Fan cons create community atmosphere

The crowds are large and excited to see people dressed up as their favorite characters.

The craftsmanship of cosplayers is intricate and sincere.

The atmosphere is genuine. 

Downtown Arlington needs to establish an environment for fan conventions.

Whether it is anime, science fiction or comic conventions, the city needs to make the time and space available to host a convention.

The City of Arlington got a small taste of this during the summer with ArlingCon, and it will return next summer. The Arlington Public Library—which partnered with Wild West Comics, Penguin Books and the UTA Central Library—tried something new with great but limited success, and I want more.

I'm not sure if it was the venue or the advertising, but it lacked the pizzazz of the conventions held in Dallas, though it is a great start.

I recently got into cosplay and fan conventions in the past few years, and now I can never look back.

The feeling of taking a character you know and love and bringing them to life is oddly satisfying. I've been Brock from Pokémon and the Demoman from Team Fortress 2, and I'm currently working on Lando Calrissian from Star Wars.  

Although it feels great to be acknowledged for the hard work you put into cosplay, what I appreciate more is the sense of community.

No one is judged or mistreated; everyone is there for camaraderie and to celebrate their fandom.

This is something Arlington can create for its residents and visitors.

Although Dallas is not too far away, it would be great for Arlington to do more to attract this community. 

Digital managing editor at UTA’s student newspaper The Shorthorn, Rafael Sears is a fan of video games, D&D and comic books.