While the Wizard World Comic Con has put roots down in New Orleans, the locally run NOLA Comic-Con returns this weekend (Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15) for a two-day comics convention for comic book, sci-fi and fantasy fans and pop culture inhalers.
Exhibitioners include the Star Wars costuming group the 501st Legion, Lafayette comic artists Kody Chamberlain and Rob Guillory (whose comic Chew is getting picked up by the Showtime network), webcomics, and New Orleans artists Kevin P. Johnson, Tim Lattie, Robby Musso, Vernon Smith and Tedd Walley, among other convention guests.
There also are a number of events, from Q&A's with industry insiders to "Star Wars Collecting and the Current Economy: A Round-Table Discussion."
If you've never been to a "con," well, they're not quite "Conventioneers Gone Wild" — like the software engineer who came to New Orleans for a few hours of code-writing workshops, then left a steamy trail of Craigslist Missed Connections on Bourbon Street before going home to Iowa and staring into the void of a blinking cursor, longing once more to empty Gretchen's hard drive. (This didn't happen. But I wouldn't be surprised if it did.)
No, it's more a mobile, multi-dimensional D&D campaign party with less gameplay, more theatrics and enough distractions to keep the most desensitized, over-stimulated brain working overtime.
There will be a guy whose hubris sprang to life through his purchase of more than one replica lightsaber. (And then there's a guy who builds his own, and therefore is better than, etc.) Throw in some scantily clad lady cosplayers, and you'll notice social awkwardness among con goers is but a myth. There are more raging hormones at a comic convention than inside Clearview Mall on a Friday night, even when there's a new Saw movie out.
Beyond anxious teens, there are dozens of local artists in the comics (and comix) world with endless interesting stories to tell — with most outside of the zombies and sci-fi genres.
And there are attendees like this guy:
And there are endless comic books and other bits of literature, forgotten films and pop culture fragments worth digging into, whether its the latest comic from your favorite publisher, or, even if you've remained totally ignorant of all of the above, there's something worth geeking out over.
The convention is at the Westin New Orleans at Canal Place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Admission is $20 a day, or $30 for both days. Check the group's Facebook page for updates.