Capes were flowing, make-up on point, wigs styled, props painted. Blazing Desert ComicCon was finally back for the nerds to enjoy. Thanks to Arizona Western College, this event just finished its fifth year, and this time it was inside!
Thanks to the City of San Luis, BDCC was hosted at the Southwest Junior High School gym. It’s a rather small convention but the community is still growing. Various rooms hosted panels and workshops as well as card and videogame tournaments. Some tables were selling and promoting products, though some appeared to be bootlegged.
Attendees love to dress up as their favorite characters and strut their hard work. Some major cosplayers even came down for the event as guest judges for the Masquerade. Heartless Aquarius, AZPowergirl and Pretend Princess are known by the online community for their amazing outfits.
“We’re all just big kids wearing costumes,” said AZPowergirl.
All had started dressing up because of their love for a series. Heartless Aquarius dressed up with her family a lot and one day stumbled onto the San Diego ComicCon and realized that wearing costumes didn’t have to wait until Halloween. PretendPrincess started about ten years ago as a hobby and just posted her work online to create a fanbase. AZPowergirl first cosplay was back in 2010 for a charity group, and she began to grow from there by being a guest in comic book stores and eventually conventions.
They don’t make money out of it, but they are invited to “cons” as guests. They love meeting other fans and have even done some charity work in costume. They encourage everyone to cosplay as long as they are having fun.
A surprise guest this year was Vic Mignogna, whose Q&A panel was hosted in the large exhibitor hall. Mignogna is well known in the anime community as a voice actor who has done more than 200 different roles, the most famous being Edward Elric from the anime Fullmetal Alchemist.
Mignogna is also a musician who plays piano and has done live concerts and even dubbed lyrics in anime openings. He’s also an actor and started the web-series Star Trek Continues, where he plays his favorite character, Captain Kirk.
“It’s such an enormous privilege to come to events and meet people that like the work that I do,” Mignogna said, adding that he loves meeting his fans and travels as much as he can to conventions since he doesn’t know when people might stop caring about him.
During the panel he sang a little, cracked a few jokes and fixed the speaker that was acting up. He does work in audio, so he admitted it was driving him crazy when his microphone kept skipping. Afterward, he signed autographs and sold his headshots, stickers, CDs, and DVDs of his concert.
The big event of the night was the Masquerade, the cosplay contest judged by each cosplayer guest. It was free to sign up and show off your costume to the audience. Each contestant had thirty seconds to strut, act or sing if they wanted to.
Competition took place in several categories, but there were only 1st and 2nd place overall winners. Leticia Carrasco won 2nd for her Chun-Li cosplay from the game Street Fighter –
complete with her character’s signature kicks.
First place went to Genesis Rodriguez who cosplayed Monika from Doki Doki Literature Club. Her performance was reading poetry and singing the theme song of the game that only plays if you pass it.
Hopefully, next year BDCC will get bigger and better
Photos courtesy of Venessa Bejarano