It isn’t every day that Wonder Woman gives you her business card, but a day at a comic convention isn’t like every other day.
On Saturday, the second and final day of Atomic Comicon at the Tacoma Public Library, Disney’s Merida brandished her bow while chatting with Captain America. Meanwhile, a handful of fans dressed as the Marvel character Deadpool wandered around shelves of books, and self-proclaimed geeks checked out booths of fandom-related merchandise along the library’s first floor.
The library’s Teen Services librarian, Sara Sunshine Holloway, led the convention’s events while dressed as Twilight Sparkle, a character from the television show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” She said that conventions like this one give the library a chance to bring people together. Over two days between 1,200 and 1,500 people attended the event, which included vendors at about 20 booths.
“Fandoms, if nothing else, are an interest that people can share in,” Holloway said. “That’s why we promote both literacy through comics and nerd culture.”
For Seattle resident Erin Bishop, that was especially true; she’d met her girlfriend, Willow Enright, at the 2012 Emerald City Comic Con and bonded over their shared love of the “Sword of Truth” series.
“I like (cosplaying) because that’s how I met my girlfriend,” Bishop said, clad in a leather, Grecian-style Wonder Woman cosplay. “She was dressed up as the Mord Sith, and I absolutely loved the detail that she’d put into her leather work.”
The pair have been together ever since, and Bishop now helps Enright sell her leather wares through her online site Leather Works by Willow. She said that this year’s Atomic Comicon is the first time they’ve set up a booth to sell their leather works — ranging from costume pieces to bracelets and wallets — at a convention.
Everything Bishop wore, from the Wonder Woman chest plate to the gauntlets, had been handcrafted by the couple over two months. A leather pouch attached to Bishop’s hip was made specifically for the store’s business cards, which Bishop handed out to anyone interested while walking around the convention.
Enright said she likes putting twists on costumes when creating them, like she did for Bishop’s Grecian Wonder Woman.
“I love when people have to really think and use their imagination,” she said. “I love making a variation so it’s like, wait, I think I know that character but maybe I don’t.”
Activities occurred throughout the day. Just a few feet from Bishop and Enright’s booth in the Olympic Room, events including “Ninja Story Time” and “How to Build a Dalek” were being held for free. Enright, dressed as X-Men’s Rogue, and Bishop as Wonder Woman had also agreed to participate in a cosplaying Q&A session in the afternoon.
For Bishop and Enright, the library location was perfect for the convention because, as kids, they had read about their favorite superheroes through comics in libraries.
“Bringing together cosplay and books is like two of my favorite fantasy worlds coming together,” Enright said. “When we were young and when we were reading about all these superhero characters, the library is where we went.”