Spoiler Alert: I think Wakandacon may just be my favorite con.
Yeah, I've attended lots of cons. I've volunteered with a few too. But man, this one is top-notch.
What can I say? The volunteers were great, seriously ALL of them. The vendors were extremely friendly. Heck, Leia from Just Play Entertainment was nice enough to do a demo of her game "Hip Hop Charades" with us. It was a hilariously good time. I'm definitely buying the online version of this game.
Family-Friendly And They Mean It
One thing I also loved about the con is that it doesn't preach about being a family-friendly convention, Wakandacon just is. They have more than just a play area for kids. Kids can have their own panels and even a STEM booth was set up for them. There were no side-eyes at crying children but overall, the kids seemed extremely happy to be there. I think I'll be bringing my (not so) little Bby-8 next year. I definitely think Leslie should bring her Geeky Baby one year
Panel: Cosplaying While Black
I'm disappointed that I couldn't clone two of me for just that day because there were SO MANY amazing panels and I couldn't go to them all. Some of those panels were "Melanin and Mental Health", "Taking Black Magic to New Heights: Diversifying the Space Industry", and "Queerkanda".
The discussion was revolved around things we already know and experience as black and brown cosplayers. The two biggest takeaways were:
- Black cosplayers get so much more hate than a white person doing the same cosplay
- because of that, it can be extremely emotionally taxing to cosplay while black.
We as POC know this, but it was so validating to hear. I hate when I bring up an issue with racism in cosplay and people dismiss me by saying "Nooooo, we are all the one race: the human race"
That's great, but it still doesn't solve the issue of people threatening us and calling us "apes".
These cosplayers shared their pain, but they also shared their strengths. This panel was full of inspirational people who give back to their communities and are overall strong and positive people. They inspire anyone who wants to cosplay to go out and DO IT. There was even a short slide showing the panelist and their cosplay evolutions. It really proved that your craft gets better over time.
I LOVED all of their cosplays, but my absolute favorite cosplay was Ashhuhlee who was cosplaying as Max dressed as Powerline from A Goofy Movie
For those of ya'll who don't know, it's this scene from the movie:
All of these cosplayers worked super hard to put on this panel and it turned out amazing. If you want to get to know them, here are their Instagrams:
Icy Ace Cosplay IG: @d.etheridge.alpha
Outta Line Cosplay IG: @outtalinecosplay
Lusciously_Wicked Cosplay (with Javon Jackson. They are engaged and cosplay together awwww) IG: @Lusciously_Wicked Cosplay
SuperDan6488 Cosplay IG: @danlemon88
Ashhuhlee IG: @ashhuhlee
Suga Bear Co IG: @sugabearco
Cosplay Contest and Parade
Showing again how good this con is to their kiddos, they had the kiddos come out first and I about drowned in cuteness. The "awwwww"s never stopped.
The adults still came and showed out. Congrats to the winner Dr. Esquivel Ph.D. It lights up!!!
After the contest. There was a cosplay parade. As the line of cosplayers circled around the convention center, they began Jabari Tribe chants that echoed throughout the halls of the convention center.
I L I V E D!
I'll admit, whether I'm working or doing press at a con, I am not the greatest at remembering to eat. I know I know I need to take care of myself, but it is what it is. my mind just isn't on food.
So imagine my surprise as I came across this lovely booth with cupcakes and chocolate turtles. Sweet Tooth Confections by Ariel "Cocoa" Scott was a lifesaver at that moment. But when I tell you how DELICIOUS this cupcake was...woo chile... I am so sad I don't live in Chicago. But she did say she would try to see about shipping cupcakes in the future. So that's good. You will hear my shout from the rooftops if that happens.
Overall, it was an amazing day at an amazing con. I am a die-hard fan now. Wakandacon forever. I don't want to leave.