Hundreds of fans swarmed to the 2019 West Virginia Pop Culture and Comic Book Convention at Mylan Park on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate pop culture, cosplay and fandom.
“We don’t have anything else like [this convention],” said Jon Hayes, PopCon’s founder. It’s very special to us. [My favorite part] is seeing the kids’ interactions with their favorite characters.”
People of all ages strolled around the convention dressed up, or cosplayed, as popular characters such as Captain Jack Sparrow, Harley Quinn, Steve Harrington and Beetlejuice. Several competed in the cosplay contest.
“[My costume] was a collaborative effort between my sister and I,” said Aaron Jones, a Captain Jack Sparrow cosplayer from Mannington, West Virginia. “It was just rolls of fabric when we got started, but we patterned it out, we sewed it together and between me and her, we made this happen.”
Jones also cosplays as Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, Michael Myers and several other characters.
“I love doing this for the kids,” Jones said. “I love coming out [to conventions] and it makes people’s day. That’s what this is all about.”
The winner of the cosplay contest was Dakota Riblett, who dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi in one of his outfits from the 2003 Clone Wars series. The outfit was handmade and took six months to complete.
“It all started with some cheap plastic,” said Riblett, a first-time cosplayer from Fairmont. “While I was redoing my grandmother’s house, I noticed some of the curtains were kind of the color of the cape [Obi Wan] wears.”
Those in attendance could play video games, take pictures with those in costume and explore the various stations on the convention floor.