by Jeremy Rogers
Indiana Comic Con is a yearly convention that caters to fans of all things related to comic books. With film festivals, panels, exhibits, contests, celebrities, and a huge exhibition floor for vendors and artists, there is bound to be something at the convention for casual comic fans and hardcore collectors alike.
With all the diversity usually present at such conventions, interesting people are always right around the corner. Here are a few profiles of just some of the interesting people who attended Indiana Comic Con 2018.
Part of the convention experience for many people is dressing up like a favorite character, or cosplaying. The practice is so common, most pop culture conventions have contests to give recognition to the best costumes of the conventions. As such, many people at conventions cater specifically to the costume-wearing crowd with their services.
Zero Point 3D
For most cosplayers, the best memento of a particular costume once the hair, makeup, props, and prosthetics are all in place is a picture. Thanks to the ingenuity of one Florida Atlantic University student, cosplayers can have a three-dimensional figurine of themselves in their cosplay to keep forever.
Being a cosplayer himself, a student named Justin wanted to make an Iron Man helmet for a costume he was working on and subsequently discovered the capabilities of 3D printing. Later in his college career, Justin saw a demonstration of digital imaging scanners and made a mental connection linking scanning, 3D printing, and cosplay. Five years and three Indiana Comic Cons later, consumers can now purchase full color figurines of themselves posing in their very own cosplay outfits.
Brie, the cosplay repairer
Not everyone offering services to cosplayers needs years of software background or the newest custom made technical equipment. Sometimes all a person needs is a toolbelt, some experience, and a helpful attitude.
Brie stood just outside the main exhibition hall of Indiana Comic Con 2018 offering her experienced hand to anyone in need of a temporary fix. Having previously been a seamstress at a drycleaner, Brie had been interested in costume and makeup work for years, so it seemed natural to offer her skills up to the people of Comic Con. One of the convention’s unsung heroes, over a dozen people tapped Brie’s supply of paint, prosthetic glue, super glue, and needle and thread to keep themselves held together on Saturday alone. For future cons, she said she’ll come prepared with hot glue as well.
Dorian Weinzimmer and Brant McCrea met in a Chicago film school, and after all of their friends and classmates left for the coasts to pursue their film careers, Dorian and Brant planted their roots in Chicago to make films in the Windy City.
Together they decided to write a film together, and after over five years, Chicago Rot was finally done. When describing the film, it’s director Dorian said that Chicago Rot is, “a rock n’ roll, revenge, thriller, horror, surreal, sci-fi clusterfuck.” The film’s lead actor Brant also helped compose the music for the film, describing the aesthetic as “ether punk.” A big inspiration for the film were Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits (1981) and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981).
The main character of Chicago Rot saw his mother murdered in front of him as a child, and he believes his soul was stolen from him in that moment. From that point on, he starts a lifelong quest to hunt down his mother’s murderer but kills a police officer in the course of his quest which lands him in prison. The film picks up as the now middle age Les is released back onto the streets of Chicago, using his newfound freedom to finally get his revenge.
Also working on the project is Ball State alumna and former writer for the Ball State Daily News, Kelly Kerr. Kelly was helping promote the film at the convention and served as an executive producer for Chicago Rot as well.
Weinzimmer did not share how the ether punk costumes play into the plot; he simply said “You’ll just have to watch the film to find out.”
Exhibition floors at conventions are usually composed of three main areas: the celebrity guest area, the vendor stalls, and Artist Alley. Artists sell everything from their own novels, their paintings, stickers, keychains, posters, and more.
Tiffani Stuart (of Cephiad Art) and Jordan “Stick Lizard” Nelson
Sharing a single stall in the middle of Artist Alley, Cephiad Art and Stick Lizard both displayed and sold their art to the attendees of the convention. Stuart said that her inspiration for her art was from all the television, movies, and music she consumes. She said she loves the look customers get in their eyes when they see a piece they love. Nelson, who was “tabling” her first convention, took a break from her job in the medical field to provide the art she had always looked for at previous conventions. For her, the fulfilment came from seeing customers find the art they had always wanted to collect in her works.
Likely chosen because he worked hard and got his work in on time at Scholastic, Tim Jacobus was picked to do some illustrations for a few children’s horror books. At the time, it wasn’t a bad gig, but Tim didn’t think much of the job. He certainly didn’t expect it to be a defining moment of his whole career.
The Goosebumps book series spawned a sizable franchise in the wake of the original series’ success. For each book cover, Tim made three different drawings for the publishers to choose from, and he estimates that after doing the illustrations for the original Goosebumps series and for Goosebumps 2000, Tim has likely made over 300 cover illustrations, most of which will likely never be seen.
Making his first convention appearance ever, Tim was selling some of the artwork that’s available on his website. Between fielding comments about past illustrations, he gave advice to perspective artists. He said, “Just draw because you like it. You have a thousand bad drawings in your hand, and the sooner you get them out, the better. Don’t listen when people tell you to, ‘Get a real job.’”
No con would be complete without a collection of cosplayers representing the full spectrum of pop culture characters.
Click the image below to see more from the convention!
Interviews conducted by: Aiden Kearney, Angelina Moreno-Wanzer, Emily Reuben
Photography by: Jeremy Rogers, Angelina Moreno-Wanzer
Video by: Angelina Moreno-Wanzer, Emily Reuben, Daley Wilhelm
Jeremy is a News Journalism and Telecommunications Major and aPolitical Science and American History Minor. Jeremy is serves as Byte’s News Editor (2017-2019). He also writes reviews, features, and guest stars on podcasts.