Comics are everywhere. In the boom of the small comics event, even the LA Zoo staged a “Comics Jungle” event last Saturday geared at kids but drawing in families, artists, illustrators, and cosplayers. The event which advertised to come dressed as your favorite comic book hero, and partake of special activities, actually consisted of two specially arranged areas within the zoo, an exhibitor area with 9 booths, licensed Marvel characters for photo ops, an artists all sector with about a dozen booths, and plenty of costumed Star Wars characters for more photo ops.
The zoo promoted the event with flyers at the entrance and had put up special information signs throughout the zoo linking to each animals “super powers” for kids to learn about. It was a fairly invested event for the zoo to set up and create a carnival atmosphere for the day, though they kept it low-key for visitors who were just there to see the animals. Still, a social event with artists, cosplay, and kids events sounds familiar- just about everywhere seem to be getting into the con spirit this summer.
Pop culture photographer and friend of the Beat Michele Brittany reports that some of the younger children had mixed reactions to the Star Wars cosplayers:
The troopers were a friendly lot in spite of their allegiance to Darth Vader. There were a few children who must have known the troopers alliance with Darth Vader because those kids wanted nothing to do with the troopers and took off running with tears in their eyes, in the opposite direction! However, there was one little brave girl who “attacked” a trooper with a big hug to their white PVC armored leg (she was a wee lass!) that just melted the hearts of everyone around.
G.I. Joe also made an appearance along with superheroes and Star Wars guests, Brittany says:
A crew of G.I. Joe personnel from the costuming club “The Finest” roved between the grove and the terrace to pose for pictures throughout the day.
Brittany’s impression of the comics/arts representation was that:
…the art ranged from little clay creatures to slick (read: expensive) art books. A few tables had comics, but the majority had prints, cards, drawings, jewelry, t-shirts, etc. for sale. It was a good mix of items and of course, animals were well represented at every booth. Overall, the event was very relaxed; similar to a small comics book show.
And, finally, here is Brittany’s stunning photo gallery of the event:
Photo Credits: The photos in this article were taken during the interview by pop culture photographer Michele Brittany. You can learn more about her work here.
Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress. Find her bio here.