By Max Hurwitz
[Editors note: Almost all my friends’ kids like comics, but one in particular has been a comics collector practically since he could stand up. What’s a comic con like from the teen view? Here’s all that he would divulge to the olds – you’ll have to find the rest on TikTok. ]
When people think of Portland, Oregon they often think of riots, marijuana, hipsters, homeless and of course marijuana. But in more recent times the Rose City has seen the establishment of a large and incredibly welcoming comics community, which has only continued to grow in size over the past decade since the establishment of the first Rose City Comic Con. Its popularity has grown to become the primary gathering point for all fandoms, a three day celebration of comics culture, the arts and Anime.
My name is Max Hurwitz and I have been to many comic cons in my life, San Diego primarily, And now I am the world’s leading teenage comic con reviewer. Let me tell you about Rose City Comic Cons’s tenth anniversary.
Like most comic cons, Rose City featured a wide variety of creators ranging from indie comics and small time artists alongside larger individual creators and companies like NBC, and obligatory celebrity appearances, traditional for every major comic convention.
I’m going to begin by covering some of the larger celebrity appearances and panels relating to them. Giancarlo Esposito made a guest appearance no doubt exciting the Breaking Bad fans. Sean Astin and Elijah Wood, both known for their work relating to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, had booths, with Elijah Wood charging $100 per autograph. And if you like the Hobbit trilogy Sylvester McCoy, who was also the seventh doctor in Doctor Who, was there. Rainn Wilson, our dunder mifflin (The Office) lord appeared in a panel explaining why his Office spinoff failed. And if you like anime there were many voice actors who brought joy to countless children’s lives, including Sean Schemmel who was the voice of Goku in the DragonBall cartoons and Christopher Sabat, voice of All-Might in My Hero Academia. But most importantly, Billy Dee Williams and Levar Burton were also making appearances. Rose City Comic Con had a very solid celebrity lineup which is expected for a larger convention, but this year they went all out, getting actors from a wide spectrum of fiction.
Sorry to go on a side tangent but I actually have experience with Elijah Wood as of yesterday. One of my friends who shall remain nameless bought a photograph to sign, utilizing what I like to call “Parents money,” a seemingly infinite resource. Now while waiting in line there was a massive group of Hobbit fans, cheering every single time Elijah Wood looked in his direction, which is honestly sorta wholesome. When we managed to finally reach the front of the line and see Elijah Wood through a plexiglass window, in a shocking turn of events, he isn’t actually a hobbit. But he did have that very beautiful shining light of Eru Ilúvatar. Now would I say it was the best experience, probably not, no. Was it a little overpriced, probably. But was it worth it? Maybe, I really don’t know because Elijah Wood is important to certain groups of people and I’m just a teenager who doesn’t know how to pronounce ‘Zendaya’. My thoughts on inter-nerd factionalism should not be spread.
We all know comic cons are for all lovers of fiction and storytelling. But no discussion on any comic con would ever be complete without a mention of cosplayers. Since Portland isn’t the largest cosplay convention, you wouldn’t see the same quality of costumes one might see in San Diego, but there is a small and determined cosplay community who make intricate and somewhat terrifying designs. If I was to go over statistics of cosplayers, it would be around 42 percent anime characters, primarily catgirls and maids, but also featuring multiple “Hatsune Mikus”. Around 8 to 20 percent Marvel Characters and 10 percent internet personalities or characters from short story youtube animations or series. And maybe around 8 percent video game/game characters and personality, think anything from Halo to Warhammer 40k. Then there were the 7 percent horror characters. And the 10 percent Star Wars and Star Trek combined costume statistics. Multiple Mandalorians, Obi-wans, Darth Vaders and Picards. I would say the ratio of cosplay to non cosplayers would be around 50%, the average number for a comic con. The majority of cosplayers were youths, primarily teenagers. There were also multiple in-convention pop ups for costumes, head pieces, weapons and maid outfits, all spread around the floor.
The convention itself was incredibly chill, all fandoms lived together in a near perfect harmony. There wasn’t a large focus on panels or massive announcements (at least the day I went) like in larger conventions like Emerald City, New York or San Diego. It was focused on youth culture, and artistic expression more than comics history. A lot of booths were actually focused on art and posters, like, way more than you would think. I managed to buy this absolutely immaculate Wolverine print for only 25 bucks. But I’m getting sidetracked.
It was this aura of general relaxation, no one was taking anything seriously, and everyone was having a great time. As corny as it was, there was a dance floor. This has caused the image of Darth Vader and Hatsune Miku doing baby shark to be seared forever into my cranial cavity. Everyone of all ages seemed to be attending, which really brought together this city’s comic community and gave this sense of togetherness – that we are all connected through these hobbies. Portland has never really been the best city, but it has always had a strong community, whether that be politically, or in the sports world.
And that sense of unity was really strong, seeing photographs being taken and people complimenting costumes. Everyone was having a good time, and that is really the best thing I can say about this year’s Rose City Comic Con. It was a damn good time, 8.2/10
Photos by Max Hurwitz
Obligatory sleep paralysis demon joke
Rare Photo of Ryan Reynolds and his clone
Emo Scooby Doo team (Death Note cosplayers)
Some college student preparing to sell his fortune 500 company
The Master Chef preparing to confront the galaxies deadliest chef, Gordon Ramsey
Average Intel Employee