Post Classifieds

Expo brings Sci-Fi celebs to TAMIU

By George Gonzalez
On April 18, 2015

Inline image 1

Kicking off the Washington Birthday Celebration Association festivities, the South Texas Collectors Expo brought together an array of individuals and personalities to the Texas A&M International University’s Student Center on January 24th and 25th.

Marking its second time visiting the university, this years comic convention brought nearly a dozen new celebrities such as the stars of  Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Austin St. John, Karan Ashley, David J. Fielding, American Horror Story's Naomi Grossman, The Raid's Peter Shinkoda, and Flash Gordon's Sam Jones and Melody Anderson. Returning favorites such as the the Star Wars themed 501st Legion, Texas Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, cosplayer Nicole Marie Jean, and the Alien Warrior Comedian were also in attendance. Vendors such as Legacy Comics, That Anime Store, and over a dozen more were also present at the STCE.

Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew was scheduled to attend the comic convention, but unfortunately the actor was hospitalized with pneumonia, and had to cancel his appearance.

Aside from photo-ops, vendors, and artists, the event also had a great deal of one-hour panels featuring the conventions’ guests, that took place throughout Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

For instance, during the Naomi Grossman panel, the charismatic actress discussed her experience on the FX hit series American Horror Story. She also discussed the process of how she gets into character and the different kind of prosthetics used to portray the character of Pepper.

When discussing her first audition to the show and getting the call to do a follow up, Grossman admitted the experience was very unconventional than other television shows. Rather than a follow-up audition or interview, the actress was instead invited back to take various images of different views of what her character might look like.

Naomi admitted, “I had no idea what we were doing” adding that, “they started asking me all of these really odd questions like: 'Are you claustrophobic? Have you worn prosthetics? Would you shave your head?” Despite feeling confused, the actress said she must have answered correctly, “because I got the part a couple of days later” adding, “even then, nobody really sat down and said: this is the character.”  

Nevertheless, the actress proclaimed that she has enjoyed playing Pepper for two years, and was especially excited to have an entire episode devoted to her character. Though ecstatic, Grossman revealed to the audience that she didn’t have too much time to prepare, having only read the script about fourteen hours before shooting began.

Still, it was an insightful experience for American Horror Story fans and those who are interested in working into both acting or “creature creations.”

As comic cons and geek culture have become increasingly mainstream over the past several years, there has been a rise of popularity in “cosplaying”. Cosplaying refers to individuals dressing up as pop culture, comic book, video game, and Japanese animation characters to these events. The STCE is no exception to the trend, as the cosplay contest usually marks the end of the each Laredo event.

In preparation for the contest and phenomenon, the Cosplay Panel took place. The Cosplay Panel consisted of the professional cosplaying artists, Ani Mai, Nicole Marie Jean, Leena Vamp, and Lord Vishus. Moderated by Peter Mares and Trin Soliz, each guest offered their own expertise and advice for people who are into creating their own costumes.

When a fan asked if there was any costumes they wish they had made, Lord Vishus replied, “It all comes down too is how badly you want it. If you’re passionate about it, you’re going to get it done. It doesn’t matter how much it’s going to cost, or skill level, you’re going to make it happen.”

“Professional cosplayers or not, we are all cosplayers and I think a big thing about that is that we follow what we love. We weren’t out there looking for this. We were just going out there, going to conventions and dressing up. I was just doing it for fun,” said Ani Mai, discussing the recognition she has received over the years for her work.

The event drew massive amounts of fans to the bi-annual convention, and was an excellent way to open the 2015 WBCA festivities. The next STCE will be held at the Laredo Energy Arena later this year on September 26th and 27th.


Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More thebridgenewspaper News Articles

Recent thebridgenewspaper News Articles

Discuss This Article





Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format