For several years, I have traveled around the United States and Canada, mixing with “my people” and weaving through the crowded passages that make up the show floor of a convention. In a crowd of thousands in Anaheim, California, I have met people from my very own city. In Niagara Falls and Toronto, Ontario, I have spoken to people who have traveled from Buffalo or Syracuse, New York. Why are these fans forced to travels hundreds or thousands of miles for these sorts of events?
Enter Flower City Comic Con. This may not be Rochester’s first convention – it isn’t even the only event this weekend – but for many local fans, this is their first step into a larger world.
For decades, comic book fans were a minority. Comic book conventions were limited to comic books. Over time, these events have been taken over by all strains of pop culture, from the classic comics to movies and television. The guest lists expanded from artists and creators to movie stars. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens shot on Kodak film and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 featuring a disguised version of our own East Main Street, it is fitting for Rochester’s sci-fi and superhero fans have one more venue to show their passion.
Flower City Comic Con brought stars ranging from Power Rangers to professional wrestlers, and comic artists responsible for the likes of Batman and The Incredible Hulk. Replicas of Doctor Who‘s TARDIS and Knightrider‘s Kitt were available for photo ops, as well as the 501st Legion’s Garrison Excelsior and Ghostbusters of Rochester.
Rochester is not home to the biggest convention I have attended, but I welcome any event that will bring the people of western New York into my city, and encourage the stars of the convention circuit to give Rochester, New York a chance.