News: Comic convention draws hundreds to community center
Story by Lance Cpl. David Hersey
CAMP FOSTER, Japan - Invulnerability, incredible speed and the ability to fly are just a few superpowers that draw people to comic books.
Fans brought their love of comic books, video games and movies to the third annual Comic Con Okinawa, hosted by Marine Corps Community Services May 4 at the Camp Foster Community Center.
Many children emulate their favorite superheroes as they grow up, according to Rebecca Baldwin, a library technician with MCCS Okinawa.
“The convention gives people of all ages an opportunity to dress up as their favorite superheroes and interact with other fanatics,” said Baldwin.
Comic Con was hosted in the Camp Foster Library for two years before moving to the community center due to increased popularity, allowing more space for guests and activities.
A shared interest in comics provided attendees with the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, according to Lance Cpl. Justin W. Ivie, an attendee at the convention and a calibration technician with 3rd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Groups, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“My favorite part of the convention was being able to get together with a group of friends who enjoy comics and video games as much as I do,” said Ivie.
The convention included video and board game stations, prize drawings, art contests, costume competitions and screenings of movies based on comic books.
Attendees were given the opportunity to meet famous anime and comic icon Justin R. Cook, the director of productions for Funimation Entertainment and voice actor in several popular anime movies.
Noah Bunyan, the 12-year-old author of the Lightning Man series, was also at the event to meet fans and answer questions.
“I love having the chance to meet people who are fans of what we do,” said Cook. “When I get to see how many people appreciate something that I’m a part of, it reminds me of why I do this.”
The large crowd did not dampen the spirits of those in attendance as they explored the assortment of collectibles and art pieces and took pictures with their favorite heroes and villains.
“I had a great time at the convention this year,” said Ivie. “I wish I was still going to be in Japan this time next year, so I could come back!”