones. It’s as almost as if human creativity has been slowed down or zapped from the face of existence.
Amongst all the clones at this convention there were pockets of original creativity, like a guy dressed like a cross between a human and a zebra. He was calling himself Zebra Man but it’s unknown what his superpowers are. There was also a lumberjack with wings and of course a superhero for cats called Calico which became a favorite for some attendees and even a few of the exhibitors. In fact, the biggest question attendees had that saw this hero for cats was whether not the cat inside the carrier was real. When they discovered it wasn’t, they were a bit disappointed. Even Amanda Tapping herself when first seeing the costume thought it was real until she saw it close up. I guess if you can fool a celebrity like her, you know you have a good costume or at least a solid prop.
When Calico was unleashed on Comicon, some people couldn’t understand what the character was. Is he a vampire (he has animal teeth) or is he just some guy who captured a cat with the intent on eating them? Actually, he’s neither. He’s a superhero that loves and saves cats from humans who will do bad things to them. It’s unique, it’s different and the concept is one of a kind. This is the type of creativity you can have sparked by things like Comicon. Amongst all the hero clones there is one that stood out and quite a number of people took photos.
When I told people that Calico was an original character and what the storyline was, their comments were very positive and they wanted to know when the comic book will be coming out. It may be some time before that happens, but when it does, we’re hoping to hand it out at least as a preview at local animal adoption events. It’s a unique way to reach people and educate people about the plight of cats. There will be messages in it regarding spaying and neutering your cat as well as to simply be more kinder to them. It has a real chance on reaching the public (especially kids) and maybe more cat rescues will get the help they need.
Overall, Phoenix Comicon was a big success and hopefully next year we’ll see more original costumes and less clones. You can expect to see Calico out at more adoption events promoting Safe Haven. The St. Francis Festival (aka the Blessing Of The Animals) might be the next time you see him as that event happens in October. Then again, plans can change as cosplay can happen just about anytime so be on the lookout. One thing’s for sure, now the cats have a superhero they can call their own.