If I’m being totally honest, this is the first year I’ve ever attended Halloween ComicFest (HCF). I recently moved to Parkville, about three minutes (by car) away from Collector’s Corner (which can’t be good for my wallet). Having no plans on October 29th, I decided to stop by and see what HCF is all about. Standing just outside the shop, I could see superheroes of all ages, in all directions. Adults were talking to each other, Deadpools with Deadpools, a team of Power Rangers, etc. Kids were escorted by their parents, who held camcorders and cell phones out and at the ready.
Inside, I was greeted with friendly smiles, laughter, free comics (right?!), food, and drinks. The books this year are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Archie, Black Eyed Kids, Haunted Mansion, Harrow County, Scooby Apocalypse, Three Stooges, and so much more! This was a great bunch of comics to pick up.
I’ve never been one to “mingle,” so I sort of drifted to my usual horror section of books to check out what’s new at the 40% off that I could snag. But instead of wallowing in my isolationism and arguably minor horror obsession, I was sort of forced to push myself and talk to people—because they talked to me. This has happened before, but something very strange happened this time. I didn’t feel the awkwardness, condescension, or hesitance from the people at the shop. This, in turn, made me less awkward than usual. We got to talking about Frankenstein and Neil Gaiman and Cthulhu and everything in between. I felt as if I was talking to a longtime friend.
It became 8:00pm, and the costume contest was starting. I saw many great costumes from children to adults, and was thoroughly impressed by the effort that these outfits took. Even if someone was just wearing a Punisher shirt, he at least thought it through.
After seeing one amazing costume after another, two first place winners were chosen—and they deserved it. For the kids, a young boy dressed as a claw machine won, while a woman dressed as Vanellope von Schweetz (car included) took first place for the adults. These were insanely detailed and beautifully constructed costumes that absolutely deserved the recognition they got.
What’s most surprising and impressive is that the staff of Collector’s Corner kept cool, calm, and collected amidst the chaos that was Halloween ComicFest. With the temperature rising and a steady, constant 10 conversations at any given time, staff remained kind, friendly, considerate—pretty much perfect.
For someone who has never been to an HCF event before, I can safely say I’ve started a personal, annual tradition. I’ve come to find that HCF isn’t about free comics or free food/drinks or even winning a costume contest (although those are really awesome perks). It’s about bringing the community together in a safe, judgment-free zone to enjoy the one thing that makes each and every one of us happy. The comfort of my local comic shop on my favorite holiday gave me a more than enough reason to be proud of the community I’m in and the industry I work for. To find your local comic shop, visit www.comicshoplocator.com, and start a tradition of your own!