Hawaii is experiencing a boom in comic book conventions and just this past weekend, July 28th through 30th, fans were treated to the guests and fun of Comic Con Honolulu.
For having only been around a few years, Comic Con Honolulu has been steadily growing and building an impressive roster of talent as both media guests and in Artist’s Alley. Overall, the Con is smaller than what many people have come to expect (especially on the mainland), but provides a unique atmosphere for attendees. Fans will often bring malasadas (Portuguese donuts) for artists and guests and there’s an unwritten rule (to back up the written and clearly posted one) to not hassle the celebrities while they’re away from their signing tables. This allows them to wander the halls without trouble and, I’m guessing, makes an easier sell for new guests hearing about a relaxed convention that doubles as a Hawaiian vacation.
CCHonolulu looks to cater to fandoms of all kinds. Comic books, TV, movies, tabletop gaming, and video games all had their features. Jewel Staite and Colin Baker signed autographs in the main hall while a LAN tourney for League of Legends was held in the gaming room. It’s a good time for all of my personalities and their interests.
It actually takes people by surprise to think of cosplayers and the more extreme level of hobbyists whenever talking about Hawaii. It’s hard to travel with props and unwieldy bits, so not many elaborate pieces from the islands appear elsewhere. With this Con, it’s home turf advantage and, more and more, fans are finding reasons and opportunity to make their costumes.
Of its three days, I was able to attend CCHonolulu on Saturday and Sunday (Friday I had work and a karaoke birthday party and no one should be deprived of me warbling Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”). Sadly, my time wandering around or participating in any of the games and shopping kept me from getting pictures with most of the major celebrities. However, I promise you that Cary Elwes of The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and Psych walked past me in Artist’s Alley and I was appropriately shook. My greatest takeaway from this convention is to learn celebrity signing schedules better.
My personal highlight was a dinner at a sushi restaurant on Saturday night with David Mack. Thanks to some amazing friends in the local scene, I was invited along for a night of storytelling with the creative force behind Daredevil, Kabuki, and more! He’s a really interesting guy with some great stories about working with the likes of Brian Michael Bendis and Chuck Palahniuk.
The convention scene in Hawaii is growing. Maybe the cons are not a destination in an of themselves, yet, but they’re certainly worth planning around should you be looking for a tropical getaway.